Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Can you believe it? Artisans, crafters, musicians and refreshments all in one place at the same time? And it's FREE? Well, believe it, because on April 19th from 2:00-8:00 p.m., lots of creative folks will be gathered at the Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library for the first ever "MEET & GREET DAY"!

Artisans and crafters who will display, sell and talk about their work are:

  • Artists on the Loose
  • Lake Glass Group (stained glass creations)
  • Lake Quilters Guild 
  • Lake Writers 
  • Literary Calligraphy (Susan Loy)
  • Old Moneta Ironworks
  • Otter River Guitars (Richard Bates, luthier)
  • Potter Dave Ovenshire and artist Midge Ovenshire
  • Smith Mountain Lake Woodturners
  • Spinner/Weaver (Jeanne Fischer)
  • The General Store (quilting supplies and information)

Musicians who will perform are:

  • 3:00 - Witcher Creek Band
  • 4:00 - Ladies of the Lake
  • 5:00 - Bill Hudson
  • 6:00 - Panini Brothers

The Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library is located at 13641 Moneta Road (Rt. 122), Moneta, VA 24121. Phone (540) 425-7004. Y'all come.


Friday, April 06, 2012

SCOTLAND IN SEPTEMBER: From the Isle of Mull to the Isle of Skye

I didn't want to leave Glengorm Castle and the Isle of Mull, but the Isle of Skye beckoned, and hubby Ron and traveling companions Larry and Joyce were ready for new adventures.

We took a tiny ferry from Tobemory to Kilchoan. Neither we nor our ferry captain wanted to be caught in the violent storm just behind us. The water became rough, the wind roared, but we made it across just in time. Shortly after we disembarked, all ferry crossings were cancelled. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

 Outrunning the storm.

 Larry and Ron on deck.

By the time we reached shore the rain had started, but it stopped long enough to snap this picture of a unique flower bed. I like the ingenuity of the Scots.

We traveled in hard rain across the Sound of Sleat to the Isle of Skye. Scotland's take-your-breath-away scenery actually, well, took my breath away often. I snapped the picture below through the car window. Yes, that's a raindrop near the bottom on the left side of the shot.

I love the heather in the picture above.

The next two pictures were also taken from a moving car in the rain. Note the angry clouds in the first one.

We stopped at the Talisker Distillery to sample Scotch whiskey. I took a couple of small sips, decided that I didn't like Scotch, even though Scotland 's Scotch is reported to be the best in the world.

 The view was nice, though. 

 We saw lots of rainbows in Scotland. 
Note the double rainbow above.

Eager to get out of the car, we were happy to reach the small town of Edinbane and our hotel for the night. The Lodge at Edinbane, built way back in the 1500s, isn't flashy. The rooms are small, but clean, and the bedrooms have private baths. If you like to stay in big, luxurious places, this charming and quaint hotel isn't for you.

After checking in, the four of us freshened up, jumped back in the car and drove down a one-lane road (in pouring rain, of course) to The Three Chimneys Restaurant, a 5-star restaurant and hotel on the shores of Loch Dunvegan.
 An old, thatched-roof building on the property.
 A view of the loch from the parking lot.
 A picture taken from the reception room.


The lady and her companion in the above picture waited with us. She's a famous actress--but I couldn't remember her name and I didn't want to say, "Oh! Aren't you. . . uh, uh"! Anyhow, Larry, Joyce, Ron and I had a nice conversation with them.

 Joyce, Larry, Ron and me.

As we sipped our wine and chatted, the lady sitting at the next table interrupted us and asked where we lived in Bedford County, VA! Small world--she was from Altavista, VA, a small town about 25 miles from us!

 This was one of our entrees.

The Three Chimneys was an interesting restaurant, and the service and staff were excellent. But you know what I liked the most? The toilet! I had never seen a square toilet, so I hurried back to the table, grabbed my trusty camera, and took this shot in the bathroom. I've never taken a picture of a toilet before.

 Both the seat AND the bowl are square! 
Again, an example of  Scot ingenuity!

The next SCOTLAND IN SEPTEMBER post will continue at a later date.

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Monday, April 02, 2012


I walked up the driveway to check the mail last Saturday and stopped so suddenly that Yellow Dog bumped into my legs. There, a few yards from me, stood "Jonathan's Tree," its limbs heavy with gorgeous blossoms. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

I moved closer for the next shot.

Planted in the spring of 2006 in memory of my precious grandson Jonathan Joseph, the tree is a loving reminder of that sweet little boy.

This is how "Jonathan's Tree" looked in 2010. Splendid then, it is spectacular now, don't you think? The photo below was taken this past Saturday.

We almost bought a weeping cherry back in 2006 because they are so beautiful, but I didn't want anything connected to weeping or sadness. Instead, we selected this ornamental cherry with its branches reaching toward heaven and our grandson.

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