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.

Friday, December 20, 2013


I turned a year older on Thursday, so sweet hubby Ron wanted to take me to a really nice restaurant for dinner. "Why?" I asked. "There's lots of food in the freezer, and I'm perfectly happy staying home." But then my friend Marilee intervened, strongly suggested we dine at the Bedford Social Club, an upscale restaurant in Bedford, Virginia, said the restaurant had a "date night special" on Wednesdays and Thursdays. We'd eaten there several times before, the meal was always delicious, so in order to make Marilee (and Ron) happy, I agreed. Besides, I knew the food would be good.

Folks, I can't even begin to tell you how absolutely wonderful our meal was unless I use lots of adjectives and adverbs, things we writers are discouraged from using. So for this blog I will take off my writer's hat and don my "I love good food" hat.

For an appetizer, we chose Spanakopita, a Greek spinach pie made with Feta cheese and phyllo pastry dough. Oh my goodness; I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. (Yes, fellow writers, I know that phrase is a huge cliche, but remember, I'm not writing this as a writer.) Next was a house salad with honey dijonese dressing. Sooo yummy.

I forgot to mention that with our meal came a bottle of wine. We chose a dry Hob Nob Chardonnay made in California, which paired deliciously with our entrees.

Ron selected a tuna special, which he thoroughly enjoyed. I chose the salmon and scallop cappellini dish, which was served on angel hair pasta. In my opinion, restaurant pasta sauces are usually too heavy, too salty, and fight with whatever is buried in the pasta. Not this dish. The sauce was incredibly light but tasty, enhanced the perfectly cooked chunks of salmon and scallops. I hope Bedford Social Club keeps this on their menu forever, because I want it again, and again, and again.

Next came the dessert. Ron ordered New York Cheese Cake, and graciously gave me a bite. Very, very good. What did I order? Nothing is better than cheese cake, right? Not. I know; you are dying to know what I picked. I chose . . . drum roll here, please . . . GINGERBREAD ICE CREAM! Yes! You read that correctly. And it was so delicious that if my tongue had been long enough and no one was looking, I would have picked up that bowl and licked up every tiny, lingering bit.

By the way, the service was just as good as the food!

If you are considering dining at the Bedford Social Club, they are located at 124 S. Bridge Street, Bedford, Virginia. Phone number is 540-586-9454. I suggest you make reservations. You can check out their website at

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Every December I write our family Christmas letter and send out Christmas cards. And every year I think I'll get an early start, not wait until December 18th before mailing the last of them. But early never happens. Why? I get distracted by all the activity outside my sliding glass door.

I place my envelopes, cards, Christmas letters, names and addresses on my dining room table where I can watch the birds and squirrels while writing and addressing the cards. Within arm's reach is my Canon camera with the 250 zoom lens attached.

 Above and below are birds feeding from the 
two "squirrel proof" feeders.


 Mrs. Cardinal watches from a maple tree before 
flying to our most recent "squirrel proof" feeder.

 I put sunflower seeds in the feeder tray 
twice a day. Here the drama begins as 
Squirrel checks out his food sources.

Squirrel advances. Which "squirrel proof" feeder
will he choose?

This time Squirrel picks the old 

I shoo him away before he removes 
the top and tries to climb inside.

A world of nature and adventure occurs outside my sliding glass door each day. And I love every second of it. Though later than I'd like, the Christmas cards eventually get mailed.

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