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.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


On February 28, 2015, I got the bright idea to give a photo quilt made by me to each grandchild when he/she turned 21. Even though my oldest grandchild would be 21 in a month, I figured I could do it in time for her birthday. After all, how hard can it be to make a little quilt? Ha!

First I searched through my old photo albums, scanned those pictures, then scrolled through hundreds of digital pictures. After scanning and selecting all the photos I really liked, I edited each one through Adobe Photoshop. Be sure to double-click on the pictures.

 A few of the fabric photos.

I bought Inkjet Printable Fabric, and printed all the pictures--two pictures per one 8.5 in x 11 in sheet--edged each photo in a plain white fabric, then pieced them together with the green fabric. Well, the size of the quilt grew because I decided to add two strips of bright coral fabric and one strip of white fabric. And I kept adding pictures. What I intended to be a single-bed size became queen-size.

The quilt on a queen-size bed.

One reason it took me so long to finish this quilt is because I took so much time looking at each photo, smiling at my sweet granddaughter's expressions and remembering details of when each photo was snapped.

Hubby Ron holding up the quilt before we took it to Bailey.

I took my last stitch at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, January 11, and rushed upstairs to show Ron. I was thrilled to have met my deadline. I knew that Bailey would leave on January 19 for a three-month adventure with NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School, and even though she wouldn't be taking it with her, I wanted her to receive her very late 21st birthday present.
Bailey (left) and Ron holding the quilt.

By no means is this a perfect quilt; I made numerous mistakes while making it, thought about trying to fix them. Instead, I decided that life itself is full of mistakes, and that if we didn't learn from our mistakes and move on with our lives we'd never accomplish anything.  


Thursday, January 21, 2016


I blog about my grandson Jonathan every year, either on the date he was born or the date we lost him. This year my old malfunctioning computer (which we ended up trashing), and then a new computer (which had to have a brand new mother board and a visit from the computer repairman) kept me from blogging. I was able to put something about Jonathan on Facebook, but I keep notebooks with all my blog posts in them to re-read when I get really old and have nothing to do. Just a fleeting glance at a Facebook post about my grandson just wasn't enough for me. I was so frustrated. Thank goodness the computer problems are fixed, at least for now. 

January 13, 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the day our grandson Jonathan Stephen Joseph entered the kingdom of heaven. He was two years and 17 days old when arterial venus malformation of the brain killed this precious child. We still remember Jonathan--remember how wonderful those small arms felt when they wrapped around our necks as we snuggled him, how he loved (and was loved by) his parents and his five older siblings, how much he enjoyed riding in his granddaddy's truck, and playing in Smith Mountain Lake.

Jonathan enjoying his hobby horse on 
December 27, 2005, 17 days before his death.

Jonathan with his older brother Jacob (now 21) 
and their dog Charlie.

Jonathan in his granddad's truck. 

Jonathan, we still love and miss you, and we always will.