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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Love, Fear, and Pine Cones


First off, I have to tell you, last Wednesday, April 17, exactly one month before my book, The Frog’s Song, will be released I received three complimentary copies in the mail. 

Oh Joy! I love the cover, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it, for it was a surprise from my Publishing House. Bless Jaynie, she’s the best. (Regal Publishing—the house that Jaynie built.)  I know that people like to buy Kindle versions, I do too, but this cover’s so pretty you just have to feel it—like silk. And the background is chalkboard black. 

 It’s a small book, only 120  pages, but big enough to have the title printed on the spine. 

(I think we ought to have a blank journal to go along with the printed book, use the same artwork, but put “Journal” instead of the title. I don’t know, though, if I can convince the publishing house to print them.)

Now I’m afraid to open the cover and read what’s inside. Yep, I wrote it, but what if I don’t like it anymore? You know how things are, like the printed page, or houses after they have sat for awhile begin to look frayed. With writing, gremlins sneak in during the night.

The Frog’s Song has croaked his heartfelt best, now there’s no looking back. It’s been ten years in the making—cast of—well, eight, including two dogs and two cats. focuses on the book, but I will also keep a blog going there, for if anyone buys the book--they better or I’ll get dumped by my publisher--I want to support my readers, and add content to the site, like maybe outtakes or I’m tempted to write the rest of the story, like the day we left Hawaii.  I thought it was funny, and pertinent to the experience, a little drama, although not so much fun in life, is great for story telling. Alas, it ended up on the cutting room floor.  I’ll tell you if you want to hear it. 

Okay, I’m off the book for now, and since my other site is Travels with Jo, we’ll travel a bit. 

My husband and I spent the weekend in Sisters, Oregon, named after the three mountains, Faith, Hope, and Charity that are a backdrop for the town.  (Thanks for the names Greg). It’s high desert and I noticed a drop in my energy at that altitude, but just breathe deep and enjoy the beautiful town all dressed up in a Western motif. The buildings must be under specifications, for they fit together into an integrated whole. 

The photo below is a mural, I had to go up and touch the quilt blowing in the breeze for it looked as though it came out of the painting. 

The town’s claim to fame is its Quilts. I don’t sew—the machine always gives me trouble--but hubby and I entered the most exquisite fabric store I had ever seen. It made my mouth water--and I’ve been to Mood in Los Angeles—this was better, more fun, more exquisite.  As I said, I don’t sew, but I appreciate art—and there’s an abundance of it in this town. The Quilts there are so perfect it makes you want to throw up. I mean this in the kindest way, the craftmanship (Craftswomanship) is exquisite—just way out of my jurisdiction.

 There will be an outdoor quilt show in Sisters, Oregon on Saturday, July 13.

We stayed at the Ponderosa Inn, a Best Western that is extremely dog-friendly. the dogs must be kept on the leash on the grounds, but beyond their lawn is a Ponderosa forest when the dog and people can run free.

The weather was perfect. the sky clear. a quick view of Broken Top sped past, (a jagged mountain) as hubby was speeding down the highway. It loomed ahead against a sky so blue it looked purple.

A perfect view of the Three Sisters caught my attention between a smear of trees, but there was no stopping place for a photo, and soon they were way behind us. I captured Mt. Washington though. 

The forest in front of it was burnt by a devastating forest fire that happened 15 years ago  That wildfire burned 90,000 acres, a holocaust, they called it, “Natures backlash," "An Oregon wake up call,” due to wildfire suppression and overstocked forests.  

Long ago in Native times forest fires used to break out once in a while and it helped the forest, it cleared an area between trees, fertilized the ground, and created homes for wildlife in the dead trees. Lodgepole pine cones come with the scales glued tightly together protecting the precious seeds, and those pine cones are heat sensitive. The glue is a sort of resin or wax that requires heat to melt the wax and open the cones. The pine trees can drop a great number of cones waiting for the next forest fire to open them, after the fire, viola, a lodgepole forest.

Now, however, with the crowding of trees and species-specific forests, fires get out of hand. 

It’s a tough call.

I received the most wonderful comment from a reader, “I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.” 

That’s how it ought’a be.

I don’t know what I did for that person, but I do hope people find value here. No self-improvement today, though, just talk.

Love you,