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Sunday, December 25, 2011


I've enjoyed this Christmas more than any since Jolene's death. It's been a quiet month, but I did the things that mattered most to me. Presents for my grandchildren. A small Christmas tree. Christmas Eve carol service.

The carol service was a special blessing. I played carols while the choir sang. Jaran was there with his entire family. Jordan observed me carefully when I joined the family later, and chose the hymnal from the rack as we sang carols together. I'm not sure which one of us was prouder, me of her, or her of me. (Jaran said she seemed quite impressed that Grandma was playing the piano. I had forgotten she hadn't seen me play before.)

Friends brought me welcome gifts. A daily planner. A comforter for my bed. A box of chocolates. Jaran brought me Christmas dinner and gifts today. :) A lovely, soft, deep purple shawl, and a wireless router so that hopefully I can have faster internet service.

I''ve watched a ton of Christmas movies this season. Two stood at as being exceptionally well told (IMO). In I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, a young boy sees his mother kissing Santa Claus--and thinks his parents are getting a divorce, and tries to drive Santa Claus away by his bad behavior. Another was A Diva's Christmas, a retelling of A Christmas Carol starring Vanessa Williams. They updated the familiar story in thought-provoking ways, although the arrival of the three spirits was as unlikely as ever.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. . .

Monday, December 19, 2011


Saturday I celebrated a first: I had my son and his family over to my house, and we had a birthday party for Jordan. (Where have three years gone?!)

Jordan felt it was necessary to introduce me to everyone, as if I didn't know Savannah or Shannon. She didn't mention Isaiah's name. And she proudly announced her own full name, Jordan Elizabeth Franklin. (Another J.E.F., just like my beloved Jolene Elizabeth). She showed me her backpack and couldn't wait to take her place (by me, of course) at the princess-themed table. (She LOVES the princesses).

I bought enough of Pizza Hut's meaty marinara and chicken alfredo for 6-8 people, and we cleaned most of it up. When Jaran told me Shannon thought she wouldn't like either dish, we both grinned at her three helpings of alfredo. My aide bought letter candles that spelled "Happy Birthday" (since the store wouldn't decorate the cake for us). Only problem was the first candle was almost half gone before the last candle was lit . . .

Jaran slipped in the DVD for Neverending Story (how wonderful to watch my grandbabies enjoy the same movies I first discovered with my own babies). When the horse died, I pretended to cry. Jordan took one look at me and said "Oh, Grandma." She was rolling her eyes at me . . .

I recorded a book for Jordan while she was there. Jaran told me that as soon as they got home, she took out that book and listened to it over and over, and called Isaiah over. "Bubba! It's Grandma!"

Even Talia took part in the festivities, staying with the seven of us in the living room, retreating to her "safe spot" between four chair legs when Isaiah got too close. It's fun to watch Jordan protecting Isaiah.

Precious memories. Hannukah starts tomorrow evening. More to come . . .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Stop by for a chance to Maple Notch Brides. Julie is one of my OKC writing buddies and she asks some revealing questions in her interview!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Check out my interview at for a chance to win a copy of Christmas at Barncastle Inn.


I watched a lot of sitcoms growing up. I remember I Dream of Jeannie, Beverly Hillbillies, and All in the Family with great fondness.

At some point I stopped watched sitcoms (except in reruns, as fill in shows!) I'm not sure why. I still like dramedies . . .I'm a huge fan of Monk (Tony Shaloub is nothing short of brilliant!) and Psych and the "character" driven shows on USA. I love Simon Baker as Patrick Jayne in The Mentalist.

This season, the previews for New Girl intrigued me, so I tried it out. Tuned out after ten minutes.

Watched the entire premiere of Last Man Standing and an episode from Up All Night. I enjoyed both very much, although I haven't added them to my regular viewing habits.

I have, in those half-hour bits and pieces, also seen episodes of Seinfeld, New Adventures of Old Christine, Two and a Half Men, Frasier, even the dreaful That Seventies Show.

I think what it comes down to: I find most sitcoms unbelievable. The characters are often stereotypes; but so is Tim Allen in Last Man Standing and so certainly were all four main characters on All in the Family. Yet those actors--and the writers behind them--took the steoreotypes to a place where I could relate.

Or is it the aspect of family sitcoms? I can identify with parents raising teenagers, or even Christina Applegate's turn as a harried working mom with an infant at home. I understand the characters.

Or is it I don't want to laugh at something I find inherently distasteful--the sexual antics that abound in That Seventies Show or Two and a Half Men?

I'm not a New Yorker . . . or a young single adult . . . I don't have much in common with Seinfeld or Friends.

Am I just "humor-challenged," as I have described myself? Narrow interests? Or does the writing and acting make all the difference between what I like or don't like?

Probably a combination of all three.


Here is the cover for A Bride's Rogue in Roma, Texas, due out from Barbour next fall:

Friday, December 2, 2011


Miralee Ferrell is hosting me at her blog Her twist on the interview is that her readers ask me questions. So if you want a chance to win Maple Notch Brides (the repack of my three Vermont books), or if you are dying to ask me a question, stop on by and leave a comment!