Monthly Archives: November 2012

sliding down the mountain road…

Ah, to wake to the vision of fresh fallen snow. To see each branch highlighted in threads woven of white…

To shovel and scrape off a windshield and fight to get into your car only to slip and slide down the mountain road…


It’s begun. An Alberta clipper came charging through last night and buried us under feet of snow. Okay, I’m exaggerating. More like 5 inches. Still, it’s enough to send cars careening off the road, as my family would attest last night when they were caught driving in it. At least they all got home safe.

And now it’s cold. 10 degrees of shivering, arctic air has settled in.

But not to worry.

Apparently, it’ll be 50 by Monday.

Go figure that some Vermonter’s are a bit off in the head.

So, for those of you who will be enjoying a green Christmas or holiday season, I’ll leave you with these pics which I snapped with frigid little fingers.




Stay warm and safe!


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I’m not Kathlin…

Well, as some of you may know, I’ve been waiting for word from an editor at a small publishing house that had my manuscript.  I’d been scoped this summer from an on-line writer’s conference and asked to send the entire story.

Yes, I got word a few days ago.

How did I know an email message would not bring good news? You’ve no idea how often I prayed for my damn cell phone to ring – not chirp to notify I had mail?

Thanks for submitting, the editor said, but they didn’t feel strongly enough about my manuscript.


I was a professional and you would all be so proud. I hit the reply button and sent a formal thank you, all kind and gracious for them taking a look at my book. I was a good girl, even though they addressed my rejection-form email to “Kathlin”. I didn’t smirk and say, Kathlin is the main character of my book – something you would’ve known if you’d read the manuscript. I didn’t say, you had my manuscript for 3 and 1/2 months and can’t give me feedback? I didn’t say how disappointed I was or frustrated with the publishing process.

No, I held my head high, sent that missive on its merry way, emotionlessly worded, penned by the editor in my head that says “don’t burn any bridges.”

But I did sign my name.

And now she knows I’m not Kathlin.


As so many of you are choosing to self-publish, I would love to create a post, highlighting your endeavors. Would you send me information: date available, whether e-reader or hard cover and pertanent links to my facebook page? You can find it on my sidebar.

When one of us succeeds, we all succeed.

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Awards, pretty and sweet…

With all the hustle of the holiday, I’ve been remiss in accepting and passing along two wonderful awards. Ok, in all fairness, one came to Down the Mountain Road and the other to Letters To Rosa. Still, in celebration of the spirit of the joyful season upon which we now embark (and no, I don’t mean hunting season), I would like to give my love to the two wonderful bloggers who nominated me and pass along these sweet shout-outs to others who’re far more deserving.


Isn’t that pretty?

And to Eunice, one of my newer friends at A fellow New Englander who’s got a heart of gold and one who shares such beauty with her photos and her words. Thanks for this nomination:

And isn’t this sweet?

To both, I say, thank you. I am humbled and tickled pink. To these two dear cyber-friends, I’d like to send out a heartfelt thanks. You’re in my thoughts tonight and I’m wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving and upcoming holiday season.

Now, onto the nominations because this really is the best part.

For the Reader appreciation award:

A new blogger and one that I know very well as she is my daughter – Miss WordBird over at keep going, you’re such a good writer!

A wonderful, non-muggle yarnster who has enlightened and entertained me over the past week. She’s brought cheer to an otherwise stressful week with her synchronized yarn dancing and enlightened this old gal as to the importance of technology (so THAT’s how the photographers take such great pictures). Check her out at

And to an American spending a year abroad; her adventures with floor numbering, shopping limitations and mixed up words, because she lets me arm-chair travel and takes me through a country I would love to see one day. And now, I’ll know to pack my own Skippy peanut butter. Swing on by and give her a hello:

As to the super-sweet award, I’d like to nominate the following:

Pauline. You know this is coming. Yup, I keep throwing these things at my Irish knitting cyber-buddy. Sorry. Just had to because she’s such a kick, so amazingly smart and sassy and had such a hard week. You deserve this, girl, just know other’s need to see and read your wonderful posts… She can be found at:

To Denise, a wonderful blogger who’s set up a daunting task – publish a post a day for a month. She’s a better woman than I – and not just because of this… but because she manages to share so much of herself with such daring, though she would never think of it that way. Check her out at

And finally, but not in any way the least… to Kim at A mom, a writer, a blogger who’s about to have her story published. Hooray for you, Kim! I really do believe that when one of us succeeds, we all succeed.

And so to sum, I must tell you a few things about Sue.

1) I have hazel eyes.

2) All the popular girls in my high school had blue eyes.

3) I hated all the popular girls in my high school.

4) I am the product of bullying.

5) Because of this, I homeschooled both my girls.

6) Yup, all the way through high school. Well, almost, the oldest is a junior.

As I wrap up this post, I want to wish you all a simple blessing.

May your days be filled with joy.


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a Vermont salutation…

This time of year there really is only one way to greet a fellow Vermonter. Four succinct words summarize the dominant thought, the driving force, the collective subconscious. Walk into any convenience store, hardware or otherwise; grocery store, whether large or small and you will, undoubtedly, catch this phrase more than once.

Git yur deer yet?

Every fall it becomes a substitute salutation. No longer will you hear, “Hi” or “How ya doin?”

So you won’t be tagged a flatlandah, why not be the first to offer up these words? Throw that old-timer off guard by being in the know. Show ’em you’ve been around these parts long enough to understand the Vermont vernacular, even if you don’t condone huntin and would never kill Bambi.

Impress ’em with your vast knowledge, even though you won’t be able to understand their response.

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a missed opportunity…

Veteran’s Day has come and gone and me with two brothers serving in the Air Force reserves? A dunce moment for sure.

So, let me right a wrong and share one picture of my handsome bros standing before a C-5.  Jim and Dan have over 60 years of combined service.

I love them both.

God, I’m so proud…

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seein as yur all he-ah…

Didn’t know this would become a blog to educate you flatlanders how to speak and understand the Vermont way. Ah, well, seein as yur all -he-ah…

Today marks a most sacred time in Vermont, a blessed season filled with hushed tones and the sound of buckshot being loaded in the basement. Today, deer huntin’ begins. Throughout homes, long before any have the right to be awake, kitchens are brightly lit, the smell of bacon’s wafting through the air and way, way too much plaid is being worn by men and women who’ve nothing more on their agenda then to stalk the woods in search of their elusive prey… the mighty white-tailed stag.

It’s a tradition that’s been passed down through the generations in my family. From father to son, each have their favorite places to hunt, all have stories about how they took the “big” one down. Most have mounted antlers hanging in their living rooms.

Or, as in my father’s case, his garage.

Dad? I said the last time I visited. What’s with this tiny rack?

Barely a spike horn and soooo pathetic.

That, he said with a sparkle in his eyes… that was my first deer. Got it when I was a kid.

Wow, it’s like an antique…

Okay then, what’s with these other not-so-large racks?

He pointed each one out with the patience of a saint and a man with a memory of a kid…

This one, Tudes, this I took with my bow up on Dole Hill. And this, he went on down the line, came from Bessie’s house five years back. Bessie got her deer then, too.

Bessie, Dad’s girlfriend. You know, the one who rides a motorcycle and can fly a plane?

Bessie still hunts? I had to ask. Her heart was weakened from some pain medicine years ago – one that’s since been recalled. Now, the merest exertion makes her struggle to breathe…

A’yup. She sits in her stand and I drive the deer toward her with the four-wheeler. His eyes were sad when he thought of that proud, independent woman needing help to take a damned deer.

A grey squirrel emerged from some brush nearby. I watched my dad watch that squirrel, then he turned to me with a wink.

You know, Tudes, squirrel season started last week. Little bastards, he added and his grin made me laugh.

So, whether or not you believe in the hunting process; whether you wish Bambi luck and all hunter’s a poor aim… I want to give a toast.

Here’s to my family – a clan of hunters; mighty warriors who roam the woods looking for a deer or at least a good story to tell. May you find that which you’re looking for, may your toes stay warm and your belly full.

May you git yur deah.

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woodchuck cup holders…

When my hubby’s truck broke down recently and he was too far away to help, he called on a friend who lived nearby to come and save me. In a cold, lifeless vehicle I awaited and the shivering had already begun when my hero, Marshall, swept down the mountain road to add water to the fritzed radiator.

I was told to go wait in his truck. Go, he urged, go get warmed up.

And so I did and quickly found myself grinning.

Marshall’s truck was at least 20 bazillion years old. So old, it had a hard plastic dash. Yup, no airbags, no air conditioning or cup holders.

Except the one that he had “crafted.”

Marshall, I laughed, what the heck is that. I pointed at the cup embedded in the dashboard.

Ain’t you never seen a woodchuck’s cup holder? he said with a cheesy smile.

Woodchuck cup holder?

All the trucks in Eden look like this, he assured me.

Okay, then…

A little more perusing and I noticed the duct taped side view mirror and the hole in the rubber mat that let light shine through. When I pointed these things out, he added with no shame, You should see the driver’s door – the bottom’s duct taped there, too.

I continued to laugh while I sat in that running, toasty vehicle, but Marshall didn’t seem to mind as he whistled every so merrily and went about his business fixing my broken down truck…

You know, the one with the air bags, air conditioning and cup holders?

The one with no heat?

The one that won’t start?

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doodlebugs and dooryards…

As my brain has taken a wrong left turn due to an unprovoked and undeserving bout with vertigo, I found myself bandying words across the Atlantic Ocean with Pauline, my Irish cyber-buddy, a knitter-extrordinare.

She was feeling chipper and had strung together so much brogue so quick that I heard in my head the sound of a record, scratching to a halt.  Wait a minute… Biccies? Chips? Strogs?

So I asked and a dialogue of sorts ensued, leading me to an amazing revelation.

I needed more sleep.

“Biccies” are biscuits, apparently, but not the kind we eat for breakfast. More of a cookie (then why not just call them a cookie?)

Strogs are…. still don’t get it, something about something that’s not named. Um, Pauline, is it just my fog or did that one just whiz right over my head?

In honor of this blasted case of vertigo and our cultural differences, allow me to illuminate you as to the proper way to speak in Vermont…

First, drop consonants at the end of words and replace them with “ah”  … as in, “there’s a deah out thereah.” TRANSLATION: “There’s a deer out there.”

Next, substitute names for objects that make no sense.

Like “dooryard”

Dooryard = front yard.

And “doodlebug.”

Doodlebug= an object that no longer works that’s parked in your dooryard.

“Hey, look,” my daughter said, “there’s a doodlebug boat in our dooryard.”

“And a doodlebug plow,” chirped the other.

Not to be outdone, I added, “and a doodlebug woodshed.”

Both simply blinked at the utter stupidity of my statement.



Still don’t know why THAT wasn’t funny.

Anyways, I asked Pauline if they called their yards “dooryards” and she explained in such away as to make my poor malfunctioning head swim. Allow me to quote..

“No, we don’t say dooryard at all. Nor do we say ‘front yard’- it’s front garden, and back garden as appropriate! A yard is unplanted, as in farmyard or a small patch of concrete you might have behind a townhouse, where there’s no room for a garden, and you’d keep your rubbish bins (not trash cans!) there…”


And, because I’m writing this mighty Irish epic fantasy, I just had to ask.

Do they say “Ay” in Ireland.

Here is what she said…

“The closest I’ve ever come to an ‘aye’ is watching Scottie on Star Trek… Cliches abound  in reported irish- and scots-speak, I’m afraid. Worst offender: ‘Far and Away’-painful!”

(Oooops! Guess I have some editing to do before she reads my book.)

So you see and in summation, if you have a doodlebug and you park it in your dooryard, it’s going to taste like a cookie, but be called a biscuit….

Oh, wait, that’s a strog.


I guess I should just go to bed.

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of painted dragons and good music…

Thanks for letting me indulge, dear cyber-friends. When my vertigo spiked yesterday, I knew it was time to unplug. Too many images of desperation. To many cries for help. And here I was, powerless to do anything.

I said I would paint and I did. Been working all summer with a dear friend, Karen Sturdevant to illustrate her wonderful picture book called “Gert and Stu and Zippy, too.” Love that she’s having it published. Admire her for her perseverance and dedication to editing and making it the best story it could be. I’ll let you know when it’s finally in print form…

What a delight for me, to turn off pain and tune into the sweet world she’s created. I asked her this morning if I could share an illustration and she agreed. So, here is but one of many drawings…


As to the music I listened to, I thought I’d plug my boy, JR Richards formerly of Dishwalla (alas, they are no more). Their big hit in the late ’90s is called  “Counting Blue Cars,” a wonderful rocky tune with such famous lyrics as “Tell me all your thoughts on God, ’cause I’d really like to meet her.”

If you want to check out more Dishwalla tunes, make sure you download their song, “Home”.

This is one band that sounds even better live! So, if you want to be moved to goosebumps, you can download “Angels or Devils” off their album “Live From the Flow State”. If you want to rock out and embarrass every teenager in a ten-mile radius, download “Mad Life,” “Moisture” and “Somewhere in the Middle” (again, from the live album). To further their embarrassment, you can do what I do… ask your kids to take the dishes out of the “dishwalla.”

If you want a moment of peace and pure joy, go get yourself one more tune from this awesome band. “Until I wake Up” from their album “So you think you know what life’s about”.

Here’s to you, JR. You rock my menopausal world.


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Please view “Empty words” over at letters to rosa…

radio silence has begun…

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