Friday, April 29, 2011


Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a morning person.  I tend to go to bed late and wake up after the sun is up and brightly shining.

So when I asked Mr. Tide to wake me this morning as he got ready for work (when he goes into the city he has to get up at an ungodly hour) so that I could watch the royal wedding, even he was skeptical that I would actually get up.

I have to admit that after going to bed at 1:00 am, I was a bit skeptical myself, but when he did wake me this morning I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to tune in to watch history in the making.

I haven't followed along all these months with the hype and speculation about this wedding, but I think as a mother there was a part of me that wanted to be there for Prince William on such an important day when his own mother would be absent, at least physically.

And as I sipped tea I purchased in London from my very English Wedgwood china I was filled with emotion, something that caught me completely by surprise.  If I was asked to pick just one word to sum up what I thought of the wedding, it would be "perfect."  From the dress to the pomp and circumstance it was all very magical to watch.

Although we all know that life is never perfect, I hope for Kate and William what I hope for every bride and groom...that their life will be as close to perfect as it can be, and that they will know the kind of love that Mr. Tide and I have shared for almost 25 years!

Today, I think all of us were a wee bit British!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Today's reports of the storms down south (yet again) remind us all how quickly things can change.  My friend Gary Franklin, and his beautiful family live in the Tuscaloosa area, and I was thankful to hear that they were spared by the tornadoes that ripped through his and other states.  But so many families weren't so lucky, and my heart goes out to them.

In my career as a writer, I have had the opportunity to meet two families who had their homes destroyed by tornadoes, and the trauma and loss they suffered stays with me to this day.  I remember one woman telling me how, even after the tornado was long gone, they had to sit vigil at their home so that looters and other people wanting to snap pictures or even wander around, would leave them alone.  I saw on the news that some of the people affected by recent storms have been going through the same painful process.

Human nature puzzles me much of the time.  Can you imagine going to someone's house in hopes of finding their precious heirlooms or jewelry in and amongst the rubble that was once their home?!  It just goes to show that some people don't have a heart or a conscience if they could actually do something like that to someone who has lost so much.

Today, as I worked on my website and other stuff, I found I was much less likely to get frustrated at all of the little things that weren't going right.  I think the news reports helped remind me that in an instant what we know as normal can be flipped on it's head.  Life is fragile friends, and I hope those affected will find a way to pick up the shattered pieces and move on the way the families in my stories did.  Theirs was a happy ending, where tragedy became triumph and where they appreciate every day just that much more!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


 (Created using Kim Klassen's free new Luminous texture)

I want to thank all of you for your wonderful comments and birthday wishes for our son Bugs!!!  He read each and every one of them and asked me to pass along his appreciation.  Your kind words of encouragement will remain with him for a long thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Once again the kindness of perfect strangers comes shining through here in blogland, and I love that!

I've been going six ways for Sunday as the saying goes and like the cherry blossoms in these photos, I'm fading fast.  I've got lots of work to do, and it's getting done thank goodness, but my biggest obstacle of late is trying to get my fine art photography website up and running.

I actually took the coward's way out and got a site through a company that caters to photographers and offers e-commerce...sounds easy peasy right?  WRONG!  It's like a hornets nest of html and I now know why people pay to have someone else make their website.  Actually it's not all that bad, and if I would watch the tutorial videos that might help too, but it's all SO time consuming.  Have I mentioned before that I have the patience of a gnat?!

If you look at most photographer's websites, they offer you a few things, like their pricing for prints or the cost of a shoot, or they offer you the ability to purchase their images for licensing, my needs are a little different, which is why I'm having so much trouble.  I need a site that will allow me to showcase my images, but also sell and ship them in a variety of different mediums and sizes...prints, canvas, aluminum, or whatever someone might want.  

This has my head spinning and my stomach churning.  Thankfully Mr. Tide walks past me every once in a while and says things like "maybe you should take a little break."  This may have something to do with the groans and sighs he hears me making as the hours tick away and I feel like I'm not making any progress.

My website will feature a variety of limited edition prints, including florals, birds, and landscapes that can be created in sizes from the very small to really large, for use in corporate settings or to make a statement in someone's home.  I've been busy creating those images in between my writing assignments, and below are a few examples of what I've been working on recently.

I was also recently picked up by an online gallery that caters to designers and corporate entities, which is very exciting, I'll tell you more about that in another post.  And I hope to have my website up and running before my show next month, that is if I don't go cross-eyed first!
So to those of your who have left comments or sent me wonderful emails, I will get back to you very soon!  I just need a few extra days while I pretend to be a computer geek, and learn to love living in a very messy house!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

19 Years Proud

19 years ago I gave birth to my son.  He was three weeks early, cute as a button, and happy as a clam...little has changed all these years later.

When he brought home beautiful artwork or got good grades I was proud.  But when he told me he liked the way the house looked or that my hair looked nice I was even more proud.

When he was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society in middle school I was proud.  But when he refused to join NHS in high school, (even with the school giving us almost daily phone calls urging him to join),  because he felt like some of the kids cheated or falsified their applications to get in, I was even more proud.

When he held the door for his girlfriend I was proud.  But when he took the hand of my dying mother to give her comfort I was more proud. 

When he received an academic scholarship to an excellent university I was proud.  But when he came home after one of his roommates was attempting to bring drugs into the room I was even more proud.

When he made the sailing team and did well at regattas I was proud.  But when he took his summer vacation to not only work but to also become an EMT so that he could run on our local rescue squad I was even more proud.

You see, he has seen more in 19 years than many people will in a lifetime, some good, and some bad.  He has been to London and Paris and lots of places in between, suffered through the illnesses and subsequent loss of one set of grandparents who he saw nearly every day, and helped people who are ill or injured and in their hour of need.

In the next few months he has a big decision to make, to stay where he grew up and continue attending one of the best small colleges in the country, or to go to the city and go to school in a different environment.  He's torn, and I understand exactly where he's coming from, because 30 years ago I was in his shoes.  I did go away to school, to the same place he is considering, and after my 4 years I came right back home.  Like him, I worried that if I came home or never left I might be missing out on something or not go as far as I wanted with my career, but the truth is that if you aren't happy some place then all the rest of it doesn't really matter.

Coming back home was the best thing that ever happened to me, it allowed me to meet Mr. Tide, spend time with my parents who left this world too soon, and for my kids to have had an upbringing that allowed them to learn to drive a tractor before they ever drove a car...all while surrounded by close friends and family.  I understand that the choices I made are not for everyone, heck two of my siblings left for college and never came back, and they have certainly been happy and successful just like me.  And our daughter Angelfish loves us dearly, but has that need to travel the world and live in far flung lands.  So there is no right way, and the only limitations in life are the ones we place upon ourselves or let others place upon us.

My son Bugs is a lot like me, he's a small town boy, who loves where he comes from, loves knowing lots of people in town and not being able to get through the grocery store, or drive down the road, without seeing at least a handful of people he knows.  He likes being able to know that he can leave home and live in an apartment while going to school but still be able to run on the rescue squad as a crew chief every other weekend, or come home for a bowl of mom's chili, his favorite.  He's a little bit country, a little bit redneck, and a lot smart!

But there are people who think that in order to be successful in life you have to go away, you have to live someplace new, even if you don't like living in a city, that you need to get the whole college "experience."  They worry that maybe he's afraid to leave the area, or that he'll get stuck here and not reach his full potential...but they are wrong.  That's the beauty of life, we get to live our own lives, make our own choices, and shape our own futures.  I think sometimes people forget that, so when they give advice, it's not always what is best for the person seeking the advice, but is what they would do if they had the same choice to make.  You see it's HIS experience and his life, so only he can make that decision.  And based on every other decision he has made up until now...I (we) trust him completely!

No matter what he decides, he will have the love and support of his family, and in the end, the path he chooses is not nearly as important as the experience he will gain along the way.  Wherever he goes you'll likely see him driving a bright red mustang or a big 'ole truck, sporting a cowboy hat, with this song blaring on the radio and him singing along at the top of his lungs! 

Happy Birthday Bugs...we love you and couldn't be more proud of you!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

From our house to yours...

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Simple

When I need some inspiration...

Or a reminder of how lucky I am...

Of how blessed we all are...

I need not go anywhere...

Or read anything...

Or listen to the words of others...

All I have to do is simply open my door and walk outside!  I hope that my great, great, great, great grandchildren will be able to do the same in peace, without judgment, and surrounded by the beauty of this world and all it can be.

This video is very powerful, and has some mild graphic imagery, so be forewarned, but I think it is such a beautiful video and has such a wonderful message that I wanted to include it!

Wishing you all a very Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Love You to the Moon and Back

In a post a few weeks ago I mentioned that I had an extensive bunny collection.  Some of them stay out all year long, others only make an appearance when Peter Cottontail comes to town at Easter time.

Today's post is dedicated to just a few of my favorites, besides the Beatrix Potter figurines that I showed you here.

See that cute carrot above, well it was a gift from my good friend Doug Vogel.  When we had lunch with Ms. M recently, he brought me a little gift, the darling carrot and...

This adorable bunny which holds it!  Doug and his wife Joan are such nice people to have lunch with, and the bunny was just an added bonus!!  Thank you Doug and Joan!

I'm sure Doug and the others at Studio Three Flowers are all going a little crazy right now trying to fill Easter orders, but if you live in Charles County and still haven't gotten yours yet, be sure to give them a call.  Their website doesn't do them justice, they have really wonderful things and gorgeous arrangements, so if you live in the area, pop in and see for yourself...and no I don't get compensated for saying that, I just truly love their work!

I love blue and white together, and this little bunny has been part of my collection for a very long time.

Some of my most prized bunnies are from the worlds largest and oldest porcelain manufacturers, Herend.   I have a few of these, which were given to me by my children for birthdays or mother's day via Mr. Tide because they were little, and I love them!

They are tiny, at just a little over an inch tall, but their "fishnet" pattern and gold adornments make them so special.  These, along with another one I have, stay out year round because I just love to look at them!

This Baccarat crystal bunny is another very special piece.  It was a gift my husband picked up for me in Paris.  When I see it in my glass fronted cabinet, it reminds me of him and makes me smile!

My mother is the one who got me addicted to chalkware!  I blame her for the next set of bunnies.  I have several others too, and they were made by a local woman who does a beautiful job of creating these using old European chocolate molds.

The dancing rabbits figurine above was actually one of the pieces I inherited from my mother, and I love how sweet these two bunnies look as they stare lovingly into each others eyes.  Mr. Tide and I do this daily! ;-)

This little guy, pulling a wagon load of eggs, was one of the first ones I purchased.

And I just love the muted but vibrant colors found on this one.

I even have bunny candles, like this little bunny who is popping out of a cracked egg!

Some bunnies are more special than others, and this one is another favorite.  It was made by my mother who loved to do needlework.  The little basket holds tiny little eggs, and I love how she is clutching a little carrot!

This little cabbage holding bunny was another piece I inherited from my parents.  It's made of felted wool and I love the delicate little cabbage.  At the risk of sounding like a broken's one of my favorites too...are we beginning to see a pattern here?   I love bunnies!

And last, but certainly not least is this little cutie.  A gift from my sweet daughter Anglefish, it is the palest of pinks and everything about it says Happy Easter and welcome Spring!

So there you have it, some of my favorite bunnies...I told you I had WAY too many, but I won't part with any of them, I love them all!!!

Did anyone get the title reference?

Finally I have something I can link to the beautiful Chania's blog Razmataz for her weekly Friday Photo Challenge! see more Easter lovelies visit her blog by clicking HERE!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Sometimes you take a photo and you just love it, not for any particular reason, the lighting can be wrong, it may not be as sharp as you had hoped, and no one else may even share your enthusiasm for it, but that's ok.

When professional photographers shoot a house for a magazine or a book, they have to make sure of all of those things, like lighting, and composition, and it truly is an art to create photos like the ones we oooh and ahhh over each month.

These were all taken at my friend Sheryl's house, you may remember her as the person who made my wonderful living room chair slipcover, and I just love these shots.  They were taken before I got my new camera, and although the lighting isn't just right, I still like the way they turned out, and isn't that what it's supposed to be about anyway?

My one story is done, woohoo, but now it's time to buckle down and clean this much neglected house of mine!  At this point, I'm pretty sure the dust bunnies will scare away the Easter Bunny!!!  I hope you are having a productive day too!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Let The River Run

It's Monday, and that means work of a different kind.  Things like grass mowing, picture taking, and plant shopping give way to "real" work, like writing stories.

Stuff that has to be done today, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

When I write, I like it to be quiet.  I can't have the TV on or people chit chatting in the background.  Mr. Tide can attest to this fact and has been shushed more than once over the years for talking on the phone while I'm busy working on a story.  You see, he works from home several days a week, and his desk is right next to mine.

This means that he sometimes has important teleconferences while he's working from home, but I make him go into the living room if I'm busy writing.  Now, let me tell you about the double standard in my house.  When Mr. Tide is busy working hard on something, I talk as much as I like.  I yak away on the phone, play music...sometimes loudly, and am generally obnoxious like that!


Now, just in case you are thinking, well that doesn't seem fair! should know that Mr. Tide is one of those people who doesn't need quiet to write, think, or do most anything, so he really doesn't mind...honest, cross my heart and hope to die!

I envy this ability of his, because my brain, which goes a million miles per hour most of the time, needs total peace and quiet to gather my thoughts and write a story.  I can do almost anything else with lots of distractions going on, but writing simply isn't one of them.

Now that the weather is nice I can retreat outside to our dock and I can type away with little or no distractions.

But today, while Mr. Tide is at his office in the city, and my son is at college, I will type away, drenched in solitude with nary a sound, except for the occasional barking of dogs or the screech of an osprey.  So I should be good to go right?!

Well I would be, except I have this *&*# song stuck in my head, and it has been all weekend!!!  I actually like this song, but I just can't get it shoved out of my head for some reason.  So my hope is that by putting it out there for all of you, it will finally leave my head and let me work in peace!

So I'm sending this out to y'all, and if it now becomes stuck in your head, well I apologize in advance!  Oh and if the video makes you feel old or reminds you of those HUGE shoulder pads we used to wear and the big hair, like it did me, well I apologize for that too!  My hair was never that big, but some of my friends, well you know who you are!  But back to the song, love ya Carly, but get out of my head! ;-)

Have a great week everyone!