Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Popular trends: From House Hunters (link)

 17 Things Every Home on House Hunters Must Have 


Well, some of these people are spoiled and influenced by what they see in magazines and on TV... I think most of us don't need --nor can afford--some of these fantasy homes. While I need an office and room for the dogs, and I'd love a walk-in closet (though not for my shoes) and... Hey, they didn't include a fire pit! What really made me cringe though, was the heading: Historic (But Not Too Historic) Details. Oh, the classic and historic homes I've seen that were ruined by the new owners...  I've often--too often--said: No, please don't buy that home and destroy its beauty. Anyway, check out these trends and see what you think: Must have?!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tips on organization (link)

Here's a list of organizing mistakes and how to fix--or avoid--them from HGTV:   Tips From Professionals 

Btw, I put important notes on the front of the fridge--and keep a supply of magnets on each side of the fridge ready to use, but I don't let them accumulate. And artwork, etc. can also go on the sides--But not too much!



Friday, December 18, 2015

Sugar Time spotlighted

Thank you,  Astounding Books, for including Sugar Time in your Astounding Authors spotlight: https://astoundingbooks.wordpress.com/



Amazon link

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ah, yes. the first of the holiday meals.  Are you tired of turkey yet? Our holiday meals usually include friends as guests; the number varies, but I need a leaf for our dining room table, which is one of our few family heirlooms.  It was handed down from my grandparents, and I believe it was a wedding gift, it is said to have had twelve leaves originally because it was used for meals for the threshers.

Our menu this year included turkey, stuffing, gravy, baked potatoes, green bean casserole, corn muffins, cranberry sauce (whole and jellied), and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. That's pretty much our usual menu, though I miss the baked squash, the Mandarin orange jello salad, and rolls--and pies would be nice for dessert, but we really need two ovens because we have to switch dishes in and out. Btw, I've heard that a variation on the green bean casserole includes bacon. Sounds good to me. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Holiday decorating ideas

I found some pretty and fun gift wrapping ideas in the December issue of HGTV Magazine. Use satin cord, yarn, overlapping ribbons (layered), wide and/or narrow ribbons, of course, and add candy canes, little ornaments, the giftee's initial, bead garlands, decorative tags, paper flowers (poinsettias are perfect), teeny pinecones (possibly gilded), and tiny branches from your own Christmas tree.  Lots of colorful furniture, home ideas, etc. too.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Storage ideas (link)

Here are some storage suggestions from HGTV. I especially like the thread idea--if you have the room:  Repurposing Everyday Items for a More Organized Home
Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Quartz countertops (link)

I would love quartz countertops; I'm sorry we chose granite, which is a blurry mess: 19 Ideas for Quartz Countertops 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Rosemary reoplacements

We finally got rain--a lot of rain!--and since rosemary hate wet feet, we lost some.  We usually plant them high and dry 'cause we lost a number over the years before we learned better. However, we planted some in the big brick planter in front of the house 'cause it was always dry.  And then we got the deluge(s), and I noticed one day that a new little rosemary (Irene) was sitting in a pool of water.  The planter is divided into segments, and the middle part obviously doesn't drain!!  We didn't know that since we didn't get that much rain since we moved here a few years ago.  So little Irene was a goner.  We recently ordered four more (minimum order there --The Growers Exchange)--everyone  was out of Irene, so we got: Rosemary 'Prostrate' (we wanted a creeping rosemary), Rosemary 'Tuscan Blue', Rosemary 'Hardy Hill', and Rosemary 'Salem'.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Decorating ideas: Before and After (link)

Here are some inspiring ideas from HGTV.com for making a quick change in your home: One Day, One Change Projects

Hmm.  I assume the pool is still there in that outdoor project; they just added a cool lounging area?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Small space decorating advice (link)

Here are some suggestions on what to do and what to avoid in your small space from HGTV.com: Small-Space Decorating Mistakes

Here are some good ideas on what to avoid and what to use, including the trendy sliding barn door.  Painted to match the walls or trim, it looks a lot better...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Organizing mistakes to avoid (link)

From HGTV.com: So, what are you doing wrong?  27 Organizing Mistakes 

Well, I confess that I post important messages--like why I'm not at home--on the fridge and put the mail on my desk so I don't forget to tackle it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin

Joaquin is a category 1 hurricane, but it may make it up to a cat 3.  Some of the spaghetti models diverge widely, but it's early yet.

10-1-15: Joaquin is already a category 3 (it strengthened Wednesday night) and may be heading for the east coast--and possibly become a cat 4...

(6:15 pm):Well, it's now a cat 4 and is heading SW, but is expected to turn north...

10-2-15: It's begun its northward turn, and we might get some rain from those rotating bands, but so far it's just been sprinkles.

10-4-15: Joaquin is now a cat 2 and is heading NNE and should head away from us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Literary homes

From Robert Parker's Spenser novel, Back Story:

"Her house was coastal cute, with a hemp rug, lobster pot coffee tables, steering-wheel mirrors, ship's captain lamps, and big scallop shell ashtrays."

"The house in front of us was some sort of glass pyramid... The whole first floor of the pyramid was without walls.  ... In the center of the space was an open fire pit ... There was a big fire in the fireplace and a lot of air-conditioning to overcome it.  ...  The vast space was furnished as a living room, with stainless steel and blue leather furniture, ...  It was bigger than O'Hare Airport, but not as warm."

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Decorating ideas and info from HGTV Magazine

Lots of good ideas and advice in the October issue of  HGTV Magazine, including painting your candlesticks to match your candles--really cool--and decorating your pegboards.  You can paint a dog silhouette on a pegboard that holds leashes, collars, etc. Or add stripes, words, different colored squares, a chalk board for schedules, etc.  Btw, some years ago I had a big pegboard hung in our shop, and then I painted it.  I painted it again, and then again.  Those boards really absorb paint!  And I cried once or twice between coats 'cause I wanted to finish it that day!  I don't remember how many coats it took--possibly four or more, and that was a big pegboard!

Finding inexpensive alternatives to expensive furniture and accessories is always a fun section. There's also a piece on decorating with Sharpies; drawing geometric lines on a pillow cover and then blurring the lines with a crafts paintbrush dipped in alcohol creates a lovely effect.  There are home decorating ideas too, though I still don't like open shelves in my kitchen.  Not clean!  Oh, and I learned that WD-40 means "water displacement, 40th formula."  The 39 previous formulas didn't work.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Don't waste your space: video (link)

Create storage and seating areas and use hooks, cubbies, and baskets:  Helpful ideas from HGTV.com


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Let's cull (link)

It's time to declutter.  Here are some suggestions from  HGTV.com: 15 Things to Get Rid of Right Now


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tropical Storm Grace

TS Grace is heading west and isn't expected to do much, which is good.

9-8-15: Grace is now a tropical depression.

Note: I guess I missed H (Henri?) and Ida.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tropical Storm Fred

TS Fred is expected to wander off--northward--into the ocean; that happened a lot last year.

8-31-15: Fred is now a category 1 hurricane and is moving NW and is not likely to make landfall in the US.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tropical Storm Erika

TS Erika is moving right along, possibly heading for the Bahamas and Florida; it's going west and could become a category 1 hurricane.

8-28-15: Erika is moving WNW, and the track has shifted east.  The spaghetti models are pretty much clustered now and moving up the peninsula.  It may or may not become a hurricane; there's dry air, wind shear, and mountains, but then there's warm water after that.

8-29-15: Erika has dissipated, though it will be giving us more rain later.  (We have another low dumping rain on us as I report.) The spaghetti models have shifted west.

8-30-15:  Erika's remnants are bringing Forida rain, though we didn't get any here today.  More is expected tomorrow--and the next day(s).

8-31-15: We still haven't gotten any rain from that leftover moisture, but it's wandering around the peninsula, and we're still expected to get some later.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Home decorating and tips

The July/August HGTV Magazine is full of decorating ideas and tips to help you around the house, including home makeovers; this issue also includes moving advice and statistics.  And their high/low list gives examples and sources for furniture and accessories; sometimes the cheaper product even looks better, for instance the graphic pink diamonds rug and the teal lamp.  And I love the flower and vase combos, especially the purple and red vase with red roses and sweet peas.

Their snack ideas include an "ice cream" topping for a cracker made from cream cheese, marshmallow spread, and whipped topping.  I'm not sure how that would go with crackers, but it's a handy way to eat it.  Hmm.  I wonder how that would work in a little cone?  (Actually, I see this is a Ritz ad.)






Sunday, August 23, 2015

Free science fiction stories collection!

Joy V. Smith's reprint collection, The Doorway and Other Stories, is free on Amazon starting August 24-August 28. Enjoy this mix of 14 SF stories: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SV1FB2

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hurricane Danny

Danny's picking up speed as it heads towards the Carribean and may become a cat 3.  I'll have to check the weather report later.  Last I heard it was supposed to be downgraded.

Okaaay.  It's already a category 3, but it should weaken in a few days...  Still heading WNW though the spaghetti models have moved a bit north.

8-23-15: Danny is now a tropical storm and heading west and is expected to weaken, while more possibilites are coming off Africa.

8-24-15: Danny's a tropical depression last I heard, and you can track the upcoming possibilities on the National Hurricane Center map: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=2

(Thanks, Lloyd)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tropical Storm Danny

TS Danny developed from a tropical depression yesterday and is moving west.  It could become a hurricane (possibly only a category 1) in a few days.

8-20-15: Danny is now a hurricane and heading WNW, but it should be downgraded to a tropical storm again in 2 or 3 days.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What are your favorite color combos? (link)

From HGTV.com:

I liked coral and teal, among others, but I thought that the colors that went with gray (the new neutral) were too dark and boring: Vote for Your Favorite Color Palette

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Decorating ideas

The Autumn issue (Volume 6, Issue 4) of The Cottage Journal includes beautiful cottages and cabins with ideas for decorating homes with collectibles, antiques, and salvaged pieces.  One home owner hangs exotic old doors from around the world on his walls; and another home owner loves landscapes with roads curving off into the distance--the perfect way to make it easier to make choices when collecting.  (I love her paintings.)  And how about hanging a really, really big painting (in this case, pale blossoms) behind your headboard?  I also like the idea of carving out a huge pumpkin and putting a waterproof container inside; you can place little stones inside the container to anchor the flowers and foliage.  I'm glad fall is coming up, I always look forward to pumpkins--big and little--and colorful squashes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Just in time for Sugar Time!

These four connected stories follow Sugar Sweet's adventures with her  companions, including the Chessies...

Sugar Time is available for pre-order: http://www.amazon.com/Sugar-Time-Joy-V-Smith-ebook/dp/B013PW5C98/

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sugar Time is coming out in print and as an ebook!

My audiobook, Sugar Time, will be released as an ebook August 14, 2015, and it will include four stories instead of three.  The last story was published separately later in Hadrosaur Tales #16.  And there will be a print edition not long afterwards.  The cover artist is Laura Givens.  (I had fun working with Laura as we tweaked it a little bit.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How clean is your house? EEK! (link)

From PureWow via HGTV.com: The 7 Dirtiest Places In Your House

Some of these places you may see or think about, but maybe not...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Watch for these red flags in your home (link)

Don't ignore these issues in your home, including mold, climbing plants, moisture, and warping wood: 15 Red-Flag Issues


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Another High-Low list (link)

I love comparing these products from HGTV.com.  The differences in price if you choose a similar item is often amazing: Shop the High-Low List

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Imaginative flower arrangements (link)

Here are some lovely and interesting flower arrangements from HGTV: 10 pretty arrangements

I need to get more vases to make arrangements like these and to have some on hand for my garden flowers, such as my Bird of Paradise which are blooming now, to give as gifts.


Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Joy V. Smith's latest interview (link)

Here's my latest interview, which was just posted: http://juliesbookreview.blogspot.com/

And I just sent an interview off to my alumni association.  I don't know when that will be up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Remodeling mistakes (link)

Here are some renovation mistakes to avoid, so pay attention: 25 Renovating Mistakes 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Style without paying big bucks (link)

I enjoy comparing products in HGTV Magazine.  Their column that shows you the high end furniture and accessories with similar products that are less expensive is fun.  Now you can compare them online: Shop the High-Low List 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tropical Storm Bill

TS Bill is heading NW and should make landfall in Texas.

Update (6-17): TS Bill made landfall in Texas and is now a tropical depression.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

For Father's Day

Excerpt from Strike Three, a post-apocalyptic novel by Joy V. Smith: 
Lea first learns about her future when she reads her stepfather’s letter to her father:

“Duncan’s letter was to her father, with a postscript to her at the end.
“Sheridan, I promise to keep Francine safe, so far as I can. We’re headed for an underground shelter with government officials, some military, and their family members. We’ve learned terrorists—backed, we’re sure, with at least one country’s government, in combination with NKAAU—intend to attack the United States, including Washington, D. C., causing as much damage as possible with the intent of precipitating a war—for any country who wants to take advantage of our vulnerability, while we’re still reeling. The stupidity of this is apparent since any missile strikes will be followed back to their source. Unfortunately, there are intended to be multiple sources in different countries. Our military is ready for that. (God help the planet!) But it’s not just the missiles that are the problem. Assorted weapons, including the ‘hot virus,’ which I’ve learned more about than I wanted to, and which is the worst, I fear, include also a variety of nuclear bombs of various types, though it’s thought that it’ll be mostly “clean” bombs to preserve our infrastructure, which they lust after. ‘It’s not fair that they have so much!’ is one refrain; and they really love that United they tacked on to their name.
“Our military, by the way, are not so restrained. So, take shelter—I know you’re prepared for that. Possibly you know I made sure you were able to purchase the old airfield, along with the planes and that communications bunker, because I knew I’d rather have them in your hands than some homegrown militia, though I hope they’re prepared too. I know some have bought up a few of those missile sites in Kansas. We have no time table, but surely they know it’s not such a secret anymore, and they can’t afford to hesitate. I hope the damage will not be so bad, and other countries will stomp them flat too, but the commander-in-chief decided not to take any chances. Soon the papers will notice the absent officials and politicians, who are busy digging themselves holes wherever they can. The vice-president, bless her, intends to keep things stable as long as she can.
“Melody Lea, my beloved daughter, you can’t imagine how much I’m missing you, but I trust in your own father’s care. All my love to you and my best hopes for you both. Love, your [step] father, Duncan C. Blake.”

Strike Three is available in paperback or as an ebook: Strike Three 


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

One room five ways (link)

I enjoyed this fun decorating video in which they changed the look of a living room that started out neutral:  1 Room, 5 Ways to Decorate


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Home trends

Today's home trends:
 
Here are some of today's trends according to HGTV Magazine (June issue):
 
Instead of a doggie door, the dog house should imitate The Big House. (OK, few people are doing that, I hope.)  Uh, my dogs live in my house, as do most dogs whose owners love their dogs--and not that expensive designer dog fad.  (I get my designer dogs--crosses--from shelters.)
 
It used to be hardwood floors; now it's eco-friendly alternatives.  Instead of a fourth bedroom, opt for a room-size closet.  Out with jetted tubs and in with fancy showers; and among other things, chrome and brushed nickel are out, and matte gold and rose gold are in.  They didn't mention the glass tile backsplashes and quartz countertops.  (Quartz at least makes sense.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Roof inspections

We recently had our lawn guy blow the leaves and branches off our roof.  Wow!  What a job that was; there were piles of leaves and branches--big and little--all around the house (that's lots 'cause we have a long rancher).  He did a great job of clean-up, btw.  However, later he told us that there was a depression on the flat part of our roof in the back--and the flashing wasn't looking so good.  Yep, we had to have that part of the roof replaced.  (We got our basic three estimates, of course.)  Oh, the roofers said that the house should be cooler this summer too, which was good news!  We talked to the city roof inspector when he did the final check, and he said they did a good job.  Anyway, in the latest issue (June 2015) of HGTV Magazine, they said--via Chip Wade of Elbow Room, that it's worth the money to have your roof inspected every three to five years.  I'm certainly grateful to our lawn guy (thanks, Steve!) that we got our roof fixed in time 'cause we've never had a roof inspection.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Filling those open concept homes (link)

Even with today's trend of open concept houses--you know, rip out the walls and hope the beams and posts you replace them with (for load-bearing walls) will hold--you can make them look cluttered: 15 Ideas for Open-Floor Plans


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Subtropical Storm Ana

Subtropical Storm Ana is scheduled to be a tropical storm soon.  All we got here in central Florida was a shower from a rotating band as it headed away.

Update: Ana is a tropical storm now and heading for the Carolinas.

Update: It's moving NW and should make landfall on the Carolina coast.

Update (8-10): Ana is now a tropical depression.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Good Book Alert: Meet the Author of Detour Trail

Good Book Alert: Meet the Author of Detour Trail: Guest Post by Joy V. Smith I did a lot of research for my frontier novel, Detour Trail, including the history of the Oregon Trail; and I...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Art Deco design (link)

Check out these strong black and white geometric designs on the floors, especially the one that looks as if the floor is buckling.  It makes me a little dizzy: Never Too Tmeless--from Kohler.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Joy V. Smith's SF ebooks


Joy’s science fiction ebooks

The Doorway and Other Stories: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SV1FB2
I’m happy to have some of my old stories in one place.  Except for The Princess Quest, which is a humorous fantasy, and Old Rex, a ghost story, the rest of the stories are all science fiction adventures of different types, involving aliens, time travel, symbiotes, and humans searching for a home and/or family. All the stories have been published elsewhere–sometimes more than once–over the years, except for Royal Guardians.
Hot Yellow Planet: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94029 is free until April 30 with coupon code: UX77Y
In this Pretty Pink Planet sequel, Lori and Chiing continue their adventures.
Pretty Pink Planet is always free: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93615
Lori, an agent of SOESFOL, visits Prism to track down planet pirates and rescue aliens.
After Anfissa meets Ferenc, they flee to a planet where even the grass is deadly.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Flooring options (link)

Here are some flooring options from HGTV.com: Top 10 Flooring Options

Btw, I was in a kitchen the other day where the laminate flooring had warped in the kitchen; the same house had beautiful refinished wood floors and a carpet that needed to be replaced.


Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Quartz countertops (link)

Quartz is better than granite, and I'm still sorry I got granite for the remodel.  I knew better, but we just looked at granite at the store...  Check out these countertops from HGTV.com:  Quartz is the New Granite


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Remodeling ebook on sale!


Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/71560  (Non-fiction)
How one woman bought and remodeled a foreclosure; it didn’t even have a kitchen sink! 

The coupon code is: ZP24F (not case-sensitive): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/71560 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Shades of blue (link)

Check out these shades of blue and decorating ideas from HGTV.  (My favorite is Steel Blue.): Color Crush: Shades of Blue


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Window treatment ideas (link)

Here are some clever and fun ideas for window treatments from HGTV; they include using a golf club and a yardstick to hang curtains from and using breacelets, necklaces, and ties to contain them with: 10 Creative Ways  




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Add color with throw pillows (link)

From HGTV: Lots of interesting and colorful pillows, but they clutter up sofas and chairs--and I refuse to do anything that makes making my bed harder, but see for yourself:   Bright Ideas for Arranging Throw Pillows 


Monday, March 16, 2015

Decorating and furnishing ideas

I enjoyed the make over articles in the April 2015 issue of HGTV Magazine; using the wasted space under stairways for bookcases and lockers is cool.  (I like the lockers tucked away against the side wall with the bookcases facing you.)  And the metal storage bench at the end of a bed is different though I'd prefer something softer...  A hanging fireplace is different too, though I miss the hearth.

I aways enjoy the What's the Difference and How Bad Is It columns.  So that's the difference between a loveseat and a settee!  I confess I thought they were the same.   Settees are less cushy and not as wide and may have exposed arms--or no arms.  I learned more about dryer sheets, among other things, also--such as Don't leave them stacked on the dryer.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Browsing in an British kitchen (link)

Fun look at what you might find in an British kitchen.  Well, there's Marmite (I'd like to taste that some day), golden syrup, warm eggs, and a washing machine.  (I knew about washing machines in British--and European--kitchens from watching House Hunters International.  It's one of those things that frightens Americans when they visit foreign countries...  Check them all out at this BBCAmerica website:
9 Things You'll Find in an British Kitchen



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Decorating trends (link)

I love the watercolors and pastels--chunky knits not so much.  And usually I like metallics...  Check out more ideas from HGTV.com here: Decorating trends 


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bookshelf decor (link)

In some cases, there's more clutter than books on these bookshelves--or maybe they don't have enough books--but you may pick up a few ideas from this HGTV web page: 10 Shelf Styling Tricks 


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Saving energy: the basics (link)

These are the basics, but it's good to be reminded.  I can save energy by using cooler water when I wash clothes--and then there's the computer.  Draft blockers are still useful.  Check them all out and see if you can't do better: 9 Ways to Save 


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Decorating and garden ideas

I loved the country home makeover (Bellview, Texas) in the April issue of Country Living, and I learned about buffalo checks and chintz.  I also enjoyed the restored and reproduction early stoves, which are elegant and colorful.  Fun ideas for kitchens and furniture too.  And the roses and gardens in Homegrown Charm are lovely.  And I learned lots in the collectibles column.  (We used to have a house full of trunks that my sister restored, btw.)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Historical houses in Wisconsin

There's a PBS special this week (March 2)--depends on your PBS channel--on historical--and impressive--homes in Wisconsin.  Here's a brief preview link (followed by other videos): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFhsqXb_BUU  and another link: http://wptschedule.org/episodes/45651599/Remarkable-Homes-of-Wisconsin/



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lot of design and decorating ideas in the March issue of  HGTV Magazine, but some of those wallpaper patterns are too busy!  Built-in lockers (recessed) in the bathroom is a great storage idea, but how will the moisture affect the metal?  There are also suggestions for a festive taco night; and I enjoyed the real estate terms quiz.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More small space ideas (link)

Here's a variety of ideas and different views of the same room from HGTV.  Using mirrors is a common idea, along with double duty furniture, but raising the furniture for more open space is interesting:  Make Your Small Space Feel Bigger


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bathroom design ideas (link)

Here are some ideas from HGTV: Bathroom design 

There are some interesting ideas here, but I confess that I don't like vessel sinks, skirts, and floating vanities.  And most pedestal sinks don't have enough counter space--or storage.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Patio ideas (link)

These fun patio ideas include potted plants, a built-in fire pit [not as safe or as easy to use], funky [a bathtub?!], color, reflections, vertical elements, tiers, built-ins, plus diagonal and other ideas.  Check them all out at this HGTV.com webpage: 20 Bright Ideas

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Built-ins and decorating ideas (link)

Books and art combined add interest and style to a home.  Here are some beautiful bookcases, libraries, and shelves from HGTV.com: Give your living space a lift.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Home ideas

There are several inspiring home makeovers in the March issue of Country Living, but an idea I really liked was the Christmas card photo of a family that was not perfectly and stiffly posed.  They had fun with their photo of the family in the kitchen acting like a real family.  (I especially liked the burning turkey.)  There's also an interesting article on collectible Jadeite.  I've always loved that color and the dishes.  And I enjoy the paint colors in the homes, but that busy, patterned wallpaper--not so much.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Garages that multitask (link)

From HGTV.com, some useful suggestions for your garage: Garages that multitask  

The ideas incude storage, a mudroom, gardening supplies, and, of course, a work bench with tools.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Equality Standard ((link)

50/50 Leadership: Promoting Women's Equal Leadership.  Here's their newsletter: The Equality Standard: http://5050leadership.com/PDFnewsletters/January%202015.pdf

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Doorway and Other Stories on sale now!


The Doorway and Other Stories, my reprint collection of 14 science fiction and fantasy stories, is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SV1FB2
The blurb says 11 stories, but I added three more stories and haven’t been able to figure out how to change the first description!
Here are fourteen of my favorite stories, and since my favorite genre is science fiction, they are mostly SF except for The Princess Quest, a tongue-in-cheek sword and sorcery epic, and Old Rex, a ghost story. They’ve all been published elsewhere, except for Royal Guardians; this is its first time in print. If you like reading about aliens, time travel, symbiotes, and humans searching for a home, family, their own bodies, etc., check it out now because at the end of the week , the price goes back up after a brief stop at $1.99.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cold New Planet is in the Top Ten!

Cold New Planet, my SF short story set on the frontier out in space, tied for 6th place in the SF/Fantasy short story category in the Preditors & Editors poll: http://critters.org/predpoll/final_tally_shortstorysf.ht

It can be found in the Science Fiction Consortium anthology:




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Countertop choices (link)

From HGTV.com:

Check out these countertop options in a variety of price ranges: Countertops for Any Budget 

I'd opt for quartz.  I have granite and am sorry about that; I've had tile; I don't like the grout lines; and marble isn't practical.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

HGTV Magazine

I enjoy the eclectic variety of articles and advice in the HGTV Magazine, and one of my favorite columns is How Bad Is It?  In the January/February issue I learned that it is really bad to flush tissues down the toilet and that refreezing food depends on where it was defrosted: in the fridge or outside of it...  I also especially enjoyed the small tool quiz--just because it made me feel good.  Okay, I confess--I missed more than I thought I would.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How small can you go?

The February 2015 issue of Country Living focuses on the tiny house trend. There is a variety of small home ideas and sizes to look at, along with storage advice.  (You're still going to have to cull!)  There are even dollhouses in their collectibles section.  Vintage fridges work better in small spaces, btw.  And the recipe section includes mini meatball sliders and lemon pudding cake.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

And Detour Trail is on a Top Ten list

Detour Trail by Joy V. Smith is on a 2014 Top Ten Reads list: http://myshelf.com/toptenreads.html

You can find Detour Trail at the publisher:  http://www.melange-books.com/authors/joyvsmith/detourtrail.html

And Amazon




Friday, January 2, 2015

And the winner is Detour Trail!

Well, actually, Detour Trail, my western novel--a combination of history, romance, and danger--is one of the winners of the Noble Prize (Thank you, Carolyn Howard-Johnson):  http://myshelf.com/backtoliterature/column.htm