Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Organization suggestions (link)

Are you making any of these organizing mistakes? Learn what to avoid courtesy of Organizing mistakes

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cold New Planet spotlighted on Florida Book News (link)

Cold New Planet is spotlighted on Florida Book News:

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cold New Planet available on Kindle

Cold New Planet, originally published in the anthology, Science Fiction Consortium, is available on Kindle. You can pre-order it here: Cold New Planet 

What mysteries will the colonists–and the consortium backing them–uncover on this slowly thawing planet? Are the colonists alone? This planet is supposed to be theirs; their backers, who had their own agenda, had paid enough money to ensure that. And they were a long way from Earth via that alien point-to-point ship. What lies under the snow and ice? How long will it take to find out? And where did all these humans–and aliens–come from? From landing on a barren, icy wasteland, now it’s almost like gridlock back on Earth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What do you know about Jesus and his background?:

I enjoyed learning about the Jewish culture and the historical background and what Jesus' life as a child could have been like. Well written--and researched.

*Jesus of Nazareth, Boy and Man: A Novel of the Lost Years* by the award-winning short story writer and novelist G. Miki Hayden tells the story of Jesus from his early preaching as a boy in the Temple to his discovery of who he is in relationship to "our Father." A lifelong spiritual student, Hayden...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Downsizing tips (link)

Six tips for downsizing from  Downsizing

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Time to clean your pantry? (link)

Here are some important tips about food storage in your pantry from Food Network: 11 Pantry Items You've Had for Way Too Long  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sugar Time in spotlight (link)

Sugar Time, my time travel tales collection, is spotlighted on Cover me it's Monday.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Home sale update

Our next open house is this Sunday, October 23rd. We'll clean the house, stage it, and take our critters to a friend's home--again. We recently took down some trees that had outgrown their allotted territory and were shading out some of the back lawn. (Trees often grow taller and bigger than predicted here in Florida.) And we continue to sell our furniture and other belongings to dealers and at a yard sale. We even sold our dining room chairs, which we had planned to do anyway. Now we have to buy a new set. (I know that matched sets of furniture are considered passe by some designers, and I mix and match myself, but I would like my dining room chairs to match.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sink vs. Dishwasher (link)

Here's a list of things that you shouldn't put in the dishwasher from the FoodNetwork. Heed these warnings! You probably know that you have to be careful with plastic... Don't Put This in the dishwasher.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Halloween fun

There are a lot of Halloween and pumpkin decorating ideas in current magazines, including Country Living and HGTV Magazine.  An idea I loved in HGTV Magazine uses pumpkins in a fun way: Make your pumpkins--carving and decorating--into fairy, elves, or gnomes' homes. Add doors, windows, landscaping and paths, etc. Or you can add your house number. Inserting a battery-operated candle inside is a smart tip, and protect from water if possible.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

One-wall kitchens (link)

Here is a variety of one-wall kitchens from Kitchen ideas

Saturday, August 27, 2016

House sale update

No, we haven't sold yet, but we had another open house today (Saturday). Thursday we had a brokers' open house. People leave us critique sheets during these open houses sometimes. Hmm. Box the books?! (It's a good thing I've been culling them for months! And there's lots of open space--and sculptures, including Tang horses. I mean, I thought it looked like a magazine picture.) Put some furniture in storage? (Hmm. How about if we call a dealer and put the old but still good chair out by the curb and replace it with a smaller chair, and then we'll put the bench at the end of a bed in the garage and take some artwork off the wall and pack it; that will save us time later. OK, I have to admit the house does look bigger. [It's a big house, btw.] )

So, the dealer only wanted the pieces we plan to keep. We were going to have a garage sale some months ago, but that didn't work out. Frankly, I'd just as soon sell it all at a moving sale. I am considering one of those online websites... Oh, the chair at the curbside went pretty quickly. (I still miss it.) There is some interest, the realtor told us, and we have a house showing Monday.  We'll clean and stage again and pack up the critters, but at least we won't have to spend hours at our friend's house. (She has to lock her critters up when we come...)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Little Free Library (link)

Here's a fun selection of The Little Free Library boxes from; they suggest using one to dress up your front yard. 'Course it has to be close to the curb: Front Yard Libraries with Curb Appeal.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

More open houses

We have two open houses upcoming--one for brokers with refreshments and one for the general public--and as we plan for them (cleaning and staging), we got a last minute email from our realtor telling us that someone wanted to see our house the next morning. So, we cleaned and staged (putting things away and getting new things out) that night and the next morning. We packed up the critters and lurked nearby. (I try to keep a look out out front so I can see when people come and go. Usually the realtor and lookers come in separate vehicles, but not always.) Anyway, they stayed for an hour, and they may make an offer. It's all part of the process.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Small kitchen ideas (link)

Here are some small kitchen suggestions from Some are cluttered; some are awfully white--or dark--or blue: Small Kitchen Design Ideas 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Closet makeovers (link)

Here are ideas from for transforming your closet if you need the space for something else: 18 Clever Revamps for Small, Unused Closets 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hidebound (SF adventure/romance) is on sale

Hidebound, my SF adventure with aliens, pirates, 

and vicious plants, is on sale at half price this 



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sugar Time on sale!

Sugar Time, my Sugar Sweet time travel tales collection, is on sale this month--half price--at Smashwords. The code is SSW50:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Detour Trail on sale now!

Detour Trail, my frontier adventure/romance, is on sale 

(half price) at Smashwords:

360381 until July 31. Lorrie forges her own trail and finds

 a home...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure on sale!

Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure is on sale at half price this month during the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale:

1 minute agoRemodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure is on sale--half price--this month at Smashwords during their Summer/Winter Sale: The code is SSW50.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer trends (link)

14 summer trends from  So, brass is back. I'm not crazy about some of the other trends either, but maybe you want a pool in your urban back yard?   Whimsical and playful statement sculptures? Check these trends out. Maybe they'll work in your home:  Explore the best warm-weather trends

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Shower curtain suggestions (link)

I knew people used them for inexpensive regular curtains, but here are more ideas: So many ideas and shower curtain materials

Friday, June 10, 2016

Choosing bathroom countertops (link)

Choose wisely! Check out your choices from HGTV. com: Countertop options

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Another Open House

We have another open house this Saturday, and we'll have to take the dog and the new kitten to a friend's home. I think we've had about three open houses now. At the first one, we took two dogs to our friend's house; at the next one our oldest dog, little Bryn, the Corgi, had been put to sleep so we had only one dog who enjoyed the back yard again; and and now at this one we have our new kitten, which we got from the SPCA about a month ago. (I don't think she's going to be happy in the crate.)  Oh, yes. I wonder about the future...

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Tropical Storm Colin

TS Colin was predicted to cross over us (central Florida), but I see it's shifted way north (over the Panhandle), and we won't be getting as much rain as predicted earlier. 

(Thanks for the advisory, Lloyd.)

Update (6-7-16): Colin's gone, and we got at least three inches of rain as it passed by.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Little Free Library

We have a Little Free Library book box in our neighborhood, which we visit now and then to drop off books and check to see what's available. There's a great selection of books, and I'm sorry that apparently more people aren't aware of it because often the books are crammed full.  Anyway, I saw that in the latest Signals catalog, they have a little Free Library kit that you can buy, decorate, and maintain. (You'll need a post.) So, here's the link: Little Free Library

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Updating your rental (link)

Here are some suggestions from DIY for fixing up your rental kitchen: Don't get stuck in a renter's rut

Friday, April 15, 2016

House selling update

Well, we've had two open houses, and there's a Brokers' Open House with cheese and wine upcoming. I'm glad that I've been through the process before so I know it's normal for people to make an appointment to look at the house and then cancel. (The important thing is that they call to cancel!) In one case, they found a house the day before their appointment. No problem 'cause I've been in a similar situation, and I'm glad for them that they found a house.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Correct these organizing mistakes (link)

Here are some helpful ideas for organizing drawers, closets, rooms, etc. from Are You Making These Organizing Mistakes? 

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Using wooden crates (link)

I'm not sure where you'll find these crates, but here are some good ideas via Space-Saving Ways to Use Wooden Crates (Hometalk) 

Note: Sources and DIY advice is included.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

More pantry ideas (link)

Here are more pantry ideas from HGTV. com: 20 Kitchen Organizers 

Note: I look forward to having another walk-in pantry some day.

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

Friday, March 11, 2016

Pantry space suggestions (link)

Here are some good storage ideas from, though I'd never put fruit and veggies or anything likely to rot in an open wire basket: 16 Tips to Maximize Your Pantry Space 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Colors to make a room look larger (link)

Here's a selection of colors that are supposed to make rooms look larger. See what designers have to say and what colors they recommend: Choose a color

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Moving on--again

So, we're finally getting serious about downsizing. We're been browsing a lot of homes in the area 'cause we love this neighborhood; and we've even thought about building if we can find a lot... AND I've started another house diary. My last ones resulted in two books: Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook and an ebook, Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure.  Oh, and I have to buy another house journal for keeping track of the project, whatever it turns out to be...

Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure (non-fiction) is available on:   and
How one woman bought and remodeled a foreclosure; it didn’t even have a kitchen sink! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Goodreads giveaways (links)

Goodreads giveaways:

I have three of my books scheduled for Goodreads giveaways: Detour Trail (western romance)Strike Three (post-apocalyptic novel), and Sugar Time (time travel tales):

Detour Trail giveaway

Strike Three giveaway

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Moving on again

We're downsizing again--though this time it's the house and not just the five acres in the country. When I built our house in the country--and our mother's house next door later--I kept a diary, bought a number of house books and magazines, did more research and then wrote Building A Cool House For Hot Times Without Scorching The Pocketbook.  After moving into the city and remodeling our next house, I wrote Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure. Now it's time to get out another notebook and start documenting this process (finding a Realtor, looking at houses, talking to builders, and prepping this house for sale).

Building A Cool House.. is out of print, though I've got a few copies in the closet, but my remodeling ebook is available at:   and  Amazon 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Good landscaping advice (link)

Here is some important landscaping advice from our local garden columnist, Charles Reynolds: The best gardens have curves

And I love what he says about those would-be gardeners who go out and massacre their trees.

And I add: Think about the size of your space--and forget instant gratification.  Nurture your plants! Watch them grow!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Open shelving ideas (link)

I much prefer closed cabinets to keep my dishes, etc. clean, but here are some interesting suggestions. At least they're not floating shelves, which are such a waste of space!   From Open kitchen storage

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

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Joy's latest interview (link)

My latest interview is up on Smashwords:

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hidebound (SF) on sale!

Hidebound (SF) is on sale at Smashwords through February 7, 2016:  The coupon code is VN93J
After Anfissa meets Ferenc under strange circumstances on the passenger ship, St. Catherine, because of Anfissa's curiosity about the strange humanoid, they land--well, actually, they crash--on Snakebite, a planet where even the grass is deadly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What have you in the house? (link)

Here are some decorating ideas from to spruce up your home with things you may already have on hand:  Ideas for decorating your home.

Monday, January 25, 2016

My interview in UW Oshkosh Today

My interview appearing in UW Oshkosh Today (Thanks, Katie!) includes a few highlights of my writing career and my college life!

Take a look:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cleaning out your closet (link)

Here are some suggestions about what to clear out of your closet: 30 Items to Cut From Your Closet This Weekend 

Yes, definitely get rid of those fake ripped jeans!  But I confess that I will wear some of my tees until they're raggedy. And why would you buy white tees? But what's wrong with faded pants and school tops?  As for those shoes, didn't you try to walk in them before you bought them? (Have you seen the video of all those models falling down because of their shoes?) And the last time I threw away a single sock, its mate appeared.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hurricane Alex

Hurricane season is starting early! But I see it's moving far away from us:

(Thanks for the link, Lloyd.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Imaginative closet ideas (link)

These closet and closet door suggestions from are beautiful and fun and come in a variety of styles, patterns, and colors:  15 Stylish Closet Door Ideas

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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...