Happy Spring
It may be the first day of spring, but it's snowing here in the mountains of NC. My mouth is kinda hanging open because it has "looked" like spring for a couple weeks with lots of flowers blooming, bright sunshine, though the temps have been cold. Anyway, this snow is a nice change of pace. It's distracting me so much it's hard to write. I keep seeing the movement out the window. When I first see snow falling, I feel a surge of joy for some reason. I think it's leftover from childhood when snowfall usually meant school was closed and I'd get to go sledding. Whether you have snow or sunshine today, Happy Spring!
Two Short Stories Out
Two more of my short stories are out now. "The Scrapbook" in the April issue of True Romance and "One Kiss Between Strangers Led to a Lifetime of Happiness" in the April issue of True Confessions (formerly called Irish Kiss, a St. Patrick's Day story.) "One Kiss" made the cover so I thought I'd post it. Check out this sexy kiss picture. :-) It fits the story perfectly. They're both romances. I hope you enjoy them.




















The pond
Yesterday was pond cleaning day for this year. It takes about ten hours start to finish because all the water, fish and plants have to be removed. I cut back the plants, repotted some and fertilized others. We put back less than half the plants we removed because they'd gotten so overgrown. The 27 goldfish spent the day in a smaller tub and they were happy to return to their (clean) home. The waterlilies should have more room now to spread out and bloom. They're my favorite water plants. Here are some photos from previous years. I'll be glad when it looks like this again.


My First Published Story
I'm happy to say my very first short story is out, in the April issue of True Story magazine. It's called "I Went Easter Egg Hunting -- And Found Somebunny Wonderful!" (Title changed from The Easter Prize.) It's a sweet, emotional romance story. Isn't this picture cute, with the Easter eggs and the chicks? :-) And here's the cover also. Since it's my first story published, I had to share. Take care!


















Winter Flowers
In case I haven't mentioned, two more of my hobbies are gardening and amateur photography. A couple weeks ago I took some photos of the first flowers that popped through the ground and had the courage to bloom while the snow was falling. We had gotten over a foot of snow and when it melted I found these little guys under there. They are iris and snowdrops.
I've grown the iris for about three years and they always come back each year. I've had the snowdrops for over ten years and the little patch of them gets bigger. They're a welcome and cheerful sight toward the end of winter. The first hint of spring.
Crafts: candles
Two posts in one day, a new record for me. :-) I want to continue the craft discussion mentioned below. Another craft I'm into is candlemaking. The ones I enjoy most look and smell like real desserts. I used to sell these all the time (at craft shows, on eBay or to individuals), or give them as gifts. I've made a lot of cinnamon buns candles. They are among the most popular both in scent and shape.







I do these buns in 10 - 20 different scents and with different toppings. Below is my version of maple pecan buns. The wax pecans look and smell like the real thing because the mold I made them in was formed from real pecans. Some people have tried to eat them. :-)

















Below is a caramel apple pie candle with wax apple slices and raisins which I made in molds also. The person who ordered this didn't want a wick in it because she was going to display it in her cabinet and didn't want to burn it.





This is a gingerbread loaf candle. I love those cute little gingerbread men on the side. Happy crafting

Crafts: flower arranging
On one of the email loops I'm on, we're discussing crafts we enjoy doing. From time to time, I do flower arrangements. I once took a floral design class at a local community college. When someone twists my arm, I have been known to do arrangements for weddings. Here are two large arrangements I did for a wedding last summer. I dried the hydrangea blooms myself and sprayed them lavender and green. The roses and baby's breath are also dried but I didn't dry them. These also include some silk leaves and grasses and some sheer ribbon loops. They are about 40" tall, with the vase. They sat on either side of the alter during the wedding. Lavender is the bride's favorite color. She was going to take them home with her after the wedding but her living room is too small. So they remain at the church for decoration.



































I also made the bride's bouquet, which attaches to the top of a Bible. It's made with dried roses and other things. (Groom's boutonniere also pictured.) They are lots of fun to arrange but I wouldn't want to do it for a living.

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