What’s up with squirrels in the fall? What’s going on in their little minds? I swear they have a death wish. They dart out in front of a car at a moment’s notice.

I could write a story about them. It couldn’t be a  cute little children’s book because there might be a lot of blood and gore like a horror story. Spy novel? Mystery story? Possession? There are endless possibilities. These squirrels aren’t for the fainthearted.  They are little daredevils.

My husband thinks the squirrels are doing performance moves, like in the Olympics. They get scored on how well they did. He’s positive there’s a row of judging squirrels set up along the side of the road holding up scorecards.

The strange thing is that squirrels only do this in the fall. They also sit in the middle of the road and when they see a car coming, they don’t budge. They’re like deer in the headlights. Then, suddenly they dart to the edge of the street as if they figured it out. But wait, they turn on a dime and are right back in front of you. Some enjoy the “go, left, no go right, oh, I mean left again” routine. I feel they’re taunting you to hit them. Sometimes they sprint out from the side of the road at the last minute. That move I call the death wish.

In reality, there is an explanation. I just read an article in the paper about this phenomenon. Squirrels travel farther from home in autumn, looking for acorns and water supplies. They are not familiar with their surroundings. When they reach pavement or asphalt they become disoriented. So there’s the truth.

Still, I’d like to think there’s something more going on. When fall arrives, a brain cell ignites, giving the squirrel the ability to harass the humans of the world. They play with your mind, teasing you to hit them and feel guilty for the rest of your life. Maybe they’re hoping for a squirrel sanctuary to be built in their honor. Who knows what goes on in their little minds?

Whatever you think of the squirrel phenomenon, please keep your eye out for the little critters. And maybe next time you see a squirrel in the road,  you’ll want to create your own story, your own explanation of Why the Squirrel Crossed the Road.

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I recently read something a friend posted. It said that everyone isn’t your friend. Just because they hang around or say they have your back, doesn’t mean it’s so. People pretend well. So know your inner circle.

I don’t know if she was having a bad day or making a statement. It is something many of us deal with in our lives and if you’re a sensitive person, it bothers you more. If you’re someone that can let it roll off your back, I envy you.

When I started teaching my mom bought me a mug to have in my classroom. It had a picture of cartoon turkeys with the saying, Don’t let the turkeys get you down. I had to smile every time I looked at it. I tried to use that as my motto ever since.

We start off life thinking everyone’s our friend and as the years go on, we learn differently. People will disappoint. Some will turn their backs. Someone you thought was a friend didn’t consider you one. Those are called life lessons. And maybe that’s what helps me write.

My personal experiences find their way into my stories. Characters take on traits of people I’ve known—good and bad. Disappointment and betrayals make  great story lines.

There’s also the other side of the coin. Your inner circle. It can be large or small. It doesn’t matter. When things get you down, you know you can rely on them. They become the characters in the story who are your heroes or the ones that give great advice.

Life’s a journey, a bumpy one at that. When you come to a major pothole it might be time to get out that coffee cup. Fill it with your favorite beverage, lean back and take a good look at those turkeys. Take a sip and a deep breath. Then take another look. Sometimes you need to just let it go. There’s no way to fix it. It may take a short time…or maybe quite a while. Whatever it is the turkeys did….don’t let them get you down.


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There’s Christmas break, Winter break, Spring break but I really needed Snow break. That planned vacation finally happened and I’ll share a few highlights from the trip in a picture montage. Hope you enjoy! Orlando, Florida was our destination. So much to see and do there. Disneyworld is always a favorite spot. Magic Kingdom was debuting a new parade and new Fantasyland is almost complete. That’s the Beast’s castle in the picture. An escape from reality helps start a vacation off right.

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 Then there is nighttime Disney…fireworks over the castle and the Electric Light Parade.

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But that’s not all there is to Orlando. Every time we go we find great restaurants, shopping and things to do. This time we even found a winery.

1901905_694268146021_283020984_nThen there’s the “real” Florida. A trip to Blue Spring State Park.

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Guess what these are?

IMG_3499Manatees! They come to the springs during winter.

So if you’re in the mood for a little of this:


Or a little of that:


You’ll find so much more in the state of Florida. It’s one of my favorite places.

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Since I have no real experience or great knowledge about these magnificent animals, I wonder why I keep putting horses in my stories. I’m definitely not an expert on the subject. I grew up watching them on TV so I always felt they were part of my life. I’m not talking about the My Little Pony era.  I go back a little farther than that for my childhood. I’m talking real, live horses like Trigger, Roy Roger’s horse, and the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver, of the “Hi, Ho, Silver” fame. And let’s not forget Zorro riding his white horse in the opening credits of his show and pulling the animal up and onto its back legs as he gives a wave. Those were real horses and men depended on them.

Roy Rogers and Trigger                             lr_silv8

One more show on my list also deserves a shout out…Bonanza.4horses

It was on for over a decade. Pa Cartwright and his three boys would ride up on their horses during the show’s introduction, stop and smile for the camera. The horses took them everywhere–into town, out on the range and chasing bad guys. My favorite Cartwright was Little Joe and I loved his horse, too. Cochise was a beautiful paint horse that had wonderful patterns of white on it. I wanted one just like it.

So how could any little girl during that era not love horses? I was one of many who did, I’m sure. Then it happened. My sister and I begged to go horseback riding during a vacation at a resort where there were stables. I was probably eleven or twelve at the time. All the riders were in a pen, dismounting at the end of the journey and my horse decided to pin me with its hindquarters against the fence. If you’ve stopped laughing and are wondering what part exactly are the hindquarters, I looked it up. It’s the top part of the horse above the back leg. I don’t remember how long it took to be rescued but it felt like hours. Needless to say, I was traumatized, never to ride or go near a horse again.

So why use them in my stories? I’ll tell you a little secret. I still love them. They are beautiful and majestic and I long to ride one the correct, proper way. I can feel the wind in my hair as I proficiently gallop along in my imagination. And right before my dismount, I have the horse rear high in the air and I give a quick salute, just like Zorro, and say, “Hi, Ho, Silver!” Oh, wait, that’s the Lone Ranger…but you get the picture.

Walt Disney Treasures Zorro

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