Nick Russell

Lost River Cave

 Posted by at 3:03 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 202014
 

Since I have been spending most of my time working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, I have dusted off a story from our July-August, 2004 issue. But first I want to wish happy birthday to two very special ladies, my cousins Beverly McKiddy and Berni Frees. I hope you both have a wonderful day.

There is a hidden treasure in Bowling Green, Kentucky. A serene underground oasis located right in the center of town. A historical relic of Indians, outlaws, and Confederate raiders. A romantic meeting spot for couples for over a century. Nestled on the floor of a scenic valley, unseen from above, Lost River Cave will touch the heart of every adventurer or romantic.

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The cave provided shelter to Native Americans inside its massive natural opening for thousands of years. In the 1790s, Europeans settled the area and built a mill inside the cave entrance that operated for over a century. It was the only known cave mill operation in the world.

During the Civil War, John Hunt Morgan led his Confederate raiders behind enemy lines to wager war, burning the railroad depot at South Union, Kentucky in the fall of 1861, then hiding out in Lost River Cave as Yankee troops searched for them. A year later 44,000 Union soldiers camped at Lost River before heading south to Nashville and the Battle of Stones River.

Following the war, outlaw Jesse James and his gang were believed to have sought refuge in the cave after robbing the Southern Deposit Bank in Russellville, Kentucky on March 18, 1868. A Bowling Green doctor told his wife he had been kidnapped and taken to the cave to treat an injured gang member by Jesse James himself.

In 1933 an underground nightclub operated in the cave, and people came to dance to the big bands of the time. For decades dances were held in the cave and the old dance floor is still there, with a crystal chandelier hanging overhead. Over the years many couples have chosen the romantic spot as the site for their weddings.

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The cave takes its name from the Lost River, which only comes to the surface in four spots in its 85 square mile basin. A “blue hole” in the river just outside the cave entrance has been said to be bottomless. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not calls the Lost River the shortest and deepest river in the world.

Nature trails show off the area’s native wildflowers and trees, and the butterfly garden is a hit with visitors young and old alike. The cave’s owners have built a nice attraction that is popular with school groups, tourists, and locals alike. Lost River Cave features an underground boat tour that carries visitors underground to experience all of the cave’s wonders. Though not as awe-inspiring as nearby Mammoth Cave, Lost River Cave is an interesting and beautiful attraction and well worth a visit the next time you are in Bowling Green.

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Lost River Cave is located at 2818 Nashville Road in Bowling Green and is open daily, rain or shine. Parking is limited to cars and trucks. Getting an RV into and out of the parking lot could be challenging. For more information on Lost River Cave, call (270) 393-0077 or visit their web site at www.lostrivercave.com.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series, set right here in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

Thought For The Day – Instead of looking at the hundred reasons to quit, look at the thousand reasons not to give up.

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Apr 192014
 

Yesterday started with the grandkids swarming in to give us hugs and kisses. Can you think of a better way to start the day? I sure can’t!

I’ve been working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, which has been a slow process because the kids love hanging out with us, and it’s hard to type with two little girls sitting on your lap. Not that I’m trying very hard to discourage them, of course.

As much as they love grandpa, I think the girls love their horses just as much. Here they are on Winchester, a very mellow guy who looks like he has some mule in him. For years my dad rode a mule named Tony on the border, and Dad always said he was smarter and more stable than any horse ever was. Personally, I don’t ride anything I can’t put gas in.

Girls on Winchester

Girls on Winchester 2

Yesterday was Destiny’s birthday and Terry spent most of the day making a cake and other goodies for her party, with a lot of help from Destiny and Hailey. You can see by her smile that she was having a great time.

And here’s the birthday girl with the finished product.

Destiny birthday cake 3

During the evening the girls decided it was time to decorate Grandpa. How do you like my new look? The things a grandpa does to make memories with the little ones! Smile

Painted Nick

Yesterday I had a telephone call from a young woman who is an Acquisitions Editor with Thomas & Mercer, Amazon’s imprint for mysteries and thrillers. She told me that they would like to republish one of my mystery novels, Dog’s Run, under their imprint. We talked about where they wanted to take the book and the marketing plan they had for it, and she made me an offer. I didn’t accept it, but agreed to look over the full proposal, which she will be sending me early next week.

Speaking of books, for an interesting view that integrates science and the Bible, check out Michael L. Dourson’s Messiah’s Star, which is at the introductory price of $2.99 for just a little bit longer.

And today my friend T.R. Harris released A Galaxy To Conquer, the final book in Part 2 of The Human Chronicles Saga. If you like science fiction you’ll love this book, in which all the great forces in the galaxy clash for one final, epic battle to determine who will come out on top. Don’t miss this exciting, final volume of The Human Chronicles Saga — one of the bestselling sci-fi series on Amazon for the past two years.

You still have time to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series, set right here in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

Thought For The Day – If you think your wife has a good sense of humor, try leaving a trail of rose petals to a sink full of dirty dishes.

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Apr 182014
 

We have another birthday to celebrate this week. Granddaughter Destiny turns seven today. I know I used this picture just a few days ago, but it’s my favorite one of her. I just love that expression on her face. She’s always coming up with something to say that blows me away.

Destiny at desk

Several people have asked how we like our new memory foam mattress. Based upon our first night on it, we love it so far. Yesterday morning was the first time I did not wake up with back pain in as long as I can remember. Usually, Terry is awakened by tingling in her hands or sore shoulders, but yesterday she had neither. Someone asked if there was any odor with the bed. When we first unrolled it we could smell the foam or something, but by bedtime it had pretty much disappeared.

Speaking of our new mattress, I am convinced that sometimes the internet makes people crazy. After reading yesterday’s blog about the new mattress, a regular blog reader sent me a message on Facebook suggesting we should have gotten a Sleep Number air bed instead. I replied, telling her we had one and hated it, and it was like I called her grandbaby ugly or something. She went off on me, saying that obviously we had no idea how to properly inflate a Sleep Number bed to adjust it for our body weight, and added that if I lost 100 pounds I might have found it more comfortable. She finished by saying “Don’t blame the bed because of your shortcomings!” Huh? What’s that all about?

The snowbirds are flocking out of Arizona to start their summer adventure, and I have had several write me asking for directions for the bypass around El Paso, Texas that I wrote about last year. It’s an easy trip and avoids most, but not all, El Paso traffic. Though it sounds complicated, these roads all run into each other and are very easily negotiated. From Interstate 10 in New Mexico, take exit 162 and then take State Route 4Loop 375 and take it to US 18004 east 7 miles to State Route 213. Turn south on SR 213 and in about 2 1/2 miles it will cross into Texas and become FM 3255. Continue south 5 or 6 miles and you’ll join US 54 south. From there, get on Loop 375, which goes through Fort Bliss (all freeway) to US 180 (about 87 miles). Then take SR 54 south 55 miles to Van Horn and get on I-10 there. US 180 and SR 54 to Van Horn are good two lane roads, we have been over them many times in our bus and in our motorhome. The total route is about 173 miles from the time you exit I-10 in New Mexico until you rejoin it at Van Horn. By comparison, staying on I-10 straight through El Paso all the way will save you about 30 miles. To us it’s worth every bit of that. Be sure to have enough fuel onboard because once you leave El Paso there are not many places to stop, if any, before you get to Van Horn.

Do you have a set of those tire covers that are supposed to protect your RV’s tires from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, or are you considering purchasing a set? My friend Roger Marble, who spent 40 years working in the tire industry, has some interesting observations on them in his RV Tire Safety blog.

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series, set right here in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

And for an interesting look at life from a computer tech’s point of view, check out Horror Stories From A Computer Tech. It’s free today and tomorrow on Amazon and includes seven true stories about the craziest, creepiest, and funniest customers an in-home computer technician encountered on the job.

Thought For The Day – You are about to exceed the limits of my medication.

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Pony Pedicure

 Posted by at 3:03 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 172014
 

A little after eight yesterday morning a farrier came over to trim the horses hooves, and even though it was at least two hours before my normal wakeup time, I was out of bed and ready to watch. I mean, how many times do you get the opportunity to see a pony pedicure?

We have been amazed at how patient and well behaved Hailey’s horse Pixie is. She just stands there calmly while Hailey grooms her, braids her mane and tail, and picks her hooves and never blinks an eye. But she didn’t like getting her feet messed with by this stranger. She didn’t kick or bite, but she sure didn’t cooperate either. The farrier had to muscle her around and let her know who was boss to get the job done. I have added farrier to the list of careers I’m very glad I don’t have.

Farrier and Pixie

Farrier and Pixie 2

Terry and I both have back problems, and for years we have tried to find a mattress that will give us a comfortable nights’ sleep. We have tried a Sleep Number airbed and a couple of innerspring mattresses and have not been happy with any of them. We have talked to several people with memory foam mattresses who seem to be very happy with them, so last week we ordered a Night Therapy Elite 12" MyGel Ultimate Memory Foam Mattress from Sam’s Club. It has thousands of gel beads for better air flow movement, which makes it cooler, since one complaint we have heard about memory foam is that it can be hot to sleep on.

It arrived yesterday in a cardboard box that measured 22x22inches by five feet long. We carried the box inside and carefully tore it away, revealing the mattress rolled up tightly inside. Once we removed the plastic wrapping it unrolled and quickly expanded to it’s full queen size of 60×80 inches We left it lay flat for twelve hours or so before Terry put on the sheets and blankets, and by the time you read this we’ll have had our first nights’ sleep on it. Hopefully it will be a good one.

Bed rolled up

Mattress unrolled 2

Mattress unrolled

I spent most of the day with my friend Jim Lewis, helping him sort through some things and talking about the recent loss of his wife and what life holds in store for him next. Just a quiet time with a good friend and I think we both needed it.

When I got back to Tiffany’s place, her husband Scott replaced several struts on our motorhome’s bay doors. Hopefully I won’t have them coming down on top of my head any more. I’ve learned from experience that it hurts!

We finished just in time for a delicious dinner of Miss Terry’s homemade chicken noodle soup, along with yeasted biscuits. And yes, the recipes are in her cookbook, Miss Terry’s Kitchen. Tiffany and Scott keep trying to talk us out of leaving next week but Scott says if I have to go, maybe Terry should stay behind. Yeah, he likes her cooking too.

Be sure to enter out latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series, set right here in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

Thought For The Day – You can never elevate your own character by stepping on someone else’s.

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Never Enough Hours

 Posted by at 3:01 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 162014
 

It seems like there are never enough hours in a day to accomplish everything I want to do. Yesterday was a good example. We started the day visiting with Tiffany, who comes out to the motorhome every morning for coffee with Terry. It was Tiffany’s birthday, so I had to tease her about getting older, of course. I’m a dad, it’s my job.

While Terry and Tiffany were chatting, I answered a dozen or so e-mails, deleted another fifteen junk forwards, and approved some pending comments on my latest Bad Nick blog. Usually, after a person has left a comment or two that have been approved they stop going into the moderation file and appear automatically. Moderation is to prevent spam, which the blogs attract a lot of.

Then I went through the comments and did something I very seldom do; I deleted one and banned the poster from leaving future comments. I believe in the right to free speech and allow people to disagree with me or other commenters as long as they stay respectful and do not become abusive. We have had some heated debates in the past, and that’s okay. But several times in the past I have had to warn this person not to use profanity or attack other posters personally. He did it again yesterday, singling one person out and calling them filthy names. That was pushing it too far and now he’s gone. I apologize to anyone who was offended by his remarks.

Later on I spent some time cleaning a couple of rifles and sorting through my shooting bag to get things organized. Son-in-law Scott built me a shooting range here on their property and it wouldn’t be right of me not to show my appreciation by using it, right? Hopefully we’ll get that done in the next couple of days.

After Scott got home from work and took a shower, the four of us drove into Show Low for a birthday dinner at Cattlemen’s Steak House. This restaurant wasn’t here when we lived here, and we were very pleased. Scott and I had had rib eye steaks, Terry had grilled salmon, and Tiffany had the blackened prime rib. It was all very good, but the sample of her prime rib Tiffany shared with me was the best. The service was fast and friendly, and the portions were generous. This one will definitely get added to our Favorite Restaurants guidebook.

There was one woo woo moment when I noticed this stain on one of my spoons. I said I wasn’t sure if it was the Grim Reaper, the Madonna or a demon. Then again, it may have just been a stain. But we speculated on how much I could sell the spoon for on eBay.

Spoon image

We got back to the ranch about 7:30 and visited for a while, and then had a delicious banana nut cake, along with strawberries and homemade whipped cream, courtesy of Miss Terry. She called it a strawberry banana split shortcake. Whatever it was, it was the perfect way to end a busy day.

I’ve been running a sale on Big Lake the last two weeks, down from its regular price of $3.99 to just 99¢, and a lot of people have taken advantage of it. But all good things must come to an end, and today is the last day for the reduced price. Take advantage of it while you still can, and I bet you’ll enjoy it enough to read the rest of the series.

New Big Lake cover

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means. It’s time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series, set right here in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

big lake 2

Thought For The Day – I chose the road less traveled and now I don’t know where the hell I am!

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Apr 152014
 

I want to start the day by wishing my daughter Tiffany happy birthday. Wow, was it really 32 years ago I first held that beautiful little girl? Where did the years go? Today she’s a grown lady with kids of her own. But you know what? Dad still loves holding her. Tiffany, I love you very much, and I am very proud of the woman you have become. And I’m very glad that we are more than father and daughter, that we are friends too. I cherish every minute we spend together.

Last night when I stepped outside to watch the lunar eclipse it was darned cold! I heard from my pal Al Hesselbart, historian for the RV Hall of Fame Museum in Elkhart, Indiana yesterday, and he said it was 78o Sunday, and Monday was predicted to be 25o with two to three inches of snow overnight. Hopefully it’s going to start warming up a bit, and not a minute too soon in my opinion. It’s even too cold to play on the tractor!

In spite of the cold and the fact that she was shooting without a tripod, Terry managed to get this picture of the “blood moon” as it’s called.

Blood moon

We’re planning to start our journey east to Indiana for Escapade about this time next week, and I’m hoping the weather will cooperate. Because we never know what to expect this time of year, we’re giving ourselves plenty of time in case we have to change course or find some place to sit still and wait out passing storms.

A lot of people have been asking if we will have printed copies of Terry’s cookbook, Miss Terry’s Kitchen, at our vendor booth at Escapade. Yes we will, and if you would like an autographed copy you can place an order now and pick it up at Escapade. To order your copy, log onto www.paypal.com and make a payment of $14.95 to editor@gypsyjournal.net. This is for pickup at Escapade only. If you want a printed copy mailed to you, you can order it at this link on Amazon. Unfortunately, copies ordered from Amazon will not arrive autographed, but if we cross paths somewhere Terry will be happy to sign it for you.

CoverTerry

Though big cities like Tucson and Phoenix have become civilized, depending on what you call civilized, parts of Arizona are still the Wild West. There is a little general store a couple of miles from Tiffany’s place, and this sign greets customers. I bet they don’t get a lot of trouble there!

Guns Welcome Concho store

Speaking of the Wild West, things got pretty heated up in Nevada recently in a standoff between Federal authorities and a rancher and his supporters who claim he is under attack, though it seems like tensions are easing a bit. Bad Nick has been watching the situation and has a few observations to make in a new Bad Nick Blog titled Sometimes You Have to Pay. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Oh, my opinion offended you? You should hear the ones I keep to myself!

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Apr 142014
 

Whatever happened to April showers bringing May flowers? Last night it was snowing here at Tiffany’s place, a few miles outside of Show Low, Arizona and the temperature was down in the low 30s overnight. Today the high will be just over 60, and depending on which weatherman you choose to believe, it will be somewhere between 29 and 24 tonight. Not to mention the fact that it’s cold, windy and snowing! I am not amused!

But at least we’ve got the grandkids to warm our hearts. This is Destiny, who will turn seven this week. Can you tell she loves her Grandma Terry? And I think Grandma kind of likes her too.

Terry Destiny

She is Tiffany’s youngest and she cracks me up. Consider this conversation we had yesterday morning:

Grandpa Nick to Destiny: "You’re full of beans."

Destiny: "That doesn’t even make sense."

Grandpa Nick: "If you ate beans what would you be full of?"

Destiny: "Farts."

You just gotta love the grandkids!

Destiny at desk

Before it turned so cold, we had a busy day yesterday. Scott and I were working on a couple of projects around the place and I spent at least two hours on the tractor. I’m far from being as skilled as Scott is with the thing, but with his careful direction I at least managed to dig a good sized hole without running over any of the dogs or horses, and I even avoided hitting the motorhome or their house. I’ll take my victories where I can get them.

During the afternoon the girls went to their dad’s house and won’t be back until after school on Wednesday. We’ll sure miss them until then!

We’re not the only ones having bad weather. Last night on Facebook, Gregg McHenry said it was cold and windy in Amarillo, with snow predicted by morning. Bobbie Chapman, of the excellent Chappy Trails blog, said they were getting the same thing in southern Colorado. And blog reader Arnold Silverman said they were supposed to be down in the 20s the next two nights at his place near Indianapolis. It seems like almost every region has something going on, from snow to strong thunderstorms, hail, and everything except a plague of locusts. But stay tuned, even that wouldn’t surprise me!

Speaking of bad weather, blog reader Helen Merton wrote to tell me that she and hubby George recently retired from their jobs with the state of California and are brand new fulltimers. Helen said they are headed to the Midwest and then on to New England, and asked for advice on a portable weather radio. I am a fan of the Ambient Weather WR-111-B-AC Adventurer Emergency Solar Hand Crank Weather Alert Radio, which also has a flashlight and cell phone charger. Ambient makes several models and I like the ability several have to be charged with a hand crank in case power fails.

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Congratulations to Wallie Libby, winner of this week’s drawing for an audiobook of Birdsongs by Jason Deas! We had 117 entries in this week’s drawing, and if you haven’t won yet, stay tuned, because a new contest starts Wednesday.

Before I close, I want to wish a happy birthday to my daughter-in-law, Geli. I hope you have a wonderful day you pretty lady. We’re looking forward to seeing you and Travis when we get back east.  

Thought For The Day – Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.

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Family Fun

 Posted by at 3:35 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 132014
 

Yesterday was a family day and we sure had fun hanging out with Tiffany, Scott, and our three granddaughters.

In the morning we all had some errands to run. Scott, Hailey and I went into Show Low to pick up some metal for a project Scott and I will be working on today. When we were done there we met Terry, Tiffany, Gracie, and Destiny at C-A-L Ranch, a store that was not here when we lived in Show Low. It’s a combination of Tractor Supply, Ace Hardware, and Cabela’s. They carry everything from western clothing and saddles to sporting goods to chain saws and nuts and bolts. I was surprised at the large selection of guns and ammunition they had in stock at very reasonable prices.

Back at the ranch, well mini-ranch anyway, Scott and I decided to see if we could locate their septic tank, in preparation for the full hookup RV site he is installing for us. We currently have 50 amp electric and water, but if we stay for any length of time a dump would be good to have. But since the older woman they purchased the property from only had a general idea of where the septic tank was, we had to find it. We just had no idea how to accomplish that. First Scott moved some dirt around with the tractor hoping to uncover the tank, but that didn’t work. But at least we found out where it wasn’t.

Scott on tractor

He even dug around with a shovel, while granddaughter Destiny and I supervised. I would have helped dig, but I’m Grandpa and rank has privileges.

Scott digging

I thought that probing with a piece of rebar might do the trick, but even though the ground was soft, it wasn’t that soft, so that didn’t work out too well. So I just stood there holding the rebar for a while. If this writing gig doesn’t work out, maybe I can get a job holding a pole for a surveyor. Or maybe even pole dancing? No, probably not.

Nick with rod

Then Scott decided to see if he could use the bucket of the tractor to drive the rebar down, so I held it upright to get it started. Do you remember my blog from a few days ago, What Could Possibly Go Wrong? I sure hope Scott has a good sense of humor, or else a bad memory about all of the bad things I say about him.

Pounding stake

As it turns out, you can bend rebar pretty easily if you do it right.

Bent rod

We ran out of energy or rebar, I’m not sure which, but we mutually decided that since we weren’t accomplishing anything, taking a tour of their 10 acre property would be more beneficial. It’s long and deep, ending at the bottom of a ridge, and Scott has already put in a 100 yard shooting range for me. I think he’s a keeper.

When we got back, Hailey was busy washing Pixie. That little girl sure loves her horse!

Hailey washing Pixie

Later on Terry made a great dinner of potato chip crusted chicken, mashed potatoes, streamed broccoli and a fresh salad. Then the girls colored Easter eggs, since they will be with their dad on Easter Sunday. That’s Destiny on the left, Hailey center, and Gracie on the right.

Girls egg coloring

We watched TV for a while, and Scott promptly fell asleep on the sofa. Kids these days don’t have any stamina.

Scott sleeping

We didn’t find the septic tank, but overall it was a great day full of family fun. We’re really enjoying our time with Tiffany, Scott and the kids.

Today is your last chance to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook version of Birdsongs by my friend Jason Deas. It’s the first book in Jason’s excellent Benny James mystery series, a fast-paced tale centered on former FBI agent Benny James, who hoped to retire to a slower paced lifestyle on a houseboat but finds himself drawn into a murder investigation. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are automatically deleted. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Birdsongsaudio copy

Thought For The Day – If they ever find my body dead on a jogging trail, be sure to tell the cops I was murdered somewhere else and my body was dumped there.

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our E-Book Store

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Apr 122014
 

A while back I asked blog readers to consider making a donation to a fund to help with medical expenses for my author friend Brandon Hale. Many of you stepped up to the plate, and we raised over $8,300 of our $10,000 goal.

Now I’m back again, but instead of money, I’m asking for your prayers. Brandon, the author of the excellent Day Soldiers series, is one of the nicest and most talented people you will ever meet, and an all around good guy. Last night I learned that he has taken a turn for the worse and has sepsis and been placed on a ventilator. Things are looking pretty grim right now, but you have a lot of people pulling for you, Brandon, so keep fighting. You can beat this!

Yesterday we went back into Show Low and our friend Sharon Manor took Miss Terry to visit a friend of hers whose mom was really into the fiber arts before she passed away a few years ago. Sharon said she had a bunch of leftover yarn that she wanted to get rid of and suggested Terry might be interested.

As it turns out, a “bunch of leftover yarn” was the understatement of the year; maybe even the decade. The mom had owned a couple of fiber craft stores, and Terry said she had a shipping cargo container full of top quality yarn, such as Brown Sheep Company, Cascade Yarns, and Nature Spun. Wools, Angoras, Merinos, and all kinds of fiber blends. And that was just what Terry could see, it was stacked up so high there was a lot she couldn’t even reach! The prices were below bargain basement and she came back with 50 skeins, enough to make a full custom cover for our 40 foot motorhome, and still have enough left over to make a couple more! Only a lack of storage space and money kept her from buying even more.

Yarn 2

Sharon made us a delicious chicken and dumpling dinner and we had a nice visit, with lots of talking and laughter. Eventually we headed home in time to have some time with our granddaughters before bedtime. A great way to end a great day.

There’s still time to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook version of Birdsongs by my friend Jason Deas. It’s the first book in Jason’s excellent Benny James mystery series, a fast-paced tale centered on former FBI agent Benny James, who hoped to retire to a slower paced lifestyle on a houseboat but finds himself drawn into a murder investigation. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are automatically deleted. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Birdsongsaudio copy

Thought For The Day – There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.

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Apr 112014
 

Whatever the bug is that is going around hits you hard and lays you low for about 36 hours and then you start feeling almost human again. And not a minute too soon! I’m sure glad that’s over.

Apparently we weren’t the only ones suffering from the crud. Blog reader Denise Gray e-mailed me to say that they are at the Alfa National Rally in Casa Grande and a lot of people there were sick. Denise said it was so bad that several people were taken to the hospital to be treated for dehydration.

After not doing much during the morning, yesterday afternoon we drove into Show Low for Terry to get her teeth cleaned, and while we were chatting with the office manager, who is a friend of my daughter, she told us that her in-laws are getting ready to go RVing. So, of course, I gave her a copy of the Gypsy Journal to pass on to them. I never miss the opportunity for a bit of shameless self-promotion.

When we were done at the dentist’s office we stopped to visit some friends who live right down the road for a while and then drove back to Tiffany’s house. Son-in-law Scott is out of town on business for a couple of days so I was left to deal with five women on my own. Do you have any idea how much combined energy three little girls have? Let’s just say that Grandpa Nick got pretty spoiled, and more than a little tuckered out, too.

We had a bit of excitement just before twilight when I was walking from the house to the motorhome and heard a strange yowling noise. I went to investigate and saw the kid’s cat standing on the roof of Scott’s pickup truck and a coyote trying to figure out how to get to it. The critter saw me and took off running, but I told Tiffany to keep a close eye on the cat and dogs so they don’t disappear. There is a big difference between living in town and living on ten acres out in the boonies.

In yesterday’s blog I mentioned that Terry’s cookbook was out in print now, and here is the link to order it from Amazon. And thank you to everybody who shared a link to the book on Facebook. It’s currently ranked #63 in the top 100 in its category on Amazon. Terry was happy when the e-book version came out a few weeks ago, but I think holding the physical book in her hands made it real for her.

CoverTerry

Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook version of Birdsongs by my friend Jason Deas. It’s the first book in Jason’s excellent Benny James mystery series, a fast-paced tale centered on former FBI agent Benny James, who hoped to retire to a slower paced lifestyle on a houseboat but finds himself drawn into a murder investigation. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are automatically deleted. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Birdsongsaudio copy

And speaking of books, I just finished an interesting one called In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect. It’s a fascinating look at the lives of First Families from the Kennedys to the Obamas that most people never see, and quite an eye opener. The book also tells how short-sighted management at the upper levels of the Secret Service endangers the people they are charged to protect and leads to high rates of agent turnover. Our tax dollars at work.

Thought For The Day – Never trust an atom. They make up everything.

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