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Goulash for everyone!



Hungarian Church


 

Today I’m delighted to announce that Saving CeeCee Honeycutt has sold to the esteemed Hungarian publisher, Alexandra Konyveshaz Kft! This is the 12th foreign sale and I couldn’t possibly be more pleased … or blessed. What a wonderful way to end a busy week. I hope y’all have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!



 

 

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Book research …



Charleston secret Garden


One of the many things I enjoy about writing, is doing the research. Though I always select places and settings that I know intimately well, I like to go back and immerse myself as I write important passages. The story in my new novel segues between two entirely different culturesfarm life in Slade, Kentucky to the world of antiques in Charleston, South Carolina.


So, I’m off to Charleston where I’ll write and think and research; and relax on a porch overlooking a secret garden. And before too long I’ll be visiting  Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, and enjoying the mysteries it holds. But I’ll be back to update my blog … eventually!



Red River Gorge



Happy Spring, everyone.








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It’s the simple things …





Redwinged Blackbird


Over the years my backyard has become a little wildlife sanctuary. From chickadees all the way to red-tailed hawks and even a peregrine falcon, it’s nonstop action. And yes, we occasionally suffer the loss of a pigeon or dove to the hawks.

 

That’s nature.

 

It’s gotten to the point that my feeders must be filled two and sometimes three times a day. Last week I asked my husband, “How much sunflower seed do you think we’ve gone through in the past ten years?” and being the math whiz that he is, he took out a piece of paper and calculated the total within a minute.  On average we go through 50 lbs of sunflower a week, a little more in the colder months. So the total is 12 tons.  That’s right, a whopping 12 tons! And each spring when the red-winged blackbirds arrive and sing their magical songs and the downy woodpeckers bring their babies to the suet log, I sigh with happiness. They are all worth it.

 

No matter what I might be doing or facing, when a red-wing sings I’m reminded that life, in all it’s many stages, is good.







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Saving Ernie …



Ernie



I live in a small historical area—most of the homes were built in the mid-to-late 1800s. All are proud. The trees are old and proud too; many of them are older than the homes.  For all my life I’ve been crazy about historical homes and ancient trees (all trees for that matter). So when I was house hunting in 1998 and found the home of my dreams, I also found the tree of my dreams in the back yard.

 

When I bought my home, I named her Mamie, and the giant green ash I’ve named Ernie. I love Ernie, he’s somewhere between 110-130 years old and stands approximately 60 feet high.

 

Ernie has withstood winds in excess of 50 mph, the assault of major ice storms, and the backlash of several tornadoes. Three years ago I watched in horror when a storm whipped and torqued this giant tree like a swizzle stick. I stood at the window chanting, “Hold on, Ernie. Hold on!”  And he did.

 

But Ernie is in trouble. His age and the many assaults have taken their toll. Over the winter he developed a split in his trunk and a nasty gap on the opposite side. Some people said, “Cut the tree down and plant another one,” and I looked at them like they were crazy.

 

Ernie matters!!!

 

Ash trees generally have a lifespan of 200+ years, and I plan on doing everything I can to give Ernie a full life.

 

After consulting with my arborist and keeping my fingers crossed that Ernie could be saved, a plan was in place: four cables to brace the large main branches and then the latest technology—bolts driven through the trunk for internal support. Ernie now has three of these bolts, and as he continues to grow, he will heal around them, making him stronger.

 

 

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This photo will give you an idea of just how big Ernie is!

 

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Ernie’s “surgery” went well, and he was treated to a special deep-root feeding. So now I’ll wait and hope and pray that all the measures I’ve taken to ensure Ernie’s life over the past 13 years (which have exceeded the cost of a Ford Fiesta), will work.

 

Ernie is worth it, all of it. He matters!

 

 

 

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When my time expires and the ding of my meter sounds …





 

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While on a plane returning home from Charleston, the people sitting in front of me were discussing their  “Bucket Lists” and it got me thinking. What are the top ten things I would put on my list? I was surprised by what I wrote down …

 

  1. Say no without explaining why.
  2. Wear hats more often.
  3. Suffer fools less often.
  4. Take the long way home.
  5. Read to the blind.
  6. Take food and toys to the dogs and cats in shelters.
  7. Hide loving notes for my husband in unusual places.
  8. Organize old photos and place them in albums.
  9. Send cards to my friends for no reason.
  10. Write a list of my three greatest life-lessons, seal it in a jar, and bury it in my garden. Maybe one day a new gardener will discover it. Maybe it will mean something … or nothing at all.





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