Are we getting ready for Christmas? No, we are not; too busy trying to keep warm! There is still time though!
My bonsai have had a rough time of it lately, and they are not looking their best, especially now most of them have shed their leaves and are ready for a long sleep. I worry about the amount of rain we have had lately and if they have a good enough drainage system.
Early this year, at repotting time, I had changed their soil for a new mixture, one I haven’t used before. They seem to be coping well with being constantly drenched, but only time will tell. I will have to wait until spring to see what happens.
I came across this lovely post the other day about a bonsai garden in Portland. I thoroughly enjoyed walking around and seeing all the wonderful trees.
Twelve acres of stunning Japanese garden, nestled in the Washington Park in Portland – and with a wonderful Bonsai collection on display – the Portland Japanese Garden is stunning! In this video we tour the garden, but of course we focus on the Bonsai collection first! If you want to learn more about Bonsai, consider enrolling in one of our Online Bonsai Courses. For the curriculums and free lectures, go to: https://www.bonsaiempire.com/courses
The dead don’t talk, they don’t play games They walk through doors Somewhere a chain to bind them to time Over time the stories have grown To keep the local boys from playing in the old mill House Many have entered and never returned The towns folk say it should be pulled down The sea has tried to reclaim the old mill house It stands perilously at the edge of the land If you visit the grave of Tommy Wilson You lose the power of free will To plead with your mind would be useless You enter the old mill house, never to be seen again… ©AnitaDawes2022
Again, in Dreams A black hood slipped over my head I was pushed gently forward Each step slow over cobbles, my feet slipping The sound changed Walls shot up either side of me My thinking as muffled as my breath The smell of damp mould an assault to my senses I can hear the dark wet walls breathing, whispering insanities Names waiting to be snatched from the air I was pushed on, falling My feet found no purchase Hands held my arms until I felt them drop away I was suspended for a while The hood removed I stood on the hallowed ground of the Tor The waters stopped their whispering I would walk this land again, in dreams… ©AnitaDawes2022
A wonderful poem for a very special place.
One of these days we will go back to Glastonbury and climb the hill to the Tor…
The Mountain Imagination writes the tale I tell on this dusty road I stood captivated as I observed the glimmering light I walk forth, knowing there could be endless possibilities With the sun setting, the mountain lay under a pink cloud I was finding it hard to believe my own eyes My personal belief now suspended I stood in front of an unidentified flying object wondering at the mind of the engineer I have never seen silver so polished, no nuts or bolts A small door slid open, I blinked There she stood, the most beautiful woman I had ever seen She beckoned, without hesitation I walked to her Knowing I would leave this earth, And go wherever she would take me… ©AnitaDawes2022
Nothing quite like the unexpected review to brighten our days and remind us why write…
Lately, we have needed a break from the constant struggle to stay cheerful, what with our health problems and the terrible weather.
Miserable grey skies do little to cheer us up, so when something unexpected happens, it is very welcome.
This wonderful review from D L Finn really brought the sunshine back!
“Scarlet Ribbon” is a story that made me wonder about the afterlife and what is in between.
Maggie was out with her husband when she was run down by a car. She ended up in a coma for two long years, but her time became relative as she found herself in a strange place. Her body was in the hospital, but her mind or soul was experiencing a different reality.
While she was under, she could see what her husband was doing and was taken to other worlds and the past. She wanted to help, especially a young girl. There was cruelty and a blissful existence that coincided in the different places.
As she seeks answers to her dilemma, she finds out more than she wanted to about how sheltered a life she had and people’s true side. I have always wondered what goes on when people are in a coma, and this was a fascinating idea of what could happen. There never seems to be one simple answer or outcome to Maggie’s desires.
I love her determination to do what is right, but within her new world, I felt her confusion as she bounced from one situation to another. I was rooting for the person she connected with on the other side. The story picked up the pace when she emerged from the coma, and work began for her to heal and try to remember.
The ending was a surprise but didn’t feel done just yet. I hope there are more versions of her life to come and I will be reading them.
Thank you so much, Denise!
Excerpt from The Scarlet Ribbon
I had no idea how long I lay there in the darkness, talking to myself, half hoping that someone or something would hear me and show me the way out. I felt like a defence lawyer, pleading my case before an invisible judge, promising all sorts of things for a second chance. I’d be more patient, and more caring and help all those who needed it. After all, thirty wasn’t a good age to die. That was my final plea. I’d be as good as anyone could be if they’d let me live out the rest of my life with Jack.
But who were ‘they’? Who the hell was I talking to? There didn’t seem to be anyone with me in that dark, empty void.
That’s when I realised I hadn’t left even a small part of myself behind. No children. For the first time, I felt regret. Jack and I had decided that we didn’t need children; we were enough for each other and didn’t want to share our lives with smaller versions of ourselves.
During our second year together, we had allowed one small invasion of our privacy in the form of a tiny black kitten. She’d been dumped in the rain in a brown paper carrier bag like unwanted garbage. It was soaking wet, skinny, and hardly able to walk. I remember taking her home and the look on Jack’s face when I took her out from inside my coat, her dark, spiky fur almost dry from the heat of my body.
It was love at first sight, and we took turns that night feeding her baby milk and comforting her. The following day Jack said he couldn’t stand the smell any longer.
‘She’s got to have a bath, Maggie. She’s a sorry state.’
So that’s what we called her, Sorry. And that’s exactly how I feel now, sorry that we didn’t have a child, someone to remember us, to talk about us when we were gone. But it wasn’t too late; I wasn’t too old, and there was still time…
She may be paranoid, but is she right?
A string of gruesome murders rocks the small town of Alexandria, New Hampshire, with all the victims staged to resemble dead angels, and strange red and pink balloons appearing out of nowhere.
All the clues point to the Romeo Killer’s return. Except one: he died eight years ago.
Paranoid and on edge, Sage’s theory makes no sense. Dead serial killers don’t rise from the grave. Yet she swears he’s here, hungering for the only angel to slip through his grasp—Sage.
With only hours left to live, how can Sage convince her Sheriff husband before the sand in her hourglass runs out?
Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and Expertido.org named her Murder Blog as “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net.” She also blogs at the Kill Zone (Writer’s Digest “101 Best Websites for Writers”) and Writers Helping Writers.
Sue lives with her husband in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two psychological thriller series, Mayhem Series and Grafton County Series (Tirgearr Publishing) and is the true crime/narrative nonfiction author of PRETTY EVIL NEW ENGLAND: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs (Rowman & Littlefield Group). Sue teaches a virtual course about serial killers for EdAdvance in CT and a condensed version for her fellow Sisters In Crime. She’s appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion. In October 2022, she’s filming three episodes of Homicide: Hours to Kill for Cineflix. Learn more about Sue and her books at https://suecoletta.com
The mysterious red balloon that suddenly turns up in Sage Quintano’s bedroom triggers panic, setting the scene for a promisingly terrifying story.
Years might have passed, but the fear and the awful memories have not.
I have always loved the relationship between Sage and her husband, Niko, but this time, life might just give them more than either of them can handle. Worrying about them will keep you on the edge of your seat!
The tension in this story never ceases; reading it is like running a nightmare marathon. But I loved every word!
Haloed is one of the best thrillers I have read this year…
After what has seemed like a very long time, I have found my perfect moment.
I finally managed to get to the sea, and the sun was shining. A strong breeze from the water created some medium-sized but beautiful waves.
We had visited this beach the week before, but the weather was atrocious that day, and we nearly froze. The weather report was more favourable yesterday, so we made the journey again.
I have been trying to snatch a few precious moments to get my sea fix, and it was beginning to look like it might never happen.
The sea is my soul mate and very special to me. I need to commune with the spirits of the deep regularly.
Seeing how my health seems to be slowly deteriorating, I need to keep my soul happy, or I may give up. So yesterday was invaluable for several reasons.
Once on the seafront, the family were busy fussing about coffee or something to eat, but the sea was calling me, and I wandered slowly down the shingle beach and headed for the water. Almost immediately, the deafening sound of the waves beaching and the sweeter sound of the water filtering through the shingle lifted me out of this world. A world where I was completely at home.
I wanted to sit down, stay awhile, and enjoy the moment, but the shingle was wet, so I perched on a breakwater, mesmerised by the crashing waves.
I managed to film my perfect long-awaited moment on my phone, so I could share the moment with you…