Friday, March 18, 2011

It Must Be Spring

Today marks the first day of Spring Break for the schools here.  For us, that means a practice run of what summer will be like.  Five grandkids ranging in age from nineteen months to eight years will be taking up all-day residence in my small house for six days.  I'm praying it doesn't rain.  Let me rephrase that.  I'm praying it doesn't snow.  (I need to cover all possibilites.)

In Kansas, any kind of weather is a possiblity. We can go from balmy seventy degrees one week, to snow and ice the next, and then back to thunderstorms and hail.  And once the first tornado watch is announced, we know it's time to keep an eye to the sky, along with an ear for the warning sirens.

Every Monday at noon, except when the weather is cloudy and might appear threatening to some, the tornado sirens are tested.  We know it. We're quite accustomed to it.  But when the sirens go off in the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday (last week), it's time to check outside.  That's what I did, only to discover a beautiful blue sky with nary a cloud.  The TV was running the warning message, but when I checked the radar online, the entire center of the country was cloudless.  I posted on Facebook, of course.  What else?  Someone answered that it was some special weather day and the sirens were a test.  Obviously this was my punishment for not watching or listening to local news.

From east to west and north to south, we've all dealt with some really bad weather this winter, so let's all hope Mother Nature sends us a kinder and gentler spring and summer.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here I am with my usual shout-out for this great day of the year.

I’m a good part Irish, so I got a big kick out of writing about a crazy Irish family in my most recent Harlequin American Romance (FAMILY MATTERS, October 2010).

And today, I’m honoring tradition by eating corned beef and cabbage and soda bread. I also made a point of following “the wearin’ of the green”—from clothing to jewelry, including a favorite shamrock pin that once belonged to my grandmother.

Traditions help make any holiday even more special, I think. Don't you?

And whether you’re Irish or honorary Irish, you’re allowed to celebrate today. (smile)

Have you got any traditions of your own?

In any case, once again, let me wish you a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wedding Folklore

Before we talk weddings, I want to invite all the followers of our American Romance Blog to join me and other E-Harlequin readers for my *Free* weekly online read, The Bull Rider's Surrender. One chapter a week will be posted at E-Harlequin beginning Monday March 7th. I'll be giving away copies of my books so please join the discussions following each chapter. Hope to see you there! Now,on to weddings...

My niece recently became engaged and March of next year she'll be walking down the aisle. Watching her go through the process of shopping for a wedding gown, picking her bridesmaids and planning the details of her wedding brings back fond memories of my wedding planning days. For those who are superstitious I thought it would be fun to share a little folklore about weddings. Some of these I'd never heard of before I married and after reading them I believe it was a good thing! I was married on a Friday in the month of May and did not have a sixpence in my shoe. And I know for a fact I fell asleep first on our wedding day because hubby is a night-owl and I come from a long line of farmers…early to be—early to rise.

Certain days of the week, and certain months of the year are better than others for a wedding.
Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday best of all,
Thursday for losses,
Friday for crosses,
Saturday for no luck at all

Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind & true,
When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know.
Marry in April when you can, Joy for Maiden & for Man.
Marry in the month of May, and you'll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you'll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily bred.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see
Marry in September's shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.


Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue,
And a lucky sixpence
In her shoe.

Married in White, you have chosen right
Married in Grey, you will go far away,
Married in Black, you will wish yourself back,
Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,
Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in Blue, you will always be true,
Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,
Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,
Married in Brown, you will live in the town,
Married in Pink, you spirit will sink.

If the groom drops the wedding band during the ceremony, the marriage is doomed.
The new bride must enter her home by the main door, and must not trip or fall - hence the custom of carrying the bride over the threshold.
The spouse who goes to sleep first on the wedding day will be the first to die.

Weddinng Cake

If a single woman sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband.

Anyone care to share a superstition they followed on their wedding day?

Marin Thomas
The Bull Rider's Surrender March E-HQ Weekly Read
Roughneck Cowboy Feb 2011
Rodeo daddy April 2011
The Bull Rider's Secret July 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Of Those Times

I'm going to follow right along with Laura's post. Boy can I relate.

I don’t know about everyone else, but my life goes along pretty calm for awhile, then when one thing happens, ten more follow. This is one of those times. I started a new position first of the year with a new group where we’re all trying to figure out how to do business. Long hours is an understatement.

Both my 84 year old mom and my 80 year old mother-in-law have had some health issues recently and in addition I’ve had a minor health concern crop up myself. Health problems are worrisome enough under any circumstances, but my husband and I have planned to take both moms on an Alaskan cruise this summer, so we’re a little concerned about the sizeable investment we’ve made. But, my mother-in-law told her doctor last week that whatever treatment he has planned that he should know that she's going to Alaska this summer.

My son and daughter-in-law are trying to buy a new house, which has also put a little stress on me, who seems to have become their personal financial advisor. You see, they need to buy the new one and move out of the old one before they can get it ready and on the market. This involves juggling finances, ,and changing the boys schools before the school year is out.

My almost twelve year old pomeranean has bad teeth, but the last time we had them cleaned they pulled half of them and now the others are going bad. Long story short, I’m spoon feeding him. This, my young granddaughter finds highly amusing. “Grammy, this is not how you’re supposed to feed dogs,” she says as she scoops another tiny bite of soft dog food for him to lick out of his spoon.

The fun news is that even with everything going on in my ‘other’ life, my book, Second Chance Dad, hit the shelves this month. That’s kicked off a speaking engagement, numerous blogs, two book signings, and a mini-conference. As fun as all that is though, it has consumed every last minute of spare time.

Oh, and don't forget daylight savings time that stole one of the few hours I have to sleep. Talk about bad timing.

But as I stress over all the things in my life, I am so thankfull. Watching the news and reading the stories about Japan, I send up a prayer for those poor people and count my blessings every one.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Perfect Deadline Storm

On any given day, this is the scene I face while attempting to write!!

Oh my!! The holiday season has had nothing on my crazy winter, only instead of being consumed with baking cookies and shopping, I've had blizzards and bronchitus and kid drama and a concussion and kid drama and more bronchitus and you guessed it--kid drama!! Argh!! LOL!!

In the midst of all of this, I've been chipping away at the fourth book of my Buckhorn Ranch series and Natalie and Wyatt's story is due today!! Double Argh!! The more books I write, the more I've come to realize that for me, anyway, my creativity is linked to so much more than I'd like it to be. I've read many articles written by those elusive New York Times Bestselling Author creatures and most all of them say their writing life is kept quite seperate from their personal life. That's great in theory, but how does one make such a thing work?

Casa Altom is modern and open--meaning the only doors are on bedrooms and baths. There's no such thing as finding a nice, quiet place to call my own. But I thought all of your kids left for college, you ask? Why yes, they supposedly did. But they discovered dorm food isn't all they'd dreamt it would be, so they're in and out at random times to feed. Then, they plop down on the sofa and turn on a show I undoubtedly would love to watch. Or, they wax on about whatever love or school issues they have going on.

If the kids are gone, Hubby strolls in. He might have his guitar. Or a fun work story. Or commentary about the weather, or how much we need to go to the gym, or what sounds good for dinner.

Lord knows, I adore my family!! They are my world. But I also have this writing world going on that seriously interferes with their need to access Mom.

What's the moral of all of this? Nothing, really, other than the realization that unless I move to a deserted island, I may not ever be able to seperate my personal and professional lives. But then again, would I really want to?

Japan's tragedy has reminded me how blessed I am to even have so many petty issues to whine about. So at the moment, I might not be a NYT besetselling author, but I am a happy, loved author, and for today that's exactly what I need!!