Turquoise Frame
Turquoise Frame
Turquoise Frame

Hallmark Mystery Rewritten

I’m on the couch with my popcorn and sweet tea, ready for an evening of tv watching. Eyes glued to the set as the eerie music plays during the show’s intro. This mystery feature film opens with the heroine in dire straits — she’s staring down the barrel of her would-be assailant’s gun. She’s trapped — the only way out is to jump from the nearby 20th floor window to the pavement below or face the killer and their weapon. Suddenly, the star manages to pick up a huge 50-pound wooden beam with one arm and knock the bad guy silly. Then she narrowly escapes down a back stairwell just as the police are pulling up to the scene, after they were tipped off by an anonymous caller.

The heroine then joins her friends who are having dinner at a nearby 4-star restaurant. When someone asks why she’s late, she merely shrugs it off and mumbles something about a delayed hair appointment. Oh, and her makeup and hair still look perfect after the fight and escape, half running half tumbling down all those stairs.

I know these mystery shows are nothing like real life, but I love a good whodunit. They grab me by the neck and pull me into the story — then I have to figure out who the killer is, why they did it and all that goes with a late-night mystery. I’m still bummed that Hallmark took “Garage Sale Mysteries” off the air. I know… Lori Laughlin messed up and all, but there are enough actors out there to keep the show going for a long long time. Heck, they use the same people in almost every other show on the network.

Alright, I’ll do it. I’ll star in the remake of “Garage Sale Mysteries”. Do I get to pick out my co-star husband?!

If Hallmark ever decides to cast me for the lead in a mystery show, I also get to write the script. The story would happen somewhere in the South, in the country, maybe in a barn and my friends would be eating at Cracker Barrel. It would be called something like “Yard Sale Mysteries”. The plot, if based on the goings on in my neck of the woods, could involve an ostrich, a naked man and a guy who has his dogs guarding his marijuana garden. The storyline would be so much more interesting than the made-up same old same old that Hallmark produces. Sorry Hallmark guys, but you could use a few new ideas. I’m glad to share mine.

The lead character wouldn’t be all dressed up in fancy high heels and spaghetti straps. She would wear jeans, boots and a baseball cap that says “dog mom” on it. I would definitely add more humor into the dialogue – it would go a little something like this as the characters gathered at the funeral home to mourn the killer’s victim:

Mourner #1 – “Did you see how they had Mrs. Pertneer fixed up. She looked so good, just like she could speak.”

Mourner #2 – “Yes, honey. Did you hear what’s going to happen to her dish collection? They’re putting it all right in the Goodwill.”

Mourner #1 – “Oh, I didn’t know that. Did they say which day they’re taking it over there? I’ve been needin’ a new gravy boat.”

We also have to do something about those immaculate houses the characters on the shows live in. They’re beautiful, but how do you explain someone living on a librarian’s salary living in a house that looks like it came from the pages of Southern Living magazine? The star of my show would live in an apartment somewhere over a store front. Or, better yet, let’s have her live in a doublewide on her momma and daddy’s land. There’s a little dirt road leading up to it. Also, this scenario would make it easier for them to find clues when someone tries to break into the heroine’s house after she “accidentally” mentions in a crowded room that she found a notebook containing letters from the dear departed, possibly calling from the grave, that identify the guilty party. The killer is always lurking around close by, so they hear the whole thing and then try to retrieve the notebook and try to kill the heroine because she knows too much.

The boyfriend, who always shows up just as the killer is about to do the main character in, would have to be a guy from the country who left, for a time, to join the military and has now returned to rekindle his love story with our heroine. Instead of throwing books at the murderer or fighting him or her with a fake sword, this guy would be well equipped with a rifle, a side arm and a good hunting knife.

I think I have a winner here. They’d be crazy not to go for it. Anybody who wants to audition for the role of funeral mourner, see me as soon as the show’s over.





Don’t Fence Me In

Don’t Fence Me In

Thank goodness I have plenty of room to roam during all this quarantining that’s going on. I know everyone doesn’t have a farm next door to wander through or neighbors you can sit with in the driveway waiting for sunset so you can take photos. I’m sorry for all of you living in crowded cities who are in that predicament and I’m praying for you.

I’m praying for all of us.

We aren’t used to this. Saturdays are for running the roads and stopping to eat lunch wherever you have a mind to. Weekdays are for being at work with your workmates and meeting in the kitchen for coffee and talking … ahem … discussing important work matters.

Working from home really isn’t so bad. I’ve always wanted to work from my living room office and have my own private bathroom stocked with all my stuff. Another bonus — my dogs are here! Every day is “take your dog to work” day!! Yep, it’s kinda nice. I know I’ll miss this when we return to our offices. Do you think they’ll let me bring my dogs with me? Pets help relieve stress– it’s been proven.

I also miss going to church and seeing all my friends up close and in person. (well, not too close — I was never one for that even before the pandemic hit)

People, we’ve got to figure out a way to get back to semi-normal and still be safe! I need my Hobby Lobby fix!! You can only shop online so much. I like to browse and look at stuff, feel the textures on the fake wood and imagine how I’m going to decorate a room or whatever I’m fixin’ up. I want to wander through the aisles listening to the church music. It’s so relaxing. I could almost lay down in the floor and take a nap right in the middle of the place. Maybe I should take my pillow and blanket next time — I’ll go in when they’re about to close and hide out in the candle aisle. They’ll never know I’m there until the next morning when the opening crew comes in and finds me snoozing away, with a snowman from the Christmas clearance section tucked under my blanket. Don’t worry, I’ll pay for it. I don’t steal from the Lord’s home decor store (or anywhere else, for that matter)!

I know all of this will be over sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’m going to look at all the good going on in my life and enjoy the *pause*.  I am still working everyday, but there’s something to be said for not having to put on makeup and then drive through traffic and redlight cameras to get to work. And gas prices are down!! Though I’m not really using much gas right now. But that’s another point to ponder.

The key is – Count your blessings. Help your neighbor whenever you can. Be kind.  And know that you’re going to have to wait a few minutes outside in line at the Mexican restaurant when you go pick up your order of burritos with extra salsa.

When all this is close to being over, you just might find me by the door at Hobby Lobby waiting patiently for them to open back up. I might spend my whole vacation week in there. Don’t judge.


The Daze After Christmas

The Daze After Christmas

It’s the daze after Christmas and all through the house… someone or something is always stirring, it could be a mouse.

But not likely because the barn cats have given them chase, keeping them away from our dwelling place.

I don’t wear a kerchief and the Doublewide husband doesn’t wear a cap to sleep. The dogs were all settled, with nary a peep.

Until we hear gunshots — don’t they know it’s the middle of the night! I glance at the clock in case the news reports a body found. I’ll be able to to testify what time I heard the sound.

Then what do I hear, when I’m just about to doze off? A truck running up the road with loud mufflers. I scoff.

The temps have been warm, so no snow to reflect the moon. I glance out the window to see that the cats have gathered for their morning food. Getting ready to serve them breakfast of cat chow and leftovers, I put on my jacket and boots.

Back in the house, I make coffee and sit down. What will I do with my time now that Christmas has left town?

I know what to do! This is the ticket! I’ll go after-Christmas shopping for next year and when I get home I’ll hide it.

In December 2020 when I’m looking for all the good gifts I found for 80% off — after I search through all the closets and shelves and up in the loft …. it will be evident it’s all lost and I’ll have to run out again. On Christmas Eve next year, that’ll be me rummaging through the gift card bin.






The Hebrew Children as Southerners

The Hebrew Children as Southerners

I recently heard a term I never knew existed – Southern Israelite. As you might guess, this created all kinds of interesting images and wonderings in my head (hee hee).

What if the Children of Israel had been Southerners….

I looked up the term “Southern Israelite” and found out it’s some kind of flat earth group. This post, however, is entirely based on my imagination and all it conjured up when I  learned that there was such a thing.

One of my first thoughts – What would a Southern Israelite eat? Unleavened cornbread?

How about the scenario when they were wandering around in the wilderness. They complained about everything, you know.

They weren’t happy with the food God supplied. Can you imagine –  free food falling out of the sky and that bunch complained about it…

“Manna again? Think you could rain down a little barbecue sauce to go with this? Maybe a little Texas Pete, Lord?”

It’s a thousand wonders that God didn’t barbecue THEM!

Then there was Moses having to deal with all that mess of people. I’m sure he got ticked off more than once – “What in tarnation do you think you’re doing?”

“See what you made me do — I’m sa mad I could just hit this rock. If you don’t have any water to drink, don’t come crying to me.”

I can also imagine the convoy they had trailing across the desert.  The wagons and camels decked out in the colors of all their tribes with little flags flapping in the breeze, Dale Earnhardt stickers on the back. I think that’s where trailer parks got started. It may also be where impromptu fiddlin’ jam sessions started — “ya got time to breathe, ya got time for music.” (borrowed from Briscoe Darling, of Andy Griffith fame, but I think he got it from Moses)

And no Southern event is complete without a covered dish dinner, especially a church crowd  — bring on the manna ‘n cheese! Hang out with the Southern crowd and you’ll never go hungry.

One thing about it, Southern Israelites would be an interesting bunch. Living the mobile life presents its challenges, but then, Southerners are known for their creativity. The women surely found a way to survive life on the road. Need your hair did? Just pop into Big Hebrew Hair for the latest style.

In the end, when they reached the Promised Land, I can imagine the Southerners ready to charge ahead and overtake the city, instead of being afraid to follow God’s command like the others were. “Shoot yeah, let’s go!” “Don’t you worry about a thing. We’ll git ‘em!”

I think I’ve gone to church with a few of their descendants.

As the Old Testament reports, the group eventually crossed over into the Promised Land, took the wheels off the trailers and settled in. I’m sure they had a big hoedown with plenty of food and music. Can you imagine all the grills it took to cook up enough hamburgers for that bunch?!







Mules in the Mountains

Mules in the Mountains

I had a lot of neat adventures back in the late 80’s working as a reporter for the Whitley Republican in Williamsburg, Kentucky. There was always something going on in that little mountain town.

Sometimes a little weirdness going on, but interesting nonetheless.

One experience in particular is still dear to my heart – the day we went up into the mountains to do a feature on mules hauling pipeline. My friend and newspaper comrade, Teresa, recently found a copy of that article and sent it to me. Reading it again brought back a lot of memories.

When nothing else works – bring in the mules.

A company working to lay pipeline in the Kentucky mountains were not able to take the big trucks into the area where they needed to go. So the foreman had the bright idea to take mules up there to help do the job. It still kinda fascinates me.

The newspaper photographer, Bill, got wind of the story and off we went to find them. We had to drive a little way up in the mountains. When we got there, we found it just as we’d heard – mules were doing the work where trucks couldn’t. It stands as my favorite experience from my time at the paper. (Well, that and getting free supper every Tuesday night at the Bonanza steakhouse. But that’s another story.)

I interviewed the foreman (and the mules ?), and Bill took lots of photos – it turned out to be a very nice feature spread and we also won photo feature of the year, and feature article of the year from the Kentucky Weekly Newspaper Association. Cool beans.

I moved on from newspaper work, but never forgot my love of writing about everyday life – neat stories about people, places and things.

In the back of my mind, I missed newspaper life and thought that I would like to do that again.  I wanted my own publication, though. Then I heard about the One Christian Voice network of online news sites.

I messaged the editor of Nashville Christian Voice and found out that they were looking for someone to start another site in Tennessee.

Pick me! Pick me!

Long story short – I’m now the editor of my own news site, ETN Christian Voice! I’ve been slow out of the gate, but it’s coming along. I get to choose the stories to feature, I’m writing about the things I love to write about and my dream is happening.

Don’t ever let go of your dreams. They’re there for a reason.

Keep moving forward and do what you know to do. Pray, give your plans and dreams to God and He will take it from there.

Have faith.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,  the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1




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