Each year the Texas State Railroad located outside Rusk, Texas thrills children of all ages with an Easter train ride to a sunny meadow where young ones can hunt Easter eggs, hitch a hay ride, enjoy a bounce house, play games and have lunch at picnic tables under an open tent. Husband and I joined our youngest son, his wife and three-year-old grandson on such a train ride last weekend. We noticed many grandparents joined mothers, fathers and grandchildren. Paper Easter eggs hung from the railway car roof and fun stickers decorated the windows. A slow train ride to a green meadow allowed young and old to enjoy the vintage way of traveling.

Pulling our cars was Engine Number 7, the second oldest diesel locomotive built in 1947 operated on the Texas State Railroad. The railroad has two diesels and a number of antique steam engines. Nothing thrills travelers more than the gigantic puffs of steam coming out of a locomotive. The Texas prison system built the railway lines. Train events include a Sunday Fun Day Family Matinee, the Easter Egg Express, the Piney Woods Train Excursion, the Maydelle Turntable School Runs and a Moonlight Special Dinner Train. Husband and I enjoyed the Piney Woods Excursion several years ago. An air-conditioned car is available. We enjoyed the open window car on this Easter trip.

Have questions? The reservations department is available by phone 877-726-7245 Monday through Friday 7am to 5pm CST. They’re also available by email at customerservice@premierrails.com. Response time is typically 2-3 business days when contacting by email.


Return with Honor


May I proudly present Return with Honor by Jane Carver, now on Amazon Kindle. Published by Melange-books.com, this contemporary romance/murder-mystery has a yummy cover and intriguing introduction.


Marine Sergeant and Cherokee Native American Jud Longtree returns to his small hometown as a favor to his mom, but old troubles pop up immediately. “That Injun Jud Longtree” is a grown man now, more than capable of handling himself. But the minute he shows up in Bleaker, murder and mayhem do as well.

Lottie Amberville, the high school counselor, takes an instant dislike to Jud. She knows his story—but it’s the public one. Is any of that story true?

Police Chief Theo Vance sees only trouble when Jud shows up. While Jud’s moved on, the Chief hasn’t. His memory is long and not willing to change.

High school principal Matthew Jetter, Jud Longtree’s mentor and savior, is the key to the mystery. Unfortunately, he was murdered.

Jud is attracted to Lottie, and they team up, along with Lottie’s friend, Ashley Johnson and her son, Cooper, to solve not one murder but three.


Click below for your Amazon Kindle download—at $2.99 for the next two weeks.

Hurry before the price goes up!


** Look for it later this week at Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Kobo

Starting anew


2016 passed in a blur…no reason why that I can think of. Just happened.

2017, however, started with a bang. The inauguration of a man I didn’t vote for nor like. Never did from way back. Distasteful person. The idea for personal well-being these days is to avoid negative people and surround yourself with positive people. I mean, who wants to be stuck with someone who acts like a seventh grader most of the time, if not a verbally obnoxious two-year old. That would be our current president. An embarrassment as far as I’m concerned. That’s going to prompt some replies, I’m sure. Not that it’s changing my opinion of a negative president in office.

Be that as it may, I’m writing and quilting and enjoying life while trying to figure out where my America is in the world these days. Personally life is pretty good. Citizen of America-wise, not so much.

So I’m starting up my blog again and hoping to be positive while hoping my America returns to calm rather than chaos.

Valentine Day already and this is my first blog entry for 2016. Oh dear, I am behind my time, as Bob Cratchet said to Scrooge in The Christmas Carol. In other words, while I’ve worked on special quilts that will go as gifts and done the first edit on the novel I wrote last fall, my blog got pushed aside. A blog, I read recently, should be about what you enjoy. Well, there you have it—I enjoy quilting, reading, and writing. I love being with my family, the sons, daughter in laws and grandsons. We’ve all made plans to go somewhere this year. Maybe not together but then there’s always that chance we meet up somewhere some time. What I don’t enjoy right now is the pounding, bumping and thumping of roofers over my head. Hail storm/new roof. New roof is great! We’ve needed one; the process of getting one is a noisy one, I’ve discovered. Still, give it another day and peace and quiet will return to my realm. The only resolution for this year? Why–it should be obvious! Get my blog written each week LOL


blog.routine.Starting November first, 2015 my routine, such as it is, went out the window. First the writing project followed quickly by various holiday affairs. Even the week after Christmas involved putting away, cleaning up and generally closing out the old year. Now that 2016 is here, I will be more mindful of my time, health and finances. I shall be richer by living poor, as I heard last week. I shall be more aware that what I eat influences how long I live to enjoy my family. I shall return to mornings filled with active projects like dishes, laundry, some art and sewing quilt blocks. Afternoons will be my time to write and edit—both my writing and those of others (I do professional edits). I like to think I never lost my routine so much as ‘paused’ it for a few months. Time to hit ‘play’ and get back into doing what I enjoy, day by day.

As the End Nears

blog.tough times

2015 has had its moments, to be sure. Laughter, good times, fun. But this has been a tough year in some respects among family and close friends. Loss of loved ones, even loss of pets. Large loans when the entire AC/heat unit went out this past spring. The messy replacement of a septic pump this winter. Yuck! Our university football team showed up for semi-round playoffs for the National title this past weekend and forgot to bring their football mentality!

Illness, frailty, watching days turn into weeks, months and years and sometimes getting depressed by the whole thing.

Still my immediate family is well and safe.  Heck, I even thought I suffered a heart attack last May! Turns out I’m as healthy as a horse—thank God. After all the tests run on me I know I’m good for another fifty thousand miles or so. I’m getting older, move less gracefully and a little slower, experience a few more aches and pains and still suffer foot-in-mouth on occasion (I doubt I’ll ever outgrow that, dang it). Winter such as it is around here has yet to put in an appearance. I suppose winter is coming in 2016.

My five online buddies are scattered to the four winds, going through their own ups and downs this year.A light shines now and then–in this case, the birth of a dear sister-friend’s latest grandchild—a beautiful boy. As we near the end of this particular week, let us be aware that another beautiful baby boy was born two thousand plus years ago. He gave us hope that things will turn out somehow.

Celebrate the end of the year—no matter how tough it’s been—with an eye toward the future, just around the corner. And we call that future 2016.

Homecoming Humor

One thing I enjoy doing each fall is attending the Homecoming game at our university. Husband and I earned Bachelor and Master’s degrees there; we’re invested in the institution and love the town. Thanks to a strong weather front from the north pulling rain in from the Gulf of Mexico and the remnants of Pacific Hurricane Patricia coming up from Mexico, Saturday was a wash out from the word go.

We stayed home and Husband listened to the game on the radio station. The announcers Cooter and Leroy are a hoot, entertaining as well as being knowledgeable sports announcers. Our team won but under stressful weather conditions of heavy swirling rain and strong winds. To us, the highlight was the win but the humorous comments added a spice of fun.

“The rain hasn’t abated all evening,” remarked one man in wonder.

“Yeah, and it hasn’t stopped raining either!” was the other’s innocent-sounding reply.

I mean, seriously, how can you NOT enjoy Homecoming with humor like that!