A wonderful weekend

Rhonda and I celebrated our nineteenth anniversary this past weekend, and did so with a very memorable trip. We spent Friday and Saturday at Embassy Suites in  Lexington, Kentucky at a Conference. I was able to promote my best-selling book there and made contact with a gentleman whom I knew previously who has a family member who is a writer and may be publishing with me. This place was beautiful and gracious and we attended a lavish banquet on Friday night.

Saturday afternoon we drove down to Renfro Valley, home of the famous Barn Dance and Country Music Show which has been broadcast throughout the past several decades. There we spent the night at the Heritage Inn and Suites where the Country music stars stay. The wall of the office is jammed with framed and signed photos of dozens of them including Loretta Lynn, John Conlee, Jo Dee Messina  and lots more. This year they will be hosting such favorites as Ronny Millsap, Aaron Tippin and Lee Greenwood.

In March I will be doing an update of the paperback version of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions in which Renfro Valley will be mentioned.


Today’s hectic pace

In the ‘good ole days’ everything seemed to move at a much more relaxed pace. Not as many people around me were stressed by deadlines or anxious about shedules.

As a youth I was fortunate that we even had a television in our home. The worst problems in the schools were chewing gum and throwing ‘spit balls.’

As a young man, though I was task-oriented and strived to reach my goals, there was no email to check, no texts to send and no need for the latest electronic device. 

I don’t want to return to ‘the thrilling days of yesteryear,’ to quote the announcer’s booming voice on one of my favorite childhood shows, “The Lone Ranger,’ but I sometimes lament the changes which have made us more tense.

I am having a very busy week, accomplishing goals with the business and meeting with authors by appointment on two days, then leaving for a few days in Kentucky for a conference and the poetry reading next Monday by my friend, Lee Pennington. 

Here’s hoping you all have a pleasurable week. Just download one of our books, perhaps my new one, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, to your Kindle, and relax. It will make you think and at times, smile. ‘Life is what you make it’–Where did this originate? See the book!

Home is where the heart is

Rhonda and I had a delightful stay at the Cabin on the Pond. We were in a different cabin–one right on the water complete with fishing poles (which we chose not to use) lots of friendly catfish which jumped up to devour the food we tossed in for them, and a calico cat, as hungry for attention as eats. And it didn’t rain at all like it usually does when we go. We took lots of pictures and left a bit reluctantly heading home. Rhonda named the cat Cali. The guest book told the various names other folk had dubbed her.

But while we were there, it was as much home as here. We took a Scrabble game, books (can’t forget them, can we) and movies. One lesson I have learned in life is the fact that ‘home is where the heart is’ is more than an old saying. If we accept where we are (even when it is not so pleasant, which I have done at times) as our station in life for the time, we can be content. Now that we are back in our own bed and in front of our computers at times, there is a certain amount of gladness just to be here, because our hearts are in everything we do.

Getting ready for R&R

Today has been spent putting finishing touches on the Prince Henry children’s book–something still not yet completed, and cover changes for Tom Sawyer. A Man for the Ages has now been approved for release, and will be on Amazon within a week. It has been a day well-invested. I enjoy when I near the conclusion of a day looking back and feeling a sense of accomplishment, having traded a day of my life for those tasks.

In the morning Rhonda and I will be leaving for our get away at Muddy Pond. Time always well spent because we come back ready to get at it again. Muddy Pond is a MInnonite community high atop the Cumberland Plateau toward the Kentucky line which is an escape from the business of life as we know it in the twenty-first century. We love the log cabin on the pond which has no cell phone or television reception. It is like going back in time where we can really carry on conversations and play scrabble. Both are relaxing. Muddy Pond, here we come!


In the early, early morning

I have for the most part been a morning person all my life. Being brought up on a farm where chores began at the crack of dawn gave me the notion that Ben Franklin was right: ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’

Well, I know now that this is not necessarily true. Some people just aren’t ‘morning persons’ and getting up early won’t really make you any of those things. In order to be healthy a person has to apply common-sense rules of diet, exercise and avoid smoking and excessive drinking, not to mention ingesting drugs that are not prescribed by a physician for that person.

But one bit of good has come from my rising early. Once I’ve downed a couple of cups of steaming hot java I can relax and concentrate on the important activities of that day. Also when I was a young man I wrote songs, mostly for my own pleasure, and played rhythm guitar and what I felt was a mean harmonica. One ditty I composed was called In the Early Early Morning. It dredged up incidents in history which happened at daybreak and sang the virtues and advantages of being a morning person.

I appreciate the fact that lots of folks who aren’t like me are just as productive. But being a morning person has usually given me that serine gap of time when I could be alone with my thoughts. Have a great morning!


Summer solstice

Today is the longest day of 2012–a year proclaimed by many to be a global game-changer. In olden days ancient tribes would meet on both winter and summer solstice for religious ceremonies. The summer solstice was to celebrate the positive energies associated with the blossoming of spring into summer. Some today still participate in these celebrations.

Regardless of this, summer brings hot temperatures and vacations in which we can enjoy the beauty of nature. When you have opportunity, drink in the values that reading a great book or e-book can bring this summer. St. Clair Publications is about to crank up a new program by which we will have available a number of e-books which may be enjoyed on a variety of electronic devices at one reasonable cost. More on this later. In the meantime, have a wonderful summer!

Plenty of rest

Studies show that most of us today don’t get nearly enough sleep. We need eight hours a night and most get six or less. This happened to me for years, but I’m resting better nowadays.

The reason many fail to rest is that we are overworked and overstressed.  The struggling economy in The US, the UK and Europe has us edgy and antsy. Obviously we need to relax–easier said than done, right? One factor that will help is positive thoughts and faith. Faith in our God, our families and ourselves. Another factor is doing something relaxing immediately before retiring at night. Watching Friday the Thirteenth or Nightmare on Elm Street is probably out. One activity which works well is reading a positive or humorous book. We have plenty of them on http://stclairpublications.com .Check out the inspirational authors or those with stimulating novels. Click on each author and read about their work. When you have your selection just try getting engrossed in it at night. The idea first came to me from my mother many years ago…it still works today.