2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Civil Unrest

    If you follow my blogs you know they’re normally light.  I talk about the current book I’m promoting or the flowers blooming in my garden.  But today, I had to say something serious.

I lived through the race riots of the 1960’s. I was young and idealistic.  I saw the plight of people who had been held down for so long and I wanted to help.  I’m not as young or as liberal as I once was.  I’ve worked hard and raised kids  and sometimes I think I’ve become less kind.  Life will do that to you. But the race riots all over our country again are killing me – bringing back some old feelings.  We, as Americans, have already fought this war once with the Civil Rights Movement. We don’t need to do it again.

I don’t know the full story of what happened to George Floyd.  There are a lot of stories floating around out there. But I know one thing, the man who knelt on his neck had been up on charges of abuse 19 times before (That number comes from a story I read.  I can’t confirm it).  He should have been tossed off the force at least 19 times and he wasn’t.  He was out on the streets in a position of power and he didn’t need that power.  There was one story about the fact that Mr. Floyd and Officer Chauvin had a history – they’d worked security together in a bar.  That would add more depth to what happened. But I do know that the officer who knelt on Floyd has been arrested, as he should be. There will be trial and he is innocent until proven guilty.

I don’t know if Mr. Floyd resisted arrest.  But let’s pretend he was pink with purple spots and tried to kill everyone around him.  Whatever he did he didn’t deserve to die like that.  And what of the other police and onlookers with cameras.  Why did they not stop it?  One cop, no matter how big and armed, could have been overcome by that many people. George Floyd didn’t have to die that way. And now, people are angry. They should be.

Our constitution gives us the right of peaceful assembly.  The main word there being peaceful.  The riots that are taking place all over the country are far from peaceful.  People want to be heard.  But burning property of hardworking people who had nothing to do with this tragedy is not the way to do things.  I saw pictures of Minneapolis and protests led by the Amish community there.  Peaceful but dramatic.  When was the last time you saw a protest placard in the hands of an Amish woman in a long gray dress? The people have had enough.

It is time the US government, and local police, take a look at how this type of tragedy is being handled.  The last thing this country needs is another civil war and we are on the brink of one – with a pandemic in the background. We’re better than this.

We may need a little Desiderata, the poem by Max Urhmann, read here by Lorene Greene. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=desiderata+poem&docid=608015748047307066&mid=ABA8B0B5EBD3F6DC7396ABA8B0B5EBD3F6DC7396&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

Be kind.

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Use the Fancy Doilies

    I’m sure the rest of the world is having as much trouble staying home and doing nothing as I am.  But this is getting ridiculous!  It’s not as if I am doing without, we have food to eat and a nice home to live in, but I really want to travel.  And I can’t at this time.

Cousins from Texas spent some time with us this weekend.  We cooked a steak out and drank some wine.  When the flies attacked we had to pull out the fancy doilies. I don’t know what I was saving them for.  You should use the nice things in life you have instead of saving them for a time that might never come.  I received these doilies as a gift on our trip to Africa and they’ve stayed hidden in the antique buffet in the kitchen.  I might never have used them if we hadn’t been forced by a Pandemic to stay home.

This weekend we visited and caught up with each other’s lives.  Camaraderie is the most important thing.  We’d love to travel and see the world, but maybe we’ve already seen all we will get a chance at.  Or maybe there is still more to come.

I have a friend who retired and almost never leaves home.  She’s content.  I’m not.  I want to have life experiences.  But if the experience is just spending time with friends and family, that is what we’ll do.  We can’t travel together, but we can get together.

For now, I will clean, stay healthy, and make plans for a time when the world is back to normal – whatever that turns out to be.  The wanderlust in me will have to wait.

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Witches’ Cliff novella

    Last year when The Wild Rose Press called for submissions for novellas based on a fictional Vermont Inn, the noise of mad scribbling and typing could be heard around the globe.  Not all of The Wild Rose Press authors live in the United States.  The story would be built around a quaint Vermont Inn nestled in a tiny town with lots of eclectic characters.

The novellas were to be based on holidays spent at the Inn and I chose Halloween.  I write some fantasy as well as suspense and children’s books, but the idea of Penny Winters, a modern-day witch, came to mind and I was hooked.

Penny Winters flees to her birthplace in Vermont to consider the marriage proposal she left behind in Salem. Complicating her already difficult decision, she is smitten when she encounters handyman Liam on the porch of the quaint Deerbourne Inn.

A modern-day wiccan, Penny intends to contact her distant great-grandmother, who died on the cliffs when Willow Springs held witch trials. Penny needs advice, and the best time to connect to her ancestors is on Halloween. But she is not the only witch in Willow Springs, and they both have their eye on the same man. And who is the old woman who keeps appearing, telling her to go home?

Penny comes to the cliff to seek Grandma’s advice. But Halloween is an important holiday for a witch, and she is not alone on the cliffs that night. Penny will have to battle not only for Liam’s attention, but for her life.

Witches’ Cliff became a finalist in the International Digital Awards through the Oklahoma chapter of the Romance Writers’ of America.  It was fun collaborating with all the other authors.  The novellas were to be e-published only and can be purchased electronically on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Witches-Cliff-Deerbourne-Peggy-Chambers-ebook/dp/B07PNK8QMT/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=witches%27+cliff+peggy+chambers&qid=1589753515&sr=8-1 for only $1.99.  Or if you really need to feel the paper, The Wild Rose Press has printed them for only $10.99 and you can purchase them on their website at https://www.thewildrosepress.com/product/witches-cliff

Pick up a copy for a quick read and check out all the Deerbourne Inn books.  Leave us a review.  Authors love reviews.

What are you reading lately?

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Experiencing Mother’s Day

    It’s Mother’s Day and today we celebrate mothers everywhere and their contribution to the world. I looked for a picture of my mother in the stacks that desperately needed attention and came up with this one.  She was young, maybe unmarried, I don’t have a date on it.  She married Dad right after WWII and they had my oldest sister a few years later. Eventually they had 3 daughters. I resisted using the one of her in a bathing suit.  She might have come up from the grave to chase me with a stick!  She was a piece of work.

    The second picture is my daughter who is now a mother too.  This adorable photo was taken when she was about two years old.  She has been my lifelong friend as well as my daughter. I had her with I was barely 20 and I had to practice motherhood on her.  But when her brother came along was when I really became a mother.  Women with one child are mothers, but women with multiple children should be canonized before death.  I have a niece with 8, my grandmother also had 8, and I have a friend who raised 5 on her own.  I only thought I was stressed.  Stressed, but blessed.  I couldn’t have survived without them.

This morning, I received this handmade pottery for Mother’s Day.  The Lotus Potter in the Oklahoma City area (www.thelotuspotter.com ) makes beautiful pottery and she even threw in a necklace to go with the bowl and tumbler.  Check her out!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there and to the people who made them mothers!


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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Stone of Thor Wins!

    Last week in my blog I talked about the Heavener Runestone https://heavenerrunestonepark.com/ and my two Glomes’ Valley books.  It is obvious that I love the forest near the runestone and the lore that accompanies it. I keep contemplating a third book.  The idea of the legend of Vikings in Oklahoma is just too appealing to let go.

Instead, I wrote a short story using the characters from the Glome books ((https://tinyurl.com/ycxychjm Glome’s Valley, http://tinyurl.com/ybdsqr6w  Return to Glome’s Valley), titled Stone of Thor.  If you’ve read the other books you will know that Glome gives Ethan a stone with the Viking emblem for Thor carved into it.  It is magic and with it, Thor can be summoned when he is needed.  He has a stepbrother, Loki, who is always up to no good. The stone is put to good use in both books.  In Stone of Thor, the rock once more becomes the focal point of the story.

I wrote the story for Okie Comics https://okiecomics.com/ and its publisher, Jeff Provine.  With his help, and that of R.A. Jones, comic script writer,  I wrote my first  comic script based on that story.  It is now in the hands of Mike Kennedy, artist extraordinaire, and I hope to see it come to life soon.

Then last night at the online OWFI Awards  Stone of Thor took second place in the Young Adult Short Story category!  I couldn’t be prouder of a story that keeps evolving and growing.

Yes, I adore the lore of Vikings in Oklahoma and I love to write about it.  Norse Mythology has always been a love of mine and to be able to take those stories and incorporate them into something modern, set in Oklahoma, is a privilege.

Thank you, OWFI for the contest, and thank you Heavener Runestone Park for putting up with me and my stories all these years.  Thank you Jeff Provine for helping me develop the story and for R.A. Jones for his example of comic scripts.  I’ve seen samples of Mike Kennedy’s art and it is fantastic.  Glome and the characters are coming to life in southeastern Oklahoma.

Glome lives!

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Heavener Runestone

  The Heavener Runestone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_runestones in southeastern Oklahoma is an anomaly. A sandstone monolith, it stands at the bottom of a valley with carving that some say is as ancient as the Vikings who could have arrived on this continent before Columbus. Others disagree. But it is interesting and the forests around it beautiful.

Gloria Farley wrote a book about the Heavener Runestone, and others in North America, touting the possibility that Columbus wasn’t the first white European to visit the new world. In her book In Plain Sight (https://www.amazon.com/Plain-Sight-Records-Ancient-America/dp/1880820080/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=in+plain+sight+gloria+farley&qid=1587913269&sr=8-1) she describes the Heavener Runestone as well as others and gives her opinion as to where they came from.

Standing stones occur all over the world. The most famous are the stones at Stonehenge in England but they’re placed all over Europe. There are even stone statues on Easter Island which sits 2300 miles off the coast of Chili. Who knows how they got there and how they were lifted into a vertical position. But they were.

The Heavener Runestone Park https://heavenerrunestonepark.com/ was originally a state park and funded by the State of Oklahoma. During cutbacks it became the property of the city of Heavener. The city struggles to keep the park open and have festivals several times a year to help fund the stone. It is now encased in a glass and wood structure enabling you to see but not touch and preserve a part of the history of this region.

When I first visited this park, I fell in love with the lore and decided to write a book about it. That book became two and I have visions of a third. There is a certain magic about the woods and there is a feeling of all things Viking. The Glome’s Valley series (https://tinyurl.com/ycxychjm Glome’s Valley, http://tinyurl.com/ybdsqr6w  Return to Glome’s Valley) was born in this valley and I’m sure you would enjoy them and so would your kids. They are written as young adult novels.

You should check out the park. It is still open even during the pandemic though there are some restrictions about camping. It is a family friendly place and hiking and sightseeing are everywhere. You can drive or climb to the top of Poteau Mountain and look across the landscape and you can still see the stone.

Go see it and let me know if you think Vikings were once in Oklahoma. And if you go, let me know what “Glome’s Valley” means.

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences: Frontline Workers

    My sister is an inspiration.  I didn’t get permission to talk about this and I may now be off her Christmas list (assuming she reads my blog), but she’s a bad ass.  With the pandemic she is going to  work at Walmart everyday and stocking shelves, selling fabric and crafts to people stuck in the house – and she’s not alone.  The people who work in retail are there every day to take care of us.  They sling boxes and stock shelves so we can rush out the door with our treasures.  On top of that she’s had two back surgeries in the last year and I know standing on her feet is harder than it is for most.  But she’s not old enough for retirement yet and needs the income and insurance. I also know she has good friends there and she feels a loyalty to them, her employer, and the customers she serves.

She’s an inspiration, but like I said, she’s not alone.  I have had more than one little melt down since I got stuck at home. But let’s face it, I got to stay home, while my meager check came in, work on a novel, and cooked dinner. I’ve cleaned things that weren’t dirty for something to do.  But I didn’t have to go into work, check my temperature, wear a mask and gloves, and stand on my feet all day.

Please let me say, I have healthcare workers on a pedestal higher than anyone.  They face life and death everyday and then come home, hoping not to give the virus to their families.  It’s not the same as keeping stock on the shelves.  I am in awe of these people.  We can’t do enough for them and their families.

But it is always the case, we find out what we’re made of when the chips are down.  There’s been some beautiful artwork produced while artists are stuck inside.  I’ve seen more than one of  a nurse in scrubs confronting a huge Coronavirus molecule.  It was so fitting.  Humans are resilient.  That is why we’ve lasted so long.  When times are tough, we become tougher.  We have to if we are to survive – and I believe we will survive.  And maybe learn something. Mankind has always fought viruses.  The common cold is a virus and we’ve never been able to eradicate it.  Maybe this new virus will give scientists what they need to help get rid of viruses forever.  And then maybe Mother Nature will just come up with something worse.

But I know we’ll survive, and my hat is off to the workers on the frontlines.

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2020: More Experiences, Fewer Possessions – Walmart Has Toilet Paper!

    Back in January, I came up with the subject of More Experiences and Fewer Possessions.  I had no idea what would happen to our world. I envisioned cleaning out the closets and taking trips to places I’d never been.

Well, here we are – someplace we’ve never been.  In my lifetime, and many others, we’ve never experienced a pandemic.  We’ve never been stuck at home, washing groceries and wearing masks.

Since it is spring and the weather has been good (next week excepted), we’ve been taking the dog for a walk during the day. Such is the life of a retiree or a lot of people stuck at home.  But the world has changed.

Walking around the neighborhood where we’ve lived for almost 24 years, we traveled our normal route.  A pickup pulled into a drive and a couple got out.  We’ve waived to them before, never knowing their names, but the woman climbed out and held up her bag of treasures. “Walmart has toilet paper!” she exclaimed.  We talked to these almost-strangers from a safe distance for a few minutes and I thought about how we’ve lived less than a mile apart in a residential neighborhood and never knew each other.

Around the corner and nearing home, there was a young family in their yard.  I know they are new to the neighborhood.  The boy and mother played basketball on the driveway while the father sat in a lawn chair and the girl wrestled with two small dogs.  Of course, her dogs wanted to meet our dog and away they ran. “No, Yoda! Get back here, Chewie!” Dogs don’t care about social distancing. After they nosed for a minute, we resumed our walk while the neighbors corralled their dogs and they told us to have a good day. New neighbors we might not have met otherwise.

More people are out walking, riding bikes and working on manicured lawns.  I’ve been setting a goal to clean something everyday (something that doesn’t get cleaned very often).  I planted some kale my sister-in-law gave me and cleaned out the flowerbed from last year.  I have three petunias that didn’t die over the winter.  I may transplant them into pots.  There is Moss Rose coming up in another pot from the previous year.  Since going to a greenhouse doesn’t seem essential to me, I’ll make do with what I have.

I may not take the trips I had planned for my retirement years.  I may be forced to stay home. But I will still have some new experiences.  Getting to know neighbors and regreening my yard.  Any way you look at it, I will survive!

While you’re stuck at home, read a book, or write a book.  Enjoy your own patio and try to not get down about this mess.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: More Experiences, Fewer Possessions: Help After the Coronavirus

    It’s Sunday and I need to think of a blog to write about.  I like to think someone reads these and I know they do because I get a comment now and then. So, with that said, I need a good topic.  My husband said, “write about the Coronavirus like everyone else.” Sigh.  We’re all sick of it.  Some of us are sick – hopefully not you.

My publisher said this week authors have a responsibility to write about this time in history, because after all it is an historical event.  She said at least keep a journal.  I thought about it.  I have unused journals around the house.  I might even be able to find them, if I looked.  I wondered what kind of legacy I could leave for my great-grandchildren to read about what I did during the Coronavirus Pandemic.  I stayed in.  I went only to the grocery store and an occasional drive around town, not getting out of the car.  I cooked. I cleaned. I wrote – working on my latest novel. But what did I do for humanity in this time of crisis?  Governor Stitt of Oklahoma announced a volunteer initiative Ready. Help. Go. https://www.fox23.com/news/local/governor-stitt-announces-ready-help-go-volunteer-readiness-program/MVLJSBBYDBBG5BF24VAGFAYYDU/  It takes place after the virus is over to help rebuild and whatever is needed. My husband and I talked about it.  Being retired I don’t now if we could qualify for anything, but it is something to look into.  I’d like to think I tried to help my fellowman in time of need.  After all, I believe that’s why we were all put on this earth.

It’s also Palm Sunday, the beginning of the holiest week in the Christian faith.  And Easter this year will be different.  Sunday services will be online, and the Easter Bunny may wear a surgical mask when he delivers.  But we’ll still get through it, we have to.

Veg out in front of the television, talk to your family and try to enjoy them, even if quarters are close.  Think of the alternative if they weren’t there.  Read a book. My Glome’s Valley books are still $.99 on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Chambers/e/B0069EINPK?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1586097766&sr=8-2 or the Australia Burns series, which proceeds go to the Australian Red Cross for wildfire relief, are available to read.

What have you done that could make a difference during this time? Keep looking to the future.

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2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences-Window Washing in the Time of Coronavirus

    I know all of you are as sick of the pandemic as I am.  I’m tired of being inside and I’m sick of cooking most of our meals.  I need a Mexican restaurant!  But, I’m happy to say I’m healthy.

But instead of crying, I decided to do some more cleaning today.  I have a large picture window in the dinning room.  Actually, it is three windows that open with screens and I decided some spring cleaning was in order.

Since paper towels and some cleaning supplies are in short supply, I tired what my grandmother would have done.  She was a tough little lady who raised 8 kids in backwoods Arkansas during the depression.  She knew how to make-do with what she had. We could all take a lesson there.  I was certain I had a recipe for window cleaner. When I found it, I realized I didn’t have ammonia.  So, I looked online for another and this one used vinegar.

Window Cleaner

1 tsp baking soda

1 oz. ammonia

1 oz. liquid detergent

Mix together with a gallon of water.


2 Cups of water

¼ to ½ cup of vinegar depending upon how dirty the windows are (mine were grimy)

½ tsp liquid dishwashing detergent.   

I opted for the recipe with vinegar and tried using old newspapers to clean with.  I’d heard of people doing this, but I wondered if it would leave black ink on the glass.  It didn’t and the cleaner and newspapers did a great job!

After I cleaned up the  windows inside and out (and the swag that hung over it) I put everything back together and marked my spray bottle of cleaner.  There was still some left for when I get ambitious again.

When I put up the cleaner, I found I did have ammonia shoved to the back of the cabinet.  I’ll try that recipe next time.

I had to get away from the work I’m doing on my latest novel and I had to get out of the house.  It was windy but warm and the physical exercise felt good.

So, what are you reading this week (or writing or cleaning)?

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