Monday, December 31, 2007

Ch 2 The Alley Visits

.The Alley Visits

Amanda told Alex about how hard it was for Momma Kitty to find enough food for everyone. Alex asked where she lived. This was a very hard question since Amanda left home early and didn’t keep track of where she was going. Instead of just answering, she started to cry.

“Don’t cry, we’ll find it.”

“You, you’re taking me home?”

She was whimpering because her great adventure was being cut short.

“No, I’m not sending you home. I thought we could go back to get Momma kitty and show her some good places to find food. Then you and I could resume your adventure, if you would permit me to tag along.”

“Oh (sob), ok”

What Amanda didn’t know was that Alex had wanted to strike out on his own but was afraid of going alone. He readily admitted that Amanda was braver than he. But, together they could look out for each other. He went a step further by saying that they would have to look out for each other. He wasn’t going to play the big brother protector because it was obvious that Amanda could look out for herself.


Amanda knew the direction she came from, but that was about it. She and Alex headed that way hoping certain things would look familiar. Alex knew when they were headed correctly because Amanda would smile and point to something she had seen.

I wish momma had come looking for me. It would be so much easier.

Unknown to Amanda, her little sister begged momma to see if she could try to find older sister. She was too young to be on her own. At least that was her youngest one’s opinion. Momma agreed. It shouldn’t be too hard to pick up Amanda’s trail. Each kitty had a scent of their own and momma knew Amanda’s well. They spent a lot of time together foraging. Momma was teaching her kids the art of finding food, starting with the oldest.

“I’ve got a few scraps of food here. This should hold you guys until I return. Big sister couldn’t have gotten too far.”

I hope she didn’t go too far!

“We’re going the right way. I remember that house!”

“How? They all look alike to me.”

“Momma taught me how to recognize things by their smell and that house smells familiar.”

I picked the right partner! No one taught me about smells other than food.

Amanda headed down an alley. It didn’t look familiar, but it smelled right. As she walked over to a garbage can laying on it’s side, a human came out and picked it up. She was trapped!!

Alex had been checking out another garbage can and when he turned around, Amanda was gone! He was about to start yelling when he saw the human. For protection he darted behind some plastic bags. He had heard what humans do with kitties and he wanted nothing to do with them. He hadn’t actually seen any of the horror stories but why take chances?

“Meow! Meow!! (most humans don’t understand kitty language).

“How did you get in there? Here, I’ll let you go. If the boss saw me bring you in I’d be in big trouble. But, before I let you out, let me go get you something to eat. If I let you out first you’ll just run away.”

With that, he put the can down and left. Amanda was scared. What was this human planning on doing? She heard him say something but kitties don’t understand human language either.

What’s going to happen to me? Momma will never find me.”

As Amanda started to cry, the human reached in and picked her up. When he put her down, there was a big pile of cat food!! The human took the can and walked away. She was safe and now had food!! But where was Alex?

“Alex, where are you?”

“I’m here. I thought you were a goner! Wow!! Where did you get all this food?”

“The human gave it to me.”

Both kitties ate as much as they could then carried as much as they could to help them with the rest of their journey. As it turned out, it was a short trip. When Amanda and Alex rounded the corner and headed towards another alley that Amanda said smelled familiar, Alex caught a glimpse of another kitty coming down from the other end.

“Quick Amanda, over here. There’s another kitty coming.”

Amanda’s nose picked up a very familiar scent.

“Momma!!!! You came looking for me!!”

“Momma, I’d like you to meet Alex. He helped me find a lot of food.”

“Pleased to meet you. I can show you where there is a lot of food.”

“Ok, but let’s get Amanda back to her brothers and sisters.”

“Momma, I don’t want to go home. It’s time for me to be out on my own.”

She pleaded with momma and was told that she was right, but first she should go home and explain that she is ok. She let Alex come along. When they got home, all Amanda’s family started asking questions. She assured them that she was ok and introduced Alex to everyone.

After resting for a bit, Momma asked Alex about the food and he said he could take her to the place. From there, Amanda and him would take off on their great adventures.

Next week, Amanda’s adventures start.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Broken Rainbows

Rainbows are, in many ways, special. Your personal rainbow can describe your life. when you are very happy, see the vibrant yellows and pastels? Sadness shows up in the blues. When upset or angry watch the reds sharpen. Your rainbow is the personal aura that surrounds you and is visible to others. Which color do you want them to see?

I have many online friends and I want my vibrant yellows to show through. This is easy since two of my friends, Billie Williams and Marvin Wilson have offered me the pleasure of visiting me on their respective blog tours. Come learn more about Billie's Small Town Secrets on January 7th, and learn more about Owen Fiddler, by Marvin Wilson on January 8th.

Rainbows are fragile, as the following story shows.

Ron

Broken Rainbows

It was a warm, sultry day. I stepped out on the porch to get the mail and it was so muggy I felt like jumping in the shower. It wasn’t real sunny because there were some dark and foreboding clouds on the horizon. I expected rain before long. I decided to get the dishes done and just relax until the storm hit. But what happened next was unprecedented. As I finished washing the bowls I reached over to get the plates to put them in the water when suddenly there was this tremendous THUD out in the street! I ran out to see if anyone was hurt because surely two cars decided to try and occupy the same space at the same time. But what I saw just does not happen all that often.

There was this huge dust cloud trying to settle. I stayed behind the door until it did. And that is when I saw it. There were pieces and shards of rainbows all over the place!! Now you have probably not seen too many rainbows in pieces, but every once in awhile, it happens. Next time you see those big rain clouds, look very closely and you’ll notice that there is a couple of odd shaped ones on the ends. These are the machines that assemble the rainbows. It takes a bit of work so that is why some of the lightening you see looks like it is staying in the clouds. That is the forge heating the special rivets.

But, on rare occasion, a cloud will have all the pieces of the rainbow and all the dust needed for a good storm, but the water isn’t there. You know how fickle those waterspouts are. They go on strike at a moments notice. They only have one job and that is to pull water from the lakes and river and put it in the clouds reservoir. But if some dumb fish gets in the way, they will refuse to get the needed water. Now most of this water comes from the great lakes and some of those fish there get downright stubborn and selfish (or is the shellfish). To make matters worse, there are other little beasties that like to mussel in, most notably the zebra mussels.

That is what happened on this particular day. The wind did its job of blowing a lot of dust and dirt up to the cloud. The rainbow makers came in and made the rainbow sections but before they could put it together they needed the rainbow assembly clouds and had to wait since they were being used elsewhere. The rain cloud was getting heavy and needed to have some water so it could rid itself of the dirt. Unfortunately, the wind was more efficient and put just a tad bit too much up there and the whole thing fell down and the rainbow pieces shattered.

I went out and gathered them up. I knew how to put them together but I had to first run over to the meteorological building to get the rainbow wrench. I went into the house and grabbed a sheet to cover the pieces so they wouldn’t blow away (they weigh nothing, really). It took longer than I expected because I got to the office right after the weatherman left for lunch. So I waited, impatiently, listening to the CD play rhythm of the rain repeatedly. Finally he made it. He dug out the wrench and tried to explain how to use it, but I already knew.

Let me stop here and give the instructions. A rainbow wrench is about a foot wide and a foot and a half long, made from a special plastic. There is a trough at the end where the two pieces of the rainbow sits. Below that are two lights, red and green. When the green light goes on, you take the special suction cup device attached by a line and place it across the two pieces and push a button. This sucks the two pieces together. You have to make sure you only do it when the light is green otherwise the whole rainbow will be lopsided.

The whole rainbow, when assembled only takes up about ten feet of space. Once assembled you have an hour to get it put into the pot of gold that holds it. When you do that, it goes ‘POOF’ and automatically disappears into the distance for everyone to enjoy. But remember; do not ever take any of the gold out of the pot because it is needed to hold the rainbow in place. It will also cause a very angry elf to show up on your doorstep! This guy has been known to turn every blade of grass into dandelions and crabgrass. But if you do it right and set the rainbow free, you get a very green lawn that is totally weed free.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

tours coming up!!

Watch this spot on January 7th for a visit with Billie Williams as we discuss her new book, Small Town Secrets, then make sure this site is bookmarked because on January 8th, we visit with Marvin Wilson and discuss his latest release, Owen Fiddler.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Critters in Paradise

Critters in Paradise

Mama Kitty (she had a name, but had been mama for so long, she forgot it), didn’t want to get up. It didn’t take much to see that it had snowed really hard during the night. But, the steady meowing of her kittens told her it was time to scrounge up some food for them.

“I’m coming kids.”

As she woke up, her senses detected an odd aroma.

Catnip? Where did that come from?

Getting up, she looked around and almost collapsed! There were several dishes of food and half a dozen catnip filled toys. As she looked closer, she discovered more packets of food with a little card attached.

Compliments of Santa Kitty

“Kids, come here, hurry!”

They may have been kittens but it sounded like an army on the march! Food had been scarce lately so the little ones were hungry. But when they saw the bonanza, they stopped cold.

“Mamma, Where did you get all this?”

“I didn’t.”

Just then little sister winks found the catnip mice. But before they could start to play…

“Kids, get over here and eat. This isn’t a normal day so enjoy what bounty we have.”

Christmas does indeed come but once a year, but this year, even the animals were able to celebrate. On the back of the card, Santa Kitty wrote:

“This will be an annual event. Santa Claus has told me that no one can be left out.”

Mamma kitty wasn’t the only animal to discover that Santa Claus and his animal brethren were real. It was turning into a real white winter and the forest animals were having a hard time foraging for dinner.

“Momma, you stored a lot of nuts before winter, why not just go get some of them?”

“I would, but all this white stuff makes it very hard to see where I put them.”

It was a cold winter also. Even if she could have found her storage areas, it would have been difficult to recover. But then Mrs. Squirrel smelled something. She stepped into the other part of their home and was totally amazed. There were piles and piles of nuts and berries. As she started digging through the pile she knocked over something hard.

What’s this?

Scurrying around she found the card.

“Santa kitty”

She turned the card over.

“This is the first of many Christmas visits. I even left a small tool you can use to dig up your storage supply.”

Wow! A Santa just for us non-humans!!!

She rushed back to her sleepy kids to tell them of the surprise but she tripped over something. It was toys specially designed for baby squirrels.

This scene was repeated over and over with every animal in the world. All the furkids would usually get something from their human counterpart, but Santa always left a little something for them. This year and from now on, even the animals that lived outside had their own special Santa’s.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

'Not' is a knotty word

"Did you hear that G sharp in the third bar that I missed?"

Uh, no I didn't and most if not all, of the audience didn't 'not' hear it. But the pianist did. Now he'll practice over and over to ensure it is not missed again!

"Look at that! I did not get that leaf paited right.!"

Uh, looks fine to me. wonder if the artist will try to put a dab of green there to cover up something that only he/she see's.

"Finish that story/book, yet?"

No, but it will be. A writer, like a musician or artist, cannot 'not' write. Once a piece is started, it must, at all costs, be finished. The wastebasket may be overflowing but the story shall be written. That is the nature of the beast. Dishes may not get done for a few days. Meals may be a slice of bread and if the muse has taken a break there may even be two slices with something in the middle. The mind of an artist, audio, visual, or written, is a honeycomb of ideas, but each cell of that honeycomby must have something in it. Each cell must be completely full. No honeycomb is complete until all cells are completely full.

As a writer, I cannot 'not' write. when a story is started, it must be completed. I don't mean just throw some meaningless pile of letters in there. It has to fit, to make the story flow. One wrong word, one missed letter, will destroy the rhythm, the flow. I, like all the other true authors I know (Joyce, Janet, Billie, Barbara (Babs) Williamson-Wood, Pee Wee, Brenda, just to list the top six), have to have the complete picture. What happened? How did it turn out? Did they catch the villian? Did the audience laugh? Does the story work?

That is what an artist is, plain and simple!!

Ron

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The rescue team

The Rescue Team
By Ron Berry
The Rescue Team
By Ron Berry©
Dedication Page

This is the fourth Christmas story and I dedicate it to all my fans of offbeat humor.

The Rescue Team

Dawn beckoned bright and early. Ok, it was noon, but what is time to an out of work beaver?
Carson (he’s the beaver we’re talking about), realized his bank account was running a bit low.
He still had a few sales from his stockpile but most of the animals in his neck of the woods weren’t doing much construction due to the inclement weather.

He staggered out of bed. He didn’t dare hop out because he could go through the floor and this was not a good time to get wet because all of his towels were still in the dryer.


After a hearty breakfast, he wandered into the den.

Time to check email, I guess.



There were the usual ‘enlarge your tail’ and ‘for sharper teeth’ types of junk mail. After cleaning those out, he checked to see if Maxine, his girlfriend had written yet. As he scrolled down he noticed one that looked interesting.

Probably more spam, but might as well find out.

“Help desperately needed” was all the subject said. To make it seem more like spam, the sender was “elves unlimited”. He opened it and hoped it wasn’t some virus carrier.


Wow! This seems like the real thing!

He replied by asking for more details. As he hit the reply button he realized it had come from his aha group (animals helping animals). It must have just come through since there were no other replies to it yet. His answer was quick in coming. Santa Claus was in trouble!!

Usually getting supplies wasn’t a problem. One of the elves would just hitch up the team and fly to wherever the needed materials happened to be. But this year, Santa had tried a new brand of ice creator.


Ok, for those of you that are not aware of this, Santa’s sleigh needs a good run of ice to take off properly. Most everyone is familiar with ice melt, used to get rid of the stuff, but this is an exception. Santa’s usual supplier had reformulated his ice maker crystals. They tested it and it made the ice super slick. But what they didn’t realize was that it also did a number to the runners on the sleigh. In other words, Santa had a flat tire! Actually he had five flat tires! Both runners on the sleigh were bad and the spares were also since they had been sitting on the surface and not hung up like they should be!

It sounds like a simple problem, except for a couple of minor details. First, UPS can’t deliver packages of this size. Second, no human other than a select and limited number of UPS drivers even know where the workshop is! Adding insult to injury, only a special type of wood can be used, and no human outside of the North Pole knows what it is.
There is, however, some good news. All the world’s animals know how to get to the North Pole. Many of the forest animals knew what wood was needed. Carson offered his help. Then he checked his stockpile to see if he had any of the proper material. He didn’t! He knew that his vacation cabin was made out of the correct wood, but the pieces were too small. He decided to put out a call to all the beavers.
Carson headed to the top of his house where the call log was located. To make sure he made a good clean call, he brushed his tail, then situated the log into just the right position.

Slap, Slap, Slap.
What sounds like noise to us is in reality, a beaver’s SOS call. Each beaver has his own call sign and when the other beavers hear it, they know to contact Carson to see what the problem is. Back in his den, the phone lights up. It only takes three calls because they have a special network arrangement. Within fifteen minutes, every beaver in the forest knows what the problem is and how to solve it.

While the beaver clan was gathering wood, Carson got back on the net. (they use wireless connections. Not good to have a lot of high tech stuff sitting in the middle of a lake. As for the electrical power, beavers conceal solar powered generators on top of their homes.) He sent word to the elves that supplies were being piled up as this was being written.

“We’ll send a couple of workers down with Rudolph and Donner. They can bundle it up and fly it back here. Thank you for your help.”

In the time it took to make a cup of coffee, the elves were at the door. Carson invited them in for some hot chocolate and his special homemade cookies. Being a forest animal, Carson knew where to get all the best ingredients. Let me let you readers in on a small secret. There are mice in most company warehouses. Every one knows that. But what most folks don’t know is that they stock up on products and deliver them to the grocery stores hidden in the forests. That way the animals can get the groceries they need.
It didn’t take long for the beavers to gather up the wood. Nor did it take long for the elves to get it bundled up and ready to go. They said their good-byes and headed off to Santa’s workshop. They didn’t have much time before the big man had to make his famous trip. So in an elvian flash, the maintenance crew fashioned new runners and made several spares. These were hung up this time. While they were waiting for the beavers, most of the crew in the garage as well as every other available elf, cleaned up the bad ice and replaced it with new. The ice maker supplier had sent the last of the old mixture and promised to make more.
Santa instructed the elves to create something special for the beavers. They deserved it for all their extra work this year.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The time to HELP is now!

The temperature is falling below zero more days than not. How many people are out in it? I don't mean out shopping, or going to work. I mean how many are out in it, trying to stay warm with no home? How many are scrounging garbage cans for a scrap to eat? If there is one, that is too many! North Dakota is America's ice berg. It's the season of giving. Go to: http://missionsocorro.tripod.com

Why? Because it is the right thing to do. Mission Socorro is like no other charity. Every penny they get goes to help someone. Janet and Ivan Smith founded Mission Socorro on a dime, then gave that dime to the first needy person that showed up. Who are these people? The Smith's are the most generous, kind-hearted people you would ever want to meet. http://missionsocorro.tripod.com was founded by them to help those that need it most and right now, they need help. It is cold, it is the holiday of giving, so give!!

If you can read this, you have a home and a computer. Take the dollar you were about to spend on a cup of coffee and let Janet and Ivan use it to feed someone who doesn't have a home. There are many charities out there, but this one is different, very different. No one who works there gets any compensation, financially. But the satisfaction of seeing a walking icicle transform into a human is beyond words.

http://missionsocorro.tripod.com is in North Dakota. It is a treeless, land of ice as I write this. There is work in the fields in the summer, but in the winter there are no fields to be seen. There are acre after acre of ice however.

Ok, you don't live in the north. I agree with you there are people in need everywhere. Then help someone nearby. What? you don't have a dollar to spare? I can actually understand that. But, you can help in other ways. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Offer to drive your elderly neighbor to the store, or better yet, you do the shopping and let her/him stay inside where it is warm.

The bottom line here, don't just sit there, get out and help someone!!! Oh, there is one other way you can help. Copy the URL of this blog and pass it on to everyone in your address book! I thank you for your support and http://missionsocorro.tripod.com thanks you. More important, every person who is given even a wee bit of help thanks you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's a classic!

We went to see this group of performers tonight. Let's see, oh yeah, it were ballot, no, ballat, no, ballet!

There was this guy in 19th century Russia that wrote music for swans and peanut breakers. No, wait, not peanut breakers, nut things.

Ok, to get a bit serious now. Tchaikovsky happens to be one of my favorite composers. I also happen to love ballet. We were given tickets to the performance tonight. This was actually their dress rehearsal, but the price was right. Not one thing to regret about this performance!

The Lake Erie Ballet has been putting this on for the past 49 years. It was a fantastic way to use our family time. The movie is good, but to see the Nutcracker performed live just cannot be beat! The only entertainment that is better is a good symphony and if it is a night of Tchaikovsky, it is doubly good.

Granted a few slips were made, but that is what rehearsal is all about. For those that have never seen a ballet, The Nutcracker is a good one to start with. A note for all those macho types out there, this is not a bunch of sissy guys running around in tights. If you think you're strong, try picking up someone else and make it look like she is as light as a feather.

This was a wonderful performance and we all enjoyed it totally.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's what's on the inside that counts

It’s what’s on the inside that counts

The title is a Peter, Paul and Mary tune. The action, however, happens someplace else. How often have you heard that it’s not what is on the outside that counts, but it is what is inside that is the heart of the matter. Look at your family, your friends, your enemies. Are they ugly on the outside but have a strong, warm heart that drives them? How about the Strong, dark, handsome man that just went to prison because inside was the opposite of the outer? We can see this, in people. Now, let’s extend that principal.

I went to a cabaret tonight. Ok, that isn’t what it was called, but it was, after a fashion. I saw talent that was smokin’! It opened with an exercise routine. The ones on stage were getting not only themselves warmed up, but they were warming up the audience for what was to follow.

There were soloist’s, duet’s, quartet’s, and even poetry readings. I heard some amazing vocals. All I could mutter was wow!! The drums of Africa were heard. These were folk tunes from a distant continent.

On stage sat four violinists. Jack Benny would have been proud. So would Itzak Perlman. I don’t care if the name is spelled right because I am paying homage not to him, but to the four on stage. Then the stage was bare, but off to the left, a lone piano was sounding. Only a couple of selections were heard from this lone upright, but what pieces!

Up on stage, four were standing. Only one spoke. She told us her thoughts. Standing taller than the rest, one lone writer held the paper in which he was the featured writer. This was followed by poetry, flutes, modern dance and concluded with the choir.

There is one thing I failed to mention. Every one of these performers were under the age of sixteen. Every one of them came from the inner city. This is what can be done when people care enough to give of their time. This is where the hidden talent lay.

The sole writer? Shane Foster, son of Joyce Anthony, a superb writer herself.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For the holidays

It's not too late to order your beaded jewelry! I have all my styles listed at:
http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/surrealstormcreations/

Short form:

surrealstormcreations.hereweb.com


Get your order in early. Custom creations take up to two days to make!

I am now offering a 10% discount to all who order before Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

and your opinion is?

I did not write this, but I feel it worthy of passing on.

Ron

THE LAW IS THE LAW!> >>> I really love this one.> >>> This is one of the better e-mails I have received in a long> >>>time! I hope this makes its way around the USA several times over!!!!!> >>> So Be It!> >>>> >>> THE LAW IS THE LAW> >>>> >>> So if the US government determines that it is against thelaw> >>>for the words 'under God' to be on our money, then,> >>> so be it.> >>>> >>> And if that same government decides that the 'Ten> >>>Commandments'> >>> are not to be used in or on a government installation, then,> >>>so be it.> >>>> >>> I say, 'so be it,' because I would like to be a law abidingUS> >>>citizen.> >>>> >>> I say, 'so be it,' because I would like to think thatsmarter> >>>people than I are in positions to make good decisions.> >>>> >>> I would like to think that those people have the American> >>>public's best interests at heart.> >>> BUT, YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE I'D LIKE?> >>>> >>> Since we can't pray to God, can't Trust in God and cannotpost> >>>His Commandments in Government buildings, I don't believe theGovernment> >>>and its employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas> >>>celebrations which honor the God that our government is eliminatingfrom> >>>many facets of American life.> >>>> >>> I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday,> >>>Thanksgiving & Easter. After all, it's just another day.> >>>> >>> I'd like the ' US Supreme Court to be in session onChristmas,> >>>Good Friday, Thanksgiving & Easter as well as Sundays.' After all, it's> >>>just another day.> >>>> >>> I'd like the Senate and the House of Representatives to not> >>>have to worry about getting home for the 'Christmas Break.' After all> >>>it's just another day.> >>>> >>> I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could besaved,> >>>if all government offices & services would work on Christmas, GoodFriday> >>>& Easter. It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like> >>>any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be> >>>'politically correct.'> >>> In fact....> >>>> >>> I think that our government should work on Sundays(initially> >>>set aside for worshipping God...) because, after all, our governmentsays> >>>that it should be just another day....> >>> What do you all think????> >>>> >>> If this idea gets to enough people, maybe our elected> >>>officials will stop giving in to the 'minority opinions' and begin,once> >>>again, to represent the 'majority' of ALL of the American people.> >>> SO BE IT...........> >>>> >>> Please Dear Lord,> >>> Give us the help needed to keep you in our country!> >>> 'Amen' and 'Amen'> >>> Touche!> >>>> >>> These are definitely things I never thought about but fromnow> >>>on, I will be sure to question those in government who support these> >>>changes.> >>>> >>> At the top, it says 'I hope this makes its way around theUSA> >>>several times over!!!!!'> >>> Let's see that it does.> >>>> >>>

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reflection

Christmas is here. So, what does that really mean?

Is it gimme gimme all the toys and things we really want?
Is it Here these THINGS are for you?

NO!!! That is the commercialized version.

Is it a birthday? No, not really although we celebrate it as such.

So what is Christmas really?

It is the proverbial yearly kick in the butt to tell us to treat others more kindly. It is our yearly reminder to seek peace on earth. For one day a year, people know kindness. By the end of the second football game, we seem to slip back to our old habits of forgetting the homeless. Why give money to the poor? It's enough to get another six pack. Why help others? Where were they when I got picked up for DUI?

Christmas is the day to reflect and remind us that we should celebrate the tenets of the holiday every day of the year. We need to feed the hungry, clothe and house the homeless, pay homage to the vets, love our family and friends, and treat everyone with respect.

Why?

Because there but for the grace of God, go we.

Ron

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hoppin' Snowshoes, Santa!!

Winter is coming! I'm hearing the words about the snow. But, I'm hearing it from people sitting inside a warm home. If you want to feel even warmer, grab your copy of A Lumberjack Christmas Revisited by Janet Elaine Smith.

Compared to Sawbill Landing, you are in the tropics!! I don't care if you live in International Falls, your place is warmer than in the logging camp!

What!!?? You don't have a copy of A Lumberjack Christmas? Get it! It's too cold to go out? That is not an excuse, go to Amazon.com. Tell everyone you want an early Christmas present. Ask for all 17 of Janet's books.

You've read my post about gunpowder. We are living in a world lost to us. Let's bring back reality. Start with ordering a copy of Joyce A. Anthony's book Storm. Read it, then you tell me if it is fiction or true. Let me rephrase that. I actually dare you to read it and tell me it isn't the future!!

Ron