The Unpredictibility of Trees

Last week, while Winnipeg was experiencing a heat wave worthy of July, I grabbed my camera and wandered through residential areas for two hours, snapping pictures of all the gorgeous leaves and trees (and I can’t share them with you because I can’t find my cord.)

Here’s the thing.

My across-the-street neighbour has a tree which, I assumed, was exactly like every other tree on the street. Apparently not. Her tree dropped all of its leaves last week. It’s bare. She spent the weekend outside with a leaf blower and her front yard looks pristine and green.

My tree, however, still has a few green leaves yet among all the yellows, and they are all still attached. Unfortunately, I have leaves that have blown into my yard and are thick around the edges of the driveway and the street.

I don’t know whether to get out there and do a quick clean up, or be that person and save my energy until my own leaves fall. Until it drives me nuts to look out the window, I think I’ll leave them. I’m going to say they are a part of the autumn experience and should be enjoyed as long as possible.

PS – this wouldn’t be an issue if those darned trees got organized. Oaks and elms, unite!

CUBAN MOON is free on Amazon

Cuban MoonCUBAN MOON is free on Amazon for the next three days – September 27-29.

Sorry, other-format-readers, this is only at Amazon. But, if you read off a computer, tablet or an iThing, you can download the free Kindle app and then get my book for free that way.

Hank and Lisa are waiting for you in romantic Havana. Find them (and possibly Nemo!) in this fun short story.

PS – If you like this story, check out PUERTO VALLARTA SUNSETS to find out what Dena and Curtis did on their winter vacation.

PPS – Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for chances to get free copies of my books!

Same old same old

I know some people who never change their orders and never change their restaurant. It’s always the Keg and the prime rib with an extra au jus and no mushrooms. I know some who order the same meal at whatever restaurant they go to and they keep a running tab of which one has the best meatloaf they’ve ever had.

And then there are people who go to a restaurant and treat it like Mardi Gras – when faced with two sinful looking dishes, they try the one they’ve never tried before.

Three guesses what I am.

For the record, if you go to The Chew on Corydon and Waterloo in Winnipeg, skip the desserts and have their extra dark hot chocolate instead.

You’re welcome.

1st day of fall

Summer in Winnipeg had some good points. It also had day after day of grey crud clouding up our bright prairie skies.

I should be surprised that the first day of fall (yesterday) was one of the warmest this year. I got to do some driving through residential areas and the leaves are starting to turn.

I am working like a dog this morning to get my work done so I can go for a long walk this afternoon with my camera to capture some of nature’s glorious displays. I don’t want all I remember about fall to be afternoons of raking. I want to revel in the yellows and reds and the last of the greens.

When you are driving home from work this week, take a minute to pull off your thoroughfare and toodle down a residential street for a few blocks, open up your car windows, look up and breathe in.

We’ve got a great fall going on. Get out and enjoy it for as long as we’ve got it.

Screen Idol trailer hits USA Today and Drama Queen trailer debuts

I’m so excited!  My SCREEN IDOL book trailer was just recommended in the Happy Ever After column of USA Today! (Thank you very much, Robin Covington, for your great review of my non-traditional trailer.)

With such a great set up, how could I not release my second one, this one teasing about Layla and Russ’s grand romance. So here it is, the awesome trailer for DRAMA QUEEN!

http://youtu.be/5ZcmrCldoPE

Yoga pt 2 – Listen to your body

I’m halfway through my 10-visit hot yoga pass. So far, I’ve learned two things.

1. I truly enjoy hot yoga. I like the mental and the physical parts. I can’t believe it. I never would have guessed I was a yoga girl.

2. I do not enjoy hot yoga in the evenings. I’ve been going to classes that run from 8 to 9pm. Then I come home and have a cool shower. You’d think I’d be ready for bed. Nope. Not happening. Turns out, my body decides it likes being overheated and wants to stay that way for hours. Drinking ice water doesn’t help either. If I take an evening class, I’m up till at least 1am waiting for my body to shut down for the night.

Fortunately, with the fall schedule, I can take morning classes and I’ll be switching to those immediately. All the benefits, none of the sleep deprivation.

I’m sharing this very strange peek into my life to remind you that your body talks to you all the time. You can make it do what you want up to a point. After that, it’s in charge. I’m not just talking about stretching till you feel the burn. If you run without sleep, you will pay. If you don’t fuel it properly, your engine is going to break down. So do yourself a favour and take a minute to listen to what it’s saying. It wants you to be around for a while. Listen to it and you will.

Duty-free

Not the responsibility kind of duty. The tax kind.

I recently went on my first cross-border shopping trip to Fargo in over a decade. My observations about driving from Winnipeg to Fargo include.

1. There are two ten-mile (16 km) sections of highway under construction, one on either side of the border. That’s a lot of construction.

2. Just after Morris, MB the speed limit increases from 100 km/h to 110 km/h. That’s not much but it is noticeable. Once you cross the border it jumps to 75 mph, which is 120 km/h. That is very noticeable. I have decided I don’t enjoy driving that fast, at least not in my lightweight Mazda 3.

3. Winnipeg needs a Chili’s restaurant.

4. And a Chico’s ladies wear store.

5. Thank goodness they raised the duty-free limit to $800 if you stay for longer than 48 hours. Note to self – get a bigger trunk next time.

6. Make sure you look at the clock when you cross the border. I was praying the cars in front of me had problems because I timed it too close. My time in the US – 48 hours, 15 seconds.

7. You can bring back cold viruses duty-free. When the border guards asked what I was bringing back, I was going to say “the plague” but with the Ebola scares going on right now, I decided silence was the better part of valour.

8. Travelling is wonderful but there is no place like home.