Monday’s Little Mystery: Illusions


Sight is a wonderful thing; not something to take for granted. Just looking at a smiling dog, a giggling baby, a beautiful flower, a breathtaking sunrise or

Photo from Bonnie Lee.

sunset creates a glorious feeling within. 

But what you see is not always what is really there, or so it would seem. Otherwise, how can a dozen people witness or watch the same event, but when asked what they saw, the answers vary—sometimes greatly. Ah, the eye-witness.

Some images are designed to fool our eyes. 

Optical illusions! 

And they come in all shapes, sizes, colors and content.

Look at this photo.

 Can you see the lake? Or . . . ?

Check out the colorful parrot. 

It’s a parrot, right? Or . . .?

Have you seen anything colorful, memorable, or optically illusional recently? 

Thanks for stopping by,


A Monday’s Little Mystery Post

To Read or Not To Read

Just finished reading some comments made by Stephen King on the topic of writing. They were all interesting, but two of them made me stop and think.

The Man!

#1  “The magic is in you. I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

My reply: Fear not, when writing. Easier said than done. Most writers hope most readers will like what they write; that is a great feeling. On the other hand, we all know that you can’t please everyone so we’d better get some fear-be-gone! And, I do like the sound of the magic being in me (or you), but I am still deciding how I want to interpret that sentence. Fun to think about though. How would you interpret that?

#2  Read, read, read. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

My reply: Yes, yes, yes. Now I don’t have to feel guilty when I’m reading instead of writing. **sigh** (OK. I said that but I’m not sure I can do that.)

While fooling around on the Internet, I came across two sites (I’m into two’s today) that you might find interesting.

The first one PewResearchCenter has statistics about Americans over the age of 18 and their reading habits. For example: 76% read at least one book (print, ebook, or audiobook) in 2013. Just click on the name to go to the site.

Such a classic.

Second one Most Popular Book Genres  (click to see more) displays their findings in an easy to read pie chart. It does not include all genres (sub-genres) or non-fiction. The largest slice of the pie was in the Children’s Fiction category. My mind immediately jumped to picture books and things like Frog and Toad, but their list included books like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Another category, Magic Realism, received 2% of the pie. I’d like to check that out; not sure if I’ve read a book in that category/genre. Here’s one:

photo from
I’ve been told this story is
definitely for adults.

Do you have a favorite genre? 

When do you find the time to read? 

Your comments are welcome.

Thanks for stopping by,


Go Arizona Wildcats!


YOU, of course, but I’ll need your help.

If you happened to see my very first blog post, you’ll know why I’m writing what I’m writing today.
I am looking at YOU!

If not, you can see that entire first blog right here. In the meantime, here’s a snippet from that post:

Welcome to my blog and my very first blog post . . . ever.
Before you ask, “What’s this? Another blog?” Please keep reading for just a minute. And, yes, this is a blog, but it won’t be like any other. Why? Because I do not know how to blog. This blog will be about you and me chatting about things that interest us. 
Yes, I do have several areas of expertise, and so do you. We will get to those in the near future. Until then . . .
Well, the ‘near future’ is . . . now.
A rose is a rose
So I’m ready to talk about you, 
your expertise, your interests, 
your thoughts, your hobbies,
your favorite colors, foods,
activities, or just about anything
in the PG-13 arena. (OK, there 
could be a few exceptions
like when I mention Elle J. Lawson’s 
soon-to-be-released erotic romance. Or you mention ?????)
A beautiful wall of books                  
Though I am an avid reader, 
I’m not a mind reader. I do know 
that some of you that follow this blog love dogs and cats, food, (well, who doesn’t?) and mystery, but help me out; let’s add a few more topics about your interests or expertise and chat about those.
And/or, you could just listen to this YouTube Boy Band, McFly, sing It’s All About You. 

What else shall we explore together?

Thanks for stopping by,

A Tell All Tuesday post

Funny for Teachers . . . or maybe not.

What does the test say? Good Question.

This time of year, as we approach some of those high stakes tests given to our children, we think about paper and pencil tests of academic skills. WHAT DOES THE TEST SAY?  Find out below.


Ah, the world of testing. It certainly has taken many turns, shapes, names, lengths, etc., But testing is likely here to stay, at least in some form. We all take more tests than we realize—we all pay more taxes than we realize, too, but that’s another story for another time.

Color Blind Test from

There are eye tests, driving tests, too many medical tests to even mention. You might test the waters or take a test run. Then there’s the inkblot test. Did you ever take one of those? No, me either. But I see mean moths landing on fairies. Wonder what that means.
A Rorschack Inkblot

Your comments are always welcome.

Thanks for stopping by,


A Teacher Tuesday Post
Please do submit your email address in the narrow right-hand column to receive notification of new posts. Thanks again. 


A Tale of Two Charlies

Going for a ride!

To the best of my knowledge, Charlie the dog was born first, somewhere south of Tucson. He was adopted out of the back of a rancher’s truck before he was eight weeks old.

The timing of his adoption, though likely wonderful for the puppy, proved challenging for his new human parents. The very next day was the first day of school and they were both educators. So, the puppy went to school.

Charlie the coyote was born approximately 18 months later near a tiny, really tiny town in northern Wyoming. A young woman took him in shortly after his coyote parents were shot for killing sheep. That woman had many talents—writing, photography, and bravery. She raised that 10-day old coyote pup and documented his life.

That documentation became a published book, The Daily Coyote, that I stumbled upon as I searched for a birthday present for my husband one year. I wanted to find a novel about a dog—we are wildlife and dog lovers—but I did not want that dog to die at the end of the story (think Old Yeller and, well, most stories about dogs).  Reading the back of the book and learning that it was a true story about a coyote named Charlie (that looked like our dog Charlie and that didn’t die at the end of the story-hurray!) I made the purchase and read it that night before giving it away as a gift. (Is that cheating?)

Charlie, the coyote!
Charlie looking for a mouse in a snow tunnel.

As of this writing, both Charlies are still looking good and supplying their owners with unique and wonderful experiences. Charlie, the coyote, has an entire book written about him and beautiful photographs taken of him almost daily. Charlie, my dog, has to settle for having his photo on the back cover of my novels and on the front of my blog. He’s good with that.

To be continued . . .

Do you have a favorite book about a dog?

Do you have any unique experiences with dogs or coyotes?

Your comments are welcome.

Thanks for stopping by,


Today is Love Your Pet Day!

February 20th has been named Love Your Pet Day, though the origin of this special day eludes me. I’m okay with that. Most good pet owners love their pets every day, right? 

Best Kitten Smile!

That fact got me thinking. This day has something in common with Mother’s Day because sons and daughters love their mothers every day, too. (Nod your head up and down.)

Still, it is fun to have special days to lift our loving or caring to new heights. Most of our days are busy and sometimes we just don’t find the time to stop and smell the roses, let alone do something special for our pets, our mothers, our friends, our bosses, our co-workers, our dads, our siblings—well, you get the idea.

But, I digress. It is Love Your Pet Day and I am going to take the liberty of renaming this special day. The new name: Love A Pet Day. That way, if you don’t have a pet right now you can still celebrate the day. You could adopt a pet, offer to take a neighbor’s pet for an extra walk, swim, or trot—some pet owners are immobile themselves—help an animal in trouble, donate time or money to your local pet or horse rescue organization. 

Jerry Gallegos volunteers!

True, our pets love their food, but they love us, too. Let’s spend a little extra time with our pets today. That’s a win-win and we will all benefit. Most medical professionals agree with that concept. Some go as far as stating that having a good pet can add years to your life.

“The interaction with and love received from a dog can also help people stay positive. The mere act of looking at your pet increases the amount of Oxytocin, the ‘feel good’ chemical in the brain.”

We have a red-speckled Australian heeler that likes to jump into the river to retrieve sticks. He is also very fond of catching a ball. He will do that all day long. In between the ‘active’ fun, he’s content to lay at my feet while I add another chapter to my current novel.

Charlie in the West Dolores River

What kind of pet do you have/want?

What do you and your pet do together that you both enjoy?

Thanks for stopping by,

Please submit your email address on the column to the right of the actual blog post so that you can receive notification of my new posts. (I don’t always remember to share my posts on other sites so that non-followers can see them.)

This Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to think about love. All the pink and red hearts, the candy, the flowers, the cards make this one heck of a colorful and sometimes costly day. But we love it. Right?

photo from
Tulips and candy!

Let’s begin with a dictionary definition(s) of love.

1 an intense feeling of deep affection : babies fill parents with intense feelings of love | their love for their country.

a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone : it was love at first sight | they were both in love with her | we were slowly falling in love.

( Love) a personified figure of love, often represented as Cupid.

a great interest and pleasure in something : his love for football | we share a love of music.

affectionate greetings conveyed to someone on one’s behalf.

a formula for ending an affectionate letter : take care, lots of love, 

You, most likely, could add to these definitions. For now, I will stick with the simple ones listed above with the exception of puppy love. Gotta have some of that. 

Love this Blue Heeler Puppy!

I know, I know. That is not what is meant by puppy love, but I could not resist this little guy.

And, of course, we’ve all heard of love at first sight. According to Catherine Beham 58% of Americans believe in it; 50% not only believe in it, they say they have experienced it.

It does seem reasonable that liking (or not liking) at first “acquaintance” is feasible. Even loving at first acquaintance might be, too, but at first sight? Not so much. I suppose it would depend on one’s definition of love. For those equating love and lust . . . perhaps. But we’re all adults here and we do know the difference.

What do you think? 
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?


Lots of Love,

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Boredom: Real or Imagined

Moms, teachers, husbands, or wives . . . in your lifetime, you may have heard someone say, “I’m bored” or “This is boring.” I can recall such a situation on several (many) occasions when I was faced with someone or something that spoke of or demonstrated boredom. A few famous folks had a few words to say about the subject.

This dog was bored…Not any more.

“The Beatles saved the world from boredom.” –George Harrison.

Somebody, get that cat a toy!
 “Only boring people get bored.” –Ruth Burke.

“Boredom comes from a boring mind.” –Metallica

Sometimes I find myself in a boring situation, one that I must tolerate for a while. For example, a speaker or lecturer that drones on and on in a monotone, but I am required to be there, can’t leave till it’s over. What’s a person to do? What would you do?

Boring: not interesting, tedious
Boredom: a state of feeling bored (that is a boring definition)

Most adults that I know don’t have time to be bored. In fact, they might welcome a boring day. Maybe “boring” isn’t as bad as we think. Would lying on a beach with nothing to do be boring? Let’s find out. Bring it on!

Have a terrific Tuesday.
Thanks for stopping by.

Just Lookin’ @ YOUR BIRTHDAY

Remember when you couldn’t wait to be older? First we just wanted to hit double digits, then life would be so cool when we got to be a teenager. Oh, sweet sixteen couldn’t come fast enough.

We wanted to be eighteen so we wouldn’t have to do what are parents said we had to do. (One of the early myths we fell for or were we the ones that made it up?) Okay, so twenty-one might be the best—a very good year. We could begin with a champagne toast.

Remember all that? Those days are gone, at least for me they are. Alas, today I celebrate another birthday. It is great to be alive. I’m not complaining. Live is good. Tonight I will eat cake and tomorrow I will spend an extra thirty minutes at the gym. Or maybe not. I know there will be far more than cake involved, hopefully.

My best birthday ever was the year Jerry took me to a quaint mountain Inn for dinner, live entertainment, and lots thoughtful little gifts that did not come from Walgreens.(That’s another story for another day.)

Pretty Birthday Cake

January 31 Birthdays

Zane Grey
Jean Simmons
Ernie Banks
Minnie Driver
Justin Timberlake

What was your best birthday like?
If you could plan your own birthday fun, and the cost was no object, what might that look like?  Dream on.

Happy Birthday to all you January babes. 

Thanks for stopping by, 

A Just Lookin’ @ post

Tell All Tuesday: Why Write?

Why write? Why write? Because. Just because.

Everyone writes . . . something. Maybe not novels, articles, or screenplays, but you do write. Perhaps you write checks 🙂 or notes on the fridge, letters, posts, lists, graffiti (hope not), resumes, references, complaints, praises, journal entries, or the note you hide in your child’s lunch box with words of encouragement.

Put your pens/pencils
in Mason Jars!

Some prefer to write with a favorite 
colored gel pen, a mechanical pencil, 
or an old-fashioned one.
Others write only on a tablet, 
laptop, or desktop . . . even your 
phone is a possibility these days.

Everyone writes . . . somewhere.
A lovely outdoor spot
where the chalk dust can float
to the ground.

I spent many years writing on chalkboards before they were replaced with whiteboards prior to challenging myself to write a novel. FYI—this is not a Writers’ Blog. (It’s a blog about Love, laughter, and life’s little mysteries.) But since I am a writer, I will share a little information about my books now and then.

Why do I write?  Because I have so many stories in my head just waiting to be set free. Once I began my first novel—just to see if I could actually complete such a task—I was hooked! The process became a passion and Book 1 KINDERGARTEN BABY was born. Hint: it’s NOT about a baby. It is a romantic mystery for adults.

What is your favorite writing implement?  What or where do you write?  Do you have any dreams or desires to write?

 Here is your chance.  Go ahead, write something.

Have a wonderful week.

Cricket  (used my gel pen for that)

A Tell All Tuesday post

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