Positive conversations with old and new friends. I'd love for you to join me on my back porch.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Sun Protection

One of the joys of living on the coast is the ability to spend time outside all year long. It always feels good when the sun kisses your skin, and the ocean breeze makes you feel alive. BUT there are some bad side effects of spending too much time on the beach. Sunburns, wrinkles, sun damage, and skin cancer are problems we face.

I'm fair complected and try to be aware of the potential for harm. I wear sunscreen and sit under umbrellas.

Another thing we do is visit the beach late in the afternoon or early evening when the sun's rays are not as intense.

I recently heard a man say he had skin cancer on his bald head but it didn't bother him. He accepted it as part of life on the coast.

Here are a few skin changes related to sun exposure:

Precancerous and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) skin lesions caused by loss of the skin's immune function

Benign tumors

Freckles and wrinkles

Mottled pigmentation or yellow skin

Sallowness: a yellow discoloration of the skin

Skin cancer may be a part of life in South Carolina or wherever you live, but here are a few tips to lessen your odds of getting it.

Thirty minutes before going outside, apply sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or more and reapply every 2-3 hours.

Wear sunglasses with UV protection. I recently discovered some contacts are made with UV protection.

The last tip I want to share is to void direct sun exposure if possible between 10 am and 3 pm.

Stay safe this spring!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Martin Luther King Day 2020

I grew up believing Martin Luther King Jr. was a hero. The "I Have a Dream" speech he gave in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial is a historical speech often quoted. It helped bring light to the Civil Rights Movement.

I'd like to share a few of my favorite quotes from his "I Have a Dream" speech. Parts of his speech still apply to America today.

“I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”

“When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

"Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”

And my favorite quote is, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

In most pictures I found of Martin Luther King Jr., he wore a solemn expression. He lived a life full of purpose, and he worked tirelessly for his dream. I didn't give up and at last found this picture of him with a smile. The captions read, "Martin Luther King Jr. waves on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Aug. 28, 1963."

Monday, January 13, 2020


“I don’t understand people who don’t touch their pets. Their cat or dog is called a pet for a reason.” – Jarod Kintz

My upcoming cozy mystery series revolves around dog walker Andi Grace Scott. Andi Grace has a German shepherd names Sunny. I have a West Highland Terrier named Heinz. Both dogs are thirteen years old.

Our friends joke that we spoil Heinz. We don't push him around in a dog stroller or take him into a store with us, but do we spoil him? Maybe.

One of Heinz's favorite things to do is go for a walk on the beach. I'm not a neat freak, but if I take Heinz to the beach he's going to get a bath. We all know this, but he still loves to walk on the beach.

On the beach, Heinz trots with his head held high. I don't know if the texture of the sand feels good to his little paws or what, but it's his favorite place to walk.

Do you have a favorite place to walk? I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, January 6, 2020

My Friend Janet Ferguson

I first met Janet Ferguson in a critique group through American Christian Fiction Writers. It takes a special kind of nerve to share your stories with others to critique. Janet and I met in person at ACFW conferences and even roomed together one year. She always makes me smile.

Janet's newest book came out on January 4, and I wanted to introduce her to you. She was kind enough to answer a few questions.

First, for my own curiosity, how did you get started working for the legislature?

Oddly, it happened through writing! My author friend from Mississippi who I traveled to conference with for a couple of years worked at the Mississippi legislature. She said several times that I should come work for the session which is usually three months. It’s four this year because there is a new governor. I just emailed her one day and said maybe I’d like to try it. This will be my third session working at the Capitol.

When did you start writing?

I started in 2012 after the loss of both of my parents and my husband’s mother in a sixty-day period. I’d had a story idea, and after those losses, I realized life is short. So I began my first novel which eventually became Leaving Oxford.

Do you have one word for 2020 to reflect on?

Good question. I don’t one, but I recently borrowed a book from my daughter called Present over Perfect. That sounded like something I need to work on. I’ve just started the book.

What is your favorite beach?

Most any! I love a beach! The one I get to go to most often is Fort Morgan, Alabama. It’s really nice!

Tell us about your pets. I know you're a cat person but can't remember if you have a dog.

I currently have two cats that hate each other, and a really sweet and well-behaved older dog name Remi.

Tell us a little, or a lot, about your new book Star Rising.

I was blessed to be able to go to Ireland and I had a lot of fun taking my characters there! Although there are some funny parts to this story, there is also a serious grapple with faith for the hero Paul. I hope your readers enjoy!

Star Youngblood has always been a fighter–a necessity after her mother married a monster of a man. Now, she’s finally on the path to the stable life she’s always wanted. Her employer, Priscilla Kelly, is a sweet woman ravaged by rheumatoid arthritis, and Star will do anything to help her. Even if that means going toe to toe with Mrs. Kelly’s neglectful son.

After being betrayed on the mission field and devastated by the tragic death of his father, Paul Kelly gave up on God. He lives life on his own terms, biding his time as a corporate pilot until he can save enough money to begin his own flight school closer to home. His mother is all he has left, and he wants to be near her. He just didn’t expect her health to decline so quickly. When he discovers his mother has taken in a stray—a woman he’s not at all sure can be trusted—his protective instincts kick into high gear. Paul’s handled a lot of turbulence, but he’s never gone up against a force like Star.

As Paul and Star strive to protect his mother in their own ways, they soon find their own hearts are at the greatest risk.

Janet, thanks for your time.

Be sure to look for Star Rising.

If you'd like to connect with Janet, here's her info:



Series Info: (Coastal Hearts)

Wednesday, January 1, 2020


I've reflected on my word for 2020. Some years it's been easy to pick a word and other years it's been a struggle. I thought I had figured it out until a visiting pastor said, "Live life with a purpose."

I'm going to take Pastor Tony Ashmore's challenge. This year my word is PURPOSE.

Many know Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

My prayer is to live each day this year with purpose. I'm not entirely sure what that will look like, but it will be fun finding out.

Do you pick a word every year to bring you closer to God? I'd love to hear your stories. Meanwhile, I'll look for you in my little corner of the world.

Happy 2020!


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