5/09/2021

Mom Moments-Celebrating May 9-Mother's Day!

Today we celebrate the MOM MOMENTS. Maybe it's a special memory of your mom, step-mom, grandmother, or aunt. Maybe a lesson learned, a cherished recipe, or being mom to a special pet. Share with us your "moment"- 

AMANDA

My kids tease me about crying. They know my heart is happy whenever we are all together. It’s become a game of sorts, to see what gift can make mom cry. Those range from freshly plucked dandelion bouquets, handmade gifts, seeing my kids grow from childhood to adults and all the cherished memories we’ve made as a family.

I went straight into the workforce from high school, (no college) married three years later, and we both worked to put hubby through medical school. We started a family, dealt with cancer and had our share of obstacles and joys.

I did not begin my writing career in earnest until years later, when after my third birth (twins) I chose to be a stay-at-home mom (and all the volunteer work that involves) I wrote a weekly newspaper column on the importance of the Fine Arts. (near and dear to my heart) and bottom line, consider myself a renaissance woman, of sorts.

Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day. Joyous at having my family around me, I had not expected the “mom moment” my twin sons gave me when I was honored with an engraved brick (aka Pamela J Johnson) on the Plaza of Heroines in front of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics on the campus of Iowa State University.

With it came letters from my adult twin sons explaining why they felt I deserved this honor. Please indulge then, my "mom moment while I share in brief what they said...

 “We wouldn’t be the people we are today without your influence. While “thank you “barely touches on my gratitude, it’s one way to say I love you.” Add to that- “You’re a mother, a cheerleader, a counselor, a mentor, a guide, an author, a banker, and an inspiration, just to name a few of your roles."

Heck yeah, I cried. Still do, every time my joy overflows, the waterworks start. And they all giggle, but with the knowledge that it's my love and gratitude for them that makes it happen.

ANGI
My mom loves to travel as much as I do. Back in the 90s, she and her friends would take a week in the spring and take a gazillion pictures of wildflowers (especially bluebonnets). I didn't totally get it. Thinking back it's probably because my life was filled with three kids and everything they needed to do. I would have loved to go to a beach and just sit (still do--favorite destination). Now, I look forward to my drives with Tim or friends to check out bluebonnet season. You've seen the pictures on my #ThroughMyLens posts. I definitely learned my passion for wildflowers from my mom. It's a soothing past time to hunt for the perfect picture. It's also a time of renewing my soul. I'll never be able to look at bluebonnets without thinking of my mom.

It's been a while since my mom stole a week or two to paint in the hill country. But there are plenty of paintings from that time. One is hanging on my entry wall. 
My mom is 81 now (she's the one in the middle) and it's my privilege to take her to see wildflowers every spring. I love the gaps of pure joy when we top a hill and it's covered with colorful sprigs. Even after all these years, she and her friends (and me) are still in awe of God's handiwork.

LIZBETH

Mother's Day has always been special to me. I know many people look at it as a made-up holiday for greeting card companies, but I delight every year in celebrating all the moms in my family. I'm one of the extremely lucky ones to be gettin' on in years myself but still have my mom with me. Not only is she still around at age 92, but she lives in her own townhome, is completely mentally with it (moreso than I am many days!), is still always available to chat about family, worries, politics, happy things, whatever. She has a Facebook page, is as easy to reach with a text as she is with a phone call, loves to share pictures, chat with her great-grandkids via Facetime or Messenger and, to top it off, just finished her second novel--a darling Hallmark-y romance! 
Me with Mom pre-Covid
She is still teaching all the younger moms in her family (me, and all her granddaughters and even some nieces) how to be strong, smart, active women who pass down wisdom and fun to their children. She certainly still teaches me how to be gracious, patient, understanding, and loving, although I am honestly still learning. 
My mom could be here another 10 years or leave us much sooner (I hope it's the former!) Either way, I am grateful for all she's taught us and still gives us and I'm more than happy to have a day when I can celebrate her specifically for being just the best mom!

E.E. Burke


I’ve been thinking about my mother a lot lately. Actually, I’ve been with her 24x7 for the past two weeks while she’s going through hospitalizations for serious heart problems. She’s never been really sick like this before. She was a nurse for 40 years and has lived a very full and eventful life with lots of energy for helping people, but now she needs help. 

She hates that. I would, too.

Mom feels much better when she can do something versus sit around do nothing. She’s also shaken because her natural tendency to step in and fix things isn’t much help. 

That’s all right, I tell her. I’m right there, picking up where she left off. I’m a fixer. Yes, I get that my mother. I’m also a helper, surprisingly to me. I don’t feel very much like a helper most days, but when someone needs me, I jump in with both feet. For me, it’s less about helping and more about “fixing things.”

Over the course of my life, there are things about my mom that really bugged me. I didn’t want to carry those things over in my life, but low and behold, there they are. Now I’m realizing that we take the bad with the good. Not that she’s bad or does bad things, but if you are a daughter, you know what I mean about your mom’s annoying habits. I picked up some of them. I also picked her many of her good qualities, and for that, I will always be grateful. 

I am beyond grateful for my mother. I’ve been a mother for 34 years, and this past year, I had the pleasure of seeing my eldest daughter become a mother. She’s doing an amazing job. If I had anything to do with it, it’s only because I was taught well about what it means to mother. 

BTW, Nana is utterly charmed and devoted to her little buddy, Henry. 

Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I love you so much and I cherish every single precious moment we can spend together.


JACQUI

My mom loved her garden. My childhood is full of memories of her spending every day (when the ground wasn't covered in snow) in her garden and also teaching me a fair bit about gardening. If only I could remember it all! 

This picture was taken the day before her birthday when she turned 85. 

Even in my mom's 80s when I asked her, "How long did you work in your garden today?" She replied, "Not very long - just 4 hours." And that was no joke.

But my mom also loved to joke around and was always up for shenanigans, big and small. Since I couldn't find a picture of my mom and me in a garden together, I decided to share this one from 2012 when we were playing around modeling our bathrobes. It was a simple thing, but it was great fun. 

I miss my mom every day, but I cherish the good times we shared and I feel her presence in every flower. I love you, Mom, and I think of you every day ❤️


5/07/2021

I HATE MONDAYS

. . . AND OTHER WORK DAYS


Monday, Monday





ANGI

JACQUI

E.E.

C.H.

LIZBETH 

Oddly enough, I don't actually hate Mondays! Mondays are the day I try to keep free of obligation other than my own work. I have a job I love (writing romance novels) and Monday is the day I get to pretend I'm going to get finished or up-to-date on All The Things. Of course, being a procrastinator of the highest caliber I rarely am up-to-date. And Mondays are also when I catch up on Facebook, my reader group, and all the other shiny object thingies I love to use as avoidance. But at least I don't usually have outside appointments or engagements and my day is mine to use or waste as I want.

There are other days of the week I enjoy far less because they don't belong to me. Tuesdays, for example, is my day to help out at my daughter's horse farm by cleaning stalls. I don't even hate the job--it's cathartic, I can get a lot of an e-book "read" while picking horsey poo, and there are horses around. But I have to be gone from my house for three-to-four hours and I do come home smelling like a barn. Wednesdays I babysit two of my grandchildren, which is a joy but it does take up an entire day. Thursdays are errand-running days. I take my mama grocery shopping and to any appointments she has (planned for Thursdays whenever possible). Again, enjoyable tasks but taking me away from my writing. Fridays--well, my hubby has a work schedule that allows him to have every other Friday off. Delightful, but that makes for a long weekend of plans where I don't get much work done either. Frankly, aside from having most Mondays free, I'm not sure how I ever wrote twelve books. (But you can see why I haven't written twenty-five!)

So--Mondays aren't my "manic" days. They are my only "my" days! So, keep 'em coming, at least on my calendar. I'll give you my Tuesdays!

 

REGAN

AMANDA


I think my disdain for Mondays came about when I worked full-time at the various jobs I had in my youth. Society inundates us with the whole “TGIF” philosophy and it creates a mindset of Monday through Friday being a grind, the “thing” you want to leave behind at 5 PM on Friday and not think about until that alarm goes off again on Monday morning! And who can forget, such great tunes as “Monday, Monday” (Mamas& the Papas) or “Just another Manic Monday” (The Bangles) or even “Rainy Days & Mondays” (The Carpenters)

Ah, Monday, Monday.  

The thing is, during this time of COVID-19, I’m lucky some days to remember what day it is! Since the onset of COVID-19, we have chosen to watch our two grandsons (ages 3 and 18 mo.) each week, Monday-Friday(7-4pm) Though we’re blessed beyond measure, the fact is that it’s a bit more of a challenge for a woman of a “certain age”” than when I was younger! Hence, it’s no great wonder that I awoke last Saturday morning convinced it was Sunday and thinking how fast the weekend just flew by! Thank you, CBS Saturday morning for setting me straight.


Truth is, they say with age comes wisdom. I believe with COVID, there comes wisdom as well. I no longer “hate” Mondays. Each day is a precious gift. 

I have come to realize 1) how short & precious life is and 2) how to live in the moment, because you can never get it back once it’s gone. To that end, my new “Monday” song pick might just be “Amazing Grace.” (Best version, Pentatonix 2020)

Manic Monday  https://youtu.be/NVGOyYyWxiA

Monday, Monday  https://youtu.be/h81Ojd3d2rY

Rainy Days & Mondays  https://youtu.be/PjFoQxjgbrs

Amazing Grace  https://youtu.be/Obp-9BEZe1c





4/28/2021

THROUGH MY LENS

 Wildflowers in South Texas

2021














4/16/2021

Jacqui’s Friday Flowers in April

There are many lovely parks where I live in Victoria, Canada. One of my favorites is Beacon Hill Park. In April, the Spanish Bluebells and Camas cover many parts of this park in blankets of purple, pink, and white. 

These are some of the purple, white, and pink Spanish Bluebells that I've photographed in 2019 and 2020. 

Jacqui ❤️ 💐

Purple Spanish Bluebells

White Spanish Bluebells

Field of Spanish Bluebells

Pink Spanish Bluebells

Pink Spanish Bluebells

Many Spanish Bluebells around a unique tree

And here are some of my photos of the Camas, which according to online sources is "a genus of plants in the asparagus family native to western North America. Common names include camas, quamash, Indian hyacinth, camash, and wild hyacinth".

Camas

Camas

Click here to see my March blog post & a deluge Daffodil pics 🙂💐  

To see more of my flower pictures (during the February to October flower season in Victoria, Canada), visit my Facebook and Instagram pages. 

~ * ~ 


Jacqui Nelson - Author Picture
Fall in love with a new Old West where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. I love writing stories about women who are Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, trick-riding superstars, and more. 

Read an excerpt from all of my books at JacquiNelson.com/my-books

Join my newsletter & read Rescuing Raven (my Deadwood 1876 gold-rush story) for FREE at JacquiNelson.com/download-my-free-read 

4/15/2021

THROUGH MY LENS

2021 Bluebonnets
Ennis, Texas














4/02/2021

MY SCRABBLE TITLE

I gave the Get Lost in a Story hosts a title and asked them to begin a story. Which title would you choose? How would your story begin? Make sure you let us know in the comments so you'll be entered in this month's hostee drawing.

Scrabble letter tiles saying: Life is uncertain eat dessert first

No regrets. No second thoughts. The fork loaded with a thousand calories passed through her lips and onto her tastebuds. Yes, the other seven people sitting at her banquet table stared at her, but she deserved dessert first. She'd just been best "man" for the love of her life. Witnessing him marry another woman deserved a reward. Especially meringue.

"Excuse me." She held up her hand to wave down one of the waiters serving the salads. "Can you bring me another one of these? Wait. Make it two."

Scrabble letter tiles saying: I am still learning

JACQUI: I'm Still Learning

In the gloom shrouding the caboose that Wren’s friends had hauled from the tracks and transformed into a home just for her, a ghostly figure crouched by her bed. A man’s silhouette. Broad-shouldered. Big. Not big enough. Her excitement turned to alarm. He wasn’t Griffin. 

She bolted upright and aimed for his nose. Too late. Or too slow. Her punch fell short. Or swung wide. All impossible to tell with a target dodging so fast, but utterly predictable after being denied a sparring partner for two years. 

Strength was earned not given. Or so life had taught her. And kept teaching her. 

Scrabble letter tiles saying: Fall seven times stand up eight

Angharad, the fiery haired, blue-eyed seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, dreamed of a powerful warrior. She witnessed every failure with acceptance, knowing he was destined to bring peace and prosperity to their land. She'd had a vision of her love raising his broadsword high in the air, his battle cry ringing across the misty glen only to echo back again. ...it was time...

Finbarr, the black haired, green-eyed seventh son of a seventh son, was destined to know defeat. But he would never give up! Seven times he answered the call to battle, and seven times he failed. Fall seven times...the prophecy decreed... Stand up eight...and be victorious.

Scrabble letter tiles saying: I trust you

“Leave some to perform the incantation.”

“Can’t we just open another bottle? Riesling is Riesling.” Abby shrugged.

Evie snatched the glass from her friend since forever. “You know as well as I do that this is from the special stock. The first grapes of the first crop. It is not just any Riesling. And further,” she sniffed, her aging voice cracking as it did when she got agitated, “if you don’t believe in this, then we might as well drink the whole bottle and forget it.”

Abby looked at Iris, the only other founding member of the Fine as Wine Club and met her expectant gaze. Decades together had offered them many challenges, from births to funerals; they’d shared most every form of life experience together. “What do you think?” Iris was the most intellectual of the three.

She shrugged, her lavender cashmere sweater draping loose over her slender shoulders. “The book seems fairly clear on what transpires if all are of one mind.” Iris’s soft, brown eyes held Abby’s. “How badly do you want your grandson, Reise, to take over the family vineyard?”

Abby sighed. Bad enough to write and tell him that I plan to give it away to the first person I feel is worthy. Still, a little earth magic couldn’t hurt. “Go ahead Evie. We’re together on this.” Trusting her friends, trusting in the wine, she picked up her glass of white Riesling and wondered how her hot shot California lawyer grandson would respond to the news. “In Vino Veritas—in wine there is truth!”



Scrabble letter tiles saying: Go for it

“Go for it.”

That’s what they’d all said, throughout Cassidy’s entire life. Her mother when Cass had been reluctant to stay overnight at her friend’s the first time. Her music teacher when she’d been afraid to take the stage at the first recital. Her gym teacher when she hadn’t wanted to try pitching in softball. Her best friend when Cass had refused to go on a double date with two guys from frat house down the block from their dorm.

She had them all fooled. No, she wasn’t the bravest soul on the planet, but she’d gone for plenty of things others hadn’t suggested. Like writing a book. Like changing her major from business to philosophy. Like getting not one dog but two.

Like going out on that first date with Jonas two years ago—the one who drove an old Indian motorcycle and who liked leather jackets and art museums. And old Beatle songs. He made her mother’s eyebrows pucker in concern and her father sigh in envy over the bike.

He had them all fooled, too. The bad boy who wasn’t. And now he knelt in front of her with the open velvet box—and in front of her family who knew she’d never go for it. She grinned at him—the man who made her feel braver than anyone she’d ever known.

“Let’s go for it, Cassidy,” he whispered.

“We don’t need to go for it,” she replied. “We’ve already got it!”

And when she launched herself into his arms and he stood to swirled her in circle, she kissed him to prove it.

Which title would you choose? How would your story begin? Make sure you let us know in the comments so you'll be entered in this month's hostee drawing.