Once I decided on my title for this week, I put a lot of thought into it. Every place I went, I looked for something I could compare it to, or something that might be more useless, but I couldn't find single thing as useless as the item pictured above.

Is there anyone here who does not know what this is? I didn't until four years ago when I bought a new SUV.

Pictured above is a low tire indicator, now a common thing on the dash of new cars. What is it supposed to do? Well, you would think, by the name, that it would tell you when you had a low tire, or worse, a flat. I'm sure that was the intent. In reality, all it does is frustrate drivers.

It's incredibly touchy. Temperature drops, light comes on. Temperature rises, light goes off..maybe. 9999 times out of 10,000 when this light comes on it does not indicate anything. My other complaint with this process is that on the rare time I really do have a low tire, it's a guessing game as to which one of the four is low. If they can make a light that knows the rear passenger side tire is low, then make it where it shows which tire is low. Give me an indicator with four little lights and light the one that applies to the affected tire. I mean really, do we need a woman to figure this out?

So my question to you this week is this. What's the most useless thing you can think of, or are you in agreement with me?


I was sitting here wondering what we could talk about this week when one of my husband's favorite TV shows caught my attention.

The show is called AMERICAN PICKERS, and if you haven't seen it, its these two guys that travel the country in a van, buying things from "collectors" to sell to other "collectors". I've placed parenthesis around the word collector for a reason. Eight out of ten times the collections they are looking at resemble junk piles more than collections.

This made me think. What do we collect? And are we collectors or pack rats?

You shouldn't be surprised to know that I collect books. Shelves, corners, and boxes of books. My book collection--the picture is just a small sample--probably borders on pack rat. I used to think it was sacrilege to get rid of books. I might want to read them again...

I am ashamed to admit that there are boxes of books, lovingly wrapped in plastic, packed in boxes, taped, and stored in one of our storage buildings. They've been out there for almost 20 years, I can only imagine that the term "book" barely applies at this point in time. I'm afraid to go out and look.

I'm a Star Trek fan. Books, plates, episodes on VHS tape, comic books, Christmas ornaments...I'm sure you get he picture. I'd say collector here. With the exception of the plates adorning my kitchen, most of it is packed away in a dry place with a little more care than the books mentioned above.

I've sold AVON for more than twenty years. Every year, once a representative reaches a certain goal in sales, we are awarded a 12 inch porcelain figurine called a Mrs. Albee. Mrs. Albee was the very first AVON lady. The figurines are always beautifully done in period costumes. If any of you historical writers need some tips on late 1800-early 1900 dresses, I can help with that. I'm happy to say that I have a Mrs. Albee for each year I've been in business. Definitely a collection.

Other than books, which I've "collected" all my life, Unicorns would fall next in line. My first husband bought my first unicorn for me over thirty years ago. Between gifts from friends, and souvenirs picked up on vacation, I probably have over 100 unicorns placed here and there. These in the picture are just the ones next to my desk. I'd have to say collection where these are concerned.

Last but not least, we have to go back to the AVON. Here in this beautiful cabinet my husband gave me for Christmas, is twenty years worth of AVON (mostly) jewelry. It was a heart wrenching few hours as I sorted through boxes, deciding what to keep, what to toss, and what to give to the granddaughters. I think I'd have to say pack rat here, cause the cabinet barely closes and I'm already looking at this lovely piece in the new book that I need REAL bad...

So, tell me, what do you collect? Are you a collector or a pack rat?



The winning name in our name my character contest is Melanie Mason the baker.

So without further ado...

Meet Melanie Mason. Melanie and her husband Tyler are new to Garfield Oklahoma. They are both late thirties. This is a second marriage for both of them. They've been married for 10 years, and they have no children together. Tyler has two teenage sons that visit when they can. 

Melanie is a Christian, searching for a church home in their new community. Tyler has never attended church and just doesn't see why Melanie needs to spend so much time there. Tyler is a mechanic, Melanie runs the new bakery on Garfield's main street, The Cookie Pantry, where she offer's a free cookie with each drink on Fridays.

Melanie also partners with a wedding planner in the next town, providing cakes and light catering. Kate will meet her when discussing Samantha and Patrick's wedding cake.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a name, and everyone who took the time to vote. Thanks to our winner Melanie Backus for not only the winning name but her occupation as well.


We are still working to name my new character. The nomination period is over and now we need to vote for the winner. Here are your nine choices.

Sarah, a Counselor for women, Kate’s friend

Phyliss, new florist in town, a friend of Terri's.

Clarissa, a secretary at the clinic Callie manages, a friend of Callie's.

Tamara, works at Terri’s daycare. A friend of Terri's.

Sonata, musician, maybe church accompanist, friend of Pam’s.

Melanie, own  the new bakery in town.  Offer’s a "free cookie"day on Friday!

Ginny , a new second grade teacher at the elementary school. She is a friend of Terri's

Eliana - mother of a child Terri watches at her day care. Friend of Terri.

Jo, Child counselor, friend of Pam

Each of these names was submitted by a reader of the blog or a follower of my Facebook page. We need a clear winner by Friday. In the case of a tie, I will pick a random winner.

Please vote for your favorite in a comment. 


I started work this week on the 5th story in THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW series.

As of tonight THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: KATE has 9 pages to her credit. (just 295 to go. SMILE)

I need you all to put your thinking caps on because Kate and I need your help before I go too much further.

I want to introduce a new character in Kate's story. Here's what I know about this un-named woman. She is in her mid thirties or early forties. Yep, her age is all I know.

Can you help me fill in the blanks? I'm asking my readers to name my new character, provide her occupation, and tell me who's friend she is.  We have 3 great choices so far, but I'd like some more before we take a vote on the 10th.

Here's what we currently have:

Sarah, a Counselor for women.

Phyliss, a friend of Terri's and a new florist in town.

Clarissa, a friend of Callie's who works as a secretary at the clinic Callie manages.

All great suggestions, but I'd love a couple more. Please leave your thought in a comment below. The winner of our little contest will get a copy of Kate's story when it publishes and a Thank You on the acknowledgement page for introducing us to a new character.


Meet Kate, Title character of the 5th book, THE WOMEN OF VALLEY VIEW: KATE

After pestering some friends with what ifs, mulling, thinking, and praying, I have Kate's story in my head now. First 100 words committed to paper. Not a lot, but it's a beginning!

In this story we need to introduce a new character for a recurring role. Female, mid thirties/forties, married. I'm going to let you guys name her, decide her occupation, and tell me who's friend she is. (Callie's, Terri's...any one of the women EXCEPT Sam or Iris) The only stipulation is that her occupation needs to be something that would put her into contact with one of the women.

So give it your best shot. I'll compile the answers from the blog and my Facebook page and we'll vote on the winner next week. Winner gets a copy of Kate's story and mention in the acknowledgements.

Leave your suggestions in a comment here or go on over to the face book page and comment on the announcement there.