I feel as though I have written best sellers! I have written two children’s books, Brave Nellie and Lizzie’s Lesson.  Brave Nellie’s message is – new things may be scary but if you are willing to try, good things can happen. Lizzie’s message is – to always look for the positive in all situations.Brave Nellie Cover







I have had wonderful times sharing both Nellie’s and Lizzie’s stories to young and old by visiting schools, civic clubs and retirement communities. I have a slideshow of the dogs and explain how the stories came about.  Over the past couple of years, people have shared with me how my books have made an impact on a child’s life.

One of my high school classmates gave Brave Nellie to his ill grandson who, at the time, was undergoing medical testing for an unknown condition. After hearing Nellie’s story and while walking into the hospital, for yet another round of tests, he looked at his mom and asked, “Do I have to be brave like Nellie?”

Another lady shared that her disabled son, who was around 40 years old at the time, was able to read Brave Nellie by himself…a first for him. He was facing a major change in his life by moving from the familiarity and comfort of his home to a new environment of a group home. One of the first things that he packed in his suitcase was his book Brave Nellie so he could read it when he felt he needed a reminder that good things do happen when you are brave and willing to try new things.

While living in Johannesburg, South Africa, I met a lady who had started an orphanage. I had brought copies of Brave Nellie with me, some of which I donated to her establishment.  I, also, enjoyed the opportunity to read Brave Nellie to the children. Later, my friend shared a video of all the children reciting Nellie’s message “What to do? What to do? All so scary, all so new! But I must try each day to be brave and everything will be OK!” It was adorable!

After we left, Johannesburg, my friend shared that one of the little boys had been adopted by a family in Nebraska. As a memento of his time at the orphanage, he was offered to choose an item. He chose my book Brave Nellie!

Lizzie’s Lesson has been given to people young and old who are facing challenging times. One lady bought it as a gift for her friends who recently had given birth to twin boys but only one had survived. It is difficult to imagine that something good can come from such a tragedy but I truly believe that difficult times help us to learn and grow. I do hope that they found some comfort in Lizzie’s message.

Another fan is a little girl had recently been removed from her mother’s home and placed with her father to live – a sad and difficult situation for any child to go through. Lizzie’s Lesson is her favorite bedtime story.  “When things change and I feel sad, I will always remember good comes from bad.”  I am hoping Lizzie’s message will give her comfort when she needs it most.

As I shared earlier, my books are not on any best seller’s list but from the feedback I have received, I feel as though I have written “best sellers.” If you have one of my books and are willing to share with me how they have helped you or a loved one, I would love to hear your story!

My third book is currently being edited and illustrated. It is about a cute French Bulldog, who has been in my life. His message to children is “you are awesome for just being yourself.” Look for the release sometime next year!

I welcome any opportunity to share my books and slide show to groups of all ages.  If you are interested in having me visit your establishment,  you may contact me at

I wish you blessings……

Introducing Lizzie’s Lesson!


This is Lizzie, a sweet West Highland Terrier, that I had the pleasure of taking care of a couple of years ago while my dear friend, Suzanne, battled cancer.  I never had any intention of writing a second children’s book but after spending quality time with Lizzie, it became obvious that I need to share Lizzie with the world!

To be absolutely honest with you, I had known Lizzie for quite a few years.  She was one of four Westies that Suzanne had….Katie, Max, Maggie and Lizzie.  Katie was the “leader of the pack” but when she passed away, Lizzie took over the “alpha dog” role.  Max and Maggie were such sweet dogs but if Lizzie saw them getting too much attention, she would intervene quite aggressively to the point that the other dog would slink away.  For that reason, I never really warmed up to Lizzie whenever I was visiting with Suzanne.


Suzanne and Lizzie

My coolness towards Lizzie, quickly thawed when I brought her to my home and started spending time with her.  By the time this all happened, Lizzie was an “only dog.”  After spending time with her, I really believe that she should have been an “only dog” all along. With no “competition” nearby, she was really the sweetest dog and I quickly fell in love with her.

Poor Lizzie!!! When I first picked Lizzie up to stay  with me, she had been at a wonderful kennel for two weeks.  Then, another friend of Suzanne, had taken Lizzie for a week.  That friend had a yellow lab, which Lizzie, I think felt she had to “control.”  It wasn’t the best match.

I picked Lizzie up on a Saturday in Augusta, Maine and took her back to my home in Cape Elizabeth.  We arrived in the early evening, in time for her dinner.  img_2780

I love this photo of Lizzie….we had just arrived and she was looking up at me as if to say “Oh my goodness, where am I now????”


This photo was later in the evening and I think that she realized that she could relax and that she would be safe for awhile.

Lizzie and I quickly bonded and got into a routine.  We spent time walking on nearby beaches.img_2878

Snuggling….Both very tired but comfy together

She made herself very comfortable while staying with me and honestly, she got away with so much that I would never allow a small child to get away with!!!  Look at that sweet face!!!  How could I say “no?”  Ahhhhhhh!

In Lizzie’s Lesson, the message to children is, “When things change and I feel sad, I will always remember good comes from bad!”  In the book, I shared scenarios that I though children could face while growing up….friends moving away, getting hurt and having to go to the Dr, changing teachers each new year and finally, having a sick family member.  Some of the situations, Lizzie actually experienced….her mommy got sick and Lizzie actually got hurt on my watch.  I was devastated….she cut her paw in the park and I had to rush her to the vets.  She was fine but as you can see, she had quite the bandage!  img_0090

Since writing Lizzie’s Lesson, I have decided to add two more books for a series of 4 books…Brave Nellie, Lizzie’s Lesson….soon to come a book about my brother’s French Bulldog, Jack.img_1815

The fourth book will be about Nellie, Lizzie and Jack going on an adventure together!  So stay tuned for more announcements.


Lizzie’s Lesson is now available on Amazon:

and Barnes and Noble…

Release parties for Lizzie’s Lesson are happening:

Sunday, December 4, 2016,  2:00 – 4:00 PM in the afternoon.

Scrummy Afters Candy Shoppe,   136 Water Street,   Hallowell, ME


Sunday, December 11, 2016,  2:00 – 4:00 PM in afternoon.

Cape Elizabeth Methodist Church, 280 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME

Book signings are being held:

Thursday, December 15, 2016  from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Maine General Medical Center’s Gift Shop, 35 Medical Center Pkwy, Augusta, ME


Friday, December 16, 2016 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Inland Hospital’s Gift Shop, 200 Kennedy Memorial Drive, Waterville, ME

I hope to see all of my friends from Maine….and nearby NH, MA at one of these events!

It is my hope that Lizzie’s Lesson will touch at least one child’s heart and help them get through a challenging time by realizing that good does come from bad.  Thanks to the stories that people have shared with me, Brave Nellie has done just that.  It is those stories of how my book has helped children face challenges that make it all worthwhile!

I wish you blessing!


Saying Good-Bye to 2015

Quite unexpectedly, David and I found ourselves at home, in Maine on November 6, 2015.  David had returned to Namibia the first of September and I joined him on October 29.  It came as a surprise when David was released early from the project and within a week’s time of my arrival, we were flying back to Maine.

We were very much in a daze for the first few days of our arrival back to the states….everything happened so quickly, that at one point, we just looked at each other and said “What just happened?”

There is a reason for everything and with that thought, we plowed forward trying to figure out what our next plan of action would be.  We were excited to be home for the holidays with our family and decided that whatever we did, would have to wait until after the first of the year.

We have made the most of being home spending quality time with family and friends. We were home in time to help dad, who is going strong at 86 years of age, do leaf clean-up in his yard.  IMG_1412

He had fun on his new riding lawn mower sucking up all of the leaves while David helped dump them once the buckets got full.  My job was to blow them into a pile so Dad could just make a quick sweep of them.  He had a “system” and woe betide to the person who didn’t do as Dad said!!!IMG_1409

We try to spend as much time as possible with my dad, who lives 1 1/2 hours north of us in central Maine.  When we are with him, we make a point to go see my brother, Mike and his family.  To say the least, there is always activity going on and it is usually very entertaining at his home!

Mike and his wife, Kelsie, recently got a new four-legged family member, Gertie.  She is a cutie and loves company.  IMG_1416

Our nephew, Dylan, has a little girl, Allana.  She loves being outside and playing.  Mike bought her a small four-wheeler.  At two years old, she is too young to drive it herself but she and her daddy have fun on it together.  IMG_1418

As I write this, there is snow on the ground.  These cute photos are of Allana getting ready to go outside and play.



Getting help from “Bubba” putting her mittens on.


All bundled up….sans the mittens!!!

At Christmas, Allana received a small snowmobile from Dylan.  I just looked for a picture to share with you but don’t seem to have one.  It will have make certain to get one of Allana and her dad on that to share with you.  I predict that when she is older, Allana might become an Extreme Sport super athlete with the way she is being introduced to all types of machines to go fast!

My beloved Higgins Beach is still a great place for walks along the ocean.  I love the beach this time of year because there are fewer people and I can enjoy the solitude of the ocean sounds.


Occasionally, I am blessed to have a dog join me.  This day, I had my girlfriend’s dog, Lily.  She loves to explore the beach and is great company.  IMG_1476

A couple of events that we attended in November was Yarmouth High School’s presentation of the play Shrek.  I saw Shrek in London when I lived there in 2013.  I must say that the students put on a performance that would rival the professional show I saw.  It was a wonderful night. IMG_1413

Portland, Maine can now boast of having a Science Center.  The first exhibit was Body Worlds, which David and I visited.  It was very interesting but there was so much information to absorb in such a short period of time.  For those of you who have not heard of this exhibition, the bodies on display are actual human bodies that have been donated by people, during their lifetime, specifically to be used for this exhibit.  Through a process of plastination, the body fluids are removed and replaced with various types of plastic.


This figure was called the “X-lady”.  By presenting the body in this fashion, one can see the ball and sockets hip joints, the mouth and nasal structure and the heart, diaphragm, lungs and kidneys.

Another exhibit showed the various body parts that could be replaced to allow people to continue their active lifestyle while being pain-free.  For example, I remember seeing what a hip and knee replacement actually looked like.  Amazing, to say the least.

One of the more interesting part of the exhibit for me was how various diseases effected our bodies.  In the lung exhibit, it showed a healthy lung and one of a smoker.  After seeing that, if I were a smoker, I think I might be motivated to quit!


Lung of a non-smoker



Lung of a smoker

If you ever get an opportunity to see the Body Worlds exhibit, I would highly recommend it but just remember, to allow lots of time to be able to absorb all of the information that is presented!

December brought the Christmas season.  I got into the Christmas spirit early by decorating our home.  It seems like it had been ages since we could enjoy some Christmas traditions like sending out Christmas cards and decorating.  Last Christmas, we were in summer while climbing the famous red dunes of the Namib desert in Namibia!  This year, we were in winter wonderland of Maine!  Talk about extremes. IMG_1425

We took advantage of every opportunity to celebrate the season.  In Lewiston, Maine, the Shriners had their annual FEZtival of Trees.  Various businesses decorated over 40 Christmas trees each displaying a different theme…..for example, there was the NE Patriots tree with all items Patriot related, there was the Children’s tree full of toys, etc.  Each person visiting could purchase raffle tickets to try and win a tree of their choice.  I think it is an excellent fund-raiser and great way to “kick off” the holiday season.  IMG_1435

The first two weeks of December, the town of Kennebunkport, ME ring in Christmas with their annual Christmas Prelude celebration.  This year was the 34th year of the Christmas Prelude and I had never been.  There certainly was a festive atmosphere the night we went.  The stores were all brightly decorated, Christmas carols were being sung, since the streets were closed to traffic, people were milling about wearing jovial decorations, themselves….Christmas sweaters, earrings and necklaces resembling Christmas lights, fun Christmas hats.  You couldn’t help but get caught up in the Christmas spirit!IMG_1459


This photo was taken before the streets were closed to traffic.


Even Santa got into the festivities by preparing fried clams! IMG_1466

The highlight of night was the lighting of the Christmas tree in the town square.  Since it was the 34th year, the crowd counted down from 34 to light the tree.  As you can see, it was beautiful with the thousands of lights on it.

One of the most enjoyable Christmas events that we attended was the Christmas light display at the Botanical Garden in Boothbay Harbor.  For those of you who regularly read my blog, you might remember that I “ran away” to Boothbay last October. (see the post Summer/Fall 2015) During that time, I visited the beautiful Botanical Gardens and they were putting up the Christmas lights in preparation for the December light show.  At that time, I thought I was going to be in Africa over Christmas and didn’t think I would be able to see the display.

Being able to visit the Gardens Aglow presentation, was some of the “good” that came from the “bad” situation of David being released early from the Namibia project.  The lights were beautiful!  For me, Christmas isn’t about the presents but about the birth of Jesus, decorations and Christmas music.  My photos do not give this night justice and if ever you are near Boothbay Harbor at Christmas, I would hope that you put visiting the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Aglow on your “must do list”!IMG_1515IMG_1511IMG_1508IMG_1489

The flagship store for LL Bean in Freeport, Maine has beautiful Christmas decorations as well.  The only photo I took, though, was of the Christmas tree.  After dark, there is a musical presentation where the lights are synced to the music. It is quite the spectacle!  IMG_1518

Near our home, is a walking trail that I frequently enjoy for morning walks.  One day, as I was walking along this trail, I happened upon trees decorated with items from nature.  It made me pause and smile.  It was such a lovely reminder of how beautiful nature is.  Often, I do not carry my cell phone but this day, fortunately, I did so can share my wonderful discovery with you. IMG_1485


Decorations of red berries and pieces of white birch bark.

Christmas was celebrated with family.  David and I enjoyed the morning with my brother Mike and his family.



Dad enjoying a good laugh.



Our niece and nephew, Jesse and Dylan

After they all finished opening their gifts, David and I spent the rest of the day with my other brother, Perry.  We all drove to our new cottage in Cundy’s Harbor so Perry could see the progress we have made on the renovations.  Back at Perry’s house, we exchanged gifts and had Christmas dinner.  As you can see, Jack was all dressed up for the holiday!


New Year’s Eve was very quiet.  David and I stayed in to watch a movie and toast the old year out and the new year in with a glass of wine.

This year, more than ever, I was more than happy to say good-bye to 2015 and welcome the new hope that 2016 offered.  I will close this posting with wishing you a belated and joyous New Year and I hope that your year is filled with overflowing blessings.