Happy Easter everyone! This is the last world holiday for many months. Easter comes in two forms.  One is for the Christians who consider it the end of Lent and a holy day.  The other is simply a family holiday where everyone gets together and feast.  Although this year it is still difficult due to the pandemic.  However you do celebrate it, it should be an enjoyable day.  I saw on Matt Fraser on Facebook, his family making lasagna for the family get together.  If we can be together without becoming sick, it is a good day.  We all need to be reminded that holidays are to share and enjoy.  I did my baking today so I will be ready for tomorrow.  Easter is great for children.  The story of the Easter bunny is fun.  Hiding the eggs, little gifts, etc. are a nice treat for children.  I always gave my children small presents in an Easter basket with candy hid in obvious places.  They would joke about it when they were seven and eight.  It is a day to enjoy each other’s company and friendship.  If you are alone, watch movies that will cheer you tomorrow.  Whatever you do have a wonderful day.  In the Good Gus series I never added the Easter holiday.  The books are still a great gift online or through the website for tomorrow, the end of the school year or just for fun reading.  You can find them at Kindle with a few books on Nook and Waterstones.  I tried to return to the video readings with my former radio company, but COVID ended the business.  “Misplaced Trust” is also available online for your reading pleasure at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.


Memorial Day is a holiday in the United States. It’s the beginning of summer and a BBQ day.  It’s significance is to honor the soldiers who died in battle. It’s also a day that many people remember their relatives and family members who have passed. They go to their grave sites, clean them up and leave a plant or a flower. These former military were all heroes. There are always heroes who aren’t necessarily in the military.  Today there were two articles of different heroes.  Neither had anything to do with Memorial Day.  The first one was a young manager at a Chick-Fil-A.  He was working in the kitchen when a worker at the drive-thru window told him a child looked like they were having a problem in the backseat of a car.  He went to the window and immediately assessed the situation.  He knew there was no time to waste so he pushed himself out the window and ran to the car.  The mother was frantic as the boy was tangled in his car seat and was beginning to choke and turn blue.  He quickly reached into his pocket and grabbed his pocket knife.  It was difficult to cut but once the boy was free, he started crying.  Then everyone knew he was fine.  The second hero was a Marine just getting off work in Alabama.  He was eating at a Taco Bell when two boys, probably teenagers walked in.  It had been raining and the boys were cold and wet.  They began approaching people and the people were saying no.  Even the cashier looked nervous.  Finally, they approached the Marine. They asked him if he would like to buy candy.  He replied that he didn’t have any cash. As he began speaking to them they explained that they had been out selling candy for their church for the less fortunate people in their congregation.  They said they were unable to eat. His next question was, “Do you think you can eat ten tacos between you? They both smiled and said yes.  He pulled out his card, went to the counter and fed them.  He thought that they were decent boys trying to earn money to help the needy in their church. So, on occasion, Memorial Day weekend isn’t all about going to the beach, family BBQ’s, and swimming at nearby lakes.  In the Good Gus series Memorial Day did not exist.  The series is online at Kindle, Nook and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” is also available at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.


Many foods you believe are good for you actually have too much sugar.  You know the obvious foods such as candy, soda, sugary desserts, but what about the foods that claim they are good for you? For example, vitamin water has more sugar than a mini candy bar.  Most cereals contain too much sugar.  They have disguised it but it’s still too high.  The fat free yogurts are full of sugar.  They also contain  as much as candy.  Many of the canned soups, including organic, have too much sugar.  I prefer to make my own and I don’t add any type of sweetners. A cup of raisins has more sugar than a cup of marshmallows.  Who would have thought?  Most dried fruit, although a health food, is high in sugar.  Most granola bars contain twelve grams of sugar.  That is high.  The health food juices that are ready on the shelf contain more sugar than a candy bar.  Soy flavored milk has more sugar than a pixie stick! Tonic water which is used for alcoholic drinks contains more than the average candy bar.  Instant oatmeal with maple syrup or brown sugar is about the same as a granola bar.  What does this all tell us?  Read the labels and choose carefully. The best way to snack is to take your time and make your own.  However, in this society, everything is fast paced and no one really takes the time to look.  You can, however, always count on fresh fruit, and raw vegetables as good choices for not only yourself but your family.  In the Good Gus series, everyone did eat healthy as it was farm to table.  The series is available online at Nook, Waterstones and Kindle.  Hard copies are at the UPS Store in Tierrasanta, California.  “Misplaced Trust” is also online at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.



To all the mothers: how frequently have you been referred to by your children as being a mean mother?  When you have heard the phrase, “You are mean,” do you react?  Probably in the beginning, but eventually it just rolls off our backs.  Of course we are mean if we refused to give our children all the sugar coated cereals for breakfast. Then, we are definitely a mean mother if we pack a really nice lunch for school that isn’t full of sugary types of foods, processed cheeses,  and high fructose drinks.  Their argument usually is that Janey or Billy can have ice cream for breakfast, why can’t we? It gets even better when you restrict their fast food eating.  I saw a home show the other day in which the realtor was asking for the list of necessities for finding a family a home.  The woman immediately said she wanted a big kitchen.  His reply was, “Oh to do you cook a lot?”  Her answer was no that she just liked a big kitchen.  She admitted that they eat fast food, take away or have it already prepared and delivered.  Then, why do you need a big kitchen? Many families do not cook.  They eat exactly the way the woman described.  Of course, you are definitely a mean mother when you make your children bathe daily and go to bed at a decent hour.  You are really awful when you make them get off the couch and in front of any screen and go outside to play in the fresh air.  As children aged, you weren’t allowed to date until at least fifteen or sixteen.  You had to get good grades and she pushed you into college or a trade school for life skills.  In the end, did you ever wonder why you kept telling her she was a bad mother, when now you are successful and are making your children do the exact some things?  Tell your mother how much you appreciate her and love her.  There were strong parental rules in the Good Gus series and when the children broke them there were definitely consequences.  Miss Patty will be back at the Catholic Festival tomorrow at Clairemont Mesa along with all the other vendors.  If you miss her the hard copies are at the UPS Store in Tierrasanta, California and online at Kindle, Nook and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” is also online at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

As we age, many of us worry about losing our memory.  There are so many brain boosters out there in the form of nutritional supplements that’s it’s difficult to choose.  However, you should start with eating the right foods.  The first and foremost is leafy green vegetables.  It can be any type but most people often think of spinach.  There are numerous ways to cook spinach.  I like to make spinach pies.  If you don’t like a dough version you can always use the premade puff pastry.  Either way, they can be a great appetizer if you make the small ones.  Of course salmon is always a good choice.  We all need omega three fatty acids and what better way than a delicious piece of fresh salmon.  I take turmeric which not only helps your brain but is great for inflammation.  As we age, arthritis tends to creep into our hands and other locations.  I find it works quite well.  Fresh mussels are excellent brain boosters.  Even the now forbidden potato from all the diets are good for you.  Asparagus, which I love, is also powerful.  Of course, my personal favorite, dark chocolate will enhance your thinking power.  Many of the health food stores sell it but you can also buy the sixty or seventy percent Ghirardelli baking chocolate which is lower in fat and sugar than candy or many of the bars. These are only some of the food brain boosters, but it’s a good start.  Remember, that eating should be enjoyable and not a chore or be rushed. In the Good Gus series, many of these foods were grown in Pecos or nearby.  In the new second Christmas book, the first grocery comes to Pecos.  It was too hot today for sales at Balboa Park.  Miss Patty will be back next week.  Remember hard copies are at the UPS Store in Tierrasanta, California and for online they can be found on Kindle, Nook, and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” is also online at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

Lately it seems that all foods contain more sugar than any of us could possibly imagine leading us to unconsciously develop a sweet tooth. Stopping the sweet tooth craving of sugar is difficult. It makes you gain weight and it is one of the leading causes of heart disease. In addition, your sweet tooth can negatively affect your lovely skin and lead to premature aging.  Unfortunately, people have developed a real dependency upon sugar.  Most individuals feel good after satisfying their sweet tooth.  This then leads to a crash and the automatic reach for more sugar to satisfy that sweet tooth.  According to the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, at least ten percent of the U.S. population are actual sugar addicts, as stated by Robert Lusting, professor of pediatrics and a member of the institute.  That is a shocking number.  Not to mention that the more research the institute does the more they see that sugar induces rewards and cravings that appear to be similar to other addictions.  As I have previously mentioned in another blog, many foods have hidden sugars which can fool you into thinking you are eating healthily but are not.  Can you stop satisfying your sweet tooth need?  One answer is to try to detox your system from sugar.  It’s not easy as we are a fast paced society and tend to eat on the go or use prepared foods to feed ourselves and our families.  That is where the elimination of sugar becomes difficult.  Look at the foods children eat on a daily basis.  Many of them claim lower sugar and the children refuse to eat which leads to parental stress.  For adults, the usual irritability and finding ways to drink that coffee or tea without that sweet tooth charge.  Teaching children that apples, strawberries, blueberries are more like candy are a good start.  You can make them as a treat.  If you are failing miserably in stopping your sweet tooth craving, please don’t take the artificial sweetener route.  Not are they only unhealthy, but in some cases you can gain that weight you were hoping to lose.  When my son was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, the nutritionist  at the hospital suggested artificial sweeteners.  At that time, I had never used them and really didn’t know anything about them.  However, once he was released from the hospital, the research began.  It was shocking back then how bad they really are.  Finally, I found a natural sweetener, Stevia, and did an experiment.  Two consecutive nights, as it was winter, I made hot chocolate using each product.  The first morning his blood was 100 which was good.  The next night using the artificial sweetener, his blood was 180.  Huge difference.  After that I made fresh lemonade, just as an example, using Stevia and his friends never noticed the difference.  To this day he still drinks coffee and tea without sugar!  In the Good Gus series, Bob’s Sweet Shop did sell ice cream.  However, consumption of sugar was at a low as the citizens of Pecos enjoyed fresh foods as part of their daily diet and the need to satisfy a sweet tooth was not part of their daily routine.  The series is available on Kindle worldwide exclusively.  If your sweet tooth is getting you down, take a reading break and find “Misplaced Trust” at any of these fine e-book websites: 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

 Happy Valentine’s to everyone around the globe! It is a great day for individuals to remember people they love. It doesn’t have to be about couples.  Many individuals believe that if they are alone on Valentine’s Day that their life is ruined or hopeless.  It’s just a day that has been commercialized for florists, confectioners, stuffed animal manufactures, and lingerie companies to really cash in and make huge profits.  It is also a big day for restaurants everywhere!  Even the ones that have been booked, couples who really forgot or want to go out end up at non romantic places just to celebrate.   Esther Howland, of Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1847,  became one of the first U.S. manufacturer of valentines. In 1868, Richard Cadbury invented the first candy box.  Obviously, they knew a good thing because today it is a multi-million dollar business for both candy and cards.  It also helps the Post as well.  The National Retail Federation estimates that U.S. consumers will spend $18.2 billion for the holiday.  That is a huge number.  Children, of course, love Valentine’s day as there are parties at school with candy, cards and a variety of treats.  The movie channels advertise heavily for Valentine’s Day movies.  All in all, profits all around.  Many of the readers of this blog  probably have wonderful memories of Valentine’s Day as children.  I always liked to give my children gifts with limited sweets.  Even for my granddaughter, she received coloring books, a reading book and a ballerina t-shirt.  She was elated!  The real Mary from the Good Gus series, was married on Valentine’s Day many years ago! Las Vegas is a premier destination for engaged couples on Valentine’s Day.  Many couples plan their wedding, including bachelor and bachelorette parties around this holiday.  The was no Valentine’s Day in the Good Gus Series.  The published books are available exclusively on Kindle worldwide.  If you are having a rough day today, ignore it and read “Misplaced Trust” which is also available on Kindle, Nook, Apple and several popular e-book websites.  I hope everyone had a good day!

halloween-farmhalloween-happyhalloween-kidsHappy Halloween! Today is a fun day for both children and adults in most countries. A few countries like to observe the day of the dead but for the most part most people prefer to celebrate and of course, children all want candy. They love choosing their costumes and trick or treating with their friends.  Adults have parties and dress up, though, not as they did as children.  In some cities, the Halloween hours are set for collecting candy.  In Las Vegas, the malls, large department stores and even the casinos have special hours for the children to visit and trick or treat.  Many years ago, there were a few unsavory individuals who did things to homemade cupcakes and cookies or biscuits that changed it for everyone.  It’s sad because there were many kind people who made wonderful baked goods that are no longer eaten.  The best part about Halloween for me is passing out the candy.  It’s great to see the happy faces and costumes.  There are farms that have pumpkin patches and hay rides.  In Texas, the wagon with hay is pulled by a horse.  However, in many other cities it is pulled by a tractor.  The hay ride in Vegas is pulled by a tractor and actually goes along a road.  The automobiles just stay behind and go slowly until the driver turns it around.  A number of the farms, besides offering the pumpkins, include the produce from their gardens.  Another great favorite is candy apples.  They are wonderful to make and delicious to eat.  Of course, the TV has had scary mvoies for weeks and even the children’s programming have Halloween themes.   I never wrote a Halloween story for the Good Gus Series.  Since I dislike the ghosts and scary aspects of the holiday, I thought it was unnecessary.  Tomorrow in Ireland, the malls will begin displaying their Christmas decorations.  Remember, the Christmas book from the series, “The Special Gift” is available exclusively on Kindle worldwide.  If you live in a neighborhood where there are no children, relax and read “Misplaced Trust” on any of the popular e-book websites.



CandypumpkinsFor most of us when we were young, Halloween was all about the candy. We carried pillow cases hoping to fill them so we could barely carry them home to eat our treats. The first thing that would happen to me when I returned home with my candy was that it would be checked to make sure it was all safe.  Then, my guardians would sort it and take out the best for themselves.  The rest was put away for daily disbursement.  When my children went in search of their Halloween tricks and treats, I checked all the candy when they returned and let them do whatever they wanted with it.  Eventually, I would find their hiding place and toss at least half of the candy as it had gone stale.  Today, I was in my truck with my son and as we were driving I saw an adult man in the passenger seat of a sedan style car holding a doll. I mentioned it to my son and he looked over and told me it was a Chucky doll. My response, was, “Why would a grown man be carrying a doll?” He went into a lengthy explanation about Chucky and the movies that he portrayed in. It appears that they are all horror movies about a killer doll. As my readers know, I dislike horror movies, commercials, and anything else associated with it. In the two countries I have lived in, Halloween is not celebrated as it was when I was young. You either went with a parent, guardian, relative or someone’s older brother or sister to trick or treat for candy. Lately though, there seems to be large parties for the children to attend for their candy. I just passed by a rather large church that had a huge set up with booths for the children to trick or treat for their candy. The place was packed as well as all the parking areas surrounding it. Halloween should be a fun time without fear of strangers, bad candy, and too much horror. When you think of candy warm thoughts come to mind. Just about everyone loves candy. I know older adults who still love candy and really eat a fair amount of it.  Also today, which was sad, a little girl was kidnapped by possibly her father after he had murdered her mother.  There is a statewide hunt for him.  I doubt that her Halloween will be filled with joy and candy.

invisible-man-10035082When we were young and even children today, we all liked to pretend that we were invisible. Children particularly try it when they have misbehaved and don’t want to get caught. There are children who grow up and are still invisible as adults. I am not sure if its that they become so innocuous during their growing years, that by the time they become an adult, they want to stay in the background, not be noticed and be just plain invisible. When you think of individuals like that what may come to mind is the least attractive child in a family. The other siblings stand out and he or she seems to fade into the background. I wonder if that happens in large families such as the Duggers. I feel bad for the oldest girl as she is not married and there must be some type of pressure to be married as the younger girls are not only married, but having babies. I know this is true in average sized families, even if there are only two girls. If the younger one gets married first, parents, friends, relatives all expect the older girl to get with it and find a mate. When I was young, child with disabilities were pushed off into a corner and I am sure they felt invisible.  Today, however, they are included in activities which I think is important for not only the children but for their self esteem. Sometimes there are people who are overweight who feel invisible and wish they were. I know for most people losing weight is a struggle and not the easiest task. Most people hate dieting and exercise. I love exercise. I get some of my best ideas on the treadmill. I was writing a story one day over a year ago, when I still had a radio show, and could not think of a good ending. I struggled for a few days and finally, at the gym, while doing an exercise machine it came to me. I wanted something exciting and dramatic and it hit me in a flash. Its the ending to book six, “The Circus Comes to Pecos.” It is not published yet, but I have ordered a recording device so that I can start recording all the stories and offer them on my website. In all the Good Gus Series books, no one is invisible. Everyone watches out for each other which is a great comfort to young children. Remember, Valentine’s Day is only twelve days away. There is still time to order a book rather than candy for the child or children in your life.

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