Kindle Freebie

While checking online to see the primary voting results in New Hampshire, head on over to Amazon and download a Kindle copy of in Leather Chaps (Book 3 in the Jean and Rosie series). It’s free today (02/09/2016 – NH voting day) through Thursday (02/11/2016). Also, the first book in the series, in Polyester Pajamas, is starting a Kindle countdown and will only be 99 cents for the next few days!

leather chaps front cover 2

 

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Got Snow?

Okay, I couldn’t resist. I’ve been going through old photographs lately and I came upon this one. Since we don’t have much snow here in New Hampshire right now, I thought it was perfect to share. It’s a picture of my Memere (grandmother). Family members have seen this before because I made Christmas cards using this photo several years ago. However, now it’s time to share this wonderful lady with the world. She’s no longer with us physically, but in our hearts she’ll always be.

meme2

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Thin Ice

the place to beI took this photo today near the docks on Meredith Bay (Lake Winnipesaukee). It definitely is a beautiful site, but…

The Place to Be???

Maybe from where I was standing, but not from there!

If temps stay higher than average, like they were today, this “place to be” bobhouse will soon be under water.

Yes, it’s thin ice and no ice on Lake Winnipesaukee right now and that’s unusual for the end of January. That’s why the annual pond hockey tournaments, scheduled for Feb 5th-7th, have been relocated to nearby Lake Waukewan where, I hope, the ice remains thick enough.

http://www.wmur.com/news/pond-hockey-tournament-moved-because-of-lack-of-ice/37630630

Haven’t heard of these pond hockey tournaments before? Then, check out my blog from a couple of years ago. It’s a great event, no matter what NH lake it takes place on!

http://catherinedougherty.com/2014/01/31/pond-hockey-on-the-big-lake/

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Laugh Often

laugh oftenI bought this recently on eBay – a simple sterling silver ring with the inscription Laugh often. It was only $4.00 plus $2.95 shipping and fits me perfectly. What a great deal and a good reminder that laughter is the best medicine.

It’s not always easy to do, though—to laugh and be cheerful—especially in the middle of winter when the sun doesn’t shine so brightly and it’s cold out (at least in NH). And I don’t even want to get into what listening to the daily news can do!

But, I want to share this with you—I found out that a good book can help.

Last night, when I was looking for a light read, I decided to check out Diary of a Wimpy Kid Old School by Jeff Kinney. It’s a kid’s book, for readers ages 8-12. I had bought two copies for gifts at Christmastime, but only gifted one. Since I have an extra copy, and want to create a graphic novel someday, I figured it was worth finding out why the Wimpy Kid series is so popular.

It only took a few seconds to know. Right from the start of the story, I began laughing…and laughing…and laughing. Out loud! This kid’s novel is so funny! It’s a great book for ALL ages. (The pictures are cute, too.)

Today has been another one of those days. I don’t know why, but I’m in a funk, and could use another dose of humor.

So guess what I’ll be reading again tonight! :)

 

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A Little “Me” Time

cathy D

16+ lbs down and well rested!

Did you notice I took a break from my author life last month?  I hardly blogged at all, didn’t do much promoting, and also decided to hold off on finishing my Christmas novel (if I pushed it, I could’ve had it done in time). But you know what? It was the best decision for me to slow down the pace for a while.

Why? Because I needed some “me” time to enjoy the season and not have a long task list for a change. Instead of writing, I listened to music, read some books, and enjoyed connecting with family and friends. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn’t feel stressed out during the holidays. It was a wonderful and relaxing December. (And that Christmas novel will be even better when it does get published–later this year, for sure!).

It’s amazing how quickly we can become overwhelmed with all we do in life. That’s why it’s important to take a little time off for a “vacation” every once in a while, even if it means putting off some things we really want to accomplish.

Now I’m rejuvenated and ready to move forward again. I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring.

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year filled with at least one or two vacations. (We all need a little “me” time so we can recharge and stay healthy.)

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Artistic Cheer

My friend, Dana Blythe, has been spreading “Artistic Cheer” the past few days on her Facebook page, highlighting different creative people she knows. Earlier this week, she wrote the following post. It really touched my heart when I read it, so I asked if I could also post it here. It highlights a very talented person and shares a very important message. Thank you, Dana and Mike!

Artistic Cheer – Mike Young of OCD Obsessive Creative Disorder

By Dana Blythe

OCDObsessive Creative Disorder (OCD) is a small business owned by Mike Young. Specializing in mosaic art, Mike takes old window frames, beads, paints, but mostly glass, and with that he creates one-of-a-kind mosaic pieces that will surely leave you in awe. That stuff you call junk, clutter, garbage… he’ll whip it up into a masterpiece.

His studio is in his living room on a work station he shares with his wife, Tanya, who is also a budding artist of OCD. You won’t hear him complaining, though; Mike knows what it’s like to have little to nothing, and that’s what partly makes this story extra-special…. And so difficult for me to write.

Let’s rewind 6 years, back to 2009. I was a front-line shelter worker, working in Ottawa with a hard-to-serve population. In a building spanning nearly a square block, it housed a nightmare of intravenous drug use, severe and persistent mental illness, sex trade workers and their Johns and pimps, and criminals. It was no A&E, made for TV “Intervention” special; this was real life, and it was ugly.

It’s important to note here that I’m not sitting here in my comfy house towering over others. I myself spent some years tossing and turning in stranger’s beds, with all my belongings in a green garbage bag. Admittedly, these houses had heat, but homelessness is just as much a feeling as it is a lack of housing. And, it feels hollow, nauseating, and desperate.

Mike and I had met in my grade 9 year, when he was the boyfriend of a girl I had recently befriended. She was wild and fun in those days. Mike, as I remember, was a quiet, affectionate, fiercely smart individual. We’d keep in touch over the years, always losing contact, then picking up right where we left off.

I’ll never forget that winter evening at work, when, during the dinner rush and check-in, Mike appeared cold and in a t-shirt, battered shoes, and the telling look that said he had been using for a long, long time. He looked like a corpse. My heart sank to the floor. I couldn’t make eye contact with him. Not because I was embarrassed, but between strict rules and my sudden loss of emotional awareness, I’d fall apart. It was that dreadful moment when I saw a familiar face; this wasn’t a stranger, this was my friend.

I walked all 20 miles home that morning after my shift in -20C weather, my face covered in icicles from all that crying. I was certain that in the days to come, he’d be dead from an overdose.

Mike disappeared, and so did I, to another country.

Some years later, I received a Facebook friend request from him. Our first conversation was brief, and he was on his way to rehab. He had finished detox, and his profile picture stunned me. He was healthy, he had color, he had mittens, and there was that sparkle in his eyes- that one that had been missing for far too long.

I rooted for him, I cried because I was happy, but most importantly, I was relieved.

Mike has been clean for 3.5 years. He attends regular meetings and goes to away programs as needed. Mike is married now, he has a family, he has a business, and his driver’s license. He has goals and a dedication to educating his community about drug use, recovery, and the importance in believing in a higher power, whatever that may be to a particular person. He’s a role model, an inspiration, and a symbol of resiliency.

Mike and his story make me a better person. His art really symbolizes, for me, the need to be forgiving and to find the value in people, despite the red flags, despite their flaws. While that old wooden frame can’t serve as a window frame any longer, and while that plate is cracked and can’t serve food, it doesn’t mean it’s garbage. Like his mosaics, we are pieces of our past: they shape us, they give us purpose, they help define our view of the world. You can take all those pieces, and with a little glue, some string, and a whole lot of love, you can re-direct those items into the most beautiful pieces of art.

Mike taught me that we’re gonna struggle in this life, but like Jan Arden says: “Feet on ground, heart in hand, facing forward, be yourself”.

 

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Jean and Rosie series for under $2!

Get all 3 Kindle books in the Jean and Rosie series now through Sunday (11/29) for less than $2! (1st book is FREE and other two books only 99 cents each.) http://goo.gl/zvzlGk

3 books

 

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