Today’s assignment is to make a list of things you like to do that don’t involve technology.


This is going to be fun!

Steve 1 eye

Photography is one thing I greatly enjoy (and I don’t count that as technology!). It’s just fun for me to play with my camera. I have no particular skill with it or even know what I’m doing half the time, but I do have a lot of fun with it.


tulip with rain 3

I love flowers of all types, especially those that are fragrant, and enjoy puttering around in my flower beds. I can hardly wait for spring to arrive to see my tulips, daffodils and hyacinths once again. Among the tulip bulbs we have planted are some that came from plantings originally made by Captain Cavedweller’s great-grandmother. The photo above is of one of them. They are the most gorgeous shade of pink.

a perfect rose

I also adore roses. And although I don’t devote as much time to their care as I probably should, I do greatly enjoy our roses.

Cake 1

Baking is another thing I really enjoy. I’ve been baking cookies since I was six and got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. When I was in high school, I started experimenting with recipes and coming up with my own versions to classic standards. To date, my biggest baking projects have both been for weddings: I baked what seemed like a gazillion cupcakes for a friend’s wedding and I baked the cake pictured above for my niece’s wedding. (And no, cake decorating is not my forte, but my niece loved the cake!)

fort vancouver wall

Fort Vancouver

Exploring and traveling are also on my “enjoy” list. Captain Cavedweller and I both like museums and history and just seeing new-to-us things.


Attending rodeos is high on my love to do list. Both CC and I have such fun at them and look forward to each one we get to attend.

So there you have a list of some of my favorite things to do when I’m “unplugged.”

How about you? What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t on a computer, tablet, or your phone?


Feb 14 a

Happy Valentine’s Day!

As my gift to you, I hope you’ll download a free digital copy of Valentine Bride!

Valentine Bride Promo 1

Two unlikely matchmakers

     set the stage for love…

Fynlee Dale returns to Holiday to take care of her wacky grandmother. Although it means giving up her dreams of a career and husband, she needs to be there for Grams.

Carson Ford vows to take care of his elderly aunt after buying her ranch. Comfortable with all aspects of his life, his world turns upside down when he meets a woman who’s impossible to forget.

They find themselves in the midst of a plot by two scheming old women determined to make them fall in love.

Valentine Bride is a funny, sweet romance given a liberal dose of humor through a cast of colorful characters intertwined around a heartwarming love story.

Read Now button

think happy

The assignment for this week’s happiness list is to list the greatest compliments and encouragement you’ve ever received.

I should probably preface this by saying my “love language” is words. When someone says something kind or encouraging, it truly means the world to me.

Here are a few compliments that have stayed with me over the years:

  • One day in my high school English class, the teacher told us our assignment for the day was to study one person in the room and share something positive about them. Some of the compliments were silly or funny, others heartfelt and sincere. I have no recollection of who I chose or what I said (probably something very brief because I hated speaking up in class). But I will always remember the compliment I received. It was from one of the “popular” boys… he looked at me and said “her eyes are always so bright and interested, like a sponge just soaking up the world.”  Yeah, pretty profound for a 17-year-old, right?
  • I was two weeks into my sophomore year of college and realized continuing as a business major was going to be a colossal mistake. So I went to the office to see if I could drop the business classes and switch to communications. The adviser assured me I’d be so far behind, I’d never catch up and I’d have to wait until the beginning of the next term to change. I assured him I could not only catch up for that quarter, but also catch up on the rest of the classes I’d need to graduate on time. The dean of the college happened to walk by. I wasn’t arguing with the adviser and hadn’t yet resorted to tears or begging, but he must have sensed my desperation because he stopped and asked what was going on. The adviser told him what I wanted to do and that it was impossible. The dean pulled up my grades from my freshman year, looked at the classes I wanted to take, and then turned to adviser and said, “this girl can do anything she sets her mind to. Let her switch.” I worked so hard and took so many credits, I only had to attend one quarter my senior year before I left for an internship and graduated early. Knowing someone believed in me, made such a difference.
  • Someone I thought was a friend had really disappointed me (as in devastated by something cruel they’d done). I’d mentioned it to my mom but hadn’t said anything to my dad about it. You have to keep in mind my dad was not one to offer words of wisdom, he’s always been more of a show than tell kind of guy. So when he wrote me a note and said one of the traits he admired most about me was that I was always a good, loyal friend, even when others didn’t deserve it, it really touched my heart.
  •  Captain Cavedweller and I had gotten dressed up for a special occasion to go out to dinner. I had a new black dress I’d been saving to wear and had even gone to the hairdresser to have her put my hair up. When I walked into the living room, he sat on the couch, impatiently jiggling his foot since we’d have to hurry to make our reservation. The jiggling stopped and he got to his feet, all the while holding my gaze in his. And he said three little words I’ll always remember – “You are beautiful.” Not you look beautiful, but you are beautiful. That meant so, so much to a girl who’s always thought she looked more like a goofball than anything else.
  • Every time (I’m not kidding – EVERY TIME) someone tells me they loved a book I’ve written or they enjoy my writing or how something in one of my stories touched their heart or made them laugh, it makes my heart light and full of happiness for days. So my heartfelt thank you to you all for lifting me up and continuing to do so! ❤

I hope you’ll take a moment or two this week to list the best compliments or encouragement you’ve received. It really will make you smile and give you a reason to count your blessings.

Valentine Party 6

You are warmly invited to join the authors of Sweet Romance Reads tomorrow, February 8, for our annual Valentine’s Party!

The fun begins at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and runs until 8 p.m.

You’ll find us partying here: https://www.facebook.com/events/147365855968580/

Hope to see you there! (I’ll be hosting during the second hour of the party.)

happiness by choice

Today’s homework from the happiness list challenge is to list the things (past and present) that feel like blockades in the way of happiness.

Here’s where I’m going to struggle with this one: the only thing that blockades our happiness is our own thoughts. Happiness is a choice we can make anytime, any place – regardless of everything around us.

Honestly, I don’t feel like I have blockades. Maybe bumps in the road, detours, but not blockades. I think that’s because deep in my heart I know it’s up to me to find my happiness and I can do that anytime I intentionally choose to do so.

I can say in the past, I struggled with many things that felt like blockades (brick walls) to finding happiness. Self doubt, that nasty little voice that gets into our heads, anxiety, fear, and a whole slew of what ifs make it hard to focus on happiness. But one thing I’ve learned is when your hands, head, and heart are full of those negative things, you don’t have any room to embrace the positive, good things – the happy things.

So I like to picture those negative things as balloons on a string. With purpose, let each string go and watch it float away. See – now you have oodles of room for happiness and all those good, positive, wonderful things!

If you feel like you are facing blockades ahead, take a look at what is causing them then go over, go under, go around, go through, but keep on going – and let the negatives go.

My friend Amelia C. Adams has a new book coming and I wanted to share it with you today!

Amelia Adams Generations 1Generations:

Brody Hotel

Book One

by Amelia C. Adams

Andrew Brody, investment banker and self-made millionaire, has just lost his father, but gained an estate. Along with inheriting stocks, bonds, racehorses, and undeveloped land, he learns that he is now the owner of a hotel that has been in the family since 1875 and should probably just be torn down.

Marissa Clark needs a new challenge – staging homes to sell and rearranging pictures on walls isn’t what she dreamed of doing when she became an interior designer. When she gets a call asking her to help renovate a historical building, she leaps at the chance – what a great way to use both her love of texture and fabric and her love of history.

They believe they’re just taking an old building and giving it a second chance at life . . . but they have no idea that they’re getting a second chance too.

Pre-Order today!  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079GZBJY1
Amelia C. Adams, author of the bestselling historical Kansas Crossroads series, brings us this romantic spin-off featuring the same location, but 140 years later. You can learn more about Amelia at www.ameliacadams.com

list 1

Today’s list challenge:

List the best choices you have made in your life so far

  • Captain Cavedweller – Choosing to take a chance on a blind date led to marrying the man who still makes my heart pitter patter.
  • Faith – Choosing salvation and following my faith has seen me through the worst and best times of my life. Without it… I don’t even want to imagine what my life would look like without it.
  • Writing – Choosing to finally try writing a book then choosing to pursue it as a career has been one of the most fulfilling, amazing choices I’ve made. I am so blessed to do something I love so much!
  • Believing – Choosing to believe in myself when others did not led me on some pretty great adventures in my younger days. I’m glad I didn’t let anyone talk me out of following my heart.
  • Kindness – Years ago, I stood at a crossroads and had to make a choice. I could go down a road of bitterness and sadness, or I could do down a road of kindness and forgiveness. Being witness to someone who had already gone down the bitter road, I chose kindness. And I try to keep choosing kindness, every day. A word spoke in kindness isn’t one we’ll likely ever regret.

Is there a choice or two you made in your life that has brought you joy, or given you peace?