Out With the Old? Not so fast…

Yes, it’s a new year, so in with the new…but not without a shout out to some “old” that’s coming with me.

Liquid Fence
If you don’t have gardens, or gardens with animal problems—as in, your yard is their all-day buffet, Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent won’t offer much to you. But surrounded by woods, our yard often gives the impression we keep deer for pets, a veritable Disney land. Which we love. They have been known to stand on the side of the driveway and just watch while we pull our car out and close the garage door, and then they get back to grazing. But we don’t love the fact that over the years, our visitors have eaten large amounts of our landscaping. This largely natural product is about the best there is, keeping our graceful friends from munching our hedges with a mixture that includes “putrescent egg solids” and garlic. I get the concentrate, mix it with water, spray it on, keep my plants, and don’t feel bad at all.

Method Cleaning Products
I’ve loved these natural cleaning products for quite some time,  but after recently trying the 4x HE beach sage laundry detergent, I’m an even bigger fan. I love the clean packaging, the cheery colors, and the scents seal the deal.  Some of my favorites:  grapefruit, cucumber, and beach sage, my new bright turquoise laundry detergent. Happy cleaning!

Rose Lilies1-roselily
This is a personally spectacular find. Over the years of our marriage, my husband has enjoyed giving me lilies—plants and cut flowers, both Asiatic and Oriental varieties. He really likes lilies…but I really don’t. The blooms are too architectural, too stark, too unromantic. Until now. Rose lilies are ruffly, light, softly-scented, and have non-staining pollen. These wonders even have their own Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Roselilyflowers/  Husband, gift me these ethereal wonders all you want.

Restorative Yoga
Is this a thing?  And where has it been all my adult life? Poses and practice that rely on gravity to create stretching and opening in the muscles and body. Finally, a yoga practice where I don’t end up feeling stiffer, more out of shape, or injured. After 25 minutes, I’m feeling relaxed, youthful, and ready to take on the next several decades!

Good Behavior
Every now and then, I discover a television show that I love so much, I don’t want to talk about it, share it, give an opening to anyone to say a bad word or not love it as much as I do. It’s mine, my secret pleasure. Outlander on Showtime was one such television event. (I can mention it now; it’s hardly a secret.) My 2016 find: TNT’s Good Behavior. I’m addicted. Michelle Dockery. Juan Diego Botto. (And where has he been all my adult life?) Shhhh….

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May Day Magic Indeed!

1-FullSizeRenderDoes this look like fun or what?! This art is from the lovely book Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions by Sarah Ban Breathnach, a must have for families wanting to continue some of the delightful seasonal traditions practiced in the Victorian home.

I’m forever  attracted to traditional festivals attached to nature and the seasons.  Add spring flowers and streamers of pastel ribbons, and what’s not to love?  May Day is a natural for me, and dancing the May Pole has happily been checked off my bucket list. While I might have imagined a daytime version of dancing in the woods under the moon in a light muslin shift accompanied by Van Morrison’s Moon Dance, the actual experience of dancing the Maypole was a lovely one nonetheless.  My son’s Waldorf school had built a Maypole in the school yard and the school’s families,  from toddlers to grandparents, gathered in the spring air on a sunny May day to take a turn holding onto one of the ribbons and moving gracefully in a counter-clockwise circle around the pole accompanied by recorder music. Magic indeed. And may I add, my son’s school also added the tradition of serving fresh baked shortcake with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream, an inspired addition if there ever was one.

Another May Day tradition is the creation of May baskets.  Early in the morning, children in the Middle Ages gathered wildflowers to create baskets that they secretly left for friends and neighbors. Tradition said that if they were discovered, they had to run back for a kiss.

How romantic is that!!  Too romantic to be left there, I decided. So this alluring tradition became the seed from which blossomed (at least I like to think so) my contemporary romance, May Day Magic. Single mother Diane enlists the help of her two children to create a May Day basket to deliver to her ailing mother, their grandmother. She’s all thumbs when handsome plant nursery owner Marc joins in to help select the flowers.  Diane has also secretly created May baskets for her children as a surprise they will discover when they return from delivering their grandmother’s basket. But there’s one more surprise coming, this time for Diane. Marc’s got a little May Day magic of his own in mind…

Here’s to enjoying some May Day magic with Marc and Diane, and making a little May Day magic of your own!

May Day Magic on Amazon

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Necco and I Celebrate Anniversaries all about Love

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This year Necco, the New England Confectionery Company, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of their pastel candy conversation hearts by asking people to share “stories of sharing, love, friendship and words from the heart.”

Today I’m celebrating the first day of my newest romance, I’m Sure, sharing this story about friendship and love, and words from a conversation heart. Pond designer Megan is not sure she can trust a man again, and Jason, a firefighter, is the poster boy for unpredictable. Is St. Valentine powerful enough to bring these two together?

Watch for a special appearance by a lavender conversation heart with pink letters spelling out I’m Sure.  But neither Jason or Megan are so sure in the beginning. Find out how a candy heart brings these two together in time for Valentine’s Day!  On sale today at:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=6631

 

 

 

 

 

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George Clooney, Universal Dream Man?

secretslogoIs George Clooney every woman’s dream man?

I ask this question because everyone seems to think so, including my widowed mother who as she approached her nineties, ripped a huge photo of George Clooney out of a magazine to keep in her kitchen. Betty suffered from dementia, but she still knew she wanted to wake up to George!

(Now, let me answer it for myself, since I am panel member “B.”)

B: Not for me. (Sorry, George.) The only thing I wonder about is why the media choose him to single out as the gold standard. Perhaps out of respect to his aunt, Rosemary Clooney, Hollywood royalty herself.

D: Every older straight woman and maybe some gay men.

P: George Clooney is undoubtedly extremely handsome, and I would not turn him down. Do I dream about him? No, but every time I see him, I think “He is one handsome man.” He is today’s Cary Grant.

R: Not now; he’s married. And so am I.

So if not George Clooney, then who is The Dream Man?

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Crazy Happy Hearts

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I’m weeding one of my garden beds, and for the first time in four years, I see little strawberry plants under the weeping Japanese cherry. I thought we’d lost them for good after an energetic spring weeder in the family identified the little strawberry plants as weeds. Seeing these little green plants thriving in late August, as the other garden plants and bushes have reached their peak and started the downhill journey to winter dormancy, warms my heart.

Opportunity only knocks once. He who hesitates is lost. Strike while the iron is hot. Sayings to increase stress for sure. The world moves fast enough. To imagine that we only go by everything once and if we miss is, that’s it, that’s a nearly debilitating concept for me. And not true, I’ve decided.

The tide must be taken when it comes. This is more like it. Because the tide will always come back. Every day, every month, every year. The important things in life, like opportunity, and tides, and strawberry plants, come around again, and again. Working the seasons in the garden is always a joyful calming reminder of the returning nature of life, along with its consistent beauty, strength, and natural order.

I believe there is a returning nature of love, too, in all its guises.  Love can come around again and again. So that’s what I write about, the things that I believe could happen; the things I want to believe do happen. Like when a single Manhattan book editor and widowed mariner ignite a decades-old high school attraction at the Jersey Shore. That’s the premise for my newest release, out this month: Crazy Happy Hearts. Susan’s and Kenny’s story is a reunion story.

Opportunity doesn’t only knock once. We really do get second chances.

Crazy Happy Hearts by Beverly Breton is available at http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5758. and also available on Amazon and other on-line stores.
To discover more titles, and read excerpts and reviews, go to www.beverlybreton.com    

 

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Cupid

Not until a recent reunion of my husband’s law school class, did I realize the extent that Cupid had taken a part in our romance, in the person of one Allan Miller. I’d met Allan before on two occasions, not realizing his key part in my own life. It was nice to see him again at the reunion – a handsome man with a bashful smile, on the eve of his own nuptials (planned for 10/10/10), a second wedding for the groom. Allan was one of Donald’s housemates from law school days, and remained part of the core group of alumni.  Not much of a talker, Allan’s reputation from law school was a guy with a beautiful girlfriend, who inspired ardent crushes among female students.  In other words, a man with a way with women, which his fellow males students admired and puzzled over.

 In our case, cupid’s arrow was a letter – written from myself to Donald on the occasion of his own engagement to another woman.  Here’s the irony of the situation, and where cupid/Allan had to intervene in this situation or we never would have gotten back together. Donald and I had been sweethearts for a spring and a summer in 1979, the year that Donald graduated from UCONN.  I was two years behind and planning to transfer to another school: UMICH, Williams, Northeastern U. or UC/Santa Cruz.  Donald had a vision of us together and married (at twenty-two), if I had stayed in the northeast. But my heart was set on the west coast and adventure, so off I went.  From my mother’s years as a widow, it was clear to me that a woman should have the means and ability to be self-sufficient, and to have her own first hand experience of the world.  Therefore, we parted ways, but kept in touch over the years, still interested in each other’s lives.

 In this letter, I congratulated Donald on his engagement and said I was certain he would be a good husband. I told him that after a few years of exploring the world and dating other guys, I had come to appreciate his good qualities of humor, respect, hard work, commitment to a goal, and being part of an extended family with a strong sense of identity and tradition.  I believe to this day, that it was my intention to affirm that he was a good, deserving and worthy guy, which I had not seen so clearly earlier on. After all, I had left him for the west coast, without a real explanation for the true cause of breaking up: his pressure to settle vs. my need to explore. I couldn’t very well say these things to him after he was married

 Needless to say, he was a bit puzzled by the significance of this letter, and in fact, came to realize that he loved me in a way that he had loved no other, maybe due to my yearning to see more of life rather than settle down right away. He took the letter to Allan Miller, for that deep interpretation of a woman’s words that only Allan could provide.  And Allan said, “She still has feelings for you, and you should go for it.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Some men do have special insight into women, for whatever reason. Allan Miller, I have a lot to thank you for. Blessings on your marriage.

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