People of Fiji

I have never met a group of people who are as friendly as Fijians. “Bula” is hello and you can’t go anywhere without being greeted. Even while our group was going somewhere in a bus, people walking on the side of the road would wave and say bula.

I miss the sincerity and warmth from these people. No one is a stranger for long.

Greeters at the airport

Greeters at the airport


Bouma Falls--We wanted to taste fresh coconut water, so this man and another climbed a tree and brought back nine.

Bouma Falls–We wanted to taste fresh coconut water, so this man and another climbed a tree and brought back nine.


Bouma Falls--This woman worked in the Heritage Centre. Her daughter is eating one of the coconuts we left.

Bouma Falls–This woman worked in the Heritage Centre. Her daughter is eating one of the coconuts we left.


Kids from a village performing a dance during a Meke for us.

Kids from a village performing a dance during a Meke for us.

As we walked to the natural waterslide, I saw this family using the river to clean.

As we walked to the natural waterslide, I saw this family using the river to clean.

Leaving Garden Island Resort. The staff sang Precious Memories. One line is "don't forget me when you're gone" and I won't.

Leaving Garden Island Resort. The staff sang Precious Memories. One line is “don’t forget me when you’re gone” and I won’t.

Kette, our guide on the zip line. His laugh rang through the rain forest.

Kette, our guide on the zip line. His laugh rang through the rain forest.

Fiji

neuvo megEven though I’ve been back from Fiji for almost a month, I believe I left a part of me behind. I call it post-vacation slump. As I sort through the numerous pictures, I realize that no one, not even Don, can enjoy them as much a I do. And really, who wants to be bored with endless shots of blue water.

Several of my friends are such excellent photographers–both on land and in the water–that my pictures are but poor attempts. What I find fascinating isn’t to others because they can’t know the stories or my thinking behind each shot.

There are very few ‘money’ shots from my trip. At times, I longed for my larger DSLR camera with the variety of lens. What a wonderful shot of the Southern Cross! I hadn’t even seen the Northern Cross!

The series of pictures I plan to post are taken with an older Nikon Coolpix L18 8 MG that also did double duty underwater. The videos turned out better than expected. Too bad the operator couldn’t be better at catching the action–I got a lot of fish butts.

I hope you will enjoy the blogs and maybe catch a bit of the Fiji love I found.

Gray Reef Shark

Happy 4th of July!

neuvo megHappy Birthday, America!
Today we celebrate Independence Day. Americans are lucky that we have so much to be grateful for. I know I am.

As we gather with family, friends and maybe even those we don’t know, be careful. Be safe. Watch out for others.

Time to enjoy good food, good times and good traditions!
I’m hoping the picture I post (which WordPress will delete soon) will make you smile. This was taken by my good friend, JET.
JET's Flag Waving Octopus

Congratulations, My Son!

neuvo megWe are so proud of you. On Monday, April 28, my son received his white coat in a ceremony at Southwestern Oklahoma State University–aka SWOSU. It was also a mini family reunion as I hadn’t realized that my two kids hadn’t seen each other since my father’s funeral in April 2008. I can hear gasps. Maybe not an excuse but both of them have been immersed in studying for their chosen careers. The Twisted Princess has worked hard at the same hospital since 2005 before she graduated with her first degree, then with her BSN all while supporting herself.
The Twisted Prince graduated high school while playing football, working on the ranch, then straight to SWOSU. Moving to Weatherford, OK, was quite a change from southeastern Oklahoma! And far from home. He never waivered from his pre-pharm determination and when he came home he worked at local pharmacies as well as the ranch. That doesn’t leave much time for traveling to Texas.
Now he has one more semester of courses before he moves to internship.
Congratulations, My Son! We are all proud of you.
Tim getting his white coat3 4.28Tim's White Coat Ceremony (33)

Happy Birthday, Don!

neuvo meg
Today is Don’s birthday! He has all those “wonderful” attributes that are found on mushy greeting cards. Romantic, tender-hearted, loyal, hard-working, loving, adventurous, twisted. Don in Coz

I’m amazed that he survived childhood. He tested his parents’ patience to the max. I thank his mother every year for raising a fine son even though he pulled horrible stunts. If that willow tree we planted upside down could talk about all the switches it provided. :-)
Don at 3~

Happy Birthday, My Love! These are the best times of our lives.
Don & Me 11.21.98

Look! Up in the sky!

Yesterday we posted this picture of Bob back in the day doing SPIE Rigging with 4th Force Recon. That photo doesn’t show a lot, though I think you get the idea that it was fun.

Bob, on left.

Bob, on left.

SPIE stands for Special Patrol Insertion and Extraction. It’s used for getting people in and out of areas where helicopters can’t land, with the troops rigged to this super-heavy-duty line, where they dangle until they’re inserted on the ground. When they’re extracted, the helo flies to a safe landing zone and then takes them on board.

Here’s the view from below:

SPIE - 2

He got to do all sorts of cool stuff in the Navy — skydive, scuba dive, go to sea on big ships, fly in all kind of aircraft, shoot neat guns, etc.

All *I* ever wanted to do was drive a tank. Every time we were onboard Camp Lejeune and we passed the “tank crossing” signs, I really wanted to take one of those babies for a spin. You think the idiot drivers wouldn’t get out of my way then? Tick me off in a tank, and I will drive over you. I will leave you flattened on the road, and depending on what you did to tick me off in the first place, I might even fire my big guns at you.

Hmm.

Maybe that explains why the Marine Corps wouldn’t give me the keys.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to The Queen!

Today is a special day for the Twisted Sisters! It is Marilyn’s birthday. She’s changed so many lives, including mine.

Happy Birthday, Marilyn! You are the queen of everything!

PENTAX Image

Euphoria and Hair-Pulling

mjp-jpg23Every few months I rediscover two things about writing: the hair-pulling, what-the-heck-am-I-doing?, this-is-never-going-to-work and, eventually, thank you, God, the euphoria. I love it when a plan comes together! (Anyone remember what TV show that line is from?)

This most recent time the hair-pulling came on the fourth book of the Tallgrass story. To sell the book, I have to submit a partial — a chapter and an outline — to my publisher, so I started, as I always do, with the chapter. Lucy, Joe, and Ben were cooperating, but there just wasn’t any chemistry, no spark or wit or anything that would make the reader read on.

Let me say, I am notoriously wary of first chapters. There is the occasion where the chapter just flows from the first sentence, but that’s even rarer than me turning down chocolate. Usually it’s a struggle.  One time, when I was young and foolish, I kept track of how many times I began the first chapter of Somebody’s Baby. The total count was in the 30s, though thankfully I’ve forgotten exactly. There’s usually at least five false starts per book, ranging anywhere from a few paragraphs to twenty or more pages. Each.

So, anyhoo, I was plodding along on Lucy’s first chapter, my word count dwindling every day. I finally pushed away from the computer, well aware that the shrinking wordage meant I didn’t have the right beginning.

That night, while getting ready for bed, an idea came to me. I let it cure while I slept. (Most people let their ideas percolate. I’m not a coffee-drinker, but I do know enough about curing cement to get myself ankle-deep in trouble.)

The next morning I went to the computer and wrote 2500 words in 2 1/2 hours.

That was the euphoria. That’s why I write.

God, I love this job!

(Anyone know what movie that line is from?)

A Christmas to Remember — Cover Reveal!!

I’m really excited about my next release. It’s a Tallgrass novella featuring Ilena Gomez and her new love, Dr. Jared Connors, and it takes place at Christmas. It’s called A Family for Christmas, and that’s exactly what Jared gets after he meets an adorable elf and her baby elf.

The book releases on 03 December of this year — just three months and one day away. Yay! It will be available only electronically, and the other authors include Jill Shalvis, Molly Cannon, Hope Ramsay, and Kristen Ashley.

Being such a helpful person, I’m including the links to preorder it. We all know I suck at putting links in the cool way, so here they are:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1dWZwBD

Barnes and Noble – http://bit.ly/1cnGbYC

iTunes – http://bit.ly/14JSNb5

And here’s the cover. Doesn’t it make you long for a little snow outside, a blazing fire inside, a cup of hot cocoa, and your Kindle?

AChristmasToRemember

The Booties Are Just Too Sweet!

Pappano_AMantoHoldOnTo_MM