Fall in South County

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Mostly true story: Charley and I were sitting in a Dunkin’ Donuts last week and  a horse walks up to the Drive-up Window. The waitress looks out, surprised to see him standing there and exclaims, “Hey!”

He says, “Yes, please, and could you throw in some extra ketchup?”

(Now, I’ll bet you thought she was going to say, “Why the long face?”)

I haven’t been around lately because I finished the mystery I’ve been working on for months now and have been sending it off to beta readers. Which means that when I get their input back, I’ll be busy editing it for the final draft. So, I’m taking time between drafts to write a post and visit you at your blogs to catch up.

Other things have been happening , too. I mean, you can’t just center your whole life around a book, can you? (Authors out there, please note – this is rhetorical )  I’m taking a class on “Making a Short Film”.  It’s an inter-generational class with students from the University of RI and seniors from Osha Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). I’ve been involved  with  the camera work, learning the ins-and-outs of filming. I even had a small part – the mother who says “Did you get those cookies I baked for you?” (She was supposed to be knitting in the scene, but I don’t knit. They changed the script and  my character did a crossword puzzle instead.)

There was another scene set on the university quadrangle during a  race called “The Almost Naked Mile”. Students were running to make money for a local charity. I set up my video camera and when the starter’s pistol went off, a few hundred almost naked bodies (thank goodness for them we’re having a very warm autumn) came running in my direction. When they saw the camera, of course, they all wanted to get in the scene and I had to hug the tripod for dear life. Hopefully there was enough footage for the editor to work with.

Our good friends, Jack and Jean, came to visit and we spent a pleasant afternoon kayaking out on Worden’s Pond. Have I mentioned the fact that I’m petrified of water? (although, I do bathe on occasion) When I was little, the teenagers next door to us used to throw me into the deep end and then take turns fishing  me out of their in ground pool on a regular basis.

Needless to say, overcoming the fear  was a big deal for me and I almost backed out of the adventure. The worse part was getting in and out of the kayak because they tend to wobble (a lot). It was a sunny fall day and I was with my favorite people, so it was a lovely  experience – except for the few minutes when I found I was paddling furiously but not moving. It took a while until I realized I’d paddled over a large rock and was grounded. I’m happy to say I was able to figure out how to extricate myself and the boat without tipping over.

Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Hospital

We flew to Maryland this week and spent the day at Johns Hopkins. Some of you know from previous posts that Charley is involved in a clinical study on aggressive prostate cancer. He had a long day of blood tests and scans which showed he’s still in remission after two years. We went out to the Pratt Street Ale House, on Pratt Street (my maiden name was Pratt)  to celebrate and then flew home to watch the first game of the World Series on TV. Cleveland Indians vs the Chicago Cubs. The Indians won 6-0.  The next night the Cubs won 5-1.  That made me happy because I like both managers and have favorite players on both teams.

Of course, the election is coming up in two weeks. Although I watched the first two, I didn’t tune into the third and final debate. Watching the buffoon stalk the future first woman president of the US around the stage for 90 minutes during the 2nd debate convinced me I’ve had enough of his disgusting talk and antics.

However, I did watch the BBC news reports on the debates the next day and was further disgusted (if that’s even possible at this point) to find he had called for Ruth Badder Ginsberg’s resignation from the Supreme Court because of comments she made about him in an interview: “He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head the moment.He really has an ego….I can’t imagine what this country would be with Donald Trump as our President.”  I actually think maybe the real reason he wants her out is that she’s not his “type”.  But maybe he’ll sue her and the case will come before the Supreme Court and she’ll have him executed? (I can dream, can’t I?)

I’ve been reading My Own Words. Ginsberg  was the second img_0711woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. In this memoire, she talks about other women who have been “way pavers” and “path markers” for generations of girls and women in this country. And they haven’t had it easy!  She quotes her good friend, Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Court:

“For both men and women the first step in getting power is to become visible to others, and then to put on an impressive show….As women achieve power, the   barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.”

Go Hillary!

I think  I’ll write a post on women and their continuing path toward equality in the US. But not today.

Just in case I don’t post again this month, I’ll finish with some fall pictures from around the neighborhood . Halloween decorations are out and some people take this holiday extremely seriously. For my part, I have a few pumpkins and a candy corn tree which Roxie seems to believe is her newest cat toy. Oh, and I’ve already eaten almost all of the candy bars we bought for the  trick-or-treaters. That’s okay, though, because no one ever comes down our driveway. It’s too long, dark and scary. Ah, the irony! I’m going to buy more candy tomorrow. You can never be too prepared.

Happy Halloween!

 

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88 thoughts on “Fall in South County

  1. Just a quick reply. We have an accepted offer and a contract and so trying to prepare for transferring TDA funds for our house down payment, filing all Doug’s retirement stuff, changing Medicare to add part B, end of Due Diligence Period, Noember 11 requiring certified check for a few thousand, family all arriving November 12 for Doug’s last Sunday the 13th closing the 21th, granddaughters’ 24 th and 16th birthdays , and packing to move. I feel insane. BUT glad Charley had good news but still wondering, worrying, and praying about his funding for his medication. Any news?

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    1. Jo, I was just at your blog catching up. You did good, girl! It’s been a great week around here, too. On Monday, Charley received an email that some funds had been released and he applied for them immediately. That night he was informed that his request was accepted. When we went to the pharmacy at Hopkins the next day, we expected to have to pay for the drugs, but they had already received the notice of payment. I think you and I have had a great week all around and we are truly very blessed. We really will have so much to talk about when we finally get together. Love, Clare

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  2. What a busy, productive and fun time you’ve had of late. (I’m not counting Trump, of course.)
    Congratulations on getting your mystery novel finished.

    Ruth Bader Ginsberg was in the news here recently, quoting a favourite saying of her late husband Marty (apropos of a Trump victory) “Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

    On the subject of candy, here’s a little story you’ll enjoy. I was on my way home yesterday evening and a little boy and his sister who were selling bars of chocolate (presumably as a school fundraiser) came up to me and asked of I would like to buy one. The little boy said, “It’s wonderful chocolate. I’ve just eaten some, and I feel full of goodness.”

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    1. Yes, Ginsberg mentioned her husband’s quote in that interview. Supreme Court Judges are not supposed to give opinions on political issues due to the nature of their jobs. But being a Jewish female, who has fought for equal rights for women her entire career, under the circumstances, I don’t see how she could have been silent.
      I think that little boy has a promising career in marketing! (Unfortunately I am overflowing with”goodness” and have an empty treat bowl by the kitchen door to prove it.) I will be visiting your blog to continue Gib’s adventures this weekend. I hope I’m not too far behind.

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      1. Yes, I’m full of goodness too, because I bought and ate a bar of the chocolate. It was one of my favourite brands, and I’ll probably buy a bag of mini-bars for Halloween, just in case trick or treaters come. And if they don’t? Oh dear.
        You’ll have plenty of time to catch up with Gib; I’ve got one more post to do, and then I’m taking a month’s break 🙂

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  3. Wow! Halloween really does happen over there! It’s a relatively new import here- my first ever experience of the knock on the door and the “trick or treat” was?? maybe eighteen years ago? I, of course, refuse to play- I love American culture – in America. Not here. And, it’s been promoted by commercial interests- all the supermarkets, the $2 shops … each year more poor quality, wear once, use once stuff. I hate to see the ruthless way money preys on our children. My usual response to the knock on the door is to choose “trick”. That’s met with confused looks and a slow trickle away of children. I like your way of explaining a brief absence. Now as my absence is much longer … maybe I simply keep going. Also like your introduction of yourself. That’s an update isn’t it?

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    1. Kate! I truly love hearing from you!
      Yes, I published a second book and have two more ready to go, so I did some work on the Bio and the photo. Must redo the About Me page soon and am now working on a website.
      Children here do not go out trick or treating so much any more. Parents have become more protective and so they have parties or such where they can dress up in costumes. I hope we get rid of the door-to-door tradition altogether in the future. And I agree , everything seems to be at the mercy of marketing pros who try to make every single event all about spending money here in the US.
      Have you posted anything lately? I am going to find out as soon as I finish the comments. I am finding less time to post in the past few weeks because of marketing the two books I have out, writing , editing and publishing the two new ones and setting up the website. Too much going on in addition to the actual functions of daily life. I don’t feel the need to post every week and will probably go to every month some day soon. We’ll see. I have another comment from you I need to get to. I’ll visit your site soon. Clare

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  4. I haven’t kept up with all posts, so am tardy with expressing my concern for Charlie and yourself, but this sounds like good news. My ex spouse and an aggressive prostate cancer three years ago. So far, all well. A very close relative has lived with an extremely slow growing one for fifteen? sixteen ? years- so far proving that the decision to do nothing was wise. We are mortal and life is fragile, to be valued every second.

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    1. Thank you , Kate. Charley’s cancer was very aggressive and had to be treated as such. He is involved in clinical studies to find a cure for prostate cancer and in doing so, we’re sure it will lead to cures for other cancers. now that he is finally in remission, we are involving ourselves in groups helping to educate and also to fund research. We’ll be taking part in a national conference (Charley speaking as a survivor and me as an advocate) in March. I’ll certainly write a post on it among other issues involved in advocating providing care and medicine and research in this area. I’m going to visit you now. (It’s 1 am here and it seems like old times, chatting with you in the early morning hours when I am wide awake.)

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  5. I’m unexpectedly still here (more treatment required on the leg so I wont leave until the end of next month) which means I get to see Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Election at first hand. Pass me the smelling salts – this could prove more than a fair English girl can take! I love the pictures of your kayaking and I love the image of you being born down on by a herd of relentless near–naked runners and barely protected by your movie camera 🎥 and mostly I am happy that Charley has good news. As for the politics of it all …. I just hope that America does not live to regret its vote as it is so clear that my homeland is regretting its foolish referendum. The signs are that sense is prevailing here but let no-one be complacent nor assume because as my youngest bratling reminds me often assume makes and ASS out of U and ME.

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    1. Osyth, I am sorry about that leg and hope those Boston doctors make you right as rain. Well, you do have an interesting few weeks ahead. The holidays will be quite a bit of fun, but I’m not sure about election day. Stay in and draw the shades!
      That “assume” quote became quite popular when it was said by Felix to Oscar in a television episode of The Odd Couple a few decades back.I’ve used it many times since then. I’ll bet all of your bratlings will be ecstatic to finally see you when you travel home.
      Take care and I’ll visit your blog today, so I’ll be a little more informed about your “doings” as you extend your visit here in New England.

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  6. Great to see you again, and it’s good to know that you’ve packed so much into your time away! Great news for you both about Charley. Really interesting to catch up on all your other news too. If you haven’t seen them, there are a couple of clips on YouTube where people have put a backing track to some of that second debate. I think you’ll enjoy them! I hope the one with the scary music as he looms behind her is still there! Enjoy your Halloween – the pictures look fabulous!

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    1. Autumn always seems to get control of my life after the long lazy days of summer here in New England. It’s my favorite season and so maybe it’s just me wanting to get more done before winter sets in?
      I have seen some of those videos on various late night talk shows. They are hilarious! I am looking forward to visiting your blog today and hope all is well in Merry Old England. 🇬🇧 Take care, Clive. your friend, Clare

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      1. It’s my favourite season too, Clare – and it’s great to see you giving it the name we call it! Hopefully it will inspire you to achieve all you have set yourself to do. All’s good thanks, as long as you ignore politics 😊

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  7. I have enjoyed reading your post and catching up on all your news, Clare. Wonderful news that Charley is still in remission. Love the Halloween photos, especially the ones of Roxie and ‘her’ candy corn tree. It’s a shame Halloween has become so commercialised now. In Scotland we used to go out guising which menat dressing up in homemade costumes, knocking on doors and doing a proper performance of a song or reciting a poem (no silly jokes). In return we received our sweets (usually homemade fudge or toffee), nuts, occasionally money. It’s a really old tradition which, sadly, is now dying out, replaced by trick or treat imported from acriss the pond. Scotland’s bard, Robert Burns wrote about Halloween so it really is a time full of old traditions – a shame to see them go.
    Congratulations on finishing your mystery.
    I haven’t posted for ages on my Goldfish blog – feeling very guilty but have other things I need to get done, including the captions for a local history book whose deadline is looming. I had hoped to turn the blog into a book before the end of this year – not going to happen now. All the best xx

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    1. Oh, I love the idea of performing trick-0r-treaters. What a nice tradition. I think you should write a little children’s book about it. I have been reading some of your Goldfish chapters and think it is coming along very well. I read all of the original versions and I always thought it would make a grand book to share with people going through what you and your family did with your dad. And I particularly like the photos of him in his younger years.
      I put the mystery down for quite a while because it just wasn’t working. When I went back to it, I was able to do a much better job. So, perhaps a respite is just what is needed. I’m sure you will have it in perfect order soon. (After all of your other duties have been taken care of and put to rest.) The captions for the history book seems to be interesting. I love history and doing captions for photos would appeal to me. Take care and I’ll visit soon. 🎃 Clare

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      1. Thanks, Clare. I have a few more posts to write up for the blog then I’ll have almost all the material I need for the book. I printed it all out and realised immediately it needs a lot of restructuring to get the story arc right. I think it’s because blog posts are quite different from chapters. I also need to add in some more reflective sections – and maybe some of the frustrations at trying and more or less giving up to carry on with my writing. Maybe you’re right and some time away from it will let me see how to tackle it.
        The local history book will published next year, probably around Easter time to catch the start of the tourist trade. I did one on Dumfries last year with a photographer colleague and we are asked to do another one. This time it’s on my home town. Basicall it’s a ‘then and now’ format. Once we have the ‘then’ images Allan photgraphs the same place as it is today and I write the captions and introduction. I enjoy the research but the most difficult part is reducing it to 80-word captions – I have much more I want to say!

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      2. That does sound like much work. I know writing blurb summaries for book covers is a torture. It takes a type off mind set, I think. I agree with your thoughts on moving from blog entries to an actual book. I’ve attempted it with Roxie’s posts and so much more needs to be done. I’ve put that aside for a bit, too. I’m working on a Christmas in the Berkshires Book for the ZuZu series. Roxie will be absolutely furious! I may have to move to Scotland!

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    1. I believe in Karma and truly hope it catches up with that buffoon as soon as possible. I will say that he has united women in a way I’ve not seen before. That is some comfort, I guess? The Ginsberg book has so many stories of women who made a difference. I think you would love it. See you soon, Bernadette. 👻 Happy Halloween!

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    1. Yes, Autumn is always filled with wonderful things to do here in New England. But I fear I’ve been very remiss in visiting my blogging friends and will try to make up for that in the next week or so. See you soon! 🎃 👻 Hugs to you,, too. Clare

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  8. Welcome back, Ethel!! Whew! Y’all have been running around like chickens with your heads chopped off!
    SO, so happy for Charley!! YAY!! And hurray for money, and free drugs!! God is good!
    Your book is gonna be excellent, just like all your others!
    That candy corn tree is just so cute!
    Roxie, just be sure you don’t eat any of it! Hugs!
    Ethel, the chocolate is good for your mental health! It was medicinal!!
    Love, Lucy ❤

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    1. Medicinal just like your ice cream bars, I think? Roxie has already broken off quite o few of the fake candy corns and I am finding them everywhere. (I think she’s hoping I’ll slip on one and break my neck.) I had to wake up really, really early the other morning to get that post done, but I didn’t want to let too much time go between blogging. I now must start catching up with reading my friends’ blogs and that should take a bit of time. I’ll definitely start with yours! See you soon, Lucy! 🎃 😱 🎃 Love, Ethel (Hey, if you lived near me, we could go out trick-or-treating as Ethel and Lucy and get lots of chocolate!)

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      1. Definitely!! Aww, no, Roxie is just spreading the joy!!
        That’s why I had no post today, didn’t get up early enough! thank heaven for that re-blog button!!
        YAY!! Thanks for starting with me! You’re the very bestest!!
        Wouldn’t that be a hoot!!! Medicine, Ethel, medicine!!
        <3, Lucy

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    1. Yes, I can be very stream of consciousness Virginia Woolfish at times. I may do my next book in that style. Thank you for your good wishes. I have much more editing work to do before it’s ready for publishing, but for now, I’m taking a bit of a break and letting the beta readers put in their 2 cents. Happy Halloween! 🎃

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  9. Very glad to hear about your husband. Very good news. As for politics, ack! I can’t stand the sight of him anymore. Am I the only one who finds it odd that only the democratic emails were hacked? What’s that all about. Personally I’m not appalled by it. Anyone who has worked in business knows that there is strategy in every decision and some of the discussion is not always politically correct. It doesn’t mean anything bad happened. It will be soon over. Even our local contest has turned aggressively nasty. Argh!

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    1. Hi, Kate. I am not taking the email thing very seriously either. I agree with your assessment of the strategy behind business decisions and it must be taken into account that all of the people involved each have an opinion to share. I’m sorry to hear about your local election. I do feel that the buffoon has drawn women together and that is one good thing about all his vile comments, but, like you, I cannot stand the sight of him. Take care and have a peaceful weekend. Clare

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  10. Congratulations on finishing a complete draft of your book and sending it to beta readers! Way to go, Clare! May dealing with the feedback from your beta readers be a great new adventure and learning opportunity about yourself and your creation.

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    1. Yes, this is my first time including other people in on the process. It should be quite interesting, to say the least. But they are all mystery lovers, so that’s half the battle. We’ll see. Hope all is well with you and I’ll visit soon to find out what you’ve been up to.

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    1. I was just reading your newsletter. Looks like the boys are ready for school. They are growing up so fast.
      Yes, we keep a positive attitude and try to make sure we do our homework – so we know the answer to our questions before we even ask them. Over the past 9 years, we’ve become very good at this. Thanks, Yvette, Clare

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  11. Donald Trump’s comment about Ruth Bader Ginsberg were ridiculous, but then everything he says is either ridiculous, offensive or both.

    Incidentally, I don’t think that candy corn tree is going to survive Roxie.

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    1. The buffoon is Ginsberg’s complete opposite. I’m almost done with the book and what she has done for gender equality in her years as a lawyer and judge is amazing.
      The question is- will I survive Roxie? I now have a full-time job gluing the candy corns back on the vines! 2 Days to Halloween!

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  12. Goodness, you’ve been busy Clare! I admire you for getting into that kayak; the thought of ending upside down in one of those would keep my feet firmly on dry land, especially if I wasn’t keen on large bodies of water. Do they tell you what to do if the thing rolls over? I can’t bear to think of it! Thankyou for the wonderful autumnal pictures; such a beautiful time of year, and you’re in one of the best places in the world to enjoy it. Very good news on Charley. 🙂

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    1. Hello, Hariod. They say you can get a kayak to roll back to upright and fortunately, I did not have to use any of that information.
      You’re quite welcome. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful and Charley and I worked outside in the yard, readying the gardens for the winter.We have a yard filled with leaves from the surrounding woods, so Charley raked them back to the forest primeval and I cut and pruned. It seems as though we were just out there getting everything ready for spring. I think we’ll plant some more bulbs to surprise ourselves in May. (We always forget where we’ve buried them.)
      I have been terribly remiss, because I just can’t seem to figure out how to juggle writing, publishing and marketing books with writing posts and reading other’s blogs! Today I’m meeting with a young woman who is helping me develop a website. Unlike my first books, I have sought the help of others with this mystery. I have volunteer beta readers, an editor, an illustrator and cover designer involved. This is different for me, as I tend to do everything myself. I actually like working with others on these projects and I’m sure the books will be better for their help and advice.
      I am now going to visit with you and spend some time with your words and those lovely photographs and pieces of art.
      I am so happy you wrote a note. It has brightened up my day. Your friend, Clare

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  13. It is always a pleasure to read your posts! 🙂 I’m glad you finished your mystery – hope everything turns ok! Good luck! I’m very curious to know the title and the story behind it… And who knows, might be a perfect Christmas gift (for me!)!
    In Portugal we don’t have the tradition of Halloween – it’s something imported from USA -, but we had the November 1st, the Day of the Death (Dia de Todos os Santos or Dia dos Mortos or even Dia dos Finados), and for 3 years we didn’t celebrated it because of the previous Government took it from us (political and social problems). But, fortunately, our actual Government established it and it’s a holliday again – kids can once more knock people’s doors and scream “Pão-por-Deus!” for candy and broas.
    I love our tradition but I’m also a Halloween enthusiast so you can imagine how impressed I was looking at your photos! 😀 Loved the decorations!
    All the best for you and your family and hope to read more about you soon!
    Lots of chocolate, M.

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    1. I am so glad you stopped by to visit this morning. I’m in need of some chocolate recipes now that the holiday season is starting up. I don’t expect Last Train to Kingston to be published until the spring and it will be on Amazon. It’s set here in my own home town and will include some photos of settings that are actual historic buildings. This is my first mystery, so I am trying to be careful about the writing. I would like it to become a series set here in South County. We shall see! Now, I’m off to visit you.

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      1. Hi, Lucy. It’s Saturday morning and I’m just checking in on Comments and getting back to people. I am so far behind and need to catch up. Maybe, I’ll get a post done for this week? Not sure. Thanks for thinking of me, Lucy. Love, Ethel

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  14. Phew… I am exhausted just reading all this. As I said before, where on earth do you find the time to have a buoyant social life and still Blog and write ( oh and eat candy, but I wont mention that! LOL) Its a great read and it covers so much…I really like the canoeing. You seem to be having a lot of fun. I am NOT going to mention the Election… I promise!

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    1. Jackie, my secret is so simple – I’m retired, have never had children and have a husband who does housework and is incredibly supportive of my “projects”. (A very basic formula, I’d say?)
      I was just writing you a very long response to your email, so I think I’ve covered the politics pretty well. Have a lovely trip to Prague and come next week, I’m sure we’ll have lots more to talk about❣️Clare

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  15. Almost to ‘crunch’ point Clare. The candidates seem to be running neck to neck and the world waits with bated breath.
    On a happier note, the Halloween decorations are really something. I might steal some ideas for my grandies for next year. Now about all that candy …

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    1. Robyn, I actually got two little trick-or-treaters! I dumped the candy in their bags! I think Hillary is going to do well and finally we’ll have a woman in charge. One thing that has come of all the buffoon’s hateful rhetoric is that women have truly banded together and are more supportive of each other than I’ve ever seen before. Look out! Woman power unleashed is going to be awesome! (I’m a bit optimistic at the moment – probably a sugar high. I didn’t really give all the candy away!) 🍭 🍫 🍩 😱Clare

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      1. Good to hear Clare. I know she hasn’t been everyone’s pin up girl but what politician is ever perfect? All the negativity about her lying and it turns out one of websites that does fact checking found her to be least duplicitous of all the candidates.
        Good work with the candy. It’s such a temptation

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      2. Robyn, Unfortunately, I live in a democratic country that has been an actual Patriarchy for way too long. Hilary Clinton is an excellent candidate. She has better credentials than any man who has ever run for office. Her two biggest barriers to getting to that office has been her husband (who is the duplicitous one) and her sex. I was one of those who believed much of the media about her in the 2008 election, but I did my homework this time and I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong. (Although I still would have cast my vote for Obama. I think he would have been an even greater President had the Republican Congress and Senate not blocked his every move. They are planning to do the same to her.) I am an Independent and want a choice with a two or even three or four-party system. But the conservative Republican Party has lost its way and has become more of an obstructionist party. It is a major problem. Now here is the good thing about all the quagmire we have been drowning in during this election cycle. Women have really had it! They are banding together as I have never seen before and have the backing of many wonderful men (like Charley) who want to see our country move on to a better place. This will result in more women running and winning office – demanding their rights in the workplace, equal opportunities, equal pay, equal footing, RESPECT. Because of this , there will be positive change and believe me, it’s been a long time coming. Right now, we have become more of a Corporatocracy than a Democracy. I have trust that women and like-minded men in decision-making rolls will help to turn this around. We have three marvelous women on the Supreme Court and they have been making a difference. Now we need more in the Senate and House of Representatives and we need a woman President more than ever. If a “normal” Republican candidate were running against Hilary, he probably would win. But (and this is the Big Butt) we have a buffoon and so, next Tuesday, an American Woman has half a chance to win. Thanks to a Butt-headed Buffoon. Give Thinks❣️ Clare

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      3. Hi Clare, thanks for your thoughts on Hillary. I was dining with some girl friends last night and was telling them about you. We were bemoaning the press for their sensationalism and have a profound distrust of what we’re being told. It was good to be able to share your thoughts with them. So much negativity has been written about Hillary and one is never sure if it’s the gender factor in play or if the criticism is warranted. You also confirmed what we suspected about the past and present obstructionism. Not long to go now. Go Hillary!

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      4. Robyn, Tuesday is looming closer. I’m really glad you were able to share my thoughts with your friends. I do intend to write a post someday about that “gender factor” and its effects on women here in the US. I’m up really late doing some more book edits, but I think I’ll try to get some sleep. Have a lovely Sunday. Clare

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  16. So much in this blog and the comments! First question on my mind is which part of the story about the horse at Dunkin Donuts isn’t completely true? The ketchup part? The horse part is obviously true, since you have a picture!

    I’m excited to hear you are sending off your book to beta readers. I’m curious about your process, because I’m trying to get a polished second draft done before having others read my novel. Do you do first draft, readers, then second draft, or are you sending out a second draft?

    Wonderful news about Charley. I’m happy you two are entering the winter season confirmed healthy.

    The picture of the trees reflected in the water is gorgeous! What a beautiful image.

    Personally, I’m counting the days until the election is over. I’ve made an alternative universe for myself where a tiny knit Hillary is competing against a tiny knit Trumpish figure to combat the reality of the horror of the real election. I watched all three debates and am totally informed. I don’t want me or my daughter to grow up under a Trump presidency….

    Off to go catch up on more of your posts. Oh, and wanted to let you know that this unseasonably warm Halloween found our kiddo trick or treating for hours. We got to meet new neighbors, visit with old neighbors and share in a wonderful holiday tradition. Trick or treating is alive and well and this year it was heartwarming!

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    1. The true value in Halloween – getting to meet your neighbors and visit with friends! I have to go to your site when I finish this comment to see your latest posts, too.
      The trees reflected in the water is a photo from the bridge on my street. It’s a tiny bridge crossing the Queens River and makes for a lovely destination during a short walk around the neighborhood.
      As to this election cycle, I wrote my positive spin on it in my comment (in this post) to Robyn Haynes. It might make you feel a bit better.
      Charley usually reads my first draft and this is the first time I am giving it out to others for input. Since it’s a mystery, I have to be sure about continuity, clues, red herrings, timelines, etc. So, I really need some extra eyes on the text (particularly the plot line).I chose my beta readers from avid mystery lovers who read the same mystery authors I enjoy, since that will be my main audience. I think I’ll do the same with my next book in the ZuZu/Berkshire series. It will be a Christmas Book and I want it to be special, so I intend to take a long time over it and share the first draft with lovers of Christmas stories. I’m also using an illustrator now. Although I take the photos to give him an idea of what my concept is, I’m going to let go of this aspect and concentrate on doing more writing. It’s a relief not to have to be author and illustrator, as I am not very talented in the latter. And I can write more books.
      I suggest you write a first draft and put it down for awhile. Then return to it and write the real first draft and put it down for a while. Then read it agin and make some revisions and give it to people who you feel will be your primary audience and will offer feedback and not serious critique. Make changes based on their feedback and then look for someone qualified to do a critique. (I’m skipping this step as I am my own worst critic!) I just finished Stephen King’s book on writing and it is a wonderful book about how a successful writer (whose works are sometimes severely critiqued) came to be a writer. And he has some wonderful tips on the writing process. I’m going to visit you now. Have a great weekend. Clare

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  17. This should be an ” election free zone” ( LOL…) I loved the photos of the ghosts on the grass near you. I think the Brits are quite ambivalent about it. Some years the interest is huge and some years barely noticed. This seemed to be a busy year with lots of parties for kids and adults. I don’t know where I stand on it, but if you offer me some sweets, I will surely come over to the Dark Side! Apparently if you put a lit candle or pumpkin in the window here, it means its ok to knock – a dark window and don’t ring the bell…. so I have been told.

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  18. I am out of sync here, so forgive me. I like the idea of Halloween as a chance to meet neighbours. That’s a nice way of looking at it. I will remember this for next year and maybe do something at the front of the house, offering mulled wine and sweets.
    More importantly, I feel you enthusiasm for Hillary and the election. Its rather uplifting and I like the way you see ” the winds of change” Lets hope so. Interesting you say that if Trump wasn’t against her, she probably wouldn’t win.
    As Mr Wu would say ” we live in exciting times!”
    Fingers crossed for Tuesday then… let me know how it goes!

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