Cruising 101: OCD style

Today is Day Six on this holiday journey and I’ve learned so many lessons already. I’ll call the first Cruising 101. While I realize many/most of you have likely been on cruises before, there were some fine points I learned following serious research and advice from friends and my travel agent. My six-day-long lesson was

Happy Thanksgiving and NanoWriMo!

While it seems like I’ve been AWOL this past month, since I returned from Oklahoma, I’ve actually been very busy with National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a friendly competition to write an entire novel in 30 days. Because I’d completed an outline and most of my research before November 1, I was able to

Quilts of Valor comfort and heal

We are well into the cold and, occasionally, snowy days of November. It’s Thanksgiving month and Veterans Day has just passed. One group has found the ideal way to thank a veteran by covering them with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. The local chapter of the national and international Quilts of Valor Foundation chartered

Before We Were Yours, a review

Historical fiction strikes my fancy only when the history is far removed from my own lifetime. The 1960s and ‘70s aren’t that far behind for someone just starting their 60th spin around the sun. And so, learning for the first time about an adoption scandal that rocked this country’s sensibilities in the 1940s was not

Ponca Trail of Tears, Day 10/0

The zero in the title is for “no new information.” A bad way to end my first big series of travel blog posts. Today’s final day on the trail certainly didn’t go as planned. In fact, my interviews with two VERY accomplished Native American women didn’t GO anywhere, due to lack of planning on my

Ponca Trail of Tears, Day 9

It seems appropriate I would end my recreation of the Ponca Trail of Tears at the sites of Standing Bear’s imprisonment and trial in Omaha. While I have some last-minute connections to make tomorrow in Lincoln, this will be my last full day on the trail. Today I followed the Standing Bear saga to Fort

Ponca Trail of Tears, Day 8 (part 2)

Dark clouds frame the old building, shrouded by heavy, leafy trees, going to seed. As I entered the Susan La Flesche Picotte Memorial Hospital early Tuesday afternoon, the rooms were chillier than most and ghosts seemed to pace the halls. While some rooms have become alive with museum pieces like syringes, blood pressure gauges and