H is for Hero – Do you really need one?

I’m a child of the 80’s and one of my favorite past-times was watching MTV at my BF, DeDe’s house. (I lived out of town and only got four stations.) Bonnie Taylor’s song, Holding Out for a Hero, was one we loved watching over and over again. Looking at it now I find it a little bazaar and twisted.

My mom said, “She doesn’t need a hero, get that girl a gun.” My mother was a wee bit independent and yes, we had a 22 hanging over our front door. Always loaded, because you might need it, but that’s a story for another day.

Now I write about hero’s and post pictures of my favorites.

Hugh starts with an H too.
Hugh starts with an H too.

Yes, readers and writers know the difference between reality and fantasy. That’s the point. I mean when we watched Wizard of Oz we knew clicking our heels wouldn’t get us anywhere, we might imagine it, but we knew it wouldn’t really happen.

Same way with the heroes in romance novels. We want them to seem real, but not too real. That’s part of the fun, right?

There are all kind of heroes: the bad boy, the lawman, superheroes, and poets. You have the classic prince and outlaw. Some tortured souls and others are healers. The warriors and protectors stand strong above all others. The man that will sacrifice all for love even his ego.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor - in the rain.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor – in the rain.
Come on, I can’t talk about heroes without at least one picture of Thor. (Shout out Joni Hahn and Sasha Summers)

When we close the book, the real heroes are in our lives, men and women that are there everyday, are waiting for us even when we sneak away to another world.

What is your favorite kind of hero? If you leave a name or post a photo, I’m add them to my hero board in pinterest.

One more of Hugh, just because I can.
One more of Hugh, just because I can.

I got this idea from my daughter’s blog
http://stormi16.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/do-i-really-need-a-hero/

D is for Dancing with Delight!

I love dancing but tend to hide keep it to myself.
When my kids where small we would clear the living room and have dance offs.
This is what happens when you let your babies dance. 44 seconds of pure joy.
My hope is for this 17 year old to face all of life with openness and the willingness to be yourself in the mist of a crowd. Keep Dancing Everyone!!!

Belly Dancers at the King William Art & Craft Show - Taken by Jolene Navarro 2013
Belly Dancers at the King William Art & Craft Show – Taken by Jolene Navarro 2013

Dancing is good for your physical and mental health. Do you dance whenever the mood strikes or when no one is looking? Maybe you don’t dance at all.

LOL _ In my mind this is how Fred and I look when Dancing
LOL _ In my mind this is how Fred and I look when Dancing
Here is the real Fred & Jolene dancing. I love dancing with Fred.
Here is the real Fred & Jolene dancing. I love dancing with Fred.

B is for Bergmann Lumber in Beautiful Boerne Texas

From weddings to Homecoming pep rallies, Art & Craft fairs  to live German music it is the heart of our Main Street - Taken by Jolene Navarro
From weddings to Homecoming pep rallies, Art & Craft fairs to live German music it is the heart of our Main Street – Taken by Jolene Navarro

Living is Boerne is a little slice of apple pie with a bit of cheesecake on the side. Over the years it has more than doubled in size, but still has that hometown, main street American feeling.

One of the best things about this Hill Country town is places Like Bergmann Lumber that will help out a friend by keeping her book on their shelves. So if you need a copy of Lone Star Holiday you can stop by and pick one up while your buying those tools and nails.

I want to Congratulate Bergmann Lumber Company on being awarded today the Texas Treasure Business Award!!! Family owned and operated since 1957.

Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber. Family owned for three generations.  Taken by Jolene Navarro
Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber. Family owned for three generations. Taken by Jolene Navarro
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main Taken by Jolene Navarro
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main Taken by Jolene Navarro

Do you have a favorite event or place in Boerne. Maybe you have your own favorite small town?

Celebrating the Sunrise and Sunset

In the sky I see my smallness and my greatness. The knowledge that the world spins, seasons come and go and each day will have a new beginning and an end comforts me in it routine. Great things will happen and I will celebrate; bad things will happen and I will survive. The mysteries of life are in God’s hands and I’m just to do the best I can.
My father loved and savored the daily events of a sunrise and sunset. I’ve been known to make my family stop so I can take a picture and for a moment think of the permanent change that is our life. Add your favorite sky picture you have taken.

Here are a few of my pictures along with a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

THE HOUSE OF CLOUDS. 1841

I would build a cloudy house
For my thoughts to live in,

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.
Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

When for earth too fancy-loose,
And too low for heaven.

Sunset in Texas Hill Country
Sunset in Texas Hill Country

I sleep, and talk my dream aloud,
I build it fair to see—

Boerne Texas Sunset - by Wade Beard
Boerne Texas Sunset – by Wade Beard

I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.

Sunset over New Orleans off the Mississippi River
Sunset over New Orleans off the Mississippi River

Cloud-walls of the morning’s grey,
Faced with amber column,

Sunset over Texas Hill Country on the road to Leakey Texas from Bandrea Texas
Sunset over Texas Hill Country on the road to Leakey Texas from Bandrea Texas

Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn—

Sunset on the road to Leakey Texas
Sunset on the road to Leakey Texas

For casements, from the valley fetch
May-mists glimmering,—

Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn
Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn

With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.

Sunset from my driveway in Texas Hill Country
Sunset from my driveway in Texas Hill Country

Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and eke brightening,

Sun rise in Galveston Texas.
Sun rise in Galveston Texas.

Of a riven thunder-cloud
Veinëd with the lightning.

Sun rise ans storms in Galveston
Sun rise ans storms in Galveston

Use one with an iris-stain
For the door within,
Turning to a sound like rain
As we enter in.

Sunset over Hondo Texas
Sunset over Hondo Texas

For the fair hall reached thereby
Walled with cloudy whiteness, Take the blue place in the sky,
Wind-worked into brightness—

Sunset Port Aransas
Sunset Port Aransas

Whence corridores and long degrees
Of cloud-stairs wind away—

Sunset over Castroville during at a high school football game.
Sunset over Castroville during at a high school football game.

Till children wish upon their knees,
They walkëd where they pray.

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,

From my driveway as I arrive home - Texas Hill Country
From my driveway as I arrive home – Texas Hill Country

Close and silent, glorified
When the sunbeams come there—

Sudden harpers, harping on
Every drop as such,—

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main
Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Drawing colours like a tune,
Measured to the touch.

Bring a shadow green and still
From the chesnut forest—

On the Mississippi heading into New Orleans
On the Mississippi heading into New Orleans

Bring a purple from the hill
When the heat is sorest,—

Texas Hill Country Sunset from my driveway
Texas Hill Country Sunset from my driveway

Spread them out from wall to wall,
Carpet-wove around;    And thereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.

Sun rise, from my balcony in Galveston Texas -
Sun rise, from my balcony in Galveston Texas –

Bring a grey cloud from the east
Where the lark was singing—

Clouds and storms trying to block the sun as it climbs into the sky over Galveston, Texas
Clouds and storms trying to block the sun as it climbs into the sky over Galveston, Texas

Something of the song at least
Lost not in the bringing,—

Slow rise over Galveston, Texas
Slow rise over Galveston, Texas

And that shall be a morning chair
For poet-dreams,—when with them
No verse constraint—the floating air
Their only, lovely rhythm.

Te sun rising as I leave for work - leaving the Texas Hill Country and heading to San Antonio
Te sun rising as I leave for work – leaving the Texas Hill Country and heading to San Antonio

Bring the red cloud from the sun—
While he sinketh, catch it,—
Bring it for a couch, with one
Side-long star to watch it—

Fit for a poet’s finest thought,
At curfew time, to lean;

Peaceful morning on my balcony in Galveston Texas
Peaceful morning on my balcony in Galveston Texas

When things invisible are brought
More near him than the seen.     Poet’s thought, not poet’s sigh!—
Alas! they come together!

Cloudy walls divide and fly
As if in April weather.

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.
Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

Hall, corridore, and column proud—
My chamber fair to see—
All pass—except that moonlit cloud
To which I looked with thee.

Night on the porch as the moon slips across the sky
Night on the porch as the moon slips across the sky

Let them!– Wipe such visionings
From the fancy’s cartel;
Love secures some frailest things,
Dowered with his immortal.

Suns, moons may darken—heaven be bowed,—
But here unchanged shall be,

Walking into Jackson Square late at night.
Walking into Jackson Square late at night.

Here in my soul—that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.

Show us you best sky picture. Always looking up!

Decorating with Memories

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I love pulling out the boxes of Christmas decorations. Almost all of them have a memory attached. I fill my house with Nativity scenes. I have several, from ceramic glazed sets to plastic ones I got so the kids could play with them.

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Today I’m posting pictures of the naivety scene my mother made when I was about eight years old. She poured the molds and glazed the set. A few of the pieces have been bumped and dinged but they are the first thing I set up in my house and the last thing I put away.

My tree is covered with angels and handmade ornaments form my kids. Almost every single treasure has a story attached. One of the first that goes on the tree is a white plastic reindeer with one antler missing. When I was about five my grandmother’s mother, Granny, let me pick any ornament off her tree. She had some beautiful heirloom decorations, but my little-kid-self skipped right over those and went for the flying reindeer. There were times in the past I didn’t appreciate the little plastic guy and he would be left in the box of odd and end pieces. Now, he is one of my favorites.

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Do you have an ornament or decoration that carries more sentimental value than monetary? I would love to hear your stories.

Small business, big heart and my debut book signing.

I love life in a small town. People know people. They know your grandmother, your cousin and your children. You belong. You have a history. You’re part of a story.
The draw back? People remember you as a teenager, and they really know your family members.

The hills between Boerne and Leakey Texas
The hills between Boerne and Leakey Texas

There are different levels of small towns. Places like Leakey, Texas with less than 400 people is what I consider small. It is also the kind of town I love writing about, generations of ranchers and business owners. Kindergarteners to twelfth graders are on the same school campus. Community is strong. Not a great deal has changed there over the years.

My first Clear Water Book.
My first Clear Water Book.

Then you have small towns like Boerne, Texas. When I started school here in 1979, there was one high school, one middle school and two elementaries. No chain restaurant or fast food. The grocery store and pharmacy were owned by local families. About 4,000 people called it home, and you could still hear people speaking German. Boerne is going through growing pains. North of San Antonio, people love the Main street feel of small town with the convenience of the big city.
You don’t see as many family owned businesses, for the sake of convenience the big box stores have staked a claim forcing the mom and pop shops to close or redefine themselves.
I write small town stories. Lone Star Holiday takes place in a small town on the Frio River. Rumor has it the population is 400 if you count the horses.
In honor of Texas small towns and family I’m proud to announce my first book signing for Lone Star Holiday. It will be on Main Street in Boerne at Bergmann Lumber on October 19th. Yes, I’m having a book signing at a hardware store. They are one of the few family owned businesses that have found a way to survive the shift in Boerne’s population and demographics.

Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber
Main Street Boerne Texas, Bergmann Lumber
Family owned lumber and home décor for three generations. Bergmann Lumber on Boerne Main Street.
Family owned lumber and home décor for three generations. Bergmann Lumber on Boerne Main Street.

The two story limestone building is a historical site and owned by the same family for three generations. Randy Bergmann and his daughters have managed to reinvent their store front and focus on customer service.

So if you want to buy a story about small town, family and faith come by Bergmann Lumber on Main Street in Boerne, Texas. You can also support small businesses. Do some early Christmas shopping.http://www.bergmannlumber.com/
Book Signing Saturday October 19th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Small towns across Texas gather on Friday night for The Flags and some football.
Small towns across Texas gather on Friday night for The Flags and some football.

Would the REAL Barbie step foward?

Should Barbie look like a real 19 year old girl?
Should Barbie look like a real 19 year old girl?

Would the REAL Barbie step foward?

Do you believe we have sub-conscious expectations created by our culture? I find this post about measurements of real women interesting. Has Barbie set an unrealistic body image for American girls only to have it reinforced in print and movies? I do have to admit I loved my Barbies and Kens. I had the town house, the Hawaiian Hut, an airplane, horses, more clothes than one doll needed and of course Barbie’s purple corvette. I always did wonder why Ken didn’t have his own car. I guess we know who was in charge. Barbie might be a physical anomaly but she’s never short of girl power.