May, 1864. Spring had arrived in the state of Virginia, but so had the Union army. It wasn’t the first time, either. Since 1861, the boys in blue had slugged it out, and lost, against the formidable General Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia. These fights carried a heavy price tag too. Thousands of soldiers lay buried under Virginia’s thick soil. Countless more bore wounds from physical scars, or the painful… Read More

If any of you followed me around Halloween, you probably know that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. It’s really hard to refuse candy, especially when it comes to Candy Corn (click here to read all about it). Well, I decided to make a two-parter out of that post, because it’s not just Candy Corn that I love. It’s holiday candies in general. Something about seeing it packed on the… Read More

The first time I saw “the Sound of Music,” I fell in love. Not just with that happy-go-lucky story (quite a boast for a movie with Nazis), but also with Salzburg. The mountains that drew Maria to their wild peaks also had a powerful hold on me. So much that the opening sequence, where the camera just sweeps over Austria’s beauty, has always been my favorite part. Although, to be honest, I… Read More

Last year, I tapped into my long-dormant poetry well, and I posted a series of seven poems about World War II.  They were all from the vantage points of the many people, from many places, killed during the conflict.  This year, the “Let Me Tell You How I Died” series is back with seven segments from World War I.  It was a conflict so encompassing in its devastation that it came to… Read More

It was June 7, 1917, a little after three in the morning. Over a small swath of Belgium known as Messines Ridge, the first rays of dawn glittered on the horizon. Mud-splattered German soldiers slumbered in their trenches, while their British counterparts huddled across the way. A few flares fizzled over the soggy fields riddled with shell holes and puddles. Sporadic artillery guns woke up and belched the first cannons of “morning… Read More

The sun burned hot in the isolated countryside of Belgium. So hot…. and the horizon lay vast and unbroken. On either side of the car, we only saw open farm lands, and tidy hay blocks stacked in pyramids or speckled in uniform over the fields. Tall, green grass rippled in the wind. The sky topped it all with its fantastic sapphire dome. While my husband drove, I fiddled with the GPS, which babbled some robotic nonsense… Read More

Once upon a time there lived a young girl who was obsessed with Ancient Egypt. She read any book about it she could get her hands on. She dressed as an Egyptian Queen for Halloween. Hieroglyphics mesmerized her, and she even learned how to write her name in them. The lives of pharaohs, and especially their mummy tombs filled with treasures, captured her imagination. She especially marveled at pictures of King Tut and his many treasures. While flipping… Read More

Hello everyone!  As promised, here is the final segment of Part I of my Poem epic – the conclusion to the WWII part of the series (which is brought to you with some mild confusion on the new block editor … so apologies if it doesn’t look the same!) I hope you have enjoyed this first part!  Next year, the epic will return with Part II which covers the First World War. … Read More

I won’t lie to you guys. I’m one of those people who goes a little crazy on Christmas. The pumpkins from Halloween are barely soft before Christmas decorations go up. We wrap the stair banister in holly and garland, lights adorn our kitchen window, and unwitting cats find themselves in various Christmas outfits. I enjoy all of the decorating, but the Christmas Tree holds an extra-special place in my heart. I just… Read More

The first thing we saw at Talbot House was the garden. It was spacious and green, with beautiful flowering shrubs all over the grassy lawn. Butterflies flitted everywhere. It felt like a haven, and I let out a nice exhale.  In my first five minutes there, I saw why so many soldiers from the Great War and the nearby Ypres Salient found peace at Talbot House. As Sgt. Jacob Bennett of the… Read More