Love in the Forest is up for Pre-Orders!

amazon.com/Love-Forest-Earth-Sky-Book-ebook/dp/B09233R53Q/

This first book of the Earth and Sky Series started as a tarot reading, in the Brass Room at a Thistle Dew writer’s retreat. This weekend, LOVE IN THE FOREST went live on Amazon.com, available for Pre-Ordering for it’s June 2 Release.

The characters, Brooke Meadows and Josh Quinn, were born that April day, and this is their coming out party.

I thought my niche was going to be Second Chance Romance, as this was the theme for TEN BUCKS AND A WISH. But after my first book was published, I realized there was a whole community waiting for their romances to be told. The Pagan Community.

While there are award-winning and award-worthy stories out there about witches with superhuman powers, I decided to join the growing community of authors who believe we need more stories about witches who don’t shoot fire from their fingertips, solve murders, chase down demons, or sacrifice small children and animals to demanding gods. We need stories for the living and breathing every day witches who raise healthy (undead) kids; people of all genders who hold down jobs and manage the house at the same time. Who like to shop and go out to the pub with friends. Who fall in love, get broken hearts, pick themselves back up, fall in love again, and hopefully find their happily ever after.

Hello, Earth and Sky series!

The back cover blurb sums LOVE IN THE FOREST up in a few paragraphs:

Step into the mystical and magical forests of Upstate New York, where Earth and Sky camp photographer Brooke Meadows has taken refuge from the demons of her past as she uses her ability to communicate with the dead to heal loved ones left behind.

Unable to cope with the loss of his wife and daughters three years prior, Josh Quinn, CEO of the number one dating site Quirkyflirt.com, is ordered by his board president to take a break from his Big Apple Headquarters. He finds himself at Earth and Sky Retreats, where confronting his grief has led him to experience a life-altering transformation and re-evaluation of reality.

Will Josh leave behind his fast-paced, high society life in the concrete mountains of New York City, for the magical, bewitching world Brooke reveals to him in the foothills of the Adirondacks?

Will Brooke acknowledge and accept her own journey of transformation and healing as she and Josh explore the winding paths and summits that lead them to find love in the forest?

***

Ohhh, there is a little bit of a paranormal twist there. But it’s not so reality-shattering as shooting-fire-from-the-fingertips sort of thing. How many of us look for signs every day from loved ones who have passed? How many believe we get them? Brooke delivers these messages to people who are so overwrought with grief, they don’t see or hear their loved ones reaching out.

With the Earth and Sky Series, readers will catch a glimpse at the often un-sensational lives of real witches who are living, working, playing, and loving like everyone else in the world.

The only difference is … these witches live in Upstate New York, in a fictitious town called Demilune. Does this bring Half Moon, New York to mind? Good!

Here you will get a glimpse of witch life, complete with tarot, standing in circle, premonitions, drum circles, manifesting reality, the need for privacy, and even a lighter look at the myths surrounding what witches do. And it will all be tied up with the incredible journey, self-discovery, and transformation both Brooke and Josh experience as they find one another and fall in love.

If you haven’t ordered your copy today, hop on your broomstick and fly over to amazon.com/Love-Forest-Earth-Sky-Book-ebook/dp/B09233R53Q/ wave your wand and bring a little magic into your life.

Brooke and Josh will not disappoint you!

Cover Reveal!

Shortly before TEN BUCKS AND A WISH was released, I asked my publisher if she would be interested in anything else from me. She asked what I had and I’d told her that I had a few books I’d previously written over a decade before that would need to be cleaned up and updated, and that they were paranormal/time travel and historical/western.

She was looking for Contemporary Romance.

So, while I was at a Thistle Dew Writers Retreat hosted by romance author ALee Drake in April, 2019, I pulled out my Tarot and did a few readings about characters and a story plot. And Love in the Forest was born. I had it nearly finished by October, 2019, but then family trauma hit. By the time I had recovered enough to catch my breath from that. . . Hello, COVID.

It took me half the year to deal mentally and emotionally from the family trauma and the worldwide pandemic, but by August, the characters stepped up and finished telling their story. And my LOVE IN THE FOREST manuscript was completed and contracted out to Soul Mate Publishing.

And it’s a good one! I cannot wait for you to meet Brooke and Josh, Barefoot Dan and Alyssa, and the rest of the Earth and Sky crew!

So it is with great pleasure, I share with you now, the cover of my upcoming release. Stay tuned for a few excerpts as we share pre-sale information in preparation of our June 2021 release date!

Many thanks to my cover artist, Ramona Lockwood, who also designed the cover for my first Soul Mate romance, TEN BUCKS AND A WISH. The cover for LOVE IN THE FOREST is exactly how I envisioned it as I was writing Brooke and Josh’s story. Great Job, Ramona!

Thanks also goes out to Cheryl Yeko, the editing staff, and most especially, my publisher Deborah Gilbert, for making this all happen. AGAIN!

So now, here we go! Drum roll, please…..

LOVE IN THE FOREST
Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date – June, 2021

Thank you to everyone who has been following my journey since TEN BUCKS AND A WISH. And for those who are just joining us now, thank you! If you’ve not read TEN BUCKS AND A WISH, you can grab it at Amazon by clicking the link below!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PRMJLLS/

Life Changes, and the Changes Become Memories

Springtime, 2011

When we were growing up, my Mom’s birthday, springtime and Easter were synonymous. We lived on Long Island, and by the end of March the farm stands and grocery stores would have all sorts of plants and flowers out as they prepared for the Spring and Easter rush. Mom’s gone now, but her birthday is next week. Upstate New York doesn’t begin to put out gardening flowers until the end of April, sometimes even May. And we still get snow this time of year. But all the old memories, the traditions, whisper around me like spring snow flurries. Blanketing my reality, then fading a short while after.

Every year my mom would ask for flowers for her garden for her birthday, for Easter, and then for Mother’s Day in May. She loved azaelea bushes and snowball bushes. When I became a Mom, I followed in her footsteps, asking for plants for the gardens for Easter and Mother’s Day. I look forward to the last of the snow, so I can fill my flowerboxes and get my gardens going again.

I have lots of great memories of Easter time as a kid, all of them centered around my mom mostly. She would do whatever she had to do to make sure we were dressed in Easter Finery, even if she was still wearing her same old dress up clothes. Each year her four girls would get new dresses, new spring coats, Easter bonnets, white gloves, shiny white patent leather shoes, and purses.

Easter morning we’d wake up, find our baskets, shove as much candy as we could into our new Easter purses, then head off to church all decked out in our Easter Sunday best. We’d have such a sugar high by the time we got home from Mass, I’m not sure how my mom survived.

She would cook us a great big breakfast—scrambled eggs, bacon and toast, and then we’d play with whatever goodies we’d gotten from the Easter Bunny. Dinner would be down at my grandmother’s in the Bronx, where Grandma Solicito would make multiple course meals that had us sitting at the table for what seemed like hours. One of my favorite Easter memories is getting a beige purse with white macrame stitching from my Uncle Anthony – filled with candy.

Sometimes we would head down to Tennessee for the holiday, and I’d get to see my cousins. One of my most favorite Easter Baskets was from from my Grandma Jones. It had the biggest red bow I’d ever seen. I don’t remember what was in the basket, but I’ll never forget the bow. We’d have Easter Egg hunts there too, and all my cousins would come around and we’d hunt the eggs. it was a grand old time.

Easter evolved over the years. I got older, married, and shared the holidays with my in-laws and my parents, taking turns each year traveling to one family, then the other.

The craziest thing for me was raising two kids who did not like candy. I’m not sure how that happened. So as they grew up, most of the Easter candy we bought was for me, their dad, then their step dad. Pectin Jelly beans were my favorite, while Reeses peanut butter eggs, and chocolate eggs were their dads’ favorites.

As time went on and my philosophies evolved, so did our holidays. They kids went away to school. We started celebrating Ostara rather than Easter. We still colored eggs. We still decorated with bunnies and baskets full of glass eggs oand the crocheted eggs I’d made more than 30 years ago. But this year, things changed.

The pandemic is still keeping the family a bit isolated. We did not celebrate Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or New years, or any of our birthdays. We’re waiting. As a result of health issues, we’ve sworn off candy, so no Pectin Jelly Eggs for me or Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs for David.

Spring arrived last week. Then left. And in it’s path we were left with snow. But for some reason I don’t mind.

April 2021 snow.

Snow is still beautiful, and I know within a few weeks it will be gone until the end of year. And the flowers will bloom, and the grass will need mowing. And Summer will arrive. And my flowers will be in full bloom.

We pick up our teardrop, Forevermore, tomorrow, and are planning a heap of mini trips throughout the summer.

Backyard COVID Camping with Forevermore 2020

My daughter, and son and their partners have been vaccinated. My sister, Jeana, and David’s both been vaccinated. I’m due for my second shot next week, and most of my beloved friends and chosen family have been or are about to be vaccinated and COVID safe.

We have a lot to look forward to, and many blessings to be grateful for.

So, it seemed fitting that even though we did not decorate this year, I should share this picture of Easter Springtime days gone by.

Times change, but times stay the same, and it is the comfort we find in the familiar that gives us the strength to embrace the tomorrows that are yet to come.

One way we are readjusting to the new lifestyle we embraced is by ordering from https://eatingevolved.com/ . Their motto is Chocolate: It’s food, not candy. And it’s yummy and healthy and just what we need to get us through the next few weeks of cool and soggy days.

Their site has great sales, great chocolate, great recipes, and provides lots of healthy, yummy, treats that are actually good for you and cause little guilt when purchasing. If you’re doing clean eating that involves keto or being gluten or dairy or sugar free or just want to experience healthy treats that taste sinfully decadent… head over to eatingevolved.com and get some treats.

I’m pretty sure, if you’re like me, its time for a little self indulgence and self care. You’ve earned it.

So Happy Spring, Happy Passover, Happy Ostara. Happy almost the end of the Pandemic.

WE ARE ENOUGH.

Eighth Lake Sunrise – The Dawning of a New Day.

It’s gray outside, but realization is dawning on me. And it’s bright and warm and healing and life-giving.

I am enough. You are enough. And when you begin to believe that, you can accomplish anything in this world. Until you completely believe in yourself, you cannot possibly completely love yourself; you cannot live the life you are supposed to live to the fullest.

It’s taken me 58 years to believe in myself. It’s been a long, hard road. I’ve never felt like I was enough. But I am. And you are too. Don’t ever forget that. I was finally able to accept this concept yesterday, after a week of battling with demons that have plagued me over my lifetime.

Yesterday, I received word that I was accepted into the University at Buffalo School of Social Work Masters Degree Program. At 58 years old. Something inside of me blossomed and exploded, and the words my therapist and I had discussed last Thursday echoed in my mind. And I finally believed them.

I am enough.

I thought I’d learned that lesson throughout my life—by beating cancer three times. By getting my bachelor’s degree at 53 years old. By becoming a published romance author. By raising two amazing kids. By finding the love of my lifetime. By embracing the Pagan path of being a witch, and celebrating 14 years as a coven leader. By working with domestic violence offenders as they try to figure out how to heal and become better humans. By aiding victims as they learned how to become survivors and then finally, thrivers.

But last week, I was cut down to the quick with two sentences from a man I’d never met before in my life. To allow a strange man to have that kind of power over me was crippling. I questioned everything I was, everything I’d accomplished. Everything I’d become. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

My power was stolen from me last Friday – the day after my therapist helped me realize I AM ENOUGH — when a new doctor was reviewing my medical records and acknowledged my extreme history of successfully battling three separate types of cancer over a period of 35 years. That should have been testimony of my amazing journey and viewed as an unusual and amazing success. Instead, surprised, he asked with evident distain, “What did you do to upset the lord and cause all this? You’ve had a lot of trouble, are you not right with the lord?”

And just like that, he broke me. All the work I’d done throughout my life to make myself whole after all the abuse I’d experienced that destroyed my self-confidence and self-worth. All my successes, my life achievements vanished. After I left, I cried. I cried in the car. I cried on the way home. I cried all afternoon. I cried when David got home and held me, soothing me with his confidence in me, reminding me that I AM ENOUGH. I ranted, yelled, screamed. I reached out to a few friends who told me to let it go, that I had a right to be angry, and that this doctor’s narrowminded, entitled judgment had no power over me.

So, it took a couple of days, but I remembered how awesome I am, how beloved I am.

And then, two days later, I got a letter in the mail from a very “caring neighbor” who wanted to secure my salvation that Jesus had “ransomed” his life for me- by dying FOR ME! Yes, me.

It took me almost a full week, but I just finished a four-page reply to my caring neighbor, which I will be mailing out today.

I’m meeting with my therapist in an hour, and I’m pretty sure there will tears, yelling, and revelations. And hopefully, closure as I come to terms with the fact that yes, I am enough.

So for everyone out there, I’m sure mostly women will relate to something in this rant, “You Are Enough!!!!” Don’t let anyone’s judgments, philosophical or religious beliefs, their own lack of self-worth, break you down or make you feel less worthy.

You are worthy. And You Are ABSOLUTELY ENOUGH.

It took being accepted into the masters’ program to help me understand that all the self-doubt I have dealt with my whole life was for naught. I am the same person I was 50 years ago, only wiser, with more accomplishments that have taken a life time to accrue. But my mind is the same. My soul and spirit are the same. I was worthy and enough then. And I’m worthy and enough now.

 As I type this, the rain has subsided and the sun is filtering through the clouds. A murder of crows has settled in the front yard, outside the window where my desk is located. They are cawing and squawking as they munch on the grapes I put out for them last night.

It’s a Crow Party, and we are celebrating Me as the sun settles softly all around us.

Happy Vernal Equinox! (First Day of Spring!)

Sitting outside the Vaccination Location on March 18, reeling from the reality that I had just received my first shot. Embracing Life.

The sunshine is squint-worthy bright today, as the last clumps of snow melt away down our driveway, carrying with it all the woes and worries from the past winter, past year.

Spring is here, with proof sounding from the little birdhouse David made a few years ago and attached to our house by our kitchen window. Mama and Papa birds are flying in and out, preparing their new home for their soon to be hatched babies.

Bunny rabbit, squirrel, and crow footprints were spotted last week in the dusting of snow on our front porch. The snow is melted, but the reality that our critters are alive and well and visiting once again makes my heart sing.

They apparently came right up to our front porch door, looking for food or just checking to see if we were awake yet! I see Crow, bunny and maybe squirrel tracks.

Springtime. When life bursts in tree buds, flower blossoms, the warm gaze of your lover. When the much-needed darkness of the winter that we use for rest and rejuvenation subsides as the days grow longer and brighter. When hope emerges like tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses.

As the reality of the 2020 pandemic eases, tentative plans are being made to begin living again! I received my first of the two Pfizer vaccines. My husband is fully vaccinated. Friends and family have begun getting vaccinated, or are awaiting their dates. Our teardrop, Forevermore, is in the shop being prepared for summer camping season. David took the motorcycle out of the garage and had it running, with the idea of a ride possibly tomorrow!

That’s David getting Forevermore ready for the trip down to the shop for inspection and maintenance for the summer season.
That big clump of snow to the left is no more. David spent the morning chopping away at it with an ax and shovel.
It’s now making its way back to the earth and sky as it trickles and evaporates along our driveway.

While today is the first day of Spring, it’s still too soon to celebrate with large groups again. So we are setting our sights on Beltane, or May Day. We are hoping the weather warms enough to dry out our soggy yard, so that we can erect our Maypole, build a bonfire, and usher in the warm weather officially. What are your plans to celebrate life this Ostara, Vernal Equinox, First Day of Spring, or Alban Eilir? Whatever you call it, make it a happy day. Because Happy Times are ahead.

Have a Happy First Day of Spring!

Morning Gratitude

This morning, as I sit here at my desk writing and drinking my coffee, I’m overwhelmed with all of the blessings in my life. Crows outside munching on trail mix, David doing weekly bills and hanging out with me in our warm, toasty house with the snow falling outside — all make for a great morning. Add to this beautiful morning my two amazing kids who love me beyond fault and constantly inspire me to be my best, my superwoman sis who keeps laughter and love in my life, a chosen family and blood family who love me unconditionally, best friends abounding near and far, a great job with a great agency, now two published books (!?!) with Soul Mate Publishing, Forevermore our Teardrop, my health (thank the Gods), and a spiritual path that makes my heart sing, my body dance, and my soul heal . . . I give thanks to the Universe for all of my blessings and the abundance in my life.

2021 started off rough, which was disheartening because we had so many hopes for a better year after 2020 pummeled us.
The year started off with my third cancer diagnosis (this time it was Uterine Cancer). My January 4 surgery got it all, according to the wonderful Dr. Adelson out of St. Joseph’s in Syracuse.

As we recovered from that, in the first week of February my mother-in-law, Lauretta Phillips, passed away. We had to take some downtime to regroup from both of these hits, and thankfully we are blessed with jobs that took care of us and gave us the time we needed to heal.

And with that behind us, goodness started presenting. It’s important to understand that we have the choice to find the goodness, or focus on the dark times. I call the goodness that manifests during the hard times ‘Dark Blessings.’

We can choose to focus on the doom and gloom that sometimes seems to be all around us. Or we can focus on the positive, and live a life of gratitude and hope that everything is going to be okay, no matter what.

So this morning, I am choosing to acknowledge the beautiful, blessed, abundant life I live.

Have a great day, everyone! Stay safe, healthy, and warm.

And remember that Springtime is just a few weeks away!

Love in the Forest coming June 2021

Something exciting happened today! I received the cover for Love in the Forest!

It’s BEAUTIFUL! Just how I pictured it! Ramona the Cover Artist at Soul Mate Publishing created the cover for Ten Bucks and a Wish, which was just perfect for that sweet contemporary romance.

The cover for Love in the Forest has a completely different feel to it! It’s magical and mysterious and captures the essence of Love in the Forest and the people who work and visit Earth and Sky, a (fictitious) transformational retreat located in the (also fictitious) town of Demilune, in the foothills of the Adirondacks.

Brooke Meadows and Josh Quinn have an amazing story to tell that is filled with healing, transformation, and passion. Share their journey as they learn how to let go of the past, grasp the future, and trust in the Universe to deliver what matters most. Love.

Stay tuned for information on the Cover Reveal, contests, Pre-Sale information, and the final release date.

If you haven’t sunk your heart into a Janina Grey romance yet, check out Ten Bucks and a Wish available on Amazon.com, soulmatepublishing.com and online at Barnes and Noble (barnesandnoble.com)

Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Ten-Bucks-Wish-Janina-Grey-ebook/dp/B07PRMJLLS/

Barnes and Noble
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ten-bucks-and-a-wish-janina-grey/1132245114?ean=9781682919385

Soul Mate Publishing
http://soulmatepublishing.com/ten-bucks-and-a-wish/

Life is for Living

David, Janina, Thia, and Mike- August 2018.
First Thistle Dew Retreat

Life is for Living

This phrase means more to me now than ever before.

I adopted this phrase as a column I used to write for the Richfield Springs Mercury over a decade ago. The readership was small (about 1,000) but it was a community that had heart, just north of Cooperstown. They welcomed me and embraced me and loved the topics I discussed in that column, which would deal with the ins and outs of life.

Then, when I started this blog (which has gone through numerous reincarnations) I called it Life is for Living, with the idea of carrying over the focus of the column to digital readers.

Most recently I’ve named my WIP Life is for Living. It’s the second book in a trilogy I’m publishing through Soul Mate Publishers. More about that another time.

Today, Life is for Living is so much more poignant than ever before.

Today is the birthday of a friend who passed away from cancer over a year ago, pre- pandemic. She was a beautiful soul sister who I’d lost real contact with over the years. We did get to see each other about once a year, but all our plans to keep in touch and get together always faded with passing days. I miss her terribly.

A few days ago, a fellow CNYRW romance writer passed away after battling numerous health issues long and hard over the last year at least. I kept expecting her to get better. But she didn’t . I will miss her terribly, and like my other friend, there are so many regrets for not keeping in touch regularly.

We’ve spent the last year watching the world battle COVID-19. And while I’ve done my best to stay secluded and take care of myself and husband, life has gone on around us. And over time, COVID went from a world-wide pandemic to a disease that is laying low friends and relatives near and dear to me.

On top of this, the last month I have spent dealing with a diagnosis of cancer-Uterine Cancer. This is my third time battling the dreaded disease (three distinct unrelated types) and I struggled with my own mortality. But the prognosis was good, with the surgeon telling me he believed he got it all, and that I would not need chemo or radiation.

So how does this very sad topic of death earn a blog on a page that’s supposed to be happy and uplifting?

Because Life is for Living. It is inevitable we are going to lose loved ones eventually, so embrace their essence and the times you spend with them now, while they are alive.

We are going to get sick and eventually die. Rather than live in fear, make the most of every moment. Whether we are struggling with disease or healthy and fit­– don’t take one second for granted.

Share your passions. Create. Leave a legacy – not by being boastful, but by being who you are, by being someone people will miss when you go.

We live in frightening times. As the fatalities increase as COVID claims loved ones every day, be the candle of hope, the emotional, mental, and visual hug people need until we can physically hug one another again.

And one day soon we will be able to get together without the fear of infecting one another, and the sun will shine, and the skies will be blue, and we will sing in celebration of life.

So make a vow to walk on and embrace every single minute you are alive. Savor every meal, even if it’s cereal. Enjoy that book you keep putting down. Nap if you need to. Breathe the fresh air, listen for the birds, watch your favorite tv show. Call an old friend you’ve not spoken with in a while. Write a letter to someone you are thinking about. Send an email saying you’re thinking of them.

Let the promise of tomorrow carry you through the dark times, the sad times, the scary times.

And most of all remember that Life is For Living, so live it.

Happy Birthday, Janie.

Today is my oldest sister Janie’s birthday.

She would have been 61. Instead she will forever stay 47 in our hearts and memories.

It’s difficult to believe that she’s been gone for nearly 14 years, but there it is. We didn’t live near one another, but we talked at least once or twice  a week. We saw each other a few times a year. I didn’t get to see her that birthday to give her all of her birthday and yule presents. She cancelled at the last moment because she wasn’t feeling well. So it was really rough when she died a few months later. So many regrets. So much guilt.

Janie may be gone, but like so many other loved ones who have passed, she lives on in my heart. And in my novels.

I honored Jane in my first contemporary romance, Ten Bucks and a Wish, which tells the story of a second chance romance between Deanna Drake and Michael McCord (aka Cord). Cord’s mom was named Jane. I hinted at childhood memories Jane and I made.

I also honored my own mom in Ten Bucks and a Wish, sharing my memory of what it was like to hug her, offering the wisdoms she was so good at passing along. And while I did not name any of the characters ‘JoAnne’ after her, I worked through my grief with her passing through the grieving Deanna Drake experienced with the loss of her own mother.

Today I celebrated Jane’s birthday with a cuppa tea and a toast in her name. I lit a candle and placed her picture by it, here in my office, where I do all my writing and where I work from home during the pandemic. I don’t cry anymore with her memory. But I still miss her terribly.

In my second romance, Love in the Forest, which is due out in June 2021 again with Soul Mate Publishing, death is a subtopic once more. This time, Brooke Meadows has the ability to receive messages from ‘Beyond the Veil,” and uses these messages to help loved ones cope with their losses, heal, and move on in life.

While I am not a medium, or as constant as professionals who get paid to talk with the dead, I do believe I have connections with the other side. They come to me in dreams, or in signs throughout my days.

Maybe this is why it’s become easier to deal with the loss of loved ones. Because I know that they are not dead, just away. And that one day we’ll be reunited. For now, I am happy with their messages.

In Love in the Forest, Brooke helps a widower, Quirkyflirt.com CEO Josh Quinn, cope with the loss of his wife and their two children. He works through his anger, his sorrow, his guilt, and eventually he learns that life is for living. And loving.

As I grow older, I realize that life is precious. Every moment we are alive must be experienced to its fullest. So whether I am working, napping, writing, playing solitaire, or just sitting in silence with David -just being- I always try to make sure this is exactly how I want to be living that moment. And if it’s not, well then, I figure out what I want to be doing, and I do it.

I don’t see any alternative to living life any other way. Because one day I may wake up on the other side of the Veil and realize I’m done. No more chances this time around, I will have to wait for the next.

So if you are grieving, if you are facing the death of a loved one, or a terminal illness, I’m sorry you are going through this.

But you have to remember:  embrace every moment. Cherish every moment you shared with the loved one you are grieving. Live your life making sure that when you go you will have no regrets.

On top of that, believe. Believe those who have passed are nearby, that they are celebrating your successes and weeping with your sorrows. Above all, they are loving you, with a love that knows no mortal boundaries.

So in honor of Jane, my mom, my cousin Alfred, my Aunt Leila, my paternal grandparents and my maternal grandfather, and all the friends, cousins, and aunts and uncles who have gone before me … I give thanks for the love and life we shared.

And in honor of all those who surround me now, living and well, I cherish you all.

And to friends I’ve yet to meet — stay healthy, love deeply, and remember, Life is for Living.

Goodbye to 2020, and Hello to 2021!

Happy New Year!
I say that with all my heart and soul, because, folks, it’s going to be a great year! We have so much to look forward to and to accomplish, and only 358 days left to get it all done.

Before we focus on the To-Do List, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on The Done List for 2020.

2020 will be remembered for the World Wide Pandemic we’ve been struggling with, as well as the Civil Unrest that shook our country. But with these dark times I’d like to believe that we have evolved as humans, and that as we move forward we do so with hearts filled with compassion and the desire to heal.

On a personal level, 2020 brought family issues, physical health issues, and mental health issues, but we got through them. Having family and friends to support us through the tough times makes it all worth while.

But happy times were interspersed throughout the year. Last January, David and I drove to Connecticut to pick up our first ever Five Wide Little Guy camper. We spent the spring and summer renovating it, and DMV opened up in time for us to get it registered so we could actually go camping with it!

For all of you tent campers out there who are starting to get achy backs and hips from sleeping on the ground, this little tear drop camper is a great solution. We still get the outdoors experience of cooking and living in Nature, but we sleep in a moisture proof, warm enclosure, on a mattress with pillows and blankets even! It’s the perfect compromise for trying to keep tenting but needing to nurture the body.

Forevermore, 2020

Inside! nice and comfy sleeping area 😀

We spent a good part of the summer camping in our backyard, while we waited for the registration to arrive from DMV. This gave us great memories with our kids and my sister and nephews and some close friends- our Covid Circle- so to speak. We masked up, kept socially distanced, and did not let the pandemic stop us from enjoying life.

My furgrand, Miso.

When we were able to take Forevermore on the road, we headed up to the Adirondack Mountains, and spent a couple days at Eighth Lake.

Eighth Lake, Adirondack Mountains

We got to visit a friend in his new home, also in the mountains.

As I write this recap, I realize there were so many good times throughout 2020 that I can’t fit them all in one column.

It would be very easy to focus on the negative. To fret about the world and where we will be in a year. But, I wasted a lot of time this past year worrying and fretting, and I have to say I want to be done with that.

So here is to 2021 and all that it brings us, both dark and light blessings.

I hope you all are safe, healthy, and surrounded by loved ones.

All the best,

Janina