A Time to Give Thanks

This year, Thanksgiving has new meaning for me.


Two days ago, the landscape surrounding my home changed. In the blink of an eye, the trees that shaded me on my neighborhood walks were gone. The homes filled with neighbors who waved and smiled as I walked past, were taken in a mass of twirling wind and debris.

They labeled it an EF-2 Tornado. It took seconds to alter the world my children grew up in. To remove decades of memories. To send people scrambling for shelter as the funnel took so much from so many.

In the end, it only took things from my town. No one died. Things can be found, bought, made or replaced. People can not.

I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of love, generosity and dedication that a small town like mine has. Even the people who lost every possession,  focused on the things they still had. Children, pets, friends, all intact.

I was without power for 30 hours. I lost food. Just food. I have so much to be thankful for.

This Thanksgiving, I have a new understanding of what is important.

As I stood in my basement Sunday afternoon with my husband, waiting as the storm passed over my tiny, crooked house, I prayed and thanked God that two of my four children were not with us. I knew we were dying and the only comfort I had was that two of my children would survive.

It seems silly now, looking back, that I consciously thanked God for saving them, and allowing the other two to be with us for their final moments.

When the storm passed, and the house still stood, I rejoiced that we all were going to live. That I would see my older kids again. That we had another chance to live, to make a difference in this world.

As the neighborhood emerged from shelter, we saw the destruction. We jumped in our truck and drove through the tattered remnants of our neighborhood before EMS could respond, listening for cries for help amongst the rubble, but heard none. Not one single cry.

Monday, as I stood in the middle of my home. Worrying about the food spoiling in my freezers and refrigerators, I was brought to tears by the delivery of a hot meal from a friend not affected by the storm. She knew I was cold, and probably hungry and she brought me warm food. Not a fancy, expensive, store-bought meal, but homemade beef and noodles and the creamiest, love-filled mashed potatoes ever.

I never have enjoyed a meal more.

It’s still a huge mess. Many are homeless. Others are picking up pieces and putting things back together. Some still have no power.

Today, as I cut apples and pears for cobblers that I will deliver, steaming hot to those only 600 feet from my kitchen, who are clearing debris from the rubble that was once their homes, I give thanks. For all we still have.

Be Blessed



Not as far into NaNo as I had hoped

I’ve not worked on NaNo much at all.

The spirit of it is wonderful, and I had every intention of going strong into it.

However, a dear friend of mine lost her daughter after a long battle with leukemia last Saturday.
Cancer kills slowly.

It’s messy and painful and I cry thinking about everything that sweet girl, and her wonderful family, went through.

I beg you to help fund, raise awareness, and rally for a cure to childhood cancer.

It is not fair. She was twelve years, five months to the day when she earned her wings


NaNoWriMo Ready, Set, ……

It’s almost here!


I’m not the only excited one in my house.

My kids are anticipating the lack of the usual ‘eagle-like’ parental eyes for the month. They still have their father, no worries about abandonment. lol. But, hubs is more likely to overlook the laundry and hair ties littering their floors than I am.

NaNoWriMo means that mom is busy writing and dad figures as long as they are breathing, all is good.

They admitted last year, when I apologized for take out most Friday nights, that they liked the break in routine. They didn’t hate burgers wrapped in paper nearly as much as I did. They seemed … okay … with me becoming a pantser mom.

So this year, I’m planning on it. I’ve got meals in the freezer, waiting on the microwave. I’ve got fresh fruits, veg, and drinks ready to go. I’ve even made breakfast waffles, pancakes and eggs that just need warmed.

I might be a pantser, but I’m a planned pantser. =-)

Be well my friends.

Hello World!

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything but write and live. Isn’t that what life is about?

Fall is our favorite time of year in the Russell family. We camp, usually a lot. We enjoy crisp, early morning walks as the world wakes up. We cook stews all day long on the fire in giant cast iron pots. We spend breezy afternoons snuggled up in hammocks with dogs and blankets napping. Really, what could be better?
Not much.

This year though- we haven’t camped one single time in October. Only twice in September. My lovely daughter is working at the local haunted house. She’s taken every weekend at the end of September and every weekend of October, and volunteered her time at a haunted house. She’s really good at it and I know she loves interacting with the visitors, but I’m so ready for a night in the woods with my family I could quite literally scream. Loud. repeatedly.

In the part of Indiana I live in, my camping weather is almost to an end this year. It snowed today. Not accumulation, but flurries.

I am determined to get back into the woods before we make snowmen in the yard!
I wonder if I’m the only one crazy enough to love late Fall camping.

The planets must be aligned beautifully!

Because I dropped my favorite artisan made coffee mug on the TILE floor and it did not break. I can’t even describe how something so trivial can make my day go smooth.
The idea that drinking from a particular mug in the morning having an effect on how smooth your day goes, is absurd. It’s hilarious to think that just because I sip my hazelnut with French vanilla creamer out of the beloved mug, my day will be easier, happier, and most importantly, more productive. I mean, honestly, its a vessel for coffee.
Not an ancient ceremonial urn.

But, it works. It absolutely works.

Vacation from blog?

Hello everyone!

I’d like to say I took a vacation from blogging, but in reality my life has been so crazy I’ve not had time to organize my thoughts enough to blog.

It feels like an excuse but at the end of April hubs had surgery and is still recovering at home. I do love him but having him here puts a serious crimp in my routines.

We’ve gotten to the point now where he can drive(Yippee!) and spend time out of bed so I’m hoping to be back to a more routine schedule of updating.

Until next time,


My Beginning

In my daily life I’m a small business owner. My days are filled with the stresses of not only running a successful business in the economy we have now, but also maintaining a lust for that business. A desire to make it better today than it was yesterday.

Every day hundreds of thousands of people like me, put their hearts into what they love so others may benefit.

From the perfect cupcake icing to the detailed welds on a custom motorcycle, people do what they love and it shines through to their customers.

When I wrote my first book I felt the same thrill of pride as I do when a customer of my business leaves happy.

It was 3rd grade, the book was hand printed and illustrated on red construction paper. It was tied with yellow yarn. The title, ‘Supershellie,’ paid tribute to my best friend at the time. We shared jump ropes at recess and took turns sharpening each others pencils.

I felt important when the other kids voted ‘Supershellie’ as the best book in the class. I was excited to see their smiles as they read each hand printed word.

I’ve since written longer, more detailed stories but my most memorable has always been the construction paper masterpiece where my best friend saved recess when she fixed a jump rope.

I still feel a twinge of happy when she pops up on my Facebook feed. Her smiling profile pic takes me back to third grade.

That’s the reason I write, because I love watching the faces of people when they read. I love hearing how they cried at a passage, or if they laughed out loud.

I may never get another ‘published’ book, but I will never forget ‘Supershellie,’ the book that started it all.


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