Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

He shouted and danced and hugged everyone in the room. Our five year old grandson Able had just opened a present from his cousin Marie. You would’ve thought he’d been given the keys to the kingdom. Instead it was a pack of gray socks with colorful heels and toes.

“These are the awesomest socks ever!” he shouted. He hugged them to his chest and made his rounds so everyone could see his fabulous gift. Marie beamed with happiness that he loved them so much. Her mama had taken her and her brother Jesse to Five Below, a discount store, to let them pick anything they wanted to give to their cousin. Though she had questioned the gift, she deferred to Marie’s wisdom. It turned out to be a good move.

Oh that we could all be that thankful!

Some people are born with a natural thankfulness. Others of us have to be taught. After a period of fighting cancer and another mystery illness, I am more thankful now than I’ve ever been. In fact, this was the happiest Christmas I can remember. I had strength to bake, and host, and enjoy the family. My mind was clear enough to remember where I wrote my passwords so I could shop online. My sweetheart has recovered from two surgeries due to kidney stones and I no longer worry that he might keel over before he can help me clean up this mess. We have two local daughters and sons-in-law with their three five year old children who poured out more joy than our tiny house could contain. And though our other daughter’s family lives far away, they are in such a great place and the people there love them like family. My life is so full.

As I write this it’s two days after Christmas and I’m still smiling. Our family theme for years has been “Simplify.” Either that or “If a little cheese is good, a lot of cheese is better.” I love it when I see that lived out in our children. [the simplify theme… not the cheese one.]

Our middle daughter’s family gave everyone homemade apple butter. So yesterday for breakfast I stirred up an easy biscuit recipe that I haven’t made in years. We slathered that hot bread in butter and sampled different jams and jellies until our eyeballs nearly popped out. I felt a lot like Able and wanted to dance and shout.

You see, last year at Christmas, food was not pleasant to me, nor the smell of it… or even the thought. But now! Oh happy day!

Maybe your Christmas wasn’t so jolly.

Guess what. It’s not too late. I’m going to share my easy biscuit recipe. If I can do it, anyone can. Bake a batch and enjoy the simple pleasure.

Like many wonderful things, thankfulness is a choice. Choose it today lest like me and Ebeneezer Scrooge you have to learn it the hard way. Take sweet Able’s attitude and declare, “This is the awesomest day ever!”

And here, free of charge, is my recipe for easy biscuits with a side of thankfulness. May God bless us everyone!

Easy Biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Stir until smooth; dip into a greased muffin tin; bake at 400 degrees til golden [about 15 minutes.] Makes 12; If you use plain flour, add 1 Tablespoon baking powder + 1 teaspoon salt. Serve hot slathered with butter.

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Happy Life

Okay so we got new phones. What kind you ask? Ummm… it’s black… and slippery… and won’t flip open. It has all sorts of little pictures so when I text, not only can I smile, but I can smile with teeth, or while donning sunglasses or a halo. How have I functioned this long by simply hitting the ( and the = to make it clear that I am not displeased with the circumstances? Or I could even hit the semicolon to wink if the situation warranted. But NOW I can express a multitude of moods. I am so (=

Yesterday as my new slick black phone charged, the screen lit up for no apparent reason. I checked to see why I was being beckoned. Actually I found my glasses and THEN checked the teeny tiny print of the beckoning. Would I like to fill out a survey to express my delight at having eaten at Biscuit King in Lexington?

WHAT?!! Hot displeasure filled my soul.

How dare they track my whereabouts! Every time that little permission thingy pops up I make sure to hit “deny.” I DO NOT want to allow the techno-nerds to have access to my personal preferences. It’s none of their business where and what I eat. Now everybody in cyber-sphere knows I like the hamburgers at Biscuit King so much that I intentionally pass seventy five other joints in my own hometown and drive all the way to Lexington to get one. They probably also know that I order French fries without seasoning salt. Next thing you know, I’ll go to order and my phone will pop up with a message to remind me that I like dill pickles on my burger.

Actually that wouldn’t be too bad as I forgot to add those Saturday.

But seriously! I was hot!

Just as I was expressing my justified indignation to my beloved, the message popped up on the black screen again. “Would I like to fill out a quick survey to rate Biscuit King in Lexington?” I only knew that because I had my glasses on.

I won’t tell you what I thought. But David knew. How could he not? We’ve been married forty three years. Okay… so I explained it to him in detail again. It’s nobody’s business…

I already said that.

But it’s not.

I ranted a while longer. What if they steal our identity or hack into our lives? They already know what I buy on Amazon. I know that because every time I get online an ad for Legos pops up on the sidebar. Facebook is the same way. Natural looking wigs modeled by Raquel Welch beckon me to buy as-if I would look exactly like that with the click of a button.

David’s solution was simple.

Calmly he advised. “Just don’t put on your glasses. That way you won’t know what they know.” He received a blank stare as he offered further wisdom.

“Besides, what if they steal our identities? One look and they’ll probably DEPOSIT money. Nobody wants our life… unless they see how we really live. We have nothing, yet we have everything.”

I thought about it and decided he was right. Maybe we’ll run up to Lexington and get a burger to celebrate our (=  life.

But you already knew that didn’t you? ( ;

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Adventures at Sea

It’s been right at a year since the cancer diagnosis. Thankfully my strength has gradually returned. I decided to give it a try. We hadn’t been sailing since last June and the sparkling water beckoned. The Captain charted our course pulling out a map that made little sense to me. It hardly mattered. I was content with a comfortable place to rest where I could soak in the day. The first mate loaded all the gear. After tossing life jackets, fishing rods, extra towels and a picnic on board, she untied the boat and off we went.

The sun hit my face along with a stiff breeze and a gentle spray. I was glad to finally be over the sickness of chemo and able to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes. Just as I was beginning to relax the water became a little choppy. The first mate offered me a snack and looked at me with concern. I assured her I was fine. Nothing was going to spoil our day.

Suddenly the sky darkened and the seas became quite rough. The Captain assured me he knew a shortcut to our destination and took a hard right into the waves. I held on for dear life as the boat climbed each wave and landed with a monstrous splash. It seemed to me we were taking on an awful lot of water. The first mate advised me to put my life jacket on instead of just holding it in my lap. My heart pounded as I followed her instructions. Up and down we went over wave after wave. I tried not to think about it as my tummy reminded me of the omelet I had for breakfast.

Suddenly the Captain shouted, “There’s too much water coming in! I think we have a leak! I’m going to check it out!” Overboard he went.

“You stay here! I’m going to help!” With that the first mate abandoned ship as well. The two seasoned sailors disappeared under the boat.

Alone I waited.

There was no sign of either of them.

I closed my eyes trying not to panic as I wondered about the sharks they had spotted earlier.

A voice broke into my thoughts.

“Mom? Are you sick or just playing boat?” My daughter asked as she stood looking at my bed full of pillows and blankets and snacks. “Where are the kids?”

I clutched the pillow I was using as a flotation device and smiled. “They’re under the boat making repairs. But don’t worry. They can hold their breath a really long time. Besides, Jesse knows a shortcut to California and Marie brought lots of snacks.”

While my daughter peeked under the bed at her giggling four year olds, I rested against one of the extra life jackets. It felt so good to be back in the land of the living. After a year of cancer treatments, playing “boat on the bed” was way more fun than I remembered.

I’m just glad Jesse can read a map better than I can.

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The Inheritance

My beloved mom-in-law passed away a few weeks ago. She was such a beautiful soul. And funny… oh my word! The things she would come up with. She had special names for certain things in her life; like the big white robe she wore in the winter. Often she warned us not to be alarmed if we saw a polar bear ambling around her house as it was just Big Bertha.

When she could no longer walk with just the assistance of a cane, she began using a walker with a seat. It had a little basket where she would load her gardening tools as she puttered around the yard. Inside the house she would load it with cleaning supplies or laundry for that long trip down the hall. She dubbed it her “Cadillac.”

She had a pink blouse which she always wore to the doctor. More accurately it was mauve, that dusty rose color which was popular in the eighties. Her daughters tried every way they could to get her to wear something besides that godawful shirt as it did her no favors. However she always went back to it. Though mauve is code for ugly, she brightened it with her smile.

We’ve begun cleaning out her home of over fifty years. You can’t even imagine the treasures we’re gleaning. So far we’ve only gotten to the kitchen. We checked expiration dates on the foods in the pantry and laughed so hard at the things she hung onto. David suggested that if the date began with the words “In the year of our Lord,” we could probably assume it was too old to consume. In the back of one especially low cabinet was an unidentifiable figure. It appeared to be a dried corpse of an animal from yesteryear. David’s sister bravely pushed it into the floor with a broom. The four of us stood hovering over it trying to make out what it could have been. David finally scooped it up with the dustpan and took it outside. It was larger than a squirrel and had a funky shape. The sisters told me I could have it as part of my inheritance. I was more than thrilled.

Later as I thought again about the dried up mystery animal, I remembered bringing Nina some driftwood from the beach many years ago. She had expressed wanting a piece to put a little ceramic bird on that I had brought her the year before. Apparently the two treasures never met as she always had lots of projects in the works. In fact that bird is probably buried somewhere in her craft room which our middle daughter lovingly renamed Nanny’s Crap Room. It is an accurate description and we can hardly wait to go through the treasures there.

What I love about Nina’s kids, Jo, Gail, and David, is that they’ve been able to maintain their mother’s great sense of humor as we do the necessary things. No pushing, grabbing, or resentment; just working together to honor their mother’s last wish of having a happy home. The closest we’ve come to fighting so far has been over a pack of bacon.

Very graciously I have been included in the dividing of assets. Along with the driftwood shaped like a varmint, I’ve been given her cement pineapple which was always her southern symbol of hospitality. Though I do not share that same sentiment, I love that she did. I tucked it by my side entrance behind a large hosta lest anyone get the wrong idea. You know how I feel about entertaining visitors I do not know. All you “angels unaware” might as well fly on down the street to someone more Godly. However, if you do happen to knock on my door, don’t be surprised if I’m wearing a mauve shirt. Too bad it didn’t come with Nina’s sweet smile.

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I love my little town. Salisbury, NC has so much going for it. Sure, that includes some crazy but don’t you think every family has a touch of crazy? It keeps things interesting. Sometimes folks refer to us as “Smallsbury” in a derogatory fashion. That’s okay. I think small is a good thing. In fact, someday when I write my book I might just title it that. Smallsbury, USA.

Many neighborhoods still exist here where we look out for one another. The other day I was standing at the kitchen window when I noticed a cop car slowing down. It proceeded to pull into my mom-in-law’s driveway. My heart just stopped. I alerted David so we both moved to the front window and peered through the curtains like Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched. What is going on across the road?!!

We checked our cell phones to make sure we hadn’t missed a call. As we watched to see what was afoot, David grabbed his shoes so he could run interference between the police and his eighty-nine year old mother. Not that we needed to warn her in case she was smoking pot or something. We just wanted to be there if she was going to be arrested while “Bad Boys, Bad Boys” played in the background.

However, before David could get his shoes on all fear was gone. The policeman turned out to be our nephew. Since he was in town for court, he decided to stop by his grandmother’s house to check on her. Then every cop’s worst nightmare happened. His grandmother sent him across the street to our house with a box of doughnuts. Talk about stereotypes. Bless his heart. Jay w KK

This would not be Nina’s first brush with the law. She was driving home from serving Meals on Wheels one night years ago, when she made a right turn beside a vehicle which was stopped for a light. Since there was no turning lane, the police pulled her over. When asked for her license she realized her purse was locked in the trunk. Exiting the vehicle into a night filled with flashing blue lights, there she was, guilty before God and everybody. As she opened the trunk she was sure that all who passed thought she’d been busted for drugs. Nervously she retrieved her purse. Suddenly matters got even worse. Dropping her pocketbook, as we say in the South, she watched as the contents spilled across the pavement. No telling how many tubes of lipstick rolled into the gutter that night. As she stood there mortified, two nice policemen chased down the contents. Her lifetime motto has always been, “Lipstick makes everything better.” That night might have been the one exception.

As you know, things aren’t always as they seem. The policeman knocking on her door was not there to interrogate. The cop carrying doughnuts across the road was just doing his grandmother a favor. And the lady in the blue light was not being busted for drugs. In Salisbury though, we already knew that. Word travels fast here because we’re all standing at our windows, peering out checking on our neighbors. I especially love that small town living includes policemen who love their grandmothers, deliver doughnuts, and chase lipstick for nervous women.

God bless Smallsbury!

*Special thanks to my beloved nephew Jason who allowed me to take his picture while in uniform holding a box of Krispy Kreme. What a man!

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Stop the presses! I did it! NO WAIT! Don’t stop the presses. Keep rolling because ALL my books are now in print! Check them out on Amazon. Search books by Lynna Clark. I am NOT that other Lynna with the big bosomed women on the covers… obviously. So be sure to look for the Blue Meadow Farm series of five. And if you like them, please spread the word for me. I do not have a marketing guru so I’m counting on you. Thank you my friends!

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

To view the series click here. Blue Meadow Farm Series

The series starts and ends with a dogwood tree.

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Guess what. I did it! I totally did it. I feel like a little girl on the swing set calling out. “Watch daddy watch! I can skin the cat!”

Sorry cat-lovers. That’s not a literal skinning of a feline. When I was a kid that’s what we said when we could hold the bar and flip over between our arms without falling onto our heads. And if one could manage to pull back through and land on one’s feet, we were putting the skin back on.

Of course that was about a hundred years ago and folks don’t use such terms anymore. So let’s compare my latest accomplishment to diving. I’d lunge head first off the pier into the muddy water to impress my daddy. It was either that or he’d hold me by the ankles over the river and drop me so I’d learn that it wasn’t that hard. He was correct. Water didn’t shoot up my nose like it did when I jumped feet first.


Drumroll please.

I got my first book into print! As-in actual words on real paper you can hold in your hands, PRINT!  People! You can dog ear the pages and come back to where you left off without powering anything up or remembering a password. You don’t even have to recall the name of your first pet or your grandmother’s favorite vegetable. You can just relax, read and repeat. Hopefully the only thing hard will be putting it down.

I couldn’t figure out how to make the cover the same as the Kindle version so it will look a little different. Something about the gigawatts of the first picture with Hannah on the tractor; it wouldn’t translate. Can you tell how un-savvy I am in the technology department? That may give you a little insight as to how hard it was for my chemo brain to format the pages to fit within the six by nine inch frame including margins. It even has page numbers! Can you believe it?

Did you know that the space down the middle between pages is called a gutter? Who knew? All my life I’ve been warned to keep my mind out of there. Now I know how.

So hop on over to Amazon and search Lynna Clark or Blue Meadow Farm. Under Book One there will be a Paperback option. Click there and you’ll see the yellow book with blue flowers. I really hope you love it. Remember, it’s the first book of a series of five, so take your time and enjoy. I’m already working on book two for print so it shouldn’t be long until it’s ready too. And if you’re willing to help a struggling rookie author, please leave a comment or review either on Amazon or Facebook so others will notice my work.

Thanks so much for your encouragement!

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