Hello!  I had taken time off from blogging since I was volunteering four mornings a week through United Way of the Coastal Bend for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  My last day was April 18 (deadline for filing income taxes!) so I have stretched my hiatus a bit and just enjoyed reading other blogs without pressure to post something.  This first post is a rather jumbled collection of thoughts.

Sadly, another vile act unites us against the ineffable evilness of hate that inflicts death and harm upon the innocent.  Our hearts go out to those killed, injured and those left with the memory of a happy experience that turned dark.  In March of this year my son attended an Ariana Grande concert in California; a few years ago he attended a concert in Manchester.  Somehow it seemed very close to home as if it could happen to any of us.  Queen Elizabeth visited survivors in a hospital.  Click for a photo.

It was a rewarding experience to assist people of varied backgrounds – elderly, first time tax filers, couples, individuals, students and retirees.  We all have taxes in common as citizens.  Volunteer recognition was held at a local baseball game at Whataburger Field.


Current book I am reading:
“Thunderstruck” by Erick Larson 

Last three books I have read:
“Catherine the Great” by Robert K. Massie 
“MY GRL” by John W. Howell   
“Just What I Always Wanted” by Nancy Roman 

Books on my list to read:
“Just Women Getting  By” by Linda Swain Bethea 
“A Cry from the Deep” by Diana Stevan 
Ice Ghosts” by Paul Watson 

My blog has never had a set schedule of posts but I did try for a time.  Perhaps if I imposed a schedule and deadlines on myself I would be more disinclined.  However, I do want to continue with a writing project so I will just see where it leads me.  Thanks to all of my readers and fellow bloggers for encouragement and support!

Below is a gargoyle with laptop that sits on a bookcase by my desk.  Perhaps he will serve as a muse.

55 thoughts on “ODDS AND ENDS

  1. What a lovely thing to do, Jo. I’m sure all those you’ve helped appreciated your work very much.

    Yes, the Manchester bombing is so sad. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that there are those who are so misguided, so angry that they take out their hate on innocent lives. In this case, so many children and young adults.

    On a lighter note, what a delight it was to see my novel, listed as one you plan to read. Thank you for the shout-out on your page.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful to see this post from you today.. And I thank you from my heart for your thoughts and love you send to Manchester.. She is strong.. I watched the FA Cup final of the football last evening with my hubby.. They had a one minutes silence and wore black armbands in remembrance.. aprox 95,000 people in the stadium.. and never have I heard a moment of complete silence.. As we at home joined in.. I wondered how many more were watching and sending their love.. A moment indeed when love can help change vibration.. We can hope.. And yes it brings it home to us, how in an instant lives can be changed forever..

    It sounds as if your volunteer work helped many, and how satisfying to help those in need this way.

    Your books look very interesting.. And I have never a planned schedule for my posts.. I post when the urge takes me, and I have something I wish to share.. So keep doing what works for you my friend..

    Sending LOVE and huge Hugs your way Jo .. and thank YOU also for you loyal support..
    Blessings to you and yours my friend.
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I really enjoyed that one as it was so close to home and we here are on coast are well aware of the damage hurricanes can do. I have read almost all of his books as they read like a good story but are well researched. “In the Garden of the Beasts” is on my list to read. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  3. It’s good to get an update from you. And to learn of what you have been doing to help others. How generous.
    I can imagine that the Manchester tragedy feels close to home for you and your son. Shortly after I spent time on business in Japan, the earthquake struck and I remember the sudden panic I felt, because now I had friends in Japan, people whom I’d worked alongside and cared about. I would have cared anyway, but now it felt very close to home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sensible to let life intrude and take priority sometimes – especially with the insanity popping up these days.
    Thanks for the Catherine the Great suggestion – interesting time period – intriguing people
    Blog schedule has become difficult to keep for me these days, just having to wing it and do what I can – after all, it’s just blogging and the friends who read, understand.
    Alway good to find some words here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, one must be sensible and let life happen. And there are more important things than blogging but it is a good outlet and way to stay engaged. Robert K. Massie also wrote “Peter the Great” which I read first. Thanks for not forgetting about me!


    • How sweet of you to say that! I too miss the Tin Man! We were friends on Facebook and I so enjoyed his posts with pictures about what he was doing (always some great event!) and eating. Alas, he dropped out because of the ugliness on Facebook because of politics. You would not believe how vicious people can be. I do have his e-mail so I contacted him when I could not longer find him on FB and he explained why he had left. The person we have in the White House now is an embarrassment.

      I am grateful for your friendship, Virginia! Have a wonderful summer. We are having more showers here today so that should help as we head into summer. I am catching rainwater for my herbs. Cheers!


  5. Always fun to see that you are back here in the blogging universe. I enjoyed reading this post so much-a little bit of lots of important things. I think your gargoyle muse is perfect and may it help you whenever you decide to write here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Manchester, and now London Bridge. It is so sad too that the gentle, tolerant, kind society that I grew up in, is being deformed by the twisted actions of nutty, violent jihadis, who think they are right to kill innocent children and all those who think differently to them…. it makes me so sad that a society which took centuries to work towards the values of tolerance, kindness, non-violence and the rule of law; where slavery was abolished almost a century before everyone else outlawed it, the death penalty was abolished nearly seventy years ago, homosexuality stopped being illegal at roughly the same time, the streets were safe for a child to walk in or play in, I’d go off in the woods for a day when I was nine, knowing I was safe… all these hard fought and won freedoms have allowed another culture to invade, to seek refuge, and now to change that society that gave them shelter … where fear and anxiety and lack of freedom for children is now becoming the norm…
    I pray that only love prevails, that ‘Thy’ will be done, that the Great Invocation may begin to take hold on our hearts and minds…
    And I know these feelings mean I become part of it, instead of using my energy to stay focussed, and bless us all…
    And I know too, that this is giving in to the very things that will slow down the process… so I try to remember that sending light and love to the victims and the perpetrators is the only way we can move forward… that in the end it is not judging the situation or the people that will help … I try to stay with Marcus Aurelius’s words that if we have no opinions then we can stay calm and non-judgemental… and for we who Know, to shift the energy…
    And as I write this, I can see that as in the macrocosm, so in the microcosm, so that what is happening in our personal lives requires the same discipline and insight… to judge nothing that happens… and truly believe that all is well … that the bigger plan in the unseen world is working out… in our own individual lives, and in the lives of the larger world we live in…oh dear, how I have gone on – but your words touched a nerve…

    Liked by 1 person

    • And your words should touch a nerve in all of us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories of a place you love. It does not seem like the place I visited with my family several years ago and fell in love with. As you wrote we must send our energy and love out and do what we can with our individual lives. We are all in this together!


  7. It is good to see you blogging again, Jo! I am familiar with VITA, such a wonderful program and a great contribution to community service. The terror attacks in England have been so horrifying and spurred by such vicious hatred. When things happen like that and we think of scenarios with our children and things that could likewise happen, it is very scary. It looks like you have picked some good books. I really miss reading. Sometimes I think I’ll ditch all this writing and just be a reader again as it sure makes me happy. I have some writer friends who are on a strict no-frills schedule. I can’t pressure myself to write and let everything else go, if I did, I’m sure that writing wouldn’t be too great. I try to write a little something every day, usually a short poem because I can do that more quickly than a story. Sometimes I come up with something good, sometimes I don’t. I just look at my blog as my exercise in creative writing. Hope your summer is off to a great start!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My summer is good so far (except for the bad things we see in the news) as we have had some needed rain to help us as we go into the hot summer.

      I admire the way you always have new poetry or a story on your blog. Your writing something every day probably helps your productivity! I can force myself to write and let everything else go either. Perhaps I am not that dedicated but I don’t want pressure either and want it to flow but then I am not writing for a living.

      I only do my reading at night in bed or if I am waiting for an appointment or something like that – especially a doctor’s appoint! Thanks for stopping by and stay safe and cool this summer. Cheers!


    • Yes, Massie is a remarkable writer! I also recommend “Nicholous and Alexandra” and then “The Romanovs” by him if you are in the mood for more history. I enjoy non-fiction, especially history, between good fiction. Have a good summer!


      • They are on my reading list now. Thank you, so much, CC! I’m like you, I only enjoy reading non-fiction, especially history. 🙂 🙂
        You, too, have a wonderful summer!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I came to see your blog and have loved reading this post, back after giving yourself to help others… if only everyone does something for others we would completely change the dynamics of the world. Thankyou for this, also for your thoughts of the recent attack in U.K. The more love that awakens brings up fear so we all have to stand in our strength and be our magnificent selves. Wow what a reader you are, lovely books, I am going to enjoy following your journey x love barbara x

    Liked by 1 person

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