Wednesday, January 1, 2014

In the Eye of the Beholder

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what about ugliness?

How do we define ugly? What repulses us? And why?
I posed these questions at Visionary Fiction Alliance in a review of Dean Koontz's latest release, Innocence, in which little by little, step by step, Koontz immerses us in ugly, until we are in ugly's head.

Ugly on my mind.

During my 3-mile walk today, ugly was on my mind.
I saw many sights that could easily be overlooked as too ordinary to deserve attention or dismissed as eyesores that should be destroyed, if not for lack of time and money.
But then I leaned in for a closer look.
I noticed the interplay of light and shadow, the tenacity of the weeds, and the way nature intertwined with the man-made.

Ugly or beautiful?

And then it hit me, as it did in my review of Innocence.

Ugliness depends upon the eye of the beholder. Sometimes we don't go deep enough to find the beauty in something ugly or the ugly in something beautiful.

Sometimes we are wrong.

Take a look at the objects around you, especially when you're in the midst of nature. Then lean in as if using the zoom feature of your camera.

You may be surprised at how something that at first glance appears ugly becomes beautiful upon closer examination.

As always, thanks for stopping by.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Visionary Novel Between Now and Forever is Published!

Finally, the day has arrived.

Between Now and Forever, the first novel in my Enter the Between series, is published.

If you'd like to purchase a copy for your Kindle, click here.

It's only $2.99, less than the cost of a cup of coffee. In fact, why not grab your drink of choice and settle down with Marjorie Veil, my protagonist, in her journey through The Between, which in this case happens to be in the direction of the North on the Native American Medicine Wheel, the place of knowledge and receiving.

Here's a brief synopsis:

Medicate or nurture; reform or set free? These are quandaries rookie teacher Marjorie Veil faces when she takes on an after-school class for thirteen-year-olds labeled as troublemakers, non-teachable, and hopeless. Faculty skeptics warn that all these kids need is prescribed medication for focus and impulse control. “Bring them into line,” they say. “Show them who’s boss.” But, as Marjorie quickly discovers, behind their anti-conformist exteriors are gifted teens, who are sensitive, empathetic, and wise beyond their youth. They also happen to have psychic abilities, which they have kept hidden until now. Can Marjorie help them do what she has been unable to do for herself: fight for their spiritual and emotional freedom?

Click here to read the entire first chapter.

My publisher is Philophrosyne Publishing, which specializes in Visionary Fiction.

The print version of Between Now and Forever will be available at Amazon soon.

Thanks so much, my friends, for your support. It feels so good to finally be an AUTHOR, as well as a writer.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Elk Grove Citizen : Lifestyle

Here's a nice article written by Elizabeth Pinkerton about how my family came to California from Holland and settled in Elk Grove. Elk Grove Citizen : Lifestyle

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oat Harvest 2013, What Goes Around Comes Around


The phrase, "What goes around comes around," rings especially true on a farm.

So does, "You reap what you sow."
When we began our oat harvest in April, my first thought was, Here we go again.

My second thought was, Finally a return on our investment.
Oat Harvest 2013

Harvesting is a family affair. My husband and sons work the equipment, along with two employee truck drivers, while my daughter-in-law and I provide lunch and a steady flow of cold beverages for the crew.

First my husband cuts the crop and places it into rows with the swather.

Oat Harvest

The rows are held together by interlaced straws and supported above the ground by the remaining stubble.

Oat Harvest

Next, son number one chops the oats into smaller pieces and blows it out of a chute into silage trucks with the chopper/harvester.

Oat Crop 2013

Oat Harvest 2013

The silage trucks dump the oats into a silage pit.

In the background is corn silage left from last harvest. It will serve as a retaining wall for the incoming crop.
Oat Harvest 2013


Son number two pushes up and packs the chopped oats with the dozer/tractor.

Oat Harvest 2013

Soon the pile takes shape.

Oat Harvest 2013

Finally, the silage is covered with white polyethylene plastic and secured with tires for a tight seal. The cover serves as an oxygen barrier as well as protection from the elements.

The silage then undergoes anaerobic fermentation, which starts 48 hours after the silo is filled, and converts sugar into acid. Fermentation is complete after two weeks.

Now it's time to disk the stubble into the soil and prepare the ground for the fall corn crop.

Oat Harvest 2013

The tractor and disk head for the field.
Oat Harvest 2013


Soon after, the planting of corn seed begins.
Here we go again.

In a never ending cycle.

My writing also continues in what seems a never-ending cycle.

So does life.
As always, thanks for stopping by.