a kindle deal

I loved this book last January. Just saw that it’s offered for $1.99 on Kindle (or ebook) at Amazon.

Just sayin’….

someone else's love story

click here for $1.99 price on amazon.

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Ah, yes…..

We are home.  We unpacked the car and then Banjo Man merrily hustled off to town to buy groceries while I sat on the couch in a stupor.

I’m still sitting on the couch in a stupor.  I have my nightgown on.  I still have a cup of diet soda from the last gas station we stopped at in Connecticut.  Because I like straws and lids.

We are watching football on tv.  Nebraska plays in an hour and we are so excited to watch it on our own tv set.

I’m breaking out the tequila to celebrate our safe arrival back in Rhode Island.  I don’t have to drive anywhere tomorrow.  I don’t have to program the GPS or double check the road atlas or find the cords to all of my high tech devices or play that Willie Nelson cd for Banjo Man another fifty times.

I’m not sure where my cell phone is.  Maybe I lost it in Ohio, who knows?

 And who cares?

I am in my nightgown.

I am on the couch.

Banjo Man is next to me.

And we are not in the car, going 70 miles an hour down the highway.

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meaner than a junk yard dog

I’m talking about Chicago.  (Remember the song????)

We left Rochester Thursday morning.  The sun was shining.  The sky was blue.  Everyone in Minnesota is so darn nice.  We’d had a wonderful evening with Mandolin Ann and Boom Boom Neil, the bass and recorder man in both Idaho bands.

It was time to hit the road, make some tracks, put in the miles, get to Indiana, blah, blah, blah.

We’d never driven this way before.  New roads, new scenery, it was all good.

That worked out just fine until halfway through Wisconsin, when it was my turn to drive.  I set the GPS to “South Bend”.  I checked our road atlas and knew we were heading south to pick up I-80 and go east.  I had my I-pod, ice water and half a bag of M&M’s.

Ready to roll.

About 45 minutes into my driving time, Banjo Man squished his king-size fleece blanket into a pillow, closed his eyes and began to snore.

About 2 minutes later I had no idea where I was going.  The GPS said to take the I-90 road.  The other sign said, “Bloomington”.  I had no idea where Bloomington was.  I didn’t remember ever driving through there.

Click here to see the route:


I didn’t wake up Banjo Man to ask his advice.  There was no time.  I was wedged between cars and semis.  I picked the I-90 option because I knew that I-80 and I-90 sometimes combined in the Midwest.  Was this road going to lead to I-80?  It was 45 mph, all construction, two lanes, no exits, no gas stations, no nothing.

It went on for an hour and a half, until I–still following that pink line on the GPS–burst into four lanes of traffic.  By this time I was pretty sure I’d screwed up.

And then, trying to decipher the signs over SIX LANES OF TRAFFIC, I took the wrong lane and ended up at….O’HARE AIRPORT.

Banjo Man woke up to planes dive-bombing the car and me wailing, “I don’t know where I am!!!!”

You can imagine his dismay.

I followed the “recalculating” lines on the GPS while Banjo Man frantically studied the road atlas.  I eventually got back on the horrible road I was on.

Did I mention that it was 5:45PM?  Rush hour in downtown Chicago?

Banjo Man pointed out some tall buildings in the distance.

Me:  “What are those?”

Him:  “That’s the Chicago skyline.  We’re going right through there.”

It took 2 hours.  It felt like 6.

There was no way to pull over.  No place to hide.  No way for Banjo Man to do anything but study the map and ask me how the hell I ended up in Chicago?  I explained about the GPS, the construction, the lack of signs that said “To I-80″, the lack of places to stop….

Once he realized I could handle driving in the insane bumper to bumper traffic, he started to relax.  And chuckle. And point out buildings.

“That’s the Sears Tower.”

Me:  I hate it.  I don’t care what it is.

Him:  Wow, we’re going right past Wrigley Field.

Me:  I hate it.  I don’t care what it is.

The minute we made it into Indiana, I pulled off to the side of a toll booth and Banjo Man got behind the wheel.  Just a few miles later he took an exit and drove right to a Cracker Barrel restaurant (one of my personal favorites).  I think he was afraid I was going to burst into tears and hoped that the sight of Halloween decorations and mashed potatoes would cheer me up.

It helped.  A little.  I ate some potatoes and turkey and I took some migraine medication and I bought a really pretty black and yellow scarf.

We didn’t make it to South Bend.  We got a hotel room just a few miles away from the restaurant and collapsed into bed.

Here’s the route I should have taken:


http://www.mapquest.com/embed?hk=1sXXKcg&#8221; marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”></iframe>

There’s a big difference.



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old dogs, new tricks, on the road

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Sunrise in Indiana.

After 44 years of marriage, we set a new record this morning:

We were out of our hotel room and on the road at 5:50 AM.  I’ve always wanted to do that, but Banjo Man has never seen the appeal.  He likes his morning routine:  shave, shower, breakfast, news, computer, business, packing up the room, packing the car…

When this morning he woke me at 5:15 and said, “Come on, it’s time to get out of here!” I thought the hotel was on fire.

I threw on my clothes (I set them out the night before) and grabbed my two  small, matching bags (I pack up my computer stuff the night before), brushed my teeth and grabbed a cup of coffee on the way out to the parking lot.

It was dark.  Very dark.  The problem was that Banjo Man hadn ‘t slept last night.  He’d tossed and turned and finally gave up.  And I had told him to set his clock ahead an hour last night (I thought the time had changed west of Chicago, but it changed east of our hotel room.  (It was one of many, many mistakes I made yesterday).

So Banjo Man thought he was getting on the road at 6:30, but it was actually 5:30.

Poor Banjo Man.

We traveled from Illinois  through Indiana before stopping for breakfast at a local restaurant, a few miles south of I-80.

2014-10-17 003Banjo Man had a 5-egg omelet.  All of their omelets were made from 5 eggs.  I had the special: 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 2 pieces of bacon and 2 sausage links.

Banjo Man said it was the best omelet he’d ever eaten in his life.  It was so high and fluffy that Banjo Man had to ask how it was made.  The answer?  Eggs beaten with water and clarified butter.

Can’t wait to try it myself (when I can remember what clarified butter is).

On to Ohio.  Oh-me-oh-my-oh.  (Yes, that’s a Gillian Welch reference).

A brief stop at Arby’s many hours later (Arby’s had 3 televisions broadcasting news and wifi!!!) in Pennsylvania, we stayed on the road until we are now in another lovely, comforting, clean Hampton Inn.

Rhode Island tomorrow….even if we sleep late.



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this is wisconsin

After about 4 hours on the road today, we stopped here:

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day 3, from buffalo to mitchell

We  are surrounded by hunters.  They are very happy guys, all dressed in their new camo gear.  It’s pheasant season in South Dakota!  The hotels are filled with hunters, the parking lots are filled with trucks, and the weather is gorgeous.

Banjo Man  experienced a Life Highlight in Rapid City, but I’ll have to tell you all about it one night when I am not ready to pass out.

In the meantime, some pictures of our last hour on the road, in South Dakota.

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day two on the road

Yes, I know I haven’t blogged about day one yet.

But I had to finish that story for Harlequin this morning.  And I did!  And then Banjo Man had work to do, so we left Missoula later than we’d hoped.

To sum up today:  I rested.  Banjo Man drove.  I drove.  Banjo Man slept.  Banjo Man drove.  I slept.  Then we listened to Willie Nelson, Dave Rawlings, Delbert McLinton, and Gary Nicholson until we arrived, 507 miles later, in Buffalo.

I love looking at these mountains.  Snow!!!!

2014-10-13 023Here are some highlights of the day:

What I did across Montana and part of Wyoming when I wasn't sleeping or driving.

What I did across Montana and part of Wyoming when I wasn’t sleeping or driving.

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Sunset in Wyoming.

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A miracle!  The new GPS system is working!  The last one had a nervous breakdown in Scranton, PA and never really recovered.

A miracle! The new GPS system is working! The last one had a nervous breakdown in Scranton, PA and never really recovered.

Tomorrow we’re on the road by 7 AM.  Banjo Man has work to do in Rapid City and I think I may just shop for a new pair of cowboy boots.

Bright blue or red?

Or maybe yellow, to match the leaves.

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heading east

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stormy weather

2014-10-11 018A picture or a song?  Take your pick.

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the big skipper

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Here is Banjo Man, looking for perfect skipping rocks.  Now that the lake has gone down so much he has a lot to choose from.

His rock-skipping skills have never been rivaled.  He is the World Champion, at least here on this beach.

2014-10-09 026Here he is, pondering which rock will bring him fame and fortune in 2015.  I think he’s planning to hide the best ones for next summer.

Just to drive his sons and nephews crazy.

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