He has led me to write (thirty-one day challenge)

And so it ends, on this All Hollow’s Eve, the write thirty-one day challenge, or as I deemed it-thirty-wonderful days of writing.

thirty-one day challenge
my desk where I normally write

But was the write thirty-one day challenge wonderful?  Not the entire time.  Yes, I got a lot of practice in writing my blog and had to stretch myself and dig deep.  But did I dig too deepStretch myself too far?

Writing thirty-one blog posts in thirty-one days was hard and I actually failed the challenge.

Continue reading He has led me to write (thirty-one day challenge)

I think I have been taking pictures all my life.

Taking pictures and making memories.

Two years ago, tomorrow, Danni and I left on an adventure across the globe, all by ourselves, to go see Cameron.  It is still one of my favorite trips and I think of the fun time the three of us experienced together often.

taking pictures
London calling!

Cameron was attending Texas Tech University and was doing a study abroad.  She left in early September, all by herself without knowing a soul, flew to London, where she joined other college students to study.

taking pictures
On the London Eye

She attended Kingston University, southwest London, about a thirty minute train ride outside of London. The university was founded in 1899.  She stayed in a dorm with three other dormmates–boys and girls.  A few of them did not speak English. She luckily had a bedroom and bathroom all her own.

Continue reading I think I have been taking pictures all my life.

laugh in flowers

When we were in San Francisco, there was a lovely man who owned a little sidewalk flower shop in the neighborhood of North Beach. (right down the street from the gelato shop!) We stopped and bought flowers from him and I am so glad we did.

laugh in flowers
Mark buying flowers in San Francisco

He was an Italian and had a lovely accent and was so happy when Mark told him to keep the change.  He hugged Mark and gave Danni and I a long stem rose each.  It was a nice moment that I won’t forget.

I wish Waco had a place like this downtown.

Continue reading laugh in flowers

Be a bridge

Bridges are interesting, aren’t they? Some are merely functional, a way to get over a waterway or a road. Concrete passages to the place you are headed.

Still others are architectural masterpieces. A piece of art in the sky, spanning high above a river or bay, and more, much more than a method to get from one place to another.

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge, at Crissy Beach

These are the bridges I admire. The beauty, the history, the ‘how in the world do they build that?’ bridge.

How do they build them? Especially over large bodies of water? I don’t understand it and my mind can’t comprehend it. I simply like to stare at them. And take pictures of those steel beauties.

Continue reading Be a bridge

I now see Waco

Who am I? Good question.

One should constantly be growing and learning and I believe I am. I have grown into a person who loves life. I love so many things around me. Waco is one of those things.

Sometimes I feel like I not only have found my words but also my eyes.

Or do I now see Waco for the beauty it is because I now write and I am always looking for stories?

I see beauty all around me in the simplest things. I write about all those things on my blog and also, occasionally I get to write about those Waco things for the paper I write for, The Hometown News and for The Groove Entertainment Magazine.

On the Suspension Bridge, in Waco, looking at the Washington Bridge

Continue reading I now see Waco

God moments make you think

Do you ever wonder why something happened to you?  Why did I go that direction?  Choose that path?  Why did I bump into that person?  At that particular time?

I believe those are God moments.  I know we have free will but I also believe in His will.  He has our lives mapped out for us and I believe He puts certain people in our life for a reason.

Napa Valley
Saint Helena-Zinfandel

If you don’t share my belief you probably have stopped reading this by now. And that is ok.

Continue reading God moments make you think

Mornings well spent

I am not much of a morning person. It’s not that I wake up grouchy-I just don’t like to wake up early.  In fact, I loathe it.  I hate an alarm.  I hate getting right out of bed and into the shower.  Those things make me not happy.

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you will miss them.” -William Arthur Ward

But when I do get up early, I get to enjoy sunrises like the one my husband took a picture of a few weeks ago. (this feature image) I could also have more time in the day to get more things accomplished.

Mornings well spent brings days of content,” I once said talking about writing and subject matter for writing. I botched or more like put a different spin on that quote about Sundays, but I like it and its so true.

coffee mug

And as I know this, I still prefer a lazy morning.  At least a lazy hour.  It just takes me a little bit to get going.  To get thinking.  To get creating.

Click To Tweet

William Blake said it simply, “Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”

Although I prefer sleeping in a bit, Martha, being a puppy, likes to get up around 7:30 a.m. Charli and I are working on her! We have her closer to eight ‘o clock every day.

My favorite mornings consist of anything after 8:00 a.m.  And puppy kisses.  And coffee. But first a Dt. Coke.

I recently started liking coffee and I am slowly going from super-flavored to not-much-flavor at all.  But definitely still cream.  I use unsweetened  almond milk.  No sugar.

Dichotomy, in Waco

When its hot out, and in Texas it is hot most of the year, I like my coffee iced. When it is cold out, I like a cute mug.  It’s all about the feels for me.

dachshund coffee mug

The pups and I wake up, go outside and start our morning.  I turn the TV on NBC and whatever hour of Today that is still on. After I turn all my pretty lamps on (its mood lighting), I feed Charli, Martha and Jemma and then we go back outside to water.

my weenteam

Then it is coffee in-hand and I head to the office to write.

The coffee house article in The Groove
The coffee house article in The Groove

Mornings are definitely a time to get things done. Richard Whately said, “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” So true, Richard, so true.

What is your morning routine?  What gets you going in the morning?

coffee and muffins
breakfast of champions

I hope for you puppy kisses and coffee!

love and blessings~dd


The mere smell of fall

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” -Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost


That is the way I want my house to smell in the fall. Cinnamon, cloves, apples, oh my!

apples and spices
apples, cinnamon, cloves and whole all spice

I light candles—pumpkin candles, vanilla candles and cinnamon.  But nothing is better than smelling something cooking in the kitchen.  Something sweet.

“The mere smell of cooking can evoke a whole civilization.”- Fernand Braudel

simmer pot
Click To Tweet

If I am on a diet, which I always am, or I don’t have the time to bake, I fake it.

  • Cinnamon sticks,
  • all spice
  • cloves
  • star anise
  • vanilla, from Mexico

All these wonderful spices, simmering on the stove, in two cups of water, make the whole house smell of wonder.

apples and cinnamon simmering on the stove

And if I have an apple that has gone bad, I throw that in the pot, as well.

Throw caution to the wind and add some apple cider or apple juice. Experiment with different concoctions until you find your favorite.  Remember to simmer, and keep an eye on it.  Don’t want the liquid to boil over or dry up! Ew.


You can also do the same thing with lemon, rosemary and vanilla, simmering in water and you will get an entirely different lovely smell.  William Sonoma uses this to entice people when they shop in their stores.  And I believe it works.

lemons and rosemary

Hope your house smells like all things fall!

love and blessings~dd

The ugliest dachshund

Once upon a time, there was a sixteen-year-old girl who begged and begged for a Great Dane pup for her seventeenth birthday.  The parents lived in a castle (not really) with five dogs (only two inside) and six cats (all outside) already and the parents didn’t think they needed another dog.

Great Dane puppy
baby Tegan

The girl received a purse instead.

Fate (God) thought differently.  On the daughter’s birthday weekend, someone snuck five lab-mix puppies in our backyard.  After finding homes for all but one special black pup (our Jemma), the daughter kinda got her wish.

Jemma was not a Great Dane but she was a cute puppy.

Cameron and Jemma

Fast forward five years and another birthday wish (this one granted), and a Great Dane named Tegan came into our life.

Great Dane puppy
Tegan and Cameron on the day we picked her up

Cameron, Danni and I headed off on an adventure to East Texas to pick up this already enormous pup. That was a fun day that won’t be soon forgotten. On the way, we tried to think of names for the newest member of our family.  Although there were some great names thought up (Big Sandy), Tegan was the name of choice.

great dane
Tegan and I when she was a pup

Tegan was loved instantly.

Baby Tegan and Charli on top of poor Jem

We, as you may know, are a weenie dog family.  Jemma is an honorary weenie dog and Tegan soon became one, also.

Big and Little
Tegan and Martha

Have you ever seen the movie The Ugliest Dachshund by Walt DisneyDean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette play a suburban couple who are also a weenie dog family.  The husband, Mark, takes in a Great Dane pup and falls in love and there is much mischief in the house, all blamed on the Dane and (can’t believe I am saying this) but clearly all the weenie dogs fault. Highly recommend this movie, if…

  • 1) you like dogs
  • 2) you love weenie dogs
  • 3) you like old Dean Jones movies and
  • 4) you like Great Danes.
Tegan with Charli and Martha

Back to Tegan…

When Tegan was just a wee little big pup, she would play with Charli and be very gentle (or as gentle as she could be). They would play tug-of-war and yes, Tegan would always win. Charli was a mighty Dackel but Tegan was almost always mightier.

Tegan, Jemma and Charli at the dogpark

She thinks she is human.  She thinks she can get on my couch and take up the whole thing.  She thinks she needs crackers when Marky-Mark is eating a snack.  She thinks she is little like the weenie dogs, except when she is barking and then she stands big and tall, and looks mighty like a Dane.

Dachshund and Great Dane
Tegan and baby Martha

You could definitely describe her as great.

Great dane
Tegan’s enormous head

Great big head. Her big ‘ol head is my most favorite part of her.  She has legs for days and a tail that causes trouble. T stands for Trouble.

Tegan has a lot of great nicknames, as well. The one most used is a simple T. And then there is T-pain. Teebee. Teebeer. Mrs. Teebeeweeberson. And Weeber, just to name a small few.

Tegan has a look and it says, “Whatttt??” This look cracks me up every time!

"Whatttt, deedee?"
“Whatttt, deedee?”

Tegan is a sweetheart. She and Cameron are in love.  Tegan is very attached to Cameron and Cameron is attached to her.  I’ve never been more happy about a gift I’ve given than this one. She protects Cam with her big ferocious bark (although she is all bark and no bite). She provides entertainment and companionship.  And makes a pretty good pillow.

Tegan and Charli

Tegan loves the weenteam.  She will get down on her belly, on their level, kind of, and play very gently with them.  They love her and she loves them.

When Tegan comes to Deedee’s and Marky-Mark’s house (that’s what she calls us), she gets so excited.  Have you ever seen a Dane zoomie?  It is a thing.  You have to get out of her way and let her go.  She runs around the yard, about 90 mph, and takes out anything in her way.

baby Tegan and Jemma

We love our sweet big grandpup. I love to have Cameron and Tegan (and Winston, the kitty) come to visit us from Austin. Our house shrinks the moment Tegan walks in, but that’s ok.  We don’t mind.

Great Dane
Cameron and Tegan

Cameron loves her pup and that pup loves Cameron.  And they will live happily ever after.

love and blessings~dd

*to read more about my love of all things Dachshund, click here



box of chocolates

On day 21 of my write 31 days, or as I like to call it-write thirty-wonderful days, I am diving a bit deeper.  Hang on

The famous quote in the movie Forrest Gump is not only witty but very true.  And of course you can’t go wrong when Tom Hanks is the one speaking the truth.

My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” 

roses and chocolates

My momma probably said something along these lines to me once or twice.

I’ve always had a pretty cheery outlook on life.  This comes in handy when life gives you lemons.

Click To Tweet

And then there’s that famous song by country singer Lynn Anderson–“I beg your pardon-I never promised you a rose garden.”


More true words.

When you are living your life, one that seems pretty dreamy-and then your garden turns to weeds, what do you do?

When you are living your life, one that seems pretty dreamy-and then your garden turns to weeds, what do you do? Click To Tweet

I turned to prayer.

If you pray every time you are down, every time you are worried, every time you feel like there is no way out-you will definitely find your way out.

chocolates and roses

God will lead you out of that dark garden. He led me.  I never faltered.  I never doubted Him.  I never left Him.  I never complained to Him. And I certainly never asked Him why.

Jesus answered him, “You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later,” -John 13:7

I was led out of that dark garden, into the roses and given a box of chocolate.


Ask God to help you.  He will deliver.  It may take ten years, but He will see you through.

God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine, or guess, or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around, but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.”-Ephesians 3:14-21

I have the love of my husband and my family and I love them more than life, here on Earth anyway. I am so thankful and my life is so full of blessings. It was then, too, I had my family and we were healthy.  We were safe.

I hope for you a box of chocolates.  If you are having trouble finding yours; ask Him, He knows. After all, you were never promised a rose garden. There’s got to be a little rain sometime.


love and blessings~dd