The Sound of Music

balloons-12893936Who knew Lady Gaga would remind me of my 17th birthday?

I wasn’t exactly watching the Oscars, more like monitoring via Twitter. I am not a big movie goer so don’t have much interest in the awards show, but I’d see the tweets on a certain dress or comment or song and I’d tune in. When I noted The Sound of Music tribute, I tuned right in and immediately transported myself back to 1965.

It was my 17th birthday and The Sound of Music had just come to all the big movie screens. By big I mean, not local, but downtown in the big cities.

I loved musicals; was raised on them. I remember going to Valley Forge Music Circus and Paper Mill Playhouse and movies and school musicals, etc. If I didn’t actually see one in person, my dad had the soundtracks – 45’s  – and I would memorize and sing and dance my way around the living room at any given moment (when no one was home 🙂 ).

So it was only fitting that for my 17th birthday, my present would be the big trip downtown to see The Sound of Music.

(sidenote: it’s a bit depressing to realize it’s the 50th anniversary of this event! 😦 )

In the 1960’s it was a big deal to go downtown Philadelphia from the suburbs. Mostly folks took the train to commute.

But this was a BIG DEAL! It was like a double date: my mother and dad and my (current) boyfriend and me. We all dressed up and first dined at William Penn Inn – my very favorite and chosen place for special occasions.

Then downtown – and NOT on the train! My dad drove! We went to the Midtown Theater on Chestnut Street.

It was a GIANT state-of-the-art screen and there she was: Julie Andrews – dancing on the “hills”. I’ll never forget it. I was mesmerized!

And my boyfriend held my hand! That in itself was a pretty big feat – right under the nose of my folks!

My boyfriend: Bill Ayton. He was a nice young man, a child of missionaries who were away in China. He lived with other young people in a home for missionary kids whose parents were “on the field”. The group came to our church. It wasn’t until after that birthday evening that we found out he was not allowed to go to the movies – one of the many rules of the house parents. Oops! I guess it’s true, as the saying goes, that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness then permission!

Anyway, I loved – correction – love The Sound of Music. To.This.Day! And I still know all sound-music-28928936the words to all the songs.

So thanks, Lady Gaga, for the memories. . .


a GRAND idea #6 (revisited)

storybooksIt was the highlight of my Christmas – two years in a row. To hear/see my kid read to his kids a story that I wrote for them! It makes them laugh and it makes my heart sing!  Apparently it’s an established tradition now and the kiddos look forward to it. So do I! 🙂

Just wanted to share again the delight experienced all around with this project. is pretty cool to work with. If I have questions, I email them and they get back to me in a day. They have more options now on viewing and printing. And, as always, not only do they include graphics, but I can use my own. I’m attempting to use all my own (or my kids) pictures as I don’t want to take the chance of infringing on anyone’s copyrights.storybooks2

It’s a new era with so many pictures at one’s disposal – with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Sharing pictures tends to bring us all closer – especially across the miles. And having kiddos see themselves in a book is a win win deal.

Someday I hope to write a story with a grandkiddo’s help. That would be quite a kick!

I hope you’ll give it a try. If you do, let me know how it turns out!


PJ Atlantic OceanSince January 1st a year ago, I have set up and tweaked often my very own blog; joined Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and Instagram and Google+ along with various communities within; set up my blogger Facebook Page, written 105 posts on my blog along with 233 pictures, displayed 219 tweets on my Twitter account; and so far have gathered 187 blog followers, 38 twitter followers, and 42 Facebook Page followers and I guest-posted on

My blog has been visited by people in 23 different countries!

Basically I have done all this by myself, without guidance, other than google searching and researching.

I have revamped my manuscript three times, due to valuable advice received from various sources.

I have joined SLWG and SCBWI. (St. Louis Writers Guild and Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators)

I have read about a zillion other blogs and 15 + books in all sorts of genre.

I’ve been challenged and stretched and aggravated and just plain stumped, but I press on.

Whew! What a ride – so far! 🙂

You know that age old expression “Jack of all trades, master of none?” I feel like that.

But the best part of all this?

In September I began a column on my blog of Faith Stories. It has become the most popular of all my subjects posted; I have had simply wonderful conversations with various people; and have loved sharing their stories and the gospel with the World Wide Web.

I haven’t reached my goal – per social media and publishing standards – but I’m having fun!

I have hopes and dreams and goals.

I hope to entertain, educate, and amuse my dear readers as we journey together forward. I’ll possibly post in a more sporadic manner as I seek less to conform to a schedule and more to the leading of my heart.

I dream of writing about Fun times, Factual stories and Faith-based testimonies.

My goal is to master these social media sights  I’ve landed on (hopefully with some professional advice) and read more books, especially The Good Book, and follow God’s lead in reading, writing and fellowshipping with all.

And may I encourage you, as I encourage myself, to “press on toward the goal (the real goal) to win the prize for which God has called me (us) heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

On my next post, I’ll list my five most popular posts from 2014 for your enjoyment in case you missed any of them.

I love a new year, a fresh start, a clean slate. Don’t you! 🙂

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