The Luck of the Irish!

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I always liked the color of green. Sometimes I wish for green eyes. I  love the Celtic music and wondered what green beer tasted like when I was growing up. The Irish always seem to have a lot of fun.

The wee ones are good babies. Do they drink green beer?


I’m Norwegian and Swedish, and believe in trolls.  It’s my understanding that there have been sightings of trolls in the Norwegian woods.  I believe it, because I may have spotted one or two when last I visited Norway.

I wasn’t drinking green beer or skol, I promise.

Those feisty little green leprechauns, I’m told, are hidden all over in Ireland. The plush greenery hides them and they come out whenever they need to cause a bit of mischief or are thirsty.



I personally believe that they’re still looking for that pot of gold, and maybe they’ll find it one day and move from the woods to a proper home.


So let’s enjoy the Irish and all the fun their culture has given us. Relax and enjoy a pint or two of the green beer, or whatever you choose.





To learn about my books: Barb’s Books Facebook Goodreads Twitter



August—what to do? Read—that’s what!

Summer keeps us moving and August is a month to celebrate and really enjoy because soon the long, hot days will be cold, long days of winter.

Let’s not think of those cold, north winds and low temperatures. Outdoor activities should be high on the list for things to do, and that includes reading a good book in the sun, near the lake.

August 9 is National Book Lover’s Day.  Here are some things that you can do to celebrate books.

Visit your library.

Buy a book by your favorite author.

Read a book by a new author.

Participate in a book exchange.

Books are always better than the movie.

Travel the world with a book.

So, when you plan your camping trip or other outing, bring a book!

Breathe in the fresh air, and let your imagination go—and enjoy!  You won’t regret it.



Here is the link to my website:  Barb’s Books





A few years ago, my husband and I were able to take a road trip out East. It was so much fun to spend time in Philadelphia and see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall as well as the first post office. Hail to Ben Franklin!

After Philadelphia, we continued to Boston. Of course we walked the Freedom Trail and saw so many things, that it’s hard to remember them all.  However, I’d always wanted to see Orchard House.

What is Orchard House and where is it located, you ask? It’s the former home of one our most beloved authors: Louisa May Alcott. The house is located in Concord, MA, near Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s house.

On display were the dolls they played with as young girls, props used during their theatrical performances, original furniture, and a wonderful video about the family.  During the guided tour, I learned about transcendentalism, which is to stand up for equality and social justice. Ms. Alcott’s parents believed in social reform and supported the Underground Movement.


Ms. Alcott’s books taught us the value of family and working toward the common good for all. In Little Women, Marmie (mother) brings food to a neighboring family without expecting anything in return. The patriarch, Mr. March, served as a chaplain in the Civil War.

During the long nights of winter, why not purchase a copy of Little Women or rent the movie. Either version is wonderful. The first movie was made in 1933, the other two versions were made in 1949 and 1994. The 1933 stars Joan Bennett and Katharine Hepburn. The 1949 version stars Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh, June Allyson, and Margaret O’Brien.  The 1994 is so delightful staring: Winona Ryder, Christian Bale, Kirstin Dunst. It’s a wonderful story and fun to watch. The latest version is so real and now that I’ve toured the home, I feel like I know the sisters, the Little Women.


Many thanks to Orchard House. Here is the link to their website. I encourage you to have a look and visit, you won’t be sorry.


I write mysteries, poetry, and children’s picture books. Please take a look at my website where you can learn more about me.

The long month of January


January is the Latin word for door.  It literally means the beginning.  You open a door and enter, which is exactly what we do for the new year.  January brings cold, wind, and all sorts of turbulent weather across the land.  The old north wind blows strong and hard up here in the northland of Minnesota.  It chills you to the bone and it doesn’t matter how many layers of clothing you wear, but I like it.  I truly do!

The snow twinkles across the yard.  I can look out my window and watch the wild animals explore the woods.  The Mississippi River is frozen for the deer to meander across.  I have seen a deer walk down the opposite side of the river, and climb up our side of the river.  The squirrels are busy scampering and foraging for nuts. While I keep an eye on the animals from inside my warm house, I realize that it’s chilly, and time to get cozy.

It’s time to cuddle up with a good book or two along with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or something else.  I prefer hot chocolate but when I settle in with a crochet throw around me and sip my hot chocolate, I tend to fall asleep.  When my nap is over, it seems it’s time for me to fix supper.

Reluctantly, I get started in the kitchen and have to set my book aside.  I know that I’ll return to it later.

The long winter evenings are peaceful and charming.  I look forward to them when summer arrives because the short evenings don’t allow read time nor a nap.

What do you enjoy about the month of January?


You can check out the books I’ve written on my website and don’t forget to sign-up for the newsletter!


Teddy Roosevelt and the Teddy Bear

0Barb 028It seems that Theodore Roosevelt was asked to hunt bear in 1902 with the governor of Louisiana. In those days, the bears weren’t protected like they are now. It’s my understanding that this poor bear was chased down until at last it snatched one of the president’s hunting dogs. A companion of TR raised his rifle and smacked the black bear on the head. He tied the bear to a tree and blew his bugle, summoning the president over.
President Roosevelt was asked to deliver the fatal shot.

Clifford Berryman’s famous 1902 cartoon of Roosevelt refusing to kill a black bear. (The Washington Post)

Cartoonist Clifford Berryman, drawing for this newspaper, documented what happened next: Roosevelt arrived, took one look at the feeble beast with its big, frightened eyes. And he walked away.

It became part of Roosevelt’s larger than life persona, evidence of his benevolence, his principles, his kinship with nature. And, when a New York shop owner decided to name his signature stuffed bear after the animal-loving president, it fueled the production of a million toys and a new kind of relationship to wildlife.     

In the third First Ladies mystery book, I feature Edith Roosevelt: the Clue of the Dancing Bell.  It begins with a National Park Exposition in St. Paul, MN where a murder occurs.   Many imposters factor into this mystery, including Teddy Roosevelt. image_2_39

Here are the links to my website, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Barb’s Books     Goodreads    Twitter