Greetings From the Frigid Midwest!

Actually, today is really nice! Fifty-four degrees at this writing. But a few days ago, not so good. Single digits are always a bit scary. You pray your furnace keeps working and the water running!

Last Wednesday, the 2nd.

Good news…our goldfish are still hanging in there. Last winter our youngest kept the pond cleared for them, and this winter my husband took over the job. Everything I read on goldfish said that they hibernate, and don’t feed them when it gets cold. Well, our seven fish didn’t get the memo, and they get a bit cranky when no flakes are given. So, every day, without fail, my husband goes outside, and bangs out a small portion of ice. This scares the fish, so they disappear for a while, but soon they are back. We still have all seven fish that have been with us for twenty-one months now. That’s almost two years! Pretty good considering the pet store said they would live about three months! If those seven fish keep growing, we are going to need a bigger pond, or small lake!

I’ve also made a little more headway on the kitchen project. Our son and a son-in-law put up the pendant lights over the pass-through. I love them! They are a real pain when it comes to changing the bulbs…but they are supposed to be good for twenty years!? I’ll believe that when I see it. As our son so graciously put it… “Will any of us be here in twenty years?”

I am now working on trim and staining…as you can see in the above picture. I tried a bit of staining with the doors closed, and I’m going to have to wait until warmer weather. My diffuser wouldn’t cut the brain-killing fumes!

The biggest news is…I’m just a few pages away from ending my second book in the Love Defined Series! Sweet Belief! This one has been a long haul for me. Difficult to find time to write, and just disgusted with myself and all the rewrites needed! I wrote this series of books before writing conferences, etc. and they are a mess! Head-hopping anyone? Too many points of view? Hey…let’s just trail off on another story all together. Ugh!

In honor of Valentine’s Day…just around the corner…already?! I am giving away the first book in the series, Sweet Hope. You may download this on Amazon, Wednesday the 9th through Friday the 11th, for FREE! This is a love story…no angst, just sweet. Kind of different than what I usually write, actually. But you need to read it to be ready for Sweet Belief…which is back to my normal voice…or as normal as it gets!

I hope you fall in love with this family, just as I have!

Click right here on the 9th – 11th to get your FREE copy! https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Hope-Jonathan-Elisabeth-Defined-ebook/dp/B08BJGJW1M/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2ORYZOE60XXPV&keywords=deborah+ann+dykeman

Happy reading!

La La Land…

is a phrase I said to my children on many occasions. It came into heavy use when they thought I was being too strict, or had given them too many jobs to do in a certain time period, or day. Basically, they were living in La La Land if they thought they would spend the day reading, or watching movies, or eating three pieces of cake for dessert.

And now, La La Land is a movie! I don’t claim to be a movie critic. Yes, I am critical of many movies. Too much language, too much violence, too much showing of actions that should be kept intimate, really turn me off. I do understand that when making certain movies, you need to be realistic. A gangster covering his mouth and saying, “Oh sugar!” or slapping his adversary’s hand, probably isn’t going to cut it. But sometimes it seems a bit over the top.

I also don’t act, and I don’t know a lot about that profession. But it seems as though the talents of many actors had become more about what stunts they could do, rather than the dancing, singing, etc. that was once more about glamorous Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong. The training some of the actors go through to play a character is phenomenal, and I wouldn’t want to do it. But millions of dollars of phenomenal? I think it’s a bit over-the-top in my opinion. But let’s get back to La La Land!

My husband and I rarely go to movies. We have streaming and can watch pretty much anything. So to go to a movie and spend that much money doesn’t happen usually. And last night, I went with our second oldest while our oldest daughter took care of five children. Thank you, oldest daughter! My husband would not have enjoyed the movie. War, crime, etc. are more his genre. But he would have loved the theater. It would have made for a terrific nap. Speaking of the theater, you can check it out here: http://www.ovationcinemagrill.com/#locations It’s pretty fantastic if entertainment in the movie and eating area are for you.

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La La Land was a surprise for me. As a writer, I loved the little twist at the end. Just the kind of romantic, sentimental gesture I adore. The actors, Emma Stone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Stone and Ryan Gosling https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Gosling didn’t show the typical singing and dancing moves that the old Hollywood was so terrific at, but that could have been intentional. It made it more sweet, in my opinion. Ryan Gosling’s piano playing was a treat, and John Legend…well he is John Legend after all! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Legend. All of this combined with a nice story line made for a really enjoyable couple of hours.

And as I said, that was a surprise to me. I haven’t read any reviews for the movie. A really quick search on Ryan Gosling’s piano playing said that he had actually played the piano in the movie. I hope that is true, my sentimental heart wants to believe that’s true. It was wonderful to see pretty dresses and suits, beautiful scenery, and that song will be in my head forever!

La La Land! It was really special to spend a couple hours there.

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