Who Put the ‘Luke’ in Lukewarm?

I have a cousin Luke. It was not him. The man is anything but lukewarm, in fact, if you search for the opposite of lukewarm, it would be him.

Lukewarm, [loo’ k war’ em] adjective, Lacking warmth, interest, enthusiasm, or involvement.
Antonym: Luke (a.k.a. Jodi’s cousin, also on occasion:  Ifthen Aka-Yuke Yabradda ). Don’t ask me to explain that one.

Origin: From Middle English luke, leuke, lewke (“lukewarm, tepid”), from an unexplained variant or extension of Middle English lewe (“warm, lukewarm, tepid”).

They lost me at “Middle English.” Is that what they speak in Middle Earth?
I’m only writing about the word “lukewarm” because it is today’s Daily Prompt at WordPress and it made me think about my cousin and his lovely family, which recently increased by one last month when Eloïse arrived and added another female to Luke’s household.
If my dear old dad was alive, he would probably have a word or two of advice for Luke. Dad was also a father of two daughters, and being his first daughter, I can make an educated guess at what he probably would tell my cousin.
“Small girls are the best! They believe every word their daddy says, even the tallest of tales. They spook easily, especially at night when their shutters are open and suddenly a face appears next to the window with a loud evil laugh, “bwahahahaha”.
“Then, before you realize it, they begin scaring you. They are not even trying to, and that is the scariest thing about it.”
“Good luck, kiddo!”
Or something like that.
♥ Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

Reality Check








This says it all!


Inspiring Oneself

The older I get, the less optimistic I am.  As a little girl I knew I had a calling to help people. I didn’t know exactly how I would do this, but I just knew things would work out.

My life and the world are strangers to me now.  Unrealized goals and day-dreams have jaded me. Inspiration is much tougher to achieve. I lose focus, and even worse, purpose. Then there are distractions, responsibilities, irritations to deal with. When Christmas feels more like a burden than a holiday, I know I’m in trouble.  Adding to the mess are diabetic complications and sleep deprivation.

Here is where I start getting depressed. Insecurity about my writing – the book is taking so long, my blog is neglected…  A couple of hours of this and now I have no clue why I love to write, I’m obviously crappy at it.

Then, I come across this little quote by Confucius:


I find myself calmed and inspired to keep going. Those philosophers are GOOD!

Giggles & Bits For Boomers

Hope at least one of these makes you giggle!







Dear Power Company,

I am writing you this letter to:

  1. Protest your inefficiency at prioritization of emergency calls.
  2. To give you a clue about our neighborhood.

Day One
Tree branch broke and downed power lines on my street. YOU, meaning the Almighty Power Company, put out an orange cone and used yellow construction tape to block off the street at the nearby cross-street.

Yes, YOU did send out all those recorded “comfort” messages by phone. Too bad I did not  bigfootcomethget them.  No power, no telephone service. We only knew what happened by one of our neighbors who lived across the street where it happened.

Day Two
I had to make a phone call and we get no cell coverage from Verizon where our home is. This meant a bit of a walk down the street to get a strong enough signal. Actually we were not able to walk – it was more like maneuvering through 3 feet of snow and ice. Something I have never had to do in my life. Something I always thought would be fun. I am an idiot.

When we came across the orange cone and yellow tape, we saw that the tree  and power lines were still in the street. This did not make us happy. So, the first call I made was to YOU and a recording answered. “If you have an emergency, like downed power lines, press one”  So I did.

My call was picked up immediately and the operator took all the information. It would seem that YOU blocked off the street but did not tell a work crew about it. I was assured that it would be taken care of ASAP.

And it was. The lines were moved over to the side of the road (as much as possible because the tree pinning them down and blocking the road was not removed).

Day Three
anditsstillsnowing  We asked our neighbor who had power (lucky bum!) to call YOU, again, and find out what the deal was. The deal was that YOU changed the status of my call to ‘resolved’. I was NOT happy about this news at all.  YOU were now dealing with a sleep deprived (someone needed to keep putting wood into the stove), barely washed (no hot water, remember?), woman who just moved all the semi-warm contents of her fridge to her ice-cold garage. “Garage: is the New Frigidaire” probably won’t catch on like the other dumb sayings have, but I can relate to this one.

It snowed all day, so that must have delayed YOU from even starting to work on our situation. Our neighbor, whom I owe cookies now, knocked on our door and told us YOU said the status for our neighborhood’s restoration was 5:45 pm – today.

YOU are in so much trouble!  Especially when the sun set and we knew we would spend another night in total darkness. Thankfully, we were able to scrounge up enough batteries to keep a camping lantern going when we needed to see.

Day Four
Being cut off from the world (no TV, phone calls, Internet, texting), was driving me mad. Unable to watch the playoff games on the weekend, I had no clue who was going to the Super Bowl. My cousins had their baby girl and I didn’t know for days!  And…I missed the Oscar Nomination announcements!  To many people it is probably easy to wait for that information. Not for me. My whole being was “chomping at the bit”  – a saying I now fully understand, BTW.

The latest ETA from YOU is noon today. Forgive me if I don’t believe it. Hubby has the fire roaring and along with 3 layers of clothing and ensconced in a “snuggy”, I am finally warm. I feel rebellious and snarky and I’m not going to move until my pout is over. Even though I have to pee.

Peeing has become a necessary evil. As you pull 4 layers down, you get a preview of the ice-cold seat awaiting you. It is 52 F in the bathroom. In spite of the warm lantern you bring in to comb your hair by.

A smart woman would take advantage of an empty fridge that is fairly warm and wash the bins and shelves. I, normally am that woman, and it could happen still, after I am finished with my pout.

Noon came and went. No surprises there. To YOUR credit we did have power in the afternoon. It was like, I imagine, getting out of jail must feel. I waited a half an hour before plugging things back into outlets, just to be safe from brownouts. I feared we would be back in the dark soon. My faith in YOU, diminished a lot.

Jodi Lea

cleanempty  BTW, my fridge is a gleaming white appliance. I hate to put food in it again. Hubby said, “It’s blinding!” and threw his arms up over his eyes. He’s such a comedian.

His humor kept me from having a severe pout. My sense of humor had left the building along with Elvis on Day Two. I, who pride myself on getting through things with my great sense of humor, am truly embarrassed.

I was humbled even further when hubby answered our first phone call.

“You’ve reached the Donner Party, please leave a message,” his huge grin was like a kid making a prank call, and that made me laugh even harder.

♥ TTFN ♥

The Inaugural Blues


Please think about this!

No amount of complaining, demonstrations, protests, harassment or heckling is going to change the fact that Donald J. Trump is the 25th President of The United States.

The time for tantrum throwing and slamming social media with your self-righteous outcries, has passed.  Being sore-losers is so undignified and childish. Please stop this. Accept that Hillary is not President, and move on.

♥   TTFN   ♥




STOP, Rewind, Restart, Repeat

NeedsMoreWorkIt means you need to suck it up and re-write them!

In the case of my novel, Through the Door, this means a lot of hard work has been added to its ‘to-do’ list. More research, more brainstorming, more organization. I will do the work to tell a better story – because it deserves it.

I love the characters, the plot and the premise. So I’m stubbornly plugging along on the to-do list and outline. This year work halted a couple of times when family stuff needed my attention. Coming back after a month or two is hard! It is amazing how confused and lost you feel at first. Getting oriented again takes some reading your notes and referring to the outline.

I’m learning so much while writing this novel.  The most important lesson is to make sure you outline more details and organize things tightly, so you do not lose your way in the midst of the chaos. I believe that if I had more details planned out that I would be finished with the writing and working on the editing by now.

It has been said, many times, “write what you know”. I know a little about a lot of things. What I do NOT know MUST be researched. This can be a chore at times, but I would be so disappointed it if I were reading a novel and the flow is interrupted by wrong things about a subject I am familiar with.  It has happened and I was.

I’m growing to like doing research. Often, I am surprised/delighted about what I find out, and now and then I learn something that slides right into my story and makes it better. Win-Win, as it were. [Hubby hates the win-win saying, but sometimes it really applies.]

When I needed to learn about head lice, what I read grossed me out enough –  they didn’t need to show me photos!  Google it if you dare. short articles and huge hideous (zoomed in) photos of creatures from another planet.  My scalp itched for hours after. Telling hubby about it later (he saw no photos or text), his head started itching.  Sorry if yours is now.  My Bad.

Books, archived newspapers and the internet are my best sources, however the most fun is chatting with someone who has experienced for themselves the trials or situation that I’m writing about. They made it feel more real to you, and you pass that along to your characters. Having a 98-year-old early resident of a small mountain township will have stories to tell that are not recorded in history, but happened just the same.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a date with my manuscript…

♥  TTFN  ♥

It Was My Turn, But I Didn’t Make It

windshield   First off, my day was going wonderful. That abruptly changed while driving home from the grocery store. I missed the turn onto my street – probably because it was pitch black outside (remember there are no street lights in my neighborhood), the storm was raining down hard on my windshield and I have night blindness, so I could not see much other than raindrops in the car lights. I did not realize that my windshield had fogged up so badly until I opened my window (to shine my little girly LED flashlight on a street sign so I could read it, which did not help at all). I had driven the last couple streets blind. Not a good thing – especially when one side of the road is a dirt wall and the other a cliff.

Still, you may be thinking, “she’s lived there for over 4 years now! How could she miss her own street?”

“That isn’t important. That isn’t even the worse part.”

I needed to stop somewhere safe and get out my GPS. I saw a cement driveway in front of a white garage – perfect! I will pull in there and figure this all out.

Because of the dark and unfamiliar road I had to ease forward, ease backward (a bunch of times) to turn around in order to turn into the driveway. That is the turn I did not make. Then I proceeded to make things worse, by trying to back my car away from the residents lawn, while turning my steering wheel all the way and cautiously gave it gas. My car did not budge. When smoke came from my breaks, it was time to brave the storm and go out (girly flashlight in hand) and see what was going on.

Somehow, my little car’s front end was sunk to the frame in mud. A few naughty words came out of my mouth when I knew that I would not be able to handle this without hubby and his big-assed truck. Gratefully I thanked my guardian angel for making sure I did not forget my cell phone – AND that I caught enough signal to put a call through to my house.

I was able to tell hubby where I was with the map on my GPS. IT knew all the street names I could not read. Too bad I did not remember I had it right away – I would be home drying out by our wood burning stove and not soaking wet and feeling stupid. More like “stoopid”, really. Hubby must have bit his tongue, refraining from calling me that.

I only shut off the engine because I was low on gas. I left the flashers and headlights on so I would not get broadsided by a car going by. Did I mention my car was sideways across one lane on the road?  Anyway, my car remains sideways in the road. When the car was not running, my transmission would not allow me to change gears. It was not running because the battery died.

“You should have turned off your headlights,” hubby said. More than once.

“I should have waited for the morning to go to the store.” I said. Now I have to try and get my car fixed, instead of doing the baking I planned to do in the morning. Baking was the reason I needed to go to the store in the first place.

It’s got conspiracy written all over it.

♥  TTFN  ♥

License: (license)

Last Words


If you know me at all, you are laughing right now. I am the clumsiest, can’t walk a straight line sober, accident waiting to happen. I don’t know if my equilibrium is wonky or I am not affected by gravity the same way most people are.

People who are clumsy, are never clumsy to the degree that I am. That kind of sounds like I’m boasting, but I assure you I’m not. For years I believed the reason I tripped over my own feet was because my best friend in high-school would trip me when we walked together. Looking back, I think she did this to make me look stupid in front of guys I liked. Looking back, I have no clue why she was my ‘friend’.

I graduated high school and worked for a year to save money to go to college with my BFF. No one tripped me, or tied my shoelaces together, and yet – I seemed just as clumsy as ever. I did not have to be on my feet either. I could just as easily drop something, then lose my balance and fall off my chair trying to retrieve it.

I am not able to stand still. My balance is so odd, that I have to move my feet and change positions while I stand – or – I will fall over. This is very embarrassing when I’m waiting in line at the DMV. You should have seen me wearing ‘skechers’.

I have no depth perception. I can see you – very well. I just don’t know where exactly you are. Or where the table is. Doorways move into my way – so I smack into door frames when I round a corner. Walking across a room is hazardous to my health. I trip over miniscule bumps in the carpet.

Maybe, as someone suggested, I am just too much in a hurry. Slowing down might help. I do tend to rush around working on my never-ending to-do list. So, I will experiment with this.

“Oh, No!” You groan and slap your forehead.

“Oh, Yes!” I answer the challenge. NaNoWriMo is over and I need to focus on something.

Stay Tuned…

♥  TTFN  ♥


Giving Thanks

Every Thanksgiving I take inventory of the things I am thankful for. The list is incomplete every year because I can’t think of everything at once. What matters is that I acknowledge and be grateful for what I have:

  • My kind, loving and handsome hubby & his terrific family
  • My 3 gorgeous granddaughters & 1 handsome grandson
  • My large-breed puppy who is finally calming down a bit
  • That the American people did not vote in a President that puts classified information on an unclassified/non-government network.
  • The Independence Hall Quilters Guild in Arnold, CA
  • The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Benefits Package
  • My BFF, 2,000 miles away, and the technology to telephone, email, Skype and fly Southwest.
  • That my daughter is not embarrassed to invite me to rock concerts
  • All the blessings from Jehovah God – of which there are way too many to count.

Let me know what YOU are thankful for!


♥  TTFN  ♥

Movie Review: The Visit 

For a person with a cold, I had a busy day. I made a maple leaf block (for a quilt). I did some laundry. Washed dishes. Tried to organize my office, but got frustrated and decided to watch a movie instead.

I should have watched ‘Magic Mike XXL’ for the fifth time, but instead I chose what I thought was a mystery/comedy – WRONG! It scared the BeJeeBies out of me, but my stuffy nose cleared up for an hour. It worked better than the vaporizer. It is an M. Night Shyamalan film – I normally LOVE his films. So why did this one disturb me so much?

I’m a grandma and it freaked me out so much that 3 days later I still have images in my brain that pop up front when they want to.

Hansel & Gretel meets Psycho would be a more accurate title. There was even a scene in there where grandma wants the girl to climb into the oven to clean the back part that she could not reach. Talk about tension! Then nothing happened. Equally disturbing because the second time she got the girl in the oven, grandma shut the door. Then opened it. Immediately. This should have allowed a “Whew!” of relief, but it didn’t.

My dog was mesmerized. The spooky music caught her attention and when the screams increased in volume and number, she asked to go outside. I always suspected she was smarter than I, and I think this proves it, because I continued to watch, amazed that the previews had fooled me so. Maybe I should stop fast forwarding through advertisements…

As an author, I admired the sudden twist towards the end of the film. Bravo, Mr. Shyamalan!

I have 2 rules about M. Night Shyamalan films:

  1. Watch them during the DAY
  2. Do NOT watch them at night

Thank Goodness there were no clown sightings in this film.

♥  TTFN  ♥

Who Let the Clowns Out?

I’ve been down with a chest cold, a million things to do, and no energy. When this happens, I get depressed and melancholy.

So I did not need to open the morning newspaper and see this headline:

clownsightings   Since I do not live close to highway 108, I did not panic. Not until after I read the article. It discusses the “creepy clown sightings across the country”.  Some of the first reports of these sightings were from children who claimed the clowns were trying to lure them into the woods – offering them money. In San Joaquin County, clowns have been hanging around school grounds.

Parents are concerned for their children’s safety, especially after yesterday’s incident. Managers of the local Sonora Halloween Fair have decided to ban clown costumes this year. The Sheriff’s office asked people to report suspicious persons and clowns.

Surreal, isn’t it. It.  IT??  He’s back isn’t he?


♥  TTFN  ♥

Giggles & Bits Thursday

Even in these politically charged, disgruntled, and confusing times – My friends and loved ones send me funny things. Since it is Thursday I am passing them along to those I’m honored to call “my readers”…





I suppose young people find this amusing




Right, Ladies?

Why women need a weapon. Hubby does not allow me the combo to his gun safe, so I use a flip-flop.

I’m pretty good at it too.






I am so glad this went viral after I was married.

Just sayin’







I know these two!!








I almost wet my pants when I saw this one!!


I got this one today, from an anonymous source. Ha!

If those did not make you smile, how about this?  Tomorrow is Friday!

♥  TTFN  ♥