The Unexpected Dazzling Swim Class

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Everyone moved side to side, warming up as dancers before a ballet or jazz class. A few stretched, but mainly tried not to splash their neighbor too much. The music started and was festive with accents from the 1980s. It lifted us all with a can-do attitude. But then they added weights… We all groaned […]

Cherish Precious Moments This Christmas

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I wanted to wish you a wonderful holiday season and Christmas joy upon you and yours. I’ve been so grateful for each of you and am wishing I could have you over for coffee and sit a while together. I love Christmas and have been setting out little special corners of remembrances and happy, even […]

Favorite Reads of 2018

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The Not-To-Miss Books, Great Gift Ideas, and Favorite Reads for Middle Graders I’m so excited to share some of my favorite reads to add to your Christmas list for boys and girls ages eight to thirteen years. One of my pet peeves is hearing parents at school say their kids don’t like to read. I […]

The Air We Breathe – Caught In The Bay Area Smoke Out

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Our family lives in Northern California in the Bay Area and we’ve been caught in an unusual situation, covered with smoke. As wildfire survivors who lost our home and all our possessions eleven years ago, it’s been a challenging couple of weeks as smoke from the Camp Fire rolled in and, like a stealthy dragon, […]

Flashback Book Launch Event with Author Shannon Messenger

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Recently, author Shannon Messenger, who writes the wonderful Keeper of the Lost Cities series began her book launch tour for her book Flashback. I was excited to meet up with a friend in our MG Lunch Bunch readers group and enjoy Messenger’s talk sponsored by Kepler’s Literary Foundation. I had met and interviewed her a […]

The Lion Emerald crystal, feature on Thorn & Vine blog with gemologist and author Elizabeth Van Tassel

Inspiring Emerald Gem Discovery

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There’s been some neat discoveries coming up on my radar as a gemologist, and I love to collect these tidbits for inspiration for stories, especially if it involves emeralds. I thought you’d like to share some of the most dramatic ones of late. My love of emeralds Emeralds have always fascinated me, even before I […]

Happy Birthday Narnia and Everything C.S. Lewis

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In honor of it being the birthday of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Narnia, which is sixty-eight years old this week, under the magical gazebo for MMGM I wanted to share some memories of my summer C.S. Lewis study abroad program. I also have some great Narnia-themed products and books to share. […]

Helping friends with loss during holidays with resilience expert and author Elizabeth Van Tassel

Helping friends with loss during the holidays

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With the leaves beginning to turn and October in the air, I’m gearing up for a busy time of year and gathering thoughts for holidays. Yesterday, a small fire was put out near our new home in the Bay Area (thankfully!) I’m reminded of some basic things that were so helpful in those years of […]

Fall Delights! What’s coming from Thorn & Vine

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I’ve been collecting great ideas for a wonderful fall series and wanted to give you updates about what to expect and some recent happenings! Due to a death in the family and some tech hiccups, the blog has been a bit sporadic. Thanks for your patience as we fixed everything! And nurtured our family for […]