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Bertrice Small

Bertrice's Blog

December 22, 2012

I had a normal childhood and growing up for someone of my generation. I had a mother, a father, and 2 grandmothers in my immediate family. There were my maternal grandmother's family, and lots of cousins. We celebrated Thanksgiving at Aunt Emily's; Christmas at our apartment; and New Year's Eve at Aunt Maude and Uncle Albert's apartment. I liked that best because all the cousins hung out while the grown-ups gossipped and partied. We loved counting the subway cars as they past by on the elevated Third Avenue subway; and usually ended up falling asleep among the coats on the bed. It was a whole different way of life. A different time. I suppose kids today will have their own memories, but I like mine best. The only sad Christmas I recall was the year my Grandma Williams died suddenly on December 18th. I was an adult then, however.

I grew up, married, spent Christmas Eve at my in-laws. My mother-in-law always served what George referred to as "Mom's famous chicken". It was a broiled breast with a sauce made with Campbell's Mushroom soup. LOL! But it was darned good. And then on Christmas Day we went to my folks. That lasted until our son was born. After that Christmas was at our place whether it was city apartment or house in Southold. Our folks past on. So did Aunt Emily, and then Tom was gone to make his new traditions from our old ones. George and I never minded being alone at Christmas. As they say in all the Regency novels we were well "suited".

And now it is Christmas 2012. George is gone, and it's just me. I can't help but remember that line from the children's song, "The Farmer In The Dell". You know the line to which I refer. "The cheese stands alone. The cheese stands alone. Hi Ho the derry oh, the cheese stands alone." I am obviously the cheese now, but I don't intend to stand alone. On Christmas Day I will have a lovely dinner for Aneta, and 2 friends who will come to dine with me. I will miss my darling, but he's going to be celebrating with family and friends up in heaven.

At Thanksgiving I freed Tiffany and Tom of the Christmas dinner obligation. And its a darned good thing I did too. Tiff was diagnosed with strep and walking pneumonia yesterday. Of course the kids will stop by because Santa always leaves something at my house for them. So while it will be a bittersweet Christmas for me I will celebrate the season nonetheless. I certainly hope that those of you reading my blog will celebrate it too. Merry Christmas to you all!

~ Bertrice

December 15, 2012

Well here we are 10 days from Christmas. I finally have the few cards I'm doing this year written and out. Fewer cards means about 75 instead of double that. I haven't done a lick of shopping. Have paid taxes instead, and next week like clockwork the property taxes for Southold will be in my box. I don't know why Southold Town feels sending property tax bills in the Christmas season is an appropriate gift for its citizens.

I said no tree this year. George always loved a tree but I was the one who decorated and undecorated it. I've got a manuscript due into New York in early Feb. NO TREE! But of course I have a tree. In fact it seems I lost my mind entirely and bought 3 trees. The largest one sits covered in white lights on the deck outside of the picture window in the dining room. It looks lovely at night. The second tree is set up outside my front door with colored lights. Both these outdoor trees have a big red bow on top. Aneta did the lights, and she did a fabulous job, I might add. I could not do without Aneta, bless her!

So what about that third tree, you ask? It goes up next week in the living room. It's small, but it will have lights and the antique decorations on it just the way George liked it. It seems that I'm a more sentimental woman than I thought I was. And being me the manuscript will be on time even if I have to decorate and undecorate a tree. Tom laughs at me when I say no tree. "Sure, you'll do a tree, mom," he says. And drat! He's right. Don't you just hate it when your kids are right like that?

So with ten days left I guess I'd better do what little shopping I'm going to do. Hope you are all having fun with your preparations.

~ Bertrice

December 10, 2012

Yesterday, December 9th, as many of you know, I celebrated my 75th birthday. How the hell did I reach such an age? My mother was 75. My grandmothers were 75. But me? 75? Someone has obviously made a grave mistake. But of course they haven't. I have reached the three-quarter century mark.

I missed George. First time in 50 years I celebrated without him. Without him teasing me, and asking, "How on earth did I ever end up married to an old broad?" And I would laugh and remind him he was 15 years my senior. I almost didn't celebrate yesterday, but realized in time that he wouldn't want me to ignore such a milestone.

So I had a party! I invited a few friends to Cooperege Inn in Baiting Hollow Sunday at noon for their famous brunch. We were 2 tables, a total of 16. Tom and Tiffany came but no kids. Sorry Cora and Fia. I wanted a grown-up party, and truth is they would have been bored to tears with all the chatter going on. My 3 grandsons couldn't help but raise havoc, and I thought Tom and Tiff were entitled to some grown-up time. Those of you with small kids understand.

I brought 2 birthday cakes. A big one that was Devil's Food cake with raspberry filling, and pink raspberry icing for me; and a small all chocolate one with a hazelnut filling and pink roses for my best friend, Kathryn Falk, who had a birthday on December 5th. She had come up from Texas to be with me, and was surprised to get a birthday cake! She deserved one too. After all every little girl should have her cake. Right?

Returning home I found messages from Janelle Taylor and Cynthia Wright as well as lots of e-mail greetings. Thanks everyone. Now, however, it's back to reality. I can do reality. I have a book to finish for you, Christmas cards to write, office stuff to prepare for 2013 etc. Hope when you all celebrate your next birthday you will have as nice a time on yours as I had on mine. God bless!

~ Bertrice

October 5, 2012

Today, October 5th, is our 49th wedding anniversary. To my delight the weather is the same as 49 years ago. Blue skies, bright sunshine, and a warm light breeze. I lived with my family on what is known as the "upper East Side". All the Irish doormen who serviced the building, (2 Pats and Bill)and our back freight elevator man, David, came in that day to wish me well as I headed off with my dad to the Church of All Angels where George and I were being married. They had all known me for many years, and were so kind.

I was late, of course, in the most proper bridal tradition. I have pictures of it all for my parents had the entire wedding, church and reception, phographed by one of NYC two big wedding photographers, Bradford Bachrach. It was a very formal wedding with bridesmaids, groomsmen, a best man. The church was full of family, friends, and people from CBS and NBC where my parents were employed. George later said he felt as if we were on stage the whole afternoon. Actually our wedding was scheduled for 4 p.m. It just seemed like the whole day. LOL! Then it was off to the reception.

George and I were eager to get finished with that one, but you know free food and drink will have everyone remaining as long as they can. I'm sure many of you have seen that at your own weddings. Finally we escaped to the bridal suite when the phone rang and my mother was demanding we return. We reluctantly did to thank people for coming until she allowed it was permissible for us to leave. We were all quite in awe of my mother. Our wedding supper? Bacon and tomatoe sandwiches!

The next day we departed on our honeymoon in "our", actually George's little Austin- Healey, and drove from the city up to the Lake Mohonk Mountain House for a few days before going on to Vermont to stay with his aunt and uncle who hadn't been able to get down for the wedding. They had a little inn, and of course it was leaf- peeping time in Vermont. Then back to reality and what we hoped would be a wonderful life ahead.

And it was. To quote a favorite song of mine, "good times, and bad times, we saw them all," but George and I had the good fortune to continue loving one another. As my Dad used to say about his 61 year marriage to my mother, "if I had to do it all over again, I would". Me too, daddy. I wouldn't change a thing except finally losing George on July 5th of this year. But I honestly can't complain too much. 49 years ago today, a confirmed (he thought) 40 year old bachelor married a 24 year old romantic. And just look what came of it.?

Happy Anniversary, George. I miss you.

~ Bertrice

September 22, 2012

Most elections bore me. For one thing the conventions aren't like the good old days (yeah, them) when people went excited about one of the two or three men who wanted the office and would finally be chosen. And as for the vice-president his choice was a crap shoot too. It was fun to listen it to on the radio - yeah radio - and then watch when we finally got televised coverage. Signs with different names, and true enthusiasm. No more. You already know by the convention who the candidate will be, and he gets to chose his running mate. Boring, boring, boring. Why even waste the money to hold a convention, people?

But now its worse. We're into "the campaign" season. Are the candidates telling us what they "Hope" to accomplish if you elect them? Nope. They telling us how awful their opponent is and why we shouldn't vote for him/her, but vote for them instead. And in-between times you get an occasional yap about "if elected I will". Is there anyone out there who believes all this yapping? Do I give a damn about what was done by any candidate when he/she was 15, 16, 17? Do I care about their grades in college? No, I do not. I am more interested in the person he or she has become today.

To begin with no elected president can do anything "they" want to do without the approval of the congress so it's therefore very important to drop the "partyline" once in office, work with the congress, and get done what is best for our country, and our citizens. I am sorry to say this is rarely done. Too much infighting, and worrying about keeping one's job every few years. Political correctness to the inth degreee.

Still as disappointed as I am by it all I will do what most of us have been doing over these last years. I will chose the candidate I consider the better of two evils, and vote this November. I hope you will get out there and vote too on November 6th. We can at least pretend we're still in charge. And so ends my latest grumble.

~ Bertrice

August 19, 2012

I don't know about you, but I liked it better in the good old days when each party had a couple of guys trying for the presidential nomination. You never knew until the wheeling and dealing was done, and the vote in who got that nomination. Now that was fun. As for the Veep nomination that then became a crap shoot, and it wasn't over until all the delegates voted that you knew who that second guy out of the 4 or 6 who wanted it was going to be. American politics at its delicious and devious best.

But that was then and this is now. How did it go from "that" to "this"? And why are we having conventions to chose our candidates? The candidates are already chosen, and I don't care what year it is, it's downright boring. Suspense is not a bad thing, people, and when did we start opening our presents before Christmas? How many of us really watch the conventions these days? Why bother. We know the outcome.

But worse in this woman's opinion is that the campaign ads and rhetoric have already begun. Each party is already telling us who to vote for because the other guy is bad, and they're good. PUL-EASE! I'm a reasonably intelligent and. well-formed voter. I don't respond to scare tactics or you telling me the other guy is the devil, and you're the Lord's chosen.

What are you going to do for me if I vote for you and you win? What are you going to do for our country? How will you try to accomplish your goals? That's what I want to know, boys. So cut the rest of the crap and tell me that. But I'll bet you won't. It will be business as usual. I often wonder what if we held an election and nobody came. Hmmmm? Think about it.

~ Bertrice

August 7, 2012

I'm supposed to be in mourning, but damn, if life doesn't keep intruding. The truth is George wouldn't want me mooning over his death, and I haven't been. I just miss him like the dickens, but then I think how lucky I was to know him for 50 years, and be married to him for 49 years. We were both lucky come to think it.

I also know he would be as outraged as I am over the recent spate of wretched ignorance that caused a mosque, yes, a mosque, in Joplin, MO to be burned down; and the slaughter in Wisconsin of Sikh families going to church on Sunday. What the hell is the matter with people out there? This is the land of the Free and the home of the Brave. We have always prided ourselves on our tolerance. I am ashamed by such acts of violence.

I have readers of all faiths, colors and ethnic backgrounds. I love them all, and am proud I can reach out to bring my stories to everyone. I am a white Episcopalian, but I have friends who are Jewish, southern Baptist Roman Catholic, and other faiths. Some actually claim to have absolutely no faith at all. I have friends who are white, black, yellow. I don't think that any of us is better than the other because of their race, religion, or ethnic background. I will never judge you because of you how you worship. or by your color. What gives any of us the right to judge someone else by color or faith?

If you think the Celestial Actuary made a mistake when he created the heavens and the earth, take it up with him when you see him next. But don't shoot up a theatre, or a Sikh temple, or burn down a mosque or do any other piece of stupidity that shows your ignorance. It harms so many, and frankly embarasses the rest of us.

~ Bertrice

July 5, 2012

Ladies, and especially those of you who knew my husband. George died tonight. I will post more detail when I have them.

~ Bertrice

June 23, 2012

I use my blog spot here on the website to share with my readers bits of my life, and of course to frequently vent on the absurbities of the world. Today, however, I'm going to write about a serious subject. Death. Ewwww, I can hear some of you saying. I can see the shudder as you debate whether to continue on or go to some other author's website where the news is more upbeat. But the fact is that death is a part of our world, and I have faced it before.

My parents died with dignity. My in-laws did too. I have mourned friends gone way before their time like my beloved Morgan's husband, Charlie; and my bestest buddie, Tom Huff, who wrote as Jennifer Wilde. It is difficult to lose someone that you love.

Since the end of April my husband of 49 years has laid in a hospital bed in the living room of our cottage. He had been suffering from Dementia and heart problems for the last few years. He has now had several small strokes. He has stopped eating although we coax Ensure and clear juice into him when he will take it. Swallowing has become difficult for him. I am told he is near death but he cannot seem to let go. It isn't pretty.

I want to give him a dignified death as I give my elderly characters in my novels. But life doesn't seem to want to immitate art in this case. Tom comes and spends several hours a day sitting with his dad. I think he secretly hoped George would suddenly recover and they would talk music and make jokes as they always have. Yesterday he realized that wasn't going to happen. Seeing your husband dying is hard, but seeing his son's heart break isn't easy either.

So if I haven't been my usual on-line self these past few months I hope you'll understand. We're sitting a death watch right now. GOD's will be done.

~ Bertrice

June 15, 2012

Today is June 15th. I started my morning with Tiffany. We dropped Lucas and Liam at pre-school, and then headed over to Our Lady of Mercy School for grandson, Evan Thomas Small's, kindergarten graduation. I actually go to these little school affairs for the cake. They always serve cake. This one a yellow sheet cake, white butter cream icing, green and yellow flowers and leaves from the local King Kullen. It was my breakfast, and I have to tell you that cake with butter cream frosting sures beats Rice Krispies for breakfast. LOL!

The Strawberry Festival is this weekend which means we'll keep off the local road in and around the vicinity of Mattituck. The weather is beautiful, and so it will be very busy which is good because it's a fund raiser for the Lions. My little strawberry patch is finished now, and the farm where I get berries as well told me this was the last week. I bought 2 quarts, and am almost finished eating them. Yum!

To my surprise Wickham's Fruit farm has cherries already. I was surprised because it seemed a bit early. Mrs. Wickham said she was surprised too, but suddenly the trees were full of them. I asked about the stone fruit crops - a frost in 2011 cost them 90% of their harvest - but Mrs. W. says everything is on target this year for a bountiful crop of apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines.

Exam week for Cora. End of school activities for Sophia. Then next week they are set loose on their parents for the summer. 4 weeks until camp for the girls. They can hardly wait. Beginning of the summer is tough with all 5 children home. 3 little boys can sure cause a lot of havoc. Glad I'm just the "Grammi". LOL!

Am working finishing up the second book in my new series, "The Silk Merchant's Daughters" which is titled FRANCESCA. I think you will find the end rather interesting, perhaps a bit non-traditional. I'll leave you to figure that one out. Hee Hee

In the meantime I'll leave you now to enjoy these last few days of Springtime......

~ Bertrice

May 28, 2012

I am a woman who likes a quiet dull life. It allows me to write novels with kick-ass heroines, and earn a modest living. Of late, however, my life has proven neither quiet nor dull. I am not happy about any of it.

The latest chapter began 2 days ago when one of Tom's cats, a just over a year old dope name Chaplin, went snooping, and got treed by a neighbor's dog. Any other feline would have jumped the fence and gone home. Chaplin decided to race up a tree because he knew that the dumb dog couldn't follow him. So up he went. Did he go 10, 15, or 20 feet where the dog couldn't possibly reach him? Nope. Chaplin went up at least 60 feet. The tree was trimmed of lower branches so there was no place for Chaplin to stop until he reach the crook of the tree. And there he remained for 2 nights.

Our local fire department took a look, and decided their ladder wouldn't reach so they went back to the fire house. Thanks, guys! Finally one of the local nursery/tree men came with his cherry picker, and a bag in which to stuff the cat, but Chaplin wasn't having any of that, thank you. He climbed higher, and then out onto a branch. Beneath him 6 humans stood holding a tarp to catch him when he fell. And fall he did. But he missed the tarp, and limped away under the garden shed.

Tiffany lay on the ground trying to reach their crying feline. Finally she got him. Hysterical, Tom called the emergency vet at the county seat. Like many men he's not the greatest in a crisis. Granddaughter Cora came running to me for a cat carrier at exactly the same time George decided his aide was a foreign enemy attempting to kidnap him as the poor man tried to get the wheelchair back into the house after taking George for a lovely ride around the neighborhood. But George reached out to grab the railing to prevent himself from being kidnapped.

Of course I began to laugh while directing Cora to the closet in the basement where I keep the cat carriers. Tom is on my phone yelling at the emergency vet service, and attempting to calm his father at the same time. Of course we finally got G. into the house; Cora ran down the lane with the cat carrier; Tom assured his father all was well, that Edgar was there to "help" him. Then he dashed off after Cora.

The last I saw of them all Tiffany's car, filled with all the children, Tom, and the cat in the carrier, whizzed by me bound for Riverhead. Of course this is the beginning of what's called "the season", and the roads are filled with cars visiting the Greenport to see the tall ships, going to the wineries for tasting, picking strawberries etc. I'm going to assume they got there, and you can check my Twitter page if you are curious for an update as I get them.

Now I think I'll just go out in the quiet of my garden, and pick some strawberries for dinner. Of course the quiet will be broken by the helicopters going back and forth to the Hamptons with their passengers who don't want to traverse the LIE. Must be nice to be filthy rich and carefree. Hope your weekend has been less eventful.

~ Bertrice

May 26, 2012

For a brief time today it was sunny before it went back to grey. Too bad because according to the East End calendar "the season" begins this weekend. And people paying a premium for season rentals want sunny skies, warm weather. Well, there will be other weekends before Labor Day is suddenly upon us.

It's muggy right now, but I sat out on the deck anyway and looked at my garden. It needs weeding, and I can't do it any longer because of my fussy back. There would have been a time when the weeds bothered me. But today I decided they weren't too bad yet, and the clumps of Siberian Iris - deep purple, lavender and white - were just too beautiful not to admire not to mention the deep pink peony bush that has to my eyes suddenly come into full bloom. And there are still some tall stately bearded Iris looking very elegant, a wonderful Bleeding Heart plant with its red, pink and white flowers, and some wonderful purple-blue Columbine.

I already have some red roses, the first of the season, small but fragrant. And the day lilies are in full leaf. Some warmer days, and they will suddenly be in full bloom. I have some interesting colors among my day lilies. I've planted my pots with New Guinia Impatiens, regular Impatiens, and trimmed the pots of herbs that wintered over thanks to our mild weather in the cold months. I still have the window boxes to do. Next week. And I'm ready to plant my morning glories and moon flowers. They'll bloom in late summer. The blue morning glories are so bright and cheerful on a hot summer morning, but it is the pristine and wonderfully fragrant moon flowers that bloom in the evenings that are so beautiful they almost break my heart.

I have a couple of squash plants to get in (yellow and green), 2 tomatoes, a green and a yellow pepper. I'll do my green beans from seed because they are so easy. But this year - after 3 years - my strawberry bed gave me a wonderful surprise. It is full of berries, and as soon as we saw it Aneta and George's aide quickly covered them with my special cover. I will share a lot of things with the creatures populating my small acreage, but NOT MY STRAWBERRIES! A few more warm days, and we'll be picking.

I would have planted the big pots I use for my tomatoes and peppers today, but the nearby strawberry bed had seeded those pots, and they are filled to overflowing with strawberry plants! LOL! I'll transplant them next week because I really do need those big pots for the tomatoes and peppers.

I guess the purpose of these paragraphs is to share with you my good garden fortune right now, and convince you that even if the long week-end weather isn't the best you've ever had, summer is a-comin in and we will eventually get those wonderful days. But just in case we don't this year, don't dispair. Look around you, and enjoy what you have, and what you see.

And GOD bless the men and women, past, present and future, who do service to our wonderful nation. That's really what Memorial Day is all about, my dears. Never forget it or them.

~ Bertrice

May 20, 2012

I'm pensive of late. My nice neat little life has been turned upside down. I'm not certain what I'm going to do. Don't panic, editor! I am working as well as being pensive. <G> My sense of responsibility hasn't gone.

But I've suddenly found myself in the position of a lot of women who are my age. George and I have always been healthy. We talked about long- term healthcare insurance. You know, the kind that you need if someone needs long-term nursing care. But we took the chance we would never need such a thing, and being practical folk figured why pay for something you would never need. But now we need it.

As I've told my readers for years most garden-variety writers like those of us writing popular commercial fiction don't get rich. If we're lucky we are able to support our families. And I have. But there was never a whole lot left over for extras. Top of my bucket list is that 4 month trip around the world one winter. I realized a long time ago I'd never have the kind of money to do that, but I have earned my living being a dreamer, and there is always the chance someone will turn Skye O'Malley into a movie or nighttime soap like "Game of Thrones" or "The Borgias". So the trip remains at the top of the list.

Now, however, I'm faced with the reality of what to do. I've always enjoyed playing the game of life, and beating the odds. I've taken an almost smug pride in my "Spock-like" logical approach to survival. Now I have to become one of my own heroines if I'm going to make it through to the other side of this conundrum.

Say a prayer, dear readers. I can use all the help I can get.

~ Bertrice

May 18, 2012

Facebook tanked its first day on the market. Interesting, isn't it? I guess the big boys holding that first issue are holding out for bigger profits. They didn't get them today even thought over 500 million shares were traded. Yes, interesting.

I had my order in with my guy for 100 shares no higher than $45. per share. I'm not as you can see a big trader by any means. LOL! I suspect I got those hundred shares for under $40. I also wanted 5 shares each for the grandkids little portfolios. We were going to wait a few weeks till things "shook" out for those, but I suspect my guy got 'em today. I won't get rich, but I like to think I'm on the cutting edge even in a recession.

Still I can't help but wonder who decided to put out the word to hold this stock. The big boys usually get the lion's share of a first offering, drive up the price, then unload and make a fat profit. That's how the rich get richer. So what happened today? Will we ever know? I wonder.

~ Bertrice

May 16, 2012

Romance authors I am told would do best to stick to their books, but as my readers have found out over the years I am an outspoken old. broad. When I was younger I tried to be more diplomatic. But I am considered a senior citizen now, and if I don't speak up now then when? I've discovered that I am not shy about my age, or anything else for that matter. You are always free to disagree or agree and engage me in conversation/debate if you wish. I'm happy to hear other opinions. I may not agree with you but I'm happy to discourse with you in a civil manner.

The state of the world annoys me now and again enough to speak out. I love our country but sometimes the government and its lack of common sense really get on my nerves. Take election years. Ohh, please take them, and keep them as far away from me as much as possible. I am told I must vote because that is my American right. Even if I think both men likely to run this year are an unfortunate choice on both sides of the aisle.

But "someone" has their hooks into our government. Who? I sure as hell don't know, and don't even want to speculate. All I have ever asked of my government is that they keep the peace, and keep the roads and bridges in good repair. They are unable to do either.

I want Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney to know I don't like either of them. One got into office because "the boys in that smoke-filled room" didn't want Hillary as president. How many of you outside or inside Illinois ever heard of Barack Obama 5 years ago? And how many of you voted for him because of his mixed race because you didn't want to seem prejudice? Shame on us for all allowing ourselves to be manipulated. As for Mr. Romney I'm sick unto death of rich men buying the nomination one way or another. Where is the patriotism and desire to serve our fellow citizens?

Look, I think both of these guys are probably nice fellows. Good family men. One over-educated and out of touch with the rest of us - yeah, even Romance authors - the other with an expensive education which may or may not have stuck, but a great business sense. Socially I'd probably enjoy their company, but I want something more for a president.

I want a diplomat, a good executive, a careful man who thinks for himself and brings respect to our nation. I don't want a man who apologizes for every error perceived by today's standards or otherwise that has happened in our nation's own personal history. I don't want an arrogant man who doesn't listen to our allies who just might have better info on terrorists then we do at some point. I want a man that I and the rest of the world can respect. Is such a thing possible?

I guess I'll have to write a book about it eventually.

~ Bertrice

May 9, 2012

Today, Wednesday, May 9th 2012, is the 50th anniversary of my meeting George Sumner Small. I had just joined the St. Bartholomew's Epicopal Church Community Club, a social club for young men and women between the ages of 18 and 40. My dear friend, Ed Muller (thought of him as a big brother) has sponsored me at my mother's request. After I gave myself a birthday party the previous December inviting 22 guys and 1 other girl she thought it might be time. LOL! And it was Ed who introduced me to George. We were all working on the spring musical, ON THE TOWN. Ed was the orchestra (piano) along with George (drums). The 2 men were surprisingly effective, as G. played clarinet and sax as well. I was the 3rd assistant prop lady.

That night I went home and told my grandmother, Mary, I had just met the man I was going to marry. I didn't tell Mom who questioned everthing,but Mary said "Good! Bring him home to dinner, but wait till they're not here!" meaning mom and dad. She wanted the first look, and when she had had it she agreed with me. 18 months later we were married, and this October we will celebrate 49 years - if G. gets that far - but he's surprised us before.

My darling husband has always been amazed that I remember such dates. How do you do it? he always asks. This year he didn't asked, just smiled at me. I also reminded him of Monday, August 26th 1963, the day he proposed to me. LOL! To this day I can't remember exactly what he said, but I remember asking him if he was kidding when he asked, and when he assured me he was not I said YES! We were married 5 weeks 5 days later.

My mom complained at me asking her to put together a formal Manhattan wedding in so short a time but I knew she could do it, and she did! The next night she was writing the one hundred fifty envelopes for the invitations that came from Cartier. It took 10 days for them to be delivered but Mom and her secretary got them mailed the same day. WOW! I bought my wedding gown at Best&Company August 27th. I picked the third dress I tried on but my mother made me try on lots and lots and lots of dresses. Back in the day every girl who shopped regulary in a NY department store had her "own" saleslady. Mine, Mrs. Katz, was wonderful and kept my mom in perfect check. Dress delivered on time. Photographer of the day was Bradford Bachrach. Pictures take on time. Cocktail reception at the Savoy Hilton (now the GE building) perfect. Bride just a scootch late to church.

And here we are all those years later. Again I ask, where did those 50 years from May 9th 1962 until May 9th 2012 go? They went far too fast, my dears. Much, much too fast for your most faithful author............................................

~ Bertrice

March 3, 2012

I have always wondered how the government got mixed up in my sex life. I've always been a respectable, law-abiding citizen. I don't jaywalk, and I pay my taxes. So how come, and by what right, does the government tell me what I can and can't do with my body? Does the government tell the male population what to do with theirs? Does it say no vasectomys, or surgery for prostate problems? No it doesn't. So how come it gets to make laws having to do with a woman's body? It's obvious we need more women in the senate and the house.

I am not a fan of abortion, but even I know that sometimes there is no choice. I just wish my sisters wouldn't use it as a birth control method. You want to have sex with lots of guys? Fine with me. Just take precautions because a smart woman knows most guys won't. Well, we're responsible for almost everything else in a woman/man relationship so why should birth control be any different. We women need to access our pride of self.

Which brings me to Rush Limbaugh. Ewwww. Would someone sew this neanderthal's lips up and take him back to his cave. Please! While I respect Mr. Limbaugh's right to free speech, wouldn't it be nice if he respected the rights of women to disagree?

And on the faintest chance Mr. Limbaugh sees this blog, Russ, I'm a 74 year old church going lady who was brought up a moderate Republican, and who will celebrate her 49th wedding anniversery this year. I'm still earning a living, and right now supporting a family ten, but personally I think you're a jerk. Our founding fathers would tar and feather you. You make the more conservative members of our society sound and seem like bigots, and they aren't. They just have their views as I have mine, and you certainly have yours. Nothing in this world since time began has been either all black or all white. Who knows how many shade of color there are? I surely don't.

~ Bertrice

February 13, 2012

There must be a lot of trusting souls out there in the wide world. My junk mail box is full of offers of free money, easy money, a credit card with an unlimited credit line. There is no such thing as "money for nuttin and chicks for free" people.

And how about all those "lonely" housewives looking to connect for sex in your area? Do I know any of them? Hmmm. And I love the ones telling me that Tammy or Brandy saw my picture on Facebook, think I'm "hot" and want to "chat". Not going to happen girls. I have an invitation to join "Fuckbook". No thanks. Here's a sure fire way to increase the length of my penis by 4 inches. Well, I have been told on numerous occasions that I have balls, but I honestly can't lay claim to a penis of any size.

And what about those many widows of lower Slobovian billionaires who want to share their fortune with me if I will just open a bank account for them with my money? Mr. Hassan of the Royal Bank of Moulah- Moulah will be glad to assist me. Sure he will.

Junk mail. Ya gotta love it!

~ Bertrice

January 20, 2012

I had honestly hoped to make it through the month of January without a harangue. Not going to happen, folks. I am about to harp on the alleged social services system in our country. Not the good people who toil to make this system work. They are to be commended. It's the system itself that needs to wake up. Our country can no longer do business as usual with regards to those in need.

Let's start with HEAP. Hello? Is anybody there? Does anybody care? This year applications for getting help with your heat were opened to the public November 18th. NOVEMBER? There are many places in this country where it is already cold in mid-November. Applications should be available on September 15th not November.

A senior friend of mine applied November 18th. Her business hadn't done well this year. She's a single woman. Last week she ran out of heating oil. She called to see if her application had been processed. She was told another 4 to 6 weeks. 4 weeks meant the middle of February. 6 weeks meant the end of February. She had absolutely no heat in her house. Her thermostat was below freezing. She called the local office for the aging explaining she had a congenital condition. They told her 4 to 6 weeks. She soldiered on dressed in layers and a hat. A friend stopped in to say hello to my friend, and was appalled that the house was freezing. The mutual friend told a few of us, and we got together to get 100 gallons of fuel oil into our senior friend's house. She was grateful but embarrassed that her plight was know even to a few friends. She would have never asked for help, and it might have been a lot more serious.

I'm appalled that this would happen to any citizen of this country. I'm more shocked that it could happen to a hard-working tax paying woman. And I'll bet dollars to donuts it's happening all over this country to decent people not just my senior friend. We're in a depression whatever the hell the government wants to call it. Good people who have never asked for help need it now. The system is obviously over-burdened which means it has to change to accomodate all the citizens who find themselves in need of a little help.

When George and I moved to the North Fork 36 years ago we needed that help, and it was given quickly without question. We were the recipients of help with fuel oil for 2 years. Now the need is so great that people like my senior friend, and even my own son in a house with children are waiting, waiting, waiting. Same thing for food stamps.

Our government is so busy trying to make "friends" with nations who hate us and will never like us in today's world climate that they are freezing and starving our own people. NO MORE FOREIGN AID! That money belongs to We, the People, who paid our taxes so our fellow citizens in need could get help when they needed it. NO MORE FOREIGN AID so if the government needs to hire more people to process all the applications for help these days they can. So the applications can be processed quickly. So help can reach the cold and the hungry.

What the hell is the matter with all you damned leeches down in D.C. who are living so grandly off our tax dollars doing abolutely nothing? All you seem to do these days is squabble to twart the people's business from getting done, to one up each other, to blame the "other" side. Your citizens are hungry. They are living in cold houses. Your behavior is intolerable. The system is f..king broken. FIX IT, DAMNIT!

Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

~ Bertrice

January 16, 2012

It's the 16th of January, and bitter cold, but thank heavens no snow yet here. Today, however, I had copies made of BIANCA, Book One of my new series The Silk Merchant's Daughters. Tom came and burned the CDs for me. My copy and CD is now put away. The other CD and the paper manuscript will go out first thing tomorrow morning to my editor, Claire Zion, at NAL in NYC. Another copy to my agent. I am more than relieved to have this book done. It will be published for you in October. The cover is almost done, and when it is I will be posting it on my website for all of you. And of course there will be a video in late summer.

Next year I'm back to 2 books. Book Two in this series is due into the publisher in July for April or May 2013 publication, and Book Three will be published in October 2013.

This year, however, you will have a chance to re-read the mass market edition of The World of Hetar which is being published every other month beginning with LARA this month. They all have new covers so don't get confused. And Kensington is publishing a couple of re-releases. Just check the Coming Announcements page on this site for info. Hope you are all keeping warm except you lucky people in Florida and the Pacific Rim where it's high summer right now. Buy LARA, and head to the beach!

~ Bertrice

January 1, 2012

Well here we are beginning the new year of 2012. Will anything change for the better? Gosh, I hope so! I remember when I was a lot younger reading predictions of what the 21st century would be like, but of course it isn't at all as "predicted". There's a wonderful old saying that I find myself quoting frequently. "Man plans. GOD laughs." And isn't that so true these days.

However that doesn't mean we can't hope. So here's what I hope for in 2012. No big wars, and what passes for peace on our globe to. continue. No terrible natural disasters. I hope the paranoid rulers in certain countries get replaced. That people stop believing that their GOD is better than someone else's GOD. I believe in one GOD and I'm perfectly willing to share with others. Less greed. Greed is not good. More jobs for Americans. That the banks stop foreclosing on people down on their luck.

But most of all I hope the politicians on both sides of the aisle get off their fat cat asses and do the people's business instead of concentrating on getting re-elected. Now, would that be special?

~ Bertrice


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