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March 31, 2010

I've always said that March was the worst month of the year on the North Fork. First it's sunny, then it snows, then it's sunny, then it rains. Well excluding the snow it was a typical March until the 29th and 30th of the month when the rains came, and came, and came. We got 8.03 inches on the North Fork of Eastern Long Island. We are fortunate in being without large rivers here, but the small lakes overflowed, and the great dunes along the south shore facing the ocean were absolutely descimated. While it's still grey and grim as I write this, tomorrow is April 1st. They are saying sunny, mild temperatures, and a good weekend. Let's hope "they" know what they're talking about, and that the Easter Bunny won't need a rowboat.

~ Bertrice

March 28, 2010

When I was a kid in school we all knew who the bullies were, and we did our best to stay away from them. My mother had instructed me never to hit another child. But everyone has a tolerance limit, and mine was reached the day that Jimmy, the neighborhood bully, deliberately broke the red balloon my dad had bought me at the circus that afternoon. My first instinct was tears, but when Jimmy laughed, and pointed at that poor bedraggled bit of red rubber now hanging from the end of my string I lost it. I screamed, knocked him to the ground, sat on him, and taking his two ears in my hands banged his head on the lawn over and over again until they dragged me off him. Jimmy's mother was screeching about her darling boy being attacked when the woman knew full well what a little savage he was. My mother, not even the hint of a smile upon her face, her hand now holding mine, said quietly, "Well, he did start it, Mrs. Riley. You live by the sword, you die by the sword." From that moment on Jimmy crossed the lane when he saw me coming.

The point of this story is that back in the days before computers we could put a face and a name to those who bullied, or tried to bully us. We remedied the situation as best we could, and the bullies were eventually brought to justice by a teacher, a parent, or even another kid. But the internet allows us the anonymity to hide behind a false personna; to start rumors about people we don't like; to say terrible things about others. It is said that those who practice that kind of behavior feel better for getting the meaness out of their systems, feel superior, believe they are cleverer than anyone else around them. How sad that in order to feel better about yourself you have to excoriate another person. This cyber bullying has caused several young people to commit suicide. I think that those who practice this kind of anonymous behavior obviously don't believe in a deity. If they did they wouldn't do it. We all know we will be called to answer for our bad behavior eventually. Yes, we will!

~ Bertrice

March 27, 2010

ATTENTION READERS! The Spring Newsletter is finally up!


The new video trailer for CROWN OF DESTINY will be up and on this site Thursday, April 1st. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

FOR MY READERS: This is your First Warning. The last book in "The World of Hetar" series will be in the bookstores on APRIL 27th. From past experience you should know that the print runs from HQN are small. Once this title is sold out it will not be reprinted. Pre-order or be in your bookstore that week. And keep in mind that some of the large chains will put the book out earlier so watch for it, and grab your copy quick, my dears. It's a May title and will be gone by the end of that month.

~ Bertrice

March 25, 2010

I usually attempt to avoid controversy on my bulletin board, but lately something has truely annoyed me. It is the media's alleged shock at "civilian" casualties in the current wars being fought. Read your history, people! War is not clean and neat. It is not a video game or a movie. People get killed. Bombs, missles and guns don't usually distinguish between men, women, children, soldier or civilian. People, good and bad, our sons and daughters, their sons and daughters, get killed. Would the media please stop acting so surprised about this and looking for an excuse to start trouble, to blame someone. Unless the governments involved want to pick two champions to fight to the death and end the wars, then lots of other people, young and old, civilians and soldiers, are going to get killed. God help and bless our military men and women in the midst of all of this. There is no blame to be assigned here except to the damned fools reporting events who think war is a polite game, or a chance for a journalism award. WAR SUCKS!

~ Bertrice

March 20, 2010

Spring arrived today at 1:32 p.m. with the Equinox. And here on the North Fork we are enjoying delicious weather, a bit out of season, but appreciated nonetheless. I'll remember it next week when it goes back into the 50s which actually aren't so bad. Everyone says that Spring begins on March 21st but that isn't so. It begins on March 20th in most years. And 37 years ago on this day - actually at 10:29 p.m. at night - I gave birth to my only child. Happy Birthday, Thomas! And yesterday we celebrated my youngest granddaughter's birthday. Sophia turned 7. Everyone says she looks like me. She does. But one day it occurred to me that being told you look like your grandmother when you are a little girl, and your grandmother is way past her youth, must be horrifying. So I explained to her that when people say that it doesn't mean she looks like me now. Then I went and got some pictures of me as a little girl, and later as a young girl. I could see her relief and her dawning understanding. Little girls are such fun for a grandma, and I am fortunate to have two granddaughters.

~ Bertrice

March 17, 2010

Today is St. Patrick's Day. My maternal grandparents were from Ireland. Yes, I'll wear green. My habit on this day is to eat corned beef, but actually in Ireland they eat lamb. Corned Beef is strictly an American tradition. Many years ago the parade in NYC used to march as far north as East 96th Street. Now it just goes as far as East 86th Street. I grew up on East 96th St. just off Fifth Avenue. My grandmother and I would watch from her third floor bedroom window as the parade went by. It was a grand view. One year the delegation from her home County Fermanagh stopped before our apartment building and the man leading them said, "Let's have three cheers for Mary! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!" My grandmother acknowledged them with a big smile and a wave as they then marched on. One of the nuns from the Sacred Heart Convent next door to our building was on the street, and observed this salute. She asked our doorman, Big Pat, "Patrick, who was that lady the lads from Fermanagh just cheered." He answered, "Why, Sister, that's Mrs. Edwards. And she's a Protestant!" "Well, Patrick," the sister said with a smile, "she must be a very good Protestant." She was. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Mary! And hello to all at home.

~ Bertrice

March 16, 2010

Well, the rains came over the weekend, but as we say here on the East End, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. The rain fell in torrents for two days. It wasn't the rain that damaged however. It was the winds. They blew between 50 and 70 miles an hour. Late Saturday night as I attempted to get to sleep I heard a muffled BOOM, and thought to myself, I hope it isn't in my garden. Unfortunately the morning revealed that it was. We lost two wonderful old tall pines. The trees were about 50 feet high. We got about a a cord of wood out of them. On Sunday Aneta and I went to Amagansett on the South Fork where my RWA chapter, Dunes and Dreams, was giving a program for the library there. It was misty and foggy but the rain had stopped. As we drove back we noticed that the skies over the North Fork were much brighter than the other side. The Celestial Actuary obviously loves the North Fork better. For those of you who don't know, Aneta is my friend, my assistant, my housekeeper. She keeps me sane. I sometimes wonder if sane is all that it's cracked up to be.

~ Bertrice

March 11, 2010

The first weekend in March we celebrated two family birthdays. George had his on the Saturday the 6th, and the smallest Small, Evan Thomas, turned four on Sunday the 7th. Yes, we had two parties, and Evan brought Rice Krispy treats to nursery school on Monday. This week we have had three days of glorious pre-spring. I say pre because the season doesn't arrive officially until the 20th of the month. But I think spring has come in a bit early which is only fair considering that winter did the same thing. Why do I think spring has come early? Today, Thursday the 11th, the redwings returned to the East End's North Fork. For some people robins herald the arrival of spring. But here in our part of the world it's the red winged blackbirds, and the ospreys. The ospreys should be back by next week. Of course after three days of gorgeous weather it's grey today, and the forecast is for a very wet weekend. I'm not unhappy. I've got crocus, and snowdrops in bloom and budded daffodils up. And today the redwings returned to Southold.

~ Bertrice

March 2, 2010

March has come in like a lamb here on the North Fork of eastern Long Island. The snow is gone from my lawn except for a snowman my granddaughters built last weekend. It's melting slowly, the only bit of white left in the garden. And why not? The temperature has been in the high forties today and yesterday. Oh the weather pundits are making muttering noises about rain or wet snow overnight, but Mother Earth is waking up. The crocus and snow drops down at the old house are up. And the new plantings I've put in here at the "new" house are showing. Crocus, and snowdrops and members of the daffodil/narcissis family. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. And Sylvester, our Tuxedo cat, got into a brawl this morning with a passing cat who dared to trespass upon our lawn. I doubt that feline will visit here again. As for Sylvester, it was all too exhausting. After a quick nibble he retreated to the den to sleep in my recliner. Cats really can teach us something.

~ Bertrice


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