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It’s definitely spring in my part of the world. Sunday we took a drive to see/share some of the wildflower glory. (Poppies and “popcorn,” above. Wild poppies, California poppies, fiddleneck, and shooting stars, below.) Of course, the view is more impressive in person, but the blue sky and green hills are a welcome change from the drab of winter. I’m ready for this new season, I just wish it lasted longer.

Oh, what a gift!

You may remember we celebrated my son’s birthday last week. One of his presents was the brainchild of his girlfriend, Sarah. She tracked down a company selling “Live Edge Redwood.” (Slabs of redwood that include the bark.) She asked Paul if he could transform the raw wood into a dining table with two benches.

While not something he’d tackled before, Paul said he’d give it his best shot. A few days later, she delivered two very large, very heavy pieces of the same tree.

I was thrilled to be part of the transformation. While Paul was fabricating a base framework out of steel, I got to sand, apply polyurethane, sand, apply poly…repeat. Paul also removed the bark, which looked cool but was fibrous and not practical for daily use.

The end result was pretty freaking awesome.

Sarah wanted her gift to be a surprise, so after she whisked JP off for a day of pampering, we delivered it and set it up—did I mention the table top weighs a ton?—before they returned for a family party. Below, Sarah sees the end result of her commissioned piece for the first time. (Notice the unusual centerpiece? That, too, is a Paul Salonen creation made from the leftover pieces of the table legs. It’s called “The Tipping Point.”)

Oh, what a gift! JP’s over-the-moon happy, and I know this one-of-a-kind table will be cherished forever.

Shot #2 – DONE! Paul, too!!!

I’ve seen the hashtag #bulletproof online to indicate you’ve had both your vaccine shots. I wish I could say I feel bulletproof, but I don’t. What I feel is gratitude that Paul and I don’t have to worry about dying from this disease. But we’re not taking extreme risks. We’ve never liked big crowds anyway and you won’t find us rushing to a movie theater any time soon, but we are thinking about going out to dinner somewhere fun.

Also, I’m super happy to say I booked an RV getaway for Spring Break. It’s close enough for the kids to visit so we can explore more of the Gold Rush-era town of Angels Camp. I plan to do some research for my Whiskey Ridge series, but mostly I’ll be readin’ and relaxin’!!

Last week's Q&A was: Is the Easter bunny visiting your house this year?

More than half of those responding will be enjoying a visit from the Easter Bunny. I cherish wonderful memories of the big Easter parties at my late brother and sister-in-law’s ranch. It doesn’t feel the same without them—plus, along came the pandemic, so we haven’t dialed in our new tradition. But egg hunts never go out of style when you have little kids around.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Elizabeth Jackson
Dawn Spellman

(Elizabeth and Dawn congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


No question this week, but I will draw FOUR winning names from the last two weeks of entries and will announce the winners in my April 15/17 newsletter.

Stay well, my friends, and happy reading,


Next week: Spring break! I will be traveling, so no newsletter on April 8/10. See you on what used to be Tax Day with pics from Angels Camp.

PS: Fun surprise from Tule and my friend Melissa McClone. Three Love at the Chocolate Shop stories for just 99¢. You can’t go wrong!

THE PARKER FAMILY TRILOGY: Love at the Chocolate Shop
for only 99¢ now!

Kindle | Apple Books | Nook | Kobo | Google Play



Copyright © 2021 Debra Salonen