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This summer on our cross-country RV trip, my friend Colleen and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle when we had a couple of days by the lake.

For Christmas this year, she gave me the one in the photo below—a stylized map of the Black Hills. The puzzle was gorgeous…and vexing. I re-discovered my compulsivity. Some days I’d work on it until my eyes hurt to blink.

All this puzzling brought back memories of my mom, who always had a card table set up in the house with a jigsaw puzzle on it. One day, as she and I closed in on completing a particularly tough puzzle, we realized we were missing a piece. I searched high and low, and had almost given up when my older brother walked in. He paused to study the table a moment, then gave us a smirk and pulled the last piece from his pocket. “There. I finished it. I win.”


My brother was lucky I was only ten. I’d never heard the word: fratricide, but I’m sure the idea crossed my mind. 😉

Rain…blessed rain…the wind? Not so blessed.

I don’t have a lot of remodeling photos to share this week because a series of storms moved into central California. We welcomed the rain and snow with open arms…after a quick install of gutters.

But a few days before the rain, the “Mono Winds” blew in for a brief stay. Sounds somewhat romantic, doesn’t it? (Sorta like the song They Call The Wind Mariah.)

Trust me. It’s not. High winds, combined with burn scars and dead or dying pines makes for a huge mess. Whole trees crushed roofs, giant limbs destroyed cars. The power has been out for over a week in some places.

I consider our minor loss—our trampoline went for a joy ride and came back to earth a mangled mess of tubing—a trifling inconvenience. But being without power for thirty-plus hours would have been unsustainable without a generator. My hero hubby, Paul, made sure three homes had operational refrigerators and lights the whole time.

Last week's Q&A was: Do you subscribe to KindleUnlimited? Yes or No.

I have to say I was a little surprised by the final tally. Six out of ten subscribe to KU. I resisted the siren’s call until an Unlimited promotion coincided with the new release by one of my favorite women’s fiction authors, Barbara O’Neal.

Her best-selling novel, WHEN WE BELIEVED IN MERMAIDS, was worth the 90-day risk, umm….two years ago. 😉

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Rebecca Booth
Philip Ojalvo

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


This week’s Q&A: Do you work puzzles (jigsaw, crossword, Sudoku, etc.)? Yes or No?

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways:
email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Stay well, my friends, and happy reading,


Next week: Writing…at long last…



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen