Book Two, Update

It has Been A Month…

Today marks one month since Pam posted to her blog. Life tends to take turns in unexpected ways. This past month was like that in several ways…

Pam B. Newberry, a little older than 61, of Virginia was reported missing and presumed lost at sea on September 14, 2018. Her brother, Archie, called Pam’s husband, Albert, and was not able to speak with him. “I think she left for Ireland or maybe even Scotland,” Archie said. You should talk with Pam’s daughter, Julie.

After checking the airlines, and not finding Pam’s name among those listed. Julie told us she contacted various cruise lines. She said, “It wouldn’t surprise me that she hitched a ride on a cruise ship making its way across the Atlantic for the winter. I talked with her neighbors. They said they saw my Dad leave with several bags in tow.”

Then, one of Pam’s BFFs called. “I gave Pam a ride to the Charlotte airport where she got a plane. The weather was not too bad that day. She let me video her getting out my car. She was so happy to be going on a trip. She loved to travel, you know even though she was scared of flying. But, now, I’ve not heard from her. I have no idea where she is. She promised she would write me once she arrived wherever she was going. She wouldn’t tell me where. I’m worried.”

Albert, a retired Public Safety Director for the little hamlet where he and Pam have a seven-acre farm told a neighbor the day before he was seen leaving, “Pam and I like trying or experiencing different things—we’re Renaissance people. It seems no one really knows what someone would or could do if given the chance. Including me after being married to Pam for over forty-years.”

A high school chum of Pam’s said, “I saw her car at Lover’s Leap along the Blue Ridge Parkway. You don’t think they jumped, do you?” Another called and admonished Julie. “Do you know where she is? Why would you let her disappear like that?”

The neighbor said Albert seemed calm about the fact Pam hadn’t been seen since he came back from an errand in town. He said, “I was with her most of that day. When I last spoke with her before I had to run to Lowe’s for an errand, she said she would make us a gourmet meal. She loved cooking, trying new recipes, and enjoying a glass of wine while she worked in her kitchen wearing one of her many aprons she collected over the years. I miss my wife.”

Jean said, “As her sister-n-law, she told me things she didn’t always tell others. She always wanted to learn to fly. She went to the airport alright. She got a plane alright. But, it wasn’t a commercial plane. She rented a two-seater, and she took off over the ocean. She wanted to be like Amelia Earhart. She is an independent woman who wanted to go to Ireland.”

When this news reporter called Julie asking about the rumor that Pam flew a plane to Ireland, she replied, “That’s plum foolish. She didn’t know how to fly. And, she has claustrophobia. Besides, she gets lost driving in town. If anything, she is doing a famous stained glass piece for some magical place. Or, she’s helping a community of free-spirits farming and living off the land. She loves growing her own food.”

She went on. “Did you know that she owned several restaurants in various parts of the country. And, she managed them all from home. She works magic with food. Her favorite place state-side is in Bolinas, California. Back in 1997, she setup a quaint little restaurant there. It is one of the best kept secrets of hers.”

Then, a fellow writing friend, Rosa said, “My friend was a comedy writer for variety shows and even received some awards using her pen name–Juan Day-Isle Gough. She did all sorts of technical writing gigs for some really big dudes in the northeast area. I imagine she’d become a YouTube sensation one day, given the chance. Her audio work is pretty impressive.”

Pam’s great-niece said, “I think she is hiding out in the John Muir woods or the Redwood Forests or she and Uncle Albert might be in the hidden world of the Great Smokey Mountains. Aunt Pam told me once that she loved the old growth forests the best. She said there weren’t many of them left, but I bet if she has the chance, she’d get herself a cabin there and you’d never see her or my Uncle again. They are constant companions and love each other. Neither one would go away without the other.”

That’s one story. Another is that for the past year and one-half Pam’s been gradually getting sicker and sicker fighting a hidden illness that conventional medicine did not know how to diagnose with the usual tests. It turned out to be a chronic condition that got worse over the course of twelve years. During that time, Pam had six colonoscopies and six endoscopes. Nothing was found. Yet, her symptoms persisted. And worsened. The inflammation was horrible and the pain severe. She often said that she knew in her heart of hearts she had cancer and they didn’t know how to find it.

One fateful day, it took a wise voice to change the course of her life. An understanding nurse practitioner suggested she try food allergy testing. She did. She learned that she was allergic to soy and sesame and all of the related products. Her symptoms were like having poison ivy in the lining of her digestive system from the top of her esophagus to the end of her colon and all points in-between. After learning how to remove soy and sesame from her diet, her life changed. For the first time in years, she wasn’t in constant pain or suffering from constant loss of blood.

The relief overwhelmed her. She took a break from the busy hustle-bustle of the world. It happened to coincide with Albert’s retirement and their fortieth anniversary. Two weeks away from all forms of communication, a piece of tranquility came over her. She decided to use this newfound free time to catch up on her writing. Her novel-writing had suffered the last six months. She was behind in meeting her deadline.

“Something strange happened,” she told me when this reporter reached her yesterday. Pam continued, “I found that weaning myself from feeling I had to do this or I had to do that freed me to love writing again. I was no longer chained to it. I was doing it because I loved doing it. I was free!”

This reporter asked, “Will there be other moments where you won’t be doing things you’ve done in the past. You know the kind of things I mean — get on FB, write your blog regularly, work on your current book, do your stained glass, work in your garden, be a gourmet cook — those kind of things?”

“Yes,” she said.

Update: Pam has written about a third of her new book. She is not going as fast as some would like, but she is having a wonderful time writing again.

Thanks for reading! If you like this post and want to support it, forward it to a friend, write me some love in a comment, or best of all, buy a book!

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This post – “It has Been a Month…” was first posted on Saturday, October 13, 2018 on Pam’s Blog.

Honeybees, Update

Inactivity means a Busy Life

Hello Reading Fans!

“Inactivity means a busy life” with me, anyway. Gees, Hobbit King and I have been extra, extra busy this spring and early summer.

It all started with me helping Hobbit King with our honeybees. We are beekeepers (about five years now). We have six hives, well, actually, we have four hives and a half—one is a nuc and one isn’t in use yet. We had a hive to swarm, so we captured the swarm and moved it to a nuc box. (If you’d like to read more about our beekeeping adventures over the years, visit Honeybees and me.)

Hobbit King, my loving nickname for my hubby, read about building robbing screens to use to help young hives ward off potential honey robbers. During the dearth season, honeybees are very ingenious at taking advantage of weak hives. When a hive is young or older and weak, it is harder to fend off those who would steal honey. The idea of using robbing screens enables some protection.

Robbing Screens

Honeybee Hive Robbing Screen
Hobbit King’s design of robbing screens in use on Honeybee Hive No. Three.

This little front piece is a new addition, Hobbit King created based on some reading he has done. He decided that he was going to see how well he could help the bees protect their hives from robbing bees. This particular screen is his third iteration. The first two didn’t seem to help as much as it confused some bees.

This model looks to be doing the trick. The bees that live in this hive know how to leave and re-enter by going up and out or down and in.

The robbing bees congregate on the outside of the screen as they are not sure where the entrance is located and want to fly straight into the hive opening. They congregate on the screen trying to figure out how to move into the hive and steal the honey.


Trying out New Recipes

Hot Dog Reuben
Hot Dog Reuben – Yummy!

Lately, I’ve tried to organize my recipes. I have also been trying out new recipes that I have collected. Many of them have been fun to make, tasted good, but I wasn’t impressed enough to take a picture of the dish or consider making the dish again.

Recently, while going through my collection, cutting out the recipes from magazines I wanted to keep, and placing them into my binders (I’ll post how the binder collection looks when I get them done). I came across an issue of Bon Appetite magazine that had a section on hot dogs. Hobbit King loves hot dogs. Hobbit King loves Reubens. What could be better than a Hot Dog Reuben?

This recipe took the Reuben, which is an American hot sandwich composed of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between slices of rye bread, and turned the hot dog into the delightful all-star favorite. Trust me, the taste is just as good as you would expect! Yummy, indeed!

Wisteria – Frost Bite to Re-bloom!

The late spring freeze this year had killed all of the blooms of our wisteria in late April. I had decided that it must have killed the plant, too. It looked awful. The blooms were withered and brown. Then, about two or so weeks later, I noticed leaves starting to emerge. There was hope. My wisteria is about fourteen years old and I didn’t want to have to start over with a new plant.

One day in mid-May, I was out walking around the property making plans of what I might plant this year. Was I surprised when I looked up and saw the blooms. My wisteria was making a show hidden from view unless I went under the pergola and took a breather by sitting and enjoying the view of Reed Creek. Gladly, I “popped a squat,” as our daughter says. Propped up my feet and enjoyed my surprise! Hobbit King soon found me enjoying the view and joined me.

Wisteria in bloom, May 2016
Wisteria in bloom over the pergola looking out at Reed Creek.

A New Series Begins

And, yes, I’ve also been writing. Many of you know that besides writing fiction, I also am a technical writer. This past June, I managed to finish two different technical writing gigs. The additional time gave me what I needed to put finishing touches on the audio version of The Fire Within, which is in the final stages of post-production. Also Julie, our daughter, worked her magic on the audio cover as well as updating the print cover. Hobbit King was so helpful listening to the mp3s and helping critique the readings.

With the audio version of The Fire Within about complete, I’m working on final plotting plans for my new series. The new series is about Kay “KC” Carson, who is entering her elder years. One day, KC finds herself transported to a new world where she experiences mysticism, magic, and numerology and must learn how to solve some of the mysteries of her life.

As a V. I. P. Reader Club member, you’ll hear first how you can acquire a copy of the audio version and learn more about my new series. Look for an e-mail from me in mid-August.

May you have a gloriously fun July!

Write On!
Pam's Signature





The post “Inactivity means a Busy Life” was first posted on Pam’s Blog on Sunday, July 17, 2016.