Newsletter Reprint

September 2023 Newsletter Reprint – Little Pigs, Squirrel Brains and Music, Music, Music.

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Helloooooooooo, and Welcome to my Untamed, Unexpected, Unforgettable world. I love that you come back for more. Thank you!

This is the most unusual safari. It’s a hodgepodge of human delights to take you away from hot weather, hurricanes, floods and fires.

You see, my beloved has discovered the wonder that is YouTube. What was once a blissfully silent house where I could think my own thoughts, well when the dogs aren’t barking, has become the noisiest house in the hood.

Athol’s debilitating disease renders him homebound. His eyesight is deteriorating but his love for music keeps him excited and entertained. Now he has found the magic of YouTube on our big TV screen, he’s the happiest fellow in the northern hemisphere.

Sure, it’s impossibly distracting, and my work goes to seed in favor of sneaking a peek at Bruce Springsteen jamming with a fan, rushing to check out the busker Rod Steward invited on stage, and then, how can I stop myself singing ‘Shallow’ with shy Lady Gaga as Bradly C growls his appreciation? And suddenly, I still haven’t left the edge of my seat as Ed Sheeran jams with Andre Bocelli.

But hey, work-schmwork.

Athol’s great joy, I’ve discovered, is my own special medicine.


In the early nineties, I’d been in America for six years. We’d moved around a lot: LA,

Orlando, Kansas City, Chicago, Northern Virginia. By choice, I had no American friends. I had teenagers I was doing my best to raise; I had a wonderful husband and partner, and I had my two besties in South Africa who I wrote to weekly, because calling was too expensive.

My life was full. I didn’t need friends.

What a load of crock.

When a beloved pet dies, we think we can never replace them. Truth is, we can’t. But the massive void they leave creates an ache beyond endurance. Guess what? Our hearts are big enough to welcome in a new pet without guilt. A part of our souls will always belong to the dead, but we are still living, and we need a new pet-soul to fill the void.

So it is with real friends. Your heart is big enough for all of them.

I feel so sad for my 1993 self. I must have missed having friends so much, I wrote a book about “Where to find friends. How to make them. And how to keep them.” I never sent it to a publisher, I merely advertised it in The National Enquirer and with one purchase and $20 in hand, I shelved the manuscript in hopes that the lady who bought the raw book got something out of it.

And then I met these strong, interesting, funny women in my Coldwell Banker office and I fell in love with all of them. They took me in, accent and all. They made me feel welcome and my heart opened wide enough to embrace their generosity of spirit. Its these friends who I’ve exploited shamelessly in my new series “Time Flies.”

I’ve had an idea and would LOVE your feedback before I dive in.

I’m thinking about creating an Oracle Card pack of 52 cards with friendship truisms to inspire you to find your tribe; to attract a true friend and be a true friend. I see them as oracle cards picked at the start of every day, to help you attract those friendships and be that very friend you’re trying to find.

In these times so affected by social distancing, it seems we have lost the ability to communicate in the real world. These cards would be designed to inspire you to get out there and find your kinfolks by being intuitive with new friends and cherishing old ones.

Speaking of friends, if you haven’t yet read “Zebra,” do. Talk about complex friendships!

You can also listen to “Zebra” the audio narrated by fabulous Peter Noble sold everywhere!

Here’s a tip. Lie on the couch next to your honey and pop in your earbuds while your he watches football games. (Just remember to stick your thumbs up and down now and then to make him feel you’re IN!)

Oh, and please, wait for a missed touchdown before Jock and Papin make you weep.

Get Your Copy of Zebra Here


Athol shared something new with me the other day. If you’ve read “Zebra” you’ll know he grew up in a hotel in the Drakensburg Mountains 5,000 feet above sea level in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. None of the modern conveniences we take for granted were available. Everything had to be carefully planned and ordered in advance to cater for guests. One such thing was a movie reel for Sunday night movies in the main lounge. The giant round tin can was hauled up from the station on a tractor on Fridays, along with sacks of flour, sugar, dry goods and beers.

Each Sunday night, a movie reels was slipped into the bulky projector and all the guests quivered in anticipation of the (newish) Hollywood offering. In South Africa, since we had no television until 1974, world news came from newspapers, radio and a news reel called “African Mirror” which preceded any main attraction.

A young Athol sat next to his dad, feverishly excited. Movies were a big deal. “African Mirror” showed snippets from all over the world in monochrome, but our imaginations colored them in beautifully.

The Edinburgh Tattoo flashed up with thousands of Scottish pipe bands.

Athol was mesmerized. “Dad, how do those bags make such a funny noise?” he whispered.

“Well, inside the bag is a little pig, and every time the piper wants to make music, he squeezes the bag under his arm and the pig gives a squeal.”

Young Athol was perfectly happy with the explanation and even when he discovered pigs were not involved, he continued to be delighted by the mournful sound of bagpipes.

The Glaswegian born dad of my dearest friend Alana, played the pipes at our wedding.


Since music is our theme, I have to share this remarkable talent. I’d never seen Lucy before, but she popped up during Athol’s YouTube squirreling. Lucy made moved me. I bet she’ll do the same for you.

And so, dear friend, I leave you with a song from Jim Croce, that encapsulates my new series “Time Flies”. Listen closely and you’ll hear Lucky’s faithful pooch, Tula, barking in the background. (Though your imagination is imperative to this sound bite :o))



Please go to to purchase my books and other goodies, and if you’d like them signed, that’s the only place to get them.

Wishing you glorious music in your world.

Till next time, please send me your thoughts on the oracle cards, and remember always, how extraordinary YOU are!

With love and gratitude,





I have just realized I speak “Bark”.

If you have a dog who has a real estate question, or a book question, email them to me in action (barking, turning in circles, romping, howling…anything at all as long as it’s in action) and I’ll see if I can get us some YOUTUBE time.”

‘Tis the season to get into the holiday mood, both real and alien, with a special holiday anthology from 11 amazing authors who love spreading good cheers—and great stories!

Join S.E. Smith, Jill Wallace, Eliza Sinclair, Kyndra Hatch, Candace Colt, Natalie Palma, Winnie Winkle, Electra Gajdos, Stephanie Harrell, Pauline Baird Jones, and Cassandra Chandler as they fill your holidays with 11 original, never-before-released spirited tales of family and celebration.

Don’t miss out on this limited-edition anthology that will get you in the spirit! Coming to your e-readers on November 30, 2023 for a limited time only!



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