Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Gift of Years

The Gift of Years

Warm wind and Winter snow
Each bring to mind
The days when life was fun

Winter snow and Warm wind
Now cause us to pause
Life is work and stress and worry

Snow, Wind, Winter, Warm
A time for the heart
To take stock of the year

Winter wind, Warm snow
To count each blessing
The gift of the years

Warm wind, Winter snow
A deep joy
Passing to each a gift of love.

Holiday Greeting to Each and Everyone.

Doris McCraw ( haiku 5 days a week)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Secrets in Grandma's Trunk

Today I have my first guest blogger, Cherley Grogg. Cherley is the author of "Stamp Out Murder" and "The Secret in Grandma's Trunk". Please welcome Cherley as she tells us a bit about herself and the inspiration for her YA (adults will also enjoy) novel "The Secret in Grandma's Trunk" She also is our 'fearless' leader on Writing Wrangles and Warriors blog site.

Take it away Cherley!

I’m so glad to have this opportunity to share a little about myself and my children’s novel “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”, which is free to download from Amazon for a limited time. The inspiration for the book came from my grandsons. I have three grandsons and a granddaughter. My granddaughter loves to read, but the boys do not, so I decided to write a book they would love to read. I knew it’d have to have strong kids in it, strong physically and head strong too. The characters would all have to be realistic with problems and scuffles among themselves, it would have to be fast paced and full of adventure. Plus my grandsons like sports and girls so I needed to put that in there as well. I couldn’t leave my granddaughter without someone to relate to so I gave the brothers in the story a female cousin who could keep up with them in most things and top them in other things. In addition to the children, there are some strong, funny and interesting adult characters. This book appeals to people of all ages.

The main character in “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”, Brandon is not quiet. He’s very outgoing and loud. He’s a leader and his outgoing boisterous personality works well for him, but not listening also gets him into a lot of trouble. Jordan his cousin is a female version of Brandon, but Jacob his brother is the opposite. He’s a quiet listener, a thinker. The 13 year olds get in a passel of trouble because of not listening, and Jacob quietly follows them.

Cherley, can you give us a sample of your book?

Here’s the Blurb: A teen's life disrupts when his Great-Grandmother, a stranger comes to live with him and his family. She upsets his life so much that he stoops pretty low to get rid of her, including trying to find a way to get into the oversized trunk she has stored in his garage. Spunky Grandma keeps the key in a special place.
The kids expect treasure, but discover a terrible secret instead, which puts Grandma in danger’s way. Will she turn to her grandchildren for help or to a young ghost?

This is an excerpt from Chapter Fourteen:

Jacob looked astounded. "How in the world did you pull that off?"    
            "A girl has to have stuff." She grinned. "You know girl's stuff."      
            "No, we don't know, and we don't want to know. The important thing is you got the card." Brandon reached for the credit card.  
             "I want to know," Jacob said.    
             "Believe me, you don't want to know," Jordan laughed as she handed the card to Brandon. "Hurry up. I need to get Dad's card back to him before Mom's out of the shower."

In the next chapter the kids went to play soccer. Grandma went with them. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 15:

Lilly turned to Grandma. "It doesn't matter what she thinks, she's not on our team. I don't know why the coach favors Jordan. Maybe he feels sorry for her. She's so big and clunky."        
              Grandma's eyes flashed, and her little fist doubled up.  Brandon hoped she wouldn't spit. He put his hand on Grandma's shoulder. "Let's go."                          
"I'll go, but I want her to know that Jordan sure is big.   She has a big heart, and a big personality, and she's twice the lady that girl is. She would never put someone else down to try to make herself look better."    
  "I don't need to put her down to make myself look better. I always look good."    
  Grandma turned her head and spit.

Cherley, what is the link to your book?

The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” is free from Amazon; I hope you will enjoy it.

How can readers find you and what you are doing next?

Join me on my Facebook Fan Page:

Here's a link to my website :

Cher'ley's Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. 

Stamp Out Murder” and "The Secret in Grandma's Trunk" This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren.

Cherley, thank you so much for joining me as my first guest. It has been a pleasure and continues success on your writing.   Doris

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Visit to Ft. Vasquez

Fort Vasquez:

On the way home from Cheyenne, WY., I was able to visit yet another on my list of early Colorado historic forts and fort sites. The site of Fort Vasquez is located between Greeley and Ft. Lupton in Platteville on Highway 85. This site is not only a reconstruction of the original fort, but is also a welcome center and museum. The museum may be small, but fascinating. The staff is extremely knowledgeable about the fort and the era when this type of business/trading post was important in what was to become the state of Colorado.

For those of you who would like to know more, here is a brief history of this site.

With the growth and change in the fur trade industry came the business forts.  Originally the trappers, mountain men, would take their furs to St. Louis and other Eastern cities.  Then there came the rendezvous where the furs were brought to areas closer to the mountains.  Finally the forts, such as Bent's fort began to play a bigger role in the fur trade. Soon there were forts populating the eastern plains of Colorado. Ft. Vasquez was one to these.

Built by Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette in 1835 it remained in use, with different 'managers' and owners until 1842 when the structure was abandoned. Over the years it was probably shelter for travelers and other uses we may never know about.

During the 1960's college students did archaeological digging in the area and even more information about the fort came to life.

If you are ever up that way, stop by. You may see a mountain man in the fort along with some of the other people who stopped by while in the area during those early days.

For more information you can visit the following links: