Molly In Maine

Molly watching Dad and Ev leave Maine 1997

Our adopted “daughter” Molly – in Maine watching Dad leave shore without her!

She adopted us in 1995 when she was about 3, at least that’s the age we were given by the Miami Animal Shelter. Her first “mom” had died and a neighbor brought Molly into the shelter because there were no relatives to take her. Lucky us.

We lived in Fort Myers, at the time, and were considering getting a dog because my husband traveled during the week and he knew I was getting a little lonely. Since we lived in a small patio home in a community with weight restrictions, we knew we wanted a small dog; preferably housebroken.

During Ken’s first trip through the shelter, he missed Molly, but on a second trip (he felt compelled to give one more look) past the cages of older dogs, there she was; sitting quietly behind two barking German shepherds. Ken asked to meet her and the rest is history; love at first sight.

Molly left us October 10, 2008. Still seems like yesterday. We had 13 years with her, and if we’d had our druthers, we would’ve had 13 more.

But, back to the picture above. We were visiting dear friends in Maine who lived on a gorgeous lake. The first morning, we got up smelling coffee and welcoming the fresh Maine air; that is until Molly chased a skunk under an outbuilding and returned wearing her own “special scent.”

Our friends told us that the “special scent” remained in their home for several months.

After almost three years, we adopted a new little girl. Lucy. Her name came to us, immediately. “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.” She was, and still is a silly, loving, playful Shiz tzu/Llasa Apso mix (or at least that’s what the vets and groomers think). Unlike her sister, Molly, she is not an outdoor girl. Molly could go out in the morning with Ken and explore all day. Lucy is much happier exploring the neighborhood inside at her lookout window.

Lucy at her window
Lucy at her lookout post

Just a snippet of detail about the almost twenty years we’ve been blessed to know two of the most loving, pure souls that have lived on Earth. Counting on at least ten more with Lucy.

Here’s to you, Molly Girl.
xoxo, Mom

Adopt – Don’t Shop!

If you’re so inclined, please leave a comment about your special rescue kid!


July 16 – A memorable day

July 16 has good and bad memories for me, and probably for all of us.

The good is that my mother-in-law, Irene Sutton Cunningham Laughlin, was born on this date. The bad is that she died in 1990, just six short years after I married her son. She lived in California and we lived in the Midwest, and then in Louisiana at the time of her death. Two trips to Pasadena weren’t nearly enough for me to get to know the woman who left North Judson, IndianaIrene pic when she was still a teenager, to make her mark in Hollywood.

Her claim to fame was a few “extra” roles in Shirley Temple movies, and an ill-advised marriage to a vaudeville performer named Tink. She would never really talk about those years, much to our regret, because now she’s gone and there’s no one around to fill in the gaps.

She moved back to the Chicago area, met and married Charles Gause Cunningham. Their only child, Ken, was born when Irene was 28 and Charles was 49. I never did get to meet Ken’s dad because he died in 1972 at the age of 78.

They were, from all accounts, an interesting couple. She, a vivacious, free spirit, always ready to laugh, party, and socialize, but she took human rights, seriously, and didn’t have a prejudicial bone in her body. You didn’t, however, want to cross her without a good reason. The story of a turkey platter, that came within inches of crashing down on her husband’s head one Thanksgiving, comes to mind. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.

He was a tall, dignified engineer who enjoyed drinking a martini in his smoking jacket after a full day at Pratt and Whitney in Chicago. He also loved golf. One of his regular foursome was Charlie Weber of Weber Grill fame. If you have a Weber kettle grill, you can thank Charles G. Cunningham because he’s the one who drew up the blue print.

He was also the inventor of the traverse rod and the first electric toothbrush. Unfortunately, for him (and his heirs!) he wasn’t a businessman. Westinghouse and others simply blocked his patents until he got tired of fighting them and let the patents run out. The rest is history.

Several other events happened on July 16.

1st test detonation of an atomic bomb, Trinity Site, Alamogordo, New Mexico as part of the US Manhattan Project in 1945.

Our friend, Donna Sanger, was born on this day (I won’t mention the year, Donna).

Probably theApollo_11_launch most memorable event (no offense, Donna or Irene), Apollo 11 lifted off from Cape Canaveral carrying men to the moon in 1969.

And, an event that brought sadness to many. John Kennedy,cf171d1a0f9862b2e4168c13e5bf3f9b Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren, were all killed when their small plane crashed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in 1999.

So, here’s to Irene, Donna, all those souls killed and maimed in the atomic bomb blasts, the Apollo astronauts, and John-John. And to July 16.

The Reluctant Debutante, by Wendy May Andrews

The Reluctant Debutante, by Wendy May AndrewsThe Reluctant Debutante, by Wendy May Andrews


The Duke of Wychwood seeks retribution from the Earl of Pickering. When he finds out the earl has a beautiful young niece, the duke thinks to involve her in his feud, but is shocked to discover he is attracted to her.

The orphaned niece of the earl, Lady Victoria, serves as governess to four of his children and is made to feel like an interloper in her own home. A chance encounter with the duke affords her the opportunity to enter Society, but to take it means risking what little security she has.

Revenge and love don’t sit well together, to have a future can they learn to give up the past?



Chapter 3 – First Sparks

Victoria was beginning to feel quite miserable. She was soaked from head to toe, most of her body immersed in the water. Her heavy skirts were feeling like lead weights as they pulled her towards the current. Her boots were slowly sinking into the sludge on the river bottom. And the gorgeous stranger was now looking at her appraisingly. Continue reading “The Reluctant Debutante, by Wendy May Andrews”

Book Title Contest!

Publisher, editor, and I are having a knock-down-drag-out fight about the title of the first Andi Anna Jones Mystery that takes place, partly, in Cancun.

No, we’re not really fighting. We’re just in a quandary and are looking for some feedback. Make a comment and I’ll enter your name into a drawing for a free Ebook (when it’s published)

“Andi’s step-mother is a real piece of work!
But is Ruby a murderer?”Margarita

Here are the options:

1. Margaritas, Mayhem, & Murder
2. Mayhem, Margaritas, & Murder
3. Murder, Mayhem, & Margaritas
4. Mayhem, Murder, & Margaritas
5. Murder, Margaritas, & Mayhem

Contest ends 7-9-17

Make a comment, below, to enter!

My Grandmother’s Hands

WOOF Amazon

Sitting at the computer early one morning, contemplating the challenges of aging gracefully, I glanced down and recoiled in horror! My grandmother’s hands rested on the keyboard. Attached to my wrists! Yep…there they were–wrinkled and age-spotted, with the same osteoarthritis-gnarled knuckles that to me, as a child, had looked so fascinating. They didn’t look so darn fascinating now! Keep on Reading!

The Writing Life

I’d written all my life, but until the ripe old age of fifty, had never ventured beyond family memoirs and very bad poetry. Then five crazy broads got together and formed WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty. All of us had reached that magic milestone, or were about to, and weren’t all that thrilled with the ramifications. Hormones, hot flashes, hair loss, and weight gain were just a few of the complaints.

We decided we could either continue to bitch or become proactive bitches and write a book that not only made light of our fate, but honor our love of dogs, too. We embarked on the WOOF adventure including contributions, Hormones and Harmonies, Are We Barking Up The Wrong Tree, The Hair Of the Dog, and Old Dog/New Tricks. Continue reading “The Writing Life”