My name is Stella and when I was growing up, in southern Missouri, it was Stella Marie. I still am, but when we moved to Minnesota after our wedding, I became a big girl and was called Stella. When asked about nicknames, I say Stella is it, but once upon a time I had another one.

When we lived in Menagha, a little town in Minnesota, we had a pastor with small children. His wife picked me up with the children in tow and we went to a ladies meeting in another town.

As we traveled we got to know each other through chit chat and talking with her daughter who was about 4 at the time.

On the way home, the mom said,” When we came to pick you up, my daughter asked if you were Stellamander. We had read a book before we left on salamanders and I think she put the two together.”

We both had a good laugh and the little girl giggled.

It had been a fun day and I had a new nickname.

Certainly beats Stellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllla!


7 Ways of Reigniting Passion

I have been away from my passion of writing for a while and am trying to get it back. In that search, I have come up with 7 ways to do that.

  1. Passion and fires have a lot in common. One of the ways to reignite a fire is to lay on some easily burned items. Strips of paper, old love letters, dried flowers. You get the idea. Well, to apply that to writing just write words. Words that come easily. Me, you, the sun. You get the picture. Do it for a while before moving on.
  2. On top of the dried flowers, put some kindling. Thin strips of wood or small branches are good. For your writing, put together sentences. You know: I love you. I love to write. The dog barks. Nothing too heavy. Keep it simple.
  3. You light the paper and get the kindling started. Writing wise, you string together a couple of sentences that belong together. Maybe make it a couple of strings of sentences.
  4. After the kindling is going well, you add a bigger piece of wood, maybe a small branch of very dry wood. In writing, move on to a paragraph of the sentences you have started on.
  5. You now have a pretty good fire, but you want to keep it going, so you add a little more kindling to keep the heavier piece of wood burning. In writing, to the sentences you add a few more words, or rearrange them to make a better sentence.
  6. Now that the kindling is burning nicely, add another piece of dry, good wood, maybe a little heavier, because now, you have a fire burning well. With your writing, take a look at what you have and maybe rearrange the order of the paragraph to make it make more sense. Or start a story with some of the words you have already written.
  7. You have your fire burning, so now all you do is occasionally add more wood to keep it going. With your writing, you just need to keep doing it. Make a goal of so many words a day, not only on what you are working on, but maybe take that goal and start another work while keeping the old fire burning.                                                There you have a good fire and a great way back to your writing passion.

Being Alone Together



Image result for alone together



When our children were little, being alone with my husband was a sought after time. We only had night time when they were asleep or nap time. He was not around much at nap time. Our only choice was night time.

When you get up at 5:30 am for work and to get the kids off to school, their sleep time was our sleep time.

If we had time for conversation it was that fifteen minutes between their falling asleep and our stumbling up stairs to crawl into bed for our own sleep time.

As they grew and their sleep time came more into sync with our sleep time, our alone time was after dinner while they did homework and played.

This alone time was shortened when we all watched a favorite t v show together. We could go out, and did, leaving the kids with baby sitters or alone as they aged.

The alone time at the house without going to a movie or out to eat was minimal.

Little did we know that when they were grown and with their own families, that our alone together time would lengthen to the point of at home all the time.

We are now retired, and it amazes me how much time we are alone together. Not a bad thing, just something I never thought about. I have always felt that when we are together we should be together.

If he was outside, I should be outside.

If he was inside, I should be inside. Now if that meant that what I wanted to do was put to the side to be together, that was what was done.

Well, we have been retired now over ten years.

I have come to the conclusion, that as long as we are available to each other for companionship or help in a project, we don’t need to be in the hip pocket of the other.

Now, this may seem a “duh” moment to those of you still with family around and jobs to go to, but it took me a long time to get there.

What I want you to know, is that I now relish the alone time we have and the ability we have to do things together whether it is making a pie or just sitting on the sofa together. I think this is what retiring should look like.

Goin’ On A Roadtrip

KODAK Digital Still Camera

My hubby has wanted to go to Yellowstone for as long as I have known him. So, this year our kids gave us the trip as an early anniversary present and we jumped at it. We planned it so we could go before the Memorial Day week-end, but with bad weather and a change in plans we wound up going on Memorial Day week-end.  We were coming into the park from California after a short visit with my brother.

We got into the area on Saturday of that week-end and decided to stay in Belgrade, Mt. It is about an hour from the park and about ten minutes from the headwaters of the MIssouri river, which is something we are interested in. The picture below is taken at the headwaters, which is really the convergence of the Gallaton and Madison rivers, rather than a stepping across point like the headwaters of the Mississippi in Itasca, Mn. It was great fishing, apparently, because there were several fishing. Since we were in Lewis and Clarke area, we went to the Lewis and Clarke state park, which was beautiful and enjoyable.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

After we finished this tour we went back for a nap and then on to Hylite park in Bozeman.  It has a gorgeous lake and some trails. We are not mountain climbers, but we can still do a trail or two. When we got to one spot in the park there was a sign, not a sign from above, but a sign. Well, it said falls and .7 miles. We walk about a mile and a quarter several times a week, so we’re up for this.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Sure we were. We forgot. We were in the mountains, and if you have a falls they have to up to fall from something. We made it. With two rest stops and two trees to climb over. But it was worth it.

KODAK Digital Still Camera         Don’t you think? It was a beautiful falls.

This is the main attraction for us at Yellowstone: Old Faithful. She performed beautifully for us. They post the approximate times of Old Faithful going off. We got there about 15 minutes before the time. We got a great vantage point. There were lots of people a lot closer, but we didn’t get wet and we didn’t have to smell the sulphur. Just enjoyed the geyser.

KODAK Digital Still Camera


This was a bonus for us. It is Cascades falls in the park. They are lovely and they had a great platform to view it from.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

These are the highlights from Yellowstone. There will more roadtrip pictures later. We are planning a roadtrip to Minnesota later and I am sure there will be stories to tell and pictures to show. Thank you for stopping by.