About Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.  View website

It’s Never Too Cold to Garden!

Any sunny day is the best time to do this, no matter how cold. First, you’re less likely to bother your plants when they are dormant. No broken green sprouts or branches if it’s still winter according to the plant’s bio-clock. Last week was an especially good time for us since we already had to make repairs. An overzealous county road worker with a brush hog pruned away part of my huge climbing rose hedge and damaged the fence when he overran his project. Grr!
Most of these roses were established when we bought the house. They formed a dense hedge that kept out road dust whether they were blooming or dormant.

Roses as they were, an idea of how tall with me as a reference, and how severely they were trimmed with a full-sized wheelbarrow for size comparison.

Ouch! Taking off so many branches looks harsh. These plants went from ten-foot-plus tall and wide blossom beauties to three-foot-tall sticks. They don’t look like much now but they’ll kick into gear in a month or two. I’ll share pictures when they’re in full bloom in June.

So that major project is nearly done (thanks, hubby) and now it’s time to figure out what annuals I want in my vegetable garden. I count backward from Memorial Day weekend (traditionally the start of the no-frost season in my area of North America) and figure out when to start which seeds inside in pots. I’ll put in onions first, then poblano peppers, maybe a few flowers, and around St. Patrick’s Day, seeds for way too many tomato varieties. Oh, and I still buy transplants from the nursery. Yup, I’m a plant aficionado.

Do you have a winter schedule for your yard and garden, too? Do you start from seed or buy transplants? And most intriguing to me, how many (or which) varieties of roses do you grow? Let me know in the comments below.

Take a break to read Tori’s story – or LISTEN to it when you ask Alexa to read it on your Echo device!

Check out the story of Tori, the plucky young woman who remembers everything: even her womb mates. Did her botanist parents goof when they didn’t tell her she was adopted? Check out HOW LOVE GROWS as a single or part of THE WHOLE SHE-BANG: Triplets Three Aren’t One Collection.

Home Schooling for Dummies

Do you recognize any of these Words of Wisdom? Whether you’re sixteen or sixty, these HOME-SCHOOLED lessons are still heard today, a generational gift from ages past. Here are some of the topics and their one or two-sentence lessons.

1. TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. TIME TRAVEL
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. LOGIC.
“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. MORE LOGIC.
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me”

6. FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7. IRONY.
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8. The science of OSMOSIS.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. CONTORTIONISM.
“Just you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. STAMINA.
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. WEATHER.
“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. HYPOCRISY.
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!”

13. The CIRCLE OF LIFE.
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out…”

14. BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
“Stop acting like your father!”

15. ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16. ANTICIPATION.
“Just wait until we get home.”

17. RECEIVING.
“You are going to get it from your father when you get home!”

18. MEDICAL SCIENCE.
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

19. ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception)
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. HUMOR.
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”

23. ROOTS (Ancestry).
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. WISDOM.
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.

25. JUSTICE.
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

Dynamic Dames: Ready to Solve Mysteries!

Step up and enjoy our delectable feast of cozy mysteries featuring Dynamic Diehard Dames. Our stubborn and determined female amateur detectives will prove they aren’t the weaker sex – regardless of their age or physical abilities – especially when it comes to cleverness and brain power. Come along as our ladies solve (at least) five different dire dilemmas. Will their ‘helpers’ and the professional detectives get in the way of solving the mysteries? Read on and find out! #Free to read with #KindleUnlimited.

I love being an old lady!

I love being an old lady.


I’m aging. Silver hair, wrinkles, and a few liver spots ensure I’m no longer referred to as a chick (cute, dumb, or otherwise) or a ditzy broad (although I have my senior moments). I don’t have to worry about spending hours on make-up, styling my hair, or wearing the latest fashion.
Men both young and old open doors for me. Clerks offer to carry out my groceries. Do they think I’m feeble or do they respect me because of my age? Either way, I don’t care. No one has been rude to me in ages, and I don’t have to stand while commuting in a public conveyance.

I don’t have to worry about fancy clothes, either. I go with the three C’s: Clean. Comfortable. And Convenient. No glittery low-rider pants with hard-to-find belt loops that always seem to come undone, tight hammertoe-creating shoes, flaking eyeliner and mascara, pokey, pushup underwire brassieres, and hand-wash only blouses.
My usual attire consists of a colorful ‘scrubs’ top with front pockets for my pen and notebook, a tissue or two, and smartphone with gray yoga pants, shorts, or sweats, depending on the season. If it’s really cold, the scrubs are replaced with a bright hoodie. After I slide into my Crocs (no chance of blisters or bunions), I’m ready to tackle the world.


There are a few negative aspects of being old. I need reading glasses, but not for gardening or watching rainbows and wild turkeys. I don’t like the achy joints that came with the years, but other than that, I’m doing okay. I beat COVID (the 2020 nasty version). My heart and lungs work well enough that I can get where I’m going. My brain still functions well enough. I may not remember what I came into a room for, but I know my name and all the important stuff: phone, social security, and where I hid my credit cards.
I’m glad I paid attention to my grandmother. I brushed my teeth, ate well (maybe too well), and still take vitamins. I have all my teeth, pertinent parts, and can cook and clean better than any woman half my age (when I want to). My advice and/or opinion is still sought (sometimes) and I can crack a joke with the best of them. True, I only get wolf whistles from my husband, but he’s the only one I want them from anyhow. And thanks to that now long-gone miserable time of life referred to as ‘the change,’ I no longer have to worry about getting pregnant. Phew!

Do I have any regrets? Yup. Don’t we all? However, I’ve learned that no matter what, I can’t change the past. I can do my best not to make the same mistakes again, can gently urge my daughters, granddaughters – and anyone else who might listen and benefit – not to make rash choices and ALWAYS treat others as they want to be treated.
Yup. Be kind, patient, and enjoy the life you have right now. Tomorrow you might be laid up from an accident, or without a job or best friend because of hasty or cruel words, or maybe have a horrible toothache because you didn’t brush your teeth.

I’m hoping to avoid all of the above discomforts because I’m getting older and, I think, wiser.

Here’s a great story about an older woman who was able to do it all over again, but in a younger body. In a different time era. And with a severe case of amnesia. Perky old lady in a young, hot body. Will her innate sense and savvy get her out of predicaments with cougars (the mountain lion-type), creeps and kidnappers? Check out NAKED IN THE WINTER WIND, #free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Happiness and goals: gifts we give ourselves

The ‘Wake up in the morning with a smile’ virus

(Dateline: December 22, 2012)
It’s been four years now and I’m still smitten with the happiness virus. Mine is fed by giving in to my love of writing. Such happiness is not to be cured but should be spread. Fortunate is she who has found her love and followed it. My advice to others: if you have something—a talent or maybe just a strong desire—that causes you to awaken with a grin, embrace it, cultivate it, and share it. It might be good for others, too.
Writing is my happiness. Sharing is my privilege. As of December 2012, I have composed four and a half novels (and published two of them), penned numerous novellas, spent a week in and about Greensboro, North Carolina for the sole purpose of research (it’s the home zone of most of my stories), purchased and/or downloaded dozens of research books, and cut and pasted countless rows into my Excel database of storylines for THE FAIRIES SAGA. I compulsively jot random plots, quotes, and themes into notebooks or tap them onto my smartphone, saving them for (possible) inclusion in future works. Writing is still my happiness.
Goals are gifts we give ourselves and my next one is to travel to Australia in January 2014. Part of FAIRIES DOWN UNDER, the fifth in my series, transpires in January 1788 with the arrival of The First Fleet, the ships laden with prisoners transported from England to Australia. I want to endure the climate at the same time of year as did those hardy men and women, touch and smell the exotic flora, tread those historic sites, investigate the museums, and barefoot those seashores. It’s also a great time and place for research since I’ll be leaving Alaska in the icy gloom of winter to spend a couple of weeks in sunny, summertime Sydney.
Give yourself a gift, a small goal, not one of monetary gain, but of seeking happiness. Singing, sewing, serving others: do what truly makes you happy. A song written for the church choir, a cap crocheted for a new baby, a book of poems for your mother, mowing the lawn for the old couple next door. These are simple gifts; gifts to yourself, and also for others.
Happiness is ours to create, culture, and ultimately, to share.
Dani Haviland, author

October 18, 2022
Found recently, I wrote the above blog nearly ten years ago. Reading it was an eerie trip back in time. The feelings remain the same, though. The goals have been modified and the results are even more profound. I made it to Australia (yay!) but haven’t finished my epic, Fairies Down Under. I have written and published a total of forty-one stories now. Quite a leap from four and a half novels in 2012. Back then, I was only aiming for five. THE FAIRIES SAGA series is still unfinished. However, the tale grew in unexpected ways with even more stories. The vibrant characters were so hard to contain, a new separate series (ARLIE UNDERCOVER) emerged. Some of the gang (mostly colorful, dumb crooks) wound up in THAT TWIN THING and TRIPLETS: THREE AREN’T ONE series, too.

In a word, my joy at writing was too great to rein in, so I didn’t.
By next month, I will have achieved another landmark. My little company, Chill Out! Books, will have published one-hundred multi-author sets, too! Publishing the works of others wasn’t even a consideration when I began my little startup. Now it’s a new joy, a guilt-free, calorie-free diversion that also makes me a few bucks each month.
Wow! What a difference ten years make. I’d like to think it was because I had goals that gave me joy when working towards them, an abundance of friends who encouraged me (thanks, husband, Mimi Barbour, and the many ladies in The Authors’ Billboard group), and a positive attitude.

Multitask the FUN way: listen to Alexa read your book!

If life seems a mystery to you, check out my latest Cozy Mystery Collection: MURDER IS SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY. You’re not the only one with conundrums to solve. Read with Kindle Unlimited for your best bargain OR listen to the book with Kindle Assisted Reader when you ask your Amazon Echo device to ‘read my book.’ If it’s not already in your KU Library, just ask Alexa to add it for you. Yes, you can ‘read’ a book and cook or crochet or change diapers at the same time with KU and Alexa (her voice is great, too).