A Walk Through Our Houses by Nancy Radke

Before the heat of summer sets in, let’s take a walk through our houses and get rid of everything that comes from petroleum. If your children are out of school, have them join in with you. They can count an item even if just a small part has any.

To begin with, that is the source of all our plastics. So the TV remote goes as well as those cell phones, the hair comb and brush and dryer, toothbrushes, water bottles, fans, furniture and fake leather, flooring, wastebaskets, piano keys, artificial joints, almost all the kids’ toys including the stuffing in the toy bears, storage boxes, bags, computers, fountain pens, insulation covers on wires, those cute refrigerator magnets, the clock on the wall, wall switches, counter tops… and that’s just a start. Our cars are made of plastic now, even the bumpers.

We had some of these items when I was a child, but not many—only those that could be made from wood or metal. They took a long time to make and were very expensive. My tea set from occupied Japan was packaged in a cardboard (wood product) box. I have a lot of wood and metal items because I got them before plastics developed very far.

Plastics Outside our Houses

Next let’s go to things that run on petroleum products. Cars and trucks and airplanes. Lawn mowers and chainsaws. Also all your farming equipment, including tractors that can’t plow while dragging an extension cord. Trucks hauling everything everywhere in our country. Without the trucks, your shelves are empty. Amazon comes to a standstill.

Fertilizers and weed killers (made from petroleum) are all having their prices skyrocket right now, which the farmers have to pay for now. You get to pay in the fall when the farm produce gets to the market.

And of course, heating and cooling. California already has electrical blackouts, which will hit on the hot days and I assume more often if we get rid of our dams which are a major green source of electricity. They can last 100 years. The turbines run slow enough the fish swim through them. The other sources? Coal. Nuclear.

Windmills are expensive (last 10 years or less), unreliable, make a loud noise, and kill our birds. People are realizing that you cannot live without petroleum, so currently we are importing it from Venezuela after closing down our sources, which we have in abundance.

Plastics make our life more comfortable, as long as we are aware of the chemical dangers in some, not all, plastics. New plastics try to avoid these dangers.

In the comment area, give us your list. I bet I missed a lot. Please note, my blogs are always my own opinion and not that of all of the Authors’ Billboard members.

I just released a cozy mystery, Any Lucky Dog Can Follow a Trail of Blood. Read about it on our monthly sales page. I am working on the next cozy, Any Lucky Dog Can Find a Missing Child. The dog, named Lucky, helps solve murders.

Any Lucky Dog

Free today only, Friday, June 10th, is Stolen Secrets (normally $5.99). This mystery contains a cute pound puppy.

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Unforgettable Blessings


A “De-Stress” Strategy

In recent times, I’ve come under a great deal of stress that is connected mainly with work and writing deadlines.

And as I was telling someone yesterday, creativity is a funny thing. When I’m stressed, I go through a non-productive phase where I procrastinate, and nothing gets done. Then I get frantic as my deadline approaches, and some time after that I settle down and accomplish what I was fretting about not completing.

I’ve come to realize that’s the time it’s important to have a level head – when stress is knocking down the door. Also, it becomes critical to manage my reactions and emotions. I don’t practice a range or relaxation methods, but I do try to include activities in my schedule that are beneficial to my state of mind and stress level.

Aside from exercising and watching re-runs of favorite comedies, I enjoy observing nature. The result is that I have hundreds, if not thousands of photos of nature at her finest. Living in a tropical country means plants are always in bloom and as something of a shutterbug, I’m always prepared for whatever catches my eyes.

Yesterday on my second trip out of the house for the day, I saw these beauties, which made me think that just like people, each has its unique quality. Capturing their beauty took my mind off my issues and reminded me to be grateful, which lifted my spirit and brought back my optimism.

What are some activities that help to restore your balance?

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Have you ever wondered why we allow other people’s opinions to warp the view we have of ourselves?

What if you could refocus on who God created you to be instead of where you fall short?

How do you know beyond a doubt that you are on the path that feeds your passion and satisfies your soul?

Journey into the past, examine the present, and receive encouragement to pursue your dreams and step into your purpose with a new Vision.

Summer Fun

Hello, friends!

Sorry to have missed last month’s blog post but I was beat after the wedding and multiple deadlines. June is going to be a slower-paced month, lol. Wedding, accomplished, and deadlines met. Whew!

Frost Museum Miami

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday with Bri and Ceci, and we did something brand new to all of us—the Frost Museum in Miami is incredible and has a three-story indoor aquarium with sharks, a giant turtle, and all kids of fish. I love seahorses and jellyfish and we got to admire both up close. We were in a planetarium and saw a short film on earth narrated by Liam Neeson. But the coolest was totally by chance that there was a Sherlock Holmes exhibit.


Now, they had actual letters written by Arthur Conan Doyle on display before he hit the big time. In 1887, he was a physician wanting to earn money with his writing. A Study in Scarlet is his debut with Sherlock and the letter to the editor is one where he says he will take any sum for the piece as he just wants to publish it.

He was just like any newbie writer wanting to make his way and now, over a hundred plus years later, Sherlock is the most recognizable fictional detective ever. He still is portrayed to this day. I was a big fan of the series, Elementary with Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller. And honestly, I loved the movie Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. It was inspiring to get a glimpse of Arthur Conan Doyle’s beginnings—just like us, he had a dream. Don’t give up!!

These days I am writing more mystery than romance, though I do at least one By the Sea a year to add to my series. Just One Kiss is a sweet romance that I wrote for Entangled, and it will be on sale July 5th for only 99 cents.  This year I will be writing another Christmas romance that takes place on the West Coast. The cool ocean fog is conducive to snuggling! It will be on sale in a new Unforgettable boxed set, which has to be the best value out there for a romance reader.


I plan on doing some relaxing and reading this summer myself—how about you? Share in the comments your summer plans! I will be in San Diego for a few weeks with my daughter and granddaughter. Reading, relaxing, repeat.



I Love New York

After two years of huddling in the local area, if not battened down at home, we’re finally traveling again. Last month I told you about our trip to New Orleans. Now we’re at it again. As I write this, I have paused in my packing for Thrillerfest, in New York City, which will be in full swing when this blog comes out. We’re driving because it’s only three and half hours away. I’m looking forward to seeing my thriller-writer buddies, and on the Sunday afternoon after the conference, we are going to a Broadway play, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive. I read a review in The Washington Post, and it sounded like fun. So we bought tickets. When it’s over, we’ll jump back in the car and drive home.

But this New York City trip isn’t even our first visit to New York. We’ve barely caught our breath from the trip last week. Our grandson graduated from Ithaca College, and we went to the graduation. His major is writing for film, television, and emerging media. Not only did he graduate magna cum laude, he got the faculty award for excellence in the major, and got into the communications honor society. That was a pretty exciting moment for us.

As you may have noticed, the weather has been a bit weird lately. Here’s a good illustration. When we went into the graduation ceremony, the temperature was in the upper 80s. When we got out, it was in the mid 50s. Actually, that was good for the next day, when we did some exploring of Ithaca. We started with a trip to the Cornell Botanic Gardens. The office was closed Monday, but we could still walk around the gardens. Here are a few pictures.

I am a hosta freak, and I’ve never seen this one before.

Here I am about to be swallowed up by a giant weeping spruce.

After the botanic gardens, we stopped for “lunch” at the Cornell Dairy Bar. I enjoyed something different-–black raspberry ice cream. Norman stuck with our usual strawberry.

Next we went to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They have interesting exhibits in the building, but the highlights are outside. There are a lot bird feeders. If you’d like to take a peek, they are at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N609loYkFJo The camera’s trained on only part of the setup. I’m sorry you can’t also see the finch feeder.

One of the staff told us we could see a mom goose sitting on her nest from one of the trails. She was on an island, where she was protected from predators.

We ended the day with wonderful sandwiches from the Ithaca Bakery.

I should also say, we stayed at the Statler Hotel on the Cornell campus. Because it’s the training hotel for the Cornell hospitality program, the service was wonderful. And I loved the way the dining room was decorated.

After Thrillerfest, we’ll be home until the end of the month, when we’re taking our traditional anniversary trip with my sister and brother-in-law.