Why My Outdoor Lights Stay Up Until March

Why My Outdoor Decorations Stay Up Until March by @_NancyRadke #mgtab

I am one of those who put my outdoor lights up around Thanksgiving and don’t take them down until after March. I especially love the white fairy lights that cast a warm glow on everything. This year I plan to put up some larger, colored lights, but I still want the tiny white fairy lights around my windows.

So why do I leave my decorations up so long? It has nothing to do with decorating and everything to do with a slight amount of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I live near Seattle where it gets dark around 5 pm, starting in November and continuing through February. I happen to be very sensitive to outdoor light or lack of it.

In the summer, I get up with the sun and am pretty much happy all day. I rarely close my curtains. (Some of my windows don’t even have curtains.) But in the winter, when it is dark out, it makes me want to sleep and not get anything done. Closing the curtains doesn’t work. I KNOW it is black on the other side. Pitch black. Dark as the inside of a wolf’s mouth at midnight.

One year I put up fairy lights as a decoration. I didn’t think much of it until I realized that it kept my windows from feeling dark. Even though I KNEW it was dark outside, it didn’t FEEL that way. I could leave my curtains open. Even with them shut, light shone on them from the outside, as if it wasn’t dark out.

I no longer wanted to start closing down at 3:30, 4 pm, and instead felt full of energy. Hooray! Fairy lights are wonderful. I put them on a timer so that they would come on before it started getting too dark and not go off until 10 pm. This worked so great that I left them up until the spring equinox was close enough that I no longer needed them.

So if you feel dreary during the long northern winter nights, get those fairy lights working for you. Don’t take them down in January just because the holiday season is over. You may be the only house on the block with your lights on, but if it works, keep them on.

My Christmas story this year, Three French Hens, takes place on a Montana ranch, with freezing cold weather, darkness, and the bank threatening to foreclose on a widow and her son. The hero finds his way to her door because she had put a bright light up on the barn to help guide herself back home. He thought at first it was a star helping him find his way. That’s the way I feel about fairy lights.

Click here for set containing this story.

The set shown here is Unforgettable Christmas Dreams, put out by the Authors’ Billboard. If you want to enter our monthly contest, click this link.

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Better Late Than Never? by @JoanReeves #mgtab

I think the phrase “better late than never” came from someone who was simply overwhelmed with life and had too much to do in too little time.

Take today for instance. I had my day planner marked to post to this blog on the 23rd. However, I was so busy playing catch-up in other areas and meeting appointments that I completely forgot to check my day planner yesterday.

I hate missing something I’d scheduled. So, this post is “better late than never” I guess. Saying that once again made me investigate the origin of this expression which I’ve been using far too often of late.

According to what I found, the origin of “better late than never” can be found in classic literature. Attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer—yes, that far back—the phrase was first seen in 1386 in The Yeoman’s Tale, found in The Canterbury Tales, to wit: “For better than never is late; never to succeed would be too long a period.”

Rather than preen about quoting something that is vaguely intellectual, I think I’d rather promise myself to be better at prioritizing and always check my day planner at the end of the day.

I think I need to take a day off and do something fun like this sign says. Keep calm and read a book.

I have just the thing in mind too. Well, it’s not actually a book but a collection of short stories by my friends and me.

I’m talking about CHRISTMAS SHORTS, only 99cents on Amazon. My story in the collection is STUCK ON THE NAUGHTY LIST. I’ve been wanting to read the other stories in the set. Today, the weather in Houston is sunny and mild. I think I’ll take my Kindle outside to the patio and read.

CHRISTMAS SHORTS is a #1 Best Seller. some stories are sweet; some are spicy and deliciously naughty. In other words, there’s  something for everyone.

Grab a copy and see why everyone loves this box set.

Personally, I love short stories because they allow me to read and finish something in the fragments of time that somehow describe my days. Like many, I’m so busy that I find myself gravitating to short stories that satisfy my desire to read.

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Sweet & Sassy Holiday #mgtab @natalieann121

Just 99 cents!

Capture The Magic Of The Holiday Season With This Brand New Collection Of ELEVEN CHRISTMAS ROMANCES, SIX BRAND NEW, From New York Times & USA Today Bestselling, Award Winning Authors.

During Christmas, an angel comes to the rescue, the hardest decisions are made, assignments turn deadly, choices are made, lovers realize they are meant to be together, dreams come true, true love comes from distracting romances, and old loves show up in the nick of time.

Mischievous Christmas Angel (new): Mimi Barbour, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author: He couldn’t cope with life or love without the help of his special angel.

My Girl (new): Jacquie Biggar, USA Today bestselling author: Sometimes, the right decision isn’t the easiest one to make.

Two Hearts’ Christmas Promise (new): Tamara Ferguson, USA Today bestselling author: Can an Air Force pilot convince his fiancé that beauty is only skin deep, when her news assignment turns deadly?

Carnations & Hot Toddy Kisses (new): Stacy Eaton, USA Today bestselling author: Is it destiny or fate that brings the past and present together?

Burning for the Nanny (new): Suzanne Jenkins, USA Today bestselling author: When Firefighter Leon Saint gets a surprise visit from a one night stand, a beautiful neighbor with a reputation comes to the rescue.

Because You Said So (new): Dani Haviland, USA Today bestselling author: Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Holiday Love: Natalie Ann, USA Today bestselling author: Can the magic of the holiday make these coworkers realize they are finally meant to be together?

Once Upon a Christmas: Denise Devine, USA Today bestselling author: When old friends reunite, will a new enemy keep them apart?

The Right Kiss: Mona Risk, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author: What’s a girl to do when she dreams about another man while in her fiancé’s arms?

Her Christmas Secret: Alicia Street, USA Today bestselling author: Lila courts a cold-hearted investor for her handmade toys, but finds herself instead drawn to a handsome maintenance man. With her sister’s family on the line, a distracting romance is the last thing she needs.

Right Man/Wrong Groom: Patrice Wilton, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author: When an old love shows up for the wedding, Nadine has to make that final choice.

What’s Going On?

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Halloween will soon be over, leaving you with much needed R & R (Reading and Relaxing) time before the holiday season arrives.

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I’m doing the Happy Dance ~ my new baby is now available for pre-order! Sparkles of the Season: “Savor the Christmas spirit as two unlikely couples rediscover love and commitment, after a magical meeting with Saint Nick.” Just 99 cents~

Sparkles-of-the-Season-Cover_Ricci_9-20-2019-2

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Bonus: Here’s some tempting new collections to indulge your favorite pastime, and brand new Christmas anthologies The Authors’ Billboard is eager to present ~ ALL are 99 Cents, or Free on Kindle Unlimited:

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Available Now!  Unforgettable Christmas Dreams: Gifts of Joy (The Unforgettables Book 14)

As they seek peace, joy, and family life, these dedicated heroes and heroines struggle to heal wounded hearts, reveal dangerous secrets, travel to find a loved one, hide from danger, and work to save desperate patients. But their greatest wish is to bring holiday happiness to those around them. To you, our dear readers, we offer these gifts of joy at Christmas time.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors have mingled Christmas dreams and composed beautiful love stories that range from sweet to spicy, with romance and suspense, to keep you entertained and dreaming in Unforgettable Christmas Dreams. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZCBXNRY

Christmas Shorts

The Authors’ Billboard has a special holiday treat for you this year! Spanking new short stories – from the naughty and the nice list – to add fun to your 2019 season and keep your spirits high.
Eighteen of our masters of romance have contributed to this incredible deal for your entertainment this Christmas. Eat goodies, drink hot toddies, read, enjoy, make wishes and… dream.

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Enjoy your week ahead!