Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!  I trust everyone survived the holidays without too much drama or travel delays.  It seems the pressure mounts year after year.  Maybe we should think about slowing down a bit.  You know, stop and smell the coffee, roses, fresh air?  You owe it to yourself and your loved ones.  When we’re better balanced, the world around us gets better, too.  It may not seem that way,  but we influence every person we see whether we realize it or not.  So recognize yourself in this new year and take care of you!

I want to start by saying thank you for your support, and all of your kind words.  It means the world to me to know I touched your lives in some way.  I read every comment and I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to correspond.

As many of you know, I am a news junkie, and there’s a lot of bad news going around.  It’s easy to fall into a state of despair, or a lack of motivation and optimism.  But, as a reminder, stop for a moment and look around you.  There are probably a few things that bring you joy if you think about it.  It doesn’t have to be winning the lottery, although that would be fantastic, but maybe it’s your garden, your children, your friends, your church, and community.  For me, it’s all of it, and my fur-family.

A quick reminder about cyber security.  Hackers always seem to be one step ahead, so we need to be vigilant.  To recap one of my suggestions from last year, here is an easy way to manage your passwords.

Substitute numbers for letters.  For example:
Mister Pickles would become M1st3r P1ckl3$
I = 1
O = 0 (zero)
E = 3
S = $

See how easy that was?  And it’s easy for you to remember because you probably use the same password for everything.  Right?  That, too, is a no-no.   If you can, spend a little time reviewing your “on-line presence.”  Take a few minutes each day to change your passwords.  You don’t have to do it all at once, and never purchase anything on-line from a public internet network like a café.

Which brings me on to the next subject.  Not everything has to be done in one day, or all at once.  Take clearing out closets, for example.  You don’t have to do all of them at the same time.  Pick one.  I promise you will feel like you accomplished something.  You will feel so good you’ll be motivated to do it again.  With this crazy world, that is probably the one thing we can control.  Our closets and our sock drawers.  😊

I am happy to announce that the next installment of The Sisterhood, Rock Bottom is on sale now.  This time the sisters come to the aid of Izzie’s college friend who suspects her company of manufacturing sub-par building materials.  We hear about buildings and bridges collapsing, and a recent garage failure in New York.  It is in the news too often, so I wanted to bring topical issues to the fictional page, and more importantly getting revenge on the bad guys who do it!

I hope 2024 will bring you good health, happiness, and blessings.  Don’t forget to count them, too.  😊

Be well, be safe, be kind.