Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting my website.  I know I say this every month, but boy does the time fly!  It’s November already!  I hope Halloween brought you more treats than tricks as we head toward Thanksgiving.  We need to focus on those two words:  Thanks and Giving, especially with the holidays looming.  It’s been a rough year all around.  Just when we thought the pandemic was behind us we were slammed with floods, fires, volcanos, war, and tragic mass shootings.   Most of you know I’m a news junkie, but there seems to be very little good news.  It truly makes me sad, and I pray for the world to heal.  People have suffered a lot, and it’s important to remember that as long as you can get out of bed and put your pants on, you are ahead of the game.  So look around you and give thanks for the people and pets in your life.  Yep, count your blessings.  I don’t mean to be flippant—just something to think about.

Now on to more stress:  The holidaze.  Thanksgiving.  Who to visit or who to invite?  I suggested this once before and I still think it’s worth mentioning again.  Maybe it’s time to pull out the old TV trays, heat up a few TV dinners, and watch your family’s favorite movies.  Or order pizza.  I’m sure the Pilgrims would understand.  I imagine they would have done the same thing if it had been an option.  Anything to take a load off many of you who are juggling family, work, dinner, sports, volunteering.  Or perhaps have a small group and ask everyone to bring a covered dish.  Less work for everyone.  I remember way back when people would host covered dish dinners.  There were a lot of green beans and Campbell’s mushroom soup casseroles—don’t forget the crispy onions on the top from the Lipton onion soup box!  My point is, try not to burden yourself more than necessary.  Everyone can pitch in.

One more little speech from my soapbox:  as we approach the holidays, people are going to be even more frustrated with lack of goods and services.  You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time waiting in lines or trying to find the packages that were delivered to the wrong address.  Don’t blow a gasket.  It’s not worth it unless it’s cheese or chocolate.  LOL.  So try to stay cool.  One more thing I will ask is to perform one random act of kindness each day.  It can be as simple as saying good morning to someone you don’t know, who you pass by on the street, or in a store.  Granted, some people will give you a strange look, but most people will smile and you’ll see their eyes light up.  You are acknowledging their existence.  Isn’t that what most people want?  To be acknowledged?  Open the door for someone.  Give a total stranger a compliment “Oh, I like your shoes!”  Or “Nice handbag.”  Even if it isn’t, it will make their day, and as a result, it will also make yours.  Here’s another example:  I was in Kohls a few weeks ago to return a pair of slippers.  They gave me a coupon for $5.00 in Kohls’ Cash.  I knew I wasn’t going to be back in the store before it expired.  As much as the Godiva bag of truffles beckoned me, I decided to give the coupon to a couple who were in the check-out line.  I just said, “here’s a coupon for five bucks.”  They thanked me but I could tell they were taken aback.  As I was walking away I heard the husband say to his wife, “Wow.  That was so nice of her.”  The thing is, it wasn’t so much the value of the coupon.  It was the value of kindness.

On to fun stuff!  LIAR! is still on the New York Times list, and I am grateful to all my fans who bought it and who wrote such wonderful reviews.  For the month of November we will be giving away a beautiful Lenox snowflake ornament, with signed copies of Santa Cruise, Santa & Company, and a couple other favorites.

Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING!   Be safe and be well.