If I was a dog, I'd be a German shepherd, so this photo on the right would be
my family portrait with my husband and three children. I know, cute family.
Guess which is me. I love their strength of character, intelligence, and fierce
loyalty. As I wasn't born a German shepherd, I adopted a
puppy in 1995 and called her Jazz. For 13 years I had the
honor of being her mom, and I loved her like she was one
of my children. When her time came, she went to sleep
with her head on my lap and her muzzle in my hand, so I
was the last thing she saw and smelled as she went to sleep.
I felt broken for a long time after she died and took some
sick leave at work because apparently her passing didn't qualify for bereavement leave. The thought of getting another German shepherd felt so disloyal to her memory, so I decided to
rescue an abused dog. That's Bree, the orange dog. She came
with many fears and phobias, especially moving your hands too quickly, and any
flashlights as her abuser liked to belt her when she was tied up outside at night.
She had just had her first birthday when she joined our family. Three years
later and it was time to give her a little brother. That's Rio who was also a year old
when he came to us. He had been left tied to a clothesline for several weeks with
no water, food or shelter. He is a very cruisy boy and has had a calming influence
on his big sister. They are now 9 and 5 years old. They love to go to the beach and they also enjoy going to daycare once a week. They have been a wonderful addition to our family.
Writing stories has been fun for me since I could scribble with crayons. As a teacher, I wrote
stories and then read them to my students. I printed many of the picture books on the
computer, drew in the pictures, and then glued them up. I felt like a published author, but
I dreamed of being a real one some day.
My current Work in Progress is the the first book in the new Silver Sleuth series called
'Alice in Atlantic City'. On her honeymoom with her new husband, Henry, Alice finds herself
caught up in a five year old unsolved murder. After her success in the investigation of Henry's
stolen mauscripts, can she do it again?
In my early teenage years I learned to ski. Being at the snow was my happy place and I went at every opportunity. Nothing rivalled skiing on my fun list. There were some accidents along the way, nothing serious. Mostly they involved jumping off things and not always landing - bad for knees and ankles.
About fifteen years ago a radio station ran a competitiion and the prize was
a season pass plus a snowboard. I only wanted the pass so I phoned up and
answered a question. To win I had to be present at the draw so I showed
up on time. There were hundreds of names in the barrel. One name was read
out. It wasn't mine but the person wasn't there. A second name was pulled,
and again, the person had not turned up. Third name, mine! Not only did I
have a season pass, I owned a pretty green snowboard. I didn't want it and
planned to sell it. Some time later I decided to give it a whirl, why not right?
Snowboarders had been frowned upon by the skiers for years. It was time to
look at the scenery from the other side. It was pretty great.
As the years went by, I realised that the ratio of skiing to snowboarding was changing. Now, if I go to the mountain for five days, I am likely to snowboard for four of those days. And sometimes I can be on my skis wishing I was on my board. Not always. Winter is definitely my season. I love the crispness of cold weather and the crunch of snow beneath my feet. Once the mountains close I am counting down right through summer and waiting for it to end. When I'm on the mountain, I have a notebook in my small day pack, so I can sit and write while giving my muscles a break. At night I love to sit by the roaring fire lost in writing. I'm not the most sociable person on the planet.
Outside New Zealand I have only been to two ski fields. Silver Star Mountain in BC, Canada was magic! I took my own skis and board, but in the shop, one snowboard caught my eye. It had leaves of different patterns and designs, and one leaf was a kiwifruit. Being a Kiwi, I took that as a sign and knew the board had been waiting for me. Now my old board is the backup for when friends want to learn. I have also tried out Paoli Peaks in Indiana, USA. It was small but equally awesome. So I get to combine my two greatest passions for a few months of the year. Just awesome.
I live in New Zealand which makes me a Kiwi. The population is just over 4 million and I reside in
a coastal city of about 130,000 people. We're pretty laid back like our Aussie cousins, and we love rugby
and support the All Blacks, our national team. They wear a black uniform with a silver fern emblem.
The country is famous for kiwi birds and kiwifruit. Because NZ is long and narrow, it doesn't matter
where you are, you're never far from the beach. Scenery is spectacular in any season. If you've never
been to visit, come on over. You won't be disappointed.