wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Orion’s Gift – Review

Author Diana Wallace Peach has kindly reviewed my novel, Orion’s Gift, and has included it in her April reviews on her blog. You can see all the reviews there.

I enjoyed writing this book because it included many scenes from my travels to Baja California. The plot is totally fiction, but it was inspired by characters I met there.

Diana W. Peach’s Review of Orion’s Gift by Anneli Purchase

Sylvia and Kevin are both escaping abusive relationships and individually head to Mexico to camp along the beautiful beaches of Baja. They end up meeting and fall immediately into lust, which gradually turns into something deeper. But nothing’s going to be that easy as the drug trade south of the border strikes a little close to their camper-homes, and even worse, their exes are trying to hunt them down.

Romance with lots of misunderstandings and emotional turmoil is a major theme in the book, but the subplots add a lot of drama to the story. Both exes—who are quite different from each other—have chapters from their points-of-view which adds to the building tension. The subplot regarding the drug trade escalates the danger, particularly for Sylvia.

I liked the quick pace of the story and there was plenty going on to keep me turning the pages. The descriptions of camping in Baja include well-researched details, not only regarding the landscape but also the challenges, the things visitors need to know, and some of the pitfalls. I enjoyed the authenticity they lent to the story.

Kevin was my favorite character as he’s pretty solid and straightforward. Sylvia suffers from insecurities throughout the book, but this struck me as realistic based on her history as a victim of domestic violence. She also has a secret that interferes with any dreams of a future with Kevin. A well-rounded story and highly recommended to readers of romance.

*****

You can find Orion’s Gift by going to my website: www.anneli-purchase.com


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To Share or not to Share

 

 “To be, or not to be, that is the question”

By William Shakespeare, otherwise known as Willy Wiggle-sword.
(from Hamlet, spoken by Hamlet)
 
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
 
 
Della’s Version
Spoken from Lincoln’s Woodshed
by his girlfriend, Della:
 
To share, or not to share, it’s out of the question:
Whether ’tis nobler for the stomach to suffer
The stings and pangs of outrageous starvation,
Or to take in my arms the tines of moose
And by chewing, end the ends of them.
 
 
 
 
I’ve got my nose right on this tine and it smells so-o-o   go-o-o-od!
 
 
 
Oh yeah! I’ve found the mother lode!
 
 
 
But what if Lincoln finds me and sees that I didn’t call him in on the smorgasbord … should I tell him what I found?
 
 
 
M-m-m…. O-h-h-h! This is so-o-o-o good.
 
 
 
It’s nice to share, but … no-no-no-no-no, I have to get my fill first. Call me greedy, but I’m not sure Lincoln would share if he were the one who found it first … would he?
 
 
What’s that? You say I have a dribble on my chin? That’s okay. I can wipe it off later. No time right now.
 
 
 
To share or not to share…. Oh piffle! I’m gonna go for it.
 
 
 
I’ll just point out that I’ve left him lots of other tines.
 
 
 
 
Still, I’d hate to be caught being greedy. I’d better make a run for it.
 
 
 
I can always go back to my feeding station on the other post. There’s still some good nibbling left on those tines.
Amazing how much flavour is still in there after 17 years.
 
 
 
Wanna watch me nibble with my sharp teeth?  I warn you that Anneli is not a good photographer. She wiggled as I nibbled. Also, try to ignore the neighbours’ power washer. I did. Click on the video link if you feel brave and later, why not check out Anneli’s website if you’ve never seen it. www.anneli-purchase.com 
 

 

This is the ghost of Nibbles Past. 

Don’t touch me, Della.

You’d better run fast.

DSCN8773a


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Blackberries

Who doesn’t love blackberries? They’re sweet and tart and good for us. BUT, the plants are so thick they grow into a formidable barrier wherever they take root.

Blackberries grow wild in many places, especially on Vancouver Island. They are tough plants with fierce thorns for protection, and they have their prolific growth patterns perfected. The vines that come up from the roots each year will easily take root wherever the end (or middle or any other part) of the vine touches the ground.

It is listed as an invasive plant. No kidding!

The blackberries in front of our hedge had grown so much that they were pulling down our wire deer fence, squeezing through the cedars, and slurping up all the water we were giving the hedge.

I’d had enough.

You can see that locals had made us their dog walk. Why let your dog poop by your own property when you can bring it over to someone else’s and let them do their business there?

Unfortunately, many of the ones who picked up after their dogs then thought it was okay to fling the plastic poop bag into the blackberries. And while they were at it, why not fling any other garbage in there too? After all, out of sight, out of mind. I found a water bottle from a local coffee shop, beer cans, beer bottles, a ball point pen in two parts, candy wrappers,about six  poop bags, and even an umbrella.

And one conscientious person didn’t pick up their doggie’s “doo” but left it for nature to take care of. Actually I prefer that, but please, move it out of the way? Then again, when you get hundreds of people bringing their dogs to poop, how is it going to look and smell if no one takes care of that business?

I’m glad I don’t walk there, but it IS in front of my house.

It took me several weeks of cutting, hacking, pulling, cursing, and wincing to get the blackberry vines to let go and to pile them up in heaps.

 

The blackberries have been cut down,

But new ones come up from the ground,

The old vines have the hardest spikes,

They give a poke that no one likes.

 

The young vines wrap so easily,

Around my arm, around my knee,

They tangle right into my hair,

They scratch me, and they don’t care where.

 

I wonder if it’s worth the woe

To cut the vines so they won’t grow.

For every piece I cut away

I get another scratch and pay.

 

My arms and legs have red designs

They’re scratched with deep and angry lines

And even as the first pain fades

I run to get some more Band-aids.

 

 

 


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Comfort Food

Yesterday I felt the need for comfort food. I took out a bag of frozen apples and a bag of frozen pears, but the pear bag was bigger than the apple bag, so rather than have one pie too big and the other too skimpy, I combined the fruit and made pearapple pies.

While I had a messy kitchen and a hot oven, I thought I might as well make some almond pie squares using half the sugar and adding a cup of coconut.

I won’t do the recipe thing here, because I’ve done posts on them both before. I’ll put the links to the posts with the recipes at the bottom of the page.

 

Almond Bars:

https://wordsfromanneli.com/2018/06/13/almond-bars/

Apple Pie:

https://wordsfromanneli.com/2016/08/11/apple-pie/

Anneli’s books to read while you eat your comfort food:

http://www.anneli-purchase.com/


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Old Slippers

Several years ago a good friend gave me a pair of brand new slippers for my birthday. I didn’t think I really needed slippers, but when I started wearing them, I thought, “Darn! These are comfortable.”

Over time I became attached to them, and Emma realized this. Now we had a competition over possession of the slippers.

I should have remembered what happened to my Birkenstocks when she was just a puppy and she ate the straps right out of one of them.

“Did I do good, MA? Huh? Huh?”

 

She has outgrown the chewing habit, but she still likes to take a little nibble if the flavour is especially good.

So if she only nibbles a bit, how did the slippers get like this?

Well, she knows I need my slippers in the morning, and when she wants me to get up, she brings ONE of them to the bedside. This may be after she has slept on it.

And who knows where the other one is?

So the conversation with the dog goes like this,” Thank you!” (which is what I have to say to make her give it up – she has me trained). Then I say, “Go get the other one.”

She runs around the house to wherever she left the slipper and brings it back to me.

Then she makes me beg for it and say, “Thank you!”

After five years of nibbling and fetching, my slippers have changed shape somewhat.

Do you think I need new slippers?


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Six Years Old

I know you’ve seen these photos  before, but a puppy’s life in review doesn’t change. Emma’s photos look the same at 9 weeks as she did when I took them. I love how she laughs at the camera. Maybe that little finger of mine that looks like it’s missing is tickling her.

She wasn’t terribly interested in a stuffed toy unless I tried to take it away. That fuzzy bed I paid big bucks for – well … a week or so later, she had figured out how to take it apart and had the circular wall separated from the base. Guess she wanted to see how it was put together.

She was a sweet puppy, full of fun, and always up for a treat, as her fat little belly proves.

Soon she had learned to sit, come, and stay, and here she is saying, “Now I want you to take me seriously. Someday I’ll grow into these big mitts.”

“Somebody’s coming,” she tells the Captain.

When we go to Montana, she still follows Ruby’s lead and does as Ruby does. Which turned out to be a bit of a problem because she learned all of Ruby’s bad habits as well as the good ones.

She has taken over the couch when we are camping, while Ruby still stays on the floor (thank goodness).

 

Hats off to you, Emma. Happy birthday.

 


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The Nuthatches Make a Move

I’ve decided this is a better location, Martha. Even the exterior is more interesting with its designer bark siding.

You go ahead up there, Nathan. I’m going to check out this one at the lower level. Less of a target, maybe? And the chipping is easy. Look at me! I’m almost halfway in already.

What if Martha’s right? I’m kind of conspicuous up here. Besides I’m wondering if I’m getting too close to the inside of that crater on top.

 

How ‘re ya comin’ along down there, Martha?

Eeeeuuuw! What is THAT in there? If it moves, I’ll eat it.

Oh … ah …  er … fine, Nathan …

but I seem to have come up against a gnarly knot in this hole.

Sheesh! Just look at ‘er. She’s halfway through to the other side. Maybe that gnarly knot will slow her down and put me back in the running.

Now let’s see. Where was I going with this fibre? Mustn’t let on to Martha, but was I going to put that fibre in the nest or did I just chip it out of there? Is this how it sneaks up on you? Forgetting things?

Nathan, what’s wrong with you? Put that fibre into the nest already. Dithering around like you don’t know if you’re coming or going? Unless you’ve decided on my nest after all?

Oh, this is too frustrating. I need a break. Up this tree looks like a good place to get away for a while.

 

Nayyyyyy-thannnnn! See me up here? Catch me if you can!

See me?

Here I am.

Just to the right of the trunk. If you can find me, I’ll help you with the building again….

Look at Nathan! Isn’t he just so cute, but I have to play hard to get or he’ll take off after Mitzi. She’s been mooning around Nathan, especially the other night when the moon was full.  C’mon, Nathan. Up here, in the tree. Come and find me.

Martha or Mitzi,

So itsy and bitsy,

They’re both after me

As I chip on this tree.

 

Martha is strong,

And with her I belong,

But I’ll let her dangle

Until I finagle

A way to find love with them both.