Sunday, July 29, 2012

Meet Jill Elizabeth Arent Franclemont, a kindred spirit, author and poet

Sometimes we meet kindred spirits who reach us on an intuitive basis, for many reasons. Jill Elizabeth has been my Guest Poet all of the past week and I know, after reading her work, that we are sisters of the heart. Please, welcome my friend, Jill Elizabeth Arent Franclemont,  and offer her your support.  Blessings to all...Scarlett.

Jill at her desk. Courtesy of Francletography, c 2011

About Me (Jill): The Very Short Version

Mine was an average, small-town childhood.  I read everything in sight, went to school, played with friends.  I imagined a lot of things and places, and decided I wanted to see them all – which meant leaving that average small town as soon as possible.  I went to D.C., studied philosophy, put myself through school.  I worked for five years, realized I wanted more and decided on law.  Enter Chicago.  Despite a hairy beginning (pick-pocketed my first day!), I survived law school and two bar exams, and headed to a law firm in Philadelphia. The billable hour and I did not get along.  Within a year I was job hunting. 
Enter the magical world of pharmaceuticals (employment, not consumption).  It seemed like a dream – prestigious title, high pay, regular hours, travel, Corporate perks.  At first it was.  Then my boss (an amazing woman) retired.  Then her boss (another amazing woman) retired.  Then I learned how much those two women had shaped my experience – and how much I didn’t fit the mold of a Corporate American.  Bored and frustrated, I took a sabbatical and started thinking. 
I couldn’t stay.  I didn’t enjoy anything about it anymore.  The company was being acquired – a golden opportunity, since I wanted out.  Back-of-the-envelope math told me I could decide what I wanted to do next based on what I wanted, not money.  I wanted something utterly unlike the regimented bureaucracy of Big Pharma.  I loved to read, people told me I turned a clever phrase.  Why not write?  A zillion months later, the company was sold and I was free.  And a mess.  I moved back to my hometown for a comfortable environment.  It was a little too comfortable.  But it helped bring back my long-lost sanity and let me be a real daughter, aunt and friend for the first time in twenty years.  It was amazing, but a year passed without a single written word.
I couldn’t believe how time flew – or how easily entropy set in.  I was tired of people politely asking how the book was going, and politely responding that it wasn’t.  I was also tired of being unproductive.  I needed a kick in the ass, and got one when I fell in love with an amazing man – an amazing, diligent, focused man.  Score!  Suddenly things looked different – in the best possible way.  When I said I felt like writing, he said that was good because he was setting me up a blog.  When I whined I didn’t feel like writing, he reminded me this was my dream and if I started, I’d be surprised how easily I’d keep going.  He was right.
Here we are a year later.  Amazing Man and I are married.  I have two step-kids, a blog, a collection of stories and novel in the works, and more ideas than ever.  Things are clicking along – some days more slowly than I’d like, but still: progress.  I don’t know where exactly this will all go, but it sure is one hell of a ride…

Please, comment on Jill's post below. Every comment is read and appreciated. Don't forget to subscribe either by RSS feed or by email . Hope to see you again soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


These may seem like a ridiculous post, but, readers have let me know that they are confused by how to ‘comment’ on blogs.  Not so surprising that a novice would be intimidated, considering how many variations on the ‘commenting’ theme exist. If you are having trouble, I hope this tutorial will help you develop into a person who actively comments.

Why should I bother to comment on a blog?
It is considered a courtesy to comment on blogs that you read, and find interesting.  Doing so functions in much the same fashion as commenting on Facebook. It is the foundation of a dialogue and a means of interacting with the blogger to form friendships.  Most blog owners are conscientious about replying to comments posted on their blogs and are diligent about reciprocating and leaving comments on their visitor’s blog.  This is how the blogging community flourishes. Bloggers not only value your opinion, and friendship, but the number of comments (and followers) a blog has is also a measure of the blogger’s success.
All right. You sold me.  So, how the heck do I comment on a blog?
That’s the tricky part.  It depends on the type of blog: Blogger, WordPress or others.  Don’t run!  I’ll make this painless and give you plenty of clear examples.  Put down that Zanex!!!

Posting a comment:

The following is a common means of posting a comment on Blogger:
  1. Look for the word "comment" somewhere at the bottom, or top, of the post and click on it.  If you can’t find it you can click on the title of the post and the comment form will open up below the post.
  1. This is what the Blogger comment form typically looks like when it opens:
  1. 3.    And now for WordPress (WP).  With WP, you may find the comment box anywhere. The first example is from my friend, Nancy Jill Thames’s blog.  Nancy’s comment box link is at the top.

Another WP example is found on my friend, Amelia Curzon’s lovely blog.  Amelia has the number of comments as a link at the top of the post.  If you click it, the second box opens up.  OR! Just ignore that number and scroll down to the bottom of the post and…

4.    the typical WordPress comment box awaits that will require entering your email address, username and website in a secure log in.

As you can see there are variations on the theme but, now that you have the idea, it is not so difficult to find the comment links.

One more thing:
Don’t freak out if your comment doesn’t show up right away, or a message pops up that says something like, “Your comment will be available after moderation”.   The blogger is just screening comments for spam and that sort of nonsense. No harm, no foul.  You can test your readiness to conquer your commenting fear by leaving me a lovely comment below. 

About Scarlett Rains:

Scarlett is a mom, wife, granny, loyal friend, blog-a-holic and, oh yes, author. Scarlett loves to laugh and believes most people would benefit from a few, soul-cleansing, belly laughs.

Thank you so much for your comment at Scarlett Rains Sisters of the Hearts Blog. Every comment is read and appreciated. Don't forget to subscribe either by RSS feed  or by email . Hope to see you again soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Peace, community, and sustainability begins with us.

How we envision ourselves in connection with others impacts our world.  Are we alone in it, with individual desires and goals that must be attained at any cost to others and our environment?  Or, are we part of a collective humanity, with the common goal of the greater good?  Each person must decide the answers to these questions.

In this troubling time, I believe it is more important than ever to see beyond our individual needs and reach out, neighbor-to-neighbor, to establish how we, as a society, will move forward.  Only by doing so can we create a world in which our children, and theirs, may thrive.  Peace, community, and sustainability begins ultimately with each of us.

I am grateful to Fred Armentfor sharing this thought-provoking video.  Fred is an area author who is instrumental in the success of  the International Cities of Peace. Please, view the video, share it on your social media channels, and consider any means by which to implement this message in your life.  

Thank you so much for your comment at Scarlett Rains Sisters of the Hearts Blog. Every comment is read and appreciated.Don't forget to subscribe either by RSS feed or by email . Hope to see you again soon!

Friday, July 20, 2012

How to get rid of that annoying wrench icon on the side of your widgets

This stupid wrench icon was driving me crazy! I finally figured out how to get rid of it...after DAYS of trying this-and-that! I thought you might appreciate a little time-saving information, so, here you go! I hope it helps.

  1. Go to Template and click Edit HTML, then click  Proceed.
  2. Back up your template
  3. Click on Expand Widget Templates
  4. Click Control-f  key (for find)  anywhere inside the template and a search box will open above the template.
  5. Type </b:template-skin> in the search box. This will highlight  
  6. </b:template-skin> within the code
  7. Type .quickedit{display:none;} just above the </b:template-skin> tag
  9. Click Preview and check your blog.  The wrench icon should be gone.
  10. If so, click Save.
  11. If it is not, just hit Clear Edits , then Close.

Thank you so much for your comment at Scarlett Rains Sisters of the Hearts Blog. Every comment is read and appreciated.
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How Blogging Murdered my Next Best Selling Novel!

              “I really was working on my book…” I say, not quite meeting her squinty eyes. 
               “I doubt it. You haven’t even brushed your hair this week.”  She scrunched her nose and plucked a piece of lint, or something, off the top of my head.
               It’s bad enough being caught out, but, being groomed like a chimp is really too much. I swat at her, and miss…wads of hair obstruct the view of my —always -perfectly- coiffured —editor. “What kind of thing is that to say?”  I hold the wads of hair apart, the better to glare at her. “I don’t know why I put up with you.”
               Her look tells me the lack of feeling is mutual. “Is Betrayals of the Heart finished,” she asks, studying the pointiest of her acrylic nails…probably planning to poke me with it. “Have you even worked on it today? …This week?  You know we’ve been waiting 6 months. “
               Betrayals….the next great American historical romance novel, hasn’t seen the light of day in about a week now, but miss two-hundred-dollar-hairdo and dangerous-looking-nails doesn’t need to know that.
               “I’ve been writing a lot lately as a matter-of-fact,” I say.  True.  I had ten lines written …when I noticed a cool cloud widget floating in my news stream, and a couple of other neat features I just had to have.
               Well, Carolyn, my editor, didn’t get where she is today by not being able to read between the lines.
               “Hhmm” she says, leaning over my shoulder to read the traitorous print telling all on my monitor.  “How to Make a Blue Tweety Bird Nest on Your Right Sidebar.  That’s just Riveting!”  When I tried to hit the escape key, she pinned my hand to the desk with that pointy nail, and read on.  “How to Change the Background Color of Your Post from Lime to Pea Green When You’re Having a Pissy Day.   Interesting stuff.  They’ll be lined up at the bookstore for that one.”
               How does she get her eyebrows to stand up like that, I wonder —looking for mercy as I yank my hand away—  They look like perfectly penciled ‘M’s.  (I hope I didn’t say that out loud.  Sometimes my internal dialogue gets rambunctious …and she’s got some lethal tips on those nails.) 
               “Well” I say, nursing my hand, my brows straining with tension like a tightly strung, under-appreciated, Ukulele, “you told me I had to promote my work. Well, blogging is how I network.”
               Those M’s look about ready to fly off her head! 
               “I told you to promote…not procrastinate.”
               “I’m not procrastinating!   I’m Blogging! “I put my hand over my heart.  I can hear the National Anthem …La Marseillaise, and even —believe it or not—haunting strains of “O Canada” playing. Why can’t she?  It must be a character flaw.
               “When I suggested you join Book Blogs, I never thought you’d become so obsessive about it.”
               “Come now,” I snort …perfectly underscoring my sophisticated, avant-garde, style, “we both know me better than that.”
               “This is serious, Scarlett.  You’re going to have to stop this blogging nonsense and finish your book.  The Publisher’s going to withdraw if you drag this out any longer.  We’ve been very patient with you.”
               That is serious.  She’s right. The blogging is becoming a problem. “I know, Carolyn.   But, it’s so fascinating.  I love it. “
               Those eyes of hers have a way of seeing through me.
               “Are you sure it’s not an elaborate avoidance mechanism?”
               I really don’t like her.
               “I’m not on Face Book. I don’t need to be liked,” she sniffs.
               Crap!  I must have said that out loud!
               She poked me hard with a copy of the contract.  “Get off the blog and get back to work. “   She paused at the door.  “By the way, stop embarrassing Mom and be on time Sunday.  If you’re late again, I swear I’ll have Pastor Hendricks put you on the Prayer List.” 
               “Don’t say it!”  I can read her mind sometimes.
               “Why didn’t I think of that before?” Her smarmy grin could shame a Cheshire cat.  “Divine Intervention’s the only way I’m ever going to get Betrayals, isn’t it?”
               I made a face at her back, clicked the mouse without looking and ….Oh, no!  The dread 404 error…File Not Found! My blog file….gone!  No back up…no blog!  Snort!  Sniffle. Beads of salty sweat floating on tears splash on my keyboard.  I drum my bitten nails against the desk.  “I’ll think about it tomorrow, “I murmur (in true Scarlett fashion). My choices right now are bleak:  a) clean the house, or b) work on Betrayals.  I’ll leave it to you to decide what happens next. 


Thank you so much for your comment at Scarlett Rains Sisters of the Hearts Blog. Every comment is read and appreciated.
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Scarlett's YA-Historical novel: Promises of the Heart

(Sisters of the Heart, Series: Book 1)

Average Customer Review
"Promises of the Heart" is an eighteenth century tale of a young girl's coming of age. The first thing I really liked about this book was the lovely graphics reflecting the time period in London, England. The reader is also pulled into the story at once with carefully crafted prose appealing to all five senses. Read more

“Promises of the Heart is a lovely first book in the Heart series. Fans of historical fiction &/or historical romance would do well to read it.” Read more

“I found this book to be most enjoyable. The story line kept my interest with romance, laughter, and mystery. The adventure is all wrapped in a delightful story stamped with the propriety of the 18th century. I am looking forward to the next book.”

Thank you so much for your comment at Scarlett Rains Sisters of the Hearts Blog. Every comment is read and appreciated.Don't forget to subscribe either by RSS feed or by email . Hope to see you again soon!

My latest poem, and an invitation to be a Guest Poet on my blog...

I hope you enjoy my poem, It Was Just a Thing.  This poem is about the damaging impact of lost trust, particularly at a vulnerable juncture in one's life.
If you are a poet, read my guidelines for being a Guest Poet here.  I'd love to feature your poetry on my blog.  I intend to promote the work of fellow poets whenever possible by providing a forum for sharing and discussion.  So, don't be shy.  :)

Thank you so much for your comment at Scarlett Rains Sisters of the Hearts Blog. Every comment is read and appreciated.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Short-Story Feature: The Moments Between...

The Moments Between
It can't be five o'clock already!  "Move, Scrappy!"  I scoot the pesky dog out of the way, open the microwave and bend down to stick the broccoli casserole in, almost pinching kitty's tail in the door.  He’s so busy cleaning every inch of himself that he doesn't notice.  "Get down, Marshall Dillon."  
     The fat cat slinks out of arms reach, licks his paw and flattens out on the cutting board like a placemat. Seconds later, he is airborne out the front door. I stick my foot down, blocking the wily critter's attempt to get by me and slam the door before he sneaks back in. His paw prints, clearly visible on my beautiful counter, erase any niggling guilt. I yank out a handful of antiseptic wipes and clean the counter, finishing up just as the phone rings.
     "Hi Honey, what's going on?"  I half-listen to John’s reply, rifling through the mish-mash of odds-and-ends in my utensil drawer. Where's that frigging paring knife?  Onions, tomatoes, lettuce...I need the cheese.  "Good,” I mumble, “It's almost ready." I give up my hunt for the knife and fish in the refrigerator drawer for fixens.  Slim pickens. Mold makes the Cheddar look like Monterey Jack. Gross!  Fortunately, the slime ball that used to be lettuce still has one light green leaf.  I salvage it and pitch the rest. Maybe I should ask John to pick some up? Forget it.  He'd never remember.  Poor guy has to have a shopping list for two items.  Speaking of memory. "Don't forget to get the mail," I remind him, before hanging up.
     A wad of cat fur clings to the receiver. That is disgusting.  I should have bought stock in Clorox.   I push the stack of bills and odds-and-ends back to clear a spot for the plates. I'd just finished setting the table when the unmistakable vroom of our old VW's muffler announces John’s arrival.
     "Don't let the cat in," I yell, as he opens the door.
     "What?" he hesitates, one foot in.            
    "Put him out." I point at the grey ball of fur trying to make him-self invisible on the barstool. "I just cleaned the counter." 
     “In a minute.”  He slips off his shoes. “I’ve been dying to take these off. It’s hot as Hell. “
     “Here, Honey.” I hand him a tall glass of iced tea.  He looks like he needs it.
     "Thanks." He took a long drink.  "What a crappy day."  He tossed his tie on the chair and unbuttoned his collar. His permanent press shirt stuck to his chest.  Sweat rings peak out from under his arms as he reaches for Marshall Dillon.
     Well, Marshall Dillon had never walked away from a showdown, and he isn't about to coward-out now.  He spits, hisses and takes a swipe at John then hooks his paws around the slats of the bar stool and holds on for dear life. 
     John wins their tug-of-war.  He pitches the mewling cat out and slams the door, narrowly missing Marshall's paw.
     "You shouldn't be so rough with him!" I’m the only one qualified to give Marshall flying lessons. He’s my cat. I know his limits and he knows mine. I shake the mustard bottle, turn it upside down and pound it hard against the counter trying to free the last glob, sticking like yellow glue, at the bottom.    
     "He's fine." He empties his pockets on the counter, not troubling to put a single coin, key, or piece of pocket lint in the proper receptacle. “He’s got at least 8 lives left.”
     I gather up the pile he made and toss it in the bin which, in a perfect world, was intended for such odds- and-ends. "Where's the mail?"  I watch for tell-tale signs, sensing the answer. The look on his face says it all.  "You're kidding me, John.  I just reminded you fifteen minutes ago."  Whack, whack, whack!  Squirt! The last bit of mustard sprayed on the bun.  "I think you have Old-timer's disease.  I swear I do," I said, picturing him as a demented old fart with spittle running down his chin. 
     "I had things on my mind." He leans against the counter, watching me. "It's probably just bills anyway."
     "Well ignoring them won't help matters, will it?"  I rummage in the cutlery drawer. "Where's the stupid paring knife?"
     "Here," he pulls it out of the rack and hands it to me. "Lighten up, all right?  I'll get the mail after dinner."
     "You should have gotten it on your way home."  Slice and count...slice and count.  "You put everything I ask you to do last on your list." Ten perfectly even slices of onion, and teary eyes, speak of my frustration.
     "You're making a big deal out of nothing."  He opens the fridge, gathering condiments. "Where's the ketchup?"
    Heaven help me. I study the crack in the ceiling tile over the corner cabinet.  How does he make it through a day?  I look down. Crap! The spoon I thought I stuck back in the mayo jar is lying on the electric bill, leaving its outline on the envelope like a CSI prop.  I blot the oily blob off and quickly hide the bill in my purse. I needn't have worried.  He didn’t notice.  He’s still on his ketchup quest. Amusing as it is to watch his head turn left and right in the fridge, I detest cold dinner.  
     "Top shelf, back left," I say, slapping a patty on another bun and slathering mayo on it. I pitch the spoon in the sink.
     "We're out." He closed the fridge, looking at me with his brows raised in that annoying fashion. "We're not that broke. Why didn't you get some?"  He sighs heavily, eyeing the turkey burgers as if he'd sell his soul for a big slab of artery-clogging beef ...slathered in ketchup.
     In through the nose and out through the mouth...that's it...count to ten.  This man is the love of your life. I put down the paring knife, open the fridge, grab the ketchup bottle, and put it in his hand.
     He narrows his eyes, looking at me as if he thinks I slipped it from beneath my skirt or from some top-secret- hidden- fridge compartment that Frigidaire sales-folk only reveal to women.  
     Dinner is an exercise in monosyllabic responses. The click of his jaw as he chews echoes annoyingly in the silence. He seems to realize it.  He finishes quickly, flashes me a tight smile and starts clean up. The droop of his shoulders as he works begins to make me feel guilty.  Watching him scrub the same bowl about fifty times, it dawns on me that his mind is on something else. Then it hits me! Crap! Today was his review.
     "I'm sorry I was so bitchy." I wrap my arms around him, pressing my head against his back. "How did your review go?"
     "I'm not getting that raise." He tossed the rag in the sink.
     My gut clenched. The bills were stacking up. No point dwelling on it, he felt bad enough already. "Those bastards don't deserve you." I squeeze him tighter. "Don't worry about it, Honey, we'll manage." The dryer buzzed.  I give him a quick kiss. "Will you put Scrappy out?  He looks like he's ready to squirt...or something."   
     As if on cue, Scrappy licks his gonads like they are shellacked in gravy.
     "Yeah," he nods, turning as his cell phone rings.
     "Who calls at dinnertime?” I ask. “That's so rude." 
     He shrugs, checking caller ID. "It's, Mom," he sighs.
    I point at my watch, reminding him to watch his minutes. 
    He waves me away, turns his back and settles in for another long, one-sided, conversation we can't afford.
     I busy myself folding laundry, trying not to find the long lulls in conversation, which are costing us money, too annoying. His Mom, though sweet in her peculiar sacchariny way, does not appreciate the finer points of silence...unless it is someone else's.   Poor guy can't get a word in edgewise. After twenty minutes of listening to ‘uh-huh's’: fired-up by the image of dollars disappearing down the drain, I march into the kitchen... stopping suddenly when moisture seeps through my cotton sock, wicking up between my toes. I lift my foot, looking to see what I've stepped in.  A yellow puddle pools on the white ceramic tile, filling the grout line ...pointing right at John!
     "You are cleaning that up!"  I yank the disgusting sock off, wave it at him and stalk away. When I return, he is sprawled in his favorite chair: beer and remote at the ready.
     I plop down on the couch and snatch a magazine off the table.  "I swear I think you do this crap on purpose, just to piss me off!"
     "The phone rang and I forgot, all right?"  He changes the channel and props his leg up. "At least it wasn't poop. Chill out!" He twists the cap off an icy cold Bud, downs about half of it and reclines his chair...wiggles around, and settles in his football-watching pose.
     Chill out?  My eyebrows make a run for my hairline! If he thinks he's going to tune me out and watch the game he, and the NFL, are S.O.L!  I snatch the remote from the table and switch the channel to Masterpiece Theater.
     "Cut it out!" He is, mid-snatch, reaching for the remote ...when the power goes out.
     Oh no!  I bite my lip and put the remote down.
     "Didn't you pay the bill?"  He asks, staring at me.
     Well, I'm no Saint. It crossed my mind to blame it on him...tell him it was one of those bills in the mailbox that he forgot to bring home.  But, I just couldn't do it.  Sometimes you have to woman-up and take your medicine.  "I'm sorry." Tears welled up.  I sat silently in the dark, trying not to sniffle, waiting for the lecture I deserved.
    "It's not the end of the world."  He pats my hand.  "C'mon.  Let's go to bed. We can watch the game on my phone."
     I wipe my runny nose. "You want another beer?"
    We drink our Buds snuggled together, watching a team I knew nothing about maul another bunch of crazies…all for control of a goofy pigskin. I didn't see the point of the game at all, but I enjoyed every minute of it...hooting and hollering right along with the love of my life.  It's all about these moments. I hand him a tissue when beer trickles down his chin.  The rest is just filler

© Scarlett Rains

Message:  Be tolerant, keep a sense of humor your bills on time.  :0)

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My Featured Guest is Patricia Paris

My featured guest this week is my new friend, Patricia Paris.  Today, Patricia is sharing Memories That Mold Us.  I read this story and fell in love with it.  Stop over, read this sweet story and leave a comment for Patricia.

Thank you so much for your comment at Scarlett Rains Sisters of the Hearts Blog. Every comment is read and appreciated.Don't forget to subscribe either by RSS feed or by email . Hope to see you again soon!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Memories of our Fathers

For children reared in an orphanage, Father’s Day can be very sad.  It brings to mind loss, absences and disturbing memories.  This year, I hope to provide a positive means for some of those children who grew up, as I did, in the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Orphan's Home (The Ohio Veterans Children's Home) to express love and appreciation for their fathers.  I've extended the invitation to post about memories of their fathers here, if it will be of comfort to them. I'll begin this series of tributes with a few of my memories of three men who acted as fathers for me, stepping in to fill the void after my father died. 

This is a tribute to my three Dads.

Richard was the Dad of my early childhood, my step-dad.  He didn’t talk much.  He was born with a deformed hip that always pained him, it made him surly.  It didn’t stop him from hunting though.  I loved to go hunting with him and he loved my company.  He never complained that I wasted shots over the heads of bunnies and squirrels I couldn’t bear the thought of killing.  One of the sweetest memories of him that pulls at my heart is seeing him limp in after a long day’s work at the foundry, covered in soot, with his black lunchbox in his hand.  He wouldn’t say anything, just hand me the lunchbox.  It was our game.  I knew he’d saved me something from his lunch.  At eight years old, sharing that game with him was the richest treasure.  He has passed on now, with no children of his own to mourn him.  I mourn him.  I always will.  Thank you, Dad.

Steve was the Dad of my teen years, my foster-dad: a man with a keen sense of humor who never raised his voice at me.  He gave of his time, and himself, without complaint.  One of my fondest memories of Steve is watching SNL with him when I was about 16.  It was so nice just being part of a normal family, doing normal things like watching a TV program and laughing.   I could relax.  I didn’t need to be afraid.  I could just be a kid for awhile. If not for Steve and his family, my life would have taken a very different turn.  In the past forty years, hundreds of other foster children have found safe haven in his home.  On behalf of myself, and them, thank you, Dad.

The Dad of my adult years is as hard to write of as he was to understand. My father-in-law,  John, was a quiet man, a man who put his head to the grindstone and kept it there from an ingrained sense of duty.  He understood sacrifice.   He was a man of honor, a decorated war hero. I always wondered what he was like before the war wounded his spirit, and made him so silent and withdrawn.  He rarely spoke. We spent hours together, fishing or pulling weeds in the garden we shared.  We never felt the need to talk much.  He’s been gone for years now. I see shadows of him sometimes in my son’s eyes: tricks of the light that take me back to our time together. When my grandson caught his first fish, I remembered the photo above and the sweetness of the moment his father caught his first fish: as Grandpa John and I looked on.  I miss John so much. Thank you, Dad.

This tribute is for my three dads, and also for the many, uncelebrated, men who step forward every day to act as ‘Fathers’ for children in need, often without acknowledgment or thanks.  These men do it because they care, and because it is the right thing to do.  Thank you, Dads.

Thank you so much for your comment at Scarlett Rains Sisters of the Hearts Blog. Every comment is read and appreciated.
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How to Grab Someone’s Button and Not Get Arrested

All right, Scarlett, you say (after reading How to Make a Blog Button and Remain Sane).  I’ve got my Xanax and Pepto in hand and I’m ready to do some code-kicking.  How do I grab someone’s button and not get into all sorts of trouble? 
Stop fretting. Take your attorney’s number off speed-dial.
It’s easy…and legal to grab a blog button.   Swapping buttons, amongst bloggers, is actually a sign of respect and support.   Here’s how you do it. Most bloggers put their buttons (and code) on their Home page, in one of the sidebars.   Look for something like this:

Scarlett Rains blog

Just copy the code from the scroll box, paste it into an HTML/JavaScript Gadget (in RTF mode), or paste it into a Post (in HTML, not Compose mode) and there you go.  One blog button, and no time served for misbehavior. 
If you’d like to have a column of buttons in your sidebar, you can add more buttons to your gadget as you go.  Just open your gadget, make sure the setting is on Rich Text Format, and add the code to as many buttons as you’d like, beneath the original code.  Check out the example below.

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