2020 and Friendship Over the Pond

Wooden Bookshelves Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com at https://images.app.goo.gl/A8p6dC2bFu2yGP9P7

Hello and welcome to a new decade and a new look, a work in progress. Here we are nearly a quarter of the way into this New Year and I’m just making my first appearance. Actually, it’s taken a fellow blogger to draw me out of my seclusion with a happy request to be a guest on my site.

So, in my attempt to get up to speed with a new theme, I’m happy to be back to introduce you to my friend, Diana Jackson, from across the pond with her new book and written contribution for your reading enjoyment.

We first connected back in 2013 when I came across her series of posts she had written about Norman, 103 years old. I was intrigued and enjoyed the stories about this man and their endearing friendship. She even published his memoir , “The Life and Demise of Norman Campbell”.

Diana now lives in Fife, Scotland, and is the author of ‘mystery inspired by history books,’ a fantasy memoir and historical romantic fiction ~ the Riduna series ~ set in 19th and early 20th Century.

We have followed each other ever since and she is a talented and accomplished author with a number of published books, along with her latest, “Missing Past and Present”.

So, without further delay, here is Diana’s story for your reading pleasure.




Author Diana Jackson


Pat and I have followed each other’s blogs for several years now and it does not matter that we have never met and live worlds apart, Pat in the USA and I am in the UK, it is lovely how friendship bonds can grow through blogs, Twitter and Facebook.

It was her blog title which caught my eye first ‘Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom’ and her catch phrase, Kitchen Table Stories to Inspire and Warm your Heart. It was the domesticity and warmth which shone from her posts which grabbed me, as well as her honesty. What qualities and ideas do we both share?

  • We both like to write our own true stories but to share those of others too. Pat is much more proactive than I am about collecting or reposting other tales and memories. Mine are on https:/selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com which I must return to after all the excitement of my book launch on my other blog https://dianamj.wordpress.com/.
  • It is not that it has always been cosy for both of us. No, we have had our fair share of life’s issues to deal with, but I believe it is that we look upon the world in a similar way, trying to see the best in people and situations.
  • We are both moved by a sense of belonging and feel a longing to visit places of our past or family history.
  • We share a sense of family and we experience joy looking at old family photos.
  • I believe that we have a quiet faith which is important to us in everything we do.
  • Pat lives in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in Denver, an area in America I don’t know but it sounds beautiful. I now live in Scotland with only an hour’s drive to the Cairngorms.
  • Pat has family links with Scotland too and maybe one day we will meet either here in Fife or in America.

Why is a blog like Pat’s so important? I believe it is because it helps us all to focus on the positive and to look for the good in people. I nearly had a mis-type ‘the God’ in people, but maybe it is that too!

When I moved to Fife and took a break from my writing life, only just keeping social media going, we lost touch for a while. Pat too had a time when issues at home took over her life and she did not post blogs for a while. I found myself wondering how she and her family were, but I was so pleased to see her posts again and it is good to pick up from where we left off! We now email from time to time and see each other on Facebook ~ that wonderful way of linking people worlds apart.


The Healing Paths of Fife is my own story of how I survived redundancy and relocation three hundred miles from Bedfordshire to Scotland. We made our home in the fellowship of a wonderful community, surrounded by the Scottish countryside and the wee fishing villages of Fife. It tells how I gave up writing for a while to settle into this new life, but was finally stirred to take up the pen once more. The book is written in allegorical form with fantasy talks with folks in history as I walk the beautiful Fife coastal path including Robert Louis Stevenson and St Margaret. Quirky I know! It is currently for sale with all royalties benefiting Kirkcaldy Foodbank.

I can hardly believe though, that it is six years since my last novel Murder, Now and Then was published but the next in my Mystery Inspired by History series, MISSING Past and Present has just been released. Is it really over six years since we were first in contact Pat? I think it was when I was posting about Norman, a very special 103 year old friend, wasn’t it?

On Line Friendships

Neither miles nor continents,

Seas nor countries,

Cities nor villages,

Streets nor homes,

Can break a friendship bound by

Caring and sharing,

Joy and hope,

Good will and kindness,


and above all


By Diana Jackson

Thanks so much Pat!

I’ve just downloaded your book and look forward to it.


I’m thankful to have such thoughtful and caring followers over the internet, like Diana, that have developed into friendships over the years. We are worlds apart; yet, our lives are connected in similar ways living and working through the same daily events . . . loving, laughing, listening and supporting one another.  

Thank you, Diana, you helped bring me back stirring the juices to reboot up my site and begin writing again.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

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TheZenof Trust Photo Courtesy of MSN Clipart

TheZenof Trust Photo Courtesy of MSN Clipart

If you’ve seen any news lately, you might have noticed stirrings and unrest in the United States. It gives a whole new meaning to the term, “ugly American”. Perhaps, it’s not new for generations past, but for those of us alive today, I feel we’re on uncharted territory. It’s not apocalyptic ― but this type of collective unrest is a new unknown ― a wake-up call. It’s like we’re approaching a tipping point and now it’s critical, for me, to learn how to respond and discover what I feel? Continue reading

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Have You Heard This Story?

What would it feel like to have what you say valued ― to feel what you said was truly heard and considered valid? But, take it further ― what you said touched a heart and made a connection opening up an opportunity for change. In today’s fast-paced, hi-tech world is that even possible?

I believe it is and one way is through our stories and experiences. Stories can create a place of comfort with having found something in common with someone else. It may be a small incident yet powerful in how you feel once you’ve been brought together through a story. The perspective you’ve gained can change your life.

Here’s one of those stories I came across in Facebook that reminded me of my grandmother and the stories she shared with me.

The following story and photo are used by permission by Brigitte at Lessons Learned in Life Facebook Page:


Grandmother says… Carrots, Eggs or Coffee; “Which are you?”

grandmother at sink

Used by permission by Brigitt on Facebook Page “Lessons Learned in Life”

Continue reading

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11:11 – Eleven-Eleven

Photo by Pat Ruppel

11:11 – For years I’ve seen this and when I do it always catches my attention for a moment and I stop whatever I’m doing.

I don’t know why – it just looks like 4 toothpicks standing next to each other.

There are 11 other numbers on the clock this happens with, twice a day, but this number is the one that resonates with me.

It’s similar to one of those experiences a friend and co-worker once shared with me.  She said when her father was alive he would pick up coins when he saw them lying on the ground.  After he passed, she started seeing dimes everywhere and when she saw a dime, it would quicken her heart and she’d remember her dad.

To me, 11:11 is a quickening of the heart, a reminder of a connection I have to something beyond what I can see or comprehend. That heart quickening seems to be happening more these days, not only to me but for others as well.  Some are subtle, gentle tugs while others boom so loud your heart jumps.

I remember years ago we went tent camping in the mountains.  Early in the morning, while it was still dark, I had to go and do my business.  I unzipped the flap to quietly step out and not awaken the others and what I saw overwhelmed me.  The sky was lit with stars – so bright and so many. I had never seen that before.  It gripped my heart and caught me by surprise so much I think I forgot I had to go to the bathroom.  They were like a blanket over my head so close I felt I could almost touch them.

I don’t know why I was so stunned and “heebie-jeebie” scared – others may have found it comforting and serene. But to me the phenomenon was as if I had seen a ghost.  I was immediately humbled and the presence of God was so close, vivid and real.  I can still feel the power of that experience.

Believe me I know how this sounds – a little “woo-woo” and farfetched.   I would probably be one of the first to ask, “Have you lost your crackers?” But because I have seen too many things I haven’t been able to explain I’ve learned to ignore the questions and doubts and just feel the connection.

I read a few years ago that 11:11 is a reminder of the mission we signed up for before we were born.  I haven’t figured out what that mission is yet but lately I’ve seen it more often.

For now, when I see 11:11, I remember that I’m connected to something grander than what I know. Whatever I may face in this life or have to work through I believe there’s a plan.  I may not have all the pieces so I can understand but I trust in the orchestration of it all.

Pat – from the ol’ kitchen table

Pacing the Cage

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A couple of lyrics from a song “Pacing the Cage” (written and sung by Bruce Cockburn and also performed by Jimmy Buffett) makes me wonder about the world as I see it today. It’s not bad – it has just become different and maybe we can change with it:

“I never knew what you all wanted, so I gave you everything.”  … AND

“Sometimes the best map will not guide you.  You can’t see what’s round the bend.”

I’ve taken notice lately of a lot of dramatic changes not only in the ways we communicate, earn a wage, but how we relate to each other to name a few.  What appears to have worked well in the past doesn’t quite work as well and I see more people frustrated and “pacing the cage”, so to speak.

It’s all linked together and I’ve wondered how we’ve given everything and traded our souls for a false security?  Only we don’t realize the security is false until our jobs are outsourced or our partners move on to someone else. Sometimes we feel we’re doing all the right things and yet we feel anxious, pacing.

We invest in a college education only to find when we graduate the jobs are not there. Or you work your whole life and follow the rules only to come up short at the other end wondering what happened to it. Then you dig in and work some more only to realize your value in the workforce is not as great because of your age.

Could it be what we’ve bought into all along are not the real goods?  Could it be what we’ve been programmed and conditioned to believe has not just been for our best interest but rather to make it easier for others. Maybe by following the rules we believed we would in turn always be taken care of. We no longer had to think for ourselves – it was someone else’s responsibility.

In school we’re signaled when to move from one class to another or you start work by clocking in and clocking out when you leave.  Somewhere along the way we’ve sold out and learned to move along with the masses instead of engaging with our true nature and talents and being rewarded for that.

This new world will require us to deliver unique gifts and talents that have value and we have to learn how to move with it. No longer accepted will be the cookie cutter – template approach but unique services and products with our personal intellect and energy, individual connection and quality.

  1. Just begin – start somewhere but start.
  2. Ask yourself what you love to do and then research and investigate ways to create and bring it into the world. The internet offers a wealth of opportunities to do that.
  3. Listen to your intuition and act on it when you have the slightest thoughts on how to create what you want and what direction to take.
  4. Bring the best of who you are to whatever you do – give it value.
  5. Recommend checking out information on Seth Godin’s new book “Linchpin” giving insight into what we can do now.

I would suggest that if you feel a little restless and “pacing the cage” it’s because of the shifts and changes in the world and it’s time to step back and take inventory of our lives and make some changes.

Take back our lives and depend on ourselves to move forward with the talents we’ve been given. The world is waiting and hungry for what you and I have to offer.  There’s a genius in each of us. What do you think?

Pat – from the ol’ kitchen table