Thankful for Cranberries! #WordPressWednesday #Reblogs #Inspiration

On this day before Thanksgiving here in the United States, I’m sharing a post about cranberries, a common part of the traditional holiday meal. Alice Massa, author of The Christmas Carriage and Other Readings of the Holiday Season, which I reviewed here several years ago, shares some appetizing memories, among other things. I suggest you not read this post on an empty stomach and that you pick up a copy of Alice’s book, a perfect read for this time of year.


I am thankful for a cornucopia of cranberry treats.  When I moved to Wisconsin in 1991, I did not realize that I was moving to the state  that produces the most cranberries.  Additionally, Wisconsin produces more than half of the world’s supply of cranberries.  In this pre-Thanksgiving blog post, I am ready to toast the cranberry with, of course, a glass of cranberry wine—a festive wine for the holiday season.


Read the original post.


Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

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New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?






Posadas: A Note and Short Story #WordPressWednesday #Reblogs #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

With Christmas just around the corner, here’s a delightful short story and some information about a holiday tradition by fellow author and blogger Alice Massa. This was posted on December 16th, which would make today the seventh day of Posadas. Are you intrigued? Well, read on to learn more.


On this first of nine nights of Posadas, I am sharing with you one of my favorite short stories (a genre which, as my regular WORDWALK readers know, I write and post only rarely).  In Mexico and many other Spanish-speaking countries, as well as in parts of the United States, Posadas is the religious celebration or festival that commemorates the journey that Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem.


Read the full post here.

God Bless Our Leader Dogs #FridayFinds

Several days ago, we celebrated the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To commemorate this, here’s fellow author and blogger Alice Massa with a little ditty she wrote, set to the tune of “God Bless America! Enjoy!


God Bless Our Leader Dogs

Marking the 31st Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Thirty-one years ago, when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990, I had moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, with my first Leader Dog Keller. Before the onset of the fall semester, Keller and I were learning the walking routes around the campus of Western Michigan University, from where I earned my second master’s degree one year later.

This year on the afternoon of July 26 (Monday), I gathered with a committee of ten authors who are blind. Each of these interesting and creative authors has written and published or self-published one to five books of various genres and styles. I thought this gathering was a superb way to commemorate the thirty-first anniversary of the ADA.

To celebrate this anniversary with…

View original post 241 more words

Thank you and Happy 245th Birthday, America! #FridayFinds

To commemorate Independence Day, July 4th, here in the United States, I’m sharing fellow blogger Alice Massa’s poem, expressing gratitude for her family’s ability to immigrate to this country during the earlier part of the 20th century. Since most U.S. citizens, if not all, are descended from immigrants, I can’t think of a better way to show patriotism. If you live in my country, have a safe and happy Fourth of July.


Thank You, America!

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Thank you, America,

for welcoming to your eastern shore,

in the early 1900s,

four immigrants from Italy–

later to become

the parents of my parents

and good citizens of the adopted,

the chosen country–


Thank you, Lady Liberty,

for holding high your torch

to light the way

to Ellis Island,

where my grandparents’ dreams

first met land of the USA.

Thank you, Indiana,

for giving my paternal grandparents

some of your precious farmland–

a grape arbor, too.

Thank you, Indiana,

for allowing my maternal grandparents

to build a grocery store and Italian bakery

in your Vermillion County.

Thank you, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini,

for blessing these four immigrants

from Italy to Indiana,

with a safe voyage,

with seven sons

and five daughters,

with eighteen grandchildren–

all of whom went on to do well

in this new home of our immigrant forefathers.


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Musical Chairs of Container Gardening #SocialMediaMonday

What does the game of musical chairs have to do with container gardening? Well, read this delightful post from fellow blogger Alice Massa and find out. You might be inspired to start your own container garden.


The Musical Chairs of Container Gardening

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

One of the great advantages of a container garden is periodically being able to re-arrange the containers. As I move the fifteen to seventeen containers of my little garden, I compare this enjoyable summertime activity to Musical Chairs. Do you remember the game Musical Chairs which we used to play at birthday parties or other childhood parties? Well, my weight-lifting exercise of the summer is lifting and moving the containers of my garden.

Each warm season, I like to add something new to my little garden. This year, the “something new” is a container of zinnias which I started from seed–right before the cold snap of May. Although the sprouting took a bit longer than expected, the zinnias have quickly grown and thickened to be strong plants. How eager I am for the blooms to remind me of my maternal…

View original post 540 more words