Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow? Update on Gardener Ted's Garden

Hello and Welcome to the J.Q. Rose Blog!

Gardener Ted's garden
This week I thought I'd update you on the  garden. However, by the time you see these photos, the produce may be ready. I'm posting these pictures a week early because  I'll be recovering from eye surgery this week.

Please enjoy a walk through Gardener Ted's garden. Yes I'm probably boasting a bit about it and I hope you'll forgive me, but he does such a wonderful job. If only the veggies didn't appeal so much to the deer, ground hogs, and rabbits too! He's been fighting them all season, just like every year.

Take a peek at what's about ready to appear on our dinner table.

Do you call this cantaloupe or muskmelon?

Ear of sweet corn

Ripening tomatoes

Tomato plants are tied up to a fence--vertical gardening. No need for tomato cages.
You can spy the ripening tomatoes in the photo above centered at the bottom of the picture
Ted planted calendula flowers around the front garden fence. Once they started blooming, they really took off and filled in well. I like to cut them for bouquets, but they are kind of sticky to work with after cutting.

Calendula line the front of the garden.
Photos by J.Q. Rose

So how are your plants and flowers growing this year? Take a picture of your veggies and/or flowers and add it to my Facebook page if you wish. I'd love to see pictures from all around the world.

Click Facebook  to go to my Facebook J.Q. Rose page.
Thanks for stopping in.

If you want to learn about vegetable gardening, check out this guide with lots of Gardener Ted's tips.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Southwest USA: The Petrified Forest National Park

Yee-haw ya'all! We're back from our tour of the Southwest USA.
Cowboy statue in Santa Fe

I promise I won't show you every rock and amazing vista photo I took because there are about 1000 of them. Today I chose to highlight our travel through the Petrified Forest National Park in Eastern Arizona, a place Gardener Ted has wanted to see since he was in grade school. 

NOTE: Enlarge this page to 110%-125% so you can see the photos better

Millions of years of rain and sun and rivers have turned this ancient forest into petrified rock and trapped fossils forever in their actual form. The park is like a big candy store for paleontologists. Take a peek at some of the sights we saw.
Petrified rock
Trees fallen in the forest millions of years ago dot the park. We traveled the 28 mile road that connects the forest area to the amazing Painted Desert area. Parking lots and overlooks allow motorists to get off the road to take in the scenery and access to amazing trails for hikers to experience the beauty and adventure the park offers.
The rocky landscapes are gorgeous in this harsh and wild environment. 
I have never experienced such sights.

Petroglyphs--These drawings, thousands of years old, are found throughout the park telling the story of the people who lived here. I write about these drawings in a guest post at the Insider Books We Love Blog today. 

Solar Calendar--the Ancestral Puebloan people planted their crops when the sun shined a sliver of sunlight on the exact mark on this rock above. Amazingly accurate, the sun hit the mark at 9:15 a.m. right on time. Lucky we were there to capture it. The sliver is on the left side of the flat rock, half in shade and in sun. Squint and you may be able to see it. 

The 1932 Studebaker commemorates travel along Historic Route 66.
 This stretch of road was traveled from 1926-1958.

The Petrified Forest is the only national park that preserves a section of Route 66, the road that began in Chicago, Illinois and stretched all the way to Los Angeles, California. Known as the Mother Road, it sparked many an American's dream for a new life or for travel adventures. Gas was cheap and roadside attractions dotted the roadsides. Hence the saying, "Get your kicks on Route 66." Route 66 originally ran through my hometown in Central Illinois, so it was so much fun to trace the route that cut through many of the places we stopped on our trip.

The Painted Desert--when we came upon this, it took our breath away.
So happy you could join me on our trip through this unusual National Park. But then, each of our National Parks are unique. The National Park Service is 100 years old this year. We helped to celebrate by hitting several as we toured the Southwest. 
National Park Service logo--arrowhead
Visiting these special places in our country is a joy. And if you are 62 and a US Citizen, you can get the Senior pass to all the National Parks and Forests for a one time purchase of $10. good forever. Click here to learn how to get this valuable pass from the National Park Service.

For more on the petroglyphs related to my writing, and perhaps yours if you're a writer, visit the Books We Love Insider Blog and leave a comment, wave, or say hi. Thank you.

Photos by J.Q. Rose

Have you visited a National Park or Forest? If so, which one? What is your favorite? I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happy Birthday E. B. White, Charlotte's Web--a Perfect Summer Read

Happy Belated Birthday Wishes,  E. B. White!

EB White and his dog Minnie.png
Author E. B. White
Photo from Wikipedia

 My Writers Chatroom friend, Flo Stanton, in her newsletter this week recognizes E. B. White's birth day on July 11, 1899. The announcement caught my attention because one of my favorite books is Charlotte's Web. I was in the eighth grade when our teacher, Mrs. Beyer, read us the story. Usually after third or fourth grade, teachers don't read  a story to the class, but Mrs. Beyer believed whatever the age, we like to be read to. (Notice the popularity of audio books and pod casts nowadays!) 

Our class looked forward to hearing the story after lunch. I wonder what eighth graders would think of it now. I imagine they would love to hear the story about Charlotte, the word writing spider, who lived on the Zuckerman farm and was best friends with Wilbur, the pig. Amazon continues--"E. B. White's Newberry Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come." 

If you haven't read this story, no matter what your age, treat yourself to a delightful story perfect for a summer read. You'll understand why it is so special for so many generations of readers. White is also famous for another children's story, Stuart Little. He wrote books for adults, contributed articles to the New Yorker,  and co-authored the writer's resource book, The Elements of Style. 

In case you're wondering, E. B. are his initials for Elwyn Brooks White. According to, he hated the name Elwyn, but "while attending Cornell University, White acquired the nickname 'Andy,' which he was known by for the rest of his life." 
Here's some of E.B.'s tongue-in-cheek advice:
Be obscure clearly.
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.
One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.
The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war.

Have you read Charlotte's Web or any of E.B. White's writings? What's  your favorite children's book?
I'd love to hear from you .Thank you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop: Firing Up My Writing Ideas, 99 Cents eBook Sale

Hello and welcome to the monthly meeting of the 
Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month.  The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page.
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Scene from Mesa Verde National Park
Photo by J.Q. Rose
I just returned from two weeks of roaming around the deserts, mountains, and rocks of the Southwest USA. What a completely different experience from my life in green, tree-laden, lake-rich Michigan. The wide open vistas, sands, dwarf bushes, and cacti were never in my life except when I watched cowboys like Roy Rogers and Rex Allen race across the movie screen when I was a little kid. Loved all those movies, but never imagined I would ever visit the movie locations. 
Vintage train ride up the mountain from Durango, CO to Silverton, CO
1870's style
Photo by J.Q. Rose
Now I'm home and tapping on the keyboard filled with eagerness to get down all the ideas I thought about while riding hours and hours in our little rental car from one destination to the next. We put on 2400 miles on this trip and that doesn't count the plane ride from Michigan to Las Vegas!!

So, at this moment, I'm not feeling insecure about my writing, but fired up to get to it! How about you? Does taking time away from the keyboard (or pen and paper) inspire your writing projects? I'd love to read your thoughts on this. Thank you for stopping in.
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Check out this countdown deal on my latest romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking.

Deadly Undertaking for 99 cents for limited time.
BIG NEWS (and shameless promo): Romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking, is now on sale through Wednesday, July 6 for 99 cents. Time is clicking away. Grab it quick at amazon 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happy Birthday USA, Bruce Springsteen Sings This Land is Your Land

Flag of the USA
Photo by J.Q. Rose
Wishing you a fun and safe Fourth of July USA!

After traveling throughout the Southwest the past couple of weeks and years of covering a lot of USA real estate, I appreciate our country's different lifestyles and diverse cultures melding together to make us all Americans. 

Happy Birthday USA!!


YouTube Video: Bruce Springsteen sings This Land is Your Land