Welcome to Pat's Place

Thanks for stopping by Pat's Place. I hope you enjoy my blog.

As a writer, I will be blogging about many things that interest me. My posts will be about what I am writing and other things I'm doing. Enjoy!

Web site: http://rthrbrtn.synthasite.com

Sunday, March 1, 2015


   Or as someone changed it Dinner All Day and Preachin’ on the Ground.
  Here in Missouri as the population grew, small churches spring up in rural communities.  A popular celebration was everyone going to church for services and sharing lunch before having another service or a singin’ before going home.  Yes, it was called preachin’ and singin’. We hill folks often dropped our g’s.
  The ladies brought their specialties for lunch.  Potato salad, sweet potatoes with sugar syrup of course, cake, and pie. My mother’s specialty was hot rolls. I can smell them now. She made them in a large baking pan and the rolls overflowed the sides of the pan.
  In early days, the meat provided might be wild game. My grandmother told the story of having nothing to take to the church dinner.  She was ashamed they were so poor they didn’t have anything to share.  So she and her sister-in-law improvised and cooked a possum.  She said everyone complimented her on the meat and didn’t think anything about the fact that it was possum.
  If the church had a table or two to take outside, lunch was spread on the tables.  In a pinch, a couple of boards on sawhorses would suffice.  Little girls wore their best dresses and were careful not to get them dirty as they sat on the ground to eat.
 I discovered the practice went back to Old Testament times.   Many of the Jews had returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon. They had rebuilt the temple and the walls of the city.  They came together in Jerusalem to hear Ezra, priest and teacher read from the Law.
  Ezra, the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for that purpose.  All the people stood up as Ezra read from the Law of Moses.  Ezra read from daybreak until noon and all the people listened.
  Afterward the Governor Nehemiah told them to be joyful, to go home and eat and drink.  He also instructed them to share with those who did not have food.


Monday, January 19, 2015

 My novel Murder on Tour is set in Ireland.  If you think I am obsessed with Ireland you are right. I loved traveling in the country, seeing the ancient buildings and soaking up atmosphere.

  Please read Murder on Tour, and leave a review.

This true story caught my interest. It would be a wonderful historical fiction book.

Christian (Kit) Cavanagh (1667-1739) joined the Irish military to search for her husband who was forced into service. She disguised herself as a man and fought in several significant battles, first as an infantry man, then as a dragoon. She found her husband after thirteen years when he was already with another woman. Their marriage over, she returned to Dublin and remarried.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bits and Pieces of a Great Vacation - continued

GPS – Don’t trust them. They are out to get you lost.

   The coach driver had a GPS he called Lola. Lola didn’t like the route the tour guide chose and we followed Lola.  Followed her around and around and up and down.  We were on our way to Saratoga Springs, NY. Lola made sure we took the scenic route.  It was interesting. We went through quaint little villages with old, old buildings that begged for a camera toting tourist.  But it was not to be.  On and on we traveled.  The trees were beautiful yellow, red and green.  They crowded both sides of the narrow road. It seemed every turn we made took us to one more little cow path.  It was not a good time for motion sickness as Kim can attest. 

We finally arrived at our destination, The Residence Inn, to find a four lane highway running nearby.  Remember: Don’t trust Lola.  Our tour director had never used this Inn and was giving them a chance to be put on his list.  Our good luck was they wanted to impress and impress they did with a sumptuous dinner. It was not on our list of dinners included so we felt lucky.  The rooms were 1 bedroom kitchenettes and very nice.

We left the Inn about eight a.m. and drove a couple of hours to Quechee Gorge, The Grand Canyon of Vermont. The trees were in full color and the gorge was spectacular. Finally we are gazing upon New England Fall Foliage.

Bath NH was the next stop. We were supposed to view the covered bridge there but it was in repair so it was not picturesque. Bath has the oldest general store still in business. The general store had a bit of everything.  I bought Caleb an outfit there; long red johns with a drop down seat that said ‘bear bottom’. We tested the ice cream at the ice cream shop and pronounced it good.  The small church was having a fund raiser to make repairs on their building. We bought small items from the crafts inside the church.  We stopped at two covered bridges on down the road that was not on our itinerary.

Our bed for the night was at The White Mountain Resort near North Conway NH.  It is a beautiful place with many amenities. We focused on the scrumptious dinner where Marcie and Charles McCrackin were our dinner partners. I had apple cider baked chicken and Kim ordered the filet mignon with a Brownie Sundae for desert.  Desert came in a huge bowl full of brownies and ice cream. There was enough for   3 or 4 people.  Kim made a valiant effort and consumed most of it.  People from our coach kept stopping by to view the huge bowl of brownie Sundae.

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport was interesting. We had a couple of hours there for lunch and shopping. It is a tourist town known for the lobster and seafood.  A drive by of the Bush Compound caught our interest and although the coach was not allowed to stop, the driver drove very slow so we could take pictures.

On to Boston and through the tunnel under Boston at rush hour. Lola again, I don’t know but it was stressful time with cars and truck before and aft and all around. Our driver Lyle persevered and got us through.

I don’t care to view Boston’s tunnel ever again.   

We saw cranberry bogs as we drove through MA.  Interesting that they let the cranberries get ripe, then flood the bogs. The ripe cranberries float to the top of the water, while those that are unripe stay on the bushes until they become ripe, then they float to the top.

We drove through NYC but didn’t stop. We saw the skyline, the statue of liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and the twin tower memorial. That is as close to NYC as I want to get.


Bird in Hand – That is a town.

We arrived at Bird in Hand PA in time to rest before boarding the bus to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre.  I was not impressed with the dinner or the program “Menopause the Musical.”  The place was crowded and noisy.  We had to stand in line for food and then again for desert, which was good but hey, this crowd was used to being served at the table.

The next day in Lancaster County PA was very interesting.  Our guide was a Mennonite woman who was familiar with the old order of Amish. She broke a few bubbles when she informed us the fiction books about the Amish are not accurate. The old order Amish does not use machinery so we watched the harvesters using 6 mules or 6 horses.  The mode of travel is of course a buggy but if you are not traveling far, you use a kick bike.  Just a scooter with bigger wheels and handlebars. Clothes are hung to dry on a revolving clothes line. The washer person stands in one place, hanging the clothes, then moves the clothes on down the line, giving her a place to hang the next item of clothing.  It is not unusual to see the clothes line just outside the front door.   

Dinner inside the Amish home was an experience.  The lady of the house seated us at a long table in her living room and food was served family style.  The food was good but not outstanding.  I would have loved to have time to talk with her one on one but there wasn’t time.  There was some furniture I think were antique but also many things handmade.  We visited a quilt shop and a woodworking shop.  Both were interesting and some of our friends bought items to take home.  One outstanding feature was that every home had beautiful flowers in bloom.

Our next stop was to be the Flight 93 National Memorial but it was closed due to the government shutdown at the time and we didn’t get to see it.   

The next two days was steady driving to get to Terre Haute, IN and then on home. It was truly a fantastic trip. The only down side was the two driving days to get to Niagara and two driving days to get back to Springfield.