Celebrations, Menopause

A Can’t Miss Holiday Toast!



The best present

Of all this holiday

Is the presence

Of all of you!


This toast is easy to remember! Say it slowly with gusto.

If you use it, let me know how it goes…

Happy holidays and plenty of presents to one and all!

Thank you so much for your presence and for reading Friend for the Ride!


My toast will be included in an anthology compiled by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling, to be published Fall 2014 by Viva Editions.

Photo: The pretty packages  above decorate Virtue Feed and Grain in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. When I was a little, I was shocked when my mom told me  packages like these were empty boxes covered with paper and ribbon. But alas, we can pretend!

Celebrations, Children

Holiday Patience! Let Little Chicken Be Your Guide

Little Chicken's Big Christmas

Need a little patience? Or better yet, do the folks around you need a little patience? Download Little Chicken’s Big Christmas. (And of course, this post is especially for you grandmas, moms, aunts, and teachers out there.)

Writer and Illustrator Katie Davis tells us the story behind this brand new holiday picture book:

My husband Jerry and I decided to follow our traditionally published picture book Little Chicken’s Big Day with our indie published Little Chicken’s Big Christmas for a few reasons.

An indie book can be done quickly, and that worked for us in this case.

It’s a holiday book, so we had to get it out fast. I suddenly had this vision of Little Chicken in a Santa hat and I just had to get him out there! A traditional publisher couldn’t have done that in this time frame.

I asked Jerry to tell me why he loves Little Chicken so much and he said, “He has a lot of attitude.  He’ll go along with his mom’s agenda, but his patience wears thin in about a nanosecond. And from a kid point of view, the holiday season involves all this adult craziness while kids are focused on the presents. So it was fun to imagine Little Chicken amid the holiday bustle.

Of course he’s impatient at times, but he can’t help enjoy the traditions in spite of himself.

When we discover that Little Chicken’s impatience comes from a purely loving and selfless place, we get to underscore the importance of giving and expressing love during the holiday season, no matter how crazy things get.”

The link to get Little Chicken’s Big Christmas is : http://amzn.to/1dktx0S .

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get it because there’s a free Kindle for Mac app available right on that page which you can download for your iPad, laptop, or desktop.

Plus, if you buy it between Dec 5-12 and submit your receipt to support@katiedavis.com, you will get a gift with every purchase: a downloadable Write Your Own Coloring Book version of the book! We’re having a different enticing promotion at different times through Christmas. You never know what you might get and nothing will be repeated, so you’ll have to take advantage if you like what you see at the time!

Bookmark: To download and color!

Little Chicken Bookmark

Katie Davis has written and/or illustrated 10 books for children, and two marketing guides for writers. 

Katie’s a “writerpreneur,” a writer in business helping other writers. She does this through her newsletter, products, courses, and #1 podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

After winning the School Library Journal Trailee Award, Katie launched Video Idiot Boot Camp: For People Who Think Videos Are Hard To Create. She’s passionate about the power of video to connect writers to their communities.

Katie has been honored to speak everywhere from a maximum security prison, to schools around the world, to keynotes at conferences and fundraising galas.

Learn more about Katie on her website, Katie Davis.com

Katie Davis

Celebrations, Menopause

The Sisterhood! From Sea to Shining Sea and Across History

Can you name these great ladies?

Betsy Ross

Martha Washington

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Susan B. Anthony

Annie Oakley

Amelia Earhart

They are:

Besty Ross

Martha Washington

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Susan B. Anthony

Annie Oakley

Amelia Earhart

They reside on a shelf in my kitchen.

They call to me.

They whisper to me.

They sing to me.

They talk to me.

They remind me

That the sisterhood from sea to shining sea

And across history, is brave, creative, and energetic.

Happy Fourth!

The Dolls:  They’re from two different series of collectible dolls put out by Hallmark in celebration of noted Americans.  I’ve got some of the men, too, but they’re off helping with the grill. They weren’t overly keen about appearing on a menopause blog anyway.

Celebrations, Fashion, Grandchildren, Grandmother

Final Update: The Wedding!

Laura from Balcony

I’ve been mulling for a few days…

What can I say about being Mother of the Bride that is






I’m either in too much of a glow because things went well

or still so worn out from a frenetic week

to bestow wedding-changing MOB wisdom (if I even have any);

therefore, my best advice is this:

You’re the mom,

but she’s the bride.

This is her dream, not yours.

Trust her

when it’s time to select the MOB dress

B's Dress

and her own.


Trust her instincts on the bridesmaids dresses, too, and her shoes with lucky blue bows.

Bridesmaid dresses

She gets final call on what her nephew sports.


 Up or down with the hair?  The bride knows best.


When it comes to her dad’s bow tie,

Martin and Cliff edit

the design of the cake,


the added touches to the back of her dress,

Laura and Matt Tasting Cake

the napkin fabric and the menu design,


the paper lanterns to brighten the ceiling and the flowers to grace the tables,


she gets to decide because, after all, isn’t this the daughter who, when it was time to pick a groom, made an excellent choice?

Laura and Matt (2)

May they have happy days, festive nights, and in time, the pitter patter of energetic little feet.

But don’t tell the bride I mentioned that last pitter patter part.

I promised her I’d trust her instincts on that, too.

Bald Head Island

Laura and Matt were married on June 1 in the chapel on Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina.  Wedding photos courtesy Matron of Honor Katherine Younger and wedding guest and blog reader, Lisa Wolfe.