Mother’s Day: Celebrating with Words and Photos

Page 10 - Mother reading to children - motherhood quote

In honor of Mother’s Day, images and words from We Are Women: Celebrating Our Grit and Wit by June Cotner and Barb Mayer (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016) Read more about this vibrant and engaging book on this Friend for the Ride post.

Page 14 - Unruly Children

Page 15 - Families are like fudge


Page 32 - Migrant woman & baby

Page 33 - Healthy Baby Contest - LIFE mag


Page 70 - Woman & Mom with Angelou quote

All images and text from:

We Are Women - lighter image


We Are Women: A Giveaway!

Page 60 - Even in the Familiar

Introducing: WE ARE WOMEN: CELEBRATING OUR WIT AND GRIT. This spunky, upbeat, and moving collection of photographs and quotations was created by June Cotner and Barb Mayer. In this post, Barb tells us more:

The idea for WE ARE WOMEN originated with June, who has always loved browsing through vintage greeting cards. Curious about what kind of lives these women led, she decided to develop a book that would feature vintage photos of women paired with inspiring as well as humorous quotes. Our goal was to create a book that would appeal to both younger and older women, one that would embody the best of the human spirit. We wanted to show how these positive characteristics have been handed down through generations of women.

Page 67 - cover photo

WE ARE WOMEN is a celebration of womanhood. It shows that our ancestors were a far cry from the staid and serious portrait photos we often see in antique shops and history books. They were daring, innovative, and fun-loving. They were pilots, motorcycle riders, skiers, engineers, and political activists. Many were pioneers who paved the way for future generations of women to pursue careers that were traditionally dominated by men.


We hope that our book will inspire and uplift women, encouraging them to live their lives to the fullest.

Page 13 - There's Power in Looking Silly

We Are Women - lighter image

Giveaway: Friend for the Ride is giving away a copy of WE ARE WOMEN to two lucky winners. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by April 30. Thanks!

Amazon Link: You can order WE ARE WOMEN here.


June Cotner is the author of 34 books including the bestselling GRACES. Her books altogether have sold more than one million copies and have been featured in many national publications including USA Today, Woman’s Day, and Family Circle. Follow June on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Check out June’s website at and her author page on

Barb Mayer

Barb Mayer is a frequent contributor to the anthologies of June Cotner, as well as an award-winning photographer. Born in London, England, she relocated to Canada, then to America, developing along the way a zest for travel and foreign culture. Follow Barb on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You may visit her website at and her author page on

More detailed info on photo credits can be found here. (These are fascinating to read.)


Christmas Blessings (and a Christmas Book Giveaway)

CHristmas gift Suggestions

This may be the last Christmas in our big old yellow house. I’m pulling out all the decorating stops!

Cliff and I lugged down a boatload of boxes from the attic. Angels, Santas, bells, Christmas houses, reindeer, sheep, and camels are prancing about. The empty tree stretches high toward the ceiling, and a gazillion ornaments are calling, “Me! Me! Me!” The decorating, yet to be finished, is making my world feel chaotic.

So when I picked up Christmas Blessings: Prayers and Poems to Celebrate the Season,  June Cotner’s lovely new volume, I was touched by the book’s sweet small size, and most of all, by its shortest selections.These poems speak to the simple yet important thoughts of Christmas. They calm me!

December Birdsong

Christina Rosetti


Thanks to June and her publisher, Andrews McMeel Publishing, one Friend for the Ride reader will win a copy of Christmas Blessings. Please enter your name by December 12, and I’ll select a winner using random integer generator.


Christmas Blessings makes a perfect gift. Here’s the Amazon link.

June Cotner is the author of  34 engaging and insightful books and products bringing “A World of Inspiration!” She’s sold over one million copies of her works. Follow June on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Check out June’s website at and her author page on

I’m pleased my poem, “The Year the Christmas Tree Fell Over,” is included in Christmas Blessings. (The poem was also printed in an earlier version of the book.) I’ve got a short holiday toast in Christmas Blessings too.

Check out June’s post on Friend for the Ride about hiking with her rescue dog, Indy.


Toasts! A Book Giveaway



I’ll toast to just about anything. I love to celebrate (and I love to raise a glass). When June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling put out a call for toasts for their upcoming anthology, I couldn’t resist!

I’m lucky enough to have 14 toasts featured in Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion, published last fall by Viva Editions.

Since  it’s almost April Fools Day, I present to you my toast, “To Foolish Fun!”

Friends, you can fool me once!

Friends, you can fool me twice!

Here’s to lots of foolish fun,

Before this crazy day is done.

 USA Today calls Toasts an “adorable collection of special thoughts.” You’ll find toasts and blessings for weddings, funerals, christenings, retirement, birthdays, graduations, bon voyage, holidays, and plenty of  other occasions.

I was surprised and touched to read my name in the Introduction:

Toasts Intro

Wouldn’t my British Literature professor at Duke, now gone to the ivory towers in the sky, get a jolt out of that one! I remember her quoting Wordsworth with gusto shortly after returning papers. Mine had a less than stellar grade at the top in a large red letter.

Back to April Fools Day. Promise me you’ll use my toast on April 1. Offer it at breakfast, send it over the office email, put it on your FB page. I’d be delighted, no fooling!

Giveaway: Thanks to Viva Editions for offering Friend for the Ride one copy of Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by April 5. (The comment link is at the bottom). U.S. and Canada only. Thanks!

You’ll want your own copy of Toasts, and the book makes a creative gift, especially for graduations, wedding showers, and birthdays. Click here for the Amazon link.



Just Over Yonder: A Poem for Menopause and Other Times Too

Just Over Yonder

As I went through The Great Pause, I kept asking older women about it.

“Menopause? That was ages ago! I’ve forgotten,” they’d reply cheerfully.

Their responses were happy but not helpful.


Their forgetfulness inspired me to start this blog, so I could encourage others.

Yes, menopause, among other maladies, can bring on gloom and self-doubt.

But raise a glass to the tincture of time!

Sometimes, it takes patience. Ya just gotta wait.

A new you is sprouting!


I wrote this poem for my friend June Cotner. June, who’s the editor  of thirty anthologies and counting, sends out a call for submissions and that gets the words spinning. “Just Over Yonder” will appear in BACK TO JOY: Little Reminders to Help Us Through Tough Times  (October, 2014 by Andrews McMeel Publishing). Pre-orders of Back to Joy are available now.



Women and Running: From Turkey Day Trots to 100-Mile Runs

Kirsten Casey headshot-post 100-mile run

 A post by writer and anthologist June Cotner:

Recently my 34-year-old daughter, Kirsten Casey (above and below), took first place among females in the 100-mile Lumberjack Endurance Run in Port Gamble, Washington, finishing the race in a little over 24 hours.

Kirsten Casey finishing 100-mile run

Though I’m a former runner with a half marathon to my credit, it’s hard for me to imagine starting a race at 8 am on a Saturday and not finishing until a full day later.

As I drifted off into a fitful sleep that Saturday night, I couldn’t help but think my daughter is still running.

Three decades earlier in 1973 I was denied entry to the traditional Five Mile Road Race (known as the “Turkey Day Trot”) in Manchester, Connecticut, because … I was a woman. The reason: “Women would just screw up the mens’ times,” the race director told me.

Prior to moving to Connecticut, I had competed in many road races in California, including the storied 7.45 mile Bay to Breakers (San Francisco) and the grueling 7.4 mile Dipsea Race (from Mill Valley, CA to Stinson Beach).

What seemed like a routine procedure, completing an entry form, turned into a frustrating ordeal. I had called the race director in advance to make sure he would be available because I was driving 1.5 hours round trip to pick up the entry form.

When I arrived he told me that the race was closed to women and he had assumed I had driven that distance to pick up the form for my husband. He informed me that the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)-sanctioned race had been all male for 37 years.

I immediately got in touch with the media and contacted all high schools and colleges in the greater Hartford area.

Woman Left Behind clip

I created running bibs, “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ROAD RUNNERS,” and we had a great turnout!

Equal Rights for Road Runners SIGN

Prior to the race, the story was carried on television, radio, and the front page of The Hartford Courant. That’s me in the pigtails.

Equal rights newspaper article

After the race, the story went nationwide via Associated Press.

Associated Press clip

The following year … women were “legally” allowed to enter!

Who would have thought that something as simple as the desire to run a five-mile race could spark such controversy and end in a decision that would help my daughter to run a 100-mile race thirty years later?

Whether it’s running five miles, 100 miles, or running for political office, we all face obstacles in our lives.

When we take a stand and confront these challenges, we are given the opportunity not only to overcome them, but also to set the path for future generations.


June Cotner is the author of more than two dozen books. SOAR! Follow Your Dreams was published in March by Andrews McMeel Publishing and Garden Blessings was published in May by Viva Editions.

Follow June on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Check out her website at and her author page on


Soar! A Graduation Book Giveaway



I love graduations!

I love thinking about all those minds, made even more marvelous by lectures and labs and research and readings and conversations until three a.m.

The scholar above is our niece Becky Younger, waiting to step onto the stage to receive her Master of Science. She studied athletic training and conditioning. She plans to specialize in baseball injuries and rehabilitation. Go Becky!

I gave her a copy of Soar: Follow Your Dreams (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2014), June Cotner’s new anthology.


This tiny book packs a punch with its upbeat poems, quotations, and short prose.

Here’s one of my favorites, written by Susan Landon:

Wild Places

Becky, who blogs, seemed especially pleased the book features short quotes she can use in blog posts. A runner who just ran the Boston Marathon for the first time, our niece knows plenty about inspiration.  Soar!

If you’ve got a graduate on your list, consider this clever, lively volume!



(And the book isn’t just for graduates. It’s for you or anyone. Soar makes a great gift for a midlifer doing some reinventing).

Giveaway: June Cotner and the publisher have offered a copy of Soar to a Friend for the Ride reader. For a chance to win, leave a comment by May 30 saying you’d like to be the winner. Thanks!

June Cotner is the author of more than two dozen books. SOAR! Follow Your Dreams was published in March by Andrews McMeel Publishing and Garden Blessings  (post coming up!) was published in May by Viva Editions.

Follow June on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Check out her website at and her author page on