Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

Hello, everyone! Thanks for visiting the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop! Spring has sprung, and we’re celebrating! Visit all the authors on the tour for great gardening tips, recipes and a chance to win some fantastic books and prizes!

Here’s my tip:

Location, Location, Location!

My tip is more about how to enjoy your garden than growing or protecting it. If you’re considering a water feature, here’s something you might want to think about:

yellow birds

Birds love water features. Now, you may love birds, but do you want them on your patio? Trust me. You don’t.

My husband and I installed a water feature a few years ago. We thought we had the perfect place for it –– a small cut-out in our patio, at the edge, near the house. We’d be able to see the feature and birds from inside the house. And, of course, we’d hear the water bubbling pleasantly when we were outside on the patio. We like the birds, and I love the sound of the water.

The problem? It’s not a good location. A couple of times a year there must be something the birds eat that makes them very thirsty. They converge on the water — and patio — in great multitudes. And they leave a little something behind. Yep. Bird poop. Everywhere. On the patio, the chairs, the pillows, the cushions . . . ugh.

I was prepared for the annual winterizing and refilling. But I wasn’t prepared for the constant clean-up detail. Consider placing your feature a little farther out where birds can perch on trees or shrubs rather than patio furniture. Choose wisely, friends! And enjoy your outdoor space!

 

PRIZES!

Leave a comment (and your email contact info in case you are a winner!) to enter the giveaway drawing. To be eligible for the Grand Prize, you MUST visit and comment on each participating author’s site!

GRAND PRIZE: We are giving away a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a 2nd prize of $25 gift card. Woo-hoo!!

DARLENE’S PRIZE: I’m offering two prizes:

  1. a signed paperback copy of one of my novels plus author swag. Please note, will be mailed to U.S. resident only.
  2. a digital copy of one of my novels — international eligibility

For “extra” entries in my giveaway, follow my blog or my Facebook page!

Darlene’s Facebook

The Tour ends April 16th at 11:59pm EST. Tell your friends!

 

Visit all the participating authors, and leave your comment!

Good Luck, and Happy Spring to all!

Click on the link below to see all authors

AUTHORS

 

 

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Bag

bagIn honor of spring’s arrival, I have changed from my black winter goes-with-everything purse to a bright, fun bag. I love the bag – it’s a great color, and it has perfect pockets for keys, phone and little stuff. It’s a little bigger than what I normally carry, but going into spring and summer, that’s OK, because I tend to add things like a trial-size tube of sunscreen or DEET wipes. I like to be prepared. Anyone remember the game show Let’s Make a Deal? I could have been a serious contender. 🙂

And then I see women out and about with these cute little designer bags. Darling wristlets that hold no more than a credit card and driver’s license, and I can’t help but think where is all your stuff?! Where do these women keep their sunglasses, reading glasses, checkbook, lipstick, tissues, coupons and member cards, pens, mints, nail file, keys, Advil, phone, etc., etc.? It’s not a rhetorical question. Where?!

In my purse, I carry necessities such as hand wipes, safety pins, a mirror, a tape measure. No, really. Aren’t these necessary in your day-to-day life? And now I have reading glasses. And swag. Yes, I carry bookmarks and Darlene Deluca pens and lip balm where ever I go. You never know when I’ll have the opportunity to strike up a conversation with a reader!

I do own a few small bags that I use for special occasions or when I know that a large bag will simply be in the way – or I’ll have other things to carry. But if I routinely carried only a tiny tote, who would be the keeper of the stuff? My husband doesn’t like big purses, but I can’t tell you how many times he’s asked me to keep his wallet, or a brochure in my purse. Or the number of times he’s asked me for a pen or a wipe or sunscreen or some other item, fully expecting that I have said item in my purse! When a kid needs a Band-aid, or a tissue, or a cough drop . . . guess who they come to? Pretty darned handy, huh?

Over the weekend I happened across a conversation on one of my Facebook groups about this very topic. And guess what? The general consensus was that every woman needs to carry a bag at least large enough to carry their Kindle or a book! Yes! I found my group. I love these people! They get it. Some things are necessary, and they are bigger than a credit card! And I heartily agree – carry a book with you at all times. I can’t think of a better reason for a big bag!

What’s the largest item in your purse?

 

Color me Happy

1013304_968049943248254_1796943573890512076_nI’m so excited to see the early spring flowers blooming!! If you’ve followed me for long, you know I am no friend of Old Man Winter. Ice, sleet, snow, cold . . . not a fan. So when the crocus and daffodils start poking up through the ground, I start a happy dance. I have to say, it honestly does affect my mood. What could be cheerier than bright yellow daffodils smiling at you?

Today is gray and dreary, and the entire week promises to be cloudy and rainy. But the patches of yellow dotting my yard and the neighborhood remind me that it’s spring, and soon, there will be no need for jackets and socks. I can trade my boots for flip-flops and my jeans for capris. I say, Bring. It. On!!!

As I’m typing, I can see the magnolia buds swaying in the breeze, perhaps only a few days from bursting with color. Now that is an amazing sight. They are the first to explode around here – which also means they often get nipped. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen, that this early spring is the real thing. Color the landscape, and color me happy!

What is the first sign of spring in your area? Are you seeing it already?

Spring and summer will bloom again!

P1010686 P1010696 P1020186 P1030046 P1030050

P1030777Well, I’ve survived the first full week of January. Whew. Winter is half over. Yay, yay, yay. I really, seriously hate winter. The cold, the travel issues, the dirt and snow mess. Ugh. This morning there’s a light dusting of the white stuff on the driveway, and pretty much no chance of it melting today. Driveway on the north side of a house. Not a good idea.

But as I look out at the leafless trees and brown grass, I remind myself, that this, too, shall pass. It always does. And one of these days, the view will improve, and the yard will look like this again! 🙂

Stay warm and safe out there!