Rubber ducky reading

My little granddaughter has a collection of rubber duckies. She came home from her walk with Grandpa and showed me the latest addition – the pink one.

“Grandma, her name is Darla and she found your new book and is reading it.”

Gotta love the kid. Here’s the book she’s referring to. If you’ve read When the Sun was Mine, my new book, Whispers Under the Baobab is a sequel of sorts (perhaps companion piece would be a better description), for they do not have to be read in a particular order.


When high school graduate, Brittany Wright, gets a job cleaning at Happy Hearts nursing home, she is terrified of old lady Flo and desperately wishes she could be in college instead. As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, Brittany discovers that Flo is in grave danger. But, from whom and why? As Flo’s Alzheimer’s worsens, Brittany scrambles to save her. But, ironically, it may be Flo who saves Brittany.


When rebel leader, Sidu Diagho, learns that reporter, Flo Mc Allister, has died, he knows that her power to destroy him is still very much alive.

Flo was with him during the coup attempts and all these years later Sidu could yet be tried at The Hague with her notes the testimony needed to convict him.

And the girl, Flo’s friend? How much does she know?

Sidu will do what he must to destroy the evidence against him.


Potato on My Desk



“Mrs. Jones, why do you have a potato on your desk?

A question I heard for many years from my junior high and high school students.

“Pick it up,” I’d say each time.

“Whoa, it’s heavy.”

And it was—the rock that looked like a potato, the rock that my young daughter brought home to me after a walk with her dad.

“Look, Mom, I found you a potato.”

Like my students I was fooled until she gave it to me to hold. “Whoa, that’s heavy.”

She giggled at my reaction, mighty pleased with herself for tricking me.

“You know what,” I said. “This will make a perfect paperweight on my desk.”

Many years later it’s still doing its job on the corner of my desk.

Many years later I hear, “Grandma, why do you have a potato on your desk?”

The Travelling Dress


It’s traveled a long way—that little dress. From the shop in Melita, Manitoba where the young 16 year-old aunt bought it for her niece to the country one-room school house in Saskatchewan, where the niece wore it for her first day of school.

From there it was worn for special occasions, the hem let down as the niece grew until the dress no longer fit. The mother folded it carefully and stored it in the cedar chest where it rested for several years, moving from the country to the city, from the mother’s house to the niece’s when she married.

Then the dress, with the hem raised was worn by the granddaughter on her first day of school in Alberta, after which it was packed away in the cedar chest for who knew if there would be a great granddaughter/grandniece to wear it yet again.

And there was. In 2014, off to school the dress went (with the hem let down, for this young lady is taller than her mother and grandmother were at the same age) for yet another first day—this time in British Columbia. Where is it now? In the cedar chest of course. Perhaps it will be worn yet again in the years to come.

The dress is a brand called Curly Lox made in Canada.

It’s in the Genes

In the BC Ferry gift shop:

“Oh, look at this. It’s so cute. And soft.” Grandma picks up a stuffed toy and then another. “Which one do you think she’d like best?”

But Grandpa isn’t listening. He’s got his eye on something else. “She’d love this ferry. Look, it has a semi, a police car and an ambulance. I could get a few more Matchbox cars to fill it up.”

In the toy store:

“Oh, look at this. It’s so cute.” Grandma moves the doll house furniture around the display, puts one of the little bears into the bed, and stands back to admire her design. “Look, it’s perfect,” she says.

But Grandpa isn’t listening. He’s got his eye on something else. “Lego. Every kid needs Lego and you know how she loves to build. Is this set too advanced? Or would this be better?”

In the hospital gift shop:

“I think this would fit and it’s her color.” Grandma holds up a hand knit sweater.

But grandpa isn’t listening. He’s got his eye on something else. “Hm,” he says. “She loves those paper airplanes you make her. What if we got her this?” Grandma looks over. “This” is a model airplane guaranteed to fly at least 30 feet.

Coming off the ferry:

Grandma carries her purse. Grandpa carries three big bags.

And the munchkin? She loves her new toys.