A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell

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Yes, she was dramatic in her life and in her profession. And, yes, she was probably self-absorbed. But she never let her daughter drift far from her mind and heart. Although Rosalind would not know for many years that her mother took care of her from a distance while on the stage, it was true. The men in her life were poor choices and added reason to love from afar. Charlotte finally retired to a 16th Century limestone mansion named Fosberry Hall. The first time she saw it, it took her breath away. Now it became almost impossible to breathe from the stuffiness of the life and relationship with her husband, Lord Fosberry. And then it happened. She was contacted to perform. But how would she be able to do it? She was bodily heavy, held like a captive in a fortress, and had little resources now of her own. This story will show how love prevails in an unexpected way and how our true Lord covers our losses in our time of need. Lawana Blackwell is one of my favorite authors of Historical sagas. This is a lovely new story and I whole-hardheartedly recommend it. Don’t miss this intimate mother and daughter renewal.

This book was provided by Bethany-Baker Books. All opinions are my own. Mary Ann Young Robinson, Boise, Idaho



How to Keep Writing

“I am participating in the Writing Contest: Writers Crushing Doubt. Hosted by Positive Writer.” – See more at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-2016/#sthash.65WYf1CU.dpuf

What I have heard for several years is true. Writing is therapy for those that are moody creative people. And if you are the type that gets bored easily, tasking back and forth to different kinds of writing will help break the monotony of the same topic or genre and give new inspiration. I should have realized this earlier on, as when I worked as a Administrative Assistant and juggled assignments I was the most productive.  For me, chocolate is not enough. I love it, (and how) but I have to have a surge of a different type. The surge of knowing whom I am, remembering details that affirm me, and recalling where I have been helps fill a need. And I found that by doing some personal writing about the past, my childhood, and my experiences in life. Journaling! Yes, they were right. Journaling is a multi-reasonable way to keep writing. Somehow, the juggling of ideas, spaces of time, and reflections of your personality can motivate you to a produce more. You go back to the beginning that will help you move forward. Then you add in the other pieces, of people you care about, places that have inspired you and things you have learned on particular journeys. Everything in life affects your writing. When you make yourself write and you feel empty, your writing will be empty. Yes, you do need to be disciplined, but you don’t have to write on one particular project at that moment. Make the choice to switch avenues, and then choose to write willingly when you are back on track. Some of us moody people also can be rebellious. Don’t let this hang on. Get rid of the reason you feel that way. Start fresh and again. Look at it this way, when you go on vacation, you want varied experiences and activities to make the total of a great time. This can apply to anything you do, especially writing. So, the next time you cannot concentrate and feel inadequate, switch to something totally different and see how this little tip can steer you back to excitement and creativity!

Where is Her Past? “The Inheritance” by Michael Phillips

 Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 9.45.42 PM.png Oh, Wow. Now I have started another saga and I have to wait to see what happens! A great story in the tradition of Michael Phillips, a master storyteller. You cannot read a novel of the ages like a thriller novel. The story unfolds slowly, and as it does, you will see the author’s romantic and beautiful language. A young woman working in Washington, DC, who is quite successful, is still feeling lost inside. Her lineage is uncertain, she was raised by her grandparents, but she never quite fit in there in their community. She doesn’t understand why. What is missing that would help her feel whole and that she belonged?  If you like history of the Scottish, Celtic, or Norse, this might be just the book for you! This is a very new book, so I will not spill the beans! Read this story; it takes a while to get into it, but it is worth the read. I just hope it will not be too long before the next part of the story is written! Enjoy. Another great book by Michael Phillips and Bethany/Baker Books.

This review is written as my own opinion. This novel was provided to me by Bethany/Baker Books.

Hearing The Lord Each Day

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By Mary Young Robinson


Psalm 147: 3-5  (ESV)

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of stars; He gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.”


Healing. I thought I had made much more progress than was evident and understood what true healing meant. And then so unexpected, I felt an old wound surge with a twinge of pain that I thought was forever gone. Was I wrong? Was I still plagued with the same old despair and sin that I thought I gave to God?

On a particular Sunday morning I began to wonder about being healed and if it really was a forever state.   Does emotional and spiritual healing come and go? Sometimes triggers I have felt in life seemed like a “recall”. Of course, memories are sometimes joyful and sometimes sad. I felt dumped on this morning.

Cruising towards the church, I approached the uphill parking lot. Already a little late and hurrying up the drive, I knew that the Holy Spirit was touching me. There was a sore feeling pressing in my soul at first, but it wasn’t a bad thing.

What I sensed at that moment was that He wanted me to remember some things for a reason. He wanted to remind me of where I had been and where I was now. He showed me that no matter what pain I feel or felt in the past, that He is always with me, and helping me with the process. No matter how long it takes!

Encouragement filled me. I was reminded that I should never try to second-guess God’s reasons. Even though it is my own desire to let go of particular pain in my life, whether physical, spiritual or emotional, it may not be God’s plan to relieve me of it fully. Or, He might not take the pain away for a long time. He has His reasons for allowing me to feel and remember things. And knowing that He is in control, gives me peace.

People usually mean well when they inquire about our journey, but God may have a plan that no one suspects for us. If you stay depressed and it is affecting your life in a dramatic way, then maybe talking to a Pastor or Christian Counselor is a good idea. Otherwise, serve your Lord, pray and minister to someone and trust Christ to meet your needs based in His timing.

Are You A Doctor? What Is A Doctor?



Someone told me I wasn’t a doctor. Well, I don’t have credentials for a Medical Doctor, or a Registered Nurse, or  a license for a medical business practice. I was a Home-Health Assistant in Tucson and a Home-Health Aide in Boise, now I have a certificate of being Disabled. I have a few friends that call me a “Google Queen” because of my time on my MAC and keen interest in medical ideas, natural medicine, vitamins, minerals and prescription drugs. I looked up the word “doctor” for definitions and these are some I found: physician, teacher, troubleshooter, restorer, healer or healing influence, a learned man, rescuer, treats, repairs, applies remedies, medicine man, honorary titles and promotes human health. I bet I fit a few of these so maybe I will name myself Fishy (from Physician) Teacher/Rescuer.

When I was 12 years old, my mother went from being a full-time homemaker to stepping into the work field as a Nurses Aide, then a Ward Clerk for almost twenty years until retirement. She enjoyed her work; clerical, doctor’s orders, assisting the LPN to order medicines, taking patient histories, and sometimes helping at the death-bed. I believe her faith and compassion was used while she also had a social element to her job.

When I was a teen, she began to call me into her work a bit, after school. Since I had been a precocious child, choosing old ladies to sit beside on the city bus when I was 5, she knew I would be good at talking to patients when they were bored. I am not sure if I entertained them or they entertained me, but I did enjoy that. It is no surprise that I eventually did work with home-bound patients, and years later oversaw her own care (giving B-12 shots) into the world of Vascular Dementia until she passed at ninety-six years old.

In 1997 I had a MCI (heart attack) with Angioplasty and Stent Implant. I was life-flighted from Sun Valley, Idaho to St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise. I feel fortunate to have done pretty well since then although my Cholesterol and Triglycerides have silently crept up too high. In addition to having TMJ and other joint issues, I developed Degenerative Disc Disease after suffering with a herniated disc for over 20 years. Fortunately, I found a great office for Pain Management at St. Al’s in Boise.

As I endeavor to find new solutions to my own maladies, I also study for ways I might be able to help others with their own health journey, mostly close friends and relatives. I read online sites from natural doctors, medical doctors, health forums, pharmacists, drug reports, pain solution stories, naturapathic and holistic doctors, integrative doctors, Face Book groups, etc. I not only enjoy learning but have discovered things that have helped me a lot and apply to how I ask questions when I do go to the doctors.

Today was an exciting day as I read facts from research from a retired flight doctor at NASA regarding Heart Disease. Then I moved to another major controversial subject in the medical community, Statins. It wasn’t long before I found a fabulous video with a Pharmacist who explained exactly how antidepressants work and why you might not really want to take them.  Wow! Talk about hyped up! (no pun intended)

So, here I am: a Fishy Teacher/Rescuer. Maybe you don’t really want any advice. I can live with that. And I do polish my nails so that probably gives me away as not being a “real” doctor. However, don’t discourage me from learning, because whether it is from a school, online, classes, books or whatever, I am having a wonderful time and I really am learning from educated and learned people…and I don’t have to have a degree or paper to convince myself that what I am learning is beneficial and important.





So, Where Do You Fit?

Screen shot 2014-11-15 at 12.52.04 PMSo, you could be ANY age and be in this crowd, couldn’t you? Football seems to be popular at any age, any sex, or education level. I bet you there’s a baby tucked in there somewhere nestled near its Mom or Pop or maybe GranPop.

Lately I have been trying to determine where I fit in the world. I am over 55 (under 100) but I am partially Disabled. In my mind some days I feel 16 but sometimes I feel 80. I look in the mirror and think, well, I’m no spring chick but I am not shriveled up either.

So when I hear people talk about the elderly, seniors, middle-age, I am looking for my place. I have heard some people call me and my over 70 husband elderly. That doesn’t fit a man who hikes over 100 miles most years in the mountains of Idaho with Goats. And with my dark hair and flair for dress, it really doesn’t suit me either. Nevertheless, I have to admit I am growing older.

I was reading an article in a sample magazine this week that I received and while finishing up a particular story I saw near the end a chart naming age groups. Now I get it. This might not be the only list but it was good enough to help me understand why people use the group names that they do.

The group of ages 18-29 are the “Millennials” @ 35%. The group of 30-48 are “Busters” @49%, then my group are 49-67 called “Boomers” @55% (we get blamed for almost everything!). And then coming in last is the… “Elders” from 68-Methuselah @63%.

But we both know that this is only based on age, not activity, looks or medical details. I am willing to put you in an Optional group like “Brillant” if you will put me in an optional group like “Creatively Young” (my maiden name).  After all, we are all in this together, with families of all ages with unique gifts. Please don’t call me elderly until I am dead. Thank you.




Tomorrow? Better Take Care Of Today

He Cares For You

He Cares For You

James 4:13-16 ESV

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

The Bible warns us that we never know what will happen in the future; sometimes we believe we have all the time in the world.  And then, boom!

After my divorce, my youngest daughter and I moved into a two-bedroom apartment near our old neighborhood.  It wasn’t a bad place to live, the grounds were very green and manicured and the walls seemed to be pretty thick.  (I let her play the piano sometimes.)

My daughter was a senior at a Christian school in another town, so she often spent the night with friends instead of driving home.  She was in a pretty tight group and I trusted her time in that community.

One night as I prepared for bed, I received a call.  It was scary.  I have been able to continuously thank the Lord for the person who spoke to me that evening.  “Mary, this is (—) and I am a paramedic/EMT.  Your daughter has been in an accident.  She is going to be fine, but she will be at Caldwell Hospital for observation.  I have to tell you, when I saw the car that was hit, I didn’t see how anyone could still be alive.  You are blessed.”

I thanked God the whole hour while I drove to see her.  When I walked into the room, her face was covered with blood where bits of glass had shattered and attached to her skin.  Her pale legs had larger shards of glass that had to be removed.  It was unsettling, but I knew she would be all right.  Her emotional status was shaken and it would take weeks for her to drive again.  A drunken driver going the speed of 70 miles per hour ran a stop sign and twirled her around scooting across a highway, smashing totally the other side of the car.  I was so grateful there was not a passenger that night.  She managed to leave for college on time, still a little dazed.

A wreck, an illness, a storm, there are so many things that happen that remind us that life is fragile.  But so many times, we push these things back in our minds as we move on with life.   We often avoid acknowledgement of looking squarely at life…the changes that need to take place, forgiveness that needs to be actualized, taking some silent moments for God to speak to us.

The quiet voice of the Lord may be speaking after the shock of whatever you have been  through, but are you listening?

So It’s Going To Be Mother’s Day

My MAMA, Blanche Holland Young

My MAMA, Blanche Holland Young

I stopped by her senior cottage almost arriving to her room, to see if she was ready to go to a Mother’s Celebration yesterday there at the Assisted Living. The staff said she had already pushed herself in the wheel chair over to another building and might be either sitting out in the courtyard or may have gone inside. I couldn’t find her anywhere. I went back to her room and there she was, so fragile, so pale, but a smile formed on her light lips. I asked her if I could help her put on a little dab of rosy lipstick and she said she didn’t have any. I opened the mirrored shelf in the bathroom and lifted the 3 lipsticks and picked out the lightest color and took it to her. She put on a smidgen and rubbed her lips together. We were ready to go now to see what was planned for the residents from about 55 -95. They were providing a flower to plant in large pots in the courtyard for mothers. Only a few showed up, and a dripping plant was quickly plopped from her hand to my hand as my mother began to become anxious that the sun would cause her to have a stroke. I planted it for her in the pot closest to her own building and we went inside to cool down. We shared some fruit punch and I calmed her. Two nights ago she had fallen from her bed to the floor trying to transfer to go to the bathroom in the dark. She now seems to think people are just waiting around for her to die . I told her I hadn’t heard anything like that and passed it off as a joke. She is 95 1/2, although she can’t remember her last birthday party in December or how old she is on most days.  She doesn’t have Alzheimer s, just old age dementia and memory loss. It wasn’t that long ago that she handled her own med dosing. It wasn’t that long ago that she was racing with her 3-wheel walker with brakes bounding down and around in circles on the courtyard sidewalk. That was then. Now I look for pictures that we can color or use colored markers, for the woman who used to be an artist, a seamstress, a Sunday School Teacher, a medical secretary, and who used to cut her own lawn. Only a shadow of herself, I long for the woman she was when I was a little girl, that made me special dresses, even a little girl wedding dress, and a twirly skirt with red tomatoes dancing on white polished cotton. She can’t find her nail polish, I find it and place it where she can find it later and loosen the tops for her. The air-conditioner is on and she feels cool.  She doesn’t understand why it is on.  I tell her it is 85-90 degrees outside.  She says, “But it isn’t inside”.  She tells me she appreciates me and loves me so much. I remember fights and misunderstandings over the years. I remember she accused me of stealing from her. I comb her waves around her face. She says I am all she needs and that I remember everything. She will not be here much longer. But today she is. And what she said to me, was all I needed to hear. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama, Blanche, I love you, too.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI cherish to remember that it doesn’t matter who you are, who you are with, or where you are, you can savor the savior. It is Christmas morn, a little snow on the hills and our porch. The cat is happy by the fire and the dog is happy to jump around in the new fallen snow. No matter how you feel or what your lot in life is, you can grab the joy that Jesus Christ brought into this world. A fallen world of bad choices and sin wear and tear on our souls and everyday lives. But HE OVERCOMES! No matter what is under your tree this Christmas, may you reach for His hand and celebrate His birth and His relationship…today, tomorrow and into the future He has promised…Merry Christmas.


On March 17th, we writers will again get together for an all day conference in Boise.   Some of the registrants have published this last year for the first time, some additional times, and some still waiting on that magic story that sends them out into the world of Authorship!

There will be classes, awards, music, agents!  Lunch provided.  Next year, you should plan to join us in all of the work and fun.  I attended last year for the first time and really enjoyed hearing speakers, meeting new people, and finding out where different people were headed on their writing adventure!

IdaHope is a writers connection for all types of work written in the Christian community of Boise and other guests.  Conferences are now regarded as the best place in general to meet and greet an agent from publishing houses all across America.