Saturday, November 3, 2007


Just watching John Edwards new show.  There was a cool thing one of the audience members said, "We shouldn't mourn someone's passing, we should celebrate the fact we were able to experience them in our lives."    That's a special message.   When he asked another woman how she dealt with the death of her small child she said "Always Blessings, Never Losses."  Everyone in the audience was crying, and John Edwards couldn't talk.  I've been noticing as I go to funerals these days, the differences in families and the way they deal with the passing of their family members.  If you didn't know the families you might make a judgment that they were indifferent to the passing because they weren't weeping and carrying on.  In some cases they are visiting with friends, and hugging and smiling and saying how glad they are to see their old friends they haven't seen for awhile.  Our family behaves that way.  And then I've been to those funerals where people are weeping and carrying on and just beside themselves with the passing of their family member or friend.  I've figured out the difference between these two types of families.  The families who are smiling and visiting have a deep faith and know they are celebrating the memories of their loved ones, while the families who are weeping, aside from feeling they have been deprived of being with their loved ones, feel they will never ever see them again. 

I remember my Grandad Terman's funeral.  It was all I could do to keep from laughing because I felt he was sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear.  He didn't like the fact there was a minister he didn't know officiating at his funeral.  My Grandad believed in Creator.  He just didn't think much of church.  I think this is because he was at least one-half Miami Indian and he had his own beliefs.  He was one with nature and knew that God was in and through everything.

I know those who've crossed over are around us, protecting us, observing us all the time.  There's a certain reassurance in knowing this.  Sylvia Browne says "the other side" is right here with us, i.e., it's another plane, but it is just above us and all around us...which is why our loved ones who've crossed over can be all around us.  Sometimes I think they're over there on the other side studying and learning and observing things, and when we call them for assistance, they're probably thinking "hey, I'm busy, can't you figure this out yourself!"  In otherwords, they're having a good and peaceful time and don't really want to be drawn back to the drama and trauma on this side.  So perhaps the answer to this is to leave the drama and trauma out of our own lives, live peacefully and joyfully, loving your life here on earth, and looking forward to when you can cross over to the good and peaceful atmosphere on the other side.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Waiting for Wishes to Come True

Watching the California fires.  A lot of them are happening in my old stomping grounds.  When I heard the fire was just East of John Wayne airport, I went on Google Earth to look it up.  I used to live half a mile from John Wayne Airport.  Of course, then there were no buildings to speak of at the airport, just three hangars and a windsock.  I could see straight there through my kitchen door.  Now there are a million people (I'm exaggerating) living between that house and the airport.  I couldn't believe what it looked like now some 40 years later.  Who would have guessed that Hadley's alley would still be there, and not really change that much.  You won't find Hadley's Alley on a map.  It was really a number on SW Cypress Street in "Santa Ana Heights" which is now apparently a part of Newport Beach!  Who knew!  It was a tiny farm in the country then, and I would drive home and look out over Newport Back Bay and watch the mansions being built on the sides of the back bay.  They were going up like mushrooms.  I called them "Tract Mansions" because they were just like tract housing, except they were mansions.  At the time I paid $85 a month for my little house that sat on a long narrow strip of land with horse pastures on either side.  A house in front of my little house, a garage, a "wash shack" where the groundskeeper lived, and a tiny little travel trailer that was rented out to various people, and then the owner's big house at the back.  When I went back to visit someone had planted hundreds of Saguaro cactus in the front yard, so close together you couldn't even walk through there!  The yard where I kept my dog and garden had been turned into a horse paddock and there were now horses on the property.  They didn't have hardly enough room to turn around!   I wrote a short story about that property called Bone Garden because of my landlady's habit of burying bones in the yard.  She cooked leg of lamb sometimes, and would bury the leg bone in her garden.  She also named her vegetables...and flowers.  So when my dog Rami unearthed a long bone my writer's imagination took off.  Bone Garden was the result. 

At any rate visit my web site at if you got here some other way. 

I'll try to come up with more writing one of these days.   Carole J. if you read this send me an email...I don't have your email address.  Thanks.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Vacations- and Wishes Coming True

I haven't written on this blog since just after my birthday in February.  Things have changed a lot since then.  Mostly, I am working three half-days a week and getting out more.  I was becoming a hermit of sorts before.  I stayed in a lot.   I got my car fixed and I still need to get some other things on it fixed.  I figure its good for another 100,000 miles if I fix what needs to be fixed on it.  In the meantime, I got my central air replaced, and paid for, and I had to buy a new furnace too, but that's fixed and almost paid for.  I was worrying about getting to winter with a non-functioning heating system.  Not a problem.  Now I am working on getting the rest of the things on my car fixed before fall.  Sure wish Zach was here because he could fix those things a lot cheaper but I can't be a tightwad forever and ever.  Money is flowing in and making life much, much easier. 

I am back working three afternoons a week for the same attorney as before.  He's on vacation the rest of this week and next, so other than having to run to the Courthouse and the Recorder's Office tomorrow for a couple of hours, I am off until June 25, which is Zach's birthday.

I had hoped to fly out to see Zach for his birthday, but decided instead to buy him a ticket to fly home for Christmas.  My mother sent me Christmas fly-home tickets when I was in California.  I only ever missed one Christmas with my family.  What a strange year that was!  

I am going to the lake on Monday and staying thru Wednesday suppertime.  Fritzie is going to hate me for abandoning him, but I will leave him with plenty of water and food.  He'll hate me for about a minute, but he will be glad to see me back.   Cats are like that.  Fritzie is not nearly as frightened of things as he used to be.  Today when my handyman Jack came he brought his weird little dog, and Fritzie didn't get too freaked out by her.

My next projects around the house are getting the kitchen fixed up, and then working on the bathroom and getting it reburbished. 

In the meantime, I am still marketing my intellectual properties and writing.  I keep very, very busy. 

My handyman comes and helps me with the heavy stuff, and I really appreciate that.  So far we got the garage cleaned out by half (it was awful...stuff in there I thought I threw away 20 years ago!!!)  I finally sold my old motorcycle!   I hated to see it go, but I haven't ridden it in 25 years!  The guy who bought it was so pleased to get it.  Meantime, I am selling off some of Zach's furniture he didn't take with him...some of my old stuff I don't want or need anymore, and mainly cleaning out and clearing out.

I bought myself a new pair of high heels for dress up, even though I never dress up much anymore...I am prepared!    A couple of weeks ago I bought myself a new pair of runnng shoes because I've worn the old pair out on the treadmill.

Life goes on, life is good, missing old friends and lovers, but living on good memories always works....I've always got Disneyland!   Love and Kisses.  Jana

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Work, Work Work

I've been working very hard.  None of it writing for myself.  Mostly working as a paralegal for one endeavor or another.  Began as three afternoons a week, and then it went on to more.  In addition, I've suddenly begun picking up more writing students.  It's all very interesting.  Feast or famine.  I prefer the feast. 


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I have been remiss

I haven't made an entry for six weeks.  Don't know what made me so lazy.  Oh, yes.  I've been busy with a lot of other things.  Mostly I have finally begun working back in the office again.  Not full time, but three afternoons a week.

Of course, this will keep me from being able to play.  And it will also keep me from being able to finish my books and screenplays.  But I will get back to them soon.

The weather is cold and wet.  But I'm feeling fine, and still have time to do other work at home.  Must get more organized.  I've been lax in the past couple months, not having any lists of things to do, and just bouncing from one thing to another.  Time to get organized and down to business and get more accomplished.  Bouncing is fun for awhile, but even Tigger gets annoying sooner or later.

Life is good.  Love and kisses.  Jana




Thursday, February 8, 2007

Birthdays and Wishes

My birthday is coming up on and Abe Lincoln, and my great-nephew, Nathaniel Bristow, and my friend Eleanor's daughter, Stephanie, all of us have a birthday next Monday, February 12. 

My friend Becky's birthday was yesterday.  It's too cold to run out and buy birthday presents for anyone, so I'm going to have to buy belated birthday cards.

I haven't been out to the store or anything since last Friday.  It's just been too cold.  My old car is a convertible, and it just never gets warm enough inside.  Next car is going to be one I can start from inside the house and let it warm up!

When I blow out my candles (six ought to be enough, don't you think?), I am going to be making my wishes.  I wish I could find someone who would help me to sell my intellectual properties.    I've got lots of them.  Money is a bit short these days.  There's just barely enough and I have to hussle in order to make ends meet.  I don't like that.  If I could sell some of my books, or screenplays I wouldn't have to worry about money.  Having residuals, getting advances, and getting paid for book sales forever is like having a perpetual Christmas party. 

Mostly I'm a creative creature.  I love to do the writing.   I do have marketing skills, but I seem to be able to market other people's wares better than my own.   It all goes back to bragging on oneself.  It goes against my upbringing to do that I guess.

I've got work coming up with another attorney, but that isn't something that can be depended upon from week to week. 

For Sale:  Family Comedy Screenplay; Animated Feature Film Screenplay, Poppy Hannah Mystery Series, and Kekionga, a woman's adventure novel...among other things.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Psychic Stalking--It's Legal!!

I don't suppose you've ever heard of psychic stalking. It's just something that happens between people who are close to one another emotionally I believe. It doesn't work for everyone. Even as psychically connected as I can be to some people, I'm not psychically connected to my son. At least I don't have the ability to see where he is precisely in my head. Yes. I do have that ability with a couple of people. One I love being able to do it. The other one, I'd just as soon not, but when I tried to make the ability to follow the one person go away, the ability to "follow" or find the other also went away, so I got it back.

I first learned of this ability back in the early 60's when someone I loved very much went away. I still knew where to find him all the time. It was very simple. There was a "white line" that appeared in my mind that went from me, up into the air, and down to wherever he was. I've been psychically stalking this man for more than forty years.

The other was a man I worked for. I could find him anywhere. It was the same thing. When he disappeared I always knew where to find him. Sometimes I didn't want to know where to find him and found him anyway! I have reconciled to the fact this man is a friend. Only a friend.

The other is the love of my life. I haven't physically stalked him, unless you count the one time when I was in his area, and sat in the parking lot of his business for a few minutes on a Sunday afternoon about eighteen years ago.

Now I just think about him from time to time, locate him with my psychic GPS system, and only very occasionally look at the top of his house on Google Earth. I do that to my son too. I go on Google Earth and look at the top of his apartment building. It makes me feel closer to him somehow.

Together with my psychic GPS system, and my psychic caller ID, my life is very interesting! I've had these psychic systems for way longer than the general public has had the technological versions. Boy are the scientists slow!!

If you got here from my links, check out my web site:

Love and kisses, Jana.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Wish Factory Screenplay - an Excerpt

Registered with WGA, This is an excerpt from The Wish Factory, an animated feature film screenplay.  It is the property of The Wish Factory, Inc., an Indiana corporation, and Jana L. Shellman



It is late afternoon, and the winter sun can be seen streaming through the window of a nine-year-old boy's bedroom. The floor is bare save for a braided rug on which lie toy soldiers. The wallpaper is shabby and needs cleaning, but the furniture is dust-free, and the floor is clean. The bed is made, and a closet door stands open. You can see the wardrobe of a nine-year-old hanging on hangers inside. Two pairs of shoes sit on the floor of the closet, and toys spill out of boxes inside the closet. There is a toy box sitting on the floor at the end of the bed. The lid of the toy box is open. There are toys on the floor at the foot of the bed, and there are some toy soldiers on the rug.


I wish you were alive, so you could be my buddy!

JR walks into his room carrying a teddy bear his mother had made of old blue jeans. The bear has a red ribbon around his neck and a red velvet heart pinned to his chest. He has a scuff on his rump, which is where the knees had worn out of the blue jeans. JR sets Threadbare Fred Bear on the end of his dresser and turns his back on him. He sits on the rug. He plays with the several toy soldiers there, and then stands up, walks over to his toy box and rummages for more toy soldiers. He is humming a tune as he carries his soldiers, and a toy tank back to the rug. He arranges his toy soldiers in a row and begins to quietly play by himself. He hums as he plays. The humming is occasionally disrupted as he makes shooting noises for the soldiers, or motor noises for the tank.

He stops moving the soldiers around and stares at them for a while. Then he gets up and goes rummaging back in his toy box. He tosses toys to one side as he rummages deeper and deeper into the toy box. He SIGHS. He stands up, puts his hands on his hips and looks into the toy box for a short space of time.

Then he turns and slowly pans his room. He stops at the window, and then walks over to the window and looks out. He gets down on his knees and puts his chin in his hands, resting his elbows on the window sill. He SIGHS again.


I wish it was nice outside so I could play out there in my dirt pile. But it's going to be muddy and ugly before it gets really nice outside again.


If you're going to make a wish, stop unwishing it right away!

J.R. whirls around in surprise. He jumps up.He looks into the closet. Then he crosses the room and looks out into the hall. He comes back into the room and looks around. His eyes stop on the bear, and he SHAKES HIS HEAD. He walks over to the bed bends over from his waist and looks under it. Then he gets down on his hands and knees and half his body disappears under the bedspread as he looks more carefully under the bed. He crawls out from under the bed and stands up once again.

Then he walks over and picks up the bear. He turns him upside down and shakes him. Then he pokes at his back. He shakes the bear once more. He holds the bear up to his ear and shakes it again.

JR shakes his head, makes a circle around his ear, and places the bear back on the dresser. He goes back to the window and looks out. Then he goes back to the rug and sits down.


I wish I had a television set in my room. But we couldn't afford to have more than one television set in the house.


There you go again, making a wish and immediately unwishing it! Why don't you try making a wish and giving it time to happen!

J.R. whirls around, just in time to see Fred moving! He scrambles to his feet and races over to the bear. The bear's eyes snap shut, his mouth is closed, but his arms are still moving.

He grabs Fred and shakes him. Fred's eyes snap open and look straight into J.R.'s.


It was you! You are alive! But how could that happen. Toy Bears don't...


Stop! Don't say another word! You're going to wish the life right out of me in one more second! And stop shaking me!

J.R. stops talking as Fred burst out. He cocks his head and looks at him.


What do you mean? I like you this way. I wouldn't wish for you not to be alive!


Yes, but you almost unwished me by saying that toy bears don't speak. Didn't you?


I guess so. Boy, wait until I tell Mom!

JR heads for the hallway, dragging the bear on the floor as he goes. He bangs Fred Bear against the wall as he dashes around the corner. Fred Bear hangs onto the door, but is pulled around.


Wait! Stop! It won't do any good. She won't be able to hear me or see that I'm alive.

JR re-enters the room, once again bumping Fred Bear's head, as he holdshim by one arm.


Would you mind!? Watch where you're swinging me!

JR looks down at the bear, and carefully lifts him back under both arms. He places him back on top of the dresser. Fred Bear teeters and his eyes grow larger as he is about to fall onto the floor. JR grabs him and pats him carefully, and then pushes him back a little more so he won't fall off.


Oh, Sorry. Why not? Why won't she be able to hear or see you?


Because grownups don't always believe that stuffed bears can talk or be alive. So they can't hear or see anything that doesn't make sense to them.

JR picks and pokes at Fred Bear as he's talking to him. Fred Bear fidgets sideways, as one would if being tickled.


Do you mind? That tickles.

JR looks at his hands and then at the bear, and then he puts his hand in his jeans pocket, and then takes it out of the pocket and clasps it behind his back with the other hand. He SIGHS. He walks over to the window and looks out, and then looks in the closet again. He takes a peek at the bear.


Does that mean that when I'm grown up, I won't believe in you either?

Fred smiles and jumps down from the dresser. JR looks at him in surprise to see that he can walk. He has unclasped his hands, and suddenly puts his hands behind him again, and holds onto himself tightly afraid that he'll be poking and prodding at the bear again.


Well, sometimes children are lucky enough to grow up and remember the magical things. Most times they forget and don't believe in magic anymore at all. Lots of times they make wishes not really meaning to, and then can't understand why things have happened to them.

Other times their wishes never do come true because they haven't given them time to happen.

J.R. scratches his head and looks puzzled. He sits down on his toy chest and falls in. He pulls himself out, and then puts the lid down and sits on the toy chest once again. He shakes his head, and looks at Fred for a long time.


I don't understand.


Maybe a trip to the Wish Factory would help you to understand. Here. Take my paw, we're going on a trip.

JR stands up and walks toward Fred Bear. Fred extends his paw toward JR. JR hesitates, and then Fred takes JR's hand in his paw, and opens the closet door and they walk in. JR looks at his clothes on hangers behind him, and at his extra shoes on the floor, and then he looks at the bear once more, still puzzled. The door closes.


There's a rosy glow in the closet that seems to be emanating from the bear. JR blinks as his eyes grow used to the darker atmosphere. Then he looks once again at the bear. Threadbare Fred Bear winks at JR.




Now close your eyes and count to three, 'the Wish Factory is where I want to be.’

JR closes his eyes and repeats after the bear.


One, two, three The Wish Factory is where I want to be.


Fred Bear and JR find themselves falling through a magical colorful tunnel-like structure. Toys whirl about inside the structure. Happy children wave at them as they fly by. Wonderful colors swirl about them. Angels and fairies fill the air around them. The colors are magical and mystical. There are stars ahead. Kittens and puppies and bunnies whirl past going in the other direction. Fluffy Teddy Bears in brown and pink are going the other direction. Diamond rings, bouquets of flowers, new cars whiz past going past Fred and JR, in the opposite direction. These are wishes that are being sent into the world. Fred and JR manage to hold onto one another and duck some of the things coming at them.

They tumble upside down as if in a free fall from a plane. Suddenly a fluffy kitten rushes into JR's hands. He is grinning as he looks at the kitten. His grin seems to be flying backward as well. His hair is flying back from his head. It looks as if he is in a tornado. He pats the kitten on the head and releases her to continue her upward trip.

Fred Bear dodges a new car as it heads rapidly towards him. He looks around for JR and grabs JR's hands once more and they dive through the upward rushing wishes and continue their free fall. They do somersault after somersault as they grow closer to the end of the tunnel. JR is laughing with glee. Below them at the end of the tunnel they see a huge brown teddy bear, wearing a blue ribbon. They fall closer and closer. They fall out of the tunnel and through the air.




Fred Bear and JR land in the lap of a giant teddy bear. They slide off his lap onto the ground. They look up and see before them The Wish Factory.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Poppy Hannah Mystery Excerpt

Here's an excerpt from my first Poppy Hannah mystery.  Poppy is a paralegal who likes to solve mysteries.

Copyright, Jana l. Shellman



I can't tell you how I know, I just know. It's the same thing as when the phone rings. If the person calling is someone I'm acquainted with, then I automatically know who's on the phone before I answer it. If it's a stranger, I have no idea who's calling. I don't know how that works either. I just know if a person is guilty, I know it. If a person is innocent, I know that too. It's a gift, or a curse, depending on whether you listen to me or my boss.

I'm a para-legal and I work for Ralph Taylor, attorney at law. My favorite television program is the old Perry Mason, my second favorite show is Law & Order. I was destined to work in the legal profession, I was born on Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

Then on top of that I've got this quirk. I can't stand an innocent person being in jail. My name is Poppy Hannah, how I got that name is another story. First I want to tell you about Henry Brown.

I'd driven my Mustang convertible to the office and just had time to dry my hair. It's red. My hair, not the convertible, that's white. Naturally curly, the hair. It's a fright when it gets wet. Both the hair and the car. It had been raining for days. Convertibles are for sunny days. They don't always keep you completely dry and then this morning it wouldn't start. I looked like Bozo the clown. I spent nearly half an hour drying my hair, and trying to comb it into some semblance of normalcy so as not to frighten anyone, but what I got were two very fuzzy red pony tails sticking straight out above my ears. It was the best I could do. I was minding the front desk until our receptionist, Kara got in. She was always late. That's when Henry Brown's mother came into the office.

"I need to find my boy a lawyer."

"What did he do, Mrs. uh..."

"Brown. He didn't do nuthin'!"

"Why do you require a lawyer?"

"My boy wouldn't 'a killed nobody." For emphasis the large black woman thumped her wet umbrella on top of the computer monitor. A waterfall cascaded down the flat screen, like too many tears. Mrs. Brown’s aura was lavender.

"I'm sure you're right, Mrs. Brown."I brushed the umbrella gently from my machine.

"He didn't have no call to be in that neighborhood." This time the desk top received the emphasis from the umbrella.

"I can understand why you believe in him Mrs. Brown." Pulling two tissues from the box in rapid succession I wiped the rainwater tears from the screen and the desk.

"I've just gotta get him out a jail right away. He's innocent." Three rapid blows of the umbrella resounded on the side of the wooden desk.

"Everything will be all right. I'm sure Mr. Taylor can help you." As I gave her these reassurances, Mrs. Brown relaxed visibly. Her stern face broke into a shy smile, and she looked down as if to apologize for being so pushy. The smile fled as Mr. Taylor came rushing down the hallway like water after a dam collapse.

"What's all that knocking? Who can I help? What's going on?" Mr. Taylor is six foot one, and about two hundred pounds. He can look scary, unless you know him. He's really a teddy bear.

"I was just telling Mrs. Brown that you'd be happy to represent her son at his arraignment this afternoon."

"I have a golf game this afternoon."

"It's raining. Besides, I'm rearranging our schedule. You'll still be able to tee off at 2:30, just like you planned." I indicated the calendar on the monitor. He leaned over my back and looked at it.

"That's fine. But when am I supposed to eat? And when am I going to have time to shop for my wife's birthday present?"

"I'll order a sandwich," I reached under Kara's desk for my tote bag and brought out a brightly wrapped package. "and here's the gift you're giving to your wife."

"What is it?"

"It's the bracelet she was admiring at Wolfe's the other day."

"How much did it cost me?"

"You don't really want to know."

Muttering to himself he disappeared back into his office.

"He doesn't sound too excited about defending my Henry."

"He's a low-key sort of guy. You've hired yourself the best lawyer in town." At the word "hired" she began to worry about money. I spent ten minutes reassuring her that it could all be arranged very comfortably.

She left and I had to figure out what to tell the boss. He didn't believe in my powers. He just knew I was always getting him clients he didn't want to defend.

Kara finally arrived, shaking her curly blond hair, and smoothing her tight dress over her perfect body. She described how helpless she'd felt when her car wouldn't start, and how five guys huddled around her engine until they solved the problem.

"Aren't men just wonderful? What would we do without them?" she gushed, as she fluttered her eyelashes. Her dark brown eyes belied her hair color, but I wasn't about to point it out to anyone. I figure you should know yourself. It doesn't matter what anyone else believes to be true about you, so long as you know the truth.

I'm really not a feminist. I just believe in being independent, and honest. I don't believe any woman can be as fragile and as dependent as Kara puts on. I have to admit that she takes the dumb blond jokes really well, and basically I like her. She's a sweet girl. And really not dumb. Just kind of ditzy sometimes. And I'd be the last person in the world to hold any eccentricities against her.

I called the prosecutor's office to get a run down on the charges against Henry Brown. Fort Wayne was once named All America City. Then a Detroit auto manufacturer opened a facility here. Since that time crime has escalated. Drug dealings and murder have mushroomed. The prosecutor's office is still struggling to catch up. They're doing a good job of it, but they're a growing family.

The phone rang. I knew it was my friend, Prudy, who works at the Prosecutor's Office. "What do you know about Henry Brown?"

"He's guilty Poppy. It's cut and dried. There was an eye witness."

"Somebody actually saw him commit murder?"

"No, but just as bad." said Prudy.

Prudy went on to fill me in. He'd been identified by an eye witness who said he'd been seen coming out of the alley minutes before the knifed body of a small-time drug dealer was found. Sounded cut and dried. But Henry's mom said Henry couldn't have done it, and I knew she was right. Don't ask me how. That's the hard part. I had to figure out how I knew it. I had to prove Henry was innocent.

We made a date to brown bag in my office. Prudy would bring a copy of the probable cause affidavit on her lunch hour.

"Poppy. Come into my office. I must speak to you. Immediately."

Oh boy. Here we go. "What can I do for you?" I asked.

"Poppy. You've just got to stop accepting these hopeless cases. At least allow me to determine whether or not I'll take one on."

"I was sure you'd want to defend Henry."

"I don't know anything about Henry. For all I know he could be an axe murderer."

"You won't disappoint his mother?" I whined, I'm ashamed to say.

"I should let you disappoint his mother. I should just put my foot down and refuse to defend him."

"That means you're going to defend him, doesn't it?"

"Lord help me. I suppose it does...but this is the last time young lady. Now listen to me. None of that giggling...I mean it. The last time..." The bright red spikes in his aura faded into his normal calm blue. I sighed with relief.

"Here are my notes. I talked to Prudy. She gave me a rundown."

"What time is the arraignment?"


The boss got Henry out on bail. Mrs. Brown had to put her house up. They came back from Court and they went into Mr. Taylor's office. I was trying to decide whether to listen at the door or try to turn the intercom on when the boss called me on the intercom and told me to bring my pad. I grabbed it and started for the door. It occurred to me that it would be better to get everything on tape, so I grabbed a mini-tape from the desk drawer and breezed into the boss's office. I put the tape in the dictation machine and turned it on. I'm not sure he noticed. He dictated a quick letter to the prosecutor's office, asking for their witness list, and then he dismissed me. I left the room, sneaking a look back at the blinking red light on the machine, indicating it was still recording. I prayed it wouldn't run out of tape and set off the beeper. My boss sometimes likes to keep things from me, but how can I help prove Henry's innocent if I don't know everything?

At 2:20 I buzzed him. He had to be at the club in ten minutes.

"Maybe I can help interview Mr. Brown."

"Yeah, sure. Anything you can do," he didn't know what he was saying. He was already at the tee, even though he was only dashing out the door, searching through his coat pockets for his keys. I retrieved them from the desk where he'd dropped them this morning and dashed toward the elevator with them. I glanced out the window on the way in and saw a rainbow off to the West. God was smiling on Mr. Taylor today.

I told Kara to hold my calls, and went back to Mr. Taylor's office and sat down across from Henry Brown. The thought that I was alone in an office with a suspected murderer flitted across my mind. More quickly than that I reminded myself that Henry's Mom said he was innocent. I relaxed.

Henry Brown was a very big man. He must have been all of six and a half feettall, and he probably weighed three hundred and fifty pounds. He didn't look like he had a lot of fat, either. He was mostly muscle. Henry Brown wouldn't have had to shoot anyone. He could have picked them up and squeezed them dead. For all of that he was very graceful when he walked, and he spoke in a soft and polite manner. Besides, his aura was nearly white it was so light blue. He had a spiritual soul.

"Okay Henry. Just have faith. Fill me in. Let's start from the beginning..."

"I wasn't near that alley, ma'am. I fell asleep in my truck over on the other side of town." While he talked I removed the tape and put in a new one. I dropped the old tape into my shirt pocket.

The phone rang. "That will be your mother, Henry."

I answered the phone. It was Mrs. Brown. I assured her we had Henry right there in the office. She asked me to keep him there until she could come and claim him. Henry was thirty-five years old. Big enough to find his own way home. But if I was a mother, I'd want to keep track of my son if he was in trouble, so I agreed to keep him there until she arrived.

Before Mrs. Brown arrived, we had time to go over a lot of the points. Henry hadn't been acquainted with the man who was killed, but he knew his name. He had heard rumors that the man was a small time crack cocaine pusher. He didn't think he was into anything more than that. He figured he was probably one of the little guys who dealt to the high school kids in his neighborhood, but Henry’d been busy working, trying to get himself and his mother out of that neighborhood. He didn't go to the bars, and he didn't drink. He claimed never to associate with those kind of people. He was very quiet, and very shy. He shook his head from time to time, as if he wondered why, after being so careful, he still found himself in this trouble.

He swore he'd never done drugs, "My mama woulda killed me, if I'd ever got into that."

After they left I packed up my tapes and headed out the door. The phone rang.

"That's my mother, take a message." I told Kara. I knew she was calling to tell me my Avon order was in. She's an Avon Lady. Well, since I knew who it was and why she was calling, I struggled into my raincoat and waved at Kara as she answered the phone. I patted my skirt pocket to check on the tapes. They were still there. When I'm onto something my scalp gets tight. It was getting tighter all the time. I wish I knew why.


It took me a little over eight minutes to get home during rush hour. One of the perks of being in the legal profession in Fort Wayne is that most law offices are clustered around the Courthouse downtown, just blocks from the older residential neighborhoods.

Monday, January 22, 2007


My brother sent me the following with a link to some website about vegetarianism.  I tried to be a total vegetarian, and was, for about fifteen years.  I quit, and now I just eat nearly vegetarian, but not totally.  Here's what I told him:

Is it defeatist to stick to a diet of tofu and sprouts?  Was the question he sent to me.  I said:

I don't do tofu and sprouts...The only good place for tofu is in sweet and sour soup.  I use meat as a flavoring, not as an entree.   I use turkey and chicken and fish, but try to stay away from pork, and the only beef I eat is in the occasional taco.  The only dairy I eat is yogurt and occasionally butter.  The reason I do this has nothing to do with animal rights or anything stupid like that.  I believe beef, milk, pork and the like have too many chemicals and antibiotics.  I think the chemicals they feed the animals is what makes people fat.  After all that's why they feed it to the animals.  Once you gain the weight it's hell getting it off. 

Moderation in all things seems to be the best answer.  Stay away from margarine and other trans fats, i.e., the stuff in Crisco is awful too.  It would be better to use lard or butter.  Neither reduces the fat, but you probably need a small amount of fat in your diet anyway.  I use olive oil for cooking, or canola oil (which has a bad rap lately, but what doesn't?)  

I think a good diet for us would be to stay as close to the Native American diet as possible, i.e., occasional meat, nuts, berries, fruits, grains.  Think about how hard it was for the Indian to get meat.  When the Europeans first found the Indians they were strong and healthy.   They were probably the image of the "buff body" everyone is trying to attain.  They got it by walking and working hard, and by their diet.   It's pretty much the sugar and the refined flour that gives Native Americans the diabetes and heart disease.

I believe further that a great number of Americans are part Native American Indian.  Particularly if their families have been in the country for more than a hundred fifty years.  In the Midwest this is particularly true.  There are also lots of "mestiz" in the East.    If you tell a person this, they will say, "nah, I'm Irish."   I hate to tell you how many Irish Indians there are.  The Irish men came over here and many of them married Indian women.  My family is part French, part English, part Scotch, part Irish, part Swiss,  part German, and a lot of Native Americans.  Most of the connections with the Native Americans were made in the late 1700's and the early 1800's.  My one great-great grandmother was Shawnee.  I have a great-great grandfather who was at least part Cherokee.  My paternal great-great great grandfather was a Creek half-breed, who's father was a Virginia plantation owner, and who's mother was a Creek slave woman.  

Getting back to a simpler diet would appear to be good for us.  Cut out the sugar, the refined flour, and all things in boxes and packages. 

Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Screenplay - Mad Money Just a Sample


A Screenplay


Jana Lynn Shellman

Copyright 1991


It is near noon on a bright and sunny May day in the midwest. Carole Joseph, a housewife dressed in jeans and a man's white dress shirt pulls into the parking lot of a grocery store. She's driving a 10-year old battered van. It rattles and coughs as she slows. She finds a parking place near the entrance, and parks. She gets out of the van, and walks briskly toward the door. Suddenly she stumbles although there doesn't appear to be anything in her way. She looks down and sees a bright shiny penny. She picks it up.


Lucky Penny, I found you. Make my every wish come true. I wish I had a million dollars.

Startled by the sound of tinkling bells, Carole whirls around. She sees nothing. She looks to see if anyone has seen her strange behavior. The bells tinkle again. Carole gathers up the tails of her shirt and ties them together in a knot at her waist, looks around again, pats her hair and walks smartly into the grocery store.


Carole is at the check-out counter. The cashier has just rung up the last of her groceries and announces the total. Carole has her checkbook out, a pen poised over the check waiting.


That'll be $15.96.


Oh, give me a quick pick lottery ticket for the next month's drawings.

The cashier turns to the lottery computer, punches in the numbers and waits as the ticket shoots out. She hands it to Carole.


That'll be $19.96.

Carole finishes filling out her check and hands it to the cashier.


It is about 2:30 P.M. on the same May afternoon. The same van we've seen before being driven by Carole is travelling down a paved country road when suddenly a tire blows. A hub cap falls off and rattles into the weeds as the van slows to a halt in front of an old abandoned barn. The van is being driven by Carole and seems to overflow with little boys in blue uniforms.

The barn is an old bank barn. It is surrounded by a wheat field on three sides. In the middle of the field there are several hickory trees, Springtime bird sounds are heard. A crow caws nearby.

The weathered siding has fallen off the barn, the roof has large gaps where the shingles have blown away. The large sliding door leading to the top of the barn is hanging halfway off its track.

A lone tree grows right next to the barn bank. It leans out toward the sun.

CAROLE JOSEPH, dressed in blue jeans and a torn sweat shirt, her sons, BOBBY, age two wearing a play suit, ANDY, age 9, and JIMMIE age 8, as well as JAMIE BROWN, age 9, and five other CUB SCOUTS all dressed in blue Cub Scout uniforms with yellow "wolf" scarves and blue wolf caps, tumble out of the van and take off running across a small wooden bridge, up the hill and past the barn to explore.

Carole leans over and unbuckles Bobby, and pulls him out the driver's side with her. She walks back and picks up the hub cap, scoops up some pebbles from the side of the road and puts them in the hub cap and then takes Bobby across the small ditch alongside the road, sits him down with the hub cap and pebbles and shows him the lovely noise the stones make in the hub cap. Bobby begins making his own music.

Carole leaps back across the small ditch and goes to the rear of the van and removes the spare tire. It is completely bald, and low on air itself. She pulls the jack from the van and goes around to the rear of the vehicle.

Behind her one can see golden straw inside the top floor of the barn. The Cub Scouts, including Jimmie, Andy, and Jamie Brown take off in all directions YELLING and JABBERING.


You guys stay in sight. Don't destroy anything or I'll hang you up by your toe nails for two weeks.

Carole looks back at the flat tire and sighs.


I wish I had some money. It'd be nice to be prepared for this sort of thing.

Carole remembers the penny in her pocket and pulls it out. She looks up at the sky and sighs.


Thank you God, but I meant a large-size financial miracle. Not just a penny. Oh, well.

She looks at the penny again, then puts it back in her pocket. She pats her pocket, closes her eyes and repeats her previous wish.


Lucky Penny, I found you. Make my every wish come true.

As she makes her wish, O.S. can be heard TINKLING OF TINY BELLS, and a golden haze envelopes Carole. Bobby looks over at his mother and grins.

Carole is standing, her face to the sky, both eyes scrunched tightly shut, and a happy smile on her faceas she makes her wish.


I wish I had a million dollars.

The golden haze fades and Carole opens her eyes and goes back to changing the tire.

Just as she places the jack under the rear bumper, a semi can be seen and heard approaching in the background. The truck pulls to a stop behind the van, and the driver jumps down and approaches. He waves at Bobby on the other side of the ditch.


Hi, there. I'm Tom Evans. My friends call me Tommy or Rocky. Rockin' Chair is my handle. Can I help you with that tire?


It never fails. Can't say as I mind, though. Every time I've ever gotten a flat, I'm sure I'll have to fix it myself and someone comes along to fix it for me.


Makes us men feel needed.


Still, I wonder if I could change it if I had to?


Tell you what. You come on over here and help me. Then you can tell your husband you changed it yourself. I'll just give a little nudge if it doesn't come off first thing.


I'm a widow now for the past two and a half years. But I'll bet Bill's smiling down from heaven to see I've got help again.

Tom places the jack under the bumper, stands behind Carole, standing over her. He places Carole's hand on the jack handle, with his hand over hers, and pumps the vehicle higher. She smiles as the van rises on the jack. Tom keeps his arms around Carole slightly longer than necessary. Carole doesn't make an effort to move either. Finally he steps away from her.



It must be hard for you raisin' that little one, without his daddy.

Tom points over to Bobby who is still running the pebbles through his fingers and dropping them into the hub cap, but is eyeing the truck with interest. He scoots a little further down the embankment each time he drops the pebbles into the hub cap.


Hard isn't exactly the word for it. Bobby is the youngest of eight children. My oldest, Marc is sixteen, then there's Sam, fourteen, Amanda, thirteen, Dolly, ten, Andy, nine, Jimmie, eight, Elizabeth, five, and then Bobby there who just turned two. His dad never saw him before he died.


Eight kids? Whew! You do have your hands full.


The older kids help me out a lot with the younger ones. Bobby was born after his dad's accident.

Just then the Cub Scouts, including Carole's kids come racing around the front of the barn, screaming and hollering.

Carole helps Tom put the spare tire on the wheel, stands up and brushes her hands on her jeans. She holds her hand out to shake Tom's hand, and thank him.


I really appreciate your stopping to help me. I'm still not sure I could do it by myself, but I do feel a little more confident now than I did before.

Tom takes her hand, and shakes it, and holds it with both hands, a little longer than is usual in a friendly handshake. He looks into her eyes.


It was a pleasure. I notice you've got a CB in your van. If you ever need help, just get on Channel 9 and ask for help. Tell them Rocky Rockin Chair is your buddy. You'll have help sooner than you can say "flat tire".

Reluctantly, Tom climbs back into the cab of his truck, stalls a little longer by waving at Bobby, then puts the truck in gear and takes off down the road.

Carole watches him as he disappears, and turns around just in time to see Bobby trying to follow the bigger boys. Carole tears after him, grabs him by the seat of his pants, and drags him up the barn bank. Bobby is wailing and kicking his legs. Carole hugs him and whispers in his ear.


Our guardian angel sent that man to us, Bobby.


Carole continues dragging Bobby inside the barn where she plops him down on a soft fluffy pile of straw.

Dusty shafts of sunlight filter through the roof creating a magical atmosphere. The barn is filled with loose straw. There is a large stack piled to the back of the barn.


Stay here Bobby. Don't move. I have to watch Andy and Jimmie and their friends explore. You're a good boy.

Carole turns her back on Bobby and goes to stand in the doorway trying to count heads.



Carole runs down the bank as Cub Scout, Danny Wood and Cub Scout Gail Gregory run around the barn out of sight.


Boys. Boys. Stay in sight of the barn. If you give me trouble I'll tell your parents you robbed a bank.

CUB SCOUT Jerry Walters is pulling up wheat and throwing it at CUB SCOUT Larry White, CUB SCOUT Phil Alison is rolling down the barn bank into Jamie Brown. Phil gives Jamie a kick.

Jamie begins to scream. Andy runs to take the part of Jamie who is thrashing his legs. Danny Wood, Gail Gregory, Jerry Walters, Phil Alison and Larry White run off screaming their innocence.

Jamie's cap falls off as he picks himself up off the ground with Andy's help. Jamie and Andy run off together, leaving the cap lying on the ground. Carole walks down the hill, picks it up and hangs it on the low branch of the tree growing next to the barn. She walks back up the bank to check on Bobby.




Bobby. (beat) Bobby. Where are you?

Carole whirls in panic. Bobby is nowhere in sight.


Bobby comes toddling out from behind the stack of straw, clutching a couple dozen twenty dollar bills in his hands. They are dropping onto the floor as he walks.

Carole grabs Bobby and hugs him. With panic in her voice, she questions him.


Where did you get that?! Show me where you got that. Right now.

Bobby points toward the large pile of straw, and grins.

Sunlight filters down from the holes in the roof above. A glowing shaft of light sparkling with golden chaff dust leads directly to the spot where Bobby is pointing. Tiny bells tinkle O.S.

Carole runs to the spot, picking up bills as she goes.


Show me where.

Bobby runs behind the stack of straw and starts throwing straw over his head. Carole follows and does the same.

They uncover black garbage bags stuffed full of money. One is open. Twenty dollar bills are tumbling out of it.

Bobby, straw sticking out of his hair, grins. He looks like a cherub with the shaft of sunlight illuminating his hair.

Carole carefully stuffs all of the bills back into the bag and ties it shut. She looks around and then meticulously covers the bags with the straw.

Taking Bobby by the hand Carole calmly walks to the open barn door. There are no Cub Scouts in sight.

Carole reaches into her pocket and pulls out the lucky penny. She looks at it, puts it back into her pocket and smiles. She and Bobby are enveloped in the golden haze and the tiny bells can be heard tinkling again. She picks up Bobby and hugs him and carries him out the door and down the barn bank. The golden haze around them fades away.



Andy, (beat) Jamie (beat) Everybody! Get your little behinds in this car at once.

Andy, Jimmie, Jamie Brown and the rest of the Cub Scouts come running from all directions.


Geez Mom. We were just starting to have fun. Why are you mad?



Never mind. Just get in the car. We've got to get back to town.

Jimmy, Andy, Jamie Brown, and the Cub Scouts all Grumble and Complain Simultaneously.


Carole fastens Bobby into his car seat. The rest of the boys reluctantly climb into their seats. Carole climbs in and fastens her seat belt.

She turns and looks back at the barn, puts the vehicle into gear and starts forward.

Suddenly she stops. She turns around in her seat and looks thoughtfully at the old barn. The barn is enveloped in a golden haze.

She puts the vehicle in gear and drives across a small bridge into the barnyard, looks at the barn again, shakes her head and starts to leave.

She pulls out toward the road again, then she stops, puts the gearshift in reverse and backs right up the hill of the bank barn, stopping just short of the door. She unfastens her seat belt, opens her door and jumps out.


Carole disappears inside the door and returns moments later carrying a black plastic garbage bag. She throws it on the floor on the passenger side of the front seat. Tiny bells can be heard tinkling and the inside of the vehicle has taken on a golden haze. Bobby looks down at the bag and giggles.


What's in the bag Mom?

Carole replies in her best den mother voice.


Always leave a place cleaner than when you found it.


Carole's Kitchen. Breakfast clutter still sits on the table. Coffee cups are in the sink.

The cupboard doors are all standing open and boxes of cereal with the tops opened and the wax paper sticking up fill one countertop. Another counter has some cups and a couple of plates and is otherwise empty. On the windowsill above the sink sits a large beer stein, stuffed full of lottery tickets. A lone lottery ticket is tucked under the stein.

A giant opened jar of peanut butter sits on the cupboard, a butter knife has been left in it. A loaf of bread lies on the cupboard, open with slices spilling out of it. A large jar of jelly is lying on its side, open, with jelly running out onto the counter.

The dishwasher door stands open, the tray pulled out. A towel is draped over the door of the dishwasher.

Children's school books are on the kitchen table. The table is nearly against the wall. Eight chairs and a high chair are squeezed around the large table, which has two extensions in it. A Cub Scout cap lies on the floor under the table.

Eighteen large black garbage bags are stacked near the door. Carole still wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, and her friend Kathy, dressed in a cotton dress with a sweater tied around her shoulders, enter with two more bags.

Kathy pushes back her hair and straightens her sweater.


Where are we going to hide this stuff?

Carole looks at the clock over the refrigerator.


Oh no! The boys will be home from football practice any minute.

Her oldest son, Marc, hurls himself against the kitchen door, sending it flying against the wall.


God Mom. What's all this stuff on the floor?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Reading the Old Stuff

If you get to the end of these entries and want to read more, you should click on "archives"...then to read even older ones, you click on "previous month" and you eventually can read them all if you like. 

 I'm going to ask for a prayer for me.  You know my theory is that when everyone wishes for the same thing it almost always comes true.  I'm wishing for (1) a sale of my books and or screenplays, and/or (2) a job for me, at least part-time.  If all of my friends will please envision me as prosperous it would go a long way toward helping me out!   Love and kisses.  Jana

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Time Flies

It's an old saying that the older you get the faster time goes by.  It also appears to be true that having children (and then grandchildren) brings that reality close to the surface! 

At Christmas I sent cell phone pictures of our family Christmas party to my son, who was in California celebrating Christmas with his father who hadn't seen my side of the family for about eighteen years.  Zach text messaged back to me "send more pics", because his father wanted to see all of the kids, who now have big kids of their own!   It is sort of amazing to think about all that time that's flown by in the past eighteen years.

I was married to Zach's dad for 16 years, if you count the two years we were separated before the final decree came through.    It's been 18 years since he moved away and quit participating in our family events. 

Its sort of amazing how your perceptions change over the years.  My perception of relationships is that one should always remain "friends" unless the other person in the relationship was just plain evil.  I hold no animosity for Zach's father, nor for hardly any other person with whom I've been involved over the past.   There are some people I'd really rather not have back in my life because they were utlimately losers.  Others were people who lacked a spirit of optimism.   But I have a universal sort of love for all people, and look upon nearly all others as friends.   That is, except for a couple of people who were just evil incarnate, and I don't hate them, I just stay as far away as possible from them!  I don't have any animosity for them, believing as I do they will ultimately cause their own downfall.  I don't ever believe in "getting even" with anyone for anything.  My mother taught me long ago that God arranges for the revenge, and He will ultimately allow you to witness the downfall of the evil ones.

An instance I recall particularly is the man who sold us our pony.  She had been foundered, which for non-farmers means she had eaten too much grain and gotten sick.  It caused her to have problems throughout her life, one of which was that her hooves grew out enormously and had to be trimmed quite often. It caused her to walk funny.  Another of her problems was that she had a strange growth in her mane, and her neck was very heavy and her mane fell over funny.   My dad had traded a couple of pigs for the pony.  I asked my mom why we didn't "do something about the man's cheating us."  She said "God will get him."   And He did.  It took quite a while for it to happen.  When the man sold us the pony he was a very handsome young man.  By the time God got him however, his appearance had changed drastically...he was old, bald and toothless.  And in jail.  He was arrested for mistreatment of animals.  His farm had been raided and all of his animals confiscated.  Among them were bunches of ponies that had been badly treated.  It was on the front page of the newspaper.  He was standing there with his pot-belly hanging out, hands behind him in cuffs, surrounded by ponies and cops....the sun shining off his bald head, and he had a toothless, sheepish grin on his face.  God surely got him!

Some people call that Karma.  I leave that to God to take care of.   A lot of people have told lies about me.  A lot of people have done things to me that were unfair.  I've never taken revenge against them, because I know, ultimately, God will get them.  It's a sure thing.  I just go along living as gentile and quiet a life as I can manage, knowing the scales will ultimately be balanced.  I am content with that.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Which Came First the Chicken or the Mouse

Well, if the mouse dies how do you install a new mouse?   With the keyboard.  But I don't know all of the keyboard tricks to get around.  So I had to go buy a new mouse and I got an optical mouse that has special software that goes with it.  But if you don't have a cursor that works how do you install it?  I finally used the keyboard arrows and got it to install, but then it came up in Italian!   If I'd had a mouse I could have simply scrolled up to English and clicked on it, but nothing I did would make it move.  So I read the Italian, and figured out one said Next and one said Cancel.  I clicked on the next using my arrow keys and the enter key.   It began to install.   I finally got it in, and then it automatically shut the computer down and started it back up again.   And it still didn't work.   So I disconnected it from the mouse port and took off the cheater and plugged it into the USB port and the computer recognized it!   Then I figured out how to turn the computer off without the mouse again, and it restarted and Voila!   The mouse works!

The moral to the story is:  Number 1:  When the mouse begins to stagger around the room as if he's dying, run out and buy a new mouse while the old mouse is still breathing so that you can at least get the old mouse to install the new mouse!    Number 2:  Throw away all of the old meese in your house!   I must have tried three or four of them, and none of them would work.  There's usually a reason the old mouse is lying around the house unattached to a computer!   Throw things away when they don't work!

This new mouse doesn't have a roller ball.  It's an optical mouse, and it has a little eye on the bottom that sees whatever its sitting on and determines which way it is going.  You don't have to say Gee or Haw or Whoah or Giddyup or anything!   It's sort of like a horse that knows the way home!   Oh wow.  Now I'm really dating myself! 


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Left Behind Christmas Things

It happens every single year.   You go around the house, making sure you've gotten all of the Christmas stuff and put it away, and after everything is packed up you find something that didn't make it!  This year there was so much I'm going to have to make another trip to the attic!   Usually it's some tiny thing that I just put into my curio cabinet until next year.  This year it was all of the window lights and decorations.  I had unplugged them on New Year's Day and completely forgotten to take them out of the window.  So all of the candelabra and snowmen and angels that lit the windows are now assembled in a plastic bag waiting to go into the attic.  As I was doing that I was assembling some more thoughts about Christmas presents.  At some point in the last couple of weeks I've been mulling over the expression "it's the thought that counts", and I've decided if there's no thought given to the character and wishes of the person for whom you are giving a gift, you ought not to give them anything.

Even though there have been years when I was having "a case of the shorts" as an old high school friend used to call it, I've always managed to, at the very least, make something for everyone on my list.  When I make those things for people, I think particularly about the person I'm making it for as I make it.  I might not have spent tons of money on what I made, but I put a lot of love and heart into it.  In many cases I've spent many, many hours making presents for people.  I've decided it is the thought that counts, and I'm going to be thinking a lot harder about it from now on, no matter my economic condition at the time.

Merry Christmas...and that's the last time I say it for another 11 months and 15 days.  Love and kisses.  Jana

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Instructions for Reading the Archives & Previous Months Entries

If you get to the end of these entries and want to read more, you should click on "archives"...then to read even older ones, you click on "previous month" and you eventually can read them all if you like. 

All of the Christmas stuff is stored away in the attic for another year.  Now I have to get busy with other things.  Back to writing on the novel, Kekionga, and other things.

I think I'll bake some oatmeal cookies with walnuts and dates in them.   Love and kisses.  Jana

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Getting Rid of Christmas for 11 months at least

I had to call my handyman to come and help me get all of the boxes out of the attic.  I could climb up there, and I could probably get the boxes down, but either I would come crashing down as well, or the boxes would, so it always helps to have two people around to help get them down.

Now I have to systematically remove all of the Christmas decorations, and pack them into the boxes.  Then I have to call the handyman back to help put them into the attic again.   And then!   I am sending him up there to help me clear out the mess up there.  For thirty years people have been throwing things up there and not being careful about it.  Mixed among the treasures is a lot of trash.  So I am giving him big tubs to take up there and fill up.  Then when he brings them down two or three a week, I will go through them and clean out what is of value, and sell, give away or throw away the rest of it.  It's going to take me a year to get out of there.  Above my desk I have a note that says "Begin to free yourself at once by doing all that is possible with the means you have and as you proceed in this spirit the way will open for you to do more."   I want to move out of this house.  I never meant to be here for more than a couple of years!!  

While property all over the country has doubled and tripled in value, the property in this town isn't increasing much at all.   However, inasmuch as I traded some worthless land in Nevada and $2,000 for this house thirty years ago, I think it is probably increased somewhat, although I did put a good amount into making it better.

My friend, Becky's restaurant is going under.  She put a lot of money into it, and I feel bad about it.  I have been telling her for a year or more to stop throwing good money after bad, but now she's really gotten herself into a fix.  Hopefully she can come out of it all right.  There was a management problem, not Becky's.  Her son and his wife had everyone believing they were the owners, which caused some problems.    I can't do bankruptcies for businesses, so all I could do is recommend an attorney to do it for her.   Unfortunately I'm not certain the attorney who did the corporate work protected her as well as she could have been protected.

Well, if nothing else she's got me to bring a positive spin on things.  I have to also refer her to someone who can help her set up a trust for her son who has a form of cerebral palsy so that he will have protection as well.   There is a trust form that can accomplish that and still protect his social security.

Well, now I must figure out what's for supper.  I think some brown rice and yogurt would be a good start.

Everyone take care, love and kisses.  Jana

Monday, January 1, 2007


With my merry-go-round of wondering, I am wondering how certain people can get so spiritually and emotionally attached to one another that for nearly half a century there are still unspoken but nevertheless strong feelings passing back and forth between them.   Sometimes I feel an intense yearning that comes over me, not because it's a feeling I've been having necessarily, but as though I am feeling it coming from another.   When I sense that feeling, I think of just one person.   Other times I feel frustrated, sort of trapped when there is no reason for me to feel that way.   I am free as a bird.  Other times I feel anxious when there's no reason for me to feel anxious.  Just this weekend, I've felt sort of at loose ends, as if there is something to be completed, and a certain sadness, but I don't know what it means.

Perhaps someday I will learn the reasons for these feelings.  In the meantime, I hope the feelings of hope, of dreams come true, of happy ever after endings is going the other way so I'm not the only one who is hopeful and smiling.     I've always said "you can't make someone else love you", while at the same time believing you can't make someone stop loving you.  Love and kisses.   Jana


07?   Oh, God!  How could it be 07 already!?

I was wondering why I didn't wake up until nearly 11:00 Saturday.  Then it was nearly 9:00 on Sunday.    I wonder what time I will be awakened on New Year's Day.  Here it is 1:00 a.m. and I'm not the least bit sleepy.

I had a small party with my friend Becky and her two grown children, Patrick and Whitney.  I baked a couple loaves of bread and made some cheese spreads, and opened a bottle of wine I've had in the cupboard since 2002.   We watched television and Fritz the cat entertained us with his antics.  We're easy.   Half a cup of wine nearly did me in.  You can tell I don't drink much, since I've had that wine for five years.

They thought the bread was wonderful and wanted the recipe.   I don't use a recipe to make bread.  I put in yea much flour and mix in some salt, and then I put some hot water in a cup and add sugar and yeast, then I dump it into the flour , and then I throw in a couple or three eggs, and some oil, and I mix it all up, and let my mixer do the kneading.  Then I let it rise, punch it down, divide it into loaves and let the loaves rise, then I bake it.  It feels right when the dough feels like a baby's bottom.

Anyway, I tried to figure out just how much of everything I put in so I could give them a recipe.  My grandmother used to do the same thing for me when I asked for recipes.   She'd make motions with her hands to show me how much of things to put in.  Or she'd say, "lard the size of three eggs and four handfuls of sugar".     I can't help it, that's the way I learned to bake.  I've been baking since I was eight years old.

Saturday night about 9:30 p.m. I went on Amazon and listed a book that has been taking up space in my house.  It made a good doorstop.  It was huge, weighed 8 pounds and was of absolutely no use to me.  It was given to my son by one of my former employers.  I listed in on Amazon and just for the heck of it put a price tag of $100 on it.   I awoke this morning to learn I had sold it!!   So I spent time putting up some autographed books that I don't need.  One of them though was George Plimpton, and I didn't really want to part with it, so I put an outrageous price on it.  Wonder what will happen with that one!!