About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I just returned with my husband from the latest nut and fruit gathering session. And no, he's not the nut I gathered, not this time anyway.

Five years ago, we planted hazelnut trees. We had a yield of a couple dozen nuts from one tree last year and they were tasty. This year all six trees are producing and we have collected three quarts in a week and a half. Only the first tree is producing right now and is still full of nuts. I'm looking forward to having my own hazelnuts for Christmas.

When I bought the trees, I bought several different varieties. As it turns out, they mature at different times. On one tree, the nuts are turning brown and falling while on the others they are smaller and still white.

Some people say that the trees should be trained to a single trunk, but I haven't done that. I am watching for a shoot some distance from the parent tree. If I find one, I'll dig it up and replant it twenty feet away from the others.

If you'll notice in one picture, there's a larger nut. That's a black walnut that fell a couple of weeks ago from a 50-foot tree at the side of the house.

Trivia question: What kind of tree produces hazelnuts?

Answer: The Hazel tree. Some things are easy.

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