I am conservative because…

I grew up that way….

When I am brushing my teeth, I still only run the water enough to wet my brush and my dentures, then turn the water off.  It is a left-over habit from when we lived “back on the farm” before we had running water in the house.  I didn’t know how rich we were back then.

We grew everything from potatoes to strawberries.  And what we grew, we canned!  Back than, I hated the process of canning, but loved the canned goods.  I have not so fond memories of washing hundreds of glass jars.  This was when you put a big pot on the wood fired cook stove and heated the water to when it was nearly boiling, you carried it to the “Pantry” and set it on the end of the big slate sink.

My Mother was the strongest woman I have ever known.  She planted a one acre garden, with food.  She also had a section that she planted in flowers.  The woman had a Green Thumb, every thing she planted, grew.  Plants, birds, and animals loved her, birds would land on her hand.  She knew every species of plant, and could name every bird.  She worked in that garden, weeding, hoeing, and harvesting for hours a day standing with her back bent with her legs straight.  I would last for half an hour, with a lot of coaxing, maybe an hour before I was sitting down, out of breath.

The only things we bought at the local grocery store was, salt, sugar, and flour.  There was no bottled water in the store.  If you had tried to purchase it, the grocer would look at you like you were crazy.  It still seems a little crazy to me. Remember that pantry I talked about? Well we put a big metal milk can of water on the “side board” and dipped out what you needed for you chore of the day.  Those milk cans didn’t magically appear on the sideboard, we had to do one of two things:  1. Go out to the well, prime the pump, and actually use our arms and pump the handle up and down, to get the water to pour into our pail.  Oh, by the way, once out pail was full, we carried it into the house. 2. Place several of the milk cans in the back of the car, head down to the artesian well and if the minnow is still swimming around, dip water out and put it into the milk can, load it back into the car and drive it home, and start all over again when that was gone.

There was no such thing as a shower, or even a bathroom.  If you had to go, you went out the back door to the “Out House” and did you business.  On the farm we had what I used to call, a “Three-holer,” that was three holes, one tiny one for small kids, one big for the man of the family and one in-between for the woman.  It was smelly in the summer and freezing in the winter, what fun!

I remember my absolute thrill when my Dad brought home an army surplus folding canvas-like bath tub!  After heating the water on the stove, I would slide into a bubble bath, pure heaven! Of course, I only got to do this on Saturday night.

We washed clothes on Monday, always! Rain, or shine, winter or summer, we hauled the old Washing machine out plugged her in and did the heating of water again, filled it with boiling water, added plenty of bleach and soap, sorry, can’t remember the names of the soap.  You always started off with all the white things, they were stuffed in and you waited for the clothes to get clean enough to pull them, gingerly (remember the boiling water) out of the water,  and stick them into the ringer to crush a lot of the water out of them. Watch your fingers!  My Mom had a two tubs set up to rinse them in cold water and put them through the ringer, put them in the second rinse, back through the ringer and then put them in a basket to take them out to the cloths line to hang them with wood clothes pins.

I have not so fond memories of bringing them back into the house-frozen stiff, and not that dry to hang them up over the stove on yet again another cloths line, this time with out the pins. I have to admit they smelled wonderful. Damn, just talking about it makes me tired.

Oh!  By the way, you aren’t done with your wash day.  You kept adding clothes to that same water gradually adding them by the color of the clothes, once the sheets and towels were done, you added your other clothes until you got to the dark clothes, which were pitched in last.  The theory was that all the bleach was gone by the time they were washed.  That might have been why all the men’s jeans and work shirts got lighter until they were streaked.

When they started getting holes, they were patched and worn them some more.  Nothing was thrown away if it could be re-used.   Now that was recycling!  I still keep a box of folded rags for cleaning.

We had animals, too!  My Mothers motto was “Every part strengthens the part” and no part of any animal was wasted. But that is for another time.

If you like my stories of “Long ago” let me know, because, I am not quite older than dirt, but getting there, and love to re-live the “Good old days”.

I am an author and have 8 books on Amazon.com, they are available on digital and print on demand paperback.  Just type my name, Brenda Colbath in the search area and voila! you will see all of them.  They are only $.99 so you won’t go broke getting them for your Kindle.  If you have to hold the book in your hand and turn the pages, you can order them, they cost a little more.

BTW, Amazon let’s you read the firs two or three chapter FREE to see if you like the book.





This morning I let my mind wander while I was doing the dishes and I began to think about the many things that were a wonderful invention at the time, but later someone made a small design alteration that made the invention many times more efficient.

Sinks are a silly one.  My faucet is set close to the back of the sink so that it makes for many bumped and jammed fingers to get it clean.  The designer probably had never cleaned a sink, or installed one.  If they had ever had installed they would realize how hard it is to get their hands close enough comfortably to screw the parts together.

The reason I am comment on this is we recently had to install a new faucet in our sink in our Modile Home, which by the way aren’t mobile at all, and I felt sorry for my poor Hubby doing the deed.  Every time I clean do the dishes and clean the sink I think about the person (probably a man) that has never cleaned one.

I am not mad at them, but wish manufacturers would consult with real people that use the items they are producing to get some real feedback.

Children’s Books or Adult Books?

Both are fun to write.  My first book that I wrote and published was a children’s book called “The Great Adventures of Ruby & Nolan in Space” and it was a written as a Christmas gift for two friends that were getting too old for Barbie and G.I. Joe toys.

The gist of it is that the whole family is offered an opportunity to travel to an uninhabited world in far off galaxy. The program was intended to not only settle the planet, but to discover valuable assets for Earth.

Ruby and Nolan were thrilled to have this great adventure as long as they could take their dog Pebbles and their Uncle Dawnzella, who the called Uncle Dawnzereli,  unfortunately she couldn’t go with them.

This is the story of how a family copes with a life changing decision, do they drift apart or become closer.

This is a fictional story that lets you peek inside the lives of this family of four that makes that decision. The family makes the journey together. However, this story is mainly about two pre-teens adventures in space.

The family is settled on the new world in their home, but kids will be kids.

Well, why don’t you just read a couple of chapters?

Chapter 1. The adventure begins.

“Come on Ruby, hurry up.”  Nolan cried.

Frowning, she quickly turned from the sink; the front of her wet apron covered with soap bubbles which were falling. “Keep your britches on, Nolan you know our chores have to be done before we can leave.”

Ruby was tall for her age, a little over 4 feet, with long wavy Brown hair that fell nearly to her waist, big Blue eyes.  Her slim figure showed that she was on her way to becoming a beautiful woman, way too soon for her parents, especially for her Daddy’s comfort.

 “Okay, okay, what do you want me to do to help?” He asked, sounding a little exasperated standing there trying not to look impatient, but, losing that battle. 

Nolan was not as tall as Ruby, but growing fast enough to overtake her in a year or less.  Standing with his hands on his hips; his blue eyes sparkling over an impish grin under a shock of curly light brown hair. 

“Why don’t you go and get our backpacks, swords, and sheaths?  I am nearly finished with the dishes and will pack a lunch for us, so we won’t have to come back until dinner time”. 

He hurried to get everything Ruby asked for, as she finished the Breakfast dishes and packed sandwiches, water, and treats.  Their parents Ty and Robin were away helping a neighbor, as they were the unofficial leaders of the New Seattle settlement. 

Chapter 2 is an introduction so I will just give you a little more.  

Chapter  3 Kids will be kids  

Ruby finished her chores and met Nolan out front with their lunch. Nolan handed her, her backpack, her scabbard, and sword, which she fastened at her back.  He had his sword belted at his waist.  Ruby’s sword is a little longer; also made of wood, and she keeps a sharp knife securely strapped to her ankle, hidden by her slacks and boots. 

Nolan had his sword at the ready and immediately tried to get through Ruby’s defenses. However her defensive moves are still a little faster than his, and she was able to disarm him in several minutes.

“You are getting better, every day Nolan, it won’t be long before we are evenly matched, then we can take on Dad and Mom, but right now, we’d better get going before the day is over,”  Ruby said a little out of breath. 

They started out around the hill, for the climb to the top, to check on the solar panels.  It would take them the better part an hour to do the climb.   Ty insisted that they are checked on every week, and most of the time Ruby and Nolan did the climb as part of their chores.  Off they went climbing up around large boulders and up the established trail to the top of the hill.  About half way up they paused and sat on a couple of boulders, sipping water, they talked about what they would do after this chore was done.

“I think that we should go check out our hide-out, to make sure some wild animals haven’t broken in and destroyed our stuff,” Nolan said.

“Okay, but I’d be surprised if it has been disturbed, and the large animals usually do not venture near our encampment.  The hunters have started to go further to hunt for meat.  “Let’s get started,” Ruby said pushing herself up and they started up the hill again. 

Chapter 4 Oh. Oh.  This is not good.  

When they crested the top of the hill, they stood stock still and stared at the wreckage in front of them.  They were shocked to see several of the Solar Panels bent nearly to the ground on the metal rods holding them, and at least two of them had big tears right through the Panels.

 Generally, when they did this climb, they would take the time to view the whole valley through their Binoculars.  It was kinda fun to see the changes their neighbors make to their homes.  Usually, they bring back news of a new barn or shed.  They always marveled at the amazing tableau before them, with cleared, planted land surrounded by huge trees that seemed to reach for the sky.  They didn’t as yet remember the names of all the trees, but they did know that they were perfect for climbing and had been campaigning for a tree house to be built in one near the River; one that they could fish from. 

“This is not good.” they both said in unison. 

“Geez, Dad will be angry, when he sees this” Nolan cried.

“I wonder if we can we straighten them again?” Ruby said as she started straining to push up the panel; even when Nolan helped, they only managed to get winded in the effort. 

“Okay, guess we will have to report it to Dad; good thing they all weren’t damaged.  We are still getting plenty of power with only two panels down”.  Nolan said.

“Let’s look around to see if we can find tracks of what did this damage,” Ruby said.

So they started walking kinda bent over looking for tracks, hoping that it wasn’t a large animal, and if it was, hoping it was not still in the area, especially with them armed with only wood swords.  Ruby didn’t think that her small knife would be very helpful.  After several minutes of looking, Nolan suddenly stood up and shouted: “Hey Ruby, come look at this.”  Ruby hurried over to see what he was hollering about, thinking that maybe he found a rabbit or deer tracks. 

As she looked at the tracks, she sucked in her breath in shock, “Nolan, those looks like claws.  This can’t be; we’ve never seen any birds large enough to make these.  We need to take pictures, and measurements, so we can prove to everyone that we didn’t imagine this.  Dad will want to know what did this damage.” Ruby said while fishing her camera out of her backpack, and snapping several quick pictures of the damage to the panels and the claw marks in the soft ground.  She also dug out her tape measure and carefully wrote down measurements on her notepad.

While she was doing this, Nolan continued to search the area; suddenly he excitedly dropped to his knees and started wiping mud off a large oval shaped rock wedged under a thick bush.  He cleared a small area about the size of a baseball, took off his glove, and was marveling at the colorful pattern on the smooth surface that actually felt and looked like glass.  As he was marveling at the colors and running his finger over them, he realized it was quite warm, and he felt a slight vibration. 

Want to read more of Ruby and Nolan’s adventures? Go to amazon.com and type in the title in the search area. The adventure continues in Book 2,3 and 4 and book 5 is on the way.  R and N cover Book 1






Writing about writing

That title sounds silly, but everyone does it in one way or another. There are experts that tell “how to” do every part of writing.  It all seems so intimidating to us novices that only want to tell stories.  We need to get them out of our heads or we will explode.

That sounds easy, just sit down at the computer, or at your desk with a pen and paper.  Come on, you have all those great novels just swimming around in your head, and all you have to do is pick up the pen or start typing.  You don’t even have to be particularly fast or accurate, after all there is spell check, Grammarly, and many other aids available to give you a little push.

Your friends and relatives may encourage you with words of praise for your bravery to put yourself out there, while laughing to themselves at some of the mistakes in grammar or spelling you make.  But think about this: how many times have you scratched your head when reading a best seller book at the blatant mistakes.  No one is perfect.  You won’t be either.

So enjoy writing your stories, don’t worry if no one ever reads them, because you have to tell those stories that are running around in your head. If you don’t they will eventually crash into each other and you will have a mess.

When I wrote my first book “Murder on Lake Haverly” I wanted to poke a little fun at the Real Estate profession, and reveal its under belly to the world.  I felt confident, after all, I was in the trenches for nearly 30 years.  To be honest much of what I wrote about Real Estate is true even though it is fiction.  I patterned much of the business from real experiences with real people.  I never have revealed any names and never will, but many of the people exist  and probably are still doing their thing.  If they recognize themselves, not my fault they were so strange.  My book had a little some business realism (but not boring, hopefully) and a little sexy love, a little murder, and description of fun places in Arizona, you might want to mosey on over to Amazon.com and type in Brenda Colbath and read the FREE chapters of my book. You could order it at the very small price of $.99 in ebook, if you are one of those people that have to have a book in your hands and turn pages it is available in paperback at $11.99.  I will be forever grateful if you leave me a review, they mean more to authors than you will ever know.

Thanks, have a good day.

Treasured Memories

I was sitting here at my computer wasting time instead of working on my books.  A thought occurred to me, if it is work, why am I doing it. Then I remembered why if gives me pleasure.  My mind wandered back to another time that also gives me pleasure.

The times I bathed, powdered, and snuggled with my children, before putting them to bed for the night.  They got a warm bath with bubbles and toys. After bath-time they got powdered, and put in clean PJ’s, then covered with their warm bed-clothes. Then it was story time.  I loved reading and used different voices to make it fun for them, and read until their little eyes closed and sleep claimed them.  I don’t remember of making up stories, nor them asking for them.

When my Grandbaby came along, she was different, not better, just different. She loved to have me make up stories.  Everything else was the same, except the making up of stories. I can’t remember any of the ones I made up, and probably she doesn’t, but she might remember me telling them.

A couple of my fondest memories was of Aurianna setting on my lap as I winning simple solitaire and when the cards started falling over the screen in uneven lines sayin, “Make it do it again, Gramma.”

Another fond memory was of her saying, “Gramma, make the car talk again.”  I had a Chrysler that talked to me, saying things like, “A door is ajar.”

She is all grown up now, but writing is akin to telling her stories, of course some of the stories I tell now are for grown-ups, but I still love to tell children’s stories.

To see and read my stories you can go to Amazon.com and type my name Brenda Colbath in the search and they will all pop up.  You decide if you want to read children, young adult, or adult and they are all there.  There are 2 more on the way. I’ll let you know when they are available.


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