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Sunday, November 21, 2021

November 3 Post Interview

 An Interview with the author Patricia Stinson by                              Eileen Moynihan

"Hi Everyone, my name is Eileen Moynihan.  I live in Ireland, and I write children's books and poetry.

"I would like to introduce you to Patricia Stinson, a writer living in Minnesota, in the United States.

"Pat, will you answer some questions?"

"I am happy to answer your questions?  Fire away."

"Please tell us where you grew up and a bit of your background."

"Happy to do so, Eileen.  I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the United States of America, and grew up in the small suburb of Columbia Heights.  After elementary and high school, I went to Augsburg College in Minneapolis and earned a BA degree in Elementary Education and later a Master's Degree in Elementary Education at the University of Minnesota.

"I taught first through fifth grades in my forty years of teaching, including a country school in Lansing, Minnesota, city schools in Minneapolis, and I went to New Guinea for two years as a lay missionary teacher."

"Why would you go to New Guinea, Pat?"

"I have tried to put Christ first in my life and follow what I believe is His direction.  I heard the mission field needed teachers to teach in English to the children in New Guinea.  In the area where I worked, there were 300 different tribal languages so by having the children learn to read, write, and do math in English, the Australian government hoped it would unify the area.  It was a great experience for me to live in a completely different culture.  In their culture, they lived in fear and did not know God or that He loved them.  I saw how blessed I was to know my Savior."

"You write fiction, yet there seems to be some history in each book.  Why is that?"
"Boredom.  Pure and simple.  When I was in high school and college, I learned about the wars, the dates, and just a bit about the causes. 
"To me, dull smells hot tar mixed with sour milk.
"I want to know more than the bare bones and facts of history.  People make history with emotions and personalities, which influences events.  Knowing the people makes history come alive.  Many readers do not want to read history as they consider it dull.  My goal is to write the history mixed into the fiction story because it adds more interest to the story and more interest in learning history.  I don't blame the schools for the lack of exciting events as there is so much history, they can't teach it all."

"Can you give examples, Pat, as to how you include history in your books?"

"Love to, Eileen.  I based Range War Legacy on the true events in the late 1800s and the early 1900s in Crook County, Oregon.  A young girl and her parents were on a picnic in a meadow when several riders wearing gunny sacks over their heads, with the eyes in the sacks cut out so the riders could see, rode over the ridge and killed three sheepherders, two dogs and ran thousands of sheep off a cliff to their deaths.  Everyone in the surrounding towns knew the girl, and her parents could identify the murders by their horses and other identifying features.  But, they never said a word.  Even when the girl was in her eighties and all the participating people died on that terrible day, she would not name them.  Many of my friends did not know our country ever had a cattle and sheep war.  So, I wrote Range War Legacy with fictitious characters going through these events and showing what life was like in that time and how it influenced the girl and her parents to never came forward with the names."

"For my book Wild River, I researched what happened after the defenders at the Alamo were killed by General Santa Anna and his vast army.  The Americans and Mexican- Americans living in the surrounding villages and towns were in extreme danger.  They ran with what they could carry ahead of the military to the Sabine River, which separated the Texas border from Louisanna.  I also researched how Santa Anna was defeated and captured and what happened to him later.
"I  included information about Kit Carson (a Western Hero to some but not the Navahos) and the massacre at Dragoon Springs.
"I wove the historical events into my book with fictional characters and showed how history affects attitudes and prejudices of that time."

"In Slaves of Passion, I wrote what life was like for a pregnant slave teen who wanted her child to be born free.  The story is set before the Civil War and shows the conditions the slaves had to endure.  I researched the lives of slaves in the 1840s and the Nez Perce Native American life in the 1880s.

"This book covers the struggles of three generations, starting with a pregnant slave teenage girl.

"I write primarily western fiction with some history, so I thought I should include a picture of my pal Hickory.  I don't own him as I live in the city, but he is gentle fellow.  I have ridden western and English styles for many years."

                                                      Hickory and Pat

"I hope I have answered your questions, and I am always happy to respond to anyone who sends me an email at, and I have a blog where folks can make comments or ask questions.  The address is My website is water.  If anyone is interested in reading the first chapter of my books for free, they are welcome to do so at Amazon  If anyone purchases a book they will be helping the MS Society. I donate 20% of my royalties to the MS Society as my sister and niece have MS.
"Thank you so much, Eileen.  This has been a wonderful time for me, and I hope you enjoyed it too."

"Thank you for spending some time with us, Pat.  Now I will close this session conducted by Eileen Moynihan, author of children's books and poetry.  Bye, all."

Monday, November 15, 2021

November 2 Interview with Eileen Moynihan

 Interview with author Eileen Moynihan

Pat Stinson, Interviewer.

"Hello, Everyone.  Today I want to introduce you to the author Eileen Moynihan.  She writes children's books and adult poetry.  Let's find out a little bit about her."

Eileen Moynihan

"Hi, Eileen.  Would you please tell us a bit about your background, such as where you grew up, your family, and your career?"

"Love to, Pat.  I was born in Chelmsford, Essex, England, U.K.   I was fortunate to have an Irish father and an English mother.  When I was three, my family moved to Newport on the Isle of Wight, which lays off the south coast of England.  When I was twelve, we moved to the town of Shanklin. I loved living near the sea and the buzz of summer tourists.  My parents ran a Bed and Breakfast, and my father also worked as a male nurse, and my mother was in charge of the local school kitchen.  By this time, there were six of us children.

"I went to catholic schools on the 'island,'  and at the age of sixteen, I went to the local state high school.  Later I went to the Catholic College of Education in Southampton to become a teacher.  During this time, my parents moved to West Cork in Ireland, and after I received my degree, I went to Ireland.  After some time, I was hired to teach children with Special Needs in Bantry, County Cork.  It was here I met my husband, Pat.  After we had a boy, we bought a house in the village of Drimoleague, and our daughter was born.  Later we built a bungalow in the village of Baltimore, and our youngest son was born.

"I later became a Resource Teacher. My father died in October 2005, and my aunt passed away in November 2006. This was a painful time for me but also a turning point. My husband, Pat, and I sold our house in 2009 and moved to where I live now on the border of Counties Roscommon and Longford in a small village called Tarmonbarry on the river Shannon.

"Since my early retirement, I have been self-publishing children's books and poetry."

"You certainly have had an interesting life with your moves to different places in the U.K. and Ireland. Having your own children and teaching children is a rewarding challenge.  Have you always been interested in writing?  What draws you to writing?"

"By the age of seven, I was penning little stories about animals and fairies.  And I love the rhythm and rhyme of poetry, especially in A.A. Milne's When We Were Very Young' and 'Now We Are Six.

"I am drawn to writing because it was something that seemed to come easily to me at school, and others seemed to enjoy my writing.  This was encouraging.  I also love letting my imagination run riot and see what is created from the ideas thrown up in my head and the character voices that speak to me.  I always enjoyed fiction over fact, although I have always found anything historical, interesting."

"I am glad to see that your characters speak to you.  My characters come at night and speak to me, so I don't always get the sleep I want. How many books have you written?  Tell us what they are about."

"I have written 7 children's books and a collection of poetry for adults."

"A children's book of poetry about wildflowers and trees found in Ireland, with Irish names added.  It is illustrated with fabulous flower fairies painted by Angela Corkey.

The title is Rory Gumboots.
Rory Gumboots is a hedgehog who wears red gumboots and lives in the quiet, tranquil woodlands known as Noddinghead Nook.  One day the peace of Noddinghead Nook is shattered by the threat of Monster Machines.

Eleanor wonders where dreams come from.  Her mother tells Eleanor about the Dreamsmith.  Eleanor meets the magical Dreamsmith and learns all about the unique ingredients used in dreams and how dreams are made in the book The Dreamsmith.

The Reckolahesperus  Sam is an only child who lives in the country.  He loves to explore and play outside, but his mother isn't fond of his messy ways.  One day Sam's mother says something strange to him, which leads him to make friends with an extraordinary creature.

Hattie and Jacques Love London

When Hattie, a mouse from London, England, meets Jacques, a mouse from Paris, France, an extraordinary friendship begins. They join the French au-pair Sophie and the twins Boby and Bella on a trip around London.  They visit many landmarks and have some adventures on the way.

Frances Darwin Investigates

One day Frances Darwin finds a bit of torn paper on the ground.  This excites Frances as she would love to be a detective.  This bit of paper sends Frances on a 'wild goose chase' that leads her to find a stray dog called Bouncer and other events leading to dog-nappers. 

"My latest book is Bunny Bob and the White Stuff. This is a picture book for young children.  Bunny Bob discovers snow for the first time and is very puzzled by it.  He goes to explore it and gets lost.  He makes friends with a bird called Pip, who helps him to get home."

"I think it is great you are writing for young children.  It will spark their interest in reading.  What would you like your legacy to be?"

"Pat, I hope people will go on enjoying my books long after I have gone.  I hope I have touched people's lives through my books and my teaching.  I may well be remembered for my failings, but I hope people will remember any good I did as well."

"Thank you, Eileen, for taking the time to visit with us. I hope you have the very best on all your future writing projects.  God Bless."

The books are available on Amazon.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

November Post # One

                                          Gifts for the Holidays

We can send a meaningful gift such as a note or a greeting card to our friends and family, especially those we do not see very often.  Who doesn't love getting an envelope in the mailbox that is not a bill or junk mail?

I know many people send emails, but I like to send snail mail as it is something people enjoy opening, and they can put it in a cardholder (I have two cardholders) to see the greetings often.  They remind us of our dear ones.

An extra gift we can include in the card is this website,  This is entirely free. There is no subscribing, joining, or buying, but your friends can download books onto their devices.  They have classical adult books, children's books, and how-to books.  The books do not have a copywrite if downloaded in the United States and for private use.  

They have many selections of children's books, such as Alice In Wonderland, with different illustrations.  Many classical authors such as Dickens and Twain, etc., are at the site.  I have Dickens' Bleak House.

They have books in other languages.  

There are more up-to-date authors whose books are included so long as the books are for private use only as they are still under copy write laws. 

If you have any books you wish to recommend, let me know.  

The last riddle.  The question was, how many trips on the boat must you take to get the wolf, duck, and bag of seeds across to the other side of the river safely?

Answer: First, bring the duck over.

              Return alone.

              Bring the wolf over.

              Return with the duck.

              Bring the bag of seeds over.

              Return alone.

               Bring the duck over.

Now, you and your three purchases from the market are safely on the other side of the river!

New Riddle:  Water in Buckets:

You have a 5-gallon bucket, a 3-gallon bucket, and a water faucet.  How can you accurately put four gallons of water into the 5-gallon bucket?

Monday, October 25, 2021

October Post #4


This is my favorite poem for Halloween.  It was written by Harry Behn.  I like reading it in a ghostly whisper.


Tonight is the night

When dead leaves fly

Like witches on switches

Across the sky,

When elf and sprite

Flit through the night

On a moony sheen.

Tonight is the night

When leaves make a sound

Like a gnome in his home

Under the ground,

When spooks and trolls

creep out of holes

Mossy and green.

Tonight is the night

When pumpkins stare

Through sheaves and leaves


When ghoul and ghost

And goblin host

Dance round their queen,

It's Halloween!

This one is by Dorothy Brown Thompson

This is Halloween

Goblins on the doorstep,

Phantoms in the air,

Owls on witches' gateposts

Giving stare for stare,

Cats on flying broomsticks,

Bats against the moon,

Stirring round of fate-cakes

With a solemn spoon,

Whirling apple parings,

Figures draped in sheets

Dodging, disappearing,

Up and down the streets,

Jack-o'-lanterns grinning,

Shadows on a screen,

Shrieks and starts and laughter-

This is Halloween!

One of my favorite books for adults and children is The Headless Horseman.  It is a retelling of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and what makes it so unique for me is the illustrations by Emma Harding.

Enjoy Halloween! (But Remember, Witches and things that go bump in the night don't exist.  Or, do they?)

My November blogs will feature books for gift giving for the holidays.  I will start off by featuring Eileen Moynihan children's books and poetry for adults.  Her sister is also talented as an illustrator. If you remember the last blog, the first poem was from Eileen, which she kindly shared. 

 Look at last week's blog to read the entire riddle. The ending question was, "How quickly can you make three perfect slices of French toast?  The answer is:  In a minute and a half.    Label each bread slice by different numbers 1, or 2, or 3.  First, put Slice 1 and slice 2 in the frying pan for thirty seconds.  Then, take Slice 1 out of the pan, put Slice 3 in the pan, and flip Slice 2 over for thirty more seconds. In the last thirty seconds, you take the perfectly cooked Slice 2 out of the pan, flip Slice 3 over, and put Slice 1 back in with the uncooked side face-down.  Now you will have three perfectly cooked pieces of French toast that you can enjoy in only a minute and a half.

New Riddle:  You have just purchased three things at the local market: a wolf, a duck, and a bag of seeds.  To get back home, you must travel across a river in a small boat.  You are only allowed to have one item with you on your boat at any time.  You cannot leave the wolf alone with the duck because the wolf will eat the duck.  You cannot leave the duck alone with the bag of seeds because the duck will eat the seeds.

How many trips on the boat must you take to be able to get the wolf, duck, and bag of seeds across to the other side of the river safely?

Sunday, October 17, 2021

October Post #3

              Autumn Leads to Other Seasons

                                               Seasonal Shifts

Autumn colours with resplendent hue

Twirling leaves

Remind me of you

A misty hush over the land

Matured fruit

For your last stand

You had seen the seasons through

Dropped gently

Your time was due

Winter was harshly stark

Watery light

Unfathomably dark

Numbing feeling, icy touch

Dead inside

Pain too much

Suddenly the ice did crack

Cracked asunder

I didn't hold back

Slowly spring began to dawn

Warming sun

Not so forlorn                                                   

The creeping of life anew

Treasured memories

Aware of you

Sitting constantly on my shoulder

Awaiting summer glory

As I get older. 

Written by Eileen Moynihan  From her book Dipping Into the Font  Thank you, Eileen.

Last month I wrote about the origin of the Jack-O-Lantern.  This is Carl Sandburg's thoughts on the symbol of Halloween.

Theme in Yellow

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn,
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs                                                          
And love to the harvest moon:
I am a jack-o-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

Aileen L. Fisher wrote FALL
The last of October
We lock the garden gate
(The flowers have all withered
That used to stand straight.)

The last of October
We put the swings away
And the porch looks deserted
Where we liked to play.

The last of October
The birds have all flown,
The screens are in the attic,
The sandpile's alone:

Everything is put away
Before it starts to snow-
I wonder if the ladybugs
Have any place to go!

Thank you to Dwyane Smith and Lisa Lambert for your kind compliments on my September and October Blogs.  The next Blog will be about Halloween.   Anyone with Halloween scary ideas, but not too scary?

Last Weeks Riddle: In front of you are three closed metal boxes.  One is labeled "Nuts", one is labeled "Bolts", and one is labeled "Nuts & bolts".  You know that every box is incorrectly labeled and you would like to rearrange the labels so that each box is correct.
By making only one selection from one box, how can you be sure to properly re-label each box?

Answer: The key to this riddle is the fact that all of the boxes are labeled incorrectly.
The way to correctly label all of the boxes with only one selection is to reach into the box labeled "Nuts & Bolts" and pull something out.  Suppose you pull out a bolt, which means that that box must be "Bolts", you now know that the remaining two boxes are "Nuts" and "Nuts &bolts" but since the "Nuts" box is labeled incorrectly it must be the "Nuts & Bolts" and the "Bolts" box then must actually be "Nuts". 

New Riddle: You are making some French toast for breakfast.  In order to cook a perfect piece of French toast, you must fry each side of the slice of bread for thirty seconds.  You only have one frying pan and it can only hold two slices of bread at a time.
How quickly can you make three perfect slices of French toast?

Monday, October 11, 2021

October Post # 2


                         Colorful October  

Do you remember jumping into a pile of leaves as a child?  I do.

 Here is a poem by Julie Perkins Cantrell, but I could not find a title.

Crunching, crinkling autumn leaves,
Spiraling, swirling in the breeze.
Rake them; pile them; stack them high.
Deep down under there, I hide.
Hear my laughter; see my smile.
Hold this memory for a while.

Soon all leaves will blow away.
But in your mind, I still will play.

Emily Dickinson did not want October to outdo her in finery, so she wrote this.

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.


October brings out the jack-o'-lanterns.  Where did they come from?

In my research, I found a reference to an English lady in 1900 asking her horseman if he noticed any ghosts on the land in various places on her estate.  
Supposedly he scoffed and said, "Ghosties! Who's believing in them?  All I've ever seen about the place is Lantern Men.  I've seen them running around scores of times."

They were also called Hob-O'Lantern, Jack-O'Lantern, and Will-O'-the Wisp.  At that time, scientists called it ignis fatuus, which means foolish fire.  It was phosphorescence that gave a flashing light or spontaneous combustion of methane, the marsh gas.

Over time legends evolved.  One Irish story says a man called Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink.  Stingy Jack told the Devil that he should transform into a sixpence as he could change into anything.
The Devil did, and Stingy Jack popped the coin into his pocket, which contained a silver cross, and the Devil could not get out.   Stingy Jack made the Devil promise to leave Jack alone for one year, and Jack would let him out of his pocket.  The Devil promised.  Jack let him out of his pocket and did not hear from the Devil for a year.  

At the end of the year, Stingy Jack tricked the Devil again to spare him for ten years.  But after a year, Stingy Jack died.  He was denied entrance into Heaven, and the Devil yelled, "Go away.  Go back where you came from.  You tricked me and made me promise not to claim your soul."

"I can't go to earth.  It's too dark."

The Devil took a hot coal from hell and threw it at Stingy Jack.  Jack pulled up a turnip, carved out the inside, and put the glowing coal in.  Since that time, Jack has been roaming the earth at Halloween.
For some time, the Scottish children hollowed out large turnips, carved faces on them, put candles inside, and called them bogies.  Later Irish children used turnips or potatoes, and in parts of England, children carried what they called punkies made from large beets with candles inside.

When the Scotch and Irish people arrived in the United States, they began using pumpkins, so we have the Jack-O-Lantern. 

                                                                       *           *           *
Last Week's Riddle:
You have a delicious round birthday cake.  How many equal-sized pieces can you cut the cake into by making only three straight slices with a knife without moving any of the pieces?


Eight equal-sized slices in three cuts.

First, cut the cake straight down the middle splitting it into two pieces.
Then cut straight down the middle of those two pieces to make four equal pieces.
Then make a horizontal cut across the center of the cake to split those four pieces into eight.

New Riddle:

In front of you are three closed metal boxes.  One is labeled "Nuts," one is labeled "Bolts," and one is labeled "Nuts &bolts."  You know that every box is incorrectly marked, and you would like to rearrange the labels so that each parcel is correct.

By making only one selection from one box, how can you be sure to properly re-label each box?

Send me your answers to my email:
Also, send me your suggestions for books, poems or recipes, or whatever you want for the October blog
 This month is yours.   

Saturday, October 2, 2021

October Post #1


                         October #1   

This is your blog for poems and books about 

October, Autumn, and Halloween.

This is the first poem submitted.  Thank you, Elaine Morrow. 

 If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft
And from the slender store two loaves alone to thee are left
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed the soul

by Kahill Gibran

When I was a little girl ( a long, long time back ),  my brother and I would rake the leaves into the dirt street in front of our house and set them on fire.  Everyone on the block did this, on non-windy days.
Robert Louis Stevenson must have done it, too.  Here is his poem.


                                       Autumn Fires

In the other gardens 
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers.
The red fire blazes,
The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

One frosty fall day, as I was walking forth, this little ditty came to mind.

A rain of color upon my head,
A carpet of crunch beneath my feet,
A gust of chill upon my back,
A ray of warmth upon my face.

by Pat Stinson

Want a riddle?

You have a delicious round birthday cake. How many equal-sized pieces can you cut the cake into by making only three straight slices with a knife and without moving any of the pieces?

Answer in the next blog.

Would you like to submit a recipe for October?   A cake, pie, bars, soup, salad, whatever, just so it speaks of the fall.

November 3 Post Interview

  An Interview with the author Patricia Stinson by                              Eileen Moynihan "Hi Everyone, my name is Eileen Moyniha...