Its Christmas...and thank goodness the world didn't end!

Well the world didn't end on this cold, damp 21st day of December.
Lets face it did we really think it would? Maybe...just a tiny smidgen of doubt had settled its self into the smallest deepest corner of my mind. I am elated however that I am still here especially after the fortune I've spent  on Christmas presents. Every year I say I'm going to cut back and buy less, after all my children are adults now however I am blessed with three beautiful nieces and two gorgeous nephews who are still young enough to appreciate Santa Claus so buying them gifts is a pleasure.

But do we ever grow up? I have always loved this time of year its a magical merry-go-round that I enjoy so much. Everyone seems to be happy, full of joy and Christmas spirit. For twenty three years I have been hanging stockings up at our coal fire place for my two children and even into adult hood I have carried on this tradition in fact I think my daughter would never speak to me again if I didn't comply with this.
I still enjoy watching the joy on Emma and Chris's faces when they unwrap their presents on Christmas morning.

Today was a day for last minute shopping although I have to say I am remarkably organised this year which is a miracle in the making because I am usually that mad person who is rushing around like a lunatic  on Christmas Eve.Although... I have to confess I still haven't iced my Christmas cake which will be done before the day arrives...I hope!

A visit to the hairdressers was on the cards today and it was a much needed appointment because I kinda looked like a cross between a dried up old haystack and a poodle brushed and poofed to perfection. I have the thickest hair ever and it was in desperate need of a haircut and once again I have to give praise to my hairdresser whom I have been going to for at least twenty years, she plowed her way through  and now it looks somewhere near okay...I think!

Going to have my nails done tomorrow with my daughter and we are having Shellac done so at least it won't chip or fade for at least the Christmas period. I quite fancy having red with snow flakes just to get into the festive season.

Where has 2012 gone, I'm sure I am not the only one who thinks it has flown by, it hardly seems like twelve months have passed since it was last Christmas, personally I think the world has sped up on its axis and that's why it seems like time is flying, except I know I am just getting older and time is flying by quicker than I want it to.


Hiding behind my fingers I tentatively click on the Amazon link that leads to my newly published book 'Her Passionate Protector'. I want to look to see if I have any reviews but I'm a little wary in case no one has left one...It's such a heart stopping moment. All that hard work, all the sleepless nights and all you want is to know that someone has bought it and left a whopping five starts. Dare I...No I can't...Yes I must...Oh for goodness sake just look.
Moving my fingers wide enough to peep out of I look with one eye open and a whoosh of breath exits my lungs and I jump up and down in my chair like some demented person...Five, five star reviews...Woo hoo! Thank goodness!

I thought writing my book was going to be the toughest job ever and getting a publisher to like it...well I figured that would be almost impossible, and it was hard but eventually that dream came true. As far as I was concerned I was home and dry...

No, no, no,  I wasn’t dry at all I was soaking wet and slipping and sliding everywhere  as the hardest part of it all is the promotions, knowing where to go and how to do it and out of all the thousands of authors out there getting you're work noticed.

My publisher has given me some great advice and I am trying to find my way round this part of a writer’s life. It’s not easy, but I know a lot more than I did two months ago and I hope I will know a lot more two months further down the line.

Poignant Moment!

I'm sure that I am not the only one who treasures their pets whether it's a dog, cat or budgie. I n my case it's my dog well we have two actually, two Jack Russel's and they are adored. Lucy and Jim had six puppies three years ago and they were adorable it was manic having all these little balls of fluff everywhere. Puddles and little poo piles were frequently cleared up.

You couldn't have two very different personalities. Lucy is quiet but the boss and Jim is noisy and thinks he is the boss but that  is an over thought on his part because Lucy very clearly has the authoritative voice between the two...always. In fact she is the diva of the doggy world. But we love them both and they are very much part of out family.

While Jim is very healthy poor Lucy has had a lot of problems, two discs in her back slipped and she was paralised for some time, but with medication and lots of hydrotherapy she can now walk but sometimes with great difficulty. In the last twelve months we have been fighting to save her from going blind, but after our visit to the vets on Thursday she decided to take Lucy of all medication. She is now totally blind in one eye and has only peripheral vision in the other . To begin with she was bumping into everything and we joked that she would have to have a crash helmet but amazingly she is coping very well and as long as we don't move anything she has managed to avoid concussion.

The sad news was that we were told she may have two months or she may live for twelve months and that was a shock to us. We still take her to hydrotherapy because it helps with her back. Sometimes she surprises us and tries to play actually in her younger days she used to play pool with the guys and pushed the balls into the corner holes with her nose.

Lucy& six pups.

Swimming with her life jacket.

Swimming without a jacket.

Jim and Lucy

She is only young at eight years old but Lucy has a personality that is like no other and we love her dearly so as long as she is with us we will continue to care and hope that the dreaded day of her leaving us doesn't come for a long time yet.

Its Party Time!

So this weekend was exciting, I had arranged a family party and I took everyone out to our favourite restaurant and there was about seventeen of us. It was such fun. Champagne on ice, great food and the best company. We talked and laughed. The children had fun catching up with each other and it gave my heart a squeeze to realise how lucky I am to have sisters and a mum so close by.

I bought presents for everyone all wrapped in Christmas paper and my little nephew Matt( who is my little buddy whom I adore) helped give these out and it was so good to see everyone's  faces when they opened them.
Unbeknown to me I thought it was a party I had organised, but somehow my family managed to turn the tables on me by presenting me with a humongous bouquet of flowers and framed photo's of my first published book and a newspaper article that had been written about me. I was shocked that they had managed to keep it all from me. My two sisters presented me with a gold pen which they said was for all the autographs I will be writing...oh my I just wanted to cry it was so sweet.

It was a fabulous night, one I won't ever forget and it just made me realise how utterly lucky I am to have such a caring family close by.

Computer wizardry...No problem!

So wouldn't it be great if once you had written your book and had it published you could sit back and watch it sell.
Oh boy if only it was that easy !
Promote, computerize,chat advertise ... No one said I would have to be qualified to do all these things. Who said that you couldn't teach an old dog new tricks, because this old dog is certainly learning new things every day. Take today for instance I without any help at all from the kid-lets (sit with my head held high) I have manage to make a trailer of my newly published book 'Her Passionate Protector'.

To begin with it was like putting my head beneath the bonnet of my car and groaning at all the things I knew absolutely nothing about, however bit by bit I managed to decipher the worded technology, find pictures that were pertain to my book and source music that would do it justice.

I was so pleased with myself that everyone who came through the door was literally hauled into my office to look at it. Every time I sit down I have to just watch it, only the once just to remind myself of what I have manged to achieve. If I was a Peacock I would be fanning my feathers*giggles* ridiculous at my age.

Although I only ever want to sit in my writing cave and be left alone with my heroes and heroines I know that I will always have to venture out now and then to discover new technology and become a wizard of the techno world and prove to my kid-lets that mum is never to old to learn.

Her Passionate Protector-trailer


November 9th 2012 a date that will sit with ,me for a very long time. I guess a real milestone in my life.
'Her Passionate Protector' is now available at my publisher Secret Cravings Publishing and also from 13th November 2012 it was available on Amazon UK&US also Barnes&Noble as an eBook and will be available in print February 2013.

Its pretty amazing to think that this time last year I was an un-published author with several rejections under my belt and a confidence level that was almost on the floor. Two things happened that helped me change those circumstances.

1/ I became in contact with a fantastic editor who showed me how to write with a view to a publisher actually looking at my MS rather than just throwing it on the slush pile.
2/ And she took no sh*t of me, i:e she made me work my ass off, making sure I knew when she wasn't happy with my work but also praising me when my work was good or improved and I can't tell you how utterly amazing it was to me that someone would take the time to do this. You know who I'm talking about don't you 'Annie Seaton' the best damn editor around.

It's a crazy occupation to have, there are so many good writers out there that you have to give one hundred and ten percent if you don't you just get squashed in the slush pile. Rejection is the worst feeling ever, not just as a writer but in anything you do we all want to feel like we have hit the nail on the head instead of aiming for a thumb.

One thing I want to say is if you are truly committed and want to have your work published...don't ever give up. Sometimes you will feel totally rejected and feel like just chucking it all in the bin DON'T just hang in there because the more you want it the harder you will work and the more determined you will get. And always have faith in what you do because if you don't then no one else will.

My book can be downloaded at the following links...
Amazon us
An innocent woman…a millionaire…two totally different people,

When Lucy meets Alex the owner of a company her cleaning business has just picked up a contract for, her hard won self-preservation and quiet life flies out the window. Smoldering heat burns every time Alex comes near her. He is confused by this independent, yet vulnerable woman and when her ex-husband returns, determined to hurt her Alex fights for her life and their love.

Two completely different worlds and yet when they collide parks ignite.

 However the future that Alex foresees for them both has a very bumpy ride in store for them. Independent to the core Lucy's inner fight with her past threatens to destroy any chance of a future. An unexpected flight to New York may change their fate forever but will they survive the turbulent road to happiness?

Amazon uk

Nook readers...

Waiting for that email!

So fellow authors is there anything worse than looking in that email box every five minutes waiting to see if you get offered a contract. Waking every hour of the night just to check because you know they are on a different time zone and your night is there day and you couldn't possibly wait till morning to find out. And you plead for sanity to return , hating the damn email account, and hating the refresh button even more.

I am finding myself in that position again, the waiting game and its one that I hate to play. This time seems so much worse than the first time, I guess now I have had a taste of success I want it to continue. So why would I put myself through this again...because I love what I do. The versatility suits my life style, sometimes I write through the night, or it could be in the back of the car, perhaps the library or it could be on the other side of the world sitting on my friends porch enjoying the North Carolina sunshine...oh yes I love being a writer.

How many jobs could you have where you can say your talents are so wildly focused   historian, researcher, psychologist, sex expert, typist, geologist,and the list goes on and on...what a clever lot we are!

Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Destiny and choosing the right path!

Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Destiny and choosing the right path!: Fate? Do you ever think that you're life is determined by which road you take at a certain point in you're life.  How many times do you ge...

Destiny and choosing the right path!

Do you ever think that you're life is determined by which road you take at a certain point in you're life. 
How many times do you get the chance to choose?
Our life's are defined by our choices and what we are willing to accept. I think we all have an equal chance at choosing. Some would say that the past has stopped them from being able to choose, that they haven't been fortuitous enough to decide what is best for them. I think that we all have to take responsibility for our own destinies, at some point we have to decide what is right for us and only we as an individuals can decide..

Life is a continues lesson of learning, loving and humility and those guide lines have stood me well.
Every breath we take is a miracle  and I firmly believe that it is a gift of life that should be cherished and nurtured after all we never know what is around the corner.

Life is a struggle there is no denying that,and living with a past that haunts you can be consuming but when you finally are at ease with you're life a calming influence eases over you and at last you can finally breath out and say I struggled with it, I lived it and  I survived it . 

The reason I am feeling so philosophical is that on October 30th it will be four years since my dad passed away. He had cancer and this is what I wrote a year after he died and it started my writing career again and subsequent publishing contract I signed last June for my book 'Her Passionate Protector' coming out in November 2012.

As I sat by the bed of a dying man, my mind went back to happier days. Those days filled with laughter and fun. How could a short time make such a difference, how could life change so rapidly. It would be a long night, I didn't want to leave him, didn't want him to die on his own.

Scottish to the core, he had lived on Anglesey for thirty six years, this was his home, and this Island had been his way of life. Finally settling in Llangefni an old market town that had lost its center  almost portraying a ghost town. From the days when it had been bustling with business full of people and shoppers. Now most of the shops were boarded up.
Looking at the man laying in the bed, a shell of his former self, it broke my heart as I remembered the fun times we had as well as the bad. It had always been a tumultuous relationship, full of more downs than ups.
As the wind and rain lashed against the bedroom window, I watched the large tree sway from side to side, dropping the crumpled autumn leaves to the ground all the life and colour ravaged by the fierceness of the wind a sign of the impending winter, Sighing my gazed returned to the small frail body lying in the large bed. Eyes closed, mouth thin, suddenly I realized how old he looked. His lips were dry from the oxygen that he now needed to breathe, his chest was struggling to cope with the heaviness of his breathing. It was only a matter of time and I knew that his life was slowly ebbing away, there was  nothing I could do to stop it, even trying to make him comfortable was becoming increasingly difficult as he became more embedded in his illness.
Is this what life does to you? We are born, we live, and we die. Is it the bit in-between that counts? It passes so quickly, how can you be sure that everything you dream about becomes reality? You can't. 
I look at the body ,pale against the blue sheets, here is a person who has organized his own funeral, picked out the clothes that they want to be buried in ,spoke endlessly about all the things they haven’t been able to do. Our discussion this morning was about after life. Its strange how knowing that you are going to die changes the way in which you think, the fear of the un-known makes you want to believe in something even if you can’t see it. My dad asked me if I believed in there being something else after death. And I looked at him and said that I did and to my astonishment this made an impression on him.He had never even voiced his thoughts of what he thought was going to happen afterwards and  there was a smile of relief as it finally embedded in his mind that there would be somewhere else to go when he was finished here ,somewhere he would feel at amity with himself. No loneliness, just peace.
Picking up his bony hand I looked at body of the man that was  now a ghost of his former self I smoothed my thumb against his paper thin skin, his eyes flickered and a small smile appeared as he gripped my hand, his blue eyes pale, his pupils enlarged as he struggled to get his breath. I felt like he was apologizing for all the fights we had, all the disagreements all the un-spoken words between us.  Encasing his hand in mine, I wrapped my fingers around his and smiled, leaning my elbows on the bed so that I could get closer. The verve slowly leaving those once vibrant blue eyes I waited for the struggling breath noises to stop as I watched the existence that was his life leave his body .The silence of the room filled me with the deepest agony as I realised this person who had been part of me for all of my forty seven years was gone. Tears ran down my face as I grieved for the loss, the emptiness that surrounded me was excruciatingly painful. Putting his still warm hand to my face I kissed it for the last time.
Laying the red rose on the coffin he chose himself, I watched as it disappeared behind the curtain, as I say goodbye to my dad.
He was seventy seven years young and I never remember a time when he wasn't fit and healthy. The dreaded cancer struck him down, and little by little it ebbed away at his life. Slowly and painfully I watched him, cancer concise in its life taking abilities. I wouldn't have said he was a wonderful dad because it would have been a lie. I wouldn’t say he had always been there for me because it would have been a lie. Would I say he was the best dad in the world, no, but he was my dad and I loved him more than words could say. I miss him, miss the joking and the laughing. I miss the friendship we had at the end after such a tumultuous relationship of more downs than up’s. He was courageous, he organised his own funeral, even down to what clothes and shoes he was going to wear, making sure his shoes were as shiny as a pin. That gave me admiration for a man that I had constantly battled with for a life time.
You are constantly with me dad, I hope you are at peace as I am.
Miss you and love you. Dil x

Life is short and now as I get ready to visit his grave I wish he was here to see my success as a writer, I know he would have been proud and I know now that I forgive him .
Forgiveness is something that we should all carry in our hearts because I truly think it makes us better people.

Stress Relief

As I finally sit down with a glass of nice cold Kiwi Cuvee I wonder where does it say anywhere that when you prepare and cook a large roast dinner that you also have to clear away and stack all the dishes in the dishwasher? *raises eyebrows*  No where, but never the less they all get up from the table with what seems to be no guilt what so ever and I sit there and think what the... Evidently they think that it is my place to do it So a lesson to all you young mums out there, make sure you teach your children and husbands that you are not there to clean, cook and be general dogs body to all who pass through!!!

Going to the gym is my stress release and I love it. I will spend at least three days a week and as much as five if I am really stressed. My old bones need that extra kick up the ass to keep them from giving up entirely. Cardio makes my lungs feel like they are going to collapse at any given moment. My butt which seems to be gravitating south invariably gets cramp and at the end of it my legs almost give up completely. The only thing that stops me from caving in is my Pilates and I relax and stretch those tense muscles until I am almost slithering into the shower at the end of it.

Another six thousand words written today, yesterday was spent researching and getting my story board up and ready for this new book. Thank goodness my board stands tall (three feet) because there is a lot of research going into this next story. The best part about putting a book together is finally putting the idea you have on to paper and watching it grow into something that for three months becomes part of your life where you eat , drink, and think nothing but scenes and paragraphs I even lie in bed going over in my mind the day's writing and I have been known to get up at 2am( quite frequently) to change a scene or add some more words to the days count.I love to write at night, there is something about working through the night, no phone, no one shouting for me to do lunch or make coffee.

Put a smile on someone's face!

You know there's nothing in this world like the smile on someones face when you give them a an unexpected present, I'm addicted to it. I am one of those people who genuinely loves to by gifts...not to receive back but just to see the pleasure from the recipients face. I remember a Christmas family party I gave and I organised wrapped presents for all the children to be delivered by Santa Claus ( am I aloud to say his name?? I don't care if I'm not! ) the absolute excitement and pleasure on there face's was priceless and unforgettable.

I have decided that I will be having another party this year to celebrate my signing a publishing contract and because I want to. I am busily now trying to decide on all the little gifts I am going to present to everyone, most of my nieces and nephews are older now and don't believe in Santa...but they still like to get gifts and I still might get Santa himself to deliver them...I know the big man, he is on my iPhone  And I rather fancy a sit on his lap !
Everyone has to dress up it's my only stipulation.

Happy today because I have finished my second book, I'm just waiting for my editor to come back of her holidays and it will be winging its way into her email box. Giving myself tomorrow off and then its back to the grindstone with book three...I love my job!

Hoping to see the cover of my first book'Her Passionate Protector' (due out in November) sometime in the next few weeks... I'm very excited to see my name on the cover of a book that I wrote, its so surreal.

Autumn has arrived, the leaves are falling, the new autumnal colour's are exquisite. It's time to burn those delicious cinnamon candles, wear warm sweaters and breathe the fresh crispy air...I love it! Its time for me to make my Christmas cake, for the last twenty six years I have always made my own but since my dad died I stopped doing it, he died four years ago (October 30th) and it was the strangest transformation for me I changed and the way I did things changed me...for the better.

Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Life ...

Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Life ...: Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Life Is Just To Damn Short : I am reminded today how precious life is as a friend of my husband...

Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Life Is Just To Damn Short

Dilys J Carnie Contemporary Romance Author : Life Is Just To Damn Short: I am reminded today how precious life is as a friend of my husband's looses her fight with cancer leaving behind a young daughter , a husban...

Life Is Just Too Damn Short

Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Life Is Just Too Damn Short

I am reminded today how precious life is a friend of my husband's loses her fight with cancer leaving behind a young daughter, a spouse, family, and many friends...How sad for a young girl to grow up without the pleasure of knowing her mother and how precious she was.

We wake up every morning thinking that life is just one long continuation of minutes, days, months, years without even a thought of how precious every one of those seconds is. Routine takes over, and we become so engrossed in becoming super-mums or super-dads that the only thing missing from our wardrobes are our red capes.

I've been there and been the mom who does everything, convinced that everyone needs me, and no one can survive without me but as is said above for that poor mom who lost her young life to a disease that is soul destroying to the ones left is just too damn short. We are on this planet for such a short time, some longer than others, and in the daily lives of surviving day to day we sometimes forget that it isn't our right to wake up every morning it’s a gift.


Why is is that dogs love to chase post men/woman? Is it the uniform? Do they have a scent that dogs just don't like? Who knows, but my dog Jim is a little Jack Russel and he hates the post man, quite honestly it's a fight as to who gets to the post box first. Jim sits by the window all day if need be and just waits...and waits...and waits. Our post man is terrified of him, possibly that might be because Jim chased him through the village and the post man only made it back to his van by the skin of his teeth.  Today he managed to get to the post box before me and totally ripped my new Nora Roberts book to pieces, he is now in the 'dog house'!!!

Okay what's the deal with flat pack furniture?
It says you need one person to put it together when quite clearly one would never be enough to hold all the bits and pieces together. It's so frustrating, in the end I had some sort of scaffolding underneath everything to hold it up and something that was only meant to take twenty minutes took me nearly an hour and a half. Now does that give the indication that I'm just stupid or the person who designed it needs brain surgery ??

I am now opening a bottle of Lindeman's Cabernet Sauvignon and letting it breath and get to the correct temperature before I pure myself a large glass of this delicious Chilean wine. It's a gorgeous ruby red in colour with subtle hints of oak embraced with dark berry fruits and big juicy plums. The aroma is distinctively fruity but not sweet.

I think a dvd is in order and some chocolate to finish of an extremely frustrating day and the dvd is going to be 'Nights In Rodanthe' and I'm excited to watch this because I have visited where they filmed this movie and I'm keen to see how much different the movie is as opposed to the book. Nicholas Sparks actually lives in North Carolina where I have been holidaying for the last two years where I have been three times.

Despite my day I have managed to write another three and a half thousand words which was a miracle in it's self!!

Dilys J Carnie: Welcome!

Dilys J Carnie: Welcome!: Welcome to my blog! I am a Contemporary Romance Author who has recently signed a contract with Secret Cravings Publishing and this blog wi...

Dilys J Carnie: My body is here but my mind is on the beach !!

Dilys J Carnie: My body is here but my mind is on the beach !!: The nights are now drawing in and Autumn is upon us,the tree's are starting to loose there leaves as they fall crumpled and dead to the grou...


Okay so today I went to the gym which I do most days, I love to do Pilates and cardio, my favotite apparatus at the moment is the cross does that machine make you work hard.My usually tidy hair looked like a birds nest on a bad day, my make-up( okay I hear you in the gym? I'm vain and I don't apologies for it) disintegrated into streaks that looked like the three lanes on the M6 motorway. However I came away smiling knowing that the chocolate fudge flapjack I had this morning was well and truly obliterated from my ass.

The never ending pile of laundry was waiting for me and while switching on my  laptop  in my office I set to it, also making a large pot of coffee and a very guilt free smoothie...I am so good at the multi-tasking, but aren't all woman? Why is it that men can only do one thing at a time? What is with that, if you ask them to do one thing, they can't talk, or be involved in any other task except what they have been asked to do and personally I find it easier to just do the job myself...I'm a very self contained kinda 'girl' (I'm a woman, I keep forgetting that half a century has passed me by) I laugh some what at the thought of being that old. I seem to have done more with my life over the past ten years than when I was younger and had the time and no is strange!!

My dog Lucy has been poorly today, she has good and bad days. A couple of years ago I found out that she had major back problems and had to have lots of treatment which involved hydrotherapy and she got a little better but it has returned with a vengeance and I have had to book more treatments in the vets pool. Not only that she is going poor lou lou she has suffered somewhat through out her short life of eight years, but I keep plodding on with her and giving her the best treatment I can.

So I have typed six thousand words today and my second book is coming on nicely, this will be part of a four book series about four brothers. I love to read books that come in a series so writing one just seemed like a natural progression in my writing career. And so another day has ended,September already where does the time go??

Chesapeake...U.S.A Beautiful !!

Okay so I just recently came back from a six week stay in America...North Carolina to be exact.
And I can tell was hot !!

Boy, even the sand was hot enough to cook my feet. However the inspiration for my second book came from a beautiful place called Chesapeake...and I sigh as I say that name. The blue waters of the bay gently lapping in the soft gentle breeze lulled me into an idea for my next book. Four brothers, a ranch and complexities to turn there lives inside out by four woman, strong and weak, beautiful and wounded, cold and loving. Out came my pad and pencil as I jotted down pertinent research for these four books. is hard !!

Off course as I finish each book and start another I need to go back and research some more...some would say it was an excuse to go back to this beautiful place...and you could be right...but I love to write and make up stories that bring not only a smile to my face but I hope to a lot of other people and if I can do it in the surroundings that give me a great deal of pleasure...why not!

As I finish up for the day, my fingers cramping from writing nearly eight thousand words, my eyes are almost closed because they hurt to stay open and my back almost doubled over and I think to myself "are you crazy?" What kind of person puts themselves through that? Well I gotta tell you, I am that crazy person who just loves what they do. And although I go to bed, exhausted, sore and weary I will get up in the morning and start all over again...That's what authors do!!!


Welcome to my blog!

I am a Contemporary Romance Author who has recently signed a contract with Secret Cravings Publishing and this blog will be about my life as a writer as I see it and live it.

My first book is coming out in November 2012 'Her Passionate Protector'. My second book is almost finished and books three, four and five are drafted ready for me to begin.

I never thought that I would ever get this far as an author, so at the ripe age of fifty it is a dream come true and I am here to profess that life really does begin at fifty and I have done things in the last few years that I never in my wildest dreams though that I would ever accomplish.

So hang on to your hats and I will take you on a journey that has been sad, happy ,encouraging  and exciting !