Saturday, April 03, 2021



MOM: Hilda Charlene McNeal

While Pop was the master of gardening, nature, science, and bird watching, Mom’s super power was celebrating holidays. She had an innate gift for making them joyous occasions no matter what. Easter was one of those special happy times she created.


It all started with the dying of Easter eggs. It was quite a production. While the eggs were boiling we gathered the magical kit of dye tabs, metal look, paper stickers with pictured of bunnies and chicks, and that wondrous was crayon we could use to write our names and greetings. There were usually 6-8 color tabs in the packet, so we got the same number of old cups we would use to dissolve each tab using water and vinegar. We dipped the eggs into the dye using the metal loop and placed it on a rack until it dried. When we finished we had quite a pile of colorful and decorated eggs. Of course we sampled some along the way.


Mom made her own chocolate covered eggs. The filling was made using cream cheese, powdered sugar and something to flavor it. Our two favorite fillings were peanut butter and cherry. Ohmagosh, those chocolate covered sweets were so yummy good.


Even after my sister and I were grown, Mom still had those Easter baskets waiting for us on the dining room table every Easter. She crammed it full of jelly beans, marshmallow peeps, some kind of funky hard marshmallow eggs with a colored sugar coating, and of course, that great big chocolate rabbit. There would be fuzzy chicks and other toys in there when we were younger. I still have my basket and some of the toys that she put in it. The chicks with cowboy hats and bonnets are a bit faded now, but most of them are still there. I use it as a center piece for my dining table these days, but with it also comes the memories of Mom and how she made Easter a wonderful happy time.

Sarah J. McNeal

Author of Heartwarming Stories




Amazon Author's Page

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Just in: The Wildings Are now Available in a Boxed Set!



By Sarah J. McNeal

Prairie Rose Publications

Pre-order Link: WILDINGS SAGA 

All my Wildings stories are now in a boxed set available for pre-order and for only 99 cents. The collection will publish on March 18.


THE WILDINGS is a wonderful collection of western romance stories that follow the Wilding family through generations of love and loss, joy and sorrow, and wins and losses in life. Get lost in this exciting boxed set of full-length books and novellas that trace the adventures of the descendants of the Wilding family. From the lawless old west days of the early 1900’s in ruthless Hazard, Wyoming, through the generations forward, the action, romance, and suspense is nonstop.

Follow the saga of the Wilding family from the early days that begin with a haunted house, a trunk, and a date with destiny in Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride. Can Joe and Lola’s unlikely romance last? Next, the dangers of World War 1 in For Love of Banjo, and a Prohibition-era kidnapping with Fly Away Heart will have you on the edge of your seat. Hollow Heart is a post WWII short story with a surprise twist, and The Beast of Hazard will touch you with its romance between a veterinarian and a beautiful circus performer facing danger. In Unexpected Blessings, a couple overcomes a seemingly insurmountable problem, and in Home For the Heart, a determined young woman must find a way into a confirmed bachelor’s heart. A conversation at a wedding spoils everything in It’s Only Make Believe, and in I Dream of You, a recurring dream, a kiss, and deadly secrets could unlock not only love but a very dangerous outcome for everyone. Three Christmas novellas, A Husband for Christmas, When Love Comes Knocking, and A Christmas Visitor are also included to round out the series and bring it to a very satisfying conclusion.


This wonderful collection will keep you entertained with richly-woven stories filled with real-life excitement, danger, and love from the heart of romance author Sarah J. McNeal. THE WILDINGS will enthrall you and keep you turning pages as you follow the multi-faceted characters and the stories of their lives! Don’t miss it!

Friday, March 05, 2021




I was really nervous yesterday when I was on my way to a new facility to get my first Covid shot. The appointment was easy for me to get since I get updates through My Chart. I worried there would be long lines inside the building and I felt nervous with the possibility that I might be one of those people who have had extreme reactions to the shot.


I was so surprised to see how efficiently things were planned to move quickly along. As a trickle of people were going into the building, a similar trickle was leaving through another door. Someone was there to greet each of us as we entered and areas were clearly marked to keep social distancing. Of course everyone wore masks.


I was quickly shown to the room where the Pfizer vaccines were administered and my nephew was allowed to stay with me through the whole process. The nurse explained everything about the shot, what to expect, and what the potential side effects might me. I barely felt the shot when she gave it. I got a card to keep with me that attests to the fact that I have been vaccinated and the nurse included on the card when my second shot is scheduled. I certainly won’t miss that second shot.


Upon leaving, the nurse gave me a written document about the Pfizer vaccine, what the side effects might be and what to do for each of them. I also received a button attesting to the fact that I have received the vaccine which I thought was nice, sorta like the sticker we get when we vote.


It’s been almost 24 hours since I got my vaccine and, so far, I have no side effects what-so-ever except a little soreness in the arm at the injection site.  I feel good about getting the vaccine and knowing that I am now playing a part in ending this deadly pandemic and protecting my loved ones and the community in which I live.


Sarah J. McNeal

Author of Heartwarming Stories




Amazon Author's Page

Friday, February 19, 2021



In my morning thoughts and prayers I include all those who have suffered power outages in the Midwest and are suffering the extreme cold, hunger, and the need for fresh water. I also keep in mind the homeless everywhere and in my city where they are ordered to be out of their tents into some safer housing since rats have overtaken their encampment and present to them an increased danger of disease along with Covid. It is also is in my prayers that our leaders find just and fair ways to help this nation get through these hard times with plans and visions to benefit ALL Americans and to Lead By Example as we sort out and solve these trials our nation faces. Let us be kind and respectful of one another and all living things on Earth. May we each be a light to dispel the darkness.

Monday, February 01, 2021

February Hits Like A Bomb by Sarah J. McNeal



Now real winter begins in the month of February. While it’s just chilly with gray skies and drizzle here in North Carolina, many of you have been hit with a major winter storm in the north mid-west all the way up into New England and the Eastern seaboard. I understand from the news that some of you may get 2 foot of snow and more, plus it’s supposed to keep snowing for several days. Where I live the greatest impediment to happiness is freezing rain. The roads get slick and it’s hard to tell where the ice is, and then there’s the icing up that happens on trees and power lines that will surely lead to the loss of power for some. Nothing like losing your power when we need it most in the bitter cold of winter. Then, of course, there is the dread of what to do in a pandemic when the power goes out because we’re all isolating at home and crowded places where we once could seek shelter are now dangerous places to be.


I feel so sorry for the homeless people who are growing in numbers due to the economic downturn in the pandemic—like things weren’t bad enough already. Can you imagine trying to keep warm in a tent or just a blanket? Here in Charlotte, the CMPD is taking metal barrels and wood to a group of homeless people so they can have the warm of a fire and people are coming together to bring them warm meals and proper clothes and blankets. It has to be miserable for these homeless people and their families. I am grateful for everything thing I have even though I don’t live in a big house or have lots of money.


Snow in my neighborhood a few years back

How are all of you holding up? Do you still have power? Do you have fun things to do out in the snow or are you huddling by the fire with a book or Netflix? Did you make some snow cream, or are you working on seedlings for spring planting?



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

COLLECTIONS By Sarah J. McNeal #TheWildingsSeries


I have to confess, I am a collector. I get interested in one thing, and the next thing ya know, I’m trying to find the space to put the MANY items I have collected.

Way back when my grandmother, who was addicted to auctions, got a box full of stuff at an auction and in it was a strange little ivory man with holes in his back which she gave to me. I wondered with all my imaginative might why it had those holes. Was it part of necklace that belonged to an Asian princess perhaps? Astoundingly, my high school sweetheart and I found another strange ivory figure with holes in it similar to the one I had been given by my grandmother at a unique shop, Maison Michelle, in downtown Charlotte. Curiosity really took hold. A few years later my sweetheart, who was then my husband and I found a wonderful shop, The Japonica, where unique Asian items were sold. The owner was friendly and even made us tea. She had several ivory figures with those 2 holes in them, so I asked her what they were. They were Netsuke, and were used as a slide knot with a pouch where the owner would keep things like pen and ink and so on. The item was worn on the belt and the Netsuke was made in such a way that it would always turn face out. Those little figures were actually very expensive, costing several hundred dollars each. I saved my money and bought one whenever I could until I had a nice little collection. I stopped collecting them when I thought about how they were made of ivory, and even though they were antiques, I felt guilty about buying any more.

My collection days were not over, however. I collected PEZ containers until my collection outgrew space. I also collected salt and pepper shakers because they were so cute, and I collected whirligigs until they began to cost more than I could afford. I loved the huge metal whirligigs in the movie “Twister” the auntie made and they were also musical. Awesome! I also collect interesting pens.

I don’t know the psychology behand the need to collect things and, quite honestly, I don’t really care. For me, it’s just fun and exciting when I have a collection of something and I find a new piece that is just too adorable to pass up.

Do you have a collection? What do you collect? How did you get into your collection?

Sunday, January 17, 2021

My Dog Lily's Super Powers #The WildingsSeries by Sarah J. McNeal


If the doorbell rings, the mail person deposits letters in the box, a car backfires, or the teenager next door is practicing moves with his skate board, Lily will come running to wherever I am with wide eyes and an anxious expression. I am not fooled into believing she is coming to protect me from an intruder or some such. No. Lily is looking for me to protect HER. She’ll get behind me like I’m her human shield against harm.

If I open the door, but not the storm door which is locked, Lily will bark so much I cannot hear the other person. This is particularly annoying at Halloween. I had to start handing out candy through the bay window because of Lily’s annoying bark. But here’s something interesting, if I open the door and let the person in, Lily immediately becomes an attention hound trying whatever she can think of to get them to pet her.

This is the way it is with Golden Retrievers. If you’re wanting a guard dog, this is not your dog. Now if you need a hug or a dog who will listen to you whine about your life for a while, now THAT would be Lily’s super powers. Golden Retrievers are all about service and kindness.

Lily is also great at chasing squirrels. She has never actually caught one. That was always Liberty and Priss’s (Priss was my cat before Liberty. They looked almost identical) domain (cats). If I lived in the wilderness and had to depend on an animal to fetch dinner for me, I would call the cat—the REAL hunter.

BTW, speaking of squirrels, I haven’t seen Twig today, but I think I saw the daddy sunning himself on the railing of the deck in a spot of sunshine. He looked very well fed and seemed pretty content out there.

When it comes to guardian type dogs, I’ve had 2 of them: Finn and Mac. You would think 18-20 pound dogs wouldn’t be anything to worry about, but I can tell you both those Scotties were determined, courageous, and smart. I wouldn’t have wanted to confront them if I were a stranger. They sounded like big dogs and I think they believed they were big. Those guys were fearless.

Well, Lily has spent all her energy begging for pats on the head from company today, so she’s having to rest to rejuvenate.

Do you have a dog or cat? How would you rate them as guardians? Would they rush in to save you, or hide behind you? What is your favorite thing about your dog or cat that makes you love them even more?