Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Where there's heart, there's 'Project Hope' in Columbus, Montana

Project Hope in Columbus, Montana, offers hope for the new year and beyond
to anyone in need in Stillwater County.  Here, the Project's next-door sister 
 shop, Laughing Ladies, aids the effort through antiques and vintage clothing.

I'VE ALWAYS been proud of the warm-hearted spirit of small towns.
Project Hope in Columbus, Montana, is proof that good deeds and generosity can change lives.
The non-profit organization provides help from the heart for needy families in Stillwater County -- a chilly place now that winter is upon the northern Rockies.
An unassuming storefront leads the way to Project Hope.
Project Hope is a volunteer effort with a little bit of everything,
and help for the needy in Stillwater County, Montana.
A window display shows the range
of clothing, fashion accessories and more.
Hope brings just that -- hope -- and warmth -- in warm winter clothing, welcome food, bedding, furniture and household goods. School supplies find their way to eager students, in donated books, paper,

CLICK HERE to BUY......... Lilian's Last Dance

art, pens, pencils, writing materials, back packs and studying aids.
THIS FROSTY time of year, Project Hope's belief that people should not be homeless or hungry makes a real impact.
This small mountain town is 40 miles from Billings, Montana's largest city.  Founded as a stage coach stop along the Yellowstone River, Columbus is home to middle-class families, the usual mix of working parents and stay-home moms.  There are retirees, too, and successful businessmen and ranchers.  But there are needy people, who may not be eligible for other aid.
Through the town's generosity and a faithful network of volunteers, Project Hope was born.
The Project relies on donations from the public, area stores and businesses. "We exist from grants, donations of generous residents, and a yearly fundraiser," a volunteer told me.
Well tended clothing -- gently used --
  is part of the charm of Project Hope. 
Laughing Ladies, the Project's "sister store," is a charming vintage shop of unique clothing, antiques, art and sundries. Laughing Ladies contributes 30 per cent of its take to Hope.
WE STOPPED BY the pair of stores on an autumn visit to Columbus before the first snow. We came because a good friend, also a Project Hope volunteer, spotted a painting done by a woman who once lived in our 1881 log room in our renovated home in the Beartooths. Our friend recognized the setting and knew the artist's history with the place.
Project Hope's fare ranges from kitschy
to collectible, antiques, fun finds and more.
A gorgeous mirror will hang in a Montana country home,
a recent find at Project Hope in Columbus, Montana.
We called to see if Helen Hereford's painting of the mountain and meadows of our beloved property might still be there.  It was! So Project Hope put it aside for us to come buy it. While we were there, we found another treasure perfect for the country place: a wonderful mirror artfully framed with cowboy boot pieces. We strolled about Project Hope and Laughing Ladies, enjoying banter of customers and volunteers, browsing the well organized pair of stores which so delightfully complement one another. There's also a consignment wing to the operation.
MONEY EARNED through these donated, resold items there, plus a percentage of commissioned items, go back to Project Hope.
Home may be where the heart is, as the old saw goes. But "hope" -- make that Project Hope -- has a
lot of heart, too. Happy New Year, Columbus friends.  Thanks for sharing, and keeping us mindful that generosity is a gift to the giver.

Tony Bennett -- in his late 80s -- and Lady Gaga -- 28 --
have a fantastic vocal blend and we're excited to see them!
COMING UP:  Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga hit Las Vegas for New Year's Eve and so do we! We'll be there for their sold-out show, "Cheek to Cheek."  Then we're Down Under at Australia's famous Sydney Opera House, plus a near miss with a terrorist, delights of the sea, new friends, fabulous food, Maori life in New Zealand,
"Cheek to Cheek" for New Year's Eve -- Tony Bennett
and Lady Gaga, above, and Cookie and Keller, at left!
Follow our adventures -- cheek to
cheek (well, most of the time!)
exotic birds, surfing and diving, bridge climbing and more.  Remember to explore, learn and live, and visit us Wednesdays and weekends at:
And have a look at our new novel, "Lilian's Last Dance," an Amazon e-book with free downloads to any device. Romance, adventure, history, film, theater, art. We think you will enjoy it. Let us know!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Versatile musician jazzes up the San Diego music scene


Greatly gifted Josiah Diallo plays and teaches in the San Diego area.


Click here==> Lilian's Last Dance

HE PLAYS BACH one minute, Bob Dylan the next.
Calypso, country western, jazz, show tunes, light opera.
He does it all, dressed in colorful Caribbean garb and using his foot to play a tambourine, accompanying his precise guitar and stellar voice.

Diallo's natural charm works its magic on San Diego students.
THAT'S THE charm of talented Josiah Diallo, a teacher and minstrel who works the area with his guitar and a prodigious repertoire.
We happened upon New Orleans born Diallo at an outdoor eatery. We had a fantastic experience during the business lunch, which stretched into two hours of pleasure thanks to Diallo's music.
He traces his ancestry back to generations of music loving and musical folk. He even claims Cherokee blood.
DIALLO PLAYS in Encinitas some weekends at the Monte Carlo Bistro.

ALTHOUGH the gifted guitarist and singer plays several other instruments, he usually appears with his guitar, presenting a lively and varied repertoire ranging from Bach to  Spanish and Brazilian composers, to Bob Dylan and other folk icons, to rock and roll, including The Rolling Stones, Beatles and Gilbert and Sullivan light opera. ("I'm Called Little Buttercup" from "HMS Pinafore" was a big hit, along with "Blowing in the Wind.") His versatility draws crowds at any venue. His charisma extends to the indoor classroom.  Students and teachers in the San Diego area learn from his gifts, in workshops. He is comfortable in any venue.
Diallo is an old-fashioned minstrel, spreading the musical word.
DIALLO ALSO PLAYS for private parties and would be a wonderful addition to weddings, celebrations and other special receptions and events.  He has performed for public and private schools across the U.S. for 15 years, from pre-school to college level, at civic organizations and as the star of library story-telling hours. He wins praise for his ability to relate to children, weaving story, songs and personal commentary. His "music maker" program and restaurant gigs keep him busy, but he's open to new bookings.
CALL THE BISTRO to see when he'll be there next, and plan to enjoy a bakery item or goat cheese quiche, tasty and satisfying, just as are Diallo's brilliant offerings.  His delightful music is a boon to any occasion. You'll tour the world in song with his myriad styles and cultural influences.
A STROLLING minstrel should be part magician, part balladeer, poet, even rhapsodist.
Josiah Diallo fits all these bills.

COMING UP: Hats off to
Project Hope and its sister store, Laughing Ladies, offer vintage treats
while helping people in need in Stillwater County, Montana.
Project Hope in Columbus, Montana, a town with a heart when it comes to helping a cause, and creating art. The Project Hope in this small western town offers treasures for browsers and help for Stillwater County families in need. Remember to explore, learn and live and visit us Wednesdays and weekends at www.whereiscookie.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wild Things: National wildlife refuges offer splendid viewing of birds, animals -- and it's free!

You're sure to find a wilderness preserve or wildlife and bird refuge near you. Check it out for a relaxing, cheap diversion.  

IF THE CALL of the wild lures you to commune with nature, you probably have beautiful wildlife and birds within an hour or two's drive of you.
Think wildlife refuges, which dot the country from top to bottom, east to west.
This happy seal is enjoying life at Moss Landing, near San Jose, California.
We've explored a half-dozen of them in the past few weeks, and look forward to more in 2015.
CALIFORNIA alone has 20, and Montana has 15, giving me 35 refuges to explore in the pair of states I call home.
Wildlife preserves welcome visitors to view their conservation methods and enjoy boating, hiking and photography.
I love visiting the refuges and preserves.  During my 15 years in Arizona, I spent time watching the desert bighorn sheep, cousins of the bighorns in my backyard of rural Montana in the Beartooth Mountains.

Cookie and Yorkie Nora hit the trail in southern California near Julian.
I've viewed the pronghorns in Oregon, tundra swans on the Upper Mississippi, wild ponies on a press trip to Virginia's Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and recently, gorgeous waterfowl in Wyoming's National Elk Refuge.
MOST OF the refuges and preserves offer abundant bird life.
At Moss Landing Wildlife Area near San Jose, California, we shared a splendid kayaking experience with friends, enjoying birds, seals and otters for free!
Whale watching expeditions -- which we also enjoy and partake of -- were charging $35 and $40 nearby, but with our friends' kind loan of a kayak, we spent only time, gasoline and a little elbow grease enjoying this California State wildlife preserve on the shore of Elkhorn Slough.

Bighorn sheep -- here in Montana--
may be viewed in several other
U.S. states in wildlife preserves.
THIS LOVELY spot near the Monterey Submarine Canyon is also a favorite site for shoreline whale watchers.  As with many preserves and refuges, parking is free and plentiful -- and traffic is seldom bumper to bumper as it is in some of our national parks.
At Moss Landing, the beach is cool and pleasantly windy. We enjoyed paddling past a group of noisy seals as we headed toward pelican and otter sightings in the marshes.
You can usually find a place to stay, a restaurant, and sporting
opportunities near a preserve. This is true at Lake Henshaw,Ca.
Regulars know when to watch for whales offshore, breaching and gliding by.
Josiah Diallo has what it takes to win an audience.
NOT FAR from Julian, Calif., the 5,312 acre Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve, located in the scenic mountains between Santa Yasbel and Julian about 40 miles northeast of San Diego, is one of the prettiest preserves in the county we've seen. Nearby Lake Henshaw offers places to stay and the hiking is superb -- acres of rolling grasslands and native California oaks. The forests are almost as dense as in Northern California -- minus the redwoods.

COMING UP: A brilliant San Diego musician rings in Christmas with a beautiful voice and stellar guitar stylings.  You can book Josiah Diallo for a party, celebration or education event.  He is at home in the classroom or an outdoor eatery, a church or private function, or anywhere calling for gorgeous music and enlightening commentary. Remember, carpe diem: so explore, learn and live and catch us Wednesdays and weekends at www.whereiscookie.com

Friday, December 19, 2014

Casa del Zorro is a foxy find: desert get-away is five-star all the way

La Casa Del Zorro (home of the fox) encourages a peaceful and magical stay from registration until reluctant departure.
The fox logo, giving Zorro its name. 


CLICK HERE for Lilian's Last Dance


Five-star accommodations are enhanced
by a fine restaurant with terrific service.
YOU KNOW you're at a class-act resort as you bask in understated elegance, superior service and artful appointments. La Casa del Zorro is a delightful find!
The serene, gorgeous get-away in the Anza Borrego desert is just a mile from the small friendly town of Borrego Springs. But it is light years away from the rest of the world as the only five-star resort in the area.
Happily, the resort has survived several names and physical incarnations and last year was lovingly restored by a forward-thinking investor-developer-hotelier trio.  Jack McGrory, Casey Brown and Jack Giacomini blend contemporary convenience and amenities with classic desert architecture and a nod to nostalgia.  The place captures the 1937 era of its birth as a small desert lodge to today's world class resort. Through the years, Hollywood discovered it, and San Diego social and business icons hob-nobbed, golfed, drank and dined.
Pools, gardens and grounds are meticulously maintained at the resort. 
Guests are personally greeted and ushered into a world of
impeccable service, beautifully decorated rooms and more.
You'll feel as if you've gone down the rabbit hole as you relax on your private patio, sipping a beverage, surrounded by roses, hummingbirds and gently swaying desert trees. Ah, it's peaceful.
ROMANCE COMES with the territory in this oasis.  It's a champagne and flowers kind of place, with comfy beige robes and Zorro slippers to pad around in poolside, on the patio or in your room. (Each of the 19 casitas in the 67-room complex has a private pool and several larger pools unobtrusively placed.) Two- and three-bedroom digs are available plus newspaper mogul James Copley's former desert get-away place. "Happy Days" is yours for $1,500 a night or $100k if you can stay three months!

Casa del Zorro is beautifully appointed with artwork, antiques and books.  And it's dog friendly as you can see. 
LA CASA del Zorro is a great place to visit with your spouse or significant other.  It's made for hand-holding, strolling, taking a jog, playing ping pong, quietly reading or simply enjoying nature and the lovely mountains.
The place reminds of a bygone era, with adobe, polished wood beams and a fireplace waiting for evening's cool. Mesquite and palo verde trees line the paths and bird life is abundant. We saw hummingbirds and a road runner.
The dog-friendly welcome makes it attractive to these Yorkie-lovers. Nick and Nora were welcome guests, and greeted other polite canines, including a pair of golden retrievers.
THE RESORT strives for tranquility and magic and delivers both in spaces!
The Copleys of San Diego newspaper fame bought the resort
in 1960.  James Copley gave the place its present name.
Guests return because of the superior level of service offered by front office manager Tim Williams, and his boss, manager Patrick Sampson.  All colleagues are professional and gracious, complimenting the quiet, understated luxury of a classic resort.
THE RESTAURANT fuses new and old traditions in its fine dining options.  Sea bass, lamb, steaks and gorgeous salads are served up, with seasonings that nod to the southwest.  Our hostess and waitress were genuine and adept, extending an authentic hospitality to compliment the place's serenity.
Hole number 18 at nearby Rams Hill Golf Club as seen from the club house
MANY RICH and famous have stayed here, from presidents Nixon and George H.W. Bush, to actor Marlon Brando.  All apparently came in search of the solitude and serenity that mark a visit. Noted sculptor Ricardo Breceda maintains a shop on the property and his whimsical metal creatures grace the grounds and surrounding properties.  One of his friendly T-Rex creations greets guests! And a world-class public golf course is minutes away. Rams Hill is one of the most beautiful in the world, a spectacular $22 million Fazio desert course.  My partner Keller enjoyed a round there.
We made the drive from San Diego to Zorro on a leisurely afternoon in a bit less than two hours. Since it's only two hours from San Diego and three from Los Angeles, those cities supply many regulars.
"The Europeans love it," said Williams.  "They love the desert surroundings and the ambiance."
Borrego Springs Airport is five minutes away, with complimentary transportation available. FYI, if you think you see Air Force One, landing in Borrego to bring President Obama for a stay, you might not be dreaming.  The airport can accommodate the landing of a 747!!
COMING SOON: You probably have a nature preserve or wilderness area within easy driving distance. Take advantage! Remember: carpe diem, so explore, learn and live and visit us Wednesdays and weekends at: www.whereiscookie.com

CLICK HERE for Lilian's Last Dance

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Glacier Park's wonders, surprises impress even this native Montanan

Glacier Park's beauty reflects millions of years of change in ancient rock formations.  Here, summer meets winter! 
Snow has already come to Glacier National Park in northern Montana.
"Today, for the first time in my life, I have seen Glacier Park. Perhaps I can best express to you my thrill and delight by saying that I wish every American, old and young, could have been with me today. The great mountains, the glaciers, the lakes and the trees make me long to stay here...'' 
 --Franklin D. Roosevelt, in August of 1934, delivering a Presidential radio address from Two Medicine Chalet in Glacier National Park

Nick and Nora have visited five national parks, here Glacier.



Click here for Lilian's Last Dance

Native Californian Keller looks forward to each Glacier visit.
GLACIER PARK cannot be experienced in a single day -- or three -- which is what we had. That's longer than FDR had 80 years ago, when
he toured and park in a brief day and gave a stirring radio address about Glacier's wonders.
If you only have a couple days, the park can be savored sufficiently to encourage an encore visit.
Trees, critters, birds and the majestic glaciers that give the park its name are but a few of the enticements. They impressed FDR then as they do us today.

This reflection near East Glacier hints at the wondrous beauty the park offers.
TOSS IN AN ambling silverback grizzly, which we watched for 90 minutes, and it's hard to beat Glacier Park in autumn.
Grizzly bears are battening down the hatches and climbing into their caves this month, so we felt lucky to spy one and follow him for over an hour, near East Glacier, as he munched on grubs and berries and fattened up for the long winter's nap.
The grizzly has been around Glacier for as long as people have been, at least 10,000 years. The native people were the first, and they'd been there thousands of years before European explorers showed up in the late 1800s in search of beaver.  Blackfeet inhabited the eastern part of today's park, and Flathead, Salish and Kootenai the western regions. The "westerners" crossed the mountains in search of vast buffalo herds on eastern plains.
A close-up of algae, a lovely mosaic on rock where recent snows had melted.
THE NATIVE people probably came for the same reasons today's tourists do: rugged peaks, clear waters, breathtaking glacial-carved valleys.  The landscape produces both desired resources and inspiration to those who love nature's beauty.
Following the European pelt hunters, miners came, then settlers.  By 1891, the Great Northern Railway was completed and hundreds came to northwest Montana. Small towns developed, west of Marias Pass, then hotels and chalets, many of them historic.
Photographer Rick Cosgriffe has a field day in Glacier. 
The world renowned Going to the Sun Road was completed in 1932 and remains a historic accomplishment.
BUT LOOK back farther than the 1930s! Look back millions of years because the mountains we now admire in Glacier National Park began forming 170 million years ago.  Ancient rocks forced themselves eastward up and over much younger rock strata.  The Lewis Overthrust rocks are considered to have some of the finest fossilized examples of extremely early life found anywhere on Earth!
Sadly, the glaciers are retreating.  The park has done a good job of telling this tale in diagrams and hand-outs. The dramatic U-shaped valleys, moraines and lakes are changing with global warming. Of the 150 glaciers which existed in the park in the mid-19th century, only 25 active glaciers remain!  We may see all the glaciers disappear by 2020 if the current climate patterns persist.

COMING UP:  She had to be hip, happy, talented and versatile. The actors who played the title role in "Annie Get Your Gun" include a huge range -- from the famous Ethel Merman, to Betty Hutton, Reba McIntyre and Bernadette Peters. The title character of "Lilian's Last Dance" was inspired by was inspired by an interview with the late director and producer Josh Logan, who talked to Christene Meyers in 1986 on a Atlantic crossing on Queen Elizabeth II. Logan
directed "Annie Get Your Gun" on Broadway and their conversations about theater and creating memorable characters planted the seeds for a novel -- and, maybe some day, a Broadway musical.
Catch us Wednesdays and weekends at: www.whereiscookie.com

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sydney's beautiful peace and calm is shattered by today's terrorism

We took this recent photo of Sydney Opera House on a calm but festive day during holiday time in Sydney. 


The Lindt cafe and chocolate shop near our hotel in Melbourne is closed. 


WE ARE SITTING safely and thankfully in our hotel room above the Yarra River of Melbourne, Australia, watching CNN and hoping for the release of the hostages in Sydney, a city we left just hours ago.
We climbed Sydney's iconic bridge a few days ago.  Today's climbers found their adventure cancelled.
In lovely Sydney, which we've both visited several times before, we strolled Martin Place, a holiday bedecked pedestrian square, listened to musicians and a boys' choir, then stopped by the Lindt Cafe and Chocolate Shop for espresso and sweets.
We're feeling a little dizzy that this is the very place where the terrorist took hostages earlier today.

Sydney a few days ago was bustling.  Today, it is eerily quiet.
 TWO DAYS ago, we walked the very square, on our way to the famous Sydney Opera House, where we had a tasty lunch, made new friends from Japan, India, Denmark and New York, and toured the hallowed concert halls.
The Opera House is now in lock down, and Darling Harbour, where we strolled and enjoyed wine with a view, with thousands of other worldwide tourists, is deserted.
The American Embassy which we visited two days ago is evacuated. Americans are urged to be cautious and alert. We were. We are.
Having just photographed this beautiful world known site,
we are following today's hostage situation carefully.
Just now on CNN, a second speech to the nation by Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, expressed his country's hope that today's frightening occurrence is the work of a single crazed gunman. "Profoundly shocking that innocent people should be held hostage by an armed person...." he said. We just watched as five of the hostages ran into the policemen's arms -- can only imagine their terror.

THIS SPECIAL blog is unusual, but happens from time to time, especially during our frequent international forays.  We normally post Wednesdays and weekends, but when news is breaking and we're right in the middle of it, we go for it! Stay tuned. With thoughts of strength for the remaining  
people in the cafe, we remind ourselves "carpe diem." Join us as we continue to explore, learn, live and trust that most people -- our fellow travelers and hosts -- condemn today's actions and are good people. Coming up next: Glacier Park's wonders and wildlife on a glorious road trip with my brother and his partner......wildlife, family ties, picnics, memories, snow and fun food, plus Yorkies and laughter.
Tune in for an unorthodox look at travel, adventure, life and more at www.whereiscookie.com

Friday, December 12, 2014

The many incarnations of Annie Oakley -- what a cast of different dames

CLICK HERE to buy Lilian's Last Dance  a new e-Book on Amazon

British born Emma Williams played a sultry, fun Annie Oakley.


"I can shoot a partridge, with a single cartridge."
"I can shoot a sparrow, with a bow and arrow."
         --From "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better" 

Garland's Annie -- vulnerable, wide-eyed.
(archival art from vintage posters)

SO MANY women have played the part of Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun," that it staggers the imagination.
I've studied the character carefully -- and its various incarnations -- from Ethel Merman's brash, bold Annie to Judy Garland's wide-eyed and emotional Annie, to Doris Day's version which was wholesome and tuneful.
BETTY HUTTON won praise for her movie Annie, giving the character sex appeal, something Merman would never be linked with! Merman was in her own league, though, and every other Annie would be compared to her.
Patti Lupone wowed 'em with her fire, magnificent pipes and belt-it-out bravado. Reba McEntire's Annie Oakley was perky and flirty, with a country flair. Herbert and Dorothy Fields wrote the book for a musical based on Oakley's life and I listened to their brilliant lyrics as thought about Lilian.

Betty Hutton's Annie -- sultry for the day~!
 In creating this title role in our novel, we went for a three-dimensional human being.  She falls in love, she jilts a man who is wrong for her.  She fools around with two fellas at the same time. She has a substance abuse problem. She's also gorgeous, loyal, generous. She's, well, imperfect.
OUR STORY is spiced by the appearance of real show biz and art icons -- Buffalo Bill Cody, D.W. Griffith, Pickford, Chaplin, Pablo Picasso and many others.  Buffalo Bill, very much a real guy, hired our fictional Lilian.  The novel's characters interact with the real-life famous ones.
Bernadette Peters' Annie was
vulnerable and tender.
IN MY FAMILY, the motto was "come big or stay home."  So I'm coming big, but it's taken a while and it may never be more than a well reviewed novel........but who knows....
Many moons ago, when my novel collaborator William Jones and embarked upon "Lilian's Last Dance," I told him of a recurring dream, to write a Broadway musical.  My first husband, Bruce, and I talked about it and even sketched out a few melodies.  It would be a musical about a French born sharpshooter.  (Perhaps we'd just seen "Les Miserables" and were thinking French, but I believe it was frequent forays to Paris and Provence that made us imagine this beautiful, talented character.)  She'd be sexy, smart, sassy and sure of herself. Her confidence would be subtle, not brassy.

Merman's Annie:  she belted out the
songs, but wasn't what critics called

subtle. Crowds loved her blustering singing.
AFTER BRUCE died, Billy and I plugged away on "Lilian." Between stints on the novel, he encouraged me to write a half-dozen songs, towards "The Famous Broadway Musical," as we called it.
Mary Martin's Annie -- could she be
believable after "Peter Pan" and
"South Pacific"? Of course, it's show biz!
 We knew comparisons might be made to "Annie Get Your Gun" but our musical wouldn't be all nice, dreamy and idealistic.  It would have violence, death, unrequited love, accidents, murder and a couple really rotten characters.
Still, it was fun to revisit the famous "Annie Get Your Gun." On a 1999 trip to New York, the show was in revival with Bernadette Peters in the title role and Tom Wopat as Frank Butler. Peters was enchanting, expressive -- a world apart from Merman's over-the-top Annie. (Donald O'Connor, who played opposite Merman, blamed his hearing problem on her piercing voice!) Bernadette was strong but vulnerable, always a lady, even with her pistols! I've probably seen 15 versions, including Betty Hutton's movie Annie.
A vintage poster of the real life Annie Oakley,
touring with Buffalo Bill's famous Wild West show.
 The diminutive Mary Martin of "Peter Pan" fame played the lead to raves in 49 cities.
Another spin on Annie was given by Reba McEntire, who toured the show with a huge country and western following.

Patti Lupone's Annie was
a bit demure, fetching!
I'VE BEEN working on "Lilian"  here and there, between blogging, trips, family stuff, teaching workshops, playing piano in gin joints, taking tap dance lessons, helping the next tier of musicians with music lessons....
In crafting the Lilian of our novel, we delved into her French shooting background.  Bill and I traveled to Cisteron, a real place in Provence, where our fictional Lilian grew up. Like Annie Oakley, our Lilian learned to hunt with her father, who meets a dark end and appears briefly in a flashback.
In writing about her, we of course read about the real life Annie Oakley, born Phoebe Ann (Annie) Mosey on August 13, 1860.  We read several books about the real life Annie, who came off as shy yet determined, loyal to her family, smart, generous to friends, but not very three-dimensional.
In crafting Lilian's character, we tried to make her complex and a bit mysterious, laced with the contradictions that make all of us interesting.
We're looking for an artist to sketch the characters for the paperback version. If you're talented and interested, let us know at: lilianslastdance@gmail.com
Meanwhile, the lyricists said it best:  there is no business like show business!
Glacier National Park is a treasure to Montanans and
worldwide visitors who admire its wildlife, including
this handsome mountain goat in repose.

COMING UP: Wild things! The U.S. is home to fabulous national parks, and they beckon the traveler to wildlife wonders.  Glacier Park is home to this fantastic mountain goat, along with grizzlies and many other exciting critters.  Remember, carpe diem, so explore, learn and live and catch us Wednesdays and weekends at: