A Good Home, Children's Books, Illustrated Books, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, New Children's Books

Purple Toenails and … Myrtle Becomes French?


I’m moving at the speed of turtles this week (to quote Oscar at Hermit’s Door), but it’s been a turtally wonderful time for Myrtle (to quote Gallivanta).


First: Is this not the sweetest face?  

Blog Photo - Myrtle book held by Aggeliki - 6 yrs old - mother Theano takes photo

Meet Aggiliki, 6, whose photo was taken by mom Theano, of Whitby, Ontario. Thank you, Theano and Aggiliki, for this delightful photo, and for loving Myrtle the Purple Turtle! 


Second: Myrtle has been translated into French, thanks to Jean Long and Jessica Charnock.

When they first read Myrtle the Purple Turtle, Jessica noticed that Jean was translating the words into French as he read.  They quickly offered to do a written translation for publication, and of course I said, “Yes, thank you very much!”

Blog Photo - Jean and Jessica

You may remember Jean and Jessica. A French-Canadian couple, he’s a former teacher and vice-principal, and she’s a former high fashion model, secretary and wine importer. Both are extremely creative (see my blog posts about their remarkable creations). 

Myrtle will also get a French name! More on that later.


Blog Photo - St Thomas' Church Ext New and Old

Third: At my family church, St. Thomas’ Anglican in the village of Brooklin (northeast of Toronto),  7 year old Makayla marched up to me this morning.  She clearly and politely requested her very own copy of Myrtle, paid for it, and waited as I signed it.

Blog Photo - Myrtle fan at St Thomas church

It was part of a successful fundraising book-sale at St. Thomas’ today. Money raised will benefit the parish’s good works. 


Fellow author Paul Mason also kindly contributed books to the sale. We both feel privileged to do this.  Our families have both experienced the loving kindness for which this church is known.

Blog Photo - St Thomas' Church LOVE stained glass
Above 4 photos by Hamlin Grange

Fourth, Myrtle has been blessed with more positive reviews.  I’m over the moon with gratitude to these terrific bloggers who took the time to read Myrtle the Purple Turtle recently and review it. This is a magnificent gift and I thank you all:

Sally Cronin

Wendy Macdonald


Sheryl Normandeau

Oscar Larson


And finally, an elegant, well-known friend of mine, who — to protect the guilty — shall only be identified as Rita D, decided to one-up my friend Mandy and me after we painted our fingernails purple. Yes, she had her toenails painted purple.

Blog Photo - Myrtle and Rita Purple Nails

Having recently recovered from injuring her leg, Rita decided to celebrate by  getting a pedicure, and she chose purple to honour Myrtle.

Mandy and I are pleased to be one-upped by you, Rita. Thank you!

So there we go. A series of events that have a certain purple turtle — and tons of loving kindness — in common.

Be well, my friends! Thanks always for being there.




A Good Home

Blog Copyright Warnings


Worried about people violating your blog copyright?

Here are three clever, eye-catching notices that I’ve come across since blogging. Coincidentally, these three blogs are among my favorites. Do check them out!



From Gallivanta’s beautiful and wise blog, silkannthreades:

“All the content, photos and text and original ideas in this blog are copyright to silkannthreades. Please be courteous and respect my copyright. You can do this by asking my permission to use, copy or Reblog any of my material.

“If you are too shy to ask, please at the very least, give full credit to my blog. And if you’re too shy to do even that, please only use my work in a way that respects its integrity. THANK YOU in anticipation of your GOODWILL.”



Elizabeth Melton Parson’s excellent blog  warned: “The copyright notice is at the end of this post. If you fail to abide by it, ‘May the curse of Mary Malone and her nine, blind, illegitimate children chase you so far over the hills of damnation that the good Lord Himself can’t find you with a telescope.”



And, from The Hermit’s Door , a warning of the canine kind:

“Here in the mountains, if you want to borrow something, ask first. You don’t take tools from someone’s barn and claim they are yours. We have dogs who take care of folks who think they own someone else’s stuff.

“If you borrow something, return it in good condition. If you have any questions about whether this blog is copyright protected, talk to my dog.”

So, after reading all these, I’d like to write a copyright notice of my own. Any ideas for something clever and emphatic? 



A Good Home, Inspiring Bloggers, Pen Pals

Flowers for Clare and Gallivanta

Clare lives in Suffolk, England.

Clare Pooley photo

“Gallivanta*” lives in New Zealand. (*Her nom de plume.)

They are travelers — Gallivanta to visit parents in another country, Clare to take a precious daughter to school each day and to visit her aging mother and mother-in-law.

In three months, Clare recently told us, she drove 11-thousand miles. From the same post, we learn why it’s been worth it.

Blog Photo - Clare Pooley Blog 5 Cake

Clare calmly shares her daily life with a lack of self-pity, a deep sense of gratitude and a simple grace.

Blog Photo - Clare Pooley3 Trees

Whether she writes about the trees, wild flowers  or small creatures in her fields or her family or church activities, Clare’s blog reflects qualities many of us yearn for: faith, hope, perseverance, love and kindness to others – in the midst of daily and extraordinary challenges.

I wonder if Clare knows how brave she is.

Blog Photo - Clare Pooley Blog 4 -church interior

Above photos from: A Suffolk Lane


Back shot of "Gallivanta"
Back shot of “Gallivanta”

Gallivanta, too, is a mother, wife and the daughter of parents who are elderly and ailing.  Anyone who has been in the latter role knows it’s tough.  The emotional roller-coaster.  Deciding to drop everything and go, never mind the cost and upheaval of unplanned travel.

Blog Photo - Gallivanta Blog Picture3 Keep calm and tea

Gallivanta’s big heart and brain are expressed in her blog regularly. She’s a beautiful writer, wise beyond words, often drawing out the meaningful and the sacred in the mundane.

Blog Photo - Gallivanta Blog Picture1

My physical world has become smaller these days, and Gallivanta’s blog challenges my mind with new perspectives.

Blog Photo - Gallivanta Blog on Advent Mysteries

Above photos from Gallivanta’s blog

As does Clare’s.  I may never take long walks through the English countryside and villages, but Clare’s photos and stories take me there.

They and other bloggers are the pen-pals of my middle years, expanding my narrowed life when I spend a few moments in their company.

No small thing, that.

Blog Photo - Crocus in Spring

So I send you these flowers, ladies, from last year’s spring garden.

Blog Photo - Peony and bee

I’d send you my floral arrangements but … er …  I like you too much to do that.

Above photos by Hamlin Grange
Above photos by Hamlin Grange
A Good Home, Art, Artesans, Artists, Authors, Birdfeeders, Birdhouses, Books, Handmade porducts

“The Blog Shop”: Great Gifts by Creative People

My blogging community is brimming with ultra-creative people.

They’re remarkable. They make beautiful things with their hands, hearts and minds.

Or support projects that help talented artisans to make a living.

Blog Photo - Lotus Wonders Clutch

So today I’m celebrating these creative types and highlighting some of their products/projects that would make great gifts for loved ones.

  1. LOTUS WONDERS, made by women in a Cambodian village, in partnership with other women in Canada.  Order products and read their story at: http://www.lotuswonders.com/collections/all

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Lotus Wonders Products

Thanks to consultant Stephanie MacKendrick,  former head of Canadian Women in Communications, for bringing Lotus Wonders to my attention.

   2. MICHAEL’S WOODCRAFT. Michael lives on a mountainside in S. Carolina. He carefully chooses the wood and makes each beautiful object himself: cutting boards, ice cream scoops, and other useful items.  

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Michaels birdseye-maple-cheese-boardgif

 Visit his blog and online shop at:  http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/shop/

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Michaels wood-cheese-boards

 3. JEAN LONG AND JESSICA CHARNOCK’S CREATIONS.  In their gorgeous log cabin east of Toronto, this couple is always creating beautiful objects.

The Log House - Photo by H. Grange
The Log House – Photo by H. Grange

Jessica hooks original wall-hangings using recycled wool, and makes large teddy bears using recycled fur. 

Blog Photo - The Red Barn copy

Grey Bear made of recycled Persian lamb

Jean works with wood. He creates large pieces of furniture and unusual birdhouses and feeders.  

See: https://cynthiasreyes.com/2014/01/11/youve-never-seen-birdhouses-like-jean-longs/ – or email: jenjes@mac.com

Blog Photo - Birdfeeder 2

4. SIMPLY SPLENDID VICTORIAN AFTERNOON TEAS by Marilyn Mirabelli. Check out the gift packages including the Tea and Cookie of the Month Club.

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Simply Splendid Tea and Book


Blog Photo - Great Gifts Simply Spldendid Bespoke Tea Tray

 5. SARAH VERNON’S FIRST NIGHT DESIGN. Blogger Sarah produces beautiful art prints.

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Sarah Vernon Pears

See Sarah’s website at: http://www.firstnightdesign.co.uk/

Blog Photo - Great gifts Sarah Vernon 1


  • MT McGUIRE’s award-winning K’Barthan Trilogy series isn’t just for young people. She’s a very good writer,  with a wicked sense of humour. Who else would write a trilogy made up four books?  For more about her new release and the series, visit her blog: http://mtmcguire.co.uk/

Blog Photo - KBarthan Trilogy 2

You can also read about MT at:  https://cynthiasreyes.com/2014/04/02/author-mt-mcguire-at-home/

  • SK NICHOLLS’ writing has also been highly praised. Her new novel, a roman-a-clef, is titled Red Clay and Roses. 

Blog Photo - Great Gifts SKNicolls

Visit her blog for more: http://redclayandroses1.wordpress.com/redclayandrose/

  • WHEN CONCHI BLOWS, by Omar Sheriffe Vernon El Halawani. It’s an interesting book, based on the author’s own interracial family history in Jamaica.  He died before the book was published, and asked that proceeds from it be used for a worthy cause.  His cousin Robert Vernon carried out his wishes.

Blog Photo - Great Gifts When Conchi Blows


Blog Photo - Great Gifts Tumbledowns cottage

 7. And, finally, from New Zealand, Quarter Acre Lifestyle has just launched their online store of handmade soaps and other products. I know this couple is still setting up some payment options, but thought I’d give their products a mention now. Visit:   http://www.tumbledowns.co.nz/for-sale
Blog Photo - Great gifts tumble downs1

As my blogger friend Gallivanta (whom I’ve never met in person) did for my book, A Good Home, I’m shining a little light on the good work of others.

**Dedicated to everyone who creates something, hoping that someone else will value it.**