J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “November, 2020”

“For ’tis Thanksgiving Day”


Lydia “Maria” Francis was born the youngest of six children in Medford, Massachusetts. in 1802. Maria was an educated woman and at the age of twelve she went to live with her married sister living in Maine. She studied for her teacher’s exams, passed them and taught for a short time. While in Maine she visited with the Penobscot Indian settlement and began an interest in the Native Americans especially in their treatment and rights.

It was during the time she was living with her brother where Maria was introduced to literature and developed her lifelong interest in writing. In 1828 she married David Child and the couple moved to Boston.

Her most famous work was her poem published in 1844 that she titled “The New England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day”. ​
Over the river and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood—
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
as over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
with a clear blue winter sky.
The dogs do bark and the children hark,
as we go jingling by.

Over the river and through the wood,
to have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, “Ting-a-ling ding!”
Hurray for Thanskgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood—
no matter for winds that blow;
or if we get the sleigh upset
into a bank of snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
to see little John and Ann.
We will kiss them all, and play snowball
and stay as long as we can.

Over the river and through the wood,
trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound!
For ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood
and straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow—
it is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood—
Old Jowler hears our bells;
he shakes his paw with a loud bow-wow,
and thus the news he tells.

Over the river and through the wood—
when Grandmother sees us come,
she will say, “Oh, dear, the children are here,
bring pie for everyone.”

Over the river and through the wood—
now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie! {1}
At some unknown point in time the poem was set to music and throughout the years various words have changed. We usually sing “to grandmother’s house we go” and the original poem was “over the river and through the wood” has been changed to “woods”. In some versions the holiday has been changed to “Hurrah it’s Christmas Day”. Many verses have been eliminated when the song is performed but her basic poem remains.

Mrs. Child was an active abolitionist and along with her husband the couple wrote many articles that expressed their anti-slavery views. She also was an activist in the area of women’s rights. The couple were close friends of Charles Sumner and were vocal after his famous Senate beating. In a rebuke of that action she wrote the story “The Kansas Emigrants” which was serialized in the daily and weekly editions in the New York Daily Tribune.

Sadly for Lydia the woman that wrote the Thanksgiving poem that we sing as to “grandmother’s house we go” – never was a grandmother or a mother – but her poem has delighted generations.​



1. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lydia-maria-child
2. https://historybecauseitshere.weebl…ores-over-the-river-and-through-the-wood.html
3. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/24074927/lydia-maria-child

(Article Courtesy of Civil War Talk, Wednesday, November 25, 2020 ed.)

Guest Post by Diane Carter

I frequently feature guest posts by writers who are interested in getting their work published. Many of the topics I chose are of interest to me, like the following article. I’m a serious plant person and love to garden. Although the season is passed for some of us, here are some great ideas for next spring and summer. Thanks to Diane Carter for his contribution.

Best Ideas to give your garden an interesting and attractive look

Decorating a garden does not always require lots of effort and money. There are a ton of decorative thoughts that you could copy to make your garden looks amazing. Start by contemplating what you need from your garden and how you can design it to fit those components in. There are some astounding garden design applications out there that can assist you with the fundamental structure. Odds are you’d like a charming spot to sit on bright days, so cut out some space and examine for some jazzy garden furniture. 

Decorating your garden is an ideal opportunity to consider planting. Maybe you simply have space for some plant pots for pretty occasional plants and herbs around your table and seats. You may have space for a sentimental fringe that will make your city garden look more like a nation garden. Or on the other hand, it is possible that you need to figure out how to develop vegetables, in which case see our garden supervisor’s advisers for making a kitchen garden and making a fertilizer pile.

Create a Mini Flower Garden

People will in general pay attention to their gardens lovely. Be that as it may, a little outdoor eccentricity can accomplish more to improve your mind-set than a dull garden with no character. This smaller than usual bloom garden is a good time for the youngster in us all of us is a stunningly better task to handle with your children. When you make your smaller than normal pots, join them into a pixie garden in your blossom beds.

Make use of lighting 

Just like the radiance of happy lights at Christmas time, garden lighting can absolutely change your space. From ground-level up-lighters to divider mounted section lights, outdoor lighting takes numerous structures. A simple method to add somewhat sorcery is with a line of sun based controlled bulbs swung from trees or on a fence. As they won’t require an electric attachment they’re extraordinary for life in the garden.

Paint a wall or fence 

The changing forces of paint stretch out to the garden as much as your room. Outdoor dividers are regularly left unpainted yet can glance stunning in a new and fun tone. Wall will likewise profit by a layer of paint, regardless of whether you need to invigorate your present tone or take a stab at something absolutely new. White, duck-egg blue, and exemplary green are ideal. If you’ve been longing for the ideal picket fence, this is the ideal opportunity to accomplish the look.

Shade Structures 

The most ideal approach to guarantee you have a garden that glances extraordinary in winter is to give structure and shape to space. Think about your colder time of year plants as the skeleton, or bones, of your garden. You have to settle on these plants solitary at that point consider what you can plant between them for the remainder of the year. Whenever you have planted your auxiliary plants, you would then be able to plant bulbs, perennials, or annuals in among them. The structure will give you interest over the cold weather months and will hold everything together for the remainder of the year. 

You may as of now have a garden that you appreciate in summer, however, looks dreary and disliked in winter. Try not to stress, you can undoubtedly add a couple of plants that will give your garden that required lift. Coming up next is a rundown of plants that I love for their colder time of year interest yet in addition since they give structure whenever of year.

Crate shelves

Reusing wooden items is exceptionally simple and gainful. For instance, this thought comprises of reusing wooden cases by changing them into wonderful shelves with a vintage look. It is simple, financially savvy and the majority of all, it is pragmatic. It will permit you to store your devices and develop more plants.

Use Containers 

Pots are extraordinary for small trees or flowering sheet material plants, and you can transform them and move them around without any problem. This is particularly effective in a small space, as you can patch up your garden design suddenly. 

Pots and containers keep everything adaptable and make your small garden simpler to maintain. You can likewise develop products of the soil in containers to make to the majority of your small garden. 

Tomatoes, beans, lettuce, peppers, chilies, radishes and even carrots would all be able to be filled in pots or containers and will add healthy and heavenly produce to your eating regimen.

Pallet garden table

Adding a garden table to your outdoor space is both functional and decorative. To start with, it will give additional room to store your gardening apparatuses. Second, it is an alluring and amazing expansion. Making garden tables from beds is a simple undertaking. 

Add Furniture 

Furniture in a small garden can be utilized to incredible impact, yet to an extreme or some unacceptable sort can jumble and could occupy an important room that you can sick stand to lose. Rather than huge seats or cumbersome seating, go for reduced alternatives like a bistro table set and seats. 

This kind of garden furniture gives a splendidly in vogue European tasteful to any small garden, with the special reward that they don’t occupy a lot of space. It’s ideal for a morning meal of croissants, espresso, and squeezed orange, while you lounge toward the beginning of the day sun. 

Cover It Up

If there’s a slight shower, you don’t need your arrangements to be hosed. A cool gazebo will mean your outdoor lunch can in any case proceed and it will offer a lot of degree for enlivening, as well. Have a go at hanging a shower-evidence texture for some additional assurance from the components and string up some kaleidoscopic lamps for a shimmering impact.

Water fountain

Water fountains are excellent and alluring as well as unwinding. The sound of the falling water is incredibly quiet and pleasant. It goodly affects our minds. Albeit most water fountains are costly, this one isn’t. This DIY water wellspring is truly moderate and simple to make. You will discover the directions for making it at the Instructables.

Author Bio: 

Diane Carter

Diane writes for topics like Home Improvement, Garden, or travel-related topics additionally; he has a passion for the home outdoor industry for more than ten years, Diane has become an experienced specialist in this industry. His goal is to help people with his vast knowledge to assist them with his best suggestions about different Playground Equipment as fitness equipment, sports equipment, Splash Pads,  and Shadesstructures.

More Flattering Reviews

I recently received more reviews for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Thanks to the people who wrote these reviews! This novel is the first in the Renegade Series, which is a saga about the Summers family from north Alabama, and describes what the Civil War does to their lives.

Joanne wrote:

I had a little trouble getting into this book, but once I did – I didn’t want to put it down. 
I have read several books about the Civil War, but written from the side of the North. This novel is written from the point of view of a family from Alabama.
J D R Hawkins’ writing style is such that I grew to feel I knew the family who were the principal characters in the book.
My only complaint, if you can call it that, was that the book ended rather abruptly. There are however, two books which apparently continue the story.
All in all – I loved it! I will place J D R Hawkins on my favorite authors list!

From Pam C:

I received this book from Voracious Readers. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was heartbreaking for the father & son but war is horrible for all families. 
For anyone enjoying historical fiction, I recommend this. 

And this from Jackie:

The narration of this book is excellent. It is plain to see that the author has an intense fascination with the American Civil War. Her descriptions of people, animals and places make you feel as though you are there with them. As a non-American I found it a little difficult to keep up with where all the places are (my copy didn’t have a map in the cover, which would have been helpful!) and the names of all the generals were lost on me. I found it a little confusing with the many names of the different sides at first, having never studied American history. However, once I got going I found it easy enough to work out. The book shows the civil war through the eyes of an ordinary Southern family, which is an interesting perspective and does not glamourise the war at all. It is a working class family’s story, which makes it easy to relate to. Be prepared to read the rest of the series – the ending leaves you wanting more!

Book Blitz – Bewitched

About the Book:
The eternal dance of attraction, lust and love has been going on since time immemorial.

The divine apsara Menaka descends to Earth at Indra’s behest to distract the sage Vishwamitra from the penance that would bring him unimaginable powers. Menaka succeeds in bewitching Vishwamitra, but her actions are destined to have dire consequences for both.

Eons later, their story is set to repeat itself.

Poorva has always played by society’s rules and ideas of decorum. But what happens when her own loved ones betray her in the worst way imaginable? Does she still have to remain bound by their rules?

Rudra plays with power and people like they are pieces on a chessboard. He has no qualms about indulging his desires, be it money or women, but is determined not to be bound by either.

What happens when these two diametrically opposite souls are brought together by fate?

In the game of power, lust, greed and betrayal, some win and some lose. But are there any winners or losers in the game of love?

Like Menaka and Vishwamitra, are Poorva and Rudra too destined to see their story end in tragedy? Or will the divine power prevail?

Standalone novel from the author of #Bestseller ‘The Bodyguard’ – Undercover Series #1

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon India Amazon US

Read an Excerpt from Bewitched

The seat had remained vacant, and it reminded her of the premiere night and Samar’s friend… no, Rudra Pratap Maurya. 
Well, he was something. Full of confidence and a little too forward, which normally was the result of being born with a silver spoon. Who would know that better than she? But she wasn’t brash, quite the opposite. Would she be meeting him again today? She might. The thought incited a flutter in her heart. 
Twice during her performance in the last month, she had experienced the same kind of flutter and was reminded of him. Why? She shouldn’t be thinking about another man. She had no right.
A loud noise in the living room brought her out of her troubled thoughts. Mansi was bustling around in the suite and must have dropped something. She would be busy packing their things. They had been living here for more than a month and it was almost like shifting house. 
With a stifled yawn, Poorva got out of bed. Mansi was ready with her morning cup of tea when she came out of her bedroom. 
“He is a womanizer, and from a gangster family to boot!” Mansi declared.
Poorva frowned and picked up the cup. “Who?”
“Rudra Pratap Maurya, or RPM as he is called in his circles. I googled him. His grandfather was rumored to be a don in Mumbai, involved in arms, drugs, and the like.”
“And this man RPM… though he doesn’t have anything illegal under his name,” Mansi went on as if she hadn’t heard her, “…last year he had hooked up with three different women.”
“Why are you telling me all this?”
“He is after you.”
“Mansi, come on!” Poorva sat in the balcony chair and yawned again.
“I saw him at the party and then yesterday, he was spinning a yarn about being there at the parking lot just like that. He must have been at the show last night. He has this glint in his eyes, full of lust when he looks at you.”
“Lust! Only?” She laughed at Mansi’s dramatic exaggeration, “Thank you. I’ll be on my guard if I meet him again.”
“If? You are meeting him in an hour.”
Amused, Poorva looked at her with raised eyebrows.
“I’ll not take this month’s salary if he is not present at today’s brunch.”
Poorva’s phone pinged bringing the bizarre conversation to an end.

About the Author:

Author of Amazon Bestseller Romantic Thriller ‘The Bodyguard’, Ruchi Singh is an IT Professional & Novelist, writing stories under Romance & Suspense Genre. She is a bilingual author and writes in both English & Hindi.

Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi also publishes romantic short reads under ‘Hearts & Hots’ collection, besides being a contributing author to many anthologies.
A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.

Contact the Author:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Featured Guest Post

Here is another post that I hope you will enjoy. Anything to get our minds off the election, right? I know I’m frustrated by it! I hope you enjoy.

7 Great Ways to Make Your Bedroom Cozier and Prettier

Your bedroom should ideally be the most comfortable space in your house.

It’s a given.

After all, this is where you spend most of your time. After a tiring day outdoors, it’s in your bedroom where you can unwind, relax, and reboot yourself.

But, most people end up sacrificing comfort when they try to raise the aesthetic level.

This doesn’t have to be the case.

Your bedroom can be both cozy and pretty at the same time.

Let’s look at seven great ways to make your bedroom cozier and prettier.

1. Reposition Your Bed

Your bed does not necessarily have to lean against a wall.

If your bedroom is large enough, consider moving your bed near a window to create a cozy reading spot.

2. Cover a Wall with Tapestries

Tapestries don’t cost a fortune and can help make a bold statement.

You can easily find a tapestry that matches your taste and style at an online home décor store.

You can have one on the wall behind the bed.

Tapestries can also be placed alongside the artwork on the focal wall in your bedroom.

3. Remove Unnecessary Furniture

Get rid of furniture items that you don’t really need in a bedroom. This is especially important if you have a small bedroom.

Can a desk double up as a nightstand? If yes, you can create some empty space in your bedroom.

Opt for furniture items with hidden storage space. This way, you can hide away various items such as your laptop/phone adapter, magazines, hairpins, etc. to create a more coherent look.

Remember, a cluttered space is neither comfortable nor pretty.

4. Add Some Plants

Plants can make a bedroom feel alive.

They don’t just brighten up the space but also offer numerous health benefits.

Plants can help relieve stress and purify the air.

In low light conditions, some of the best plants for a bedroom include Peace lily, English ivy, and Philodendron.

In bright-light conditions, you can opt for plants such as parlor Palm, Pothos, and Scented Geranium.

Plants such as Jasmine, Aloe Vera, and Spider Plant are known to improve the quality of sleep.

Experienced designers know how to use plants and artwork to add personality to a living space. You just have to be a little creative to do the same.

5. Pick the Right Color Scheme to Make Your Bedroom More Restful

A bedroom’s color scheme shouldn’t be too bright or too dull.

It is also advisable to avoid high contrast in colors.

To balance comfort level and aesthetic appeal, opt for ‘warm neutrals.’

With earthy blues, browns, beiges, and light-to-mid-tone greys, you can create a color scheme that blends well with pillows, rugs, curtains, etc.

6. Get an Area Rug

An area rug won’t just keep your feet cozy but also add personality to your bedroom.

There is no dearth of options in colors, patterns, and textures. So, you can show off your style while elevating the comfort level of your bedroom.

From an expensive antique Persian rug to a low-cost minimalist piece, you can buy one that you can afford right now. But, you need one in your bedroom. It’s one of the must-have accessories in any home.

Invest in a high-pile area wool rug if possible. They don’t cost much and feel great around a bed.

An area rug can literally help define the space. It can be used to anchor the bed or a piece of custom-designed upholstery and tie together different furniture items to create a more finished look.

Needless to mention, area rugs help protect your floors as well.

7. Include As Many Warm, Natural Materials as Possible

Warm, natural materials can make any living space feel cozier and prettier.

From linen and wool to wicker, stone, geodes, and wood, you can add some or all of them to add coziness to your bedroom.

Final Words

Besides the tips shared above, you can also increase the flow of natural light in your bedroom. You will be amazed at how natural light can brighten up space and make it appear more comfortable during the day time.

You may also want to change up the lighting. Replace an old traditional lamp and consider installing recessed fixtures, sconces, or pendants.

If you like to read books, magazines, etc. before you go to sleep each night, consider installing a reading lamp on one side of the bed. 

Author Bio

Michelle is an interior designer at Westlake Village Upholstery and Drapery with over 20 years experience in fabric and custom window treatments. She offers clients in Southern California a new experience in traditional and modern design. 


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