Monthly Archives: December 2012

Dressing for a Holiday Party

Okay, you are invited to the Office Party or a Neighborhood Party or to a friend’s house for a holiday dinner. All three invites have encouraged you to wear dressy-casual, or is it casually dressed.  With so many people having individual interpretations of this, just what do you wear? If you live in the city such as NYC or Chicago or somewhere in between, it is a pretty good guess that means clothes accented by sparkly jewelry, designer scarves, perfume, nails polished,  hair done at the professionals, and probably high heels of various heights.

 ImageWhat about if you live in the woods, the farm or somewhere in between those places? What does one wear then to a party or dinner gathering during the holidays, regardless of which one you honor? What does casual mean then? Would it be sweat suits with spangles on them declaring that they are dressy for the holidays? Dark running shoes rather than the white ones? Jeans, if you can still fit into them after the first few parties?

 It seems I just don’t know anymore and it was once a self-assured answer on the tip of my tongue if anyone asked me. Then again, after a few glasses of wine, does anyone really care?



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words, words, words (after thoughts of my 2006 blog posting)


I find myself calling on a word

that I love to say as it rolls around my tongue,

tingles in my ear and bursts out into the universe

on paper it turns the page into a bit of happiness

that I share with others that they may enjoy it, too

but I wonder

do other ears tire of hearing

the same old, same old words expected from me

when I open my mouth to speak, to astonish another

with a new idea but using the same old, same old words

as excited as I am that I cannot call upon a word unused

often by me

so many words that I love to say;

delighted, sensuous, passionate, positive, synchronicity,

words of a musical bent that sing in my head in the kitchen,

fettucine, proscuitto, zuppa inglese, freschi, funghi, castagne,

words that sound more promising on the Italian menu than

at the diner

foreign words slipped into our language

may need practice but once you learn them, say them often

and they become fun to form in your mouth even for one

who prefers to write than to talk, to listen to the rhythm

in the voice of someone else, to hear if they are using their

same old, same old words

© Arlene S. Bice, 2012

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The Girls

Image(re-posted from 2007)

The term “The Girls” as I refer to them, came easily after birthing four sons, having two brothers, raised in a neighborhood full of boys and marrying three guys. One at a time, that is, with a little leeway in between.

So when these two adorable rescued kittens were first placed in front of me like gift boxes to choose from, I took both. Sisters, even with different fathers, shouldn’t be separated. Plus I travel often so they are company for each other when I’m gone. They don’t appreciate that I planned such consideration for them. They sense my plans days before I even take my travel bag out of the closet. Their upturned faces show me the saddest of eyes tugging at my inner softness. It makes me not want to go anywhere and I have always loved to go, anywhere.

That’s also when they begin adhering to my ankles, in front of, rubbing the sides of and tangling in between. Sometimes I’m nearly tripping just trying to stand up. It seems as though invisible glue keeps them in place. I step, they step, I sit, they sit, I breathe, they breathe.

They are Lady Jane and Mz Lizzie. The Bennet sisters from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Jane was upgraded to a titled ‘Lady’ because she is; just like Jane in the story. Her personality and being born minutes earlier gives her the older sister air. She’s also shy and reserved, but can romp (like a rabbit) beside Lizzie when encouraged. She’s a Manx. Black and white, no tail.

Lizzie follows Elizabeth’s personality. She’s daring, impish, funny and cuddly. I can sometimes see an idea forming by a light popping up in her eyes. She’s full of life and energy. She can talk the ears off an elephant. She’s a calico born with a bent two-inch tail.

They are blessings in my life.

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Mystical Avebury (publ. Life & Labyrinth)


The heavy mist is all around.

Unknown if it comes

down from the sky

or up from the ground.

It fills the landscape.

Everything matches the gray

of the circle of tall stones;

the grass, trees, sky and the body

of a long, gray cloak gliding across

the open park towards me.

I stand with my back leaning

into the massive, upright boulder

feeling my secrets melting into

and blending with the secrets of the rock

kept quiet for centuries.

Vibrations emanate into my bones.

I feel sorrow, mystery.

Low moaning turns into a searing cry

cutting the late afternoon down the middle,

silencing the birds, sending chills up my spine.

As the form slowly moves closer

my body tenses, expectant.

My fingertips vibrate against the stone

warmth flows through me alerting my soul.

The long, gray cloak passes through me

leaving me behind.

 (C) Arlene S. Bice, 2009


Filed under paranormal, Poetry

Malala Yousafzai, A Leader For Our Time

In all nations brave women and girls,

through the ages have shown courage

during battles and long wars. They have fed the warriors,

carried messages, fought off the enemy, suffered rape, disfigurement, 

and healed the wounds of others.


As the world progresses in time

as we inch toward respect;

understanding cultures and ways of countries different,

the feminine teach, nurture, carry the burden and the waving banner

toward freedom of education.


Timid maiden, traditional matron

carry on the fight for their rights

of speech, of choice, of life productive, of developing

their talents and gifts varied from the masculine in their families,

special in their own footsteps.


Malala, leader of your time,

of your place, may you continue

without violence against you. Know you are a leader,

an international symbol admired by many for your determined beliefs;

willing to stand up for them.

 © Arlene S. Bice, 2012

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PurpleStone Press December Ezine

A Monthly Newsletter to keep readers informed on news in the book world, about moments not easily explained, stretching out to other genres, a personal story, events going on, comments from readers and more. Readers are welcome to comment or add their thoughts to the next newsletter.
In This Issue December 2012
Click Reply, enter your email address with the word Subscribe and return it to me at if you would like to receive the monthly Ezine on books, stories, life’s quirks, and other bits of interest to inquisitive readers.

Happenings & News Mucho thanks to Oakley Hall Antiques for hosting a wonderful “Meet the Author & Book Signing” last month. It was fabulous and I met some new people as well as greeting friends I know. There will definitely be a Volume II Warren County Ghost Book. Thanks for your words and your support to all who attended. It wasn’t so long ago when I was hosting book signings for others, now I’m the one signing. How cool is that! The stuffed dates I brought to the signing was a recipe that was brought to a book signing I hosted at my shop many years ago for Rose J. Radel who wrote: The Miniature Pinscher: An Owner’s Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet.
What’s Goin’ On? December 4, Tuesday… . TASTE N TELL at the WCM Library sponsored by Warrenton Woman’s Club. Christmas recipes from the Recipes & Remembrances Cookbook will be offered to taste, cooks will tell their stories and the cookbook will be available for sale at $15. Recipes in the cookbook were submitted by Warren County folks and their friends and family from all across the nation. Also included are some favorites of past Presidential wives such as Martha Custis Washington. Think great Christmas and Holiday gifts.
To all my Christian friends=Merry Christmas and to all my friends who have chosen a different path=Happy Holidays, no matter which one you choose to celebrate or how you like to offer the greeting. It is the goodwill that matters.

Stories…The Mount; The Haunted Home of Edith Wharton.
Edith Wharton, author of The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome and so much more, designed her home in the Berkshires over a hundred years ago. It was not exactly a happy marriage that she shared with husband Teddy and she eventually divorced him. The Mount is now a National Trust and open to visitors. It is the docents and visitors who tell of …..footsteps walking down a hallway and fading-when no one could be seen; doors slamming for no obvious reason, voices heard but no one seen. Ghost Hunters have visited and found ghostly activities. The house was sold to become a girls school. Those staying in the servant quarters and main house both reported odd goings on. Shakespeare & Co. came into the building in 1976 with the same reports of voices with no bodies, ghosts in old-fashioned clothing peeking around corners, voices inquiring “what are you doing here?”

Edith herself was sensitive to ghosts following her in childhood remaining skittish of them as a married woman. Yet now she is a ghost seen, seated and reading. Teddy has also been spotted striding through the house and Edith’s lover has been noticed in a tuxedo with pocket watch in hand. A servant girl is seen on the third floor in the room she called her own. Photo from Wikipedia website.

Letters, I Get Letters…. As much as I love North Carolina and the (still) newness of exploring and learning new customs, there is an unhappy part, too. In moving to a new place to live, I have lost the casual contact with some people who have been important in my life. This means I just learned now, a year after the fact that Julianne MacNicoll passed away. She and long-time-husband Ed (Past President of the NAIFA) worked side-by-side in their office in Hamilton Township (NJ) doing residential and commercial real estate appraisals. And they were side-by-side in all aspects of their lives. Ed also taught and did a million other things. I remember Julie as being the sunniest person, always happy, positive and encouraging, especially to a newcomer to the business that I loved so much, me. I can still see her smiling face.

This Month……Since I now have Ghostly Spirits of Warren County, North Carolina & Beyond on the shelves, I’m back to completing New Jersey true ghost tales that I have been collecting for the last few years in between the NC ones. If you know of anyone who would like to tell me their story, please put them in touch with me at: or 252-257-4838.

The Latest……. Ghostly Spirits of Warren County NC & Beyond (Soft Cover-2012 PurpleStone Press) $18.95 A candle in the window, a man who walks through walls, a woman from long ago…..peek into the personal stories of hauntings from those who wish to remain in their place on earth instead of going forward into the after-life. Warren County was a wealthy, thriving place during the antebellum years. Warrenton was the hub of activity, a destination on market days where friends gathered. These imprints were left and remain today.

Also Available…. Ghosts Of Bordentown (NJ) $14.95 True paranormal stories told by those who lived them Haunted Bordentown … (NJ) $14.95 More true paranormal tales
Life & Labyrinth …$17.95 Memoir & Poetry Major Fraser’s A House & Its History $19.95 Images of America Series -Bordentown, A picture book of Bordentown history – New Egypt & Plumsted Township, A picture book of the center of New Jersey -Bordentown Revisited, More pictures and history of Bordentown and surrounding area.

Subscribe: Click Reply, enter your email address with the word Subscribe and return it to me if you would like to receive a monthly Ezine on books, stories, life’s quirks, and other bits of interest to inquisitive readers

Keep your mind open. Keep reading. Be kind. Be gentle.

PurpleStone Press,

Arlene S. Bice writer-lecturer-artist P O Box 348 Macon, NC 27551

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