Authors, Writers, Public Speakers: Get Free Advertising and Share your Memories of Mom…In Honor of Mother’s Day

DSCN1970This is a busy season for my husband and me. Family, teaching, public speaking, radio interviews, and writing obligations have most everyday filled to the brim.

Because I’m faced with the challenges of fitting everything into a tight schedule, I’m reaching out to writers and public speakers to help me out by writing on my blog.

I stumbled upon the idea for this month’s topic at Marian Beaman’s blog, I borrowed it and changed it a bit.

Writing Topic:

In Honor of Mother’s Day which falls on May 11th, share a lesson with us that you learned from your mom.

Include information about yourself, if you’d like. Did you write a book? Are you a public speaker or a blog writer? You may include the addresses to your social media pages.

There’s no charge for the free advertising. Really.

And if you have a compelling life message, one that helps others, you might be invited to be a guest writer.

I’ll get this started with a short reflection from my life with my eccentric mother.

Shortly after the death of the love of my mother’s life, Luke, my sister and I met her for lunch, and wouldn’t you know it!–the song that was “their song” began playing over the sound system.

Mother’s eyes filled with tears. She reached into her purse, pulled out her dark Van Rays, slipped them on, and tilted her nose smugly. “This is what sunglasses are for. Always wear them when you cry in public.” She said with her voice full of dignity.

This was more than a decade ago. Since then I’ve had a few opportunities to pull out my dark glasses and slip them on in public, times when my heart was touched and the tears began to flow. This is what sunglasses are for, after all.

A Few Rules:

  1. Share your mom story in the reply box on this page.
  2. Remember that the attention span of the average blog reader is limited–we’re such busy people–aim for 250 words or less.
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Keep it respectful.
  5. If you’d like, include the addresses for any or all of these: your social media page(s), blog sites, websites.
  6. If you’re an author and your book or article helps others, include the title, link to it, and why you wrote it for some free advertising. And you never know who might read this page–you just might get discovered!
  7. If your mom story is clean and respectful, I’ll share your writing with the world.
  8. Troubleshooting: If you can’t find the black reply box, scroll up to the top and look to the right. Under the “Search” box, you’ll find “Recent Topics,” click on the title of this article. This takes you to the article with a comment box.

Happy Writing~


Surprises in Price, Utah


Copyright Vern Koefoed 2014

Copyright Vern Koefoed 2014

Vern and I drove from West Valley City, Utah to Moab, Utah on day two of our Oregon to Texas adventure.

On the way, we decided to stop in Price, Utah where some of Vern’s mother’s family–on her paternal side–the Price’s, once had lived. We parked on Main Street and walked several blocks to Farlaino’s Cafe where we enjoyed a tasty lunch.

Vern had a dinner salad, meatballs and spaghetti. The tangy, tomato based sauce was slightly spicy. I had chicken and rice soup. Garlic toast came with our meal.   Lunch

The portions were generous, and neither the soup or spaghetti dish were typical restaurant fare. We were surprised by the homemade flavor and quality.

Betty Martinez and her daughters Helen Crandall and Trish Frandsen welcomed Vern and me. They’ve cooked and served meals to customers in this same location for thirty-two years.

Farlaino's owner

The building itself is more than 100 years old. Last October, Helen purchased the restaurant, fulfilling a dream of hers to own Farlaino’s, which is a popular attraction among locals and tourists.

“You’ll never guess what used to be upstairs,” Helen said, pointing at the ceiling. “A brothel. Here, let me show you something.”

I followed her behind the serving counter and was surprised to see what looked like an old-fashioned doorbell beside some food service items.

“This is the buzzer that they used to call the girls to come downstairs with. They pushed it and it rang for them.”

Before heading out the door to continue our drive to Moab, Vern and I were invited back. If given the chance, we’ll return for more of their hospitality, tasty cuisine and interesting local history.

Thank you Farlaino’s for an overall great experience.


Salt Lake City Observations

West Valley City UT

West Valley City UT

March 31, 2014

Today we headed for Moab, Utah to see one of America’s natural wonders, Arches National Park. We had no idea what to expect, but our son Ryan went through the area three years ago when he moved to Texas and gave it raving reviews. We’re lodging at the Castle Valley Inn for the night.

As we left the Salt Lake City area, Vern and I made the following observations and decided that you might find these of interest.

  1. The people with whom we interacted were smiley and helpful.
  2. A couple of cheerful young ladies at the hotel’s front desk didn’t seem to understand the meaning of “bless you.” I was overjoyed by their helpfulness when they printed a map to Moab for us while sharing their own travel stories. My way of saying have a great day or take care is to say bless you. They stared with blank faces at me. One looked nervously at the other.
  3. To save time, we chose a department store with few cars in the parking lot at which to do a little shopping. Then we stood in line with a few items and waited. The lady who purchased the cherub statuary caused a fifteen minute delay. The smiley salesperson blushed with embarrassment.
  4. I kept expecting to see moms with their large entourage of children, you know four little toe heads in a four passenger stroller and two darlings beside her. But I only saw average family sizes and only twice. Perhaps my stereotyping is from movies I’ve seen of this part of the United States. Time to ditch the stereotype.
  5. We topped off the gas tank at $3.35 / gallon for regular, a savings of 45 cents. We paid around $3.80/ gallon at our last stop.
  6. Along the interstate between Salt Lake City and Provo, Vern was impressed by the number of large commercial projects under construction. From one point on the freeway, we saw six cranes at the same time on different building sites, two redi-mix trucks ahead of us and a concrete pump at another site. And newly built commercial buildings with walls of glass dotted the landscape.
  7. We saw all of this from inside our Cadillac as we zoomed along the interstate at the slow speed of 71 mph. Other motorists shot by us at 80 mph or more—80 is the legal speed.
  8. The mountain ranges on both sides of the freeway corridor are stunning in their fresh coats of snow.
  9. Numerous canyon walls and rims fill the landscapePENTAX Image beyond Provo. Vern and I snapped loads of photos, trying to capture their grandeur, beauty and scale.



Further down the road, we stopped in Price, Utah. Since Vern’s mother’s maiden name is Price, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a look at this small town 118 miles south of Salt Lake City. We stopped at a diner for a late lunch, enjoyed a visit with the owner and learned a shocking bit of history. To be contented in our next post.

Blessings to you~

Pamela and Vern



Oregon to Texas–Travel Blog Introduction

From Oregon to Texas


My husband Vern and I have labored for hours over the itinerary for our road trip. We’ll drive through six states, travel 3, 140 miles to reach our final destination in western Texas where we will finally get to hold our first grandchild and hug his parents.

Over the course of our entire vacation, we will spend no fewer than fifty-two hours zooming down the highway through mostly desert, eight nights sleeping in bed and breakfasts and hotels, and eight or more meals in restaurants and cafes. To reduce expenses, we’ll prepare some of our own meals. And for dessert, I’ll bake a super rich chocolate cake from scratch. (For this easy to bake recipe, see the back of a can of powdered Hershey’s baking chocolate.)

While Vern plots our course on a United States map, I’m searching travel sites (, and to plan lodging and meals, and stops at lovely places and interesting sights along the way. RoadTrippers, an intuitive USA route / vacation planner, is simple to use.compass6

We would love to have you join us on our road trip adventure (in a matter of speaking) by clicking the “Follow” button at the top of this page, and y’all are welcome to join us on Twitter and Facebook where brief daily updates will be shared with the world.

We’re heading out soon on our southwest adventure.

We look forward to sharing photos and notes of fascinating and lovely discoveries with you. Feel free to write us back, we’d love to hear from you.

How to find us on Twitter and Facebook

Our Twitter handle is: JoyRideBook
Our Facebook page is: JoyRide Memoir
Blessings to you~

Pamela & Vern

Catastrophic Parenting: Daddy Shopping & Auntie Mame’s House

ImagePamela Koefoed’s irresponsible mother Joy Curran had her own ideas about parenting. Children should be allowed to go to bars with their parents, they can be left alone at home for weeks, they should be spoken to as adults, and they should always have good manners.

Joy was a charismatic, free-spirited, single parent whose unconventional parenting created drama and chaos. She pursued two dreams, finding Pamela and Robin a new daddy and having an “Auntie Mame house”—a reference to a 1955 New York Time’s best selling novel about an orphaned boy and his eccentric Aunt Mame and her house of fun.

Later when Joy remarries, someone makes several attempts to destroy the home she and her new husband Max have made for Pamela and Robin, and they flee for their lives. When they divorce, Joy’s escalating drinking and neglect causes Pamela and her sister to depend on each other for emotional support. To survive, the girls are forced to find food and keep to themselves the family secrets.

Pamela tells her story without bitterness and depicts a perspective of her mother as seen through the innocent eyes of childhood. What surprises us all about Pamela and Robin is their spunkiness and resiliency. They draw on the love they have for each other and rise above the flaws in their circumstances to show us all the way to a richer and more meaningful life.

Filled with intrigue and deeply moving, Pamela’s memoir reveals the undying bond that a child has for her mother, the loyalty between sisters, and a love which defies understanding. JoyRide is action packed, rich in detail, and full of hope.

 Readers who enjoyed The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls will love JoyRide: Life, Death and Forgiveness.

I feel I have witnessed the victorious power of love, and the overcoming resilience of the human spirit. This story of triumph over unimaginable difficulty is made all the more poignant by the awareness that it is true.

—Lewis Crownover, musician and founder, Sound of the Harvest

You will not want to put this book down until you have finished it. You will come away with the knowledge that you are never alone no matter how big the trial is that you are going through. An exciting read.

—RitaAnne Poorman, minister and author of Prayers from the Proverbs

 JoyRide, Life, Death and Forgiveness is 317 pages and includes bonus material at the end of the book, an interview with the author and discussion questions. Purchase at

A Reason to Live

What do dangerous chlorine gas, an exploding house, and a knife attack mean to you? Hopefully nothing. But for me, these were each experiences that I had growing up with my alcohol-addicted mother. Living with her was like trying to survive in a river of crocodiles. My life was often in danger and it’s a wonder that I wasn’t eaten alive.

I survived, obviously, but there’s something else–I overcame. I’m here to give hope and help to the hurting through my creative writing style which is much like story telling. Because I suffered and loved much, I am able to provide a fresh perspective on some of the most perplexing social issues facing our world.

Interaction with readers encourages me to keep writing these vignettes. I would love to hear from you. If you would like to respond in writing to something you’ve read, here are some things to consider: How did the article impact you? Have you had a similar experience? Do you have something positive to contribute to the discussion?

You are dearly loved,

Pamela Koefoed

Pamela Koefoed.