A trip I made in the fall of 2019 to England yielded a wondrous lesson in history and awe-inspiring events. Long ago I researched the founding of the American Colonies for various written works, of which England is its natural birthright. A visit here ...
‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

Click here to read this mailing online.

Your email updates, powered by FeedBlitz

Here is a sample subscription for you. Click here to start your FREE subscription

"Blissful Life Journey" - 5 new articles

  1. Westminster Abbey – A Place of Kings and Queens and Great Importance in American History
  2. The Hiking Adventure Series!
  3. Honoring World War II with the Pumpkin
  4. Gators, Guts, and Glory Florida Trail Adventure!
  5. California Burning - One Family Caught in It
  6. More Recent Articles

Westminster Abbey – A Place of Kings and Queens and Great Importance in American History

A trip I made in the fall of 2019 to England yielded a wondrous lesson in history and awe-inspiring events. Long ago I researched the founding of the American Colonies for various written works, of which England is its natural birthright. A visit here brought to light much in the area of historical facts as well as awakening a desire to bring forth the history of our nation’s founding after walking the grounds of the ones who began it all.
Westminster Abbey

Foremost is Westminster Abbey – England’s most famous cathedral and home to coronations,
weddings, and the final resting place of the famous including 17 British monarchs (such as all of the Tudors except Henry VIII), and other notables like Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens. This church was a must-see on my list of historical sites in England and worth not only the admission but also the extra cost to see the special exhibit in the upper halls of the cathedral known as the Galleries. The audio tour provides historical insight into the many places within the church and is included in the admission. But I recommend also picking up a copy of the short tour guidebook just for the pictures (of which photography inside the building is not allowed).

Famous sites within the cathedral include:

The Nave – Home to a memorial commemorating the unknown warrior and the coronation chair used in every coronation since Henry IV, of which one can imagine the great monarchs of old receiving the crown while occupying this chair.

The Quire – a grand altar and exquisite Cosmati work of paving, done from 1268, it is the place of coronations. It is also the place of burial for several English kings including the notorious Edward Longshanks (of Braveheart fame), Henry III, and Henry V.

The Lady Chapel – a side chamber houses the elaborate tomb of Elizabeth I – the monarch who saw the rise of colonization in North America with expeditions that included the Lost Colony at Roanoke (which I have brought to life in my writings!). Buried with her is her half-sister,
Tomb of Elizabeth I
Mary Tudor. A separate chamber holds the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries – The highlight of the visit required an extra ticket but ended up a must-see. The galleries above the main floor of the cathedral where one can gaze down upon the various parts of the church provided a fascinating vantage point. Within the galleries one gazes upon effigies in wax and wood of the actual faces of monarchs of old. Without photography and except for paintings, these are the only visuals one has of famous people that lived so long ago. Documents such as the Magna Carta are on the display here as well as the marriage license of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Simply amazing history. See the Video 

Walking within these halls, one cannot help but be in awe as this houses those that saw the creation of what is now the United States of America.


The Hiking Adventure Series!

National Scenic Trails Adventures! 

Get outside with the National Scenic Trails "Hiking Adventure Series" on the Appalachian Trail and the Florida Trail. Journey with Blissful as she hikes over 5,000 miles of trail in all kinds of terrain and situations! Makes a great gift for the wanderer in all of us - and you don't have to be a hiker to enjoy adventure! 

Mountains, Madness and Miracles - an Appalachian Trail adventure (paperback or Kindle)

Gators, Guts, and Glory- wild times on the Florida Trail! (paperback or Kindle)

Other formats, paperback, or to get a book signed! - Click


Honoring World War II with the Pumpkin

Celebrate the Victory gardens of World War II and my novella, “Only Forever” in the historical romance collection Homefront Heroines and a tasty pumpkin bread recipe with a secret filling, passed down to me by my aunt. It became a tradition in the Bliss house to receive a still warm and fragrant loaf every Christmas when we came visiting and remains a treasured memory of the past.


Pumpkin Swirl Bread
1 8oz cream cheese, softened, combined with ¼ cup sugar and 1 beaten egg, set aside
1 ¾ cup flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin
½ cup melted margarine (I like butter)
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup water

Combine pumpkin, melted margarine, egg, and water. Mix together dry ingredients, mix with wet ingredients.

Reserve two cups of batter. Pour the remaining batter into a greased and floured large loaf pan.

Pour cream cheese mixture over the batter. Pour the remaining two cups of batter over the cream cheese filling.

Bake at 350 for 70 minutes – or until toothpick comes out clean.

Homefront Heroines – from Barbour Publishing in January 2020. Preorder

Join the Facebook group celebrating the heroines and their loved ones during World War II!

Love to hike in the beautiful woods? Check out Blissful Hikingfor autumn adventures and the latest newsletter!


Gators, Guts, and Glory Florida Trail Adventure!

What does the state of Florida give visions of? Beaches? Ocean waves? Walt Disney World? What could it possibly give to the interest of a hiker?   

Blissful the Hiker takes you on a wild and wonder-laden trek on the Florida Trail through pristine cathedral palms, thick woods of palmettos, sky high scrub pine, Lord of the Rings forests of oak and cypress knees, a lounging gator or two, exotic birds, vast prairies, and maybe some swamps for fun. Not to mention the interest of assorted dogs who would rather hike with Blissful than guard property and the joy of trail angels who will do anything to help a hiker in need when the storms rise.

Welcome to Gators, Guts, and Glory – Adventures Along the Florida Trail. This humorous and painfully realistic tale of an 1100 mile trail stretching from
Big Cypress National Preserve to Gulf Islands National Seashore will inspire hikers with a journey unlike any other to be found in the U.S.

Come immerse yourself in adventure beyond any expectation! 

What popular authors and other hikers have said about Gators, Guts and Glory – Adventures Along the Florida Trail:

“Lauralee paints a richly descriptive and realistic picture of the unique challenges faced by long distance hikers walking from the swamps to the seashore as they traverse the length of Florida on the Florida Trail.”  – Sandra Friend, Author of The Florida Trail Guide

“Lauralee's inspired writing provides us with a richly detailed account of hiking the Florida Trail. Her writing is genuine and thorough and reveals to us the rigors, emotions and ultimately the joy of long distance backpacking."  - David Miller, author of The A.T. Guide and AWOL on the Appalachian Trail 

"What a great book! I couldn't put it down." - Amazon review, Verified Purchase

"This is a must read. Lauralee's writing style keeps you riveted to her every mile..." - Amazon review, Verified Purchase


Check out also Blissful’s first book in the Hiking Adventure Series – Mountains, Madness, and Miracles – 4000 Miles Along the Appalachian Trail


California Burning - One Family Caught in It

California is burning up. And I just read today that a California mall is refusing billboard displays for a Christian outreach because of "Complaints." Do they not know that is it only God that can change California and bring it back to life? That He is the One Who can deliver from the deadly pestilence?

The fires have hurt so many and changed lives. Some friends I knew personally were caught up in it. I want to share a poignant message they have learned from their ordeal - when they had to quickly evacuate, not knowing if the flames would roar into Redding. It was a terrifying time for them. This is their update and reflection -

"Our house is SAFE. Our “stuff” is safe, even though when the fire started moving, we knew our little family was all that mattered. We were safe. Our friends were safe. What else did I need when faced with that kind of situation?

Now that the fire is moving away from Redding, we will head back soon. The air quality is really bad up there and some people are still not allowed back to their homes and others have to find new homes. It’s hard. Please keep praying for Redding and pray the fire dies out completely and no other people and homes are affected. Pray for CALIFORNIA as much of our state is ablaze right now.

As I’m contemplating going back, I’ve felt the relief of having my “stuff” back. I’m grateful. There’s a joy and a grief because so many others had to move forward without their things. I also feel so incredibly grateful for the gifts God has given me through this. I’ve had more time with my extended family than I’ve had in years. I spent the entire day with my nephews and niece yesterday and felt the special opportunity I was given to connect with these amazing kids. My brother and his family have housed us, fed us, spent late nights talking and early mornings making coffee. I feel so blessed and filled with love. God has truly comforted us through this strange and fierce tragedy.

I will be headed home soon and I’ll start the conversations in the car with my kids. Redding will look different. Smoke. Ash. Pain. Heartbreak. Survival. Courage. Fortitude. Perseverance. We will all be making decisions about our future and the future of the town. I pray God’s peace over our county and all its families."

Now is the time to pray for these families, some who have suffered great loss, others dealing with the terrible smoke or other affects. And pray for California, for the hardness of hearts to turn to flesh, for the mall refusing to post Christian ads, the time to seek God is now. 


More Recent Articles

You Might Like

Safely Unsubscribe ArchivesPreferencesContactSubscribePrivacy