Rite of Spring

Pussy willow buds or “catkins” opening right before my spring-starved eyes was truly an amazing nature moment bestowed upon me this lovely March day in central Minnesota. I have been fortunate for the past eleven years to only have to peer out my window to witness this transformation of winter to spring!  This tree was planted in loving memory of my father in 2004. It now stands proudly above the rooftops. The lovely silky catkins come before the leaves.

opening pw scPW scPussy willow trees are native to wetlands of Canada and the eastern U.S. As a willow, the trees are part of the genus, Salix. The terminology “pussy willows” is used loosely to refer both to the trees themselves and to the furry buds on their branches.

I hope you enjoyed the beauty!

Catch you next time with more Sweet Conclusions!


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Off the Beaten Track

Sitting here right now, the sun on my back; mug of coffee in hand, it’s difficult to believe summer will soon be giving way to autumn. The older we get, the quicker the years rush by. Isn’t that the story of life? Last week this time I was still in America, still in Litchfield Minnesota, my home from home.

It’s been an eventful summer, a summer of meeting old friends and of making new ones, of completing my latest novel, of editing, of promoting my books and Sweet Conclusions.

Six weeks passed like wild horses and in just a few days’ time, I’ll be back at work here in Sweden. I always cherish my time in America; always look forward to visiting new and exciting places, places the average tourist doesn’t usually get to see. I have friends who have traveled from New York to Orlando, from Seattle to San Diego. Some have flown from Sweden to Washington DC or Minneapolis while others have experienced Dallas or Denver, Phoenix or Las Vegas. I’m not really a city person though; don’t really need to see streets lined with shops and tourists packed in cars and on buses like tins of sardines well-passed their sell by date.

If you want to see the true America, you should take a step back, leave the tourist tracks and head off into what is for me, one of the most amazing countries on earth.

You can find a McDonald’s or a Burger King, a tacky clothes store or and shoe shop in pretty much any city on the planet and surely, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I always make a point of visiting small towns, discovering new watering holes, mixing with the good people I meet on the way. As much as I would like to take a road trip from New York to Orlando or from Seattle to San Diego, I think I’ve seen and will keep seeing the best of America!

  Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,


 Gavin Hill author web site

North to South Summertime Photos

 One week ago Gavin and Rosie woke up in Texas. We celebrated Gavin’s birthday weekend by taking in as many sights as we possibly could.  We thought it would be fun to share a few differences from our travels in Minnesota to our travels in Texas with you!  We will be sharing stories with you soon about our many adventures but for today enjoy the photos!

Minnesota Lake

Texas Hillside

Pampas grass in Texas

Cattails in Minnesota

State Capital in Austin, Texas

State Capital in St. Paul, Minnesota


Texas State Flag

Minnesota State Flag

Longhorn cattle run on the streets in Fort Worth, Texas by the Stockyard

Countryside in Minnesota

Texas State Bird – Mockingbird

Minnesota State Bird – Loon

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions

Rosie and Gavin

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Lake Life

Gavin and I enjoy taking time out in the day to go by the shores of Lake Ripley in Minnesota.  It is so peaceful to watch the sunset and view the pelicans and loons glide without a care in the world. 

For those who follow along with us at Sweet Conclusions you realize we have unique, one of a kind greeting cards for sale.

Something moved on the lake

A splendid pelican

Lifting from the water

Its neck and belly flashing white … Gavin Hill

We also had the pleasure of finding this turtle along the shoreline.

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions summer adventures ….

Gavin & Rosie

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Gavin Hill’s first time speaking to America via Skype

On our post Together Via Skype we spoke about Gavin’s first author Skype event with America. It was the first Skype event in the Litchfield, Minnesota community. Here is the video from that memorable evening. Gavin was answering a question about the characters in his novel, The Blood Tree.  Everyone in attendance was so happy to “meet” Gavin and ask him questions about his novels. Gavin was thrilled to be in the same room with his American fans through Skype.

For Gavin and Rosie, it was the third time they had ever Skyped and seen each other in real time, after 16 years of friendship. Seeing each other through technology made them even more determined that one day, they would actually meet in person. And they did. But that’s another blog post …