Archive for December 2012

Kick The Old Year Out

December 30, 2012

Five of these since January 2012

Five of these since January 2012

Well, 2012 is on that proverbial banana peel to being GONE. Kaput. Here no more.

Geesh…I was just getting used to writing 2012 on checks and now I’ll have to start over again.

2013. Weren’t we recently worried about Y2K and celebrating the beginning of a new millennium? That was, if our world didn’t end?

Here we are. Anxiously counting down the hours now to kick out 2012 and welcome 2013. My next post will be next year. I can’t believe it.

While I might wonder where 2012 went to, I think my photo says it all. I’ve added books I’ve written to my bookshelf and those books are finding their way into readers’ hands. 2013 will see me doing the same though I’d love to add a few activities, like maybe a vacation even if only for a few days.

This is also the time of the year for those New Years’ resolutions. Are you one of those people who create a list of resolutions (usually involving more exercise and less eating) and within a week or two can’t remember what those grand statements are?

Too often those resolutions get thrown out the back door with the last of the Christmas decorations, or the now stale Christmas treats…

So I’ll give you 2 resolutions I’ve made though my list isn’t finished. After all I have one more day…

Sayonara 2012

Sayonara 2012

Resolution #1:  Get the next 4 Soul String Saga novellas ready to publish.

Resolution #2:  Finish the third Dessert Dames novel.

Resolution #3:  Take a vacation—if only for a few days.

While I continue to work on resolutions and writing, I hope you have a great time kicking out 2012 and ushering in 2013.

Happy New Year!!

Merry Christmas

December 23, 2012

Lighting the dark night...

Lighting the dark night…

I chose this as it’s one of my favorite Christmas Golden Oldies. I saw the original broadcast. I also chose this because I think the Peace on Earth message should resonate so strongly with us this year in light of last week’s shootings at Sandy Hook, the unrest still so prevalent in parts of our world, and most particularly within our national leadership.

My title sends my wishes to all of you who’ve stopped by and enjoyed my photos and my blogs this past year. For new visitors, you have time to read, I’d suggest you read my 2008 Christmas post.

Here is the link for Remembering John.

Have a great Christmas and all the days following. See you next week.

Sandy Hook Sadness

December 16, 2012

Google image. Flag at half mast Newton, CT

Google image. Flag at half mast Newton, CT

The weather wept this weekend. At least it has here in the section of Wisconsin where I live

Mothers and fathers in the US go about their business in sorrow, mourning the loss of yet another mass shooting.

Once again the unthinkable happened.

Another mass shooting Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newton, Connecticut.

A lone shooter enters a school and proceeds to kill 20 young children, 6 adults, and finally himself. Later, police learns he killed his mother before he drove her car to the school.

Twenty young lives—most of them only 5 or 6 years old, gone as quickly as one might snap fingers together. For what reason?

Clipart image

Clipart image

Who knows?

Perhaps the gunman held explicitly detailed reasons. But since he killed himself, he’s taken his warped reasons with him to his eternal punishment.

Logic and sanity provides no valid reason.

We mourn. We pray for the families of the victims, the school community, that Connecticut town. Grief has rippling effects.

In this time when the Jewish faith celebrates the festival of light, we all lament the darkness brought by these untimely deaths. For those of us preparing for celebration of the birth of our Savior our anticipation of joy is greatly dimmed.

Christmas will never be the same. Each year we will remember with those families the loss of the Sandy Hook victims. Our joy of the season will dim.

My hope is the Hanukkah lights will brighten our sorrow and lead these little angels and their adult protectors to a place of joy where they will celebrate of this time of year being with the Our Savior as we commemorate his birth.

Clipart image

Clipart image

Introducing Soul String

December 10, 2012

Coming soon.

Coming soon.

Okay, I’m late posting this, a day late–forgive me. However, last week was crazy busy with way too many deadlines and too many care-giving hours. I needed more than 168 hours in the week. L

But did you take a long look at my new book cover?

Is that not absolutely the most interesting fantastic cover? I know I’ve been so fortunate in my book covers. Each one I think is the best ever—and then I get the next one.

But let me tell you a bit about Soul String. I first played around with my main character many years ago as a graduate student who spent many hours each week walking into campus and between buildings for classes, the library and then back to my little room.

I created stories in my head while I walked. About a student with dreams and goals.

Fast forward many years later and that character came back into my mind. Only now I was writing fiction full time. Brenna Jane Kelly rose again but so much more interesting. So compelling to me I found her story evolved into the Soul String Saga. At this time, 5 novellas cover about twenty crucial years in her life.

Brenna is on journey toward being a wise woman.

Coming January 2013

Coming January 2013

Last week between caregiving hours, I was busy putting the final touches on Book 1 which is as of last night with my formatter. Hopefully, it will be available in digital format by Christmas. Book 2 should be available in January 2013.

Notice what’s different with Book 2’s cover? That difference is important within Soul String, Book 2. I haven’t decided on a subtitle for it yet. But I’ll be inspired soon. Maybe this week.

So what do you think?

Once Lost; Now Found–The Recipe Saga

December 1, 2012

After a frost. these flowers refuse to die.

After a frost. these flowers refuse to die.

Sometimes the most delightful little gifts fall into our laps.

Such a happenstance occurred for me last weekend.

My oldest son was visiting over the holiday and we planned to visit my only surviving aunt. She and her husband were my son’s godparents so he also feels a special connection to her. She’s also the one whose husband of 60+ years died this past summer. We both figured this first important and very much family-oriented holiday would have been difficult for her.

So on Saturday afternoon we went to see her.

The visit was great. As we often do we reminisced about those no longer with us. And we talked about Christmas which will be coming soon. My grandfather died two days before Christmas. I was pregnant with my oldest son and Grandpa was very much looking forward to being a great-grandfather. In all the ensuing years since Grandpa died, Christmas got easier for those of us who loved him but always we missed him. Knowing how much he loved the Christmas holiday and what its meaning was also helped keep up his traditions. We talked about that for a bit with my aunt.

Tanker close to shore day after Thanksgiving

Tanker close to shore day after Thanksgiving

But for my son and me, we also find Christmas difficult because many years later, my second son died three days before Christmas. None of my sons ever got to know my grandfather, but they knew the story of his death shoveling snow in a major snowstorm so he could get to his last day of work before he retired.

But another part of Christmas back then while my grandmother was still alive was her holiday salad. She always made it for Christmas. My oldest son remembers eating it. I not only remember eating it, but have vivid memories of Christmas preparations shared with my grandma and grandpa while making that salad.

Grandpa chopped the nuts.

I got to cut up marshmallows into tiny pieces. I lost this task when mini-marshmallows became available. However, when those minis became available in various colors, Gram would have me pick out the colors she didn’t choose to include in her salad. Those I could eat if I wanted.

Of course, I wanted. They were a treat.

After our visit Oreo and Steve

After our visit Oreo and Steve

Anyway, come Christmas Day when the family gathered, Grandma would have her salad on the table always in the same bowl, one which was an ivory stoneware with brown and rust leaves. She’d gotten it at the Jewel T grocery store. That bowl always sat on the table during family feasts.

So on that visit last Saturday, I mentioned my memories of the salad and the bowl. I said how I’d never seen a recipe for that salad and had never eaten it since my grandmother died (again in another December before Christmas.) I said something like I guessed that recipe died with Gram.

My aunt said no. Her daughter had that recipe and had written it down for her at Thanksgiving.

Serendipity. My little unexpected Christmas gift from above.

I now have the recipe.

I’m making it for Christmas to honor my grandparents.

Taken from Google images

Taken from Google images

To see if the salad is as great as I remember.

Now wouldn’t it be wonderful if that long lost bowl suddenly appeared?

So what special food have you been thinking of? Perhaps one that’s tied into family celebrations of the past? Any that you care to share?

Oh, and here’s the recipe. The only thing that would have made this perfect is if it were written in my grandmother’s hand.

Grandma D’s Holiday Salad

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 Cup sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 Cup flour

1/2 Cup lemon juice

Mix and cook above over medium heat until thickened.

Add 1/2 pint of cream slowly mixed into above mixture.

Then add:

3 cans Royal Ann Cherries, pitted.

2 cans large pineapple chunks, drained.

Nuts – type and amount as desired.

Miniature marshmallows – amount as desired.

Keep chilled until served.