Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy Friday!

I hope you are all making fabulous progress in your holiday preparations.  Santa has stopped by our house a couple of times already this year. It’s a good thing he wasn’t expecting cookies either time. 

Because…On Thanksgiving Day, I took the pumpkin pies out of the oven and slid in the turkey, when, moments later, what to my wondering eyes did appear—FLAMES as the heating element shorted out and caught fire! 

I pulled out my old trusty portable roaster and we still had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.  The next day, I ordered a new element. It arrived a couple of days later and hubby put it in. All worked fine for two days. Then POOF, with a puff of black smoke from the control panel, the entire stove quit. So, the next day, we went and bought a new stove. 

HOWEVER, it won’t be delivered until December 22nd. For the past few weeks, I’ve discovered what can and can’t be cooked in a microwave, electric frying pan, or crock pot. I’ve also learned that some things can, and turn out remarkably well. We’ve also taken advantage of the local restaurants that deliver, so it truly hasn’t been all that bad. 

We’ve already had a fair amount of winter weather, with more to come this weekend. Sub-zero temperatures along with several more inches of snow are forecasted for this weekend. After an outing this evening for a holiday party, I plan on spending the weekend snug and warm at home, writing. It shall be lovely. 

Almost as lovely as my new cover! I just received this yesterday and couldn’t be happier with it. I do believe Harlequin's cover artists are some of the best out there!  The Cowboy's Orphan Bride will be released in April. As children Garth and Bridgette vowed to be each other’s family, and were, until shipped west on an orphan train. The story takes place years later, when they ‘stumble’ across each other.  

I’m off to pick up a few things for this evening, so must log off. Stay happy, and warm, and enjoying all the blessings of the season!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We awoke to plenty of snow this morning, and while attempting to shovel the front patio, and because it was perfect snowman snow, I decided rolling the snow into balls for a snowman would be easier than shoveling it. Bear was at my side the entire time, but didn't pay a lot of attention to exactly what I was doing until I put the eyes on the snowman. I'm anxious to hear what our grandson Connor thinks of the snowman tomorrow.

After shoveling the deck and finishing the snowman, I spent the day prepping for tomorrow. It will be a fun day in which we'll eat too much, laugh a lot, and eat too much again. And for all of that, I'm extremely grateful.

I am thankful for so much, every day of my life—for living in a wonderful country, for freedom, for my right to worship God, for all the obvious and not to be taken lightly things which include my family, home, community, friends, vocation, my publishers and their belief in me, and especially the people who read and find delight in my books. Thanks for sharing this wonderful life with me.

And for all of you who end up with leftover Turkey, and want a delicious way to use it, here is my Chicken Wild Rice Soup. I've used turkey plenty of times. This is my family's all time favorite soup. 

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup flour
2 cups cooked wild rice
2-3 tablespoons chicken flavored stock granules in 2-3 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
2-3 cups heavy whipping cream
2-3 cups cooked and cubed chicken breasts seasoned with Cavender’s Greek seasoning
Pepper, salt, and Thyme to taste

Cook wild rice per instructions on package, drain. Cook (either fry or microwave chicken sprinkled with Greek seasoning), cube. Heat the 2-3 cups water and add granules as directed on the package. In large soup pot, melt butter and, sauté onion, celery and carrots until tender. Blend flour with butter and veggies until thick and lumpy. Pour in hot chicken broth, stirring constantly until creamy. Boil for one minute, while stirring turn down heat and add chicken, pepper, salt and Thyme. Simmer for 5-10 min, and then stir in rice and cream. Let simmer for 5-10 min or transfer to a crock pot.

Disclaimer: I’m a ‘pinch’ and ‘dump’ type of cook, so I’ve estimated the measurements.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's November!

That means Unwrapping the Rancher’s Secret is now available in print and ebook formats. 

We had a fun night trick or treating with all the grandkids. Papa hooks the four-wheeler up to the trailer and drives them around town. At one point, our grandson who is only three became tired and decided he didn’t want to knock on any more doors, until the kids returned to the wagon saying they’d received popcorn from one house. His response was “Popcorn?” as he jumped up and joined the rest of them trick or treating once again. 

November 1st also brought my deadline for my latest WIP. A mail-ordered-bride story, where the bride falls in love with a man who hadn’t ordered her. I’m happy to say that book is now with my editor and I’m now working on my next one set in Oak Grove, Kansas. This is also a mail-ordered-bride, and the bride is pregnant. It’s a Christmas tale and I’m looking forward to digging deep into Hannah and Teddy’s story.

The leaves are falling and that means a good amount of time will be spent outside this weekend, getting the yard raked and the flowerbeds cleaned out for winter. I plan on freezing up some pumpkin for winter baking this weekend. I'm also going to pick out some of my favorite recipes to share on my blog this month, so stop by often!

Be happy. Be kind. Be you.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fun in the Woods

Our middle son and his family traveled up north with us last weekend. The kids did a great job with the six hour car ride both ways, and we all had a wonderful time, yet wished the days hadn’t gone by so fast. 

This weekend we had a fun time with overnight guests, and are doing a bit of yard work today—trying to get the falling leaves under control. Which is impossible, we know. Several of the large oaks hold onto to many of their leaves until spring and the leaves on the bean trees haven’t even started turning colors yet. We've had an odd year here. There are absolutely no acorns. Makes me wonder what the poor squirrels will eat all winter...Besides the seeds out of our bird feeders.

On the writing side, I’m still working away on the story due by November 1st. AND want to tell you about a sale! Harlequin is having a large e-book sale that includes many of my backlist for $1.99!

Keep smiling…it looks good on you!