A Cowgirl’s New Year’s Resolutions

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According to a recent survey 38% of us will go through the ritual of making New Year’s resolutions this year. Sad to say, only 8% of the resolutions will make it to January 2nd. As someone once said, even the best intentions go in one year and out the other. That’s probably because we insist upon making resolutions that involve giving up something (smoking) or getting rid of something (weight, debt).

 
I don’t know what resolutions they made in the Old West, but I’m willing to bet that giving up or getting rid of something was not on anyone’s priority list. It was more like getting something (land or gold). Early settlers probably didn’t do any better than us modern folks in keeping their resolutions, but you have to give them credit: some died trying.

 
I plan to take my best shot at keeping my New Year’s resolutions this year—but dying is where I draw the line.

A Cowgirl’s Resolutions for 2015

 

Lose the extra five pounds on my hips. From now on, pack only one gun instead of two.

Make an effort to see the good in everyone. Even barbed wire has its good points.

Stop treatin’ suspicion as abs’lute proof.

Be more generous. No more keepin’ opinions to myself.

Make exercise a priority—for my horse.

Practice my quick draw with my gun—not my VISA card.

Keep from taking sides during a shoot-out, especially shoot-outs involving family members.

Avoid stampedes by shopping online.

Limit time spent on the open range. That www dot brand sure can waste a lot of time.

Clean out closets. Nothing (or no one) should hang that doesn’t deserve to be hung.

And finally: Stop holding up shopping carts and forcing people to buy my book.

 

 www.margaret-brownley.com

 

I told you my resolutions, now tell me yours. Afraid you won’t keep them?

Not to worry. I promise not to tell if you don’t die trying.

 

 

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Holiday Greetings From Linda Broday

Me at XmasHAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Holidays are a special time to be with families and I hope you were and are with yours.
I pray that Santa was extra good to you this year. I dug out a picture of me  that was taken around 1954. I was all set that Christmas. I got a new baby doll, a phone, some new house shoes and probably the clothes I’m wearing. I remember how much I loved Santa’s visit to our house. My expectations were pretty modest because even then I knew how poor we were. In addition to a few gifts, I always got an apple, an orange and if I was real lucky a few pieces of candy in my stocking.
But it was enough, you know. I felt loved and safe and warm. Those are priceless.
Thank you all for sticking with us here. You add so much to my and my Filly sister’s lives. We’re immensely grateful for your support.

So a belated Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!

Mail Order Bride

MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH JACK SORENSON! by Cheryl Pierson

I’ve always loved the paintings of Jack Sorenson, and no artist has done so many wonderful Christmas concept paintings using the old west as a backdrop. Here are some of my favorites! Hope you enjoy!

THE REINDEER ROUNDUP                                              THE HOMECOMING

Jack Sorenson The Reindeer RoundupThe Homecoming by Jack Sorenson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Sorenson A Cowboy Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Sorenson St. Nick's Express

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COWBOY CHRISTMAS                              ST. NICK’S EXPRESS

 

HERE’S HOPING YOU AND YOURS HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS AND A FANTASTIC 2015 AROUND THE BEND!
BEST WISHES FROM THE FILLIES HERE AT PETTICOATS AND PISTOLS!

Auld Lang Syne — A History

 

bannerIt is to Scottish songwriter, Robert Burns, that the world owes its debt for the beautiful poem of Auld Lang Syne.  Interestingly, it’s become almost an  anthem that is recognized and sung all around the world

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As the website at www.scotland.org says: “Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland’s gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbours’ hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.”

Burns penned the poem in 1788 and it is said to be set to an old folk song from the Lowland in Scots tradition, but interestingly, the melody sung the world round on New Year’s is not the original tune that the music was set to.  The older tune is said to be sung in Scotland in tradition.  I couldn’t find the melody for this old tune, but I wish I had — I’d love to hear what it was all about.

Another interesting fact is that it was Guy Lombardo who popularized the song and its use at New Year’s — although the song was brought to the United States by Scottish immigrants.  Lombardo started his broadcasts in 1929 — and it just somehow caught on — to the world at large.

 

In the words of Robert Burns, himself:

“… is not the Scots phrase, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, exceedingly expressive – there is an old song and tune which has often thrilled thro’ my soul”.

Robert Burns, a very handsome young man, who though born a peasant, yet  lived with vigor and unfortunately for the world at large died young of rheumatic fever, even as his wife was giving birth to their 9th child.  He was only 37 years old.

9 children?  Goodness, he was busy, wasn’t he?  But he gave the world so much!

The words to Auld Lang Syne — taken from the website:  www.scotland.org/ features/ item/ the-history-and-words-of-auld-langsyne

Fancy singing along yourself? Here are the verses, and a translation of the words to Auld Lang Syne:

Scots Language version

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.

Chorus

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Chorus

We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.

Chorus

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae mornin’ sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

Chorus

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

Chorus

English translated version

Long, Long Ago

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.

Chorus

And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago

And surely youll buy your pint-jug!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago.

Chorus

We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered manys the weary foot
Since long, long ago.

Chorus

We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since long, long ago.

Chorus

And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!
And give us a hand of yours!
And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will
For long, long ago.

Chorus

After Christmas Specials

I’m not big into shopping after Christmas. I’d much rather stay home with my family, having days filled with pajamas, board games, puzzles, and cross-stitch. But . . . if the sale comes to me through an online ad, and I can take advantage of it while my hair is a mess and I’m still in PJs? Well, those are hard to resist.

Two of my books are on sale today, so I thought I would bring the special to you. No shower required. Ha!

Both A Tailor-Made Bride (my first published novel) and Stealing the Preacher (the story of a preacher and an outlaw’s daughter) are on sale today for only $1.99. This price is valid for all e-book types (Kindle, Nook, etc.) If you click on the covers below, the link will take you to the Amazon version.

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And what’s shopping without a little Christmas music playing in the background? I thought I’d include one of my favorite groups singing Angels We Have Heard on High in a small 19th century church, similar to the one I imagined Crockett Archer preaching in. Hope you enjoy.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas season.

Have a Cherry Chocolate Holiday!!

Merry Holidays and Happy New Year! Today, I’m waving hello and sharing something special and easy to help you ring in the New Year straight from my  new Dump Cake Recipe Book. So simple and delicious, only four ingredients.  No mess, no fuss.  Read on:

CHERRY CHOCOLATE DUMP CAKE

2 cans cherry pie filling

1 package chocolate fudge cake mix (about 15 ounces)

3/4 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 Cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)  Melted

 

CHERRY CHOCOLATE DUMP CAKE

 

Preheat oven to 350  F.   Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray

Spread pie filling in pan.  Top with cake mix, spreading evenly. Sprinkle on chocolate chips. Pour butter over top spreading over cake mix as much as possible.

Bake 30-35 min.   Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

12-16 servings

Enjoy!!

LOOK FOR MY “FREE” ONLINE READ:  SECRET DESIGNS ON THE BILLIONAIRE!   (STARTING ON JANUARY 26TH)

FEBRUARY RELEASE OF HER FORBIDDEN COWBOY IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-SALE NOW!

 

A Gift of Love and Laughter

Image generously granted public domain license by its creator, Alexandra Constantin.
Image generously released into the public domain by its creator, Alexandra Constantin.

My father was a pure-dee nut. Although he could be very serious when the situation warranted, most of the time he engaged in the kind of subtle silliness that kept everyone’s eyes in a perpetual, disbelieving roll…accompanied by the type of laughter that gets away from you despite your best effort to keep a straight face. The trait must have been genetic, because he passed it on to all four of his offspring.

One Christmas shortly after he returned from a tour in Viet Nam, my father’s sense of humor took a turn for the exasperating. As usual, the six of us sat around the tree waiting for Momma to open the last gift: her present from Daddy. A child of the Great Depression, Daddy usually gave Momma something practical—no less loved, but practical.

On that Christmas, quiet and well-behaved for once, we kids focused rapt attention on the mammoth present in Momma’s lap. Also a child of the Great Depression, she always unwrapped gifts with great care, in order to save the paper and ribbons for use the following year. Momma folded the paper and set it aside, then lifted the lid from the box. Inside lay another wrapped package. She dutifully—and carefully—unwrapped that box, too. Yet another wrapped parcel emerged. And so it went, for what seemed like fifty layers. With each new layer, Momma and all four of us kids gave Daddy one of those ducked-chin, cocked-brows looks that said “I’ll bet you think you’re funny, don’t you?”

Not in the least affected by our disapproval, Daddy continued grinning and chuckling.

Finally, Momma opened the last box. Inside was a worn-out combat boot she thought she’d disposed of months ago.

My siblings and I are lucky our eyes didn’t stick at the apex of an enormous, simultaneous roll. The synchronized groan shook the rafters.

Lips pinched but curved the tiniest bit at the corners, Momma speared Daddy with an undisguised “I’ll kill you when the children aren’t watching” look and reluctantly reached inside the bedraggled boot. From the deepest, darkest recesses of the toe, she withdrew a tiny, elegant box.

Momma's ringA moment frozen in time will remain in my memory long past eternity. Inside the box was a beautiful ring. Diamonds and deep-blue sapphires sparkled with a thousand points of light. Daddy gently slipped the gift onto Momma’s trembling finger.

I hardly ever saw my mother cry, but tears trickled down her cheeks that morning.

Momma and Daddy are gone now, but the ring and the memories will live forever. That sparkly Christmas present from long ago, and the memory of its giving, are among my most cherished possessions.

May your holidays be filled with the little irritations all families inflict upon one another. Even those—perhaps especially those—are priceless gifts.

 

My First and Favorite Photo Christmas Card~Tanya Hanson

 Merry Christmas and God bless you all, everyone, in 2015! 

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Photo Christmas cards were a luxury item when I was growing up. I clearly recall how upscale I thought we’d become when my mom splurged on these cards the Christmas I was in sixth grade.  Obviously it was lots more expensive engraving the names…because she didn’t. And as for color prints…well, these were days when dinosaurs still walked the earth. Peace and love to you!

Ps. Don ‘t you love my “flip”, the “powder-puff”, and those bangs? My mom used to scotch tape them to my forehead, then snip. They were ALWAYS crooked…remember clippies?