If you’ve read my books, you know I love pairing a cowboy with a city girl. My characters usually wonder how they can be attracted to someone who fails to hit even one item on their this-is-what-I’m-looking-for-in-a-potential-date list, and this creates great conflict. But another reason I love throwing cowboys and city women together is it creates great dialogue and can even increase sexual tension.
Here are some sayings that have great dialogue potential. I’ve tweaked some a little the way I would if I used them in dialogue. ?
• Woman, you’re as friendly as a fire ant.
• Darlin’, I’m so country I think a seven-course meal is a possum and a six pack. (I can see my hero saying this one with a wry grin.)
• If a trip around the world cost a dollar, I couldn’t get to the Oklahoma state line.
• You look like you were sent for and couldn’t go. (Can’t you see the sparks flying if my cowboy hero said this to a heroine?!)
• You’re so skinny you have to stand twice to make a shadow. (More sparks flying, I think as my heroine wonders if this is a compliment or a diss.)
• You look like the cheese fell off your cracker.
• Honey, you make a hornet look cuddly.
• Woman, you talk any faster and you’ll catch up to yesterday.
• You look like you’ve been rode hard and put away wet. Or, it’s twin, you look like you’ve been chewed up, spit out, and stepped on. (This one has potential for a tender moment, as the hero asks her what on earth happened. When she asks why he thinks something is wrong, he uses a soft husky voice and says, “Sweetheart, you look like you’ve been chewed up, spit out, and stepped on.” Of course, what he says shatters her control. She confides in him. He understands and consoles her. Bond forms, and there you go, sexual tension.)
• Woman, you could talk the legs off a chair.
• Are you two sandwiches short of a picnic?
• Don’t dig up more snakes than you can kill. (Can’t you imagine a city girl trying to understand what the hero means by this one and him trying to explain it?)
• Don’t write a check your ass can’t cash.
• He’s all hat, no cattle.
• You can put your boots in the oven, but that don’t make ‘em biscuits.
• Same trailer, different park. (In response to being asked how you’re doing.)
• Dang, if you aren’t double-backboned (I can see my hero saying this to a heroine when he’s impressed with her strength of will or character. Of course, she won’t quite get the compliment, and when he explains it, she’ll just melt all over his boots.)
• Woman, you’d charge hell with a bucket of ice water.
Not only can a western saying add color and realism to a story, it can add humor, reveal character or even create sexual tension. But best of all, it’s fun as all get out to write.
Now mosey on over to leave a comment about one of the sayings above or your own personal favorite and be entered for a chance to win the snack set and a copy of To Catch A Texas Cowboy featuring AJ, a Texas Aggie cowboy and New York City girl Grace Henry.
Ask any of my friends who really know me and they’ll tell you I like to watch TV. I find a lot of inspiration in good storytelling and, let’s be honest, physical inspiration for heroes. And though a lot of the actors aren’t cast in cowboy roles, I could easily see them with a cowboy hat and boots, a nicely worn set of Wranglers and sitting astride a horse as he rides the range. So I thought it would fun to share some actors I think would be good as cowboy heroes.
Because of photographers’ copyrights, I won’t be putting the pictures of the actors on here. But I’ll link their names to a picture so you can check them out and see if you agree. I’d also love to hear who you think would make a great casting for a cowboy hero. I’m always looking for inspiration to drive my creation of those sexy cowboy heroes in my books, and I’m sure our blog readers wouldn’t mind the visual treats as well. 🙂
Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Here at Wildflower Junction we’re celebrating all things Autumn this week. At first I had trouble figuring out what I would write about – after all, there are so many great things to love about this time of year – cooler temperatures (at least in theory!), yummy foods like soups, gumbos and chili, fall colors peeping out everywhere, high school football, and so much more.
But then I went to the mailbox where I found my latest tea catalog and BOOM, I had my topic. Because one of my favorite things about Autumn is the availability of some yummy seasonal teas.
Of course, to do this piece justice, I had to do some research to rediscover old favorites and find new blends to try. So let’s talk about some of those great flavors.
The first one everyone thinks of for Fall is pumpkin. But did you know that in addition to the regular pumpkin spice tea Teavana makes one called Pumpkin Spice Brulee, Twinings makes a Pumpkin Spice Chai, Stash makes a decaf version of Pumpkin Spice and Flying Leaf Tea Co. makes a blend called Smashing Pumpkins (what a fun name!)?
Another seasonal flavor favorite is apple. Again, there are intriguing blends beyond your normal Spiced Apple. Tea Forte offers Harvest Apple Spice and Swiss Apple, Republic of Tea offers Caramel Apple and Hot Apple Cider blends, Teavana has a flavor called Apple Pie a la Mode and Capital Teas offers one called Apple Strudel.
Then of course there is cranberry. The Republic of Tea offers both Cranberry Spice Hibiscus and Cranberry Blood Orange while Celestial Seasonings has both a Cranberry Vanilla and a Cranberry Apple blend, Teavana makes a Pomegranate Cranberry herbal tea and Davids Tea offers one called Yes We Cran (another fun name!).
Then there are a number of Autumn teas with intriguing names such as Republic of Tea’s Sonoma Mulled Zin, Teavana’s Caramel Truffle, Davids Tea’s Maple Sugar, and Flying Leaf Tea Co. offers a flavor called The Nutty Butterscotch.
I don’t know about you, but I noted quite a few in those lists that I am REALLY eager to try.
So are you a fan of tea? If so, do you have a favorite flavor? Leave a comment below to be entered in a drawing to win your choice of any book in my backlist.
By the time this post goes up it’ll be Labor Day and I certainly hope you all are able to take the opportunity to have a relaxing day with family and friends.
Around our house, Labor Day usually means outdoor cookouts. But for my family, instead of BBQs and picnics, we like to send the summer out with a seafood boil. This year it’s going to be shrimp.
I love a good seafood boil. In addition to the shrimp and appropriate seasonings, the pot this year will contain corn, potatoes, sausage, mushrooms, cauliflower, onions, garlic, lemons and limes- a veritable banquet!
Here’s a photo taken from a prior Labor Day feast – doesn’t it look yummy?
Of course, no feast would be complete without a great dessert. So today I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite summer treats. It’s a sort of trifle that my family calls a punch bowl cake. It’s super easy to make and as a bonus, especially on these hot summer days, it’s no bake!
1 pre-made angel food cake
1 large tub of whipped topping
1 package of either vanilla or cheesecake flavored instant pudding (6 serving size)
Approx 1 lb berries of your choice (I prefer strawberries but I’ve made it with mixed berries as well)
Prepare pudding according to directions.
Mix together with whipped topping and set aside
Tear cake into bite-sized pieces
In a large bowl, layer ingredients as follows:
1/3 each of angel food cake, berries and then cream mixture
Repeat twice more
If desired, garnish top with additional berries, nuts or grated chocolate
Refrigerate until ready to serve
So what about you? Do you have any special Labor Day traditions? Any favorite end of summer foods? Share your answers and I’ll put you in the running for a copy of any book in my backlist.
Last summer after dropping off our youngest son at college in New Jersey, we visited wineries on the return trip to break up the endless miles. Once home we discovered quite a few wineries in our area. Now I had a goal I could really get behind–visiting local wineries!
I found Valley View, Texas because of a billboard advertising its local winery. What I never expected was to also find a Texas getaway gem in this town of seven hundred fifty-seven people.
The minute I drove into Valley View, my tension drifted away with the warm Texas breeze, and that was even before I had a glass of Firelight Vineyard’s sangria! The town reminded me of my childhood spent at my grandparent’s farm in northeastern Iowa. There was open space, trees, horses and cows. Often all in one front yard. There life doesn’t speed by. Neighbors know each other. Everyone’s friendly and laid back. Whenever I’m there I run into someone who wants to talk. Whether it’s someone at the winery, a local business owner, or an Army/Air Force Veteran. Whenever I hear Josh Gallagher’s “Pick Any Small Town” Valley View’s the one I’d pick.
The last year has been stressful, so for our anniversary, my hubby and I headed to Valley View for a getaway weekend. We wanted to spend time away from email, texts, social media, and other city commitments. For us, when we’re away from the city and in the country, life’s troubles fade away and we focus on what’s important—each other and family. The drive to our B&B, Towering Oaks Haven, took us on a gravel road, once again reminding me of my childhood. The fast-paced-need-to-get-ahead-world disappeared. We spent the weekend wandering around antique stores, shopping at my favorite boutique Rustic Ranch, and becoming reacquainted with each other. We weren’t on our phones constantly. We weren’t worried about spotty internet service. We connected with those around us, rather than those on social media sites. We listened to stories, told some of our own, and were simply in the moment. We ate fantastic gourmet pizza from Lil’ Brick Oven delivered to us at the winery. After that, we listened to the David Alexander Trio while sitting on the Firelight Vineyard’s patio chatting with someone my husband knew from years back and a wonderful couple from Oklahoma.
Life was simpler, personal and connected. And I loved every minute of it.
I remembered why I write stories set in small towns, because of the feelings I rediscovered in Valley View. Because of the way I felt at my grandparents’ farm and in their small town.
I can back rejuvenated and my head spinning with story ideas! A Texas winery owner heroine and a rancher in a small Texas town trying to revitalize the town square. Hmmm. It’s a start.
Now it’s your turn. Tell me about your favorite getaway spot that rejuvenates your body and soul. Enter a comment for a chance to win the wine charms and a wineglass from FIrelight Vineyards.
Being a California gal, the beach and ocean take top priority with me. I thought you might like to know about some of my favorite spots:
Cambria-This little town is nestled among Monterey pines. My favorite place to watch the sunset is on a bench that sits atop a cliff overlooking Moonstone beach. Once, while my husband and I were sitting there enjoying a glass of wine, a bagpiper appeared and played Amazing Grace. For a moment, I thought I was at a funeral, but I know he meant well.
Ventura—This seaside town is only an hour away from my house, so it’s a perfect place to spend a weekend or summer day. August is county fair time. If you can stand the heights, the Ferris wheel offers great views of the ocean. If you’re into antiques, Ventura is the place to go. I found a beautiful iron gate there that had been ripped out of an old house. It now adorns my wine cellar. This town also has great museums, bookstores, restaurants and wineries. You can even see Erle Stanley Gardner’s law office where he wrote the drafts for his first Perry Mason novels. Speaking of mysteries, Ventura is where I got the inspiration for my Undercover Ladies series.
Morro Bay-The scenery is beautiful and the weather nearly always perfect. There are shops and museums to explore and of course our favorite Art in the Park event which takes place every Memorial Day weekend. It’s also fun to watch the antics of sea lions and otters, but the real attraction is the dining.
For a change of pace, sometimes we head for the mountains. Our favorites include:
Mammoth—This is mainly a ski resort, but we enjoy going there in the summer in our RV and relaxing by the lake. The mountain air is good for the soul, and fishing and hiking is great. Before going, you might want to make sure your health insurance is up-to-date. My husband once fell out of a boat and hit his head, my son fell off a bicycle and I had an unpleasant encounter with a bee hive. In case you’re wondering, Mammoth also has a great ER.
Big Bear- We once rented a cabin on the lake for a week. It had a large wooden enclosed porch that seemed like the perfect place for the two grandbabies to play. Big mistake; We ended up having to pull hundreds of splinters out of their little legs and hands.On a brighter note, Big Bear has miles of bicycle paths to explore and a great night life. They tell me the rock climbing is out of this world, but I’m too chicken to try. The village offers some great shopping and dining. Just watch out for those wooden porches.
Tell us about your favorite summer get-away.
There’s a new sheriff in town and she almost always gets her man!
Football enters our homestead every August with our family’s Fantasy League. My team Wild Thang usually ends the season in last place. Mostly I like the smack-talk. We culminate things with a big Chili Cook-off on Super Bowl Sunday, and following this post, you’ll find the recipe I am entering this year. In the meantime, here’s some fun football facts.
Anyway, back to the game. Beginning in 1827, Harvard started holding the “Bloody Monday” mob game between freshmen and sophomores–a mash-up of soccer and rugby that kind of presaged modern football’s violent nature. While there were certainly competitions using balls among our country’s first nations, today’s American football got its start from Europe’s historic soccer and rugby games.
In November 1869, Rutgers and Princeton played the first recognizable football game, although the ball was round. By the 1880’s, Yale’s great rugby star Walter Camp morphed the game into what we know today as football. He developed the line of scrimmage and “downs” and helped legitimize interference—otherwise known as blocking and highly illegal in rugby. Teams had been limited to 20 players in 1873.
Later college coaches such as Knute Rockne and Glen “Pop” Warner helped introduce the forward pass. Football’s popularity grew and grew, with fierce rivalries between colleges, and popular “bowl’” games developed. The “Big Game” between Stanford and University of California at Berkeley in 1892 has long been considered the West’s first big face-off.
Upon the development of professional teams, paying players for their time and talents was considered unsportsmanlike. William “Pudge” Heffelfinger (1867-1954) became the first professional player in America in November 1892 by accepting $500 from a Pittsburgh ball club. In 1897, the Latrobe Athletic Association became the first pro team to complete an entire competitive season.
The 1932 National Football League playoff game was the first to introduce hashmarks and was played indoors due to Chicago’s grim weather that winter. In 1946–the same year Jackie Robinson made baseball history–two of his teammates from UCLA, Woody Strode and Kenny Washington, became the first African American players in the NFL.
The first Super Bowl took place in January 1967 and my hubs—just a kid—was in attendance! Now we’re getting ready for our big game day shindig. Not long ago he and I went to the football exhibition presented by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library~it was full of great info and lots of photo ops.
How about you? Any football lovers out there? Anybody ever enter a chili-cook-off?
Here’s my easy-peasy chili recipe. I promise you it’s good.
Rancho Taco Crocko
2 pounds ground beef or turkey (I use turkey), cooked.
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 ½ cups water
1 can (15 oz) chili beans
1 can (15 oz) corn, or a bag of frozen corn
1 can (15 oz) jalapeno pinto beans. Best to drain these. You can use regular pintos but we like spice around here.
1 can (15 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes—recommend a southwest version that includes green chilies or similar additives. Do not drain.
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies
I envelope ranch dressing mix. This is the secret ingredient.
(I will be adding pickled jalapenos, too.
Dump into crockpot (mine is shaped like a football LOL), and mix well, cook on high for a while stirring occasionally, then set to warm. Serves about 8, makes about 2 quarts. Calories unknown.
When it rains it pours….I have two books coming out later this month. Details next time.
Texans speak a language all our own, leading non-Texans to look at us like we don’t have good sense. We’re not illiterate hicks, you know … well, not all of us, anyway. Truth be told, even the most educated, most cosmopolitan Texans converse in Texas-speak when we’re around other Texans.
Honestly, folks who can speak both English and Texan ought to be considered bilingual.
In an attempt to assist the unfortunate souls who’ve not had the pleasure of hearing our lyrical language — and to educate those of y’all who insist on embarrassing yourselves with really bad Texas drawls — I herewith present a few Texas-isms. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Ahmoan: I’m going to. “Need anythin’ else? Ahmoan head on out here in a bit.”
Ahohno: I don’t know.
Ahuz: I was. “You hungry? Ahuz just about to put supper on the table.” (Note: Whether or not Texans are happy to see you, if it’s mealtime they’ll invite you to eat with them.)
Aint: aunt. “Ant” is acceptable. “Awnt” is unforgivable.
All y’all: y’all, but aimed at a bigger group.
Arya: are you.
Awl: oil. Still the lifeblood of Texas’s economy.
Awl patch: oilfield; petrochemical industry. Every Texan has at least one relative or ancestor with some connection to the oil business.
Bar ditch: a water-diversion channel running alongside a roadway. Except after a rain, they’re usually dry.
Bidness: business. “That ain’t none of your bidness.”
Bless yore heart: This phrase isn’t exclusive to Texas, but it gets used an awful lot in the Lone Star State. The meaning depends upon the context, and there are too many possibilities to list. Among the most common are “I’m so sorry,” “you are just the sweetest thing,” “you just said the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” and “You’d best get out of my sight before I need bail money.”
C’moanin: come on in. “I’ve been expecting y’all. C’moanin.”
Cocola: Coca Cola. If you want the brown, fizzy beverage that comes in a red can, order this.
Coke: any carbonated beverage, regardless the color, flavor, or name on the bottle.
Coon’s age: a long time. “Where you been? I ain’t seen you in a coon’s age.”
Cotton to: like, accept, or be unoffended by. Usually used in the negative. “We don’t much cotton to folks tellin’ us barbecue from anywhere else is better’n Texas barbecue.”
Daaaaayum: the longest word in the Texas language. Foreigners just say “damn.”
Didden; dudden: didn’t; doesn’t. “My family didden want me to marry Jim Bob. Daddy still dudden like him.”
Do whut now?: Could you repeat that? Used as both an indication the speaker wasn’t paying attention and disbelief. “Somebody paid Jake $5,000 for that old pickup out in the barn.” “Do whut now?”
Fixinta: about to. “I’m fixinta run down to the store. Need anything?”
Flahrs: flowers. “Better take her some flahrs or throw your hat in first.”
Foggiest notion: clue or idea; always used in the negative. “I don’t have the foggiest notion what you’re talking about.”
Furiners: foreigners. Anybody who’s not from Texas.
God love ’im/her/’em: Like “bless your heart,” this phrase can be used in a variety of ways. The most common meaning is he/she/they need looking after, because they’re too stupid to live. “God love ’im. He ain’t never had a lick of sense.”
Growshree, growshrees: grocery, groceries. “I’d better run down to the growshree store and pick up some growshrees, or we’re gonna starve.”
Hun’ert: one hundred.
Idden: isn’t. “That idden broke so bad duck tape caint fix it.”
Isetee: iced tea, the national beverage of Texas. If you don’t want sugar in it, you’d best ask for “unsweet” and be prepared to face a scowl.
My cow: an expression of disbelief or concern. “My cow. Doesn’t he know better than to tease a rattlesnake?”
My hind leg: I don’t believe you. “You were working late, my hind leg.”
Ohnover: on over. “Y’all come ohnover. We’ll play cards or something.”
Pert near: almost. “That boy’s pert near as big as his daddy, idden he?”
Probly: probably. “He’s probly just confused.”
Proud of: typically indicates something is priced way too high. “A hun’ert dollars for a pair of jeans? They sure are proud of those, ain’t they?”
Rainch: ranch; used as both noun and verb. “Yep, I come from rainch stock: My granddaddy was a raincher. Some of my uncles still rainch.”
Ratback, ratnow, ratquick: right back, right now, right quick. “Ahohno what you think you’re doing with that horse, but put him ratback where you found him, ratnow, or I’ll call the law ratquick.”
Ratcheer: right here. “Clara, where’d you get off to?” “I’m ratcheer.”
Rouneer: around here. “Y’all got any duck tape rouneer?”
Spoze: suppose; supposed. “I spoze you expect me to mow the grass.” “You were spoze to mow it yesterday.”
Tuhmahruh: tomorrow. “See you tuhmahruh.”
These parts: the general vicinity, which might be the neighborhood, the state, or the entire southern U.S. “’Round these parts, we don’t cotton to folks who can’t keep their noses in their own bidness.”
Tickled to death: very happy. “I’m just tickled to death y’all stopped by.”
Uh-huh: although used nationwide as a general term of agreement, in Texas “uh-huh” also is an appropriate response to “thank you.”
Urmomanem: your extended family; literally, your mom and them. “How’s urmomanem?” (Warning to the unwary: Never ask a Texan about his or her mother unless you’re prepared to hear an extensive report about everybody in the family. “How’s your momma?” “Oh, she’s fine. Grandma’s rheumatism’s acting up again. Uncle Billy and Aint Leta sold the house in Boerne and moved over to Seguin to be closer to the kids. Mark ran his truck off into the bar ditch again, and Dub had to take the tractor out yonder to pull him out. Cousin Lucille’s getting married in November. Ahohno how that girl can have the nerve to wear white, but…”)
Viztin: having a conversation with; literally, visiting. “Ahuz viztin with Mable just the other day. That woman can talk the bark off a tree.”
Wooden: wouldn’t. “I wooden touch that with somebody’s else’s ten-foot pole.”
Yaint: you aren’t. “Yaint too bright, arya?”
Yawna: you want to. “Yawna go to the football game Friday night?” (Word to the wise: Football is a religion in Texas. Whatever you do, don’t admit to being an Okie — or even once having seen an Okie — during college football season. You’re liable to wind up in a crossfire during the annual Red River Shootout on the gridiron. For the record, the official tally of wins stands at UT Longhorns 61, OU Sooners 45.)
Yole: you old. “Ain’t seen you in a coon’s age, yole hound dog.”