Category: Personal Glimpses

My Mother Could Stretch…and Stretch…a Dime! by Pam Crooks

While reading my sister filly, Phyliss Miranda’s, blog last week on being a frugal housewife, I couldn’t help being thrown back into my childhood and remembering all the countless times my own mother had to be frugal while raising babies that kept coming almost every year.  (To read Phyliss’ blog, click “1800’s Frugal Frontier Housewife”.)

Of course, it’s common knowledge most women settling in the west in the 1800’s had a tough life providing meals and clothing for their families, especially if they were homesteaders living remotely. If they couldn’t sew, knit, cook, bake, butcher stock, tend gardens, and so on, their families suffered. Lazy wasn’t an option! Ditto for women living in barely-settled towns, often with only a single mercantile or two to buy groceries and meat, provided they had working husbands or weren’t widows living on meager savings.

And granted, in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, most women lived an easier life while they stayed home with the children and their husbands worked. Many women didn’t drive yet, and even if they did, most likely did not have a second car in the household. Families were larger than they are today. Mothers didn’t have the privilege of running to the grocery store every time an ingredient was missing from her pantry. Grocery stores were small, simply stocked, probably located in the neighborhood and vastly different than the super-markets we have today.

My mother was the iconic mother of the time, just as I described above. Fortunately for us kids, she grew up on her family’s farm and was a great cook, seamstress, and a dynamo when it came to having a clean house.

We lived simply, just like the other families on our street. We didn’t know any better, but we always had three square meals a day.

Here are some of the things she cooked for us:

  • Bologna, often sliced and fried. Bought in big chubs wrapped in red paper, bologna filled our bellies for years. Sometimes, mom would grate the bologna, add a few ingredients, and call it ham salad.
  • Sliced hot dogs. She’d split them in half and fry. Probably a substitute for bologna. If she kept the hot dog whole, I don’t recall her using a hot dog bun until years later. We’d use a slice of bread instead. Hot dog buns were available since the early part of the century, but no doubt she considered the bun an extravagance.
  • Jonathan apples. I barely remember any other fruit in the house but them, bought by the bagful. It was her go-to-snack for us kids. I remember the Jonathans as mushy (and yes, I know they make wonderful pies and crisp!) but to this day, I won’t eat one.  Red Delicious was expensive and purchased only for special occasions, and there weren’t the varieties we have today.
  • Cream of Wheat. I never liked the grainy texture of Cream of Wheat or Coco Wheats, but it sure stuck to our ribs and made for a cheap breakfast. Growing up, I put oatmeal in the same category, but I do like oatmeal now, as long as it’s loaded with nuts, raisins, cinnamon, and milk, none of which, of course, WE had back then!
  • Mayonnaise sandwiches. Except she never bought mayo, but Miracle Whip. Occasionally, we’d have lunch meat (see bologna above), but I loved mayonnaise sandwiches, always on Wonder Bread. At school, we didn’t have cafeterias, chairs or tables to eat lunch.  We sat on the church parking lot, on hard concrete, and never thought twice about it.
  • Powdered milk. Oh, we hated that! She’d try to sneak it on us kids, but we always knew. She’d stretch the powder by using less, which resulted in watery looking milk. Occasionally, she’d mix real milk in, which I suppose helped, but us kids always knew.
  • Chicken fryers. She never bought chicken pieces, which were more expensive, so farm girl that she was, she’d cut up whole chickens herself.  I can’t even count the number of Sundays we had fried chicken for dinner.
  • Jell-O. Who among you didn’t have Jell-O made as salads with shredded carrots and chopped celery, fruit cocktail, or canned pears? 
  • “Eat bread with it.” One of her favorite strategies to stretch the main course.
  • Spaghetti sauce. She never used canned or fresh tomatoes, but used tomato paste and water with the perfect amount of Italian seasonings. My mother’s spaghetti and meatballs (or featherbones) were family favorites, and even my Italian grandmother would have to agree my mother’s sauce was delicious!
  • Velveeta cheese. We never had cheddar, colby, Provolone, or anything like that. Always Velveeta, which we loved. Very versatile and back then, much cheaper than it is today.
  • Graham crackers and leftover frosting. If she made a cake and there was extra frosting, into graham crackers it would go, and it was a favorite cookie of ours.  I made these many times myself, and now my daughters do, too.
  • Kool-Aid. I think sugar must’ve been fairly cheap back then, because we had a lot of Kool-Aid, the powder in a package kind. Never soda pop or even lemonade.
  • Wax paper. She would wrap our sandwiches for school lunches in a sheet of wax paper like a present. Later, wax paper came in sandwich sized sacks that you had to fold at the top. Plastic baggies didn’t come for years later, but even if they were available, she would’ve considered them extravagant.

 

 

Oh, I could go on and on.  I’m sure you have memories of how you or your mom was frugal decades ago, or even now. How did she save pennies? What was your favorite frugal food?

Let’s chat!

 

Updated: May 13, 2020 — 9:24 am

Spread Love, Not Germs! by Pam Crooks

As a romance writer, I’m all for happy endings. They bring my readers joy. They bring ME joy. The world is full of news that is often times depressing, out of our control, and brings too much sadness and worry.

Now is one of those times. I don’t need to remind anyone of the sacrifices our healthcare workers and first responders make every hour of every day, even when there’s not a deadly virus intruding into our lives, throwing us into a tailspin, sickening loved ones, to say nothing of our turning our economy upside down and inside out…

But where’s there’s bad news, there’s good news, too. We just have to look for it. Or make our own.  

Here’s a few examples:

My grandchildren drew us heartwarming messages and made birdies in spring nests that I taped to my living room wall.  I see these a gazillion times a day, and my heart squeezes every time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandchildren made twenty or so of these uplifting messages, and we taped them to light poles in our neighborhood.  They’ll give joy, uplift spirits, and bring smiles to the dog-walkers and families strolling by.  We even made the local news with these messages!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My young granddaughters decorated our sidewalk and driveway with Easter drawings and even a few of themselves (traced by their mother!). They made me smile.

 

I’m on a 3-book deadline, so alas, I couldn’t spare the time to make masks, but two of my daughters did. They made dozens and donated them to family as well as took them to a drop-off fabric shop who handled the distribution.  Who would’ve thought???

And then there are the teddy bear scavenger hunts, reverse parades, serenading from balconies, drive-by birthdays, and on and on.

There are SO MANY good things happening during these uncertain times. Unfortunately,  when we are worried and afraid, we overlook the many ways we can be happy.  But truly, we will have our happy ending soon. Just keep looking forward.

This, too, will pass.

My brother sent me this, and I just had to share. I’m sure it’ll make you smile, just as it made me!

 

 

During these self-isolating times, what have you done that has made others happy? 

What have others done for you that made you feel loved and happy? 

Did you see something online that cheered you up?

Let’s talk happy and cheerful and LOVE! You’ll be eligible for a set of my single-title romances, happy endings guaranteed!

 

http://amzn.to/2TPWiJg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 1 – C Bar C Series                                                                         Book 2 – C Bar C Series

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Updated: April 15, 2020 — 7:30 am

A Brand New Look

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. I hope that all of you, despite the need to self-quarantine, had a Happy and Blessed Easter. I missed having my big extended family around me, but with the storms pounding through the area it was probably just as well. We did have a Zoom meeting in the afternoon which was fun. Lots of conversation, wry observances and laughter. It was ALMOST like being in the same room together.

 

So, before I get to the reason for the title of today’s post, I want to discuss a bit of recent, personal history. Back last Fall, my writing life took an unexpected turn. In late September Grand Central Publishing offered me the opportunity to submit an Amish Romance series to them.  It was both exciting and scary. I’d read quite a bit in the Amish Romance genre and really enjoyed the books but I’d never tried my hand at writing one before. In fact, an editor at another house had told me once that she didn’t think that was the right genre for me, which made it all the more intimidating.

But it also strengthened my resolve and I was excited to accept the challenge. As it turns out the timing was fortuitous – I’d already made plans with a writer friend to meet up for 3 days the following week to do some planning, plotting and brainstorming. So within a week I had a fairly solid overview of the series I could send in, and though they asked for some tweaks, I did go on to sign a contract for a three book Amish Romance series featuring 3 sisters.

And though this is a departure for me, I am really enjoying what I’m doing.  Just a little over a week ago I turned in the manuscript for the first one, titled Her Amish Wedding Quilt, which features the middle sister Greta. This book will release in December of this year. I took a couple of days off to shovel out my house and take care of some other things I let slide while I was racing toward my deadline and I’m now ready to dive into the next one. This book will feature the youngest sister, Hannah, and will debut sometime in the fall of 2021.

Now, on to the title I put on this post. I’d been thinking for a while it was time to overhaul my website – my existing one hadn’t had a major revamp for a dozen years or more. So when I committed to write these Amish stories I figured it was time to stop procrastinating and get it done.

In case you’re new here, this is what my previous post header looked like, which was a cropped version of my website header. It reflected what I was writing at the time it went up – small town Americana, both historical and a sprinkling of contemporary.

 

Given that I have absolutely no intention of abandoning my historical western roots, when I talked to my website designer I asked her to design a site that would reflect both aspects of my writing. You can see a cropped version of that new look at the top of this post.  And if you’d like to see the website itself, you can find it HERE.

 

I’d love to hear what you think of the new site and especially what you like about it and what you think could be improved.  Leave a comment and you’ll get your name in the hat for an opportunity to select your choice of any book in my backlist.

And just for fun, here is a teaser in the form of a blurb for HER AMISH WEDDING QUILT

 

Spirited, forthright, impulsive — everyone told Greta Eicher she’d have to change her ways if she ever hoped to marry. Then her best friend Calvin, the man she thought she would wed, chooses another woman. Now Greta’s wondering if the others were right all along. Her dreams dashed, she pours her energy into crafting beautiful quilts at her shop and helping widower Noah Stoll care for his adorable young children.

 

Noah knows it’s time to think about finding a wife. When Greta offers to play matchmaker on his behalf, Noah eagerly accepts. After all, no one knows his children better. But none of the women she suggests seems quite right because, unexpectedly, his feelings of respect and friendship for Greta have grown into something even deeper and richer. But will he have enough faith to overcome the pain of his past and give love another chance? 

 

 

 

 

Updated: April 12, 2020 — 6:28 pm

A Century of Cosmetics


Elizabeth Arden changed the face of cosmetics in 1915, making makeup respectable in an age when it was considered tawdry. Arden and her company produced the red lipstick worn by suffragists on their 1912 march down Fifth Avenue, in New York City, and was heralded as one of the overall best-known American brands in the world by the 1930’s.

Although Arden cosmetics are still very popular today, one of my go to brands is Mary Kay. Mary Kay Ash of Hot Wells, Texas, was an executive in an era unfriendly to women in business, something I can attest, too! By the late 50’s, after being passed over for promotion yet again, she decided to create a paradigm shift for herself, and others like her, by creating a direct marketing company designed to resonate with the women that would become its sales force.

Today, Mary Kay Cosmetics is a global success by any measure…not just by the iconic pink Cadillacs awarded to top saleswomen.

Of interest, a museum is located in the company’s world headquarters in Dallas, Texas; thus, securing its place in history. Visitors can hear Mary Kay’s motivational speeches and enter the Keepers of the Dream Independent National Sales Director Hall of Fame. I, for one, had no idea she has a Hall of Fame for her sales ladies.

To be honest with you, although I love my Mary Kay cosmetics, for my foundation I still use Cover Girl and my hairspray is still AquaNet.

Covergirl is certainly a cosmetics leader, celebrates authenticity, diversity and self-expression through their makeup. Developed six decades ago, they opened up their flag-ship store in Times Square in New York City. They offer affordable and easily accessible makeup for all generations.

One of the interesting facts I found about them is that Covergirl, in 2018, became the largest makeup brand to be Leaping Bunny Certified by Cruelty-Free International, which means all of their products are certified cruelty free, regardless of where they are sold.

                           What cosmetic could you not do without?

 

To a lucky winner who leaves a comment, I will give you a choice between receiving a Bath and Body Works gift certificate or an eBook of my latest Kasota Springs Romance “Out of a Texas Night”.

Updated: April 6, 2020 — 3:09 pm

Camp Cooking and a Give Away!

First I’d like to thank everyone for stopping by today. I hope you are all staying safe during these difficult times!

If you are like me, you’re cooking more than usual, and probably being more careful with ingredients. I have to admit that over the years (as in since college and the early days of my marriage when money was sooo tight) I’ve become more wasteful. If the lettuce is rusting, chances were that I’d toss the rest of the head and buy a new one rather than salvaging what could be salvaged. Leftovers often disappeared in the fridge, only to be found when it was “too late”.

But you know what? I know better. And I’ve done better.

This is camp during the summer. The big strip is the landing strip. If you look to the middle left, you’ll see the trailers the crew lived in and the larger building which was my domain–the cookhouse.

Before I started college, I helped cook in a remote Alaska mining camp. It was in the Arctic, 250 air miles north of Fairbanks during the pipeline construction days. I actually spent three summers at camp, but only cooked during one of those summers. I was the bull cook, known in politer circles as the sous chef. I  helped the head cook, who just happened to be my mom.

As you can imagine, fresh ingredients were rare. We got them when the grocery order came in by air. Sometimes my mom and dad would travel to Fairbanks and buy the groceries, but often we’d put in an order and the grocer would send the stuff on a plane heading our way. Sometimes, believe it or not, we got the worst produce they had to offer. We weren’t exactly in a position to complain, so I learned a lot about salvaging ingredients.

We only got salads right after the plane came, and after weeks of canned and skillet fried food, salads were pretty darned tasty. If I could save half or even a quarter of a going-bad tomato, I did. Lettuce was often peeled back to less than half its original size.

Potatoes and onions usually came in better condition and kept longer, but there was still a lot of salvaging going on. Anything was better than eating only canned food. Speaking of cans, the pantry was left intact when we left for the winter months and of course the cans froze solid. What does canned food look like after a good solid Arctic freeze? Well, creamed corn looks pretty scary. When my folks were in Fairbanks and I was in charge of feeding the crew, one of the crew members and I dyed the cream corn purple using food coloring to distract from its grayish-yellow appearance.  The crew was definitely distracted. (We did practice safety measures with the canned goods and only used those that had an intact seal and showed no signs of damage from freezing.)

Milk was a challenge. We froze it, but it separated upon thawing. It was still fine for cooking, but not so much for drinking. I discovered the reconstituted evaporated milk was far superior to dried milk for drinking. In fact, I kind of developed a taste for it.

I’ve been thinking about my Alaska days as I’m working my way through my pantry and putting my camp cooking skills to work. If it can be salvaged, I’m eating it. Leftovers will not be pushed to the back of the fridge. Milk in cartons will be savored and when it’s gone, I’ll break out the evaporated. My prima dona food ways are going by the wayside and I’m interested in hearing about your kitchen experiences.

If you would like to win one of two $10 Amazon gift cards, please tell me a quick tip you’ve used when ingredients were scarce or missing. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 3.

Stay safe everyone! Sending love and blessings,

Jeannie

Parlor or Living Room? Supper or Dinner? What the Heck?

 

Blame my curious mind for this post. When did people start calling a parlor or drawing room a living room?

First, let’s start with the meaning.

PARLOR – A sitting room in a private house where the family received visitors. This is a dated word that we no longer use in this context but was the common term until the 1900s. It was known as the “death room” and was where families laid out dead relatives as was common practice in times past. I can’t imagine this! CREEPY! And they took pictures of the dead people in their casket!! Double CREEPY!

 

DRAWING ROOM – An archaic word for a very formal sitting room and could be upstairs or the main floor where a person entertained visitors.

RECEPTION ROOM – Usually refers to a hotel, churches or anyplace besides a private home.

LIVING ROOM – An informal setting in a private home where the family welcomes visitors.

 

So, when did a parlor become a living room?

Inquiring minds want to know. It all changed by the end of World War I when funeral homes started taking care of the dead and they started calling the place where they set the caskets funeral parlors.

In 1910, the Ladies Home Journal came out with an article changing home parlors to living rooms. It’s an informal space where families gather and hang out. It became a “Lively” room and no more dedicated to death.

Large houses sometimes have more than one—both a formal and an informal.

 

Now…When did supper change to dinner?

The Merriam and Webster Dictionary says the last meal of the day changed names with the rise of industrialization and workers were not home for the midday meal they called dinner. (Psst, I still do by the way.) Thus, dinner slid to the last meal of the day and lunch became the noontime meal.

But…Is it an uppity thing? I never hear rich folks say supper. So, was it was a division between those who had and those who had less? 

Whatever the reason was, I just want to point out that the Bible says the Lord’s supper – not the Lord’s dinner.

Now, what’s for dessert? I’m hungry and I might eat in the living room.

So what are your thoughts on all this? Do you have a parlor or living room? Eat supper or dinner?

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!! Hope you’re wearing green!

A COWBOY’S SONG ~ Megan Ryder

Hi everybody! Thank you so much for letting me celebrate the release of my book, A Cowboy’s Song, here today!

This book was special to me, as all of my books are, as it combines two special loves for me – cowboys and music. But it also presented a whole bunch of challenges, especially around the music side since I was not that familiar with writing songs and my hero was all about writing a song. So I had a tough road to travel, so to speak.

Country music man playing guitar

Ty Evans, my hero, loved music since he was a boy but he stopped playing and writing music when his family was killed, leaving him an orphan. He ended up in foster care on the ranch in my book, Redemption Ranch, along with two other boys, who became his brothers, but music was not a part of his life. Slowly he reclaimed music, but only to play, not write.

When his oldest brother met the love of his life (Book 1 in my series), Ty decided to try his hand at writing music, and it brought up all the ghosts from his past. A visitor to the ranch, Piper Raines, the daughter of country music royalty, who understands the struggle of music, is there for the wedding, and she helps him breakthrough his block and they sing the song together. When it’s recorded and goes viral, he gets swept up in the hoopla and follows her to Nashville to see if he can have a career, or if it’s too late.

I listened to a lot of country music but listening to music and writing music are two very different things. So, I was lucky to be introduced to a talented songwriter, Sierra Bernal, who wrote a song for the book, which took themes from all three books and made it into the song that is featured in this book. She is recording it now, and I hope to share it in the near future! But learning about Nashville, the country music scene, and how different it is from the other types of music was fascinating.

She taught me about the Nashville numbering system, how they use numbers instead of chords for their music. It was quite complicated and I ended up not using a lot about it in the book but it gave me a foundation for my hero feeling like his time had passed.

I also researched venues for where they might play. I had visited the Grand Ol’ Opry hotel many years ago during the holidays and would have loved to set a book there, or at least a scene. But, that wasn’t realistic. So, I had to find some other place. The Bluebird Café was not at all what I expected (and possibly a little unrealistic) but perfect for my purposes. There are a ton of these little venues for up and coming musicians in Nashville to showcase their talent, and this is a highly sought place.

Here is a playlist I created for this book on Spotify since music was so important to this book, if you’re interested in hearing my inspiration: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Yj768NXWQHhvPSfWnG8T0?si=g2HivK4WRLK8FzEyGDzEwg

In addition, if you’d like to hear more about the songwriter, check out Sierra Bernal on Spotify at SierraBernal or at her website: Website: http://sierrabernal.com

Ty wrote a song for his brother’s wedding.

What do you think is a romantic gesture for a wedding?

Let’s chat, and I’ll give away an ebook copy of A Cowboy’s Song to one lucky commenter! 

Short Book Blurb:

Can they build a future on a shaky foundation?

Tyler “Ty” lost everything in a car accident when he was twelve, retreating into his shell so tightly that it took months for him to come out again. Music and the ranch saved him, and he will always be grateful to his foster family for saving his life. Now, with the ranch on financial tenterhooks, he wonders if he can use his music to contribute to the solution.

Piper Raines is the daughter of a legendary country music family. While her parents and brother are all famous, her attempt at an independent career went off the rails, and, with exhaustion and stress and bad press dogging her every step, she needs a place to recover. When Piper is invited to vacation at the ranch, Piper and Ty connect through horses and music. After a video duet of Piper and Ty goes viral, they’re invited to sing in Nashville, which also provides added pressure, stressing their new relationship.

 

BUY LINKS:

UNIVERSAL LINK: https://books2read.com/ACowboysSong

Detailed links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32kRGRr

B&N: http://bit.ly/37Fbos4

KOBO: http://bit.ly/2HG8QiQ

iTunes: https://apple.co/2SWvcle

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BIO: Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She lives in Connecticut, spending her days as a technical writer and her spare time divided between her addiction to knitting and reading.

 

Visit me at: http://meganryder.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeganRyder1

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MeganRyderAuthor/?ref=hl

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cmE1kr

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/megan-ryder

Amazon Author Profile: href=”https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14121151.Megan_Ryder”>

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14121151.Megan_Ryder

Updated: March 10, 2020 — 2:41 pm

Movin’ Cattle

How do you move a herd of cattle from one place to another?

This is a cattle drive near our house that we passed on the way to work one morning. This drive lasted several days.

When I lived in Nevada, most of my neighbors did it the old fashioned way–they had a cattle drive. Sometimes the cows were driven many miles. It wasn’t unusual for it to take two or three days to move the cattle from the home ranch to their summer pasture. At the the end of the grazing season, the cattle would then be driven back to the home ranch.

Cattle tend to stick together, which is a blessing, but it seems there’s always a few who want to go somewhere other than where they’re supposed to. This is why there are riding positions during a cattle drive. The point rider rides near the front, choosing the

direction the head will go. Swing or flank riders ride beside the cattle on both sides, the swing rider toward the front of the herd and the flank riders toward the read. The very worst position to ride is drag–at the the rear of the herd. The drag riders are often choked  with dust, and may wear bandannas over their nose and mouths.

Dogs are often essential partners during a drive, keeping cows together and making sure that there are no laggers.

There are other ways to move cattle. On our ranch, where we never move the cattle off the property, we open gates and chase them where they need to go. There’s always a lead cow. In our case it’s an older cow named 5X. She’s the one who charges to the front and tells the rest of the girls where to go. If we can get 5X pointed in the direction we want her to take everyone, all is well.

Another way to move cattle is to lure them along. We got stopped on our way to town the other day by a neighbor driving a tractor with a round hay bale on the back, and around 400 cows following him. The front cows were nibbling on the bale and the ones in the rear were following along because 

that’s what herds do–they stick together. There were a couple of guys on 4-wheelers riding drag. It was fun to watch.

Of course there’s always the option of loading the cattle into a truck and driving them to their pasture. That’s the fastest way to go a distance, but it’s also expensive, which is why so many people stick with the tried and true and drive their cattle the old fashioned way.

 

Winter on the Farm

Winter!!!!

It’s a whole other season when you’re the resident writer on a farm.

When the busyness of our crazy September-October selling season draws to a close, my life takes an abrupt turn, kind of like those country roads with the “Sharp Curve Ahead” signs.

Quick turns can be the lights or sorrows of life.

 

Come the first of November I trade my farm boots (most days) for a writing hat (not really, I’m inside, so I don’t wear a hat, sillies! But you get the gist.) 🙂 And holiday Grandma and Mom hat… and grandmother to track runners and basketball players and soccer cuties hat.  And honestly, it’s so much fun to go back to the other normal. You guys know what I mean, it’s like the end of summer vacation, how you’re just ready for some sort of schedule again.

I’ve learned to never schedule a deadline in December. I work all year, in the middle of the night, but after a couple of early career December deadlines, I realized two things:

  1. A lot of publishing kind of shuts down in December so everything takes longer, therefor why rush????
  2. I want my Christmas prep, my Advent season, to be focused on faith and family and if I have a deadline looming, I have to juggle a really important plate that can’t be dropped…. and I learned years ago to keep Christmas as simple and faith-filled as I could, so freeing up my schedule for just writing and blogging that month is plenty!

This way I don’t have to fret over changed schedules, flu outbreaks, kids that need watching, Grandmas that need help, (those older Grandmas, the “Gee-Gees” in a family) because that’s how it happens, right?  We did our Gingerbread House day in early January because everyone got sick on Christmas vacation! Oh, those germs!!!

A Gingerbread Village!!!!! With a train!!!

 

Gluing the houses together with frosting… So important!

And a darling girl with an artistic flare!

So we got that done in January…. and then there was this:

 

DEER VS. CHEVY CRUZE…

 

Needless to say, neither the car nor the deer came out of this well.

So the car went off to salvage land, the deer went to wherever deer go and Farmer Dave walked away from  it, so all is well!

A fun, at the farm birthday party for a five-year-old cutie, and a cute rainbow cookie cake!

Kitchen success with Jambalaya recipe… Available over at Yankee-Belle Cafe, a cooking and lifestyle blog with some great authors.

And then total Kitchen Fail with a new cheesecake recipe!

Look at this…. SIGH….. Little Lena was helping, and I think we seriously over-mixed the cheese mixture because this is a mess!!!!

BUT OUR DINOSAUR FOSSILS CAME OUT GREAT! Lena and I are working on a dino-themed preschool unit, and the “fossils” were a lot of fun.

And know those snow pics I love to share????????

Farm boys in the January rain!!!!!! Pouring rain…. but like 60 degrees, so where did that come from?

But throughout all of this I’ve been busily writing. I finished editing “Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge” and that will be released from Amazon (Kindle and paperback) on March 2nd!

 

And I got a mystery proposal approved, so that’s next on my agenda, to finish that mystery and get it polished this winter…

 

And then there’s this!!!! I just got copies of my 2nd Golden Grove book (and I forgot to pick a winner from last month’s post, totally my fault, so I’m going to pick three winners from that post… and they are:

  1.  Teresa!

     2.   Rosie!

     3.  Alice Haney

AND…. two winners of the April book, Golden Grove 2, “Learning to Trust”!!!

And this is mailing week, so if you get your addresses to me, I’m sending everything on my list out this coming week, so I can check those boxes off for now!  My email is loganherne@gmail.com!

 

 A second beautiful love story set in Central Washington state, a place I absolutely love!

So there you go. That’s how my January’s gone. All the aspects of normal crazy that we call life, but so many blessings, too.

So how has your January been?

Tell me below and I’ll put your names in for one of the “Learning to Trust” copies!