I’m a little scattered so instead of a thoughtful, cowboy centered, post with humor and heart.
I’m just going to list my odd December life.
My mom had Covid-19. She was asymptomatic but she was isolated in her room at the nursing home she lives in and it was terrible for her.
She’s well now and back with her roommate. The nursing home was hit hard enough they are slow opening things up again. But as of yesterday, lunch is in the dining room instead of Mom being served a meal alone in her room. They have activities and a regular afternoon coffeetime all in the dining room and that’s going again.
I hope she gets some energy back. I’ve been going to see her, through her window, talking on her phone or FaceTime, she has an iPad but can’t use it, but the staff helps her answer and gets it situated, and it’s usually at least a little successful.
It’s cold here now in Nebraska so the window visits aren’t able to be very LONG these days. I went to see her yesterday and stood in 23 degrees for a while. Considering people go to Nebraska Cornhusker football games (in better years–Covid’s put the kibosh on that this year) and sit for three plus hours in this weather, I’m a major wimp if I can’t stand outside my mom’s window for a while.
A saying in Nebraska…there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.
I saw an eagle yesterday. I live in a place where you can stop in the road, sit there for many minutes, and snap pictures of eagles and no one comes along.
So the upside of country life…seeing eagles and stopping in the road, is also the downside of country life, if you need help on the road, because you’re alone, no one is there to help. But if someone DOEScome along, you will always know them and they will always help you.
Also, I did Nano in November. A large part of my December weirdness, because I wrote a LOT, pretty successful for me. I’m a dependable 1000 words a day person, but for Nano, National Novel Writing Month, I hit about 40,000 words and only now do I realize it was so “Full Steam Ahead” that I didn’t do the revising-as-I-write thing I usually do. So I am REVISING all these 40,000 words and I’m finding ridiculous mistakes and so MANY of them. Yeesh. Example:
He was sure they were sisters. And well-off gentile sisters.
Another one that drove me nuts and I KNOW BETTER:
I named a character Cap. He was a former captain in the army, served in the Civil War.
Okay, dates were failing me. He can’t have served in the civil war, he’d be too old for my purposes.
Frontier forts? Nope. Okay, forget Cap.
So I changed his name to Zane.
And I did a find and replace for Cap to Zane.
To my surprise (duh) I changed every Cap in the book to Zane including the letters ‘cap’ tucked into the middle of longer words.
In my revisions I’ve now found esZaneed, and just now Zaneable
escaped, capable? It turns out I have three sisters…runaway brides and they did a LOT of escaping………….
Also at times, disguised as servants my heroines wore mob caps. or should I say Zanes….shaking my head. So many typos–beyond the Zane nonsense. So much annoying madness, it slowed me down fixing it until I’m not sure Nano even sped my writing up.
What else? My Christmas gifts are wrapped, my tree is up. Very minimal decorating this year, and that’s from a woman who does minimal every year, so that’s saying something. But no one is coming here. Unless the UPS man peeks through the window in the front door…which would be creepy…and yet…at least someone would see my tree!
And that include me…the tree lights show through the window but only I turn them on. So yesterday I turned them on and left the house (the eagle viewing) and thought,..when I come home, I’ll see my own lights.
Except I was home and inside and after about an HOUR I realized I forgot to look at the lights when I drove in…which probably means they aren’t real noticable, right?
So looking forward to a probably very quiet Christmas. And hopefully a huge improvement in 2021.
Contemporary romance author Jan Sikes will visit us on Tuesday, December 15, 2020!
Though she’s multi-published, this is her first romance and she’s excited to share it.
Miss Jan will tell us a little about what led to the first book of her White Rune series and talk a bit about the paranormal aspect. A woman’s brother killed on the battlefield tries to send her a message.
She’ll also offer a copy to one lucky commenter in ebook form.
So help us roll out the red carpet for her and make her feel right at home.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by on Monday to discuss my upcoming Amish release. I threw all the names in a virtual hat and the person whose name I selected is
Congrats Maryann. If you’ll contact me via my website and send me your mailing info I’ll get a copy of Her Amish Wedding Quilt out in the mail to you ASAP.
HER AMISH WEDDING QUILT
An Amish seamstress and a single father have a chance to make a fresh start in this heartwarming first novel of a new series.
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?
Merry Christmas! For y’all who came to the blog and left a post, I’ll be gifting each and every one of you the e-book, THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME. Bear with me as I search out your emails and send you a bookfunnel link to the e-book THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME.
I’ll be starting on sending this along to each of you privately tomorrow, so bear with me as I email y’all directly. You can always email me, too, with your email address at email@example.com. But I should be able to get your address from this site.
Who doesn’t love a cowboy? Mix them with Christmas and you have some of the best books of the year! Not to mention events. Sadly with everything going on in the world, many events have been canceled. Such as the Cowboy Christmas retail event held in the Las Vegas Convention Center every year during the two-week National Finals Rodeo events. Sigh, I’ve always wanted to go. Maybe next year.
In the meantime, I’ll read some of the wonderful Christmas stories available and get lost in some stories. In fact, some folks love these stories so much they read them all year long! And why not? They’re fun, romantic, and full of cowboys!
What is the allure of the cowboy? I have a book releasing next week, A Cowboy for Christmas. There are times in the story where the heroine, Amy Jo, can’t take her eyes off the hero, Clay. When she asks herself why it’s because he’s a cowboy. You see she grew up with the same romanticized version of the cowboy that a lot of us did. We forget how hard it was and still is to be a cowboy. We may have modern conveniences like pick up trucks and modern machinery to make ranch life easier, but the fact remains, it can still be back-breaking work at times.
My sister knows a rancher in central Oregon. One of these days I’d like to spend time with this gentleman on his ranch and get a good idea of what “a day in the life of a modern cowboy” is like. That and I’ve always wanted to see his ranch. He does a mix of cattle and horses and at times comes to this side of the mountain to hold horse clinics that my sister attends. We also have bought beef from him. I call him Cowboy Ron.
So while I look forward to visiting Cowboy Ron’s ranch in the spring, I’ll continue to read one of my favorite combinations, cowboys, and Christmas. Because between snippets of reading amidst all the writing I do, it will take me until spring to get through my “to be read pile” I have!
For a free e-copy of my new book, A Cowboy for Christmas, what are some of your favorite books featuring Cowboys and Christmas? I’m sure there are a lot I haven’t got my hands on! I’ll pick a random winner from the comments below.
In the last 18 months we’ve found out my husband has celiac disease. So NO GLUTEN. It’s been a shocking change in lifestyle. He’s been heroic about it. But then I think his belly hurt BAD.
So now we’re a gluten free household (Okay, I occasionally sneak a slice of bread)
And I am the official pie maker in my family.
Well, guess what I found out. The crust in pie (that gluteny little devil) is not an essential part of the pie!
So here is the pecan pie recipe I’ve used for years for my family and it is COMPLETELY UNCHANGED.
Except I poured it into a well-buttered baking dish (I chose a casserole dish rather than a pie pan) without any crust.
It was delicious.
We had no complaints and no problem devouring the whole thing.
Give it a try if you’re trying to be gluten free.
This is the easiest pie ever.
In mixing bowl combine:
2/3 C. sugar
½ t. salt
1/3 C. butter (melted)
1 C. corn syrup
Mix all ingredients together just until they are blended, add:
1 C. pecan pieces
mix slightly. Pour into unbaked crust. Cover pie with sheet of aluminum foil, just lay it over the top don’t crimp the edges. Bake at 350 for 40 or 50 minutes, uncovering for the last 10 or 15 minutes. Pie is done when knife comes out clean. I like to over bake it. The pie gets a carmelly…delicious texture that only comes with time.
The pie will have a beautiful domed shape when its done, then you’ll take it our and it will fall. That’s normal.
To bake this pie with the crust…add crust. 🙂 For best results, add the crust UNDER the filling.
I made a lemon meringue pie this way and a pumpkin. You won’t even miss that crust.