I’m Like, Totally Your Huckleberry

Lots of us have had tough years personally before, but not in my lifetime have we as a human race had such a difficult year. If you’re like me, New Year’s held a new significance and you’re thankful to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. Hopeful for 2021, I tried writing about the activities I desperately miss and appreciate more since COVID-19. I hope this year to return to treating myself to a mani-pedi (I’m so relieved it’s closed toe shoe season!), getting a haircut every six to eight weeks instead of twice a year, going to lunch with friends and sitting close enough we don’t need walkie-talkies to converse, and window shopping. Somehow instead of being the hopeful post I intended, I found myself needing a break from thinking about COVID and the harsh realities it’s brought crashing down on our lives.

Also needing to laugh, I turned to a book I discovered in Glassboro, New Jersey visiting my son. When the title caught my eye, This Is Like, Totally a Quote Book, I had to open it. The dedication had me LOLing. “This book is dedicated to the eminent individuals whose words are parodied herein. We’d like to imagine each of them, living or dead, getting a chuckle out of it. We only wish we could invite them all to dinner. * That would be, like, totally an amazing party. *Except maybe Hannibal Lecter.”

 

 

The book takes famous quotes and inserts the phrase like, totally. Having been part of the generation that thought those words were so cool, I couldn’t stop reading. The next thing I knew I was reading quotes to my husband. So today, in hopes of making you smile and showing how adding two words can change a sentence, I’ve tweaked some famous quotes.

  • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in like, totally rising every time we fall.” -Nelson Mandela
  • The way to get started is to like, totally quit talking and begin doing. -Walt Disney
  • Life is what happens like, when you’re busy totally making other plans. -John Lennon
  • To be or like, totally not to be. -William Shakespeare
  • When you reach the end of your rope, like tie a knot in it and totally hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but like, totally by the seeds that you plant. -Robert Louis Stevenson
  • It is during our darkest moments that we must like, totally focus to see the light. -Aristotle

Here’s some modified western/cowboy sayings from grammar.yourdictionary.com.

  • Some cowboys have like, totally too much tumbleweed in their blood to settle down.
  • When you’re throwin’ your weight around, be like, totally ready to have it thrown around by someone else.
  • Always like, totally drink upstream from the herd.
  • Never ask how stupid someone is ‘cause they’ll like, turn around and totally show you.
  • The only good reason to ride a bull is to like, totally meet a nurse.

And my favorite…

  • Never like, jump a barbed wire fence totally naked.

I hope these changes to famous quotes made you chuckle. To be entered in the random drawing for today’s giveaway of the sparkly Peace sign and a signed copy of Home on the Ranch:  Family Ties share a quote and like, totally parody it in This Is Like, Totally a Quote Book style. Here’s to 2021. May your year be blessed, and wishing you like, totally the best year ever!

 

A New Year … New Beginnings!

I hope 2021 has started off with a bang!  Mine has.  I found some things in the Old Farmer’s Almanac I want to share with you.

Some New Year Traditions I found interesting are:

  • Let’s Make Some Noise
    • In the early American colonies, the sounds of pistol shots range through the air.
    • Today, Italians let their church bells peal, the Swiss beat drums, and North Americans sound sirens and part horns to bid the old year farewell.
  • Eat Something Special
    • In the Southern United States, black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune. I thought we had some for New Years Day but didn’t; and, of course, no grocery stores were open, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ve eaten enough black-eyed peas in my life to have good fortune in 2021.
    • Apples dipped in honey are a Rosh Hashanah tradition.
  • Drink a Beverage
    • Wassail, the Gaelic term for “good health”, is served in some parts of England.
    • In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.
  • Give a Gift
    • New Year’s Day was once the time to swap presents.
    • In Scotland, coal, shortbread, and silverware were traditionally exchanged for good luck.

Now, I ask you all, do you have a traditional you follow each year?

I waited until the end to add more to my part of yesterday’s Yee-Haw Day.  I’m so excited to share some personal news with you all. 

Oh, I have so much good news and things to be thankful for that I can hardly restraint myself.

First, the holiday weather was pretty. I didn’t get to join the family for Christmas in Dallas because of the virus but I got zoomed in, while everyone opened their presents. I received my traditional Tootsie Rolls from my youngest grandson, and a pink fitbit from one of my other grandsons. What a wonderful day. Hubby watched football and after holiday gift exchange I watched Hallmark movies. I’m so thankful for my family.

I’m so proud of my two oldest granddaughters who are essential workers, both in hospitals here and in Dallas. They are called our “trailblazers” since they got the pandemic shots first out of the box with no adverse reactions.

My oldest granddaughter became engaged to a wonderful man right before Christmas. They knew one another when she was in school and he was stationed at the airbase.  Now Daddy was in the Army Air Corp, as it was called at the time, here in Amarillo. He met and married Mother, so he was called our “Flyboy” since he was in the Air Force.  I call Dylin that.  July here we come!

Since my middle Grandson was an Eagle Scout, he was sworn into the Navy just before the schools were closed down due to the Pandemic.  He left for Chicago in April and then to begin his submarine training in Connecticut. He’ll be graduating with Honors!  I’m so proud of him.  He doesn’t know where he’ll be stationed next, but it’ll happen pretty soon.  We are extremely proud of our Sailor.

 

I’m so proud of my family that I can hardly breath because of the excitement.

 

Since love is in the air, answer my question to be in the drawing

to win an autographed copy of one of our favorite anthologies,

Be My Texas Valentine. 

I ask you all, do you have a traditional you follow each year?

May 2021 be a great year for all of us!

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It’s Yee-Haw Day!

Welcome to Yee-Haw Day, the once-a-month day we’ve reserved to share our news with you – all sorts of fun news!

So check out the post below to get the details on the kinds of things that make us go Yee-Haw!!

Laura Drake

Home at Chestnut Creek, second in my Chestnut Creek series (but they can be read in any order) is on sale for .99!  https://amz.run/4Apm 

Margaret Brownley

Meet the Haywire Brides

Amazon

A friend sent this link to me and I think it’s worth sharing.  Warning: you will need tissues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt83CS1DxGI

 

Cheryl Pierson

We have gotten more snow and ice here in Oklahoma already this year that usually what we get all winter! But, I wanted to share Max and Sammy having a good time in the last snow storm we got earlier in December. At least THEY enjoyed it!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a VERY Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to 2021!

Who’s cold? Not us! Got the hot cocoa ready yet?
Well, brother, it was good while it lasted. Maybe she’ll let us go out again later on…

Pam Crooks

Cover Reveal!

 

Book #3 and the last in my Blackstone Ranch series! And my, my, this cover is perfect!!

Available for Preorder from Tule Publishing or Amazon.

Release date: March 16, 2021

Karen Witemeyer

My son got engaged! YeeHaw!

This is definitely the biggest YeeHaw of 2020 for us, and such a wonderful way to close out the year. Wyatt proposed on Christmas Eve, and trusted me enough to be the photographer for capturing the moment. We adore McKenna, and are so happy for the two of them.

 

Jeannie Watt

I have a new release, Once Upon a Winter Wedding. I’m so enjoying writing these sweet romances set in Holly, Idaho. 

 

Can opposites attract and plan the perfect winter wedding?

Free-wheeling Stevie Evans is thrilled when her best friend announces she’s getting married and promises to help, never imagining she’d play wedding planner with her bestie’s uptight brother, Brant. She and Brant clashed several years ago and she’s avoided him ever since. But this time she can’t run or hide, and the buzz of attraction is stronger than ever.

Brant Gilroy’s meticulous life plan takes an unexpected turn when he hits a career bump on the same day as his sister’s wedding announcement. She wants to get married at the family tree farm, which he’s been restoring. Brant’s determined to make her day special despite his uncertain future, although he dreads working with her best friend—a woman who’s his complete opposite. So why can’t he get her out of his head?

As Brant and Stevie work together, Brant begins to wonder if they have more in common than they suspected. But how can he convince her that opposites can sometimes make the perfect team?

KAREN KAY

The Eagle and the Flame, Book #1 in The Wild West Series, is now on sale for $.99.  Pick up your copy here:  https://buy.bookfunnel.com/lfww2d8xkl

Also, pick up your copy today for Iron Wolf’s Bride, Book #2 in The Wild West Series, here:  https://tinyurl.com/yysrzn8f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kit Morgan

 

I have a new release, the second book in my Clear Creek Bride Series.

Two meddling matrons

A town full of spinsters

And one musicale …

The last thing Merritt O’Hare wants to do is perform in front of the whole town. For one, she can’t play the violin to save her life. And two, Benedict Comfort, the self-appointed leader of this musical fiasco irritates her to no end. But when Merritt finds a way to really get to him, she executes it with relish. Unfortunately, she might have bitten off more than she can chew on this one.

Benedict Comfort thinks Merritt O’Hare isn’t worth his time. Though he likes exchanging barbs with her, he can only take so much. And rehearsals with the woman and her friends are downright painful. None of them can play a whit! But he can. Imagine his surprise when he finds he likes teaching them. Toss in a ridiculous challenge Merritt presents him with and the game is on! But spending time with Merritt is doing more to him than bringing out his love of music. It’s opening his heart …

https://amzn.to/34Xv1Nm

 

Phyliss Miranda

I am so proud of my hometown in the Texas Panhandle.  Each New Years the newspaper names a Man and Woman of the Year.  It is typically people who are philanthropists; thus, giving of themselves and their money.

This year our town awarded this honor to our hometown heroes … our first responders.   I am honored to still live in the town I was born and raised in.

Thank you, Amarillo, Texas.   I have some more great news to brag about, but will save it until tomorrow when I do my regular blog.  Look forward to seeing you all.

New Years Eve Tradition…and My Clever Mom

I’m talking today about my family’s New Years Eve traditions.

This is my family growing up, not my children and husband today.

I’m from a family of eight kids. Eight kids in a three bedroom farmhouse that was so old, before my mom and dad moved in, they were using it to store ears of corn. When Mom and Dad got married, there on the land my grandpa owned was this little old house.

Three rooms TOTAL. They did a bunch of fixing and turned it into (drumroll) a four room house.

Now, people didn’t always live in the mini-mansions they all do today, so it wasn’t that uncommon. But it was pretty squashed.

Mom and Dad slept on a fold out couch and the kids, which just kept popping up every year or two, slept in this cracker box upstairs, one room with a roof that slanted. When my SIXTH sibling was born, a brother, Mom and Dad added onto the house by…buying another house, hauling it in and setting it down by the current house. Now the house had THREE bedrooms.

But, I now slept on Mom and Dad’s fold out couch (which I did  not fold out). You can count that as a fourth bedroom, but it really wasn’t one.

All this to say, we were pretty poor and I was raised without much fancy stuff. And I really didn’t notice…much.

In the context of being poor, every New Years Eve, Mom would make this feast for us that was kind of expensive.

She’d get the pan out she used for deep frying, she had a wire basket to sink down into the hot oil, and she’d fry shrimp and chicken, French fries and onion rings.

It was DELICIOUS. My dad especially liked it which is why she probably did it.  But except for the shrimp, which she bought breaded, it was all made from scratch.

She’d peel and ‘french fry’ the potatoes. She’d dip pieces of chicken in a thin batter, and she’d make these onion rings that, every once in a while, I can find in a restaurant that is seriously trying to make delicious food. The onion rings would go in a thin batter, then she’d drop them in the hot oil and they’d kind of be all stuck together.

We’d just surround the poor woman and she couldn’t turn out that wonderful once-a-year food fast enough.

I’m fond of saying, I never knew there was such a thing as a cookie that wasn’t warm.

Same for shrimp and onion rings, deep fried chicken and French fries. We always ate this food as fast as she could cook it.

I found out much later that part of this annual deep-fried feast was Mom and Dad trying to come up with a way to keep us all home (as we got old enough to have driver’s licenses) She worried about wild behavior (for us) and drunk drivers on the road with us.

In fact we didn’t start the tradition until I was a little older, so there’s some truth to it.

I always have loved fried shrimp (honestly, I like every kind of shrimp!), and once in a while I get those really great batter-dipped onion rings like Mom used to make.

And they remind me of a simple time in a three-bedroom farmhouse with a herd of kids all surrounding a very special and clever Mom.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021!

To celebrate the new year.

And to say a FULL-THROATED GOOD-BYE AND GOOD RIDDENCE TO THE OLD ONE!

I am giving away an ebook.

I have new release that has been released before…in a novella collection.

So it may be one you’ve read before.

Dr. Tess and the Cowboy

An archeologist discovers dinosaur bones and wants to preserve an important site.

Her dream come true may destroy his ranch.

Or it may lead them to true love.

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Auld Lang Syne — A History


HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!

 
Welcome!  Welcome!
 
Since it’s New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d take a break from posting about Native America and take trip to Scotland instead via a song.
 
It is to Scottish songwriter, Robert Burns, that the world owes its debt for the beautiful poem of Auld Lang Syne.  Interestingly, it’s become an  anthem that is recognized and sung all around the world.
 
.As the website at http://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.”

 
Robert 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 original melody for this old song, 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:  http://www.scotland.org/ features/ / 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

 
It’s been a rough year for many of us.  And yet, in some ways, our spirit has risen up to the occasion.  It is my wish for you that this next year be a better and more promising year.  I think we still have a bit of a rough ride ahead of us, but if we can keep loving one another throughout this next year, I think we’ll be okay.
 
Let me know your thoughts.  And, also what do you plan to do this New Year’s Eve?  For our family, it’s games!  Games!  Games!  Maybe some slow dancing, too…

 
Peace!

Holiday Dip Recipe

New Year’s Eve spent on the farm during my growing up years meant an array of tasty snacks, a bucket full of confetti made by yours truly from newspapers I spent an hour cutting into teeny pieces and spent twice as long cleaning up the next morning, and the family gathered in our family room around a cozy fire as we waited for the clock to strike midnight.

Mom would serve a variety of chips and dip, meat and cheese with crackers, and there were always cookies and candies left over from Christmas. Those crazy people who wanted healthy options would find a veggie tray and apple slices. 

When midnight arrived, we’d all grab big handfuls of confetti and dump it all over my dad, who knew it was coming but took it all in good-natured stride. 

Captain Cavedweller got in our family craziness a few years before we moved too far away to join in the fun. While my family loved ranch dip the best, CC was a big fan of a particular brand of dill pickle dip. 

Then the manufacturer stopped making it and it was a sad, sad day for CC.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I happened upon a recipe for dill pickle dip. It tastes exactly like the dip he used to love so much. Best part? It’s so easy to make!

If you love dill pickles, you are sure to enjoy this dip.

The ingredients are simple and few.
 
 
You start by draining the pickles on paper towels. It’s important they are dry and not overly juicy.
 
Then you just chop them into little bits of pickle-y goodness.
 
Stir in the remaining ingredients, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour (but overnight is even better because the flavors have time to blend).
 
And enjoy!
 
Ingredients:
2 cups of Nalley Dill hamburger chips, drained and blotted dry
2-3 tablespoons pickle juice
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
 
Directions:
Drain juice from pickles, set aside. Place pickles on paper towels, blotting dry (if they aren’t dry, your dip will be runny). Pulse them in the food processor to chop or chop by hand.
Mix pickles, sour cream, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Slowly add pickle juice until dip is a good consistency. The more juice you add, the better the pickle flavor – just don’t overdo or you’ll have runny dip.
Serve with potato chips or crackers.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of dip.

Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with joy, health, success, and blessings!

Christmas Crispies

Don’t you just love all the decadent goodies at Christmas time? I do. Probably more than I should. But, hey, that’s what New Year’s is for, right? No counting calories until January 1. It’s a Christmas law. Or should be.

My hubby always buys Christmas M&Ms to fill my candy bowl and, of course, I have to have the Christmas-wrapped Dove dark chocolates on hand.

Some of my favorite things to bake at Christmas include snickerdoodles, butter toffee, and shortbread. But the one goody that gets made every year without fail are my Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispies. Super easy to make and scrumptious to eat.

I hope that you and your family had a marvelous Christmas holiday whether together in person or in spirit. Keep enjoying those leftover goodies, and go ahead and make a few more. Don’t forget . . . calories don’t count until January 1!

Easy Tex Mex Baked Eggs

Holiday Greetings!

I don’t know about you, but when I have a houseful of guests, I love to cook, but three meals a day gets a tad overwhelming. That’s why I love this recipe. It’s quick and easy, and I get rave reviews, even from people who don’t think of themselves as Tex Mex folk.

Here we go:

6 large eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream (I cheat and use half and half)

1 cup of grated cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 4 oz. can mild diced chilies

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or butter a shallow baking pan. I often use a 9×9 brownie pan. In this case I used my fancy pan.

In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs. Mix in cream, salt and pepper.

Add chilies to egg mixture.

Spread the cheese in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour egg mixture over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until eggs are set. (Living at altitude, it always takes longer where I live–usually between 35-40 minutes. Keep an eye on it.)

Broil the top if you want more browning.

Serves 6.

I’ve doubled the recipe and cooked it in a larger pan quite successfully, because funny thing–in our house, this only serves 4. Hmmm…

We always top the eggs with hot sauce or salsa and serve with bacon or ham. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2021!

Cheers,

Jeannie