Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shine on

..shine on Harvest Moon.  The harvest moon is the first full moon past the fall equinox. The full moon most commonly that the farmers use for extra light for harvesting.  But this year, almost all the crops have already been harvested. 

It was a beautiful sight, wasn't it?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A day of pumpkin baking

I started by cooking up two of the pumpkins.  Then a mixed up the batter for pumpkin bread. I continued by making the cake for the pumpkin roll.  Then mixing up a batch of pumpkin cookies. I forgot to bring the raisins so I used coconut instead. I split the batter in half and added cocoa powder and chocolate chips. 

The house smell good between the ribs in the slow cooker and all of the pumpkin goodies.  I ended up freezing 3 cups of pumpkin for later use.  I still need to prep the seeds so that they can be dried. 

I do love cooking from scratch.

Friday, September 28, 2012


I am not a morning person.  That being said, Thursday morning I needed to be on the road shortly after 3 AM. I set my alarm clock at 2:51 and my cell phone to 2:55. I was surprised when I woke up at 2:50 and actually turned my alarm off before it went off.  Everything was set out the night before.  So I was out on the road by 3:15.

My plane took off at 6AM. I had about an hour layover at the Denver airport then flew the last leg to Kansas City. 

I was picked up by a Limo and taken to my meeting.  There is nothing like being treated like Royalty (but I was the papperazzi with the camera). After a VERY successful meeting, I flew back home.

Instead of the ahead of schedule planes in the morning, the flights were starting to get delayed.  We landed in Denver over half an hour late due to a thunderstorm around the airport. The last leg of my flight was scheduled on a different airline. So the run was on!  I made it. They were about half boarded but not done.

We were delayed a bit due to weather. It was after sunset as we prepared to taxi.  When all was said and done, I arrived back home about 12:15AM. It was a whirlwind but successful trip.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One tiny little pumpkin

...or so we were told.  Dale had planted the pumpkins and buttercup squash at his brothers.  We hadn't been out there to check on them but his sister told someone at the bar that there was only one little pumpkin about this side.  Then she held her hands in a ball shape with just a slight opening and chuckled. 

Either she was totally teasing, totally drunk, or didn't look under any leaves. Because there are pumpkins and buttercup squash coming out of our ears! 

I am going to have to find out if you can "can" squash and pumpkin. After all, you buy it in a can at the store. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A week of blessings!

There are times that many little blessings start small and accumulate.  Suddenly you look back and say, "WOW! This has been a week of special blessings." 

I have found, when my heart is open to receiving blessings I see more of them in my life.  From being blessed by friendly people around me at Midwest Country concert, to the company of special friends, the encouragement and support of co-workers, forgiveness of debt, and knowing that friends and relatives are praying for you during times of change.

I am hoping in the middle of it that I was a blessing to the people who received a free copy of my book and of those to whom I will give copies of photos from the concert. 

Bless and be blessed.

Monday, September 24, 2012


It felt like we had three seasons today. There was about a 50 degree swing from his morning until this afternoon.

We currently have three dobermans; two that are ours and one that is a friend's.

In three days, I will be in Kansas City for the day.

Dale made us each three chicken breasts for supper (and lunch tomorrow.)

My brain is having a junior moment. Have a great night!

Bird House Gourds

Photo by Trisha Field
Finished Gourds

I love working with these gourds.  It is getting very close to the time to pick them for this year.  You need to have a section of garden that they can grow wild in and no one will care.  They do have a tendency to take over the plants around them.  We got our first freeze and it has taken the leaves. 

Photo by Trisha Field
Bumper Crop of Birdhouse Gourds

But the vines are still green so it is still a bit too early to pick them.  A freeze won’t hurt them.  In fact, once they are picked I winter them over in my car port where they can dry out and I won’t have to see the moldy part of the process.

Photo by Trisha Field
Dried Gourds

Yes, they WILL mold.  That is okay.  Do NOT throw them away.  Make sure they are in a place that air can get through them and the mold won’t ruin anything.  I had a girlfriend that the first year we had them she placed them on her spare bed in the basement.  OH, WRONG CHOICE! But we didn’t know any better.  Five of us had split over a hundred gourds and I think we ended up with less than twenty.  That was during the early days of the Internet.  Someone finally found an article that warned about the molding process. 
Step 1: Plant a hill or two of seeds. 
Step 2: Harvest after the vines are dry.
Step 3: Find a place to let them dry where they can get airflow and the mold won’t ruin anything
Step 4: Wash the mold off. 
Step 5: Decorate
I have to admit washing the mold off is the part that I don’t like.  Therefore I procrastinate doing that.  But it must be done or you can’t do the fun part of decorating them.  The quick and easy decoration is to take brown shoe polish, go over the entire gourd and buff it off.  I usually wait a full day before varnishing with a gloss spray.  This makes it look like a shiny leather finish.  I have also seen people use craft paints and paint a snowman, a Santa Clause, or any number of beautiful designs on it.  Kids would have fun painting their own personal designs on it.   But if you plan to hang it in the tree for an actual birdhouse, the more natural look does best.  Use a quarter to size the whole that you are going to make.  Many birds like to have a perch so you may want to add a perch under the hole. 
Are you freaking out about cutting into the gourd?  There are usually a few that get a hole knocked into them during the drying and cleaning process.  Use those gourds to practice.  I have even made dry flower vases out of them.  Have fun!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mixed Feelings

Second-Hand Tuxedo was ePublished last week. I had an option to allow the book to be "given" away for any 5 days that I choose. As a self-published author with a very small exposure base, the free days allows my book to be highlighted to people (free advertising) and theoretically for every person that reads it and likes it more wil be sold. (Tell a friend theory.)  I chose Saturday as the first day. 

With the excitement of the concert, I forgot about the book.  I looked online at 10:30PM and 713 copies had been given away. After nearly having a heart attack, I though WOW! Then the mixed feelings started. 

* given away = no money
        Ah shoot
        Did I do the right thing?
        Should I do more of these?
* given away = people that have never heard of me are now reading my book
* given away may = hopefully more sales
         That would be neat.
* Exhausted, but sleep wouldn't come.  Free books were averaging 1 every other minute. How many would go out?

Sunday morning when I checked 856 books had been given away in the main site, 26 at, and 4 at so it is now an international book.  Time will tell.  I am choosing to be excited! The book is moving international! Nearly 1000 people I've never met are reading my book.  YEAH!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Midwest Country with Maggie Mae

We are having a fun afternoon. We rode up North with friends, Tom and Doreen.  On the way we stopped by the Casino at Hinkley forb 45 minutes. But the main reason for the trip was to go to the Midwest Country Festival. Dale is being delusional and thinks he is going to sing a duet with Maggie Mae.

The show was awesome! If you have the chance, go to see Maggie Mae in concert.

Friday, September 21, 2012


When I was a teenager, I had a friend whose Dad owned an old stretch Limo. It was painted orange with tiger markings down the side.

Lately you see that wedding parties are using a limo service that has a bus instead of the stretch limo.  They are nice busses and easier for the larger wedding parties to use.

I haven't ridden in a limo or used limo service since high school.  So many of the limo services use very nice cars instead of limos.  Times change everywhere. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Combining Corn

Yes once again we are watching the farmer work. I am shocked at how much corn they have left behind.  We have been picking some of remnants to take home and feed the squirrels.  Hmmmm maybe he is feeding geese?  Is hunting season open yet? 

We have also seen a flock of Canadian Honkers and two deer in the fields. They are being seduced by a free lunch.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kansas City or BUST!

I grew up spending my summers just outside of Kansas City at Circle-C and L-Bar-C Ranches.  I think the camps may still be out there but definitely under new ownership.  We used to put signs on the side of the bus or vans "Circle-C or Bust" or "Kansas City or Bust" then off we were.  The long drive down the freeway with a group of teenage kids.  But we had a blast.  I made a lot of friends.  When I graduated from college, I took another bus ride with a group of St. Cloud State students down to Kansas City. They were going to a conference.  I stayed with a friend and looked for a job.  My friends and I were praying hard that God provide a job for me in the Overland Park, Kansas area. 

So does God answer prayers?  I believe he answers: Yes, No and not now. 

What if God answers yes?  Are we really ready for it?
Can we accept the NO when God says that?
Do we think God is answering NO when he is really saying not now?
Has God answered my prayer? 

I haven't given up on it yet.  He keeps reminding me about the prayer.  For now, I'm accepting "not now" for the answer until I hear the "yes".  Just saying......

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mystery in the park

With the days getting shorter, I haven't had as much park time with the dogs.  But the other day I saw these odd prints.  My first thought was racoon then I saw how small it was.  But maybe...a baby racoon?  Hmmm

Monday, September 17, 2012

Time ---->

Five years ago at this time, I was working with my publisher to publish my first book Second-Hand Tuxedo.  I received the first physical book literally days before leaving for a convention in Florida.  I had taken a couple extra days vacation and flew down a few days early so that I could go to Disneyland. My Christmas note that year said, "now that you are a published author what are you going to do? I'm going to Disneyland!"
In the five years, a Star Trek fantasy has become a reality. Do you realize many Star Trek characters had e-readers, i-pods and tablets?  LOL !  I have been receiving feed back from many that my book is not available for e-readers.  So this past week I contacted my publisher and guess what???
Effective Monday, September 17th, Second-Hand Tuxedo is available for e-readers through for a price of $4.95 **** YEAH!
Or go straight to Amazon then goto Kindle e-book and search for Second-Hand Tuxedo (don't forget the dash).  It is being published exclusively on Kindle for 3 months. 

ePublished 9/17/2012 checked off the bucket list
YEAH! It is now an eBook too!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Love the Food channel <3

It gives me the bravey to try new things especially on a Sunday.  Today again you should be here to smell the creation.  I started by sauteeing onions and garlic in butter adding next some half inch pieces of bacon (everything is better with bacon), when I added the chicken I sprinkled some cream sherry over the top.

I bought a bottle of cream sherry last year at the Stone Hill Winery in Branson, Missouri.  It is aged in old oak barrels and has a very sweet, nutty/woody taste. I've used it for cooking instead of drinking.  It adds such a good flavor to the food.

Back to supper...I covered the chicken and started a pot with brown rice.  I ran outside to get Dale started planting his spring bulbs.  When I came in,  mixed it up a bit and added garden fresh tomatoes.  While the meal cooked I was in and out planting bulbs with Dale.

He planted, scilla, crocus, tulips. daffodils, and hyacinth. A good way to end the day!  I planted my hyacinth, tulips and daffodils earlier in the day with two purple asters.  We both drenched the garden area where we planted.  Everything is SO VERY dry.  But I can't wait until spring to see the new flowers.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oh! the house smells good!

I wish I could send the smells to you.  Concord grapes smell SO AWESOME!  I've been keeping the grapes that we processed earlier in the week in the fridge.  Today was Jelly day.  I like jams better but grapes just lend themselves better to jelly.

What is the difference????  Jams are when the pulp of the fruit along with the juices are simmered down.  There are pieces of fruit in the jar.  Jelly is a clearer and smoother. It uses pectin to set it. Pectin is an apple based thickener.  I have a terrible time getting jelly to thicken right.  So I really hope this works!

We (oh yeah I mean "I") made two batches. The first batch was 6 cups liquid, four cups sugar and two packets of liquid pectin. (That was for Dale and it yielded 9 half pint jars.) The other batch was eight cups of liquid, about one and a half cups of honey, and three packs of no sugar needed powder pectin.  (That was for me and it yielded 11 half pint jars.)

I don't buy much for jellies and jams.  Now both Dale and I have pantries full of jellies, jams and preserves.  I guess if all else fails we can live on PB & J sandwiches.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It has arrived!

Dad's book Just Let Me Be Real has arrived.  In the different stages of our life, people intervene at times when they should not (sometimes with the best of intentions.)  Then again when it would be good to have help; none is available. Everyone needs to feel useful and that their life is worth something.  Dad strings together a story from the viewpoint of a tree. A story of hope and worthiness.

So here is is, another personal book for the bookshelf.  Coming soon.... an update about Second-Hand Tuxedo!

S L O W w w M O w w w T I O N

Have you ever had something happen and as you are going through it you feel like you are in slow motion? I remember as a teenager I was bicycling down Oakland Avenue by the cemetary.  I don't remember who I was with but a car came towards us and crossed the center line.  We got as close together as possible.  Ooops it was too close. The bikes tangled together and in slow motion our bikes went down and we went flying onto the grass. 

I remember watching one of the Star Trek movies and the people had learned to "live in the moment."  During an enjoyable moment life would go into slow motion in the immediate area allowing them to live longer surrounded by the pleasure.

So why is it my moments of slow motion are always painful?  This morning I was leaving my house with my cloth bag on my shoulder.  My foot hit the threshhold just WRONG and my ankle rolled. I still had my hand on the door handle.  My other foot was getting pinched in the door as I held onto that handle. My only choice even though my footing was not stable was to let go.  I went into automatic mode and I must have tucked and rolled.  I landed with my head towards the house and my feet away from the house. The strap of the bag was wrapped several times around my arm and the bag was above my head.

I figure my guardian angel wrapped it's arms around me and gave me a big hug as I rolled. Nothing was broken, scraped or scratched. Sore muscles but nothing feels like it was even deeply bruised.  Duchess and Sid came over to take care of me.  Oh I can't wait to get a deck put on here.   

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Being manipulative....

Duchess, the black rust mother, wanted to lay on the bed and her puppy, My Jenny, was laying on it.  So Duchess walked around the back and squeezed down.  When My Jenny would not move, Duchess started cleaning her ears and slid down into bed.  My Jenny didn't budge! When I left for work, they were both snuggled together on the bed.  I wished I could have stayed to see how long the hold out lasted and how manipulative Duchess got before her daughter moved. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Harvest time >>>allergy season

The nice thing about living in the rural areas is being able to see the farmers in the fields. You know that you are living in a rural area when EVERYONE can give you a crop update even if they don't live on a farm. 

What? You haven't heard the latest?  Well let me tell you. Normally the beans are harvested and then the corn.  But the corn has dried up so much that many farmers are combining corn first this year.  I don't have anything firm for data but it seems like more farmers than normal are making silage with the corn.  (Corn is picked when the stalks are still partially green. The stocks and corn are shredded together for feed often stored in a silo.)  I've heard in our area the crops are good but not bumper crops. 

The dry weather along with the farmers in the fields earlier than normal has this alergy season as one of the worst in years.  YOU'RE telling me!  I get so dizzy (no comments please-lol) that when I lay down or get up, I need to be very slow or I go right back down.  I've never gotten drunk but lately my room has been spinning around me. If it weren't so serious it would be funny.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Concord grapes...we picked up half a bushel today. They are perfect ---smack <3 !!!  After eating a serving with supper, we washed and juiced a majority of the grapes.  They will stay in my refrigerator until Saturday when I make a jelly or jam with them.  (Don't worry. I left enough to nibble on the rest of the week.)

Using the "back to basics" strainer, we strained them but we didn't have the right auger and the heavy skins of the grapes and the seeds kept jamming up the auger.   We could have gotten (I'm guessing) another 20% out of the grapes with the right auger. 

More to come...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cool stuff!

I was playing with the camera on my phone. And I found some cool special affects. This one is cartoon.  Personally, I think it should be called "paint by number".  I am not sure why I would use this one other to play around.  But it is cool.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Transport to another world...

...far, far away in a remote land (outside of Shakopee, MN) as you pass through the wooden gates you become transported back in time to the days of the Renaissance.  Kings, Queens, Lords and Ladies abound.  On the street corners are belly dancers and jugglers (men in tights).

This was the time that the arts exploded, paper making, printing, glass blowers all demonstrate their trade.  In booths along the way many other craftsmen and women, sell their unique goods. When you need to it and rest, choose a stage and sit down for a show.  Drama, court jesters, jugglers, poets and tory stellers are their to amuse you.  But do be careful as some of the jokes your children may ask for an explanation that you may not want to give.