Coming Soon: Free Book

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

Friday, November 27, 2015

The candy man

My dad has many talents. One of them is candy making. His cancer treatments are taking their toll. But even with that, he still manages to make his caramel and divinity for special occasions. 

I didn't have the heavy duty mixer that he was used to using.  So to help the setting process,  we put the bowl in a larger bowl of cold water. But the smaller bowl had a small hole it it and water leaked in. So he cooked off some of the water and it started to caramelize. It is a little more browned than normal but it's silky-smooth melt in your mouth delicious! 

    1. Candy Man

      By Sammy Davis Jr.

      (Candy man)
      (Hey, Candy man)
      Alright everybody gather 'round
      The Candy Man is here
      What kind of candy do you want
      Sweet choc'late
      Choc'late malted candy
      Gum drops
      Anything you want
      You've come to the right man
      'Cause I'm the Candy Man
      Who can take a sunrise (who can take a sunrise)
      Sprinkle it with dew (sprinkle it with dew)
      Cover it with choc'late and a miracle or two
      The Candy Man (the Candy Man)
      Oh, the Candy Man can (the Candy Man can)
      The Candy Man can
      'Cause he mixes it with love
      And makes the world taste good
      (Makes the world taste good)
      Who can take a rainbow (who can take a rainbow)
      Wrap it in a sigh (wrap it in a sigh)
      Soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie
      The Candy Man (the Candy Man)
      The Candy Man can (the Candy Man can)
      The Candy Man can
      'Cause he mixes it with love
      And makes the world taste good

The spoiled princesses

After eating the girls were allowed into the room with everyone. Jordon had a tennis ball in his hand. Even shy Misty Blue couldn't resist the opportunity to play. There was enough room for all 11 of us to sit around in a circle and the dogs to play in the middle. 

Earlier in the day Pat pointed out that the girls were snuggled on the couch. Just like on an airplane the center spot is always chosen last. But Misty made the best of it and used Sonjia as a pillow.  Sonjia didn't seem to mind too much.

The third picture was Wednesday evening supper.  My shy Misty Blue got over her shyness by begging Grandpa George for some of his steak. He didn't seem to mind bonding over food.

Surprise table

About 2 hours before everyone arrived,  I  got the table cleared off. We were expecting 9 people and the table fits 8 tightly. As I looked closely at the table, I noticed a seam. We purchased the table from the previous homeowners. I immediately asked Dale is he had seen an extension leaf for the table.

Someone quickly suggested that maybe it was hidden under the table. Surprise!  There it was; split in half and tucked under like a puzzle. In seconds the table became 2 feet longer and capable of hosting all 9 people. 

But when we sat down, there were 11! The more the merrier. We made it work! Holiday meals are always open for extra people. We always seem to make more than we need. Leftovers went he with the "20 - something" year old families that were there. 

The day after family ...

Lost, left behind, and taken by mistake are the common themes when you pick up after family leaves. Dad's hat came up missing.  One nephew took it to his brother's place  (same style different color ). Luckily it was less than three miles away.  Sonjia was at the door when it was returned and told me that she thought it was an awesome hat. She just had to try it on!

Then we found a pair of gloves too. But we think those might belong to the contractors that put the new linoleum in the living room.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful too! Why can't we sit at the people table with you? We moved into our new place about two months ago and I started traveling about two weeks later. When my immediate family began talking about holiday plans, I told them they were welcome to come to my place but it was going to be a disaster with boxes all over.

We were planning a light meal, nothing fancy but it exploded! The boxes and mess were present along with a table full of people and food. The dogs stayed in the living room while we ate supper. 

Before and after the meal, they joined the group.  Both Pat and Tabatha sat in Duchess favorite chair. She told them that she was willing to share if they didn't mind a lap dog.  ...just saying! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wood floors

When we purchased the farm the one thing that made me almost say no was that all of the carpeting was off white. I don't like light color carpeting in any house let alone a farm house.  It is too high maintenance.

After a few spills in the living room, I said, "enough! " It was challenging with my travel schedule, but I found a place to install it this week while I was home.

There is a day and night difference! It now looks like a country style living room.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Yes, it was a Monday!

When we purchased the farm homestead, we also got sweet Gloria. A couple of weeks ago we noticed that she had a cyst growing by her tail. We decided to have surgery done. It was scheduled for today.

The plan was that Dale drop her off at tthe vet, I  start work early and leave early to pick her up. When I was on the way to my office,  I received a phone call. Gloria had bolted! As I drove over to help find her, I watched the running path on the North side of the highway. I had a feeling that I was going to find her there. 

I was disappointed when I  got to Cold Spring I hadn't seen her. We drove around, up and down the roads looking for her. Dale had reported it to the police so I stopped in with a photo from my phone. Then I headed home. There she was! Running towards home on the running path about half mile out of town and moving fast! I stopped at the end to wait for her. She ran the other direction.

I went back to the other end. She stopped too far away to recognize me again, turned around and ran the other way. I called the police as I drove to the other end. I received permission to drive down the "no moving vehicles allowed" running path. The police car parked on the other side and we caught Gloria.

Her surgery was successful and she is at home recovering .

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A break for a craft

I didn't have time this fall to bring in the snowball bush flowers and hang them to dry. I was a bit disappointed when I got back to the farm and saw snow on the ground.

I decided to try something different.  I went out to the garden and picked some freeze dried flowers.  I spray painted one type of flower silver and another gold. They made a nice bouquet but it was missing something.

As I walked out to put the sheep and donkeys in, I  saw another dried flower that had enough character to catch my eye. It had a natural rust color that would add the natural depth of color that the bouquet needed.

I like it!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wishing for home!

And the winter travel starts. I am sitting at Chicago waiting for my flight.  The incoming flight is delayed 25 minutes.   Then it started to snow.  Please Lord, let me get home safe!

As we took off from Houston the sun was close to setting.  It was amazing!  But I was so brain dead that I sat on the East facing side of the plane. That's okay, it's only fair because I sat on the West facing side of the plane on the way down. It has been a week that's been a little bit topsy-turvy. 

Just finishing work

It's 12:26 AM and I  just finished work. We left the office at 5:30 and went straight out to supper. I was back in my room working by 8:30PM. I rode in the back of my coworkers truck. I think we were around city center. It was packed!

I tried to take some pictures for you because they've started decorating for Christmas. They are a little blurry but blurred lights give a cool effect. And it represents the wild speed that lifeis moving right now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


If have a printed copy of my Dad's book with me this week in Houston. It is the draft that I received from the publisher in August!  Life has just been too busy.

The good news is that I've poured over the draft once and I'm skimming back over it again.  As I skim it again, I am removing the pages with corrections.  I will scan it and send it to the publisher this week.

I am not sure what the backlog is at the printers. But wouldn't it be awesome to have the books at Christmas time?!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Where did we park?

We park under the giraffe.

When I was MUCH younger we used to take an annual shopping trip to Ridgedale Mall in Wayzata, Minnesota. Back then they had signs that hung up in the parking lot: bear, giraffe, elephant, etc. Inside the mall signs would point towards the exits showing the animals.

Anytime that we went shopping at a different mall with no signs, mom parked under the lot lights and pronounced, "remember, we parked under the giraffe."

Tonight as we were walking out of the mall I said my coworker, "did you notice that we parked under the giraffe? "  I flashed the taillights of the car and pointed to the light then I explained the giraffe.


Saturday evening I went to feed the kittens and put the sheep and donkeys in their pens.  They were lined up calling for me.

I love putting words in their mouths, "You brought us out here and now we barely see you anymore.  Get in here and visit for a while! "

The sun was starting to set and they knew it was time for a feeding of grain. So as I went in to feed the cats, they headed to their stalls. I went into the donkeys feeding trough to set their feed. They were peeking through the door but didn't come in until I had finished sprinkling the grain over the hay.

I chose to walk around to feed the sheep.  Gizem came running out to greet me again.  Then circled my legs so closely that I had to stop walking. I must admit it made me laugh. By the time I thought about video taping this goofy sheep, he was running in front of me and turning around to see if I was keeping up.

This is a peaceful existence!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pup - date

Misty Blue was bred about 7 weeks ago. She is due in about two weeks.  When she was bred, I didn't have my work schedule. Please pray for Dale as he will be handling puppies all by himself for the most part.

We are thinking that Misty will have 3 to 5 puppies. I guess that we will find that out in a few weeks.

She is a blue and she was bred with a chocolate red. Dale and I would both like to keep a fawn male if she has one. But Dale said "male or female". It would not be healthy to have 4 Doberman female dogs in the house.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday night lights

No, I am not writing about sports. I am writing about the peace and happiness on Friday night when I see the sun setting back over the wingtip on the left side of the plane. At this time of year that means I am traveling NE and heading home.

The other set of lights are the city of Chicago. One step closer to being home for the weekend. As you can tell I haven't been writing much. Work has been immensely busy.

Since my sister has finished the book cover, I decided that I'd better finish the last proof so we can get "Hugs, Hands and Heaven Help Hank" to the publisher. I only have so many hours in a day and only so many brain cells left. I will keep you updated when I find out an estimated publication date.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A bite of fun

Or should I say a bit of fun. Nope it's a bite!  You know what they say. Gingerbread men are the perfect men. If they don't behave all you need to do is bite their heads off! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sneak peek

I am excited to share the draft of the next book cover.  My sister, Tabatha, is a graphic designer.  She took two pictures from our Alaskan vacation along with pictures of Jeanette, Shirley and Mary and created this fabulous book cover.

Jacket Cover of Dad's book

With the beautiful colors of the sunset behind the mountains and reflecting off the ocean as a backdrop it is like we are getting a taste of what heaven looks like.  Those that have gone before us reflect the glories of Heaven back down to earth.  Their shortened lives pointing us towards Heaven.  Yet those of us left behind have no choice but to continue to live life to the glory of God!
Coming soon will be Dad's story, "Hugs, Hands and Heaven Help Hank"

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Find the blessings in each day ...

I woke up before dawn with my jaw and neck clenched tight.  I had woke up from a nightmare! I was traveling with a large group of people and everyone was going their own way. I was desperately trying to get to where we all needed to go and I finally resolved that if they were going to be so rebellious then they could miss everything. That was when I woke up. Needless to say that I am still carrying the tension headache around.

Today is a travel day. I'm on my way back to Houston for work.  You now understand the basis of my dream.  I had made a list of the things that I had to get done. I was up early and got them all done.  But when I got out to my car, loaded and shut the trunk my car began beeping at me. My keys were locked in the trunk.  I opened it just in case but I found my keys hanging on the hook inside. Obviously my spare set is tucked in my luggage or backpack.

At this point I'm about 10 minutes behind schedule. A stop at the grocery store for travel food and a few slowdowns in traffic left me 20 minutes behind when it hit me. Darn! That was my exit. "Lord how am I going to find my way back there?" The Lord answers prayers in mysterious ways. As I took the exit and waited for the light to change, a Park N Fly van was pulling out of the gas station. 

That was where I was going!  It was still a risk because there was a chance that he would be going back to a shop somewhere. But I had such a feeling of peace when I saw him.  It ended up to be a special blessing. Another blessing was when the shuttle dropped off at my airport first which is usually reverse order.

There is a saying that we have the difficult times in life so that we can recognize the good times (or the blessings.) Some days we get a little of both.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

All better now!

Warning some photos in this blog may turn your stomach.  Okay, maybe that's a little bit drastic. There is 12 days between the after picture at the top and the before pictures.

I never notice when I have these heavy calluses until they crack open and it hurts to walk. I am not sure if it is related but I didn't get these when I was totally carb free. Maybe that was just the time of year? 

I was able to soak my foot for 5 evenings straight.  I filed it lightly each evening then put on it my sister's special ointment that she makes with three essential oils. To keep the ointment from getting all over the bedding, I wrapped my foot in plastic wrap. I continued wrapping it in ointment 5 more evenings.  It's not 100% yet. But it is much better! 

I get to write this tonight because I'm waiting for the captain to arrive.  Then the plane will take off. Hurrah!  Home for the weekend. 

Smile with a splash!

A coworker and I were going take the car out and grab a bite to eat. But when we got downstairs I was chatting with another coworker.  We were also waiting for the project manager to come down to see if he wanted to go with us. Suddenly the keys dropped onto the table and Dan announced that he was going to take off walking.

There the rest of us sat with our mouths open. It was absolutely shocking. No one else wanted to go out. So I took the car alone. I had my burger without a bun as I tried to be a bit healthier.

In the back of my mind and in my prayers is a young boy who is fighting leukemia. On Facebook his mother posted that what  he wanted from people were angel ornaments for the Christmas tree. I've been watching the stores in the strip malls. I've seen two stores in one mall.  An eclectic gift store and a stain glass store.  But the mall rolls up the sidewalks at 5 PM!  I need to find a way to get there during lunch break.

What day is it?

The day before travel day! I fly home tomorrow evening. I stopped by the grocery store to get some meat and cheese for travel food. I couldn't resist the wheat thins. I know! I need to get away from carbohydrates again!   I am feeling so bloated and the two things that I have been eating are carbohydrates and diet coke.

Between moving and working in the road for so many weeks in a row, my healthy eating has gone into the trash! The number one thing that a healthy lifestyle takes is time. As you can tell from my sporadic posts lately, I have been very short on time.