Tempting…Tempting….#MFRWAuthors #48

Let’s face it; temptation is all around us.  Eat this; buy that; sleep with this person; I dare you to do that.

When is it good to give in, and when is it not?

All depends on what your temptation is, and if it will cause any harm.

Diet:  The occasional break is okay, but do it too often and it can be depressing.

Shopping:  Depending on your budget, again the occasional impulse buy is okay, but overspend and it may lead to an argument or a bill you can’t pay.

What’s YOUR temptation?

Went back to work today; I’ll be working this weekend and returning to my mom’s later next week.  I’m also thinking seriously about calling in on Monday, so I can attend my granddaughter’s Christmas program.  My youngest son was in the program when he was in Kindergarten, so this will be a treat!

Giving Thanks #MFRWAuthors #47

This time of year, it’s customary to gather around a table full of food and tell what we’re thankful for.


For one, it shows we have a grateful, unselfish heart.

For another, why not take the time to thank your parents/grandparents/adoptive family for giving you opportunities?  For providing the food on your table, a roof over your head, and the clothing on your back?  Talk to any homeless this time of year; they are extremely grateful for shelter and the community dinners provided.

I’m very thankful I got to spend the first twenty years of marriage at home with the kids, for it allowed me to write whenever I wanted, and the flexibility to hone those skills.  I’m also very thankful to my readers who buy my books, and for an understanding boss (now that I’ve re-entered the workforce) who allowed me the time off for all my signings this summer and fall, and for the funds my paychecks and sales provided which allowed me to pay for all expenses.

I’m also thankful to God for everything this past year, from keeping me safe from a potentially bad accident in April to putting angels in my path when I got lost trying to find my way to Minneapolis without GPS.

What are YOU thankful for?

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I’m off to both the Jasper Craft Fair (Jasper Armory, Jasper, IN) on Saturday, from 9am-3.  I’m only going to be there until noon or 1, due to my cousin’s wedding later that evening up in Indpls.  I’ll be there on Sunday from 10-3, so come out and see us!

This is my final craft fair of the season.  The only thing left is the Dec 6th First Friday Art Walk….which, I don’t think I have off.  I’ll have to check.  At any rate, I think I’m only 12-13 books away from my goal of 150 books sold this year!  If I can’t do the Art Walk, I’ll have to do some creative marketing to reach that goal, or even find out if the Washington Christian Center is holding their craft show, and see if there’s room for me.


My father passed away unexpectedly Wednesday morning of a massive heart attack, and I forgot to post this on Thursday.  This cancels my weekend plans, as the service is being planned for Tuesday, and we’ve had an outpouring of love and support from friends and family.  Please keep my mom in your prayers during this holiday season?

It’s The Thought That Counts #MFRWAuthors #46

This week’s topic is a tough one for me, since at times I’m the WORST gift-giver.  I think I inherited this from my paternal grandmother, who was notorious for giving gifts that were the complete opposite of what we wanted.

Remember the Wish Book?  I’d pour over that catalogue and circle everything I wanted, with an ‘M’ beside it, so Mom knew what I circled, and which ones belonged to my sister.  She would then try to relate this to other family members, and 9/10 times my sister would get the item I dearly coveted, while I received hers.  We wouldn’t be allowed to ‘switch’ until the visit was over…..which yes, drove me crazy at times!

But as Granny got older, she suddenly ‘got’ me.  Or maybe my tastes changed?  Who knows?

The point is, know your giftee.  Ask them what they want, and take a picture if possible.  Or, gift cards are always nice.  I’ve been asking for Amazon Gift Cards for years…..and never got them.  My parents hand out checks. and ask me about what the kids and spouse might like.  My mom also catalogue shops, and finds cute things for the granddaughter, and will also buy movies and electronics (within reason!) for the kids.

In my family, you can never go wrong with movies, books, or candy.  We also have turned the stocking gifts into ‘joke’ gifts….one year we all got kazoos, and had an interesting ‘concert’.  Last year, it was those popper things, like squirt guns, only they shot Christmas-themed ping-pong balls.

One year, my dad gave me an entire box of printer paper, which was the BEST gift that year!  It lasted me ten years, I kid you not!  Now if he’d just get me a ten-year supply of ink….

But always remember…..it’s the thought behind the gift which counts.  It says, “I was thinking of you….”

What’s your take on gift-giving?

2019 is drawing to a close….I only have three more signings this year.  I had the BEST sales ever at the Christmas Show last week, selling a whopping 29 books, which beat last year’s total of 16.  I feel blessed that so many readers bought, and hope they enjoy them.

Saturday, I’m at our local craft show, where I sold 17 last year.  It would be AWESOME to match it, but I’m not getting my hopes up.  Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you back here next week!

Holiday Yummies #MFRWAuthors #45

Last year, I shared the first delicious Pampered Chef recipe that I ever tried; this year, it’s the second one.  Again, I’ve modified this over the years, to accommodate my son’s Keto diet.

Chicken Broccoli Braid

  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped broccoli florets (I use the frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped cooked chicken breasts (I use canned chicken)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced red bell pepper (I leave these out)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I use Co-Jack)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip)
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) All-Purpose Dill Mix
  • 1   garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 2 pkg (8 oz or 235 g each) refrigerated crescent dough
  • 1   egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) slivered almonds (optional-I skip these)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F(190°C). Chop the chicken and broccoli using a Food Chopper, and place the mixture in a Classic Batter Bowl. Chop the bell pepper using a Utility Knife, and add to the Batter Bowl. Press garlic over the vegetable mixture using a Garlic Press.
  2. Shred the cheese using a Rotary Grater, and add it to the vegetable mixture; mix gently. Add mayonnaise, Dill Mix, and salt and then mix well using a Mix ‘N Scraper®.
  3. Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange the longest sides of the dough across the width of a Rectangle Stone. Repeat with the remaining package of dough. Using a Baker’s Roller®, roll the dough to seal the perforations. On the longest sides of the Baking Stone, cut dough into strips 1½” wide and 3″ deep using a Paring Knife. (There will be 6 inches in the center for the filling.)
  4. Spread the filling evenly over the middle of the dough. To braid, lift two opposite strips of dough up, twist once, then lay over filling so that the ends meet at the center. Lightly pinch the ends together. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends up to seal at end of braid.
  5. Brush the egg white over the dough using a Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush. Sprinkle the braid with almonds. Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cut and serve using a Slice ‘N Serve  As was the case with the Bacon Tomato Cups, I spread the filling into a large baking dish, then we could spread it on crackers or Hawaiian Rolls.

What’s YOUR favorite Holiday recipe?

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I’m up in Indianapolis at the Christmas Gift and Hobby Show, every afternoon from 3-close.  Stay warm; our temps have varied from 50s on Wed to 19 degrees tonight (Thurs).  Have a great weekend!

Holidays: Headaches or Joy? #MFRWAuthors #44

It’s hard to believe we’re only a month from Thanksgiving, and the upcoming holiday season! I jokingly say the entire month of December is simply one long party, since my son’s birthday is the 8th, mine’s the 19th, and my SIL’s is New Year’s Day.  So add in Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and all the shopping/baking/family parties and it makes sense that I don’t get a lot of writing accomplished!

The Joys:

Who doesn’t love a party?  I do enjoy seeing family members, since we’re all older now and I don’t get to see my cousins as often any more.  One is getting married the week before T-day, so I’ll get to officially meet him, since I’ve only seen his picture on FB, and I wasn’t able to attend her bridal shower.

I also enjoy baking cookies the entire month; it makes the house smell yummy, and I think my kids’ teachers appreciate the goody bags I send to school on the last day before Break.  I also have friends who appreciate a holiday bag stuffed with a loaf of banana bread and 4-5 different types of cookies:)  Depending on how fast my family eats them, and how large the sacks are, sometimes there are a dozen of each type, or only six.  It also depends on which friend has the largest family, ha ha!

The Headaches:

Back when I was a young mom, and our income was much smaller, my extended family was larger, and my hubby objected to the amount of $$ I spent every Christmas, not for us, but for my parents, my sister, my aunt and uncle, my cousins, and all three sets of grandparents.  To put this in perspective, his family isn’t as close as ours, and therefore family gift exchanges were non-existent.  This used to stress me out, since my gifts were smaller and fewer than the other members handed out.  Thankfully, we soon began drawing names….and even though I only had to buy gifts for that one person, my hubby still objected.  Finally, we stopped buying gifts for the adults and focused on the young children, which to my hubby, made more sense anyway!

Another issue was our income always dropped somewhere around October.  I’d buy the majority of the gifts in September, but the stocking stuffers and holiday ‘must haves’, and the cute holiday toys had to wait until after Thanksgiving.  He still laughs about the year I stashed the presents all over our apartment…..and couldn’t find them when it was time to wrap them!  When we moved into the house, I unearthed an entire container of Walmart bags with the kids’ stocking stuffers from the previous year.  I’d hid them so well, I’d forgotten about it!

Traveling can also be a hassle when funds are limited and your families are two hours away in each direction.  Add in snow and ice, and I know of at least two years where we celebrated Christmas closer to New Year’s Day.

I joined our church choir several years ago, and as a result, we would sing at Midnight on Christmas Eve, which meant I would arrive home at 1am, stuff the stockings, help Santa put the presents under the tree, and go to bed, only to be awakened five hours later!  Depending on if we had to then travel that day, at least that two hour trip meant I could grab a nap in the car!

When it comes to celebrating all our birthdays, we combine mine and my son’s, when it comes to celebrating with my parents.  We usually meet at a nice restaurant, then Grandma passes out gifts to both of us, or just a card with a check.  When my grandparents were alive, I admit to using my birthday ‘income’ (usually around $175) to help pay for the kids’ Christmas.  I lost two grandparents in 1995, one in 1998, and the last one in 2011.  When my mother had health issues last year, the birthday checks arrived in the mail, courtesy of my dad.

So what about you?  What’s your situation and do you find the joys outweigh the headaches?  I went through a phase where I just wanted to skip the holidays altogether, but since my daughter has taken over decorating the house and putting up the tree, my ‘job’ has been to supervise the placement of the ornaments and explain the meaning behind our eclectic assortment.  As my granddaughter and Teen grow older, I hope to impress upon them the history behind some of the more precious ornaments, and not simply dismiss them because they’re ‘old’.  More on this probably as we get closer to Christmas, ha ha!

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Tonight, I’m setting up at our First Friday Art Walk, then I have to work tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday.  Wed-Sun, I’ll be at the Indpls Christmas Gift and Hobby Show, which is my best four-day event of the year.  My NaNoWriMo project this year is to finish my time-travel story, plus the ‘defending your life/angel’ story I’ve been working on for a few months now.  Plus, I decided to go ahead and publish the 14th book in my Arbor U series, since #8-12 have stalled.  I can always rebrand them as ‘Arbor U: The Next Generation’ or ‘Arbor U 2.0’

Have a great weekend!