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Feast Day

Our alphabet is nearing an end on November 25. Did you feast yesterday? Did you eat at the home of friend or relative? (A friendly relative is best.)

Were these on the menu?

I’m trying a new recipe with YAMS this year. I hope it turns out delicious and pretty as the picture in the cookbook. (I won’t hold my breath for the second part of that statement.) (Writing this entry before the holiday — so still hopeful.)

In most places, these are available all year long. My favorite way to cook is to bake and eat hot with liberal amounts of butter. I often pair with a piece of chicken or a pork chop. Yum — a feast for anytime of year.

The clean & wholesome romance, HIDING PLACES, features a culinary student as the heroine. How many ways do you suppose she can prepare yams? For a romance with a dash of danger check it out here: https://amzn.to/2Jm26GQ

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A Thankful Attitude

Thank you. Please. Thanks for the…

Our parents taught us (hopefully), and we taught our children (hopefully) to thank people for gifts and kindness received. It’s good manners. I’ve even heard Thank You and Please called Keys to Success.

In that spirit, I plan to be more public with my “THANKS” this November. I have selected items or people to give a little special recognition during these weeks ending in the United States holiday of Thanksgiving.

Today I give thanks to my automobile. The vehicle, and the license to drive, give me a great degree of independence. In the multiple years this particular car has served me we’ve gone many places: grocery store; restaurants; writing groups; Kansas City; Wisconsin; Delaware and Vermont and the states between home and there; Atlanta, and Kentucky. Yes, and many other places — including the Missouri State Parks I visited while researching for MORNING TRYST.

I’ve brought home plants for gardens and blinds to cover my windows. I drove an elderly woman to her medical appointments. I pulled to the shoulder of the highway when rain (and hail) obstructed my view. I took the scene route (some would claim I got lost and confused) on several occasions.

Yes, independent transportation, an automobile, is an item to be grateful for.

For more information on Morning Tryst, the clean & wholesome romance mentioned above — click here: https://amzn.to/35gH37S

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Last Call

The party ends at midnight. Set down your adult beverage. Remove your mask. Put the beads away.

Until then…well, it’s PARTY TIME! Also known as Mardis Gras.

New Orleans is in the spotlight in the United States. Other cities along the Gulf Coast hold their own celebrations. And St. Louis celebrates in an old, French portion of the city.

Parades. Color. Noise. Music. Drinks. King Cakes. A little something for everyone. I do advise, if planning to attend the St. Louis parade the Saturday before Ash Wednesday (the largest event), keep an eye on the weather. It varies from snow and freezing, to balmy and clear.

Mardis Gras accessory — didn’t bring any? Attend a parade and snatch a few from the friendly, generous people on the floats.

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Need a Gift Idea?

Valentines Day is fast approaching — only three days from date of this post.

Have you picked out a gift for your sweetie?

Candy, especially chocolate, is generally appreciated — and quickly eaten.

Flowers are thoughtful and beautiful — until they wilt several days later.

Jewelry? Maybe — can you afford it?

My suggestion is books — long-lasting and able to be read more than once. How about giving your sweetie a romance? A sweet romance for a sweet lady? A small-town romance to introduce your man to the genre?

Kindle shoppers should try one of these links to find a Crystal Springs Romance.

https://amzn.to/2RDFgxH Seed of Desire

https://amzn.to/2Jm26GQ Hiding Places

https://amzn.to/2zqIQEw Starr Tree Farm

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Candy…Flowers…

Hey! You! Do you know what day it is?

No, not the day. Not the day of the week. Did you know it’s only ten days — Ten Days! — to Valentine’s Day?

Are you ready?

Didn’t think so.

Now — to all of you with a sweetheart — you need to get your act together.

Candy — chocolate is traditional — and generally appreciated.

Flowers — florists will have extra stock of roses (but still may be short), check for other blooms — or perhaps a plant.

…and then:

BOOKS–

How about giving your sweetie a romance novel on this romantic holiday?

Want to know a secret? Some men read and enjoy romance novels. How about trading, reading, and holding a conversation about a book — perhaps while nibbling candy and enjoying the flowers sitting on the table.

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2021 — The Year That Was…

Farewell, 2021! Here’s hoping the New Year brings improvement for each and every one of my readers!

(No reason to waste a good imitation of a grave in my front yard. Sort of a summary of the year. [Actual reason for mound of dirt was repair of a water main break.] Yes, I expect some of you can imagine items other than large diameter PVC pipe below the turned earth.)

So I say to fellow- writers: Turn the imagination loose and write the story that goes with the photo.

Readers: Try something new in 2022 — a new genre, a new author, a new format.

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More than One Day!

Happy Holidays!!!

Yes, more than one. Christmas Day 2021 is in the rear-view mirror as this post goes “live”. But the celebration does not need to end. New Years is only a few days away. Friends and relatives still have birthdays — birthday cake among the cookies & candy?

Long ago, when I was a child, the days between Christmas and New Years were busy. All the normal chores. New toys, games, and gadgets to try. People to visit while they still had their tree up — everyone I knew used a real tree and they had a limited life span.

So draw a deep breath. Pull courage up from your toes. And keep the holiday spirit in your heart for days — and weeks — to come.

Frosty peeks around the tree to greet you and wish you Happy Holidays. He’s smiling because: a) he has a cardinal on his hat? b) the presents are for him? c) 2021 is drawing to a close?

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Joy!

What makes you happy? Is there one thing sure to bring a smile? Make you laugh?

A special food? Music? Favorite person stops to visit? Or video chat? Or call?

I’m not sure what happened a moment ago — but these three gingerbread figures are having a JOYful time on a sunny December day.

Wishing you to find joy in the season. Smile. Laugh. Pause to enjoy the antics of children or pets. Listen to the story Grandma has told eight-five times and counting. Eat a candy cane. Light a candle. Give some holiday cheer to the next person you meet.

For those who light an Advent wreath — the pink candle represents — JOY!

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Color Confusion

Did you have strict teachers in the primary grades? Did they insist you color your pictures to look like the view out the window?

You know: trees are green with a little brown, sky is blue, flowers are red, pink, and yellow.

But…some days it’s fun to just reach into the crayon box and color the bird, or cat, or tree with the first hue your fingers grasp.

Christmas trees in pink and purple and blue. Flamingos in basic white. I think the decoration specialist at the zoo tossed convention to the wind — or fed it to the alligator.

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Family Tradition

The year end holidays are filled with religious, cultural, and family tradition.

Foods considerate too rich, or too time-consuming to make find their way to a holiday table.

Perhaps you listen to certain music, or attend an annual concert, play, or performance.

One of the traditions in our family is gifts — and books in particular. Like most traditions it can be traced for several generations.

The volume on the left, Ben-Hur, is inscribed to one of my great uncles, from his sister, for Christmas 1913 and New Year 1914. Heidi, in the center, was under the Christmas tree for me in 1956 (from my parents). Completing the trio, the book on the right was a more recent Christmas gift from a son.

So, whether from one sibling to another, parents to child or child to parent — consider an easy to wrap, no batteries required, quiet gift at your celebration. Also works well from one friend to another.