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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Gown...

Going to the doctor gives me hives. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dentist, dermatologist or the family physician, I have that condition called white coat syndrome. But it was time for the annual trip to the gynecologist. After a dozen of those cute little cards arrived in the mail reminding me that it was well past time for my annual visit, I finally called and made the appointment.

So there I was with my blood pressure inching its way up to the stoke level because those rude scales had already lied about how much I weigh. Bless that little nurse’s heart, she did quickly write that abominable number down and shielded it with her hand so no one could see it. If she’d said it out loud, things would have gone past the hives and I would have heard the trumpet blow and the final curtain would have fallen right there. Carolyn Brown would have been standing at the Pearly Gates trying to explain how in the devil ten extra pounds on her mid-section had caused her early demise.

Then the nurse told me to get undressed and put on the gown and sheet. I looked for the gown under the sheet after I moved the dinner napkin to the side. They’d forgotten to give me a gown but no problem. I look horrible in that shade of green anyway so I cracked the door and hollered for someone to bring me a gown, preferably a white one.

Someone yelled back that the gown was there right with the sheet. Good Lord! That dinner napkin surely couldn’t be “the gown”. What I dry dishes on is twice as big as that thing.

But it was.

Well, if that’s the way things were done these days then I would adjust. After all it was just a once-a-year check-up. And there was a sheet to finish the job that the dinner napkin couldn’t accomplish.

No problem.

Yeah, right!

It was almost as big as a bath towel and when I got all done with the “gown” and the “sheet” there was more of me uncovered than covered. But I finally got it wrapped around the important parts and picked up a magazine from the rack beside the exam table.

There was an article about the celebrity mothers which caught my eye. It was a big name movie star who had a child and twenty minutes later she’d rushed out to the beach for a modeling shoot for Vogue.

I wondered if celebrities lose their dignity and modesty just like the rest of us. All y’all who’ve had children know exactly what I’m talking about.

Before the baby is born everyone in the hospital who can fit into a pair of green scrubs comes into the room to check the progress. If they wear green and a pair of those booties on their shoes they sashay through the room.

I remember one time I came within a blink of an eye of throwing back the covers so an electrician could check my progress before I realized that he was wearing overalls instead of scrubs.

Suddenly, that silly bib I was wearing in the name of a gown and the sheet which barely covered my varicose veins didn’t seem so terrible. The last shreds of my dignity had been gone for more forty years and I was not alone…celebrities, First Ladies, poets, even romance writers…wear those gowns. Like the old saying goes, “We all put on our britches one leg at a time.” Well, us women folks all put on the “gown” the exact same way and try to cover all of our bodies with the “sheet.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Pillow...

For the first part of the trip we took a few weeks ago we played the old "did you remember" game. I was so proud of myself. I could nod or say, "yes" to every single questions that Mr. B came up with. I even had the new insurance verification in the glove compartment. Okay, so it had a smear of sour cherry candy on it. I didn't know they melted when closed in a tight space if the temperature was in the triple digits. The state police in the seven states we would be crossing wouldn't give me a ticket for a messed up insurance paper, would they?

When we reached the first motel, I was feeling right smug. I had even packed a small "motel" suitcase so we didn't have to drag everything out of the truck every single night. One look at that motel bed and I knew what I'd forgotten. Smug was kicked to the curb!

Pillows! I had forgotten my very own personal, cheap pillow that has the mold of my face and right ear firmly implanted into the fiber filling. Mr. B just shrugged when I whined. He'd make a terrible poker player because his expression said that he would suffer through the night without his feather pillow but it would be far worse than a root canal.

Those giant hotel pillows were wonderful when it came to propping up against the fake headboard and reading until I got sleepy. Maybe I'd over reacted and Mr. B was already snoring so evidently he didn't need a fluffy white cloud to sleep on.

I snuggled down and decided that I wasn't so old I had to have my own pillow. I could sleep very well with the hotel pillow and tomorrow I'd wake up ready to get on with the trip.

One hour later, I awoke with a Charlie horse...only it was in my neck. Not my leg. One can not stand up on their neck so I took out my frustration and pain upon that pillow. I beat on it for ten minutes but the foamy stuff in the middle kept springing back to life. I considered driving a stake through the middle of the thing but I couldn't find any wood and I figured the hotel might charge me extra if the desk leg was missing when they came in to clean the next morning.

Finally, pure exhaustion set in and I slept. For one hour! At that point I threw all three of my pillows at the wall, wadded up a blanket and pretended it was my pillow.

The next night when we stopped I was so tired I could have slept on a park bench and used the cast iron arms for a pillow without whining. Just guide me in the direction of the bed and I would not whine.

They did not have vampire, zombie pillows but what they did have was old enough to qualify for a senior citizen's discount over at the Braum's store. I told myself that wine was better the older it got, that my pillow at home was insured as an antique and this was fine. At least they weren't the size of Mt. Everest.

An hour after we went to sleep I awoke with another Charlie horse...this time from my neck to the top of my toes. My right ear felt as if it were resting on a rock. Another lump had put my neck in a kink that was guaranteed to put my chiropractor's children through medical school...all eight of them. Another lump beside my cheek bone was trying to pop my eyeball out into the floor and a four one I'm sure is the sorry culprit that gave me ten years worth of extra wrinkles on the right side of my face.

Next time we travel, I may forget the insurance papers. I may forget vitamin pills, toothpaste, an umbrella and even my favorite hair brush, but I will never forget my pillow again!!

So tell me, what very important item have you forgotten on a trip?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Recipe Sunday...Pecan Sandies

A friend of mine mentioned Pecan Sandies the other day. They are a shortbread cookie loaded with chopped pecans. I make them a couple of times a year because I can't leave them alone and believe me when I tell you they are not fat free or calorie free, either. I'm sure three times a year would fill up every cellulite cell in my body but two times a year. No, sir! That surely can't make the bathroom scales moan and groan!
2 cups softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T. Water
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add water and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour; fold in pecans.

Roll dough into 1-in. balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until bottom edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. When cool, dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: about 5 dozen.

(NOTE: The tops do not get brown so test the bottom for doneness not the top. And I never substitute margarine for butter in this recipe.)

Saturday, June 27, 2015


A Saturday giggle that someone shared with me!
Have a lovely weekend!

An old man, a boy & a donkey were going to town.    
The boy rode on the donkey & the old man walked.   
As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old  man
was walking and the boy was  riding.
The man and boy thought maybe the critics were  right,
so they changed positions.
   Then, later, they passed some people who remarked, ‘What a shame, he makes that little boy walk.' So they then decided they'd both walk!      Soon they passed some more people who thought
they were stupid to walk when they had a
decent donkey to ride.  

So, they both rode the donkey.   Now they passed some people
who shamed them by saying how awful to
put such a load on a poor donkey.
   The boy and man figured they were probably right,
so they decide to carry the donkey.     
   As they crossed the bridge,
they lost their grip on the animal
and he fell into the river and drowned.
   The moral of the story?
If you try to please everyone,
you might as well...

Kiss your ass goodbye!

Have A Nice Day And Be Careful With Your Donkey

Friday, June 26, 2015

Let's go camping...

It is definitely vacation time. In spite of the fact that gasoline rivals the price of pure gold the RV’s, campers and tents are popping up everywhere. Seems like lots of folks like to camp out on their vacations, get away from the city life, go back to nature and fight the mosquitoes instead of the alarm clocks. Add sunburn instead of deadlines and chiggers rather than traffic jams and you’ve got the perfect vacation, right?

There are several rules for folks who camp out. I didn’t pass the first one so I don’t have to go on those kinds of vacations. Mr. B wouldn’t think of letting me get near an open fire with intentions of cooking or sleep in a tent. He'd have to mortgage our little piece of dirt, both tom cats, half the grandkids and all his woodworking equipment to pay the hospital bills for burns and/or botulism. So instead we go to Florida, stay in a condo and live like beach bums in the winter time and call it a vacation.

But for those of you who are campers, here's a few helpful hints:

  1. This is not a hint. It is a rule. (This is the one I flunked). Shine a flashlight into one ear. If the beam shines out the other side, do not go near a campground alone and do not attempt to build a fire. If you pass the flashlight test and think you’d like to camp out for a week or a month then you should read the rest of the hints before you pitch your tent.
  2. Hints begin with this one: When using a public campground, a tuba placed on the center of your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side of you free from noisy occupants. This is a good rule to know if you want to get a good night’s sleep because some folks do not turn in at 9:00 p.m.
  3. A hot rock placed in your sleeping bag will keep your toes warm if you are camping in the mountains where the nights can get colder than a well digger’s belt buckle in Alaska. If you can’t find a rock, a nice steamy enchilada will do almost as well, but the cheese will stick between your toes. Sometimes bears can smell cheese from a mile away.
  4. Lint from your navel makes a handy fire starter if kindling is hard to find. If even a tiny beam of light found its way from one ear to the other please read the following warning: Remove lint from navel and lay it on the wood pile before setting it on fire.
  5. You will never be lost if you always remember that moss grows on the north side of any object. Or if your nose is good enough to smell the nearest hamburger joint, then follow the smell of raw onions. You can bet the cell phone service will be good in a burger joint so call your mama and ask her to send help. Mamas can always be depended upon but you can expect a lecture when you get home no matter how old you are. The first words will be, "I told you so."
  6. Always wear a long sleeved shirt. It helps to keep mosquitoes from feasting upon the flesh on your forearms. It also keeps the green briars from shredding your arms into little strips and the sun from frying you into a piece of well-done arm roast. If you have allergies, it can be used to wipe your nose on.
  7. A two man up tent does not include two men or a pup. It really means that two people sleep inside the tent but only if neither of them is over five feet tall and weighs no more than one hundred and twenty five pounds. Or one man and one pup can sleep in the tent if the man is less than five feet tall and the pup is kin to the Taco Bell Chihuahua.
  8. A  potato baked in the coals for one hour makes a nice side dish. A potato baked in the live coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey puck. A potato baked in the live coals for four hours will be classified as a dangerous weapon if found on your person by the park ranger and can draw you about two years of picking up trash every Saturday for two years.
  9. The guitar of a noisy teenager at the next campsite (this is when you do not follow Rule Two) makes excellent kindling and you don’t have to worry about digging out belly button lint to get the fire started.
  10. In emergency situations—like when the hamburger joint is closed and you can’t find any moss and your cell phone battery is stone cold dead—you can survive by shooting small game with a sling shot made from a forked stick and the elastic from your under britches.
  11. You can always get even with that pesky bear that raided your campground and ate all your potato chips and peanut butter cookies by kicking his favorite stump and eating all his ants. They aren’t so bad if you dip them in French Onion Dip.

Now you have the single rule and the hints. Have a wonderful campout and enjoy getting back to nature. At the end of the week, you can go home, sleep in a comfortable bed in air conditioned comfort, not even think about cell phone service, and start planning your next camping trip!

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Have y’all heard about the new Southern Zodiac signs? They sure do explain our attitudes better than rams and twins and scales from the old set of signs. I am a boiled peanut, which is somewhat earthier than the old Libra sign but with my Texas DNA it does hit the mark right square on the nail’s head—especially that part about being pretty salty.

Where do you find yourself in the southern zodiac business?

OKRA (Dec. 22-Jan. 20): Although you appear crude, you are actually very slick especially when you are in hot water. Okras have tremendous influence over others. Older Okras can look back of his/her lives and see the seeds of his/her life everywhere. In the marriage situation, you should steer clean of a Moon Pie.

CHITLIN (Jan. 21-Feb. 19) Chitlins come from humble backgrounds. Many times they are uncomfortable talking abut where they came from. A Chitlin, however, can make something of himself is he’s motivated and has plenty of seasoning. Chitlins make the best marriages with Catfish and Okra.

BOLL WEEVIL (Feb. 20-March 20): You have an overwhelming curiosity. You’re unsatisfied with the surface of things and feel you have to bore down deep into the interior of everything. You are intense and driven as if you had an inner ravaging hunger. You might be able to endure life with a Grit but that is your only hope.

MOON PIE: (Mar. 21-April 20): You’re the type that spends a lot of time on the front porch. Moon Pies are wonderful cooks and tend to throw out any recipes that do not have something to do with bacon or chocolate. But they have a terrible temper so if you fall in love with a moon pie, you can expect a rocky marriage.

POSSUM: (April 21-May 20): When confronted with life’s difficulties, possums have a marked tendency to withdraw. Sometimes you become so withdrawn that folks think you are dead. This strategy is probably not mentally healthy but it works for you. One day, however, it could fail and you will find yourself flat out on the highway with a “roadkill” sign on your chest. Do not marry a Moon Pie. With your attitude they might push you out onto the highway.

CRAWFISH (May 21-June 21): Crawfish is a water sign. Crawfishes who work in offices are the ones who hang around the water cooler. Crawfish prefer the beach to the mountains, the bathtub to the living room and the pool to the golf course. They might be able to get along with a Moon Pie but it will take lots of patience.

COLLARDS (June 22-July 23): Collards have a genius for communication. They love to get into the “melting pot” of life and share their essence with everyone around them. Collards make good social workers, psychologists and Girl Scout leaders. They are safe to date Moon Pies since they both love bacon.

CATFISH (July 24-Aug. 23): Catfish are never easy people to understand. They prefer muddy waters to clear water and often never finish a project because they just can’t see it through to the end. They could possibly get along with a Moon Pie because they can always hide in the muddy water.

GRITS (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Your highest aim in life is to be with others like yourself. You love to travel anywhere there is bacon, gravy, eggs or butter. You would do well with a Moon Pie.

BOILED PEANUT (Sept 24-Oct. 23): You have a soft heart and compassionate desire to be of help to mankind. Those who know you find that you are a little salty and sassy. You should marry a Grits.

BUTTER BEAN (Oct. 24-Nov 22): A Butter Bean goes well with everyone. They’ve grown on the vine of life and are at home no matter where they find themselves. But you and a Moon Pie will never get along in any kind of relationship so steer clear of anyone born under that sign.

ARMADILLO (Nov. 23-Dec. 21): You have a tendency to develop a tough exterior but inside you are quite soft. You are not concerned with today’s fashions or trends and are almost prehistoric in your interests. You would probably want to hook up with another Armadillo but Possum is a good possibility, too.

Did you find your southern self? Leave a comment and let me know how close our new Zodiac sign fits you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


We’re all looking for a miracle diet to come along that will guarantee that we will be able to fit into the bikini we wore in high school. Well, search no more. It has been found and I believe it might work. I got the bikini out and have high hopes that by next summer it will fit my butt and waist and not my knee and thigh.

It next big thing that I’m about to tell you about is called the Toddler Miracle Diet and once you read it you will agree with me that it just might work. Drag out the bikini and that cute little pair of jeans with the butterflies embroidered on the hip pocket. You will fit into them in no time.

The formula is simple, available to everyone and has no pills so there are no side effects. If you take high blood pressure medicine, blood thinners or any kind of medication, no worries because this diet will not interfere with any of them.

Follow the simple diet and you will have the energy of a toddler. They can go 48 hours on a thirty minute nap and run everywhere without losing a bit of their breath. In no time that bikini will fit you!

Day One:

Breakfast: One scrambled egg. One piece of toast with grape jelly. Eat two bites of your egg using your fingers and dump the rest on the floor. Take one bit of your bread and smear the jelly all over your face and hands.

(I’m told this is instant energy)

Lunch: Four crayons (any color…they all taste about the same) a handful of potato chips and a glass of milk. Three sips of the milk and spill the rest but you can eat all of the potato chips.

Dinner: Two French fries, a penny and two nickels, 4 sips of punch flavored juice in a squeeze box and then flatten the box with your fist making red rain fall on your head.

Bedtime Snack: Throw an open face peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the floor. Practice until you can get it to land upside down every time. It’s good for the upper arm muscles.

Day Two:

Breakfast: Pick up the toast from yesterday and eat it. Drink half a bottle of vanilla extract or the same amount in ounces of food coloring.

Lunch: Half a tube of Pulsating Pink lipstick from under the bathroom cabinet and a hand full of dog chow (any brand or flavor is fine). One ice cube if desired.

Dinner: A rock or an uncooked bean, which should be thrust into your nostril as high as you can force it. (Either side works fine). Pour grape flavored Kool-Aid over a pile of mashed potatoes and eat with your thumbs.

Bedtime snack: Lick an all day sucker until it is sticky, take it outside and drop it in the dirt. Roll it around six times and then retrieve it and continue licking it until it is clean. Bring it inside and drop it on the new carpet.

Day Three:

Breakfast: Two pancakes with extra syrup. Eat one with your fingers and rub the excess syrup into your hair. Drink half a glass of milk and then sink the other pancake into the glass and dig it out with your fingers to eat.

Morning snack: Pick up yesterday’s lollipop from the carpet, lick off the fuzz and put it on the cushion of the best chair in the house.

Lunch: Three small Tinker Toys. Chew well until they can be swallowed with only a sip of flat soda pop from a can that you retrieve from the garbage can. Pour a glass of milk all out onto the table and see how much you are able to lick up before any of it falls on the floor.

Dinner: One scoop of ice cream. (Scream and throw a hissy if it’s not chocolate because that gives you a cardiac workout). One glass of red punch which you will attempt to snort through your nose when you laugh.

Final Day:

Breakfast: One quarter tube of toothpaste (any flavor or brand but I particularly liked the whitening mint variety), a bite of soap (bitten right off whatever bar is lying on the edge of the bathtub) and an olive which you will chew six times and then spit in the trash can. Pour half a cup of sugar over a bowl of cereal and cover it with milk. Once the cereal is soggy set the bowl on the floor for the dog. But remember to grab it away from the mutt before he laps up the last of it and eat the sugar from the bottom of the bowl. (With your fingers. Spoons ruin the effect of the diet)

Lunch: Eat bread crumbs from the kitchen floor and the living room carpet. The best ones hide behind the table legs and in under the coffee table.

Dinner: Drop pieces of spaghetti on the back of the dog and insert meatballs into his ears. Do not retrieve either to eat no matter how hungry you are. Instead dump butterscotch pudding into a cup of lukewarm hot chocolate and suck it up through a straw.

If you have not reached your goal when the final day is done, you can start all over. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Seize the moment...

I came from a very eclectic family. Before my step-sister died several years ago, I had an eighty-year-old step-sister and a two-year-old half-brother. My mother married a man the second time around who was twice her age. My father married a woman the ninth time around who was one third his age.

Anyway, my step-sister was in her fifties and I was about thirteen when she gave me the some very sage advice on more than one occasion. She said that the dishes would wait if her husband wanted her to go fishing with him. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me at thirteen but the words have come to life now that I’m past sixty.

Seize the moment!

Too many times I have put off what would bring me a great deal of joy because it wasn’t on my schedule or I couldn’t fit it into my all too important routine for the day or the week. The beds had to be made (never knew when a relative might stop by), the floors vacuumed (couldn’t have dust on the hardwood or a leaf on the carpet), and supper had to be on the table at the right time…complete with dessert (which I couldn’t eat because I was always on some kind of diet).

No more ever again!

I’m going to eat ice cream, maybe even a hot fudge sundae, once in a while, because I want it and I’m not even going to think about the fat grams or the calories. Remember all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert?

If Mr. B comes through the door and says, “Hey, let’s go eat fast food tacos tonight,” I’m will put the chicken I planned to fry back in the refrigerator. Hey, we might even drive through the park, take off our shoes and wade in the creek after we fill up on tacos. One thing for sure, we will go to Walmart while we are close by for a bottle of generic anti-acid pills but the tacos and the wading will be well worth it.

In the past I’ve said that Mr. B and I will go away for a week all alone when we get the yard landscaped and the house remodeled. Besides we can’t leave. Who would water the morning glories and take care of the tom cats?

Forget it. My daughter will take care of the cats. The morning glories can be in a live or die situation. They can live or they can die if it doesn’t rain.

Mr. B and I will pack a beach towel, a pair of sandals, a suitcase of comfortable clothes and set out for the beach and the sound of the ocean. We will call home once a week to tell the kids that we’re still alive and let them know that we are working on our second bottle of anti-acid pills which by then will be like candy to us.

I love real cheesecake but I’d just as well take a putty knife and apply it to my thighs as put it in my mouth. One slice equals six inches around my mid-section and two inches on my thighs. Two slices and I can’t wear a thing in my closet.

The other day I stopped at my favorite deli and bought two slices. I ate them slowly, savoring every fat gram. Then I knocked the guilt off my shoulder and drove home with a smile on my face. If my little red car had hit an ice berg I would have passed on into eternity a right happy woman instead of having regrets.

I may not be ready to trade my tired old flip flops in on roller blades but I am working on seizing the moment…and it’s a wonderful feeling. My step-sister was a prophet for sure!

What have you done this week that blew caution to the wind but you enjoyed it so much?

Just a quick note: Today I am visiting at Get Lost in a Story and we're talking about The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop. There's an excerpt, an interview and a free book up for grabs so come on over and talk to me there as well as here and don't forget to enter the contest on that site, too!

Also, remember that you need to comment on this site and/or join the followers to get  your name in the hat for TODAY'S prize! Have a great Tuesday! And thank you to everyone who has commented or joined my blog site...you are all totally awesome!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Falling Star...

I have a rule in my house. For my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas or even one of those “I love you because you are you,” days, the present has to meet the prerequisite requirements to come through the front door.

The rule is that if I can’t eat it up, use it up or wear it out in one year, then shop some more. I made the rule a few years ago after I spent twelve hours dusting all the gee-gaws in the living room.

How could I throw away that porcelain hummingbird Great Aunt Molly bought at her neighbor’s garage sale? Or the picture frame with hot pink roses and bull frog green leaves that she came hauling in once when she found a ninety percent off sale at Hobby Lobby? Then there was the glow in the dark floral arrangements and the two candy dishes. They all had to be on display or else she’d throw a pure old southern hissy.

And they had to be dust free because Aunt Molly has a hot line straight to heaven and believe me, there will be no open gates for unappreciative or lazy women who do not keep things dusted.

Then Aunt Molly went to live with her granddaughter in Canada, bless that woman’s heart. I loaded up all those priceless things and took them to the donation center that helps provide care for dogs and cats. They took one look at the items and ushered me right back out the door with the boxes still full. Evidently that place called all the other donation places because I got a strong smell of garlic in one place when I walked inside the door and the other man met me and made the sign of a cross with his arms.

Finally, I carefully wrapped it all in half a dozen black garbage bags and took it to the dump.

And the rule went into effect right then and there and it worked.

Then a few weeks later my daughter found this cute little pewter candle snuffer. It’s shaped like a swoosh with a star landing on a cloud. She told me she realized she was breaking the rules but it was so small and it reminded her of one of my older books, A Falling Star. It was a tiny little thing that none of the other relatives would even notice up there on the shelf in the living room.

But that little tiny falling star chunk of pewter created a big problem. I’d moved a picture to place it there and there was a smudge on the wall behind the picture. So that meant repainting the whole living room. That job made the dining room and kitchen look horrible so they had to be painted, also.

With fresh new walls in the great room, now the bathrooms looked like 1970 rejects from a condemned tenement. So I commenced to checking out the price of new tile, paint and oh, my, those counter tops were so dated, they’d have to be replaced.

When that was done, I shut the door to the guest room, my office and my bedroom. I refused to think about paint or even dumping the trash cans in those rooms for a whole week until the remodeling fever left me.

And it all happened because I did not stick to my rule. A little thing, no bigger than a thimble, had caused a major remodeling job. So we’re back to if I can’t eat it up, wear it out or use it up in one year…don’t buy it. Besides I have a book on the shelf titled All The Way From Texas.

What could happen as a result of that title is down right scary!

 (Just a reminder...comments and joining the followers puts you in the daily drawing. See the sidebar for the Contest information)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

German Chocolate Cake

So here it is recipe Sunday again. Before I type another word...Happy Father's Day to all the awesome fathers out there. My mother was a single mama back in the early 50's and raised us three children alone for many years. I always gave her a present on Mother's Day but on Father's Day I called her and wished her a Happy Father's Day and to tell her I loved her because she had to be both mother and father to us kids for so long. I think she liked that phone call as much as the Mother's Day candy or flowers or whatever I bought her through the years.

Now onto the recipe Sunday...my two sisters-in-law and I were sitting on the front porch talking about recipes last week and one of them mentioned this being their favorite cake but it had to be made from scratch. It's my daughter's choice every year for her birthday cake and there's never a crumb left at the end of the day.

What's your favorite cake? What do you always wish for on your birthday? Remember I'll choose a winner tonight from the comments on this post and the followers. Yesterday's winner was Tracey Parker who has won a signed book and a little bag of swag! Spread the news...tell your buddies and your friends. The more the merrier and the more fun it will be. Feel free to share a recipe in your comments if you have a favorite! If you haven't become a follower, then dive right in...we're a friendly bunch here at A Little Sweet Tea and Sass...
German Chocolate Cake (from scratch)

1 (4 oz.) pkg. Baker's German sweet chocolate
1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Melt chocolate in boiling water; cool. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add yolks, beating well after each. Blend in vanilla and chocolate.

Sift flour with soda and salt. Add dry mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Fold in beaten egg whites.

Pour into 3 prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.


3 egg yolks
1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 c. chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs, milk, sugar, and butter. Cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes, stirring until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; add coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Beat until cool and of spreading consistency. Frost between layers, top, and sides.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015


My daughter shared this with me this morning. I'm sure she's thinking of The Red Hot Chili Cook Off! I had to pass it on to all y'all...

If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope for you. I was crying by the end. This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in New Mexico.
"Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in... I was assured by the other two judges (Native New Mexicans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge 3."
Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These New Mexicans are crazy.

Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.
Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting red-faced from all of the beer.

Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. Woman is starting to look HOT ... Just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Jalapeno peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming.

Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.
Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing. It's too painful. I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 -- No report.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


It doesn't matter if it's a wedding, a baby shower, Christmas party or graduation or birthday. Or if it's served from a crystal punch bowl or a witch's plastic kettle, it's not a party without the punch. So today I thought I'd share our famous family recipe for what we think is the best punch in the whole wide world.

2 packages of any kind of Kool-Aid (we like black cherry)
2 cups of sugar
1 64 ounce can of pineapple juice
64 ounces of water (I fill the juice can full after I empty the juice)
2 ounce bottle of almond extract (Use the whole bottle)

Stir all together until the sugar is dissolved and freeze. About two or three hours before time to serve, take it out of the freezer and let it get slushy. Put about half into a punch bowl and add a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale. Repeat when the punch bowl is empty!

If I don't have time to freeze the mixture, then I make it and add finely crushed ice to the mixture but it's really best if it makes its own ice.


Friday, June 12, 2015

The Grocery List....

Husbands are a strange breed of critter. They hear only what they want to and act upon about half of that amount. Sending them to the store without a written list is asking for enough trouble to cause a major marital fight. On the scale of one to ten ... with one being a minor disagreement and ten being a capitol crime ... sending the husband to the store without a list flies in at fifteen.

It never fails. He’s going to fill up his pick-up truck with gas and asks if there’s anything she needs from town while he’s out and about. She’s worked all day. Her feet are aching. There’s laundry hip deep to the Jolly Green Giant, ironing to do, and supper to cook. Not to mention she brought home a brief case full of papers to go over before she goes to bed.

How sweet of that dear man to offer to pick up what she needs at the grocery store. And her mama said when it came to brains he got the short end of the stick. She’d have to call Mama that night and tell her just how wrong she’d been.

Yes, she did need toilet paper, laundry soap, plain potato chips, ice cream and spaghetti sauce. Just when he’s walking out the door she happens to remember that she’s totally out of spaghetti noodles, too and adds that to the list. But it is not written down on anything. Not on the back of a check. Not on one of those little fancy list things with a magnet to stick it to the refrigerator door. She’s just trusting him to remember those five ... no, six ... things.

He filled up his gas tank first and a couple of his fishing buddies happened to be at the same gas station. They told him that the sand bass are running and it would be a good weekend for them all to get together for a fishing trip. Then he went inside to pay for the gasoline and the man behind the counter, who’s a fellow football player from high school days, asked him if he’s going to the home game the next Friday night.

When he got to the store he remembered there were five things ... no, six ... because she added one just as he was walking out the door. Spaghetti noodles, that’s what it was. He turned the cart down that aisle and remembered the spaghetti sauce because it was right there beside the noodles. He gave himself a big pat on the back and went up and down the aisles looking at all the products, trying to remember what he was supposed to buy, and thinking about fishing or football.

Ice cream. That was it. He bought three half gallons. His favorite. Her favorite. And one that sounded good. Potato chips! Wow, was he good or what?

Hmmmnnn. Bananas, that had to be the next thing. Gosh, and there they were three pounds for a dollar. He bought thirty pounds. She was going to be so proud of him for remembering and with ten dollars worth of bananas in the house she wouldn’t have to buy any for at least three months.

Bread? Milk? Yep, it was bread. Must be bread because he just opened a new gallon of milk after he’d gotten home from work. Sixteen loaves of white bread and eight of wheat. That should last a couple of months. They could store it under the bed if there wasn’t enough room in the pantry.

He totes it all in and piles it on the table. Turns on Monday Night Football and calls up his fishing buddies to tell them he’ll go fishing with them on Saturday morning. She comes out of the laundry room where she’s been sorting clothes. No toilet paper or laundry soap.

Murphy’s Law for all wives: If you ask your husband to pick up five things from the grocery store and add one more as an afterthought, he will forget two of the first items.

And that is when Wife packs her bags and calls the divorce lawyer. Or else when she packs Husband’s bags and paints the lawyer’s phone number on his forehead in indelible magic marker.


Thursday, June 11, 2015


This week has been the luckiest week of my entire life. Each day I hit another financial windfall.

On Monday
I got an email telling me that I’d won the Nigerian lottery according to an email I received from a Nigerian prince. He holds the sum of one million dollars in my name and he wants to send it to me FREE! 
All I have to do is give him my bank account numbers and send him $500.00 US dollars cash, to show my good faith so he can transfer the money! When I asked about sending that much cash money by mail, he assured me that it was fine as long as it was in hundred dollar bills.

On Tuesday 
The e-mail was from a KENYAN prince who wants to give me FREE healthcare for life!  
All I have to do is give him:  My bank account number, my social security number, my confidential health information and when the mechanical voice on the phone asked I needed to say yes which would be my binding agreement for life to pay $700 per month for a policy with only a $10,000 deductible.  Then he can make it happen! That’s not so much to ask it? And after all it was a prince and we’ve all read enough fairy tales to know that the prince is always a good man.

On Wednesay
I won a brand new car. All I had to do was give the company my bank account number, send in $800 to pay for taxes and other fees and then the new car would magically show up in my driveway within seven days. Yes, he would take a personal check. When I asked him why it took seven days if I’d already won it he told me that the check did have to clear the bank, now didn’t it? But if I wanted it to show up in my driveway quicker then I was to send a cashier’s check.

On Thursday
Vacation! It bypassed the Internet and came via a personal phone call and they knew my name so it had to legit. I had won a cruise around the world. There was a small matter of $759 for immigration taxes but that was all I would ever have to pay. They would take a credit card but only if it was backed up with my bank account number and my social security card.

On Friday
Holy smoke! My luck was still holding but this time again, it was again by phone. A fellow with a definite accent that my ears had trouble understanding called it called to tell me to look for a person bringing me a suitcase full of cash. Real hundred dollar bills in a locked case around his wrist just like in the movies. I felt so important to be chosen to spend all that money. Of course, he did need a couple of things from me like my bank account number and social security number and he even gave me a verification number to call back to make sure it was legitimate.

On Saturday
The IRS called to tell me that they’d taken out eighty thousand dollars too much in taxes and would be glad to cut a check but with a number that big they would have to have some verification like my bank account number, my social security number and I should fax them a copy of my driver’s license and birth certificate.

Am I on a roll or what?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


With the grandkids all going different ways for different things in their lives, I'm getting quite an education. This past weekend was A-Con...that is the abbreviation for Anime Conference which was held in Dallas. The two Rucker granddaughters, boyfriend of the oldest, and two other guy friends got all dressed up and went. They stood in lines for hours but I understand it was "totally awesome" or maybe it was another fancy word they use these days that means the same thing.

I'll share pictures of this big hoop-la...oldest granddaughter is steam punk girl, youngest is a character from her favorite anime books/movies/cartoons/whatever they are, one of the guys is a blacksmith, the other two are their favorite characters from something I can't spell and you can't cure with antibiotics. And yes, the all rolled their eyes when I told them that on Saturday morning! LOL!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

New Concept!

I've spent the last two days reading signs, looking at license plates to see what state they're from and getting adrenaline rushes as I try to crawl over into Mr. B's lap when the semi's get so close I could reach out and file my fingernails on their mud flaps.

When we reach our destination for the day I still have at least four hours of work (writing) to do so I can meet all the deadlines on my calendar. This helps considerably and lowers my blood pressure because I can sit quietly in air conditioned comfort in my pajamas and converse with the voices in my head. They are so much more fun than the voices that occupy that same space when I'm biting back bad words.

Since I do not have my work all done this evening and I don't want to leave y'all without a giggle for Monday...lord knows we need however many giggles we can get just to get us through that day...here's my Monday joke! Y'all have a lovely warm Monday. May you conquer it with a smile on your face!

I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.

Therefore every day, I go to the street and tell a passerby what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before and what I will do after. I give them pictures of my family, my granddaughters, my cats and me in my office writing books and looking at the herd of goats at my son's house and the sheep at my daughter's house. I also listen to their conversations and tell them I love them.

And it works: I already have 3 people following me: 2 police officers and a psychiatrist.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Bacon Candy!

Where did the week go? I guess with all the mid-year doctor checkups, packing for a family reunion 1400 miles away and getting all the paperwork done (paying bills so there will be water and electricity when I get home) the week flat out got away from me. And now it's time for Recipe Sunday!
With all the hype about bacon these days, it's easy to find recipes guaranteed to jack the cholesterol up by just looking at the picture. This isn't one of those but believe me it is addictive. A little sweet, a little whiskey taste and bacon! Not a bad combination at all! I'm not sure what the original recipe is called but in my house it's known as Bacon Candy!
1 pound thick sliced Bacon
1/4 c. Brown Sugar
2 T. Maple Syrup
1/4 c. Bourbon Whiskey (I used Jack Daniels)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cut bacon strips in half. (optional)
  3. Mix together the brown sugar, maple syrup and whiskey.
  4. Transfer bacon strips to the glaze bowl and toss until evenly coated with bacon.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top.
  6. Lay bacon on the rack in a flat even layer.
  7. Recoat with leftover glaze every 15 minutes.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until crispy. Watch closely the last 5 minutes because the bacon will burn quickly)
  9. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Ephipany!

We’ve all heard it.

Eat your peas or your carrots or even the last bite of your chocolate cake. Why? Because there are hungry children who would love to have that food and you shouldn’t waste it.

It is ingrained into my DNA. If I throw out good food, I have nightmares. I wake up starving with empathy pains for anyone who might be hungry in the world. I have the memory of an elephant so if I throw out any amount of food, then I worry about it for days.

Therefore, if there are only two tablespoons of fried potatoes left, I find one of those tiny plastic containers and into the refrigerator it goes. Half a cup of green peas, into the plastic container and stack it under the fried potatoes. Sausage gravy? You got it…it’s all put into the refrigerator so I worry about throwing away good food.

So today was that day…the day before I’m going to be out of pocket for a couple of weeks. The thing ingrained into my DNA even more than throwing away food is leaving a dirty refrigerator behind when I leave town. That’s only one degree worse than going on a trip without wearing my best under britches…the ones with no holes and with good elastic.

What if the neighbors came to console Mr. B with macaroni and cheese casseroles and peach cobblers and couldn’t even find a place to put it? Merciful heavens, they might talk St. Peter into slamming the pearly gates right in my face for such a sin.

I opened the door and my sigh could be heard all the way to the ocean…west or east, it didn’t matter, maybe even both. I ran a sink full of soapy water and commenced to dumping the contents of container after container into the trash can. Then I tossed the smelly things into the water until the sink was full, washed them and started all over again. Kind of like that commercial about washing your hair…lather, rinse, repeat.

Why? Oh, why didn’t I just shut my eyes and toss it all right after supper each evening?

The epiphany came while I was dumping the last container. The bubble with writing in it appeared right over my head with flashing lights all around it.

If I save the food until it is growing green mold then no child anywhere in the world would want to eat it so then it’s okay to throw it out. Which means no guilt trip and no nightmares. Now I understand and it only took sixty plus years to see the light!



Friday, June 5, 2015

Monsoon is over!!

Monsoon is over! 

Summer arrived in a blaze of heat almost hot enough to fry the wings off the mosquitoes. Poor little darlin’s were happily laying eggs in all the puddles of water, the bird baths, the cat’s watering dish, anywhere they could find a nice wet little patch of land to set up homesteading. And then presto, the puddles started to dry up and the water in the other places started to boil. There went all their hard work up in steam. The mosquito population in our back yard would not explode this year after all. 

That is Oklahoma weather for you. It’s never boring and pretty often the poor old weatherman is just predicting in the dark. He might inform us that tomorrow is going to be sunny and we’ll have a tornado whip up in the southwest. Or tell us that it’ll rain and get our hopes all up in July and the rain clouds will go around us.

But right now, in spite of the heat, we are rejoicing that the rain has ceased. The rivers and creeks have stopped flowing because everything is full where they want to go. The water is stagnant so the mosquitoes are relocating to that area. I’m sure they are gentrifying the place, building cute little larvae nests everywhere.

We still have plenty of mosquitoes and I feel sorry for folks who don’t have to shoo them away from the front door or swat them in the back yard. Although their baby population turned into sushi for the birds, the adults are only slightly smaller than  Texas buzzards and sit in wait for someone to donate blood to their ever depleted blood bank. 

So if any of y’all want some of the critters for your own yard or front porch, I’m giving away all you can haul off. Bring your own jars or buckets. Do not be worried if you kill a few in the harvesting process. There’s plenty for everyone. No charge; not even for the ones that are full of my blood!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What's Next?

I'm often asked the question, "What's coming next?" and right behind it is, "When and where can I buy it?"

So with that in mind...here's what's on the list for the next few months. All ready to pre-order so it will be right there in your hands on the day it comes out!

July 14 (ONLY Six weeks from now), The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop will be on the market. How would you feel if your mother asked the whole group of Prayer Angels to pray that God would send you a husband? And then the head of the prayer committee took it upon herself to put up a brand new post on the sign outside the church: PLEASE PRAY FOR MY DAUGHTER. SHE NEEDS A HUSBAND.

A short excerpt: Stella was not a bit happy with her mother! A tiny excerpt from the beginning of the book... If Nancy Baxter had known that she was turning loose a major shit storm, she would have never put Stella’s name on the prayer list down at the church in Cadillac, Texas. But she didn’t have the benefit of hindsight that hot southern night and she really did want Stella to get married. So when Heather, the president of the Prayer Angels asked if anyone wanted to add a name to the list she spoke right up and said, “Pray for my daughter. She needs a husband.”

The angels took their spirituality seriously so the praying began in earnest and before they were done God had been petitioned by a dozen women to send a husband to Cadillac and to ear mark him special for Stella Baxter. No one dared to ask why she needed a husband but they did have their ideas which turned into juicy gossip by the next morning.

December 15: The Wedding Pearls will be on the market. No cover yet but it's coming and when it arrives, it will debut right here so keep a watch out for it. How would you feel if suddenly your birth mother and grandmother sent a lawyer to ask you to go on a month long road trip with them? And then the stories started coming out about just who that birth mother was and how that your adopted mother had been friends with her?

An excerpt: Sophie laughed. “Oh, hush. I’m glad you are who you are. So you have a tutu mama and a tattoo mama.”

“I have one mama. Lola and I are probably going to be friends but you are my mother,” she said.

“Thank you,” Sophie said. “I hope you are friends?”

Tessa winked at the little girl and she smiled shyly then turned her head away. “Lola is like a bird with a broken wing and she needs me to be her friend but she’s satisfied with that in our relationship, I can feel it. She knits pink caps for newborns and hums lullabies.”

The silence was so long that Tessa held out the phone to be sure she hadn’t lost service. “Mama?” she said.

“I’m sorry. Poor Lola. You said it right, Tessa. She really was like a little bird that had fallen out of the nest too early. Wasn’t sure how to fly or how to stay away from the predators. Bless her heart,” Sophie said softly.

The little girl waved as she and her family pulled their suitcases to the elevators. Tessa wiggled her fingers at the child.

“Lola is going to teach me how to knit,” she told her mother.

“Good luck with that,” Sophie laughed.

“I know. It’s probably an impossible situation,” Tessa laughed.

“Oh, not that it has anything to do with your condition,” Sophie said quickly. She never used the words clumsy or awkward, not once in Tessa’s lifetime. It was always her condition. “I tried to knit when you was a baby. I wanted to make you a special blanket. That thread crawled up my arms and tried to strangle me to death.”

It was Tessa’s turn to sit in stunned silence.

“Tessa Ruth, are you still there?” Sophie asked.

Tessa gasped. “I thought you had a Super Woman cape in your closet. I didn’t think there was anything you couldn’t do.”

“Sorry, darlin’. But there are no capes hiding anywhere in this house. I can dance but I cannot knit, crochet or do any of those things that require finger dexterity. I got all my talent in my feet along with a healthy supply of rhythm and balance. If you learn to knit, I want a scarf for Christmas. Purple will be fine.”
Dec. 22: Wild Cowboy Ways will be ready to put into your Christmas stocking so that after the holidays you can sit back and relax with Blake at the Lucky Penny Ranch in Dry Creek, Texas. Blake, his brother, Toby and their cousin, Jud, pooled their resources and bought the Lucky Penny in the middle of the winter. Blake moved right onto the ramshackle ranch. Toby would arrive in the summer and Jud sometime around Thanksgiving. Their goal was to have the ranch showing a profit in five years but they didn't plan on the Logan ladies over across the barbed wire fence at Audrey's Place affecting that plan.

An excerpt: Had she gone by foot, Allie would have walked a few hundred yards, crawled over or under a broken-down barbed wire fence and gone another hundred yards to the old house. That’s most likely the way that Granny had gone and it took less than ten minutes to get there. Allie came to a screeching halt outside the house and with a carpenter’s eye saw how much more dilapidated it had gotten since she was last on the ranch.
How long had it been? At least eight years because she’d been divorced more than seven and the last time she’d been there was back when she and Riley, like all the other kids in that day and age, parked there to make out.
A big yellow dog met her halfway across the yard. His head was down and his tail wagging, which meant he wasn’t going to take a chunk out of her butt. But the sight of him did slow her down.
She held out a hand. “Hey, feller, what’s your name?”
The dog nosed her hand in a friendly gesture so she rubbed his ears. “You got my granny in that house, or is she hiding in one of the barns this time?”
The first big raindrop hit her on the cheek and rolled down her neck. It was as cold as ice water and more quickly followed before she made it to the porch. Shivers chased down her spine as the water hit her bra and kept moving to the waistband of her underpants.
She knocked on the door and waited.
“Walter, don’t open that door,” her granny called out loud and clear.
“Are you Walter?” she asked the dog, who’d followed her to the porch, just as the front door swung open.
“No, he’s Shooter. Are you Katy?”
Allie looked up into the greenest eyes she’d ever seen rimmed by dark lashes. Her gaze traveled to his wide shoulders, the Henley shirt stretched over bulging abs and the big belt buckle with a bull rider on it. She had to force herself to look back up, only to find him smiling, his arms now crossed over his chest.
Lord, have mercy! Crazy cowboys who bought a bad luck ranch were definitely not supposed to be that sexy.
March 1, 2016: Don't take your boots off because the third book in the Burnt Boot series is also on the way. One Cowboy Too Many is Leah Brennan and Rhett O'Donnell's story. Rhett is a rebel cowboy who rides into Burnt Boot on a motorcycle with steer horns mounted to the front. The feud has not been put to rest and Leah's grandmother forbids her to see Rhett.
Again the cover isn't here but I can give you a little excerpt: The rumbling noise of a motorcycle took Leah Brennan’s attention away from the produce in the Burnt Boot General Store. She pushed her cart up a few feet so she could see out the front window, expecting to see leather, chains and a shiny black biker’s helmets on maybe half a dozen cycles after all that noise. It had sounded like dozens of Hell’s Angels had come to town so she was surprised when only one person removed his helmet, hung it on steer horns mounted on the front of the cycle. And she was even more surprised when a cowboy dismounted instead of a biker.
It was impolite to stare but Leah couldn’t tear her eyes away from the newcomer especially when Sawyer O’Donnell shot out from behind the check out counter and rushed outside. Horses and four-wheelers on the streets of the little town wasn’t unusual but motor cycles was an altogether different matter, especially a big, tricked-out Harley with enough chrome on it to blind the angels and, good god almighty, horns mounted on the front. He hung his helmet on the horns and met Sawyer in one of those fierce man hugs that involve a lot of slapping on the back and laughter.
She moved to a better vantage point so she could get a better look at the cowboy. His wavy dark hair was wet with sweat and hung in ringlets to his shirt collar. He fetched a rubber band from the pocket of his tight jeans and whipped it back into a short, little pony tail. Green eyes sparkled beneath heavy brows and a little soul patch of dark hair rested beneath lips that stretched out in a wide smile. A green and yellow plaid shirt hung open to reveal a damp white T-shirt clinging to a perfect six pack of abdomen muscles. He removed the over shirt and slung it over his shoulder, revealing a tat of longhorns on his right arm.
Her breath caught in her chest and she forgot to exhale for several seconds. Her biggest fantasy, other than someday marrying Tanner Gallagher, was to ride on a cycle, holding on to a cowboy like the one talking to Sawyer O’Donnell. Neither one would ever happen but it didn’t hurt to dream.
So there you go...what's next and when it will arrive. All up for preorder at Amazon, B&N and many of your favorite book buying places. Enjoy and happy reading.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Mama Brain

A diagram of the brain and all the chambers was the featured article in a recent magazine. One part dealt with motor skills, one with what hand used to write, etc. The whole thing was cut and dried. It was quite evident that the brain they’d taken the photo of belonged to someone of the male gender.

No one can tell me that a female brain would look like that, or that when a person is born their brain stays the same forevermore, amen. Boy babies may have brains that are departmentalized according to the scientific approach. Girl babies are born with brains departmentalized according to fashion, money and beauty. At least until they become a mother.

Boy brains probably just grow up to be men brains and stay the same. I have heard that the only difference in boys and men is the price of their toys. Most likely that is living proof that they indeed are born with unchangeable brains.

Girl brains grow up to be mother brains and once they have re-shifted everything to fit a mother’s mode it stays that way all the way through eternity. It’s written in stone and can never be altered.

Mother brains have seven distinct areas. Each one plays a big part in controlling the thought process which in turn makes a mother say the things she does to her children.

The first one is the nurturing cortex. It’s the part that creates that stuff called tough love. It’s the part of the brain that controls the mouth when it says, “I love you but I’m worried about your attitude,” or “I’m not everyone else’s parents. I’m an overprotective mother who says the answer is no, you cannot stay out until two a.m. so suck it up and forget it.”

The second one is the sweater/jacket temperature gauge. It lays just behind the eyes in the brain scheme and lets mothers know from just looking outside whether the child can go off to school with a sweater or if the little darling needs a jacket. It’s the part that makes us say, “Okay, put on your coat. I don’t care if Freddy won’t see your new dress. Frankly I don’t care if Freddy breaks up with you because you are wearing a coat. And tell him the next time he comes sniffing around here to put his hat on right. If your dad sees him with his hat on backwards, Freddy is history.”

The third one is the fib sensor, also known as the part that produces eyes in the back of a mother’s head. That area is what makes us say, “You tell another fib and I’ll put a knot on your head so high you’ll have to borrow the neighbor’s six foot ladder just to scratch it.” Or, “One more little white lie, kid, and I’ll kick you into the middle of next week.” Or, the best one yet, “I know when you are lying. The tip of your nose and your eyebrows turn orange.” (Trust me, they’ll either roll their eyes up to check the eyebrows or cross them to see about the nose!)

The fourth one is the lost object detector gland. “Do I know where you shoes are? Of course I know where they are. Under your bed where something died and is going back to dust. Dig down at least six inches to find the ones with the platform heels.”

The fifth one is the bargain finder. It’s right in the middle of the brain. It hones in on a sale and gives us strength to endure the hassles to find just the right red shirt for our child to wear to the all-school talent contest.

The sixth one is the guilt developing center. “You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.” Or, “What did I do to get such ungrateful children. I surely would have never talked to my mother like that.” Or even, “Look it up in your birth contract. You are the child. I am the mother. That gives me nagging rights until I’m dead. I will leave those rights to you in my will if you haven’t gotten your guilt center developed by then.”

The last and biggest portion of a mother’s brain is devoted to the worrying gland. “Who are you going with? Do I know them? Has their parents lived in Murray County since the sixth day of creation? Call me when you get there so I’ll know you are all right.”

Brains. They can’t tell me they’re all alike!