LONGHORNS IN EAST TEXAS

Before I moved to this part of the state, I never realized there were longhorn cattle here. I always assumed they were in the western part of the state. I found out otherwise.

This is Blaine. She’s one enterprising teenager. She will be 17 in October, a homeschooled Junior in the fall and is currently attending PENN Foster in the Veterinary Tech program.

She is the current International Texas Longhorn Princess and the Winnsboro 4H President

She works at Pittsburg Vet Clinic and owns Circle B Longhorns and Longhorn Legado. She raises longhorn cattle and markets the beef. I’ve tried it. It’s great. Tastes like hamburger meat used to taste before they started adding all the fillers. Check out her Facebook page: Circle B Longhorns.

Dinner and A Movie Monday – Running For Grace

I haven’t done Dinner and A Movie in a long time. Life just got in the way. And I’m out of practice and behind. Bear with me. I’m going to try to do better.

This is a coming of age movie I watched a while back and never posted because I couldn’t think of a recipe to pair it with. I decided to share in anyway.

Running for Grace is a 2018 American romance film starring Ryan Potter, Matt Dillon, Jim Caviezel and Olivia Ritchie. Originally released on August 17, 2018 in the United States, the film was shot on location in Hawaii. The film was shot on location in Hawaii and at Kona-based Honua Studios and originally titled Jo, the Medicine Runner.

It’s set in the Kona Coffee Belt of Hawaii during the 1920s. Japanese immigrant laborers and the white upper-class live in a rigidly classist society, an orphan of mixed-race lineage called a hafu, finds himself ostracized by both groups until a white doctor from the mainland is hired as a physician for workers on the plantation owned by Mr. Danielson . Doc has Jo run medicine and translate for him on the island.

Ten years later, Jo falls in love with the plantation owner’s daughter, Grace. They interact a few times at the Danielson’s home under the guise of treating her ankle injury. Mr. Danielson meets a new doctor and invites him to tend to the white upper-class residents of the island, even though his company is going bankrupt. Throughout this time, Doc has been taking several secret trips to see a lawyer about adoption, even though illegal at that time. Jo is impressed by the new doctor and his car and asks him to take him on as an assistant. However, when they go to treat Mr. Danielson’s accountant, who had poisoned himself as a suicide attempt, Jo realizes the doctor is a charlatan. Dr. Reyes later expresses a romantic interest in Grace, and her father, seeing it as an opportunity to save his plantation and way of life, encourages the proposal.

Mr. Danielson sets out on a trip to Hilo to discuss his looming bankruptcy with the bank, intending to inform them that Grace is marrying into a wealthy family. Along the way, he accidentally falls into a ditch and hits his head. Doc and Jo are the first to reach him and, on inspection, Doc fears his head injury is severe. He tells Jo to find Dr. Reyes so that they can use his motorcar to transport him. At his home, Mr. Danielson and his mother insist Dr. Reyes treat his injury and that Doc and Jo leave. Moments later, Grace comes crying out of the house announcing that her father is dead. When Grace and Jo embrace, and Grace’s grandmother scolds her and pulls her away.

That night, Doc and Jo are walking back to their house. Dr. Reyes tries to run over the Jo. Doc pushes him out of the way, gets hit himself and dies shortly afterward. Dr. Reyes threatens to kill Jo if he doesn’t leave town. Later, Jo returns to his mother’s house and is found by the Hilo lawyer who informs him that Doc’s adoption was a success. Jo gets to Grace and Dr. Reyes wedding in time to stop it. He and Grace get their happy ever after.

This is one of those sappy, idealistic movies where Evil seems destined to win, but Good always triumphs in the end. I especially enjoy the lush, beautiful scenery on the islands. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I can understand the draw.

A PRIZED POSSESSION

You’re probably wondering if I’ve lost my mind. Why I’d be gushing about a ratty looking Club Aluminum Dutch oven that’s seen better days. Especially when I have a fancy stainless steel set that cooks just as good or better. I bought it years ago at a garage sale for next to nothing. It was used, so all I had to do was keep the inside clean. The wear on the outside gave it character.

I can’t count the pot roasts it’s held. Or the cold winter days when it simmered on the back burner all day, filling the air with a heady fragrance of chili, stew, pinto beans or potato soup. It’s been used to make popcorn, caramel corn, fudge, cream pies, and mountains of mashed potatoes. Or potato salad.

When I moved to a smaller house, I thought about getting rid of it. I didn’t really need it anymore. But here’s the thing. I couldn’t let go. Too many memories. Nights when the family gathered around the table and ate together. Holiday meals, parties, barbecues and family get togethers.

Yeah, I think I’ll hang on to it.

4th of July

Susan A. Royal

However you chose to celebrate this day, whether it be out at the lake, at a cookout with family, or enjoying fireworks with friends, I hope it’s a safe and happy holiday. Sometime during the day, please stop and take a moment to remember what this day should mean to all of us.

Red Skelton was always a favorite of mine. Never failed to make me laugh, and sometimes brought me to tears. This was one of those times.

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Jax Charles, Private Investigator Series

My new series about a private detective will be told in episodes or novellas, each dealing with a different case. I’m really excited as it will be the first urban fantasy I’ve ever done. It’s set in Austin, Texas, which has a reputation for being weird and will include stories that take place in the surrounding hill country. As a lifelong Texan, I have plenty of them to draw on. And they’re filled with quirky characters I’ve really enjoyed creating.

My name is John Nick Charles, but everyone calls me Jax. I’m a private detective but not your ordinary run-of-the-mill kind. Paranormal investigating is my thing. I deal with the likes of witches, ghosts, shapeshifters, alchemy, and the occult. My name usually doesn’t come up over cocktails at dinner parties. Most people in Austin, Texas, don’t even know I exist. Unless they find themselves in a situation where they need my particular expertise. And even then, they don’t like talking about it.

All Things Paranormal

It came as a surprise when famous explorer Sir Dwight Winston showed up at my office looking to hire me. Why me? A wealthy man like him could afford a top-notch team of investigators. Simple. He wanted me to keep it off the record. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I needed the money. And it seemed easy enough. My mistake.

The Hunter’s Moon

The morning after an unexpected visit from my Uncle Darwin, my secretary informed me I had an appointment with a potential client. I had qualms, worrying it was one of those cases where I’d be tailing a spouse, trying to get proof they’d been cheating. Imagine my surprise when I found out it had to do with a shapeshifter. One that might be going rogue.

Look for both novellas on Amazon. Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

ANN: March 1st kicks off “Read an eBook Week’, along with ‘Paws to Read Month’ where authors can spotlight pets they feature in their books. Just about every book Ann writes will have a pet. They provide a way for a character to have one-sided conversations to reveal more of their personality.

So today, Susan and I will do some shameless self-promotion!

She and I have been busy these past few months. She’s been writing like a crazy person getting a new series out, while I’ve been doing a major clean-up of my steamy romances publishing sweeter versions under the penname of Emma Ames.

Take a gander at what we’ve been up to!

SUSAN: My new series about a private detective will be told in episodes or novellas, each dealing with a different case. I’m really excited as it will be the first urban fantasy I’ve ever done. It’s set in Austin, Texas, which has a reputation for being weird and will include the surrounding hill country. As a lifelong Texan, I have plenty of stories to draw on.

Jack Charles, Private Detective

My name is John Nick Charles, but everyone calls me Jax. I’m a private detective and not your ordinary run-of-the-mill kind. Paranormal investigating is my thing. I deal with the likes of witches, ghosts, shapeshifters, alchemy, and the occult. My name

usually doesn’t come up over cocktails at dinner parties. Most people in Austin, Texas, don’t even know I exist. Unless they find themselves in a situation where they need my particular expertise. And even then, they don’t like talking about it.

All Things Paranormal

It came as a surprise when famous explorer Sir Dwight Winston showed up at my office looking to hire me. Why me? A wealthy man like him could afford a top-notch team of investigators. Simple. He wanted me to keep it off the record. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I needed the money. And it seemed easy enough. My mistake.

The Hunter’s Moon

The morning after an unexpected visit from my Uncle Darwin, my secretary informed me I had an appointment with a potential client. I had qualms, worrying it was one of those cases where I’d be tailing a spouse, trying to get proof they’d been cheating. Imagine my surprise when I found out it had to do with a shapeshifter. One that might be going rogue.

ANN:

The fictional town of Bluebird, Texas is the setting for Ann’s steamy series while her ‘sweeter’ versions are set in the fictional town of Sparrow, Texas.

Fun Fact: Other than Eagle Lake, Eagle Pass and Pelican Bay, Texas doesn’t have any towns named after birds.

Blurb:

Swan Malone never dreamed shooting a promo for the University of Texas athletic department would lead to an acting career, or her first film would be the runaway hit of the year. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Not after she discovers everyone in La La Land lies and so does her family.

When Teague Shanahan joined the National Guard, he never expected to be called to active duty. Now, he’s stuck on the other side of the world with no idea where he is and no one to talk to except the spider in the corner of his prison cell.

When Teague returns a broken man, will Swan’s love be enough to save him?

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com

Two Gals Gabbin’

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

The second month of the year is the shortest one, but it’s chock full of events besides Valentine’s Day. Here’s some interest things we discovered about the month we thought we’d share.

  1. February is one of the most frequently misspelled words in the English language. 
  2. February is American Heart Month, Black History Month, Canned Food Month, Grapefruit Month, Hot Breakfast Month, Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month. and our favorite” National Snack Food month.
  3. February got its start as a spring-cleaning festival. Well, kind of. It’s named after one: “Februa” was an early Roman festival and cleansing ritual held on Feb. 15.
  1. February doesn’t always have a full moon. The last time it didn’t was 1999. The next time it won’t will be 2037!
  2. Groundhog Day originated in Germany. Oddly enough there it’s not a groundhog that forecasts either an early spring or a longer winter: It’s a badger.
  3. The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are about 1 in 1,461.
  1. Valentine’s Day did not start on a romantic note. According to historians, the day now synonymous with “love” probably began as a pagan fertility festival in ancient Rome. We’ll leave it at that, because some of the other details are disturbing. Another thing: Millions of people in the U.S. buy their dogs gifts or cards for Valentine’s Day.
  1. The first Sunday in February is Super Bowl Sunday but it wasn’t always that way—until 2001, the game was played in January. But we’d say that’s a pretty good way to kick off a month.

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com

~Into the Unknown~

This is something I posted a few years ago…

While channel surfing a while back, I happened to catch the end of Close Encounters. Never see that movie that I don’t think of my husband. Especially now that he’s gone. It was one of his all-time favorites. I never really thought about it until today, but now I understand why.

In the movie Richard Dreyfuss plays Roy Neary, an average middle-class guy who loves his family and works hard to provide for them. Only there’s another side to his character. He still believes in magic. In the movie, when Roy experiences a close encounter, he doubts his sanity. But he can’t let it go, because deep down inside he wants it to be true. So he makes up his mind to prove it.

My husband was the same kind of man. He worked hard, took care of his family and lived a quiet life. But like Roy, there was more to him than met the eye. The casual observer never saw his keen sense of adventure. He had a fascination for the mysterious, the unexplained. The idea of travelers from another world was intriguing to him.

He would have loved the chance to do what Roy did. So it isn’t hard to visualize him standing on the runway at the end of the movie, all smiles. Reluctant to leave his life on earth, yet filled with nervous anticipation at the thought of going on an adventure beyond the stars.

I like to think that’s exactly what he’s doing right now. And I’m certain he’s enjoying every minute.

And someday, I’ll join him.

S.O.B. DAY

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

S.O.B. Day (Spunky Old Broads)

Founded by Dr. Gayle Carson, Spunky Old Broads Day is a holiday where we celebrate women who are age 50 and older, who don’t want to get old quietly, and are “interested in living a regret-free life”.

Today, we wanted to spotlight older women and share some funny quotes about growing older.

ANN: I have some advice much like Lucille Ball’s quote…only in reverse. If you tell everyone you’re 10 years older than you actually are, you’ll always look fantastic for your age!

SUSAN: When I was a young girl, and my parents had get-togethers, the men gathered in one room and the women in another (usually the kitchen). The women would be talking a blue streak, and suddenly, they’d put their heads together, whisper to one another, followed by hysterical laughing. I never knew what they were talking about, just that it must have been funny. Now that I’m much older, I understand completely. Nothing is sacred to women my age. And we’ll laugh about anything. Why not joke about your wrinkles, saggy boobs, poor eyesight or forgetfulness. It’s all part of life. My advice is: Enjoy life. Especially now.

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com