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!

SUSAN: October is my favorite time of the year. From crisp mornings to sunny afternoons. From unexpected rain showers to chilly evenings. I love to pull out my extra blankets, sweaters, and warm pajamas. Indulge in some pretty mums and put out the fall decorations. Get out my Autumn candles. And start looking for new recipes to try out.

This time of year, I love to watch some of my favorite Halloween movies. Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Silver Bullet, to name a few, along with some oldies like The Uninvited, Murder, He Says, and The Ghost Breakers. The ominous music and the dark, gloomy scenes never fail to put me in the mood for Halloween. What are some of your favorites?

This month is National Book Month, a time for us to celebrate and expand our love of reading. When that first norther blows in, it’s the perfect time to pull on some cozy slippers, have a hot cup of something and curl up on the couch with a good book, especially if it’s raining! I’ve read some outstanding books lately. What The Wind Knows by Amy Harmon, Paula Brackston’s witch series, Deborah Harkness All Souls Series, to name a few. With fewer new shows coming out because of COVID, now’s the time to start that book you’ve been wanting to read!

Like most of you, I spend my summers looking for the easiest, quickest dishes to prepare, preferably without using the oven if at all possible. I find myself eating a lot of salads and sandwiches. Don’t get me wrong. I love to cook, but I don’t like to sweat. So, when the temps cool off, I reach for my cookbook and dig out some of my favorites, like these two recipes.

Mush Muffins

2 c. water

½ c. instant grits

1 c. milk

2 t butter

1 t salt

2 T warm water

1 1/8 t active dry yeast

5 ½ to 6 c flour

Bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Add grits. Reduce heat. Cook on low 5-7 minutes until water is absorbed. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in milk, butter and salt. Set aside. Cool to lukewarm. Combine 2 T water with yeast in small bowl. Let stand until dissolved. Stir into grits mixture. Mix with as much flour as possible using a wooden spoon. Turn out and knead in remaining flour for about 10 minutes. Let rise until doubled (1½ hours) Punch down. Let rest 15 minutes. Roll out dough. Cut with biscuit cutter and place in shallow baking dish. Brush the top with melted butter

Tomato Soup

2 T butter

1 c chopped onion

8 oz fresh mushroom, cleaned

2 T flour

1 14 ½ oz can whole tomatoes drained and chopped

1 cup hot water

1 16 oz can tomato sauce

Two beef bouillon cubes dissolved in ¼ c water

½ t white pepper

1 t sugar

1 pint heavy cream

Sauté onion and mushrooms in butter.  Add flour and stir till bubbly.  Add hot water, tomato sauce, bouillon, tomatoes, and pepper.  Simmer about ten minutes. Remove from heat, add sugar and cream.  Mix well until heated.

These go great together and make the house smell heavenly.

ANN: Those sound like great recipes…even though I don’t like tomato soup!! However, I LUV (I sang that in opera for effect) any kind of bread. I’ll definitely be making some of those muffins. Besides, nothing makes the house smell better than fresh bread baking.

I have a couple of recipes I’ll share in the next post on November 9, 2020.

By then, maybe some of you readers will have tried these two shared by Susan. If you do, then leave a comment on her blog site or mine. We’d love to hear if you liked them or not.

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames:


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!

Today, the Gabbin’ Gals, Susan, and Ann ask the question:

Ann: Have you ever wondered what people might think if they knew what you were googling? As writers, we google all sorts of weird stuff. For my mystery series, I google things like—what kind of poison could I used to kill someone without it showing up in a standard autopsy…or what could I use so the victim will die within fifteen minutes!

So, if someone looked at my search history, they just might call the cops!!

Susan: I’m with you! The latest thing I googled was about the Viking’s lifestyle. What they wore, what they ate, and how they lived. I had a mental picture (from some movie, I’m sure) about people eating large quantities of Pork cooked over an open fire and chasing it down with alcohol. While they did drink beer or mead, they ate a lot of mutton, whole grains, and vegetables.

I’ve googled whether or not you can kill a man wearing chainmail with an ax, time travel, ley lines, and standing stones.

Ann: I thought it might be interesting to share some Google statistics.

According to
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. That’s the average figure of how many people use Google a day, which translates into at least 2 trillion searches per year, 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day. Holy Moly!!

To find out more about Google search statistics, see this article:

Now that we know how many searches are going on let’s take a look at what people are searching for.

From March through April, the 9 most googled recipes according to are:

9. Cheesecake

8. Lasagna

7. French toast

6. Meat loaf

5. Brownies

4. Pizza Dough

3. Chicken

2. Pancakes

And the NUMBER ONE googled recipe is, BANANA BREAD!!

The following statistics were taken from visit their site for much more info.

Since we’ve been staying home more, many of us have taken up new hobbies. Some have been learning a new language, while others have been binge-watching Netflix…me included. Just so you know, the top three programs watched so far on Netflix are Tiger King, Ozark, and Outer Banks. I’ve watched one of those.

The most googled searches for hobbies are: Texas/TV and Films…so there, I’m not the only couch potato in the state!

Folks on the East Coast are googling home workouts. Most of the Mid-west is looking up video games.

DIY dominated Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Some of the most interesting searches are: While Texans are having trouble sleeping, Floridians want to know how to sleep at work.

Colorado wants to know how to stop drinking, and New Mexico searched to find out about day drinking. Ohio searched for how to dye my hair blonde at home, and folks in Pennsylvania need to know why their plants are dying. And then there’s Maine—they want to know how to build a chicken coop!

Now for the top “How to” searches:

10. How to lose belly fat

9. How to make French toast

8. How to write a cover letter

7. How to make pancakes

6. How to make money

5. How to draw

4. How to lose weight

3. How to get pregnant

2. How to Kiss

1. How to tie a tie

Kids with face-paint and Halloween costumes isolated in white

Since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought you might enjoy knowing the most searched costumes from last year. The source for this information came from

From 1-10, they are: It, Witch, Spiderman, Dinosaur, Descendants, Clown, Fortnite, Chucky, 1980s, and Unicorn.

Ann: My husband says he’s waiting for the day he can google ‘where are my glasses and get an answer!

Susan: Amen to that!

For more about Ann/Emma and her books:

Stay Tuned


My name is John Nick Charles, but everybody calls me Jax. I’m not your ordinary run-of-the-mill detective. I’m a paranormal investigator. The kind who deals with witches, ghosts, alchemy, and the occult on a regular. My name doesn’t come up over cocktails at dinner parties. Most people 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.

That’s why I was shocked when famous explorer Sir Dwight Winston showed up at my office looking to hire me. But why? A wealthy man like him could afford a team of investigators. Simple. He wanted something done off the record. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I needed the money. And it seemed easy enough. My mistake.

Jax Charles will be the first in a series of novelettes about quirky paranormal detective whose life is anything but normal. Will be available on Amazon/Goodreads.