Christmas Memories

My Christmas tree is an eclectic mix of ornaments. All different. All unique. Seeing this little Santa on the tree every year brings back a special memory. Some years my husband and I exchanged gifts and some years we didn’t. One year we celebrated with our kids early, so on Christmas eve we went to a local gift shop to get a little something for each other to wrap and put under the tree. This is what he got for me. Every time I look at it, I remember that day and the time we spent together.

Caleb’s Story continued

Olog-hai

Chapter 4 Episode 2

A small, ugly troll stood in the shadows at the edge of camp, his grayish skin glowing in the dark.

Owen jumped to his feet. “Who are you? What do you want?”

“I am Olog-hai the Uruk,” he said with a proper British accent. “I’ve come to kill you.”

“Izzat so?” Floren gave a belly laugh. “Why don’t you run along while you still can? I’ve squashed bugs with my thumb that are bigger than you, little worm.”

“Blimey. Is that supposed to scare me?”

“It should. Especially if I lose my temper.”

Olog shook his head. “You’re just an overweight dwarf with anger issues.”

“You’re no beauty queen yourself.”

Their insults continued, and they began to circle one another while Owen, Misa, and Calebth watched. Olog pulled up a small tree by the roots and knocked Floren down. He grabbed the dwarf by the head and was about to punch him when Owen drew his sword and started slashing away. Mowg ran over and started chewing on the troll’s ankle. But Misa was the smart one. She put a spell on him. He stumbled around the camp. “Blimey, I can’t see a thing!”

Calebth helped Floren to his feet. “Are you all right?”

“Of course.” The dwarf wheezed. “I’m indestructible.”

They heard a splash when Olog fell into the river.  “I’ll get you for this and your little dragon too.”

Floren spat into the water. “Take that, you ugly little troll!”

Later, when they were all sitting around the fire, Calebth turned to Owen. “Do you think I’ll ever learn to be as good with the sword as you?”

*  * * *

Between chores, and cooking and training with Owen twice a day, Calebth’s next few days were busy ones. One afternoon Floren and Misa watched him practice.

“I think Calebth is improving, don’t you?” Misa said.

Floren snorted a laugh. “He’s got a long way to go. I saw him lop the head off a wildflower the other day. And probably only because it was rooted to the spot.”

Misa narrowed her eyes at him. “Give the boy some credit.”

Later, they were sitting around the campfire after a stew of roast rabbit and wild onions.

Owen finished his and reached for more. “What was in the stew?”

Calebth ducked his head. “Aww, it was just one of Granny’s recipes I happened to remember.”

Floren smacked his lips. “I have to admit it was right tasty.”

Misa agreed.

The compliments made Calebth warm all over.

After supper, they lounged around the fire. Mowg was snuggled up in Floren’s lap, chewing on his beard. “Are we going to talk about the elephant in the room?”

Owen frowned. “What do you mean?

“First, we have no gold, second we have no boat to take us to Dragon Island, and third, we have a baby dragon gnawing on me like I’m his supper.”

Floren shook his head. “I guess we should have collected the bounty on the dragon.”

“That would have been cruel,” Misa said. “We couldn’t have done that to Mowg’s mother.”

“You got any better ideas?”

“Mowg is in danger. We have to find a way to take him home to his family. He’ll be safe there.” Calebth thought about his own father and how much he missed him.

In case you’re wondering…

My author page on Amazon is a little bare these days. And will be for a while. I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I got the rights back on all my books and plan to self-publish from now on. Needless to say, there’s a lot more work to it than just taking my books down off Amazon and putting them back up listing me as a publisher.

I’ve been working with Suzan Safi, the brilliant artist who did the cover for my first book Not Long Ago. She’s doing a fantastic job revamping my old covers and creating new ones. I highly recommend her. She’s easy to work with and does her best to see your vision. Check out more of her work. http://www.suziedesigns.net

You can teach an old dog new tricks. It just takes longer. So, please be patient. I have a lot of work, but once I’m done, there’ s more to come. Erin and Griffin’s story is far from finished. I have a ghost story that takes place in the sixties. And a a fun story about a family of witches living in a small town in east Texas.

Stay tuned.

Dinner and a Movie Monday – Practical Magic

A 1998 film based on the 1995 nove by Alice Hoffman. A great cast. Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Diane Wiest, Aidan Quin and Goran Visnjic. It takes place in a ficticious New England town. Bullock and Kidman play sisters Sally and Gillian Owens, who have always known they were different from other people. Raised by their aunts after their parents’ death, the sisters grew up in a household that was anything but typical—their aunts fed them chocolate cake for breakfast and taught them the uses of practical magic. But being a member of the Owens’ family carries a curse: the men they fall in love with are doomed to an untimely death. Now adult women with very different personalities, the quiet Sally and the fiery Gillian must use all of their powers to fight the family curse and a swarm of supernatural forces that could take away all the Owens’ lives.

A lovely movie I love to watch at Halloween.

WHOLE=WHEAT PANCAKES

A great recipe given to me by a friend, and the pancakes are truly to die for.

1 C whole wheat flour

1 ½ C oatmeal

3 T Brown Sugar

2 T Baking powder

¾ T salt

1 cup milk

1 cup buttermilk

3 eggs

3 T sugar

1 T vanilla

1 T cinnamon

Chopped pecans or almonds if desired

Add all dry ingredients together. Gradually add the rest, stirring as you go. Sprinkle nuts on top when you are cooking pancakes.

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”

Edgar Allen Poe