March has been cool and windy with lots of rain, but things are finally beginning to bloom. Another bonus to being quarantined in the country. On a sunny day I can go outside for a change of scenery. Or I can watch the birds eating an early lunch at the bird feeder. They are probably wondering why I haven’t filled it. They eat it up so fast I have to ration it. Kind of like toilet paper these days!
…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.
One of my early childhood memories is the torture of nap time. I rarely slept. Instead, I spent my time looking out the windows, whispering to my sister, and willing the time to pass so I could go back outside and play.
It wasn’t all bad, though. My mother used to read to us. I truly believe that’s where I learned to get lost in a good story. With my eyes closed, the blinds drawn, and snuggled under the covers, I visited other countries, other times. Magical places that stirred my imagination.
I’ve never forgotten those stories she chose to share. The beginning of my love of reading and the desire to become a writer.
My sister, Kim, is a great cook. She’s always trying new recipes. This is one of hers. Nothing better than coffee and a hot muffin on a cold winter day!
- 1 1/2 cups Cranberries, Fresh
- 1 tbsp Orange, Zest
- 2 Eggs, Large
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
- 1 cup Powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup Orange juice
- 6 tbsp Butter, Unsalted
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk
Mix orange zest with sugar in small bowl. Set aside.Combine BP, flour and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.Mix buttermilk, oil, orange juice, eggs and vanilla. Combine all ingredients. Fold in cranberries. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Mix flour, melted butter and sugar to make crumble. Spoon on top of muffins. Cook 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean. Combine orange juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Pour over cooled muffins. Crumble and glaze are optional. Can be stored in airtight container for 3-4 days.
Betty Jo, Aunt Betty, Mama, Granny, Great-granny
January 29, 1926 – February 11, 2013
It’s already been nearly two weeks since I welcomed the new year with my to-do list in hand. I’ve been busy taking down Christmas, setting 2020 goals and getting organized. But it hasn’t all been work. My sister and I did make time to go see “Little Women” (more about that in a later blog).
I usually take a little break from writing toward the end of December and this year was no different, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I’m still learning to navigate Windows 10 and how to self-publish with Amazon. Lots of trial and error and throwing myself across the keyboard, muttering obscenities. But I won’t give up.
As you can see in the photo above, it’s been been been cold, gray and rainy for the past few days, so I’ve spent a lot of time in front of the computer with mugs of tea or coffee, homemade Cheesy Vegetable Soup and Zucchini Bread to keep up my strength. Tomorrow I’m going to try Cabbage Soup.
Sometime soon, I’ll post an excerpt from the next book I’m republishing, Xander’s Tangled Web, a fun little Romantic Fantasy.
See you soon!
It’s not always what’s inside that counts. Sometimes the wrapping is just as much fun as the gift.
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.
This is one of the things my children gave me for my birthday. It’s a quote from the very first book I ever published.
Macbeth Act IV Scene I
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.