Thursday, October 31, 2013


Halloweens growing up did not hold many decent memories.  It simply wasn’t fun. 

I grew up in the middle of nowhere, in a school district that was scattered over a vast area.  My friends lived on the far reaches of the district, nearly 20 miles away.  As you can imagine trick or treating back and forth with them was out of the question.

My neighborhood, if you can call it that since really all it consisted of was a road with a scattering of houses, had no sidewalks and no street lights.  As a small child, I was not allowed to traipse up and down the road after dark.  Nor were the few other children that lived within a mile and a half. 

There were two years when one set of parents collected all the kids and took us around as a group to the same houses where they’d picked us up individually.  It took all of ten minutes, start to finish.

Costumes then, when you had a mother who didn’t sew, were those cheap, shiny open-in-the-back jumpsuit type things with a plastic mask.  I know I had a Flipper costume.  And I half-remember a Casper costume although that might have been the same electric blue coverall as Flipper with a new mask.

Carving pumpkins was highly frowned upon.  It was much too messy although there were sad attempts when I was honestly too little to be wielding the big carving knife.  The wrath they inspired just wasn’t worth it.

Yeah, Halloween to me leaves a lot to be desired.  But to those of you who have happier memories, enjoy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Another Tradition

The coming of fall means more than flannel sheets.  It also brings a favorite food.  Not that it really has anything to do with the season.  It’s something that, in my opinion, is a chilly weather meal.

My grandmother knew how I loved it and used to make it often.  Yes, even when I visited in the summer though to me, it just never tasted as good when it was hot outside.  The recipe originated with Jane who was one of the cousins. 

In the family there was my grandmother and great aunt and the five cousins.  As girls, they were inseparable.  I loved visiting when I was very young.  I sometimes got to stay at Cousin Jerry’s house.  She and her husband never had children and borrowed me on occasion when I was visiting my great aunt and grandmother. 

There were always stories of the cousins for the asking.  Cousin Francis moved away and made her home in South Carolina.  Cousin Mary ran a canoe rental stand on the local creek.  Cousin Jane had a daughter also named Barbara so growing up we were the Barbies even though we are separated by twenty some years.  And Cousin Betty married an author, lived in New York City and was the Grand Central Station information lady.  Oh yeah, you can imagine how much I adored when she would come home for holidays.  They were all wonderful women and I am very fortunate to have had them in my life growing up.

They’re all gone now except for Jane.  So it is in her honor that I share this recipe with you.  May you enjoy it as much as I always have.  Please make it and share it with your families.  I’m sure the ladies would be thrilled to have one of our traditions become one of yours.

The Dish
From Jane McCoy, one of the cousins

¼ lb dried beef
½ lb grated sharp cheddar
2 c milk
7 oz uncooked macaroni
4 hard boiled eggs - chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom soup

Mix everything together.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake 1 hour at 350 until bubbly.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I put on the flannel sheets this morning.  Doing so for the first time each season always reminds me of the second cat to grace my home.


He was a street cat who claimed me on cold December day.  When he found me he was missing half his fur.  He limped.  The vet later told me he had broken his leg at some point.  He was skinny as could be.

By spring he was gorgeous and sleek.  Pure black, exotic yellow eyes.  With a Siamese voice that echoed throughout the house.  He would sit in the attic and scream.  I’d go running, sure he was in tremendous peril only to find him sitting on the railing, waiting for me to pet him.  Yes, he laughed every time.

The next fall when I put the flannel sheets on he was the happiest kitty ever.  He never seemed to be able to get warm enough. All summer he’d sleep on the navy blue beanbag chair in the sunbeam in the attic.  As soon as those sheets were on he burrowed into them.  I’d have to go get him when it was time to eat.  When he was done he’d go straight back up to his cozy little nest.  He was nice though.  At bedtime he’d scoot over and give me a bit of space so I could join him.

He’s been gone for years.  Every time I put on the sheets though, I can feel him with me that first night.  I expect to hear him later, calling me to curl up with him.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day Almost Called

On account of stupidity.  My own, that is.  Yesterday after purchasing the winning ticket for tonight’s power ball I noticed that my one tire looked a little low.  I wasn’t sure if it was truly low or an illusion from being parked half on a ramp.

This morning I was ready for work early so I decided to be responsible and stop for air along the way.  Off I went to the same mini market where I’ve been adding air to my tires for the entire dozen plus years since it was constructed.  Out I hopped.  I took off the little cap, got the hose, pushed the button and then stood there. 

I haven’t added air to any of the tires since purchasing them in the spring.  I had no clue what the tire pressure on these particular tires should be.  I checked the gauge.  The pressure was 28.  I thought okay, I’ll be safe and add a few pounds.  Only when I let go of the trigger to check what it was up to the pressure had dropped.  I felt completely foolish as I’ve added air many times over the course of my driving life.  I tried again.  Down it went some more.

I quit before the tire was low enough to be unsafe.  I ran into a coworker on my way into the office and informed her I had to go home as I was too stupid to be in public today.  I explained why and I commend her on her effort not to snicker.

Not ten minutes later another coworker called to tell me she had the same experience on her way in this morning.  Ha!  It wasn’t me, nor was it her.  The damn gizmo was malfunctioning again and the mini market hadn’t put up the out of order sign yet.

So I debated about stopping at the other free air source on my way home.  The problem however was I still didn’t know the optimum psi for my tires.  I called the place I bought them and the very nice gentleman explained that there was likely a sticker on my door jam that contained that information but if I wanted to stop by he’d be happy to take care of it for me.

No, the sticker was not there so I went to see Corey the tire guru.  He located the sticker.  On the inside of the fuel door.  The tire info is in fine print beneath the fuel specifications.  Good to know for next time since he checked them all for me.  The only one that was low was the one I let air out of this morning.  If I’d left it alone, it would have been just fine.  Yes, it was at the recommended pressure before I got involved.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Most Excellent!

Want to know what I am referring to?  Click here.  Talk about cool!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013


This is blog post #1500!  I thought, in honor of that, I'd reshare all my book covers since that's the reason for all this in the first place.  See any you haven't read yet?  Click on the cover and it'll take you to the appropriate page.

As always, thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Know...

Yes, it is fall.  The leaves are starting to turn and they're beautiful.  I went for a walk the other day and thoroughly enjoyed the colors.  Took my camera to share them with you.  But a funny thing happened once I got home.  I was playing with the pictures and discovered that some of the scenes are even prettier not in color.  So here they are.  What do you think?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Which Way?

Standing barefoot at the crossroads
The winds of sadness at my back
Blowing me farther away
All roads lead to isolation
Each, a different face of hell

Once I was lulled in to caring
Promised the moon
Pipedreams shattered, scattered like stardust
Sifting, drifting down
Blanketing me with a layer of silt
The shards that were my hope

Brushed off
Crushed beneath my travel worn feet
Trampled into the dirt
Unrecognizable –
A part of the bleak landscape
Flat, colorless
A void in to which no one will follow

I go alone
But finding…

Friday, October 4, 2013

We Did It!

Thank you all who helped us reach the goal for Breathing Room.  It couldn't have been done without you.  You're generosity astounds and overwhelms me.  If you contributed, expect to be hearing from Lance soon.  I know he'll be in touch.  Again, thank you!

Happy weekend, all!