Finally I got mail:-)

Letters from Brandon

Letters from Brandon

Today I am celebrating letters from my son the new recruit!  I haven’t heard from Brandon in 4 very long weeks as he’s been in basic training in South Carolina.  I’m not the only one that misses him.  He drove his wife and son to El Paso, Texas in December so that they could stay with her parents while he is in basic and then school.  Kiesha and Chance are missing him something fierce too.

His letter made me cry in a good way.

I’m also celebrating the fact that Brandon is a really good man!

I’m so proud of him.


Winter Reading

I’ve been an avid reader since I was in elementary school.  My favorite books back then were The Little House on the Prairie series and Heidi.  Even after I began Junior High I would check those books out from the school library.  I was a dorky kid but those books were my friends and I loved re-reading them.

When I was an older teen, my sister Brenda got me hooked on Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novels.  Ashes in the Wind was her take on the classic Gone with the Wind but with a twist of course.  I owned several of her books from the book club (smile – get bunches of books for free and then pay thru the nose for the ones you have to buy to fulfill your agreement!).  I even chose my younger son’s name Brandon from her book The Flame and the Flower!

Historical romance fiction was the norm for me back then but I read so much I can’t recall all of the authors or their books.

About 15 years ago I stopped reading the historical romances.  Here’s a list of my favorite authors and books:

  • Nora Roberts (too many favorite books to list)

  • Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse Series, Aurora Teagarden Series, Harper Connelly Series and the Lily Bard Mystery Series) The Aurora Teagarden series is my favorite.

  • Debbie Macomber – A Turn in the Road, The Blossom Street series)

  • Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake Series and Meredith Gentry Series)

  • Stephanie Meyer – Twilight series and The Host

  • Jennifer Crusie – The Cinderella Deal, many other good books

  • Susan Elizabeth Phillips – Ain’t She Sweet

  • Sophie Kinsella – Remember Me?

So this month I’ve been back to voracious reading on my Kindle.  I have a great selection of books available from the library and have been downloading a lot this month!

Here is my January book list – all re-reads:

The Hunger Games trilogy

Breaking Dawn

Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery

Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1)

A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden Mystery)

Three Bedrooms, One Corpse (Aurora Teagarden Mystery)

I also read one free download from Amazon that I reviewed here.

So what are you reading this month?

A great morning to bake

I have to eat a high protein breakfast every day so that my blood sugar levels stay even.  I have hypoglycemia (the reactive type) and as I get older I’m more and more sensitive to what I eat.  I have to be very careful of the types of sugar I use in my recipes as well as using gluten-free flours.  Luckily I came across the Elana’s Pantry website several years ago and she introduced me to almond flour!  Since the only ingredient is ground almonds it’s high in protein and almonds are good for us!  I buy almond meal at Trader Joe’s instead of the blanched almond flour and it works great for me.

Delicious and good for me!

Delicious and good for me!

Every couple of days I have to bake something for my breakfast cache.  Today I decided on Dark Chocolate Chip Scones (Gluten-free) made with almond flour (recipe from Elana Amsterdam’s Almond Flour Cookbook).  The recipe makes about 8-10 scones and then I store them in a cookie jar in the fridge.  Each morning I zap one of them in the microwave for 20 seconds and sit back and enjoy a warm, chocolate gooey treat.

I wish you could tatste this!

I wish you could tatste this!

Did I mention that I’m also losing weight?!  Yes, amazing.

I  want to add that I enjoy baking when it’s EASY!  I don’t like to have to use a lot of ingredients and that’s why I also love the recipes in this cookbook!  Only 7 ingredients to make these moist, delicious and more importantly good for me scones.  YUMMY!

A Card for the new recruit – week 3

2013-01-27 15.29.16 (800x600)I’m still struggling with these cards probably because I’m really missing Brandon more each week.  I Googled homemade masculine cards for inspiration and I liked the looks of a one layer card.  I usually use a printed paper for my background and stamp a sentiment on a different layer of paper.  But I really like how simple and vintage this card ended up.

I throw away the packaging from the stamps but I believe this is Hero Arts.

It was long overdue for me to sort and put away some of my supplies and I’m happy that I did that while I was mulling over ideas for his card.

The Pub

Normally on a cold day like today, I stay home cozy under my leopard Snuggie watching TV or reading my Kindle but when I got a work assignment that blew that scenario out the window.  Instead I pulled my woolen Irish socks on, a heavy sweater and my cords on then I zipped up my waterproof boots (so glad I bought these recently).

Ray suggested we grab some lunch after I took the real estate pics so we drove downtown.  Since there was an open spot in front of The Baron Pub it seemed meant for us.  We sat at the front windows and it was chilly but the rear of the pub is dark and I was in the mood for light and action seen outside the windows.

Ray enjoyed his Baron burger and I feasted on a grilled chicken salad.  Delicious.  We haven’t eaten out in a few weeks so it felt like a wonderful treat!

Ray and I

Ray and I











The Baron Pub

The Baron Pub

The Wrath of Khan {snowstorm}

The local officials closed the schools 3 hours before the storm was forecast to start.  I remember when (way back when) my school made us wait until it was falling for a while before letting us go home…hmmm, changes.

It was so pretty coming down and I waited about 45 minutes before I went out all bundled up like my kids back in the day.  I had a scarf wrapped around my neck and a cute warm hat on my head and a heavy fleece jacket with deep pockets for my camera gear.


The Abominable Snowchick!

The Abominable Snowchick!

But I didn’t wear gloves because I need to use my fingers and hands…and baby it was COLD outside.  I didn’t last 10 minutes.  I came back in looking like the abominable snowchick!  Red fingers, cold face.   White snow sticking everywhere!  But it sure was pretty.

A snowy path

A snowy path

The courtyard after 45 mins of snow

The courtyard after 45 mins of snow

My favorite of yesterday

My favorite of yesterday



I went back out again this morning wearing more layers and took 75 more shots!  It’s so pretty out there.  Of course I ended up cutting about half of them.  But let me share of today’s favorites with you now:

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Snail Mail Club – January

A few months ago I asked my family and friends to join me in a monthly card exchange for purely selfish reasons.  I was struggling with depression and thought receiving a card in the mail would lift my spirits, it would force me to get my creative juices flowing again, make me feel connected and give me a purpose.  I’m thankful that some of them have the time and energy to participate.

It’s lovely to receive mail for no other reason than someone cares enough to say Hello the old fashioned way.  I’m sure the Postal Service appreciates the business too, lol.

Here are 3 cards that I mailed for January:

January - snowflakes

January – snowflakes

Cheryl sent me some beautiful acrylic stamps before Christmas and two of them were these beautiful snowflakes.  I used a white embossing ink but didn’t purchase the embossing powder (note to self – buy the powder!) and a white glitter glue to add some highlights.

January - snowwoman

January – snowwoman

For this 2nd card I used a snowwoman die cut and have just realized I mailed this card without her orange carrot nose!  Details – this is why I don’t work in a mind challenging job!!

I won’t put the month on each time but I just got this set of stamps with my Christmas gift cards and HAD to use them!  The same snowflake stamps with a slight twist having one just edge a tag.

Snowflake tags

Snowflake tags