Summer Eats

posted in: FOODS, MY BOOKS, SEASONS | 0

Truly enjoying our local vegetable stand right now. I’m getting ready to freeze zucchini and yellow summer squash.

I no longer can endless quarts, make jams/kraut, pickle. Thank you, Lord. One time, I came home from working 7:30-4p to a hungry family and still had 3 bushels of green beans to snap and can. I remember that un-fondly.

Because our heat/humidity is high, I keep things easy and at noon, just started my slow cooker, filled with vegetables. Tonight, it will go over rice noodles–I just love the kind that you place in boiling water and then remove from stove for 8 minutes, rinse and drain. Add some parmesan cheese in the individual servings, and you’re set.

What’s in it? 1 onion, green pepper, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, and when it cooks down a bit, cooked black beans and maybe chicken broth. Sometimes I add sesame seed oil at the last. Sometimes I roast pine nuts for the top, or just sprinkle sunflower seeds over it. Depends.

After looking at this picture, I probably should have used my bigger slow cooker.

If there is too much left over, it’s great to freeze for later.

By the way, if you are on my enewsletter list, I still have some iBook coupons left, but you have to be on the list–and I check. <<smile>>

Stay cool….

Summer Delights

To date, we’ve had a cool summer, with lots of rain. I’m not a sun/heat person, so I’m enjoying it. So are my herbs, especially the chives, cilantro, and basil. I am hoping they will grow inside this winter.

My front porch and back patio will grow anything and the herbs are responding nicely. I haven’t planted the lavender yet, but did take a start up to my neighbor, who also enjoys puttering/potting, etc. Love lavender and use the essential oil in my burner. I need to do that now, while writing…. If you haven’t gotten into essential oils, try them for different uses.

On the Fourth of July, while enjoying the neighborhood’s fireworks, I “burned” eucalyptus on my porch and the mosquitoes didn’t like it.

Yesterday, I snapped this huge bush. Gorgeous, isn’t it? How nice of it to bloom in my favorite colors.

 

As for writing, amazingly my 2nd book of the year in a new romance series is coming into the home stretch. Lots of editing needed, but the book is almost done. Am so hoping to get book 3 done also. That’s questionable right now, because we are amid getting the Tallchiefs back into print. The Cowboy and the Cradle will soon be in paper as well the rest. Am so pleased that people remember them and still love them. (My daughter gave me that handmade walnut cradle on the cover, btw. and that is my garnet ring on Tallchief’s Bride.) Do watch for more Tallchiefs to turn up?

 

 

 

http://caitlondon.com/tallchiefs/

 

The Bad and the Good

posted in: Life Happens, SEASONS | 0

With all of the Ozark’s rains, everything is green and growing, including the following picture. I just discovered this great big bush in my yard. So pretty. Has berries. Pretty leaves. Folks have kindly informed me that this is poison oak. Hmm. That’s the Bad. Someone else is going to remove it. Not me.

Poison Oak

Always count our blessings, right? Someone else will deal with that monster bush.

Storms and tornado warnings abound this time of year. We’ve had some high winds, T-storms, but luckily no tornadoes. (My next door neighbor slept through one big tornado here, and I tease her about that all the time.)

We’re a family of “Do-ers”. If possible, we’re going to make/create/do. Yesterday, the weather permitted some online time and I worked at the other side of writing, which is–gasp!–business. I do my own low level graphics and enjoy them, and here is the Facebook Ad I created. (Very short time sale.) If you are on Facebook or Twitter, I hope you’ll join me there.

Available Ebook Only: iBooks, Kobo, Nook

~The Wedding Gamble 

~The Bride Says No 

~Tallchief’s Bride 

Turtle Races

posted in: Life Happens, MY BOOKS, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS | 2

When my daughters were young, so was this hilly neighborhood subdivision. Set in the Ozarks, it was pure country with nightcrawlers thick after rains, or when a yard light stayed on. Nightcrawlers are fishing worms–big ones, FYI. And only one of my three daughters would get out of bed early to collect these with me. The other two daughters groaned and flopped over. There is always one….

This painting was what I saw outside my kitchen window. (Back in my Van Gogh days.) Now there are mobile homes, so quite the few changes. It’s slanted in the shot, and in my daughter’s home, but quite large and suiting a dark corner.

We had a few driveway barbecues and with the guys below crawling everywhere we had a driveway turtle race. Basically, the terrapins had numbers on them and we put them under a plastic swimming pool, drew a chalk line around the poor, voila! Turtle/terrapin races. They bury/hibernate and those marks on his back may be from my lawn mower. They say the red heads mean snapping turtles. I don’t know and don’t want to challenge that warning. See this one’s little evil eye?

I wondered about this guy, if he was the great, great however many greats of one of those in our driveways great turtle race. I found out later–aren’t the LATER stories you learn from your kids just fabulous??   One daughter–a businesswoman now, 7 at the time–wanted to take bets on those turtles.

My books reflect times in my life, or bits of color in it–I love color–but I haven’t used turtle races yet.

Currently, I’m hard at work in a series set where I grew up in northwest Washington state mountains. The trees are “pointy” pines there, while the Ozark hills are rounded oaks. As a college girl, I hiked in the Cascades and gosh, if I knew any of my daughters had done that ALONE, I would have freaked.

I’m writing now with my windows open, the fresh air coming in as we wait for more rain. I hope you’re enjoying your days, too….

Water Everywhere

posted in: Life Happens, SEASONS, writing | 3

Days of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall have hit. Our weather alert radios are sounding every few minutes. Someone once called these consecutive storms, “Freight trains” which they truly are, one after another, pounding the countryside, filling the lakes and streams, and causing people to evacuate.

The best rule is “stay at home”, if you can and don’t get out there unless absolutely necessary. The state highway running past my home was closed, several towns, bridges, roadways closed due to an “almost” record breaking flood.

We did not have tornadoes here, but others did. Today, I am praying for so many people whose homes have been flooded, who are struggling and facing hard work to rebuild their lives.

Here’s to everyone out there:

April Showers

posted in: Life Happens, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS, writing | 1

In SW MO, we have more than “showers”, we have flooding at this date. Rivers are brown with mud, sheets of gray rain and big, big lightning and thunder storms.

But the rolling hills are filled with new green, a contrast to the dark cedars. Not a good time for those who are allergy challenged. And the dogwoods are blooming, the roses and everything is just–grand, is the word. Grand.

My knockout roses have started to bloom and I can’t wait to see what else I’ve planted–not an organized gardener. If I can find a place for a bulb, there it goes. 🙂

It gets really hot and dry here in the summer, so my porch has lots of succulents. They are new to me and I’m enjoying them. Meanwhile, these beauties are along our highways:

I’m writing heavily and unplug during high storms, which can really stop a story rolling along, coming thru my fingertips. I’ve been waiting to spend time working with my last contest “Happy4Me” and it was more difficult than I supposed. The question was: What do you do when you’re down?

The range of answers was tremendous, and most entries listed reading. I am truly inspired by all the ways people try to work with their I’m down-mood. Uncommon, thoughtful answers that included volunteering, video games, crafts, remembering good times, etc. Terrific thoughtful answers and I loved each one. I’m announcing the winners soon in my email list, so if you haven’t yet, SUBSCRIBE HERE.

If I can–remember, I’m writing heavily–I want to write more about my Happy4Me contest which has ended. You’ll know when I do write about it.

I am humbled by the people facing real challenges, either emotional or physical or both, and by the simple joy and appreciation of life people hug within them.

Enjoy!

Cait

Day of the Buzzard

posted in: Life Happens, SEASONS | 0

Ah. Spring. Love you. The lawn guys came and my neighborhood smells like freshly mowed grass. My tulips are blooming.

http://caitlondon.com
Love Me Tulips

Some days are really excellent, like the other day when visiting my insurance agent. Some man was wearing western books done in ostrich hide. (Easy to notice in an amber shade with small pointy bumps.) The dialogue ran to: very expensive, wears well and soft.

Then he asked me if I wanted to feel his boot to see how soft it was. Naturally, I did. I mean how often do you get to feel a cowboy’s boot with ostrich hide? Yes, it was truly soft.

The reason I was in the office was to run through getting my buzzard-dent fixed. Minding my own business, driving carefully, I hit a buzzard in flight–this after he feasted on a dead armadillo with his buddies. His buddies flew off in one direction, he in the other and suddenly he bounced off my hood, just about the latch. It was raining and when I checked right then, I didn’t see the dent–but I could definitely smell buzzard.

I’ve run through whatever to get the dent fixed soon. April is my birthday month and I celebrate all month or maybe from April to May of the same date. I did not need a buzzard dent for my birthday.

The strange thing is that as I described the incident to friends, the laughing does not quit. They compare it a Lucille Ball episode. Everyone seems to be enjoying it, including one estimate guy who told me more than I want to know about buzzards. One daughter thinks it compares to the Lucille Ball episode where she and Ethel Mertz are working on the candy factory line. I fail to see the comparison, but okay. 🙂

FWIW: Since it’s my birthday month, I give to others and do things for them, which makes me feel really good. I just made ginger root and honey tea for a neighbor who isn’t feeling well. She said it helped and I am so glad. She’s a really nice person. In fact, I know lots of nice people.

I’m deep into starting the rough draft of book 2 in my new series, but designed a new cover for a romantic suspense WHEN NIGHT FALLS. When I get really good at crocheting, I want to make a shawl like she’s wearing. I think shawls are so elegant.

http://amzn.to/2nUMbVc
When Night Falls

For WHEN NIGHT FALLS, I researched historical roses and the story is set in a small Oklahoma town with lots of rose gardens, some of them heritage roses collected from old homesteads.

Then I am so glad people remember the Tallchief Series and are enjoying The Cowboy and the Cradle and Tallchief’s Bride. In order, that is Duncan and Calum. Birk is up next in The Groom Candidate.

 

What else is new? I bought an iron skillet to use for baking. I have forgotten the weight of an iron skillet. 🙂

I just love those raindrops on the opened tulip, don’t you? I love mist and rain. But not buzzards.

 

Spring and Storms

posted in: SEASONS, writing | 2

First, I am truly warmed by all the kind responses of readers who are glad my Tallchief series is re-releasing. The Cowboy and the Cradle and Tallchief’s Bride so far. Thank you.

I‘m working quickly this morning, preparing for the spring storms that interrupt writing. Boy, it’s aggravating to be in a great scene, the story running really quickly through you/your fingers, and a big thunder boomer warns you to shut down your desktop and unplug. I write more quickly on a desktop with a big ergonomic keyboard, but as a work-around the storms, today I’m starting a new book on my iPad and nifty new full size keyboard. Kids and toys, you know. 🙂

I love scented geraniums. I just got these and will get more. One year, south of Lexington, KY, I got the most gorgeous ones, and plants love my big wide porch. I hope I can find those again, gorgeous blooms. The Amish greenhouse lady said they would last through the winter, but mine always fail, so each year, out searching for those scented geraniums. My succulents did make it through the winter fine in a sunny, back room

This is my old chive plant that has lived forever, poor thing. It really needs care. If I could recommend one herb/whatever, this would be it. Love me fresh chives. But I also will have a lot of others, namely basil. If you haven’t tried fresh herbs, please do. It’s a savory experience.

And who doesn’t need a little garden gnome. My daughter gave me this because she said he looked like me when I’m thinking about a plot. 🙂

These little woodland violets are wild, but I replant them where likely, because I consider them to be God’s gift. There is probably a proper name for them, but they are violets to me.

With one book just now finished and starting the second one in a new series, I’m looking forward to seeing what these characters do.:) I’ve just finished a short story to go with my Basket Series, probably out in the holidays and other new work that has to “cool off” as writers say, giving the book space to see if it truly is a book and what needs to be edited. In the book I’ve just finished, I need to develop a setting–a lighthouse in the Cascade mountains. Yes, a lighthouse, not a tall fire-spotter tower. 🙂

By the way, if you aren’t subscribed to my enewsletter, you might want to. CLICK HERE. We’ve started a nifty little monthly birthday calendar with one prize per month. March’s was Bernadette. Don’t you just love that name?

2017 Best Wishes 2 U

posted in: CRAFTS, DIY, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS | 0

Aloha from Chilly Foggy SW MO!

Ok, I took a break. I admit it. And thoroughly enjoyed the holidays and especially the very end of the year. I think I enjoyed this time more than any other year. I hope you did, too. It’s foggy this morning and we’re expecting 0 temps soon. January and February–especially Valentine’s Day–are my favorite times of the year.

Reflecting on 2016: I am so thrilled with the reception of my Basket Series. So many kind people posted their reviews and I sent copies to my sister, who is not on Internet. Thank you so much! This was a series I’d waited to write and I already have the rough draft of a short story to follow–whenever.

First: The Cradle Contents and the Website Ideas Contest are now closed. The Cradle Contest had multiple winners with the same very good ideas and the prizes will be my books. I have some of the items on hand for the cover of The Cowboy and the Cradle.

I am so pleased that people remembered the Tallchief series and their very nice comments are most appreciated.

These are boxes my daughter wrapped. I had more fun with these perfectly wrapped boxes. She could have just sent empty ones. Weren’t they gorgeous in the previous basket shot? I love that basket. In fact, I love all my baskets as you can guess by my Basket Series.

 

This is a gift I wrapped for friends, complete with a Tunisian crocheted mat and The Basket Maker’s Wife and The Egg Basket. I also crocheted dishcloths and caps, some for messy buns. Now, isn’t that a word for hairstyles?

I started on a new series last night and had been mulling ideas. I drive a lot when thinking, just open road, the wheels on the pavement and no media. Lots of good thinking/ideas come from that time. I’ve driven across the country and up into Canada and am planning some trip, somewhere this summer. I lost my favorite seagull picture and I want a good shot of an old windmill.

And my homemade 2017 planner? It’s filling up. It’s a new project, one of many. 🙂

That’s it for now. I’d love to hear from you. Write to: Cait London.

 

 

Peace in the Holidays

posted in: SEASONS | 0

Thank you for subscribing to my Blog. This website is brand new and I’m making adjustments here and there. Please visit the For Readers page and enter the Contest there for what you would like to see on my Website? Thank you!

My daughter sent these packages and I thought they were so pretty that I put them in my favorite basket–a thrift store find and quite large, lightweight. Someone called this a French market style. I have no idea, but to me, it symbolizes many gifts that we are given, including those not material.

I’ve just gotten the bones of my website lifted, more little pieces to adjust, etc. I am learning as I go. No easy road. But it has been a struggle and a time/energy sucker, now completed. Yes, I am creating it, no designer for me, though they do marvelous, artistic work I appreciate. I’m a do-er as you’ll find out. 🙂 Yep. Love to do stuff. Busy, busy, busy. 🙂 And feeling so blessed to be able to live/do/create as I want–mostly. 🙂 And there is this friend, at the ready when I need encouragement. I called her just last night and we shared a virtual glass of wine and friendship.

I intend to settle into the last of this tumultuous year with gratitude and peace in the holidays. The reviews on my Basket Series, out this year, humbled me. Truly. Truly grateful for each one, each person who took precious time to review. I’d waited to write these stories and they are different from those of my long-time career.

My Big Holiday Plans: Candles, easy chair, fire, calling friends, Tunisian crocheting and do hope to get started on canvases–I’m a painter–that have waited. My teapot is steeping green tea now and I’m set for an evening of working with new stories. (I’m studying how to read tea leaves, thus the tea. :)) Brainstorming, or nesting as I call it, is no easy task, yet fulfilling.

Wishing you a wonderful peaceful holiday. We so often forget to take time to enjoy blessings, but we can. We will. We will seize this time to reflect, to plan, to enjoy peace in the holidays.

Cait London/POB 1096/Hollister, MO 65673