Monday, April 6, 2020

Crockpot Monday: White Chili

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How are you all doing? Hanging in there? Eating well? I hope so! Today, I'm bringing you a delicious chili recipe that you can throw in your crockpot in the morning then come back and enjoy for dinner.

White Chili:

1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen white corn
2 (15-ounce) cans of White Beans
1 (4-ounce) can of green chilies
1 cup chopped white onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup vegetable broth
juice from one lemon
1.5 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
mozzarella cheese (optional garnish)

Add everything to the crockpot.
Cook on low for 8-9 hours, or high for 4-6.
Serve with shredded mozzarella cheese if you’d like.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Fridge

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Wow, Thursday again. The days are blending into one another and I'm lucky to keep up with where I am. How about you? How are you doing? I think this week's question is one that could cause some anxiety, but I'm going to answer it anyway... Ready?

If I looked into your fridge right now, what would I find?

Let's see...cheese, Roger's salami, milk, orange juice, eggs, guacamole, sour cream, Roger's yogurt, and a store brand pizza. I think that's about it. I know that there's no hamburger or other meats.

It's not perfect, but at least it's not penguins eating tacos!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: How I'm Trying To Help

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Happy Wordsmith Wednesday! If you're like me, you're hunkered down at home, watching as the chaos surrounds us. It can feel crippling, as if there's nothing that we can do. I hate feeling helpless so I've decided to do whatever it is that I can to help creatives keep on creating. It breaks my heart to see them saying that they don't know how they can keep going when their money is going to things like feeding their children that they don't normally have at home. I know this feeling well. My youngest son is home from college and tomorrow we'll go through the rest of my grocery budget that needs to stretch until the 19th. I'm not quite sure what I'll do but I'll figure something out. This post isn't about me, it's about you! I want to help you to keep creating, so I'm offering the following specials until April 30th.

Comic Creators: Get a single issue edited/proofread for free! I'm limiting this to 5 spots so please get in on this as quickly as possible. Not sure if I have space? Just message me on Facebook (Katrina Roets) or email me: .

Prose Folks: I'm offering 10% off any book of any length. Depending how long your story is, this could be quite the deal! I'm not limiting the number of these that I'm doing but the longer you wait to contact me, the further down the line you'll be. Like I said above, just message me or email me to get on the list.

I sincerely hope that this helps. If you're not in a position to take advantage of these specials, please consider passing the information along. I'm not limiting this to current clients. This goes for anyone who reaches out to me.

Stay safe, my friends!

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Honey & Cinnamon Glazed Carrots

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Honey & Cinnamon Glazed Carrots:

4 cups of baby carrots (or fresh carrots, peeled and chopped in 2-inch chunks)
1/2 cup of orange juice
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Toss everything into the crockpot and stir.

Cook on high for 6 hours or 4 on low. Carrots are done when they reached the desired tenderness.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Family

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Wow, holy long time no prompt, huh? This whole coronavirus thing has knocked me sideways. First my kids were sent home from college, then there was a lot of back and forth as to where they'd be staying and now that we've sorted all that out, I'm trying to get back to some sort of schedule. So...on to the prompt!

If you had been able to choose, would you rather have been an only child or part of a very large family?

This one is tough. My childhood was a bit wonky and though I'm the oldest of five, I'm not close to any of them and one of them I've never even met. I grew up in the same house with one sister and a brother lived nearby with my mother. So, I guess I was part of a middle sized family. If I had to choose...well...based on my family history, I think I'd go with only child. I felt so left out of things as a kid that I felt like I was alone a lot of the time anyway. Plus, let's face it...less kids means more tacos for me!

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Garlic Baked Potatoes

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Garlic Baked Potatoes:

4 large baking potatoes
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
8 garlic cloves


Peel the garlic and cut it into long slivers.

Wash your potatoes, and pat dry. Carefully cut slits into each potato every half inch almost to the base. The potato should start to separate a bit like an accordion.

Shove as many garlic slices as you can in each slit of each potato. Place the potatoes into your crockpot.

Liberally salt and pepper. Combine the melted butter with the olive oil and drizzle over the top of each potato, trying to get some in the garlic-filled slits, if you can.

Cover and cook on high for 2-4 hours or on low for about 6. They are done when the potatoes reach desired tenderness.

Top with sour cream.

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Corn Risotto

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Corn Risotto:

1.25 cups Arborio rice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon onion flakes
4 chopped cloves of garlic
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 package of frozen corn (16 oz)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on taste

to add later:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese


Put the tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of the crockpot, and swirl the rice and the onion flakes in it.

Chop the garlic and add, along with the salt and cayenne pepper. Add the frozen corn and the broth. Stir well. Drop in a pat of butter.

Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours, checking every 45 minutes or so. This is done when the liquid has absorbed and the rice is tender. Unplug, and add the cream and parmesan cheese. Cover for 5 minutes, or until cheese melts completely.

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Monday, March 9, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Corn on the Cob

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Corn on the Cob:

Fresh corn
Aluminum foil


Shuck the corn and wrap each ear in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped corn into your crockpot. There’s no need to add water.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Corn is done when it reaches your preference for tenderness.

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Monday, March 2, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Carrot Pudding

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Carrot Pudding:

4 cups grated carrots
1 small onion, grated
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar


Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Grate the carrots and onion. Add the grated veggies to your crockpot.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream, egg, salt, nutmeg, and sugar. Pour this mixture into your slow cooker, and stir well.

Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or on high for about 2 to 3. Your pudding is done when the carrots are tender. Using an immersion blender pulse a few times to create a pudding-like consistency. You can also transfer the carrot blend to a traditional blender to pulse a bit.

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Children's Stories

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I love this week's question! It lets me give you a sneak peek of my upcoming book!

You are a children's book author. Write the first few lines of your new book.

On a forgotten shelf, in a forgotten shop, on a quiet street, in a quiet village lived a small tiger. His name was Horace, and nobody knew how long he had been there, not even him. One day he had simply opened his eyes and there he was sitting on a shelf, surrounded by all sorts of characters. There were lions, and elephants, and even tiny kangaroos. The store was a happy place then, with children of all ages coming in every day.

There you go! Watch for Tales From the Toy Store, coming soon! 

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Rice Pudding

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When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to eat was rice pudding made by my grandmother. This isn't her recipe, but I still love rice pudding!

Rice Pudding:

8 cups milk
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Raisins (optional)


Spray the crockpot with cooking spray, then combine the milk, rice, and sugar. Stir well and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or high for about 4.

When the rice is tender, mix in a large mixing bowl, the eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Scoop a 1/2 cup of the hot rice mixture into the mixing bowl and whisk. Keep adding 1/2 cup at a time of the rice and milk mixture into the egg bowl until about half of the milk and rice mixture is gone from the slow cooker. Then pour everything back into the pot. Stir well.  Add your raisins at this point if you want.

Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Stir well, then take the lid off of the cooker and unplug it. When the rice pudding is room temperature, you can refrigerate it.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Phobias

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It's been a weak of fearful things around here, which ties in perfectly with this week's question:

List a few phobias that you have. When and how did you discover you had these fears?

1. Heights - This has always been something with me. I was never the kid to run to the top of the bleachers and standing on a chair to change a light bulb made me nervous. As I've gotten older, it's only gotten worse. I try to challenge it every now and then, but I'm not very good at it.

2. Death - This isn't phobia level, but it's certainly a fear. I don't fear my own death but those who are closest to me. I, like so many others, don't handle heavy emotional blows very well and I sometimes worry about what would happen to me if someone I loved deeply died suddenly.

3. Questions I don't know how to answer - aka looking dumb. I avoided doing podcasts and interviews for a long time because I was afraid I'd come across as dumb or not as good as other people. I've been working on that though and realizing that people will accept me for who I am, even when I say something silly.

That's my list! What do you fear? What holds you back?

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: Tales From the Toy Store art

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If y'all were here a couple of weeks ago, you saw me mention that Eric Cockrell is doing the art for the book. Well, I have some exciting news! He's finished the first piece and shared it with me. Of course, this means that I need to share it with all of you.

Tales From the Toy Store art

Isn't he fantastic? I'm totally in love with him and I can't wait to see the other pieces. If things go well, I may be able to release this book in the next couple of months! 

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Rice Krispy Treats

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Now for one of my kids' favorites when they were growing up!

Rice Krispy Treats:

3 Tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz) Marshmallows
6 cups rice krispies cereal

Place butter in crockpot and cover with marshmallows and cereal. Cook on high for 1 hour, stir all ingredients well.

Spread into a prepared 9 x 11 pan. Cut into squares when fully cooled.

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Book Review: Invasion

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Aliens are invading.

The Earth is doomed.

The end of the world is a bad time to fall in love.

Joshy is a normal kid from an average town suffering through a mediocre road trip with his family. He's positive this vacation will be just as bland and uninteresting as every one that came before it.

Then he meets Debra.

She's everything he's ever wanted in a girl. She's smart, funny, and radiant. They love all the same things, right down to the same obscure comic books. There's a definite spark between them.


The moment they finally kiss, a bolt of electricity from Debra's mouth knocks Joshy unconscious.

He wakes up to a shocking truth.

Debra is an alien.

Worse yet, another race called the Globorians are about to invade Earth and enslave all of humanity.

Now, Joshy and Debra must race against time to stop the Globorian plot and save the planet before it's too late.


The end of the world is a bad time to fall in love. That line says it all, doesn't it? But since I'm a bit chattier than that, let's jump into the review.

The Good:
Characterization. Among the many things that Russell is good at, characterization is right up there at the top. He creates characters that you love or love to hate, but never that you're indifferent to.  Then, he pulls you into the story, leaving you guessing as to what's going to happen next, who you can trust, and whether Josh and Debra can save us all before it's too late.

The Bad:
The use of the name Joshy. The kid hated it so I hated it. Dang families who won't listen to your feelings on things like what you want to be called! 

The Summary:
If you love science fiction, I strongly recommend this book. Any book that can get me attached to someone who might be a bad guy is a book worth reading and this book did just that. Russell is an incredibly skilled author and I've yet to read any of his books that I wouldn't recommend. If you haven't checked him out yet, please'll have hours and hours of enjoyable reading to look forward to. 

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Valentine's Day is just a few days away and let me tell you, I'd be happy if someone made me this tasty treat!

Pumpkin Cheesecake:


1 cup gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons white sugar

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz)
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Sour Cream Topping (optional): 
1 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Use your largest crockpot. You’re going to be using it as a water bath to cook the cheesecake.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter with the graham cracker crumbs and white sugar. Press the mixture into your casserole dish. Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, pure pumpkin, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add the spices and eggs. Mix well with a hand or stand mixer until the cream cheese is fluid and there aren't many clumps of cream cheese.

Pour the filling on top of the crust.

Put 1/2 to 1 cup of water into the bottom of your crockpot. The inserted dish should push the water halfway up the sides of the cheesecake.

Carefully place the cheesecake into your crockpot. Avoid any water splashing into the cheesecake and cook on high for 2 to 4 hours. You will know it's done cooking when the top is no longer jiggly and the sides have begun to brown slightly.

Unplug your crockpot, and take off the lid. In a small mixing bowl, whip together the sour cream topping. With a rubber spatula, very carefully spread the sour cream topping on top of the hot cheesecake. Let the cheese cake sit in the cooling crockpot for an hour, before chilling in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 6 hours. Serve.

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Goals

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Today's question is perfect for this time of year when so many are thinking about the upcoming year and making plans.

Write about three realistic goals you would like to achieve in your lifetime.

1. Publish my stories - This seems kind of duh, huh? Except up until now, I've only been published alongside Nick. Don't get me wrong. I love working with Nick and would forever except he's pushed me out of the nest. He knows me well. If I continue working and writing with him, I'll never tell my own stories and he doesn't want me to miss out on that. He's a good friend. So, my goal is to write and publish my own stories and books. I'd love to sell them too, but right now, it's all about the act of being brave enough to publish.

2. Build up my editing business - I love working with other authors, helping them to build up their writing. While I love writing, I don't want to give up editing and proofreading. I have a goal of making enough money between the two to be able to successfully live without any kind of assistance. It's going to be a lot of work, but I love what I do and I'm okay with work.

3. Own my own house - This last one may be the biggest and hardest challenge, but it would be the ultimate sign of success if I could buy my own house. I like knowing that a space is my own. It gives me the security that I need. Right now, I'm renting a house that needs a crazy amount of work. I'm taking every penny that comes in to pay off old bills and to live. It's my hope that between the first two goals, that I can make enough money to start putting funds aside to save up for a down payment.

These are my goals, what about you? What are your three goals?

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: Tales From the Toy Store

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Happy Wednesday, everyone! This week I want to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes of bringing Tales From the Toy Store to life. The book has been written and just finished up some time with beta readers. I can't believe how close we are to publishing! So, what's happening now?

Art! Woot! I just sent the final reference photos for the illustrations to my artist, Eric Cockrell. He's going to turn real life toys into pictures for the book and I can't wait to see them. I'm incredibly excited to see what he does with them. I just know they're going to be awesome. Once that's done, it's my job to insert them into the book. We also need to finalize the cover which means I have to write the back copy. It seems like a lot but we're in that downhill slope to publication and I'm so eager to share these stories with all of you!

Before I get back writing, I want to give you a sneak peek at a couple of the characters that will be in the book:

Toby the Gnome

Edgar the Raven

Aren't they great? These are toys that actually live right here in my house and who I've written about for the book. They each have their own personalities and get up to all sorts of adventures!

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Oreo Cheesecake

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Time to whip up a recipe that combines two of my favorite things!
Oreo Cheesecake:


10 chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, crushed

Use a 6-quart slow cooker and inserted oven-safe dish that can fit all the way inside of the stoneware. You're going to use the crockpot as a water bath.

In a zippered freezer bag, crush ten cookies until they are tiny crumbs. Pour the melted butter into the bag and squeeze around until it's combined. Press this crumb mixture into the bottom of your dish.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, flour, cream, and vanilla with a handheld or stand mixer. Crush the other 10 sandwich cookies (into small pieces) and stir by hand into the batter. Pour batter on top of the crust.

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water into the empty crockpot and slowly lower the casserole dish in, being careful not to splash water into your cheesecake.

Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, checking after 1 hour. Your cheesecake is done when the edges are no longer shiny and have begun to brown.

Unplug the cooker, and let the cheesecake sit in the crockpot uncovered for one hour before removing and transferring the dish to the refrigerator. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

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Friday, January 31, 2020

Book Review: The Case of Too Many Clues

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The Case of Too Many Clues
Holy Catnip! With business booming, Cat Detectives, Buckley and Bogey, have their paws full when it comes to running the BBCDA — the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency. But just when they’re ready to take a little break, someone leaves them a clue . . . right on their own front porch! Naturally, the boys are suspicious, since they usually have to hunt long and hard to find any clues on a case. And things get even more odd when the clues just keep on coming — all in little glass jars with shiny black lids. Especially when one of those jars holds a bunch of sparkly diamonds. Holy Mackerel!

But clues aren’t the only things that land on the boys’ front doorstep. Soon their family takes in a few foster cats, including an energetic kitten with an overactive imagination. One who is determined to follow Buckley wherever he goes, even as the boys track clues all over town! And when clues just lead to more clues and yet more clues, it isn’t long before Buckley and Bogey realize there is something sinister going on in their little city of St. Gertrude. From creepy mansions to angry bees, and from rescue operations to midnight visitors, this case has way more danger than the boys ever bargained for. And before long, they learn the stakes could not be higher, especially when their family is framed for a crime. That’s when the boys have no choice but to add up all those clues in a hurry and crack the case . . . or else! Holy Catnip!

The Good:
I love the cats in this book...from Buckley to Trixie and every single one in between. The author does a superb job of giving each of them their individual identities and roles in solving the mystery. I don't know how Cindy comes up with these mysteries because they keep me on my toes every single page and I never know until the big reveal who it is.

The Bad:
I finished the book. Seriously. I feel as if these cats are somehow a part of my family and I miss them when there aren't new stories to read. I may need a trip to the cat cafe to get my fill of kittens soon!

The Summary:
Another great kitty mystery by Cindy Vincent. These are perfect for middle grade readers and if you're like me, maybe a few years outside of school. I can't recommend them enough for cat lovers and mystery lovers alike. Holy mackerel and holy catnip!

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Excess

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Yay! It's Thursday! I've come to really look forward to the weekly writing prompts. Hopefully y'all have too! This week's prompt is:

What area of your life do you tend to enjoy in excess instead of in moderation?

Wow...tough one. My first reaction was Lego. It's a bit of a tiny obsession right now as I've become aware of my love of the tiny bricks again. When my boys decided they had outgrown them, I didn't have a good excuse to buy them anymore. There just wasn't the budget to spoil myself.

Now that they're off in college and living their own lives, there still isn't the budget, but I've found a few sets on clearance lately and I've fallen in love all over again. I find it relaxing to sit and build. I'm in awe of the people who have come up with the designs that I never could. I envy those with huge collections that are building their own cities or worlds.

I can't say though that I enjoy it in excess in the sense that I own a ton of them, but in the way that I enjoy them when I do have them. They're the happiest little hours of my week except when I'm with the kids or writing. Hopefully the budget opens up a bit soon so I can buy a few more sets...especially since my birthday isn't until September.

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Pound Cake

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We're back! Pneumonia kept me away from the keyboard and the kitchen, but I'm back and what better day that my youngest son's 19th birthday! And it's a cake recipe!

Pound Cake:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 eggs.
1.5 teaspoons vanilla


Place all of your ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until everything is well incorporated. Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray and pour the batter in. Prop the lid open with a chopstick or wooden spoon.

Cook on high until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean, 3 to 4 hours.

Then enjoy with your favorite people!

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Lost

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Last week I told you a story about my youngest son. Today's is all about a trip my oldest and I took together a couple of summers ago.

When was the last time you got lost?

In today's age with a gps built right into my phone, it's not often that I get lost. Trust me though to find an exception. A couple of summers ago, my oldest son, Ben, and I were headed down by Detroit to watch one of his friends play baseball. The weather was lovely and off we headed. We were doing really well, making good time, until we came across a train stopped on the tracks. Since we were limited on time, I decided to go around...and that's when it happened.

The turn I took didn't lead to where I thought it was going to. We were in the middle of nowhere and suddenly my phone lost signal. I was trying to keep positive so I joked that we were on an adventure. I got to the end of a road and took a left. Luckily, it led to a place called Turkeyville. Unluckily, my stomach had started acting up and I badly needed to find a bathroom. We pulled into the parking lot, but they were closed. No worries, a girl was walking across the parking lot. Surely she'd let me use the bathroom since it was becoming an emergency and then give me directions to the freeway. Nope. She acted as if she didn't hear me calling out repeatedly to her.

As I watched her go inside the building, my confidence was a bit shaken, but just then an rv pulled out from a side road. Since those often head towards civilization, I decided to follow it. Just a few miles down the road was a golf club. I was never so happy to see a sport I don't love. I pulled in and told Ben to wait in the car. I hurried inside to use the bathroom but before I was done, I heard Ben in the hall asking someone for a bandaid. Ut-oh...someone hadn't listened. Turns out he had come in and tripped on the sidewalk and skinned up his knee. Luckily for us, the gear shop had a first aid kit and got him fixed up while I got directions. Turns out I was only about a half mile from the freeway! Whew!

There were a few more small adventures before we got to the baseball tournament, but at least we weren't lost again!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: Absence

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Hey, everyone! Some of you may have noticed that the site got really quiet for about a month. It turns out that my little cough turned into pneumonia and knocked me out for about five weeks. I did little more than lay on the couch and watch tv. I didn't have the concentration to read, to work, anything. To say it was frustrating is probably the understatement of the new year. Finally though, after six weeks or so, I've been told by the doctor that my lung x-rays are clear again. Yay! Of course, after doing a bit of shoveling, I do have a cough creeping back in, but I'm going to be keeping a close eye on it.

Now that I'm better, it's time to make some plans for 2020! I finished the first draft of Nevermore at the end of 2019 and I'm waiting for notes from Nick. I hear there are a lot of them...erk! That's okay though. It's just going to make me a better writer. I also finished Tales from the Toy Store and sent that out to some beta readers. I should have some notes back on that soon and then Eric Cockrell and I will be working together to add some art before working on a launch.

On the editing side, I'm currently accepting projects. Being sick really hurt my finances. On top of that, I just love proofreading and editing. I can't wait to dive into some new projects. If you're looking for someone, don't hesitate to reach out.

Now, it's about time for me to be mom. My oldest, Ben, is doing Special Olympics basketball and it's practice night. His first tournament is this weekend, so wish us luck!

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