Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Welcome to Starbucks

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Howdy, everyone! It's day two of me working at Starbucks and so far, I've gotten very little accomplished. It's a total change of scenery and it's going to take some getting used to. I found a table that I like which is a good start. My only complaint? The music in here is really loud. It's like the volume that you'd put on if you had a room full of talking people, but right now there are the employees and two of us in here. Bonus? I found out that dragonfruit added to green tea lemonade is really tasty. 
What else do I have to share with all of you? Let's see...Oh! I started a new project yesterday. By started I mean that I put up a post on Facebook asking who has dogs and what name/type of dog they are. People loved talking about their pups! By the end of the day, I had 35 dogs on my list. I'm not sure when I'm going to start writing that, but it looks as if there's a puppers book in my future and yours! Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the kitties. I also wrote down the names of the next 22 cats that I'll be writing about. 

I have to decide which one that I want to write first. Either one would be good, but I'm leaning towards the cats because it's an established series and people may be wanting the next book. At least I'm hoping that they do! I'm thinking cats, dogs, toy store will be my writing schedule. For those of you waiting for Holidays at the Toy Store, don't worry. It is coming. I'm just waiting for the funds to pay Maxx for her work and for Eric's schedule to open up enough to work on the cover. Our lives have become chaotic as of late. 

Okay, all. That's it for this week. I'm going to ...I'm not sure what I'm going to do now! I'll figure something out though. Maybe I'll get up and dance since "Boogie Fever" is playing loudly. 

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Monday, August 28, 2023

Crockpot Monday: Cowboy Beans

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Cowboy Beans:


1 pound dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey (optional)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel (tomatoes with chilies), or traditional chopped tomatoes, your choice
1-2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
7 cups water
sliced jalapenos (optional)


Sort pinto beans, and soak overnight in lots of fresh water. In the morning, drain your beans, and pick out any that have split open, or look discolored and shriveled.

Pour into a 6 quart crockpot. Brown hamburger and onion on the stove, and drain fat. While the meat is cooking, add the rest of the ingredients into your crockpot. Start with 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar. Add the meat, and top with 7 cups of fresh water. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for about 6. Taste the beans. If you'd like your beans to have more of a tang, add some more Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar. Top with sliced jalapenos, if desired. 

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Friday, August 25, 2023

A Day Late!

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Holy wow, it's been one heck of a week. It started with me having to pick up a bat to remove him/her from my living room in the middle of the day and "ended" with a power outage that lasted 18 hours. In the middle there was the death of a friend that has left me in shock, even days later. I don't want to dwell on any of that though. Let's focus on some fun and positive things.

Thing #1
Tomorrow I'll be modding on Twitch all day. My friend, SylverDreamer, is celebrating his two year streamaversary! There will be community games all day long and giveaways. Personally, I'm hoping to win some goodies myself. That starts at 12:30 pm eastern at . 

Thing #2
I wanted to let all of you know that on November 4th and 5th, I'll be in Midland, Michigan at the mall for the Fett's Holiday Market. I'll have a table set up there, so come and buy your books, prints, stickers, and pins. If you've already purchased a book off of Amazon, bring it for me to sign! I would love to meet all of you. Remember that books make the perfect holiday gifts and prints, stickers, and pins make great stocking stuffers! 

I'm going to leave you there for now. Starting next week, watch for these updates to happen on Wednesday afternoons. The oldest has class about 30 minutes away so I'll be driving him and hanging out at the local Starbucks while he's in class. I figured it was the perfect time to get some work and writing done.

Have a great week!

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Monday, August 21, 2023

Crockpot Monday: Quinoa Casserole

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Quinoa Casserole:


1.5 cups quinoa
3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 sliced or chopped almonds
1/3 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
Handful of baby spinach
1 cup baby tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
1/2 block feta cheese, crumbled


Pour quinoa into the crockpot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix it around. Add chicken or vegetable broth, the salt, and cinnamon. Stir in almonds and cranberries.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-4. The quinoa is done when you can fluff it with a fork and it is tender. The liquid should be pretty well absorbed, similar to how you know rice is done.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and add the baby tomatoes and feta cheese. Stir gingerly to mix. Add a large handful of baby spinach to the top of the crockpot, and close the lid. Cook on high for about 20 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Stir again to distribute the spinach. 

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

On the Mend

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Happy Thursday, everyone! I'm happy to report that I'm finally on the mend! I can actually take deep breathes without feeling like death. I'm still worn down but heck, naps are one of my favorite things. Of course, naps are why I'm writing this at 9pm. Still, it's worth it if means feeling better.
As for the hands, I'm still the same in that area. I never received a call from the place where they do the testing so I need to email my doctor's office about that. The good news is that they aren't doing worse and I found a good video on how to do some exercises that may help. If you'd like to check them out, you can do that over on YouTube. Maybe we can start a workout group...hehe...

Now, for news of the book! It's done! I finished writing the last story and did the formatting. I still need to pay my marvelous artist and get Eric going on the cover. Unfortunately, he's busy until at least October. I can't imagine having anyone else working on this series though so I'll wait. It's hard to believe that today a year ago I was building the campaign for Cobalt's Castaways. Time sure flies by. My goal is to have this book in the books (hahaha) by the end of the year.

Staring on the 28th, I'll be spending 4 hours a week at Starbucks. My oldest son needs a ride back and forth to his class so that's where I'll be hanging out while he's doing math. I figured it'd be the perfect time to work on Florida Cats A-Z. I have the first twenty cats picked out already so I just need to sit down and start the writing. If you'd like to support my Starbucks habit, hit the KoFi link over there on the right.

Just a reminder...once we hit 750 followers on Instagram, I'll be giving away some goodies! We're only 61 followers from goal so I know if we keep sharing and spreading the word, we'll be there before we know it. Not sure where to click to find it? Click Here!

That's it for this week! See you next week!

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Monday, August 14, 2023

Crockpot Monday: Italian Rice

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Italian Rice:


1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

6 green onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup long-grain white basmati rice

2 cups chicken broth




Put the tomatoes and sliced green onions into the bottom of your cooker and add garlic and Italian seasoning. Stir in the raw rice until it's evenly coated with the tomato mixture and spices. Pour in the chicken broth.


Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, or until the rice is tender. Take the lid off and fluff the rice with a fork. Let the slow cooker sit with the lid off for 10-15 minutes before serving to release steam.

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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Lungs, Hands, and Other Updates

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Whew! I almost didn't get a post up today. I had a doctor's appointment, went shopping, came home, and after lunch took a three hour nap. Then, tonight, I was on a livestream to help promote an awesome anthology called Cthulhu Invades Neverland. It's currently on Kickstarter. If you're into either of these fandoms, you should check it out.

But, I'm here now and wanted to give you an update. I'm still coughing a lot, but I saw my doctor today. She's put me on a 5 day course of prednisone to help clear out the remaining gunk in my lungs so that's good. She also checked out my hands and is sending me to get a nerve test done. I've heard these are quite painful so I'm a little bit nervous but it's better to know than not. Or at least that's what people keep telling me...heh. 

In more positive news, I've finished Holidays at the Toy Store! I finished formatting it last night. I'm still holding off on the art until finances look a bit better, but the stories themselves are done. I'm so excited to share it with all of you. Who knows, I might do another Sneak Peek before the campaign launches to bring the book to life. I wrote one of my favorite stories last night that was inspired by my friend Lucid. I can't wait for all of you to read it. 

Anyway, that's it for this week. Keep coming back for more updates and thank you all for your continued support.

No wait! I almost forgot! I'm planning a giveaway for your choice of one of my books! It will run once my Instagram reaches 750 followers. So, if you haven't followed me there and you're interested in winning one of my books, go and check it out.

Now that's it! I'll see you guys next week. Keep an eye out for more #CrockpotMonday recipes coming soon!

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Monday, August 7, 2023

Crockpot Monday: Chocolate Covered Fruit

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries & Apples:


Fruit – Strawberries, Apples, Pineapple or any other favorite

Chocolate chips – 1 bag or as much as you’d like.




Dump chocolate chips into the crockpot.

While the chocolate is melting, wash and prepare the fruit you're going to use, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cook on high for 30 min-1 hr. You will know that the chocolate is ready to stir when it gets really shiny and begins to break down. You can start stirring it when the chip forms are still visible.

Dip fruit pieces into the melted chocolate. Put the covered fruit onto the parchment-paper lined cookie sheets and place into the refrigerator to harden. 

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Friday, August 4, 2023

Sneak Peek: Cheese Lovers Day

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When the chance to create a holiday happened, the sheep were first in line to add January 20th as Cheese Lover’s Day. They loved cheese and tried to have some with every meal. The other toys could tell you that whenever the sheep were in charge of food for an event, there was always cheese. They didn’t know the types of cheese, but the sheep always chose delicious ones for everyone to enjoy.

On January 20th, the sheep laid out all different types of cheese on their outdoor tables. There were soft cheeses like Brie, ricotta, cream cheese, and even cottage cheese. There were hard cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, and Swiss. Each of the cheeses was labeled with its name and had a small plate of crackers next to it.

As each of the toys stopped by that day, they tried different types of cheeses, and the sheep told them about each one.

“Brie is from France. It tastes great on crackers or even on sandwiches,” Baa told Teddy when he stopped by.

“Cheddar cheese comes from England and is white there. Here, in the United States, it’s yellow,” said Black Sheep.

“I bet you can’t guess where Swiss cheese comes from,” said Baaa to Sylver when he took a nibble of the holey cheese. “Umm…Switzerland?” answered Sylver. “You’re right!” the three sheep yelled, making Sylver jump and almost drop his cheese. He scrambled and managed to catch it before popping it into his mouth.

He was about to head back to the ocean life cubby when he noticed a tv set up next to the tables. “What’s this?” he asked. “Oh that…that’s something that we thought the toys might enjoy. It’s a game called Cheese Game.”

Sylver walked closer to the screen and noticed that controllers had been hooked up. “Can I try it out?”

“Of course you can. That’s why we set it up!” said Baa while his brothers walked back to the tables to put out new pieces of cheese. “It’s one player or I’d play with you. Try it out and if you would like a snack, come back over for some more cheese. Perhaps some cheddar this time or cream cheese.” Baa smiled and walked away.

Sylver picked up a controller and hit start. He chuckled when he saw that he was playing as a piece of cheese that looked a lot like the piece that he had just eaten. The game started easily enough. He was a piece of cheese that had to avoid everything because everything wanted to eat him. He beat a few levels and when he paused for a moment, he noticed that he had drawn quite the crowd around him. Quite a few of his friends were there supporting him and cheering him on.

He took a deep breath and unpaused the game. It was time for the final level. With his friends watching, he dodged left, and he dodged right. There were rocks falling from the sky and a miner trying to catch him. He kept dodging and running. The rocks were falling faster now and the more intense the game got, the quieter his friends got. There were only thirty seconds left. Could he beat the game?

He dodged to the left again. A rock barely missed him, and his friends held their breath. He was so close. Another dodge to the right and around a pair of rocks that came raining down. The miner was right there, but he managed to veer around him. Ten seconds left. Suddenly the rocks were coming down faster, but with each rock that rained down, he dodged around it. Five seconds left and the miner was right on this tail. He flipped around and ran around the miner. Time was up and he won! He let out the breath that he hadn’t realized he’d been holding and grinning, turned around to hug his cheering friends.

“You did it! On your first try you beat that game!”

“Oh my gosh, that was awesome!”

“Thanks, guys! We should celebrate with some cheese!”

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Thursday, August 3, 2023


7:13 PM 0 Comments

Hi, guys! It's me. Then again, who else would it be, right? I have some bummer news. I have pneumonia. I've been coughing for two months but thought maybe it was severe allergies or something. No such luck. This explains why I'm tired so much and why I start having coughing fits after doing things like grocery shopping. The doctor prescribed some meds for me so hopefully I'll be on the mend quickly. As for my hands, it looks like a pinched nerve in both elbows that will require me to see an orthopedic doctor and probably splints that I'll have to wear. I'll be calling on Monday to see what my next steps are. 

Honestly. the news today has left me feeling a bit down and discouraged. Typing can be a real challenge and after having a semi-active day, I just want to lay down and go to sleep. Except it's 7pm. I'm still just 17 pages away from finishing the book. I've spoken to Eric and he's booked solid for a while. We're still hoping to have it finished by the end of the year. We just need the stars to align properly.

Now, since this post and last week's post were kind of bummer, I want to give you a bit of something that will hopefully make you smile. As soon as I hit post on this, I'm going to post a sneak peek for tomorrow! Don't worry, y'all, I may be down but I'm far from giving up.

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