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iPhone Misadventures

April 19, 2021 | Author Friend Promo

by Catherine Castle

I got a new iPhone and, quite frankly, I’m ready to throw the thing across the room. Or maybe even in the nearest river!

To start off, I didn’t get the last of my five email boxes cleaned out. As soon as we transferred the email addresses over, the last email box began filling. And filling. And filling. Every time I read and deleted a new email, 100 more came over.

When it reached 900+ I said to Hubby, “I’m shutting this phone down before it loads all 5,000 + unread emails.”

I spent the next five hours hunched over the computer keyboard deleting the unread emails down to about 84. Then I deleted the 15,000+ deleted emails left on the server just to be sure they didn’t come back. Better to be safe than sorry, as Hubby as seen a few of his deleted emails return to unread status and pop up on the iPhone. Yes, I know, I can’t blame the iPhone because I didn’t clean out my online mail inboxes and trash. But this was just the beginning of the iPhone misadventures.

Unlike my beloved Blackberry, there’s nothing intuitive about this iPhone. Swipe right, swipe left, touch right, touch left. Swipe from the upper corner, tap on the bottom, touch here, touch there. Push partway up and to the right to see where you’ve been on the internet. Swipe up to trash something, or click right, or left depending what app you’re in. Yikes! Who can remember all that?

Stupid iPhone!

Additionally, my finger either doesn’t work or I don’t even touch something and stuff flies off or onto the screen. Once, while merely holding the phone, a box popped up with the message, “To reverse this action, tap the screen with three fingers.” What action? What had I done? What had I erased? Fortunately, the screen told me which fingers to tap with, so I tapped. And tapped. And tapped. The screen didn’t move. It didn’t tell me the unknown action was reversed. I couldn’t even see a back button.

“Honey,” I yelled. “Think I did something wrong!” By the time Hubby came to the rescue I’d punched enough things that the screen was back to what I recognized. Only heaven knows what I might have screwed up!

For every action I did on the Blackberry with one touch, it takes two, or maybe three or more on the iPhone. I’ve read some of the instructions, and tried to search things out on the iPhone book, but apparently I don’t know the new lingo well enough to find things. And I’m usually pretty good with searching. However, nothing seems to have the same names as the Blackberry did.

My texts to my daughter are filled with strange words that I didn’t type, courtesy of predictive typing. I tried to type PTL (Praise the Lord) and it came over on the text as “Pyle.” The words But I came across as “Bilirubin.” And the text screen, filled with facial icons, bubbles holding your text message, and sometimes giant emojis, takes up so much screen space that I can’t easily see the text thread. When my daughter retyped “Bilirubin” I thought SHE had typed the word, not me. I had no idea she was rolling on the floor laughing until the next day when I scrolled up the text stream and saw what I’d done.

And if you think that’s wild, wait until you hear these next items.

The other day, using my iPhone, I tried to call my hubby, who was driving my car. I knew he wouldn’t try to answer his new iPhone, so I called my car phone.  At the same time the car phone was ringing, I heard another call beep in. I ignored it, thinking it was a phishing call. Hubby never answered, so I hung up and called him again. The same thing happened. So, I hung up again. As I pulled the phone away from my ear, the second time, my daughter’s name scrolled across the banner on the top of the phone, indicating she was calling.

When I answered, she said in a concerned voice, “Mom, is everything okay. Why are you calling me so much?” (I never call her during work hours.)

“I wasn’t calling you. I was trying to call your dad in my car,” I said.

As she hung up I heard her say to someone, whom I later learned was her boss, “It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong. My mom has a new phone.”

When my hubby got to his destination, he called on his cell to see what I needed. He couldn’t remember how to answer my car phone. It doesn’t have Bluetooth pairing like his car. He received my cell phone call on the car phone and, at the same time, my daughter also received a call from my cell phone.

The stupid iPhone called my car phone, while husband was driving it, and called my daughter at the same time.

Here’s the kicker—I did NOT call my daughter’s cell. No way. No how. Not even possible. I swear I never touched her number. I clearly, and positively, know I called my car phone. Yet the iPhone showed it made both calls.

The phone somehow dialed both numbers at the same time! How is that even possible?

Stupid iPhone!

Later in the day I was having a conversation on our home land line when my cell rang. It was my daughter.  I knew it was her because I’d attached an ‘Oogah Oogah’ old car horn sound to her calls. An unmistakable and very loud sound. I answered and quickly said, “I can’t talk now. I’ll call back in a few minutes.” Then I hung up. A few minutes later I got another call from her on my cell—the same “Oogha-Oogah ring, but it was my son-in-law on the other end.

“Can I call back?” I asked. “I’m in the middle of another call.”

Son-in-law said, “She can’t talk. She’s on the house phone with her mother-in-law.”

“Then why did she call me just a minute ago?” I asked.

Son-in-law calls out to my daughter, “Why are we calling your mother?”

In the background I hear her say, “I didn’t call her. She called me! Twice!”

I know I didn’t call her. The iPhone log shows she called. She still swears she didn’t call me, but that I called her.

Stupid iPhone!

Earlier that same morning I tried to comment on a blog I’ve always had access to on the Blackberry. I’d reached the site via clicking on the title of the blog I’d received in my Catherine Castle mail inbox. The site kept kicking me off. I couldn’t like, share, or comment. So, I went back to the original email, which was still open on my email inbox, and scrolled down to the like button. Click—and I was over to the page instantly, all nicely opened. While complaining to my husband about the wretched phone’s behavior, I slid my finger down the screen to check for my author icon. I wasn’t there, but our joint author icon was.

“Did you just comment on her page?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “I was just headed over there right now.”

I rotated my phone screen so he could see it. “You’ve already commented.”

He squinted at me. “Did you open our author email and like the post? Because I did not like that post.”

“I didn’t!” I protested. Although, in all honesty, I sometimes have a problem and click the wrong email box on my phone. I did it with the Blackberry quite often by mistake. So much so that hubby’s threatened to take our joint author email off my phone.  He leveled a glary squint at me, not at all convinced I knew what I was talking about.

I switched back to my Catherine Castle email box. The email in question was on the top. I scanned it again. In the To: line it didn’t say Catherine Castle. Instead it had my husband’s name. Somehow the email addressed to his personal email box (which is another glitch I’ll not go into), got scrambled and put in my author email box and linked our joint author photo to it.

Stupid iPhone!

I could go on with my misadventures with the stupid iPhone, which I’m sure will continue until my weary blonde brain figures it all out or I end up in the funny farm. However, I’ve already exceeded a thousand words on this rant.

On the bright side, there are a couple of things I do like on the iPhone. I did discover one useful tool. I accidently deleted an email one evening and moaned in distress over my actions.

“Shake it!” Hubby said.

“What?” I replied.

“Shake it! Shake the phone!” he yelled urgently.

Bemused and befuddled, I did as he commanded, although I hadn’t the foggest idea why. An icon popped up on the screen.

“Now, tell it to untrash,” he said. “Hurry before the icon disappears.”

I did, and, Lo and Behold, my trashed email reappeared like magic.

Pretty cool for such a. . . Stupid iPhone!

 

I can draw pictures in my emails. A feature that I’m sure will be a giant time suck. I’ve already drawn and sent pictures to my daughter, and I’m considering how I can use this tool for Christmas email cards.

 

Twitter works again and so does Pinterest. So I can waste endless hours surfing instead writing, cleaning and practicing the piano. Although piano is never a waste of time. It’s more of a joy.

Hopefully, as time passes, I’ll find more to like and less to complain about. One thing is for sure—as I learn this new device I’m giving my family and friends lots to laugh about.

Do you have an iPhone? Have you any tips for me?

Catherine loves to laugh at herself and loves to write comedy. Check out her award-winning romantic comedy, with a touch of drama, A Groom for Mama.

Take your mind off the sound discrepancies between men and women with a copy of Catherine’s award-winning romantic comedy that has a touch of drama. You’ll laugh as Mama searches for a husband for her daughter.

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

Amazon Buy Link

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

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BUONGIORNO!

April 14, 2021 | Cooking

I enjoy experimenting with different food combinations and creating new recipes. This delicious dish is perfect for breakfast or even lunch, but then you may want to add a small salad and a glass of crisp white wine. 😊

Italian Breakfast Soufflé for 2

½ lb. Italian sausage, bulk or links

2 – 3 tbsp. butter, softened

4 lg. eggs

1 cup milk

1 tsp. dried mustard

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chopped onion to taste

2 slices provolone cheese

½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

3 – 1-inch slices Vienna or French bread, cubed*

Preheat oven to 350° F.

If you use links then squeeze the meat from the casing before cooking. Fry sausage in a small pan until no longer pink. Be sure to break up any clumps. Set aside.

Spread butter on the insides and bottoms of two baking dishes approximately 500ml or 17-ounces.

The following ingredients are to be equally divided between the 2 dishes when added. All stirring should be done gently.

Break 2 eggs in each prepared dish. Lightly scramble. Pour in milk. Stir. Sprinkle on mustard and pepper. Stir.

Tear provolone into pieces then add to mixture along with cheddar and mozzarella. Stir.

Fold in bread.

Bake 35 – 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center has no egg clinging to it.

Set the soufflés on dinner plates to serve so as not to scorch your table.

This dish can be assembled a one or two days ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate, but allow the soufflé to sit on your counter 1 hour or so before you bake it.

*I’ve used day old homemade bread and unseasoned cubes from stuffing mix. They both worked great.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!

Sloane

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

April 12, 2021 | Author Friend Promo, Gardening

from Emma Lane

Theme gardens can be fun for adventurous gardeners who want to shake things up.

Photo by Emma Gossett on Unsplash

Colorful annuals. Their raison d’etra, reason for living, is to bloom and make seeds. To keep them full of their bright and beautiful blossoms frequent culling of the old blooms is the secret. Paying attention to color combinations will enhance bedding petunias such as blue and yellow; red, white and blue; primary colors-red, yellow and blue; all pastels.

 

Perennials are friends forever. The trick here is to plant staggered bloomers. Daffodils and tulips for spring give way to lupine and peonies in April and May. June is for roses (and brides) and July owns lilies. Hibiscus and other members of the family (Rose of Sharon) for late summer, and we all appreciate summer’s wind up with splashes of intensely colored mums and sunflowers. There are many beautiful perennials to be planted in between. Careful attention to foliage varieties is also important for a successful perennial bed: spiky Crocosmia, spreading Dianthus, and pretty round-leafed Baptismia australis which has an herbal gray cast to its foliage.

Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

Butterfly and humming bird gardens are always fun. Certainly the tiny hummers appreciate blooms where they can dip in and steal a drop of nectar, but I’ve seen them take a tiny taste of flat but colorful yarrow. My son gifts me a huge fuchsia for Mother’s Day which is the very day I usually spot the first humming bird. They love this plant! Hummers prefer trumpet shaped blooms they can dip their long bills to drink the nectar, but I have observed them sipping from a daisy.

 

Shade gardens are wonderful underneath shaded walkways.  Besides the enormous varieties of hosta, spring bulbs can be followed with blue bells and other shade loving perennials. Brunneria is a precious substitute for hosta. Deer treat it with disdain. Begonias have a large variety for annual shade; my favorite is non-stop begonia in their vivid colors. Spring blooming shrubs are glorious such as rhododendrons, azaleas, dogwood and many others that liven up the woods before the trees leaf out.

Cutting gardens are wonderful for those who appreciate fresh cut bouquets for inside. Reserve a bed especially for: gladiola, tall zinnias, phlox, sunflowers, snapdragons, lisianthus, lilies, just a few of the varieties that are splendid cut flowers.

 

… which leads me to call attention to my latest Cozy Adventure/ Mystery, Whispers of Danger and Love.

The heroine is a landscape architect who speaks gardening. She struggles with a client who demands a cutting garden mid summer, (and a hunky detective who seems bound to destroy her plants.) I enjoyed relaxing in her garden even as I created it from my own imaginings. It was also fun to watch the sparks fly between a couple who knew each other as children but must readjust their thinking as adults.

Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes cozy mysteries as Janis Lane, Regency as Emma Lane, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma’s new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

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A Taste Treat from the Far East

April 7, 2021 | Cooking

This dish becomes a complete meal when you add egg rolls, pot stickers, and a glass or two of sake. The following recipe serves two.

Courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography

FRIED RICE
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
⅔ cup cooked pork, chopped fine
3 cups 1- 3 day old cooked rice
Pinch dried ginger
2 tbsp. butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. soy sauce
4 green onions, sliced fine, include 1-inch of green

Warm a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan evenly. Stir in peas, pork, and rice. Sprinkle on ginger. Heat through for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat while you prepare the egg.

Add butter to a small frying pan set over medium heat. Pour in egg and swirl to spread it around until almost done, about one minute. Flip with a spatula. Remove from the heat. Break into small pieces and then stir into rice mixture.

Carefully mix in soy sauce and green onion. Heat through for about 3 minutes.

Replace pork with chicken or shrimp for another tasty meal. Just be sure to use cooked alternatives.

May you spend all the days of your life filled with friends, laughter, and seated around a well laden table!

Sloane

 

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DAMAGE TO THE CHILDREN

April 5, 2021 | Author Friend Promo

from Anne Montgomery

 

The children of Colorado City, Arizona and the neighboring town of Hildale, Utah will long suffer the degradations of the “prophet” Warren Jeffs.

 

 

 

“We were told the world wanted to kill us, that people wanted to destroy us and our moral values,” Raymond Jeffs told San Angelo Standard-Times reporter Krista Johnson.

Ray Jeffs is one of the sons of Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned pedophile “prophet” of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

“I genuinely believed I would be destroyed because my dad told me that constantly,” Roy Jeffs, Ray’s brother said.

Roy continued to believe in his father until three of his sisters confessed that the man had abused them. After hearing his siblings stories, Roy realized that he, too, had been sexually assaulted by his father.

Johnson’s comprehensive reporting on the FLDS cult provides in vivid and horrifying detail the control the elder Jeffs concerted over his people, damage that will take many years to rectify. You can read the complete article here.

Here is a brief intro to my novel dealing with abuse and it’s aftermath. I hope you’ll take a moment to peek into it.

Two Arizona teens find their fates intertwined. Are there any adults they can trust? Can they even trust each other?

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl—Rose—running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

BUY LINKS
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Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter

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Easter Dinner for You and Yours

March 31, 2021 | Cooking

Photo by franky242

A heartfelt thanks to all of you who requested I re post our family’s traditional Easter dinner. We start with a mountain of appetizers and adult beverages, followed by a great meal, topped off with delicious homemade desserts, and complimented with lots of laughter. We usually have twenty-five for a sit-down dinner and each family supplies an appetizer or a dessert. Below is what Studs and I prepare. Hope you enjoy it.

Ham Baked in Bread
Polish Sausage Studs Style
My Mom’s Potato Salad
Fresh Green Beans
Black Olives in Oil
Fresh Fruit Salad
White Wine – Riesling

Ham Baked in Bread
7# smoked ham – I use Kentucky Legend. It’s excellent, but this recipe works for all hams.
3 packages prepared pizza dough found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
½ cup water for sealing seams

Preheat oven to 350.

Roll the dough into a rectangle. Lay ham curved side down onto dough. Gently lift the dough to wrap the ham securely. Be careful not to rip the dough.

Dip your fingertips in the water, then rub them along the seams to seal. This may take several water dips to achieve. Place the ham seam side down, so it doesn’t burst during baking, on a non-stick cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan. Bake 20 minutes per pound or until bread is toasty brown.

Remove the ham from the oven and let cool until you can touch the bread without burning your hands. With a sharp, thin knife, cut off just the top portion to create a lid. Carve the ham and remaining bread into slices. Don’t worry if the bread falls apart as you slice it. This can happen. Discard any scrapes. Lay the ham and bread on a serving platter. The bread will be a little soggy, and that’s good, because it has soaked up the ham juices. Cover with the lid you cut off earlier.

Right before you serve, cut the lid into neat slices, lay them around and over the ham. Your guests will love it.

Polish Sausage Studs Style
8 pounds fresh Polish sausage
Water

Remove sausage from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking.

Fill a stockpot approximately three-quarters with cold tap water. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the sausage and cook for 10 minutes. The sausage should rise to the top in about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to shallow roasting pans. Clip the connecting casing.

You can stop here and finish cooking the sausage the next day. Be sure to cover and refrigerate the meat.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Allow the sausage to rest 10-15 minutes so the juices are reabsorbed into the meat.

Cut the links into 1½ – 2 inch pieces. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from the oven. Turn sausage pieces and then bake for another 15 minutes.

My Mom’s Potato Salad
1 red potato per person
1 hard boiled egg for every 2-3 potatoes
one stalk celery for every 7 potatoes chopped fine
½ med onion for every 7 potatoes chopped fine
Pepper
Mayonnaise – NO substitutes

Boil the potatoes in their jackets until just fork tender. Remove from pot as they are done and allow to cool. Scrape the skins off. Slice in half widthwise then lengthwise. Slice into the bite size pieces.

While the potatoes are cooking, lay the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, and place a lid on the pan. Bring to a boil, then shut off the heat and allow to sit on the burner for 7 minutes. Cut into quarters, then slice. Set aside covered with plastic wrap or a paper towel to eliminate drying out.

Combine celery and onion in a large bowl. Grind in a healthy amount of fresh pepper. Stir in several large spoonfuls of mayonnaise. You have to gauge by the number of potatoes you use. Mix well.

Add the potatoes, two at a time and mix well. Continue until all the potatoes are added. Check the salad for dryness. It should be moist but not swimming in mayo. Add the sliced eggs and stir again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fresh Green Beans
1 lb. fresh green beans trimmed
Water
2 – tbsp butter
Fresh ground black pepper

Bring large pot of water to a hard boil. A high heat setting is best.

Drop the beans in by the handful. Boil 10 to 15 minutes or until the beans are just tender. If you plan to reheat the beans, boil for less time as the reheating will cook them further.

Drain beans in a colander. Add butter to the hot pot and swirl to melt. Return beans to the pot. Toss with butter and coat well. Season with pepper to taste and stir again.

They may be made earlier and reheated on low heat. Be careful not to scorch them or burn the butter.

Black Olives in Oil
1 can medium pitted black olives
3 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Glass jar with a secure lid

Drain the black olives and pour them into the jar. Crush the garlic into the jar. Pour in the olive oil to cover. Refrigerate at least 1 week. The mix will become thick and cloudy. It’s okay, that’s the oil solidifying.

To serve, set the jar on the counter until the oil becomes clear and returns to its normal consistency, which may take several hours. Spoon out the quantity of olives you wish to serve into a pretty dish. Be sure to have toothpicks. Put the jar back in the fridge for future use. You can refill with more olives. The mixture will stay good up to two months.

Fresh Fruit Salad
Banana sliced
Cantaloupe sliced
Pineapple sliced
Kiwis sliced
Red grapes seedless halved
Blueberries
Raspberries

Combine all the fruit into a mixing bowl. Add a few drops lime or lemon juice to stop the bananas from turning brown. Gently stir to blend the fruit.

Pour into a glass bowl, cover and chill until time to serve.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!

Sloane

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FOR THE LOVE OF FURBABIES

March 29, 2021 | Author Friend Promo

from Alicia Joseph

Last July my dog, Phil, suffered from liver failure. The situation was touch and go for a horrible two weeks. But, against the vet’s grave prognosis, my baby survived. He’s twelve, and though I know he won’t live forever, I was completely unprepared for losing my dog. My baby. My sidekick. The face that makes me smile even when I want to cry. The eyes that watch my every move, because his world revolves around me as much as my world revolves around him, maybe even more so.

During that miserable time of not knowing whether or not Phil would turn that miraculous corner to recovery, I was consumed with the idea of losing him. I didn’t eat. I cried when I held him and buried my tears in his fur. He seemed to know his precarious situation, but never gave up. I love him so much for that.

But all through that time and after, I only considered my loss of losing him. What I would have done. What my life would be like, while never considering his loss should something happen to me. I know he waits for me when I leave the house, as all dogs do, but how would they feel, how would they react, if we never make it back home to them?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since last month, when a neighbor passed away suddenly. She had a dog, Ricky. We used to walk our dogs together, along with another neighbor and her little dog. The woman’s parents could not take Ricky, he didn’t get along with their own dog. This woman had no brothers or sisters. They didn’t know a lot of people who could, or would, take Ricky in. He went with a family friend, but that didn’t work out.

I volunteer at a shelter. I’ve seen many dogs come to the shelter in the way of Ricky’s predicament. Through no fault of their own, they lose their owners to death, and there is no one to take them in. So these dogs, used to living in a home filled with stability, love, security, now come to a shelter filled with loud chaos and uncertainty. Even the best shelters are a scary place to a dog who has only known a house as a home.

Luckily, Ricky didn’t have to meet that fate. My neighbor with the small dog took him in. She had the intention of keeping him, but two dogs were a bit too much for her. But she was determined to keep him until she could find a home for him, which wasn’t hard at all because Ricky is adorable.

Last week, Ricky went to his third home in less than a month. This was a friend of a friend, so my neighbor passed Ricky off confident he would be well-taken care of. I often wondered for those weeks that my neighbor had him what he was thinking. Did he think his mommy would come for him soon? Was he waiting for her? Did he miss his home and wonder why he was moving to different places? We avoided walking Ricky down the street he used to live. We didn’t want to confuse him.

But then on the day he was leaving, I took Ricky for a walk and thought maybe it was the right time for him to say goodbye to his old home. We walked down his street. He definitely knew where he was. He led me straight to the familiar place, sat down in the driveway, and stared at the house. He didn’t try to pull me to the door, which I was glad for.

Ricky’s mom’s name was Tracy. She didn’t die at home, but if spirits find their way back home no matter where we pass, maybe she was there to see him one last time.

I hope so.

 

I thought about Phil, remembering what I went through when I thought I was losing him, but we need to consider what our furbabies go through when they lose us. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about Phil going to a shelter or being shuffled to three different houses. He has an uncle and aunties who love him, and who he loves, especially his uncle.

Uncle is his favorite.

Here is a glimpse into one of my books. I hope you enjoy it.

“When a train runs over a penny, the penny changes form, but it can still be a penny if I want it to be. Or, I can make it be something else.”

Lyssa and her best friend Abbey discover a hideout near the train tracks and spend the summer before sixth grade hanging out and finding freedom from issues at home. Their childhood innocence shatters when the hideout becomes the scene of a tragic death.

As they’re about to graduate from high school, Abbey’s family life spirals out of control while Lyssa is feeling guilty for deceiving Abbey about her sexuality.

After another tragic loss, Lyssa finds out that a penny on the track is sometimes a huge price to pay for the truth.

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Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. She has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon. Life permitting.

When she is not writing, Alicia enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.

Learn more about Alicia Joseph on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

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TIME CRUNCH DINNER

March 24, 2021 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

from Catherine Castle

The other day I made chicken breasts in the crockpot in anticipation of making a batch of chicken pot pies. I threw in a couple extra boneless breasts, and hubby and I went out to run some errands. When we got back later that afternoon we were hungry and the scent of chicken filled the house.

“What’s for dinner?” hubby asked.

I decided to use some of the crockpot chicken breasts and throw together a quick White Chicken Chili with what I had in the pantry. I didn’t have enough cannellini beans so I substituted and came up with a pretty good chili, if I do say so myself. I hope you’ll think so, too.

Quick White Chicken Chili

1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans (also called white kidney beans), drained

1 green pepper, diced

2 boneless chicken breasts, boiled and shredded

1 4-ounce can green chilies, chopped

2 cups chicken broth, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

1 15-ounce can of butter beans

Cumin to taste if you like a spicier chili

Combine cannellini beans, green pepper, breasts, green chilies, and 1 cup chicken broth into a pot.

Pour butter beans into a food processor and pulse until beans are mashed. Add to ingredients in pot and stir well.

If chili is too thick add more chicken broth until it reaches the consistency you prefer.

Heat and serve with homemade cornbread and coleslaw.

Makes 4 1-cup servings

While you’re waiting for the chili to heat check out Catherine’s Award-winning Inspirational Romantic Suspense The Nun and the Narc

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicably attracted to him, he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them by making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion, and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.

Amazon Buy Link

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

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C.D. HERSH SHARES THEIR STORY

March 22, 2021 | Author Friend Promo

from C.D. Hersh

Over the years while promoting our series, The Turning Stone Chronicles, and appeared on different blogs or radio interviews we’ve encountered many questions. Today, we are sharing a few of those questions and answers.

Who had the greatest influence on your writing careers?

At Donald’s uncle’s 90th birthday party, when we were talking with him about writing when Donald retired, he said we should just go for it now. We took his advice and the rest is history. He died a year later and really didn’t get to see that we got published.

Where’s the most romantic vacation spot you’ve been together?

Wawasee Lake in Indiana, where you can see a full sky of stars on an evening stroll arm-in-arm along the lake, listening to the sounds of the evening.

Are you a morning writer, afternoon writer, evening writer, or midnight oil writer?

As a team we tend to be afternoon and evening writers, although Catherine has been known to be a midnight oil writer when she is working with the first draft.

When did you first realize you were a good writing team?

Our first experience as a writing team came when we were writing drama scripts for our church. We had so much fun doing it and people seemed to really like what we wrote, that on a business trip Donald took, we wrote a three-act play called Adam and Eve on a Raft. After that we were hooked on writing things longer than two-minute skits. Then on another business trip we were discussing writing a book, to pass the time and keep awake, and the paranormal series was born.

In your Turning Stone Chronicles, you have a unique take on shape-shifters. Can you talk a little bit about that?

As we developed the book concept, we decided that we wanted something different than the normal were-shape shifters. In reality, we can thank Donald’s psychology courses for the idea of the various forms of shifting. One of the psyche theories is that we all have three parts to our psyche, commonly called id, ego and super-ego. We added a twist to that theory using male, female, and animal egos, and a magic ring that could tap the various forms.

What is your favorite sentence or quote in The Promised One?

We have several but probably the best is: “Grief is a midnight indulgence when no one else can hear.”

Who do you envision as your lead characters?

Alexi Jordan and Rhys Temple are the heroine and hero of The Promised One. Their story line runs through all the books, although the lead characters will change in each book.

In The Promised One, the partnership between Rhys and Alexi is extremely powerful and hits you immediately from the beginning of the book. Do you think this is a reflection of the strength within your own relationship together?

We’re laughing out loud here as we read this question. It’s not something we intended, but since our daughter said she could see us in the characters, we guess it does reflect our relationship, minus the shifting, of course. We suppose a bit of self comes out in all writers’ writing, at some point.

Since we’ve commented about Rhys and Alexi’s relationship, we thought we’d give you a brief look at those characters.

Tucking his gift under her arm, she started to leave.

“Hey.” He pointed at the other gifts. “Aren’t you going to add yours?”

“Nope. I’ll give it to you later, when we’re alone.”

“Ooh. Something special. Mineral or animal?” His right eyebrow raised, his smile growing.

Alexi laughed. “Just embarrassing.”

“For you or for me?”

“I’m not telling.”

Sidling close to her, he backed her against the wall. “Come on. Just a hint,” he said, a purr in his tone as he placed his hand on the wall next to her shoulder and moved into her personal space with the ease of a lover. One of his famous melt-the-girl looks smoldered in his gaze. The golden flecks in his green eyes lit up like fireworks. Hot fireworks.

Enjoying his closeness and the raw sensuality emanating from him, she lingered for a minute, then slowly moved away. Standing this close she could get burned, and she wasn’t ready to play with fire . . . not yet. She shook her head. “Not a chance.”

He crossed his arms, obviously irked that she hadn’t succumbed. “My irresistible charms work on everyone else. Why not you?”

Oh, if you only knew. She had to fight to resist him. She flashed him a smile. “Because I’m special. And I’m your partner. Keeping your back safe is more important than getting you on your back.”

He laughed, a deep, throaty, and utterly sexy sound.

She locked her knees to keep from melting into a puddle.

“I like the sound of that.”

Of course you would. She felt her face flame.

Amazon buy links:
The Turning Stone Chronicles Series page

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1)

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2)

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3)

The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4)

C.D. Hersh–Two hearts creating everlasting love stories.
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

They have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors.

They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

Social Media Info:

Website
Soul Mate Publishing
Facebook
Amazon Author Page
Twitter
Goodreads
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March 17, 2021 | Holidays

Sure and Begorrah!

Wishing you all a safe and fun day!

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