Memorial Day Personal Remembrance

Remembering all of the women and men who fell in defense of our country.


my father who landed at Normandy on D-Day in WWII.

my two uncles who fought in Europe in WWII.

my cousin who fought in Vietnam.

my high school friend who died in Vietnam.

my husband's brother who fought in Vietnam and died of cancer caused by Agent Orange exposure.

Takeaway Truth

Regardless of your political opinions, please respect those who served and those who died in service to our country.

Meaning of Memorial Day

What is the meaning of Memorial Day?

Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the military.

To most, Memorial Day and the 3 day weekend is a time to socialize,  barbeque, hit the beach, and generally have a good time.

What you should remember is that  Memorial Day, May 31 this year, honors those who died in service to our country. For that reason, it's really NOT appropriate to wish anyone, "Happy Memorial Day.”

Instead, remember those who gave everything in service to our country. Remember them and their families and friends who mourned their passing.

What you can do is make a donation to an organization that helps veterans or families of fallen soldiers. Here's a list of highly-rated organizations if you'd like to make a donation.

If you live where there's a national cemetery for veterans, consider placing small flags on some of the graves or donating to a local organization that does that.

Takeaway Truth

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." –Elmer Davis

Saturday Share: Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Good morning! I've had another busy but rewarding week.

Big news! We sold our house in town. Twenty days from the day it hit the internet. Multiple offers because the real estate scene is crazy in today's world.

We thought we'd put this house's contents in storage and live at our house in the country for a while which really pleases Darling Hubby.

However, our realtor is showing us a one-story house today. We're going to look, but I think it's too far away from town. We already have one house in the country. I don't think we need another one. *G*

Bigger news! I've licensed video game rights to 2 of my books. I'll tell you more about that when I have the check in hand. *LOL* I never count anything as a done deal until the money is in the bank.

Sharing a Quick Dinner Recipe

With such a busy schedule, sometimes it's very hard to get dinner on the table. We can only take so much of take-out food and restaurant meals. So here is a recipe I fall back on when I'm in a time crunch.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork


  • 14 ounces of your favorite BBQ Sauce (we LOVE Austin's Own Barbecue Sauce Original Mild)
  • 1 pork shoulder roast, approximately 2.5 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 medium diced onion

  • Wipe the roast down with a wet paper towel.
  • Place only the roast in a Crockpot or slow cooker.
  • Cook on low 10-12 hours or high 5-6.
  • When cooking cycle is complete, remove roast and discard cooking liquid.
  • Shred pork with 2 forks and return to Crockpot.
  • Add the BBQ sauce, lemon juice, and diced onion.
  • Serve on buns or over coleslaw or both. Don't forget the sliced dill pickles!
Takeaway Truth

As with most barbeque, the sauce makes all the difference. We buy Austin's Own Original at our local store. If your store doesn't carry it, you can get it from Amazon. They have a 2 bottle pack, 18 ounces each, for $19.99 with Prime shipping.

For those who like it spicy, try the Austin's Border edition. Enjoy!

Deceptively Yours Publishes Today!

Hurray! My new book published today.

Deceptively Yours is full of passion, danger, desire, and sizzling hot romance. Whoa! This book is loaded with all of that.

I loved these characters! I hope you do too. Declan is definitely the kind of guy a woman needs in her life.

Tatiana has loved him since the day they first met. 

All these two need? A second chance, but Tatiana won't give Declan that.

Why not when she loves him so deeply?

It's a long story. Literally. But it's one you'll like—hopefully love!!!

Deceptively Yours, a steamy Romantic Suspense, is at a special New Release price of only 99¢. Just 99 pennies for a heart throbbing page turner.

Takeaway Truth

Get your copy Deceptively Yours today! It's live now!

P. S. Drop by and visit Last Chance Beach Romance and learn all about this new line of full-length romance novels by bestselling authors.

Saturday Share: Best Home Cooking Videos

Instead of sharing a recipe today, I want to share some of my favorite videos about cooking.

If you're serious about your cooking, then you should know some of the more esoteric facts about the food you prepare.

Also, if you're serious about cooking, the YouTube channels I recommend are those that help you prepare food that is restaurant quality. You can learn how to bake bread like the artisan breads with premium prices and how to cook foods that taste as good as or better than the priciest restaurant.

About My Recommendations

What surprised me most about looking for good cooking videos is that it was difficult to find women with channels recommended as excellent. There are plenty of Top 10 recommendations on YouTube, but none were women.

I choose what I watch by the number of videos on the channel and the popularity of the channel as a whole and the type of videos presented. The channels below are those we watch.

How to Basic is for anyone who is just starting on a cooking adventure. As the name suggests, you'll learn the basics of cooking the food you probably eat on a regular basis.

Pro Home Cooks is great. Your mouth will water as you watch the foods Josh Greenfield makes. The best thing about this channel is he gives clear directions for basic foods that most consider items you can only buy in a bakery or a restaurant. Then he shows you the awesome foods you can make from what you throw together. 

Laura in the Kitchen has this mission: "I'm not here to turn you into a perfect chef, just help you navigate the kitchen and make food everyone will love!"

Bryan Talbott demonstrates everything from chopping onions to how to make perfect fried eggs to sandwiches to restaurant-style entrees and vegetable dishes.

Sam the Cooking Guy prepares lots of beloved favorites and publishes new videos on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. He also does Q&A sessions.

Technical Facts About Meat

Skip if you're vegetarian or squeamish. I grew up in a family where just about everyone hunted and farmed so I'm familiar with butchering. 

The Bearded Butchers are Seth and Scott Perkins, avid outdoorsmen and professional butchers who grew up hunting, harvesting, and butchering all types of wild game, as well as domestic livestock at the family butchering business. Whether you want to know all the details of how to prepare meat, you will be interested in their blend of salt and spices that are perfect for all types of meat which contains no sugar, MSG, or anti-caking chemicals.

Their channel will teach you the taste difference between grass-fed beef and USDA Choice beef. You'll be surprised by this. On their channel, you can learn everything from how to skin a deer to how to make bacon. 

Takeaway Truth

These channels are superb. Give them a try and let me know if you're cooking improves.

Friday? Hurrah!

Finally, it's Friday. It's been a rough week here at the casa. Storms every day. Power blipping on and off. Thank goodness our home is in one of the highest elevations in Houston.

I'm also glad the lake in our community is constant level with its own drain. Our 2 resident ducks, Fred and Ethyl, love this weather of course.

I'm headed to the ranch for the weekend, and I'm hoping it's not raining there. I feel as if I'm growing mold and mildew.

Loving Friday?

Why is it we all love Friday so much? I no longer work outside the home and haven't in many years, but Friday always puts a spring in my step.

There's a neat book about making the most of Fridays you might be interested in.

The author is Robert Glazer, and the book is available on audio, ebook, and print.

Friday Forward: Inspiration & Motivation to End Your Week Stronger Than It Started

Celebrating Friday Quotations

I found some great quotes on 160 Happy Friday Quotes. Here are a few. Visit the site to read all of them.

"Although I understand that all days are equal with 24 hours each, most of us agree that Friday is the longest day of the week and Sunday the shortest.” – D.S. Mixel

"Friday afternoon feels like Heaven.” – El Fuego

"Friday the 13th is still better than Monday the whatever.” – Anonymous

"Friday sees more smiles than any other day of the workweek!” – Kate Summers

"Friday. The golden child of the weekdays. The superhero of the workweek. The welcome wagon to the weekend.” – Anonymous

“When you leave work on Friday, leave work. Don’t let technology follow you throughout your weekend (answering text messages and emails) take a break you will be more refreshed to begin the workweek if you have had a break.” – Catherine Pulsifer

Takeaway Truth

I've tried that last bit of wisdom and unplugged Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, that quadrupled my work load on Monday. In fact, it took me half of Monday to go through emails. Essentially, that made my behind all week. 

Who Created Phrase Crazy Busy?

Quite often, when asked how I am, I find myself saying, "I'm crazy busy."

Today when I said that, I found myself wondering the origin of that phrase. It had to start somewhere.

So I went to the alleged source of all knowledge, Google, to see if I could find the origin of the phrase. Was it a TV show where some character uttered those memorable words?

Guess what? Google does NOT know everything. I could find no reference that said John Doe said it on Dump Sit Com.

However, I did find it mentioned in the following places:

(1) a book by Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About a Really Big Problem. This book won the 2014 Christian Book of the Year Award

(2) a 2012 post on Positively Positive

(3) a post, 14 Phrases We Should All Give Up in 2020, by an ER doctor

(4) a post translating the phrase into Hindi

(5) multiple online dictionaries.

Will I stop using the phrase as the ER doctor suggests in the post? Probably not. It's just so descriptive. Of course, my mother had a phrase that meant the same thing: "Running around like a chicken with its head cut off."

Takeaway Truth

I did NOT learn who created the phrase, but I did learn the phrase has made its way around the world probably for the same reason I cited for using it. It perfectly describes one's state of having more to do than time in which to do it—and it sounds better than that chicken phrase.

Crush by Lucinda Race

He’s just the spark she needs…

Anna Price is an Enologist, a world-renowned expert in anything having to do with wine. Her work at her family’s Crescent Lake Winery in the Finger Lakes region of New York has her feeling as if she’s treading water. 

There has to be more to life than just wine.

Has she lost her spark? She’s jolted when her father suffers a heart attack, then gets a jolt of a different kind from the man taking care of her father.

Colin Grant is a nurse practitioner, specializing in the care of cardiac patients. He’d met Anna once before, but had just ended a long-distance relationship and wasn’t ready for someone new. But this time it’s different.

There’s no denying his attraction to the curvy girl who has no idea how beautiful she is.

When Anna is offered a job in France, they may find their growing relationship crushed. How can she say no to the offer of a lifetime?

Colin’s job is caring for other people’s hearts; he’s determined not to have his own broken again. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. But is it worth the risk, for a lifetime of love?

Takeaway Truth

A delightful romance set against the backdrop of a winery. Get your copy of Crush today!

Happy Mother's Day

If you're lucky enough to still have your mother, grandmother, or a woman you think of as a mother, be sure and make them know today—and every single day—that you love, respect, and admire them.

Takeaway Truth

Time passes so quickly that we often don't take the time to let the special people in our lives know exactly how special they are.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday Share Recipe: Old-fashioned Dinner Rolls

Most people don't make dinner rolls from scratch because they think it's a long, complicated process.

However, many years ago, a friend in Japan where I lived at that time, shared her grandmother's dinner roll recipe. It's simple and easy to prepare.

Purists would probably say it's not nearly as good as one where the dough rises 2-3 times.

I never have the time to do one of those. This recipe is something you can throw together a couple of hours before you want to bake the rolls. Plus, my family loves these so yours might too.

Old-Fashioned Dinner Rolls

Makes 12 rolls or more depending on how you "make" them out.


1 package of fast acting dry yeast dissolved in 1 cup lukewarm water (if you want to measure temperature, it should be between 95-110 degrees F.) I use Fleischmann's Instant Dry Yeast and buy it by the pound because we make all of our own bread.

1/3 cup cooking oil (not olive oil, it's too heavy)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 beaten egg

1 ½ teaspoons salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

  • Dissolve yeast in water.
  • Add sugar and stir well.
  • Add oil and beaten egg. Mix in well.
  • Stir salt into the flour.
  • Stir flour mixture into the liquid mixture.
  • Flour or butter your hands to make out the rolls—3 balls for cloverleaf rolls or 2 for rolls that split into 2 halves. Place each "roll" into the well of a muffin tin.
  • Brush with melted butter.
  • Place pan in a draft-free location.
  • Let rolls rise for 2 hours.
  • Bake at 450° for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove from pan promptly.
  • TIP: Most home muffin tins are thin. To keep rolls from browning too much on the bottom, set the muffin tin on a thicker pan in the oven. I use the broiler pan that came with my oven.
Takeaway Truth

I've used all white flour and a combination of white and whole wheat and still get good results. Enjoy!

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Decisions, Delays, Dilemmas

Whee! We finally have our house up for sale.

Once we decided to move to our house in the country, we started cleaning out the clutter.

Then CoVid hit. We came to a screeching halt.

We endlessly discussed whether we actually wanted to do that. Home here felt safe.

We decided to finish projects we'd wanted to do, and then revisit the decision.

After CoVid, it was one thing after another. Nothing to do with the house—just life crap in general. Then came the holidays and a month full of January birthdays.

When February rolled in, we decided that, yes, we wanted to move to the country. So we started packing some of our stuff and moving it to the house in the country. Then the worst winter storm that ever hit Texas came calling.

We were lucky and had no damage unlike so many others in Texas and other states.

After the big freeze, we decided to take action on our decision—which took another 2 months due to my crazy deadline schedule this year. When I finished my April book, we called a realtor and listed the house on April 30.

Photography was done yesterday including aerial photos by drone. Really cool. Today, Thursday, it's late afternoon here, and the real estate listing just went live online.

Tomorrow private showings begin and last through Sunday. We are to stay away during this process. I'm still working on a manuscript which makes staying away really difficult.

Takeaway Truth

Wish me luck in finalizing my manuscript and in selling our house!

P.S. Then I'm taking a vacation.

Dog Rescue Project

I was going to start the day with writing, but I've been out all morning trying to rescue a dog.

He's a large male, black except for white markings on his chest. I saw him yesterday lying in a rain puddle.

He found his way into our gated community and is lost and scared.

He has no collar, but you can tell he's been well cared for. He's a handsome dog. I've posted a photo on Nextdoor to all the surrounding neighborhoods to see if anyone recognizes him, but no one has claimed him yet.

He won't let anyone get near him. I have a container of food I prepared for him, but he won't get near enough to smell it. I heard him howling mournfully during the night, and it breaks my heart.

 If I can "catch" him, an animal rescue group will come pick him up and put him up for adoption if no one claims him.

Takeaway Truth

I can't think of anything else to do, and I also can't focus on writing.