C.H. Admirand's Blog

September 17, 2015

I shared a pic of this cake on FB recently, and one of my author friends, Terri Brisbin asked me to share the recipe. I thought it would be easier to type it up on my blog and share the link on FB...soooo, Terri...here goes :) 

Readers, please check out Terri's latest releases Rising Fire and Raging Sea! 

Nutmeg Cake

1/2 c. butter
1 and 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, well beaten
2 c. sifted cake flour
1 to 2 tsps ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans...or one 10 inch spring form pan. I like to use the fancy bottom...instead of the straight cake bottom. Since it was the first time I baked this cake, I didn't want to use the bundt bottom...cooking times can be tricky with our old oven :).
Cream butter and sugar with beaten eggs and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients, add to butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour into greased and floured spring form pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, checking after 45 minutes...bake times are different for every oven. I just kept putting 10 minutes on the timer after 45 minutes and watched it like a hawk. Sorry that I forgot to write down the exact time. But cooking and baking is always an adventure in our house :)

Caramel Frosting (tastes like a Praline :) - frosting will harden when cooled1/2 c. butter1 c. packed brown sugar (we love the dark brown sugar)1/4 c. milk2 d. powdered sugar1 tsp. vanilla

Heat butter until melted, stir in brown sugar and heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce to simmer for a few more minutes, stirring constantly, slowly add in milk and heat to boiling. Remove from heat and cool. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and vanilla, ice cooled cake.

Cake...it's what for breakfast...well only if there's no pie LOL! 



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Published on September 17, 2015 09:30 • 7 views

September 7, 2015

Did you ever have one of those moments where you decided to improve on one of your recipes? Well, that's what prompted me to share my fabulous failure...well maybe not quite a failure...but definitely not what I intended. LOL!
I totally love the Ball Jar heritage collection, so when I saw their latest squat, square jam jars a few months ago, I thought, I'm definitely picking some up. But the budget ebbs and flows, and I hadn't had the extra to splurge just because I liked them...and then a few days ago, our darling oldest son surprises me with them. Aren't they gorgeous?
I picked, cooked and froze Rhubarb from our garden last month and was itching to get at it today, since we had the family cookout yesterday. While the canner is heating up...because yep, these jars are NOT freezer safe--although cute as can be *sigh*...I've got the Rhubarb defrosting and heating up. Then my evil-side nudges the let's-keep-it-safe-and-try-to-follow-the-recipe-this-time-side, and I'm searching through the spice jars for the Lemon Peel and Orange Peel. I added in 2 tsps. of each and taste it, thinking oh this is good, but it needs something. And I reach for the ground cloves...which could have been perfect if I'd only added a 1/2 tsp. instead of a whole one. *sigh*
So now I'm thinking, OK, do I toss the whole pot, or do I try to keep adjusting and fixing it. Evil side says go for it, you've already ditched your recipe. LOL! Yeah...welcome to my world. Soooo I'm thinking not Jam...but Conserve! Cool, just add in dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. And I'm finally happy with it. So, nose to the grindstone time, boiling those jars--which don' really fit well inside the jar holder inside the canner--think cute square bottoms in the round hole jar holder...yeah. BUT I figure out how to tilt, lift, etc. to get them in there and sterilized while the conserve is cooking.
It was quite a bit trickier to get the filled jars back into the jar holder inside the canner...but again, where there is a will, there is always a  way. As I'm putting on the canner lid,  I'm asking for help from above: Mom, am I doing this right? All those years spent canning with my Mom, and I still think of her every time I get out the makings for jam or jelly. Lord, I miss you, Mom. 

Finally the conserve is processing in the water-bath and my darling hubby comes back inside after being my hero adding the trim to the refinished back door (which is gorgeous and no longer painted red, btw) and when I briefly give him the run-down, he makes the appropriate hmms and ahhs so that I'm pretty sure he's listening. Then he asks the question that stumps me: What do you do with conserve?
YIKES! All I could think of to say was well, you can serve it when your turkey or ham is too dry. Yes, my brain has ceased to function as my creativity has gone into my culinary creation and decided that's it for today. 

Then darling daughter answers my text and saves the day, after I explained what happened: She suggests serving the conserve with crackers and Brie!! Genius! I think we need to add a glass of wine to that and we'll be good to go.

The best news so far is that as soon as I've removed the processed jars, so they can cool on the counter, I hear that first *ping* of a lid sealing. Then another one, and then the last two and I know that Mom heard my prayer and helped the jars seal because I am suddenly reminded of countless nights with our family around the dinner table cheering as each jar of jelly (or tomatoes, peaches, chili sauce, etc.) cheerfully *pinged* as it sealed. Thanks Mom, I love you!
Soooo, I think I'm done in the test kitchen for today, and thinking leftovers sound like a plan for the rest of the day!
Happy Labor Day!
  OMGoodness Taste-Test Update!!!

Because I didn't overly-fill the jam with cranberries and chopped walnuts for this first try at a recipe, the pic looks a little odd. Ignore that. LOL!

Test-tasted and approved by my darling hubby :) We were fresh out of Brie cheese, but had Vermont Sharp White Cheddar...so he tasted his on a Ritz. 
BUT, then I remembered we had cream cheese, so I had mine on Italian Herb flatbread crackers with a small glass of red wine. Totally yummy!

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Published on September 07, 2015 10:48 • 3 views

September 2, 2015

As the days warm up toward the first day of school, it's our darling oldest grandson who will be starting Pre-K next week! Where did the time go? Wasn't it yesterday that our oldest was born, no that's not right, he's been out of college for going on 11 years. LOL...don't stand still or life will pass you by.
I was fiddling around with my website yesterday and changed it up a bit, and then started playing with my blog today to see if I could come up with a new look. The problem is I have SOOOO many pics of our gardens, birds, butterflies, yummy baked goods, jams, grandbabies, puppies, etc. but not all of the pics are the right size for the header or background. Good Grief! BUT, I finally decided on a background after spending almost an hour on it. Whew. Might change my mind as the Autumnal Equinox gets closer, but until that first snap of cold, I'll keep our Black Swallowtail Butterfly in the Butterfly Bush.
The yummy dessert pic for the new blog header was a recipe I tried out of Tricia Yearwood's cookbook for shortbread, but instead of just strawberries, I had a bunch of berries and real...yes folks...real whipped cream. No extra sugar needed if it's the real deal. :) Teasing you with a pic of Butter Whiskey Cake with Jameson Sugar Glaze :)
As I'm working in the kitchen, I hear the sweet chirping of Goldfinches, we've had at least 5 to 6 at-a-time raiding our Thistles and Coneflowers...here are few pics I snapped yesterday am.

I'll miss the butterflies that have graced our gardens this summer...

And then there was the baby bunny who came to gorge himself on our fresh clover 

OH! And the Green Frog that scared the you-know-what out of me when I was adding water to our pond. I swear he laughed at me! 

And of course lots of pics of our darling grandbabies and puppies. Life has been wonderful, and even though at times a challenge to keep going when hard times hit, these images of Mother Nature at her best and reminder of the blessings of family and a place to gather to share a moment in the garden, or in the kitchen sample jams, pies, or cakes, all in all, I wouldn't trade my life for anything!  My family is and always will be my rock :)

Life is truly good, and I have been blessed.


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Published on September 02, 2015 08:23 • 7 views

August 27, 2015

  I started writing for publication over 20 years ago and have always had the gift of words, plot lines, and characters arguing in my head.

Life is filled with ups and downs: happiness, sadness, joyous moments, and devastating ones. I guess I'd never really thought about how I handled these moments and balanced out my family life and my writing life. I just did.

I've always put my family first, and with my mom's health rapidly declining, and our daughter about to deliver, I knew I wouldn't be able to meet the deadlines of the new contract I'd received. I had to cancel the contract and return the advance.

Two weeks later our second grandbaby was born, and 7 days later my Mom died and everything stopped making sense. My Dad died 16 years ago, and I knew they would be together now, but there was this big hole in my life.

The words dried up, plot lines no longer made sense, characters stopped arguing in my head--and worst of all the constant music playing in my head stopped.

I struggled for a long time trying to make sense of what was happening, but in the midst of it all, there were final arrangements to be made, Mom's Eulogy to write, a lawsuit to deal with--her reverse mortgage company was suing my brother, sisters, and myself--and six months later when I'd done everything I had to do, my gift was gone.

First I'd tried ignoring the problem, meditating, praying, baking, cleaning, until I finally tried accepting the fact that my gift was gone. I signed off of social media because it was too painful to talk about. 
For a while I kept busy editing, freshening up and reissuing some of my backlist. That took my mind off the real problem. That I'd somehow lost my gift. I wasn't sure if I'd neglected the nurturing of my gift, or if I'd done something horrible to deserve losing it. I was a mess...but my family was there for me, thank God. They have always been and will always be my rock.

Then one day, one of my writer friends, the fabulous Ms. Carolyn Brown, sent me an email with a character's name. She said she usually knows right away who they are, what they look like, and what story they want her to tell...but this time it was just the name. And then she said she realized, it wasn't her character to keep, it was for me. Humbled by her gift, something clicked inside of me as I thanked her, and the door that had abruptly shut on my creativity squeaked open a tiny crack.

I can't say that I'm back to normal sitting down and having the words just flow out of my heart, my head, and my soul...but they're there...just buried beneath years of living and dealing with the gift of life.

I guess dealing with writer's block is different for everyone. For some the answer could be found on the pages of a "how-to" book, for others it might be sparked by something another author has to say during a workshop. For myself, it has been like the Beatles song that just started playing in my head: The Long and Winding Road. Fingers crossed I can get back to my wips and start writing again without the constant worry that I'll do or say something that will chase my gift away forever.
Thank goodness, I have my family--my rock--and because of the gift of a character's name--Tom McNally--I have the gift of hope. 
Thank you, Carolyn Brown. You are my hero! Carolyn Brown's The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop is available now, check it out!

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Published on August 27, 2015 08:41 • 8 views

July 22, 2015

For those of you who've read my earlier post about my 21DayFix journey, or have visited my FB page, you know that I've been following the 21DayFix religiously since February. Who knew it would take just a bit longer to "fix myself?" LOL!

This is a selfie from today...no laughing...well, then again I've already laughed at it, so go ahead, you can laugh too. :)
But the upside is I feel healthier, have more energy (except for low points during that day that I'm trying to balance out), feel better about myself, and am no longer embarrassed to go out in public--which is HUGE for me because I had gotten to the point where I just didn't want anyone to see me--except my family.
Autumn Calabrese said that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. I had more than one. Oddly enough, over-eating has never been an issue for me. It was the balance of food groups that was off, and under-eating--less than 3 meals a day. Not anymore :) 
I haven't had any wine or whiskey since February. I exercise daily and still follow Autumn's exercise CDs, adding in heavier weights as I felt stronger. 
Irish Catholic Guilt, and the worry that I'd gain the weight back, help keep me on the straight and narrow, eating 5 or 6 small meals a day. And as I mentioned above, I'm working on balancing out my energy highs and lows. I've always had low blood pressure and blood sugar, so I do have to watch that.
BUT, the upside is that I've lost 37.6 pounds since February and 38 inches and I went from wearing a size 14 or 16 down to a size 6 to 8. :) 
With the return to a healthier lifestyle, my Muse is slowly coming back...so is the music in my head! I  am humbly grateful for the return of my gift and have never stopped praying...I never will. :)

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Published on July 22, 2015 16:46 • 3 views

June 19, 2015

Having  been in this crazy business for twenty-plus years, I am supposed to say that rejection is good for the soul, and be happy when I receive a great rejection. (Note: I received 99 before I got "the call" all those years ago, so I am no stranger to rejection.) Therefore, my first reaction to the recent rejection I received from my editor was great, thank you for your honesty and for additional input from a fellow editor regarding my proposal.
My reality check, post-rejection, is--I'm still feeling rejected and have NO idea where to go from here. Having sold on proposal for the last few years, I have to figure out whether or not my proposal is viable/marketable, etc. or if I should put it in the drawer. 
Another reality for me is, that while I was spoiled selling on proposal, not all houses will accept proposals from an author new to them. So if I'm going to start querying elsewhere, I'll be back to writing the book and then querying...my new MO :)
Two years ago when my life was spiraling out of control with my Mom's health, issues on the home-front, and me doing my best to keep up, my muse was quietly slipping away and I had no idea...read the previous sentence again to figure out why.
When push comes to shove, family will always come first for me. It's how I'm hard-wired. Not always the most popular path to take, but people that know me, know that I have put family before everything all of my life.
So while it's been a struggle, I'm slowly but surely figuring out how to coax my muse back into my life. Along the way, the reality of sabotaging myself with lack of exercise and an unbalanced diet took it's toll. I received the "wake-up" call in the form of a picture from my darling niece's baby shower in February. Here's the "wake-up call" pic from February 8th...that's me on the right with the gorgeous velvet burnout kimono:
That started me on the 21DayFix which has turned my life around. I feel healthy, energized, and can take on both grandbabies and both puppies at the same time. Our grandbabies are adorable, but uber-active.
After a few rounds of the 21DayFix, this is me June 5th, wearing the same gorgeous velvet burnout kimono...minus two sisters, one brother, and 30 pounds :)  

And on June 12th minus 35 pounds, two sisters and one brother :)

Losing 35 pounds and eating a healthier more balanced diet has helped with the physical, but the emotional part still needs work. And  the emotional part of me is where my characters used to live, breathe, and wake me up with their arguments at night. Sadly, that hasn't happened in a long time. 
Now I force myself to open up one of my wips (yep, I have about 3 or 4 right now). I used to sit down in the morning, and as soon as I opened up one of my wips, the characters and the words were there and the story would just flow. It was a gift. A gift I unknowingly abused.
Sooo, while I'm slogging through trying to find my new normal, readers may not hear from me for the next little while.
If you haven't already checked them out, I re-issued my Irish Western Series in large print, and bundled them in print Volumes I and II, am currently working with the fabulous narrator, Elizabeth Cook, creating audiobooks for this series. We'll start on book 3, Pearl's Redemption, at the end of August. So, stayed tuned!

Happy Reading!


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Published on June 19, 2015 11:55 • 7 views

June 8, 2015

It all started with that OMG moment looking at pics that were taken at my darling niece's baby shower 0n February 8th, 2015 (she's doing fabulously btw, with a darling baby boy). There was a pic one of our friends took of my two younger sisters, my older brother, and myself on the end in my favorite velvet burnout kimono.
When I first saw the photo, it took me by surprise, thinking who was that overweight woman wearing my fabulous kimono? Then reality hit and my aha moment that I had to get back on track with exercise, to lose weight, and to get healthy.
A few days later I was watching the food channel...if you know me, you know I LOVE to bake (and sample those delectable goodies)...and saw the infomercial for the 21DayFix. The light went on as soon as I saw Autumn Calabrese filling color-coded containers, because I'm a three-time weight watchers dropout and the points never made sense to me.

BUT, I didn't exercise while I was on WW the first time in February 2002, long story that had to do with fear of gaining muscle weight. (first mistake...learn from my mistakes people)  I started at 144 pounds and did reach my goal weight of 128 in July 2002, but a week later gained 3 pounds, so I never reached the lifetime member status. So making another big mistake, I went back to eating whatever I wanted. Hmmm...like that worked well. *sigh*

Between 2002 and February 2015 I gained 27.4 pounds. Not a healthy weight for someone with my frame. I was sluggish, tired, not sleeping, and unhappy with myself. 
Back to the 21DayFix. In a nutshell, Autumn said that it only takes 21 days to break a bad habit. Eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising every day can help you kick your bad habits and help you learn how to re-think your food choices on your road to a healthier you. ;) I was embarrassed to go anywhere and practically lived in black stretch pants and t-shirts. Autumn has given me my self-respect back.I asked my DH to take some pics along the way. This pic is from February 28th. 
As soon as my package from the 21DayFix arrived, I devoured the booklets cover to cover, and thought...there is no way I can do this at my age...I turned 57 in February. Then I remembered our Purcell ancestor's family motto: Aut Vincam, Aut Periam, translation: I will either conquer or perish! Yep...I channeled my ancestors and got to work.
The exercises are varied, so you work out different muscle groups each day of the week and won't get bored with the workouts. I was sooo glad that Autumn had someone who "modified" the workouts, someone working her way to a healthier weight like me. Kat was easy to follow and you feel as if you aren't alone among the thinner "in shape" people in the workout video ;)

So after I finished the first Round...and lost 10.4 pounds and 14 inches. It was working, so I kept going! 

The second time I tried WW, my Mom's health was rapidly declining, but she was still living in her home, so I had to stop going to meetings, dividing my time juggling my job, my family, and doctor and hospital stays for my Mom.

The third and final time I tried, WW, I ended up car-less and had no way to get to meetings.

OK...back to the 21DayFix. This pic is from April 26th on my road to getting back in shape and healthy. ;) 
One thing that I know helped me lose weight along the way was giving up drinking wine with a whiskey nightcap every night.  I tried to think about when I started that bad habit and it all began after my Dad died 16 years ago. Long story shortened, anesthetizing with wine and whiskey was the answer for a long time.

This pic is from May 5th...not the greatest taking selfies. LOL.

It took a lot of hard work and sweat, but I started to feel stronger and more energized while doing the workouts.  Just like weight watchers you keep track of what you eat, your weight and measurements.

OH and on a funny note, I did NOT purchase the scale that had the helpful arrow that would point up or down beside your weight read out so you knew whether or not you lost or gained weight. Seriously? Whomever designed that should be drawn and quartered at dawn. Yes, I write Historical Romance and know exactly what the entails. I also know what it means to "hobble" someone. But I'll leave that for my works of fiction. ;)

For those that like statistics, I'm putting myself out there with my weight, and we all know that women don't like to divulge their weight or their age. But hey I already told you how old I was so what do I have to lose? LOL!

Here is the breakdown for non-believers or fence-sitters of whether or not the 21DayFix works, Round-by-Round:

NOTE: For Inches Lost...Autumn has you keep track of Chest, R. Arm, L. Arm, Waist, Hips, R. Thigh, L. Thigh Measurements.

February 23, 2015 to March 15, 2015 -- Round 1:
2/23/15 weight 171.4 pounds...3/15/15 weight 161 pounds
2/23/15 inches 191...3/15/15 inches 177
[weight loss=10.4 pounds/inches lost=14] 

March 16, 2015 to April 4, 2015 -- Round 2:
3/16/15 weight 161 pounds...4/4/15 weight 153.4 pounds
3/16/15 inches 177 inches...4/4/15 inches 171
[weight loss=7.6 pounds/inches lost=6]

April 5, 2015 to April 26, 2015 -- Round 3:
4/5/15 weight 153.4 pounds...4/26/15 weight 147.8 pounds
4/5/15 inches 171...4/26/15 inches 165.5
[weight loss=5.6 pounds/inches lost=5.5]

April 27, 2015 to 5/17/15 -- Round 4:
4/27/15 weight 147.8 pounds...5/17/15 weight 143 pounds
4/27/15 inches 165.5...5/17/15 inches 161.5
[weight loss=4.8 pounds/inches lost=4]

May 18, 2015 to June 7, 2015 -- Round 5:
5/18/15 weight 143 pounds...6/7/15 weight 137.8 pounds
5/18/15 inches 161.5...6/7/15 inches 157.5
[weight loss=5.2 pounds/inches lost=4]

Total loss to date:
Weight: 33.6 pounds/Inches:33.5 inches

**I kept track of Bust, Underbust, Abs, Calf and Ankle measurements and have the beginning and end of Round 5 "other inches lost total"**
2/23/15 "other inches" 169.5
6/7/15 "other inches" 138.5
[Total Other Inches Lost = 31]

7.5 of those inches are off my waist, and 12 inches off my abs...so color me happy (abs are in the "other inches" category.) 

Not a fan of planks, but you bet your buttski that I can do them now! There's just one bonus exercise that I still have trouble with, but I'm going to be able to do it soon. :)

According to those height/weight charts, I'm still on the top end of what I should weigh for my 5'4" height, so I guess I've got a bit more work to go to lose those last ten pounds. But I know I will get there. Aut Vincan, Aut Periam! Started Round 6 this am ;) 
 I asked my DH to take a pic of me two days ago wearing the same FAB velvet burnout kimono. See the difference 33.6 pounds and 33.5 inches makes? 

If you are on the fence about trying the 21DayFix, I highly recommend it. It has helped this grandma keep up with her darling grandbabies ;)

Thanks for letting me share my journey! 


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Published on June 08, 2015 07:32 • 5 views

May 6, 2015

There is a warmth to the air that wasn't there a few weeks ago. The sun coaxes leaf buds to grow, and blossoms to open. The Lilac bush that is in our backyard was already old when we moved in 33 years ago. It's blossoms were opening yesterday.

The Lilac we planted out front about ten years ago has buds, but they aren't opening yet. The funny thing about this bush is that the blooms were white when we bought it. Gradually over the years, it changed to a light pink, and now...it's well...lilac in color! I guess it reverted to it's natural color. Or maybe it's like a Hydrangea and whatever minerals are in the soil changes the color of the blossoms. I for one do not know. But I do love their scent ;)
Here's a pic of the Azalea out front, Springtime is it's name. Who knew all those years ago that it would flourish so beautifully! A special thanks to Dave's Mom and Dad for bringing those one-gallon pots of Azaleas and Rhododendrons to plant in our then barren front yard. 

And after giving up hope that it would ever happen, my darling Dave built the railing out front. Isn't it gorgeous? I waited a really, really long time. Long enough that I stopped nagging him about it ten years ago. LOL! But it is soooo worth it. ;) Oh...and see what a different two days and warm sun make? The Azalea at the bottom of the railing is the same one pictured above blooming gloriously. Sigh...and that's why I LOVE SPRING!!!
Check out the flower buds on our Red Currant Bushes! Now all we have to do is drape them with netting to keep Monsieur Catbird from eating all of the berries. Did you know I saw two Catbirds in our yard yesterday singing...ber-ries. Seriously, that's what it sounds like, they're getting ready to sing the berries to them. Yikes!
Oh...and fantastic find from yesterday...our Bleeding Heart plant came back! I thought it had died like the others we've planted over the years, but here it is nestled in next to the Peonies. I will have to watch for signs of flower buds in the next week or so. 
May 6th, 2015 Giveaway!!!
Today I'm giving away free reads you can listen to...the audiobook version of The Rancher's Heart, narrated by the fabulously talented Ms. Elizabeth Cook. This is the second book in my Historical Irish Western Series and the second book Ms. Cook has narrated for me. Want to hear a snippet? Click here!

To enter your name in the hat, please follow the link to my FB Author Page and leave your name and e-mail address. Easy peasy, right? Right! LOL!
Stayed tuned for early this Fall when we'll begin working on the audiobook version of Pearl's Redemption, Book three in this series.
Happy Reading...and Listening!


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Published on May 06, 2015 07:01 • 5 views

April 21, 2015

OMGoodness, I thought Spring would NEVER get here! We had such a cold Winter, with soooo many cold days and sooooo much snow (it's a 4-letter word people) that I didn't think our gardens would survive.
So I decided to take a few pics of our perennials and I think most of them survived ;) 
Although our puppy Reilly dug up and ran away with a few of our Clematis, here is one that survived :)

Every year, I'm amazed that our ring of Violets keeps coming back ... btw, we didn't plant these Faery Rings ... they just started to grow that way.  
Happy Rhubarb...there will be jam in our future! 
One of the Honeysuckle vines survived Reilly! 
Leaf buds on our Hydrangea ;) 
Lemon Balm!!
Mud, thanks to Reilly for digging the hole in the yard so that when I was filling our pond, we had mud...OK, so I'm a sucker for squishing my toes in sun-warmed mud. Indescribable! 
Oriental Poppies... can't wait for them to bloom! 
Robert's Herb ... at least that's what my Mother-in-Law called them when she gave them to us years ago ;) 
Clean crisp sheets blowing in the breeze ... such a wonderful smell, sun-warmed, line-dried sheets!
Dew-laden Lady's Mantle 
Dew on the grass 
Very cool fungus, dewy grass in the background and violets in the foreground   More dew-laden grass

It was such a pretty sight, that I took a few different shots   I think the Faeries that visit our gardens might have dipped their fingertips in the dew gathered in the cups of the Lady's Mantle leaves.
Our Virginia BlueBells have grown and spread into a few different places in the gardens. If you look closely, you can see a hint of a bud in the lower right-hand corner. My Mom gave us this plant years ago ... when it blooms it'll be like she's still here. I miss you Mom. 
I'll take more pics soon ... after the recent rains from last night, things have really grown!
Happy Gardening and Happy Reading!!!

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Published on April 21, 2015 15:20 • 6 views

April 12, 2015

What a FABULOUS day! The warm and welcoming breeze is teasing wisps of hair across my cheek while I sit and write. A glorious warmth that has been so missing with the harsh winter we had, but all the more special because of it, has returned. 
Right now as I look to the West, I can see tiny bugs dancing in the air. The peepers are gearing up for another night of revelry (we know why those little frogs sing, don't we VBG) while birds continue to flit about the yard and sing. FINALLY!
For two days in a row, I've had my first cup of tea outside in my rather chilly rocking chair with our two darling puppies and a host of birds keeping us company. This morning, there were no cars speeding around the road at the back of our property ... thank goodness ... just the clear blue sky and bright sunshine above me with snippets of songs from a variety of birds who have been keeping us company this winter while we've kept their feeders full.
Here is the one bird I wasn't sure was going to visit us to eat our Privet berries. The Cedar Waxwing usually comes by in February, but they didn't come until a few days ago. Probably the cold temps we had here. 

Aren't they beautiful? I took some pics from the upstairs window and some from the front door. We used to have a flock of Evening Grosbeaks stop by in February every year for about ten years, then one year, they stopped coming ... maybe part of their habitat along their route North changed. I still miss them. ;(Jameson (aka Jamie-Lad) and Reilly (from their corners of the couch) send their best!

Have a wonderful evening, and enjoy the beauty around you ... Nature's gift to all!If you haven't entered yet, there is still time to enter to win a signed copy of my first print bundle ... the Irish Westerns Volume 1 ... follow the link C.H.'s FB Author Page.

I'm also running a contest to win a signed copy of JESSE, book 3 in my contemporary Western trilogy ;)

Good luck! 

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Published on April 12, 2015 15:19 • 6 views