Thursday, November 29, 2012

Peanut Therapy?

I have a fond memory of sitting on my grandparent's patio snapping green beans. Did you ever do that? My grandparents had a beautiful garden with just about everything you could imagine -- green beans, corn, oranges, lemons, peaches, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, berries, and more. Fruits and vegetables always taste better when they're freshly grown in a home garden. There was something therapeutic about snapping green beans. I'm not sure if it was fun because I was a kid. or if it was the combination of being with my grandma, sitting on the patio, and enjoying the evening air. Whatever it was ... it was a pleasant experience.

However, something changed somewhere down the road. Today I sat by the wood stove and shelled some unsalted peanuts. Rick makes a really good peanut brittle, and he usually only makes it around Christmas. Of course, it would have been a lot easier to buy a jar of peanuts rather than crack them open myself, but we had a three pound bag just sitting here, so I figured I better use them up. You would think it would be therapeutic like the green beans, but it wasn't really. It was kind of tedious. Maybe it's because we live in such a digital age where our fingers are always engaged with gadgets like cell phones or keyboards. My thumb hurts.

A lot of things taste better when they're homemade. Unfortunately, you can't tell the difference between shelling your own peanuts or buying some without the shell. They still taste the same. The other disadvantage to shelling your own -- besides sore fingers -- is that not every peanut is perfect. My peanuts didn't go through some conveyor belt to sort out the nasty ones. I had to toss out some that were shriveled or yucky looking. Most were usable though, and as you can see, I filled up a huge bowl with shells. I think we have enough peanuts to make two batches. Yay! Rick is upstairs making some right now. I'm thankful for that because my thumb still hurts. I think it's bruised. I remember one year I made a string of popcorn for our Christmas tree. Oh my goodness! Talk about sore fingers ... never again!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tis the Season ...

We got the tree up the other night. The boys like decorating it over the Thanksgiving weekend, regardless whether any of us feel like it or not. Neil was up at the crack of dawn waiting, so it was hard not to get it out. This picture was taken with my iPhone and I was on the floor when I took it. Our tree is 9.5 feet tall, not including the star, so it's pretty big. Most of our ornaments are handmade ones by the kids. Those have always been my favorites. However, the other night I took a few pictures of some store bought ones, so I thought I'd share a few with you. The one below has always been my favorite with CJ's picture it in. It has a place for a light to slip in the top, so it lights up. I really miss that little guy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Dinner Date for Dilly

I'm pleased to announce that A Dinner Date for Dilly will be available soon. It's being printed as I speak. This is the third book in the Dilly Series. As you know, Dilly is a little rat who loves sour pickles more than anything. In his first book, A New Job for Dilly, our little rat searched from A to Z to find the perfect job so he wouldn't have to steal his pickles. In the second book, A New Friend for Dilly, he searched from A to Z looking for a perfect friend to share his pickles with. As you might have guessed, A Dinner Date for Dilly is all about food and once again, Dilly searches the alphabet for the perfect feast for his date. Will pickles be on the menu? You'll have to get the book to find out!

You can find all of the Dilly books at:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Dinner Date for Dilly

I'm so happy to be able to share with you the cover for A Dinner Date For Dilly! This will be the third book in the Dilly Series. This picture book is all about one of my favorite things -- FOOD! Dilly sets up a grand feast for his new friend, Daisy, and he wants everything to be just perfect.

Ginger Nielson has done a wonderful job with the cover art. I can't wait to see more of the illustrations from the actual book. It is set to be released by 4RV Publishing around the end of November.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Two Monsters & A Winner!

The boys had a fun time trick-or-treating last night. As usual, we took them to the little village area of Bigfork where we live. All the local shops pass out candy to the kids. It's mostly gift shops, cafes, art galleries, and things like that. They do it from 4-6pm, but we always try to be there right at 4pm. By 5pm, it gets really crowded and a lot of the stores start running out of candy. It's nice for us because we're usually home early and get to spend the rest of the night eating pizza and watch Halloween cartoons as a family. Neil dressed up as a werewolf (above) and Nathan was the Scarecrow Ghost Face (below). Pretty creepy!

I also have a winner for the Wiggly Drawing that I blogged about last night. I know I said I'd pick a winner on Monday, but ... well, what can I say? I'm a slug. I've got a bunch of things going on right now and today is the first time I've gotten back to my blog. Anyway, the winner is ...


I realize her reply doesn't show up in my comments section. I know she replied though because I have it in my email. Must have been some Blogger glitch that day or something. Anyway, if you could send me a mailing address, Tina, I'll get the books out to you as soon as I can. Congratulations!

ETA: Thanks to my oldest daughter, Nichelle, who came up with the idea for the boys to pose for pictures by this field we parked in. She's got such an incredible eye for photography! :)