February 15, 2019

St. Francis Mission Church Tea, Yulee, FL

copied from St. Francis website
     I was invited to speak at this lovely Ladies Tea the Sunday before Valentine's Day.  What with the frilly lace table clothes, floral patterned dishes, colored glasses, a light lunch of chicken over biscuits, grape and yogurt salad, strawberry shortcake and sharing tidbits about my novels, I was in my element.  The women were friendly and chatty and I will remember their sweet hospitality always. 
     Oh, they gave me a gift basket containing, in part, a St. Francis member-created cookbook, chocolate bars and movie tickets! 
Jane Marie Malcolm and crafts which tie into her Goodbye Lie series

Miss Ella, Breelan, Carolena Marie, Grammy, Peeper and even Aunt Noreen  from the late 1880s in  my Goodbye Lie series told me they would approve because they have similar teas quite often! -jmm

Ladies in hats! (photo by Lyndan)

February 8, 2019

Valentine Cracker Candy- Goodbye Lie Diaries - Miss Ella

Yes, there are crackers under the chocolate!
Late 1800s                     Fernandina on Amelia Island Florida

Miss Ella's diary entry:          You know how I love tradition, Jane Marie. When I move on to my Heavenly home, I want my children and grandchildren to remember the sweet treats we made together, the ones I have to hide from my husband, Michael. 
Miss Ella
   Here is my recipe for Valentine (or any time) Cracker Candy. It is very easy to make with handy ingredients. As usual, please translate my recipe, from my time into your
modern time, so your readers understand the proper preparation.

Jane Marie responds: Thank you, Miss Ella. My modern changes are listed in blue below. Ava, our granddaughter, helped me make your delicious crackers. You were right about hiding them.  I had Ava hide them from me! 

Miss Ella's Cracker Candy

Crackers, plain (Saltines) - enough to cover your baking sheet in a single layer (one sleeve)
1/2 cup butter, melted 
1 cup sugar and a smidge of molasses, mixed (Or we used brown sugar alone with no molasses.
1 spoonful vanilla (1 teaspoon)
1 to 2 cups chocolate - shaved (1 bag of chocolate chips)
Miss Ella Dunnigan
Grease your baking sheet (with non-stick spray).  Cover your flat baking sheet with a single layer of crackers. Melt the butter. Add the sugar with molasses (or brown sugar)and boil while stirring for 2 minutes, maybe 3, as it thickens a bit.  Stir in your vanilla.  Drizzle over the crackers.  Bake in a hot (425 degrees Fahrenheit ) oven for 3-5 minutes. While still hot, sprinkle the chocolate over top and spread evenly as it melts. Let cool and break into pieces.   

*Did you know the name cracker, the edible kind, came about when a baker in 1801 in Massachusetts named Josiah Bent burned the biscuits and they made a crackling noise as they blackened! 

* Origin of the name cracker found online at tripsavvy.com - Crackers: Invented in New England. Thank you, tripsavvy.com - jmm

February 4, 2019

Goodbye Lie Diaries -Breelan's Idea for Valentine's Day

Late 1800s                                                               

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Breelan Dunnigan's diary entry for February: Here is a simple idea for your special Valentine or perhaps an anniversary gift.  The only cost to you is that of your time spent thinking about your favorite someone. Man, woman, child, friend, relative or grocer, if you want to get that personal, make a list of the top twenty, or as many as  you want, random things you know about your wonderful one.  Write then down in your best handwriting on a lovely piece of stationery.  Roll it up and tie with a ribbon. It will be a keepsake for a hope chest, too, for generations to read and get to know the person honored.  And there you have it.   
Happy Valentine's Day from my time to yours.
Breelan Dunnigan

January 30, 2019

Mr. Potato Face Plus Potato Stamping, A Goodbye Lie Fave

     Tis Himself,  Mr. Potato Face!
I sliced off the end of a potato and revealed this fun face! To me, he is easier to recognize as a human face than the Man in the Moon. (While I can make Mr. Moon out, Bruce, my husband, has never been able to see that guy up there in the sky.  Perhaps the possession of an imagination, or lack there of,  has something to do with that. Just sayin' ...  Luv ya, Brucie. )
     Potatoes often remind me of potato stamping.  This complicated thought process of mine is just one more extraordinary ability I possess. Another example of my special powers is my mastery of the  canjo . (That's for another blog.) I can play one and a half tunes, after all. My mind just works cleverly like that, especially about complicated matters. Over the years, I have had several people, who know me well, ask how a person like me can write novels. Folks can be so kind.
     Well, back to potato stamping.  See instructions below for this fun, family activity. It is reprinted from January 25, 2014 and I originally wrote the article for our website, way back when.  Instructions, like a good recipe, doesn't change much.  

Note the surface of the heart is not cut completely flat in my haste to make it. Therefore, the heart won't be solid. It still works

 I cut a rose into a potato, stamped a piece of paper and took it to Staples office supply where they made this rubber stamp!

Heart and rose stamps for any occasion 

Potato Stamping - a Goodbye Lie Fave

     Potato stamping is a wonderful family activity. It is featured in my historical romance novel, Amelia Islands Goodbye Lie Trilogy, set in 1882's north Florida.  In the story, the Dunnigan children are kept occupied with this activity so as to protect them from the frantic goings-on by the adults around them. 

Caution:  Since a knife is needed for cutting the potato, an adult must be present to supervise.
Paint.  Read the label on the paint before applying it to make sure you're using the correct type for the object you will be stamping.  If stamping on wood, acrylic (washable) paint will work. It also works on poster board and paper.   Use fabric paint for fabric, especially if it will be washed.  Be careful of water color paints because they may be too thin.  The outline of your stamp might look blurred.
     Always test the consistency of paint and the coverage of your stamp on a paper towel or rag or wood scrap, whatever is similar to your intended finished product.
     Once the paint on your design is completely dry, heat set paint on fabric designs with an iron set on high.  Stroke the iron over the picture while it is covered with a protective cloth (like an old pillow case) for three or four minutes.   Do not scorch and DO NOT USE STEAM.

You'll need:
  •  Sharp knife (for adult hands only)
  • 1 large fresh potato, at least 3" in diameter to make two stamps
  • Pencil for outlining pattern on potato or cookie cutter
  • Paint - see notes above
  • Paint brush, sponge brush or cotton swabs
  • Aluminum foil or paper plate for paint palette
  • Paper towels for blotting and testing stamp
Wash the potato to remove any dirt and pat dry with paper towels.  Do not peel.
Cut the potato evenly in half using a large knife to make a clean cut.  It needs to be as flat a surface as possible without ridges - these will show when you stamp. 
Decide on what image you want to stamp.  A simple pattern will be easier to cut into the potato than an intricate one.  If making initials, make them block style, bold and backwards!  Save the complicated snowflake-type shapes for when you've mastered the easy stuff.
With the pencil, trace or draw your pattern free-hand on the cut side of the potato, or press a cookie cutter 1/4 inch into the flat white surface of the potato.
Cut away the area outside the stamp so that the stamp protrudes by at least ¼ inch.  I found it was best to cut away small sections at time, being careful not to let the knife slip under the actual stamp part, or it will fall off.
Squirt a small puddle of paint on the foil.  With a brush or cotton swab, paint the stamp portion of the potato, making sure the stamping surface only is evenly covered.  Wipe off any paint that slops over the edge.  You want a crisp outline. 
Test your stamp on a paper towel to see how much paint and pressure are required before you actually begin stamping your project.
To change colors using the same stamp design, wipe away any excess paint from the stamp and paint on a new color. For a faded design, just keep stamping without reloading any paint until the design is too light to see. 
Let the paint of an already stamped design dry before partially stamping over it with another color if that's the look you desire.  If you want the colors of the paints to blend, then quickly stamp the new color over the color used just before it.
Get creative.  Personalize items or decorate wrapping paper, book covers, picture frames, stationary, brown bags as gift bags and lunch bags.  Stamp gift tags, envelopes, refrigerator pictures, T shirts, paper and cloth napkins, tablecloths, doll clothes, pillow cases, etc.  If you can think of it, you can decorate it. 
Embellishments for T-shirts or fabric purses:
  • Sprinkle glitter on the paint while it's still wet so it will stick.
  • Glue tiny beads, buttons (sewn on fabric) or ribbon bows (safety pinned for removal for washing if necessary)
  • Outline the stamp with a marking pen or paint a boarder around each stamp pattern or random stamps on the object you're making so it will stand out. 
  • Spatter paint - Dip an old toothbrush in gold paint or any other color and run your finger along the bristles from tip back toward you, while pointing the toothbrush at the object you're decorating.  The paint will speckle the surface.  Practice first on a newspaper to test the technique and discover the coverage you want.
"Necklace" look - Repeatedly dip the flat new eraser of a pencil into paint and dab it onto a shirt in a draped pattern to resemble the beads of a necklace.  Make it a choker or a long necklace, whatever appeals to you.
If you cover your potato stamps in cold water in the refrigerator, they will keep for a day or two.

Enjoy! jmm

January 24, 2019

Another Southern Tradition - Another Lucy Moment

     The day before New Year's, I was in the grocery store on a quest. When I told the clerk, "Hi, I'm a Yankee looking for a can of those good luck beans they eat down here in the South.  You know, those green-eyed peas."  She looked at me strangely, saying nothing.  "Oh, so you must be a Yankee, too! Where are you from?"
     "Savannah," she replied, volunteering nothing more. 
     Hmm, maybe it's a religious thing for her and she doesn't believe eating food will bring
prosperity, I thought.  Whatever, we found them on the next aisle and I thanked her for her help.
     Between you and me, I can't imagine why they're called green-eyed peas when there is nothing green about them. (Refer to the picture above.) Perhaps I will Google this question and be surprised at the answer. I just might wear out Google with all my questions, being the Question Meister I am.

January 22, 2019

A Southern Tradition - Another Lucy Moment

    The day before New Year's, I was in the grocery store on a quest. When I told the clerk, "Hi, I'm a Yankee looking for a can of those good luck beans they eat down here in the South.  You know, those green-eyed peas."  She looked at me strangely, saying nothing.  "Oh, so you must be a Yankee, too! Where are you from?"
     "Savannah," she replied, volunteering nothing else.
     Hmm, maybe it's a religious thing for her and she doesn't believe eating food will bring prosperity, I thought.  Whatever, we found them on the next aisle and I thanked her for her help.
     Between you and me, I can't imagine why they're called green-eyed peas when there is nothing green about them and they look more like beans than peas. (Refer to the picture above.) Perhaps I will Google this question and be surprised at the answer. I just might wear out Google with all my questions, being the Question Meister that I am. 

P.S. All my Lucy Moments are true! It's silly in my world. That's why I share with you. 

January 16, 2019

Speaking of Diets

     And who isn’t, my darling daughter, Barbra Boutin, suggested we go on a diet together. Great idea, right? We can encourage each other daily. Then she suggested we both give up cheese. This is what I often give up for Lent. Besides, I get protein from cheese. I suggested  we give up sweets. (I once mentioned my granddaughter, Ava, said, “Grammy, you have very sweet teeth.”)
     Well, Barbra’s teeth are far less sweet than mine, so her temptation for treats is not as great. Instead, she went for a 30-day diet that consists of good for you yummies as pictured above. This healthy, yet still inviting, breakfast serving was created, photographed and consumed by Barbra. A meal, any time, of eggs, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, avocado, roasted potatoes, some sort of compliant ketchup, whatever that is, and strawberries, now that I could go for, for sure. She also informed me there are fresh tomato slices under the eggs. 
     Yes, I could stay her course, if only I had someone to prepare such delights. So, since I don't (in part because I'm lazy), as of January 2nd, I have skipped desserts and am drinking low sodium V-8 juice. Oh, did I mention I gained a pound?

January 8, 2019

The Thing About Coffee

before the "treatment"
     My husband, Bruce, has always said, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing to excess." Well, along those lines, I heard coffee is good for plants.  I had some left in the pot and thought I'd give a swig to my Christmas cactus. Hey, if a little coffee is good for them, why not empty the pot? In this case, I'm guessing I poured on about a cup.  The next morning, I awakened to find all the blossoms had fallen off and all the green stems had shriveled up.  I informed Bruce his theory on excess does not work in every case.  He dismissed my findings and confirmed he will continue this particular practice.  Just thought I'd share.

January 3, 2019

Transition Tree

     Several weeks after Christmas last year, I decorated the still live evergreen with pink and white paper hearts and red lights for Valentine’s Day. It was not dropping too many needles, so it worked well.
     This year, I decided to transition between the Christmas and Valentine's Day trimming. I came up with the Winter Tree. Blue snowflakes, ribbon and ice cycles with a white drape representing snow, does the trick. Take note of the wild wolverine on that snow, under the shelter of the tree. Oh, and the angel on top works because angels go with everything.  (If you don't happen to have blue snowflakes, use what you have and cut snowflakes from white paper or light blue paper, for that matter. It's your tree!)
     If the tree is still in good enough shape, Valentine's Day pink hearts are next. I think, however, by St. Patrick's Day, we will probably be able to use it as kindling, but who knows?  

December 30, 2018

With the Happy Comes ...

Ever-Watching Abby,  the Food Warden
     Everybody is wishing everybody else a happy new year, myself included. But with the happy comes the new year diet. And with the diet comes the going without fun food. With the prize of a skinnier you as a goal, may I present a poem I composed over a 4.78 second period. With that much intense thought, you know it's good. For your encouragement:

A clean, fresh start,
A brand new year,
Those sugary sweets?
We must steer clear!

We shall do this,
Oh, yes we can.
And remember, dear friends,
Don't ingest luscious Spam!

Happy 2019
the Dunnigan Family Players
 Jane Marie!

December 18, 2018

2018 Christmas Letter

a few of our stylish and talented family members, 
each more lovely than the other 

Dear Friends and Others to whom we want to brag about our outstanding
     As you well remember, this letter has become an annual ritual from our cozy seaside home in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.  Here we share activities, memorable quotations, anything we deem worthy and, boy howdy, are we full of worthy!  We begin:

Too many candidates are always running for election. Father  has a system all his own to pick one.  He is a graduate of E-bub's School of Feather Fluffing, so the family appreciates his wisdom. 

Miss Dental Flosser, the beauty queen, has crusty elbows and small feet. 

The olive oil turned rancid.

August 9th was on a Thursday.

Pink is a favorite color.

The librarian didn't do it.

Cousin Irk likes his toilet paper without splinters.

Mother got a new car and has doused it with perfume.  She feels they should give a discount for that dreadful new car smell.

A pillow is on the couch.

There are no spiders in the corner cupboard, but that can't be verified until Uncle Fug puts his hand in there.

Nasalin Fection warned she will never stay at a house with crooked tinsel.

It rained.  Then, it stopped.

Aunt Notsomuch said every hand should have five fingernails.  She can be most unreasonable.

"You got the wrong kind of pie."

Uncle Ree Moat had to quit his tree climbing job because he got his first pedicure and they sawed off his only means of getting up trunks.

Someone struck the middle C key on the piano.  The case is still under investigation.

The cat sniffed the celery a second time.

Mother buried some hair.

The TV tilts forward so the best seat in the house is on the floor. 

Seven and three is seventy-three.  Sister's detention is paying off.

There is more pepper than salt in the shakes.  Father is considering small claims court. 

Sister said her birthday present was hard to unwrap because it had too much tape on it. After a family meeting was called, a quorum of the group agreed to limit one roll of tape per gift. 

Someone should cut the grass.

Once again, we hope you all enjoyed our newsy letter.  Until next year, brush your teeth!

Hugs and Blisses
 Amelia Island 
 May Good Times be Yours 
During the Holidays!
(and the rest of your days, too)

December 11, 2018

Holiday Perspective - A Short Story

by Becki McCartney 

Contributing Writer, Gracious Jane Marie Blog

Mickey loved his job. He thought about this as he shifted two feet to his right. What a great job he had. It had purpose. It had meaning. Heck, he might do or learn something today that could improve lives for generations to come. Most working stiffs couldn’t say that. It was a tough job, sure. It had taken lots of training and preparation, but the outcome was so worth it. It was kind of like learning to ride a bike for the first time.

Ah, there was the rub, the downside of this perfect job. Being away from Cassie. Cassie, that sweet, kind-hearted little redhead. She had mastered riding a bike in no time. And climbing trees. She was the proverbial tomboy from her Marlins cap to her scraped knees.  How he missed making her laugh and kissing her goodnight. She understood, of course, that daddy’s job took him away for months at a time. She was proud of him, really proud. You could see it in her eyes. Still, being away from her tugged at his heart, especially at this time of year.

He knew holiday madness was in full swing in their little town. Since he had been away, Black Friday had come and gone. Cyber Monday, or whatever they were calling it now, had no doubt set new sales records. All of that pushing and shoving and grabbing for a buck made no sense to him from where he stood. Kissing Cassie goodnight was worth far more than all of that. Having her roll her eyes and laugh at his corny jokes, now that was gold.

“Mickey, do you need any help out there? You haven’t moved in a few minutes. Is anything wrong?” said the voice on his headset.

“No, sorry,” he said, “just worlds away for a minute. Thinking about Cassie and the holidays. Back on point now. This should just take another 30 minutes.”

“Okay, Mickey. Stay focused. You’ll be able to talk to Cassie in a few hours. We’ll all be calling home later today.”

Right, stay focused. Mickey turned back to the job at hand. He lifted his screw-driver and turned the specially-designed nut to the right. He turned it just enough to loosen it, leaving it attached. He gently lifted off the 6”x 6” cover plate. As he was moving it to his pouch for safekeeping, he thought he caught a glint of something reflected off the metal. He stopped and looked to his right. No, nothing there. “Well, of course not,” he thought to himself.  “I must really need some shuteye. First I’m distracted and now I’m seeing things.” He put the cover plate into his pouch and looked back at the reason he was here. It took him just 22 minutes to remove and replace the malfunctioning sensor, a record time. He put the cover plate back into position, tightened the nut, and returned his screwdriver to its tight-fitting compartment on his hip.

Mickey took a final look around. Everything secure, check. Nut tight, check. All tools where they should be, check.  “Sensor replaced. I’m heading back now,” he said into his microphone. “10-4,” came the reply.

As he started to move to his left, he caught a flash out of the corner of his eye. No, not a flash exactly. Something shiny. Something red and shiny. “What the heck?he thought and turned toward it.

Ah, it wasn’t lack of sleep after all. There on the horizon was a tiny sleigh led by what looked like a pack of Great Danes. Okay, the first Great Dane had antlers and a red nose so maybe they weren’t reeeally Great Danes. Mickey, of course, knew exactly what they were and who was driving that red sleigh. He hadn’t realized what day it was until then. No wonder Cassie had been on his mind. It was Christmas Eve.

He looked down and smiled. On that big beautiful blue marble below he knew Cassie was tossing in her sleep. She loved Christmas morning so she always had a fitful night’s sleep on Christmas Eve. Tonight would be no different.

An echo of hearty laughter and sleigh bells made him look up at the horizon again. The tiny sleigh was gone now. He knew the Toy Maker and his elves would have a full night ahead of them. The adults on the planet below had long since consigned Mr. Claus and his annual toy delivery to the ash heap of childhood dreams. Life on Earth did that to you. The joy and possibility of magic were replaced by thoughts of bank accounts, house payments, and the like. Only the innocence of a child’s mind could hold the truth these days.

“A second group knows the truth as well”, mused Mickey.  Astronauts.  Astronauts like him, who had seen the old man and his pack of Great Danes for themselves. Yes, the astronauts knew.

Mickey made his way back toward the hatch, hand over hand, with a smile on his face. He would get to wish Cassie a Merry Christmas in a few hours. He could be content with that, knowing she was safe and happy.  And that the jovial old Toy Maker would step-in in his absence.

As he made his way around the outside of the Space Station, Mickey sent up a silent prayer for peace on Earth, a long sought after and seldom found state for the planet below.  He felt in his heart that if only his fellow earthlings could see the Earth from here, they would be changed. He knew they would. He had been changed. Every astronaut who had ever gone into Space had been changed. When you look down and see that beautiful, complex, blue and green planet for the first time, it is hard to understand how the inhabitants were constantly at war and blindly treating the planet’s natural resources as disposable. It completely defied logic from this lofty perspective.  All astronauts knew this, too.

Mickey continued moving cautiously toward the hatch, unhooking and re-hooking his tether as he went. Almost there. Just 5 more minutes and he would be stepping back inside the airlock. The porthole was in view now. Sergei was there, smiling at him and giving a thumbs-up. He gave a thumbs-up in reply.

“Today is a good day,” Mickey thought to himself. “Who knows, maybe I’ll discover something in the science lab today that will change some of those lives down there, bring a little magic back to them. Science IS magic after all.”

And in the deep, profound silence reserved only for the cosmos ……….. a sleigh bell rang.

T H E       E N D


December 4, 2018

Abby and the Feather

     Abby, spokes-dog for this blog, has adventures in her dreams. I know this because of her gyrations and squeaks while she sleeps. When we walk together outside our fenced courtyard, she is always on her leach, lest she escapes and experiences actual adventures without me. 
     Well, this particular day was not a good walking day.  Although the sun was out, it was 
plum cold, as *Peeper would say, especially for north Florida, where we are.  Still, chilly or not, a doggie must have her private moments, if you understand my meaning. I usually open the door, she disappears for a minute while I watch the sky, the trees, the- everything else and then she returns. 
     This time was completely different because there was a large whitish something near our St. Francis birdbath.  I did a double-take, but Abby didn't.  With a bark, she was gone and chasing a big bird right before our eyes!  Now, we have lived in our home for many years.  We've seen snakes, armadillos, turtles, deer, birds, all manner of critters inside our wall.  This bird was the first of its kind.
      So there was Abs, barking and chasing and chasing and barking this poor creature down our serpentine bricked path. They both disappeared behind the house. Aware the unstable bricks I amateurishly laid myself can, might, will and do upend and painfully clobber the ankle bones, I carefully trod to find the bird trapped in the corner of the fence by my not always wise, yet fearless, Chihuahua.  Not following Abby's example of fearlessness, I cowardly called the lawn man named Bruce. (Not my husband, in this case.)              "Just throw a bath towel over it," he instructed.  At my hesitation and prolonged silence, he took the hint and said, "Okay. I'll be right there." 
     In the few minutes I waited for him, I was able to snatch up Abby and put her in the house.  Less barking deflates the madness of the situation. I peeked around the corner of the house and the bird was flapping its wings, trying to raise itself enough to escape the six-foot fence. 
     Bruce then appeared with his own towel over his arm.  I stood near the gate, leaving him plenty of elbow room with which to maneuver back there with the bird.  In seconds, he returned to say, "I'll need a bigger towel."  I dashed inside to retrieve the largest and thickest beach towel we own.  His second attempt to capture the bird was positive.  When he came trotting toward the gate, bird completely covered and inside the towel, I was shocked to realize how huge it was.  It was far bigger than the largest Thanksgiving turkey I've ever seen! 
     Well, Bruce left the yard and passed behind the hedges for a moment. "I let the seagull go and it flew away, unharmed," he told me. Whew, I thought, and thank you, God! 
      Note the sweet feather, in the picture above, left behind on the pine straw of our yard, giving proof this happened.  The dog knew to protect me from this massive creature she had only ever seen at a distance, the same as I had.  Little Abby's bravery is as massive as the bird was in size. And I knew to protect the gull, somehow.  My somehow was to call the yardman.  The simple sequence of events ended happily and in my book, that's always the best way. 

(*Peeper is the grandmother in my Goodbye Lie series.  Her way of speaking is less than refined, but her love for her family versus her dislike of Aunt Noreen makes for some funny interactions.) 

November 26, 2018

Knife Versus Knife

     I am always making brownies for potluck dinners, luncheons and when we need a chocolate fix.  They are so easy, from a mix, and so yummy when I cut away the crusty edge for myself, plus, they are a hit every time.  The problem is, no matter if I let them completely cool, they are difficult to cut into neat squares.  
     Well, bring in the hacks (formerly known as helpful hints,) from Facebook.  One particular tip said to use a short sawing motion with a plastic knife versus a sharp metal knife and, by cracky, it worked wonderfully!  Refer to the picture.  The neat squares on the left side are cut with the white plastic knife and the chewed-up, rough-looking squares are cut with a metal, even serrated knife.  I tell everybody about this hack that works.  I have the photographic proof right here!
  Happy Baking!

November 21, 2018

A Simple Passage

 East Nassau Ministerial Alliance (north Florida)
 Annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Community Service
  November 15, 2018 

     The annual Thanksgiving service is always one of my favorites because congregants and their ministers come together from all over the county to show their appreciation for what God has given them. I was privileged to play with the handbells and Bruce and I both sang with the choir.  This above image was on the cover of the bulletin.  The bible verse is simple in verbiage, yet very powerful in meaning. I cut it out and added a splash of autumn color to share with you all.  
     No matter our circumstance, each of is blessed beyond measure when we stop to think about it. We can count those blessings at any moment of the day, then start all over. 
     Gotta go.  I just thought of another blessing! 


November 15, 2018

Try This Thanksgiving Craft for Everybody

    I came across this craft just in time for Thanksgiving and got permission to share from the creators, Susan Farmer and Tanya Adin of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fernandina Beach, Florida. 
     Look at all three photos here to see these are a reminder to give thanks.  I thought this would be a fun craft for the entire family. You can make yours as simple or fancy as you want, of course. 
You'll need:
Card stock (heavy duty paper to hold its shape)
Computer to print the covers and favor instructions on the card stock as they did. 
                              OR USE
Markers to decorate the covers
Computer and printer to just print the favor instructions 
Glue Stick 
Individually wrapped Lifesaver candies.

To make one Thanksgiving favor:
Cut a strip of card stock     5" long x 2" wide
From the top, fold down at 2" and again at 2 1/2". Then fold the bottom up at 5/8".  Use a dull knife or edge of a fork to press on the folds and make sharp creases.
Decorate the front, as pictured.
Type the verse instructions in a font and size that will fit within the card stock.
Cut the verse into a square.
Glue inside or on the back of the favor.  
Staple a lifesaver inside, placing the staple close to the bottom fold so you will have room to insert the top edge of your card stock strip just above the staple, securing it like you would a matchbook.
Suggestion:  Setting one on each plate at Thanksgiving Dinner would be lovely.
May we each take the time to think about
 all we have and
 recognize our blessings.


November 10, 2018

Veterans Day Parade

American Legion Chaplain Bruce Malcolm, Grand Marshall
My husband, Bruce Malcolm, American Legion Chaplain of Post 54 and U.S. Marine, was greatly honored to serve as Grand Marshall in our 2018 Veterans Day Parade. I rode with him in the back seat and as we passed spectators, I was touched to witness so many with their hands over their hearts, adults and children both. It is simply wonderful to see the respect our flag and military rightly is receiving these days.  Let's keep it up, America!

P.S.  Thank you to Becki McCartney for taking such a great photo of Bruce!