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
from 
the Dunnigan Family Players
and
 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
2018,
   
     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
 from
 Amelia Island 
and
 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! 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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)
Scissors
Stapler
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.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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!

November 6, 2018

Goodbye Lie Photo Gallery

I have many "pages" at the top of this blog for
visitors to browse.  People are busy-busy.  That's how it should be, but if you're so inclined, take a mo-mo to click on my Author and Art Event Photos link here and check out some pictures taken over the years. From art, to book signings, to craft shows and products,  many an event has occurred in the career of Gracious Jane Marie and her Goodbye Lie series.  I sincerely thank you for all your support.

October 30, 2018

Hollywood Hearts - I Could Write a Book


You know I write books.  Therefore, it would follow that whenever I hear words like book, novel, reader, E-book, author, compose, etc., my ears perk up.  Recently, Bruce, my husband, and I were watching Pal Joey with Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak.  It's a 1957 musical about a slick singer who loves the ladies. One of the songs was, "I Could Write a Book. "  Listen to the lyrics and appreciate the clever rhyme and story they tell. Thank you, YouTube.

October 24, 2018

Fancy Work

We recently lost Aunt Suzie, a dear relative.
Besides her delicious recipes like Blonde Brownies, 24-Hour Salad, Green Glop (what is often called Pistachio Pudding or Watergate Salad), and using cottage cheese in lasagna, she could handle a needle.  I am privileged to have some of her fancy work hanging in my home and I wanted to share, 1. because it's so lovely and took so many of her precious hours of living to create, that it needs to be admired and 2. because this type of sewing is fast becoming a lost art.  May her work inspire you to make an ornament or bookmark, if not a fully framed picture.  Short of that, may you appreciate the wonderful result of her efforts.  Thank you, Aunt Suzie.  Give our regards to the others in the family who are already there in Heaven welcoming you. 

October 9, 2018

Addition to the Fleet

Graciousmobile II
     Gotcha. No, I'm not writing about our U.S. Navy ships, manned by dedicated Americans. I'm writing about my Graciousmobile II. And this is the short version:
     It was a blisteringly hot day in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.  My original Graciousmobile I, a 2005 silver Chrysler PT Cruiser, was loaded with dog, husband, luggage and granddaughter Ava. The purpose of our trip was to safely return the small child into the waiting arms of her loving parents after a week's worth of hardcore wackiness at our annual Grammy Camp. So, there we were, gas tank full, dog secured in her own personal puppy seat with us all buckled in and the key in the ignition. 
    "Grammy, I'm hot," came Ava's sweet voice from the back, as she pressed her little self into the door, keeping her distance from the sometimes irritable rescued Chihuahua, Abby, with whom she shared the back seat.
     "Hang on, baby girl.  I'm firing up the Cruiser right now.  I turned the key and the engine whirled the way an engine should.  "Crank the windows down and let the heat out till the air conditioning catches up," I directed all, backing us out of the driveway.  That's when I saw Abby's face in my rear view mirror. She was panting and, far too hard, to take a trip to the corner let alone a trip several hours away.  The AC had conked out.  What a time for this to happen. We were on a deadline because Ava had to get home. As an aside:  I had recently taken the elderly Graciousmobile I to the garage to have the AC repaired.  They couldn't find the leak, so put some sort of stop-leak somewhere under the hood.  The mechanic told me it should stay cool long enough to carry us through the summer and well into the fall. He was wrong. 
     Now I could have stood the drive with all the windows down.  Bruce could have, too, but not the small child and certainly not the semi-sweet dog.  So, straight away, we went to the only rental car company on the island, picked up a white car and got Ava home on schedule. 
     A white car?  What kind, you might wonder.  I can't tell you because I don't care about cars, so much so, I don't even remember what brand it was.  I have never had any interest in cars and that is a big part of why I dragged my feet for such a long time when it came to buying another vehicle.  I needed a sign, something to force me to go car shopping.  No air conditioning in the summer was that sign. So, as long as there is a radio and a working air conditioner, I'll drive anything.  It would follow that I don't watch car commercials either. I will admit I do recognize a Jeep, a truck, a bus, a convertible, a station wagon,  a Model T or similar vehicles, a bread truck, a dump truck and a Jaguar.  A Jaguar has round front fenders.  Did James Bond drive one of those?  Oh, and an old Mustang and a '57 Chevy.
     Okay, where do I begin? Fact #1: A new car had to fit inside our one car garage with enough room for me to still exit the vehicle. Fact #2: It needs as much cargo room as my PT Cruiser.      (Bruce went car shopping 11 years ago with my five-foot book rack in hand. The Cruiser  was the only car that would hold my rack.)
      I was on a quest and Google was my friend. I filled three single-spaced legal pad sheets of paper with stats of cross-over/small SUVs, I think they were called. I had no idea how many kinds and styles there were. I was truly shocked.  My four columns per page were  Name/Brand, Width/Length, Cargo Space and Mileage. The winner was this 2019 Honda Fit! (The 2019 was less money than a 2018. Go figure!) It comfortably fits in the garage, gets 33 miles per hour in the city and 40 on the highway and the seats lay down. While the cargo space is less, it's as big inside as I could find. The final plus for me is the brilliant bright red of the machine. The newest Graciousmobile II needs to stand out and show off her Goodbye Lie series signs and, by jingo, she certainly does. I love her! 

P.S. Sometime I'll have to tell you about the time I followed my son-in-law's car. The family is still raggin' me over that one. 

September 30, 2018

She's Got the Book

     It was another of those toasty days in Florida. As
Janet Marie and Jane Marie
 you looked down the road, everything seemed to be in a white haze because of the heat and humidity. That didn't stop me from making new friends on vacation, as I signed books in front of Sea Jade's on Centre Street, Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island.  This old Florida style souvenir shop is welcoming and I try to be that way, too. The common denominator of our enjoyment is historical fiction, and my writing, as such, always creates interesting conversations. New friends are just plain wonderful! 

September 18, 2018

Back Cover Blurb from Amela Island/s Velvet Undertow

in Ebook and Paperback



The Goodbye Lie series

“Where Little House on the Prairie meets
Gone With the Wind”




     Witnessing the unthinkable, Carolena Dunnigan’s secure life on Amelia Island, at the edge of the world, turns to ashes. Determined to save her siblings, she flees to Charleston, South Carolina for work. Entanglement with a world-famous conductor, plus ghastly revelations, drive her to Pennsylvania and the horrific Johnstown Flood of 1889. It washes away secrets of the past, but who will survive to claim love?




Review: I like how you extensively describe Johnstown [PA] that day, in the hours before the breaking of the dam. That the city was already such a mess is often forgotten in the drama. … [After the flood of 1887], we suspect that morning [of May 31, 1889] was like [this], only a bit worse.  –Douglas J Richardson, Park Ranger, Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS, Johnstown Flood NMem, Southfork, PA




Known to her fans as Gracious Jane Marie of GraciousJaneMarie.com, author Jane Marie Malcolm celebrates HEART and HOME every day with Roses, Recipes and Romance.  She is the creator of Martha Bear’s world, spokesbear for this blog, and continues work on future novels and short delights to entice, puzzle, and surprise her loyal legion of readers.

*******
The Goodbye Lie Series, featuring Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow is available here HERE

September 12, 2018

True Love Bites

     After I drafted this post, I thought how some might find the title deceptive.  No. I will not trash the concept of true love, this or any day.  After all, I write historical romantic suspense novels set in paradise, don't I?
     Rather, I mean to show the depth of love my husband, Bruce, has for me.  You see, after I slathered the last of the raspberry jelly on one slice of his morning toast, I opened a fresh store-bought jar of the same flavor.  That's when I compared labels.  One was full tilt, meaning lots of sugar added.  The other had no extra sugar added.  I was curious to see the difference in flavor between them.  Since there was no more in the one jar, the only way to taste them both was to take bites of Bruce's toast slices.  I went so far as to ask his permission, although he would have probably taken notice of the rounded chunks missing from each and inquired.  Well, with no hesitation, my sweet man granted my wish.  While I can't remember how much of a difference between the sugared and less-sugared jellies there was, I can and will always remember what I can only describe as an act of true love.
     I have to had that, as a child, my father used to let me spoon the juice aka yoke out of his fried eggs, often, on Saturday mornings.  He would eat the less than appetizing remains of the eggs, afterward.  
     You may tag me as spoiled rotten, but I prefer to see the true love in these generous acts. 
     I might add how Brucie will occasionally utter the phrase, "You know, I've never had a complete meal to myself in all our years of marriage."  Then he smiles at me.  

September 4, 2018

Another Book Title


Image result for book free clip art images with no watermark  



     Occasionally, I am inspired with ideas for future books.  Oh, these will not be written by me.  I am busy enough working on Amelia Island's Sand and Sin, #4 in my Goodbye Lie Trilogy, Plus One and this blog.  Hey, writing such in-depth articles as what you're reading now, takes me into the realm of deep thought.  
     So back to another inspired title of a book I will never write. It's a story about a man on a disastrous blind date and I'd call it: 

Ready, Met, Woe!  

How's that for in-depth thinking?  





August 28, 2018

Miss Ella's Cinnamon and Sugar Diamonds -Goodbye Lie Diaries


 A Fernandina Favorite

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida


Miss Ella writes: My mother, the children call her Grammy, has made these sweeties for our family as far back as I can recall. She trims her pie crusts and with those delicate scraps, she creates baked cinnamon and sugar diamonds that are gobbled up before they have a chance to cool!  I make them for Mama these days. Now that my girls,
*Miss Ella Dunnigan
Breelan, Carolena and Marie, are young women, they, too, are learning this simple recipe. By the way, I will often make extra pie dough just so there are sufficient diamonds for all.

     You'll need the following. Oh, Jane Marie, if you would be so kind as to translate my recipe into your modern times. While the ingredients are the same, your baking oven is more accurate than mine. Thank you, ma'am.

***
Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

Jane Marie writes:  I am happy to write out the recipe instructions.  By the way, my mother, Marie, used to bake these same treats and have them waiting for her children when we came home from school!  What a wonderful memory for all of us. Don't you love how recipes are passed down through the generations? Thank you for reminding me about them Miss Ella. I will make some this very night.

You'll need:
  • fresh pie dough or refrigerated pie dough, already made (What a time saver this is, Miss Ella, and it's nearly as good as homemade. This is one store-bought item I purchase.) 
  • butter or your favorite butter-substitute used for baking
  • cinnamon
  • sugar      
Roll out the dough on a floured surface.  Spread a goodly amount of butter on half.  Sprinkle the butter with cinnamon and plenty of sugar.  Fold the other half of dough over the cinnamon and sugar mix, pressing  and sealing the edges so the melted insides won't leak out.  Poke a couple of times with a fork, but only the top layer of dough.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cut into diamonds or triangles and serve warm. A pizza cutter works well to do this. Enjoy! 

*Miss Ella is the Dunnigan matriarch. Known for her culinary talents, she is responsible for approving all foods served on the ships of the family's Aqua Verde Passenger Line, commencing 1883 and continuing to the present day. This is all part of The Goodbye Lie Series. The first three novels are set in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida in the late1880s, and are available in e-book and paperback. 

August 21, 2018

An Almost True Trivia Story

    Hubby Bruce and I went to a local restaurant and stayed for the weekly trivia game.  We’d heard about it and, heck, you can win free food.  Since we like their pizza, why not have an extra large, thin crust, double cheese with mushrooms on half and pepperoni and green pepper on the other half, on them?  Oh, may I mention we are pretty good at trivia?  It’s been a while since we’ve played Trivial Pursuit, a game from the 1980s, but when we did, we beat the socks off our kids. 



Once the rules were explained, mainly no cell phones allowed with which to google the answers and no shouting them out, we chose a name for our two-person team.  Being the well-educated sophisticates we are, we cleverly decided upon Team Malcolm.  (In case you don’t know, Malcolm is our last name.)



We began.  The first question: How many days are in a fortnight?  I jumped on that one, writing down the number 14.  Correct, of course.  Then I got one about the Joint Chiefs of Staff right and Bruce got Pulp Fiction. It went downhill, at lightning speed, from there. 



After ten minutes, we were doing so poorly that when they asked five questions about television theme songs from the '90s, I hollered, “We didn’t even own a TV back then!”  Not true, but I was hoping for a little sympathy at our wretched showing.  When none was forthcoming, we left at half-time having learned a couple of lessons.  #1.  Just because I beat a radio DJ out of a pizza twenty-one years ago by stumping him with Bruce’s question:  What was Li’l Abner’s legitimate day job?  Answer:  He was a mattress tester for the Stunned Ox Mattress Factory.  Yes, just because I won that one, doesn’t mean we know quite everything.  #2.  Never assign your real last name to your team because Amelia Island, Florida, where we live, is a small place and word of any humiliation spreads quickly.  Examples of such: So far this morning, the mailman asked me if I know what color the sky is and a store clerk asked how many toes are on a human being’s left foot.  While I’m pretty sure the sky is blue, I’m thinking the toe thing might be a trick question.  Is that with our without webs and do webbed toes count as one or two toes?  Hmm.  I’m still thinking this one over …

(Reprinted from 2014 and written by Jane Marie Malcolm because she found it and thought it was still cute. Remember, she's the funniest person she knows.)