August 31, 2013

Chili Con Carne Recipe

A friend reminded me that Bruce's recipe for Chili Con Carne was in the
 Fernandina Beach American Legion Post 54 cookbook.  Copied from those pages, here it is. Although it may be warm where you live, chili is a year round delight. Enjoy! 

August 29, 2013

Off We Go!

Here is our Abby.  She loves to go bye-bye in the car in her car seat.  We introduced her to biking the other day and she loves that, too.  Wearing her harness and strapped in the basket, she didn't try to jump out once!  If she stood up, I stopped the bike and told her to sit, which she did.
Now all I need to do is find a doggie helmet with ear holes.
                         Note the shredded bath towel, courtesy of the cat, on which Abby sits.

August 26, 2013

Title Time

I continue my not-so-requested tradition of creating titles for books I will never write.  Here are more:

Gone With The Win - a guide to gamblers trying to quit

Gone With The Sin - how to be a better person

Gone With The Tin - recycling cans

Gone With The Fin - how to catch that big fish

Gone With The Kin - a destination family reunion

Then, of course, we have:

Love is a Many Fendered Thing - a car collector's guide

Love is a Heavy Burdened Thing - working through a troubled relationship

Love is a Many Gendered Thing - speaks for itself

Life is a Many Mentored Thing - your personal heroes

Drunk is a Many Bendered Thing - help for those who imbibe too often

Stay tuned...

August 22, 2013

Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie Trivia Question - Clover

Clover is the fiction Dunnigan family handyman and friend.  What is his surname?

Answer: Even I had forgotten I'd given Clover a last name!!!  I was scanning The Goodbye Lie for information so the continuity would flow in Mark of a Man, the third novel in my Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie Trilogy, and found it.  Say hi to Mr. Clover Williams!!!  I now remember thinking since Clover was such a colorful name, his family name should be simple, less exotic. No offence intended to any folks named Williams, of course.

Page 33 from The Goodbye Lie paperback:

     "Did I see you waving to Clover?" she asked.

     "The man coming out of the cabin? Yes."

     "Clover Williams is our hired hand. More of a wonderful friend, really. With Daddy at his office downtown so much of the time, we needed someone to lend a hand with the heavy chores. Clover's been with us since just before I was born," Breelan replied, suddenly realizing she'd been giving out her family history to a stranger.

August 20, 2013

Moonglow over Amelia Island

 I was driving east at 5 pm and saw the HUGE moon!
  I walked to the edge of the ocean and took this picture.
 I used no blue filter.

9 pm with ships on the horizon

August 19, 2013

Whale of a Male -Goodbye Lie's Waite Taylor

Meet or get reacquainted with Waite Taylor. Using descriptions and quotes taken directly from the pages of my historical novel, Amelia Island's THE GOODBYE LIE,  here is a profile of Waite, the male lead in the story set in 1882 Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida.

Name:  Waite Montoya Taylor

Born: That face had seen many a scrap in its thirty-odd years, she guessed.

Parents: ...the sole child of a Venezuelan heiress, Carla Montoya, and an English seaman, Kenneth Waite Taylor.

Height:  He was easily a head taller than she.

Eyes:  Breelan looked into his deep black eyes. She had to speak for fear she'd tumble into their depths in the silent moment that followed.

Hair: The dark hair was full, damp, and wickedly wild from the weather, yet it suited him.

His Physique: The broad shoulders of a man lying on top of her were blocking her line of sight. graceful his movement for a man of his size.

 A strong arm caught her round her waist.

His Scent: He smelled of leather and bay rum cologne. He smelled good. 

Facial Features:  The moon escaped from its cloud captors to better light his face. It was a smooth face, no beard, no moustache. The skin looked dark, like that of someone who loved the out of doors...
is jaw was so square, ... the line of it broken only by the cleft in his chin. His nose was surprisingly straight, considering the small uneven scars he wore at his hairline, across his right cheek and on his neck, just below his right ear.

Occupation: Waite Taylor, captain of that passenger liner... His father ... was killed when his vessel was rammed broadside by a sinking Federal supply ship. They say that since that time, his son vowed to have a career at sea, no matter what manner of ship he served on, in honor of the man who'd shown him the wonder of the waters.

Character:  Strange. Miss Ella would even trust this man alone with her daughter. She was certain he would never physically harm her girl.

"I would say you were a man who'd experienced much in life and one who is probably capable of handling most any situation." 

He was certainly old enough to be married. His days of running after different girls should be over unless he was a widower or a philanderer. Yes, she'd known him long enough to classify him as a philanderer, snagging every fast trick his barbaric bulk craved.

Military Service:  " He joined the Confederate Army at sixteen. I understand his father wanted him by his side to fight the Yankees at sea, but Taylor chose to stand with the lads from his class on land. He served with the Third Florida in the Battle of Olustee.  ... he received a battlefield commission raising his rank to lieutenant.

Checking a nearby line, a young crewman interjected innocently, "Ah, go on, Cap'n. Tell the good folks how they give ya a medal for valor on the battlefield so's they can rest easy." 

History: "He was raised in the Florida Keys and sailed the Caribbean with his father until his mother's passing when he was fourteen.  After the war, he earned his shipmaster's license and eventually became the youngest captain in the history of the transatlantic shipping company, Atlantic Eagle Cargo Lines. For a dozen years he commanded a regular run between Baltimore and South Hampton, England, delivering lumber, turpentine, cotton and phosphate. I understand he wanted a change, so built his passenger ship, Gentle Comfort, named in memory of his beloved mother, and he's been running the Comfort along the eastern shore of the United States ever since."

His Quote:  "Just to be in her town was an ordeal, but I had to take control. I had to face things. When we arrived yesterday in Fernandina, all my resolve left me. That's why I stayed aboard. I wasn't just reading. The truth is I was studying, investigating where she comes from, trying to get closer to her somehow. The more knowledge I acquired about her background, the worse I wanted her. So I purposely started drinking last night until I passed out. With enough liquor in me, I knew she'd be safe from the wild man who wanted to pound on her door in the middle of the night and take her away for himself.
     "This morning, with damn near the worst hangover I've ever had as a reminder of my determination [to stay away], I was prepared to be strong and leave town without ever attempting to see her. I was counting the minutes until we pulled out, until I escaped Amelia Island. You can't know how shocked I was when she arrived at the foot of the dock, her father handing her over to me! It was her uncle, Clabe Duffy, who corresponded with me. I didn't know the name. I swear to God, I had no earthly idea she was one of the girls I was to watch over. Now she's here, aboard my ship, and so is temptation."

August 18, 2013

There's GPS and GPS

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The system consists of 24 Navstar satellites that orbit Earth. The satellites are monitored and controlled by stations on Earth. The satellites send back an exact location to anyone who has a GPS receiver. GPS is the most accurate navigation system developed to date. It gives latitude, longitude, altitude and time to an unlimited number of people anywhere on Earth in all kinds of weather. (copied directly from:

Today in church, the pastor mentioned GPS. I didn't remember what GPS stood for exactly, so I looked it up.  After reading the above paragraph, now I know.  Of course, when we want to go to a new location, we punch in the destination on Garmey, what we call our Garmin GPS unit, and it spits out the directions.  Then it came to me how GPS could also stand for God's Perfect Salvation, God's Powerful Solution, God- Problem Solver, etc.  So if you ever need serious direction in life, GPS the Lord, and he'll guide you to the right road.

August 14, 2013

Grammy Camp Sprinkles and Peeper

The last day of Grammy Camp, granddaughter Ava and I had a blast creating beautiful cupcakes. We made butter frosting.  If it was too thin, we added more powdered sugar.  "It's getting lumpy and dry, Grammy." So, we added more milk.   Because of the different consistencies of the icing,
 the result was better than what we expected!
The sprinkles were completely Ava's doing.  To quote her, 
 "Sprinkles are what make a cupcake a cupcake."
  Such deep wisdom at a young age, she gets it from me.

Fernandina on Amelia Island
Grandmother Peeper* writes: 
Missy Ava and Miss Jane,
   Them is some perty lookin' little cakes and theys so full a colors.  As ya most likely heard, I have a eye fer knowin' my colors.  Everybody but Aunt Noreena says so.  She's wouldn't know red from ruby ifn ya buried her in a bushel basket a apples. Makes me wanta bake some for the Dunnigans.  I'll best be ahidin' 'um  if there's any left after supper lest Noreena  brings her big self over here, as usual, and stuffs some in her pocketbook.
*Grandmother Peeper is a favorite character, and I do mean character, of readers of Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie Trilogy, available anywhere novels and ebooks are sold. For more info, go to our website at and refer to the top of the column on the right side of this blog. -jmm

August 10, 2013

A Goodbye Lie Favorite - Guess What This Is

We were visiting Fort Clinch here on Amelia Island and talking to one of the female reenactors participating that day.  As you can see in the picture below, they had set up tea and linens and other feminine finery. On item in particular caught my attention. Can you guess what it is?  I thought it was a curling iron.  Wrong. They had to tell me.

It is an antique glove stretcher used primarily for outdoor kid leather.   Click here to see more info on the subject.

Thank you to Fort Clinch and the site, Object Lessons.

August 6, 2013

Fishy, Fishy on the Pan

Why do these things keep happening to me?  No tellin', but I love it! 
Below, see my two "fish"  which magically appeared as we ate away the other thinly sliced baked zucchini chips!  Granted, the angel fish on the right is a smidgen scorched. Next time I'll pay attention to the timer when it goes off. --Or not because the blackened fins add to the realistic look, don't cha think?  And the scorch on the left fish appeared in the perfect spot for a closed eye to make her look like she's asleep!
Here is the link to my recipe for Baked Zucchini Chips-
 from our 700 page website,

August 1, 2013

Year of Living Graciously - August

In your best cursive, on your prettiest stationery, write a letter to future generations and hide it for them to find...