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Friday, December 28, 2012

Dr. Morgan - Part 8

Good Morning!
I know this is a little later than normal, but I'm on vacation. :) Enjoy!
 
I couldn't decided between TCR and Dr. Morgan until I looked to see how many of each I had written. It turns out that I was nearly out of TCR so, until I write more, I'll post Dr. Morgan. I hope you don't mind too much. :)

Part 8

    “I doubt if she’d even know, if she could remember.” There was another pause. Longer this time. “Yep, I will. . . Thanks Dad. Bye.”
    For several minutes, Justin sat at his desk, leaning his head on his hand, lost in thought. Heaving a deep sigh, he stretched and then relaxed against the back of the chair, glancing at the open door to see intern Philips leaning against the door frame watching him. He grinned.
    “Am I wanted for anything, Philips?”
    Philips shook his head. “No sir. Why don’t you get out of the hospital for a few days? We haven’t had many patients, and Amy is on the mend.”
    “No, I can’t leave now, thanks though.” Justin shook his head. “I’m all right. I should get more sleep now.”
    Philips, seeing that Dr. Morgan was determined to remain, could only nod and walk away.
    For several minutes Justin busied himself with his paperwork and when a knock sounded, he lifted his head and glanced towards the open door. “Wright, come on in. Have a seat,” he invited cordially as the hospital surgeon paused in the doorway.
    “Do you have a few minutes?” he asked.
    “Sure. Paperwork can wait,” and Dr. Morgan pushed the papers to one side.
    Instead of sitting, Dr. Wright leaned down to cross his arms on the back of the chair before the desk. Eyeing his colleague of a moment before he spoke, the surgeon frowned thoughtfully. “Morgan,” he began quickly. “You need a break. You should get out of this hospital and do something relaxing for a change.”
    Justin laughed. “That’s what Philips was just saying. I’m all right. I’ll take a break later.”
    Dr. Wright straightened and gripped the chair back. “Look,” he said, “ever since that girl arrived you’ve worked day and night; catching sleep and food here and there, hit and miss. You need a break even if only for a few hours. No,” he put up his hand as Justin was about to speak. “Let me finish. We’ve all talked about it and there is no reason you can’t get away for a few hours. Philips is quite capable of filling in for you until your return, and Hollend, Douglas and I can handle the few people who might come in. I’m serious, Morgan; you need to get out. Go up to your family’s and have supper, spend the evening, the night if you will. Then come back refreshed.”
    Dr. Morgan sat in silence for some time after Dr. Wright finished. His brows furled in thought while he fiddled with a pen. “I really--”
    “Should go,” a new voice finished his sentence and Dr. Douglas entered the room followed by Dr. Hollend.
    Surveying his three fellow physicians, Dr. Morgan chuckled. “You sure know how to get the job done, don’t you? What would you do if I still said no?”
    Dr. Hollend crossed his arms with a smile. “Well, we’ve talked about handcuffs and delivering you to your father with instructions to keep you for twenty-four hours.”
    At that Justin laughed. “You win. I’ll leave as soon as I finish this last paper.”
    “How soon will that be?”
    “Ten or fifteen minutes at most, I’d guess.”
    “We’ll hold you to it,” Dr. Wright slapped the desk. “So get busy.”

    Breathing deeply of the brisk mountain air, Justin shut the door of his truck and stood for a minute just gazing about him at the bare trees, the tawny grass, the rocky cliffs, an eagle soaring overhead in the pale blue sky; all so peaceful, so quiet, so calming. Slowly he strolled to the front door. He hadn’t realized how much he needed to get away until now. It was good to be out of the four walls of that hospital.
    Justin found Adam and Sara in the living room playing with Danny and Jenny.
    “Hi.” Sara looked up to greet him.
    “Hi,” Justin smiled at his brother who was attempting to sit up while Danny sat on his stomach. “New way to exercise, Adam?” he chuckled.
    “Yeah,” Adam grunted falling back to the floor.
    “How’s Amy?” Sara questioned.
    “She was sleeping when I left. I already told Dad all that she told me.”
    Sara nodded. “And he told us. Didn’t know if there was anything new.”
    Justin shook his head as his mother entered the room.
    “I see they really did kick you out,” she remarked as he kissed her. “When Alex Wright called this morning saying you were going to have supper with us, I wasn’t sure I believed him.”
    “But she cooked enough for you anyway,” Sara put in.
    Justin sat down remarking, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to get up again.” The couch was soft and comfortable and, kicking off his shoes just as he used to do, he stretched out with a sigh. “Let me know when supper’s ready if I fall asleep.”
    “Don’t you dare go to sleep now, Justin Morgan,” Sara ordered. “You can sleep in your own bed tonight, but we haven’t seen you for a long time. What if we want to talk?” She threw the pillow she had been leaning on at her brother and he turned on his side and tucked it under his head.
    “Talk away. I’m not asleep yet.”
    Mrs. Morgan had returned to the kitchen and the three young people fell to talking. Soon Mr. Morgan returned home and Danny ran to meet him, letting Adam move from the floor to a chair.
    “Welcome home, Justin,” Mr. Morgan greeted his son. “You are staying the night, aren’t you?”
    “Thanks, Dad. I wasn’t planning on it . . .”
    “Well, plan on it then,” his father said bluntly. “I just talked with Dr. Douglas. He said they’d call you if you were needed before nine tomorrow morning.”
    Justin sat up. “Nine o’clock?” His face was filled with disbelief. “I was planing on returning by nine tonight!”
    Before anything else could be said on the subject, supper was announced.

Thoughts?
Comments?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Gingerbread House and Lighthouse

Now you all can see the construction of my "gingerbread" house and lighthouse from the beginning all the way until completed. Only, I didn't make my house out of gingerbread, but instead used gram crackers. Having never tried gingerbread (ever) I can't compare the two and tell you which is easier to work with. But, be that as it may, I enjoyed the whole process and hope you all enjoy the pictures.

With icing and my house "laid out"
 I used this recipe for the icing to glue my house together. It worked wonderfully and I only made a quarter of the recipe, since it calls for so much!

Once the icing was made, I put it in a ziplock bag with an icing tip on the corner which I had snipped off. Not only did that "contain" the mess, this icing dries pretty quickly so I didn't have to worry about it all drying up on me.
Gluing the first pieces together!

You can start to see the walls coming together.

Getting ready to add the second row of "crackers."



Working on the points of my house.

It took some doing to cut the gram crackers so that I'd have a sloping roof. The first one I tried to cut broke into lots of pieces. I was able to glue some of it back together. Later on I perfected the cutting. :)
Hmm, trying to keep my side piece on.

Lighthouse work


While the sides of my house dried, I began construction of my lighthouse. That was tricky. I didn't have enough hands to hold all the pieces up. It took a while and a bit of patience.
I had it glued!


The roof and dormer.





Getting reading to add that roof.


I thought it might be tricky to get the roof to stay on, but it really wasn't bad. The glue dried quickly enough to hold it.
The other side and the lighthouse.

One thing I should make a note of for you all, if you make a lighthouse like I did, make sure you add something to support the bottom platform. I neglected to do that (it never crossed my mind) and the evening after I had finished decorating it I walked into the kitchen and noticed it was tipped! Problems! Thankfully there was no storm at sea that night and we were able to wait until daylight to fix the problem. :) I just took off the entire platform, placed a small box inside the square and glued the platform back on. The box was tall enough so that the platform could rest on it.

Cutting a gram cracker for part of the lighthouse.


It was fun designing the place for the light to go. :) Pretzels make great windows. :)
What would you do with all that candy?
Preaparing for the foundation.


And now the siding.






The house with only "plywood" for a roof.


Adding the roof

Would you like to live in this quaint cottage by the sea? If it were real?

Decorations up!

I didn't have time to get all the decorations finished that night. I'd already spent nearly all day working on it.



"Calking" the sides.

A Barrel with greenery adds a festive touch to the front porch.




















The Lighthouse!
 Once the house was finished, it was time to get to work on the Lighthouse. The bottom was fun and easy to make. I also decided to used another base to set my lighthouse on so that I could get to all sides instead of placing it on the same one as the house.

Working on the upper part.

Finished!

The landscaping was fun: water, rocks and snow.

The back of the house.

The lighthouse has a barrel of greenery too.

An aerial view.



Dusk is settling around and the light has been turned on. Actually the "light" is a battery tea light. The roof of the lighthouse comes off and you can turn the light on or off. I also created a small foil box for the tea light to sit in so that it wouldn't get dirty.

A view from the sea
I hope you all have enjoyed watching the process of the creation of my first real gingerbread house and lighthouse. Did it inspire you to create one also? Would you consider making one next year or are you like my sister and best friends who were amazed at my creation, but said, "Why would you want to spend so much time on something that just sits there? :) Answer: Because it was fun! :D

Merry Christmas!
I'll be back on Friday, will you?

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Christmas Disaster - Part 7

A Lovely Good Morning to all my Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
And a Merry Christmas!
Can you believe there are only four more days until Christmas 2012? Where has the time gone? 

Yesterday we got snow!!!!! Now it must be winter! Of course most people who live farther up north wouldn't even call what we got "snow." But it was! The first snowfall of the season. We ended up with about a quarter of an inch, but even that was pretty. I got to watch it snow while I ate breakfast. :)

Now for an overview of my week.
On Saturday morning we decorated cookies with the kiddos who had spent the night. Doodle Bug's way of decorating a cookie (he only did one) was to grab the cookie and get icing on his hand, then grab a handful of sprinkles and shake them over the cookie. Then, since he couldn't get all the sprinkles off the icing on his hand, he solved the problem by sticking his hand in his mouth. :)
Sunday was usual. Some music practice before lunch, visiting, playing with my "Baby Doll," and then relaxing at home.
Monday, Mom and I went shopping for some "rocks" and "siding" for my gingerbread house. (By the way, look for a post with lots of pictures of the construction of that house on Sunday or Monday.)
On Tuesday I spend almost the entire day constructing my gingerbread creation. :)
The first half of Wednesday I worked on the gingerbread house too. Finally finished it all! Wow! That was a lot of work but such fun! I'd like to make another one next year, but with someone to help. How many of you have made gingerbread houses?
Yesterday we worked on getting things done and then did presents with my brother and his family in the evening. Doodle Bug LOVED the little flashlight he got. :) And Pickle Puss will be spending hours playing with her paper dolls. However, I think Funny Boy and Goofball will be spending the most time with the new duplo. :)
As for today, it will be busy! We have to clean the house, change the sewing room in to the play room, pack the closets with all kinds of things and get ready for our Open House! I just wish all of my readers could come.

What should I post next Friday? I can't decide between TCR and Dr. Morgan. Anyone have a preference? Maybe I'll get something else ready in time, but it's rather doubtful.

I think you've waited long enough. Here is the final part of A Christmas Disaster. Hope you enjoy it!

A Christmas Disaster
Part 7

Last week . . .
    Somehow Derek managed to get through supper without saying a word. He knew his parents would really wonder if they knew he didn’t have a voice. “And probably Mom would think I’m coming down with something,” he snorted to himself as he tied his shoes and grabbed his coat.

    Never had there been a more nervous group of students gathered backstage than there was that cold, December evening. The house was packed, chairs had been set up in the aisle and people were even standing in the back. The tour buses had returned to the added discomfort of the students.
    Backstage every eye was on Derek.
    “All right,” he whispered, “everyone take a deep breath and let it out. Relax. In a few minutes the orchestra is going to go out and tune. Backstage hands, remember, you’ve got to pay attention. Costume crew, you ready?” Heads nodded. “And actors, if you can’t remember your lines, ad lib. You’ve all done spur of the moment acting. Now’s the time to really do it.” He smiled. It was the first smile they had seen all day. “We can do this, guys. Let’s have a word of prayer and then go out and show everyone a real Christmas play.”
    Hands clasped with other hands and Jerry offered a short but heartfelt prayer.

    The lively strains of Deck the Halls which filled the auditorium caused all heads to turn to their neighbors in confusion. Mr. Sheets, Mr. Hoskins and Mr. Simcox exchanged anxious glances. What was going on? That was not the opening music!
    The curtains opened upon the Gary’s living room just as it had closed the night before. The couple from the city, having been snowed in with the Garys, were sitting together listening to Mr. Gary read The Night Before Christmas, with his children at his feet and his wife in her rocker, in preparation for sending the youngsters off to bed.
    A sudden knock on the door sounded.
    “Now who can that be at this time of night and in this weather?” Mrs. Gary wondered as she rose to answer it.
    It was Mr. Thompson, the carriage driver. “Can’t stay long, Mrs. Gary,” he assured her when invited in. “I just had a package I was asked to deliver. Merry Christmas everyone!” And then he was gone.
    Upon opening the package, a large wooden nativity set was revealed and set up on a low table out of reach of the puppies’ sharp teeth.
    “Oh, Papa!” one of the children exclaimed, “tell us the real story of Christmas. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Please!”
    Mr. Gary complied and the scene faded out to strains of soft music.

    The audience was captivated. No one knew what had happened or even guessed, but this new play was a continuation of the other, so it must have been planned ahead of time. Only Mr. Sheets, Mr. Hocker and their assistants knew otherwise and wondered.

    Mr. Gary’s voice was heard again telling the Christmas story that never grows old. As he spoke, the lights came on in an inn and a knock was heard.
    “Please sir, do you have a room? A small room, anything?”
    “I’m sorry. There is no room. But I have room for your beast in the stable.”
    “Might we stay there too?” The man’s voice was pleading. “Please, we’ve looked everywhere and . . .” his voice faded away as he looked at his exhausted wife.
    The kind innkeeper agreed at once, repeating his apologies about there being no room.

    Next came the shepherds in their field. Many were the astonished looks when it was realized that the sheep were real. When the angels appeared in bright glory, the orchestra began playing Handel’s “Glory to God” while a choir of unseen voices sang with such joy that many eyes filled.
    The shepherds came and then the wise men. When at last all the visitors had gathered in the small, crowded stable with a star shining on it from behind the mountains, the Gary living room once again appeared.
    “. . . But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart,” Mr. Gary concluded quietly.
    All was still for a few minutes and then the rich man from the city cleared his throat. “Thank you, sir. That story used to be read to me every Christmas when I was a child, but when I grew older I thought I had outgrown it. But I realized just now that no one can outgrow it. How can you outgrow such love as that? Love big enough to leave the glories of heaven to be born in a stable with smelly animals and then live and die so that others might live. Such love is beyond my understanding.”
    “It is indeed past our understanding,” Mr. Gary replied. “Shall we kneel here and thank the Lord for sending such a gift to us?”
    Those in the Gary house knelt and Jerry’s voice once again led in prayer. It wasn’t a memorized prayer he prayed, for those words were forgotten. Many in the audience instinctively bowed their heads as well.
    Strains of Joy to the World filled the auditorium as the curtain began to close. No one heard much of the song for the audience was on their feet applauding and cheering, though many had tears streaming down their cheeks.
    As the curtain opened again for the third time, Mr. Gary, known to his friends as Jerry, raised his hands for silence. When it came he spoke. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he began. “We’re delighted that you enjoyed this final performance. Some of you may have noticed that it is not the same one you have seen other nights.” A ripple of laughter followed. “It was a last minute thing to put this together and a lot of hard work. But if you enjoyed this play, all the credit goes to our tireless, though now rather voiceless inspirational leader, Derek Marley!” A stunned moment of silence followed this startling announcement before thunderous applause rolled across the room and up on stage. But Derek didn’t appear.
    At last Mia, carrying all three puppies and still in her shepherdess costume, came up to Jerry and whispered to him. Jerry laughed and raised his hands again. “It seems folks that your applause is wasted right now, for Derek has taken the sheep back to their pasture, but Mia has a word for you all. Mia.”
    With a merry grin, Mia looked out at the audience. “Having been Derek’s sister all my life, I know what he’d say. He’d tell you, if he had a voice, that the inspiration for tonight’s play came from these three puppies. Merry Christmas and good night!” Then she fled and the curtains closed. The Christmas disaster had been turned into a success.
 
Did you like it?
Tell me what you thought.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Christmas Disaster - Part 6

I'm still working on my Gingerbread house. If you want to see a picture of part of it, you can go to my friend's photo-a-day blog and see a bit of it. I will post pictures of the project later. If you want to see them. :)

Here is Part 6! Only one more part to read! Enjoy!

A Christmas Disaster
Part 6

    “This doesn’t even look fixable.” Bennet moved over to the tree and stared down at the broken branches and shattered lightbulbs.
    “You’re right about this scene. There’s no way we can get it back up again in time. But,” he added as his brother looked up quickly, “I do have another idea.”

    Within thirty minutes of when Mia went to start the phones ringing, the students of Coolidge High School were pouring into the theater in wonder and stopping short with exclamations of dismay at the sight of the damage on stage. As they arrived, Mia and Bennett hurried them to seats and sent all the officers of the classes to meet with Derek on stage.
    When it appeared as though all the students had gathered, Jerry Ledford, president of the senior class moved to the front of the stage and began to speak.
    “Well, I guess you all can see some of the problems we have. Derek told us that the only scene that could be fixed for tonight is the living room.”
    Murmurs of distress ran through the student body, but Jerry continued. “We have two choices. We can either call the last performance off and just go home, or we can take Derek’s advice and create a whole new sequel to the play.” He held up his hand for quiet. “The first one would be the easiest while the other will take a lot of hard, fast work and determination. All the officers of each class have talked it over and have agreed to put it to a vote. All those in favor of just calling the whole thing off raise your hand.”
    Not a single hand was raised. At least not any high enough for Jerry to see.
    “All right then. Derek,” Jerry turned to the stage manager, “come up and tell us your idea.”
    A hush fell on the students. Derek glanced about and then spoke. “Well, as Jerry said, there is only one scene that can be put back together quickly enough for tonight. Now, this is our problem. We, all of us here, are responsible for tonight’s performance. It’s the last one, and I say let’s make it the best one yet!”
    Loud cheers echoed across the floor.
    Derek grinned and held up his hand. As quiet once more prevailed, his face grew set and his voice was firm, almost stern as he continued. “It’s going to mean a lot of hard work. We’ll all have to pitch in and work like we’ve seldom worked before. We’re going to have to divide you all into groups—” he turned to look questioningly at Jerry.
    “As soon as you’ve spilled your idea, we’ll divide up and set captains over each group. And, Derek, I hope you’ll consent to be the overseer for the lot of us.”
    Someone in the crowd shouted, “All in favor of Derek acting as commander-in-chief say aye!”
    “Aye!” came back a thunderous reply followed by cheers.
    How long that might have gone on, is uncertain for Derek raised his hands and shouted, “Then shut up and listen good!”

    How those students worked! New lines were created and memorized, costumes put together, tried on, readjusted and finalized, music reworked, the stage cleaned off, repairs made on the living room. Everyone was busy. Around lunch time a group of students drove off in a car and returned some time later with boxes of pizzas. There was no set time to eat; when a group of students could fit in a few minutes, they rushed for the pizza and grabbed a piece or two. If it hadn’t been for Jerry shoving a piece of pizza into his hand and threatening to force feed him, Derek wouldn’t have gotten to eat for he was too busy to stop. As it was he ate that piece on the run. Throughout the day a group of students would suddenly dash from the theater, pile into a car or truck and race off, only to return in twenty minutes with bags, boxes, pieces of wood or paint. Other students went about mumbling lines and staring vacantly at nothing.
    At last four o’clock came and Derek, who was nearly hoarse, ordered everyone to the front rows of seats. It was a tired, hot group that sank gratefully down, most of them too tired to whisper to their neighbor. “You all have worked hard,” Derek croaked. “We have three hours until the doors open. Not much time, but I think we need to run through it once. After that everyone can go home and change. But be sure you are all back by six-forty-five, please!”
    As director, Don Summers took charge of the run-through. “I wouldn’t call it spectacular,” he said after the final curtain call. “But it’s not bad considering how little time we’ve had.”
    Lydia laid her baton down and smiled. “I think this orchestra can play anything. Well,” she amended, “at least in the way of Christmas music.”
    “Can they play Handel’s Messiah?” Bennett teased, jumping down from the stage.
    “Parts of it,” she retorted laughing. “Weren’t you listening?”

    Mr. and Mrs. Marley were puzzled over their children’s tiredness and nervousness. Bennett had called to tell them that they wouldn’t be home until supper time, but he hadn’t told them why.
    “I hope Mr. Sheets didn’t make you all go through that play again,” Mrs. Marley said anxiously as they began eating.
    “No, Mom, he didn’t,” Mia began. “We weren’t working on that play at all.”
    Derek kicked her under the table and Mia, bending over her plate, began to eat rapidly.
    Somehow Derek managed to get through supper without saying a word. He knew his parents would really wonder if they knew he didn’t have a voice. “And probably Mom would think I’m coming down with something,” he snorted to himself as he tied his shoes and grabbed his coat.

What is going to happen?
Was this what you expected?
Will you be back to finish the story?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"1,000 Men . . ." and A Project

     Well, today is the day. By this evening we shall see if my creative brain can not only create a vague image in my mind, but transfer that image to my eyes and fingers until it becomes tangible and in a shape that others can see and recognize. We shall see if I create a masterpiece, an "okay" piece or a flop. Yep, today is the day I create my "gingerbread" house! I'm making it out of gram-crackers instead of gingerbread. I've never tried to make a gingerbread house like I have in mind. I've done a square house with a flat roof and tried to do one at a party years ago and we ended up hot gluing our houses together because they kept falling apart. That one was an A-frame house. Today it is something more elaborate, something that will take time and patience, something that, hopefully, will stay together and get to be enjoyed. I'll share pictures once I'm done. :)

But now, I'll give you a brief review on my favorite Christmas movie:

"1,000 Men and a Baby"
now on DVD under the title "Narrow Escape."

This story, a true one, takes place aboard the USS navel ship Point Cruz at the end of the Korean war. A baby, half American, half Korean is found in an army depot and taken to an orphanage. Because "Danny" (the baby) is part American, the Korean nurses won't care for him. Through the intervention of the Point Cruz's Chaplin and a reluctant Dr. Keenan (played by Richard Thomas of Walton fame), Danny is given medical treatment on board the Point Cruz. The thousand men on board take Danny to their hearts and want to take him back to America where he can have a home. However troubles arise. Danny needs a passport and the Korean official won't issue one, he can't get an American visa to enter the US and if that weren't enough, a message comes through from the Admiral saying to get Danny off the ship and turn him over to the Korean authorities. What will happen to little Danny? Will his "thousand uncles" be able to come up with a way to save him? This story is wonderful! There are tense moments, tender moments and some to chuckle over.

I will give a disclaimer: There are a few very brief, hardly noticed swear words.
The other thing you should know is that this movie can be very addicting!!

 You may have to search for this DVD as it is rather hard to find. But it is so worth the search!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cinnamon Bread

     Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a little girl in an old house in the mid-west. She lived with her mother and father, sister and brother. She had a happy, normal life even if the days dragged until Christmas time. Each year for as long as the little girl could remember a box, or sometimes two, always arrived from Grandmother in Pennsylvania before Christmas. Not only did it contain brightly wrapped presents, it also held packages of goodies, all homemade by Grandmother's loving hands. There were cookies, fudge and, most importantly to the little girl, there were loaves of Cinnamon Bread and Nut Bread! The little girl's favorite was the cinnamon bread, and she could hardly wait until it was time to eat it!
     While many families created large, special Christmas breakfasts, the family of the little girl kept things simple. On Christmas morning after the stockings were opened on the mother and father's bed, the little girl hurried to get dressed for breakfast. Filling her plate with thick slices of Grandmother's cinnamon bread and nut bread, the girl sat down with a smile. Taking a large bite of the cinnamon bread, the sweet flavor filled her mouth and warmed her heart. This was Grandmother's special Christmas gift.
     Slowly the years passed by and the little girl grew. But, though she was older, she still looked forward to that special box from Pennsylvania. Each Christmas, as she bit into her Christmas breakfast of cinnamon bread, she smiled. It was baked with love and she could taste it.
     More years passed by and the little girl's sister learned to cook. One time, on a visit to Grandmother's, Sister got the recipe for those special Christmas breads. It wasn't many years later that the box from Pennsylvania no longer brought the bread for Sister had begun to make them. They tasted every bit as good as Grandmother's and the little girl, who wasn't so little any more, smiled. She knew it just wouldn't be Christmas without that special breakfast.
     More years past by and one Christmas the little girl, who was now quite grown up and in her twenties, blinked back tears as they opened a box from Pennsylvania. In it were a few extra special Christmas gifts packed with care by an aunt. They were special things that had belonged to Grandmother who had gone to Heaven earlier that year. But, even though the little girl knew she would miss her Grandmother, she knew she'd never forget her. A few days later, as she ate her thick slices of Cinnamon bread, she could still feel Grandmother's love. It had become a part of the recipe and, though Grandmother hadn't made it and wouldn't ever make it again, it was still there. "It just wouldn't be Christmas without that bread," the little girl said more than once.

So, no matter who makes it, the Christmas gift of love is still tasted in this delicious Cinnamon bread, and I hope you can taste it too.


Cinnamon Bread
Peg Morris

1/2 cup oleo (or use half butter and half oil)
1 cup sugar

Add:
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda

Add:
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon Mixture
2 tsp. flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon or more (Grandmother said, "I use 2.")

Put 1/2 or the batter in two small bread pans. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon mixture on top in pans. Add the rest of the batter and the other 1/2 of the Cinnamon mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 - 50 minutes. Enjoy! Enjoy!

P.S. That is a true story. :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Christmas Disaster - Part 5

Good Morning FFFs!
I wish you could have seen the sky just a few minutes ago. The eastern horizon was a flaming peach changing into pink clouds. At the very edges of these they turned purple before melting into a lovely shade of baby blue. Now the color has faded except for a thin strip on the very bottom of the horizon which is glowing. I wonder how cold it is? We did finally get cold. :) Yay! No snow, just cold. It didn't last long for real cold, but at least it has only gotten up to 60 for an hour or two the last few days.

I had a most wonderful week! On Monday there was nothing I HAD to do, so I worked on those little things that don't get done because you have other things to keep you busy. It was relaxing. I edited a story for a young friend who desperately needs to make sure his next story has all names capitalized and punctuation in it.
On Tuesday I actually went down and listened to a Christmas story on audio while I knitted! I haven't done that for months!
Wednesday came and it was another delightful day of nothing I HAD to do. I checked another story for another student. This one was so much easier. :) I knitted again in the afternoon, and we watched a Christmas movie in the evening while we ate supper. My favorite Christmas movie is coming up! I can't wait to watch it again! (Hmm, maybe I should write a review of it for you? Anyone interested?)
Yesterday I really had nothing to do so turned on the Christmas music while Mom and S were at JoAnns, and looked through some craft books. I would have loved to get started on making some journals, but we were supposed to babysit in the afternoon, so I didn't. Another time. We actually didn't babysit for there had been a change of plans. So instead, we took some neighbors and went to Andy's for ice cream cones. We wouldn't have gone except they were giving them away for free! I wonder how many they gave away?
I was thinking and realized that the last time I had several days where I had nothing I HAD to do was back before conference season! No wonder I enjoyed it so much! :D

And now today gets busy again. :) We have to practice music with friends for our "Christmas specials over dessert" Sunday. :) Then we get Pickle Puss, Goofball, Funny Boy and Doodle Bug this afternoon and spending the night so their parents can go make gingerbread houses at their other grandparents with their aunts, uncle and friends. :) I think we'll make Christmas cookies here.

But enough of that. Here is Part 5! Enjoy!

A Christmas Disaster
Part 5

    “Nothing is going to happen,” Mia put in as the car stopped before their house. “It never does.”

    When Friday afternoon came, Mr. Sheets, as tradition decreed, handed over his papers to his assistant director, Don Summers, another senior, while Mr. Hocker passed his baton to Lydia Beshmyer.  On Friday night the Story-Time Playhouse was packed with guests eager to watch the play directed now by the students themselves. The two tour buses pulled into the parking lot and discharged their crowds to swell the numbers. Nothing that Bennett had feared happened and the play went off without a glitch.
    “The only difference I could see,” Mr. Marley remarked on the drive home that evening, “was that Mr. Sheets and Mr. Hocker were sitting in the row before us and looking mighty nervous.”
    “I’d think they’d be so sick of the whole thing that they’d stay home and read a book,” Mia exclaimed. “I would.”
    “Well, there’s only one more night left,” Derek consoled. “Then you can forget the whole thing.”

    “Hey, Bennett, Mia,” Derek stuck his head into the living room. “I have to run into town to do some shopping,” and he winked at them. “You two want to come along?”
    Bouncing out of her chair, Mia answered, “Sure!” I can’t focus on my book anyway.”
    “Ben?”
    “Yeah, I’ll come.”
    “Good. I have to pick up a few new light bulbs and I need to stop by the theater to double check on the size. It shouldn’t take long and it’s only a little after nine.”
    Before long the three Marley children were pulling up in front of Story-Time Playhouse.
    Derek climbed from the truck and hurried to the front door and unlocked it. Stepping in, he flipped a switch and then listened. What was that noise? Then he heard a few barks. “Don’t tell me the puppies got left here last night!” he muttered, striding from the lobby into the hall. There he stopped short and stared. “What in the world?”
    Wheeling, he dashed back to the front door, flung it open and yelled, “Ben! Mia! Get in here, now!”
    In great wonderment and with a sudden feeling of dread, Bennett and Mia tumbled from the truck, scarcely stopping to slam the door shut behind them, and raced inside. Gasping for breath, they came to a halt beside Derek.
    “Look,” he said grimly, pointing towards the stage.
    They looked and caught their breath. Disaster had struck. The large Christmas tree so carefully decorated and lighted, the one in the center of their town, had fallen over smashing half the town and knocking over most of the other building facades, as well as pulling the scarlet curtains down. From somewhere came the short, sharp barks of at least one puppy.
    For several minutes no one spoke. Then Mia found her voice. “Oh, what a mess! If it was those puppies that did it, I’m changing their names! But what are they doing in here anyway? I thought someone was taking them home? What are we going to do? Can we fix it, Derek? Bennett, why is that puppy still barking? Do you suppose he’s stuck someplace? She started forward. “Or is it another dog?” At that last idea she halted to wait for her brothers.
    “What are we going to do, Derek?” Bennett said slowly. “We didn’t plan for this disaster.”
    “Well, first off, I guess we should go see how bad it really is.”
    “And we should find the puppies,” Mia put in, as they advanced down the aisle still in shock at the mess on stage.
    Tres came to meet them as they approached the stage. Then, following the sound of the barking, Bennett discovered Uno tangled up in a string of Christmas lights pulled from the small tree in the house. But it was Derek who found Dos. He had fallen into the box of coats used by the extras in the outside scenes. The coats were chewed up, had dog hair all over them and smelled terrible.
    “Mia!” Derek called as he picked up the excited puppy. “Where is the crate you keep them in when they aren’t wanted on stage?”
    Mia quickly found it and the puppies were placed inside with some food and water.
    “Now,” Derek sighed, “what other damage do we have?”
    It was bad. Nearly the entire village square was ruined. The shop was chewed up and pulled apart. The only things left with minimal damage was the Gary’s living room, the backdrop of mountains and trees, and any costumes in the costume room.
    Bennett looked around at all the mess and wondered where to start, what to do and how they were going to get everything ready by the seven o’clock performance. Derek’s mind, however, was working. He knew it would be impossible to recreate the village or even repair the shop in time. But he wasn’t about to give up and call the whole thing off.
    “Mia,” he wheeled suddenly and pointed his finger at his younger sister. “Run to the office and call the president of each class. Tell them that we need every students here five minutes ago! Oh, and Mia!” he hollered after her, “Don’t tell them what happened, and be sure you say we don’t want any parents or teachers!”
    Mia’s reply, which came floating back faintly, was unnoticed.
    “Derek,” Bennett looked up from fingering one of the chewed ropes that had held the tree up, “why did you say we didn’t want any parents or teachers?”
    Derek sighed. “This is our problem, Ben. In a way, we are responsible for it. But also this is the last performance, which is our responsibility. We can’t go asking the teachers and parents for help when we haven’t even tried to fix things ourselves.”
    “This doesn’t even look fixable.” Bennet moved over to the tree and stared down at the broken branches and shattered lightbulbs.

Was this the disaster you had imagined?
 What would you have done?
Will you be back on Wednesday for the next part?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Christmas Disaster - Part 4

I hope you all are ready for this next part of A Christmas Disaster because here it is!

Last week . . .
    Bennett grinned. “Well, we were a mess today.” He sobered. “I sure hope Monday’s practice goes better. If not, the play is likely to be the worst ever instead of the best.”
    “You know if won’t be the worst ever,” Mia said confidently. “It can’t be.”
    Her brothers exchanged glances and turned to look at her. “Why couldn’t it be?”
    “Because our puppies are in the play, and we have a real horse.”
    Exploding into laughter, the boys leaned against the fence and rocked with mirth. When at last Derek could speak, he gasped out, “Oh, Mia, you’re priceless!” and then went off into another laughing spell.

    Monday did go better and even Mr. Sheets, who usually growled and shouted directions until the opening night, watched the last run through without a word. As the curtain was closing on the last notes of the song, Mr. Sheets stood up and called, “Open those curtains.”
    But the curtains kept closing. “I said,” roared the director, “open those curtains!”
    A dead silence fell on the theater for the curtains had closed completely instead of opening and tension grew with each passing second. What was going on?
    Then, into the silence came Derek’s voice, sounding clearly from off stage. “I’m sorry, Mr. Sheets, but you gave explicit orders that I was not to open the curtains after that last song. I was only following your instructions.”
    There was an instant of silence and then the room erupted into laughter. The curtain opened, the orchestra struck up and the entire student body began singing ‘Happy Birthday’ as Mia and Chloe carried a large cake down to the speechless Mr. Sheets.
    When the noise died down, Mr. Sheets attempted to scowl fiercely as he thundered, “Who put you up to this? Who told you it was my birthday?”
    Looking up at him, Mia replied with a grin, “Mrs. Sheets did. And besides,” she added sweetly, “it’s always your birthday on the 14th of December.”

    Tuesday morning arrived. Not one of the Marley children had much of an appetite for breakfast, but sat staring down at their plates in silence.
    “Tut, tut, opening night jitters.” Mrs. Marley shook her head. “I don’t know how you are to manage a half day of school.”
    Bennett looked dismal. “I don’t either.”
    “But I guess it’s better then sitting around the house all morning,” Derek sighed.
    “The day is going to creep by, I just know it is,” Mia wailed.
    Putting down his paper, Mr. Marley glanced around at the long faces before him and laughed. “If you don’t eat something the play certainly will be ruined before it has gone very far because the driver will tumble off his carriage, the pretty girl in the shop will faint, the stage manager won’t be able to direct his crew and the settings will all be wrong.”
    “Disaster!” Derek exclaimed. “That’s what it would be. Come on you two, we could do the play in our sleep, we’ve gone over it so many times. What’s wrong with us today?”
    “I don’t know.” And Bennett shoved a large bite of pancakes into his mouth.

    In spite of opening night jitters and sudden nervous terror of forgetting lines or coming in at the wrong time, the play that first night was a success. The Gary children made their gingerbread house, the wealthy couple from the city became snowed in as Mr. Thompson had predicted and the final song brought cheers from the audience, but not the opening of the scarlet curtains.

    “Oh, Daddy!” Mia cried, running to fling her arms about his neck when they were at last free to head home. “What did you think of it? Did you like it? Was it the best one yet? Were you surprised by the song at the end? Didn’t the orchestra do a great job and wasn’t Uno cute with that red bow?”
    “Whoa!” Mr. Marley chuckled, unclasping his daughter’s hands and dropping her down beside the open car door. “Yes to everything, but let’s head home now.” And he gave her a little push.
    The ride home that night was one constant stream of talk. Yes, the play was delightful. The kids had done a great job. The song at the end was a surprise and the orchestra was great. Mr. and Mrs. Marley couldn’t think of a single thing that would have improved the night’s performance.
    “And we didn’t have any disaster,” Bennett whispered to Derek as they pulled into their driveway.

    Wednesday night’s performance was even better and Thursday’s better yet. Everyone was confident about what they were supposed to do and when to do it.
    “So tomorrow is the really big day, huh?” Mr. Marley asked as the family drove home that evening.
    “Yep,” Derek answered. “It’s all on us.”
    Not only had the annual Christmas play become a tradition at Coolidge High School, but the precedent of allowing the students to entirely direct the final two performances had brought packed houses each year to the theater. It would be no different this year.
    “Oh,” Mrs. Marley glanced over her shoulder at Derek, Bennet and Mia. “I was talking with Mrs. Gann from over in Midway and she said they had two tour buses coming through the area tomorrow and they are all coming to the play.”
    The children exchanged glances. “Tour buses?” Bennet asked, “What are they doing in the area?”
    Mrs. Marley shrugged. “I heard they were on a Christmas tour across the country and either Mrs. Gann told them about the tradition of the school play or they learned it from someone else. You know Mrs. Gann has connections with different tour groups.”
    Bennett sighed. “Just watch, tomorrow night will be the night one of the puppies gets tangled in the wires and pulls the lights off the Christmas tree or Dilly gets scared and runs off the stage and breaks a leg. Why couldn’t they have picked another night? Like last night.”
    “Boy, you’re in an optimistic mood,” Derek retorted, giving him a friendly shove.
    “Nothing is going to happen,” Mia put in as the car stopped before their house. “It never does.”

Will something happen tomorrow night?
If so, what do you think it might be?
Come back on Friday for the next part.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Decorations

I thought some of you might enjoy seeing a few of our Christmas decorations this year. I haven't taken pictures of everything yet, but here are a few. Enjoy!

Looking from the top of our stairs.


Part of "Garlandsburg" this year.


Above a bookcase

These little dolls were my grandmother's along with several of the ornaments.

Above the china cabinet.

In the Kitchen. :)














I hope you all have a marvelous Monday! I'm loving the cold that moved in. :D

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Christmas Disaster - Part 3

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
Are you all getting ready for Christmas? For some reason it doesn't feel like Christmas yet. Perhaps it is because we really haven't had any real cold weather. I mean when it is in the 70s on the 2nd of December, you just don't feel much like Christmas. At least I don't. I want cold! I want snow, not just a little dusting, but a real snow fall. I want to go sledding, build a snowman, take a tramp through the snow with my two best friends one more time before one of them gets married. I want to curl up with a hot drink, a blanket over my lap and watch the snow falling outside while I listen to Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." I've read two Christmas books, but they didn't put me in the Christmas mood. Probably because we had the windows open when I read one.

I haven't had much time for writing in the evenings though I did manage to get a little bit written. A little on TCR and a little on yet another Christmas story. Here are my evenings.
Last Friday my sister and I babysat 11 children ages 7 and under.
Saturday I wrote some.
Sunday we watched a Christmas movie and then I read a little while.
Monday I read.
Tuesday we watched a Christmas movie, then I wrote.
Wednesday S and I babysat Pickle Puss, Goofball, Funny Boy and Doodle Bug.
Last night Grandpa and I went to a Christmas concert. Well, as he put it, "a quirky concert." It was a string quartette and they jazzed up every song they played. Not my type.
Tonight we celebrate my Dad's birthday with J & M coming over with the kids and eating pizza and playing Kansas City Dominoes. (If you've never played Kansas City Dominoes, you're missing out.)
Not sure about tomorrow evening since we're babysitting during the day for some friends.

This week I did make a Moravian Star. It was such fun and quite easy, so I think I'll make some other ones. :) If you want to make one, just go here for the instructions.

And now the next part of your Christmas story.


A Christmas Disaster
Part 3

Last time . . .
    Placing his shoes side by side with the toes lined up on a certain mark on the floor and shoes laces tucked inside like he always did, Bennett frowned. “Well, what if Dilly decides to panic and tries to knock the town houses down?”
    “She won’t if you are with her. Why all these questions? You’re not worrying about the play are you?”
    Bennett didn’t answer until he had climbed into bed and pulled the covers up under his chin. “Nope. Just wanting to be prepared for anything.”
    As Derek snapped off the light, he couldn’t help laughing. Between Bennett with his orderly routines, always wanting to know what was going to happen or could happen so he could plan ahead, and Mia with her new, often strange, ideas popping up every time you turned around, life was never dull. But as he crawled between his own sheets and pulled the blankets up over his shoulders he wondered, “What am I like? Could I come up with any great ideas? All I can think of are the logical things. What would we do if something happened to ruin the play? But besides power outage, I can’t think of anything that could happen? Not unless the lead actors all got sick and so did their substitutes. But that’s improbable.” With that he yawned, pulled the covers almost over his head and fell asleep.

    Practice the following day went well. The last scenes were gone over and polished. Mr. Sheets nodded and smiled.
    Mr. Simcox had opened the windows some thereby causing most people to want their coats on. “You know, don’t you,” he had told the actors, “that when we do the play for an audience, and even when we practice with the orchestra tomorrow, the windows must remain shut.”
    “I guess we’ll just have to get used to roasting,” Alex said.
    “Or boiling,” Bennett added. “I’m sweating so much I’ll probably simmer for a while.”
    The others on stage laughed.

    On Friday the entire production had a run through with cast, lights and orchestra. It went better than anyone expected and after twice running through it, Mr. Sheets and Mr. Hocker conferred with Mr. Simcox, Mrs. Hocker and Mrs. Brown. There was much whispering among the actors, stage hands and musicians. They could tell something was up.
    At last Mr. Sheets shouted, “All hands on stage!”
    The students all knew that cry and hurried from their various positions to join the cast on the stage in the main street of their pretend western town.
    “All right.” Mr. Sheets snorted. “I know some of you can act, but what I don’t know is if you all can sing.”
    Glances were exchanged among the students. Sing? What was their drama teacher talking about?
    “Yes, I said sing,” he went on. “Those of you who like to hide behind curtains and do your work in the dark are going to have to come forth and be seen. Every one of you. Hear? It’s been decided that after the last curtain call, the curtains will open once more and everyone who is not in the orchestra will come out on stage for one grand finale finish.” He turned to the conductor. “Mr. Hocker, it’s all yours now.”
    Mr. Hocker didn’t bellow or shout to be heard because the entire theater was so quiet that Uno’s whine back stage in her box could be heard. “Once everyone is on stage, we will treat the audience to a song of farewell. We will sing ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas.’ You all know it, but Mrs. Hocker has re-written some of the words. They aren’t hard, and I expect you all to have them memorized for tomorrow’s practice. Sing parts, those of you who can, and—” he glanced around. “Did I cover everything?”
    “One more thing,” Mr. Sheets said. “Derek, when the last verse is almost over, you slip out and shut the curtains at the end of the song. And whatever happens, don’t open them again!”
    A general laugh sounded, for only last year, the crowd had figured out that if they began applauding and cheering after the curtain closed, it would be opened again and the cast had to take another bow. One night the crowd wanted to see how many times they could make the cast bow, for they kept on applauding and cheering until the curtain had been opened twenty times, and Mr. Sheets had hustled backstage to made sure they stayed shut.

    “So, Mia,” Bennett asked as the three siblings drove home in the car, “who has the puppies?”
    Mia laughed. “There were so many kids who wanted them that I’m not sure there’ll be enough nights. Let’s see, Chloe has Dos, Megan took Uno and Joe has Tres. I don’t know who will have them tomorrow night.”

    Saturday was a busy day for the Marley children. Not only did they have their usual Saturday chores to do, but they also had a long afternoon of practice. That day Mr. Sheets wasn’t satisfied with rehearsal. “No, no, no!” he bellowed for the twentieth time. “This is not a comedy! And why aren’t you background people pretending to talk? You aren’t statues. No, Alex! You must wait for the music before you come in with the gifts!” And so it went for five long hours. At last, after going twice through the entire play, Mr. Sheets turned to the other teachers and shrugged.
    “I wouldn’t worry too much, Mr. Sheets,” Mrs. Brown said. “In all my years of acting and teaching I’ve noticed that the last or next to last rehearsals always seem terrible, but the play turns out just fine.”
    “All right!” Mr. Simcox called, “Last curtain call!”
    Everyone gathered on stage and the next fifteen minutes were spent going over the song for the end. Mr. Hocker was easier to please and at last they were all dismissed.

    “Whew!” Derek sighed. “There’s no way I want to be an actor now! It’s hard enough running backstage.”
    Bennett grinned. “Well, we were a mess today.” He sobered. “I sure hope Monday’s practice goes better. If not, the play is likely to be the worst ever instead of the best.”
    “You know if won’t be the worst ever,” Mia said confidently. “It can’t be.”

Will you be back?
Do you think you know what happens?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Christmas Disaster - Part 2

I hope you all have a wonderful 5th of December! Enjoy this second part of your Christmas story.
Last time . . .

    “It sure was kind of Mr. Randolph to let us keep Dilly over here in his stable,” Bennett remarked, after bedding down his horse which was being used in the play.
    “It sure was,” Derek agreed, pulling his knitted cap down over his dark hair.
    “Come on, guys, let’s get home. I’m starving!” Mia waited for her brothers to latch the stable door before adding, “And the puppies want to run.”
    The boys laughed, slung their backpacks on their backs and, each taking one of the three leashes Mia was holding, started for home. The wind was blowing powdery flakes of snow into their faces and it was growing dark.
    “I wish we had brought the car this time,” Bennett said several minutes later as the three siblings, huddled into their coats, waited for a light to turn green.
    “I know,” Derek pulled the puppy dragging on the leash back from the street. “But Mom had to run errands and the other truck wouldn’t start.”
    “Guys, I was thinking . . .”
    “Uh oh,” Bennett laughed, “Mia was thinking.”
    Mia made a face at her brother and almost tripped over a puppy as they crossed the street. Pushing back a stray lock of dark hair she continued. “I was thinking about the puppies.”
    “Don’t tell us you’re renaming them again!” Derek pleaded. Mia had already named the three puppies and then changed their names at least four times. “They won’t know what their name is if you keep on changing them.”
    “It wasn’t about that. You know we can’t keep the puppies. Dad only let us keep these this long because they were needed in the play. Uno, stop it!” Giving a quick jerk to the leash, Mia brought the unruly puppy back to her side. “Well, today, Kathy was talking about wanting a puppy and Joe mentioned really liking Tres, so I was thinking perhaps we should start letting some of the other kids at Coolidge take one of the puppies home for the night to see if they might want one after the play is over.”
    The boys exchanged glances. “That’s not a bad idea, Mia,” Bennett conceded. “Let’s talk to Mom and Dad about it tonight and then, if they think it would be good, we can call one or two of the kids and check with them. What do you think, Derek?”
    Derek nodded. “Let’s run it by Mom and Dad first. And speaking of running, let’s get moving or supper will be over before we get there.”

    Arriving at the house breathless and warmed up, backpacks were dumped on the hall floor, coats, hats, gloves and scarves were pulled off and hung up, boots kicked off to the side of the entry way and the puppies were rubbed with towels to dry them off. Hurrying to the dining room, the three hungry high-schoolers grinned at each other as the smells of hobo stew, mashed potatoes and fresh rolls sent their stomachs to rumbling and their mouths to watering.
    “We’re home, Mom!” Derek called, striding to the kitchen door.
    Mrs. Marley looked up from the stove. “Hi!” she greeted them brightly. “How was rehearsal?”
    “Great!”
    “Except I was dripping with sweat in that overcoat.”
    “But Mr. Sheets opened the windows, and Mom I had an idea!” Mia was eager to talk.
    Derek gave her a friendly push. “Hey, wait until we’re eating. We’ve got to talk it over with Dad too.”
    Mrs. Marley laughed. She was used to her daughter and her ideas. “Mia, set the table please. Boys, put the puppies in the garage and feed them. I’m about to take dinner up.”

    Supper at the Marley home was a delightful family time. Mia’s idea was discussed and approved of. Talk of the upcoming play, however, was the main theme of the conversation as bowls of stew piled with fluffy mashed potatoes were eaten ravenously along with hot rolls.
    When the last bowl was scraped clean and not another bite could be taken by anyone, Mr. Marley said, “It sound’s as though this play ought to be the best one yet.”
    “I think it will,” Bennett agreed. “If nothing disastrous happens.”

    It was growing late. Mia had been in bed for some time when Derek, having told his parents good night, quietly made his way upstairs to the room he shared with Bennett. He expected him to be nearly ready for bed if not already asleep, but to his surprise, he discovered him still seated at the desk with his science book propped up before him.
    “Hey,” Derek said softly, “aren’t you about done?”
    Bennett snorted. “Ha. Not even close. If I could understand what in the world they’re talking about here, I might be able to finish tonight.”
    Derek leaned over his shoulder. “Where?”
    Bennett pointed.
    “Oh, yeah, you don’t have Mr. Gebauer. He could explain anything. I can try if you want.”
    “Anything.” Bennett was desperate. He never had liked science very well and he knew that if he didn’t keep his grades up, he might lose his place in the play even at this late date.
    Thirty minutes later, Derek had explained the puzzling science to his brother, Bennett had completed his assignment with no trouble and both boys began preparing for bed while the cold, winter wind whistled around the snug house, shaking the bare branches of the trees and blowing the powdery snow against the screens.
    “Derek,” Bennett suddenly asked, pausing in the act of taking off his shoes. “What would we do if say, the electricity for the theater went out before one of the performances?”
    “Hope generators could be borrowed from stores.”
    “Well, what if it happened during the play?”
    “In the middle?”
    “Yeah.”
    Derek eyed his brother questioningly but replied, “I guess turn on some flashlights and declare curtains until we could get a generator.”
    Placing his shoes side by side with the toes lined up on a certain mark on the floor and shoes laces tucked inside like he always did, Bennett frowned. “Well, what if Dilly decides to panic and tries to knock the town houses down?”
    “She won’t if you are with her. Why all these questions? You’re not worrying about the play are you?”

Will you be back on Friday?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Fudge

Good Morning Dear Readers,
I hope you are getting in the mood for some Christmas baking and cooking! Last year I posted a poem titled "Baking Day." In it I mentioned the fudge and even posted a picture of it. I was asked to share the recipe and here it is. Well, here is half of it. The other half, the chocolate fudge was the recipe from a little friend. We each made our special fudges and then made some mixed. Very delicious! Sorry, I don't have the other recipe, but if I can get it from her, I'll share it with you all. But for now, here is the yummy peanut butter fudge recipe from from my Grandma.

Grandma's Peanut Butter Fugde
Peg Morris

4 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups peanut butter
2 cups marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla

Cook sugar and milk to soft ball stage (use candy thermometer.) Stir now and then. Add other ingredients. Mix until blened. Spread into greased 9x13 pan. Let harden. Cut and serve!
Makes about 4 1/2 pounds. :) (Works well to freeze for later too.)

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Christmas Disaster - Part 1

Hello Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
I hope your week was wonderful. Mine was rather crazy. It was the kind of week you thought would be one way and instead it wasn't.
As I mentioned last week, we were getting ready for Decorating Day. On Sat. one of my Heart-Sisters came down and we started in on the decorating. It was a good start and we were pretty pleased with what we had accomplished. So on Sunday, when the others who were coming over to help, arrived, I thought, "Hey, we should be able to get a lot done." I wasn't taking into consideration the "help" of the kiddos. :) Goofball wanted to touch everything and play with everything and Funny Boy wanted to play with the train and have someone read "shrain" stories to him. (He absolutely loves trains.) Pickle Puss was a little more helpful, but she really just wanted to play with the dolls. As for Doodle Bug, we had to put him in the pack 'n play or he was in to everything! He didn't mind too much because we gave him all kinds of things to play with. :)
Well, we got some things done, but not a whole lot. I figured I'd just finish it all on Monday.

Monday. We had to go shopping to get a few more garlands because we had used them all and needed a few more. No decorating that day.
Tuesday. I managed to finish the downstairs, but didn't get anything done with the upstairs.
Wednesday. I got a start on the upstairs before Mom wanted to go walking. It was really nice out. Then I had to go help pull more things for orders for Light of Faith. I did finished the office that afternoon.
Yesterday- Finally, I was able to get the rest of the decorating done! What a relief! Then I really got to work on grading papers. I have to finish the rest of them today.

Today- We clean house, I finish grading papers and then this evening, S and I babysit 11 children ages 7 and under. :) What to come play? Should be interesting. And yes, we'll have some "twins" and maybe even a set of "triplets." The youngest ones will be about 1 1/2. The parents are all going to a "Living Christmas Tree" and didn't want to take the kids along.  Can't say that I blame them.


I have written some. Finally managed to finish the story I was writing. I'm not sure what I'll write now since no one has told me what they want to read this December. But last night in bed I was almost in the mood to write TCR again. :) I thought some of you might like it if I worked on that story. :D

Now, remember that tomorrow is the 1st of December and in December I post randomly during the month. Not just on Fridays any more. In fact, this story that is starting today, will be posted every Friday and Wednesday! So, be sure to come back for Wednesday's parts.  I hope you enjoy this story.

P.S. I now have a new page on this blog. One from which you can purchase any of my books. I even have a 10% off code you cand use. Feel free to share that page with family and friends or link to it on your blog. (If you have one. :))

Instructions:
It has to be a Christmas story
Word Count: At least 3,000 (I ended up with 7,000)

This was a painting on a tray.
(As you may notice, I did change the setting just a little. I took out the colored lights and made them just plain white. The clothes, carriage and colored lights just don't fit in the same setting.)

A Christmas Disaster
Part 1

    The streets were wet and slushy. Snow was falling in large flakes seeking to cover the streets once again with their whiteness and prevent the travel of carriages. Bright lights from a large tree in the center of town cast pools of splendor on the snow, the wet streets, the rooftops and gave a festive air to the scene. The shops along either side fairly glowed with Christmas cheer. Gleaming, polished windows filled with toys, candy, baked goods and more attracted the attention of several passers by causing them to pause, look and then enter the shops. The background of grayish-blue mountains spoke of a more western town while the white sky with no sunset appearing told of more snow.
    Pushing his greatcoat away from his neck and unbuttoning another button, Mr. Thompson clucked to his old horse while behind him in the back of his carriage, Stephanie and Alex laughed and talked.
    “Cut!” Mr. Sheets roared. “No, Bennett, you can’t unbutton your coat. Remember, it’s growing colder. Act cold! Hunch into your coat.”
    “But I’m sweltering,” Bennett, who was playing the part of the carriage driver, grumbled.
    “At least you don’t have a heavy blanket over your lap,” Stephanie retorted from behind him.
    “Mr. Sheets,” Alex’s clear voice carried across the large stage. “If this play is going to look realistic, perhaps we should turn the air conditioning on. At least for the parts outside. That way we could look the part a little easier.
    From where she had halted on the sidewalk when the order to “cut” had come, Chloe turned eagerly. “Oh, please, let’s!”
    Mr. Sheets turned to look at Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Hocker and Mr. Simcox. “Well,” he questioned with a sigh, “what do you all think?”
    “Instead of turning the air conditioning on, why don’t we just open the windows?” Mrs. Hocker suggested. “It’s plenty cold enough to keep even these hot blooded young people from reaching the boiling point.”
    A general laugh spread from the teachers to the high school students on stage and then circled through the students in the wings and backstage.
    Coolidge High School was preparing their 7th annual Christmas play. Each year they had grown more adventurous and more elaborate until two years ago when they had outgrown the small stage in the school and had been allowed the use of the town’s only theater. Since the final production was open for all the town folks and anyone from the surrounding farms, villages or neighboring towns, everyone worked hard. On opening night Story-Time Playhouse was usually filled, but on the closing night last year, after a run of five days, there had been standing room only and not much of that.
    This year would be the best one yet. All the students had pitched in painting scenery, designing and sewing costumes, memorizing lines, managing lights, sounds, scene changes and, as a grand addition, the school orchestra was providing live music. For weeks the school had been in a bustle after classes, between classes and before classes. The chatter in the hallways was about the play; teachers as well as students were excited. Now it was less than a week until opening night.
    Bennett buttoned up his greatcoat and hunched down though sweat dotted his forehead and trickled down his back.
    “And start,” Mr. Sheets called when the windows had been opened and the cold, snow laden air was blowing in.
    Mr. Thompson clucked to his horse again and started off across the stage as the fake snow began falling once more.
    “I say, Driver,” Alex called over the wind, “can’t you let us off for an hour to do some shopping? My wife is eager to see what these shops have to offer out here in the West.”
    Tipping his head back a little to glance at the sky, Mr. Thompson shook his head. “I can let you off all right, but coming back in an hour, well sir, that’s somethin’ else.”
    “Well!” Stephanie exclaimed, “Of all things! Wouldn’t you like to earn more money?”
    “Sure, sure, but this snow has only just started. Carriages won’t be any use in an hour.”
    “Won’t be any use?” echoed his passengers.
    “Nope. You’ll need a sleigh then and mine isn’t returned from the blacksmith’s yet. If you’re plannin’ on being around town for many more days, you might just get snowed in.”
    The couple in the back exchanged a quick consultation and decided to be taken to their hotel. Mr. Thompson turned his horse, and they slowly plodded off the stage.
    “Well done,” Mrs. Brown clapped. “But Steph, try to sound a little more annoyed.”
    “Mr. Sheets, are we going on with the next scene?” Derek had hurried on stage to ask. He was the stage manager, a senior and the older brother of Bennett.
    After a quick glance at his watch, Mr. Sheets shook his head. “No, we’d better not,” he decided. “The first three scenes are great, but we’ll work on the rest tomorrow.” Then, raising his voice he called out, “All right, that’s it for today! All of you get home and get your homework done!”
    A loud groan came from behind the stage followed by laughter and a wave of chatter.
    “Hey everyone, listen up!” Mr. Simcox’s deep voice bellowed and an instant silence prevailed. “On Friday the orchestra will join us for the first time. Mr. Hocker thinks they’re ready for us, but let’s make sure we’re ready for them. Mrs. Hocker won’t be here tomorrow as she’s going to be reading the parts for the orchestra while they play.” He turned to the other teachers, “Do any of you have anything to add?” At the shaking of heads, Mr. Simcox dismissed the students and turned to shut windows.

    “It sure was kind of Mr. Randolph to let us keep Dilly over here in his stable,” Bennett remarked, after bedding down his horse which was being used in the play.
    “It sure was,” Derek agreed, pulling his knitted cap down over his dark hair.

Did you like the beginning?
Will you be back on Wednesday for the next part?
What do you think happens?