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Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Recipe - Genny's GF Cookies

My daughter brought home this recipe from school and decided it was the best thing ever. It was a group math assignment that involved taking a recipe written for a single serving and figuring out how to make enough servings for the group. Lots of fraction work in that.

These are no-cook chocolate oatmeal lumps. Be warned, they are high-fat, high-sugar treats.

No-Cook Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookie Balls

1 c. peanut butter
1 c. honey
3 c. oatmeal
3/4 c. chocolate chips

Mix everything together. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Shape into balls. Store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Top Ten Favorite Space Pictures

I'm doing a "Top Ten" blog hop with some friends. All of our lists tie in to our books. Maria Hoagland posted a list of ten fun places to hide a love note.

Because I'm a space geek, which is one reason why I read and write science fiction, I'm going to post my top ten favorite space pictures. Check out my series, The Fall of the Altairan Empire, and get Nexus Point free with coupon code AA47G at Smashwords.

All pictures are from

1. The Monocerotis Light Echo - this is just gorgeous. I want to put it on my ceiling in my living room so I can lie on the floor and enjoy it whenever I want.
 Light Echo  Illuminates Dust Around Supergiant Star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon)

2. The Horsehead Nebula - an updated look with Hubble.
Hubble Sees a Horsehead of a Different Color

3. Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula - this always looks like a woman reaching for the stars to me.
Star-Birth Clouds in M16: Stellar  Eggs  Emerge from Molecular Cloud

4. Saturn - because Saturn is always cool.
Saturn from 1996 to 2000

5. Jupiter's Great Red Spot - I love the way the clouds swirl on Jupiter, like a painting. It's so beautiful to study.

6. Lagoon Nebula
Giant  Twisters  in the Lagoon Nebula

7. Hoag's Object - a ring Galaxy
Ring of Hot Blue Stars Pinwheels Around Yellow Nucleus of Hoag

8. The Bubble Nebula - not only is it pretty, but it's bubbles!
The Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635)

9. Mystic Mountain - a newer picture showing gas and dust clouds in a Carina Nebula.
Hubble Captures View of

10. The Hubble Deep Field - click on the link and go read the site to get the picture and the story behind it. It's incredible.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Recipe - Easy Mexican Rice

School's back in session. I'm buried in homework. My blog posts will suffer. Please comment if you have a recipe idea you want me to post. Or if you want to be a guest chef and supply the recipe for me. Or if you want to do a guest post on a Monday. I'd love to host others on here.

This is what we threw together for dinner the other night. It turned out well. If you like it mild, use mild salsa. If you like it spicy, use the hot. The key for me, since I've always burned Mexican rice before, is to use a rice cooker. They aren't too much money and they are worth it for making rice that is cooked to perfection.

Mexican Rice

2 c. rice
4 c. hot water
1 1/2 c. salsa

Dump everything in a rice cooker. Hit the buttons for your model and let it cook.

Stir before serving. Garnish with grated cheese, chopped green onions, sliced olives, sour cream, or whatever. We garnished ours with corn chips and taco meat and called it dinner.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Old Stuff We Leave Behind

My daughter and her husband were living with my husband's dad until he died last spring. We spent last week moving them out of the house and cleaning out some of the last things left from his parents. These are some of the fun things my husband found in the basement:

Canned water - just add water! Wait. No. It's water in a can dated 1961. Old water.

A 50lb block of really ancient powdered milk.

A 1961 72-hour kit-in-a-can. Hubby is planning to open it soon. I'm afraid. Very afraid.

Does old soap go bad? It's pre-1960.

Wire left over from an old phone patch-board. Just random bits of wire with brass connectors. A whole box full.

Things that look like pipe bombs, but they aren't. They're seismometers. Honest.

Meatloaf mix from 1986!

More tools than you can shake a stick at. Or even several sticks.

A wagon jack. Not a car jack. A wagon. As in a wooden wagon. For when the wheels go bad.

A manhole cover.

As we clean out their house, it's making me realize how much crap I've got squirreled away in my house. What we choose to hang onto reveals who we are. I've got a weakness for kitchen stuff. And fabric. And cheap yarn. And toys. I can't seem to part with a lot of the toys still cluttering up my basement. My kids have long since moved on to other toys and pursuits. But my grandson is just starting to discover all the wonderful toys we own.

We held a yard sale last weekend and got rid of a lot of stuff. Most of it went to our local thrift store, but we sold some. I still have a lot of clutter to reduce and remove. But overall, my house is feeling more empty and better organized than it has in a long time.

What about you? What would your stuff say about you if it could talk?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday Recipe - Peach Cobbler

I can't believe I haven't posted this yet. Peach cobbler is a tradition at our house. Late summer, right after school is back in session and the peaches are ripe, we'll get ourselves a few big boxes. Our peach tree died a couple of years ago and was replaced by a multi-variety pear tree, but many of our neighbors have peach trees and are more than happy to share the bounty.

Peaches are pretty easy to process for jams and cobbler fillings, if you want to bottle it. We usually make several big cobblers from fresh peaches. Breakfast for several days. Mmmm.

Here's my take on the filling as well as several options for toppings. Pick your favorite or try them all!

Fresh Peach Cobbler

12-15 large ripe peaches
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cardamom
3 T. cornstarch

Wash peaches. Boil whole in large pot for 1 minute. This makes them easy to peel. Dump into cold water to cool off. Peel and pit the peaches, then slice them up. Add lemon juice, nutmeg, cardamom, and cornstarch. Stir gently until it's all mixed together.

At this point, you can pack the filling into quart bottles for canning if you want - leave a half-inch headspace at the top. Process for 35-40 minutes, depending on your altitude. The processing will cook the filling so it's ready to use in cobblers later.

For fresh cobbler, spread the filling in a 9x13 baking pan. Prepare the topping and spread over.

Topping, choose one option:

1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. butter, softened
2 small boxes of blueberry muffin mix (I don't know the size, but I use the small pouches/boxes that Jiffy makes)

1/2 c. butter softened
1 dry cake mix - vanilla, spice, lemon, yellow, or white flavor

Mix butter and dry ingredients to make a crumbly mess. Sprinkle/spread over the peach filling.

Bake the cobbler at 350° for 45-60 minutes, until topping is browned and filling is bubbly. Cool at least a couple of minutes before eating.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

It's Labor Day, summer's last dying gasp. This is a day to grill hot dogs and hamburgers, eat watermelon, hang out in the backyard, and celebrate . . .  Hmmm... What are we celebrating on Labor Day anyway?

For me, I'm celebrating a new book release and the start of school. I'm also mourning the end of my very brief vacation this year. I've had two weeks off of school. Sort of. I've been busy working on paperwork so I can start my project this fall. We're dealing with an older dog with terminal cancer. My kids were off the deep end waiting for school to start because of all the changes. Autism and big life changes don't mix well. But things are calming down. New classes start tomorrow for me. I'm not happy to be back at school already, but I'm excited for learning new things.

How are you celebrating Labor Day? *What* are you celebrating today? What new adventures are you looking forward to soon?

Leave a comment and win a book - your choice of any of my ebooks (twelve different ones to choose from)! One lucky winner will be chosen next Monday so check back next week. (This is a new thing I just started. What do you think? Should I give away a paperback once a month, too?)

Just check out my website for available titles.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Big Giveaway! And some great books.

I seem to have fallen into the company of romance authors. Ah, well, they're fun people. Check out the great giveaway - and go enter! You might win something great.

12 authors have come together to give you some BOOK LOVER'S DELIGHTful READING
and a $200 AMAZON GIFT CARD!

Click on the image to read a summary of each book :)



GIVEAWAY ends 9/30/14

No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older and legally able to receive and use an Gift Code. This giveaway is not associated with Rafflecopter, Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was organized by I Love to Read and Review Books :) 
and sponsored by the participating authors.
Stephanie Fowers
Maria Hoagland
Danyelle Ferguson
Paul Mark Tag
Tara C. Allred
Rachel Rossano
Jaleta Clegg
Virginia Ripple
Tricia Ballad
Lisa Swinton
Victorine E. Lieske
Julie Wright