Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tressa Ensley's Protect Us Blog Tour

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  We sure loved all the snow that finally blanketed our area.

Today I'm part of Tressa Ensley's blog tour for the release of her new book, Protect Us.  It came out on the 15th and is the third book in her paranormal romance series.     

Anna-Marie and Alessandro work hard to provide a stable life for their only child, Gemma. The
child that was bestowed to them by their goddess Ameretat for reasons still unknown. Like
Alessandro’s mother did to him, Anna-Marie works diligently to protect her special daughter and lead her away from following in her father’s footsteps in becoming a Protector. Weeks before Gemma’s eighteenth birthday Gemma has a magical night with a boy, Ford Chase, who just may have been “the one”. They laughed and danced and kissed under the moon light. That is before he was forcefully taken away from her by a Rogue. Gemma desperately chases after them, but to no avail. Heartbroken and angry Gemma vows right then and there, despite her parents pleading, she will join the Protector order on her eighteenth birthday and avenge Ford’s death. No one could foresee the events that would ensue thereafter and little by little the gifts that Ameretat blessed Gemma with become apparent and are far more than anyone could ever imagine.

You can find Tressa here:
twitter: @tressamessenger

Have a Happy New Year!
Kathy :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Romantic Writer's Holiday Spirit Blogfest

First, I want to thank everyone for all the wonderful anniversary wishes!  You guys are super!  We had a fabulous evening taking the kids out to dinner and enjoying some great family time.

Now on to the main event!  

I'm participating in the Romantic Writer's Holiday Spirit Blogfest today, hosted by Denise Covey and Donna Hole.  I decided to write a flash fiction. Hope you enjoy.


I handed Ellie her bags.  “Hey, you’d better get to the taxi or you’re going to miss your flight.”

“Are you sure you’re going to be all right?” she asked scrunching her eyes up.  

“I’ll be fine, now go and have a Merry Christmas in snowy New York.”

“Ok, call me.”  She  hugged me and hurried out the door.  

I told her I’d be ok, but as the door closed and our little apartment fell silent, a lump formed in my throat.  I couldn’t believe it was Christmas Eve and I was spending it alone.  When John dumped me two days ago, Ellie asked me to join her, but I didn’t want to barge in on her family’s Christmas.  I would have loved the snow though.    

My parents were off somewhere in Rwanda studying mountain gorillas.  I was proud of the important work they were doing, but I longed to see them.

I slunk down on the worn pea green sofa and water flooded my eyes.  I stared at the twinkling lights on our miniature Christmas tree.  At least Ellie had insisted on decorating it.

The colors blurred with my tears.  I was pitiful, but I couldn’t help it.  I let the lights bathe my mind in their soothing warmth.  

A noise at the door startled me and I slowly sat up.  A figure appeared in the doorway.  I shook my head.  It couldn’t be.  Standing in her favorite pink Chanel suit was Grandma Liz.  Impossible.  She died three years ago.  

I was devastated by the loss, we had a connection that Mom and I never had.  

“Trish, come on let’s go out on the town.”  She tapped her gold watch like we were already late for something.  

My mouth hung open.  

“It’s me, come on grab your jacket and let’s get some food,” she said.  

I did as she asked, grabbed her outstretched hand and we were suddenly in the old Italian restaurant she always used to take me to.  

We sat and talked for hours.  It was lovely.  She took my hand and said, “Trish, you have to move on, find someone who appreciates who you are.”  Tears threatened the corners of my eyes.   “You are never alone, I will always be with you...looking out for you.”

Then she was gone, and I was in my apartment gazing at the twinkle lights again.  I got up to clear my head.

Outside, big fluffy snowflakes fell from the sky.  Snow, here in South Carolina?  I smiled.  Grandma Liz had sent me snow.  She really had come to visit.  I felt the warmth of her spirit and I decided I would not spend this Christmas Eve alone.  

I grabbed my jacket and headed for the local soup kitchen.  I could at least help bring joy to others tonight.   

Check out all the other great entries here and add your link to participate.


Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

18 years!

Wow, I don't know where 18 years have gone.
It seems like only yesterday.
We've grown so much individuals and as a team.  
I can't imagine life without you.
Thank you for every moment.
Here's to many more!
Happy Anniversary, my love.

Kathy :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Maggie's Child Book Launch and Hoping for Snow

Hoping for Snow
I hope you all had a great weekend.  I can't believe Christmas is next week already.  Yesterday it was a balmy 50 degrees over here.  And we live in the snow belt of Ohio.

It did give us a chance to get out of the house and and away from our computers for a while to enjoy the festive spirit in our little downtown area.  Sometimes it's hard to pull the kids away from what they're doing, they get stuck in a rut of sitting in front of their screens doing homework, facebook, blogging...etc and they don't want to go anywhere.

So we took them to a little coffee shop where we all sat, drank, talked and reconnected as a family, then we surprised them with dinner out at their favorite restaurant.  It was like a mini-vacation.  It was a great way to start the new week.    

I'm still hoping it snows. There's something magical about those delicate white crystals shimmering on the trees and ground.  


Maggie's Child
Today I'm welcoming Glynis Smy, to help launch her second book Maggie's Child.

Author of Ripper, My Love, Glynis Smy, is celebrating the
launch of her second novel today. Maggie’s Child has been born into the world
of ebook and paperback.

When farmer’s wife Maggie Sawbury gives birth to her fifth child, the only one that has lived and the result of an extra-marital affair, she is heartbroken and
desperate. Maggie knows her joyless life with a bully of a husband is not one a
child should endure, and she leaves the baby at the roadside to be found by

Her money-driven husband announces he has found her another job in the village of Redgrave, aside from the many tasks she has on Windtop farm. He is totally unaware the position comes with a secret. One that frightens and yet brings joy to Maggie. She is to become wet-nurse to her abandoned child.

Love, and the possibility of incest, threaten to open old wounds, and Maggie has several decisions to make.  However, will they be the right ones? If she tells all she knows, it will bring about the destruction of three families. Equally, her silence could be just as destructive. She shares her secret with another, the result changes her life, and a death brings with it more secrets. Will Maggie stay or will she walk away and find the love she craves?

 The ebook will be available at a Christmas - New Year price of 99c via
Amazon, (and other Amazon outlets around the world).

Want to win a paperback copy?

If you can tell Glynis the name of the prostitute friend in her novel, Ripper, My Love, you will be put into a draw for a prize copy of Maggie’s Child in paperback format. The email address you need to
send the answer to can be found in the sidebar of, NEW BOOK BLOGGER.


Glynis Smy, (nee Honeycombe), was born and raised in the
coastal town of Dovercourt, near Harwich, in the county of Essex, England.

She married her school sweetheart, Peter, in 1979 and they
produced three amazing children, Darren, Nicola, and Emma. The long hours of a
nursing career, and running two pharmacies ended in 2005, when she and her
husband moved from the UK to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Glynis spends her time writing historical novels, poetry
and various other projects. When she is not tapping at the keyboard she makes
greeting cards to sell for charity, or enjoys a spot of cross-stitch on the
back porch. Failing that, she and friends sit chewing the fat over a glass of
village wine.

To purchase Ripper, My Love in various formats: Books by Glynis Smy

Meet and Tweet with Glynis ... Ghunibee
Facebook Page: Glynis Smy
Author Blog: Glynis Smy
Thanks go out to Talli Roland, Len Lambert, Jen Moon and Dieter Moitzi for their support with this novel. Also to all those who are hosting the launch event.

Thanks Glynis and good luck with the launch.

Kathy :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Beautiful Night

From Wikipedia

Last night I read that the Earth was passing through the Geminid Meteor stream which would produce a great opportunity to view the meteors as shooting stars in the night sky.  Ryan and I decided we had to see it.

Around 10:00 pm we put on our coats and went outside.  The sky was perfect for gazing at stars.  No moon or clouds.  We stood out in the cold for about 15 minutes.  Then we saw it, well I did.  Ryan said he saw a little of it.  But he was getting cold.

We went inside and decided to read together while laying under the window.  That way we could still see the sky.  After reading two chapters the sky called to us again.  We turned off all the lights and huddled up next to the window, gazing to the heavens.  "I see one!" he exclaimed almost jumping out of my lap.  He ran to tell Jess that we really could see them and she joined us.

So the three of us squeezed together and waited, hoping to see some more.  We sat there for about 45 minutes hugging each other and whispering like kids at a slumber party.  Every now and then beautiful streaks of light crossed the sky above us.  In total, we saw about 10.

As I tucked Ryan into bed, I said, "Thanks buddy for watching with me."

"Oh mom, you don't have to thank me, it was awesome! Can we do it again tomorrow?"

Kathy :)
Have a great weeekend!   

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest

This blogfest, hosted by Morgan Shamy, Stephen Tremp, Mark Koopmans, David Powers King, is to celebrate the awesomeness that is Alex Cavanaugh.  He has helped so many of us by announcing our successes and giving us encouragement when we are down.  He has brought us together with the IWSG and is always there to leave a friendly comment.  So Cheers to you Alex!  Thanks for all you do. If you want to join in add your name to the linky list and then answer these questions.
Here are the four questions:
  • In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?
  • In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)
  • In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?
  • In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:
  • Cavanaugh
  • Ninja
  • IWSG
  • Cosbolt
  • Guitar
For Bonus Points:
  • In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing 
  • Join the Linky List
  • Be a follower.
  • Post your 200 (total) word contribution Monday, Dec. 10.
  • Have Fun!
My answers:
What does Alex look like? No one has seen his human ninja form.  He merely leaves a shadow of his positive energy as a trail. I think he shape shifts to pure energy and rides at super-speed through the cosmos. (That explains how he can comment on so many blogs everyday)

Who could play Alex in a documentary? When he's in his human form, I'm guessing either Jason Bateman or Tom Cruise

Who does Alex remind you of?  I don't think I've ever met someone like Alex before.  He's so willing to help any of us.  He's one of a kind. 

The Master of Encouragement(100 words exactly)

Ryan Derckmen sat shredding on his guitar.  More than anything he wanted to be a Cosbolt pilot but his parents wouldn’t allow it.  They expected him to take over the family dentistry practice.
As he played, a burst of electricity exploded out of his guitar.  The smoke cleared and Ryan saw Ninja Captain Cavanaugh sitting in silence.   

“Your rockin’ has brought me to you.  Believe in yourself you must.  The greatest Cosbolt pilot in all of the IWSG(Interstellar Web of the Sortula Galaxy), you shall be, if put your mind to it you do.”

Ryan bowed.  “Thank you Master.”       

And here's a special cheers to Mrs. Cavanaugh for sharing the Ninja Captain with us!

This was a ton of fun.  Hop on over to read everyone else's entries and make sure to stop by and say "hello" to the Ninja Master himself.

Kathy :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Healthy Writers Club

The Healthy Writers Club
Spend too much time sitting?  Then maybe the Healthy Writer's Club is for you.  Come join us.  The Healthy Writers Club was started by Shallee McArthur as a way for us to support each other's efforts to get out of our chairs and get healthy.  


Some days things go smoothly and other days no matter what you do, how well you train, or how prepared you are there are setbacks.  Whether you are exercising, writing, or just trying to get through the day there are times when you hit a major roadblock. 

Lately, I have been feeling really good with my workouts/skating practices and I was getting stronger.  Things were going great. Then Wednesday night I hit a roadblock.  I was practicing off-ice jumps with Jess and Alyssa.  It all happened so fast...yet in slow motion I felt my ankle pop, then I was writhing on the floor in pain.  

Maybe I should have known better, maybe I should have acted my age, then I wouldn't be sitting here with my ankle swollen to baseball size, propped up on the couch.  But I don't want to shy away from things just because something bad might happen.  That wouldn't be a very interesting life.  I've been lucky to have never had any major injury in 30 years of figure skating, I guess it was bound to happen.  Roadblocks have to be expected and you just have to have a good alternate route.

I'm lucky my alternate route is writing.  As soon as my ankle is healed and strong enough I'm getting right back out on the ice, but in the meantime, I'm devoting my time off to working on polishing Hidden Truth.  It may be just the concentrated time I need to get it to where I want it.  I'd love to have it ready for some beta-readers in the near future.  So even though my exercise has taken a back seat, this might be the perfect detour to really jump start my writing.  

Exciting Things

There are so many good things going on right now.
Talli Roland's new book the Pollyanna Plan is out and I won a copy!  I can't wait to read it.  Jess is super psyched about receiving her cover and getting one step closer to being a published author.  Christmas is right around the corner and Monday is the Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest, celebrating the awesomeness that is Alex Cavanaugh.  It's hosted by  Mark KoopmansMorgan ShamyDavid Powers King, and Stephen Tremp.  It will be a lot of fun to pay homage to a guy who has given so much to all of us.  

And don't forget the Holiday Spirit Blogfest Dec. 12-21, hosted by the Romantic Friday Writers.  They are looking for pieces of fiction or non-fiction which capture the essence of the holiday spirit.  

Have a great weekend!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


It's time again for the IWSG started by Alex J. Cavanaugh as a way for writer's to support one another by expressing their fears and sharing their successes.  We post the first Wednesday of every month.  Click here for a list of all the other participants and to add your link to join us.

Commenter's Block
I think I figured it out.  The reason I can't read and comment on hundreds of blogs in a week is because I sit and stare at the little blank comment box, then I glance at the clock and back to the flashing cursor, trying to think of something witty to say.
Nothing comes.
I scan the blog again hoping to spot an easy opening, like a "congratulations".  Finally, I've got just the right words and I notice the person's comment right above me is essentially the same.
Back to the blank white box.
I glance at the clock again, six minutes lost.  Maybe I'll move on to the next blog, but no, I have to write something since I've been here minutes.
I slump in my chair, type two words, and hit "publish your comment".  It reads:
kmckendry said...
great post!  

Does anyone else do this? or am I all alone in my comment challenges?

Don't forget to check out all the other participants here.  I'm off to try to comment on at least four of them before noon! :)

Kathy :)        

Monday, December 3, 2012

Novel Planning

Jess, has been telling me that I need to make a timeline for my YA fantasy novel.  I resisted for a while, because I wanted to dig in and finish my first round of edits.

But as I got further into my editing, I realized, maybe she was right.  In order to keep everyone's back stories straight, I had to have one document which tracked each person's history.  It's kind of a huge project because in this world I'm creating, there have been some major historical events that occur almost 300 years earlier which impact the main characters.

I mapped out on paper about 12 generations of 5 different families. Now I have to type them in to the spreadsheet organized by year and add little notes to flesh out each important date.    

Even though I'm creating these historical figures' lives I don't feel like I'm actually writing...which is frustrating.  But I've already had a couple instances where I've made big breakthroughs in understanding my characters' personalities by looking into their past.  So for now I'm going to keep plodding through the genealogical charts of my MCs and hopefully it will make my story stronger.         

Do you make any charts or plans to help you smooth out the rough edges in your first drafts or do you just go for it?

Have a great week!

And don't forget to head on over to Jess's blog, she has something special today.

Kathy :) 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Interview with Patrick Stahl

Today I'm happy to introduce you to Patrick Stahl, November's Knight's of MicroFiction winner.
He's a relatively new blogger so it'd be great if you'd head on over to his blog and support him (after reading the interview of course :)).

Hi Patrick It's great to have you here.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am an aspiring writer and editor with a dream of working as one of Tor's Senior Editors.  Most of my current work is flash fiction.  I've dabbled in many genres, but fantasy is my usual.

Wow, that would be an awesome gig.  
When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what inspires you?
Somewhere between sixth and seventh grade after my sixth grade English teacher complimented me on some adventure stories I'd written for class and I began an epic fantasy novel during summer vacation.

 A lot of my inspirations come from the creative works of others, such as Hayao Miyazaki's films and Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, just to name a couple.
Oh I loved Spirited Away.
What project are you working on right now?

I have quite a few projects running right now: an adult epic fantasy novel starring a band of knights fighting the embodiment of evil, a young adult fantasy novel, a few short stories, and a novelette with a magic system that I created involving herbs and jerum (a creature in the story) blood.

Sounds like you're keeping busy creating all sorts of new worlds.  That's what I love about fantasy.  But it does seem to take more time and planning.
What is the most challenging aspect of writing for you?

Getting myself to actually sit down and write something longer than flash fiction.

Hmm, that is difficult. I started out mostly writing short picture books, but I've learned to use a detailed outline to help me reach novel length.
What made you decide to start blogging?

I was watching the videos of Brandon Sanderson's creative writing class at BYU when Peggy Eddleman came as a guest speaker to his class and talked about the benefits of blogging.  I decided then to start a blog.

Well we certainly are glad you're here.  I hope you get a lot of it.  I know I do.  There are so many wonderful people in this community to meet.

2012 is almost over, what are your writing goals for 2013?

I would like to finish all of my current projects that are under novel-length.

That's a great goal, good luck with it.  
What books have influenced you the most?
The Abhorsen Chronicles, The Hobbit, the Harry Potter series, most of Rick Riordan's books, the first two Wheel of Time novels, and the books by Emily Rodda set in Deltora.

There's a couple in there I haven't heard of, I'll have to check them out. I haven't read Harry Potter myself but my son gobbled up the whole series this summer. I know I'll have to read them some time.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to play strategy games, read, and play soccer.  

Patrick, it was great to get to know you a little better.  

Now head on over and check out Patrick's blog, Into the Ravenous Maw.


I also want to thank all of you who sent prayers and positive thoughts to Jess's friend Kate.  She's recovering well after a successful surgery.  

And Jess has something special for Monday so don't forget to stop by and see her big surprise. 

Oh and I almost forgot my Healthy Writer's Club Update.  The girls and I have started doing some plyometric exercises, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to build up our speed and explosive power on the ice.  And oh my gosh are we sore!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Kathy :) 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Fun

We had a great Thanksgiving full of...

                                             baking fun with Grandma,

                                                                                                       snowball fights,

lots of great food,

bonding with cousins,

lots of great movies, and so much fun!

Almost the whole gang, this is my side of the family.  My wonderful in-laws took the picture.

Hope you all had a great holiday.
(It's taken me a few days to recover from all the fun, but I'm back now!)

Kathy :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Feeling Thankful

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year.  I love the crisp fall days, the crystals of frost coating everything, and  the plethora of people that swarm my house.  Every year we host Thanksgiving because our house is the most central location for everyone coming from N. Carolina and Michigan.

For four crazy wonderful days, we have 17 people in our house.  Of course there is not really room for that many, so all the kids "camp out" together on our family room floor.  My girls are the oldest of the group so they have fun leading the pack and their cousins simply adore them.  This year Alyssa is planning on leading the kids in lots of fun activities like the Sweet Baking Club and Story Time (where they are going to write short stories together and then act them out).  It's a great bonding time for all the kids (and allows us parents to catch up).

This is the one time of the year where our entire family, including my husband's parents, can get together and just enjoy each other.  Despite all the hard work, I feel extremely thankful to be able to have everyone together and I'm thankful my husband enjoys it too!

I probably shouldn't be sitting here writing, I should be planning this year's menu and running to the store.  But I wanted to let all of you know how thankful I am for you as well.  You are what makes all this hard work of blogging so rewarding.  It seems the older I get the more grateful I am for all the wonderful people who have touched my life.

I hope all of you have a Thanksgiving holiday filled with love and of course great food. (I may not be posting again until after turkey day as I'll be in the kitchen!)


As far as exercise goes this week for the Healthy Writer's Club, I did my usual skating practice. Then the kids and I decided we needed a little extra workout so we ran up and down our stairs about ten times.  It was fun but my legs felt like jelly afterward!

Don't forget today is Alex Cavanaugh's, Oh I Miss You Blogfest. I didn't officially sign up for it because most of the people I've met blogging seem to post more than I do.  But I definitely notice when someone is absent for a while and I miss their witty posts and comments.

Also coming up are blogfests hosted by L'Aussie Writer and Stephen Tremp  along with some of his buddies.

I'd also like to ask people to send positive energy or prayers to Jess's best friend Kate who is having heart surgery today.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Best Friends- KoMF #9

This months prompt was:  In 300 words or less write a scene where the main character realizes he/she is thankful for something.  Include the words "turkey" and "Mayflower" (this could be May flowers too or other creative variations).

Here's my entry.
Best Friends

I could hear Susan shuffling papers around on the counter, muttering to herself.  She must have lost her keys again.  

I struggled to lift my head from the pillow and glared at the clock.  Uggh, it was already 5:00, we were supposed to be at the party soon.  I forced myself to sit up.  How could I go to a dinner party?  I was a mess.  My hair stuck out in all directions and my face still burned from the endless tears.

“Come on Jen, are you ready?”  she called poking her head into my room.

“I...I can’t go Susan.”  I shrugged.  I felt as pathetic as I looked.  “Go without me.”

“Oh hon,” she sat down on my bed and hugged me.  “I’m sorry about Charles.  He’s a jerk.”  She sucked in a deep breath.

I knew she was right but I didn’t want to hear it.  I wanted to be alone,  I wanted to let all the misery seep into my soul and carry me to oblivion.

“Come on, I’m not leaving this apartment without you.”  She grabbed my hand and led me to the bathroom.  “Clean up, I’ll wait for you.”  

My empty shell of a body didn’t have the strength to protest.  

Thirty minutes later we pulled up at her sister’s huge country estate.  Guests milled about in fancy dresses.  I felt like a turkey in my jeans and sweater.  At least Susan was wearing jeans too.         

I went off to hide in the library and found myself staring at a replica of the Mayflower.  

“Jen?” a deep silky voice asked.  I turned and my breath caught. Stunning green eyes gazed into mine.

“Susan said I’d find you in here.”  He offered me his muscled arm.   I smiled.  

Susan was my best friend ever.  


Hope you enjoyed it! Remember you still have until 11:59 pm on the 15th to post your entry if you want to join us. The more the merrier! Just add your link to the linky list.

Kathy :)      

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction Prompt

Today is the 13th of November already which means it's time to give you the Knights of MicroFiction Prompt.

The Knights of MicroFiction is a bloghop hosted by me and Jess on the 15th of every month (except April, becasue the A-Z Challenge makes things crazy!).  We came up with it as a way to meet new friends, help build the blogging community and (hopefully) spark your creativity! 

The prompt is:  In 300 words or less write a scene where the main character realizes he/she is thankful for something.  Include the words "turkey" and "Mayflower" (this could be May flowers too or other creative variations).

You have until 11:59 pm on November 15th to post your entry.  Sign up on the Linky List below.  Can't wait to read what you come up with.  :)


In other news I'm hard at work editing my novel Hidden Truth (this is my title for now). In this draft I'm really trying to focus on the depth of each character and making sure my overall story line makes sense. It's going quite well but I get a good laugh now and then when I read something and ask myself, "What the heck was I thinking?  Maybe I fell asleep while writing because I would never have written that would I?"  

What are you working on?  

Kathy :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanking Our Veterans

Reiko McKendry, was born Reiko Tanikawa in Tokyo, Japan in 1949, four years after the end of WW II.  From a very young age her parents instilled her with a sense of gratitude toward the Americans who despite their victory over Japan, treated the Japanese people with respect and helped them rebuild their nation.

Life in Japan, however was difficult especially with a father who was abusive to her mother.  At the age of fifteen, Reiko realized she had to escape the constant violence of home.  She had two choices, take her own life or find a life of freedom in America.
Now after enjoying America for over forty years, she has made it her mission to thank as many veterans of World War II for helping to rebuild her native country and promote freedom throughout the world.   Her book, To America With Profound Gratitudenot only chronicles her inspiring journey to independence in the land of her childhood dreams but serves as a thank you to her new homeland. 

Recently, she and her husband, David McKendry, traveled from Michigan to Mississippi to speak at a reunion of World War II veterans.  There weren't many dry eyes left after she concluded thanking them for the sacrifices they had made.  You can read about the event here.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Cooking Class Fun and Part II of Hetty

Here we are working together to roll out the pasta

My daughter, Alyssa, and I love to cook together and we love going to cooking classes.  This week we  decided to bring my husband along with us to learn how to make homemade pasta.  We weren't sure how he would do in the kitchen since he's not really a regular around the stove.  But he made us proud.        
Throwing lasagna noodles into pot
It was great fun!  We each had a little work station and prepared our own dough, which was surprisingly simple to make, just eggs flour and salt with a little liquid (milk or other flavoring) to moisten it.  He learned how to kneed and roll out dough, which will come in handy for Thanksgiving pies!    

He was put in charge of cooking the lasagna noodles, then Alyssa and I had to grab them out of an ice bath and dry them off with a towel before handing them off to the next couple who layered them in the pan.  It was quite an assembly line.  I can see why Italians have such big families.  They need all the help in the kitchen to make great pasta!  
Using pasta machine

It was delicious.  The best pasta I have ever eaten.  I don't know how pasta from a box will ever be good enough now.  We will have to try making it at home as a family project.  Should be interesting.  


Here is Part II of Sally's post about her grandma Harriet.   

Hetty circa 1917
Harriet was a great seamstress using a Singer treadle sewing machine making both her eldest daughter’s wedding dress in the 1950’s.  She would bake cakes and biscuits and cook everyday of her life, roast dinners on Sundays, cold meat and mash on Monday, then various meals during the week, including rabbit pies and always served with a dessert. 

Harriet was a very hard worker and worked for the local farmer from spring to autumn hop training, hop picking, fruit picking and potato picking.  She would also go primrose picking (taking myself with her) in the woods which were then bundled up into posies and taken to the next train and put on the train and sent to Convent Garden market in London.

Hetty circa 1920
She loved a social life and would attend the Darby and Joan Club (a social club for older members), the Women’s Institute, known as the W.I. and Whist Drives, (Group Games/Card Games) a social gathering where whist is played; the winners of each hand move to different tables to play the losers of the previous hand Collins English Dictionary), and Bingo during the evenings in the week.

On every Sunday evening she would provide a cold supper for her brother and sister-in-law (Bert and Dorothy) who would visit their house where they would play cards and socialise together.

Harriet wasn’t a very tall lady but quite a feisty one.  She would have rows with her neighbour over some disagreement.  Fred and Hetty could go days and weeks without actually talking to each other because they’d had a disagreement but nobody could deny they loved each other deeply.

In her 80’s she suffered a heart attack and after recovering from those began to display the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s.   Her last move was to a lovely facility with people who could look after her 24 hours a day where she spent the last four or five years of her life.  Her family visited her as much as we could and we took the new generations to meet her as well.

Harriet died in her 93rd year having lived through two World Wars and saw many inventions, cars, televisions and telephones.  Even with all these inventions she never had a telephone in her house and didn’t possess a washing machine.
Harriet's 89th birthday.
Back row: June, Sally (me), Margaret
Front: my kids, Hetty, and a cousin

I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and loved every minute of it. 


Thanks so much, Sally, for sharing your grandmother's history.  

I have one more thing today.  As part of the Healthy Writers Club, hosted by Shallee McArthur just a quick update on my success at getting out of my chair this week.  

Since the weather was great, on Wednesday my son and I went outside and played baseball together.  We had lots of fun running around in the leaves.  

I also started learning the new set of moves, (they are actually called "Moves", I know not the most creative term!), for my next skating test.  Yay!

Have a great weekend everyone!

And don't forget next Thursday is the next Knights of MicroFiction.  The prompt is:  In 300 words or less write a scene where the main character realizes he/she is thankful for something.  Include the words "turkey" and "Mayflower" (this could be May flowers too or other creative variations).

Kathy :)