Friday, October 31, 2008


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
A. A. Milne

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yam Balls

Since Thanksgiving is only a month off, I thought I'd share a really wonderful recipe. For those of you who like candied yams, you might like this as well. I got it from a friend of mine in my old ward in San Jose who was a professional caterer. It takes a bit of time, but it is soooooo worth it!

Yam Balls

3 cups of yams, cooked and mashed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon (more if you like)
Bag of mini-marshmallows
1-2 cups crushed cornflakes

Peel and mashed yams. Add eggs and cinnamon and mix thoroughly. Put in fridge and leave overnight to chill.

Next day, take about the size of a golf ball, put marshmallow into the middle. Roll in slightly crushed cornflakes.

Put in greased 9” x 13” pan. Put in 350º oven for 10-15 minutes. Pour over caramel sauce (below) and put back in oven for 5 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup cream

Mix butter, sugar, vanilla and flour together in large saucepan, until all ingredients are melted together. Then add cream. Keep on stove on medium heat until it gets really thick and color lightens. Should have the consistency of thick gravy or cheese sauce.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.
Martha Washington

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Writers Write -- Right??

I've started my next novel, also in the women's fiction genre. I know, you may say, as I do, that I haven't sold anything yet, so why I am still writing? Because I know that not everyone sells their first novel, even those who have best sellers out. And one thing I know is that writers keep writing. So that's what I'm doing.

I remember when I was in high school we took a weekend trip up to Napa Valley north of us. One of the things we did was to visit Wolf House, which was Jack London's home. It was burned in a huge fire, and the ruins are still there, as is his original home which has been preserved as a state park. He is buried on the property as well.

The thing I remember most is the two display cases. In one it is full, and I mean FULL of rejection letters. Most are just postcards with terse comments saying he wasn't a good writer and they weren't interested in anything he had to send them. In the case next to it were copies of Call of the Wild printed in every language in the world. Justification to the Nth degree!

I content myself with thoughts that I am doing what I must do and that is write. Some like my books, some don't. It's a subjective business. I love to write, I love to tell stories, and until there is some reason not to, I'll continue.

In the meantime, my new book has been started, and three chapters into it I'm having fun.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Keep trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don't get discouraged. Things will work out.
Gordon B. Hinckley

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I've been dealing with some struggles and feeling blue lately. Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner and my oldest son, AJ who recently became an elder, consulted with them privately while I was getting dinner on. He disappeared a moment, and returned wearing his good slacks and his white shirt and tie. I thought perhaps he was going to go out with the missionaries after dinner.

"I'm going to give you a blessing," he told me. I wrapped my arms around him, I was so overcome. I remember when AJ became a deacon I was so pleased to have the priesthood in my home. I've been preparing for him to advance through the years, and have looked forward to the day when he will leave for a mission. But this, to receive a priesthood blessing at my sons hands, was something I had never considered.

After dinner he laid his hands on my head and I could feel the love of my Father in Heaven come through. I knew he was speaking to me through my son. To say that my heart is full would not be enough. My gratitude to my Heavenly Father and His Son -- for my sons -- is more than my mortal heart can contain.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Reeny!

I got a box in the mail Saturday afternoon from my best friend of forty years. This September was the anniversary of our meeting and I sent her a Bobby Sherman CD with all the songs we used to listen to while we talked about boys. In the box she sent me the new Maeve Binchy book HEART AND SOUL.

Binchy is an Irish author who's work I adore. This is her latest book and will not be available in this country until the end of February. Beth's husband, Ken, travels all over the world for his company and brought us each back a copy of the book from his latest trip to the UK.

Don't you just love it when an author you love to read has a new book out? I'm taking the phone off the hook, unplugging the TV and curling up for an evening with a new set of friends! I'll talk to you all later .......

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lunch with AJ!

We decided to meet up at Gunther Toody's Diner about the time AJ was supposed to get off work and have lunch with him. It was a lot of fun. I know his co-workers are going to miss him when he goes on his mission.

We had a lot of fun joking with the waitresses and had some pretty darn good sammies as well!

Kevin likes going to the diner and seeing his brother at work!

Stan's looking "cool" while Reeny and AJ strike a pose!

Friday, October 10, 2008


"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time your are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But those things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams

Thursday, October 9, 2008

AJ Turns 19!!

AJ had his 19th birthday Sunday! We spent the day at Elitch's. It was a lot of fun. Not too hot (like it was over the summer up there!) and it was decorated for Halloween with spooky music playing in the background.

There was supposed to be a cockroach eating contest that Kevin was looking forward to, but it wasn't up and running that day. AJ has already had the experience of eating a cricket in his eight grade science class, and I think Kevin wanted the opportunity to try eating an insect as well. The Ghost Blasters ride was up and running, and there were a couple of hanted houses they had fun going through.

When it started to get darker we suddenly saw zombies and others forms of creepy crawlies walking around the "graveyards" they had a various points around the park.
When the boys and Stan (I'm too big a chicken) went through the "tamer" haunted house, Stan suddenly found himself with two 14-year-old girls clinging to the back of his jacket. I told him he is such a "dad" that they felt safe hanging on to him. When AJ heard this he was sad he hadn't been in the back where the girls were.

Afterwards we all went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner, then home again where we were supposed to have cake and ice cream and gifts, but were so tired we barely stayed awake to see AJ open his gifts. It was a fun day!

AJ enjoys a cold drink in between rides.

Kevin having fun at Sweet Tomatoes.

Reeny and Stan -- pooped after a long day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fall Is Finally Here!

Yeah! Fall has finally hit Colorado. The air is crisp and the nights cool, and the sky that lovely shade of blue I've only ever seen here. I love it. And to me, fall means apples! I found this great apple dessert recipe at the dentist's office a couple of weeks ago and thought I would share. I haven't made it yet, but it sounds so yummy!

Apple and Cheddar Crumble

6 cups peeled and coarsely chopped apples (about 2 pounds)
1 lemon, juiced
8 oz shredded cheddar (2 cups)
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup lite brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup quick cook oats
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Heat oven to 375º. Spray 13 x 9” pan with Pam. In large bowl fold together apples, lemon juice, cheese and raisins. Spoon into dish.

In another bowl combine sugar, flour, oats, butter and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until crumbly. Scatter over apple mixture.

Bake at 375º for 30 minutes or until nicely browned and apples are tender. Serve warm. Good with whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes 8 servings, each serving: 326 cal, 15 g fat, 2 g fiber; 7 points WW.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Night Supper

I recently gave one of my favorite recipes to my best friend to try, and found myself wanting it too. I made it tonight and we all enjoyed it. It's an easy and tasty meal good for Saturday night when you want something simple to serve with a green salad and not a lot of effort. My boys even enjoyed it when they were little, probably because it's made with breakfast sausage and who doesn't like that? Here it is!


1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 package (7 or 8 oz) wide noodles
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder

In large skillet, cook and stir meat, onion and green pepper until meat is brown and onion is tender; drain off fat. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover; simmer 30 minutes or until noodles are tender, adding more water if necessary to prevent sticking. 4 to 6 servings.

Friday, October 3, 2008


There’s a miracle of friendship
that dwells within the heart
And you don’t know how it happens
or where it gets its start
But the happiness it brings you
always gives a special lift
And you realize that friendship
Is God’s most perfect gift.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Story of the Sign

This is a short film that won an award at the Cannes Film Festival. It is a lovely story about compassion and takes about five minutes to watch. A good reminder for us all.

Is There a 12-Step Program for This????

My name is Maureen, and I am addicted to Pokemon.

There! I've admitted it! Embarassing as it is, I am what my sons refer to as a Poke Mom. Several years ago we went camping up at Steamboat Springs and my kids had their GameBoys and Pokemon games with them, and gave me one of their old systems and games to try to play. I was hooked. I have just about every version of Pokemon that's come down the Pike, and I love them all.

For my birthday the boys enabled me further in my addiction. AJ gave me his old DS (the spring broke so the lid doesn't stay up on it's own, but what do I care??) and then he and Kevin went out and bought me a copy of the Pokemon Pearl version.

The situation is serious. For the past two days I have done nothing but play that blasted game, and I love it. I only seem to take breaks to eat and hit the potty. I'm thinking of getting one of those beer can hats with the straws that go down to your mouth and loading it with a couple of diet cokes so I don't have to make trips to the fridge. Is that sad?

Like I said, it's serious. So I decided to pull myself away and get started on the outline for my next book and check out what's happening in blogville. I had a fabulous birthday. My best friend Tara took me to dinner where the best part of the evening was being in her company and talking up a storm. My husband took me to lunch before he had to go off to work, and my sons gave me all the birthday hugs and kisses I could have asked for ....

and of course, the latest Pokemon game .....