Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer in Montana

It's finally summer in Montana and so beautiful. I thought I'd share a few shots and let you know what you're missing.

We shaved Mack so he could be cooler. He's almost a year old and what a difference.

Here he is at just a few days old - he's the one on the right. Now he's 70 lbs. and full of action.

The neighborhood has greened up despite the lack of rain most of Montana is experiencing.
This is the same area John Bozeman brought travelers through on their way west. It's not hard to see why they stayed. The pictures don't even begin to do it justice.

This picture makes me think of that song that talks about how, "the heavens declare you are God and the mountains rejoice"

And this is my outdoor writing office. I find it so inspiring to sit here and see the beauty all around me. The air is so crisp and dry and the sun so intense. I feel more than a little blessed to be sure and wanted to share it with you.
Oh, and I'm starting to write a new book and would definitely appreciate prayers. I know some of you pray regularly for me, so please keep this new project in prayer.

God Bless You!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stepping Back in Time

From time to time my cousin keeps us up to date with old family photos and bits of information. Everytime I see one of these old photos I step back in time and imagine what it must have been like.

This photo shows my great-great grandfather and grandmother along with their children. The woman in back on the left is my great-grandmother Bertha. The others are her brothers and sisters. I was fortunate to get to know my great-grandmother. The family lived on a farm outside of Scranton, Kansas - a small farming community south of Topeka (where I was born and raised). We would take trips to visit them on occasion.

Going to Scranton for a visit in the 1960's was like stepping back in time to be sure. The fact that the house had no indoor plumbing until late in the 60's was a fascination to me. The old cookstove was unlike anything we had at home and I loved to watch my great grandmother and great aunt use it to create some of the most incredible homecooked meals.

One of my favorite things to eat was her Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. I've included the recipe here. Of course, you need to remember that the mayonnaise had to be handmade prior to making the cake. My mother still rants about how great that homemade mayonnaise was. I don't remember it, but I do remember the cake. It was so moist and could either be frosted, dusted with powdered sugar or topped with whipped cream. My hubby likes it with regular milk poured over the top. Sorry I don't have a picture to share.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. water
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 c. mayonnaise
1 cup pecans

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the water and beat 1 minute. Add the mayonnaise and beat. Add the vanilla and beat. Pour into a greased, floured pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cool before frosting.

And yes, this cake is made without eggs.

Stepping back in time definitely has its benefits, especially when it involves delicious old-fashioned recipes. I hope you get a chance to make this cake. If you do, let me know how you liked it. And if you have some old recipes you'd like to share - send them my way. I love stepping back in time. God Bless You!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Back and Running Full Throttle

First I want to thank Steph Whitson for filling in these last few weeks. I'm so blessed to have her help. I hope everyone will run out and buy her latest book! So, the last few weeks have been crazy busy, but I have to say I've managed to accomplish a great deal. I turned a new book in, had a new book published, took two major trips, saw several forest fires and am still dealing with the smoke, and have had some interesting ups and downs. First, I have to let everyone know that TOUCHING THE SKY, book 2 in the Land of the Lonestar series is now available. Book 3 will be out in the fall.

Next, I want to tell you how awesome God is. In the early part of the month we took a trip down to Colorado Springs. We were blessed to have gotten there and back before the hideous fires began. My heart and prayers go out to those folks. Montana is enduring an early fire season as well, so I would appreciate continued prayers for everyone who's dealing with this problem. While in Colorado Springs, I met with Kim Woodhouse and we discussed plans for a new book that we're going to write together. If you haven't experienced Kim's books with her daughter Kayla, I highly encourage you to read one soon. Check out their website at

While there we were blessed to have some incredible time at Garden of the God's or as the Woodhouses say, "God's Garden."
Then we were off and running to Washington and Alaska where I found some neat ideas for stories. I learned a lot about Seattle and several locations in Alaska that I hadn't really studied before. So now I'm back and hard at work, knee deep in research books and preparations for a new writing experience. It's good to be home!
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