Monthly Archives: November 2010

Pie Day

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This quick post is in tribute of pies. This isn’t about ‘humble pie’ or ‘pie in your face’. It’s about the ‘eat as many as you can in a contest’ pie.

I only have time to make two kinds and they are without a doubt my favorites.

We have apple and pumpkin pie.

But first I wish to introduce you to ‘side dish’ of pies. My mother made these when we were kids and it has been a mainstay in pie baking ever since (a very long time mind you). Let me present you with…..

Sugared pie crusts! An excellent, albeit unnecessary snack before the pie is baked.

They begin as the remnants of pie crusts, cut from the excess of dough.

Put those discards in the oven and toast them to a golden brown. Once they are out, sprinkle with sugar.

The sugar makes them delectable.

Finally, pumpkin pie is out.

A taste test reveals it to be perfect in flavor and texture. Of three pies, one is almost gone.

Next on the menu is apple pie. It takes a pie-le of apple slices to create enough of a filling worth sinking a fork into.

Each slice is generously coated in sugar and cinnamon with a dash of nutmeg.

Cover it with another crust ….

…and bake.

And that is today’s little piece of heaven.

If you have a favorite pie, please let us know. Love to hear about it.

Love,
Jeannene

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My Place in the Scheme of Things

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I just had to post a quickie this evening.

My first thoughts are of the girls of DSRA. We had a wonderful meeting yesterday and the topic for discussion fueled a pot load of fodder for my imagination. I want to thank you all for reassuring me about this little blog. I am always painfully aware of how few references are made here about the craft, despite the writing it takes to generate the subject matter on this little site. With very little to do, you showed me this place is ME. I have wanted to make a place that is solely Jeannene and this is really the place.

We talked about branding, among other things. But branding is something I have put a lot of thought into. This week-end it is starting to take a firm hold and I have a clear picture of what my brand is. On top of that, an onslaught of plot bunnies assailed me as I cooked dinner tonight. I have enough ideas to keep me busy for the next couple years. That is, when the nano challenge concludes.

This next bit of news is really for my, as yet not fully functional, website.
I submitted a query for To Win A Texan’s Heart to The Wild ROse Press. I am trying to make PRO and the only way to accomplish that is to submit to an editor or publisher and at least get a rejection. I find it a twisted way to face the sting of rejection, yet enter into the next stage of writing. Any way, the next day a polite rejection appeared in my email box. The editor kindly informed me the MS was too long, which I already knew, and if I could shorten it to the 100K I could resubmit. This doesn’t strike me as a flat rejection. The plan was to work on the MS later anyway, and then send it in to RWA for the PRO status.

Well last night I checked my emails for the heck of it and there was another email from TWRP, the editor in chief no less. She directed my submission to another line in the house and urged me to contact her if I don’t hear from that editor within 45 days. It will probably be rejected, but the hope of someone else reviewing that query and synopsis gives me renewed hope.

Ahhh the life of a writer.

There is a new day on the horizon.

Just a brief view of my little piece of heaven. So much to do and so many stories to write.

Love,
Jeannene

Oh Deer

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Here in Arkansas we have entered into the regular deer season. By this I mean that you can use a modern gun to shoot deer. Our woods are peppered with hunters of all ages throughout the week in the quest to bag the perfect, if not the only, deer of the season. We don’t hunt here at our house, not unless the grocery stores close shop and there is nothing to eat. That does not mean we don’t advocate hunting, it just isn’t for our household at this time. We certainly don’t mean that to indicate we don’t use guns, which we do. We live in the country and there are strange things in them thar woods.

I do love to shoot deer, though. I use a camera lens to capture my foe. The awesome truth in that is they are alive and depicted in their natural habitat doing their natural thing. Living in the country puts me smack dab in the center of deer territory, as evidenced by the decimation of my garden every spring.

In honor of deer season, I post a couple random shots from the area. A perfect specimen, if you can see past the vegetation.

He has a pretty nice rack on that head. Not good at counting points here, but he is a hunter’s dream.

Almost hidden by nature, isn’t he?

I have heard a few shots ring out in our valley. Hope this fellow didn’t make it to someone’s dinner table.

I love being so much in touch with nature. Of course that means we are visited up by nuisances like skunks and possums – yuk. They try to eat my chickens. We must undertake measures to dissuade their presence. Brutal measures at times.

But, for today, this is my little piece of heaven.

Love to hear where yours is today.

Love,
Jeannene

Progress….and theft.

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I am so far behind my goal of blogging diligently that I am ashamed to even show my face here. But I love this place and if I hadn’t self-imposed myself into the Nanowrimo month I would be blogging as I should. As it stands, I am proudly at 24000 words, which is almost half the accomplishment. After today’s count I truly am at the half way mark. I have pushed myself into the sixth chapter of the book and have discovered several scenes requiring insertion at the beginning. I might be learning the art of plotting a story.

The weather is finally taking a turn for the cool side. We have wood and kerosene so winter can come at any time.

As any of you who stop by for a visit know, I am all about pictures. I love to tell stories. Here is our latest little tidbit.

We have a large puppy dog. He is a gem and good and watches over our farm, alerting us to any intruders. But sometimes he just doesn’t get any respect… by the cats that is.

He has his own feed bowl since he is kept in a pen. The cats are fed separately and generously.

Poor Flash just gets rolled over at times. He is here enjoying his meal. Note the foam on his jowls.

I realize everything around her is shades of black and grey, but can you see the bushy tail over the top edge of that barrel?

There are two little thieves in Flash’s food. They have no shame.

And of course, that big ole dog just stands there and allows those cats to walk all over him.

There they are. Shameless. Opportunistic. Entirely unrepentant.

All my kids keep me entertained.

And they never cease to transport me to my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Finally!

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It has been five days since my last post. My goal of four posts a week has sadly fallen behind. I like to think I have a great excuse.

This past Monday began an annual writers event called Nanowrimo. In the month of November we are challenged to write a complete novel of 50,000 words. It is an enormous effort if you’ve never done it before. Despite working four twelve hour shifts this week, I have managed to log in around 12047 words for the week and am amazed I can do it. My reasons for entering the challenge are to push my abilities to write. I know I can do it. I want to find how dedicated I am and can I really get a story on paper in less than six months time. If I am ever to sell a manuscript, I better show more productivity than one book every year and a half. (Editing cam be very consuming.)

Enough of this. I really want to do a little post about one of my kiddos.

This past week was the last football game of the season. Ironically we spend the first games in shorts and tank tops and worry about overheating in the afternoon sun. To say nothing of the blinding western sun as we watch the game. The last game is spent hoveled under an umbrella and wrapped in layers of clothing while sipping hot chocolate. And this last game was no different. Shivering in forty degree drizzle, I watched my majorette do her last performance of the season. But that only, after realizing I left the memory card for my camera inside the computer, which sat on the desk at HOME.

Our son came to my rescue, delivering the tiny necessity just, just in the nick of time – seconds before the half time show. Needless to say, the plays of the first half of the game were lost to me. All I could do was watch the clock tick away the minutes, praying the timeouts prolong the progress of the play.

Then we have this….

Mine is the pretty girl third from the left. She drops her baton, but recovers admirably. Love watching this over and over and hope you enjoy it too.

This is my piece of heaven this week.

Love,
Jeannene

A Pile of ….

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In the past few days our temperatures around here have dipped a few degrees. Where the sun radiated warm Indian summer heat on my little piece of heaven, it now hides behind a swath of gray clouds and we shiver in the chilling air. I have an extra jacket on and still get chilled, but then I am always cold.

People are not the only creatures affected by the cool weather. Our horses, though astoundingly resilient where the weather is involved, have their back ends to the northeast to fend off the cool air blowing from that direction. The chickens roam a little closer to home today and this is what the cats are doing in the middle of the day…..

We have several cats and this is five of them. The time of day is 11am. They are all gathered on the rug to avoid the cold concrete.

They began innocently enough.

They succumbed ….

And before you know it, there were five.

Almost looks like a perfect way to spend this sort of day, don’t you think?

Just a glimpse of my little piece of heaven today.
Of course, what makes it even better is the aroma of manocottis wafting from the kitchen.

Love,
Jeannene