Thanksgiving Thanks

If you live in the United States, you’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving Day soon.

We Americans began celebrating the day during the Civil War when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Since 1924, many of us spend the day watching New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or football. The National Football League has been broadcasting games since its inception in 1920. And, of course, there are always the collegiate teams to cheer for. Around our house, timing of our Thanksgiving Day meal is based on when the University of Texas Longhorns play.

Things today are different from that first Pilgrim Thanksgiving feast in the early autumn of 1621. What hasn’t change is the basis for Thanksgiving. We still pause on this day to give thanks for our blessings.

While I believe an attitude of gratitude should be an everyday occurrence, this Thanksgiving I am reminded of my many blessings:

A loving husband (who’s the hero model for my novels)

Family and friends (far and near)

My pets (who brighten every day)

Most especially you, my readers

If you are traveling this Thanksgiving Day, I wish you Godspeed. Our weather forecast for here in the mountains of Colorado is for snow on Thanksgiving Day, which will make a perfect day for those who ski or like to  watch football games.

Me, I’m not that crazy about football or skiing. I’ll be cozied next to the fireplace reading.

If you have a Kindle, you can be reading too. Pick up a copy of my latest release. It’s my special Thanksgiving Thank you for you.

When Love Returns for KINDLE: WLR free v.2


New Addition(s)

By Chicken Wrangler Sara

Tucker had a girlfriend come visit this summer. Her name is Olivia and she is an English cream long-haired dachshund. Olivia

It was a productive visit and 8 puppies were born on October 4.

This is a very large number of puppies for a dachshund.Unfortunately two of the puppies were very small and died within 24 hours.

That left 6 healthy puppies – 3 boys and 3 girls. We were promised pick of the litter as payment for Tucker’s services. It was not an easy decision.

We settled on a female named Penelope – Penny for short.PennyOne of Brian’s coworkers wanted a male and chose Max. The puppies were in another town so when Rachel went to get Penny, she also brought Max home so Brian could deliver him to work. MaxHaving two puppies in the house was fun for a couple of days, but Rachel was glad to see Max go as he is much more energetic and vocal than Penny.

Max’s new family owns three other dogs. Unfortunately, they did not check with these dogs before bringing Max home and one of the dogs was particularly unfriendly to Max.

So Max has come back to our house and we are looking for a good home for him. He does have an eye condition which will require minor surgery. The droopy eye just makes him look a little sad to me.

I’m trying not to get too attached. I’m afraid Max’s new home may be further than next door.

Know anyone who wants a long-haired mini dachshund?

Veterans Day 2015

This Wednesday we honor all veterans. I come from a family of veterans which means I have a deep-rooted interest in the day.

My husband is a retired Army officer. My father served in the Army Air Corps as a bombardier. My uncle was a Marine on Imo Jima. My son-in-law served in the Coast Guard. For one tour, I was a Department of Army Civilian at Eighth Army Headquarters, Yongsan, South Korea.

This year  I’m celebrating with a sale on my two military romances:V-Day sale Read here to learn the story behind the story and how personal experiences play into the fictional romance of Lily and Alex.

And, click on one of the following links to purchase the books and read the whole story.

cover for JABBIC MorningCalm_7 (2)Kindle




TPP 1200x1800 Kindle





To all those who have answered when called, gone where ordered, and defended our nation with honor, I send a sincere thank you.

New Bantams

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

After a decline in our bantam population, Rachel decided to buy some replacement chicks. She chose frizzles, partridge silkies, and birchen cochins. It was all the same to me until they started getting their adult feathers. Now I understand Rachel’s fascination with these particular breeds.

They are adorable! I also understand more about their names. Partridge and Birchen refer to the coloring. Cochin means they have feathered feet and frizzles have feathers that stick out everywhere.

We already have Frizz and Frizz 2, the black frizzles. Now we have blonde frizzles:bantams 1I just hope they have the same sassy personality as Frizz.

Then we have the Partridge Silkies who look like they have fur rather than feathers:bantams2They also have the Dr. Seuss tuft on top of their heads.

Then we have the Birchen Cochin bantams:bantams3
They are all in the long cage on saw horses for now. We want to make sure all the critters living under the shed are gone. Then we will put the chicks in the bantam side of the coop.

Eventually Rachel wants to build breeding runs and breed the silky to the frizzle to get sizzles. I’ll make sure to post those pictures.

Time to De-Stress, Re-group, and Re-focus



Halloween was Saturday, which means whatever calm and order existed in our personal worlds will soon disappear into preparations for the coming holidays.

Don’t get me wrong. The holidays are my favorite time of year.

At the same time I dread them because the days been Halloween and New Year’s Day can be so overwhelming.

Plus, this year I have a new writing project due by the end of the year—When Love Trusts, Book three in the Fitzpatrick Family series.

Because Chicken Wrangler Sara and I want to enjoy the holidays with our families, and hopefully reduce our stress, we will be taking turns posting blogs once a week instead of our two individual blogs each week. This plan worked well last holiday season and we’re counting on it working again this year.

What will you be doing to de-stress, re-group, and re-focus during this holiday season?

Need ideas? Check out these articles at Huffington Post and WebMD

A Plethora of Cats

By Chicken Wrangler Sara

We caught another cat last week.

cat3We set both live traps expecting another possum. We got a cat.

It chose the smaller of the two live traps and so was quite crowded. Not only that but it rained that night so the cat looked like a drowned rat. Rachel discovered it and moved it into the garage.

When I finished my Friday morning routine (early meeting, homeroom class, food pantry and piano lesson) I went outside to check on the cat. It looked very pitiful. I felt sorry for it.

I set up the extra dog kennel and proceeded to extract the cat from the very small live trap and put it in a dry, large kennel. It was not happy with the move. In fact it scratched me repeatedly. Then it jumped down and ran out into the back yard.

I wasn’t about to let it get back under the shed so I went after it and caught it trying to get through the chain link fence. More scratching and hissing ensued. I tossed it into the kennel and quickly shut the door.

Rachel took it to the animal shelter and told the whole story. Then she called me. It turns out that a person who is scratched by a stray cat, i.e. me, is at risk of contracting rabies.

The cat is put into quarantine for 10 days and I wait to hear from the animal control officer as to whether the cat lives or dies. If it dies, I must get a rabies vaccine. I will hear something early next week. It has been quite a learning experience.

Here is the lesson:
• If you catch a stray cat in a small live trap, do not move it to a larger kennel no matter how pitiful it looks.
• If you move it, it may scratch you.
• If it scratches you and draws blood, you will have to report to an animal control person. The animal control person will fill out paperwork and put the cat into quarantine for 10 days.
• If the cat dies, you will have to get a rabies vaccine.
• If the cat lives all is well

Unless the cat returns to your house then you may be tempted to strangle the cat which would probably result in more paperwork.

Editing? 24 Commonly Misspelled Words to Check

Last week, I discussed how using a wrong word could make readers cringe. Read that post here. Today we’re looking at the problem of misspelled words.

misspelled2Word processors, phones, and pads/tablets have spell checker apps and most word processors offer an auto correct feature to assist in editing. Still, misspellings slip into our writing and Social Media posts. When that happens our readers can think we aren’t trying to write well or do sloppy editing.

Truth is, most of us struggle with all the confusing words in the English language that are exceptions to spelling rules. Spelling bee champions seemed to be the only ones who can whiz through words most of us couldn’t even look up in the dictionary.

Check out this sentence and see how many words you can find misspelled. (HINT: There are a lot.) Ignore the fact the sentence does not make sense. We’re looking for spelling/misuse errors.

You’re acknowlegment of my atempt to accomodate enough wierd camoflage equiptment just shows a concensus would only inadvertantly embarass any seperate liason by the comittee in trying to guage an miniscule withdrawl.

Did you find fourteen spelling mistakes? What about the grammatical errors? There are some tricky English words whose spelling you just have to learn.

Here’s a list of twenty-four most commonly misspelled words that make me crazy. Should you want to see longer lists of the most commonly misspelled words in English, check here or here.

  1. accommodate                                                             13. consensus
  2. acknowledgement                                                      14. argument
  3. commitment                                                                15. deductible
  4. dependent                                                                    16. embarrass
  5. harass                                                                           17. liaison
  6. separate                                                                       18. withdrawal
  7. equipment                                                                   19. gauge
  8. lightning                                                                       20. minuscule
  9. achieve                                                                         21. committee
  10. definitely                                                                     22. surprise
  11. weird                                                                           23. camouflage
  12. existence                                                                    24. privilege

Most spell checkers should catch these for you. Maybe not.

Consider the possessive adjective Its vs the contraction it’s.  Too often my spell checker in Word advises me to write “it’s” when the context calls for its.

You shouldn’t rely on your grammar/spell checkers. I highly recommend mastering correct spellings of troublesome words yourself just to be sure.