Sweet Annie Tales Blog

Loving and Using Lavender in Cooking–Part II

Loving and Using Lavender in Cooking–Part II

Loving and using lavender in cooking kept me busy as I wait for my scheduled transplant. During this even more intense quarantine, harvesting and drying lavender and other herbs has been a blessing. This got me outside and moving in our backyard and enjoying fresh air...

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Loving and Using Lavender

Loving and Using Lavender

Loving and using lavender is only one of my garden activities. Caring for and taking pictures of lavender and other flowers has kept me sane and peaceful during this shut-in time. It appears my kidney transplant may happen soon, but as I wait, I indulge in lavender...

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Getting Grief, Giving Grace

Getting Grief, Giving Grace

Getting grief from crushing stress In the stress of sheltering in place, we all feel we are getting grief. However, we may not be giving grace to our loved ones. In addition to the strain on our health care system, COVID-19 is taking a toll on our nerves. As a result,...

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Horse Lovers — a Unique Herd

Horse Lovers — a Unique Herd

Blessings of the herd Horse lovers are greatly honored when horses decide they are a part of their unique herd. This honor comes with considerable benefits. Keeping you physically active during riding and the daily chores of maintaining a horse and its...

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Star-struck with Texas Aggies

Star-struck with Texas Aggies

Anticipating sci-fi adventure On September 24, 1977, star-struck Texas Aggies were eager to experience a new, unprecedented space western, and Jim and I were joining right in. Texas Aggies are always going to add a super-charged level of committed enthusiasm to any...

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A Writer’s Gold

A Writer’s Gold

When readers get the heart of your book A golden moment occurs when people get the heart of a writer’s novel. Especially, when they, for the moment, love to talk about it as much as you do. I was blessed with two such golden moments. My first golden moment I had just...

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Recognizing and Honoring our Veterans

Recognizing and Honoring our Veterans

Appreciating the price they paid Other than Thanksgiving, the next most important day in November is devoted to recognizing and honoring our veterans. Respecting and understanding their specific challenges has been my life-long pursuit. Therefore, in my novel A Thing...

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Science and Herbal Remedies Ally to Fight Tropical Disease

Science and Herbal Remedies Ally to Fight Tropical Disease

Herbal therapies that comfort and heal It may seem unlikely, but science and traditional herbal therapies have allied to fight tropical disease. Make no mistake; it is a good thing. Jim and I witnessed first the hand the human misery clustered in the Kijabe Hospital...

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Creating Beauty with Sweet Annie

Creating Beauty with Sweet Annie

Ahh, the fragrance and it's pretty! Three enormous artimesia annua plants graced our garden this year and the blooms are gorgeous. I set about creating beauty with Sweet Annie. Last week,  I harvested and arranged some of the fragrant everlasting herb, so we can...

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Martha Josey — Barrel Racer

Martha Josey — Barrel Racer

Inspiring and equipping young women Martha Josey, champion barrel racer, has inspired and equipped young women in the art of barrel racing for generations. She also informed and equipped me to write about barrel racing in A Thing of Beauty. Martha Josey was not my...

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Lee Tobin McClain– Treasure from a Seaside Setting

Lee Tobin McClain– Treasure from a Seaside Setting

It is my pleasure to interview someone who was formative in my beginnings as a writer. Lee Tobin McClain has been an integral part of Seton Hill University's MFA program in writing popular fiction. It is the only such program in North America. I found inspiration and...

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A Thing of Beauty has been launched!

A Thing of Beauty has been launched!

Young adult struggles and issues A Thing of Beauty has officially been launched and the e book and paperback versions are now available on Amazon. My novel is waiting for the quiet girl who will see if Rebecca Ramey find her place. Can she make new friends in suburban...

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Writer’s Life — Crafty Writer Reward

Writer’s Life — Crafty Writer Reward

How crafting helps writer's block and other troubles I never anticipated my crafting hobby could help my writing career, but here we are. Crafting jewelry has become a reward -- a strategy for assuring that I stay on course as a writer. A key part of my healthy...

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Researching History for Fiction with Shelley Adina

Researching History for Fiction with Shelley Adina

On Creating Authentic Historical Fiction I have had the enormous privilege of interviewing Shelley Adina who has chosen to write a variety of fictional works, many grounded in history. Who better to tell us about the importance of research in historical fiction?...

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Teens, Parents and the Music Battle

Teens, Parents and the Music Battle

The Same Old Controversy For generations, it has been a rite of passage for young people to zero in on a given form of music and for their choices to annoy or even alarm their parents. Sometimes teens and parents will practically battle over music. Nothing personal,...

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A Tough, Feisty Introvert

A Tough, Feisty Introvert

An Introverted Narrator? Who chooses an introvert as the narrator in a novel? Introverts are quiet, introspective, private.  I do—on purpose.  You see, they are quiet, introspective, and they are privately taking in everything and everyone about them. It...

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Feeling seen, Feeling heard–Adoption

Feeling seen, Feeling heard–Adoption

The Journey of Adoption However loving and wholesome a family may be, an adopted child and the family face unique challenges. In fact, these challenges drive A Thing of Beauty. Among other things, I hope that adopted young people and their families can feel that...

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Great Depression Photographs

Great Depression Photographs

Images Showing Pride and Resilience My mother told family lore, illustrated by family photographs stored in an old cardboard suitcase. Covered in worn brown fabric with stripes of gold and dark brown, it contained family photos ranging from the late 1800s through the...

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The Great Depression and East Texas Oil Fields

The Great Depression and East Texas Oil Fields

Wisdom from the Great Depression Stories and wisdom arose from the Great Depression in East Texas. However, daily, the people who survived it are leaving us. Now, we hardly grasp the enormity of their challenges or what they did to meet them. Let's face it. We need...

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Texas Chicken Spaghetti — Southern Fine Fare

Texas Chicken Spaghetti — Southern Fine Fare

Texas chicken spaghetti will never appear in a heart-healthy cookbook. This spicy, cheesy dish absolutely exemplifies Southern Home cooking's chief goal of showing love and concern. In my book, at a moment of family crisis, the girls' Ma-maw whips up this...

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President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter's election as President surprised the world. People were amazed that a little-known peanut farmer and outsider from Georgia could be elected to highest office of the land. Americans were reeling from the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon’s resignation....

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New London Survivors and PTSD

New London Survivors and PTSD

I Alone have Escaped The survivors of the New London School Disaster understand trauma on a biblical scale and what it takes to find healing. Consequently, the book of Job would hold special meaning for them. First, Job hears dreadful news as four messengers appear...

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Texas and its Epic Winter Weather

Texas and its Epic Winter Weather

"And always marry a Texas Girl, 'cause no matter what she's seen worse." A man had to know that if a girl had the grit to withstand the challenges of settling wild Texas, she could face down almost anything -- rattlers, javelinas, rampaging wild long horn cattle. Not...

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This Was My First Rodeo

This Was My First Rodeo

Gene Autry Roping Club At my very first rodeo, we sat in a 104 degree August Oklahoma evening, but the dry heat didn't matter. You see, Jim and I were attending a barrel racing playday in Gene Autry, Oklahoma. The town, Autry, honors the Singing Cowboy movie star....

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Why ‘Sweet Annie?’

Why ‘Sweet Annie?’

There is no one reason why I chose this name Sweet Annie Tales. There are multiple reasons, and they all make me smile. I grow Sweet Annie My niece and her four children have long called me a “granola” with some justice, because I do grow, eat, and otherwise use...

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The New London School Disaster Museum: An Interview

The New London School Disaster Museum: An Interview

A Tribute to a Lost Generation & The Community That Inspired A Thing of Beauty On July 30, I interviewed Mr. John Davidson, a longtime docent of the New London School Explosion museum. This top-flight museum  plays tribute to the parents and survivors of the worst...

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