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Great-Grandmother’s Oak Table

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018

Is it possible to feel emotional towards a piece of furniture? We own an antique oak table which came from Mullins, Texas, my great-grandmother’s house. It must have been over 75 years old when Mom and Dad brought it home. I was in Junior High. My parents passed it to me when I married eleven years later. My husband rebuilt part of the base, which had rotted from being stored in a barn. The top has worm trails and puncture holes, which he meticulously filled with wood putty. I stopped him and dug out most of the putty before it dried, telling him I wanted every crack and hole to remain as they were. He visualized a smooth and shiny honey-colored oak top, with a new finish. My vision was completely different. “It has character,” I said. He added...

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January Reads

Posted by on Jan 28, 2018

Recommended reads and reviews for a few of the treasures I discovered in January.   For Fans of Westerns THE MEDICINE KNIFE by Don Coldsmith I’m working my way through The Spanish Bit Saga by Don Coldsmith, after finding a few of his works at the local library sale. He is known for putting a new twist on the Western novel genre by writing in the Native American point of view. In Book 12, “The Medicine Knife” (Random House, 1989), the Elk-dog people travel to Santa Fe to trade pelts along with two new members of their tribe, former soldiers in the French army. A few twists and turns, a strong female character, an enjoyable read. At the Western Writers of American conference, I was lucky enough to find myself sitting at a table with Mr. Coldsmith’s daughters. The...

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Master Storyteller, Dusty Richards

Posted by on Jan 19, 2018

The Western Genre lost a legend, mentor, and award-winning author. DUSTY RICHARDS passed this week from injuries following a car wreck in December, just one week after his wife, Pat, died. DUSTY RICHARDS wore a wide variety of hats including renowned rodeo announcer, auctioneer, teacher, author, tremendous storyteller, cattle farmer, and cowboy. His Byrnes Family Ranch Series (Pinnacle Publishing) is one of my favorites and highly entertaining. His first novel, NOBLE’S WAY, was published in 1992, and has since penned 150 novels and won numerous awards including several prestigious SPUR Awards from the Western Writers of America. Dusty and Pat lived on Beaver Lake in the Ozarks of northwestern Arkansas. First introduced to Dusty as a newbie author by a mutual friend, I was a bit starstruck. Dusty and Pat were always at events and conferences for writers. Dusty would...

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Longfellow’s Christmas Bells

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017

The sorrow behind the joyful words. As a writer, I’m always fascinated to learn the history behind the stories and how the events at the time might influence the  words that flow onto a blank page. Good or bad, joyous or devastating–strong emotions can evolve into powerful prose. A good example is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of my all time favorites. Longfellow’s Sorrow In the case of Christmas Bells, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the words to his poem on December 25, 1864.  The music and message is up-lifting. The words actually came from a very distraught Longfellow during one of the lowest times in his life. Tragedy Strikes Three years earlier, his beloved wife Fanny had tried to preserve her daughter’s hair clippings in wax.  In a tragic turn of events, hot candle wax dripped onto Fanny’s...

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National Day of the Horse

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017

Please welcome guest blogger, Kirsti Kasch! National Day of the Horse by Kirsti Kasch She was nothing special when I found her, just a scrawny yellow mare. No papers, no record breaking genetics, “just a grade mare” who wasn’t very well taken care of. I begged and pleaded to call her mine when graduation rolled around. Finally dad broke down and gave her a chance at greatness. He invested in her, but most importantly he invested in us. Fancy and I became a team. She was a hot mess. But so was I. Shortly after buying Fancy, who was to be my first “practice horse” that I was hardly getting along with, my childhood rope horse came up lame. Not the lame that you give them some “bute” and turn them out for a few days. The kind of...

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PIE CRUST & HOMETOWN MEMORIES

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017

My mother-in-law cooked simple, comfort food with home-grown vegetables and sweet iced tea. More often then not, every meal included the creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever tasted. She fixed stick-to-your-ribs kind of meals so the men and boys could get back to the farm and cattle work. One of the dishes she excelled at, and my husband’s all time favorite, was her apple pie. Made from scratch crust and juicy apple slices drenched in cinnamon and sugar, this pie didn’t need ice cream. Every bite had to be savored and enjoyed on its own. Ice cream only distracted from the happiness in your mouth. My mother was a good cook too, but she taught me how to take advantage of time-saving conveniences. Mom usually had a project waiting in the sewing room, so cooking was something we had to...

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