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Book Reviews & Gift Ideas

Posted by on Nov 16, 2018

Looking for your next read or a unique gift idea? Here are a few of my recent discoveries. Follow the links to author websites for more information and how to purchase. Cookbooks Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies by Gail L. Jenner Loaded with down home, time tested recipes and history. Jenner has put together a timeless book with baking secrets of Native American ranch house cooks, chuck wagon chefs, and wagon train homemakers, with over a hundred Old West recipes—updated and kitchen tested. Home-Style Cooking for Extraordinary Diets by Sherri Axe Hartman Gluten free, wheat free, casein free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, corn free, and nut free. These recipes were developed over a 15 year span out of necessity for life and Hartman shares her best recipes, tested and prepared through trial and error. Hartman states, “It...

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Update: What’s New

Posted by on Nov 9, 2018

Happy Fall, Y’all! Here’s an update on what’s new and what I’m working on: Rescue Animal Series: Geared towards emerging readers, these are chapter books with 3rd/4th grade vocabulary. If your elementary school or library would be interested in a program about “The Power of Words”, send me an email or call my office. All dates are full for Fall 2018, but you can still reserve a date for Spring 2018 or Fall 2019. Go to the CONTACT  tab at the top of the page. Update: FLASH and TAZ are now available in hard cover, library binding format, as well as soft cover and eBook.                   Trouble in Texas series: A wild west adventure set in the frontier town of Justice, Texas. Book 1 is HANGIN’ DAY, and in a few...

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Fall Work on a Texas Ranch

Posted by on Nov 2, 2018

Fall Weaning on a Texas Cattle Ranch. As the leaves turn to Fall colors and the early morning air takes on a crispness, ranch owners are busy gathering herds for Fall weaning and shipping to market. This is the time of year when supply meets demand. In 1867 Abilene, Kansas provided the first rail head markets, where the deals were made. Buyers for eastern meat packers in Kansas City, St, Louis, and Chicago depended on the men who suffered the long, dusty cattle drives north. Cattle buyer, Joseph C. McCoy, had an idea, “…to establish a market where at the southern drover and the northern buyer would meet.” He picked the small town of Abilene in Kansas, where the Texas longhorns would trail from the southern ranches. Rail cars carried beef over the Kansas Pacific to the Missouri River...

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Arbuckle: The Original Cowboy Coffee

Posted by on Oct 26, 2018

“The Coffee that Won the West” When you walk into the doors of the event center for the Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, the first thing you notice is the smell of coffee. Hot water streaming through fresh ground coffee beans actually in the booth to your right. It takes a strong continence to walk past that smell without stopping. I gave in to the assault on my nose and several minutes later walked away with a new coffee mug filled to the brim and two bags of coffee beans, Ariosa and Chuck Wagon Roast.   The Arbuckle Coffee booth is more than just a display. That smell and those coffee beans represent an important part of the American West. But the story starts long before the days of the cattle drives. Captain John Smith, founder of Jamestown, wrote of...

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Owen Wister & Western Fiction

Posted by on Sep 28, 2018

Best known as the creator of western fiction, Own Wister was a “Pennsylvanian who sat down in South Carolina, and wrote a book about a Virginian who lived in Wyoming.” I happened upon a copy of his book, THE VIRGINIAN, in a used book store. The opening scene is fantastic, as we meet a rough, sometimes rude, man-of-few-words from Virginia. A “slim young giant” who earns a reputation as an accomplished horseman. The edgy descriptions and literary prose are different from what you might expect in a western, but an enjoyable read. Born in Philedelphia, July 1860, Wister attended school in Europe, St. Paul’s School in Concord, and entered Harvard as a music student. He made many notable friends, the most famous being Theodore Roosevelt. They shared an enthusiasm for the West. If was during the summer of 1885...

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Wind of the West Texas Variety

Posted by on Aug 24, 2018

One of the realities of living in the Texas Panhandle is the ability to not become agitated by the wind. There are some days the grit and gusts can drive you mad, but then there are those unbearably hot summer days when you can count on that cool breeze just before sundown. Today we have the shelter of our cars, home and offices where we can escape the incessant blowing that can continue over several days and nights. Weather fills many conversations in this area, mainly because it’s so unpredictable and can change within a matter of several hours. Because of the wind, our rain and snow never falls straight down. It comes in wet and sideways. “She shivered with cold, for the icy wind was at her like a great dog, leaping on her, pulling at her clothes,...

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