Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mixing Food and Fiction

I love cooking.
I love baking.
I love writing.

Mixing the three?


That just makes my day.

I think that's the fun of being an author. One task bleeds to another and my day job infiltrates my fictional life and augments my take on young families.

Life. Love. Loss. Lasagna.

And the beat goes on.

In my first book "Winter's End" I had the hospice nurse feeding a neighbor's dog a cookie to keep the dog happy while she figured out a way into her locked apartment.

In the original manuscript it was a chocolate chip cookie and THE CONTEST JUDGES WENT WILD....


Let me just say, if that was true, we'd be living in a pet cemetery here in upstate. My dogs have nipped their share of chocolate cookies, cakes, etc and seem none the worse for wear.

In the published version, it's a peanut butter cookie... Because we can't have the heroine accidentally killing Fido, right?  


Bad to kill Fido!

I love how fiction mimics life and vice versa. The hospice experience in "Winter's End" was based on our family experience with my mother when she was end stage with lung cancer.

God bless hospice care workers, Visiting Nurses and everyone who believes a peaceful death is a wonderful thing!

Right now I'm nursing some dreaded plague-like virus. It's going around. Well... Duh.

But the nice thing is it didn't strike me until all my fall traveling was done... I got to annoy people I don't see all that often... I got a lot of writing done.... I took care of many sick little toddlers and we did just fine.
And I got to see two of my grandchildren be baptized.

I am thoroughly blessed.

So, I'm sick. I'm not sharing recipes but I'm not whining, either, because we all get bugs. Right?

I'm throwing more wood on the fire for tonight... and tomorrow, after writing, I"m spackling the new cedar clapboard on our house because the temps are going up.

This is a day to grab hold of!

So I'll spackle and sniffle, sneeze and sand and when the weekend is done, the house will be ready for winter.

Except for the leaky roof, but that's a project for another season.

And that's the way it is, isn't it? Always a project, waiting in the wings!

God bless you on this beautiful fall Saturday, the second Saturday of a prayerful November. Wishing you peace, warmth, health and if necessary SOFT LOTION tissues.

I love those things.


  1. I have just a little bitty scratchy sore throat and I'm whining. I'll whine for both of us!

    Congratulations on the baptisms! I always cry at those. Not weddings. Those people don't know what they;re getting into.

    But baptisms are amazing. And you only get one. Party alert!

  2. Exactly true on both counts. I'm still rolling on the floor laughing over your daughter's poison comment at the kitchen table.

    I love her from this far away.

    We should start a club to inform young people the Secret, Hidden, Dark Truths about Marriage and How to Navigate Its Muddy Waters Without an Oar, Paddle and Rarely a Boat.

    You take the odd chapters.

    I'll take even.

  3. No, no, no. The human race would die out, except for the people who were too stupid to take our advice... and then where would we be??

    A world full of not-so-bright romantics believing in love at first sight.

    On second thought... I think we just solved all the world's problems. It will only take a generation or two and they will name this new utopia Ruthy-Ginny-La-La-Land.

    It will be filled with cookies and books and many, many children.

    1. Yes!!! Cookies and children are my default answers to everything that ails us!!!

      GINNY!!!! YOU KNEW!!!!

    2. Sign me up for Ruthy-Ginny-La-La-Land. It sounds like heaven :)

  4. I guess I'm a permanent resident of Ruthy-Ginny-La-La-Land then. No sniffles or scratchy throats though. Yet. Thought I was heading that way a couple of weeks ago, but I starting popping the Airborne and was better the next morning.

    Ruthy, you are such an amazing woman. I'd be milking the sick thing. Not that they'd let me, but I'd try. Shoot, I could be on the verge of death and still hear, "I'm hungry. What's for dinner?"

    And so it goes.

    1. I milked it last night. Well, after working all day, but I did send Dave out for a fish fry for supper....

      You know how it is, though. We are the pioneers of today, working, planning, doing. I annoy myself when I lay down.

      Oh, and I forgot, I'm signed in as Ruth Blodgett... I have to stop doing that. Except I have to keep checking that e-mail account and then get busy and then sniffle and snort and then....

      I need new "berries" for my window swags for the holidays. While it's not:

      A. Freezing
      B. Raining
      C. Windy
      D. Snowing
      E. Blizzard warnings
      F. Dark

      I intend to get these hung. But I need fake berries. Which means a trip to the store.


    2. Mindy, our first official resident of this brave (read: cra-cra!) new land. Jan can be VP.

      Ohhhhhh, love Christmas decorations.And it snowed here last night. :) Just a little.

    3. Christmas decorations are fun. I love them too. I love the stuff my kids made me.

      I am an official dork.

  5. sorry you're dogs can eat chocolate chip cookies- heck they devoured my bag of baby ruths/butterfings(I'd already chowed down the nestle crunches luckily) and they survived. I think dark chocolate and little dogs is the big problem. my girls even ate grapes before I realized they were bad for them. They're big dogs though so guess that helped. well that and the fact that I didn't share any of the good stuff too much!


    1. When I was in high school my best friend and I were making cookies. She tossed some chocolate chips to her mother's tiny poodle. About 15 minutes later he was seizing and we had to run him to the vet!

      It happens. Scary!

    2. Sure, Virginia, rain on our "the dogs are FINE" parade, why don't you????

      I have a standard poodle. I love her. She's so smart and nice.

      Her name is Libby. She has curly brown hair. I think we look alike. Except my hair is straight and blonde now. But like BEFORE when I was young, we looked alike. Although she wasn't born yet.

      Like in between me looking old...

      and her being born.

      We looked alike.

    3. Ruthy as an unborn poodle puppy. Errrrr.

      I know there's that whole 'profile doesn't match the person' but let's not take it too far.

    4. I think the chocolate chips in baking are dark or semi-dark aren't they? probably wouldn't go well with a dinky dog oop I mean tiny dog! ;-) hope the doggy was ok.

  6. Being sick is the pits. Sorry Ruthy, and hope you feel better soon. Or even sooner than that.

    Wood stoves help, don't they? I'm still looking for the right corner to put one in this house, but they all seem to be taken.

    The corners, not the stoves.

    Big weather news around here? IT'S SNOWING!!!! :D

    That's good because
    1)It isn't the freezing rain the forecasters were talking about.
    2) We NEED as much snow as we can get this winter to make up for that blasted drought last summer.
    3) This means I stay home today and bake.

    We have a birthday boy in the house. Our baby. He's nineteen.

    How did this happen? I tried withholding food, throwing away the calendars, talking to him in baby talk, but he just keeps getting older.

    I know I'M not getting any older. Darn kid.

    Oh, and baptisms. Sigh. Love 'em. Just last week our pastor was saying he's glad there are so many pregnant ladies in the congregation, because baptisms are the best part about his job.

    1. I love your pastor for saying that!

      I got my spackling and priming done.... so I'm a step ahead of where I thought I'd be. That makes me deliriously happy because if it's nice tomorrow I can put a coat of yellow on the replacement siding.... (I live in a yellow house, I love sunny, warm colors, I'm such a "Leo"...) and it won't look STUPID!!!! for Christmas.

      I do not want to look stupid for Christmas even though I have a CLOSET full of scarecrows and fall stuff for the porch that have never been used.

      I think one scarecrow made it out of the closet ONCE....

      That's a sad commentary, don't you think???

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Sorry. The previous comment was deleted for medical reasons.

      Sinus meds are pretty strong...

      What I meant to say was: Just keep writing and no one will notice!

    4. OH, laugh out loud, I love the medical disclaimer! I hate being sick.... And this isn't a cold, it's like a mega-virus but not flu. A bunch of the kids have gotten it, and I'm in total sympathy with them, but I'm loving having a weekend to work (because NO ONE wants to visit me, LOL) and my September 2013 is absolutely delightful. A farm book, with animals... hot cops.... dysfunctional families.... and cute kids. And fishing.... my husband loves to fish and my goal is to give him time to do it. Which will have the ADDED BONUS of getting him out of my hair.


      And a miniature goat. In the book. For starters. His name is "Beansy".


      I figure this way if we BUY a few miniature goats to play with here on our farm (hey, most authors have a brace of dogs.... so why can't I do Dwarf Nigerian goats, right?) they become a research tax deduction.

      And then they stay that way because it's kid-therapy.


    5. How fun! If I were one of your kids, I'd love playing with a goat!

      And your new book sounds fabuloso!

      (I'm working on my Portuguese...)

  7. Lots of Canadian germ-free hugs to you, Ruthy! Sorry you are feeling sick, but glad it didn't hit you when you were traveling!

    Guess what I'm reading right now? Mistletoe Family. I'm in love with Brett. Seriously, deeply in love. So much so that I'm thinking evil thoughts about Haley so she can't get him. Sigh. Such a reader conundrum!

    1. Isn't he a love-bucket????? And I've been over at Nancy Kimballs blog.....

      Playing with so many nice people....

      and Nancy gave Brett a solid review! :) He's a high yum factor on her "Swoon" meter!

      And he is. He was so deserving of love and just never saw it for himself. I'm so glad they're happy together now!!!!


      (I think the sinus pills are making me loopy. Slightly)

  8. Hope you're feeling better tonight, Ruthy. I got a taste of Christmas today. We had our annual choir retreat where we spend the day working on our Christmas music. So fun! I'm getting in the holiday mood :)

    Love the baptism photo!

    1. Hi Missy- I'm reading one of your books now - never can remember titles esp with ebooks :-( but it's the waitress and the rich dude and the sulky teenager! :-) barely into it but so far I can't blame thepoor hero for sticking her in boarding school - I'd probably looked for one out of the country! (guess it's good I never had kids since I dont' have a lot of compassion huh?!) funny when the cop showed up though..unfortunately work came in but hopefully it's slowed down so I can get back to the important stuff! :-) reading!

    2. Susanna, I loved that book! So many funy parts. And Missy has a lovely way of saying some almost impossible things... She makes it look so easy.

    3. there were some funny parts but I still want to smack that kid - she's lucky her uncle wasn't like my dad -or even worse my friend's dad..she wouldn't have had a single strand of green hair left on her head- or anything left to sit on! needless to say it's probably best I never had kids! finished the book and liked it :-) and yep she does have a way with sayings. I was laughing out loud several times!

    4. What a great idea, a choir retreat!!! I love that idea, Missy!

      I will suggest it, but Northerners will scoff at the idea. But I will embrace it!

      Do the men in your choir come, too? I think our men would arch eyebrows and say, "Listen, hens, I've got work to do."

      Tell me how it works.

    5. Oh, Susanna, I loved Her Unlikely Family so much! I just laughed myself silly at how the whole dynamic played out.

      And you know, kids are an unpredictable thing. If they get dumped on their heads often enough, they resist all efforts to tame them.

      But the hair.... What a hoot!!!!

      A smart friend taught me (when my kids were adolescents) that she focused her concerns on these things:


      If her kids were doing okay in those three areas, she refused to worry about weird hair.

      "Hair will always grow back," she said.

      She was right.

      And there is nothing like an adolescent to make a parent wonder what on Earth they've done so wrong.


      And yet, sometimes funny!

    6. yep hair is low on the priority list - but boy the attitude on that girl sure wouldn't have flown when I was growing up! nope just not cut out for kids here - I'm fine with loving but when they get difficult it's beyond me! I enjoyed the book - gosh when I can feel emotion in a fiction book must be good right?!

      and wow athletics were a priority?! your friend wasn't down here in TX was she?! (we had that cheerleader mom thingamajig back when not too far from Houston - channelview I think - where this mom supposedly paid someone to off the mom of her daughter's cheerleader competitor- managed to get off in the appeal but still..

      luckily work has been slow right now so getting caught up on some reading! ;-) waiting for the Dec ones to show up on my kindle...then January...

    7. Ahh, thank y'all for reading my first "baby". :) I had so much fun with that story. I had to tame it down a good bit in edits, though! LOL

      Ruthy, yes! The men come. We meet from 10 to 3 with a break for lunch together. We sing through all of our new Advent music plus the Christmas contata. It's fun and we're really productive. We even decorate for Christmas!

    8. So it's all the same day... not like a weekend retreat. Well, that's a possibility, then.

      And I love that you do it so early. We tend to wait (so NORTHERN!!!!) and then fit in a longer Saturday practice in December.

      The hard thing is getting the musicians there at the same time the singers can be there. That gets tricky.

      Missy, what a great idea, though. And food... Oh, peeps will come for food!

    9. Ruthy, we don't have instrumentalists at this retreat. They come for our last regular choir rehearsal. And then we have a 9am-12 pm dress rehearsal the weekend of the cantata that they come to.

      You'll have to be the ringleader and try this next year for your choir! :)