Friday, December 29, 2017

Looking Toward 2018

Missy Tippens

Happy almost 2018, y'all!

Have you barely caught your breath from Christmas? That's how I feel. I can hardly believe how quickly we're racing toward the new year.

We had such a wonderful time this holiday. We had my parents, sister and brother-in-law here with us. Here's a photo of the Christmas morning service. My dad didn't brave the cold that day, but he did make it for Christmas Day at my house. My oldest and his wife made it that night for the candlelight service. So we were all together on Christmas!

My sister and brother-in-law on the left, hubby in the pastor robe, and two of my kids

After Christmas, we headed to south Georgia to spend a late Christmas with my husband's parents and sister and family. I so wanted to get a good photo of the Spanish moss on the trees, which is how we can always tell we're truly in the south part of Georgia. But it rained the whole time! I didn't want that photo bad enough to get out in that. LOL

So, backing up to before Christmas... Here are some photos from the Duluth, Georgia, town green. We went out before Christmas to celebrate our son's and our daughter-in-law's birthdays. Duluth has a wonderful historic area as well as the fairly new town green. It's a little dark, but you can see some of the beautiful lights.

And we made a stop at The Chocolaterie while downtown. They make the most gorgeous chocolates. They're almost too pretty to eat. Here's one photo, but if you check their website, they have better photos than mine. Personally, my favorite is the pecan turtle. :)

That night we also went to Crave Pie and Simply Done Donuts. We all wanted different desserts! :)

Then back at home, our sweet senior doggie had a new bandana and was soundly sleeping in his bed.

Here's wishing you a wonderful end of 2017. May you celebrate the blessings of this past year, and may you have a very blessed 2018!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Snowy Holiday Week at Hand!

What an amazingly crazy busy week this was, culminating in a wonderful Christmas with beautiful church services, blessings, joyous hymns, evening prayer, and SNOW!!!!

It is snowing like crazy here, and it's so funny because the forecast the week prior to Christmas was for rain, rain and more rain....

How about snow, snow, and more snow????

We went from snow to freezing rain on Saturday, then pouring rain, then quickly back to thick, dense snow.... and it hasn't stopped! Bands of lake effect snow keep nudging in off of Lake Ontario and dumping squalls and thick-snow conditions on us, but not as bad as Erie, Pennsylvania which is digging out from 62" of snow in the past four days.... five feet plus, and still snowing!

Oh mylanta! :)

We're still munching leftovers here... turkey and gravy over Basmati rice tonight, one of our favorite dishes. Total comfort food!

And I was at a meeting with some really smarter-than-me people yesterday and begged help on a book from a cardiologist... and she gave me advice, but then a WONDERFUL story idea that's going to get used because it was that good....

Our favorite punch! "Floating Island Punch".... 

1 12 oz can frozen Orange juice, thawed
1 6 oz (or 1/2 of a big can) frozen lemonade, thawed
1 quart apple juice
2 liters of Ginger ale
1 quart rainbow sherbet

Mix orange juice, lemonade and apple juice in large punch bowl. Add ginger ale. Float sherbet (please note there is no "r" in the second syllable of this work. I'm just sayin'... because I lash out irrationally every time someone messes this up!!!!) 

End of rant. :) 

This is why I love taking part in community things and working part-time away from writing.... stories abound.
Stories are all around us. 

They're happening everywhere....

From the homeless person who haplessly started the California wildfire to the young mother who leaves her baby at a firehouse (or on a state trooper's porch) or the children who fare for themselves while their parents are otherwise engaged in a drug trade... 

Stories surround us.

Today, while I'm surrounded by kids and the snow is blanketing the ground and we can't even see the chicken houses from the kitchen window, the stories take a different hue...

Of windswept plains and long, dark nights, and how did people SEE anything when oil was so scarce? These long nights are so tough on folks when we have electric lights... either that or we've all become way too whiny!

That could be part of it...

Hmm. :)

So no fancy recipes today, although I spent the weekend cooking. My little camera is not happy with me, the memory card is failing and I need to have a new one sent... 

But for the moment this is it... A happy post about stories, holidays, joy, peace, snow and love...

And the calm of the week before New Year's here in Western New York!

Ruth Logan Herne has published over 40 novels and novellas and she is absolutely, positively loving life because she's living her dream. Visit her on the web at or friend her on facebook.... follow her on Twitter or Amazon or Book Bub and make her editors Very, Very Happy! And most of all... have a wonderful and safe New Year's weekend and a blessed new year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Gingerbread Waffles and Puzzles and Such

Stop the presses!!!

Before I share today's post, CONGRATULATIONS are in order.


to Mindy and the Obi family on the birth of their precious new grandbaby!

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled post. 


My eldest requested a waffle maker for her apartment. Santa delivered it to her at our house, so we were able to enjoy homemade waffles for Christmas breakfast.

But it was Christmas, so no ordinary waffles would do.

We had gingerbread waffles and they were sooooooooo good.

We based ours on this recipe but substituted buckwheat flour for half of the teff. (It helps to live with a vegan who always has this stuff on hand.) Gingerbread Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Drizzle

For those who love appliances - she got a cool one that is a griddle most of the time, but you can insert waffle iron plates when you want to use it for them.

Once the waffles were done, it was time for some family fun. Fenway watched with a wary eye as we assembled the gingerbread house.


Or maybe he was still too shell-shocked from the Fox sweater a daughter gave him! Note: normally he would have been clawing off the jacket, but said daughter also gave him a treat ball!


Lately, we've gotten in the habit of doing puzzles. My oldest and I actally had a puzzle date night a few weeks back. I bought her this one for Christmas. It's a map of the world done in floers. She began to tackle it last night.


Looks rather challenging
 I went for a slightly less challenging one. Actually, I'm only doing it because it's in the 20s outside and this beautiful beach scene is warming my soul.

I just noticed Fenway watching me here too!
Making progress. #shouldbewriting

 I remember as a kid going to my aunt's house. The cousins always got really cool, mind bender type games for Christmas so we were always playing them on Christmas night.

Does your family have traditions that involve some sort of activity like this?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Waiting on Baby

Happy Boxing Day to all of my Canadian friends.

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. 
We had a quiet Christmas  Eve with our two sons before the whole family came together on Christmas Day. And you know, it doesn't matter how old they get, these boys still love to get toys.
Just a couple of little radio controlled cars...
kept these two...
 entertained for hours.

But now that the gifts have been unwrapped and the refrigerator is stuffed full of leftovers, we Obi's are on baby watch.

Yes, the newest member of our crazy clan  is set to arrive today.
And this grammy can hardly wait. 
So I'm going to cut this short, but I will be back with an update and photos just as soon as I can.


Baby has arrived!

At 7:18 this morning we welcomed Taegan Olivia into the world.
All 7 lbs. 2 oz., 18.5 inches of her.
Both mother and baby are doing terrific and we are all celebrating this brand new life.

Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at  

Friday, December 22, 2017

Cellia's Cran-Raspberry Gelatin Salad (Revisted)

Missy Tippens

It's that time of year again! I usually make this at Thanksgiving or Christmas and wanted to re-share it again today. I had planned to make it at Thanksgiving but couldn't find the recipe here at home. Of course, I totally forgot about looking at the Cafe for it. Well, duh. I just now found it. So here it is again!

I got sidetracked and didn't take photos, SO… You'll have to just picture the cooking as best you can. :)

Cellia's Cran-raspberry Gelatin Salad

1 Large box (or 2 small boxes) raspberry gelatin
1-1/2 cups of water
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup (do NOT drain)
chopped pecans (however many you like)
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
small 8 oz. container sour cream
1/2 cup sugar

On stovetop, mix together the Jello and water until dissolved.
Add in the can of cranberry sauce and stir until melted.
Add in the can of pineapple with the juice.

Remove from the stove and add in chopped pecans. I'd guess I used about a cup, maybe two. Pour into a 9x13 glass casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate until jelled.

Before serving, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar. Spread over the chilled gelatin. Sprinkle with a few chopped pecans if desired. It's probably a good idea to refrigerate until the topping is chilled as well so it'll cut easier.

I'm afraid I never got a shot of the completed salad! Things got too crazy right before serving Thanksgiving dinner (this was last year when we had my family here at our house).

So imagine it with a nice, sweet, creamy topping, sprinkled with a few chopped pecans for garnish.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Eggnog Pie Revised and Revisited!

Ya gotta love eggnog or have folks who love eggnog, but if you love eggnog...

You Will Love This Pie.

And it's easy. I mean REALLY easy....  I used a frozen pie crust. (I always make extra and freeze a few, wrapped individually and tossed into a freezer bag) I thawed it, rolled it out, pricked it with a fork,

 and baked at 450° for about 8 minutes....

Now the filling.... This is nice and easy and delicious, it's basically a custard pudding made on top of the stove. It takes about 6 - 8 minutes to cook, stirring. I find having a novel on hand to read while stirring helps keep me from walking away and burning everything... Which I did to the first batch last Saturday... but by the second batch I was reading about how brilliant and rich Elon Musk is while stirring the eggnog filling. :) Multi-tasking!!!!

Just in case you needed that tip. You're welcome.  :)


4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup corn starch
1 cup sugar
2 cups eggnog
2 cups milk
4 egg yolks

Melt butter in 3 or 4 quart saucepan. Mix corn starch and sugar together in small bowl. Remove butter from heat, add the cornstarch and sugar mix. Mix together. Add eggnog, milk and egg yolks. Whisk together, heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring regularly.

Pour eggnog custard into bowl, refrigerate until chilled through. (Usually 3 hours or so).

Whipped cream topping:

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar

Put in big mixer bowl, beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Once chilled, spoon custard into cooled pie shell.

Cover with whipped cream. Keep cold until ready to serve.

This is amazingly delicious!!!!!  A toast to happy holiday celebrations and once-a-year delectables!

And this is a look at my TWINKLE LIGHT FRENZY!!!! Twinkle lights are fairly cheap. I love them. Little kids love them, too! This puts me and the little kids on the same page, right?

So while I'm focusing family on faith, hope and love, on a baby, born to the poor, I'm making sure my twinkle light stash brightens the long, dark, northern nights... I love that the shortest days of the year are cheered by the joy of Christmas lights!

Grandma and Uncle Chuck's cool handmade Santa set.... more about that later this month!

And the resin Nativity Dave and the kids bought me by pooling very limited funds twenty years ago:

Mandy and Paul built me the "stable" for Christmas a few years ago... O, Holy Night...

I love preparing for the holidays, but not in the frenzied fashion I used to employ... in a simpler way, but with twinkle lights!

Unto us a child is given... unto us a son is born.

Multi-published, best-selling author Ruthy Logan Herne loves God, her family, her country, little kids and interesting situations, some of which she's been known to create! She's blessed to be living her dream of being a published author and loves to hear from readers and writers. Visit her website or stop by and friend her on facebook or Twitter as... You guessed it!!!...."Ruth Logan Herne"... Go figure!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sweet Potatoes and Pomegrantates for the Win!

One might say I'm lazy about cooking as Christmas approaches (not really true), or that I'm adrift in a sea of possible holiday recipes with the vegan daughter (VERY true, so expect some new ideas in January), but the real reason I'm resharing this post is that this may be one of my most favorite side dishes of all time.

I want to share it for anyone looking for last minute Christmas ideas because it's JUST.SO.GOOD!

My daughter found the recipe several years ago on this website - Keepin' It Kind.
I wouldn't want to steal credit for her recipe, so I'll just show you two quick photos of our batch in progress and then refer you  back to her for the glorious finished photos.

 three large sweet potatoes cut into medallions, pomegranate arils, orange juice, maple syrup, sea salt, chopped pecans, coconut sugar or brown sugar, and ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

You may notice in the picture that my daughter chose an assortment of colored sweet potatoes. Who knew there were purple ones?

 Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and shopped pecans.



Okay, go on over to the site and look at the glorious after photos taken by her husband. Pomegranate Orange Sweet Potato Bake.   Kristy tells a lovely story too about getting recipes from her grandma. I love family stories like this, so I was sold even before I tasted the deliciousness.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Chaos

Christmas is less than a week away.
We all know how chaotic these final days can be, but moving at Christmas?
That's just crazy.
Which pretty much sums things up at the Obi household.

So the good news first.

We have moved into the big house.

Woot, woot!!!!
Okay, so we're still awaiting some electrical. And a backsplash. And a venthood...
But nothing brings a family together quite like peeling the film off of new appliances.
 Even Dad got in on that one.
And we have a Christmas tree.
 Carefully decorated by the boys.
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.
The front porch is ready for holiday guests.
And would you look at this landscaping.
Knockout roses, pansies and snapdragons... IN DECEMBER!
Yeah, our snow of a couple weeks ago is a distant memory.

Best of all, we have Christmas fudge.
You can find that recipe here.

In all of the craziness, though, it seems that some members of the family wear out quicker than others.
Not sure how that's comfortable.

So here we are, awaiting Christmas, awaiting the arrival of a new grandbaby...and relishing the chaos that comes with moving. No, it's not perfect, but then life rarely is.
Yet as we settle into this holiday season and celebrate cherished family traditions, I want to take this opportunity to wish you a merry, Christ-filled Christmas. 
Wherever you are, whoever you're with, may you know the true meaning of this most wonderful time of the year and the joy of Jesus.

Merry Christmas!


Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at