Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Next Biggest Thing


I was tagged by the very successful author, Mona Risk,
and here I am answering a few questions.

What is the title of your book? Rodeo Man, a 100-page novella published by Rebecca J. Vickery.

Where did the idea come from for the book? There's an abandoned town about 70 miles west of my home that one person owned. He put it on eBay to sell--and it did. I thought, suppose a young woman inherited the town, but she had to camp there one week to claim her inheritance? When she arrived, though, a lone man sat on the porch of the dilapidated honky-tonk. Suppose the man was there for a reason, but he was not to let her know?
What genre does your book fall under?  It's a contemporary rodeo story set in Texas--of course.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  I was so afraid you were going to ask that. I'm not a big movie person, and the young characters today elude me. Let's see--the actress would be petite, with curly strawberry blond hair, and someone who loved to laugh and was fun to be with. She would be feisty, but also have a big loving heart. The actor would be tall, slim, a little lanky, slow-moving--until he sensed danger or was on the back of a bull. He, too, would be easy going and love to tease. 
Maybe someone could give me suggestions? 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Catching a criminal and lasting eight seconds on a bull are easy compared to winning the love of the feisty, strawberry-blonde beauty who wants nothing to do with him.

Where (or when) can we get your book? When? Mid-January--I think. Where? Amazon, B & N.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Probably two months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? If it were a Western Historical, Rodeo Man would read like one of my Dime Novels-quick paced, fun, and have a romance between two very independent people. The Dime Novels are Angel and the Cowboy, Addie and the Gunslinger, Charlotte and the Tenderfoot, and Kat and the U.S. Marshal.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Someone threatens Marla, and that's when Cody moves into action. He has a protective manner about him, and won't allow anyone to get hurt if he can help it. Otherwise, he's an easy-going, ambling sort of guy.

Blurb:

Marla Ellington inherits an abandoned town on ranchland near Arrowhead, Texas. When she arrives to claim her property, and finds Cody Matheson sitting on the porch of the dilapidated honky-tonk, her temper flares. Anger blazing, she draws a line in the sand.

Cody’s only goal for the week is to win the bull-riding event at the Saturday night rodeo. But when Marla receives an anonymous threat that forces her to leave town, Cody finds himself smack-dab in the middle of a mystery. ’Course, catching a criminal and lasting eight seconds on a bull are easy compared to winning the love of the feisty, strawberry-blonde beauty who wants nothing to do with him. Now it's his turn to decide--walk away? Never.

 ***The next stop on The next Biggest Thing (Monday Jan. 7) will be with the talented Stephanie Burkhart at her blog.
 
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Grab Your Kindle or Your Nook; Sit Right Down and Read a Book!


The time of giving and receiving gifts is over for the Christmas season. Many of us received some kind of electronic gadget, and most probably are digital readers. Me? I received a Kindle Fire HD7, and I do love it. I still have my old Kindle which I use when the other one is charging. Very handy to have two.
Many authors are offering bargains right now, so of course...being a person who never wants to be left out...I, too, will offer a list of stories, priced low for the entire holiday season, or priced low originally. Here are some choices:
~~*~~
CRYSTAL LAKE REUNION
The main story is about Dana Dawson who accidentally learns a shocking truth about her identity and the actual place of her birth. While in the process of ferreting out the truth, she meets a good-natured young doctor and falls in love.
Full-length novel for 99cents. The cover is an Ariana Awards Finalist
 
AMAZON KINDLE: Full-length novel for 99cents. The cover is an Ariana Awards Finalist.
http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Lake-Reunion-ebook/dp/B0056BC41G/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308922072&sr=1-13

WHISKEY CREEK PRESS:
http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=883&zenid=b510de951c68d62fb3a3bfbe779acd47

BARNES AND NOBLE NOOK BOOK:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Celia-Yeary?keyword=Celia+Yeary&store=book  
~~*~~
LONE STAR DREAMING-A Western Romance Collection
Four romance novellas, originally 99cents each, now in a 4 story collection at just $2.99.  Save 99cents!
Titles:
Angel and the Cowboy-1st release, and still selling*
Addie and the Gunslinger-the runaway biggest seller*
Charlotte and the Tenderfoot-a surprising success*
Kat and the U.S. Marshal-newest release--best feature? Diego Montoya!*

AMAZON:
http://www.amazon.com/Lone-Star-Dreaming-Celia-Yeary/dp/1479224804/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348775365&sr=1-12&keywords=celia+yeary 

BARNES AND NOBLE:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Celia-Yeary?keyword=Celia+Yeary&store=book 
~~*~~
TEXAS PROMISE-Book I: The Cameron Sisters
Still restless, but no longer idealistic and insecure, he knew he had to go home.

AMAZON: $2.99
http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Promise-Cameron-Sisters-ebook/dp/B00930ZCOC/ref=sr_1_6_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356558591&sr=1-6&keywords=celia+yeary

BARNES AND NOBLE: $3.99
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/texas-promise-celia-yeary/1113049634?ean=2940044836778
~~*~~
TEXAS TRUE- Book II: The Cameron Sisters
Instead of running from a marriage built on deception, True Cameron takes charge of her own life. She works to make her husband see her as a partner and that he is worthy of her true  love.

AMAZON: $3.99
http://www.amazon.com/Texas-True-Cameron-Sisters-ebook/dp/B009AHTCR6/ref=sr_1_10_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356558751&sr=1-10&keywords=celia+yeary

BARNES AND NOBLE: $3.99
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/texas-true-celia-yeary/1113045729?ean=2940044964594
~~*~~*~~*~~
 Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celtic Woman-O Holy Night

 
 
Some of my favorite songs for Christmas are:
 
So This is Christmas-John Lennon
Christmastime in Texas-George Strait
O Holy Night--several artists, but
Celtic Woman gives a wonderful, stirring performance.
For you, my friends, Celtic Woman: 
 
 

 
 
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
 
 
Video from UTube-Celtic Woman Christmas Album


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

FRUITCAKE Gets Bum Rap....


“Fruitcake Gets Bum Rap”-a quirky individual
who gets shuttled off to jail on an imaginary charge.

No, not that kind of fruitcake. I would never use such a politically incorrect term to define someone who might resemble my Great-aunt Lizzie who made pies out of leftover jams and jellies. I’m referring to the type of cake made from candied fruits and nuts that some insist on baking or buying to give as Christmas gifts. You’ve heard Jay Leno make fun of a family tradition of giving this cake, where one recipient says, “Why, thank yew sooo much! I just love fruitcake.” Then that person proceeds to wrap it anew and gives it to someone else. The same cake is passed around for years—and never deteriorates!
 
I, for one, really, really do love fruitcake. Admittedly, some are better than others, but even the cheap ones that come in a decorative tin and sold in your local discount store have something to offer. At Christmas parties, someone always contributes a plate of dark sliced fruitcake, perhaps a little dry, forlorn, skipped over by guests as they select a tidbit here, a morsel there. Me? I’ll take a piece of the cake every time.
 
However, I found this recipe years ago and it has become my favorite. Notice it does not have candied fruits or citron. And don't skip the brandy--that makes it even more perfect.

BRANDY NUT CAKE
3 cups chopped Texas pecans
1 ½ cups halved maraschino cherries
1 cup dark raisins- ½ cup light raisins
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 Tbs. apricot brandy

½ cup apricot brandy and cheesecloth

 Combine nuts and fruits. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add to nut mixture, tossing to coat well. Beat eggs till frothy; add the 2 Tbs. brandy. Pour egg mixture over fruit mixture; mix well. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 loaf dish or pan. Bake in 300 degree oven 1 hour and 45 minutes. (If you use a dark pan, perhaps lower the temperature a few degrees or test for doneness a few minutes early.)
When the cake cools, wrap in clean cheese-cloth. Dribble apricot Brandy over all sides until soaked. Wrap in aluminum foil. You may add more brandy later, if you wish. Store the cake at least week.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

 Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas  
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com
http://www.celiayeary.com
http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Celia-Yeary-Author/208687145867971           

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Christmas Scene from "Wish for the Moon."

Greetings--I've often heard authors speak of "the book of their heart," but I never really understood the meaning. When I wrote this story, though, I realized that Wish for the Moon came straight from my heart. Now I know the phrase means it is written with love and the memories I hold dear.

The setting for the story is a small self-sufficient farm in North Texas. The year is 1902, a time when rural Texans lived much as their ancestors did--and as my grandparents did. The farmhouse is my grandparent's home, the area is where I and all my family were born, and the small town is a fictional version of the county seat of Palo Pinto County.
The novel itself contains a sweet love story, but the focus is the coming-of- age of sixteen-year-old Annie McGinnis.
I hope you enjoy this Christmas excerpt from Wish for the Moon.
Celia
~~**~~
Somehow, Annie had to get through December twenty-fifth. All she could think of was her mama, and she knew Grover was grieving during this first Christmas without her. It was important to her, though, to make the holiday as festive as she could for her papa and for old blind Jerral.

Even though she had to coax him, she managed to get Grover to go to the back pasture where juniper trees grew in big areas. She only wanted a small one, because she had little to decorate a tree. They weren’t pines, but they grew in a similar shape, and they smelled like cedars, sort of like a pine tree. He cut it for her and nailed the cut end to a piece of wood so it would stand up.

Since there were only three of them, she placed it on the end of the kitchen table in front of the window. She arranged a white dishtowel around the base. Jerral strung popcorn and red Nandina bush berries to decorate the tree. After Annie demonstrated what to do, he patiently sat and made one string after the other with a needle and thread, while she cooked, baked, and talked to him. Grover stayed outside most of the time during the day.

On Christmas Day, Annie placed her offerings in front of the tree. She sat two candles, one on either side, and lit them.

“Jerral,” she said, “give me your hand, and you can see the tree.” She helped guide his hand, so he could feel each part, and the gifts underneath. Carefully, she guided his hand to feel the candlesticks, and waved his hand over the flames so he would know they burned.

After breakfast, Annie told Grover to stay at the table so he and Jerral could open their presents. Grover, though, took Jerral to the bedroom first, and when they returned, each held a gift, wrapped in white paper with red string.

Jerral loved his suspenders, and exclaimed over them, how he liked the thick, woven texture, and the feel of the smooth metal clasps. She helped fasten them to his pants and adjusted them to the right length on his bony shoulders. “Oh, you look so fine, Jerral. These were just made for you.” He asked if he could kiss Annie’s cheek, and she happily let him.

Grover said little about his new blue-striped shirt, but he held it in his lap and stroked the soft fabric for a long time.

Finally, he told her the other two gifts were for her—one from him and one from Jerral. Jerral gave her the only thing he had—his family Bible.

Jerral said, “I can’t read it, Annie, and I don’t have any kin. You’re as close to a daughter as I’ll ever have. I want you to have it.”

Annie cried and hugged him around his neck and kissed his cheek. “Oh, thank you, Jerral. I’ll treasure it and add it to my bookshelf where I have the other books. And guess what? I’ve baked you a vanilla-raisin meringue cream pie!”

Grover gave her a small box of chocolates from the drugstore. They were in a gold colored box with a fancy seal on the top. The label read, “Golden’s Chocolates, Made in Chicago.” Each one had a different center—vanilla fondue, strawberry and lemon creams, nuts, coconut, and caramel. Tears ran down her face. Never in her life had she received such a grand present.

“Thank you so much, Papa. I will savor each one, and the box will look so pretty on my dresser. If I ever get a necklace, I’ll keep it in the gold box.”

“Annie,” he said gruffly. “I’m sorry I missed your birthday. I just plumb forgot. Helen would have my hide if she knew I didn’t remember our baby’s birthday.”

Annie laughed and cried some more, and soon, all three choked up.

Christmas had come, after all.

~~~**~~~

BLURB:
At the dawn of the Twentieth Century, sixteen-year-old Annie McGinnis wishes for a chance to see more of the world, since all she’s ever known is the family farm in North Texas. A mysterious visitor, Max Landry, arrives who will change not only her life, but her family’s as well. To save him from a bogus charge, she follows Max and the Texas Rangers back to the coal-mining town one county over where a murder occurred. The short journey sets Annie on a path of discovery—new horizons, an inner strength, and quite possibly…love.   

~~**~~
For the Christmas and Holiday Season, the publisher--Willow Moon Press--has discounted the price of the ebook from $6.99 to $1.99.
The ebook is available on the Amazon Kindle, the B&N Nook, and Willow Moon Publishing.

LINKS.

AMAZON:
http://www.amazon.com/Wish-for-the-Moon-ebook/dp/B004Z8LX5E/ref=sr_1_18_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355611432&sr=1-18&keywords=celia+yeary

BARNES & NOBLE: Note: the reviews on B&N do not belong with this product.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wish-for-the-moon-celia-yeary/1104178133?ean=2940013607255

WILLOW MOON PUBLISHING:
http://willowmoonpublishing.com/cosowiformoc.html

 
Thank you! And Merry Christmas!

Celia

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When is an IDEA not a story?


Where do you find ideas for stories? Is any idea you or someone else might think of really good enough for a novel? Even I have listened to a simple tale a friend might be relating, and said, "That would make a good story." Really? Would it?

An IDEA is not a story. So, what is it? An idea is only a seed, a brief thought that might have potential...or be worthless.

Probably a thousand times I've seen or heard something and thought it would make a good story. But no, the large majority were just that--brief thoughts with nothing to flesh out the plot.

An author friend once told me, "Never let your husband suggest an idea for a story." Why, I asked. She explained what her husband said. "A guy is driving one direction on the interstate, and a girl is driving the opposite direction. They both stop at the same gas station, fill up their vehicles, and go in to pay with credit cards. When the clerk finishes with the credit cards and pushes them back, the guy and the girl inadvertently switch cards, get in their cars, and continue their journey." My friend said she asked him, "So?" His answer, as he pointed a finger in her direction was, "Go with it."

This became very funny to us, knowing the man and that he knew nothing about writing.

Yes, he had an IDEA. But not a story.

Writing a story is hard work, and to begin, we must have a kernel of an idea, yes, but other facets must pop up soon, or that seed will wither and die.





Red Smith, a once famous sportswriter said, "There's nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at your typewriter and open a vein."

I can identify, as I'm sure all authors can. Often, a flash in inspiration will spark my brain, and I think...this is it! I have the greatest idea for a story! But if I can't get past the brilliant idea, I have nothing.

I don't throw out--delete--anything that I begin. If the story has a decent beginning and I believe the next scene will appear, as well, then I save that document. Alas, I have a folder filled with brilliant ideas. But no stories.

What basics are missing from an idea? Two items: Compelling Characters and Conflict.

Here's an idea that keeps haunting me. I thought of it five years ago but never wrote a word. It's actually an opening scene. Why I thought of it, or what to do with it has never reached fruition. It's really just an idea--and I can't think past this part:

About 1940, in a dark farm house, two little girls, four and two, huddle together in a corner beside a bed. The door opens and a man and a woman step in. Still in the dark, they talk.
"What will we do with them?" he asks.
She replies, "I'll take the little one to raise. The other one will be easier for you to raise."
He says, "But what will we tell people to explain the whole situation?"

Very frustrating.
A good storyteller, though would:
~~*~~Move beyond the initial situation.
~~*~~Create a conflict that will propel the story without stopping.
~~*~~Cultivate the idea through frustrations, obstacles, near misses, and deletions as complex as the characters themselves.
~~*~~Open that vein.

Several years ago, I had a flash of brilliancy and thought of a story. I had an Idea. We were on the interstate driving along, and often I'll get some of my best ideas during those times. I told my husband the beginning of the story. I suppose I didn't explain it very well, because he didn't think much of my idea. So, I kept it in my head for a few months. But the Idea kept returning, and I was compelled to write. And I didn't stop, because by then I knew I had a good story.
Title: Crystal Lake Reunion--now on the Publisher's Top Five Best Sellers for the second time. The publisher lowered the price for me to 99cents so I might sell more on Amazon. It worked. I've now made some money on this one, and it's still 99cents for a while longer.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/celiayeary
My Website
My Blog
Sweethearts of the West-Blog
My Facebook Page 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Is Your Story Too Big or Just Right?


What's the difference between a "big story" and a "small story?"
 
 
Remember "Gone With the Wind?" Wouldn't you agree that it was a "big story?" The plot had several facets: war and peace; emancipation of the slaves; a time period of years; love and betrayal; jealousy and revenge; theft and deceit; embattled sisters; victory and defeat. 
Absolutely, GWTW is  BIG story.


During the Thanksgiving Holidays, my husband and I saw the new movie Lincoln. Just as I had been enthralled with GWTW, I was fascinated by the movie Lincoln. The two movies share some characteristics--the Civil War, of course, the emancipation of the slaves, and the surrender of the South to the North.

But Lincoln lacked a love story and sibling rivalry. And even though this, too, was a long movie, the time frame was only one year in the life of President Abraham Lincoln. Also missing was a large stage upon which to carry out the plot. For the most part, it took place in Washington, and much of that in the House of Representatives.

When an author begins a new story, she/he must establish whether it will be a big story or a small story, carried out over a long period of time and over a large section of the land, or..over a short period of time and basically in one place.
If this is not decided, the author can wander about in the wilderness of her imagination, wondering just where the focus of the story should be.


Case in point--my own WIP tentatively titled Texas Gold. The characters are only partially set, and I began the story in Houston in 1906--give or take a few years. My intention was to move the story to the Western part of the state, near the Panhandle. The plot is a nebulous plan at the moment, but early on I realized the problem of getting my characters across the state. And why begin it in Houston when most of it would take place in the West? Or would it? Maybe I could center the action in and around Houston and still tell my story.
 
The problem grew--big. During the ramblings in my head, the story became murky and messy.
But wait--I'm writing a romance novel--not an epic tale of war and peace. For this reason, I have decided my story will be more on the small side. Oh, it'll be a full-length novel, but the stage won't be so big, and the time frame will be short.
There. That's settled--somewhat.
It won't be a GWTW or a Lincoln, but it will be another Texas story.

 Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
My Website

My Blog

Sweethearts of the West-Blog

My Facebook Page 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

CYBER MONDAY-BEST BARGAINS FOR KINDLE & NOOK!


ADDIE AND THE GUNSLINGER-a Dime Novel
99 Cents, 22,000 words, and a big seller. Miss Adriana Jones has been a very popular character, and so has her hero, ex-gunhawk Jude Morgan. Still up in the rankings, and still available.
Blurb:
Ex-gunslinger Jude Morgan lands in jail in a far-flung West Texas town. On the fourth day in his cell, the sheriff arrives with a beautiful woman dressed in men’s pants and toting her own six-shooter. Adriana Jones claims he is her worthless husband who married her but never came home.
The young woman makes a bargain with Jude in front of the sheriff. Jude is to come home where he belongs, and she will have him released. When they’re alone, she explains his job is to pose as her husband to thwart the marriage advances of her neighbor, wealthy rancher Horace Caruthers. The older man wants her ranch to join his, because the Pecos River runs through her property.
To seal the bargain, Jude wants a kiss. During the next few weeks, however, Jude and Addie learn that the kiss meant more than they meant it to be. Then, Addie's life is in danger. Will Jude rescue his Addie? Or will Addie save herself and her gunslinger?

BUY LINKS:
AMAZON KINDLE: 
http://www.amazon.com/Addie-and-the-Gunslinger-ebook/dp/B006LXB6GW/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324161074&sr=1-13

...and
B&N NOOK
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Celia-Yeary?keyword=Celia+Yeary&store=book

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~
KAT AND THE U.S. MARSHAL-a Dime Novel
9 Cents, 20,000 words, and second best seller to Addie. Marshal Diego Montoya has been the most popular hero in all the Dime Novels. Kat Garrison is a good match for him.
Blurb--
U. S. Marshal Diego Montoya rides into Old San Antonio on an assignment to track down and arrest a swindler and killer. That's his job. But his first goal is to visit beautiful Katherine Garrison, the woman he loves, to learn if she will welcome him.
Kat Garrison answers the door, thinking her gentleman friend has arrived early. When she sees Diego Montoya instead, she can't believe he's standing on her front step. All she can think of was the encounter in the barn that cold December night, while her brother and new bride occupied the house.
While carrying out his mission, Diego becomes involved with Kat. But can a beautiful society lady really love a homeless rough lawman enough to take a chance on a life together?
Marshal Montoya always gets his man, but can he capture Kat's heart?

BUY LINKS:
Amazon/Kindle
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008GWEVZO


..and:
B&N NOOK
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Celia-Yeary?keyword=Celia+Yeary&store=book

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~
Crystal Lake Reunion-a contemporary romance/women's fiction set in Texas.
99cents- for a limited time by publisher--full length novel.
Still on Whiskey Creek Press's
TOP FIVE BEST SELLERS.
BLURB:  Crystal Lake Reunion.
Twenty-five-year-old Houston realtor, Dana Dawson, has no reason to believe her life is not as it seems. When Ruth Dawson, her mother, travels thirty miles to Crystal Lake for her twenty-fifth high school reunion, she becomes ill. Dr. Grant Adams summons Dana to the small town she has never seen. There Dana begins to unravel a secret about her past she did not know existed.
Dana keeps her suspicions to herself and remains in Crystal Lake when her mother goes home. During the next week, she becomes acquainted with the charming young doctor and elicits his help to discover her true birthplace. There she finds a shocking truth that not only changes her life, but also almost destroys her mother and another entire family.

BUY LINKS:
Available in eBook and print:
AMAZON KINDLE:
http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Lake-Reunion-ebook/dp/B0056BC41G/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308922072&sr=1-13

WHISKEY CREEK PRESS: 99 cents thru May 31
BARNES AND NOBLE NOOK BOOK:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Celia-Yeary?keyword=Celia+Yeary&store=book  

If you've already read these, thank you very much.
And thank you for visiting!
Celia

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving in the Fifties--Mother's Way


We basically had the same thing every year. Here's Mother's menu:

The biggest turkey she could afford: She used every tiny smidgen of that turkey before the week was out--maybe longer. To roast, she removed the packet of giblets from the inside the turkey. (If you don't know what giblets are, don't ask.) She rubbed the entire turkey--inside and out--with oil and began the slow-roasting-basting process that took a long time--a few hours.
CORNBREAD DRESSING
Stuffing, which we called "dressing." Using coarsely ground cornmeal, she made cornbread and cooked it in a cast iron skillet. That was the best cornbread in the world. It was dense with a crusty bottom. When cool, she crumbled it into a big metal mixing bowl. She added broth from the turkey, chopped onion and celery, chopped hard-boiled eggs, raw eggs, sage and all that good stuff, and stirred. It was sort of soupy but baked in a big oblong pan--lots of delicious dressing!
HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE
Cranberry sauce. She bought packages of raw cranberries, washed them, added sugar, and cooked until they popped, let them simmer until the juice turned syrupy, then cooled. The mixture jelled, and oh, how wonderful that was.

Giblet gravy. I told you not to ask, but it's the heart, liver, and gizzard. She chopped it all up, added milk and butter, salt and pepper, and cooked until it was a little thick. This was the one thing I did not eat. I tried to scoop just the gravy part, leaving those little chopped bits of...stuff..in the bowl. Daddy, though, absolutely loved it.

GLAZED SWEET POTATOES
Sweet potatoes. She bought raw sweet potatoes, peeled them and cut in 1/2 inch thick rounds, placed them in a 9 x 13 baking dish with the bottom covered in melted butter, and sprinkled brown sugar and pecans over them. Baked slowly until they almost candied. Sooooo good.

Mashed potatoes. Why did we need these? I don't know, but she made wonderful mashed potatoes--no lumps. Remember how butter makes everything taste extra good? Well, she used loads of butter.

Brown gravy. This came from the "leavings" in the bottom of the turkey pan, and it made wonderful, thick, rich brown gravy. My favorite.

Green Beans. These were canned by her own hands, just plain old boiled green beans. Why did they taste so good?
FIVE-CUP FRUIT SALAD
Five Cup Fruit Salad. The salad became the standard in the 50s at every holiday table. One cup each of: Mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, miniature marshmallows, sour cream, and coconut. Yummm.

Homemade whole what rolls. She made the rolls dark, heavy, rich, crunchy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside. Loved those.
PECAN PIE
Pecan Pie. There is no better dessert than pecan pie. I will make one tomorrow, but mine is a little different from Mother's. Although hers was fantastic, I still like mine better. I like whipped cream on top, but Mother served it plain.

Pumpkin Pie. Here's where Mother and I differed also. Her pumpkin pie was made with condensed milk, pumpkin, and eggs. Mine--made with pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and a cup of hot water. Hers was dark and thin, but very good in its own way. Mine is thicker, somewhat fluffier, and lighter in color. But I could never duplicate her homemade crust. I finally resorted to Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts. Trust me, they are good.
Whatever you have for Thanksgiving dinner, just remember how blessed we are. It's very simple.

Love and Blessings to All- Celia