Friday Free-For-All: Holiday Edition

This week’s version of Linky Dinks is all about the holidays. Just click on the links. Trust me, you’ll want to check out the LOLs because we ALL need some LOLs in our lives. Right? Right!

Thanksgiving THINGS TO BE THANKFUL for.

Bad Christmas pets… Sorry, Not Sorry

These faces say it all about these pets who got their Christmas wish for FURREVER HOMES.

And just because this is my life… Why I’m up by 6 a.m. EVERY FREAKING MORNING.

And finally, thoughts of randomness:

I can always tell when my email provider gets hacked. The psychics, “sexy” girls, and loan sharks come out of the ethernet, flooding my spam filter.

Dear authors/publishers: If you are going to end a book on a big, honkin’ cliffhanger, do NOT make the readers wait a year for the next book. It just pisses them off.

Live PD lines:

Reasons Not to Drink #312: Man arguing against taking the DUI balance test: “I can break my leg if I do this.”

Reasons Not to Drink #113: Drunk girl: “In my heart I’m just a dumb girl. There was a boy…” As if that explains everything. 🙄

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Fears

When I was in college, a good friend of mine made a statement that’s stuck with me all these years–and trust me, there’s a LOT of years between now and then. It was one of those nights in dorm where the crew had gathered in someone’s room for rounds of lime daiquiris and conversation. We discussed many deep and philosophical topics, like…well…never mind. Anyway, this particular night we were talking about men and beautiful women. Don’t get me wrong, none of us were slouches and we were all dating hot guys but…lime daiquiris. Anyway, my friend sits up straight, sticks her index finger into the air and says, “Even the most beautiful woman in the world has snot in her nose.”

As if the most accomplished amongst you didn’t have their own piercing doubts, fears, and worries. Didn’t have spells when they believed they were inadequate, lost, and dependent. Hadn’t at times felt downhearted, discouraged, and all alone in the world.

Yet still, Silver… you know their names.

You are no less,
The Universe
© http://www.tut.com ®

Silver, bar none.

My reminiscence does bear relevance to the Universe’s message. We all have doubts, fears, and worries. About ourselves, our loved ones, our friends. We get discouraged, depressed, and sometimes, the angst gets so thick you’d think an entire Junior class of teenage girls lived in our heads. When it hits, it’s hard to remember that even those we admire and aspire to be have felt the same at some point in their life. They made it. So can we. Because remeber? Even the most beautiful woman in the world has snot in her nose… Just sayin’. 😉

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Wednesday Words: Babe, It’s Cold Outside

Last night, I was thinking it was Wednesday. It wasn’t. It was Tuesday. So…I set up today’s blog accordingly. *headdesk* Yeah…about that. Today is WEDNESDAY. That means #1lineWed and WORDS. Today’s theme is **WEATHER**. I found this snippet in my files and even though I have no idea which Wolf this is–whether he’s a Nightrider or a Moonstruck alpha, he makes me smile. Eventually, this will make it into a book because… Well, just read it. You’ll discover why. 😉

****
“Stop!” she shrieked. “I think we pushed too far.”

“Yeah?”

She glowered and I barely concealed the twitch of my lips, wanting to grin. Hell, I wanted to bust out laughing. She made a humphf sound. Too freaking cute. Unlike her tiny car. I had no idea the thing was so light so yeah, I’d pushed hard. With my Wolf shifter strength that puppy squirted out of the snowbank and straight onto the frozen pond. The ice hadn’t cracked, a miracle in itself.

“So what are you going to do about it?” Hands on hips, chin jutting, eyes blazing and pink in her cheeks that had nothing to do with the cold.

What was I going to do about it? Kiss her, maybe. My wolf liked that idea. I shrugged. “Wait for the spring thaw?”

“That’s not funny.”

I thought it was, but managed not to crack up at her outraged expression.

“Are you laughing at me?”

“No.” Too bad the word came out strangled as I choked back my laughter. I have the worst poker face in the club.

“You are.” She gave me a squinty-eyed glare. The cute was gonna kill me. “This is all your fault.”

“Uh huh.” I pinched the bridge of my nose hoping to hide my lip twitches. “Babe, you’re the one driving a clown car after a blizzard. And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s cold out here.”

She opened her mouth and one word came out. “Kittens.”

“Kittens?”

“There’s a box of kittens in the back seat.”

“Guess I’m going ice skating.”
****
Does the weather affect your characters, plot, and story? If you’re a reader, how’s your weather?

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Tuesday Treats: Caramel Apple Crescent “Dumplings”

Technically, winter doesn’t start until the winter solstice on December 21st. Therefore, I’m going to share this “autumnal treat” because it’s just about perfect for chilly evenings. Curl up in front of your fireplace, warm up a “dumpling” and enjoy!

Time
34 Minutes Total
20 Min Prep

Enjoy the flavors of fall with Caramel Apple-Crescent “Dumplings.” These apple-crescent “dumplings” are a great way to use apples this season.

What You Need

8 KRAFT Caramels
2 Tbsp. milk, divided
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened, divided
1 Tbsp. flour
1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 Gala apple, cut into 8 wedges (Note: I used a golden delicious. I don’t think the kind of apple matters but that’s just me. 🙂 )
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Let’s Make It

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Microwave caramels and 1 Tbsp. milk in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 40 sec.; stir.

Cube half the cream cheese. Add to caramel sauce along with the flour; stir.

Microwave until caramels and cream cheese are completely melted and sauce is well blended, stirring every 10 sec.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into 8 triangles. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet; spread with caramel sauce. Top with apples, placing 1 apple wedge at shortest side of each triangle. Roll up, starting at apple-topped sides. Rearrange, if necessary, until roll-ups are point sides down on baking sheet.

Bake 12 to 14 min. or until golden brown. Meanwhile, mix sugar with remaining cream cheese and milk until blended.

Cool roll-ups 5 min. Drizzle with cream cheese glaze. Serve warm.

Serving Suggestion
One serving of this warm fruit dessert makes a nice dessert for a crisp fall night.

Special Extra
Sprinkle evenly with 1 tsp. ground cinnamon after drizzling with the cream cheese glaze.

As always, CLICK HERE to head over to Kraft Recipes for all the details. This is a hit with the kids in the Moonstruck books and I wouldn’t be surprised if Annie or Jacey didn’t fix this treat for the crew on their Christmas road trip. Mac McIntire is faced with a touch choice: Save the girl, or save Christmas. As Liam described it, “Dad, it’s like a ‘Die Hard’ movie!” If you’d like to read about the Wolves’ Christmas adventure, just click on the cover. Kindle Unlimited subscribers read it for free, or you can snatch it up for $1.99.

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Two Mondays Before Christmas Eve

If you’ve finished your holiday shopping, I don’t want to hear about it. I got the tree up. Okay…I plugged in the lights, since I never took it down last year. And I might get the mantle decorated. And the outside lights on the porch and along the walkway. When it warms up a little.

Speaking of, that bit winter storm that was supposed to hit over the weekend? Yeah…no. Missed us totally. Other areas are getting hammered. We got cold air, some spit, and…not much else. That’s the fun of weather around here and just goes to show that computers are no match for Mother Nature.

I hate to admit this, but my reading and TV habits are pretty darn boring these day. I’m still doing the re-listen to Jayne Castle’s Harmony series. And about the only TV I’m watching is part of the Live PD franchise. Well, that and college football, which segues into the Army-Navy game. Army won. Yay. I dated a cadet one year and even got to go to Homecoming at the Point. That was a memorable weekend to be sure. Also, the prayer the Army chaplain gave? Dude! Goosebumps. I was ready to go enlist. If you didn’t watch the game, take a minute to watch the prayer.

As Colonel Pawlikowski said, let this game begin. It’s a new week, one leading into a season that should reflect the best in us. I’m going to do my best this week to do what is right, what is good, what needs to be done. I hope y’all will join me.

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Friday Sinema: Amazing Grace

There are two songs that always make me sit up and listen: “Amazing Grace” and “House of the Rising Sun.” Yeah, yeah. About as diametrically opposed as music can get, right? 😆

I’m not a huge fan of the talent reality shows though I’ll admit to dropping in to watch Dancing with the Stars and The Voice from time to time. The Voice was on as I wandered back into my office last night and I was there just in time to catch Sarah Grace, a 15 year old singer/musician, belt out her Top Ten performance of “Amazing Grace”…sung to the tune of “House of the Rising Sun.”

I did two things that are atypical of me once her perfomance was done. I signed up on NBC so I could vote for her and I accepted my free 3-months of Apple’s streaming music subscription so I could stream Sarah’s song. I’ll have to remember to cancel the streaming because I don’t listen to enough new stuff to justify $9.99 a month. Still, I’m hoping this talented young woman gets all the kudos! FYI, she DID make it into the semi-final rounds that start next week. Have a great weekend.

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Anonymity

I remember years ago when the court I worked for decided to get one of the “Santa Letters” from the post office. I was tasked with picking a letter and organizing the collecting of money and gifts. I discovered that judges could be real Scrooges and one totally wanted to out-Grinch the Grinch. Then I introduced them to a real Cindy-Lu Who. The little girl who wrote the letter asked for things for everyone in her family–things like warm coats, and socks, and new shoes. She asked for a job for her mom, and at the very end, she asked for bicycle for her little brother because he loved watching the wheels go round. She didn’t ask for one thing for herself. Well…after doing some digging, I discovered that dad had died after a long illness, mom only had a high school education and couldn’t get a job, that the little brother who loved bicycles had autism. I created a “friend of the court brief” and circulated it. Something I wrote got through to the judges and kicked then into high gear. ALL the kids got bicycles. And toys. Clothes. Food. And a scholarship to a local Vo-Tech for mom. The judges got so competitive that the court ended up with a second family. And you know? That was the Christmas that I realized Santa did, indeed, exist. Those grouchy old men smiled through December and I even caught a couple of them humming Christmas carols.

The statute of limitations has run because that was almost 40 years ago. But with each story of an anonymous donor this time year, I’m reminded all over again that Santa lives in the heart. And what generated this memory? Easy. The Universe’s message in my inbox:

When was the last time you pleasantly surprised or even shocked someone, Silver, and remained anonymous?

Well, it just may be the most fun one can have in time and space.

Let’s play,
The Universe
© http://www.tut.com ®
And the dividends, Silver, are out of this world.

Tis the season, right? I try to do little things every Christmas season but I should really think–AND do things year round because…warm fuzzies are good but anonymous warm fuzzies are the best. What was your last good deed?

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