Orange Chip Cookies – A Holiday Tradition

Every family has their traditions especially this time of year. Special dishes cooked, sweets baked are on the top of the everyones list. Tastes and aromas invoked strong memories and for my husband it’s his mom’s Orange Chip Cookies.

So I indulged my honeybun with the cookies that Ruth would bake for Christmas Eve. They remind me of her, earthy and plain on the outside but inside the mix of flavors swirl in your mouth with home and hearth.

Orange Chip Cookies

Ruth’s Orange Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs. orange juice
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange rind
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • ½ Tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ Tsp. salt
  • 1 oz. grated semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven @ 350oF

Cream together first 6 ingredients.

Stir in dry ingredients, then chocolate.

Form into rolls 1 ½ inches in diameter, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for a couple of hours till firm. I refrigerated the rolls overnight.

Slice and bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350oF for 10-12 minutes.


Tis the Season of Despair

The holidays are in full swing and the joviality abounds but not for all. I was reading the local newspaper today and I came across an article about a homeless woman. The woman with no listed address was found frozen to death camped outside a senior citizen center.

The sadness I felt for the woman struck hard. The feeling of cold despair swept over me like an ocean wave. I could picture her huddled on society’s sidewalk slipping through the crack we so desperately try to fill in. How did we fail her? How did she fail herself?

Maybe I live in a cloistered life, my world small and self-contained. I hear and read about the sorrows in the world and think this happens someplace else, but not this time. So what can I do?

In today’s culture we are quick to jump on band wagons and blow our trumpet on social media. There are the tree huggers, the animal lovers and of course the social activists. Each one vying for our attention and maybe a dollar or two. This is all well and good, but is it working? I hope so, or someone is playing us.

There is nothing we can do for this lost soul but there are many out there like her. All we need to do is open our eyes, they are hiding in plain sight. I hope her memory stays with me and in some small way I can make the difference. Time will tell.

Woman begs for money as people pass by, with the air temperature at about minus 13 degrees Celsius, in Kiev

Compliments of

Ho Ho Ho?

Today is December 5th and 2013 is quickly slipping by. The Holidays are in full swing but am I in the spirit? No not really.

Here I am sitting at my computer scanning the news and social sites. I should be working but for some reason I don’t have the gumption to get up and go. Is this the holiday blues? It is anyone’s guess, but the thought of the holidays can be pretty depressing.

Think about all the people anticipating that ‘perfect gift’. You spend hours, maybe days thinking and searching for the special present. You either trudge to the mall battling for a parking space or sit on your bum at home and surf the web, then worry about it arriving in time.

Will they love it or will they return it? Who knows but somewhere deep inside it bothers you that it could end up at their garage sale next summer.

Of course there are those people that say ‘they don’t celebrate’ the holidays. And there are more people than you realize in this category. They are just not vocal about their opinion. People lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas, they get caught up with life and feel intimidated with the whole holiday ritual. I am not getting corny or anything, but it’s true.

The news today seems to be filled with horrible tragedies, events, wrecks, rape and mayhem. That is enough to depress anyone. And of course there are the ‘feel good’ stories but to tell you the truth, I am not looking for that right now. I want to wallow in my blues for a while before someone gives me a swift kick.


Surviving November

Well I survived November. It was filled with challenges and meltdowns. As a writer, I participate in NaNoWriMo where you are challenged to write a 50,000 word draft novel in 30 days.
It is not enough to commit to write about 1700 words a day but to balance it with life, it can be quite intimidating. Add into the mix cooking Thanksgiving dinner and well I think you get it.
I am a procrastinator, why do something now when you can do it tomorrow. I am a deadline driven type of person, thriving on the chase for the finish line.
I only had about 41,000 words down by Tuesday November 26th so I knew that the adrenaline would be surging as I put down 9,000 words with some sort of relevance to the story and get ready for Thanksgiving. But then it happened, as panic set in not knowing where the story was going to end up, I printed my 100 plus page draft.
Well I guess printing such a large document is not the thing to do with my little notebook. The computer crashed and needless to say followed by a meltdown. I was stunned as I stared at the blue screen of death. But I had faith that it could be all fixed as I brought to my neighborhood computer fairy.
As she looked at the computer and shook her head, she said “It didn’t look good.” I was shocked that the statement was followed by “Not sure if we can retrieve any data either.”
I was devastated. I went home thinking I lost everything. The story was coming along nicely and I knew I could get it publisher ready.
So here I am, no computer, 100 plus pieces of paper and despair. But as luck had it, Black Friday was in 2 days and with the good grace of the sale I came home with a computer. I only had about 1 day to reenter the draft and come up with 9,000 words, But as providence has it, technology rules the day.
There are some great OCR apps for the smart phones and within about 2 hours I had taken a pic of each page of my draft, emailed it to myself and copied and pasted it into a new document. So after a long a grueling night I made it to the finish line with an hour to spare.
Now comes the daunting task of expanding and editing the story to a novel size manuscript. I hope I learned my lesson to back up by files, but knowing myself probably not.

I’m back

Hello everybody,
I am back from a long hiatus. It is November and writers out there are participating in NaNoWriMo. Don’t know what NaNoWriMo is? Well let me clue you in.
It is the National Novel Writing Month where writers are challenged to write a draft novel in 30 days. That’s right and did I tell you it must be at least 50,000 words to win.
You don’t win anything big like a car, but you get a badge that you completed your draft novel. I participated last year and squeaked by just under the wire. Of course I never finished the novel and it is filed in a folder somewhere in cyber space.
Anyways, I am bound and determined to get this one published. I won’t tell you what it is about, no spoilers here. It is day 25 and I am just about up to 41,000 words which means I have to come up with 9,000 more. Yes folks, I have to write 1800 words each day for the next 5 days.
50,000 words is not a novel, more like a novella, but it is a start. I am shooting for 70,000 words when it is completed.
I decided I will give you one clue, the title of the book is “In the Garden at Midnight” I know what you are thinking the story is about, but hey, a woman has to get published.
So look for me next year at Barnes and Noble, I am crossing all my paws.
PS These words don’t count towards my NaNoWriMo word count. 😦

NaPoWriMo Day 18 – Ocean



Sparkling bright and blue
Seagulls dance and rave for you
Diamonds glitter too

Waves crash against rocks
Spraying on my face and frock
Standing on the docks

Sights and sounds I love
Thanking God above
Never enough of

NaPoWriMo Day 17 – Pete

grave stone


Here lies Pete
Daisies at his feet
Tripped on a tread
And now he’s dead

NaPoWriMo Day 16 – Missing you

forget me nots

Whenever I think of you
You put a smile on my lips,
Your face lights up the room.

Whenever I think of you
I want to hold you,
But you are not there.

Whenever I think of you
I don’t know why you left,
I miss you.

NaPoWriMo Day 15 ~ Terror



And they’re off,
On such a nice sunny day.

Then senseless terror,
Mayhem, tragedy, tears.

Stay strong.

NaPoWriMo Day 14 ~ Printer



The Printer

There you sit a grinning, a grinning,

On your pedestal so proud.

Waiting for the signal,

A motion you’ll ignore.


There I see you a chuckling, chuckling,

Pretending that you care.

Error, error you display,

What a scamp you are.


There I am a fuming, a fuming,

Steam rising up above.

Wish I never saw you,

Lil printer I have no love.