Tag Archive | Memories

Memories on Mother’s Day by V L Locey

From Christina: I am delighted to share a few thoughts from Vickie Locey, one of my favorite goat-herders and authors. OK, so she’s the only goat-herder I know. Let’s not get picky. She’s here today to share a few special memories. Enjoy!

Memories on Mother’s Day

by V. L. Locey

Hi everyone! My name is V.L. Locey, and I’m an erotic romance author. I’d like to thank Christina for allowing me come visit today. You know, sometimes it is the simplest of occurrences that sets off a memory. It seems of late that quite a few things around my house are doing that, and I don`t mind one bit.

The first touch of a remembrance of my mother came when my dad brought me a hyacinth for Easter. Dad loves to gift the ladies in his life with flowers, and since my mom passed over ten years ago, that leaves me as the sole floral recipient. I love getting flowers so both of us are happy when he arrives with a pot of posies in hand.

Hyacinth
Any time I smell hyacinth it takes me back to working in the flower garden with my mother. She loved hyacinth, and her beds were packed with the fragrant bulbs. She put as many as she could in any bed. Under the living room window was her favorite, for when a warm spring wind would blow up, and the window was cracked to let the stale winter air out, the breeze would carry the smell of hyacinth into the room.

I`m trying to keep the beautiful white plant alive as long as I can. It’s now fully open, and my entire kitchen is heady with scent. No artificial air freshener can top it. I can inhale that wonderful fragrance as I write, and be taken back to the springs of yesteryear with just a whiff.

The other tip off to a memory of mom was during a discussion of movies. Sports movies to be precise. The film Brian’s Song was mentioned. I`m not sure if any of you have seen it, but if not, I`ll just say that it`s a tearjerker of a film about two best friends on the same football team. As soon as the movie was mentioned, I was whisked back to when I first saw the film. It was released in 1971, so it probably took a few years to get to television. Maybe I was sixteen at the most.

Anyway, there my mother and I sat, side by side, weeping like a couple of speckled trout over this movie when my father walked in. Of course, he simply could not understand why we were subjecting ourselves to such emotional upheaval. We flat out refused to change the channel or let him do so. So there we sat, crying amid hiccup fits, until the ending credits rolled.

Those are the memories that mean the most to me. The unplanned ones. Those are the ones I plan to revisit on Mother`s Day and every other day throughout the year.

What are your favorite memories from childhood? Are they tied in with smell, taste, or touch? I`d love to hear about them!

* * *

LoceyV.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, anything romantic, Greek mythology, comic books, Rangers hockey, and coffee (Not necessarily in that order). She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous NHL goalie, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

She is a self-published and conventionally published author. She is a proud Torquere Press and Secret Cravings Publishing author. When not writing erotic  romance tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.

 

A Note from Christina

Vickie  recently contributed a story to  Seduced by the Gamethe 2014 Cancer Charity Anthology. Like so many others, my family has known the devastation of this disease. My maternal grandmother, my mother, a maternal aunt, and my dear younger sister were all taken by cancer.

Please help in the fight to find a cure! You can purchase the book through Amazon or other online booksellers.

SEDUCED BY THE GAME

 

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Spring Brings Eternal Hope by Cindy Christiansen

Spring Flowers

 

Spring is God’s way of saying ‘One more time!’

– Robert Orben

 

 

 

 

Spring Brings Eternal Hope

by Cindy Christiansen

 

There is something magical about spring. The earth warms and brightens, seeds sprout and grow into a gorgeous colorful array of flowers, grass turns a vibrant green, and trees bud new leaves. I think more than any time of the year, spring gives me hope—a rebirth to accomplish new and wondrous things—to start anew.

Many celebrate each new year as a time to set goals and move forward. But there is something incredible about the rebirth of the earth that fills me with hope and optimism that life brings new choices and opportunities never before considered.

Reach out and touch those dreams. Wipe clean your slates and refresh your hearts. It’s a new day!

One of the first vegetables you can grow and harvest in the spring is peas! Oh, how I remember harvesting the peas early in the morning on our farm, sitting on the lawn grass underneath the shade trees podding peas. My older sister would eat more than she put into her bucket. My dad was just as bad. Mom would have to get after both of them. Soon the podding, blanching and packaging was complete, but Mom always saved a few out for a fresh pea salad. I share that recipe with you today in memory of happy spring days and future spring days that sprout new hopes, dreams and visions.

Fresh Pea Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh peas
  • 8 slices of bacon or 1/2 cup Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon
  • 2/3 cup chopped onions
  • 3/4 to 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 head lettuce

Directions:

1. If using strips of bacon: Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. If using already prepared bacon, measure 1/2 cup.

2. In a large bowl, combine and mix all the above ingredients except for lettuce.

3. Refrigerate pea dressing for 30 minutes or until chilled before serving. (We never can wait that long.)

4. Wash and dry lettuce (I use a salad spinner. Mom didn’t have one.) Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces in large bowl.

5. Pour pea dressing over lettuce and toss. Enjoy!

About Cindy: 

Cindy A. Christiansen writes sweet romance with humor, suspense…and dogs! With over thirty health issues and two autistic children, she struggles to write but finds it cathartic. She loves going where only her characters can take her. She loves dogs and always includes them in her books and features them on her covers. She donates time and money to organizations that help abused and abandoned dogs. She lives with her wonderful family and delightful dogs in West Jordan, UT.

 

Winter Reflections by Beverly Ovalle

From Christina: It’s been a cold, cold winter here in the midwest. Today’s guest author, Bev Ovalle, knows all about cold — and she takes it in stride. She’s here to share a few reflections on the season as well as some fantastic family photos. Enjoy!

Winter Reflections

by Beverly Ovalle

Winter has always been a season I’ve enjoyed.  Growing up in the Midwest, outdoor winter fun was always a feature.   Every winter sent us out to the pond to ice skate when I was growing up.  I may not have been great at it, but even today I still grab my skates and head out to the rink on the lake.  Snow ball fights and sledding were a daily feature whenever my brothers and I didn’t have school.  I learned the hard way not to sit at the front of a toboggan.  I was run over more than once when I fell off!  Okay, it took me a while to learn that.  I can be an incredibly slow learner!

Winter is a season of celebration for me.  Aside from Christmas, my son, daughter and husband have birthdays in December.  Their births were definitely a reason to celebrate as I always had wanted children.  My brothers are in November and January and my mom’s and mine are in February.  There are a number of birthdays in the family during the winter months and we love to celebrate, any reason for cake and ice cream!

See_what_you're_missing!

It was also the season of one the worst times in my life as I miscarried when I was three months pregnant.   I eventually learned to live with it, but that still has the ability to squeeze my heart in pain, regardless that more than a decade has passed. What I remember that winter is wandering the streets in the middle of the night as it snowed.  I couldn’t sleep much for a long time.  Wandering in the dark and quiet brought me the peace I needed.

100_1700

My best winter memory-other than the birth of my children- is Christmas Day a few years ago.  I came downstairs and my daughter said that my son had sent a special gift for Christmas.

Gift_from_Okinawa_Japan

When I went to unwrap it, my daughter told me the box was sitting on my gift, just lift it up.  My son was inside!  He was leaving in two weeks for his first deployment to Afghanistan.  I bawled like a baby I was so happy to see him.

Opened_gift_box!

Winter is a busy, busy season for me.  I work at the Post Office so it is off the charts insane.  Thank goodness most customers are pleasant and understanding of the lines.  I do my best to make sure we have as much help as possible to keep the lines flowing.  I used to carry mail and always felt like the stay puff marsh mellow man when I was all bundled up.  Lucky as slippery as it is during winter, when I fell when I was all bundled up I usually just bounced.  Snow, ice and sidewalks just don’t mix well!

Mom,_It's_not_that_cold!

Probably in self defense from the intensity of the season at work, I dislike decorating for the holidays.  Now that my children are grown, I can get away with a little tree, but my husband likes to decorate.  Unfortunately I usually have to clean it up.  I’m ruthless.  I usually have it all down my New Year’s.

Because of work I usually don’t have time for baking or preparing anything special even though I just love Christmas Cookies.  I haven’t had time for years to do more than make cookies from premade batters.  I volunteered with a children’s group at church and we always made cookies in the church basement and packaged them up for shut-ins which we handed out when we went Caroling to their homes.  It was a wonderful experience to see that happiness we brought into the lives of our elderly when a group of children came to spread Christmas cheer.

Winter here brings lots of extra work. Scraping the cars off to not just get to work, but just to get into the car!  I rarely shovel as I have my husband for that.  I have no idea of even how to turn on the snow blower.  If I have to clear snow it is with the shovel, or I call one of my son’s friends and pay them to do it.

My preferred activity is to sit inside with a hot drink; sitting in my recliner and watching the snow come down.  Too bad that is something that rarely happens.  Maybe one day.

About Beverly: 

Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 24 years, Edmond, and two Chinese Water Dragons. Her son Nicholas is in the US Marines.  Her daughter Susannah lives nearby and is a CNA.

 Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

 She has published two books. Dragons’ Mate with Boroughs Publishing Group came out March 2, 2013 in their Lunchbox Romance Line. Her second, Lightning Strike, was published with Secret Cravings Publishing on November 2, 2013 in Weekend Getaways.

 

Winter Memories by Gemma Juliana

 

From Christina: The past week has been miserable for many of us here in the US, with record-setting low temperatures from New England to the south. Today, author Gemma Juliana comments upon our wintry conditions and shares a few of her memories of the season. She shares, too, a delicious recipe! 

 

Winter Memories

by Gemma Juliana

 

Autumn to winter is my favorite time of year. This week, weather is extreme all across the USA, and in general it has been unseasonably cold all season.

One aspect of winter that warms my heart is the cleansing and purifying energy of snow. Not only is it soft on the eye, the silence it creates throws me into an inner, reflective state.

I love taking a brisk walk and seeing my steamy breath materialize on the frigid air, feeling my face freeze, and then walking into our warm, welcoming home with the scents of winter and festive lights (I’m a Christmas lights fanatic and would have the entire house glowing within and without if I could physically accomplish this.) If I prepared a soup or baked before walking, those scents greet me at the door and welcome me home. All of this generates inner contentment and fosters a sense of appreciation for the little things, and the raw beauty of nature.

A mug of hot cocoa in hand, I’ll stare at the lights after everyone else is in bed, and reflect on winters past. So many loved ones are no longer here, but if I just envision the special holidays we shared, I can hear my father’s laughter ripple around me, or see my mom standing in the kitchen cooking. Then there are the ‘old ones’ on the special trips ‘home’ to Ireland. Ancient tables laden with sparkling silver, crystal glasses, and an amazing syphon on the lemonade bottle that I fell in love with when I was ten. All those ancestors are long gone on their journeys to the afterlife. Winter is a fitting time to reflect on those no longer with us, as it is a season of death just before regeneration. Western society isn’t always comfortable contemplating death, but I find that a bit of time reflecting on the role it plays in our natural cycle enriches life.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience both traditional cold winters with snow, bare trees and evergreens, and warm water-skiing winters spent on beaches. My preference is a snowy, cold winter any day.

How about you, what’s your favorite winter memory?

 

Here’s a soup I love to make this time of year. It’s hearty, nourishing and delicious.

 

“CREAMY GREEN SOUP” Serves 4hot-steaming-bowl-of-soup-md

1 tsp olive oil (or other oil)

1 onion, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

½ lb Brussels sprouts quartered

1 can asparagus, drained

4 oz fresh spinach leaves

32 oz vegetable or chicken broth

1/3 cup almond butter

Tbsp Herbs de Provence

Pepper

15 oz can Great Northern beans, drained

 

PREPARATION: In a saucepan, warm oil and add onion, garlic, Brussels Sprouts, herbs and pepper, and let them cook about 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Add broth and let cook ½ hour on med-low heat. Add asparagus and spinach leaves, stir, then put lid on for five minutes so spinach wilts. Finally add almond butter. Use hand held blending stick to reduce soup to a thick liquid consistency. Then I add the beans for a little ‘bite’. Return to simmer until you wish to eat.

NOTE: This is an adaptable soup – you can add other veggies. If you use this mix, though, the color of the soup is an amazing visual bonus. Bon appetit!

line PNG

 

GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity.  Her latest release, Christmas Spirits, is a spicy novella set in Ireland. You’ll find it — along with her other titles — at Amazon.com.

 

Halloween Memories by Charlene Roberts

From Christina: I didn’t have room to include Charlene’s entire title…LOL.  But I’ve listed it below…Mwahahahaha!!!

Halloween Memories – the SCARY ones! Mwahahaha!!

 by Charlene Roberts

Ahh, Halloween. One of my favourite times of the year. To be scared to death!

My friends think I’m nuts, and as such I have no one to keep me company for Halloween events. I enjoy them, but I’m not going by myself, are you kidding?

I have fond memories; does anyone remember a television show called “Night Stalker”? Man, that was the best scary show on TV. Honestly, I don’t know how I managed to sleep at night!

I also enjoy “Supernatural” – sure it helps that there are some cute guys on the show (hello, Sam!), but the earliest episodes were great. Hunting down the truth behind mythical and horror stories, and fighting ghosts. There was one episode with a scarecrow and sacrifices that still gives me the creeps!

So what is it about Halloween and its faithful following? All Hallows’ Eve represents the end of the harvest season and to stock up before winter sets in. it also involved lighting bonfires and rituals.

But I digress – I’m supposed to talk about why I love such a scary time of year! I think it has to do with adding a bit of scariness to an otherwise everyday life. And as October 31 represents the time when the door to the Underworld opened just enough to allow the spirits to roam the Earth, it adds another level of spookiness to an already spooky night.

So without further ado, some of my favourite Halloween memories!

 Haunted houses

Screemers in Toronto, Canada

Pic 1

This is one of the best haunted houses I’ve had the pleasure of screaming in. 6 spooky attractions, each one better than the last.

I went with a group of friends (3 girls, 4 guys)

I won’t tell you about all of them, but I’ll tell you the best:

1.   Corn field labyrinth – try running away from a psycho scarecrow!

2.   Medieval execution – warriors walk through the crowd, choosing those unlucky enough to go to the front to have their head chopped off. When the guillotine falls, the crowd is “splattered” with something, and it wasn’t water – I checked!

3.   Haunted house – we had to wait for awhile in line, but watching the girls run screaming out at the exit had my heart pumping before we went inside. There were closets with hands that reached out to grab you; a demon that followed you. A living room with a huge fireplace, and too quiet. The girls and I decided it was okay until the zombie got up from the top of the fireplace (we couldn’t see him as it was just high enough). The best was the huge room at the end. There was nothing in it except the demon, waiting for us. However he was the distraction from the cage buried in the floor filled with ghouls that shook the gate we stood on and grabbed your ankles. I have never ran so fast nor screamed so loud! But in the end, it was HUGE fun.

 Movies

I have always watched scary movies. Unfortunately, my friends think I’m crazy and won’t go with me, so I either have to find a guy friend or wait for the movie to debut on television. No way am I going to a theatre on my own!

Salem’s Lot

Picture 2

I’ve seen my share of vampire movies, but this one? It had everything;

David Soul (of the original Starsky & Hutch TV series) plays a writer who returns to his hometown to find that it is infested with vampires and with the help of several residents, systematically starts destroying them. The story sounds simple enough, but it is usually the simple things that have the greatest impact. The movie was based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, the numero uno author of horror stories. With a dark, creepy atmosphere, mysterious disappearances, spooky music and actors who played great vampires, it had it all.

I was already creeped out when the little boy who got bitten was floating in front of his brother’s bedroom window.Picture 4

But when the face of the vampire finally “popped up” onto the large TV screen it scared me so badly that I hid in the bathroom and refused to come out.  The movie was made in the late 70’s, and to this day, I can still see that vampire’s face. Picture 3

Imagine this ugly mug magnified a few times and you’ll understand why I had nightmares!

An American Werewolf in London

Picture 5

Man, what on earth possessed me to go to the theatre to see this one? Oh yeah, my friend Faith. She is the one exception to my girlfriends, and enjoys horror movies more than me. This is a woman who watched Night of the Living Dead without flinching.

Two friends are on a backpacking holiday in England. After a tense meeting with village locals, the boys take off across the moors…at night. They’re attacked by a werewolf, which leaves one friend dead and the other in hospital, who finds out the hard way that he’ll change at the next full moon. Picture 6

The transformation scenes were awesome; I managed to watch some of it through my hands that covered my face. The ruthless attacks were terrifying, and my over-active imagination had me sleeping with the lights on for the next two nights.

Imagine looking over your shoulder and seeing this little lovely coming for you.

Picture 7

There have been remakes and a sequel, but they don’t equal to the original, if I say so myself.

Rocky Horror Picture ShowThe Rocky Horror Picture Show - Logo #2

And now for something completely different….

When I had first heard about this movie, I had no interest in it. I mean, come on; a musical horror movie?

But every year, my friends would get excited about this show to the point where I had to investigate; I mean my girlfriends watched this show and told me it wasn’t scary. What’s up with that?

Picture 9

So when it finally showed on TV during Halloween I checked it out. I have never laughed so hard! The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with its dance scenes, singing and the transsexual Dr. Frank N. Furter was beyond what I had initially thought. Picture 10

I haven’t been to a theatre when this airs every year in Toronto, but the “toast” scene (throwing pieces of toast at the screen) is supposed to be a scream! (Pardon the pun)

Books

I have to admit there not many books that scare me. The best horror stories I’ve enjoyed are Stephen King’s and I find his collection of short stories are more frightening than the full length novels. I think it has to do with the idea of using ordinary little towns as backdrops and offering a “taste” of what can happen.

Picture 11

The best one I’ve read was “Nightmares and Dreamscapes” – I don’t know what it was about that book (I think it was the vampire), but short stories give just enough of a taste of a story that allows me to use my imagination to think “what else could have happened?” And then I freak myself out! lol

And there you have it – some of my fondest Halloween memories. I’ve noticed that in terms of the scare factor, the more realistic it is, the scarier it is for me.

What’s your favourite Halloween memory?

Charlene’s latest release celebrates another holiday. Festive Persuasion, a sweet Regency romance,  is now available from Ellora’s Cave. 

Gratitude by Cindy Christiansen

From Christina: I’m very grateful to Cindy for sharing her beautiful thoughts about home, family, and the special memories that come from living, loving, and working together. Please welcome her to Time for Love. 

Gratitude

By Cindy Christiansen

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I have fond memories of life on our farm with my family and harvesting what we had worked so hard to produce through the year. I remember peeling and coring apple after apple for bottled apples and applesauce, my mouth watering for one of my mom’s homemade apple pies; the canning season coming to a close as we gathered the squash to store in the cellar; and finally putting the garden to bed for the dormant winter months ahead.

Memories of my dad’s hardworking hands, my mother’s gentle smile, and my siblings’ playful banter take me back to a picturesque time when life was slower and more people had a sense of gratitude instead of entitlement.

But most of all, I remember being together as a family, sharing a story and a laugh while we worked together and the feelings of love, contentment, and peace that radiated from our home. I am so very thankful for these memories and hope the home life I have tried to create for my children will provide them with the same wonderful memories I enjoy because there really is no place like home.

Although I am grateful for my family and friends who light the flame within me, often times it’s the memories of life on our farm which help to rekindle my passion for life. For this, I am forever grateful.

About Cindy:Photo - Cindy A. Christiansen

Cindy A. Christiansen writes sweet romance with humor, suspense…and dogs! With over thirty health issues and two autistic children, she struggles to write but finds it cathartic. She loves going where only her characters can take her. She loves dogs and always includes them in her books and features them on her covers. She donates time and money to organizations that help abused and abandoned dogs. She lives with her wonderful family and delightful dogs in West Jordan, Utah.

Falling in Love and Loving the Fall by Lena Hart

From Christina: Like Lena, I was born in November, so I certainly share her feelings about this incredibly beautiful and thought-provoking time of year. Please welcome Lena to Time for Love.

FALLING IN LOVE AND LOVING THE FALL

I love the fall. Not only because my birthday is in November (which makes me a self-proclaimed Fall Baby through and through) and certainly not because all my favorite TV shows start back up around this season (countdown to SCANDAL, Supernatural, and Walking Dead begins now!).

No, I love the fall mainly for its cool, crisp air and the warm, toasty colors that decorate our earth. From the pale brown to the rustic red and burnt orange, they all blend together to create a tapestry that is beautifully breathtaking.

Fall has always given me a sense of… newness. Yes, it is technically the beginning of the end of the calendar year, but I’ve always felt more revived and transformed at the start of fall. It’s always as if things that were not so clear, gain sharp clarity and things that were aimless suddenly come into reach.

A perfect time for hot cocoa and sweet memories

More than anything, I love the fall for its intimacy. I feel closer to all the important people in my life during this season. We spend most of our time with our family around this season and the time spent with my family is like chicken soup for my soul. Actually, it’s better. It’s like a cup of sweet, hot cocoa that glides down my center and spread along my limbs. I love being with my family and the fall affords me more opportunities to spend with them.

Who couldn’t love that?

The list of reason why I love this season is exhaustive. But ultimately it’s a season that does and I hope continues to bring in new things for me to fall in love with. Whether it’s a new TV show, or a new dessert, a new author or book, or simply an aspect of myself that I have finally come to accept and love, I hope this season holds back nothing because that’s what this season is all about.

There is no room for regrets or judgment or even resentment. It’s an opportunity for second chances, for new beginnings, for happy endings, and for those small, quiet moments where you just snuggle up with that favorite person/pet/thing, sip on your hot cocoa, and just breathe.♥

 

Lena Hart writes sensual romances with a hint of mystery and suspense. Her debut novel, BECAUSE THIS IS FOREVER, is scheduled for release in Fall 2013. Her two novellas in the series are currently available. To learn more about Lena and her work, visit Lena Hart Site or find her rambling at Scat Blogging. You can also friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

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