Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Awesome Hot Crab/Artichoke Dip

This is the recipe for the awesome crab/artichoke dip.

I got it off but I altered it for my tastes (I don't like capers and 2 tablespoons of garlic is WAY too much!).

2 cups crabmeat ( I used 3 cans of fancy crabmeat)
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup white Cheddar cheese
2 (8 ounce) jars artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon powdered garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning TM, or to
1 (8 ounce) round loaf sourdough bread

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 inch square baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine crabmeat, sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, mayonnaise, Monterey Jack cheese, Cheddar cheese, artichoke hearts, garlic, black pepper and dill. Stir until well mixed. Spoon dip into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Old Bay Seasoning TM.
3. Bake in preheated oven until top is crusty, about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Cut the top off the loaf of bread. Hollow out the loaf and cube the top and the removed pieces so that they may be used for dipping. Spoon hot dip into hollow bread loaf. Serve immediately with bread pieces for dipping.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I was looking for Christmas music on the Net...

And found this...

Go listen.

More Christmas things...

These are the Christmas coasters I finished today. I also made a flannel pillowcase for one of the nephews. I made a flannel quilt already that matches the pillowcase.

Richard and I went to a party last night. I made an awesome hot crab/artichoke dip, even if I say so myself. LOL. It disappeared quickly. Only a bit of leftover and I brought that home. Richard and I have already snacked on it.

People came and viewed the house yesterday AND today. It amazes me how much housework can be done by two people in thirty minutes. LOL. We zipped around making the bed, vacuuming, doing a quick swipe in the bathrooms, stuffing the dirty laundry in the washer and giving each room a quick air freshener spray, too! Richard lit the fire and I zapped some liquid potpourri in the microwave. We took the dogs for a ride, which they loved, of course.

I'm working on the next set of gifts. A couple quick quilts and soem little thigns, not sure what, yet.

Anyway, back to it!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Christmas is sneaking up on me...

Like a little ghost waiting in the wings to jump out and say "Boo!" Christmas is there...hiding...waiting...

I'm making quilted Chrismtas coasters right now. I've cut out 3 sets so far. Need two more and then that's done. They're being sold in the Calvert Hotel's antique shop. I also have to do the fabric envelopes with stationary inside.

I finished Mom's present. Both Mom and Pa's presents are done. Next sister's family. I have stuff lined up and even parts half-done. The trick here is to FINISH.

Finding the TIME to finish is a whole 'nother story! But I shall continue onward.

I do love Christmas and every precious minute is worth it. LOL

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I work for a courier service. We talk cars, trucks, gas mileage and distance all the time. Some of our drivers drive tiny vehicles because they deliver small things. Some drive larger vehicles because they deliver larger things. (Our company's drivers drive their own vehicles). The SUV debate has been touched on in our office. Its impact is negligible, because drivers know that some things requiring delivery also require trucks or larger vehicles to deliver it. Here are some questions:

1. Do I tell you where you can and can't live?
2. Do I tell you what schools to send your kids to?
3. Do I tell you what religion to practice?
4. Do I tell you what jobs you can have (and not have)?
5. Do I tell you that you can only be paid so much and never allow you the opportunity to make more?
6. Do I tell you what you can and can't wear?
7. Do I tell you whether you get to eat...or not?
8. Do you pay my bills?

If the answer to all these questions is NO...then where do you get the idea that YOU get to tell ME what I can or can't drive?

Just because your opinion disagrees with mine doesn't give you more rights than me. Driving an SUV isn't against the law. Destroying other people's property is. If your opinions are against the law, rather than breaking that law do something to change it if you feel that strongly about it.

Group think is for cults and communists.

Try not to descend to it. You might need an large truck or an SUV to deliver something vital, like an oxygen tank, to you someday.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Bookcover and By Grace Publishing's Online Birthday Bash...

This is my December 2005 Bookcover!

And my publisher is having an online one year anniversary party. Here's the announcement.

We're One Year Old! By Grace Publishing is celebrating a milestone birthday!

By Grace Publishing is hosting an all day party in our By Grace Publishing forum at on NOVEMBER 14, 2005. The party is from 9am-5pm NY CST.

Its our birthday, but YOU get the gifts! We'll have interviews with our authors, snippets of our best selling books, games and contests. Win ebooks, and a gift certificate for Fictionwise that you can use on the ebook of your choice. Our big winner of the day will be getting an ebook basket valued at almost $18.

Come join our celebration and help us to kick off our second sucessful year.We look forward to seeing you here!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Come Chat with the By Grace Authors!

The Romance Studio is hosting a
By Grace Publishing Chat!

WHEN: Saturday, November 12



Enter the TRS site using the link above.
Click on the red lettering at the bottom of the TRS screen (I am 18 and I agree).

Follow the instructions from there.

We look forward to seeing you there!

For Halloween...

Yes. The dogs had to be dressed up for Halloween and this year Echo wanted to be a Princess so I present to you...

HER ROYAL MAJESTY, Princess Echo Avalon Stahel (We are not amused!)


For your viewing pleasure, and tons cuter than Johnny Depp...may I present...THE SCOURGE OF THE SEVEN SEAS (And the swimming pool), THE DREAD PIRATE, Flint Elmo Stahel!

Yes, that is a knife in his paw and no, he's NOT happy to see ya!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Well - not really.

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS has an advance ad at - so GO READ IT! Its all about me and the book!

Go. Now.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Booksigning...

The booksigning....WOW. What can I say? I'll start at the beginning.

We went to stay in the Calvert Hotel in Calvert, Texas. The Hotel is a lovely bed and breakfast filled with antiques and ambiance. There's also a hair salon within the hotel.

We arrived about 5 pm. Nelson, John and Ron were waiting for me to arrive! I was as excited to see them as they were to see me. Richard and I nosed around the hotel admiring the stunning antiques and restoration the guys have done so far. As anyone who does restoration on old houses knows, it is a work in progress. I even peeked in the kitchen and harassed Ron, who graciously told me about the antique Hoosier cabinet he uses on a daily basis and let me see the bread and cookies he was making. Ahhh...the scents from that kitchen!

John explained things as I asked - does he know his antiques! He collects old hotel silver and had it all on display. Great punch bowls, serving pieces, chargers, milk pitchers, tea sets, compote bowls...he knew the history of many of the pieces and was able to tell us that, too. I asked a thousand questions and he answered them all. Many of the pieces are for sale! It was hard to not buy, but Richard and I are in the process of selling our house, so.....

Nelson showed us the rooms and allowed us to choose. Richard wanted to stay in the Robert E. Lee room, but we ended up staying in the Phillip Adkins room (I think I spelled that right). The rooms are named for their famous visitors or founding fathers/mothers.

Richard was catching a cold so he went upstairs to take a nap. Nelson and I went to a private party at the Calvert INN - another bed and breakfast down the street. Nelson took me inside to show off their restoration efforts. Oh, WOW. Restoration is a way of life in this little town and it shows. I met some lovely people and we had a wonderful time.

We came back to wake Richard and then Ron cooked us a scrumptious dinner. I basically told Richard I was gonna leave him for another man...I promptly decided to live at the hotel and let Ron cook for me, but then Richard burst my bubble and said I'd need money for that. Darn it. I'll have to make do with visits.

We went to bed and both of us slept like rocks. I heard the train go by once, butI simply rolled over before it was gone and went back to sleep. John says it goes by several times but I didn't notice. Its one of those soothing sounds, I guess.

The next day Ron cooked again - French toast and sausage...sigh. Richard and I enjoyed our breakfast without Echo and Flint hoping for sausage or kids asking for a bite. It was a mite strange to eat a whole plate of food by myself. Ron outdid himself and I told Richard I think I need to go to The Culinary Institute and learn to cook like that. He wholeheartedly agreed, the rat!

We then went for a walk around the neighborhood to look at the houses. Calvert is a tiny town but when the War Between The States was over, many of the Confederates came to Texas to settle. The town has several Confederate reenactments a year. It has the largest outdoor gazebo bandstand in the USA. The homes are lovely. Many are in various stages of repair and restoration but you can see what once was and what will be. Richard spent a couple hours taking photos later that day.

We then left to go to the booksigning. Nelson, John and I set up the tables and then I personalized them with all the stuff I brought! John brought some of Ron's cookies, too. Ron runs an eBay store called Better Cookies and sells them all over the USA. The snickerdoodles are fabulous! We all kept running between the four tables we set up to chat and compare notes.

The Hastings Bookstore in Bryan Texas has one of the friendliest staffs ever. Mara and Dena made us feel very welcome and worked hard to be sure things ran smoothly. Both deserve kudos for their efforts on our behalf. We had good traffic and I had a lovely time meeting Trana Mae Simmons, L. B. Cobb and their sidekicks. Yes, we all brought sidekicks and everyone had a great time. We sold books, made friends and laughed a lot. I got to wear a vintage tiara because this was a Pulpwood Queens Literacy Event and Membership Drive. I also met a couple Pulpwood Queens, including Suzan, who was just lovely!

We left from there and I was so sorry to go. Nelson, John, Ron and I are already plotting our next event...there's the December 3-4, 2005 Parade Of Homes in Calvert...and the Girlfriends Weekend in Jefferson for Pulpwood Queens...and...and...and...