Tuesday, December 27, 2005

WHEW! That was fun!

Les and Jenny came home for Christmas. We all had a good time. I know that sounds trite, but we did. We did our annual Critique Of Neighborhood Christmas decorations (lots of brownie points for the guy who tastefully strung green lights in his palm fronds and white lights on the trunks, then had a large Nativity inside over his front door lit from within and framed by the arched clerestory window). We baked cookies and pies and did dishes and watched movies. Les and I chatted till 3 am the first night. Jenny and I baked cookies the next day. Richard and the girls discussed politics, religion, death and taxes. And Harry Potter, books and dogs.

Chant adored Jenny. Leslie told him he was ugly and he stank! He went outside and decided to dig to China to see little Chinese dogs, I suppose. Echo gleefully joined him and they both got filthy. Flint stood by and only dipped his toes in the mud. Did I mention the mud?

Seems the pool guy left the pump on discharge after he left. The pool simply kept discharging water and the back yard was flooded. Chant had an easy time in his digging. Richard (who was the only one home) claims that Chant didn't have a white hair anywhere on his body. Since the dog is predominantly white, I figure he'd been digging for a while before Richard caught him.

He cleaned up nice, though. And the whole dog pack followed Jenny around for a few hours because she kept plopping down and letting them crawl all over her.

Les brought stuff back from her European trip - jewelry, scarves, and bits fo foreign money for the little boy who's father works with me. Daniel collects coins and he loves foreign money, so Les picked up a few coins for him.

Christmas morning was leisurely. I baked and talked and sampled stuff and listened to news. We opened presents at midnight Christmas Eve so we could enjoy the day. That's one of the few times I've done that, maybe we'll do it again.

Monday we all laid around, snacked, watched more movies and chatted with friends and family online and on the phone.

A good time was had by all.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


HOME FOR CHRISTMAS received a 5 Ribbon Review from Sherree at Romance Junkies! Here's part of the review...

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is a story that will show not only the love that a mother has for her child, but the deep love that God has for his children that have strayed. Merry K. Stahel has shown the reader that through perseverance the dreams that we have will come true. We only have to hold on to the hand of God and not let go. For the Lord hears our prayers and only wants what is best for us. I would highly recommend this author to others. I am proud to give this great author a 5 ribbon rating.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's Amazing...

My sewing room was a disaster earlier this evening. I had quilt pieces all over. I've been procrastinating finishing one of the quilts I'm making for Christmas because...because...oh, who knows? I also had Christmas paper scattered about, in addition to presents for folk, unwrapped, needing alterations, and other little embellishments.

And then HE called. A realtor. He wants to show the house tomorrow at 1 pm.

I shanghaied Richard into wrapping presents. I sent him off to the living room with wrapping paper, tape, scissors and boxes. I stayed in my sewing room doing what needed doing and passing stuff to him every time he finished up another wrap job.

I talked to my brother Mark, my daughter Jenny, my friend Gerrie and started putting some of the unused sewing stuff away where it belonged. I altered Mom's (MIL Alma) pants and labeled all the clothing I got her for Christmas. She lives in an assisted living facility and they insist all clothing be labeled. Mom insists here clothing fit (naturally).

I then started on the dreaded quilt. See, I hate pinning it. I have to lay the quilt "sandwich" on the floor to do that. I have to crawl on my hands and knees and pin it all around to hold the whole thing together while I quilt it. It generally takes me about 2 hours to pin a quilt. This being a small one (twin size) and the fact I'm "birthing" it instead of binding it - it took me about an hour. Birthing is a process where you sew it right sides together all around the edges, then turn it right side out and quilt it AFTER that. You have to be careful doing this because you could end up with tucks and pleats where there shouldn't be any. I did pretty good, only one block got a tiny tuck.

Anyway, when we were done - Richard had wrapped half a dozen presents, I finished Mom's alterations and the quilt is quilted.

Now, tomorrow I can clean my sewing room easily as nothing is strung all over anymore. A quick vacuum and dust and this room will look presentable!

I will mail the packages and deposit my checks and take off Christmas shopping some more!

The new puppy, Chant will be most disappointed that I'm not quilting. Like Echo and Flint, he loves when I play with fabric on the floor - he thinks it's a soft bed for HIM. I had to chase him and Flint off into the other rooms so I could get stuff done. Then Echo and Flint wanted to go to bed with Dad, and Chant wanted to keep playing. I finally collared him and brought him into the sewing room with me so they could get some sleep.

I do need to work on other quilts if I am to get them out in time for Christmas, though. I have 3 more to go. Sigh.

Off to bed!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chantry Rides Again...

Okay, I stole the line from a Louis L'Amour novel.

Champ, the little dog my co-workers rescued from the street in September is now mine. A new puppy showed up on Monday. I captured him and was getting ready to run him across the street to the Humane Society (people drop their unwanted animals in our enclosed fence often thinking we are part of the Humane Society). Anyway, the guys took one look at this beautiful tough, dingo looking dog with big brown eyes and fell in love. HE looks like a watchdog. Champ looks like what he is - a funny, adorable little Jack Russell terrier/Schnauzer mix who would allow a stranger into the yard with a "Hey, who are you? Look, you have a sparkly thing! I'm your friend, you can pet me, honest!"

Anyway, the guys didn't want 3 dogs. But they did want Bruno (the dingo-dog's new name). So...I took Champ. Did I mention the Thursday before that we put Champ and Tiger in the kitchen in their cages for the night because it was cold? And Champ kicked the back of his cage out, escaped and promptly found a box of rat poison and ate it? Since the guys all had hotshots, I took him to the vet. He's on medication to counter-effect the poison. Either he is immune to the poison or the meds are serious miracle workers. This dog has NO SYMPTOMS and is bouncing around like the puppy he is.

Oh yeah. Our entire family names all our dogs after Louis L'Amour novels or characters in said novels. Borden Chantry is a character in two books - BORDEN CHANTRY and CHANTRY RIDES AGAIN.

So, Champ is now Chantry, Chant for short. He has not noticed the difference. He comes when called. He comes even when I call Echo or Flint. LOL

He's scheduled for the chop shop...er...to be neutered and get his shots on December 27. Merry Christmas, little buddy!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My first review for HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!


"Merry Stahel is a wonderful writer who has taken a difficult storyline and written it to shine with God's love. I really enjoyed Dea's and Jesse's romance. They both felt abandoned by God and learned to love and trust Him again, and then to love and trust each other. The landscape of the story is so comforting. I imagined living at the old church and befriending Heidi and Joe—and Nate the donkey and Mary the chicken—just as Dea lived it. Santa hats off to Merry for a Merry Christmas tale!" ~ Cynthia Whitten

Friday, December 02, 2005

My Book


by Merry Stahel

If Dea Lacey can find sanctuary she might live in peace. But will the family homestead be the place, or will it bring more turmoil to her and the boy she’s taken as her own son.

Jesse McTavish struggles with the fact that life continues even when love is lost. When Dea presents him with his son, his first reaction is to shut himself off from more grief. Can he let this boy into his heart?

You can buy it as an e-book or as a print book at:

By Grace Publishing - www.bygracepublishing.com



I hope you enjoy it!