Archive for November, 2014

CommercialGrowing up in farm country, preparation for Thanksgiving began late in September or early in October. There were rum cakes to make, and they needed about 6 weeks to get fully soused. And we made cakes for about half the county, I think, besides the ones we made for our family.

And then there was the fudge… Nobody, it seemed, could follow the recipe my mother gave out, so they all came back begging for various sorts in time for Thanksgiving. With a sigh, she began the multiple batches of fudge, from several different chocolate fudges, white fudge and divinity fudge. The house smelled wonderful, but even I, the original chocoholic, got tired of the scent of chocolate.

A few days before Thanksgiving, the pies began coming out of the oven. Everybody had a favorite, so the scents of pumpkin, apple, mince meat, and elderberry wafted through the house.

And where would we be without spice cake and home made bread? We had two ovens in the kitchen and we kept them going for days before the holidays.

Thanksgiving morning had a special tradition at our house. Dad, my sister, Linda, and I got up early, dressed warmly and headed out to the fields to go pheasant hunting. In northern Ohio, there was usually snow on the ground and the weeds along the fences sparkled in the morning sunlight. The snow crunched and squeaked beneath our boots and our breath became little puffs of fog as we walked along.

Once in a while we actually scared up a pheasant, but mostly it was just special time with Dad. He’d talk about the various trees in the woods and fence rows and how to identify them by their bark. Or he’d tell old family stories about growing up in Tennessee in the early 1900’s.

By around 11:00, we’d be back in the house, by the fire, drinking coffee or hot cocoa. Then we girls would join Mom in the kitchen to put the finishing touches on dinner before guests began to arrive. The smells from the ovens was inviting and all the baked goods displayed in the dining room just begged to be tasted as we set the table.

Thanksgiving dinner was a wonderful time to be together with family and friends. The food was always exquisite, the company warm and jovial. But to me, the magic of Thanksgiving was that early morning stroll through the countryside with Dad, pheasants or no pheasants.

Wishing you all the best this Thanksgiving Day. Share your traditions with us. Together we can build new memories.

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Black and whiteShe is a single mom with three boys, 16, 13, and 12 year of age. She works as a home health nurse in a rural area, which means funds are scarce most of the time.

Thursday evening, around 11:00 west coast time, her grandfather had a massive heart attack and died. She got the news Friday morning. The boys had hoped to take a trip next summer to visit the great-grandfather they’d never met in person.

But the weekend was coming up. Everyone was excited about the weekend. They were going to visit a friend south of Atlanta, two hours away from home. The dogs were going with them, since their friend had a fenced yard, and the whole family was looking forward to a little time to de-stress and relax for a change.

Three o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, the car is loaded, kids and dogs on board and on the way. Steaks are in the cooler for a cookout, snacks for the trip and high spirits.

Saturday morning at 6:52, she received a call from her mother informing her that her house had been completely destroyed by fire. The fire department was there, but there was nothing left to save. Items she’d treasured since childhood were gone, clothes for the whole family, gone; computers were gone, furniture, dishes, musical instruments–all gone.

Now imagine that this is you. What do you do? You’ve been in this house for 10 years of your life. Your kids grew up here. All of your files and important documents have been destroyed in a not-so-fire-proof safe.

This young woman is our daughter, Dawn Miller. The three boys are our grandsons. The first round of insurance agents and inspectors came out today to begin assessing the damages. We both looked at it all and cried.

She will have to start all over again. Yes, there will be money from the insurance company, but it may take months before everything is settled. Red Cross gave her money to buy food and clothes. But have you priced clothes lately?

If you are able and willing to help, she has a GoFundMe account set up, with the help of Kim Cowsert. Anything at all will help this family get started again.

Thanks to all of you in advance.

Mellie Miller

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Small Formal Black2This is not my usual type of post, nor is it the usual type of situation. Early this morning our daughter’s house burned to the ground, with all of her and her sons’ possessions.

Thankfully they were away visiting friends, so they are fine, just without a home, clothing, personal toiletry items–you name it, they need it.

Our daughter, Dawn Miller,  is a home health nurse and has lost all her scrubs and medical supplies, like her stethoscope, thermometer, O2 sat meter, first aid kits. The works.

Her boys are in middle and high school and have only clothes for the weekend. They have online lessons and have lost their laptops, so they can’t log-in to do their school work. They also need clothes and shoes.

She has a GoFundMe account, so if you are able, anything you can give would be appreciated.


I thank you in advance for your help.


Mellie Miller


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Jareth Cover art finalWhich is being sorely tested at the moment. The author copies of Jareth, First Lord have shipped, as well as the pre-orders, and while the buttons and Autographed Copy stickers have arrived, the books are still somewhere in limbo.

Oh well. What’s another day or two?

Here’s an excerpt from Jareth, First Lord to get you through.


“When the final edict was posted in the village, Viviane was stunned as she read the declarations. If the fools had gone to her father he could have asked for aid from the neighboring lords. Instead, he was saddled with repayments to Clan Brannach and penalties for ignoring the complaints. Why had he let this happen? This wasn’t like him at all.
While the penalties were within the limits of clan law, life in Clan Belfort would be much more difficult for a while. But The Choosing, this dark legend out of the dim past, while legal and binding, had never been invoked in Viviane’s lifetime. Re-reading the edict, she saw that all women of marriageable age who were childless and unmarried were required to report one week from the date of posting. One tenth of their number would go to Clan Brannach.
Since she was now marriageable and without children Viviane was required to present herself to Brannach’s First Lord. Panicking, she searched the notice again for an exemption for women of the ruling house, but found nothing. They may have been upset because she wanted to be independent but were they really willing to cast her out altogether?
Her blood turned to ice as she considered her chances of being chosen. There were many younger women in the clan. Wouldn’t they be chosen first? Why choose someone who was nearly thirty when fresher faces abounded? Dizzy and with her heart pounding, she ran to her little cottage, slammed the door, and leaned against it to stay on her feet. The smell in the air she recognized as the scent of fear while cold sweat trickled down her back. She could go to her father and ask him to exempt her from the proceedings. He’d been anxious for her to come home. Certainly he would do this one small thing.
Firmly reining in her emotions, she thought about the consequences of such an action. What if this was the way out of her difficulties? She couldn’t–wouldn’t–go back home, and she couldn’t keep the shop open much longer. Everyone in the village knew her as Viviane Lebrun as she’d not used her title after marrying Robert. Lord Jareth hadn’t been ruling long and they’d never been introduced. If she were chosen there should be no repercussions to the clan or ruling house. If she kept quiet about her family ties, this might be the answer to her predicament. Maybe this was the sign she’d asked for. She would present herself with the others and leave it in the hands of chance.”


Haven’t ordered your copy yet? Here are the links!








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