Archive for the ‘Food and Treats’ Category

Are you blessed by challenges? #TuesdayTea March devotional

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019
Dressed in full armor, ready to accept the challenge.

BIBLE VERSE

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:11 NIV

Are you facing challenges? Health issues? Work-related stresses? Relationship issues?

When we must work through difficult times, we don’t usually see the reason or meaning for the struggles we endure. After we’ve gone through the fire, we can reflect back on what we’ve gained. Strength. Confidence. Humility. Empathy. Gratefulness.

Bright red cast and crutches

Recently I had complicated foot surgery. If you know me, you know hiking is integral to my well-being….physically, emotionally and spiritually. Four weeks and counting with no weight bearing. Crutches are a pain…literally! Then I’ll face a couple of months with an “orthopedic boot” and then intensive physical therapy. No hiking or neighborhood walks. The hardest challenge is accepting I’m dependent on my husband for many daily tasks. He’s great about helping, but I don’t like limits on my abilities.

Even though this recovery is not the worst health challenge my husband and I have faced, this time of waiting is giving me plenty of opportunity to trust my faith…to stay positive and hopeful about the ultimate outcome. After this, I’ll deeply appreciate being able to walk across a room without the aid (hinderance?) of crutches. I’m clinging to the message in one of the Bible passages I think of when I need strength….fortitude for any and every challenge faced.

BIBLE VERSE

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:13-17

Doesn’t this passage fill you with hope and confidence? No matter the challenge before you, these words give strength to face the difficulty ahead. To pass through the fire….of pain, despair and fear. Our Lord prepares us to do battle with truth, righteousness, faith, salvation and His Word.

Put on the full armor of God. ~Ephesians 6:11 NIV

TRAVEL

We enjoy attending Renaissance festivals, a little taste of the sights and sounds of the past. The jousting knights are the perfect example of putting on armor before the battle. At the Arizona Renaissance Festival near Phoenix, many attendees wear elaborate costumes. Colorful wares are offered in cute shoppes. Tunes from bagpipes and beating drums can be heard. The air has scents of wood fires and roasting turkey legs. There was even a cute tea shop, perfect for my tea-loving self.

Tea shop and apothecary

So today I’m serving Shakespeare’s Romance Tea—white tea, raspberry leaf, hibiscus and peach.

Various jars of teas sold at the Renaissance Faire.

If you’re interested in Renaissance fairs, I recommend the elaborate Arizona Renaissance Festival held on weekends during February and March. For details, visit http://www.arizonarenfestinfo.com.

BOOK NEWS

Some of my author friends have books releasing soon.

LORD OF HER HEART by Sherrinda Ketchersid

Fitting in with the theme of jousting knights, Sherrinda Ketchersid’s debut, Lord of Her Heart, is available May 14, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. To escape an evil plot, Lady Jocelyn dons a disguise, hoping to find out the truth about her father’s situation. Jousting tournament champion Malcolm, who desires a peaceful life on his own manor, discovers her deception. They must learn to trust each other in this story of romance set in medieval times. Sounds intriguing!

Patti Jo Moore’s third book in her Emerald Coast Romance series, In Tune With Romance, releases later this month with Forget Me Not Romances. We can anticipate another sweet romance as we visit the charming beach town of Coastal Breeze. We’re all ready for some warm breezes, I imagine!

A MOST INCONVENIENT LOVE by Ruth Logan Herne

Currently I’m reading A Most Inconvenient Love, by Ruth Logan Herne. This historical, set on the prairies of South Dakota, is engaging as a school marm and a lumber baron find their way to a happy ever after. I always enjoy this author’s style of sprinkling wisdom among the pages of a great story.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, we thank you for the courage you give us for face the challenges in our lives. Your Word fortifies us with truth, righteousness, faith and salvation. Please be with us as we walk toward the light with joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Are you facing challenges? May we pray for you? Have you walked a challenging path and come through stronger because of your experience? What Scriptures do you treasure when faced with difficulties?

I’ve felt the prayers of those of you praying for my surgery. I’d appreciate continuing prayers for my foot to heal completely so I’ll be out on the mountain trails this summer. Thank you for prayers, sharing and joining me for Tuesday Tea.

With blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

Are you blessed by LOVE? A #TuesdayTea February devotional with a review and giveaway!

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Welcome to Tuesday Tea with a review of Tina Radcliffe’s newest book, Her Last Chance Cowboy, the final story in the Big Heart Ranch series. I’m serving White Chocolate Chip Cookies and a special tea, Book Hangover from Riddle’s Book and Tea Company….”Being a bold hazelnut blend to recuperate after a book bender.”

February is the month of LOVE! I LOVE inspirational romance stories, so this is a perfect month to share one of my favorite authors with you….Tina Radcliffe. I LOVE her amazing faith-filled books about romantic LOVE and the LOVE of families. If she’s a new-to-you author, I hope you’ll read one of her stories. I think you’ll be hooked!

And because I LOVE my blog readers, I’m giving away one Kindle ecopy of Her Last Chance Cowboy to a reader. See the details below.

Her Last Chance Cowboy with White Chocolate Chip Cookies.

MY REVIEW OF HER LAST CHANCE COWBOY

Her Last Chance Cowboy (Big Heart Ranch)

Her Last Chance Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

Her Last Chance Cowboy is a book I could not put down! REALLY GOOD!

When two hurting hearts collide, the sparks fly! I think I held my breath for the whole story, praying these two could find a way to happiness.

Quiet, stay-in-the-background Tripp Walker tugged my heart in earlier books, so I was excited to read his story….and what a story it is! He is handsome, protective and hurting. He believes he can’t have a relationship.

Hannah Vincent has secrets from a past life where she was manipulated. She’s trying to hide by staying on the run to protect her adorable daughter, Clementine. Hannah is strong, fiercely independent, and searching for a home.

I loved the emotional roller coaster of escalating tension between Tripp and Hannah. Just when I thought all would work out….BOOM…the crash of two strong personalities happened. Can Hannah and Tripp find it within themselves to trust and forgive? Hang on tight! You’ll love the ending….soooo much!

Each the four stories centered at Big Heart Ranch have touched me….”a ranch that healed so many hearts.” This is a special place of second chances…for children and wounded people. Author Tina Radcliffe know how to bring the reader into the lives of the characters to feel their emotions and understand their thoughts. In this story, Dutch and Rue were special friends to the couple as they sought the path to happiness. We all need friends like them for help along the way!

If you like warm, humorous stories of faith and second chances, you will definitely like Her Last Chance Cowboy…plus there’s chili, red velvet cake and Sonic cherry limeades! I loved this book!

Favorite quotes:

“When a door opens, you have to walk through. Big Heart Ranch didn’t get to be where it is without us stepping out in faith.”
“My teacher says you have to be silent sometimes so you can hear God.”

*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. These are my honest opinions.

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment and enter the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win a Kindle ecopy of Her Last Chance Cowboy to be delivered after the Kindle release date of March 1, 2019. By entering, you accept the legal terms as stated on the Legal Page of my website. US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DEVOTIONAL

In last month’s post, I mentioned my 2019 One Word…JOY! This month I’m focusing on joyful LOVE. Today’s Bible verse combines LOVE and JOY. February is the month we celebrate LOVE….the many facets of LOVE…..for romantic love, love of our precious families, for our special friends, for our sweet pets, and for all we hold dear. Most important is God’s LOVE for us, as He shows us in so many ways. He promises we will find JOY if we embrace the LOVE He extends to us.

SCRIPTURE

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,…

Galatians 5:22 KJV

LOVE & JOY Galatians 5:22 KJV

PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for loving us and giving us second chances. Thank you for surrounding us with so many expressions of love. Thank you for loving us enough to offer eternal life with You. Help us to reflect Your love so others will come to know You…to rejoice in Your enduring love and grace.

We ask this in Jesus’ name,

Amen

Thank you for joining me for tea, treats, and my review of Her Last Chance Cowboy. May you walk in LOVE AND JOY, receiving these treasured blessings from our Lord.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

I just had to include a photo of these LOVABLE pets, our granddogs, rescue Shelties, Gumshoe and Bitsy. Aren’t they adorable?

*Comments are appreciated and will be visible after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

Are you blessed to “consider it pure” JOY? My #OneWord2019 #TuesdayTea devotional.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. ~~Psalm 68:3 (NIV)

Walking among the mountaintops.

For awhile now, I’ve joined others in contemplating a One Word for the new year….. searching for the exact word which would focus my heart for a whole year. During 2018, my word was APPRECIATE. I did give thanks for most of the experiences I encountered during the year.


However, 2018 was a year of up and down emotions….many beautiful sunlit mountain tops, but some dark valleys for friends and dear ones to travel. With the arrival of wintery gray skies, seasonal affective disorder descended around our place. Bouts of depression hit. God does walk alongside us, but some trails are gloomy. I do appreciate that my life is good, so why did I have ungrateful thoughts? I was weak….humbled….trying to listen to Him. But still I asked.

Why did these things happen? Why do Christians struggle with difficulties? It’s the old question: Why do bad things happen to good people?

As I prayed about my One Word for the year, I desired the return to joy. I wanted contentment for everyone. I wanted to be positive. Optimistic. Our Heavenly Father wants His children to be happy…to rejoice….,but that doesn’t mean life will be the proverbial walk in the park. We will face uphill climbs, but He promises the journey will be worth it.

As I continued to pray for guidance, the word JOY kept touching my heart. Then, I searched for my verse….and found….

Consider it pure joy, my brother’s and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

~~James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Could these troubles, these rocky paths, have a purpose? Tough experiences teach us empathy for others who face similar challenges. When we walk through a dark time with faith, we realize our strength. Patience must be learned…step by very hard step. Most importantly, we are rewarded if we trust God as we trod through the sadness. He will take us to the Light!

REMEMBER: God is with us, even when we don’t know where the trail ahead is going…..

We don’t always know where the trail leads….

We may not understand “why” we face challenges, but we know He is there. He has a plan for us. We must trust His wisdom…His faithfulness….His grace.

Trust. He is there.

For 2019, I want to focus on JOY! My challenge is to extend JOY to others….speaking with kindness, cheering in celebration, smiling in friendship, and offering a hand for support during the difficult walks….surrounding all with love.

It’s important to thank our Lord for the JOYS which make our hearts sing. I’m grateful for the JOY of family times, such as my husband and I had with our grandchildren over the Christmas holiday.

For our tea treat today, I’m serving birthday cake. We celebrated Jesus’ birthday with a cake decorated by the grandsweeties.

Jesus’ birthday cake decorated by the grandsweeties!

I’m pouring tea into a mug designed by my eight-year-old granddaughter. She painted this design for me….knowing I love mountains and that the title of my first story, written when I was twelve-years-old, was “ The Mystery of the Diamond Mountain Men.”

Didn’t she create a perfect gift? Perfect JOY!

A mountain for Grammy!
Mug designed by my oldest granddaughter.


MY PRAYER FOR YOU:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  ~~Romans 15:13 (NIV)

What is your ONE WORD for 2019? Where do you find JOY?

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea. May your 2019 be filled with the treasured blessing of JOY!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

#TuesdayTea review of NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Welcome to my #TuesdayTea review of author Laurie Wood’s debut…NORTHERN DECEPTION. In keeping with the setting for this book…the arctic area of Canada…glittering with white snow…I’m serving Sparkling White Chocolate Scones. Please help yourself to a couple of treats while I pour you a cup of Twinings Buttermint tea, perfect with these seasonal scones.

Sparkling White Chocolate Scones

A cute little polar bear cub visitor!

NOW LET’S CHAT ABOUT THE BOOK!

NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

Isn’t this a stunning cover? The pages inside are just as thrilling.

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Reunions can be deadly.

After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientists. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.

Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.

 

MY REVIEW OF NORTHERN DECEPTION 

A fast-paced story filled with exciting action as this couple’s safety is threatened…..and strong romantic feelings between them are rekindled!

When polar bear research scientist Kira Summers finds out her old boyfriend, arctic rover tour operator Lukas Tanner, lives in the same remote Canadian town, she finds her heart at risk again, as well as her life. Can Kira survive the threats and be given the second chance at love she wishes she could have?

NORTHERN DECEPTION is packed with heart-thrilling moments as Lukas tries to keep Kira safe. Author Laurie Wood knows how to create great suspense to keep us reading into the night. The tension escalated as I tried to figure out who was trying to harm Kira…and why. This book, with its interesting details, provided a fascinating virtual visit to the polar bear land of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. I was shivering, not just from the freezing temperature, but also from fear of the huge northern bears. The characters were all believable, and I especially liked precious little Sophie. The romance between the couple is sweetly portrayed, with one of the absolutely cutest proposals I’ve ever read…..the perfect ending.

If you like romance with strong suspense elements and woven with threads of faith, I highly recommend NORTHERN DECEPTION. I’m counting on more great stories about Heroes of the Tundra from author Laurie Wood.

*I received a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. I’m delighted to offer my honest opinion.

This little guy just makes me makes me smile.

To find out more about Laurie, to sign up for her newsletter, and to get information on ordering Northern Deception, visit Laurie Wood Author website.

RECIPE:SPARKLING WHITE CHOCOLATE SCONES

In a large bowl, cut together with a pastry cutter or fork until blended:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter

Add and cut together until mixed:
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir in:
1 cup white chocolate baking chips

Whisk together then stir into dough:
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Turn onto a flour dusted board and knead slightly until dough sticks together. Add more milk if too dry. Form the dough into two balls, then pat into discs roughly 1-inch thick. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with white sparkling decorator sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.These can be iced with powdered sugar glaze and more sprinkles added for decoration.

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea and celebrating Laurie Wood’s debut book. I hope your week is filled with a bit of time for reading and with many sweet treats as we prepare for the Christmas season!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

Have you visited any Texas historical places? #TuesdayTea Review of REMEMBER TEXAS by Laura Conner Kestner

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Welcome to my #TuesdayTea review of an intriguing debut novel by Laura Conner Kestner. Isn’t the cover stunning? I completely enjoyed this visit to Moccasin Rock, Texas. The assorted characters are all so captivating. And following the journey of Caleb and Abby as they fall in love is fun and unpredictable.

REMEMBER TEXAS by Laura Conner Kestner

I’m serving POTATO Chip Cookies with warm spiced apple cider today….the cider because it’s autumn and you’ll find out why I’m offering POTATO chip cookies as you read Remember Texas. I’ll include my mother’s recipe for the cookies.

ABOUT REMEMBER TEXAS

Award-winning fiction. Abigail Horton’s life is turned upside down during the last night of a week-long revival when her father—believed dead—shows up in the custody of a Texas Ranger. Abby is thrilled to see him, and equally devastated to learn he’s been living the life of an outlaw. Texas Ranger Caleb Calhoun stops in Moccasin Rock to let his prisoner, Bob Horton, visit briefly with family before transporting him to Austin for trial. Caleb takes a room at the family’s boarding house, planning to be in and out of the small town by morning. But within hours he’s kissed Abby Horton, made an enemy of her naïve suitor, and let his prisoner escape. As Caleb searches for the missing outlaw, and Abby struggles to keep the man’s whereabouts a secret, they also battle a growing attraction to each other. Throw in a Calhoun family mystery, an elderly preacher on a mission, an old flame of Caleb’s, a secretive spinster, a team of surveyors, and Abby’s mother and brother—and you have a compelling story of faith, family and forgiveness.

MY REVIEW ON GOODREADS

Remember TexasRemember Texas by Laura Conner Kestner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Remember Texas is such an engaging story! I loved it!

Romance and intrigue fill the pages of a fast-paced historical book set in early Texas. This book is an award winner, and I certainly understand why!

Caleb Calhoun is a Texas Ranger on a mission to bring an outlaw to justice when he meets Abigail Horton in tiny Moccasin Rock, Texas. The town setting, with its interesting assortment of townsfolk, invites you into a place of warm relationships, intricate family bonds and some dangerous elements. The tangles of the situations the various characters find themselves in are all so believable. The story moves along quickly with plenty of action and lots of questions about unusual events surrounding the area and its residents.

The hero’s actions caused my heart to warm as he falls for the reluctant heroine during some lovely romantic moments. I really enjoyed all the fascinating characters as they transformed during the course of the story, some from quite unlikeable individuals turning into delightful additions to the group.

I especially like the way the author brings all the intriguing details together by the end for a very satisfying conclusion, including a lovely proposal and beautiful epilogue. More stories by author Laura Conner Kestner are much anticipated! If you enjoy faith-filled historical romance, I believe you will be truly engaged with Remember Texas, a fun book to read!

Favorite quotes:

“I do believe that sometimes what people call coincidences are really part of God’s grander plan for us.”
“The words don’t have to be fancy, son. Just tell God what’s on your mind and in your heart.”

MEET AUTHOR LAURA CONNER KESTNER

You’d enjoy visiting Laura’s website for more information about her writing journey (including many awards) and some interesting historical tidbits about her home state of Texas. LAURA CONNER KESTNER’S WEBSITE

MOM’S POTATO CHIP COOKIE RECIPE

Mix together until combined:

1 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

Add:

2 beaten eggs

Sift together:

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

Then add to the sugar/egg mixture.

Then mix in:

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups crushed potato chips

6 oz. butterscotch chips

Drop drop dough by tablespoonful-sized scoops on to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch carefully so the cookies don’t burn. Enjoy!

 

Thank you for visiting with me today. May you be blessed with the treasure of encountering interesting places and books which bring the past alive.

 

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*I appreciate comments. Your comment will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

Do you LOVE Christmas? Get ready for a ranch-style holiday with CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Welcome to #TuesdayTea as we celebrate Christmas at Big Heart Ranch with the release of Christmas with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe!🎄 (Mass market available September 18 and Kindle available October 1.)

In honor of the newest Big Heart Ranch story, I’m serving Emma Maxwell Norman’s Chocolate Muffins with strong Arbuckle’s Ariosa cowboy coffee or a light peppermint tea. Please help yourself, as there’s plenty to go around.

Christmas with the Cowboy-Big Heart Ranch

From my earlier reviews of Tina Radcliffe’s Big Heart Ranch series, you know I love the children’s home setting for these books. And now with her newest release, Christmas with the Cowboy, I’m singing carols and baking goodies, all in preparation for our special holiday. In this treasured story, we’re celebrating a ranch-style Christmas at the Holiday Roundup!

ABOUT CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY

Former navy SEAL Zach Norman has been avoiding his ranching roots—and the woman he couldn’t have. Back to visit his brother’s widow, Emma Maxwell Norman, and her adorable toddler twins, the bah-humbug cowboy is roped into helping prepare the ranch for the holidays. Working side by side, can Emma and Zach overcome their troubled past…and receive the greatest Christmas gift of all—love?

MY REVIEW

OH! OH! OH! THIS STORY IS SO GOOD!

Get ready for Christmas with this feel-good romance filled with the warm glow of the holiday spirit…children, snow and sparkling love.

What can I say? I loved EVERYTHING about Christmas with the Cowboy. Hero Zach Norman is amazing…*sigh*…my kind of quiet, self-sacrificing guy. As a single mom to twins, Emma Maxwell Norman is hardworking as she takes care of everyone with her organizational skills. The fast pace of getting the ranch ready for the Holiday Roundup keeps the couple busy as they learn to put the past in perspective and trust their feelings for each other.

Revisiting additional characters from previous books adds fun to the story. Lovable Dutch is a crusty, ol’ sweetheart. The two-year-old twins, Rachel and Elizabeth, are precious. The epilogue is Christmas perfection!

Author Tina Radcliffe knows how to make a reader laugh and cry as the conversations sparkle with humor and emotion. I want to spend Christmas at Big Heart Ranch enjoying cookies and chocolate muffins! This is definitely a story I didn’t want to end…and fortunately there will be another Big Heart Ranch book.

Favorite quote: “Big Heart Ranch is all about that. This is the place where we let go of our past. New beginnings. Like the birth of our Lord at Christmas.”

*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. It is an honor to offer my honest opinion.

AUTHOR TINA RADCLIFFE

To get more information about one of my favorite authors, check out her website where you’ll find a place to order Christmas with the Cowboy and the precious books in the series, Claiming Her Cowboy and Falling for the Cowgirl. Also, I’d suggest signing up for her newsletters listed under the “Newsletters” tab. Time out with Tina is for readers, and the Writer’s Inside Edition has great information on publishing, contests and opportunities for writers.

TINA’S WEBSITE

TREATS

Please enjoy a muffin (these are SO good) and your choice of a mug of Arbuckle’s cowboy coffee or a cup of peppermint tea.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY and chocolate muffins!

Of course we need a recipe for the chocolate deliciousness, so Tina has posted this recipe.

RECIPE FOR EMMA’S CHOCOLATE MUFFINS from Tina Radcliffe

Thank you for joining me for coffee or tea and MUFFINS! Even if it’s a bit early, I do wish you a Christmas filled with the warm glow of LOVE…a treasured blessing from God. ❤️

With blessings and prayers for you,

Sherida

*Your comments are appreciated and will be posted after moderation. I apologize for delays.

August tea celebration of JOY! #TuesdayTea

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Welcome to my August #TuesdayTea celebration of JOY!

Granddaughter’s afternoon tea picture. ❤️

Recently, my husband and I stayed with our three grandchildren while their parents took a relaxing vacation trip. Our week with these amazing little ones was filled with treasured moments of JOY!

We played in the sand, splashed in the wading pool, baked cookies, drew pictures, harvested a cucumber, read stories, wrote books, walked to the park, watched movies and sipped homemade lemonade.

One of my favorite times was baking cherry scones with the little helpers, then enjoying a high tea luncheon.

We made cherry scones and cucumber sandwiches for afternoon tea!

The cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches were a surprise hit, along with the peanut butter finger sandwiches. A fruity herbal tea was the perfect beverage choice for our little group. Fresh strawberries provided the just-right dessert. All three grandkids loved the tea celebration, pleasing Grammy with their enthusiasm.

We made so many treasured memories! The eight-year-old delighted in creating scented soap for her parents, the five-year-old happily explained his amazing LEGO creations, and the baby reached for my hand as she settled in for her naps….perfect moments of JOY!

We are so thankful to be able to spend time with our grandchildren. It was a week filled with smiles and love…..treasured blessings of JOY!

WRITING NEWS:

I’m currently taking a class, Monster Revisions, to do an intensive edit of my historical romance manuscript. I’m filled with JOY to be working on this story again after completing it two years ago.

AUGUST BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Are you looking for book recommendations to end your summer? I have some suggestions, as reading time always brings JOY.

If you like historical, Julie Lessman’s Love’s Silver Lining is a romance set in Virginia City,  Nevada, in 1885. As the author does so well, this story is filled with sweet passion and the blessing of faith. I love the strong family members and other characters in this story.

If you like contemporary, A Father for Bella by Jill Weatherholt, is a good choice. I’ve just started this book and already find it engaging. It features one of my favorite settings….a country inn bed and breakfast hotel. I love to imagine I’m staying in small inns, like a virtual vacation.

If you like a bit of both historical and contemporary, the novella collection Legacy of the Heart, by Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie, Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed and Sherri Shackelford, would be just right. An antique locket is the thread between these five stories. I enjoyed them all.

Forest hiking in the mountains brings me JOY.

THOUGHTS:

From my mid-August reflections of summer, I’m thankful to have enjoyed many moments of joy. I found the following scripture appropriate. The sounds of joyful grandchildren and the summer hiking sounds of birds singing filled my heart with the light of our Lord. I treasure these memories.

SCRIPTURE:

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. Psalm 89:15 (KJV)

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea! Please try a sample of the goodies. I hope you enjoy the cucumber sandwiches as much as my grandson did. What joy-filled times did you treasure this summer?

May your life be filled with the treasures of smiles and love…and many moments of JOY!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*I appreciate your thoughts and apologize for the delay in approval and posting of your comments.

What’s your favorite summer activity? #TuesdayTea #Summer2018

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

IT’S SUMMER!

Do you have a favorite thing to do when summer arrives? Something that really means summer to you? Summer seems to start a different routine. Swimming? Travel? Gardening? Hiking? How about relaxing and refreshing?

When our local farmers’s market opens, I feel like summer has truly begun since I can taste all the locally grown treats. I miss having my own veggie garden, so the stalls selling fresh produce delight my heart.

Look at the goodies I found at the first market of the season! The fresh salsa is perfect…with just the right amount of fire with New Mexico Chiles. Honey from Enchanted Bees, radishes, even New Mexico Sage soap!

Bounty from our local growers’ market!

Putting up some jars of apricot jam is on my summer schedule, along with a couple of short backpacking trips. Reading on our patio is planned for many warm afternoons.

Is reading on your summer to-do list?

Here’s a suggestion. Since some of my favorite romance authors released a collection of SUMMER cowboy novellas, I thought I’d share my review with you. So join me on the shaded patio with a glass of iced tea (sweetened with local honey from Enchanted Bees) while I tell you about this sweet romance collection.

COWBOYS OF SUMMER by Mary Connealy, Cheryl St, John, Tina Radcliffe, Missy Tippens, Lorna Seilstad and Sherri Shackelford

Cowboys of Summer-Kindle collection

What perfect romantic cowboy stories to enjoy during the summer!

I liked all these cute novellas by some favorite authors. Each one had great characters and fast pacing. I loved visiting the various communities with an emphasis on sweet summer romance…cowboy style.

Dr. Tess and the Cowboy by Mary Connealy

A fun-to-read story featuring enthusiastic paleontologist Tessa Rhoades searching for dinosaur bones on hard-working Joe Holt’s Nebraska ranch. His peace and quiet are disturbed by her exciting discovery. There is great entertainment as the couple must dig into their hearts to reveal their true passions.

Hometown Girl by Cheryl St. John

I always love a story with characters helping others, and Stevie Marshall is just such a woman as she helps teens through her garden market and 4-H activities. When her high school sweetheart, bull riding champion Justin Cooper, returns to town to help his father, summer fireworks flare. I enjoyed finding out if past regrets could be rectified to become something better for both of them.

Lake Effect by Tina Radcliffe

This is a fun story of leaving the past behind and forging ahead toward bright new beginnings. I enjoyed Jessica Richards’ experiences as she prepared to open Paradise Lake Bed and Breakfast. Rancher Tucker Jackson, with his work ethic and family priorities, is a strong hero. This summer visit to Paradise, Colorado, is filled with the beauty of the season and with plenty of friendly townsfolk to warm your heart.

His Lone Star Heart by Missy Tippens

Rancher Zeb West wants to buy his neighbor’s Double B Ranch, but the owner’s daughter, Beecher Brown, is hoping to keep her father’s ranch. To find true happiness, both face difficult struggles…Zeb to understand himself and Beecher to prove her abilities. I enjoyed the interesting conflict and the sweet romance. 

Great Strides by Lorna Seilstad

Lorna Seilstad is a new-to-me author. Since I’m a former special needs preschool teacher, Dana Etherton’s dream for her equine therapy ranch was of particular interest to me. I liked the second chance theme of hardworking Adam Malone’s situation. The pace of this story great, as is the perfect inclusion of small details…fragrance, color, and weather. I’ll definitely be reading more by this author.

The Decoy Bride by Sherri Shackelford

The trials of pretending to be someone else is a fun premise in this story. As an office assistant to a publicist, Paige Monroe is given a chance to try out being famous. During this experience, she meets rancher Sterling Tanner. It’s a wild ride as the two get to know each other and overcome their fears. “It had taken a brush with the very thing she feared to finally free her.” A laugh-out-loud sweet romance!

Five stars  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and highly recommended!

I hope you can fit some reading time into your summer days.

I pray you find some refreshment as you enjoy God’s treasured blessing of summer. Whatever you have planned, I pray it is fun, safe and filled with joy!

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

Jeremiah 31:25 (NIV)

Blessings,

Sherida

 

A February #TuesdayTea book review—A Seaside Romance by Patti Jo Moore

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

As we approach the last day of February, I welcome you to my Tuesday Tea review of the contemporary love story, A Seaside Romance, by Patti Jo Moore.

The month of February is a time to appreciate the treasured blessings of all types of LOVE…family, friends, romantic, and the love of our Lord.

My mother painted these bears to represent our family when our sons were cubs. With love, our family now includes 2 DILs and 3 grandsweeties.

***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***

Frosty mornings still greet me as February comes to a close. I’m anticipating spring, but warm days aren’t quite here yet. Reading stories can provide us with a virtual trip by transporting us to someplace different from our current place. A Seaside Romance is exactly this kind of book. Patti Jo Moore’s novel takes us to the charming beach town of Coastal Breeze, Florida……exactly what I need while waiting for the warmer days of spring.

TREATS

Since it’s still the month of love, I’m serving Valentine’s Day treats. Please help yourself to chocolate heart brownies or raspberry jam-filled Linzer heart cookies. I’ll pour you a cup of fruity raspberry tea. Now we’re ready to delve into A Seaside Romance!

Chocolate LOVE brownies

Raspberry jam-filled Linzer Heart cookies

MY REVIEW

A Seaside RomanceA Seaside Romance by Patti Jo Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A sweet romance set in a charming beach town.

A Seaside Romance, by Patti Jo Moore, is a contemporary inspirational romance. Lovely Emma Hopkins is helping out at her aunt’s gift shop when she meets handsome traveling businessman Thomas Wilton. They both have secrets from their pasts which must be resolved before they can reach a romantic happily-ever-after.

Other interesting characters enliven the beachside village of Coastal Breeze, Florida, including compassionate Aunt Ginny, busybody Midge Weatherbee, and Thomas’ sister, Avril. I enjoyed the descriptions of the charming community and felt like I was shopping in the nautical themed gift shop featured in the story.

I especially liked the way prayer was realistically incorporated as a part of life, asking God for help and guidance. A great book for those who enjoy sweet romance!

Favorite quotes:
Yet what she could do was pray for strength to ignore those scars from the past, and also pray for strength and wisdom as she moved on with her life.

 

A BIT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHOR

You might enjoy learning a bit more about author Patti Jo Moore and the inspiration for her newest book. Over at Laurie Wood’s blog, you can read a recent interview, however please note the giveaway has ended. Read the interview here.

As mentioned in the interview, Patti Jo has two more books to be released in her Emerald Coast Romances series set on the beautiful…and warm…Florida Gulf Coast. I’m looking forward to more sweet romances featuring this charming community. You can find Patti Jo’s Facebook page HERE.

BIBLE SCRIPTURE

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.

Proverbs 21 (NIV)

 

PRAYER

I pray you are surrounded by the treasured blessings of love …in an ever-increasing circle.

THANK YOU for joining me for Tuesday Tea! (The heart card above was created by one of my grandsweeties. All grandsweeties are treasured blessings of love!)

With blessings and love,

Sherida

Chocolate and #OneWord2018, a #TuesdayTea with #Treasured #Blessings!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Welcome to a CHOCOLATE Tuesday Tea! Don’t these truffles look amazing? I’ll pour you a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa, while you select a few of these chocolate candies. These “Snakebite” truffles are from a favorite shop in Durango, Colorado, the Animas Chocolate Company. I haven’t sampled these particular delights, but the decorative colors are perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat, don’t you think? So glossy and pretty!

Snakebite Truffles-“Chile infused dark chocolate ganache”

What does chocolate have to do with MY ONE WORD?

For a few years now, I have embraced the concept of selecting One Word for the year, along with a Scripture reference for my motivation. In the past, I’ve selected LIGHT, LOVINGKINDNESS, REFLECT and SERVING….words which helped me focus on one thought rather than a mix of many resolutions.

Starting in December, I began to seek my 2018 word…mulling over possibilities, trying out different choices, and praying for the flashing sign. Which word would God give me for 2018?

None of the ideas popping into my head seemed to be THE sparkling One Word for the new year. But waiting was good. Near the end of the month, I received the glowing word God gave me!

THE BACKSTORY

After a rough 2016, the past year of 2017 was a great year! As it was my husband’s first year of retirement, we did plenty of traveling, even more than we’d planned. We were fortunate to have special times with our sons and their families, including celebrating the birth and baptism of our third grandchild. I was blessed to be included in an encouraging group of Writing Sisters seeking the mutual dream of Christian publishing. Hiking in the mountains filled our summer days with joy, a miracle after my husband’s life-changing severe leg injury of a few years ago. With all these activities, 2017 was an amazing year!

However, I realized I was frenetic…..rushing all the time, stressing to do everything, trying to make everything (and me) better…always thinking about my lengthening to-do list, planning the next fabulous trip, and continually revising my contest-finaling manuscript. I had plenty of blessings, but still….I found myself unsatisfied.

I wished for more writing time.

I wished for more time with family.

I wished for more places to visit.

I wished for more miles hiked.

I wished for more success toward my publishing dream.

I wished for more chocolate.

You get the picture. I wanted MORE!

I believe I’m always GRATEFUL for my blessings, praying each morning after our devotional time of lifting praises of thanksgiving and prayerful requests on behalf of those on our prayer list. I don’t like to think my desires for more are greedy or bad for me….well, maybe wanting more chocolate is not a good idea. I know my needs are ABUNDANTLY provided for by our Lord.

During late December conversation with my husband, I felt a glowing moment of realization. God gave me my One Word for 2018…….APPRECIATE.

My One Word 2018

APPRECIATE is more than being thankful….more than being grateful. God wants me to pause…… to take some quiet time to go deeper and truly APPRECIATE what I have been given…

to TREASURE the time I do have with family,

to be CONTENT with my writing accomplishments,

to REJOICE in the trails I can walk,

to IMMERSE myself in the places I visit,

even to SAVOR  the chocolate I eat,

and to APPRECIATE who I am……a flawed, sometimes self-involved, perfection-seeking child of God. He doesn’t want me to stop striving and planning for tomorrow, but to stop and APPRECIATE for a moment….what I do have and who I am….because of HIS LOVE and GRACE!

BIBLE VERSE

This is the Scripture He placed on my heart:

If you are really wise, you’ll think this over—it’s time you appreciate God’s deep love. Proverbs 107:42 (MSG)

MY THOUGHTS

At the beginning of the year, I start a new note on my iPhone, titled with my new One Word for the year. Right under the title, I include the new Scripture verse. During the year, this is where I jot down any important thoughts. This way, I see my One Word and Scripture often.

Has my One Word enlightened my 2018 path? Yes! Already in the first month of this new year, my attitude has changed because of my focus on APPRECIATE. I feel more relaxed. Contented. When I start to whine or complain, I stop, giving myself a moment to appreciate my situation. This puts a new light on my attitude. Even my husband has noted my “inner peace.” Thank you, Lord, for Your love and guidance!

TREATS

And speaking of chocolate, here’s a treat from a special place, Animas Chocolate Company, in Durango, Colorado. And, yes, I appreciated sharing the delicious and spicy El Bandito coffee and pure milk chocolate bar (inscribed with “LOVE”) with my husband for an early Valentine treat.  But the best part? Appreciating the blessing of spending some quiet time with my husband. Perfect!

El Bandito coffee….spicy!

Animas Chocolate Company shop in Durango, Colorado.

PRAYERS

There is no need to comment. Instead, take a moment to APPRECIATE your TREASURED BLESSINGS, especially the blessing of God’s deep love for you. Please know I appreciate you and pray for you, my friend.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida