Grandma's Wedding China

I am writing the second series. It is called the Holiday Series.  The four books are:

No Christmas for Olivia
Spring Break in Florida
Independence Day
A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

I asked my niece to take a picture of their Thanksgiving table to use on my Pinterest Board.

When my Mom died we all knew that Kim should have her wedding china. She entertains like Grandma Shea.

This is lovely Franciscan china made in California in the DEL MONTE pattern. I am happy to have it in the book.

Crystal of the Holiday Series

In the Holiday series the beautiful cut glass and several Heisey Candlesticks are a special collection of Grandma Dade's.  The Lismore Waterford goblets have special meaning because they were purchased on a trip to Ireland with her best friend.  The table set with the beautiful china and all the sparkling crystal was a sight to see.

Bishop Ken Untener's Homilies

Bishop Ken's homilies are online. His sister, Sr. Mary Ann Untener, IHM, gave them to Visitation North Spirituality Center to post. I knew Bishop Ken when he was the Bishop of the Saginaw Diocese. He was a humble man. He sold the Bishop's residence and moved to the different parishes in the Diocese.

In the Holiday Series Mary tells Sgt. Davidson to go online to read Bishop Ken's wise words. You can, too!


Bishop Ken Untener's Year A - Matthew Gospels - Homilies

Bishop Ken Untener's Year B - Mark Gospels - Homilies

Bishop Ken Untener's Year C - Luke Gospels -Homilies

Art of the Holiday Series

The picture on the bottom is one taken by Dennis Keyes - I found it on Pinterest - Choosing Chihuly Board - the quilt above is one that my cousin, Mary Andrews from Grand Blanc, MI made after being inspired by a trip to the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix when a Chihuly exhibit was showing.

Mary made that masterpiece and several others after that show inspired by Chihuly. That beautiful quilt art is hanging in my kitchen and it brings me inspiration on a daily basis.

In the book, Holiday Series: No Christmas for Olivia, Mary makes this quilt for Robbie's nursery as a rememberence that life is filled with beauty and that he should always look for it in his every day world or even in unexpected places.

The picture below is also from the book: "One hill had hundreds of smooth, bright red-colored glass rods that reached to the sky."

White Chili

My friend Ruth Eggerd gave me the original white chili recipe. We had it for a soup supper at St. Mary Cathedral during Lent. It was so delicious. Over the years I have added and changed a few things and it is one of my favorite recipes.

Fran makes it for dinner when Dennis comes over the first night he meets Ayva in the 2nd book of the Holiday Series, Easter Break in Florida. The secret ingredient to Fran's white chili is Charras tostadas. If you cannot find them in the Mexican food section of your grocery store you could replace it with tostada chips.

Click on Read More to see the recipe!

Blitz Kuchen

The delicious coffee cake that is in the 2nd book of the Holiday Series, Easter Break in Florida. The St. Mary Cathedral youth group makes them to sell at a bake sale after Mass. After a sleep over at the church they bake 100 of these delicious coffee cakes.

In my real life my sister was in Campfire Girls. Her group made these to sell at church one year as a fundraiser and ever since this has been a favorite recipe in our family.

Click Read more to see the recipe for one.

St. Francis Quilt Club

Mary starts a weekly quilt club at the local nursing home. She has chosen the kaleidoscope pattern as their first quilt.

Holiday Series: Independence Day - Family History Sharing

In the book, Independence Day - Fran opens a surprise box from her sister Mary.  A memory box of Great, Great, Grandpa Charles Shea performing at the Elks Club. (Actually my sister, Kathy said it was more like 1937 and that the record was a 33 not a 45.)  

Fran shares with her daughter Sheala about Family History.

Four Seasons Friends: A Stand Alone Book

I am so happy to announce the next book will be a novel.  There are two big families living next door to each other and I want you to be able to read right through the book instead of having a series of books.


Amanda yelled down from the top railing of the beautiful oak staircase, "Mom, where are the boxes from my bedroom?" Her mom was in kitchen in the back of the house.  With the dishwasher running she couldn't hear her daughter.

Amanda screamed louder, "Mom!"  Still no answer. She stomped angrily down the stairs, stopping at the landing to yell again! This time with all the pent up anger she felt about moving, "Mother, where are my belongings?"

Without waiting for an answer she turned and ran down the last set of stairs to the entry hall.  She randomly started opening boxes and as she rummaged through them the contents began spilling out onto the floor. Her mom had heard the last yell and as she walked into the long entry hall to see what was wrong she gasped, "What are you doing, Amanda Jane? Don't start pulling things out of boxes, right here in the front hall!"

Tempers were short. Moving day was taking its toll. Amanda started crying as she said, "I want to find the boxes for my room. I NEED to find my journal. It's a matter of life or death!"


Mrs. Castor needed to use a Spirometer in the first book, "Summer" of the Four Season Series.

A spirometer measures the volume of air that is taken in and put out by the lungs.  The indicator encourages the patient to maintain an appropriate rate of intake of air to work towards the lungs being able to work at capacity.  The main reason Mrs. Castor needed it was to exercise her lungs by breathing deeply to make sure she didn't develop pneumonia.

Camping in Atlanta, Michigan, not Georgia!

In the second book of the Four Season Series, Fall, William and Sissy go camping. David and Noreen offer to watch the kids so William and Sissy can go camping in Atlanta, Michigan.  Clear Lake State Park is their favorite campsite.  They can drive down the two tracks and see elk, go to Inspiration Point for quiet reflection and Bear Den Lake to watch the Loons.
William and Sissy can't believe their eyes!

The loons at Bear Den Lake can stay under water for a long, long time!

Three elk pose for Sissy to take lots of pictures!

Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans

Click the picture to go to my Four Season Pinterest Board for the recipe.

Ma's Molasses Cookies from the Four Season Series

I just baked these for the first time. Fran, Ma's great granddaughter, gave me the recipe to use in the series I am working on - the Four Season Series. 

Fran's home had an extended family living there.  Ma, her sons Ed and Pat and her daughters Helen and Honey.  Helens daughter Patsy and her husband Pumkin and daughter Fran.  I could spend hours at that home.  Someone was always cooking or baking.  There were always Patsy's brothers and their wives coming over with babies - oh how I loved holding and playing with those babies!  Uncle Ed and Uncle Pat always were sitting on the porch telling stories.  And of course, Fran, you could always count on Fran and me to get in trouble somehow. 

When I was little I used to love watching the woman I cherished, Ma in her 90's, make these cookies. I could barely wait for them to come out of the oven and cool enough to eat. That is how I feel right now!

I am taking my first bite - oh my goodness - not too sweet - just right - the jelly on top is essential. (Fran said to use grape jelly. ) The cloves and cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg are in perfect proportions!

Mmmm...  I just went back in time.

Click on Read More to see the recipe!

Four Season Inspiration

We were out taking pictures of the beautiful fall colors when we decided to drive through Forest Lawn Cemetery.  I was inspired!  One of the classes is going on a field trip to find names in Saginaw History!

Here are a few:

Stephen Knapp Inspired Art

In the third book, Winter, of the Four Season Series, Sarah and Julie join the Art and Environment committee.  The group at St. Mary Cathedral plan the environment at church.  The girls are invited on a field trip to the Midland Center of the Arts where the artwork of Stephen Knapp is displayed.

The committee is inspired to create "lightpainting" behind the cross for Easter. Click on the picture to go to Stephen Knapp's website.