Halloween Artwork

Grace made some cool art for Halloween.

Those would be bats.

Not delicious little wrapped candies.

I asked.

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And a bloody pumpkin.

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A Mighty Muskie on Pomme de Terre Lake, MO

10696198_810727605616031_1881087629993649678_nBryon got a chance to scope out the water with his friend Troy before a big fishing tournament Troy was preparing for. Bryon wasn’t going to participate in the tournament, but Troy needed a buddy to help him find the fish beforehand. Troy and his regular fishing partner have placed in the Top Four every year. The fish Bryon caught would have won this year.

After twenty-one hours of fishing over two days, Bryon landed this beast. It was a 43″ long. They were fishing in Pomme de Terre lake, which is known for its Muskellunge, stocked regularly since 1966 so dedicated fisherman have an opportunity to catch trophy-sized muskie.

10599683_810727675616024_8074338660098722049_nThey used some super, heavy-duty tackle. Bryon was worn out after an entire day of throwing these suckers and retrieving them. He wasn’t complaining though. Troy caught two smaller muskies and had two follows. Bryon saw two other fish, one of which short struck his bait. The other followed the bait to the boat and then turned away. That fish dwarfed the one he caught.

10646795_810727628949362_3705469138489451658_nI’d say this counts as a trophy-sized fish.

He threw that big fish back to live another day.

A good use for zucchini: Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I found this fantastic recipe online for Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins at Ambitious Kitchen’s site. I’ve made them SEVERAL times. Seriously. They’re delicious.


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Here’s Monique’s recipe. Click the link for more great recipes and pictures.

Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 25 mins
Total time 35 mins
Chocolate muffins get a healthy makeover! Made with whole wheat flour and no butter or refined sugars. You’re going to love these perfectly moist, insanely delicious muffins!
Recipe type: Muffins
Serves: 12
  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ½ cup regular or mini chocolate chips
  1. Preaheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and generously spray inside of liners with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Squeeze shredded zucchini of excess water with a paper towel. This is important, so don’t forget!
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add coconut oil, honey, vanilla, egg and egg white; mix on medium-low until smooth and well combined. Add in zucchini, applesauce, and almond milk; mix again. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Evenly divide batter into prepared liners. Bake 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. After 5 minutes, remove muffins and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!
To keep muffins dairy free, use dairy free chocolate chips.

I love adding a few extra chocolate chips (2-3) on top of each muffin before baking to make them look pretty, but it’s up to you!

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 160 Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 14g Fiber: 2.3g Protein: 3.4g


Zombie Walk 2014

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A couple of weekends ago, I participated in the Zombie Walk Lebanon 2014. This was the 5th annual, but the first for me. The theme was 50’s Sock Hop and there was a dance afterward. Clearly I didn’t follow the theme nor did I attend the zombie dance, but the walk was awesome!???????? SONY DSC

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And here is some of my best shambling in action!

Want to walk? The next walk is July 18, 2015 and the theme is Hollywood. Like their page at Zombie Walk Lebanon so you don’t miss out.

Know what else you won’t want to miss? Reap & Repent.


Reap & Repent blurb

Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)They see death. Can they share a life?

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.





Firecracker Float

Two days and twenty river miles. Great kayaking on the Eleven Point. Hardly any boats on the water even though it was July 4th weekend.

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IMG_6942 (1024x768) (800x600)We slept on the river bank.

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IMG_6944 (768x1024) (600x800)Grace could spend hours netting critters from the water.

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Grace loved filtering water. She filled all of our bottles several times.

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Beef stroganoff for us all.IMG_6950 (768x1024) (600x800)

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Chillaxin’.IMG_6958 (1024x768) (800x600)

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We ended the trip at Uncle Rooster’s and signed the floor.

Philadelphia and Beyond: Bells, Churches, Cheesesteaks, & Valley Forge


Spent the morning in Philly seeing the Liberty Bell, Christ Church, and wandering around the city.



Rocky was smaller than I’d expected.

10412032_10154252613050691_2804355587689624286_n (1)As was the Liberty Bell.Tiny, tiny bell! I expected it to be much larger.

10401419_10154252618395691_626965817731386727_nChrist Church was very cool. Grace got the rare opportunity to ring the same bell that Thomas Jefferson had rang as a boy.


IMG_6611 (800x354)The graveyard outside the church was AMAZING. You can find an entire post dedicated to it on my author blog

Grave Discoveries: Ben Franklin’s Grave and Christ Church Burial Ground

10415614_10154252618540691_535974035049169141_nBryon got his Baywatch on. And, yes. The nipples are keg taps.

10356184_10154252617155691_7144016091400721768_nBryon insisted on authentic Philly Cheesesteaks for lunch.


IMG_6598 (600x800)When in Philly…




IMG_6602 (800x600)He wasn’t wrong. They were great.

IMG_6603 (800x600)When we were finished in Philly, we head to Phoenixville for the grand finale…THE WEDDING. But first, we ventured out to Valley Forge.

IMG_6673 (800x600)This is the home George Washington commandeered at Valley Forge. He supposedly rented it and he and the officers stayed inside…

and strategized.

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IMG_6683 (600x800)This is where the some of the soldiers stayed. The lucky ones. The rest of them were in tents across the property.

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IMG_6685 (800x222)This is the oldest standing train depot in the country.


IMG_6669And of course there was food.

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The last day of our trip was dedicated entirely to THE WEDDING. Check out the next post to see what happened 😀


It’s a New Truck!

After years of wanting, Bryon finally got his dream truck.


This is the first new vehicle either of have ever owned. Because it was such a great deal, he drove all the way to St. Louis to get it.

He had a very nice two-year-old, red Chevy pickup once.

I totaled it.

I’m going to try not to kill this one.

That’s one proud GMC owner!

Mother’s Day 2014

Woke up to some nice gifts for Mother’s day. I got an Amazon gift card and an Olive Garden gift card from Bryon.



From Grace I got this cool homemade wind chime.


We went to Nana’s for the afternoon and Mike even made it over. It was a warm spring day and we played some croquet.




Bryon brought home about forty pounds of tuna from his New Orleans fishing trip and cooked us up a gourmet feast!



Are you jealous? You should be 😀


How does the garden grow? Slooooowly.

Lettuce Grow

The garden is started. At least partially.

On March 17, I planted spinach and lettuce. A week or so later Bryon planted onions and potatoes.

Grace’s peace garden is finally taking shape. Sort of. If you squint just right, you can make out the peace sign.

Peace Lettuce

A month later and we are beginning to see progress from the sown seeds but have yet to be able to reap a harvest. Soon. Very soon.

Today I started herb seeds: rosemary thyme, dill, chives, parsley, oregano, lemon basil.


Of course I had to clean out the greenhouse before I could even find anything to plant in.


I think it turned out pretty good.

I’m a FANTASTIC garden STARTER…not such a great SUSTAINER.

Let it begin.