Thank you, Anna Kathryn, for allowing me to join the bloggers for your Holiday Cheer posts during December.
(Thank you, Celia for being my guest. Celia not only shares her deepest holiday secrets, she shares her Chocolate Bark recipe. Be sue to leave a comment, Celia is giving away a copy of her book THE STARS AT NIGHT.)
A favorite holiday memory? The year when our big Christmas tree fell over on Christmas morning, right across the middle of the living room floor–lights, icicles, glass baubles, and all.
What a mess.
My older sister was to be married that Christmas Day in the living room. The wedding was at one o’clock, and with three girls–one who was getting married, and one bathroom, everyone had a job and schedule. Daddy’s only assignment was to get that tree down and out and everything clean and put away. We all thought the tree was as anxious as Daddy and just gave up. We laughed about that for many years.
A favorite holiday song? “So This is Christmas,” written and sung by John Lennon. I know it’s really about the Vietnam war, and not a traditional song, but I absolutely adore it. I cry every time I hear him sing it. Other favorites: “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” and “Santa Baby.” I have a longer list, but these are at the top. I LOVE Christmas music.
A favorite holiday movie? Who would not love “A Charlie Brown Christmas?” He’s the perfect Christmas spirit–loving, generous, forgiving, loyal, champion of the poor, the ugly and the forlorn, and good-natured.
What is the most important thing about the holidays for me? Music is the most important, but I love all the activities and services at church that go on all month. The Advent Wreath lighting each Sunday, the bright white Crismon tree in the corner of the sanctuary, the greening of the church, the very different rockin’ children’s musical on Sunday afternoon, the church choir’s musical Sunday service presentation which takes the entire hour, and all the visitors we usually have.
What is on my wish list? Two things. 1. I wish for a real home and family for every child in the world. It’s not possible, I know, so my next wish would be for a child with no family or home to believe in himself and rely on God, and pull himself up by his own bootstraps. It can be done, with the work and help of the Presbyterian Children’s Homes of Texas. God bless them. 2. A big box of Godiva Chocolates!
What is my favorite holiday recipe or treat? Homemade candy. I learned to make very good candy long ago. When our son and daughter were growing up, I let each–including my husband and me–to choose a favorite candy I should make. Our daughter usually chose English Toffee, our son chose Peanut Patties, I chose Divinity, and my husband chose Peanut Brittle. As they left home, they took recipes with them. Our daughter still makes her own English Toffee. Recently, I’ve added more kinds of candy, mostly easy, no bake kinds.
Celia’s Chocolate Bark
10-oz package of Chocolate Chips (dark chips are best)
1 Tb. vegetable oil
1 tsp extract–(I use Almond Extract)
Nuts (I use 2 cups salted cocktail peanuts)
Dried Fruit (I use 1 cup Craisins)
Candy Bits (I use 1/2 cup Heath Bar Bits)
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave (set at 50% power for three minutes, stirring halfway through) (I melt the chocolate in a big saucepan on very low heat).
Add the vegetable oil and extract-stir-keep warm.
Add the nuts, dried fruit, and candy bits.
Spread it out in a baking pan (cookie sheet) lined with greased foil.
Let it harden in the refrigerator for about two hours. Break into pieces.
Store in closed container in or out of refrigerator.
NOTE: this will not be pretty when you spread it out, nor can you spread it smooth. I use the back of a big spoon, and just spread it out however I can. When hardened and broken into pieces, it’s wonderful.
My newest release: THE STARS AT NIGHT
I will give an ebook copy of The Stars at Night to one randomly selected person who leaves a comment. Please leave your email address if you are interested in the Free Copy. Thanks!
New Yorker Kate Norwood meets Jesse McCoy on her trip to Texas with her young nephew. She learns her plan to leave Nicky with his grandmother — Jesse’s mother — is hopeless, and faced with the improbable prospect of rearing the boy herself, she turns to Jesse for help.
Kate and Jesse bond easily, but problems arise which may drive them apart and leave the child with the wrong person. With hearts full of love and hope, they work together find the answers they need.
Jesse stood almost toe to toe with Riley, with his hands casually inside his jacket pockets once again. He rocked back a bit on his heels and looked down his nose at the smaller man without lowering his head. “Who’s your visitor, Riley? Who’s in your bed?”
“This is absurd! Criminal, in fact. I’m calling the police right this minute and you’d better back off now, or you’ll be sorry. None of this is your business.”
“None of what?”
Riley pointed his finger again. “If you’re not out of here in two seconds, I’ll… I’ll…”
“Why so defensive, Sanders? What’s so frightening about us being here?”
Kate had been watching and listening to the conversation, but suddenly, she turned on her heel and stalked to the bedroom door. Without slowing down, she turned the knob and stormed in, slamming the door back to the wall.
Jesse took a couple of steps in that direction to peek in the room. A naked woman lay in Riley’s bed, not even trying to hide beneath the sheet. The curvy blond lay on her side in a seductive pose. She grinned at Kate, and then actually chuckled low in her throat.
Kate spun about, nearly knocking Jesse over, and stalked back to Riley with her fists clenched. When she got close enough to him, she spread her feet, pulled back one fist, and cracked him in the jaw. He stumbled, almost fell from the blow, and grabbed his face with both hands. He yelped like a hurt puppy dog.
“You crazy bitch! Get out of here!”
Jesse threw his head back and laughed out loud. He noticed Kate bent forward at the waist. She held her hand with the other, and had both clamped between her legs. She grimaced and attempted to stem the tears spilling over.
“Ahhh, sweetheart, come here,” crooned Jesse. “Let me see your poor little hand. Let me kiss it for you. Honey, why didn’t you slap him instead of using your fist?” He made a big show of holding her and caressing the back of her head with one hand while holding and kissing the hurt hand. “I’m proud of you, sweetheart. Good for you.”
“He’s a beast, Jesse. I hate him.”
Riley seated himself in a chair and rubbed his jaw. Lowering his chin, he said, “Okay, so what do you want?”
Celia Yeary-Romance…and a little bit ‘o Texas