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FAMILY TREE: A Relationship Story ~Susan Wiggs

Monday, August 15th, 2016

“Susan Wiggs is the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of more than fifty novels, with her books in print in thirty countries.  A native of a small town in upstate New York, she now lives with her husband at the water’s edge on an island in Puget Sound, and in good weather can commute to her writers’ group in a twenty-one-foot motorboat.  A former teacher and graduate of the University of Texas and Harvard, Susan is also an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier, and cautious mountain biker – yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. (From the book jacket)

FAMILY TREE is just a lovely read and it was such a pleasure to curl up and enjoy each page on a rainy summers day.  The story unfolds in a small rural community in Vermont, on a farm dedicated to Maple Syrup and healthy lifestyles.  Annie is the girl who drives herself to do everything well and is determined to follow her passion into a big career in the media.  She has learned under the careful tutelage of her Grandmother the ‘Art of Baking’ and she has an innate skill for the craft.

FAMILY TREE is a generational story, which includes the art of creating Maple Syrup to the art of building family relationships that grow and do not consume.  There is considerable wisdom shared in the gentle writing style through the school years, college years and into career building.  Will family patterns repeat and continue into future problems?   What will be success for the family, each character and for the community?

I learned a great deal about the small family farmer, the maple sugar industry, distilling and cooking.  The book came complete with recipe cards for some of the amazing meals served up between the pages.  The book is also about persevering and adapting to change happening to and around each of the characters. A very nice study and I am sure many readers will want this story to come true for them selves.

When I leave the movies it takes a minute or two to come back into the present tense.  It is the same with FAMILY TREE.  The story suspends time and relaxes the reader; taking them away from their own life and problems delightfully.  I am sure it is another bestseller in the making and I can recommend it.  I have not made any of the recipes but I did enjoy FAMILY TREE with several cozy cups of tea.

TLC Book Tours sent me a print copy of this book for review.

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EVERYTHING WE KEEP: A Novel ~Kerry Lonsdale

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

It is Aimee’s wedding day but instead of celebrating the family is attending the groom’s memorial service.  The reader is right into the first plot twist and the mystery of this romantic love story.  A mystery woman tells the tearful bride that James is still alive at the reception!

The first part of EVERYTHING WE KEEP is about Aimee’s loss and her sadness and her resolve to hang on to the possibility that James just might be still alive. They have truly been a couple since they were young children and have been committed to each other for nearly their whole lives.   Aimee’s parents own an Irish Pub and James’ family is very wealthy and own an Import/Export company.  The groom’s family has very high expectations for their sons and are demanding with their rules and enforcement.  Aimee’s family is more relaxed and easy going and they offer James a haven where he can explore other options for his life.

Aimee has wonderful supportive friends and she begins exploring her own life options and opens a gourmet café and coffee shop.  She loves to bake and the foods the author shares are quite delicious.  She also meets someone who thinks she is pretty special too.  The new fellow is very respectful of her feelings and they become good friends.

Part II of the story is the unraveling of the mystery and the return of the mystery woman.  It is very interesting to figure out how the story unravels and the points of trauma, which produced this outcome.

The writing is very good and the story moves at a nice pace; not just escape reading but some interesting thoughts and developments.  I could have enjoyed this book on vacation or on a rainy weekend.  There was enough about beautiful clothes and hair to even keep younger readers interested.

TLC Book Tours sent me an e-copy of this book to read and review.   This book already has over 2,200 4.5 star reviews on Amazon.  It is free for folks who have Kindle Unlimited.

About Kerry Lonsdale

Kerry Lonsdale believes life is more exciting with twists and turns, which may be why she enjoys dropping her characters into unexpected scenarios and foreign settings. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an online community of authors located across the globe. She resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an aging golden retriever who’s convinced she’s still a puppy. Everything We Keep is Kerry’s first novel.

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Where We Fall

LOL Loving Pie, Pie II

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Jesses Chocolate chip pie 02071020I have been laid low by a virus this past week. One of those weepy eyes, huge headache and don’t venture far from home affairs.  Since my vision is very blurry, I thought I would share by 2008 Valentine post with you – it still makes me laugh!  And wouldn’t you just know, to start off the new year with my new oven, I burned applesauce onto a sauce pan; déjà vu!

We celebrated Valentine’s Day a week early because one of our children was driving past and stopped in for dinner.   That is even fun to think about the second time around.

This event seemed to just make me laugh right out loud, as it was quite a comedic undertaking.

Gluten Free Pie Crust is challenging so I thought that making Pie would make the day special.

I try to always speak LOVE in my cooking. It is the main ingredient of every recipe.

Our menu was Chicken Pot Pie from the Harvest Potluck Cookbook for UNICEF , blueberry fruit salad and then Jesse’s Chocolate Chip Pie for dessert.  I was making myself Chicken Noodle Soup for my suppers this week and Tuna Noodle Casserole for GF lunches.

I started several days ahead with the chicken preparation by cooking down the whole organic, free range chicken and creating the stock I would need.  By evening time, had boned the chicken and was carrying the 5 gallons of stock out to the extra refrigerator we have in the garage to cool and for skimming the fat.   I got to the right spot in the garage to balance the tray of stock and use my foot to push open the door of the refrig…

Oh NO!

The lid popped off the middle container and the tray caught the door frame and down went stock onto the floor of the garage.   It filled my shoes after a wild attempt at catching something, I stood watching it wander and weave around the tires of the car, soak up into the cardboard stacked for recycling and exit by the downhill slope.

Bucket brigade of hot water and suds.  Big push broom in action.  Partner coming home to move the heavy stuff and his wood scraps.   I was not laughing out loud yet!

There was still enough stock left for the Chicken Pot Pie – Thank goodness.  I had created a ”together” project for my partner and I to accomplish.   And it was just the stock – not the chicken in the pot!

Next morning 2 GF tuna casseroles made and ready for baking; one was for the child to take home for dinner.   Pie dough is chilling in the refrigerator.  Remaining stock skimmed.  Another joint project ahead of us,    I made the GF Cream of Mushroom soup for the sauce on the pasta and used a new thickening agent recommended by the Gluten Free Pantry

Some of this flour had created a paste on the bottom of the saucepan, and now I had burned- on grief to patiently remove from my best pan.

Morning of the dinner, tuna casseroles baked and Chicken Pot pie ready to go into the over.  A small over flow casserole was set on the burner to cool.   I had been cooking and preparing all morning and just needed to sit and have a cuppa tea….filled and turned on the kettle …What is that smell?

Wrong burner – I had just burned up the small overflow casserole dish!   Black smoke puffing out of a bubble.

My partner is attempting to save this little bowl.

In the door came the travelling child – we sat down to a  magnificent feast and added the stories together of all the amazing cooking feats we had enjoyed and how partaking in such a feast now was just the best part of the adventure.

We are laughing out loud and hugging; it is a celebration of the loving spirit and activities which draw us together and defines our treats and joys; Communication and Communion.

A tuna noodle casserole and chocolate chip pie are 2 hours down the road now….I am addressing the envelopes for my valentines and sharing with you my funny story….One just must have a sense of humor and a smile.   Maybe lovin’ works best that way?

You have any feast stories to share?  Food and love stories?   Laugh out loud cooking events?

By the way, have you tried the recipes in the cookbook? Dot Did! It is a collection of Food Love and wow I have enjoyed everyone I have made so far.  UNICEF reports that it is still bringing in donations.

Thank you.

Chicken pot pie at table

Other Posts you might enjoy:
Someone’s in the kitchen with Patricia
Honeymoon Cruise for 1
Animal Vegetable Miracle

Oven Dies – Don’t Ya Just Hate That!

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Dear Readers,

On April 26th, PatriciasWisdom.com received notice that an image we had used on this page may not have had the public license we assumed. We removed the image immediately from both the blog and our server upon receipt of this notice.

All stock images used on PatriciasWisdom.com (excluding those provided directly by publishers, re-sellers, or authors) are pulled from FreeImages.com (formerly sxc.hu). This image was found on that site in 2011.

We regret that anyone took our actions to be of a malicious intent. It was most assuredly an honest error that was corrected as soon as it was noted.

Thank you,
The Patricia’s Wisdom Team


Getting ready to make Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins and wouldn’t you know it – the oven died. Yep, it just gave up and would not budge.   I could not nurse it or cajole it or get it to comply with my requests.   Oven Dies – Don’t Ya Just Hate That!

The control buttons and LED lights have not been working for about the last 2 years; I just know this professional piece of equipment so well, I could always get it to work for me.  First the light stopped working with a flash inside the oven, and then nothing but the clock would display. The oven came on and then shut down: repeat, repeat, repeat.   I sat on the floor in frustration.

I have a good story of how I got this fabulous oven.  When we were remodeling this 100 year old house and turning the 2 tiny bedrooms into the kitchen, I asked to please be able to pick the range, because I spend at least 20 hours a week in that kitchen and I am actually a person who cooks.  I am not a weekend warrior or healthy gourmet hobbyist.  I am a person who works at healing and promoting health with food.   I am not a nutritionist or a dietician but I do consult with them and I have very good results.

The head carpenter wanted me to pick the range, from a large box store, which was on sale.  My partner the architect wanted me to pick something white and which would fit in with his design and be energy efficient.  Of course, it could not exceed what he thought was a reasonable price.  So I found a brand new professional range with a 1900s design and a wood box warmer on the side. RED.  It was about $10,000.00 US.   This was 20 years ago.   I cooked with a clawfoot bathtub, refrigerator with a microwave oven sitting on top for nearly 2 years while the work was being accomplished.  My cabinet was our camping kitchen box.  I held on and held on to this new range idea until the very last minute.

Then I changed my mind to this one ( my true choice all along), which was available in the next big city down the pike, and only $5K.  They both hopped into the truck and went the 120 miles to pick it up and installed it the very next day.    It has been a love affair for me ever since.  All 10 chefs I interviewed about this range agreed with me, that this was an amazing cooking tool.

I will need to just mourn the loss of this great piece of equipment and then I will begin my interviewing and decision making process again.  The company no longer makes this version of a range and they are no longer offering anything in this price range either.   I am open and flexible, but I am looking for something that is truly amazing and will work with me and my style.  I will know it. It will be my right oven.

Now 6 people are coming for dinner on Friday night.   I will be creative and make do for my simply elegant dinner menu.  I do have a microwave convection oven which is new and replaced another oven microwave combination that caught fire the week after the warranty expired. Oven dies – Don’t Ya Just Hate That!

So have you had household problems or appliance failure, when you have had company coming for dinner?  Do you have a category you call:  Don’t Ya Just Hate That?  Have you experienced the end of an oven?

Looking forward to your comments.

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Related Reading:
Harvest Potluck: Free e-cookbook to fundraiser for Unicef
How we make Decision and Change
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Someone’s in the Kitchen with Patricia