Around The Fire
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Hello and Happy Saturday. I’m coming to you from the Sunshine State and since it’s still January, I feel free to look back at last year and all the happenings. I also wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to thank you all for your following, support, and friendship. As a way to say it, I’m going to share one of my go-to recipes. So, grab a chair and a hot cuppa and join me for a few minutes.​ Tell me, how often does someone pop by and you have nothing to put on the table? I used to have a ladies’ bible study and I’d pull this one out and everyone loved it.  I call it Lightning Cake because if you have a few simple ingredients it’s done in a flash. ​ 1 Large Egg 1/2 c. Sugar 1 c. Flour 1 tsp. Baking Powder 1/4 tsp. Salt 1/4 c. Milk 3 Tblsp. Melted Butter 1/4 tsp Almond Extract (If you don’t have this increase the Vanilla to 1 tsp.) 1/2 tsp Vanilla Beat the egg while adding sugar. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Then add the milk, butter, and extract. My favorite pan for baking is a square 8X8 or 9X9 sprayed with no-stick. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 or 25 minutes depending on the size of your pan. I don’t frost it but dab some fruit jelly or preserves. How about some fun factoids?​ Did you get a fruitcake this year? Well, today is National Fruitcake Toss Day. Just don’t hit anyone. Tomorrow is National Pie Day? What’s your favorite? Mine is either Blueberry or Lemon Meringue. How can I not celebrate National Florida Day on January 25th since I’m now a part-time resident? Library Shelfie Day is always the 4th Wednesday in January. A big shoutout to all the Libraries and people who hand us FREE books.  January 27th and Chocolate Cake Day. Hmm, I’m going to experiment with turning the above recipe into chocolate. Let me know if you tweak the recipe. National Kazoo Day is the 28th. I once got in trouble with a co-worker for tooting on my Kazoo. Some people have no sense of humor. The 29th is a bit puzzling. Yep, it’s National Puzzle Day. I have an owl puzzle sitting on my shelf just waiting to be assembled. The only thing I could find for the 30th is National Croissant Day but then who doesn’t enjoy the buttery decadence of this treat. Finally pop, pop, pop! Yep, and if it’s the 31st then it must be….National Bubble Wrap Day! Are any of you poppers? I can entertain myself to seconds popping the bubbles of air. I actually know someone who makes these. I was surprised to find this in my inbox! Agent Sam Carter is an influencer favorite. Here’s what they said… The Mystery of High Pointe Tower is such a fun paranormal adventure. While it’s aimed at middle-grade readers, it’s suitable for YA and even adult readers, too. The characters and the witty banter move the plot as does the mystery. D.V. Stone has a talent for paranormal adventure stories and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot twists are a little predictable but will be appealing to middle-grade readers. Sam is a very relatable character to kids. This wholesome story is the perfect length with a pleasant ending. There’s room for a lot more adventures for Agent Sam Carter and friends and I, for one, can’t wait to read more. Highly recommend www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08NC6XZR9  It’s a free read with Kindle Unlimited.​ You know Rock House Grill and Jazz House are books about First Responders in all their roles. Jazz House’s main male character is Michael Machau a police officer from a small town in fictional Slate Quarry Pa. The folks at The Blue Magazine asked me to write a column for their January issue. I’ll send you the link when it hits. And if you are on Goodreads I’d appreciate any adds to your “want to read”  at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57910368-jazz-house Don’t forget to keep your eye out for a special Valentine’s Day with Shay and Aden from Rock House Grill. All of you will get a first chance at reading a “Flash Fiction” Story. Those on my mailing list will have first dibs as well as a special announcement so don’t miss out sign up here mailchi.mp/1172dfb299fb/d-v-stones-around-the-fire Some of you may know we are big campers, oh sorry, glampers. We are glamping in Perry Florida at a lovely KOA koa.com/campgrounds/perry/  Brian and Debby are the hosts and such great people. After thoroughly researching, four years ago they purchased a campground that had seen better days. Since then the rehabilitation of this KOA has been amazing. Located on The Great Bend of Florida, this camp is gorgeous and surrounded by gorgeous. Though it’s not as warm as you might consider winter in Florida, we love it. It feels like fall in NJ. ​Here are some pictures… Baby has her own space I Love the mossy trees And lastly, here’s a prayer and a thought for the coming year. Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19