Monday, January 21, 2019

Books and A Blizzard

This past weekend we experienced the first blizzard in a few years. Since I had a goodly supply of toilet paper, milk, and home made bread, I didn't agonize over the fact. Bobby and I spent Saturday in front of a cozy fire and we re-watched Last Holiday with Queen Latifah. I do love a good comedy with a fine leading actress. We enjoyed toasted bread with cinnamon and sugar which took me back to my childhood and the many times my mama made cinnamon/sugar toast for my brother and me.
And Emily went sledding with a friend and didn't return home for a couple of hours.




When Sunday rolled around, I woke with and idea for a story and thoughts on six main characters. You can't imagine how happy I was to know I had a note book in the bedside stand in which to write those ideas down because I would have never remembered everything. I made breakfast for everyone: spelt waffles, sausage, and Ohio maple syrup. And just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, Bobby retrieved the mail from Saturday when he out to clear the drive.



This proved especially exciting, because amongst the stack, I found a delicate flowered envelope. An envelope that held a letter from a seven year old fan from Georgia. A touching letter, it almost made my husband cry when I read it to him.


Dear Aileen Stewart:

I really enjoyed the book Cooking In Fern Valley because it included both of my passions, reading and cooking I love doing them both and your books have made me quite hungry and I have tried your recipes before and I wanted to let you know that they are quite delicious I have read Cooking in Fern Valley many times. However this time halfway through the book I suddenly had a urge to write a letter to you so I did (that is this letter you are reading right now.) Your books are quite fictional and interesting and I want to read them all but now I have an urge to go downstairs and make some scrambled eggs.

Sincerely, Lilianna Yun age 7

au revour!

Despite the lack of some punctuation, this is a most moving letter. It doesn't get better than a seven year old, with the same passions as me, loving my book. And I'm pretty sure her scrambled eggs were the bomb.

And last but not least, I read Andy and Sandy's Anything Adventure by the legendary Tomie dePaola. A perfect book for snowbound book worms, Andy and Sandy use a dress up trunk to stimulate their imaginations.Incredible imaginations and friendship abound in this story perfect for three to six year olds.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Soup and Sleep



This past week sent us scurrying back to school lessons. It also saw the beginning of  a five week photography course Emily is taking with her home school aid Ms. Charlie. I'm not sure she loves taking pictures as much as I do, but I hope she at least enjoys the class.

We also attended our monthly Cook Book Club meeting where the theme was soups and sandwiches. Now I don't know about you, but I absolutely love soups and sandwiches. So much in fact, that I forgot to take any pictures. Emily made my recipe for lemon poppy seed bread, and I made turkey and bacon club sandwiches with avocado spread and white chicken chili.


The Ultimate White Chicken Chili - the BEST of the BEST White Chicken Chilis! SO good and ready to eat in under 20 minutes! Rotisserie chicken, white beans, corn, green chilies, chicken broth, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, half-and-half, pepper jack cheese. Top with some sour cream and extra cheese. Makes a ton. Freeze leftovers for a quick meal later.
I used a recipe from The Ultimate Chicken website with a couple of substitutions. I already had two cups of cooked shredded chicken and I had heavy cream instead of half and half because I didn't want to run to the store.  I thought it was delicious especially topped with shredded cheddar cheese, but Emily told me if we were having leftover soup for dinner she would fix herself a hot-dog. One day Ms. Picky's tastes will change just like mine did, and she'll wonder why she turned her nose up to so many tasty dishes.

Over the weekend it snowed here in Ohio. It probably didn't snow here as much as some parts of the country, but I was happy to see the snow and cold that did shower us because it will mean a good maple syrup season; and I surely do love fresh maple syrup.

And last but not least, I read a book titled The Goodnight Train. I personally don't have any trouble falling to sleep, but for some reason my male cat has decided for the past several days he needs me to get up at 2 or 3:30 in the morning. To help raise me from my slumber he digs incessantly on the sliding closet doors directly beneath the master bedroom making a ruckus that could raise the dead if that were possible. But I'm getting off topic, so back to the book.



The Goodnight Train is a cute rhyming book about children being lulled to sleep on a train traveling through dreamland. The sounds and sights that fill the night as the train makes its trek will surely delight children from five to seven.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Possibilities

It's 2019, a New Year full of possibilities that are yet to be explored. Doesn't that just make you tingle with anticipations? Bobby, Emily, and I started 2019 by staying up till midnight and watching the ball drop. I must admit that I miss the old traditional ball and Dick Clark, but Emily was excited to drink her Orange Cream Soda and eat Jalapeno Cheetos well after her normal bedtime. She then spent the day with one of her besties.


Apparently the thought of a brand new year filled me with energy because I began cleaning out closets and cupboards like there was no tomorrow. Several garbage bags later I took a break and worked on a picture book manuscript from one of my Storystorm ideas. The New Year also brought me a new critique partner who I am excited to get to know.


And finally, I read one of the books Emily received for Christmas. The fourth in the Wollstonecraft Series, The Case of The Perilous Palace met all my expectations. I love UK author Jordan Stratford's style and the way he takes real life characters and gives them a more romantic and mysterious life, a blending of history and fiction.


The main characters Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley, parted by Ada's overbearing grandmother, manage to reunite with the help of the princess who needs their services. Someone has stolen one of her sketch books, the sketch book that allows her to put down her feelings in a code only known to her. The thief leads the girls on a merry chase, and when caught, surprises everyone but Ada.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.