No Sugar January

sugar

It’s January 17th. This month has dragged by, shouldn’t January be almost over? One reason January always drags for me is the cold dreary weather. Once Christmas is over I’m ready to be back outside. But this year, there’s another reason. Back in December, while I was happily stuffing another piece of delicious Christmas fudge into my mouth, my daughter mentioned to me that she and a couple co-workers were going to give up sugar, processed foods, and fried foods for the month of January. In a moment of guilt over the mass amounts of sweet Christmas treats I had consumed the past several weeks, I said, “Can I do it with you?”

“Of Course,” my daughter replied. She proceeded to set up a group text so that we could all keep each other accountable. As January 1st loomed in front of me, I thought “I can do this.” I’d always heard the benefits of a sugar cleanse. The processed food, fried food parts would be a breeze since I rarely eat either of those. I do like sugar. A candy bowl with delicious dark chocolate sits on my desk and most nights I enjoy a bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt while watching TV.

The first couple of days were fairly easy. I missed sweet treats, but I was excited to get started. But the days dragged on . . . It was about at the one week mark, where the cravings really set in. I would kill for just one little piece of chocolate! My first trip to the grocery was also depressing. Do you know how many products have sugar in them? Ketchup (one of my basic food groups), Salad dressings, cereals, “healthy” snack foods. The list goes on and on. I wanted to give up, but I’m not a quitter. I haven’t cheated yet.

The more days that have passed, the harder it’s gotten. Just when I was about to give up, yesterday I realized I’d passed the halfway point 🙂 All down hill from here. I could make it. I have to admit that I’ve had more energy since stopping sugar, I’ve lost a few pounds around my waist, and I’m sure it’s been good for the rest of my body.

Will I continue once the month is over? Are you kidding me?!?! You can bet I’ll be at Dairy Queen come February 1st. But seriously, I do hope that maybe I will cut my sugar consumption to some degree and be more aware of what I do eat. Thank God it was only for a month!

Christmas in Texas

As many of you know, this past summer I moved from my long time home in Colorado to my new home in Longview, Texas. I was excited about the warm winters and lack of snow. I’ve never been a winter person. Give me 70-80 degrees, and I’m happy 🙂 What I hadn’t anticipated is how the seasons just blend together. In Colorado, we have four distinct seasons. One ends and another follows (that is, except for spring when it’s been known to snow on Mother’s Day, but that’s another story).

Anyway, in the fall freezing temperatures appear in September, sprinklers are turned off, mowers are put away, and the grass goes dormant for the winter. Then the fall leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange, and quickly fall off of the trees. The end of September and the month of October are spent raking leaves. By the time mid-November hits and it’s time to put up the outside Christmas lights, there’s a clean slate. Nothing much interferes. Oh, we had an occasional snow, but the snow serves to make the lights more festive–the bright colors shining through the white.

Not so in East Texas. I enjoyed putting up the lights without the need for my down jacket, mittens and scarf, but the grass was still growing. I carefully staked the Christmas ornaments into the front lawn, only to have to move them to move the grass underneath. And then, the leaves finally turn and begin to fall- IN DECEMBER. Lot of leaves. Tons and tons of leaves, that gently fall to the ground and cover the ornaments. Once again, ornaments are moved to rake underneath them.  Every week, more and more leaves fall.

We’ve been in a basic drought since I moved here in July with very little moisture. That is until this week. The weather has decided to make up for all of those sunny days. Three days ago we had four inches of rain and today is predicted to be much the same. Why do I mention this? Because of all of those nice little extension cords criss-crossing my lawn. Everywhere one cord meet the other, moisture gets in, and shorts out the lights resulting in blown fuses. Just when they were all dried out, it’s raining again. Hard. The other night I did something I’ve never done in the month of December, I didn’t turn on my Christmas lights! I didn’t want to spend the entire night flipping breaker switches.

All in all, I’m happy to be in Texas. I admit, I do like a white Christmas, preferably with all the snow melting by the 26th, but when I saw the 9 degree temperature in my former town this morning, I didn’t miss that. I guess I’ll take 70 degrees and soggy lights.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you from me. Whatever your beliefs, or whether you’re in snow or rain, sun or clouds, warm or cold, its the loving spirit of the season in our hearts that count. May you all have a blessed start to 2018!

Release Day

Hi everyone. Book 8 in my Peaview Series, Colorado Sunrise, is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07828MFF1 If you’re looking for a fun contemporary romance just in time for Christmas, this is the book for you.

Forty-three year old, Kelly Charm, feels her life slipping away in Prairie, Nebraska. A single mom, she longs for a better life for herself and her teenage son, Ethan. Having scoured online job ads for months, she finally finds an ad for a hardware store manager in picturesque Peakview, Colorado and decides to take a chance.

Forty-six year old, Jake Midnight, is Peakview County’s most beloved EMT. He’s the best at what he does—professionally, that is. After a failed marriage, which ended over twenty years ago, he’s put his personal life on hold. He’s content to live alone. That is if you don’t count his three horses, two dogs, five cats, and two pigmy goats.

 When the unfamiliar high altitude of the Colorado Rockies causes Ethan to have an asthma attack, Jake is quick to jump to the conclusion that Kelly is an irresponsible parent. Kelly is furious at the arrogance of this man who know nothing about her or her son. Sparks fly, but there’s no denying the underlying attraction that sizzles between them. The warmth of the holiday season has been known to melt hearts, even one’s which have been closed for years.

 Come home to Peakview, Colorado where everyone has the chance at love.Golden Sunrise Front Cover (422x640)

 

Cover Reveal

Hi everyone. Here’s a sneak peak at the cover of the next Peakview Romance, Colorado Golden Sunset. It will be available to purchase this coming weekend at Amazon.com. Details to come soon 🙂 Golden Sunrise Front Cover (422x640)

Free Christmas Novella

The air has turned cooler even here in East Texas. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks, and starting to get in the Christmas spirit. Only 45 more shopping days until Christmas, and the Hallmark Christmas movies are in full swing 🙂

In the spirit of the season, for the next five days, my Christmas novella, Colorado Cowboy Christmas, is available for free at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MFD0T97

Cynthia Welch has made a name for herself as one of Chicago’s top divorce attorneys at the expense of her personal life. Burnt out, she heads to Peaktop Guest Ranch for a couple of months of solitude over the holidays. AJ Coulter, a cowboy from Wyoming, has been a loner and a drifter ever since his divorce and his teenage daughters leaving for college. He finds a temporary job at Peaktop Ranch as the head wrangler.When their paths cross, Cynthia begins to question her life in Chicago, and AJ struggles to find a way to keep her in Colorado.Can the spirit of Christmas bring these two people from very different worlds together and help them find their way to true love? This Christmas, come home to Peakview, Colorado where everyone has a chance at love.CCC cover front

 

I love Autumn

Autumn 1

Fall is my favorite time of year. Changing leaves, cooler temperatures, football, the beginning of holiday season with Halloween and then Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spice (we can’t forget pumpkin spice), these are all things that make me love this time of year. I’ve lived in many different parts of the country during my life, and although Autumn presents itself somewhat differently in different regions, it’s still the best.

This is my first Autumn in East Texas. It’s warmer here than in my last home of Colorado. No frost yet. But it has cooled off from the constant stream of 90 degrees plus. It was 44 a couple of mornings ago! We’re in a drought this year, not much rain. Leaves are just starting to turn. The stifling humidity from the summer for the most part seems to be gone. Flowers are going strong in my yard in many vibrant colors. My lettuce and carrots are thriving. And there’s football. No major college football here, but high school football is huge. Really huge. And the festivals, each weekend is another festival or two. Looking forward to Yamboree this weekend. Who wouldn’t love a sweet potato festival complete with a barn dance?

I’ve spent a small fortune on pumpkin spice drinks, one of my favorite. My Halloween lights are up, and shine brightly in my yard each evening. It’s also the time of year when all of a sudden the days get shorter. Time to snuggle up on the couch in the evenings, and watch a new season of my favorite shows. Or even better snuggle up and find romance by reading my Peakview Series set in beautiful Peakview, Colorado where everyone has a chance at love. I’m busy working on book 8, Colorado Autumn Sunrise.

I hope you all enjoy Autumn as much as I do, if not, don’t fret, winter will be here soon.

Autumn 2

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