Nov 22 – Meet Rhode Island Author Buffi Wixted and the Fellowship of Elves

Whew- that was fun.  So we are now caught up and ready for one more week of meeting Rhode Island Authors.

Buffi’s Fellowship of Elves is a perfect story for the holiday season- get a signed copy at the ARIA Authors Expo on Saturday December 5th at the Lincoln Mall – 11am to 5pm.

Martha Reynolds Writes

Feeling Good about 2012

Generations 1 and 5 together on Christmas Eve

Generations 1 and 5 together and 3 in the background this Christmas Eve. Photo courtesy of another 3, Dawne O’Brien

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas, I sure did. I had a festive Christmas Eve full of fishes (4 of 7), family and fattening desserts. Squid salad, scallops wrapped in bacon, shrimp cocktail, my mother’s fried smelts and my sister Donna’s broccoli rabe. Decadent desserts that I simply gorged upon. And my family, who I am so proud of. We had five generations together laughing, eating, and being merry.

On Christmas Day we celebrated with the Mitchell/Naughton side of the family. I was a little more sleepy and stuffed than I should have been, but felt warm, comfy and cozy with my in-laws, who have welcomed me into their family and provide me with so much love and support, I can’t help but be thankful every day.

For what, you may ask? Well, there’s my husband, who keeps me from going crazy on a daily basis, and indulges me as I try to express myself through writing. My Julia, who is beginning her teen angst and attempting to drive me crazy on a daily basis. But she is strong, smart, beautiful, and rivals Andrea Boccelli at holding a note. It’s hard not to love on her too much now, as she tries to figure out who she is. Sometimes I can’t believe I helped make her. That we made her together. But she is both of us. The best of us both, really. And yes, she’s stubborn and emotional too, as she can’t have just our best qualities. She’ll have to learn how to balance her positive and negative energy, like we all do.

I feel blessed with so many friends, old and new. The old ones go back as far as Kindergarten, who know me good bad and ugly and still love me. The new ones from as recently as a few days ago, as I connect with writers and bloggers continually through pattytmitchell and other venues.

I know I am gushy now but I can’t apologize. This year has had its ups and downs, but I have learned from my downs, really. And I hope I’ve given something to others in return for all I have received.

The snow is falling gently here in Smithfield and I feel, at least for tonight, like I live in a snow shaker, the kind you buy in the Christmas department at Macy’s or some other big store. One that is so big and full of beautiful scenery, and iridescent crystals shimmering and floating around, with no particular destination. There are times when I have felt like those crystals, but not today. Today I am cozy and warm and reflecting on how fortunate I am, and just enjoying it.

I’ll be spending the next week going through the very thoughtful editing job that my friend Lisa made to “A Girl from the Hill.” I hope to have a final draft to the publisher before the end of this year, which is only a few days away.
Hope you all enjoy the rest of 2012, and I’ll be posting again on January 1, 2013. Till then, Peace and Love.

Riu Riu Chiu

Oh I love the Monkees. I was about 3 when this first aired. They are much older now, and Davy is gone. But I still love them, and they bring me to a place where at least for me, happiness and peace were abundant. Thank you Redtree Times. Enjoy!

Redtree Times

Monkees' Christmas 1967I was flipping around the channels last night, the final Christmas specials winding down as the holiday came to an end.  I ended up on an old Christmas episode of The Monkees from around 1967.  It was a show that I had loved as a kid of 8 or 9 and it had Butch Patrick, the kid who played Eddie Munster on the also adored The Munsters TV show, as a guest.  How bad could it be?

God awful. That’s how bad.

Luckily, I came in near the end but was amazed at how utterly terrible it had been  put together, almost to the point of being unwatchable.   The writing was bad and  the schtick, worse.  I began to wonder if all of those other things I loved as kid had aged so poorly.

But just as I was about to flip to anything else, the band came…

View original post 124 more words

Christmas Angels

christmas paint

christmas paint (Photo credit: cassie_bedfordgolf)

Each year, Christmas Spirit enters into my soul and settles, like a cool mist on the hard winter ground. Always a little different, depending on the state of my life. Christmas gives me something every year, but I am only able to accept what I’m ready for in my heart.

I’ve spent many Christmases feeling sorry for myself, alone and pitiful. I used to wonder what my purpose is, am I fulfilling it, am I a success, a failure, how can I improve myself so that I will be happy.
As the years pass, my concerns are more for others than myself. How do I give my family a happy pleasant day, and carry it through the year? Who can I help that needs help? How can I spend my time to make the world a happier, more peaceful place – whether it’s just my little corner of Smithfield, Rhode Island, the nation, the world?

I’ve witnessed many random acts of kindness this past week, more than the obligatory letting cars pull out in front of you at the Mall on Christmas Eve. I believe it’s a result of those horrendous events in Newtown, Connecticut. How many parents are holding their children closer, being a little more patient, living in the moment a little more? I know I am.

Continue reading

Struffoli – Italian Christmas Candy to Me

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/struffoli-recipe/index.html

English: Struffoli made in the traditional way...

English: Struffoli made in the traditional way from Sorrento. Marble sized dough balls covered in honey, citrus peel and hundreds and thousands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mother didn’t have the recipe written down for this one, so I’ve attached Giada’s here. I trust her, and her method seems closest to my mother and Grandma Jennie Testa’s. My mother told me to just use Wande dough for this but there are so many specific steps that I wanted to make sure that I captured them correctly.Italians make all kinds of wonderful desserts at Christmas. The cookies alone are of such great variety that I think one could really do a whole cookbook of them.Stuffoli differs in that it’s not a cake or a cookie, but these awesome fried balls of dough  molded together with honey and taste like candy. My Grandma Testa used to make these and so did my Auntie Dot, and I looked forward to getting a chunk, and chewing into the gooey honey and smacking my lips like Winnie the Pooh as I ate. My mother said Grandma, and her mother too, would shape the struffoli in the shape of a wreath and bring them to friends and family as gifts. Auntie Dot continued her mother’s tradition and would often make one just for me.

Struffoli does take time and focus, neither of which I have much of this holiday season. But I vow to make it next year, and deliver a wreath or two of honey balls to my own friends and family. And one for me too.

Disney's adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc....

Disney’s adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc.’s Winnie-the-Pooh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ravioli Season

http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2012/11/tis-season-to-make-ravioli-again.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProudItalianCook+%28PROUD+ITALIAN+COOK%29

I had no idea there was an actual season for making ravioli. What a pleasant surprise!

Please check out Marie’s recipe and process. I had to wipe the drool off my chin more than a few times as I read this.  Her Proud Italian Cook blog contains many wonderful recipes for authentic and contemporary Italian food. Continue reading