BubbaK Bethcross and Kelly
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............... HAPPY BIRTHDAY .....................
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There's coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the decanters on the counter. There's a variety of freshly baked jelly and cream filled doughnuts apple fritters and maple bars on the counter. Ice cold milk is in the fridge beneath.
Please come back and tell us what you get from the free links. Or if you've read a previously Free book drop in and tell what you thought of it...
Link to PART 1
In the bow of a ship which had been crafted by Elvin magic to resemble a snow goose, Picea lifted her scepter over the frigid waters of the Arctic Sea.
Contrary to myth, Santa's workshop was not at the North Pole. In fact he had no workshop at all. The toys and presents he gave were made from elemental magic which he gathered at the North Pole. Not the geographic North Pole everyone points to, but magnetic north which changes its position daily. It is there that the barrier was closed between this and the nether world where the troll queen still plots to enslave both humans and elves. If not for the barrier, the queen would have burned every last tree and covered the earth in oceans of stone.
Picea was desperate. She needed magic if she were to find her perfect mate. Above her, pink and lavender light known as the Aurora Borealis swirled in a quickening vortex over her scepter. In its center a sad face appeared. He was a clean shaven man in his early forties with dark brown hair. His pale blue eyes held no joy at all. Picea found it hard to believe such a man could take her father's place, but she had no other choice. Christmas would be here all too soon and she would have to find the man who fit that face. If sunlight bathed the glade of truth on Christmas morn without a new tree, the barrier would fail. Picea needed a mate. No, she needed the perfect mate, for together they would become the spirit of Christmas. She, the tree, which was decorated each year, and he the jolly old elf, loved by the children all over the world. Through those two icons the love of the world could be channeled into the barrier which holds back the evil that threatens all living things.
But how could she warm a heart cold with grief when her own heart shivered at the loss of her parents?
Jazzy gazed at the fractal image of her nemesis in the ice-stone.
"Finally, a mistake. Rocko, Harley, come to me. I have a job for you."
Two misshapen forms detached from the stone and lumbered forward. "Yes my queen."
"You're going into the world of men. Find out what you can about Jake Harding and report back to me."
Jazzy waited until Picea lowered her scepter and turned away. She fired both catapults, sending her stone minions through the closing vortex. They sank into the icy waters unnoticed by the elf. Once settled on the ocean floor, the two stones changed form. Rocko became a chiseled body builder, and Harley a golden haired goddess of beauty.
Jake loaded his tools into the cargo hold of the helicopter. He had a rush job for a half-circle gazebo outside a home in Washington's beautiful Baker Mountain Forest.
The pilot lifted off, leaving Jake's truck in a heliport near Bedford. The woman had claimed no one else in the state would take a job that kept them isolated from the world throughout the holidays. Jake would have to eat, sleep, and work on the job. His materials would be flown in from Seattle, but none of that bothered him.
It was good to have work and better that it would keep him busy and away from the house. A house he'd built himself, starting it on the day his wife gave him the most wonderful news he'd ever heard. She was pregnant. It had taken him eight months to complete the house and it wasn't a moment too soon. His beautiful baby girl had been born a month premature. She made that house a home, marking the walls with circles and lines which Jake refused to paint over. She had added life, laughter, and tears.
It was just a house, now.
The lump returned to Jake's throat as he watched the forest glide beneath him. He pulled out his plans and studied the surrounding landscape. The ground sloped downward from the house to the forest. He'd have to elevate the eastern edge with pillars to keep it level. The front side would curve around the base of the blue spruce to be planted by him on Christmas morning. It didn't make sense to Jake, but who was he to argue with a customer?
**************** THANK YOU SUE *************************************
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Let's also remember all those whose homes were taken by Hurricane Sandy. Keep them in your thoughts or prayers. And if you are able to help out do so...
Birthday and Anniversary link.
In honor of the coming holiday I've included a couple of my Thanksgiving favorites. Since we have people from all over the world I'll ask this instead of just Thanksgiving.
What are your favorite dishes for feasts?
½ loaf sour dough French bread cut into cubes and dried for 3-4 days
½ loaf sweet French bread cut into cubes and dried for 3-4 days
(you can substitute 1 bag of croutons if you're short on time)
6-8 cups of your favorite cornbread recipe...this also comes dried and boxed
1 large celery stock
2 Large onions
6 large carrots shredded
1 stick of butter
1 12oz can broth
3 cups broth and drippings from the turkey....enough liquid to give the bread the consistency of mashed potatoes...you can substitute with all canned broth
2 tsp Poultry seasoning or to taste if using seasoned croutons
2 tsp garlic salt to taste if using seasoned croutons
6 eggs slightly beaten
Crumble cornbread and bread cubes into large roasting pan or other deep dish pan
Sauté vegetables in butter until tender and pour over breads...add broth and stir together consistency should be like mashed potatoes...add seasonings to taste when it's right stir in the eggs and bake at 300 for 20 to 30 minutes
Grandma's Sweet Potatoes
3 cups Sweet potatoes baked until soft and mashed
1 cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter
½ cup milk
½ tsp salt
Add all the above ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Pour into a 9 X 13 greased pan and bake for 30 min at 350 deg, F
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
¼ cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix the above ingredients together and sprinkle over the sweet potatoes...bake 10 more minutes and serve.