Random for Random’s Sake! (Contest winner and new contest, too!)

Ever feel like your brain is just on vacation without you?!  I’m totally serious!

Well, whether or not you know the feeling, today is one of those days for me.  Therefore, this is what I’ve decided to jot down to go along with this week’s random contest: a list of totally random thoughts, written in order as they pop into my mind!  Weird, I know…but I sort of just want to see what happens.  So here goes!  I now present…random thoughts as they pop into my mind and in the order they pop into my mind (WARNING:  This blog may be more pathetically goofy than usual!):

1.  I LOVE peacock feathers!  And if they were so strongly associated with bad luck in Victorian times…then why did so many Victorians use as decor in their house?

2.  How could ANYONE ever have drunk the whiskey when they knew a dead body had been stored in side the barrel with it while that guy was sneaking dead bodies in to medical students back in the 1800s?

3.  I should put my new salad spoons away.  They’ve been sitting on my office floor ever since I bought them in October.

4.  My BFF Sandy’s birthday is two weeks from today.

5.  I need to remember to pick up some printer ink while I’m out today.

6.  I should mail that “Peppercorn Medley Grinders” I bought for a friend that’s still sitting on my desk after a month.

7.  The Carol Burnett Show was soooooo hysterical!

8.  Why did I always think the TV show “Big Bang Theory” was about a gay polygamist until Trent had me watch an episode with him the other night?  (I don’t mean to offend anyone…but that’s just what popped into my head…honest.)

9.  Why can’t Sue on the show “The Middle” ever catch a break?

10.  Ah ha ha ha ha!  I’m glad Sheri and I thought of a new meaning for the acronym ASAP yesterday!  “A Sudden Ape Poop” is soooooo less stressful then “As Soon as Possible” to think about when I’m working!

And now, in reference to Random Item #10…a quote from My e-mail to Sheri yesterday…

“AND…from personal experience…I can add that Ape Poop happens, too!  Especially at the old Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs when you’re a teenager and visiting the ape house with your Aunt and Cousin Dan…and your cousin Dan provokes the ape and the ape throws ape poop at your cousin but hits your aunt instead!!!  Ape poop DOES happen!  So considering that, let’s go with ASAP=A Sudden Ape Poop!”

Now…as for contest stuff…the winner of the Anne of Green Gables CD Audio Book is…Terri Bergman!  Just e-mail me at marcialmcclure@cs.com with your address, Terri and I’ll get your prize mailed off to you!

As for this week’s contest…how about a $25 gift certificate to Applebees!!??  I don’t know why…probably because I’m starving at the moment!  So to enter, just leave a random thought of your own as your comment!  Fun, huh?  Let’s see what’s going through everyone else’s ‘tired of winter’ brain today!

Meanwhile, maybe I need a nap!


Posted in Marcia's Blog | 60 Comments

Just Thinking of Anne and Gil (Zorro Winner and New Contest, Too!)

In late winter and early spring, my thoughts always, always turn to “Anne.”  I’m serious!  It may be because the first time I ever watched the Kevin Sullivan production of Anne of Green Gables was during that time of year…at a time when I was feeling really low and out of touch with myself…and I can honestly tell you that “Anne” found me!

As I watched Anne of Green Gables that year, it was like a little light began going off in my brain…like a little voice was whispering, “Oh yeah!  That’s right!  That’s who I am!”  It was weird…the way a movie (and the the book) could put me back in touch with my core self.  And weird though it may have seemed, I was soooooooo grateful for the experience and to L.M. Montgomery for writing the “Anne” books!

And so, every year at this time, I find myself longing for a little escape into “Anne”…into her world…into Avonlea…not to mention the romance between Anne and Gil!  I mean, who doesn’t love Gil, right?  Seriously…what a guy!

I’m not going to ramble on today the way I usually do…because if you’re an Anne of Green Gables fan, then you understand my feelings.  And if you aren’t yet an Anne of Green Gables fan…rush out and become one!  AND this week’s contest is one way to do that!

But first…the winner of last week’s Zorro contest is…Brynette McKinneyBrynette…e-mail your snail mail address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com so I can pop your Zorro DVDs in the mail to you asap!

And for this week’s contest…whether you already love Anne and Gilbert or whether you still need to hop on the bandwagon how about this…the audio (CDs) version of Anne of Green Gables!!!  Yep…here’s your chance to listen to the book I love so very, very much!  Just leave a comment here concerning anything “Anne”-ish and you’re entered!

I could truly write a book on why I love Anne of Green Gables!  So whether or not you’ve ever read the book or seen the movies…this audio version will be a treasure!  I LOVE “Anne!”



Posted in Marcia's Blog | 34 Comments

For the Love of a Masked Hero! (Oh…and Chili’s and Zorro, too!)

Keturah H. e-mailed me the other day and asked me a couple of questions concerning my inspiration for Divine Deception, and I got to thinking…just what is it about masked heroes that we all love so much?  I mean, it’s the mystery and the dual identity thing, of course.  Don’t you think?  The wondering of who exactly might be hottie with the mad sword skills behind the mask?

In truth, I’m sure there are tons of psychological reasons that we girls like the Zorro/Highwayman of Tanglewood types…way, way too many to enumerate…we just love them!  I’ve loved Zorro since I was little, little, little…Guy Williams Zorro to be exact!  Guy Williams was sooooooooooo dreamy, cool and heroic…the perfect Zorro to me!  Dazzling white teeth, great hair!  Forget about Lost in Space Guy Williams and just focus on 1950s Zorro Guy Williams!  Not that he wasn’t great in Lost in Space mind you (is anybody else old enough to remember Lost in Space?)…I just preferred him as Zorro! (Heavy sigh)

Other Zorro-isms that draw me in…the Spanish accent!  (Thought let’s give Guy Williams a break on that one okay?)  A great accent on a masked man fits like a glove!  It’s always a plus…even with The Highwayman of Tanglewood.

AND, have you ever noticed that masked heroes are always good with not only a sword, but a horse?  They’re always great riders!  And they steal kisses…and who doesn’t love that?  You know, getting stopped in a meadow by a rider dressed head to toe in black and having him steal a kiss?  It’s great stuff!  So what’s not to favor!

In thinking about it all, I even decided that maybe I’ll bump up the writing of another ‘masked man’ story I’ve had popping around in my brain for years just because that theme is so delicious!  Seriously this story has been rattling around in my head for literally a decade, so maybe it’s time to take it to the mat.  What do you think?  There can never too many masked heroes.

As for Keturah’s questions concerning Divine Deception…I decided to take a little time and think them over so I can answer them more thoroughly than my blogging time would allow.  So look for that coming up on the Q&A section of my site in a few days.  AND I’m so glad she asked about Divine Deception!  There IS an interesting story behind it all and I like sharing it!  Meanwhile, do me a favor and mull over that whole ‘masked man’ thing and let me know YOUR thoughts on the matter!

Now on to this week’s contest stuff. Carolyn Hansen…I just pulled your name out of my hat as the winner of the Chili’s gift certificate!  Chips and Salsa here you come!  Please e-mail your address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com so I can get your gift certificate in the mail to you, okay?

As for this weeks Random Contest…Zorro!  Zorro!  Zorro!  Yes…those are the very words chanted by the patrons of Chihuahua’s Family Restaurant in Ferndale, Washington the night my own true hero, Kevin, dashed through the restaurant dressed as Zorro to wish me a happy birthday (AND inspire The Highwayman of Tanglewood!)!  And so, in honor of Kevin, Donavon Brandon, The Highwayman of Tanglewood and any other masked heroes I may write about in the future…welcome to two of my very favorite Zorro’s!

As I previously confessed, I absolutely LOVED Guy Williams as Zorro in Disney’s 1950’s TV series Zorro when I was a child and a teenager!  LOVED him as Zorro and still do!  He still reigns as my favorite Zorro (with the exception of Kevin, of course)!  However, I absolutely LOVED the movie The Mask of Zorro as well!  In fact, I cannot believe that movie is 14 years old!  Crazy!  But I love it as much today as I ever did! (Ooo!  And I admit that I loved the smooching in it as well!  Too impassioned?  I say unto thee, Nay!)

Thus, since we’re talking about masked heroes today, how about some Zorro DVDs up for grabs as this week’s contest, eh?  The Disney Season 1 Volume 4 of Zorro on DVD are getting a little hard to get a hold of these days, but I managed to snatch up Volume 4 of Season 1 starring Guy Williams!  I also grabbed a copy of The Mask of Zorro on DVD while I was at it!  SO…just leave a comment telling me your own feelings of Zorro and/or masked heroes and your name will be dropped in my hat!

Let’s add some bonus motivation to enter, shall we?  Youtubers of the opening credits for Disney’s Zorro AND part of the dance scene from The Mask of Zorro!  LOVE it!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 34 Comments

Beware a Bad Foot Massage (And a Gift Certificate for This Week’s Contest!)

So one day (a few years back), I was having lunch with a dear and cherished friend, and mentor (her name is Jean T.).  As we sat talking, she mentioned that she had been reading her grandfather’s journals and had come across an interesting little tidbit.

Jean explained that her grandfather and his little family had been living in Espanola, New Mexico…and that her grandfather didn’t like the way some of the young men there were ‘pursuing’ his daughters.  It worried him for various reasons, and so he moved his family to Albuquerque.

Jean told me that in his journal, her grandfather explained that he was able to rent a house for free down in Corrales in Albuquerque.  (Though, if one is renting a house for free…is it really renting?  Hmmm.)  Well, it turns out that the reason Jean’s grandfather was able to rent the house in Corrales without paying rent, was that it was haunted!  That’s right!  A real haunted house right there in Jean’s grandfather’s journal!  Naturally I was intrigued.

Well, as the story went, Jean’s grandfather quickly discovered that the house wasn’t really haunted at all (I was disappointed at the news myself)…but that there were actually just bats living in the attic and everyone heard the bats banging around up there and assumed the house was haunted.  A little bit of a let down for me perhaps…but a great story…and I was, of course, instantly inspired by Jean’s story of her grandfather’s not-so-haunted house and the bats in the attic.

“Ooo!” I breathed as the goose bumps of writing inspiration began to wash over me.  “Can I use that in a book, Jean?”

She laughed and told me that I could.

Well, Jean and I enjoyed the rest of our visit, and then I promptly went home, sat down at my computer, and began writing The Light of the Lovers’ Moon!  No kidding!  True story!  That one intriguing excerpt from Jean’s grandfather’s journal was the entire basis of my inspiration for my book The Light of the Lovers’ Moon!

However, here comes the funny part…months later, once the e-book was out and Jean had read it (it IS dedicated to her, after all…and deservedly so), Jean and I were again at lunch (this time with other friends).  Jean started grinning and explained to me that, once my book had become available and she’d read it, she went back to her grandfather’s journal to enjoy the haunted house story once more.

“I told you something wrong,” she said.

“What?” I asked.

“It wasn’t really bats in the attic that made people think the house was haunted.  It was rats!” she explained.

Naturally, we both began cracking up (and of course you would have to have been there for it to really be funny).  Here I’d written an entire book based around one story she’d told me…and in the end, it hadn’t even been bats in the attic.

Of course, bats in an attic are much, much, mucho more romantic than rats in the attic, so I explained to Jean that I was glad she’d unintentionally misrepresented her grandfather’s story because I might not have been inspired by rats the way I had been by bats.  In fact, I’m certain I wouldn’t have been inspired by rats.

It ain’t much to share today I suppose…just a little behind the scenes story that not too many people have heard.  (I love to say “ain’t” by the way…I feel so free and rebellious when I do!)

Jean is so funny!  She cracks me up all the time with little remarks like, “Oh I always, always wanted to be a florist and own my own flower shop,” she said one day.  Then she shrugged and sighed, “But I joined the Army instead.”

Then there was the one a few weeks ago…Jean and her husband Tom, were at the gun store and as Tom continued to peruse the firearms available, Jean began to get a little bored.  Well, she’d noticed that there was a massage place next to the gun store, and so she told Tom she was going to go over and have a foot massage.  Jean is 70, looks not a day over 45, and I couldn’t imagine she would ever need a foot massage…but I guess she did.

Anyway, Jean trotted on over to the massage place and went in.  She explained to one of the ladies there (who didn’t speak English very well) that she wanted a foot massage.  The lady kind of looked at her funny, and even had to go ask another lady where to get the foot massage stuff and how to do a foot massage.  Jean thought nothing about it really, and sat down to the worst foot massage she’d ever had in her life!

“But it only cost me ten bucks,” she explained, “so I figured, it wasn’t a total waste of money.”

Well, you’ve probably guessed it by now…but a couple of weeks later…that “massage place” where Jean received the worst foot massage she’d ever had in her life…yep!  Busted for prostitution!

Oh you should’ve heard the comments flying back and forth between Jean and me!  She said she was glad she hadn’t been in there when the place was busted, and we made jokes about what would the newspaper headlines would have said above her shocked and surprised front page photo!  She said, no wonder it was the worst foot massage she’d ever had in her life!  Oh we went on and on and on with the smart aleck remarks.  It was awesome!

Jean keeps me very, very, VERY entertained and has inspired several threads in several books since the “bats in the attic” story caused inspiration first hit me! (Including Elisaveta Tanner’s remark about the only kind of ring Maxim’s girlfriend would ever get from him would be the one in an antique toilet.  Long story…Jean and Tom…new toilets for Christmas…yadda yadda.)

I love Jean…she teaches me soooooooooooo much and has such a great sense-of-humor.  She’s totally one of my idols, inspirations and most treasured friends.  The stories I could tell!

Now, I don’t know why, but Jean did inspire me for this week’s contest, too (probably because we always “do” lunch).  But first…last week’s winner, right?

Carol L. (Lucky4750) you won the Australia DVD!  E-mail your snail mail address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com and I’ll run over to the Post Office and get your DVD sent off to you!  Okay?

As for this week’s contest…hmmm.  Well, I’m hungry at this very moment (as usual), and I can’t stop thinking about Chili’s chips and salsa!  I LOVE their chips and salsa!  Those warm, thin, delicious tortilla chips and the FABULOUS salsa!  Mmmm!  So this week’s contest is for a $25 Chili’s gift certificate!  Just leave a comment and you’re entered to win!  (You know the drill, right?)  Mmmm!  Chips and salsa at Chili’s!  Perfect for today!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 67 Comments

My Books in Chronological Order-Best Guess! ;)

A few weeks ago, a reader wrote and asked me for a list of my books in “when written” Chronological Order.  She wanted to start from the beginning and read them from first written to most current.  My Mother-in-Law has always liked to read them in chrono order, too, and so I thought it might be kind of fun/challenging to see if I could come up with a pretty accurate list for the reader who had requested it, as well as myself, and anyone else who might want to read my books in that specific manner.

Well, believe it or not, when I sat down to type up the list going by the order in which I wrote then instead of publication date, I found it kind of hard to remember exactly which order I’d written them in!  I’m serious!  It was weird.  There are certain books I can easily remember which year they were written because of certain chaotic events that happened at the same time.

For instance, The Visions of Ransom Lake was written in 1997.  I began writing it in Albuquerque and finished it in Ferndale, Washington.  So that one was easy.  But most of them were kind of a swirl in my mind.

However, I did manage to come up with a pretty accurate chronological order.  There are some exceptions such as the fact that e-books such as Weathered Too Young, Saphyre Snow and The Highwayman of Tanglewood were eventually lengthened from novella length into novels when I was able to scrounge up some time.  So keep in mind that this list includes when the originals were written.  I did the best that I could without calling a million people and asking them what the original date was that I gifted them the manuscripts.  (Okay…maybe not a million people.)

Anyway, since I have recently received several requests for a chronological list, I thought I’d just slap one up on my blog for fun!  And as a side note, if you’re one of the less-than-a-million people I should’ve called first and you have dates that will help me out, just e-mail me at marcialmcclure@cs.com and I’ll fix anything I goofed up on this list!

Meanwhile, maybe you’ll find this a teeny bit interesting if you’ve ever wanted to read my books in the order in which they were written!  (Keep in mind that “order in which they were written” does not necessarily mean it was the “order in which the plot/story/characters etc. were conceived!)

The Anthology of Premiere Novellas Romantic Vignettes (This book has the first three novellas I ever completed.)
Desert Fire (The first Western Romance I completed by the way!)
Born for Thorton’s Sake
Divine Deception
Weathered Too Young (Originally written as a birthday gift!)
To Echo the Past (Also originally written as a birthday gift!)
Sudden Storms
The Heavenly Surrender
The Visions of Ransom Lake
Shackles of Honor
Dusty Britches
The Fragrance of her Name
The Rogue Knight
An Old-Fashioned Romance
Love Me
The Prairie Prince
The Windswept Flame
The Highwayman of Tanglewood
The Touch of Sage
Saphyre Snow
Kissing Cousins
The Whispered Kiss
Sweet Cherry Ray
The Time of Aspen Falls
A Crimson Frost
The Light of the Lovers’ Moon
Kiss in the Dark
Beneath the Honeysuckle Vine
The Tide of the Mermaid Tears
A Better Reason to Fall in Love
The Pirate Ruse
Take a Walk With Me
The Trove of the Passion Room
The Haunting of Autumn Lake
The Chimney Sweep Charm

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 9 Comments

Went to Sleep Thinking About Sea Monkeys, Of Course (Contest Winner and New Contest, too!)

So a couple of nights ago, as I was just lying there trying to relax and drift off to sleep, I started thinking about Sea Monkeys.  Do you remember Sea Monkeys?  I mean, you can still get Sea Monkeys and their habitat (little kits that come with Brine Shrimp eggs that you hatch in water and a little plastic aquarium thing), but you really don’t hear about them much anymore.  BUT when I was kid, I had some!

I used to read comic books when I was a youth…actually, I still do…but the ones I read then were like Hot Stuff the Little Red Devil (my favorite!), Casper, etc.  Somewhere in every comic book I ever read one would find an ad for Sea Monkeys and the ads always intrigued me!  I mean, Sea Monkeys were supposed to be like this little family of like alien aquatic life and they looked sooooooooooooo cute!  (Here’s an old ad I found!  See what I mean?)

Anyway, I became determined that I simply MUST have some Sea Monkeys!  I scrounged up a couple of bucks and ordered them.  (This was back when you could send cash in the mail.)  As I began impatiently waiting for my Sea Monkey family to arrive in our mailbox my anticipation was much like Ralphie’s in the movie A Christmas Story.  Every day I’d check the mailbox hoping for my Sea Monkeys kit to arrive.  And then one day, when I thought I couldn’t wait any longer, VOILA!!!!

Naturally, I was totally excited and went to work preparing the Sea Monkey habitat and sprinkling my Sea Monkey eggs into the waiting water.  I can’t remember how long it took them to hatch, but when they did, they looked NOTHING like the comic book ad.  I mean NOTHING like it.

BUT I’m usually one to find the silver lining in any situation, and as I watched my little brine shrimp swimming around in their cute little habitat (complete with little inlaid magnifying windows so that when the Sea Monkeys swam passed one you could really see them well) I delighted in the miracle of the whole thing.  To me it was amazing that you could order something in the mail, sift in some sandy looking stuff and have little creatures appear! Oh sure…they looked nothing like a little alien aquatic family, but I loved them anyway.

I used to set the little Sea Monkey habitat on my window sill so that the sun could shine through it, and watch my Sea Monkeys swimming around.  I’m guessing they lived about two weeks before they just disappeared somehow (I’m guess died)…but I enjoyed them to the fullest…even if they weren’t aliens.  After all, that’s what we should do in life, right?  If something isn’t perfect, just enjoy it as much as we can anyway!

So…did YOU ever have a Sea Monkey experience?  Whether or not you did, leaving your Sea Monkey comment will automatically enter you in my Random Contest this week!

Last week’s winner…the winner of the Calamity Jane DVD and some “Irresistibles” is Karen Foster!!!!  Snail Mail your mailing address to me Karen, and I’ll get your winnings in the mail!

As for today’s Random Contest…hmmm…how about this…Don’t you think that if anyone was ever going to make a movie about a MANLY merman…that Hugh Jackman would make a good merman?  Seriously!  Let’s run with that weird idea!  Up for grabs this week on my blog, is a DVD/movie starring Hugh Jackman (who WOULD make a good merman)!  And he would be an even better merman if they would let him speak with his natural Australian accent, right?  So this week…Australia is the contest prize!  Leave a comment about Hugh or Sea Monkeys and your entered to win!  I LOVED this movie and the little boy in it will entirely win your heart!  Not to mention that it proves Hugh would make a good merman!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 15 Comments

My “Irrestitibles!” (Winner and New Contest, Too!)

Just jotting down another random thought:

I was just taking a lovely little snooze on the couch downstairs (it’s a blustery January day…the wind is blowing and it’s cold and I had the fireplace on), and I woke up thinking about how badly I want some cocktail peanuts and M&Ms!

So I got to thinking about something dumb—about jotting down those certain few treats that I CANNOT resist! I mean CANNOT!! If they’re in the house, I can’t resist eating them!

In no particular order, here is a list of things I CANNOT resist eating if they’re in the house:

1. Cocktail Peanuts with M&Ms!
2. The dessert known in our family as “Chocolate Torte” (see below)—it’s the only thing on earth I’ve ever found that even if I’ve eaten so much of it I feel sick, I’ll still eat more! One of my dreams is to sit down and eat an entire pan of it all by myself one day! Mmmm!
3. BBQ flavor Pringles (potato chips)!
4. Rice Krispie Treats!
5. Homemade Cake with my homemade frosting (even if it’s a box mix cake)!
6. Cheetos Twisted Puffs!
7. Graham Crackers with my homemade frosting chocolate frosting!
8. Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups (my FAVORITE candy)!
9. Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies!  (LOVE them!)

Most everything else I can resist, either easily or by putting my mind to resisting it. I can even resist most kinds of cookies, my favorite kind of ice cream (Haagen Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter, Blue Bell Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream, or Blue Bell Rocky Road), brownies, any other kinds of potato chips, etc. But when it comes to the things I listed above—no can resisto!

How about you?  What do you find yourself unable to resist?  In fact, let’s do this week’s contest around that idea.  Hmmm…let me think.  Oh!  I guess first I should pick the winner of the Olive Garden Gift Card from last week, huh?  Ok…here I go…and the winner is…Lindsey Olmstead!  Lindsey…e-mail your snail mail address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com and I’ll get your gift card in the mail to you asap!

As for this week’s contest…hmmmm…let me think!  How about this, leave a comment confessing your “irresistibles” and the winner wins a box full of MY “irresistibles” AND a DVD of one of my favorite MGM musicals, Calamity Jane, starring Doris Day and Howard Keel!  Now if THAT isn’t random, I don’t know what is!  But just imagine yourself all cuddled up on the couch, snacking on Fudge Stripes Cookies, BBQ Pringles, Peanuts and M&M’s and watching Doris and Howard!  FUN!!!!  Just leave a comment and you’re entered!

Oh, and just in case you share my dream of having a 9×13 pan of “Chocolate Torte” all to yourself, here’s the recipe for that, too!

That Decadent Dessert I Can Never Remember the Name of…
(a.k.a. Sandy’s Birthday Dessert!)

Crust Ingredients:
1 ¼ c. Flour
1 c. Softened Butter
¾ -1 c. Chopped Pecans

Mix above ingredients and spread/press into 9 x 13 inch glass pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until starting to brown. Cool completely.

First Layer Ingredients:
1 c. Powdered Sugar
1 8oz. Package of Cream Cheese (softened)
½ of a 16 oz. Container of Cool Whip

With mixer, blend ingredients and spread over cooled crust.

Second Layer Ingredients:
2 Small Boxes of Jello Instant Chocolate Pudding
3 c. Milk (Just 3 cups…not 4 as indicated by the pudding directions.)

Mix pudding and spread over first layer. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top each serving with a generous helping of Cool Whip.

*You can also use the remaining Cool Whip form the 16 oz. container as a third layer…but mine tends to run.

Note: I can’t remember who gave me this particular version of this dessert (Albuquerque—before 1995), but it is the best variation of this recipe I’ve ever tasted! Sandy used to choose this as her Birthday desert instead of cake! It’s the one dessert that I will eat and eat and eat—even if I feel sick from eating so much already!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 36 Comments

Poor Man’s Lasagna, Contest Winner and New Contest!

Last week Debbie W. commented on one of my Facebook posts asking if I would re-post a recipe I’d posted sometime back titled Poor Man’s Lasagna.  Of course I’m happy to oblige, so here I’ve posted it at the bottom of this blog! (That’s over-usage of the word ‘post’!)  It’s funny, but I bet I haven’t made this recipe in 6 or 8 years!  My boys really liked it when they were little, but you know how you burn out on stuff after a while?  I think that’s probably what happened…I burned them out on Poor Man’s Lasagna!

Now, in other news, I know you’re waiting on the edge of your seat to see who wins the DVD collection of 15 Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote Cartoon Favorites and the copy of The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog…so let me pull a name out of the hat for that winner before I think up a new contest!  Hold on…here we go….

And the winner of the DVD collection of 15 Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote Cartoon Favorites and the copy of The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog is AubreyB!!!!  Aubrey…shoot me an e-mail at marcialmcclure@cs.com with your snail mail address and I’ll get your prizes in the mail to you!

And now it’s time for another silly Marcia contest!  Let’s see…as Winnie the Pooh always says, “Think…think…think.”  In fact, this video clip is sooooooooooooooo ME!!!!  Furthermore, though I do enjoy honey in moderation, I’m not a wicked-crazy honey fan like Pooh…I’m more of an Olive Garden fan!  Hey, yeah!  That’s it!  This week’s contest is for a $25 gift certificate the Olive Garden!  Yay!  Just leave a comment on why you love Winnie the Pooh, Honey, or the Olive Garden and you’ll be entered to win!  I love it!  A recipe for Poor Man’s Lasagna comes with a chance to win a gift card to the Olive Garden?  I love when a plan accidentally comes together!

Poor Man’s Lasagna


1 lb. of Lean Ground Beef (Crumbled and browned.)
5 Green Onions
(Chopped and sautéed with meat.)
½ t. Garlic Powder
1 t. Salt
1 t. Sugar
¼ t. Pepper
2—8 oz. Cans of Tomato Sauce
1—8oz. Package of Cream Cheese
1 c. Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Sour Cream
12 oz Large Egg Noodles

Brown ground beef adding onions to sauté.  To meat mixture add garlic powder, salt, sugar, pepper and tomato sauce.  In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine cream cheese, cheese and sour cream.  Mix in meat mixture, then add cooked noodles.  Pour into a 9×13 glass baking dish and back at 350 for 25 minutes.


Posted in Marcia's Blog | 66 Comments

Note to Self… “In case I ever need to perform an emergency tracheotomy…”

While I was on my walk this morning, the thought came to me that I need to get a ball-point pen to keep in my purse—just in case I ever need to perform an emergency tracheotomy on someone.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend’s husband Tom (retired Army, retired Police Officer, incredibly cool, and very handsome older man) mentioned (during our conversation on how I might someday need to perform a tracheotomy and thus be prepared by having a ballpoint pen in my purse) that if I had a ballpoint pen on me when such an occasion arose…I wouldn’t even really need my little pocket knife to make an incision at someone’s throat if I needed to do an emergency tracheotomy on them, because I’d probably be able to puncture through the person’s skin at the hollow of their throat with the smaller/sharper part of the pen casing. Thus, as I was walking this morning, I did a mental “note to self” that, the next time I’m at Wal-Mart, I need to pick up a couple of ballpoint pens to keep in purse.

This got me to thinking, wondering if everyone finds themselves making mental “notes to self” on their morning walks.  Do you?

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Beat the January Blahs with…Coyotes!

Yep. The moment I woke up this morning, there they were…staring me right in the face…even though I had determined to brush them off this year.  The January Blahs had arrived!  Bleck!

I really don’t know what my deal is with “the month that shall not be named”…I mean, Elvis’ birthday is coming up, spring is on its way, there’s not a whole lot of demands on my time.  And yet, for some reason, I just “thud” in January.

Well naturally, I decided that re-instituting my morning walks was absolutely necessary.  Thus, I put on my way-too-tight work out pants (don’t even ASK me what happened to the entire box of Peanut Brittle my sweet neighbors brought over just after Christmas), threw on my gianormous SAINTS sweatshirt (yes, Troy…I still have your cast off sweatshirt), and headed out into the bright, cool, and very sunny morning!

My first thoughts were, “Oh!  I LOVE frost!”  The ground and tumbleweeds were covered in it and sparkling in the morning sun like tiny little diamonds.  I instantly decided that the walk was definitely the thing I needed, and as I trod alone watching the sun catching the frost, causing the landscape to look like it had been sprinkled in white Kindergarten glitter, I thought nothing could make the walk more interesting.

As I turned off the beaten path and onto the dirt path that leads out onto the mesa, I noticed a flock of crows just off to my left some distance ahead.  Now, as you know, a flock of crows congregating on the mesa ALWAYS means something interesting is up!  Right?  So naturally (it’s my word of the day) I plotted my course to intercept them.

As I approached, however, a coyote appeared about 50 feet in front of me.  I wasn’t rattled because I always see her (I’m assuming it’s a her because I heard pup last summer out that way).  Almost every morning when I’m walking I see a coyote and like to assume it’s the same one.

BUT something was different this morning.  As I walked toward the flock of crows, the coyote began to pace me.  She didn’t seem threatening at all, but I did begin to have thoughts of The Windswept Flame (you know, that rabid coyote scene) and was a little more watchful…even slowed my pace.

As the coyote continued to pace me…walking parallel to me about 30 feet off to my left.  Naturally (my word today) I decided to check the time on my phone, and indeed realized that I had been walking for half the time I had planned to walk.  Thus, it was time to turn around…which worked out great, since I had reached the flock of crows and found that their attention seemed fixed on the coyote pacing me.

Turning around then (the coyote now to my right), I saw a few crows a ways beyond her and noticed the flock of crows’ attention was riveted on those crows.  Following their crowy gaze, I uttered, “Ah ha!” out loud.  Just beyond the large coyote who was keeping and eye on me, were two young coyotes munching down on the remains of a jack rabbit!  It was clear then why the adult coyote was “fronting me” as my boys would say.

Judging from the size of the younger coyotes (about half the size of the adult), I figure these pups were the ones I’d been hearing last spring and summer!  How fun, right?!  I LOVED it!  Kevin was out for a walk as well, and none-too-pleased when I pointed out the coyote family to him.  (He thinks I should change my walking route.)  Still, after we spoke for a few minutes (at which point he told me his name was Clive, called me Julianna, took his keys out of his pocket and told me they were his room keys and that he was in room 207 and I should meet him there for…well, if you’ve seen the newest popular sitcom, you’ll get all that), he raced off on his own walk.  I watched as the adult coyote,crossed the road in front of Kevin…the two pups leaving their rabbit remains to venture closer to him, too (their attention perfectly fixed on him), all three keeping there distance a lot further from Kevin/Clive than they did from me.

As I walked back to the house, the frost was beginning to melt, the sun was warming me up as well, and I thought, “Yep!  That’s exactly the way to beat back the January Blahs!  Frost and coyotes in the morning!”

Another way to beat the January Blahs might be this:  CONTESTS!!!!!  Yes!  Random, pointless blog contests!  Right?

I figure I should probably start with drawing a winner for the GWTW (Gone with the Wind) DVD!  I’m soooooo behind on everything!  Hold on and I’ll draw a name out of my hat…

And the winner of the GWTW DVD is…Laura McLendon!  Laura…e-mail your snail mail address to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com so I can pop your DVD in the mail to you!

And now, for a new contest!  Hmmm….let me think…something to look forward to…hmmm.  How about this:  Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win this week’s blog contest for not only a DVD collection of 15 Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote Cartoon Favorites…but you’ll also receive a copy (I always keep a few on hand) of The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog!  Hank the Cowdog is a children’s book (chapter book) but it is HYSTERICAL!  I’m telling you, it’s a keeper!  AND Hank does have adventures with coyotes in this book!  You’ll love it!

So?  What do you say?  Wanna beat the January Blahs with Coyotes with me?  Then just leave a comment!  (Beep Beep!  I also love roadrunners, you know!)

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 24 Comments