Thanksgiving Blessings to you!

If you enjoy reading my latest writing & Life Notes, be sure to sign-up to receive future updates. Watch for an all new contest and the next update in early December!

"The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from summer clothes into its winter wool."
- Henry Beston

Chicken Soup for the Soul Six-Pack Plus
606 Stories to Encourage & Inspire ~
Plus 50 Think Positive stories for Teens!

Contest ends November 24th

This giveaway includes gifts to help you be a little kinder to yourself and add some sweetness to your life!

How to Enter: Send me an e-mail telling how you plan to make the holiday season special during this challenging year. I'll post some entries in future updates.

Titles include: Christmas Miracles, My Very Good Very Bad Dog, Devotional Stories for Tough Times, Mom Knows Best, Angels All Around, Reboot Your Life, & Think Positive for Teens!

Any of these titles would make a great Christmas gift for someone special.

*** U.S. entries only please

"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement you should include all things in your gratitude."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Born the son of a minister in 1803, before Emerson celebrated his eighth birthday his father died, leaving him to work odd jobs to support his education. Three of his siblings died during childhood. And only two years after a young Emerson married, his wife died of tuberculosis. Coupled with the early losses in his life, he also endured a divided nation during the tumultuous Civil War years.

Emerson deemed it important to practice gratitude, and understanding a bit of his life makes his view all the more profound.

Apple Walnut Cake

Ever since our family discovered this recipe in a magazine, more than twenty-five years ago, we've been whipping up this scrumptious cake. Perfect served with a steaming cup of tea on a chilly autumn day.

Apple Walnut Cake

3 eggs, beaten
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 teasp. vanilla extract
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 teasp. baking soda
2 teasp. ground cinnamon
1/2 teasp. ground nutmeg
1/4 teasp. salt
4 C. diced apples, unpeeled
1 C. coarsely chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix into batter. Fold in apples and nuts. Bake in a 13x9x2" baking dish at 325* for 50-60 minutes or until done. Cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2- 3 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter
1-1/2 C. confectioner's sugar
1/2 teas. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whip together until smooth and spread over cake. Sprinkle the top with additional coarsely chopped walnuts if desired. If preferred, you may use a simple buttercream frosting.

Did you know December 7th is National Letter Writing Day?

With many of us unable to travel to visit family and friends, it's the perfect time to write. Why not make someone's day with a handwritten letter, penned on lovely stationary and embellished with some fun stickers. Friends always tell me what fun it is to open their mailbox and see their name written on a bright-colored envelope.

Most years I pull out the Christmas cards on Thanksgiving evening and write personal notes to each family member and treasured friend.

Frame It- Autumn Leaf Collage

Stroll through your yard or neighborhood and collect a variety of leaves. Use watercolors to paint the underside of a leaf. Be sure to coat the edges and veins.

Place the painted side of the leaf on the watercolor paper. Using your fingers press from the leaf's center to its outer edges. Carefully lift leaf from the paper and repeat process with a different leaf and color. Layer leaves as you would see them scattered on the ground.

For added texture dip the bristles of an old toothbrush in some burnt sienna. Hold the brush at an angle, 8-10 inches above the paper, and snap the bristles with your thumb for splatters of rich fall color.

Like any artist, sign your masterpiece in the bottom corner above the mat line and pop into a ready-made frame.


  • 140 lb. Arches cold press paper cut to fit a standard mat, 8x10, 9x12, 11x14
  • Watercolor paints & a brush - I use Daniel Smith, Da Vinci, and Winsor & Newton
  • Pre-cut Mat & Frame

"Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."
~ William Arthur Ward