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This site makes it incredibly easy. Please give what you can to a cause you care about. Barkis and I support several organizations. I think the Land Trust is his fave, don’t you?
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From today’s e-mail: I have no idea why this was so much fun to fill out, but it was! Try putting your answers in Comments. You can write your last name like this W**** if you don’t want to give too much detail.

LAST NAME GAME…. It’s harder than it looks! Use the 1st letter OF YOUR LAST NAME to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names, things, nothing made up. You can’t use your name for the boy/girl question.
ONE-WORD ANSWERS ONLY!

1. What is your last name?…………………………………. Wiggs
2. A 4-Letter Word:…………………………………………………….Waft

3. A Girl’s Name:…………………………………………………. Winifred

4. A Boy’s name:…………………………………………………….. Wilbur

5. An occupation:……………………………………….Writer 🙂
6. Color:……………………………………………………………..Woad
7. Something you wear:…………………………………………….Wellingtons or Wellies
8. A beverage:……………………………………………………Wassail
9. A food:……………………………………………………………..Wensleydale cheese
10. Something found in the bathroom:……………………Writers Digest magazine 🙂

11. A PLACE:…………………………………………………………Wake Island (courtesy of the wall map my dad got for Xmas)

12. Animal:……………………………………………………………… wren

photo by Jay, taken 12-25-09

(Rollingbay, WA) (AP) In an unprecedented moment of serendipitous timing, a daughter shows her parents proof that she really is gainfully employed.

The dark days are done, and we’re turning toward the light.

Wonderful video by Seattle’s Shorecrest High School:

Start your day with raw fish for breakfast. The otter on my deck did:

The grandparents are on cookie duty.

The only rolled-cookie recipe you’ll ever need: GLAM ROLLED COOKIES

1-1/2 c. butter
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla
3 c. flour
1/4 t. salt

Cream butter and sugar; add egg and vanilla; add flour and salt. Roll out (not too thin; they’re delicate) and cut into shapes. Bake at 325 10-12 min. Frost with a mixture of powdered sugar, egg white (or meringue powder) and water, and sprinkle. Add food coloring to the frosting if you can’t restrain yourself.

Shoo away the grandson-in-law:

and the dog:

Don’t forget to look out at the view. Sometimes a submarine will happen by:

Bake two cakes, because company’s coming. The recipe for Orange Poppyseed Bundt Cake is from the wonderful book-evangelist, Suzanne Beecher and can be found here: http://www.dearreader.com/ambassador/classics-recipe-flyer.pdf

And here is my version of the fabulous winning fruitcake in the Port Gamble Fruitcake Classic. This is unbelievably delicious:

French Apricot Pecan Bread – The French teacher at a school where I used to teach brought this to the faculty party every year. It’s glorious:

1-3/4 cups flour
1/2 c. dried apricots
4 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 T. rum
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp. (don’t even THINK about using a substitute)
1/2 c. pecans + pecan halves for garnish, and apricot preserves for glaze

Process apricots with flour in food processor about 45 seconds, then set aside. Process eggs, sugar, rum, and vanilla for a minute. Drop the butter through the feed tube and process until incorporated. Add the nuts and the flour/apricot mixture and turn on and of 2 or 3 times, just until flour disappears. Pour the batter into a greased and floured pan (pick one with an interesting shape) and lay pecan halves on top. Bake at 325 for one hour. Allow to cool in pan 5 min.; then remove. Warm the apricot preserves in the microwave, then brush on the glaze.

Make some tea and look out the window again. The Christmas boats are passing by:

Meet Lucy. Isn’t she gorge? She’s a guide dog for my friend Lillian, who is blind. Lucy comes from Fidelco, and it’s a PERFECT place for year-end giving.


Feed the hungry, save the earth, cure disease, give sight to the blind, teach someone to read.

You have the power to do it allhow cool is that? Heres my favorite tool for charitable giving: Charity Navigator. This site rates organizations with respect to how much of your donation is actually used to help the cause. PLEASE check out a charity before you fork over your hard-earned cash. You want to make sure the organization isnt drowning in administrative costs.

Here, in no particular order, are just a few of the places Ive given to this year. All have 4-star or better ratings from Charity Navigator

The cool thing about making charitable contributions is that a) its instant gratification so you dont actually have to shop, b) its tax deductible and c) its so very, very necessary. To honor someone with a gift in their name, you can just print out the acknowledgment page and put it in a card. This is a huge problem solver, especially if you want to do something nice for a large group, like your entire literary agency. Do it! Do it now!

Sowhere do you give each year? Post in comments!

…but not with much care… Holiday decorating tip: do NOT stick your head up the chimney to see if the flue is open.

Cinderella

what’s on my mind right now:

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I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

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