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Mine never look this beautiful. Image from hdwallpapers.com

Mine never look this beautiful. Image from hdwallpapers.com

This is the only cookie recipe I’ve ever committed to memory. These are pretty much the best rolled cookies there are. I used to call them “Sailboat Cookies” because for some reason, I was in possession of only one cookie cutter, and it was shaped like a sailboat.

  • 1-1/2 cups pure unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour

(You can add optional flavorings like lavender, almond oil, lemon extract, etc.) Cream the butter together with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, then salt and flour. Roll and cut. Don’t make these too thin, because they’re very tender and will break (see below). Make them nice and thick. Lay on ungreased parchment lined baking sheets and bake at 325F for about 10 minutes, just until they start turning brown at the edges. Frost with your favorite icing or make a glaze of confectioners sugar mixed with an egg white. Sprinkle on colored sugar. Barkis is interested in the cookies.

Elizabeth last year at her bridal shower. Good lord, we had such fun that day! And we’re telling all here.

So the official wedding photos are done and they’re unbelievable. But I also love the snapshots from the wedding guests. This one is just so, so sweet.

father+brideI love the candid emotion. I love the clutching and the way my mother’s pearls look. I love the music (“Morning has Broken” was playing).

If you look closely you can see a bandaged cut on Jay’s hand. He is good at improvising. Here is his redneck bandaid:

Is there anything duct tape can't do?

Is there anything duct tape can't do?

It’s a good thing Jay only has to do this once because it was rough on him.

…of the weekend o’ love. I’m still floating. More later. Click each photo to enlarge.

cell phone pic by father of the bride, just before he walked her down the aisle

cell phone pic by father of the bride, just before he walked her down the aisle

photo by Pete Saloutos www.petesaloutos.com

photo by Pete Saloutos http://www.petesaloutos.com

I am so ready for the WEDDING to be here. In the meantime, here’s something to share. It’s Elizabeth and her cousin Joelle, circa 1989. It’s almost as if they knew what the future would hold:

cute overload

cute overload

How the heck did they do it?

 

29 May 1954

29 May 1954

 

still smiling 55 years later

still smiling 55 years later

So the counselor at Ivers J. Norton Elementary School wrote to me about the school’s 100th anniversary celebration. Today, they’re honoring former staff members at the school in a small town in Western New York. I was asked to share some of my memories of the school, which I attended in the late ’60s. Here are a few:

We lived at 502 West Henley, kitty corner from the school. Some of my teachers were Mrs. Ellen Blessing, Mrs. Geuder and Mr. Schwabenbauer. Mrs. Mazza was the gym teacher.
The library was amazing to me, and one year, I read one biography from every letter of the alphabet. I also devoured the “Betsy-Tacy” books by Maude Hart Lovelace, Beverly Cleary books and pretty much everything else I could get my hands on. Mrs. Geuder (5th grade) was a great reader and read aloud to us every day–Caddie Woodlawn, Harriet the Spy, Tom’s Midnight Garden, Big Tree are some I still remember. Later, when I became a 5th grade teacher, I read to my students every day too.
 
When I was in Mr. Schwabenbauer’s class, I wrote my first piece of long fiction. The assignment was to write a story about a natural disaster. I remember considering a glacier but he suggested I go with something like a flood or forest fire. I filled an entire theme book with my story. I’m sure it was awful but he gave me an A.
 
When I was in third grade, I climbed over a chain-link fence in the back schoolyard, ripped open my arm and had to get stitches.
 
We moved away from Olean in the 1970s and enrolled in schools overseas. People told our parents we might be “behind” in the competitive private schools in Brussels and Paris, but this was definitely not the case! Olean schools prepared us well.
 
I’m currently a novelist with more than forty books published, including numerous bestsellers. My series of books known as the Lakeshore Chronicles take place in upstate New York, and feature a fictional town that has a lot of features in common with Olean!
What was your grade school like? How did it shape you into who you are today?
my alma mater

my alma mater

life is good: nyt-bsl-51709 

dawn of a very good day

dawn of a very good day

 

 

As the mother of the bride, I have to make sure she has something blue to wear. How about these shoes? Huh? Huh? What’s better than that???

for the bride, something blue

for the bride, something blue

Oh, wait, I know!
The same shoes for the mom!
for the mom, something new

for the mom, something new

honored

honored

…paid me a visit this morning! Snowfall at Willow Lake  is up for a RITA Award.

goddess of knicknacks

goddess of knicknacks

The call came from the lovely and talented Lorraine Heath, who is also up for the award for her historical romance.

Winners will be announced this summer at the RWA National Conference.

Wish us luck in the RITA smackdown!

what’s on my mind right now:

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

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

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