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It has been almost a month since Julie aka IMA saver has posted. I am very worried about her. Has anyone else talked to her? Saying prayers. I miss her posts.
I have my first Western Kindle book for free today. It is a serial short story. We are having our Christmas dinner today. My whole bag of yeast was ruined, so I made drop biscuits. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
I am lucky to be an avid reader. I grew up reading books by Ann Gabhart, Beverly Lewis, and other Christian authors. While pondering Christmas ideas, I decided to give away free Amish books by other authors.
Two of my girls already opened gifts, and they loved their books. Do you give books as gifts? Who are your favorite authors?
I haven't been up long. I was sick last night, and my son stayed up most of the night with me, between short naps. He took his meds late so slept in too.
My main editor has free internet where she is vacationing, so she will be able to finish the last chapter of my second Christmas book, Sweet Amish Grace. It's a White Christmas Fudge series.
Christmas in Sugarcreek is selling well, and Amish Garden Slow-Cooker Cookbook made it to the #1 spot on the Best-Seller List for Best Southern Cooking. I am so humbled.
However,bittersweet emotions emerged when I chatted on FB with the attorney my mother hired for my car almost three years ago (I was in their car.)I was reminded of my loss of career, a booming, award-winning audit/merchandising career in six states as well as my loss of income.
My writing provided "candy money," and I wanted it to stay like that, for it was only a hobby. Now, I made good money by doing the book tours, selling breads, produce, salsa, and books all over the country. That is the part I LOVED about it.
And that is the part I can't do like I used to do. I can't tote the cases of salsa, do back-to-back flea market/book fairs. I will be doing some big fairs next year, but I have to pay an escort to help me, so it will be just for fun, not for profit, as I will lose money on each event.
I know God has a reason for where He has me, and I need to remember that, for sure.
On the money side of things, we ate leftovers last night, and I am having leftover chicken noodle soup for lunch,so I have saved $20 on not eating out. I did splurge yesterday and get Chinese for lunch, but it was because I felt like I was going to pass out of I didn't eat, and the restaurant was next to Dollar Tree where I picked up dishwasher detergent.
I was stunned to wake up this morning and see my Amish Garden slow-cooker cookbook climb up to #2 on both Best-Seller Lists. To be frank, I have not really done much promoting of this book since the cookbooks are a hobby, my real profession writing Amish Christian Romances.
I guess folks who normally don't use slow-cookers are jumping on board for quick, easy meals. Maybe it's the economy. I hope the newbies stay on board because the slow-cooker is such a good way to save money.
I finished the rest of my menu for the week.
Homemade pizza with extra cheese, mushrooms, olives
Leftover potato salad
Chicken Noodle Soup
Crackers and peanut butter
I have a quick version of chicken noodle soup if you are in a hurry like we were last night. I use two cans of chicken noodle soup, add 2 extra cans of water, a cup of wide egg noodles, 2 tablespoons chicken stock base (I like Spice Island), 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1 cup chopped baby carrots (we skipped these last night), and 1/2 teaspoon ground garlic.
Jessie was shocked it was semi-homemade.
It has been slow as far as book sales go. I just released one of my Christmas books, and my editor is working on the other one. I've worked long days, in pain, to get them done.
Baby Jordan turned a month old on Friday. He is so cute. I planned some of my menu for this week.
I will be making a lot of slow cooker meals next month. My slow cooker and donut cookbook were on the best-sellers list.
Homemade Beenie Weenies
Bean, rice, and cheese burritos
Sauteed Adele's Chicken-Apple sausage
I have a very busy but blessed week ahead. My youngest daughter spent the night last night. Instead of sitting closed up in the office, I sat next to her on the couch. She played a game on her laptop while I did Pinterest (I don't work on Sundays), but we both were glued to the television when Cedar Cove came on.
I can say that we bonded more then than in the office. Since the children were foster children (biological nieces and nephew), they were adopted out, then came back to family when they turned eighteen. The baby girl is nineteen, but to me, she is younger.
She was always closer to Mother than me. I am enjoying bonding with her. She asked if I could bake her butterscotch cookies, so I whipped up a batch of butterscotch shortbread. YUM!!
I brushed her hair and blow-dried it, and she was wondering why I was so excited to do it. Well, when I was foster momma, I was going back to college and working a ton of hours as a deli manager at a very busy convenient store, so I would sometimes have the girls wash their own hair (they were able to do it, but liked for me to do it.)
I never forgot that and have been riddled with guilt, waiting to see them again when they turned eighteen. I know, I wasn't a bad momma for having them do things they were capable to do, but after they were adopted out, all I wanted to do was to be able to wash their hair and get them ready for school another day.
It's hard being a foster mother because they could get adopted out at any time. When Judge Rhorer gave me custody, it was joint custody with Mother. When she couldn't look after the children anymore, they were adopted out. It devastated me, but God knew best. The children are back now, and I know I hover over them too much now.
I almost cried when I told Ashlee why I would gladly brush her hair and blow dry it anytime, no matter how much pain I was in (I did have shoulder pain, but didn't tell her.)
She will be spending Sunday-Tuesday nights with me after she gets off work, and my oldest son, who usually camps out at my place after he gets off work at his security job, will go home those nights (he lives with Mother.)
My middle daughter is expecting her first son, Jordon, in about a week. We are very happy. Please pray for my youngest son because he still has an addiction to overcome. I love him so much, but am not too embarrassed to ask for prayers. He is a hard worker, has served his country in the military, and is very smart. He just needs to overcome alcohol. He competes in rodeos, so alcohol is all around him.
Although I don't post often, I am "lurking" on here to see what everyone else is up to.
I plan to be on here more, mainly, because I feel like there is great strength in numbers, and I need motivation to stay on track.
I hope to do better on the grocery budget when I get my royalties on the 31st. I have $158 coming from Kobo on the 15th. I am going to start menu-planning again.
I'm still on the Dave Ramsey plan. I am working on my third debt snowball, and I will have it paid off in December. I am listening to him on the radio right now and simmering a pot of chicken noodle soup on the stove. I've spent a ton on groceries over the past week. I never stay within budget, although I budget $800 a month for food and gas, and I work from home, so use very little gasoline.
I coupon and get deals, so I don't understand why I am going over budget. Any suggestions?
I have been having a lot of pain, and my doctor just ordered more physical therapy, but I won't be able to get it until I get insurance in January. I was going to go October 1st, but I didn't have enough to swing my tithe and therapy, so I decided God comes first, so I'll tithe, then go to therapy in January. I am getting a massage, though, and it usually helps.
I have been busy doing track changes for my books. Ashlee Ann works long hours at times to edit my books. Jessica is writing has Kristina Farmer. Our book is selling well. My slow-cooker cookbook is selling well.
Pinterest is my new addiction. I love that site. It cheers me up. I keep going WAY over my grocery budget, and I don't know why. I run out of money by the 15th, and that's a long time to wait since all royalties are paid on the last few days of the month.
Jessica's baby, Jordon, is due on October 16th, her brothers birthday. I am so excited.
My cookbook, Southern Girls Can Cook is free this weekend. It has 12 summer salad recipes as well as homemade croutons and bread recipes.
The girls are spending the weekend. I am so happy. the extra bathroom has make-up, flat-irons, etc on the counter and clothes in the floor. I love being a foster momma.
My first Young Adult serial, volume one, came out. It was #5 on the Teen & Young Adult Best-Seller List for Short Stories. My cookbook was #1 in Southern Cooking in the Paid Kindle Store earlier this week.
How is everyone's weekend going?
I have been working on the last book in my Amish Blizzards series. It is selling very well on Amazon. Tomorrow, I am meeting my daughter, Jessica Kristina, for breakfast, and we are going over Love Inspired by Courage. I am so glad that she has chosen a career in writing.
I just woke up. Today is a busy day. I have to go give Momma her bath and then write. need to work on the budget too. Baking homemade Sourdough bread tonight. I love to slice it thin, toast it, and eat it with cream cheese.
I am having a sleepless night. I took a long nap earlier, and I am glad that I did. I baked cookies about an hour ago. It is interesting how many baked goods you can bake with staples in your cupboard. And my homemade food is so much healthier than store-bought.
I am making homemade dishwasher detergent later today as well as baking bread: Sourdough and Cinnamon-raisin. I love my homemade bread. Breakfast will be homemade buttermilk biscuits and sausage. I finally got rid of the headache after taking a whole narcotic. I thought I'd never get rid of it.
My book sales are doing really good,but I still miss my merchandising jobs.
Forgot to post my progress. I paid off a hospital bill and a state tax bill a couple months ago. After this month, I will roll the money I was paying for those two bills onto my IRS payment. I am making estimated payments in the fall, which is my busy season as an author, so that should help.
I bumped up my installment payments to the IRS to $350 a month and bumped up student loan to $242.00 a month. Not eating out that much and cooking from scratch has helped my finances a lot.
I've been saving a lot of money on sales. Dollar General had Ruffles chips for 3 for $5.00. I make homemade dip, which the kids love. Got Miracle Whip for $1.69 and Mayo for $1.79 at Save-A-Lot.
I can only spend $55 a month on Momma because of SSI rules. Therefore, I have started couponing again. But I do make most stuff from scratch. Heinz Ketchup was $1.00 for the large bottle with my coupon last week. I bought six bottles. I bought six each of Miracle Whip and Mayo. That's enough to do us until the holiday baking season. Tuna was .69 at Save-A-Lot. I bought ten. We eat a lot of tuna.
This week's coupons weren't that good, so I didn't buy a paper.
I missed everyone. I decided, for the last time, to not join the church. The 2.5 hour drive was a killer, and with my back injuries from the car wreck, I just can't see myself keeping up. I decided that as long as I have Jesus in my heart, I will be fine.
I have to get caught up on everyone's posts.
I am joining my uncle's conservative Mennonite church so I am only allowed to download my books onto Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc and check email as he considers email to be like US Mail. However, I can't have my email displayed publicly in my books anymore nor will I be able to blog. But with all of this change, I am VERY happy to be finally joining the community that I've been an "unofficial" member of since my early twenties. I've bounced back and forth, wanting to be either Amish, Mennonite, or just plain liberal so it feels good to be dedicated. I have been making the long drive to our churches: one way to the church that I am joining is 2.5 hours, and to the "sister church" is 1.25 hours. I plan to move closer to the "sister church" because I can be relatively closer to my mother. She broke a rib so is very sore. She still has chronic sinus and gets choked so I want to be no more than two-three counties away. Andrew lives with her so that helps. I will be deleting this blog on Wednesday, but I wanted to give my SA friends my email before I delete it as it will not be publicized anymore. email@example.com. Feel free to email me your email, and I will stay in contact.
I have saved money, but I want to save more. We eat out too much, but I am working long hours on the computer to get my new Kindle books on. I did cook homemade banana bread today. It is so good. I have been too busy to eat a piece, but that will be a late-night snack for me.