Aside

The perfect gift, if you’re a last-minute shopper like me!

It’s a countdown to the holidays, Precious Readers!

Need a last-minute gift? Why not pick out an item to reflect your love of your favorite sassy Seattle photographer, Roxy Summers! There are shirts, bags, mugs, magnets, and more to represent your favorite unexpected, amateur detective.


Roxy Summers Fan Gear
www.zazzle.com/katherinebacher

Katherine Bacher Fan Gear


Don’t forget that books make an excellent gift as well! Give the gift of mystery, romance, and adventure. Let your favorite reader enter Roxy’s world with CAPTURE ME, keep the momentum going with CRUSH ON YOU, all before her third adventure in MISSING YOU releases in June 2018!

Give the gift of
Mystery, Romance, Hilarity, and Adventure
for the reader in your family!

Book 1 – Capture Me: https://books2read.com/u/3nOO29
Book 2 – Crush On You: https://books2read.com/u/bapznQ

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it has a name for a reason. let’s keep it that way, m’kay?

Warning:
Below is a rant I cannot keep to myself anymore.
If you’d prefer to skip straight to the cookie recipe, please feel free to do so.

Now Precious Readers, I really hope after this post we remain friends. However, I do have an extremely serious pet peeve that must be shared.

There’s a reason it’s called “Christmas” and not “the Holiday Season.”

I know, I know. There are those who celebrate Chanukah, and Kwanza. Which is fine, I have no problems wishing someone a Happy Chanukah or Happy Kwanza. It’s those who celebrate nothing and have to make a big fuss about it that bother me.

In my place of work during my Daily Life, there are very few people who are Christians. Again, which is fine. I’m not going to shove “You should believe in Christianity” down someone’s throat. I, myself, did not become a Christian until I was 16 years old.

The problem I have is with people who are extreme to point out there is nothing. You know what? I say, let those who believe in a higher power, do so in peace. I don’t go around shoving Christianity down your throats, so please don’t Bi

If I’m wrong, or other religions, faiths, spiritualities are incorrect and there is absolutely no afterlife, reincarnation, or dispersion through the universe, then… What?  Nothing will happen when we die?

So what’s the big deal?

If we’re wrong, we’re wrong. There won’t be anything to change it and we’re all dust in the ground. Don’t go shoving your non-belief down my throat.  Honestly, what’s the harm? If it makes people act morally and humanely towards others and our environment, how is tis a bad thing? Yes, there are people who choose to use their faith as a method of hate-

which I 100% disagree with

-but 95% of believers in something tend to be more along the lines of peace towards her/his fellow man. Real Christianity specifically is of the belief that God is a God of LOVE and loves everyone, and we should treat others with love, no matter their background, sexual preference, previous sins, etc.

Now, I am definitely not saying I’m perfect.

Far from it, as you may have read in earlier posts.

I am the last person who would say I was a good person, a moral person or least of all a perfect person. However, I make choices every moment of every day to try and do my best to help others.

However, one thing I will not stand, are those who shove the idea that there is no afterlife, reincarnation, dispersion into the universe, or whatever, only to then turn around and tell me about their “Christmas” plans. Non-believers of anything should not be celebrating “Christmas.” This pet peeve irritates me to no bounds.

They should be celebrating: Winter. Or Winter Vacation. Or Snowfall. Or that crappy holiday, Seinfeld talks about: Festivus.

Christmas is a holiday specifically focused on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is so important, I will repeat myself:

Christmas is a holiday specifically focused on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

No, according to the Jewish calendar, Dec. 25th is not His actual birthday, but it is the day our country recognizes as His birthday.

I wish I did not have listen to others who do not believe in Christianity use the term so casually to define their Winter Vacation plans. There is a reason it’s called CHRISTmas, and not ATHIEST-mas. Now, Jewish, Agnostics, Buddhists, etc., at least you believe in something to celebrate during the winter season, so please go and celebrate the Winter Solstice, Chanukah, Kwanza, etc. in peace. At least you are recognizing something and calling it by its seasonal name appropriately.

For those who do not believe in anything, please leave me to celebrate CHRISTmas on my own in peace, while you celebrate your Winter Vacation.

Katie’s “Christmas Rant” – out.

To perk up this blog a wee bit, since it’s a rough way to end the Christmas Season, I am sharing a Cranberry Pecan Biscotti recipe with you. Alas, it is not my own personal recipe, I found it through a co-worker. However, since Pilot and I are wickedly poor, I tend to make Christmas Cookies each year for my family. This year I tried biscotti and they were a huge hit. I have some tips below, along with a fun article that was written about biscotti.

Enjoy!

Pecan Cranberry Biscotti

Makes approximately 24 logs, or rounds

INGREDIENTS:

½ C. pecan halves, toasted (other nuts can be substituted)

1 tsp. baking powder

2 ½ C. flour

1 ¼ C. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 C. dried cranberries

Zest of 1 lemon and/or orange

1.  Heat oven 350°.  Toast pecans in oven.  After cooled, finely chop half the pecans, and leave remaining ones in halves; set aside.

2.  In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine baking powder, flour, sugar, and salt. In a bowl, beat eggs, yolks, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients; mix on medium low until sticky dough is formed. Add in pecans, cranberries, and zest.

3.  Turn dough out onto well-floured board; sprinkle with flour, and knead slightly. Shape into 9-by-3 1/2-inch logs. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 275°.

4.  Let cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. On a cutting board, you can choose to:

a.  Cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices; or

b.  Cut logs into small,1/2 inch thick rounds

Then, place flat on baking sheet; place in oven 20 minutes each side. Cool completely and place in air tight container.

Some tips:

A reminder to allow yourself plenty of time. This is a slow-baked cookie, and will need to be baked TWICE. Once for the original dough logs, and a second time to crisp up the cut sides.

For my biscotti, I only used orange zest and a little orange juice to add to the flavor of the dough.

Before kneading dough, flour your working area and your hands thoroughly. It’s a very sticky dough.  If it’s crumbly, persevere and keep working it. If it’s absolutely too dry, add a little bit of water and work the dough thoroughly before deciding to add more. IT’s supposed to be a drier dough.

When cutting the dough, I highly recommend a bread knife. If you do not own a bread knife, a serrated blade is the next best thing.

Check out this great article from Susan Russo, featured from NPR. It has some great additional tips and a little bit of history about biscotti.

Final Season’s Greetings before the New Year approaches!

Holy cow, the New Year is approaching quickly!

What are your favorite Christmas (or Chanukah, Kwanza, etc.) recipes? Please share!

death to the early bird and hand me my fucking coffee!

Just pass the coffee, will you?

If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a bit of a night owl. And that suits my purpose just fine. Some of my best work has happened at the odd hour of 3 o’clock in the morning. The blog says I may have made multiple posts on the same day, when in truth, I was up until the wee hours of the morning (also known as deep night, those hours between 12:00am-4:59am), writing a post, only to turn around and do another one later that evening.

Although, again noting no siblings, I look back on my youth. Remembering that I spent quite a bit of time in bed staring at the upper bunk.  My mind would drift as soft Christmas lights would change their blinking pattern and alternate their color combinations.  (Strung up Christmas twinkle lights were my version of a night light, and much prettier.)

Note to parents: Twinkle lights are awesome for dark-fearing children, because they can use the excuse that they love Christmas to their friends.

 Also, this was before the ‘fad’ that stringing up white lights along the edge of your ceiling was delegated as a ‘hipster’ thing to do.)

Many evenings were spent just lost in my thoughts. (Well, as deep a thought a youth can have, I suppose.) Replaying recent TV shows or movies in my head.  You could say this was the time I first began making up stories. Just me, under the safety of my Smurfs blanket making believe I was a princess, a spy, a farmer, whatever. There was a brief period of time when I aspired to become a fire truck.  Not a firefighter, the actual truck. (What, can I say? Sirens are awesome.)  Never had any issues with monsters under the bed.

Note to parents: The way to keep monsters out of your closet and away from under the bed? Show the kids how their closet is full. That the children themselves can barely fit in there, so how can a monster?  Roll out drawers for storage of off-season clothing fills up the space underneath the bed.

Monsters? What monsters? There’s no way a monster can fit under your bed with the enormous Christmas sweater Aunt Mabel knitted for you to wear next year.

What?

Yes…

Yes, you’re wearing the sweater…  Don’t argue with me young lady!

Aunt Mabel worked very hard on that sweater. Just because she has cataracts and made one sleeve a half of a foot longer than the other is not reason enough to ignore such a gift!

Bring back the sweater and those matches to me this instant, young lady!

Mornings, however, are the bane of my existence. I’ll admit to having the slightest, fleeting moment of homicide upon initial waking.  You know that woman, stumbling around in her bathrobe, hair sticking out worse than Einstein on a bad day, mumbling to herself and others around her the gentle, harmless sentence along the lines of:

Slowly hand me back my f****** coffee NOW and no one will be permanently scarred!

Yeah… Sorry about that. I was… um… not myself.

My ever faithful and dutiful husband, Pilot (sadly finding out he was part of THEM. The oh-so-dreaded “Morning Person” people), learned quite quickly that I require at least one hour of no agitation upon waking. On a time-crunched day, a reduced and painfully necessary reduction to 59 minutes of no agitation upon waking.  Don’t worry, he’s survived stitches before.

<Lightly shaking me awake to the vibration standard of 10.5 on the Richter Magnitude Scale.>

“Sweetie, it’s time to get up.”

Mmmm…

“Sweetie, your alarm is going off.”

Mmmm… <pulls covers up tighter, bats hand away from my shoulder>

“Sweetie, your alarm has been going off for ten minutes now, and… we have neighbors.”

Mmmm… <rolls over, shoves pillow on top of head.>

As you can tell by the timing of this post, I’m burning the midnight oil once again.

So, readers, I want to know!  Which are you?  A morning person, or a night owl? Are you the early bird who catches the worm, or a evening person who doesn’t have to deal with worms?

What are ways that help you get up in the morning?

Mine’s an alarm that sounds like an H-bomb warning system going off and provides a mild cardiac arrest each morning. Pilot has learned to accept this as exercise and getting his heart rate up a little bit extra each day.

Oh, and coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  (Did I mention I live in Seattle?)

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 7: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!

The dry leaves crunched beneath their sneakers as the girls wandered along a compact dirt path. Hand in hand, they continued listening to birds chirp throughout the empty branches, beginning to settle in to their nests for the evening.

It was nice walking, Margaret preferred gentle quiet. Lorelei, not so much.  Usually Lorelei was babbling on about a new rock band or her friends from school. Whatever was bothering Lorelei tonight must have been weighing heavily on her mind. Margaret was patient. She knew that her sister would share when she was ready, and if it was causing Lorelei to be quiet for a change, it must have been serious.

“Mags?”

Lorelei’s voice appeared in Margaret’s mind familiar, but tonight was subdued. Her voice did not carry the cheerful spirit it typically held. Instead, tonight it was pensive and thoughtful.

“Yeah, Leelee?” Margaret looked over to her sister; eyebrows raised and tried to keep her face open.

“Do you remember mom and dad?” Lorelei had stopped and turned to face her now.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, do you remember them? What color their eyes were, what their voices sounded like?

Margaret thought for a moment. “Yeah, I do.”

Lorelei’s voice was small, and she was looking down at the ground now.  “I don’t sometimes.  Remember, I mean.” Margaret’s heart sunk deep into her chest.

“I was only five at the time.  Sometimes I try to think back, but their faces are starting to get fuzzy. Things like their noses, or their ears.”

Margaret put her other hand on Lorelei’s cheek and began to speak and try to console her sister. “Leelee-“

“What if by the time we’re adults I’ve forgotten them completely? It’ll be like they never existed or something!” Lorelei burst into tears and sniffed. Sliding her sleeve over her thumb, she wiped her nose with it.  Margaret pulled her handkerchief, their mother’s handkerchief, from her pocket and gently dabbed at Lorelei’s face.

“Leelee, do you remember when we were little and you took that entire bottle of caramel sauce and sprayed all of the walls in the house with it?”

Sniff. “Yeah.”  Lorelei looked up at her sister, her eyes puffy and slightly reddened from her tears.

“And what did mom and dad do?” Margaret looked pointedly at Lorelei with a small smile.  Lorelei burst out laughing.

“Daddy took my had and walked me over to mom and said, ‘Well, at least we know she’s determined! I was chasing her for a good ten minutes!’ And mom said, ‘I guess she just wanted the house filled with sweetness just like she is!’ ” Margaret and Lorelei were doubled over laughing at the memory, Lorelei wiping a tear away, this time not from sadness.

“You see?” Margaret put an arm around her sister.  “You haven’t forgotten them. As long as you remember they loved us no matter what, they’ll always be with us.”