Remember when? Memorial Day Remembrances by Karen Rose Smith




My father-in-law
My father
Memorial Day is just that--a day full of memories. It's a holiday that brings back pictures I don't often let surface. For my first few years, my parents and I lived in my grandfather's house with him and my aunt. In the living room  on a side table sat the induction photos of my dad and his brothers who were in the service. My uncle Johnny died in World War II. I remember studying those photos, not only when I lived there, but after my parents built a house next door and I ran in and out of my grandfather's house often. The sanctity of keeping those pictures on that table is something I will never forget. These photos of my dad and my father-in-law hang on the wall in our house now.

Another vivid memory is cutting irises and peonies with my mom and arranging them in Mason jars to take to the cemetery. My dad had a Country Squire station wagon and we would load up the back of it with the flowers. My aunt and grandmother accompanied us. The cemetery then was in an out-of-the-way location and I remember all the memorial stones were quite elaborate--from angels to five-foot-high tablets with inscriptions. After we arranged the flowers at each grave of a loved one who passed, we would say a prayer. Sacred times and sacred memories.

My mother and her brother Dom
Memorial Day also brings back memories of family get-togethers around the dining room table or in the backyard, weather permitting. The holiday was a family time. This Memorial Day we will be hosting my BFF and her daughter and enjoying talk, laughs and cat stories with them.

Memories can be bittersweet but also filled with rich, deep meaning that's like a shield around my heart, reminding me always what's important, what's lasting and what matters most--the love of family and appreciation of the values I hold dear.

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The house where my sleuth's parents live in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series is modeled after the house where I lived with my grandfather and aunt. Caprice's house is modeled after the house my parents built next door. I relive childhood memories every time I delve into the mystery manuscripts. It's a great way to savor memories and hold them close.

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USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 


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©2015 Karen Rose Smith

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#FelineFriday--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith, 5/22





Most weeks are pretty uneventful with the cats, just filled with the usual antics.  Especially with Miss Paddington (Paddy) around who is ten months old now, Halo, Zoie, London and Paddy are usually active somewhere. (Until a few hours in the afternoon when they all take a nap.)  Can you tell Paddy and Mom Halo are two sides of the same Tortie coin?
However this week, the outside stray, Sunnybud, came to us with a wound on the top of his his 
head. To me it looked as if a bird had gone after him.  Sunnybud is still feral to a certain extent, although he lets me pet him.  He's a sweetie until he's spooked and then he bolts.  He's also independent and hates to be confined.  We tried it this winter and he freaked, practically climbing the basement walls.  So after a wet and cold night, we were totally surprised to find him in our open sunroom off the basement.  I used antiseptic--that's really a dental wash for cats and dogs--the first day because he wouldn't let me near the area on his forehead. I dripped it from my fingers. After a call to the vet, I used triple antibiotic ointment on it after that.  Now, about five days later, it's healing, though he has a new hairdo because of the ointment gelling in his fur!


Once in a while, Sunnybud stays for a petting session but most days he eats and leaves to go on his travels.  He's definitely unique.


Zoie was her usual sweet self this week.  She's my cuddle buddy and is usually nearby when she's not playing with Paddy. They run and chase and paw at each other but they're friends. 


Paddy likes high places!  She can watch the world from the top of the refrigerator.  Or scamper after Zoie when she spots her.  Paddy is an independent tortie and cuddles mostly with her mom rather than us.  However, she likes to be petted and is a sweetie, too.


Our oldest cat, London, who is fourteen likes to play with the laser light.  She sleeps a lot and acts as if she doesn't want Paddy to bother her.  But often I'll find her sleeping in the vicinity of Halo and Paddy in the afternoon. London has always liked sunshine!




Arthur visits us sporadically.  He's definitely an alpha and thinks he can control the property when he's here.  But he eats, rolls around a little, then goes on his way.









Sweet Halo
Until next week...

Karen


In my Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series, my sleuth Caprice takes in stray cats and dogs and finds them forever loving homes!

















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Karen's Search For Love Series Website






USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 


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©2015 Karen Rose Smith

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Pineapple Zucchini Bread #Recipe by Karen Rose Smith




Part of the fun of writing a cozy mystery series is developing recipes.  My sleuth, Caprice De Luca, home stager extraordinaire, loves her big Italian family.  Once a month they have dinner at her childhood home.  Her mom, Nana, sisters Bella and Nikki as well as Caprice all make something for the dinner.  Brother Vince usually brings wine.

I learned to cook watching my mom, grandma and aunt.  Spending the time in the kitchen with them was priceless as I learned to bake and cook by instinct as well as by recipe.  Caprice cooks the same way.

Here is a recipe I created to give to my readers that you can make in addition to the ones in my Caprice De Luca series. With summer coming and zucchini more plentiful, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

PINEAPPLE ZUCCHINI BREAD

Grease and flour two 5 x 9 1/4" foil bread pans Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 cups flour
1 cup Rice Krispies
In large bowl beat eggs and oil until eggs are yellow and mixed with oil. Add pineapple, zucchini and vanilla and mix again. Add baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix on low until blended. Beat in white and brown sugars and nuts. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, then Rice Krispies.
Bake 55-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Great warm or cool to room temperature. Refrigerate left overs if there are any!





USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 


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©2015 Karen Rose Smith


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#FelineFriday--KAREN ROSE SMITH'S #CATS THIS WEEK, 5/15




The feline word of the week in the Smith household this week is "curiosity," better pronounced in Miss Paddington's vernacular as T-R-O-U-B-L-E.  Paddy has taken to sitting in the bowl of cat grass rather than nibbling it, leaving a flat nest for the other cats to deal with. She has also taken a fascination to paper. She found a pack of travel tissues in my prize box and escaped with it to play with, leaving little teeth marks in the wrapping.  She also was spotted running through the kitchen with an opened pack of napkins which she promptly dismantled in the living room.
   



Paddy also was close at hand to watch the paper emerging from my printer as I printed out a draft of my next mystery. If only she could be so helpful with the edits!! 


The other preoccupation this week with all the felines was chair backs.  Paddington, London and Zoie Joy all found their own chair and napped there.




And there were the usual napping spots as well--a sun-drenched condo shelf for Halo, a window sill for Zoie and Paddington, a shaded area in the backyard for Sunnybud and, of course, the bed for London. The Smith felines certainly do live a life of leisure! 



And I can't forget my patio feline, all planted and ready to be moved to a shaded area for our summertime enjoyment.



May all your furry friends bring you smiles, friendship and comfort.

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USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 


***************





©2015 Karen Rose Smith

Continue >>>