Friday, August 30, 2013

My Daughter...The Author!

It's been an exciting month for our first daughter, Jennifer.  On August 3, after years in the making, her first novel  was released for sale.  Last night we went to the official launch of her book.  It was an amazing experience.

Love Letters of the Angels of Death is hard for me to describe, so I've led you, via this link, to a review of it. It's not like any novel I've ever read.  It's a fascinating work of literature.  Although it's fiction, I can recognize many real-life experiences and incidents that Jenny used as inspiration in her writing, and it feels to me like a very personal book.  We are very proud of her.  She wrote it over a period of several years while being a stay-at-home Mom to her husband and five sons.

Proud Parents with their Author Daughter, Jennifer Quist

Jenn reading a selection from her book at the book launch.

Handing an autographed copy to her cousin. The lady at the table with
her is another Alberta author, Fran Kimmel (The Shore Girl).
We had never been to a book launch before.  It's quite a fun event to attend.  The venue (Lacombe Memorial Center) was beautiful and perfect for an event like this.  Between 50  - 60 people attended so Jenn was very pleased with that.  A lot of mix and mingling after Jenn's reading, catered snacks, and an all round lovely evening.

She has a book signing event scheduled for a book store in Red Deer, and another in Calgary.  I believe she's going to try to have one in Edmonton and Lethbridge as well.  So she'll be very busy in the next few months.  Her literary agent is already shopping around her second novel so we're hoping the success of this one will boost the interest in her second one.

Love Letters of the Angels of Death is available on-line at

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hawiian Smores

I posted earlier about my newfound love of the traditional campfire treat, S'mores.  Today, before summer is over, I need to tell you about my daughter-in-law Cindy's discovery of Hawiian S'mores. These take traditional S'mores a giant step forward.

Your ingredients: cake donuts, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips
and pineapple slices.  I think next time I'll add coconut too.  Everything
is better with coconut added!

Your stack.  Slice the donut in two, like a burger bun.
Sit the bottom part of the donut on tin foil first so you won't have to lift the
whole 'sandwich' onto it. Then wrap it completely with the tin foil.

Let your fire die down to coals and carefully place the foil
wrapped s'mores on the coals.

Sit, relax and visit for ten minutes while your treat 'cooks'.
(Brooklyn, Lloyd, Cindy)

Enjoy some love from your grandchildren while waiting.
Our boy Anson

My girl Brooklyn
Carefully, remove the foil packets from the coals.

Et Voila!!! melty, chocolatey, gooey Hawaiian Smores.
'Someone' ate the top donut slice before I thought to take the picture.

Give these a try before summer's over.  You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

It's a Hoot!

My granddaughter, Brooklyn, and I share a few things in common.  We both love her Dad, my son Rob, we're both left-handed, and we both love owls.

When her family was visiting us in Lethbridge this week, she and I went to the Coaldale Birds of Prey Centre.  It's a wonderful place, full of birds in varying stages of recovery from injuries and accidents, and a sizable aviary of owls, hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey who, for some reason or other, are unable to be released to the wild.  Never having been there before, I wasn't sure we'd see an owl at all.  However, as soon as we walked in and paid our entrance fee (which goes for the upkeep of the birds) the hostess leaned down to Brooklyn and whispered to her, "Would you like to hold an owl?"  Her face just lit up like a Christmas tree at the prospect of actually touching one of her favorite things!  I must admit I was excited to be able to hold him too.

This little guy's name is Basil.  He's a burrowing
owl. He was just running aroundthe gift shop and the hostess picked him up and have him
to Brooklyn.

Of course I had to get in on the action too, but Brooklyn didn't leave
Basil's side.
 Then we went out on a self-guided tour of the grounds.  The first thing we came to was the owls.  The one behind Brooklyn in this picture is Gordon, a great horned owl, which we discovered is the Provincial bird of Alberta.  We got such a kick out of Gordon.  He interacted with us by doing a silly little head dance for us, bobbing his head up and down, side to side and looking quite comical.

Brooklyn and Gordon

Farther along there were quite a few pairs of little burrowning owls.  They
are so cute.  We were told that they are an endangered species now.
We fell in love with the sleepy-eyed barn owl named Edgar.
We'll see more of him later.

There were beautiful eagles and hawks to be seen.  This is a bald eagle staring at us.

And so is this one

 Brooklyn particularly liked this eagle.  There was a sign on the lawn in front of it thanking the company her Dad works for for their generous donations to the Centre.

A Hawk

And another sweet-faced burrowing owl.
 And here's our friend Edgar again.  Another staff member asked us if we would like to hold him so of course we jumped at the chance.  It's remarkable how calm these birds were, and how light.  They have small bodies but very full feathers.  Edgar liked having his tail stroked.
Brooklyn sure looks like she's enjoying herself doesn't she.  

And of course I needed a piece of the action too.
 When we got home Brooklyn wanted to teach me how to make lizards out of pony beads so after we made a few of them, I decided we could probably make owls too.  If you look closely you'll see four pony bead owls and three plastic melted bead ones.

It was a lovely way to spend a misty damp day with a special little granddaughter.  Thank you Brooklyn.