francine's blog

What's in the pan, Fran?

There have been many excellent cooks in my family, including grandmothers, mothers, and our daughter.  I know how to cook, but I don’t always follow a recipe.

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Only in California

I may be a native Californian, but I often find myself shaking my head. 

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Sex Trafficking Awareness

Rick and I attended the International Conference on Missions not long ago, and sat in on every session to do with sex trafficking.  A friend in ministry told me the crime is increasing in Northern California, and we wanted to find out what we can do to stop it.  Frankly, we were shocked to find out how rampant this crime has become and how cunning the predators are. 

 

Warning:  This blog is not for the faint-hearted, but forewarned is forearmed. 

 

What is happening?

 

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A New Beginning

December 26 always finds me in the throes of post-Christmas blues.  I don’t want to put away the ornaments and take down the tree.  I don’t want to put away the Christmas music, Christmas movies, Christmas books.  It’ll be another year before I can bring out the bright red Swedish candlesticks, the Russian nesting dolls, the two foot brass tree with tiny ornaments that represent all the children in the family.  I’ll miss the scent of pine, not to mention the cookies, candy and leftovers from the family gathering.

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Our Anniversary

Rick and I were married on December 21, 1969.  Looking back now, I wonder how we could have done such a thing to my parents.  A Christmas wedding?  Within months after they resettled (in a trailer) and started building (by their own hands) their retirement home in the Applegate Valley of Oregon?  I did most of the planning because Mom was far away.  Rick had little say because he was serving as a Marine at El Toro at the time.  I was a women’s libber then and had the word “obey” cut out of the ceremony.  All Rick needed to do was get to the church on time.

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Ben Hur

Shortly after Rick returned from Vietnam, he and I, with his parents, went to a Christmas cinematic presentation of “Ben Hur” in San Francisco.  The theater was magnificent, red velvet seats, an enormous screen, all the gilt and glamor of what movie theaters used to be.  It was the first time Rick held my hand.  “Ben Hur” became indelibly fixed in my mind as something special.

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Anticipation

Some years ago, I went to a small, one-day retreat about simplifying Christmas, based on Unplugging the Christmas Machine by Jean Coppock Staeheli.  The teacher applied her own expertise as a family counselor in practical exercises throughout the day to take a good hard look at what we’ve allowed Christmas to become and what we long for it to be. 

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Celebrating

I’ve finished my part of the work, and Rick now has the complete manuscript.  He is working diligently with his highlighter pen and pencil at the nook table.   He’s passed me half the chapters, and I will be putting his changes into the computer this week.  As soon as all of his changes are grafted in, I will email the project to my agent who will format it for the editors at Tyndale.  Every chapter is a file and she knows how to put it all together so it can be read on a Kindle.  I haven’t a clue how to do that.

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Thanksgiving

We have so much to celebrate and we have friends willing to share the day.  Like the early settlers and the Indians who helped them survive, we’re all bringing something to the table this year where we will spend time talking about the many blessings we have experienced over the last year and in our hopes for tomorrow.

Thanksgiving isn’t just a day.  It’s an attitude toward life. 

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Writer's Angst

It’s always at the beginning and end of a project that I wonder why I ever thought I could be a writer.  In the middle, I’m having fun.  I’m in my groove, zinging along, letting the characters tell their story.

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