It’s Here! Fat and Sassy!

Fat and Sassy_Cover

It’s Here!

Fat and Sassy

Arkansas moonshine and California citrus.

A stone church and an ironing board.

Post-Depression woes.

World War II.

Mix it all up. Add six children into the mix, three of each, and you’ve got a unique product – Bea Jones. A lady, when asked how she was, liked to retort, “I’m fat and sassy.”

Bea’s tale takes you on the ride from California to Arkansas – to Missouri – and back to California in the early forties. The family finally settles down in a small California town, Glendora, nestled at the base of the foothills. While they viewed Mt. Baldy every day, life also threw its own mountains in the Jones’ family path. Come along and join the family as Bea and Casey struggle to keep their family fed and clothed, with just a bit of Arkie sass.

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The last day on the road seemed the longest. The children were cranky and restless after being cooped up in the car for six days. The food was about gone. Only saltine crackers and two tins of Vienna sausages remained from what they’d left California with. Casey had counted the last few dollars in his wallet, hoping it was enough to buy gasoline to get them to their destination. Bea was tired of refereeing the children, keeping them from fussing and fighting with each other.

When Casey pulled off the main road and slowed down to navigate the dirt road ahead, the children gave a cheer.

Mae recognized what the moment meant first. “Goody, goody! We’re almost at Papa’s house!”

The car jostled and bounced down the road. A plume of dust followed, swirling around the car and choking the passengers. “Roll up the windows!” Bea hollered as she cranked the front window as fast as she could.

Mae got one window up in the back while Bill still struggled with the other. Mae climbed over Helen and started turning the window knob.

“Me do it!” Bill insisted.

Mae kept turning. “You’re not going it fast enough.”

Bea turned and asked her husband. “You remember where?”

“Oh yes. I can make this trip with my eyes closed. Seems like just yesterday I was makin’ this trip, pickin’ up a load of ‘shine from yore Papa. Yes, siree, I know the layout of this land back here.” He chuckled with the memories of an earlier, more footloose time. “Made the trip several times in the dark with no headlights on neither.”

The prim set of Bea’s mouth showed what she thought of her father’s backyard business. “I’m surely glad you ‘aint running his liquor back up into Missouri anymore. Don’t want you gettin’ picked up for running shine and thrown in jail. Not while you have a family to provide for now.”

“No reason to anymore. ‘Cept the money sure was good. I wouldn’t mind a pocketful of cash like that again.”

“No! Don’t even think it. The Good Lord will provide for us. You don’t need to go back to that.”

“I can leave it behind. Besides, I got the best end of the deal. I got me the purtiest little gal out of it. Comin’ down here that first trip and seein’ Sam Goss’s daughter for the first time…why…that’s the onliest thing that kept me comin’ back.” He glanced across the seat at Bea and winked.

“That was on Valentine’s Day, too. 1935. And six months later, we were getting’ hitched.” A blush rose across her cheeks. “My stars, Evan Lewis Jones! Four children later and you can still get a girl all worked up.”

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Evan ‘Casey’ Jones and Beatrice Goss on their wedding day, August 4, 1935

He chuckled and patted her knee. “I know when you call me by name, and not Casey, you’re serious ‘bout what you say.”

“Truth be told…” Bea paused and turned her head to watch his reaction. “…there may be child number five on the way.”

Casey braked the car and it slid to a stop in the middle of the road. “Truly?”

“Far as I know. I don’t recollect having my monthly visitor. I was feelin’ kinda peaked there for a few weeks. I was a thinkin’ it was nerves. Ya know, worrying about the bills and the move and all. But now I’m a wonderin’ if’n I’m not in the family way again.”

A broad smile broke across Casey’s face. “Well, I’ll give a hoot and a holler. I’m gonna be a daddy again.”

Grinning, he straightened up behind the wheel and gave the car some gas. “Guess we’d better git the little mother on home to her Papa’s house a’fore the cows come home.”

Bea sat back in the seat and shifted Tom to her other knee. She was relieved how well he’d taken the news. What with money being so tight and food and necessities so hard to come by, she hadn’t wanted to worry him anymore than he already was. He was a good man and she was proud to be his wife. He was a good father and he loved his children. He was fun to be around and she was still as taken with him as she’d been since she met him. It wasn’t his fault that times were so tough and jobs were so far and few between.

They pulled up in front of a small wooden structure that was little more than a shack in other more affluent areas. Rough, unpainted planks formed walls. A tin roof covered the home and a small porch area off the front side of the building. The back doorway led inside, the threshold slightly tilted as if sinking on one side. The door stood open, the cook room visible to everyone in the yard. Chickens ran loose around the dirt yard and when the car pulled in they ran off in a flurry, clucking with all their might.

A slight frown settled on Bea’s countenance.  “It sure looks a lot smaller and older than what I remember.”

A figure appeared in the doorway, sporting a well-worn, faded pair of overalls.

Bea fumbled with the door before Casey had the sedan in park. She scurried out of the car, hefted Tom up on her hip and hurried towards the house. “Sam!”

Sam stepped out, one slow step after another, in no apparent hurry. Bea enveloped him in a bear hug. “I’m so glad to see you. I’ve missed you, Brother.”

“Missed you too, Sis. Glad y’all got here in one piece.” He tousled the little heads that had followed their mother and were now hugging his knees. “Looky here, how big y’all have gotten.”

“Where’s Papa at?” Bea was anxious to see the familiar face of her daddy.

“He’s down in the holler, checkin’ on the mash.”

“I thought he gave all that up when Mama died. I thought he wasn’t gonna cook ‘shine no more.”

“I don’t know ‘bout that. He didn’t cook any up through the winter. This is the first batch he’s got going. ‘Course, that’s cuz it was so cold and he didn’t want to fuss with the mash that much.”

“Ayup.” Casey joined the brother-sister reunion. “I recollect one winter when it took him a whole month to run one pot of ‘shine. We had some antsy customers that year. Takes too much work in the winter. Once it’s below fifty degrees, the yeast just won’t ferment and then the alcohol content is too low. Not worth the bother.”

Sam tipped his head back and laughed. “And then we really have some unhappy customers!”

Bill tugged on his father’s pants leg. “What’s ‘shine, Daddy?”


Meet & Greet! — The Richness of a Simple Life

Don’t forget to spread the word! Two days away from the first meet and greet in a month over here! Invite all of your friends and be ready to make some new ones! Come with a link to another blogger’s post or blog in hand and have a good time! Can’t wait to see you […]

via Meet & Greet! — The Richness of a Simple Life

Silent Sunday

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Summer Road Trip

a to z road trip

I’m off on a Summer Road Trip. A virtual trip to blogs yet undiscovered.

In April, I participated in the annual A to Z Blog Challenge. There were so many wonderful blogs that joined in this year (1200…1400…1500…somewhere in that range I believe). As I was busy posting my own 26 alphabet blogs through the month, I visited as many as I could, but was far from making my way through the entire list.

The A to Z team has a solution for that. They came up with a summer road trip. Signups close tonight (Friday night, June 24th). As of my posting right now, there’s still a little over fourteen hours left to sign up.

Come aboard! Sign up on the linky and join us on this trip to virtual destinations. From the comfort of your air conditioned home, from the cushy chair you’re sitting in. No gas. No searching for restrooms in desolate locations.

Discover new, unusual and fun blogs that you didn’t know about.

Happy armchair traveling!

Silent Sunday – Happy Father’s Day

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June issue of Back Story

Here’s the June newsletter, Back Story. Depression Glass is the featured topic this month.

There’s also a snippet from Fat and Sassy, my book due out July 15th.

You can see the entire newsletter here: JUNE BACK STORY.

To sign up and get this delivered to your inbox each month, sign up here: BACK STORY SIGN UP. Next month we’ll feature amazing women from the past.

Here’s a bit from the newsletter.

One afternoon I stopped into my favorite thrift store to browse through their books. With books for fifty cents, I can read most of the year for what I’d spend on one or two books at the bookstore.

I don’t usually shop around much. Goodness knows, I need to downsize my collections of ‘stuff’, not buy more. But this one day they had a display of green glass set up in the window right next to the books. Most of the glass was your average inexpensive (cheap) glassware – lots of mass produced, green vases. But one small dish stood out. I thought, that’s Depression glass. So I picked this little goodie up instead of buying books that day.

This darker avocado green compote is from Imperial Glass. It’s in the Larian pattern, with basket and swags, but is not as old as the original Depression glass in that pattern. It was most likely produced in the 1950’s or 1960’s, which still makes it over fifty to sixty years old, and is a nice vintage find. (Wait a minute…that’s how old I am. Somehow for glassware that sounds old, but for me that seems awfully young still.)

depression glass dish1

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depression glass larain
Larain Basket pattern, made by Indiana from 1929 – 1932

I found several other identical pieces on Etsy and Ebay. Prices were currently going in the range of $8 to $15. That makes me pretty happy with my $2.99 thrift store treasure.


Having a Positive Attitude Reaps Many Rewards #inspiration #motivation #affirmations — POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

What’s your outlook today? Are you positive or negative? This morning, I woke up feeling positive. I had a great night’s sleep and my back pain not so severe. I’m a big cheerleader of positivity (is that a word… shrugs) and for some, it may be annoying. I don’t mind, though, because by being positive, I am ready […]

via Having a Positive Attitude Reaps Many Rewards #inspiration #motivation #affirmations — POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

Trisha Faye Liebster Nomination

Liebster Award
I am honored that my Trisha Faye blog received a nomination for the Liebster Award 2016 from my new blogging friend, Spooky Mrs. Green. We met over on the #AtoZChallenge back in April.

These are the guidelines to keep the Liebster circulating (it is designed to show recognition for our blogging efforts):
1. Display an image of the award and write about your nomination
2. Thank and link the person who nominated you for the award
3. Answer the 11 questions prepared for you by the blogger who nominated you
4. Nominate 5-11 awesome bloggers who you think deserve this award, and create 11 questions of your own for the nominees to answer
5. List these guidelines in your blog post

Here are my answers to Spooky Mrs. Green’s questions:
1. Do you believe in Fate?
Yes, absolutely! Not in the matter that our destinies are foretold and we have no say in what happens. But I truly believe that certain people and circumstances enter our lives that were meant to. And it’s our choice then as to what we do with them.
2. Can you explain the workings of a man’s brain to me?
Nope. Not even going to try. (Probably the same thing they say of us though)
3. What are your thoughts on the EU referendum?
Since I don’t know what the EU referendum is…I guess I’d have to go with ‘none’.
4. What is your favourite blog post?
Oh, there are so many. And now even more that I’ve ‘met’ through the A to Z Blog Challenge in April.
5. How did you decide on the name for your blog?
It’s my author name, so it was an easy pick.
6. Do you have a hobby and what is it?
Far too many. Gardening, glass fusing, weaving, altered art, crocheting, knitting, sewing, papermaking, silk dying, fiber reactive dying, felting…
7. What makes memories precious?
The people in them.
8. Is family important?
The most important.
9. Do you have any objections to women breastfeeding in public?
None at all.
10. What is your favourite alcoholic beverage?
Something sweet. Probably a wine cooler, tequila sunrise etc.
11. Are you a thinker or a doer?
I hope both. But thinking is most likely what I do most of.

The bloggers I’ve nominated for the Liebster Award are (in no particular order except whose links I found first):

The Richness of a Simple Life
Why Cats Rule the World
Making Time for Me
Ronel the Mythmaker
Send Sunshine
Kade’s Mom

Here are my 11 questions for them:
Which of the following would you choose and why?
1. Printed books or E-books?
2. Indoors or Outdoors?
3. City or Country?
4. Cats or Dogs?
5. Shopping or Camping?
6. Driver or passenger?
7. Spicy or Mild?
8. Thriller or Romance?
9. Blue jeans or Dress Up?
10. Beach or Mountains?
11. Country music or Rap?

Combat Stress by Channeling Your Inner Energized Bunny #stresstips #inspiration #stressed — POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

Feeling a little stressed today? Are your nerves frazzled and your list of to-do’s longer than Rapunzel’s hair? Take a deep breath and listen up. You can handle anything. I can handle anything. We have strength inside we never knew we had. The key to making stress disappear is to breathe and to keep moving […]

via Combat Stress by Channeling Your Inner Energized Bunny #stresstips #inspiration #stressed — POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

Choosing to Embrace Life

It’s not complicated to embrace life. You just have to make the choice.

Faith Hill

Some days it seems that life is much easier when we pretend we don’t have choices. When we merely react to situations, not taking conscious thought that we have a choice in how we react, it’s easier to blame our happiness – or lack thereof – on external circumstances.

If good things come to us and life rolls along smoothly – we’re happy.

If appliances break, the car runs out of gas, children misbehave, spouses wander, or jobs threaten our sanity – we’re unhappy.

But I’ve learned that it isn’t so. I’ve met friends that have more misfortune and calamity in their life than I’ve ever wish for. Yet, they remain cheerful and optimistic, always choosing to see the silver lining that exists in every dark cloud.

I have other friends that consistently whine and belly ache about the horrible happenings in their life – never once realizing how blessed they really are.

It’s all a choice.

So, too, is our decision to embrace life. It’s a choice we have, to live life fully with exuberance and joy, despite the minor obstacles and adversity that enter our lives. We can awaken each day and deliberately choose to embrace life in all of its delightful aspects. Live life fully. Approach tasks and chores with energy and vitality. Follow your dreams, yet also live and enjoy each moment in the present. Fill your life with laughter, joy, and good friends. Love and appreciate your family. Love with an open heart and appreciate each day and the life you have.

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