Celebrate the Victory gardens of World War II and my novella, “Only Forever” in the historical romance collection Homefront Heroines
and a tasty pumpkin bread recipe with a secret filling, passed down to me by my aunt. It became a tradition in the Bliss house to receive a still warm and fragrant loaf every Christmas when we came visiting and remains a treasured memory of the past.
Pumpkin Swirl Bread
1 8oz cream cheese, softened, combined with ¼ cup sugar and 1 beaten egg, set aside
1 ¾ cup flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin
½ cup melted margarine (I like butter)
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup water
Combine pumpkin, melted margarine, egg, and water. Mix together dry ingredients, mix with wet ingredients.
Reserve two cups of batter. Pour the remaining batter into a greased and floured large loaf pan.
Pour cream cheese mixture over the batter. Pour the remaining two cups of batter over the cream cheese filling.
Bake at 350 for 70 minutes – or until toothpick comes out clean.
– from Barbour Publishing in January 2020. Preorder
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What does the state of Florida give visions of? Beaches? Ocean waves? Walt Disney World? What could it possibly give to the interest of a hiker?
Blissful the Hiker takes you on a wild and wonder-laden trek on the Florida Trail through pristine cathedral palms, thick woods of palmettos, sky high scrub pine, Lord of the Rings forests of oak and cypress knees, a lounging gator or two, exotic birds, vast prairies, and maybe some swamps for fun. Not to mention the interest of assorted dogs who would rather hike with Blissful than guard property and the joy of trail angels who will do anything to help a hiker in need when the storms rise.
Welcome to Gators, Guts, and Glory – Adventures Along the Florida Trail. This humorous and painfully realistic tale of an 1100 mile trail stretching from
Big Cypress National Preserve to Gulf Islands National Seashore will inspire hikers with a journey unlike any other to be found in the U.S.
Come immerse yourself in adventure beyond any expectation!
What popular authors and other hikers have said about Gators, Guts and Glory – Adventures Along the Florida Trail:
“Lauralee paints a richly descriptive and realistic picture of the unique challenges faced by long distance hikers walking from the swamps to the seashore as they traverse the length of Florida on the Florida Trail.” – Sandra Friend, Author of The Florida Trail Guide
“Lauralee's inspired writing provides us with a richly detailed account of hiking the Florida Trail. Her writing is genuine and thorough and reveals to us the rigors, emotions and ultimately the joy of long distance backpacking." - David Miller, author of The A.T. Guide and AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
"What a great book! I couldn't put it down." - Amazon review, Verified Purchase
"This is a must read. Lauralee's writing style keeps you riveted to her every mile..." - Amazon review, Verified Purchase
Check out also Blissful’s first book in the Hiking Adventure Series – Mountains, Madness, and Miracles – 4000 Miles Along the Appalachian Trail
California is burning up. And I just read today that a California mall is refusing billboard displays for a Christian outreach because of "Complaints." Do they not know that is it only God that can change California and bring it back to life? That He is the One Who can deliver from the deadly pestilence?
The fires have hurt so many and changed lives. Some friends I knew personally were caught up in it. I want to share a poignant message they have learned from their ordeal - when they had to quickly evacuate, not knowing if the flames would roar into Redding. It was a terrifying time for them. This is their update and reflection -
"Our house is SAFE. Our “stuff” is safe, even though when the fire started moving, we knew our little family was all that mattered. We were safe. Our friends were safe. What else did I need when faced with that kind of situation?
Now that the fire is moving away from Redding, we will head back soon. The air quality is really bad up there and some people are still not allowed back to their homes and others have to find new homes. It’s hard. Please keep praying for Redding and pray the fire dies out completely and no other people and homes are affected. Pray for CALIFORNIA as much of our state is ablaze right now.
As I’m contemplating going back, I’ve felt the relief of having my “stuff” back. I’m grateful. There’s a joy and a grief because so many others had to move forward without their things. I also feel so incredibly grateful for the gifts God has given me through this. I’ve had more time with my extended family than I’ve had in years. I spent the entire day with my nephews and niece yesterday and felt the special opportunity I was given to connect with these amazing kids. My brother and his family have housed us, fed us, spent late nights talking and early mornings making coffee. I feel so blessed and filled with love. God has truly comforted us through this strange and fierce tragedy.
I will be headed home soon and I’ll start the conversations in the car with my kids. Redding will look different. Smoke. Ash. Pain. Heartbreak. Survival. Courage. Fortitude. Perseverance. We will all be making decisions about our future and the future of the town. I pray God’s peace over our county and all its families."
Now is the time to pray for these families, some who have suffered great loss, others dealing with the terrible smoke or other affects. And pray for California, for the hardness of hearts to turn to flesh, for the mall refusing to post Christian ads, the time to seek God is now.
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