The picture on the left is one that I hope will appear in the next month or so. We had one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record! I’m so done with the cold and snow.
Montana Home is now available in Audiobook from Amazon, which is very exciting for me. I am hard at work on revisions my editor requested for Plain and Fancy. I hope to have them completed soon. Also, in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m including a Taste of Home recipe for Blarney Stone Bars.
My dad, who was a farmer, always had a knack for finding four leaf clovers in the field. He would put them between folded sheets of wax paper and place them in a large book. Whenever we pulled one off the shelf, we would find multiple squares of wax paper and four leaf clovers inside. With those memories, I’m sharing a story, A New “Leash” on Life and Love, that I wrote last year.
A NEW “LEASH” ON LIFE AND LOVE
Lori pulled a book from a box and grabbed for the small paper that drifted to the floor. A four leaf clover. Her dad, a veterinarian, had a knack for finding them. He would bring them home and fold them in a square of wax paper, then safely tuck them inside one of his books.
Her mother looked up from the box she was unpacking.
“What did you find?”
“One of dad’s four leaf clovers.”
Her mother laughed. “I’m sure there’s more where those came from.”
Lori smiled and thought about her father who died last year. It had been a tumultuous year for her and her mother. Lori had been downsized from her corporate job, and her boyfriend of three years had decided he didn’t love her anymore. Lori sighed.
“Have you met your father’s replacement?”
“Mom, I just got here, with house and job hunting, I haven’t had time.”
“I know you’ve been busy, dear. He’s such a nice young man, handsome, and he’s single, too, I think your father would have liked him. ”
“Mom… no matchmaking.”
Later that week, Lori had almost finished unpacking when her cell phone rang.
“Lori, are you busy?”
“I’m going job hunting this afternoon.”
“Could you please do me a favor? I have to take my neighbor to visit her son, who had an accident last night. Would you be able to take Harry to the vet for his shots?”
“Just reschedule, mom. I’m sure Dr. Jameson won’t mind.”
“It’s too late for that, the appointment is in an hour.”
“I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
Lori quickly brushed her hair and checked herself in the mirror, Well, Mom did say the new vet was handsome.
Her mother was already gone when she arrived, so she grabbed the dog’s leash. “Come on Harry, time for your shots.”
Lori drove to the clinic and went inside. The waiting room was empty. No receptionist to greet them.
“Hello! Is anyone here?”
The waiting room looked the same as when her father was the veterinarian. She perused Dr. Jameson’s degrees on the wall. A four leaf clover hung next to them.
She heard a door open, and the dog took off. “Harry!”
“Woah there!” A tall man with reddish brown hair bent down to welcome Harry. He laughed as the dog lavished him with kisses. Dr. Jameson stood, and he saw Lori for the first time. “I’m sorry, I was expecting Mrs. Campbell.”
“I’m Lori, her daughter.”
He held out his hand. “Hi, I’m Scott Jameson.” He had the most incredible blue eyes and her insides melted at his smile.
“Nice to meet you. Mom asked me to bring Harry for his shots. One of her neighbors needed her help.”
“Your mother is a sweetheart. She helped me get settled in town.”
“She does have a heart of gold.” Lori agreed.
“Well, come on boy, let’s get you checked out.”
Lori followed them into the examining room. Harry jumped on the table. Lori noticed Dr. Jameson’s strong and gentle hands and she blushed when he caught her staring.
He was all business. “Did you always want to be a vet?”
“I guess so, even when I was small, I love animals. Harry looks fine, and is now up to date on all his shots.”
“Thanks, Dr. Jameson.” She didn’t think he heard her reply. He was absorbed in his notes.
“Doesn’t the receptionist usually handle the paperwork?” She asked.
Dr. Jameson smiled sheepishly. Your father’s receptionist retired after she got me settled. I haven’t found a replacement yet. They walked into the outer office, where he placed the folder on a growing stack. He looked a little lost. The vet pointed to a HELP WANTED sign that hung above the desk. “Guess, I’m going to have to advertise in the paper.”
She almost felt sorry for him and contemplated the sign. She loved animals, knew filing and bookkeeping, and needed a job.
“Dr. Jameson. I would like to apply for the receptionist job. I used to help my dad during the summer and holidays so I have experience.”
He looked surprised. “Are you sure? I can’t pay you what you made in the city.”
“I’m done with corporate life. I’d really like to work here.”
“When can you start?”
“How about tomorrow?”
Dr. Jameson smiled broadly and extended his hand.
“Welcome to the Jameson Veterinary Clinic.” There was a definite tingle this time. She pointed to the four leaf clover. “Did Dad leave this?”
“No, that’s mine. I seem to have a knack for finding them. Silly, isn’t it?”
“Not at all.” Lori smiled. She took it as a sign from her father. This was where she was meant to be.
BLARNEY STONE BARS TASTE OF HOME Yield: 3 1/2 dozen
1/2 cup butter or magarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup English toffee bits
1/3 cup chopped pecans
4 drops green food coloring
3/4 cup vanilla frosting
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Fold in the toffee bits and pecans. Spread into a greased 9 inch square-baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Add food coloring to frosting and spread over the bars. Cut in diamond shapes.