Tag Archive | Arizona

Challenges…

I think in life we all have challenges. Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. Some challenges lead to other challenges that come along because of the original challenge… In my book New Parish Sarah finds that her challenge of becoming a mom is complicated by several other challenges. Challenges such as finding a good man to marry, moving west to live in Arizona, overcoming some predisposed prejudices about a certain cowboy… I hope you’ll enjoy Sarah’s challenges, and her journey to solving those challenges, in New Parish.

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 5 – The Storm

“Looking out the window Sarah could see the wind blowing wildly as the rain pounded the windows and everything else outside. The storm outside was gaining strength…            

Sarah wanted desperately to distract her mind from the thoughts and feelings she was having so she went into the kitchen to fix some hot chocolate. She grabbed a warm blanket to wrap herself in on her way, the chill from earlier was still lingering deep inside her.            

With hot chocolate made, she sat on the mismatched cushions of the wicker sofa and watched the storm outside. The storm inside her raged on as well, she felt like her whole life was in turmoil, not just because of another bad date with a man who really, in the big scheme of things, didn’t matter – but because she had allowed herself to be in that situation, “So, what’s the next situation I’m going to allow myself to get into?” she wondered. She decided to go back to an earlier strategy and consider the pros and cons of plural marriage because now that she had definitely decided that dating was never happening again, plural marriage with its matching system seemed her only option. “Well either that or live my life completely alone and never have the kids I’ve always dreamed of having,” she spoke this thought aloud – she thought her voice sounded sad and angry at the same time.            

Sarah took a sip of hot chocolate and thought, “Cons, umm, Brother Michael’s wives covered a lot of those – jealousy, unfair treatment, possessiveness, controlling sister wives, husbands not doing what they should or allowing the new wife to be excluded… “Ah,” she said aloud, “It all sounds like a bunch of “mean girl” stuff! I don’t want to live the rest of my life that way!” She wrapped the blanket tighter around her and listened to the storm outside. The rain beat on the balcony like hundreds of miniature drums beating, the lightning and thunder joined in often to round out the show.            

Sarah felt like her mind was going numb from too many thoughts – like when you get an injury, it initially hurts then it goes numb and then hurts like crazy later… she welcomed the numbness, but she could still feel the turmoil and conflict of her inner storm just under the surface of her emotions. She sipped her hot chocolate again and braced for impact. Then a memory suddenly and clearly came to the forefront of her thoughts and she could hear Brother Michael’s voice repeating the advice he’d given her when she was in New Parish.            

He said, “The last thing I want to suggest to you is to take some time to ponder and pray about this decision. This is your life. Is this really what you want for your life? This lifestyle has many blessings but it can also be considered a curse to those who don’t have the capacity to accept it in all its varied and sometimes complicated components. I want you to understand that I only want the best for you. If this is truly what you want to do then I’ll do everything in my power to make it happen for you. But, if you have doubts about it, then take the time to find the answers you need to put those doubts to rest, before you make your decision. Okay?”            

“Okay,” she said aloud to this vivid memory, “I’ll pray, I’ve done the “pondering” well, I’ve mostly done the struggling, agonizing, and suffering.”            

Sarah determinedly sat her hot chocolate down on the old wooden end table beside the sofa and pulled the blanket tightly around her. Bowing her head, she poured out all her thoughts, doubts, and questions in sincere prayer. When she finished the long tearful appeal she sat there on the sofa quietly wondering what to do, then the memory of how she felt when she went to church in New Parish filled her with the peace and sense of belonging she’d felt when she was sitting in that place. She began to feel a new calm come over her heart and mind. Memories flowed now of how happy Brother Michael’s wives were and the things they said about accepting each other without requirements or expectations came to her memory’s surface. Next she remembered how happy the kids were and how Mary had described her family.            

The thought dawned on her, “I was only focusing on what could go wrong. There’s a lot that can and does go right…”            

Sarah began to smile, she wanted to keep this feeling, the storm inside was gone as the thunder outside was now sounding far away, she felt peacefully happy inside and had a peace and calm she hadn’t felt in a very long time… “Yeah,” she said, “I know what to do and what I want.””   New Parish is out now! Return to New Parish will be out in a few months!!! You can get a copy of New Parish here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Snow Days

I don’t know if the reason is that I was born in a snow storm, or that the snow makes everything look new and clean, or that the snow makes me dream of Christmas… whatever the reason is, I really do love snow. We’ve had a goodly amount this winter, and it’s so pretty outside. The mountains out back look as though they’ve been sprinkled heavily with powdered sugar. I went exploring a bit the other day and saw some prickly pear cacti, mostly covered with snow, but still peeping out from under as though they were giving a little warning sign just to let people, or animals know, they’re still there and not to get too close. A snow storm out here is a sight to behold. You can see the storm coming from miles away, then everything gets white, the mountains are completely hidden, and the magic begins. In my book New Parish, they get some of the white and fluffy too. I don’t think I could ever write about winter and not include that most important element.

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 4 – Girl Talk

“On Christmas morning Sarah and Mary were up early because Mary said Sarah, “Didn’t want to miss this!” Entering the main sitting room, it looked to Sarah like a magical place of happiness. The tree was full of colored lights and was filled to the brim with ornaments that depicted children, toys, and candy, and all sorts of Christmas paraphernalia. The tree had been there when Sarah first arrived and she’d immediately loved it. Mary had complained that she missed the decorating and explained to Sarah that the whole family gets in on the event, they put the tree up together, place the lights together, hang the ornaments together, make homemade things like popcorn and cranberry garland together and put it on together. She’d given Sarah the whole run down on Christmas at her home.            

The presents that had been added over night were covering a third of the room and there was a table with hot chocolate, marshmallows, and cool-whip. The table, with hot chocolate, made Sarah think of that “incident” she had been trying not to think of. The room looked and felt like Christmas, the best part of Christmas, you could feel it when you walked in… the kids were all filing in with excitement in their eyes and big smiles on their faces. Everyone was in their pajamas. This made Sarah think of her own childhood and the wonderful feelings she’d on Christmas morning. This made her both happy and sad, as a deep longing to share this type of experience with her own children filled her heart.            

Brother Michael came in last and as the kids excitedly jumped up and down pleading with him for permission to open presents he laughed and said, “Okay, have at it.” They did just that, there was a present opening frenzy the likes of which Sarah had never seen. She watched as Brother Michael slowly walked over and put his arms around two of his wives and kissed each on the cheek. Sarah smiled thinking she might like something like this, “It could really work… maybe,” she thought.             The rest of the morning was spent with hot chocolate and viewing the gifts the kids had received. Mary shouted looking out the window, “It’s snowing! How perfect is that?” Everyone crowded around the windows to see the Christmas magic falling down in large fluffy feathery flakes outside.”

 

New Parish is out now! Return to New Parish will be out in a few months!!! You can get a copy of New Parish here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

 

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are really goals we set for ourselves. Yes, sometimes we set unreasonable goals that we can’t reach, but there are also those we can achieve as long as we remember to pay attention to all the little steps in-between where we are and where we want to be. Each year I try to look back and see what I actually accomplished and what I need to do next to get the rest of the job done. This last year my first book in the New Parish series was published. That was a wonderful goal to accomplish, but it took completing several other goals to actually get that one done. I know there have been lots of movies that romanticize the life of a writer, but in all actuality it’s really just a lot of hard work… Plotting on many different levels, character development of many different characters, research and more research, editing, and more editing… it goes on and on. Then when the book is finished, it’s not finished, there’s the copyright, ISBN numbers for each type of book you’re publishing, the book cover, the formatting, and the endless marketing once it’s out there. Then even before all that is done, you’re already writing the next book to go through all that process with again…

The gist of it is that we all have goals or resolutions, sometimes they are complicated, sometimes they’re simple, either way we have to take it step by step, paying attention to all the little steps as we go. In my book New Parish Sarah has what she thinks is a very simple goal. She wants to get married to a great guy, have loads of kids and be the quintessential soccer mom. Her goal turned out to be not so simple, it got a bit complicated and she had to think outside the box to actually achieve her goal.  

We can accomplish our goals, as long as we remember to work on each of the other goals – little steps – that will get us to the one we most desire. For me it was publishing my books, and still is, for Sarah it was getting married and being a mom, even if she had to do it a bit differently…  some of her little steps were actually quite big, moving to a whole new place, getting married a very different way, and having children even before she had one of her own.

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 1 – Bad Date

          ““How am I supposed to know which guys to go out with and which ones to not go out with?” she groaned within herself.

            She pulled her long brown hair back into a ponytail and looked at herself in the mirror as she pulled on her pajamas. She scanned her bangs hanging over her forehead while some of the layered strands fell loosely around her face. The events of the evening were flashing through her mind like an old movie, as she thought to herself, “I’m not ugly… why can’t I find a good man? I have curves in all the right places, with ample endowments.” This had been a source of a pride with her as a girl and more especially as she got a little older. Sarah thought it was fun how boys would stutter and stammer at times if she wore a low cut blouse. Her five foot seven, somewhat athletic frame carried her very well, she thought, as she scanned for flaws. She looked at her face to check out what others would see when they looked at her. She had always thought her nose was a bit small but it looked okay, her brown eyes were a little big but they were okay too. “What’s wrong with me?” she asked aloud in frustration. 

            Sarah’s mind went to something her new friend Mary had said when they were working together at the children’s center. Mary had mentioned her home, a place called New Parish in Arizona. Sarah had known her for a few months. Mary was only going to be there for a while longer, just until she finished her degree in early childhood development with the work study program she was involved in at the children’s center.

           Sarah thought about the day she’d been complaining about the poor dating prospects and her dream of being a mom floating away from her, when Mary revealed to her that in the community she came from, the people did plural marriages. So, any girl could get a good man and not have to worry about missing out on being a mom. Mary’s descriptions of her home made it sound like a little piece of heaven, where people lived happy lives, and found their happily ever afters.

          Sarah sighed, thinking of the small rural community Mary had described, “Maybe…””

 

Want to see how she accomplished her goals? Get your copy of New Parish from any of the places below.

 

   

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Thanksgiving Jetlag

My son and I had loads of fun cooking this year. We made messes and cleaned them up while enjoying the fruits of our labors. We discussed the philosophy of peeling boiled eggs and deciding that sometimes it just doesn’t work out well. There was Christmas music playing in the background and many wonderful aromas to enjoy as the cooking progressed. There was lots of smiles and a bit of laughter…

Two days after Thanksgiving when the cooking is done, the eating is still going on, and the fatigue it still going on… it’s still not over. It’s only the beginning! I’ve always thought of Thanksgiving as a pre-Christmas celebration. I of course don’t mind if others feel differently about it, but to me it has always been that. Two days after Thanksgiving is a time for family and food, and making plans…

So now Christmas plans will be made, well, after the food is gone and we’ve recovered from all that fun…

Here’s a little bit of the end of Sarah’s Thanksgiving from my book New Parish. She’s making plans too…

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 2 – Undecided

“All the food was ready by two o’clock and everyone was seated. Sarah’s father offered a prayer and the family feast began. The conversations were the completion of many different catch up stories for each of them. Sarah listened quietly and was glad the inquisition on her investigation of plural marriage wasn’t the main topic of their conversations.

            By the end of the meal, when everyone was trying to shove more desert down on top of all the other food Sarah’s dad said, “Sarah, your mom and I talked last night about what you are looking into.”        

            Sarah’s heart sank. She’d hoped the subject would be skipped over… She looked her dad in the eye and braced for impact.

            He continued, “We don’t think it’s a good idea at all, but we love you and always want to be a part of your life, and always want you to be in ours. So, we’ve decided to be conscientious objectors to your choice to live that way, if you choose to do so.”

            Sarah saw the resolve and concern in his face as he talked and was very grateful that he was willing to love her and not cut her off because she might want to be different. Her love and respect for her dad grew at that moment far beyond what it had ever been. With a tear in her eye she said, “Thanks Dad, that really means a lot to me.”

            He nodded and smiled warmly at her. The feast continued with lots of family stories past and present, then on to future goals and wishes. The rest of the time Sarah spent with her family was filled with feelings of uneasy calm. No one else said anymore about her plural marriage research, which was a relief, but for Sarah it had become a constant backburner thing in her mind.

            Trying to settle back into her apartment and routine in Atlanta, Sarah thought it all seemed very empty. Her thoughts turned more and more to New Parish and the things Brother Michael had told her. She was planning on going out there for a few days over the Christmas holidays but was still very unsure of what to expect.”

New Parish available now:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful reason each year for us to remember to be grateful for all we’ve been blessed with. Gandalf taught us a truly great lesson, “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” It’s not the big things, but the small everyday things, not just what we get, but what we give as well… There’s so much to be grateful for this year, family, friends, and New Parish.

The traditional Thanksgivings in the south have always been full of family, food, and cooking for at least two days. This special time together is of course included in my book New Parish. Sarah’s Georgia family and her new Arizona family get together for Thanksgiving and things get very interesting. Here’s a small peek into their Thanksgiving…

 

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 12 – Home

“The next morning Sarah and Hannah were back in the kitchen early, preparing the cinnamon rolls that would call everyone to action. The morning frenzy of cooking and mixing was in full on assault. Sarah smiled as she watched her mom and thought, “She’s so loving this.” Then she heard her dad shout, “Hot stuff coming through!” which was his usual battle cry when he took the turkey out of the oven. It always made everyone laugh as he feigned innocence as to why they were laughing.

            By four o’clock the tables were set, and everyone was seated. David said a prayer of gratitude for food and family, then the feast began.”   

 

From all of us in New Parish to all of you, we hope you all have the best Thanksgiving ever!

 

New Parish available now:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

 

 

Life Happens…

Sometimes we can’t figure out why things happen in life…  but they always seem to happen… In my book New Parish, Sarah couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t find a wonderful man to marry, and have her wonderful family with. She couldn’t figure out why her plans weren’t going the way she thought they should…

Albert Einstein tried to figure out why things happened and how. He spent years going down a path just to find out that it didn’t work and then finding a new one that did. He tried to explain the great mysteries of everything, but even he couldn’t figure it all out. He did discover in his theory of relativity that things move relative to each other. He also theorized that in time dilation, time can slow for one person if there is more length between things, and that all objects are in motion and have gravitational attraction to each other. I’m not sure he could have helped Sarah with all her problems but he might have been able to shed some light on things for her. He might have been able to explain to her how when one idea doesn’t work it’s time to move on to a new way of doing things. He might have been able to explain to her a bit about when time slowed down as she was introduced to a certain cowboy. He might even have been able to explain to her about the gravitational attraction that was happening between her and that certain cowboy… But, sometimes even the greatest minds can’t explain why life happens the way it does. We each have to travel the roads in front of us and find out where they take us and live the life we’re meant to live… Sarah finds that out on her own in New Parish…

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 3 – New Parish

“Sarah was quite impressed at the cowboy aptitude of Brother Michael and the other men present. They were able to drive most of the cows toward the entrance of the park and contain them there, but there were three cows that would not cooperate with Brother Michael’s agenda, they were still stubbornly rampaging through the park. Then Sarah saw something she had to do a double take to realize was really happening. It was so surreal, a man on a horse came quickly and proficiently riding into the park after the cows and was expertly gathering them up. The man looked every bit like a cowboy right out of a western movie and immediately made Sarah think of Tom Selleck sitting on his horse, he was tall and tan, with dark hair and mustache with a three or four day showing of whiskers on his face. His hair was a little long and shaggy for this community, where every guy she’d met was sporting short very controlled hair. He was wearing a dingy grey cowboy hat, faded blue button up shirt, a blue paisley bandanna, jeans covered with shotgun chaps, and worn cowboy boots and gloves.

            Sarah had been so mesmerized by the cowboy and what he was doing that she stood there in a stunned daze… she didn’t see the cow coming toward the table she was standing near.        Brother Michael shouted to the cowboy, “What’s going on here Max?”

            The man on the horse shouted back, “I had a few heifers break down a fence and get out, sometime last night. I didn’t know it till this mornin and was rounding ‘em up when some stray dog started yippin at ‘em and they got ahead of me.”

            Brother Michael smiled and said, “Max I’d like to introduce you to, Sarah, from Georgia.”

            Max pulled on the reins of his horse and stopped a few feet away, he smiled and drawled, “Howdy, ma’am.”

            Sarah was completely captivated by this cowboy, she thought his smile was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen, his deep blue eyes sparkled – she felt like her head was filled with something sweet and gooey which was slowing her thought processes down. Her brain was stuck on, “Oh my gosh, he’s so gorgeous…”

            Before she could reply to the cowboy’s greeting she heard someone shout, “NO!” The next sound she heard was a dog barking… This inspired the cow that was getting near her to jump, and run, bumping into the table and with a sort of bounce, trip, and run action. It landed on the table with a bang collapsing the legs of the table. At the same time of the table collision the cow bumped into Sarah knocking her to the ground as it ran off toward the playground. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but what happened next made Sarah think of a sitcom situation on a TV show, because this sort of thing doesn’t happen in real life… not in her life.

            Sitting on the ground where the cow had knocked her, Sarah saw the table legs fold under as the table hit the ground with a thud from the weight of the cow and very large metal container that held the hot chocolate – it instantly poured out all over the ground where she was sitting. But Sarah’s main focus was on the punch bowl that had been catapulted into the air from the other end of the table, it was coming right at her with all the red punch it held. The step ladder that had been placed underneath the table for support had worked as a fulcrum to create the catapult for the punch bowl.

            Sarah’s mental faculties returned to her in time for her to put her hands up to prevent the large plastic punch bowl from hitting her head… she was drenched in red punch and the hot chocolate had soaked into the skirt of her dress along with turning her shoes a new color of brown. She felt as though everything had been turned off for a few seconds or slowed to a slow motion state and now it was all back on in vivid living color.”

New Parish available here:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

 

Nip in the Air…

October always brings that sweet release from the heat of the long, hot, grueling summer. To me, Fall is time of year for replenishing ourselves, harvesting our gardens and snuggling in to read a good book. Might I suggest New Parish for those of you who haven’t gone on that journey yet. New Parish has it all, romance, adventure, humor, all four seasons, rain, sleet, snow, and heat… New Parish is also full of happily ever afters. It’s different, be warned… but like the Fall, it presents a sweet release from the long grueling drought in Sarah’s life. It’s not exactly what she expected, but exactly what she needed to achieve her happily ever after… It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, (Sarah didn’t think it was her’s either), but even if it’s not your cup of tea I still think you’ll enjoy Sarah’s journey.

If you’re curious about New Parish, I’m going to host a book club Q&A on Facebook next Saturday, October 20th at 1pm MST, on the Books by Julie Worthington page. I’ll be answering your questions and replying to your comments for an hour on that day. I’m very excited to chat with you all!

Until then here’s a bit of New Parish for you:

Excerpt from New Parish:

“The wind blew hard, pummeling them with rain that felt like it had slushy ice in it, Sarah shivered and gasped for air.

            “I’m calling Dad,” Mary shouted.

            “There’s no phone service up here,” Albert reminded her.

            “No cell service but Dad gave me a satellite phone just in case of emergencies,” Mary said pulling off her backpack and rummaging through it.

            “Awesome!” Sarah said through chattering teeth.

            “Here it is,” Mary retrieved the phone and turned it on.

            She pushed in some numbers and held the device to her ear. After a few seconds she said, “Dad, we’re stuck up here in the storm. What? What? Okay. No I think we lost the trail a while back. What? Okay.” She turned to Sarah and shouted, “He’s sending someone to help.”

            Sarah nodded, she was shivering too much, again, to talk.

            “Who’s he sending?” Albert asked, sounding annoyed.

            “He didn’t say,” Mary replied sounding annoyed back at him.

            Sarah would have laughed if she could have, instead she made a mental note to laugh about their exchange later, when she could feel her feet and hands again. Sarah tried to busy her mind with thoughts of soaking in a warm tub, with the room all steamed up from the warmth of the water she was soaking in. She imagined the smell of sweet honeysuckle and roses permeating the warm room… the wind blew hard again and disrupted her thoughts. In an instant, her self-imposed delusion vanished and she was back standing under the small rock overhang with rain stinging her skin and her body shivering uncontrollably.

            Sarah looked at Mary, her lips were getting a bluish tint to them, she tried to smile but wasn’t sure it had worked. Mary nodded and said, “It shouldn’t be too long,” through chattering teeth.

            Sarah nodded back, knowing that talking was still beyond her capacities. The rain slowed but the frigid wind continued to blow through her as if she didn’t have any clothes on at all. She looked at Albert, he was leaning back against the side of the mountain with his eyes closed and arms wrapped around him in a sort of self hug. Sarah started wondering how long they’d been waiting, it seemed like an eternity. The not being able to feel her hands and feet was spreading, she was sure now that she couldn’t feel her knees anymore. She couldn’t understand how it could’ve become so cold so very fast. Her mind was pondering the morning, it was a bit chilly but not too cold, she remembered thinking that she would probably have to take off her coat in a while, now she felt like she might never be warm again.”

New Parish Available Now!

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com –

https://www.amazon.com/New-Parish-Julie-Worthington/dp/1732224005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535156774&sr=8-1&keywords=new+parish+by+julie+worthington     

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-parish-julie-worthington/1129421210?ean=9781732224001      

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Irons in the Fire

Have you ever heard the expression too many irons in the fire? Meaning too many things going on at once… I’ve always been a person who likes to keep busy. Not just busy, but busy doing things that I love to be totally engaged in. The New Parish books are one of my irons in the fire and the other is Brigham Tea Magazine. Those two irons keep me very busy and very engaged. I know you haven’t seen the magazine yet, but you’re all going to love it, when I get it up and running. There are so many articles about the west – histories of people that I’m trying not to let fade away for good, places that don’t need to be forgotten, and the awesome grandeur and beauty of the real wild west that still exists.

So, I thought I’d share a few excerpts today from all my Irons in the Fire. Hope you enjoy…

New Parish:
“Sarah thought about the day she’d been complaining about the poor dating prospects and her dream of being a mom floating away from her, when Mary revealed to her that in the community she came from, the people did plural marriages. So, any girl could get a good man and not have to worry about missing out on being a mom. Mary’s descriptions of her home made it sound like a little piece of heaven, where people lived happy lives, and found their happily ever afters.

Sarah sighed, thinking of the small rural community Mary had described, “Maybe…””

Return to New Parish:

“Hearing a light tapping on her door she pulled herself up from the sofa and walked to the door.  “Hi,” Sarah said, entering the room, “I wanted to check in with you before I settled in for the night.”

            “I’m good,” Hannah smiled at her sister who looked very tired, “go settle.”

            “I will in a sec,” Sarah shrugged, “What did you think of things today?”

            “It was all good fun,” Hannah shrugged back, then thinking of the guys she had met asked, “So what do you know about Daniel and Steve?”

            “Um, not too much.” Sarah wrinkled her nose as if a bad smell had entered the room then asked, “Why?”

            “Well they are cute eligible guys,” Hannah proposed, thinking Sarah had been out of the game too long.

            Sarah laughed, “Oh, I see. Well all the guys here are eligible, but really those two guys are unproven. So I wouldn’t give them much thought.”

            Hannah was shocked at Sarah’s comments, “Ah, I guess I hadn’t thought of it that way.” She felt a little weird with the new perspective Sarah had just put forward. It was slowly sinking in, but she knew this was going to take some time.

            “You have that deer in the headlights look,” Sarah teased her.

            Hannah laughed, “I suppose I’m allowed,” she defended, “I really hadn’t thought about that whole eligibility thing. What do you mean unproven?” she asked completely not understanding what her sister had said.

            “They don’t even have one wife,” Sarah explained with her nose wrinkled again. “Max told me that he went on a work mission, then to college, then built a house and started a ranch and his electrical business before he got married. He said it gave him time to get his head on straight and mature some so he could appreciate having wives and all the opportunities of married life.”

            “Oh,” Hannah said, feeling like the deer in the headlights look had returned to her expression.

            Sarah smiled slyly at her and said, “Goodnight.”     

            “Goodnight,” Hannah chuckled as Sarah closed the door.”

Home to New Parish:

            ““So when’s your return flight?” Samantha asked entering Brenda’s bedroom and interrupting the moment of peaceful delight she was enjoying.

            “It’s the same as I told you before, Mom, January 3rd at eleven in the morning,” Brenda returned in a we’ve already discussed this tone, and giving Wren a little scoot to get him on his way.

            “Just checking,” Samantha said with raised eyebrows. “You know how I feel about you going out there.”

            “Mom, I’m going to spend Christmas with my sisters, at one of my sister’s home. We’re going to have a wonderful time, and it’ll be good for the kids,” Brenda returned, trying to sound logical and ignore her Mom’s innuendo.

            “As long as you and Beth come back with no plans of repeating what Sarah and Hannah did,” Samantha stated firmly.

            “I’m over thirty and have four kids, Mom. Believe me, no one wants me, here or there,” Brenda sighed defeatedly and resumed packing.

            “That’s not true,” Samantha stammered, looking awkwardly uncomfortable. “I’m sure you’ll find someone wonderful, here.”

            “Really, Mom?” Brenda paused and looked at her mom with a very doubtful expression.

            “Yes, really,” Samantha returned defensively.

            Brenda sighed, shook her head and once again resumed packing. Her cell phone rang cutting off her Mom’s inquiry.

            “Hello,” Brenda answered, waving her mom off.”

Passion in New Parish:

Only in the planning stages – it’s Beth’s journey to New Parish.

Brigham Tea Magazine:

Tea Time

When the first pioneers moved west and settled along the Arizona Strip, rations could get a bit scarce. Some reports say that the Mormons learned about Brigham Tea from friendly Indians and that it was previously called squaw tea. I don’t have any concrete evidence of how they found out about it, just that they did, and they drank it.

In our day, there are so many teas to choose from, that everyone can find something they like. I think it’s good that we have a wide variety of tea to choose from, and a wide variety of people to get to know, and wonderful places to explore. I’ve found that people gravitate toward what they like, whether it’s tea, or friends, or places. There are times when we want what’s familiar and comfortable and other times when we want to try something else, that’s new or different.

Heroes of the Past

Jacob Hamblin Part 1

In researching the people who lived out here in the wild west, back when it was very wild, I’ve found that there were many who were real life heroes, who lived lives like Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett – they were true to life characters that John Wayne would have played in his best old cowboy movies.

One of the real-life heroes that made his mark on the Arizona Strip was Jacob Hamblin. Most of the research I’m using in this series of articles is from the man himself, through James A. Little. Little spent time interviewing Jacob Hamblin and recorded what he said in text form. I find Jacob Hamblin fascinating…  He was born in Salem Ohio on April 6, 1819. When he was just a few months old his family moved to another county in Ohio, Geauga, and continued the family business, farming. When he was a young man, around 17 years old, his family moved again – this time to the Wisconsin Territory in Spring Prairie. He homesteaded eighty acres of his own land there, next to his father’s homestead of the same acreage.

Pipe Springs National Monument

A while back I visited an amazing place, not too far from where I live, called Pipe Springs National Monument. The discovery of Pipe Spring by the white man, happened when Jacob Hamblin and his group of explorers found it back in 1858. I could see why explorers in the desert would be drawn to this place. It was, and is literally an oasis in the middle of the desert.  It has tall trees and lots of green around. The reason for the green is the natural spring that’s been quenching the thirst of the land, Native Americans, pioneers, and many a weary traveler for as long as recorded or verbal history can tell. It’s truly like stepping back, into the past.

The first actual settlers to the area were James Witmore and his brother in law Robert McIntire, in the spring of 1863. They lived in a small dugout house near where the fort was later built. They raised cattle, until 1866 when the settlement was ended with an Indian raid that took their cattle and their lives.

A Day in the Life of a Sister Wife

The moss ladened trees of Savanah strolled through Sarah’s mind as she sat on her balcony overlooking the mesas just past the desert prairie. Her new home in Arizona was a stark contrast to her old one in Georgia. Her new life was hugely different as well. If anyone had told her a couple of years ago that she’d be married to a cowboy who’d already been married twice, she’d have told them they were nuts. Sarah chuckled to herself thinking, “Yes, Max has been married twice. But, the thing is – he’s never been divorced.” Thinking back to the day she met her sister wives, Sarah remembered that she’d liked them instantly. That like had grown into a deep love and respect very quickly,” she smiled. “The like had taken a while with Max.”

The mug of hot chocolate warmed her as she braced for impact. She knew tomorrow would be a supreme test of her “mom” skills. Both her sister wives, Myra and Del, were going to be busy and gone all day, Myra had a meeting with a local art gallery and Del was going to her pre-natal checkup and then on to do some much needed shopping. So, Sarah would have her own baby, Parley (six months old), the family toddler Annie (18 months old), and two four year olds, Mia and Rosie to take care of, along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner to prepare for the whole family, which consisted of about seventeen people, if no one brought friends home for lunch. Sarah had always liked the fact that everyone came home for lunch, it was something she looked forward to each day, her feelings about tomorrow’s lunch held a little more stress.

 

There are many more irons in the fire for me. I hope you’ll all enjoy the ones I’ve shared…

New Parish Available Now!

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com –

https://www.amazon.com/New-Parish-Julie-Worthington/dp/1732224005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535156774&sr=8-1&keywords=new+parish+by+julie+worthington    

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-parish-julie-worthington/1129421210?ean=9781732224001     

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