Tag Archive | Thanksgiving

Hannah’s Thoughts…

We all have our own unique way of thinking about things. Sometimes we know we’re justifying ourselves, but, continue on anyways… Hannah has a lot to sort out, and sometimes she justifies herself too… But, she does have Sarah to keep her honest.

I love the relationship between Sarah and Hannah, I hope you all enjoy it as well!


Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 6 – Things Change

            “Waking early the next morning Hannah did her best to swipe the vivid memories, of the annoying, recurring dreams, of the old cowboy and his horse, from her mind. She showered and dressed quickly so she would have time to go for a walk before the shopping trip.

            Pulling on her sneakers, she heard a light tapping on the door, it opened and Sarah said, “Hey, I’m glad you’re up.”

            “Oh, yeah, why?” Hannah queried with a “what’s up” look.

            “Mom, called last night,” Sarah said with a raised eyebrow.

            Hannah knew all too well what the raised eyebrow meant. It meant she’d been caught doing something she shouldn’t. She also knew that if her mom had called things were about to change, for better or worse, things were going to change.

            Sarah continued, “She wanted to know how you’re doing and when you plan on heading home. You haven’t told her what you’re planning on doing have you?”

            “Um, no,” Hannah replied a little defensively. “I didn’t want to add any drama to my decisions.”

            “Coward,” Sarah accused her, bluntly.

            Hannah chuckled, “I’ll tell her, eventually.”

            “Han,” Sarah said firmly, “If you can’t tell Mom and Dad what you’re going to do then maybe you shouldn’t do it. This is a very serious commitment, you have to be all in.”

              “Fine, fine,” Hannah sighed. “I’ll call them tonight.”

            “Okay,” Sarah smiled, “We’re leaving at nine.”

            “Cool,” Hannah said as Sarah left her there to dread the call and the changes it would bring.

            Grabbing her coat, scarf, and gloves Hannah went outside. The gardens were all frost covered and when she breathed out there was a white mist where her breath touched the air. Everything seemed too quiet, nothing was moving, no wind, no sound to be heard from any direction. This made Hannah think of the old saying, “calm before the storm.” As she walked past the barn and toward the long driveway that led out of the ranch she wondered, if, there was an impending storm…

            Climbing up on the fence near the end of the driveway, Hannah sat on the top rail. She watched the cows in the pasture, they were standing still, almost like statues. “I guess it’s too cold for them to move around much,” she thought to herself. It was beginning to feel more and more like one of those surreal moments that don’t make sense till later, if ever. It felt almost like time were standing still and waiting for her to get the clue, but she just wasn’t getting it. “Maybe it’s this funk I’ve been in lately,” she pondered to herself. She couldn’t figure out why she was feeling the way she was feeling but decided it wasn’t a bad feeling so she would just file it away for now and sort it out later.

            The sky was starting to light up with a breathtaking array of pastel colors, Hannah sat there on the rail and watched the show. “Time’s not standing still,” she thought, “it’s moving wonderfully ahead.””

Find Return to New Parish, New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine on Amazon.com at the link below:



Little sister Hannah…

I’d like to introduce you to Hannah, if you’ve read my book New Parish, you’ve already met Sarah her older sister. Hannah is the epitome of the sassy Southern girl. Oh, she is respectful and kind, but she has a fiery temper that flares up every now and then. Hannah loves horses she’s ridden horses since she was 9, and used to love watching old cowboy movies with Sarah when there were kids.

Now she’s going to live in a place where there are real cowboys, lots of horses, and maybe something wonderful for her… if she can get over the bad thing that happened…

You can find out all about Hannah, her sassy ways, and the bad thing that happened, in Return to New Parish. Return to New Parish will be out this summer, more details soon!

Until then you can always get acquainted with her sister Sarah in my book New Parish available now on Amazon.com. Brigham Tea Magazine is also available now in digital form on Amazon.com. (Links below)


Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 2 – Cowboys and Horses

            “The rest of her road trip was peaceful and full of anticipation to see Sarah and her family. She was no longer plagued by the pain of her past. She felt at peace, although she knew the Nathaniel thing was simmering just under the surface, she was determined to cling onto the peace, even if it was temporary.

            As she neared the small community Hannah saw some men and a small boy riding horses across the prairie next to the main road. She also saw that they had a purpose, they were moving a herd of about thirty cows away from the road. One man, an older cowboy, who seemed to be in charge was sitting on his horse, a large impressive palomino, and pointing while the other men were gathering the cows in the direction he wanted them to go in. The sage cowboy made Hannah think of Sam Elliot, whom she had loved in several westerns.

            The boy stayed near the cowboy in charge until the old truck in front of Hannah made a huge bang! It was a very loud backfire, Hannah jumped and shouted, “Dang!” She looked back to the scene she’d been watching to see the boy’s beautiful blond palomino suddenly dart toward the fence opposite the road she was traveling on. The old cowboy was suddenly on the move, his horse quickly caught up with the one the boy was on. He grabbed the reins of the other horse slowing, then stopping the horse. After steadying the boy on his saddle, he patted him on the back reassuringly.

            Hannah smiled, “I’m gonna like it here.” A right turn took her into the community, a few more turns and a couple of miles later and she was pulling up in front of Sarah’s home. It looked like the pictures Sarah had sent her, beautiful gardens surrounding the huge rock face house. She saw the barn, across the drive from the house, and longed to just go out there for a bit. She sighed and decided that saying hello to her sister would be more appropriate, so she got out of her car and stretched. Then she walked up the short walkway to the front door.”

New Parish:

New Parish on Amazon.com

Also available at:


Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Brigham Tea Magazine:



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:


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:


Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!




Family means many different things to many different people. Some people think of groups of friends they belong to as family, others think of simply those they have a blood relationship with as family. Families come in all shapes and sizes, whether they are created by blood or other bonds… Families can have a single parent or many parents. Either way, family is always the place we call home, family is the place we find shelter from the storms of life, and family always include the people we love and who will be there for us. I think of it as an unwritten code – they don’t have to help you or be supportive… they just do.

My book New Parish is all about family… Sarah grows up in one kind of family, and decides to enter into another kind of family. This change creates a whole new dynamic for her old family and her new family… in the end they do what families do… they just do.


Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 6 – The Return (Sarah and her parents arriving in New Parish)

“Laden with luggage they all entered Brother Michael’s house, “Sarah! Oh it’s so good to see you again, Sweetie!” Susan came running up and gave her a big hug. Then shouted, “Sarah’s here!” toward the hallway in front of the entry.

            It looked like the house had began to ooze people, they poured in from every direction. Sarah was busy getting and giving hugs when she noticed her mom’s expression, it was one of sheer terror.

            Sarah suppressed a giggle and said, “Everyone, this is my mom and dad.”

“Here,” Brother Michael said placing the bags he had on the floor and taking charge, “Let me introduce you to my wives and you’ll catch the kids names eventually. This is Marla, Michelle, Lisa, Karen, Susan, Sharon, and Ann. Ladies this is David and Samantha Nichols.”

            Sarah almost burst out laughing when she looked at her dad’s expression, he was at another cross, this one was a cross between amusement and disbelief. Her mom looked even more traumatized, but graciously shook hands with each of Brother Michael’s wives as she was introduced.

            They were given a tour of the house, and shown the bedroom where Sarah would be sharing with Mary. All the while Sarah was suppressing giggles, her mom’s look of shock and her dad’s look of amusement was totally entertaining her. After the tour her dad was taken outside to see the huge pond where Brother Michael was encouraging wild geese and other migratory birds to stop over – and Sarah’s mom went up to her bedroom to help unpack her things.

When Mary stepped out for a moment to go get something Samantha said, “I honestly thought you were joking about him having that many wives.” She looked at Sarah with uncertainty in her expression and continued, “I could just pinch your father! He thinks it’s all uniquely charming. He’d better not get any ideas!””

Chapter 12 – Home (Part of the Thanksgiving gathering for both of Sarah’s families)

            “The next morning Sarah was up early so she could make her grandmother’s cinnamon rolls with Hannah and so she could get a hot shower before everyone got up and pilfered all the hot water. The kitchen was quiet when she entered but Hannah arrived soon after, they started the Christmas playlist – which always had to be playing when the family was preparing Thanksgiving food.  Then they began rolling out the yeast rolls and preparing them for the sprinkling of yummy stuff.

            “So I met this guy,” Hannah smiled slyly at Sarah. “He’s got promise, I think.”

            “Awesome! Tell me all about him!” Sarah demanded.

             Hannah giggled and said, “He’s a returned missionary, attending BYU like me, and he’s taking some programming classes with me. He’s really smart, and gets almost as good of grades as I do.”

            “He sounds okay,” Sarah smiled, “What’s he like? You know, sense of humor, common sense, financially responsible? That sort of thing, oh yeah and is he gorgeous?”

            “He’s very gorgeous!” Hannah smiled. “He’s got a good sense of humor sometimes he thinks he’s funnier than he is, but it’s good though, he’s cute and can pull it off.” She shrugged and continued, “I don’t know about common sense or finances yet, I only met him a couple of months ago.”

            “Ah, still in the early stages huh? Well make sure you be careful,” Sarah said in a big sisterly way.

            “Of course,” Hannah smiled and intentionally bumped Sarah’s arm to make her spill the cinnamon, “You too.”

            They both laughed and continued to sprinkle the rolled out yeast rolls with sugar and cinnamon. Not long after the cinnamon rolls were in the oven, there was a trickle of family invading the kitchen, the trickle soon turned into a flood with everyone present. The aroma of the cinnamon rolls had emanated from the kitchen and called the family together. As they began indulging in the wonderful treats, they were given their assignments for the day. There was so much food to be prepared for tomorrow’s feast that it would keep everyone busy, all day.

            The work began even before the cinnamon rolls were eaten. Most of the workers were holding a cinnamon roll in one hand, (or in their mouth), and doing the food prep single handedly. As the day went on they all were snacking on the food they were working on, so there was no reason to make lunch. It was a just grab something and keep working sort of thing, which was their usual for this day.

            Sarah noticed her mom enjoying the fact that there were thirteen more kids calling her, Grandma. She thought that maybe her mom was beginning to soften on the plural marriage situation, maybe. She decided to test the waters by asking, “So, how do you like being grandma to a bunch more kids?”

            Samantha smiled, “Oh its nice.” She paused letting the thick syrup she was pouring over the sweet potatoes drizzle into some areas that were not as drenched with the stuff then continued, “They’re really sweet kids, and so beautiful.” She looked at Sarah and asked, “How do you like being a mom?”

            “I’m loving it!” Sarah replied enthusiastically.

            “Are you still wanting to have a baby?” her mom inquired.

            “Yes,” Sarah answered reluctantly. “It just hasn’t happened yet.”

            “Oh,” Samantha looked concerned. “I didn’t know you were already trying.”

            Sarah shrugged, not really wanting to talk about this bit of sore frustration in her life.

            “Sometimes these things take time,” her mom consoled. “It’s easier to make a baby by accident than to plan on it.”

            Sarah smiled and admitted, “Max said I should try to chill about it. But I really want a baby. I’m a bit frustrated over it, and can’t really find a way to chill.”

            “It’ll happen,” her mom smiled at her.”  

Do you want to find out for yourself what happens next? New Parish is now available on Amazon.com

Simply search New Parish by Julie Worthington or follow the link below…



Thanksgiving in New Parish & Brigham Tea Magazine – Wild Desert

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I’ve always found that it’s not just the turkey that got stuffed on Thanksgiving… This holiday is about families coming together and really spending time together, catching up, and finding out what’s been going one with each other. Whether they live near or far, this is the holiday that brings them together… it’s that way for Sarah and her family each year.

The next section of Brigham Tea I’m sharing with you is the Wild Desert. It’s all about the western desert, the places, plant life, and the critters. Hope you enjoy the slide show…

New Parish Coming Soon! Summer of 2018! Excerpt from New Parish:

“Everyone went into Thanksgiving mode … and food prep was the main activity consuming everyone’s time, down to the smallest three year old who was transporting fruit to the salad area. After so many years of working together on Thanksgiving dinner they all knew what to do and did it with almost perfect precision. Christmas music was playing and children were happily giggling about the mess that was all over. This was the one time everyone was happy to make a huge mess – the rewards were always worth it.


The menu included:

The largest turkey they could find

Two hams crusted over with honey, brown sugar and pineapple

Green beans with butter, sea salt, and sprinkled slightly with sugar

Candied yams with cinnamon

Potato salad

Cranberry sauce from a can

Southern dressing which was made out of biscuit bread and cornbread with sage, sweet onion, chicken broth and shredded chicken

Giblet gravy to go over the dressing made with chicken broth, cornstarch to thicken, salt, pepper, and bits of boiled egg and chicken

Corn prepared in a skillet with butter, sea salt, and pepper

Yeast rolls which they never did from scratch the frozen ones were fine

The deserts always included:

Chocolate pies


Chocolate chip cookies

Sugar cookies decorated with Christmas icing

Fruit salad which always had pineapple, cherries, bananas, grapes, nuts, cream cheese, and whipped topping

            This menu took the whole family two days to prepare and everyone had leftovers to take home with them after the dinner. Because leftovers are a necessity after Thanksgiving, or at least that was their family philosophy.”