Another Recipe from Janice’s Kitchen Corner – Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms!

This is the fourth installment of my newest segment – Janice’s Kitchen Corner. This is another recipe from Janice’s Kitchen Corner. Here are the other recipes Spinach Pita Pizza, Portuguese Seafood Stew and Marinated Mushrooms. In the past I have also shared recipes for Portuguese cookies and Drunken Chicken.

I love mushrooms and wanted to share with you a simple and delicious way to stuff portobello or button mushrooms. This is my original recipe.

Mushrooms can be used in so many dishes. I will explore that more later with you.

Here is my Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms:

Ingredients:

Portobello Mushrooms
  1. 2 Large Portobello Mushrooms (they do have small ones too)
  2. 1 tbs chopped onions
  3. garlic powder
  4. 2 tbs chopped crab or imitation crab
  5. Red pepper flakes
  6. Ritz Whole Wheat crackers (10-12 crackers crumbled)
  7. 2 tbs butter
  8. 1/4 C water
Crumbled Crackers
Ingredients
Crabmeat stuffing for mushrooms
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Crumble crackers in small bowl and set aside
  2. Sauté chopped onions in butter
  3. Add chopped crab to onions and heat through
  4. Add water and 2 dashes of red pepper flakes and sprinkle of garlic powder
  5. Mix all ingredients with crumbled crackers
  6. Spread stuffing evenly over surface of mushrooms
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or on grill for 15-20 minutes
  8. Enjoy!

Be ready to receive plenty of compliments and recipe requests! Each time I’ve made these mushrooms whether with button or portobello mushrooms I have been asked for the recipe.

These mushrooms make a nice compliment to a steak, chicken or pork dinner or even fish. They go with everything.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe. Stop by again for more recipes to come.

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM ALL YEAR THROUGH! HAPPY READING! Jemsbooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by clicking on covers to the right of this post. Thank you for your kind support and reviews of my books.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Posted in Janice’s Kitchen Corner, Recipes, Sharing Recipes, stuffed portobello mushrooms, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Janice’s Kitchen Corner – Marinated Mushrooms!

This is another recipe from Janice’s Kitchen Corner. Here are the other recipes Spinach Pita Pizza and Portuguese Seafood Stew. In the past I have also shared recipes for Portuguese cookies and Drunken Chicken.

As I’ve said before I LOVE mushrooms. I created this recipe, from a combination of others, to marinate mushrooms which is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. My husband requests this recipe every week. He purchases four packages of mushrooms and I marinate three of them.

This is a simple and quick recipe and so delicious. You will become addicted as we are.

Button Mushrooms
Ingredients – Marinated Mushrooms
Marinade for Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  1. 1-3 pkg button mushrooms
  2. 1 1/2 C white vinegar
  3. 1/2 C water
  4. 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Onion flakes
  6. Garlic powder
  7. Red Pepper Flakes
  8. Salt & Pepper
  9. Parsley flakes

Directions:

  1. Wash mushrooms, set aside
  2. Put vinegar and water into medium sauce pan and bring to boil
  3. Add mushrooms and stir and bring to another boil
  4. Cook for 4 minutes then drain
  5. Prepare marinade – add oil, sprinkle of onion flakes, garlic power, red pepper flakes, parsley flakes and Salt & pepper to taste and blend all together
  6. Add mushrooms to marinade and blend together covering mushrooms well
  7. Cover marinated mushrooms and refrigerate
  8. Serve cold
  9. Enjoy!
Marinated mushrooms

I hope you enjoy this recipe and come back for more.

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM ALL YEAR THROUGH! HAPPY READING! Jemsbooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by clicking on covers to the right of this post. Thank you for your kind support and reviews of my books.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Posted in Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | 2 Comments

Mom’s Choice Award Silver Medal Winner – Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon!

I am thrilled to announce that my children’s book, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, is a winner of a Silver Medal from Mom’s Choice Awards! Ricky is happy to join Lamby the Lonely Lamb to Mom’s Choice Awards family of winners.

About the Mom’s Choice Awards®
The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for children, families and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of entries from more than 55 countries.
Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media look for the MCA mother-and-child Honoring Excellence seal of approval when selecting quality products and services for children and families.
Learn more about the Mom’s Choice Awards by visiting their website: http://www.MomsChoiceAwards.com.

Here is the link to Ricky at Mom’s Choice Awards: https://store.momschoiceawards.com/index.php?entry_id=9662

Blurb:

Ricky is a rambunctious or very active raccoon who likes to wander around to find something new to eat. One night during his foraging for food Ricky runs into all kinds of trouble. Will Ricky get home safely? Will he learn his lesson to listen to his mother?

Ricky is available also at Barnes & Noble and by clicking on his cover or the right of this post.

I feel pure joy writing for children and hope with God’s help and blessing to continue to write many more fun adventures for children to read and enjoy. I do enjoy writing for MG/PT/YA and 18+ too!

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM ALL YEAR THROUGH! HAPPY READING! Jemsbooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by clicking on covers to the right of this post. Thank you for your kind support and reviews of my books.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Posted in award-winning author, Award-winning book, children's books, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Silver Medal - Mom’s Choice Awards, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Memorial Day – Remember Those Who Served!

This year 2020 is a new year of differences of normal. No flags were placed at the graves of thousands of servicemen and women because of COVID-19. Sad, very sad!

I took a walk around my neighborhood and snapped a couple of photos of flags to share.

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Memorial Day decorations @Jemsbooks.com

Here is a post I wrote in 2018 that I wanted to share again. May God bless all those who honor and serve their country.

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Memorial Day is coming soon! Thank a soldier that you know or meet for their service by tapping your chest with your hand and nodding at them. They will know what you mean. Please say a prayer to keep them safe and bring all who are away home soon.

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MEMORIAL DAY

This is a day to remember those who died.

120px-Memorial_Day_Flagged_Crosses

They put everything else aside.

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They fought for your country with pride.

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They sacrificed their lives for others.

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Unselfishly they did this for their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.

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To all of us they have given their best.

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May now in peace shall they rest.

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Let us not forget what these brave men and women have done for us all!

Because of their sacrifice we can all stand proud and tall!

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May God Bless them and keep them safe!

My father served in World War II as a Marine. I remember how proud he was of his service. He received a Purple Heart after he was injured in combat.

Here’s my handsome dad in his Marine uniform proudly marching. I couldn’t edit this to resize it reason why it is so large! He was larger than life in my eyes!

img_3889
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What I did notice was how difficult it was for my father to talk about what he witnessed while he was in the service during WWII. He never really talked about the events until one day when I was a teenager.

I pushed him that day to talk about his experiences. All he could say was, “This war is something you can never forget. I lost many of my buddies. They were picked off and dropped down right next to me. I was lucky to survive with just a bullet wound.” My father passed away after a wonderful life in 2001. I miss him!

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

A special thanks to all you servicemen and woman for keeping us safe!

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

(Photos not marked are compliments of Wikimedia)

Posted in Memorial Day, prayers for lives lost, Prayers for safety, remember those who served, servicemen and women | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Recipes from Janice’s Kitchen Corner – Portuguese Seafood Stew!

This is the second installment of my newest segment on my blog – Janice’s Kitchen Corner. I have so many recipes to share with you. Check out the first recipe (Spinach Pita Pizza) in this series here. In the past I have also shared recipes for Portuguese cookies and Drunken Chicken.

Here is a map of Portugal and a photo of Pousada de Palmela with sopa de pedra (stone soup) in the foreground. All the photos in this beautiful cookbook are gorgeous and the food looks so appetizing.

On the Atlantic Sea Cliff at Guincho Beach near Lisbon
People surf-casting near Sabre’s, Algarve on the beach at Praia do Carvoeiro, Algarve (dish in upper left corner is one of my favorites – Clams Cataplana)

Maybe another time I will make Clams Cataplana. I had this dish in Madeira. It was fabulous with clams and tomato broth and potatoes and served with crusty bread! I ate every mouthful! I would have licked the plate but people were beginning to watch this little woman who can eat like a lumberjack! Ha! The chef was pleased whenI sent him compliments!

I have been to Portugal and Madeira and loved the food there and the people were so warm, friendly and welcoming. My grandparents came from Madeira and always told me that I had to visit this beautiful island. It is completely lush and green with high mountains that you traverse on narrow roads. It look my breath away with its beauty and height that I am deathly afraid of but had to go up to the top to appreciate its magnificence.

Walking around the island I felt at peace. It was like I was back in my home as a child listening to the shushing sound of the language. It was quite soothing to my soul. My parents and grandparents spoke Portuguese at home. I never learned but could figure out what they were saying after awhile. I only know a few (un pecunyo) words. Check out my post on Portugal and Madeira.

This recipe today is from a Portuguese cookbook my son and daughter-in-law gave me many years ago.

The Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson

As with a lot of recipes I change things up a bit. This recipe which I renamed Portuguese Seafood Stew is in this recipe book as Fish Stew Guincho-Style or in Portuguese Caldeirada a Moda de Guincho. Here is a photo of the original recipe which I changed up a little. Feel free to use this or adjust to your own preferences. I apologize to the author for taking her recipes and changing them up.

The recipe is on the left page and continues onto the right.

This recipe calls for 2 kinds of fish and 4 types of seafood. It feeds 6-8 servings. I only had four people to cook for and didn’t want to include the fish. So, I adjusted the recipe to include all the seafood plus scallops, eliminated the peppers (I can’t eat them – upset my stomach) and added Chorizo and then followed the recipe for everything else. I did not add the coriander at the end, it did not need it. But you can do whatever you like.

If you do include fish use 2 kinds of lean white fish (i.e., cod, monkfish, hake, flounder or haddock put in fish as one piece). Also include two kinds of oily fish (i.e., Mackerel, swordfish, tuna).

Here are the ingredients I used: (Serves 4)

  1. 1 large onion chopped
  2. 2 large cloves of garlic minced
  3. 2 tbs olive oil
  4. 1 tbs parsley or 2 fresh parsley branches
  5. 1 large bay leaf
  6. 5 peppercorns
  7. 1 large can of chopped tomatoes in juice
  8. 2 1/2 tbs of tomato paste
  9. 1 cup dry white wine
  10. 1/2 cup water
  11. half a pkg of Chorizo sliced in chunks
  12. 1/2 lb of squid cleaned and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  13. 8 scallops
  14. 8 littleneck claims in shell scrubbed and purged of grit (to purge grit: cover clams with cold water, add a tbs of cornmeal and let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes)
  15. 8 jumbo or larger shrimp taken out of shells
  16. 1 lb mussels bearded and scrubbed well
  17. 1/2 tsp black pepper
  18. sprinkle of coriander or parsley over finished product

Directions:

  1. In a large heavy kettle or saucepan set over moderate heat
  2. Saute onions, garlic and green peppers (if you include them) in olive oil 15 minutes
  3. Turn heat to low, cover and steam 20 minutes
  4. Add parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, tomatoes, paste, wine and water (I also added a bottle of clam juice) and simmer stirring now and then, 10 minutes
  5. Add squid and clams, cover simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. If you include fish – add fish now but don’t stir, also add Chorizo, scallops, shrimp and mussels, sprinkle with pepper, cover, and cook gently for 15 to 20 minutes until mussels open and fish flakes.
  7. Carefully stir the mixture, breaking the fish into large chunks and bringing the tomato mixture up on top.
  8. Ladle into large soup plates, sprinkle with coriander (optional) and serve with crusty chunks of bread and/or pasta which I did. I cooked linguine and placed the seafood over it. See photo below.

You can also grate some Parmesan/Romano cheese over the top. Makes it extra zesty and delicious! Don’t forget to mop up all that out-of-this-world broth with your crusty bread! I don’t know about you but my mouth is watering now and I want to make it again! My husband loves it!

I’m sorry I didn’t take photos of everything when I was making this. I used frozen uncooked shrimp, calamari (squid), scallops, and chopped clams, and fresh clams in shell. You can use all fresh seafood if you can get it at your grocery. I like to keep frozen seafood at the ready whenever I have a hankering for this dish!

Chorizo or Chourico
Portuguese Seafood Stew with Chorizo and Linguine – absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious!

Whether you are Portuguese or not you will love this dish if you love seafood like I do! It’s a quick dish to make. It takes longer to get all the ingredients together than to prepare the meal.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about beautiful Portugal and Madeira. If you ever have a chance to visit please go for the beauty of the country, the lovely people and their fabulous food. Come back again for another recipe soon! I will feature one or two a week.

A very special THANK YOU to all my new followers! I love having you visit! Please keep coming back. There will plenty more to enjoy, books, food, tales about my fish and birds that we feed and whatever else pops into my already overcrowded brain!

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM ALL YEAR THROUGH! HAPPY READING! Jemsbooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by clicking on covers to the right of this post. Thank you for your kind support and reviews of my books.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Posted in Fish and seafood, Food, Janice’s Kitchen Corner, Madeira Island, Portugal, Portuguese Seafood Stew, Recipes, seafood, Sharing Recipes, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Check out New Segment of Jemsbooks – Janice’s Kitchen Corner – Spinach Pita Pizza!

Hi everyone! I would like to begin a new segment of my blog called Janice’s Kitchen Corner! Here I will share some of my favorite recipes, originals and otherwise. I hope you enjoy this new segment.

I have shared many photos of some of the food my husband and I have made during this Pandemic.

The latest item I made today for lunch was a spinach pita pizza. It was crunchy and delicious! I used George’s Bakery’s pita bread which is the best pita I have ever had! They are located in Methuen, Massachusetts. On their website they have all kinds of Mediterranean food. They even ship their products directly to you.

I got a little carried away with my ordering. I ordered 6 pkgs of pita loafs and 2 spinach loafs with feta. These spinach loafs gave me the inspiration to make my own spinach pita pizza. The pitas come in small, medium and large-sized loafs. The large loafs are six in a package. I used one of these loafs to make the pizza. I am still eating these loafs two months after I purchased them and one more package left. There are so many ways you can use this pita bread. Let your imagination fly! These are quick and easy to prepare and fun to eat!

Here is what you will need to make your pita pizza:

1 large pita loaf, 2 tbs olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, oregano, spinach, feta cheese (all spices are to taste, just a sprinkle or two of each)

I use a pizza board to prepare my pizza and then slide it into the oven easily onto a stone that has been heated at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

Here is how you prepare your pita pizza:

  1. Place pita loaf onto a board or plate.
  2. Brush 1 tbs of olive oil all over the loaf.
  3. Wash spinach and wring out in paper towels.
  4. Spread spinach all over loaf.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of feta cheese onto loaf (as many or few as you desire)
  6. Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, organo and ground black pepper across loaf as much or as little as you want.
  7. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over loaf.
  8. Place in heated over of 425 degrees on a pizza stone or cookie sheet
  9. Bake for 5-6 minutes until crispy. (If you leave it too long it will burn and curl up.)
  10. Enjoy!
Spinach and herbs added
Feta cheese added
Slice of Spinach Pita PizzaCrispy and delicious!
Pita Pizza with tomato sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella

They make delicious regular pizza too with sauce and cheese and pepperoni and whatever. Don’t let your family know how easy they are. They will think you slaved over the oven for hours! Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this new segment of my blog. Stay tuned for more recipes soon!

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM ALL YEAR THROUGH! HAPPY READING! Jemsbooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by clicking on covers to the right of this post. Thank you for your kind support and reviews of my books.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Posted in Feta cheese, Janice’s Kitchen Corner, Pita bread, Recipes, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Tale of the Harassed Starfish!

We all know how it feels to sit around all day, every day if we don’t have enough to do to keep us busy and productive. This is what is happening to many during this Pandemic. This phenomenon can also happen in a fish tank!

Well, I noticed recently that something strange was happening in our 95 gallon saltwater tank. I always check the beautiful tropical fish in this tank a few times a day. This tank is situated in our foyer.

Saltwater tank in our foyer

I begin each morning before breakfast visiting the colorful fish here. They look at me and begged for food. My husband at this time has not yet fed them. We socialize for a few minutes and I always snap some photos of them. We originally had 11 fish plus two starfish and anemones but unfortunately one starfish died, Puffer passed recently, and also two gamma rays, a damsel, a clownfish and both anemones. They were getting old, I guess, since we had had them for a long time.

Puffer and friends
Red the Starfish and friends
Red hanging out with the two anemones

Well, one morning I noticed the beautiful red chocolate chip starfish, Red, was upside down. This distressed me because starfish can’t get back onto their bellies easily. It takes quite a long time for them to maneuver around. They move in slow motion with the aid of their tentacles underneath and around the mouth.

Red the Starfish upside down

I also noticed that the other fish were looking a little guilty about something. They swiftly swam by me and did not meet my eyes. In fact in the above photo they are nowhere to be seen. They are hiding out in fear of me. I will scold them if they are bad just like little kids.

Red the Starfish upside down again!

Notice that there are no fish anywhere around once again. I guess they are bored and looking for some amusement. To them this is amusing to torment poor Red. I kept checking up on him during these days after I found him upside down. He did manage each time to right himself but it took a long time – a good part of the day.

Red the Starfish just hanging around on the glass

Lately he has been hanging out on the side of the glass to keep away from them. He smartened up and knows the game now. Haha!

My husband dropped in some shells for them to play with to take the pressure off of Red. He put them around the tank in a nice pattern. Evidently the fish didn’t like the pattern he configured. They proceeded to move them around.

Red the Starfish next to the moved shells

Another thing the fish do to Red is cover him with sand. You can see all the sand that is on him in the above photo. I think our fish have become bullies! Sigh!

Fish not praticing social distancing
Red the Starfish staying away from the fish!

Things have settled down and Red is staying away from the fish. It’s safer that way. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the Tale of the Harassed Starfish. Stop by again real soon.

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM ALL YEAR THROUGH! HAPPY READING! Jemsbooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by clicking on covers to the right of this post. Thank you for your kind support and reviews of my books.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Posted in Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | 9 Comments

Hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles are now here!!

HUMMINGBIRDS ARE NOW HERE!

I saw my first hummingbird for 2020 season on May 9th! It never gets old! I get excited each time I see one – every single time!! I am sharing this post below from 2019. It says it all about the glorious hummingbirds!

This is a post I wrote previously about hummingbirds that I wanted to share with you again. My husband spotted the first hummingbird to our feeder this year (5/7/19). I missed it but will keep my eyes open for another one. They are ravenous eaters and will visit the same feeders year and after year. We are blessed with many of these gorgeous creatures since we have three feeders just for them. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather and these wondrous birds! Happy spring!

I love these tiny creatures so much that I should write a children’s story about them! I will have to discuss this with my illustrator, my husband, John. I will let you know how that turns out.

This is the second post I have written about these lovely little critters. Here is the previous one.

The bird feeders are out! Now to catch them in action! You have to be quick to see them.

I had my first sighting this year a few days ago. It’s such a thrill to see them coming back.

If you have been reading my blog since March of 2013, you would know how much I love birds, especially hummingbirds! They are the smallest of the birds and the only ones that can hover in mid-air and fly backwards. They are incredible little creatures that are fascinating to watch and catch in motion if you can.

I wrote this poem several years ago and updated it to reflect my feelings toward these gorgeous little birds.

HUMMINGBIRD

by Janice Spina

It’s as delicate as a butterfly

And graceful as a lark.

Wings beating in a symphonic rhythm

As it maneuvers around each flower,

And dips its beak to draw out the sweet-smelling nectar.

I watch as it moves effortlessly.

Its iridescent wings rapidly beating

As it hovers like an acrobat in midair.

Its feathers glisten with color and reflect the sun’s rays.

Seeing this bird in its element is to experience pure wonder and joy.

One knows there is something greater out there

That made the glorious hummingbird!

Another unbelievably beautiful bird is the Baltimore Oriole. The beauty of this bird cannot be captured in my photos here. You must see one to believe the vibrancy of its colors – brilliant yellow and black. It has a strange call which sounds like clicking similar to that of a chattering chipmunk.  It’s a distinctive sound and when we hear it we run to the back deck. This is where the Oriole feeder is kept. These photos are from last year.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES ARE NOW HERE!

In 2020 the Baltimore Orioles arrived on 5/10/20! John had the feeder ready for him and her. We have a male and female who come each year. This year it looks like the female is smaller and younger. Could be an offspring of the former visitors. They know where the feeders are and come every year. I think it is ingrained in their genes. Photos of birds below.

(My husband just saw the first Oriole at our back deck but unfortunately he did not have the feeder ready. He promptly put it out there hoping the bird would come back! 5/8/19) This year (2020) we still haven’t seen one as of this writing.

My husband puts out the feeders for both the hummingbirds and the Oriole at the same time in early May. That’s when they are both expected to arrive. It’s quite an exciting time to see them return each year to the same feeder.

In the photos above that I took this year the little guy is looking right at the camera posing for a picture. He doesn’t appear to be frightened in the least and will come to the feeder even when we are sitting on the deck.

Here are some exciting facts about these amazing little creatures. My source for info below is Wikipedia.

Hummingbirds are birds from the Americas that constitute the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest birds, most species measuring 7.5-13 cm in length.

Lifespan: 3-5 years

Speed: 49 mps (Maximum, Diving)

My source for information below is defenders.org.

Hummingbirds are small, colorful birds with iridescent feathers. Their name comes from the fact that they flap their wings so fast (about 80 times per second) that they make a humming noise. They can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down. They are also able to hover by flapping their wings in a figure-8 pattern. They have a specialized long and tapered bill that is used to obtain nectar from the center of long, tubular flowers. The hummingbird’s feet are used for perching only, and are not used for hopping or walking.

Hummingbirds primarily eat flower nectar, tree sap, insects and pollen.

Their fast breathing rate, fast heartbeat and high body temperature require that they eat often. They also require an enormous amount of food each day. They have a long tongue which they use to lick their food at a rate of up to 13 licks per second.

If you would like more information on these incredible birds, go to Wikipedia, defenders.org or other sites.

I hope you will get to see one of these creatures in action. Happy bird watching!

Here is a new photo from 2019!

A Beautiful Visitor – Baltimore Oriole – 2019

Here is a new photo of a hummingbird in 2020! They are quick critters and you have to be alert and ready to snap your photos. They move up, down, around and backwards so fast they are like a blur. I managed to snap this one as it drank the sugary mixture in our feeder. This was my third try to capture him! Two other photos were only of the feeder. He had flitted away. I waited with my IPhone camera on and ready.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird at our feeder!

Here are a couple of new photos of Baltimore Orioles in 2020!

Female Baltimore Oriole (pale orange & brown)
Male Baltimore Oriole (Brilliant orange & black)

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM ALL YEAR THROUGH! HAPPY READING! Jemsbooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by clicking on covers to the right of this post. Thank you for your kind support and reviews of my books.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Posted in blogging, books, children's books, hummingbirds, Jemsbooks for all ages, poem, poetry, Reading, Reading is Good for your Health, spring, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Starting New Book in Abby & Holly Series soon!

As you already know I recently published Book 5 of the Abby & Holly Series, The Copper Key. While I am still in the Abby & Holly mode I will begin the final book in the series. I hope to have this book completed by summer. Keep a watch out for it!

Abby & Holly Series Books 1-5

More fun and ghostly adventures with cousins, Abby & Holly, as they discover things in their old Victorian and go back to the past to solve mysteries. Life lessons will also be learned about friendship, family, respect, love and caring for one another! MG/PT/YA will be hooked and parents will feel good about the quality of books their children are reading! Adults are reading and enjoying them also!

This Abby & Holly Series has won 3 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards and a Readers’ Favorite Book Award – Bronze Medal!

All my series will have six books when completed – Davey & Derek, Abby & Holly, Drystan the Dragon (has 2 books at present – more coming next year and in 2022), Mariah (has only 2 now – more coming next year and beyond), a YA fantasy (in 2021 and beyond) and who knows what after that!

Why do I only do six books in my series, you ask? Well, I don’t want to get stagnant writing about the same characters. As a reader I don’t usually read too many books in a series. Sometimes I only read the first one even if really like it. Of course, I do read more in a series if they catch my eye and interest. I do enjoy moving on to other genres, characters and styles of writing though.

I want my fans, readers to enjoy my books but not get tired of the same characters no matter how cute and endearing they are. If by some chance readers request more in a series I might oblige time permitting. I always have a WIP and more on the back burner so that I am never bored or out of things to write about. I thank God every day for whatever is my muse. I pray it continues to be there on my shoulder whispering in my ear.

I want to thank my beta readers for their valuable time and expertise in reading and reviewing my books for me – Fran, Trish, Michelle and Michele! Thank you so much, girls! I couldn’t do this without you!

I pray that everyone is staying safe and well during this difficult time with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Some states are opening up slowly while others are still adhering to the At Home Orders like we are in New Hampshire. Take care everyone!

It’s important that we keep our mind and bodies fit and active at this time. Reading is one way to keep your mind active and healthy.

I have been busy writing, reading, promoting, crocheting, and sewing (tried anyway until my machine broke down). Yikes! Now back to writing which is still my chosen favorite thing to do.

I feel pure joy writing for children and hope with God’s help and blessing to continue to write many more fun adventures for children to read and enjoy. I do enjoy writing for MG/PT/YA and 18+ too!

My goal in writing for children is to encourage them to read daily to enhance their life through good health and increase their creativity. Please read to your children daily even after they can read by themselves. This is a wonderful time to bond, cuddle, and get closer to your children. They will love you for the time you took to spend with them. Please keep reading and I will keep writing! Happy Reading Everyone!

Thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to read this post. I appreciate your kind support of my blog and books. Please read to your children daily to help foster a love of reading in them and thus giving them Wings to Fly! Reading is Fun and Good for Your Health! Please leave reviews for books that you enjoy wherever you purchased the books. Your reviews will enable others to enjoy the books too. Thank you so much!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM ALL YEAR THROUGH! HAPPY READING! Jemsbooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by clicking on covers to the right of this post. Thank you for your kind support and reviews of my books.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!

Janice Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!

Jemsbooks.com

Jemsbooks.blog

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Posted in Abby & Holly School Dance, Abby & Holly Series, Abby & Holly Series Book 2 Unfortunate Events, Abby & Holly Series Book 4 The Hidden Stairway, Abby & Holly Series Book 6 coming in summer 2020, Abby & Holly Series, Book 3 Secrets of the Trunk, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day!

Here is a compilation of Mother’s Day celebrations. I don’t know what we will do this year 2020 with COVID-19. I haven’t been out of the house. My husband has been the one to do the shopping. God bless him!

I pray that all mothers out there will have a lovely and restful day with their families. For all of us who cannot be with our families may we see them through FaceTime, Zoom or talk to them on the phone. Take care and be safe and well! Love to all! God Bless!

We celebrated Mother’s Day 2019 a week earlier with my daughter and her family. My granddaughter and grandson made ceramic figures from a pottery place. An adorable elephant that looks like Dumbo from my grandson and a lovely little candle holder from my granddaughter. Here they are below.

This is part of a post from 2018 that I wanted to share once again for Mother’s Day. Below is what we did last year. This year we are going over to my son’s and daughter-in-law’s for dinner instead of a lunch or brunch. She always has quite a spread. I am looking forward to it.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

IMG_4743

This year we celebrated Mother’s Day the week before the actually day. My lovely daughter-in-law always has my daughter and her family and John and I over to her house for a delicious repast.

This year she outdid herself. She had mixed veggies with ranch dip, Cape Cod chips with homemade caramelized onion dip, shrimp cocktail, and cheese and crackers for starters.

For the main course she served marinated beef strips with roasted red peppers, paprika chicken legs, potato salad, sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, corn salsa with cheese, tossed spinach salad with raisins and walnuts. For dessert my daughter made carrot cake (top photos) and I brought a mixture of chocolate fudge cake, carrot cake, Boston cream cake, lemon cake. I was good somewhat and only ate a small piece of homemade carrot cake.

Sorry I didn’t think of taking a photo of all the food. We ate it all too quickly!

I received a gift certificate to my favorite local restaurant from my son and daughter-in-law and three grandsons, and from my daughter and family, a pair of comfy slippers and a lovely figurine (chosen by my granddaughter just for me) to commemorate the Monarch butterfly. Here is the paper that came with my figurine which is called Butterfly!

Here is a photo of the beautiful, graceful figurine. It looks like a butterfly, reason for its name.

It was a wonderful day to spend with my family! I feel blessed!

Here is a poem I wrote in memory of my mother.

My mom, Beatrice

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

By Janice Spina

You were always there for me

To guide and pave the way.

You bandaged my scraped knees.

You hugged and kissed the hurt away.

You listened when I needed an ear

To solve a problem you were always there.

You taught me right from wrong

and soothed me to sleep with a sweet song.

When I was sick you stroked my fevered brow.

and slept by me as long as time would allow.

You have been gone now for many a year

but in my heart I hold you forever near.

I miss and think of you every single day.

But I know I will join you when our Lord calls me His way.

Wishing all mothers out there a happy and blessed Mother’s Day! May your family surround you with love on your day!

Thank you for stopping by. You are always welcome! Come again soon!

REMEMBER: READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY! SOAR WITH JEMSBOOKS.COM! HAPPY READING!

Do something special this year for your mother! Buy her a book for her special day! Check out Jemsbooks.com for a novel that she will love. Also you can click on covers to the right of this post for purchase.

These are novels by Jemsbooks:

A sweet story of love beyond death – How Far is Heaven.

Two thrillers/suspense/mysteries – Hunting Mariah & Mariah’s Revenge (Sequel)

An eclectic mix of short stories – An Angel Among Us (this book was dedicated to a friend who passed from breast cancer)

Blessings & Hugs!

Janice

Posted in blogging, books, Happy Mother’s Day!, Jemsbooks, Mother's Day, novels, Reading, Summer reading, Writing, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments