Girls Write Out
Friday, December 09, 2005

I don't know when it happened. I swore it never would, but it must have sneaked up on me in the middle of the night sometime. I looked in the mirror this morning, and sure enough, I saw a hint of green under my skin. Did someone zap me with a Grinch gun, or maybe it was a pod from outer space that cozied up next to me and changed me overnight. But sure enough, I'm a Grinch.

Here it is December 9. I have no tree up,I haven't even gotten a good start on Christmas shopping, at least six inches of snow blanket the ground outside, and I should be in the Christmas spirit. But I'm not. I've got edits to finish, another book to get started on, and it feels like it should be January rather than December.

To be honest, going to Hawai'i so late this year contributed to it. Who can get in the Christmas spirit when palm trees are swaying overhead and you hear the tinkle of a 'ukulele? We came back to an eighty degree difference in temperature, and I wasn't ready for the shock of it all.

I'm the eternal optimist. Call me Pollyanna if you want to, but I look for the positive in everything. So I'm sitting here in my chair wondering how to turn this green tint in my skin to good use. If only it were Halloween--at least I'd have a costume no one would recognize. But I think a better option is to beat back the Grinch by reading the Christmas story this morning, lighting a pumpkin candle and buying some Christmas presents. If only I could make some Christmas candy--that would be sure to send the Grinch running for cover. But blowing my diet would only depress me, so I'm going to settle for sniffing the pumpkin candle and trying to remember what chocolate tastes like. Shh, don't tell Di. she's on a chocolate binge right now.
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Colleen Coble  
posted at 10:22 AM  
  Comments (17)
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At 11:14 AM, Blogger Ron Estrada said...

I hear ya, neighbor! When my thermometer read 0 the other morning, I was ready to hibernate right through Christmas. By the way, my first memories of Christmas are of Hawaii. We'd put up our fake tree (you can't afford the real ones in Hawaii), put together our cardboard fireplace (with built in card holder), and go to the beach. White sand, white snow, whatever.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Last night on House Hunters, they had a couple searching for a house in Maui. I thought that was CRUEL! It's fifty degrees and sunny in California, but it still stinks! Bah Humbug!

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Bethanie said...

it's summer in australia. we always have fake trees. well, most people do. i've never seen a white christmas. the closest i ever got was one time, when it rained. and was humid and horrid.

think i'll be spending christmas day in my aunt's pool this year. :D let's just hope i get some good books so i can lounge around the pool, reading and eating. oh what a life... :)

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Bethanie, my son just did a report on Christmas in Australia, we should have emailed you! We have to make something next Friday foodwise that you would eat on Christmas day. Ideas?

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

I'm having trouble getting in to the holiday spirit, too - and this is usually my favorite time of year. I think it might have to do with being on Weight Watchers and knowing that I can't eat any of the usual goodies - at least without feeling extremely guilty!

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Don't tell Di, but I've been making candy. I have buckeyes, and florentines, and pecan logs, and turtles. Really, don't tell, Di, or she'll sneak over in the middle of the night and steal my stockpile.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Rhonda Gibson said...

I can't imagine you as the Grinch, Colleen. You are just too full of giving. As for me, I'm going to finish my Christmas shopping tomorrow, hubby's stocking stuffers is all I have left. I'm with Di, forget the diet, eat the chocolate!!!

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Um, D, can I have a turtle? LOL Maybe that would chase the Grinch away.

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Dineen A. Miller said...

Colleen, there is no way you could be a Grinch. LOL! I'm with Rhonda, just not possible. This year, it all came too fast. My youngest turns twelve next week and my oldest turns sixteen the week after. I think I'll find a pile of sand and hide my head. LOL!

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

WHAT???? You've been holding out on me, Denise? Too late! I went by your house and smelled the goodies. Leave a plate of cookies (preferably something chocolate) and a glass of milk by the fireplace. I'll be down your chimney at midnight.

Sheesh. You think you know a person.


At 11:05 PM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

I want a turtle too. I'd even settle for a pecan log if you have any to spare.

Well met, Grinch sister! Yeah, I'm lame. Fake tree, which my MOTHER put up and decorated, not me. She was only here for the weekend, but she's the one with the Christmas cheer.

I revere Christ's birth. It's not that. And I admit I love the wealth of Christmas cookies that find their way into my house. But decorating? Too much effort. Shopping? I'd rather go online. Carols? Shoot me.

Bah, humbug.


At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Bethanie said...

kristin, well usually my family does the traditional turkey and stuff... but many australians have barbeques on christmas, with salads and all that. a popular dessert (for any time but especially around christmas, and in fact we will be having it on christmas this year) is a pavlova.

i made one for the staff at a camp i worked at in michigan one summer and everyone loved it. (so yes, i have been to the usa).

try it out! has some background info to the pav. and some photos :)

Meringue Cake:
4 large egg whites
1 cup (200 grams) superfine (castor) sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)
also 1teaspoon vanilla extract if you like

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (130 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. (Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers). Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and, with a rubber spatula, fold in.

Gently spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. But don't open the oven, use the oven light to check! Turn the oven off, leave the door closed and let it cool. Don't open the door! (actually the recipe from this website says to open it but I say don't, coz it will flatten, and I know, coz i've done it before).

It's easiest to make it in the evening and let it cool over night.

For the topping, get some whipping cream, with no sugar, coz it's sweet enough, put it on top and decorate with fruit, such as strawberries, kiwi, passionfruit pulp. you can use any fruit really, but those 3 are the best to use! and also, it's best to decorate it just before serving as the cream makes the meringue go soft.

i have a photo of me with a pavlova i made in colorado once, but i'm not sure if i have uploaded it, and my server is down at the moment... :-|

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Bethanie, thanks, we're going to try it! My son looked at the pictures with kiwis on it and said, "It's a vegetable cake?" LOL Little American kid, what can I say? So we're trying it! Thanks again for the idea. Kristin

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Bethanie said...

let me know how you like it kristin! :)

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I've got my tree up and I checked this morning. The green tint to my skin is definitely lightening. Would you believe our preacher spoke this morning on How the Grinch Stole Christmas? LOL

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Colleen, that's hilarious!

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

Colleen, you may be a lot of things, but a grinch is NOT one of them! LOL

As for me, I HAVE to do the holiday spirit, for the kids. Now the teen would let me get away with foregoing the tree and such, but the 3 and 5 year old? NO WAY! I'd be burned at the stake!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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