Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Letter, 2012

Dear Family and Friends!

Joy to the World, the Lord has come.  Sometimes it is very hard to rejoice.  Especially in light of recent tragedies. And yet .....

The Bible reminds us that despite the difficulties facing us, dispute the battles and the struggles of life we need to find our way through and think on the good things, to consider the joy.  Celebrating Christmas helps us to do just that. 

I love making goodies and gifts and decorating our home.  I wish that I could bring our entire family together for Christmas, yet know my dream isn't realistic.  So we celebrate with the family we are with and are with the others in spirit. 

This year brought some significant changes--one being the ranch.  Caryl and Ben were miraculously able to purchase a 60 acre property once known as Riverbend, a once thriving restaurant and golf course, which had been abandoned and now serves as their home and the base for their amazing ministry, Stable Days Youth Ranch.  I could go on forever about wonderful things the ranch does for horses and kids and families, but  there simple isn't room.  To hear more about it visit  Their newest rescue horse is Merida.  Caryl says that despite the abuse she suffered, the mare is a sweet and trusting soul and once she is healed of her injuries will make a wonderful horse for the kids.  

The grandkids and great grandkids are amazing and we wish we could see them more often.  We're very excited to have Christopher, our oldest grandson living here in the Portland area where he is in a mechanical engineering program at Portland Community College.  We'll have the good fortune of spending Christmas with him. 

Ron still runs nearly every day and is staying in great shape.  He is on track to record over 1100 miles in 2012 and is hitting new personal records.  He enjoys being part of the Clark County Running Club where he interacts with runners of all ages.  Thanks to our paleo diet, a very healthy eating plan, we have both lost weight and feel better than ever.   

News on the writing front is exciting. I have a mystery coming out soon, Strangers in the Night, as an e-book and will soon have the Jennie McGrady mysteries available on Kindle.  Lots of others are available online as well. 

And here we are, celebrating another Christmas  and praying for world peace--as if it could really happen.  Hmm, maybe it can . Blessings this holiday season as we remember the reason we celebrate. God bless you all,

 Pat and Ron Rushford

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Crawling Into Cyberspace

Actually, today I took a step.  I signed up to be one of over 3500 authors whose autographs are available on "Kindlegraph."  Yes, it's true.  Kindle books can now be autographed.  I'm amazed. Should you want my autograph, here's the link:

I really need to spend more time learning these little (or big) tricks.  Or not.  Many of these innovations fascinate me.  Others scare me.  Some bore me.  But, hiding is not an option.  At least not if I hope to sell books.  So I dutifully have signed up with linked-in, twitter, and of course, facebook.  In adition, I blog, do an occasional newsletter and maintain a web page.  One would think this would be enough, but no.

Recently I attended a fiction writer's class on social media.  I learned some valuable lessons.  Like, sell yourself--just not everyday.  No worries there.  Lucky if I post once a week.  Another is to develop friends outside of my family, friends and writing buddies.  Guess I need to hook up with more readers.  Hello--hello out there readers--won't you be my friend.  Okay--that sounded like Mr. Rogers in his neighborhood, rest his soul.  One I really like and wish more writers practiced is promote yourself, but only once in ten to twenty personal notes. 

So moving right along in with my cyberspace mode...  My next goal, I think, is to get my own author page on Amazon.  Others have done it.  So I thought I might ask Google. 

Time was when I would ask advice from friends--now I ask my computer.   Unelss someone out there in cyberspace can give me an answer I might be able to understand. 

Love to all, Pat

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mysterious Musings, May 2012


My plan to do a quarterly newsletter sort of fell apart as the past few months have been filled with medical craziness. Too many ER visits and hospitalizations, all related to my heart. Many of you already know my saga so I will pass by all the details and simply say that it looks as though my AV-node ablation has been effective and I can get on with my life.
I have not been writing, but hope to change that soon. In fact this very day I began a new mystery!
The big news of the day is that Ron and I are taking a train trip to East Grand Forks to visit family. My daughter and her husband, Ben & Caryl Lester have moved to Riverbend, where they run Stable Days Youth Ranch.

You can find this fantastic non-profit organization that is all about kids and horses on Facebook.

Writing News

Celebrate with me! I just received word that Deadly Aim, the 2nd book in the Angel Delaney Mysteries is on Amazon Kindle's best selling list. For a while it was actually 3rd!. The very good news is that during the month of May you can download it for free. The entire series is available in a number of different e-book formats.
To download click here your free copy of Deadly Aim

 More Book Stuff

 As always you can find my books on my website. The still popular Jennie McGrady Mysteries are now out of print and I'm hoping another publisher will pick them up. I continue to receive lots of letters from fans who want to seeJennie all grown up and that is a possibility.

The Max & Me Mysteries, an exciting series for kids with adventure, mystery and suspense, for 8-12 year-olds are a favorite among both girls and boys. These are available through me as well as at book stores and online. They are also available on Kindle and other e-readers. You'll enjoy meeting Jesse Miller and Max Hunter, both twelve, who form a deep but unlikely friendship. Jesse is thin and frail and has leukemia. Max is wild and adventurous, with spiked hair that changes color from day to day depending on her mood. Jesse has no real friends until Max comes along. She sees Max as being very brave and adventurous and tries to keep Max out of trouble. Then Jesse discovers Max's dark secrets and must lead Max into danger in order to set her free. To can read an excerpt from The Trouble with Max & Me. Books in this series include: The Trouble with Max, Danger at Lakeside Farms, and Secrets of Ghost Island.

The McAllister Files . . . a popular police procedural series, are receiving rave reviews among mystery fans. I wrote the series with an Oregon State Police Detective, which lends authenticity to the events detailed in the investigations. Secrets, Lies & Alibis, Deadfall, Terminal Nine, and She Who Watches are now available online with Kindle and other e-readers.

Be sure to visit my website. Also, feel free to forward my newsletter to friends or anyone you know who might be interested. Thanks. I pray your year will be filled with time to read your favorite books.

Mysteriously Yours,

Patricia Rushford

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

My grandmother was one of the pioneers who settled in North Dakota in the late 1800's.  Her name was Petra Pedersen and in the old country, Norway, she married Dagfin Olsen.  Here is a wedding picture of her and Dagfin. They settled in North Dakota near Rugby and Barton where they operated a farm.  Petra and Dagfin had 13 children. 

I adored my "mom"  and "pupup."  She was the most fantastic cook I've ever known and I still make a lot of her dishes--especially at Christmas.  One of my favorites is her oatmeal cookies which was passed down from who knows where.  I like to think it originated in Norway--which it likely did.  Norwegians love their goodies.  What I love about these cookies is the flexability.  You can make them plain or add chocolate or nuts, raisins, or seeds.  You can make them more healthy or less and they are always yummy.

Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup sour milk
(Sour the milk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar)
(You can substiture sour cream or yogurt for the shortening and milk)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

Mix these ingredients together and add:
Chips, coconut, nuts seeds--whatever sounds good.
3 cups oatmeal (use old fashioned oats.)
3 cups flour
(If you use yogurt or sour cream you may need to cut the flour. Also, here, I will often use 1 cup of  wheat or bran flour and 2 cups of all-purpose unbleached.) 

Watch the consistancy--I used yogurt and even by cutting the flour by 1/2 cup--they were a little dry.

The cookies should stay in a nice mound and not flatten out.  They are moist and chewy and delicious.   At least I think so.  For me, they substute as breakfast. 

And I can't make them without seeing my grandma Petra in the kitchen. She endured a lot of hardships and struggles throughout her life. One thing I remember is that she was very stubborn. She wouldn't learn English and if you wanted to talk with her, you spoke Norwegian.  And I did. Sadly, when she died, so did my ability to speak a second language. 

Whenever I make these cookies, I remember her and smile.