The FIRST PLACE WINNER in the March 2018 Word Weaver Writing Contest: Geoff Le Pard, “What If?”

Congratulations Geoff!! This was a great story!!

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

img_2351-11 your humble host

It is my pleasure to present to you the #1 story from the March 2018 Word Weaver Writing Contest.

Geoff’s tale was a lot of fun for me to read, and obviously it was a fave of the celebrity judges, too.

Have a good time reading this story. I’ll give you my reasons for why I liked it, as well as including comments by the celebrity judges, at the bottom of the post.



1st“What If?”

Geoff Le Pard

Jeremy sat back, staring at the final words. What if? Nicely ambiguous, he thought as he closed the document and made for the kitchen.

Mel looked up, a frown melting away from her forehead. “Well?”

“Yep, all done. First draft is complete.”

She jumped up, hands flapping in a parody of a small girl’s excitement. “Woo-hoo. The Booker next.”

Jeremy allowed himself a smile. “Perhaps.”

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Happy Homemaker Monday 04.23.18

Good Evening!  It’s a late one, but I have not been feeling well today, picked up one of those “spring” colds.  My youngest was sick last week, so it was inevitable.  It looks like we will finally get to see some spring weather by the end of the week.  It has been just chilly and cold.  We didn’t get the last big snow storm that hit other parts of the Midwest, but we did see a dusting last week.  Hope everyone is well, summer will be here before we know it, and I’ll be complaining about the heat 😛

 Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.



I have the ingredients for the Chocolate Eclaire Cake, just haven’t had the chance to put it together.  Hopefully in the next few days, I’ll let ya know how it goes.

This is one I would like to try, can’t go wrong with bacon!





It’s that time of year again where I’ll go back to work at the photo place.  Looking forward to it. This past year I have been working on getting some bookkeeping business that I can do from home, and I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to work with some very inspiring women.

Eight months ago I started working as an Administrative Assistant for Tara at Green Edventures.  Since then I have been able to take on her bookkeeping work as well.  Tara is an inspiration to me, because she is truly living her dream.  She started her business Green Edventures in 2008, and it continually grows.  I am so excited to be a part of it.  What her company offers are educational adventures for groups of women, and for school groups, usually going through their Science teachers.  We currently offer 6 different locations: Alaska, Baja Sur, Mexico, Costa Rica, Florida, Iceland, and Trinidad & Tobago.  These trips include some beautiful scenery and the chance to snorkel with Sea Lions and Manatees.  She is adding more trips every year.  Currently she is traveling in Uganda and Tanzania, scouting out that trip which will be added to the list.  She has been keeping a chronicle of her adventure with pictures and videos, and it is incredible, here are a few:



You can check out all the trips and what they include at

Next week I will share with you the ministry of my friend Traci.  We have been friends for over 20 years, and I am now doing the bookkeeping for her ministry.  She too travels to Uganda, where she helps women build their own businesses and has been building a school there as well.



They make it look so easy.  So fun to watch.





I saw in the news this past week that Avicii passed away at the young age of 28, RIP.

HERE ARE YOUR WINNERS! Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing Contest (March 2018)

Congratulations to all the winners!! Can’t wait to read all the stories!!

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

Are you excited to see who won our March 2018 writing contest? I know I am. (Or was, I guess, because I know who won – and in a moment you will, too.)


Word Weaver logi FINAL trimmed 2As always, it was CRAZY hard to determine the best story out of so many amazing entries. So I called on a few author friends to serve as celebrity judges.


Top: J. A. Alen and Lucy Brazier

Bottom: John Winston, Allison Maruska, and Jenifer Ruff

I read and critiqued ALL the entries, then selected the finalists.

The celebrity judges agreed to read the finalists, then each celebrity judge would independently rank the stories and vote for the winning story accordingly. (As did I, but they had no idea what story I liked best.)

So I sent them the stories, in alphabetical order by title, with no author…

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Happy Homemaker Monday 04.09.18

Good Evening!  I have been away far too long and for no good reason really, lol.  Not a lot of exciting things going on here.  Hope everyone is well!!

 Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.




So I did try this, and it did not turn out good.  Mine did not stay together like that, and I even tried to get a lot of the water out of the cauliflower before I mixed everything.  I did eat it, it was basically fried cauliflower with some cheese in a bowl.  Not impressed.


I think I’ll try something a little bit easier, and a lot more yummy 😛





Today was supposed to be the Cubs Opening day, but then this happened.  They rescheduled it for tomorrow.  We didn’t get a lot of snow, but enough so you couldn’t play baseball.  I love Clark!!





Happy Homemaker Monday 02.19.18

Good Evening!  It was a very gloomy, rainy Monday over here, but it’s in the 50s.  The snow is slowly being washed away.  But for us this is not a sign of spring.  Last year we had a snow storm in March.  Hope everyone has a great week ahead!!

 Linking-up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.





So I did try the Chocolate Cherry Bombs and they were the bomb!!  I thought they would be eaten in one day, but we still have some left.  They are actually quite filling, and delicious, not too sweet at all, a perfect balance.  Mine turned out quite large, but I know next time to use less cake dough to shape around the cherries, but even so, they are delish!!  Here is how I made mine.

Chocolate Cherry Bombs

1 box Devils Food Cake Mix

1 container chocolate Frosting (I found a 10 oz at Family Dollar, and it was the perfect amount)

1 jar Maraschino cherries with stems

1 cup of water

3 eggs

1 stick butter or margarine

1 pkg. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 t oil

Prepare the cake mix using 1 cup water, 3 eggs and 1 stick of butter or margarine.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Once cake is cooled, crumpled in a large bowl.  Add 10 oz of chocolate frosting and mix together.

Drain Maraschino cherries and pat dry with a paper towel.  Form the cake mixture around the cherry with the stem sticking out from the top.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Melt the bag of chocolate chips, adding 1 teaspoon of oil.  Dip the cake balls in the chocolate, covering completely.  Place in fridge for 1 hour until chocolate hardens.




I am posting a video of the same routine, same costume from a different competition.  This was such a beautiful performance; I especially liked it for their song choice.  They came in second place in the Olympics, doing the same routine, but she had a wardrobe malfunction, and it seems that is what everyone wants to focus in on, which I think is ridiculous.  It happened at the very end, but I could not find the performance in its entirety from the Olympics except for one from another country that had too much talking over it.  I wanted to share this amazing performance.  Ice dancing is so beautiful!!


Not much going on.  This past weekend, my mom and I were able to visit with our cousins at the coffee shop.  My cousin was in town, and we decided to meet up.  Her mom is my God Mother and my mom’s cousin.  It was nice to catch up.  We don’t get to get together like we used to, but it was just like old times.