Monday, March 19, 2018


If you are of Ukraine or Polish ancestry, Easter is the time you marvel at the skills needed to make pysanky eggs. Pysanky –from “pysat,” means “to write,” and these are intricately decorated raw eggs, but now are often wooden ones or eggs with the content (yolk and white portion) removed.

The art of wax-resist egg decoration in Slavic cultures probably dates back to the pre-Christian era. Fragments of colored shells with wax-resist decoration on them were unearthed during the archaeological excavations in Ostrówek, Poland, where remnants of a Slavic settlement from the early Piast Era were found.

In modern times, the art of the pysanka was carried abroad by Ukrainian emigrants to North and South America, where the custom took hold. Ironically, it was banished in the Ukraine by the Soviet regime where it was deemed a religious practice, and it was nearly forgotten. Since Ukrainian Independence in 1991, there has been a rebirth of this folk art in its homeland and a renewal of interest in the preservation of traditional designs as well as research into its symbolism and history.

Today, in the United States, pysanky egg decoration has been transformed into an art form that only those with patience, perseverance, and attention to detail are able to perform.

The artist uses a soft wax, like beeswax, and many colors of dye to create these incredible designs resembling batik. The designs are “written” in hot wax with a pinhead or special stylus called a pysachok or kistka which has a small funnel attached to hold a small amount of liquid wax.

The artist starts with a white egg, moving through the color chart from light hues like yellow to darker ones, adding the waxed design, layer upon layer, until finally the egg is often dipped in black. Then, it’s held close to a candle or heat source. The wax is rubbed off to reveal the entire design.

By tradition, Pysanky eggs, which are decorated with symbols of Easter, life and prosperity, were included in the traditional Polish Easter Basket along with butter to symbolize the good will of Christ, babka (bread) for the bread of life, and kielbasa which symbolizes God’s favor and generosity. Other foods like ham, smoked bacon, salt, and cheese were included. The basket was lined in a white linen cloth that could be drawn over the top of the basket. It was then taken to church to be blessed. A candle was tucked inside the basket to represent Christ as the Light of the World. Sprigs of greens were added to represent spring, new life, and the Resurrection.

With Easter around the corner, I wish everyone a Happy Easter and a basket filled with your favorite goodies. May your life ahead be as colorful and bright as the delightful pysanky eggs!

Amazon Author Page:
Twitter ID:  JudyAnnDavis4
Blog Link: “A Writer’s Revelations” ~
Yahoo Groups: and and

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick’s Day in the United States is the only day when everyone is Irish. It’s a time for wearing green, reveling with friends, drinking beer—often also green—eating Irish food, watching parades, and generally celebrating Irish culture, heritage and traditions. 

St. Patrick’s Day was officially declared a Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century in honor of St. Patrick. It was observed by many (Christian) religions because it commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.

Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century to wealthy Roman Christian aristocrats. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland where he spent six years there working as a shepherd.

After making his way back home by escaping to Gaul, now France, Patrick became a priest and studied for fifteen years before returning to Ireland in 432. According to legend, St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans.

The first organized observance of St. Patrick’s Day in the British colonies was in 1737 when the Charitable Irish Society of Boston gathered to honor their motherland. During the American Revolution, George Washington, realizing his troops had a morale problem and in acknowledgment of the valiant Irish volunteers who served in his army, issued an order declaring the 17th of March to be a holiday for the troops in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Throughout the years and throughout the United States, cities with Irish populations continued to celebrate the special occasion with parades and festivities. Even the White House celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, starting with President Harry Truman.
So to everyone, whether you are Irish or wannabe Irish, I lift my glass of ale and wish you this Irish blessing:
These things, I warmly wish for you
Someone to love, some work to do,
A bit of o' sun, a bit o' cheer.
And a guardian angel always near.

To your good health—“Slainte.”

Twitter ID:  JudyAnnDavis4
Blog Link: “A Writer’s Revelations” ~
Yahoo Groups: and and

Saturday, March 3, 2018

BON APPETITE: Beef Vegetable Soup in a Slow Cooker

There's always time for a bowl
of soup. It's a healthy lunch item when paired with your favorite sandwich--and a warm addition to any dinner on a cold night.


1 lb. cubed beef stew meat
       or your favorite steak 
       cut into cubes
1 can whole kernel corn,
1 can cut green beans (see note below)
1 can carrots, drained
1 can sliced potatoes, drained
1 can peas, drained (optional)
¼ cup spaghetti sauce
2 cans vegetable broth
2 cans beef broth
1 finely chopped onion
2 stalks celery diced
Liquid from one can of Campbell's onion soup
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Brown onion and meat in 2 tablespoons of oil. 
    Remove from pan and drain.
2. Place meat and onions and vegetables in slow cooker.
3. Drain the onion soup, saving the broth.
4. Add onion broth, vegetable broth, and beef broth to slow 
    cooker along with the spaghetti sauce.
Cook on low for 6 hours. Add water, if necessary.

NOTE:  Green beans can be added the last two hours to
avoid being too soft.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

FEBRUARY - National Bird Feeding Month

For me, feeding the birds is a natural stress-free and entertaining activity. There is nothing more exciting then to see a new species of bird appear at your feeder or to see the colorful finches, cardinals, and blue jays mingle with the common song sparrow that sings a cheery tune in the bushes outside the windows. 

Finches and Woodpecker on Tube Feeder
It is estimated that one-third of the U.S. adult population feeds wild birds in their backyards. For many, it’s a fun activity that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike and encourages bird watching as a hobby. It also allows wild birds a supplement to their natural diet of weed seeds and insects while offering entertainment and relaxation for the human population.

In 1994, Congressman John Porter, of  Illinois, introduced a resolution to recognize February as National Bird Feeding Month. This is the time, in cold climates, when many birds need the most help with their food supplies as well as a place to find available water.

For young children, bird feeding and watching, is an excellent educational experience. They can identify the different species of birds, use a field guide, learn the feeding and living habits of birds, do research projects and reports, and most of all—have a pleasant interaction with adults.  With the use of a digital camera, they can chronicle the various types of birds with pictures, learning the skill of photography as well.
Song Sparrow
If you’ve not tried bird feeding as a hobby, give it a whirl. It’s like having your own wildlife reality show where the characters change every few minutes and their antics and songs keep you entertained.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Sweet Kiss - A Valentine Day's Special Offer

SWEET KISS is now bundled in a Candy Heart's set called "Sweet Stuff" for Valentine's Day,  along with some other great short stories. You can find the set on Amazon for $5.99 at:

SWEET KISS is also available until Valentine's Day for $0.99.


Hands gripping the wheel, Tappe cleared his throat and hesitated. When he spoke, his voice was calm, but calculated. “I don’t know how to say this, Kate. Not without offending you. I was sorry to see you were getting married even though I hope, to all the heavens above, you’ll to be happy. Whoever he is, he’s one damn lucky guy. What’s his name?” He looked over at her, and his gaze hardened with disdain. “But I swear, if the SOB ever breaks your heart, remember I’m still here to pick up the—”
“Stop, just stop!” Kate sliced the air with both hands, then brought them to her forehead and pushed her bangs out of her eyes. “I’ve been trying to tell you ever since the day you tried to demolish the drainpipe with that wrench—I’m not engaged to anyone.” She shot him a withering glance.
His eyebrows rose in amazement. “What did you say?”
“I said I’m not engaged.”
“What about the ring?”
“It’s an inheritance from my Aunt Fay.”
“I don’t understand.”
“What’s not to understand?”
“Whoa, you’re serious?”
“Why would I lie?” They were trading questions and answers like they were on a television game show.
“Say it again,” he urged.
“I. Am. Not. Engaged.”
Seconds later, the truck swerved, then slid to a stop at the side of the road. Before she could collect her thoughts and sputter another word, Tappe’s strong arms tugged her across the seat toward him. His lips descended on hers while his arms gathered her in an embrace. The sweet taste of strawberries on his lips sent shivers of desire racing through her. He pulled back, cupping her face in his hands. “Those last four words were the best I’ve heard since I arrived in Little Heron Shores,” he whispered against her lips.
        “I’m glad. We’re crushing the lobster rolls,” she said.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Groundhogs Day - Is Winter Ending?

February 2nd is Groundhogs Day and an all-important celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, as well as around the United States. It’s based on the idea of a groundhog, also called a woodchuck, emerging from its hibernation to predict the weather. If the groundhog sees its shadow and returns to its burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter. But, if the animal does not see its shadow, then spring is right around the corner.

In Pennsylvania, where the annual ceremony is held, the natives and townfolk know the famous furry fellow as “Punxsutawney Phil.” And Phil doesn’t live in the ceremonial stump on Gobler’s Knob where he emerges, but in Phil’s Burrow which is an indoor structure next to the library resembling a natural habitat where he dines on corn on the cob, carrots, celery, lettuce and kale, and granola bars. The latter is used to keep his ever-growing front teeth from getting too long.

Also known as the whistle pig, the groundhog is actually a member of the squirrel family. They are slow, lumbering runners and when they sense danger head for their dens which are tunnels in the ground. They are covered with two coats of fur: a dense grey undercoat and a longer coat of banded guard hairs giving them their distinctive "frosted" appearance. The young groundhogs are often called chucklings.

The primary predators of groundhogs are hawks, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, dogs, bears, eagles, and humans. And, let’s not forget the automobile. Although groundhogs rarely come in contact with humans, they are capable of are capable of carrying fleas, ticks and rabies.

Groundhogs are among the few mammals that enter into true hibernation starting the end of October and until late February. They are strict herbivores. In the wild, they eat a variety of vegetables including soybeans, beans, peas, carrot tops, alfalfa and grasses. They prefer to burrow nearby where they feed—in fields, pastures, along fences, roadsides, and near building foundations, and bases of trees. For the farmers and gardeners, groundhogs are a nuisance and the holes they make in fields often result in damage to equipment. Foundations to building are often compromised; and these critters have been known to cause electrical outages from gnawing on underground wires.

But despite his ability to be a nuisance, every year since 1887, thousands of people gather in Punxsutawney on February 2nd to await the prediction of spring. He is so popular that in 1995, Phil flew to Chicago for a guest appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired on Groundhog Day of that year.

So let’s have some fun. Will it be an early spring…or six more weeks of winter? Only Phil…and maybe the weatherman, knows for sure.

Friday, January 19, 2018

JANUARY eBOOK SALE ~*~ Three Books $0.99 Each Author Judy Ann Davis

Until February 1st, three books are on sale for $0.99.
Here is a blurb from each of them.

When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels. 

Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.

Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?

When architect Elise Springer’s father is injured, she immediately leaves San Francisco to care for him. The last person she expects to encounter in her Pennsylvania hometown is her childhood friend Lucas Fisher. Lucas is investigating his brother’s death, and Elise can’t resist lending a hand. 

Lucas longs for the close family ties he never had. He’s back in Scranton to set up a classic car restoration business and build a future. The torch he carries for Elise burns brighter than ever, but before he can declare his love, he must obtain the legal rights to adopt his nephew—and prove his brother’s death was no accident. 

As they unearth clues pointing to find a murderer and a missing stash of money, Elise faces a dilemma. Is her career on the West Coast the key to her happiness, or is it an animal-cracker-eating four-year-old and his handsome uncle instead? 

“Up on the Roof and Other Stories” is a unique collection of nineteen humorous and serious short stories exploring the lives and relationships of the young and old.

Story teller Judy Ann Davis weaves her award-winning tales to make her readers laugh, maybe cry, but always able to relate to the unique characters and the dilemmas they encounter.

A grizzled old farmer, Pop, climbs up on his farmhouse roof to meditate, check his chimney and antenna, and ends up talking to God on his portable phone in “Up on the Roof.”

In “Bald Revelations,” Maureen is convinced her husband of twenty years is planning to leave her when he purchases ten new pairs of black socks and starts singing Beach Boy songs.
Twitter ID:  JudyAnnDavis4
Blog Link: “A Writer’s Revelations” ~
Yahoo Groups: and and