"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
~~Albert Schweitzer

Hi all,

I hope those in the States had a very happy Thanksgiving!  I had a great time with my family and very much enjoyed a four day weekend.  As I reflected on what I'm grateful for, I got to thinking about all the Dyelanders and Friends have to be thankful for.  Rather than do the standard "Emma is thankful for..." and "Andrew is grateful for..." list, I decided to just do an update on various of the Dyelanders and Friends.  As I've said before, the dog I adopted a year ago, Leo, is a bit of a handful and getting him used to a life indoors put a serious damper on my writing time.  I hope that's coming to an end and, when the stories do start up again, I thought it'd be good to have some idea of where the characters are as of November 2017.  This list isn't exhaustive but it's a start... and will be continued in two weeks.

God bless,

An Update on the Dyelanders and Friends- November 2017

Belle- Now nearly four years old, Belle is as active and talkative as ever.  She continues to attend classes Below, taught by her Appa Vincent, and remains devoted to her many pets.  She's still very clingy with her parents but is causing them some angst by asking for a baby brother or sister.

Vincent- While he still loves teaching, Vincent has had to give up some subjects in favor of spending time with Father.  The elder Jacob, having suffered repeated bouts of pneumonia, has become increasingly fragile and is preparing his son to completely take over as the leader of the Tunnels.  Vincent is known to escape his sadness over his pending parting with Father by surrounding himself with his grandchildren at every opportunity. 

Catherine- While keeping a close eye on her husband, Catherine remains devoted to her work at the Phoenix Inn.  She's formed a partnership with the Chrysalis and often recommends her guests to Amber-Marie as potential hires when they're ready to become independent again. 

Jacob- Now nearly ten, Jacob is becoming more independent.  While this sometimes horrifies Catherine, Vincent takes it in stride, remembering his own pre-teen years.  Jacob ventures into the deeper caverns with some regularity, meditating there and focusing on his art.  He also spends a great deal of time around Owen who he sees as a mentor.  Like his father, Jacob is making a point of spending extra time with his grandfather.

Jacob/Father- He's often overheard speaking aloud to "my Lady."  Even when in pain or discomfort, Father has a peaceful demeanor.  He's regularly visited by his Tunnel family, mostly just to chat and reminisce and less often for counsel.  In his quiet moments alone, Father prays the Anglican rosary and thinks both of his family in the Tunnels and his family waiting for him in Heaven.

Max and Rose- While both are still taking classes, they're more settled into life and marriage.  Max occasionally travels for his internship as a trauma counselor with the Army.  However, he and Rose try to never be parted for very long... something which Max's Dad and Maja very much appreciate since that also means they're never separated from their eldest for long, either.  Currently, Max and Rose are planning a very special Christmas surprise for Andrew and JenniAnn.

Shelby- Now thirteen, Shelby has become a caring, thoughtful, creative, and intelligent young lady.  She's very glad to have her brother, Asher, back in the Tunnels where he's become a teacher.  Shelby still loves staying at Willowveil and babying her little sister, Belle.  While she remains very fond of the love stories surrounding her, particularly that of her adoptive parents, and sometimes jots drafts of stories about them, Shelby is becoming aware that she's different from most of her peers.  While many of the other Tunnel boys and girls her age are making googly eyes at each other and pairing up (however briefly), Shelby is uninterested.

Violeta- Andrew's protege continues to enjoy going to college with her best friend, Ivy.  Violeta occasionally joins Andrew on brief assignments but God takes care to ensure they never interfere with her school work.  Now in her third year of college, Violeta's subject material is a little more mature and sometimes makes her uncomfortable.  On occasion, Joshua allows her to become "mini-Violeta" and she spends that time being coddled by JenniAnn and, sometimes, Andrew.

Ivy and Sy- Much to Ivy's delight, Sy joined her at Fordham University.  Though he's a year behind Ivy and Violeta, they sometimes have core classes together.  Ivy and Sy are the de facto leaders of their study group which continues to meet at Cora's house, much to the delight of Isra and Behnam who adore having the intellectuals about.  If the others notice when Ivy or Sy snuggle little Aurora Al-Mitra and make eyes at each other, they politely refrain from teasing them.

Zeke and Diana- With two kids in college, the Wilsons are in no hurry to have little Manny grow up.  Thankfully, the three year old is quite content to be the apple of his parents' and siblings' eyes.  Diana is loving being able to run down to the Tunnels' nursery during her breaks at school so she can spend time with Manny.  Zeke continues to serve as a deacon at his church and as the chaplain at True Light.  He checks in with his old friend, Vincent, at least a couple of times a week.  Zeke recognizes that it's easier for Vincent to confide in him about his fears and worries regarding leading the Tunnels and his sadness over the loss facing him.

And... that was a lot shorter than I intended which means the next edition will be much longer.  I think I finally caught the bug that's been going around and needed to lay down.

Cranberry Almond Pudding/Dip Recipe... just because

So this has absolutely nothing to do with John or Andrew or Dyeland... well, maybe I can stretch and say it's related to the latter as JenniAnn no doubt made it for the gang there.  This is a recipe I came up with spur-of-the-moment on Thanksgiving morning when I realized I had a can of cranberry sauce that was soon to expire.  I think it'd also be yummy for Christmas or any late autumn/winter celebration.  So here goes...

1 can- 14 oz jellied cranberry sauce
1 packet- 4.6 oz instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup whipped cream a la Cool Whip
A few sprinkles of cinnamon
Sliced almonds
Sweetened coconut flakes

In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients until combined.  You can play around with the cream and milk measurements to get it to a texture you like.  Add in the cinnamon to taste.  A little goes a long way.  If nut allergies aren't a concern, mix in some sliced almonds.  I didn't measure those out.  I just tossed some in until I liked how they were disbursed in the pudding/dip.  Unfortunately, the color may be a bit muddled and not entirely attractive.  So hide it!  Pour a layer of coconut in a pan, roughly mirroring the size of the surface of your dip.  Toast the flakes briefly, let it cool, and then pour it over the dip.  And that's it!

It can be served as a pudding or, paired with graham crackers, shortbread, animal crackers, or the like it can be used as a sweet dip.  Enjoy!

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for giving us so many great performances to be thankful for.

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