Thank you again for donating a book for the "Literary Stuffing’s" giveaway. Can you tell us more about the book you donated?

Thank you for the opportunity to donate one of my books “Layers of the Heart” for your event. Since my book is an inspirational book and to me it is almost more important for people to have the opportunity to read it as it is to make money, not that I don’t look forward to the day when I can do this full time, and know that I am touching people’s lives just by sharing my life experiences and letting others know that they are not alone on their journey. My book was inspired by an action of another over two thousand miles away and someone I have never met. A young man desperate to get a gift for his two year old daughter went into a store to rob it and wound up praying with the clerk instead. By the time the program I was watching ended the Title, Chapter titles and outline were done. In that moment I realized that many lives had changed for the better just by changing is decision. I use the Heart as a Metaphor for the many emotions we experience through our journey called life and the response has been overwhelming and truly humbling.

This time of year is usually a warm and happy time with friends and family, how do you usually spend Thanksgiving every year?

I always spend it with either friends or family, or I have in the past opened my home to people who had very little family or nowhere else to go. Sharing life and conversation has always been important to me, whether it be a conversation with someone I know or a perfect stranger I just think everyone has something to teach someone else, which is why I love this season most of all; it’s a time to reflect and give two of my favorite things to do.

Can you remember one of your happiest Thanksgivings?

Yes actually it was back in the early eighties and I cooked for a group of people from many walks of life who had nowhere else to go and we shared many things with one another that we had never shared before. We laughed, cried and bonded, and I think it was a Thanksgiving we all hold dear today.

What's your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

I know this seems redundant but giving of me in any way possible to others, whether it is through good food, emotional support, or to just let those I love know how much they mean to me is most important. Thanksgiving allows us time, which we never seem to have enough of, but that long weekend gives us that and makes seeing those who may live far away, or meet people who have no one else, we get to give without expectations, needs or desires, we get to give just to give from our hearts.

Some families have traditions they do every year, does your family have a tradition that goes along with Thanksgiving?

Actually we have three. One is that it is Mandatory everyone at the table share what they are grateful for in their lives, two, that I bake a loaf of pumpkin bread for each guest to take home, besides the loaves we have for desert, and three, we play games, group games like scatagories or outburst, any game we can break into groups with, and no one is left out.

Food is always one of the biggest things about this time of year; do you have a favorite desert or even a recipe you'd like to share with us?

As I said above my pumpkin bread is by far the favorite desert and it yields three loaves which are made in coffee cans. Unfortunately I am in NYC at the moment being supportive to an ill friend and do not have the recipe, but I promise when I get home I will email it and perhaps you can post it on the site.

(Recipe was sent courtesy of Patricia just in time for this post!)

Yields 3 loaves baked in coffee cans per recipe;

• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 cups white sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 2/3 cup water
• 1 cup canned pumpkin
• 4 eggs
• 3/4 c. of walnuts or raisins (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 - 1 pound coffee cans.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients .
3. Combine the vegetable oil, water, canned pumpkin and eggs. (then add 3/4 c. of chopped walnuts and/or rasins) Slowly add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until blended
4. Evenly distribute the batter between the coffee cans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and top of bread is browned. Cool bread in coffee cans on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from cans by running a knife around the inside and turning can upside down to dislodge bread (should slide right out!). Cool completely.

Enjoy everyone maybe this can become a new tradition in your family watch out though I got up to 8 batches which was 24 loaves for a few years...

There are so many ways to cook a turkey; does your family have a special way of getting the big bird ready, perhaps a special ingredient or stuffing?

We add a flavored homemade butter we put under the skin of the turkey. You add salt, pepper, fresh parsley (chopped) and garlic to the softened butter and then separate the skin from the meat with fingers and stuff the seasoned butter under the skin all around the bird. We make a sausage stuffing two ways, wet and dry. Some in the bird and some in a cupcake pan we put in the oven and serve as individual servings.

After eating all that food and settling in for the evening what do you do with the time that's left before bed?

As I said we play games and then we settle down and give thanks to God for allowing us all to share the time we spent together, and for getting each of us safely to and from our destinations.

Is there any other information you'd care to share with us about your books that are out now or any upcoming novels?

Well the book out now is very near and dear to my heart because I am so grateful that God found me worthy to share and have the courage to carry out something so important as this little engine that could.

On the back of the book I wrote a line that says; “Though this book is short in length it is long on meaning, often in life the most impactful words are found in the shortest sentences.” When I wrote that I was thinking of i.e.; I love you, I hate you, You’re smart, You’re stupid, You’re pretty, You’re ugly. People don’t know that those little sentences change people’s paths forever, because those words affect how they see themselves, so I hope that in some small way this will help people to understand the power of words.

I am working on a book called “Have a Nice Day Unless You Have Other Plans” (also one of my favorite expressions) and it’s all about perception. I am also working on a daily devotional written in poetry form (my first love and publication) and lastly, (for now) a children’s book about rainbows.

I just want to wish everyone a blessed safe and loving season, and may all our days be fruitful and love filled… God Bless, love, hugs, and prayers, Patricia aka Columbia Valentine Scot

Find out more about Patricia Vandenburg and her books here:



http://www.amazon.com/Layers-of-the-Hear....89782196&sr=1-1 kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Layers-Heart-Colum....90195386&s r=1-

Read more: http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=interviews&thread=812#ixzz1dKmGziJq

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