Nothing like you’d imagine! Hopi Pale Grey is football shaped with a “belly button” on the blossom end. Marina Di Chioggia is pumpkin shaped, dark green and warted. My friend grew the two C. maximas, which crossed and resulted in a plant that produced nine unusual orange w/green squash with a big “belly button.” We both kept a squash, then this week, we tried baking them. They were quite good. So we saved our seeds and will play around with them this spring and see if we can stabilize the characteristics such as taste and color, creating a “new” squash of our own. What fun!

Monday, a UPS truck came rolling into the yard and the driver handed me a flat box. I had not ordered anything so was puzzled. On opening it, I was surprised to see two copies of my Western, Summer of the Eagles. They were proof copies for Will and me to check over for mistakes before the real deal hits the presses. We were pretty excited to see what the (nearly) finished package would look like. So we’ve been busy editing for mistakes (typos, etc.) and finding just a few. Soon it’ll be ready for the presses to run! How cool is that?

I’m getting ready to fly to Aberdeen, South Dakota, early Thursday morning. Whew! Canning when I get back will seem like a vacation! Hope to see some of you there. Come up and say hi! — Jackie


  1. I am so excited for you. I can hardly wait for your book. I will be ordering a copy from my friends who owns a small independent book store. Those small book stores are becoming as scarce as hens teeth.

  2. Donna,

    Well, I baked up the new squash and it tasted just great. (Okay, well not quite as good as our favorite Hopi Pale Grey but pretty darned good; better by far than acorn squash.) Not stringy or watery at all. We’ll see what the seeds we’ve saved produce. It’s sure worth trying to stabilize.

  3. Rick,

    I also own a whole lot of Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour westerns! And I read ’em over and over, too. The more “modern” westerns just don’t have it; too violent and WAY too much S-E-X. You won’t find that in mine. (Oh oh, I just lost a bunch of readers here….) lol. We kinda live that life now. Log cabin in the woods, horses, wildlife, cattle, etc. but would have loved to live back in the pioneer days too.
    I’ll let everyone know when Eagles is out. So far, I’ve heard they’ve moved the release date up to Feb 11th, but we’ll see. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. I like the colours of the squash and the “markings” but the important question for me is always how does it taste? Once it’s cooked and peeled, the looks don’t matter, the taste does.

  5. Jackie, I own a LOT of the Zane Grey westerns and most of the Louis L’Amour westerns, I am so excited for you. Maybe you will be able to publish a couple books each year and give me some new reading material……If I like a book I read it numerous times…..Winter is my time to read a lot, especially in the evenings when many enjoy watching television.I can’t dream over seed catalogs all the winter so I read….I really believe I would have loved the pioneer days and would have been one of those hardy souls heading west to ranch or explore the Rockies. I can see Miss Sharon and I building a log cabin and trapping for furs or shooting predators which were trying to get our cattle…. So let us know when Summer of the Eagles is out and where to get it…..I’d be so proud to buy and have an autographed copy…..Blessings Rick

  6. I read the first two chapters of your book and can’t wait for it to come out, so hurry with that proof reading!! lol! You painted a beautiful cover jacket! You are so talented, you constantly amaze me! I might breakdown and order the Kindle version although I love holding a book in my hands. By the way, congratulations!

  7. Nice, Jackie! I have one quick book comment, which I hope you will consider. I’ve read your first chapter that you shared last week. You mention the horse is ‘jogging’. Been around horses a lot, have horse trainers in my family and have never heard that term associated with horse’s movement. What they do is usually termed as: trot, canter, gallop and run when they are going from point A to point B, not doing anything particularly fancy. I hope this comment is helpful to you in your writing. Take care.

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