Jodi Lea Stewart

Loving and Writing About the Southwest and the South

    No running water, no inside plumbing, no way to run to the store for bread, meat, or butter. The name of the game was survival. In our current world, it’s hard to conceive of what it’s like to feed a lot of mouths when you have empty pockets and no promise of help. In…

In the movie “Smoke Signals,” the main characters, Thomas and Victor, hitch a ride off the Coeur D’Alene Indian Reservation with a young woman who drives her car around the Rez all day in reverse because that’s the only direction the car will go in. I highly recommend this hilarious movie, and seeing it again recently got me to thinking.…

Unique Challenges Historic novel writing presents many unique challenges. Foremost, the writer didn’t personally live during that time era, or he/she lived in New York but loved writing about the Old West. Slick documentaries and photos often don’t go far enough to immerse the writer or the reader in the “feel” of that particular slot…

*All grammatical errors intentional* 1933. December 24, 7:30 p.m. If I wanted Doodles to sleep warm as buttered biscuits, I’d have to do some more quilt tucking. I pressed it in good and tight all along her side and under her chin. There. Now she wouldn’t shiver in her sleep or roll off to the…

Personally, I don’t see how we can survive these days without the Land of Ish. I mean, think about it. You’re due in a meeting at work at a certain time, say nine o’clock. You did everything you should have done to be there on time – got up early, out the door on time,…

My childhood as the only girl on an Arizona ranch could get downright lonesome. Television and radio reception were nonexistent, and all the wonderful gadgets of today weren’t yet invented. Friends were far away, so play dates and overnighters were as scarce as green grass, which is plenty scarce in the high deserts of the…

 One pound hamburger  One pound ground sausage (or use all hamburger meat)  1 lg. egg slightly beaten w/fork  1 small or ½ large onion, chopped  1 jalapeño pepper, chopped fine  1 med. stalk celery with leaves, chopped fine  1 can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies, original  1 small can chopped tomatoes  Few dashes Worcestershire sauce…

  Sassafras Root Water (at least 1 quart) Cream and sugar (optional) Dig up several roots from a sassafras tree (or order online). Rinse thoroughly until clean. Depending on the size of the root(s), place in a large pot or teakettle. Boil to desired strength. The tea will be a pale-pinkish-brown. The pinker the tea,…