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Showing posts from July, 2010

Book 2 for the Cozy Mystery Challenge

Yes, indeed. I finished reading my second book for the Cozy Mystery Challenge!

Murphy's Law, by Rhys Bowen, had been sitting in the hallway for almost a year. I bought it after I finished Royal Flush, the last book in Bowen's Royal Spyness series, which was published in July, 2009. Because I was so taken with Bowen's story-telling, I decided to try reading her Molly Murphy series. Murphy's Law is the first in the series. It had won the Agatha, Reviewer's Choice, and Herodotus awards.

Molly Murphy is the main character. She is a ballsy, well-educated 24-year old Irish immigrant living in New York during the Tammany Hall times. The story opens with her running away from home because the master's son tried to have his way with her. She had kicked him away and he cracked his head when he fell. Molly got on a train to London and ended up on a ship to America. She took the identity of a dying woman who had persuaded Molly to take the woman's children to their fath…

Rambling Friday

This morning I woke up with a stuffy nose. The husband stirred beside me. The mama scraped a chair on the floor in the kitchen below. She was either about to eat breakfast or she had finished.

"What time do you think it is?" asked the husband.

"Time to dust the room," I answered.

I got up, picked up my glasses, and headed to the bathroom. As I walked by the stairs, I glanced down at the clock in the living room. 9:30. The mama had slept later than usual. The husband had slept his eight hours. I was lacking again. Oh, well, what does it matter? The three of us have not had to answer to a boss's clock in years. Only our own.

My self-discipline comes and goes. There is so much about which to be disciplined. House cleaning, for one. Writing, for another. Finding writing jobs, a third.  Exercising, most indubitably, a fourth. And then there is downsizing our stuff that has been in storage for years now. The list of what I need to work on keeps growing rather than sho…

Wordless Wednesday

I've joined the Wordless Wednesday linky party today. Head on over and check out photos of other bloggers.

The July 23rd Date

Were you wondering what the husband and I finally did on our 23rd date last Friday? Yes or no, I'm here to tell you. Well, actually to show you some photos of different things we saw as we stopped here and there.











First Read for Cozy Mystery Challenge

The spell is broken, thanks to the Cozy Mystery Challenge! and to the numerous power outages we had yesterday. For most of Sunday, I kicked back in a comfy easy chair and read U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton.

Grafton is known for her mystery series featuring Kinsey Millhone, a private detective who works in the fictional town of Santa Teresa, which resembles Santa Barbara. Every year or two since the mid 1980s, Grafton has published another adventure of the 30-ish, tough, and vulnerable Kinsey. Some people call Grafton the alphabet mystery author. Her first book is called A is for Alibi, her second B is for Burglar, and so on.  Four more titles and she'll be out of letters. I wonder if by letter Z that will be the end of Millhone. I hope not.

In U is for Undertow, a young man hires Kinsey to check out the truth of his memory. When he was six years old he came across two guys burying something in the woods. He thinks that what he saw was them burying the body of the four-year old…

What to Feed Wild Baby Birds

This morning I was reading this post at Please Be Edible and came across a comment in which the author said that you can feed cat food to wild baby birds, which have been separated from their mamas. I told the husband about the tip.

Said the husband, "Revenge is sweet."

"Uh, wait," he said, after a long bit of chuckling. "I was thinking of cat meat. That's different."

Uh-huh.

I got curious and did a search for more details about feeding wild baby birds. It seems like more birds are making nests in our trees, and well, I want us to be ready in case something happens. If you're interested, check out these links:
Orphaned Wild Baby Birds, Winged Wisdom Pet Bird Magazine Bird BabiesBaby Starling and Sparrow Care

A Meandering We Shall Go

Our 23rd dates seem to come too soon. Not that I'm complaining, I love getting away for the day with the husband. It's just that I have yet to accomplish things on my to-do list that have been there since mumble, mumble.

As I'm writing this, the husband and I have yet to decide where to go and what to do. Hiking is out this time because I'm supposed to let my ankle rest. According to the doctor, I have a chronic ankle sprain. I have no idea when I even sprained it. All I know is that since we walked up that mountain in May, I was wrapping it up whenever it hurt to walk on it. When I finally couldn't put pressure on the foot, I decided to go see the doctor. That only took, uhm, two months to give in.
"Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do this," said the patient."Then don't do that," advised the doctor.That joke cracks me up every time.

My doctor felt up the ankle, gave me a prescription for anti- inflammatory medication, and said, "Don'…

Ready. Set. Read!

I consider myself a reader. But lately, my reading matter consists of blogs, newspapers, blogs, web sites, blogs, Facebook, and more blogs.  Nothing wrong with that, but I really should spend more time off the computer.

The last book I read was a politician's autobiography. Shudder. Talk about a horrible reading experience. Have you ever read a book and got angry about almost everything that the author wrote? I should've put it down after the first page, but I needed to know about this woman since she says that she talks for the real Americans. I'm a real American but nothing she wrote represented my point of view. Bleah!

I finished that book about five months ago. I started three books since then. Put each one down after a few pages in. I just could not focus.

Five months is a long time for me to go without reading a book. But, that's about to change. To motivate me back to the book path, I signed up today to complete the Cozy Mystery Challenge hosted by Not Enough Books…

Almost Wordless Wednesday

While I sat listening to Saturday's concert, I watched the changing of the light on the mountains before me.






I'm having fun at the Wordless Wednesday linky party. Head on over here to check out photos by others: Wordless Wednesday.

That's Life. Really?

My stomach is untying knots of annoyance right now. Bleah! Something was aligned in space that I found myself going from one annoyance to another today. Yesterday, that is. No, I'm not going to describe them. Not worth it.

But, I will describe an attitude we encountered the other day that continues to disturb the husband and me.  I was ordering a sandwich at a supermarket deli. A frail elderly man was next to me holding onto his empty cart. He took a step backward, fell against me, and slid to the ground. The cart fell on top of him. Without hesitation, I pulled the cart off him and the husband called 9-1-1. The young deli clerk ran quickly around the long sandwich counter and pulled a display pole away from his head. The store manager was there in less than a minute, and a customer who was a first responder or a nurse, came forward and took care of the man. A few minutes later, the man's son was there.

"Don't worry," said the husband. "The ambulance is coming…

Music Sends Me!

Last Saturday night, the husband and I went to an outdoor concert with some friends at a local winery. The evening was extremely excellent! We sprawled out on the green grass under the summer evening sky. We listened to the most glorious music as it joined with the expanse of the golden hills before us. I was in heaven. 

The featured band was Dave Mason. Yes, the one and only Dave Mason!

I don't know about our friends, but the music transported the husband and I to moments in our 20s. He said he was back at the concerts in Winterland in San Francisco. Me. I was back rocking with roommates as we listened to records, and I was playing an upturned ceramic pot as if it was a conga drum.

After the second piece that Dave Mason played, the husband said aloud, "That was almost orgasmic."

So true. 





P.S. Why is the camera shaking? I was bopping along with music, holding the camera in one hand and banging my right thigh like it was, yes, that upturned ceramic pot of long ago.

Yummy and Nutritious Sidewalk Weed

"We're having sidewalk weed again."

"Oh joy," said the husband.

Not really. He didn't say that. He just ate it. Until a few years ago, he didn't know that the weed he saw growing wildly along the sidewalk and on vacant lots was edible. Ha! Then he met me.

Specifically, I'm talking about purslane, also known as pigsweed. Portulaca oleracea is its scientific name. The Mexicans call it verdolaga. The Mama calls it kakalangay (an approximate Ilocano spelling to what I hear). Not ngalog, she says. That's something else.

Have I lost you? I'm talking about the fleshy, pinkish looking weed that spreads out on the ground. It look anemic and very unappetizing. Water it, and voila, you have what you see in that photo above. It is good to eat.

Very good to eat, in fact. Tasty, too. The weed, okay the herb, is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and a whole bunch of the B-vitamin complex. It's also rich in omega-3 fatty acid goodness. Bette…

An Early Evening Sky

The other evening I saw these clouds from the backyard. Interesting formation, isn't it?

It kinda looks like a snail. It also looks like the shape of a Valentine's heart coming together.

What do you see?

So.

So, last week I decided to register for a domain name for this blog and Take 25 to Hollister. It took me several days to make everything match on the domain host and Blogger. It shouldn't have taken so long but I flubbed here and there and then had to figure how to unflub the flubs. You know how that goes.

Soooo, here my blog stands with its own domain name. All comments made prior to the switch gone. Yeah, I'm still crying about that. It turns out there are a whole lot of us Blogger bloggers lost our comments when we switched. From what I've learned, the problem has been going on for a year or so. Some Blogger bloggers say that their comments have returned. Others say they returned, then disappeared again. I can only hope mine will return. I miss 'em.

So why did I register for domain names for my blogs? I'm sure you're asking, dear readers. I have this hazy notion that by doing so, I'll be more serious about them. Use them to take over the world. No, no, n…

Making Tech Changes

Sigh.
I finally decided to buy domain names for my blogs. A Yay! short lived, but still a Yay!
The last two days I've been doing trial-by-error tech stuff to get things to work. I've also been learning too many technical terms, such as CNAME and domain management something-or-other, which fortunately will turn into haze once I've accomplished what I want done.
The positive, so far, with this blog: I managed to get its domain name to direct itself here. Really not an easy task since I went with a domain register not yet recognized by Blogger. And, I'm not a technical person, no matter what others will say about me.
The negative: All comments made by you, dear readers, before today went missing. I know: What the heck?
It turns out that's a common thing when switching to a domain URL on Blogger. All I can do is wait until Blogger fixes the bug. At least this is just a very minor irritating glitch in the universe of living. 
So, please know, dear readers, your comments ar…

Yours, Randomly Thursday

I took a spin on my bicycle before breakfast this morning. Just a short one. Just enough to get my heart pumping to my brain so I could think properly. Coffee doesn't do that all the time for me.

I started off chilled, as the fog was still burning. But as I pedaled onward, the less uncomfortable I felt and the more I glanced around me.  White picket fences. Fences blown down. Shade trees of all sorts. Tall, fat droopy sunflowers. City guys pruning trees. Construction guys taking a break from building the hospital expansion. Lone jogger. Aging couple walking tiny dog.

Today was garbage day for some streets. I saw a baby car seat in one can and a wicker basket in another, and wondered how I could revamp them into other things. Fortunately for the husband, I didn't pull them out of the cans.  Passing by the blue recycled cans made me think of the night before when I was taking out our garbage cans.  A mother and child were about to open the garbage cans across the street. She saw…

What Decorating Style Do You Have?

Ever wondered what your design style might be? In terms of decorating your home, that is.

By way of How about Orange (a really fun blog), I came across the fun quiz at the Ethan Allen Web site that tests your decorating style.

My result was something called Global. The formal way of saying eccentric, eclectic, hippie, whatever-floats-my-boat. Ha! Nice to know my style is consistent over the years.

Want to check out where you stand? Clickity-click here.

I'd love to hear your results. Did they surprise you?

My First Summer Craft!

See the teacup bird feeder.

See how cute it is.

I made it. 

That's right. I made it. It's one of the three crafty things I said I'd  make this summer. Yay!

In fact, dear readers, I made three of them. Yes, three! Big time.

One for me. And two for Kathy, my friend since elementary school. I warned her that for her birthday, I was presenting her with a white elephant. He-he.


Making the feeders was easy. Not like I thought it would be when I tried to visualize doing the instructions. Lesson to me, once again: Don't let unfamiliar instructions overwhelm me. Just do it.

Click here for are the instructions by Little Birdie Secrets. I modified the instructions with each teacup to fit the directions for the glue I used as well as what made more sense to me. The results were fine. They passed the once-over from Kathy's husband who is an engineer. And let me tell you he gave it quite a pondering over I was starting to get nervous. Pshew.

The smartest thing I did during the cons…

The Declaration of Independence

Happy Fourth of July Dear Readers!!!

The United States of America is  234 years old! Happy Birthday to us! Whoo-hooo!!! 

If you haven't read the Declaration of Independence yet this weekend, well then here is a transcript of the Declaration as written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 members of Congress. To read more about the who, what, when, why, and how, head over to this page at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Web site.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident,…

Accomplishments

The husband and I got on our bicycles yesterday. It had been a couple of weeks. Inconsistency that I need and want to change. I feel so much better for it.

One of my pedaling objectives yesterday was to head over to the other side of town to take a photo of bales of hay.

Accomplished!


The other objective was to pedal further out to a farm stand for some fresh veggies and fruit.

Accomplished!


Achievements, small or large, are just that.  And, they all equal joy.  Remember that, dear readers.

A Dancing Dream

My last dream was the best.

I was playing the bass at a small outdoor gathering. (I don't play the bass in real life.) A pianist at a black baby grand was accompanying me.

The dream began with me just standing before the noisy crowd, smiling and playing, and waiting for them to settle down. Soon, everyone was sitting. I finished that piece and started into another. The pianist and I had their full attention now. We moved into a samba. I danced with my bass as I played. Everyone got up and danced, too.

Then I woke up.

What a great dream to wake up from.

Last night, I went to sleep asking myself, What shall I write next for this blog? Do I want to keep writing a blog? Where do I want to go from here, career-wise?

When I have questions that make my head go round and round, I post them to my subconscious before I fall asleep. The solution sometimes works itself out the next day. Sometimes not.

I don't know what that last dream meant. But, I like it. I love the idea of dancing the sa…