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Showing posts from September, 2010

Wordlessly Watering on a Triple Digit Afternoon

Click on the photo for a full version of it. See if you can find the blue dinosaur.

I'm having fun at two blog hops today. Come join me at Wordless Wednesday and at Watery Wednesday.

Heat and Ella

It's very hot in my part of the world, today, dear readers. Summer switched into autumn. Voila, hello heat wave. Temperatures climbed to 104 degrees yesterday, according to some weather reporters. The day before, 102 degrees. The weather widget on my computer shows 91 degrees. I looked a few minutes ago and it was 88  degrees. Dearest One in the Universe, please blow some breeze through. May I humbly ask that if you could possibly, please with natural raw sugarcane on top, roll some fog into Monterey Bay. Its fingers will definitely make it over the low mountain ridge and sneak through the mountain passes.

Ah, is that a bit of the breeze I feel?  Thank you, Dearest One in the Universe.  

For a nonsequitur, dear readers, let's listen to some Ella, as in Miss Ella Fitzgerald, the one who had a voice magnificent and smooth. I had the fortune of seeing her perform towards the end of her career. I was in awe of how a rich, vibrant voice came out of a sweet, little old lady. Listeni…

PhotoHunt: Natural

"Natural" is the theme of this week's PhotoHunt. My photos are from a drive the husband and I took on our anniversary. For the longest time, we've been wanting to explore a certain back road between out county and the next. It was well worth the bumpity-bump drive on the dusty road.







To view other bloggers' interpretation in this week's PhotoHunt, click here.

Cozy Mystery Challenge: Book Number Seven

The Moai Murders by Lyn Hamilton is my last entry for the Cozy Mystery Challenge. Hurrah!

Lara McClintoch is an antiques dealer from Toronto, who Lyn Hamilton has made as the main character of her archaeological mystery series. The Moai Murders is the ninth tale in the series. It's the first one I've read.

The story is based on Easter Island or Rapa Nui.  The author sidesteps the mystery of the Easter Island statues, but does weave the history and culture of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, into the plot. Lara and her best friend Moira go to the island after Moira, who just won her bout with cancer, decides to go somewhere that she always wanted to go. Lara goes because Moira has asked her.

Upon arrival at their hotel, the women walk into a lobby full of Rapa Nui enthusiasts who are attending a conference. They decide to sign up for the conference to learn more about the maoi. Almost immediately, they are witnesses to the ugly rivalry between the two Rapa Nui experts. 

Not one, not …

A Special 23rd Date

Fourteen years ago, about the same time as I'm writing this, I'm getting food ready for the next day's festivity. Getting married to the husband, it was.

Fourteen years ago, about an hour or so from now, I will have finally laid down beside a very anxious husband-to-be. He would be so anxious, he would not be able to sleep. And, that would mean I would not get to sleep.

"We can still call it off," I will have said.

"No, we can't," he will have replied.

"Yes, we can."

"No, we can't. People are coming."

"We can call them up first thing in the morning."

"No, we can't."

"Yes, we can."

"You've already made the food."

"I can put it in the freezer."

"We don't have to get married," I will have said.

"We already got the license," he will have replied.

"Do you want to marry me?"

"Yes, I do."

"What's the problem?"

"You'll write …

Wordless Wednesday: What's That on the Hill?

What do you see standing on top of the hill? 

A choo-choo train?

A Viking ship?

The hookah-smoking caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland?

That's what I saw as I was pedaling along the road this afternoon.

I'm hopping around at Wordless Wednesday today. It's a great place to find a lot of new bloggers. Check it out.

Savory and Sweet Scones

On Saturday, I decided to experiment with baking savory and sweet scones in the same pan. Hmm, I could've baked a full pan of both and stuck half of the scones in the freezer. That just dawned on me. But then, I'd have to remember to rotate the pans in the oven so that they each became evenly undercooked, burnt, or just right. Besides, if I had tried going for full recipes that day, I would've found out I didn't have enough rice flour.

As you can tell, I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants baker. (Do I need all those hyphens?)

Heads up, all you gentle readers who are precise measurers (measurists?) out there. Be prepared to shudder.

Savory Scones Ingredients
Handful of fresh chives, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5-inch chunk of cheddar cheese, grated

Sweet Scones Ingredients
Brown sugar (almost 1/2 a cup)
Chocolate chips (just more than a 1/3 cup)

I made the scones gluten-free because I didn't have whole-wheat flour on hand. Better on the tummy anyway. I shook the flo…

Handy Macs at Work

I got my front door key stuck in the lock yesterday.

I unscrewed the lock from the door last night.

That oil you use for sewing machines? I put a bit of that into the lock last night. Nothing.

"Did you fix it?" asked the Mama.

"Did you get the key out?" asked the husband.

No.

No.

In case you're pondering why the husband wasn't involved in figuring out how to remove the key from the lock, it's because I was bogeying the lock and he was washing dishes. I had handed it to him before he started the dishes. I needed him to use brute strength to jiggle out the key. He had success last week when his key got stuck in that same lock. But no such luck this time.

How did I get the key stuck in the first place?

"You used the wrong key," the Mama declared.

"Did you use the wrong key?" asked the husband.

Think, remember, recall. Yeah, I did.

I left the lock, with the key stuck in it, on the stairway stoop. I was very confident the house ghosties would wo…

Another Wordless Outdoor Wednesday

Setting: The Monterey Peninsula. It was a very windy afternoon. It's a wonder, we didnt' fly away. Suddenly we're in fog, then suddenly we're not.

Today, I'm blog hopping at Wordless Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday. Come join me and check out photos of other bloggers. I know you want to.






Cozy Mystery Challenge: Book Number Six

The Dark Tort is part of the Goldy Schulz cozy mystery series written by Diane Mott Davidson (The link takes you to Davidson's website).  It's adventure #13. Davidson has written 15 thus far.

The title is a clever play on words: tort/torte.  The tale opens with Goldy stumbling over a dead body at the law office for which she has been catering the last several months.

At first, Goldy thought the lawyers were playing a joke on her. Pretty sick attorneys, if they were. But, it turns out the law firm is full of dysfunctional people, from the rich head partner to the very uptight office manager to the young paralegal-in-training who was murdered. After many outings of solving murder cases before the cops in her town, Goldy is known for her detective skills as well as for her cooking prowess. So, it's believable for the murdered young lady's mother to ask Goldy to solve the case. The mother thinks that the cops will overlook her daughter's case because they aren't ric…

Sunday 160: A Successful Turn

“Pretend that you are a car,”

Lisa said to us three novices.

“Show confidence.”

We four pedaled onto the busy street.

100 feet later, we signaled and turned left.

The Sunday 160 is hosted by the Monkey Man. To learn about it and to read other bloggers' Sunday 160, head over to this page.

Playing Techie for a Couple of Days

I'm feeling pretty smart and down right proud of myself right now. I managed to create a new web site for my professional self without a single bit of swearing. Yep, that's a very good accomplishment for me. I'm also happy with the way it looks with its baby-blue background, which I didn't think I would like at first.  Ya, pat, pat, pat. 

Some people think I'm a smarty-pants techie, but that's only because I know the things they don't know. I honestly don't know a lot of technical stuff.

Don't ask me to write or analyze HTML because I have no idea what that is about. But, if you tell me to go find a specific piece of code, delete it, and insert another piece of code, which you've given me, I can do that. Once I've done it, I shall promptly forget what I just looked for and how to repeat the step.

That, dear readers, is how I went about creating a web site out of a Blogger blog template. Every time I wanted to make a change to the template, suc…

Happy Labor Day, One and All!

To one and all, thank you!

I raise up my glass of water to all the men, women, and children today and throughout our country's history who have toiled and boiled and troubled to build and maintain our public infrastructure; tend the fields and put food on our tables; create, produce, and sell the goods we use; make sure all business, administrative, and financial services are done; educate and inform us; and perform every other job under the sun. Without sweet willing labor, governments, small businesses, and multinational corporations could not prosper, and the rich could not become filthy rich! May we all have raises tomorrow. 

A gal can dream. I am grateful for a national holiday that honors the American worker. And that's what we all are, whether or not we are employed at the moment and whether or not we are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or immigrant workers.  I hope you're all having a nice break from your regular routine.

Watching cartoons is a nice break. So, fo…

"A Case for Smiles"

See that mess of fabric on the right.

I'm almost finally going to turn them into some things. Operative word here is almost. A couple hours ago I ordered more fabric from Sew, Mama, Sew!  Almost 8 yards worth of different happy, calming designs with such names as Good Earth,  Daisy Dance,  Carnations on Gold, and Poppy Parade Brown.  So, once my shipment comes in, I shall drop everything and sew pillowcases.

Pillow cases?

Yes, pillow cases.

I'm going to get off my butt and sew at least seven pillowcases for "A Case for Smiles," a fabulous project sponsored by ConKerr Cancer.  Based in Philadelphia, the nonprofit group delivers donated handmade pillowcases to terminally ill children in hospitals across the United States. The founder is Cindy Kerr who started making pillowcases for her son and other children in the oncology unit in 2002 to help bring smiles to the kids as well as brighten their hospital rooms.

According to the ConKerr Cancer Web site, the organization has…

Cozy Mystery Challenge: Book Number Five

Like a Hole in the Head by Jen Banbury was the fifth book I read for the Cozy Mystery Challenge. Some reviewers likened the author's work to that of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. I think Banbury's style is her own, with comparison to no one in the mystery genre. She caught my attention immediately when I randomly picked her book at the library.

"I woke up with a hangover and roof tar on my feet and a vague recollection of pacing around up there half the night. . . ." 
That's her first line. Uh-huh.

Jill is the name of the main character. She lives in Los Angeles and works at a used bookstore. For the past few years, she has been running away from the memories of her mother's death. Every so often the author cleverly lets some of those memories enter Jill's mind, and we, the readers, learn that her mom was painfully dying from a terminal disease. Her mom may have asked Jill to help put an end to the misery. With that bit of background, it is underst…

"A Poem Lovely as a Tree"

San Juan Bautista is the next town over to where we live. And, in that darling mission town is where you will find these trees. What kind of trees are they? How old are they? That's what I want to find out.

These photos are my contributions to this week's Wordless Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday. Click on over to each site for more contributions on its theme. That is, after you check out mine. :-)