Tuesday, December 10, 2019

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DOG OWNERSHIP



   As any faithful followers of this blog know, we adopted two mutts last year. Having had many fur-babies over the many, many years of marriage, we went in with eyes wide open with regards to expected costs. We knew that a vet visit will set you back a pretty penny; heartworm pills and flea and tick treatment were pricey, but not optional; and food and poop bags are included in the cost of being loved. But this time around there were some hidden costs that snuck up on us. And they are adding up quickly.    
1. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT WRITING I LEARNED FROM MY DOGS


I guess I am a slow learner. Some people claim to have learned everything they know in kindergarten. Here I am, 50+ years old, still learning important stuff…especially when it comes to writing. What’s even more distressing, I’m learning from my dogs. I know you don’t believe me. I can hardly believe it myself. But consider the following lessons and see if you don’t agree.
There is nothing more important than chewing a rawhide bone. When Tiller is given a Himalayan Dog Chew, he flops down wherever he happens to be and begins chewing. The neighbors’ dogs may set up the midnight bark, timer may go off signaling time for dinner, the roof may blow off the house in a hurricane, but nothing will stop him from chewing on that yak-milk bone until the last tasty morsel has been gnawed to a mushy tidbit too small for a mouse.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

BEACH TALE: Things I Wish my Momma had Taught Me, Thanksgiving Edition


     There comes a time when a woman must start hosting her own Thanksgiving celebrations.  For a woman who marries a military man and moves 3,000 miles away from family, these days come at a tender age of 22.  Had I had any inkling that I would have to prepare Thanksgiving feasts entirely on my own, my childhood holidays would have been better spent hanging out in the kitchen learning the tricks of preparing a flawless holiday mean instead of curling up in an over-sized arm chair with my nose buried in the latest Nancy Drew mystery.  As a result, I’ve had to learn a lot of Turkey Day lessons the hard way. 
     So, in the spirit of the season, today I’m offering to a Top Five List of Things I Wish My Mother had Taught Me about Preparing (and Enjoying) a Thanksgiving Feast:

1)    Don’t rely on Aunt Alma’s vague directions for turkey preparation.  Find out the basic ingredients then Google a recipe that has exact measurements.  For instance, should that dear aunt tell you to “rub a little sage” on the turkey before roasting, a quick Internet Search would help translate “a little” to a teaspoon, and not an entire half-ounce jar.  Speaking from experience, rubbing said half-ounce jar gives the white meat of the turkey an off-putting green tinge and results in gravy that looks like pea soup.  And the taste is rather off-putting, too!  No calling for pizza back-up on Thanksgiving, either… 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

TIMES CHANGE...or do they?

People I know know I love books. So people give me books all the time. One time many years ago I was gifted a box of old books. I mean REALLY old books! I was afraid to touch them. Arranged on my bookshelf they looked very "Authentic English Country House Formal Library," a setting Georgette Heyer (and other mystery writer of the early 1900s) used to stage murders.

As I reorganized my office to start the new year, I took inventory of the titles. Lo and behold, this gem popped up.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Beach Treat: Hot Chocolate that will Melt your Heart

February 14, Valentine's Day. 'Tis the day to celebrate LOVE!  AND CHOCOLATE!
And why do love and chocolate go together?  Research has discovered that “Chocolate gets right to the heart of sexual pleasure by increasing the brain’s level of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical. Serotonin plays a major role in positive mood, emotional health, proper sleep and balanced appetite, contributing to numerous behavioral and physiological functions.

So if you're in need of a dose of serotonin, along with the best feel-good drink around, try this one for Chocolate Hecho à la Espalola , which translated means “The Spanish made chocolate.”  But what it really means is “drinkable melted chocolate that will make you feel wicked and divine and goooo-ooo—ood!”
Chocolate Hecho à la Espanola
4 -1/2 cups whole milk (divided)
1 pound semisweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
      broken into bits
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup sugar
½ cup fresh whipped cream
Bring 4 cups milk to a boil over high heat.  Remove pan from heat and add chocolate and sugar.  Stir regularly until chocolate is melted.
Mix cornstarch with remaining ½ cup milk.  Stir into chocolate.  Return to heat and stir until thickened, approximately 10-20 minutes.
Serve hot and topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

Enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

BEACH BASH!

Grab a hat and join me in celebrating the birth of another story! A bouncing baby cozy weighing in at approximately 25,000 words (so a "novella", not a full-length novel.) I've been working on this for about two years , and am really happy with how it all turned out. They say "write what you know" so I set the story in a cute little pink house on my street, only moved it to a different neighborhood where it is surrounded by abandoned homes. Isolation in a beach setting is critical to the plot. 

Here's a little bit about the book:


Monday, December 3, 2018

OUR FAVORITE BEACH THINGS with Heather

I'm happy to have my fellow To Fetch a Thief contributing authors stop by to talk about their favorite beach things. Today Heather Weidner is at the beach.


Favorite beach activity: I love walking on the beach in the early morning or the late afternoon. We take the Jack Russell Terriers with us. They love digging in the sand.

Favorite beach song: Anything by the Beach Boys

Favorite beach beverage: I like the fruity umbrella drinks.