Friday, September 30, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

  I have not written on my blog or worked on any of my stories since Saturday and I feel as if I have let myself down. For those of you who read my last blog you will know that my in-laws were up visiting for awhile, well they have since left but then we had my favorite Jewish holiday to prepare for.

   Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) started on Wednesday night of this week and we had seven people (was supposed to be ten but a few people didn’t make it due to illness) in all for dinner. My dearest friend came over and we spent the day cooking for this wonderful holiday.

   The menu started with appetizers, my husband’s favorite, chopped liver and crackers, pastry puffs stuffed with sausage, peppers, onions and cheese and scallion rice pancakes served with a cucumber yogurt dip. The main meal was two roasted chickens which I had koshered for 24 hours ahead of time. This makes the bird so juicy and delicious. Skirt steak pinwheels that where rolled with a garlic butter, spinach and provolone cheese, scalloped, cheesy potatoes, a brussel sprout hash with bacon pieces and onions all sautéed together, spatzle which is kind of like a German gnocchi and we added Swiss cheese and sautéed onions and of course dinner rolls.

   For dessert, Renee and I made a torte consisting of layers of ginger cake with a pumpkin, cream cheese filling and whipped cream. We topped the whole creation with very thin ginger cookies and were amazed at how beautiful and delicious this came out.

  The meal came out fantastic and everybody overate.

  Yesterday we went to Temple for the Rosh Hashanah service which was very enjoyable. We do not attend temple very often but we are always left with such a good feeling when we do attend.

  Gosh, I love food! Have a great day and if you’re hungry I still have a few leftovers!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

   This weekend we have my in-laws up for a visit. So many hours will be spent in the kitchen cooking. My mother in-law and I work well in the kitchen together and have many creative ideas together.

   My mother in-law, Louise, is 88 years of age and just a little bitty Sicilian woman. She is the sweetest person in the whole world and an amazing cook. She wakes up every morning at about 4:30 am and goes straight to the kitchen where she spends most of the day cooking.
   Now my father in-law sits in his chair the whole day to catch up on the daily events and yells, "Louise, Louise, get me something to drink." or "Louise, Louise, get me something to eat." This tiny woman who stands about 4 feet 8 inches then gets his food and drink and shuffles all the way to their family room. When I say shuffles, I mean shuffles. Her steps probably measure at one inch at a time.

  One day, we received a phone call from Aaron, my father in-law, saying that she had lost her mind. Aaron said that Louise was upset with him and was chasing him around the house with a kitchen knife. Chasing was the word he used. Paul and I just looked at each other. "Really, she was chasing you?" However, he sticks with that.

Have a great Saturday

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All The Pretty Horses

  Last night at about 2:30 am, our dog Butch started growling. My husband told him to be quiet since our dogs have a tendency to growl at every leaf that falls off a tree. Then Butch started barking. My husband got up and looked out our window, which overlooks the driveway. He saw a large black shape and told me to go turn on the spotlight quickly.

   As I was running to the outdoor light switch, I heard the clip clop of hooves beating on the asphalt. Stupidly, I thought, there must a moose in our driveway. Then it dawned on me that moose do not wear shoes. At the same time, my husband yelled out that the horses had broken loose.
   Throwing on some clothes, I ran downstairs and started turning on all the outdoor lights. Paul was still upstairs trying to get dressed and find a large flashlight. We were trying to figure out if we had a rope that we could use as a lead when I saw the four-foot dog leash hanging on the bench.

   Now let me explain something before I continue. We have two Percheron horses. They both weigh over 2400 lbs. and stand at the withers (the highest part, at the back of the base of the neck) at about 6 feet tall. So, here I am, standing outside with a four-foot dog leash and watching my two gentle giants eat my front lawn.
   I walked over to the first one (whom I prayed was Bart, since he is the easiest to halter) and slipped the loop of the dog leash over his big fat neck. Paul came out and saw me standing there with less than two feet of leash left and laughed. Hey, it worked.

   Paul then led Bart down the driveway towards the barn. I kept close behind but not to close because I know Chief was going to stampede his way back to the barn. Chief is the youngest (the troublemaker who broke the field fence and climbed through) and has to be right up his brother's you know what. He did his full gallop, so much so, that we could see the sparks from his shoes hitting the driveway.
   Overall, got the boys back into the coral, fed them a ton of food shut the gate to the field and then for good measure turned on the electric fence. That will teach them.

   That was our fun night, what was yours? Please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ghost In The Machine

   It seems that my new computer is being a very bad boy. I have spent the last five hours trying to get my desktop back to normal after my computer decided it was going to change the whole screen. Then I decided to run my anti-virus that Best Buy convinced me was the best. Turns out the anti-virus that took hours for the company to load has also disappeared.

   I am so ready to throw the machine out the window. I can not believe I used to program these things. Now, I just wish I had a heavy mallet to on the little cherub. I could then take it to the geek squad and tell them the sad story of how the computer exploded right before my eyes.

Oh well!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Working Girl

Monday, what a horrible day, it just messes up the whole week. I am lucky in one respect that I do not have to be in work until 11:30. On the other hand, though, I will not be leaving work until 7:30. At that point, when I get home it is too late to have dinner.

  Tonight starts off the new fall season of certain TV shows and I am looking forward to catching Two and a Half Men. I am sure the show will be just as funny without Charlie. We will see.
   For now though, I have to get back to my computer and do some writing. This is only time I will have until Wednesday to get anything done. Tomorrow, I am at work by 6:30am.
   I am at a great place in "Last Bus to Nowhere" and truly enjoy creating this story. Too bad that work messes up a good week.
   Hi Ho, it's off to work I go.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Four Seasons

   After vacuuming the house, I went outside to sit for a moment and what a glorious sight lay ahead of me. The leaves are starting to fall. Then I actually took notice of the mountain peaks that we view from our porch. The wonderful reds and yellows are beginning to peek through.

   I love this season and am so happy that summer is finally over. My son loves the summer but give me the fresh, crisp air of fall, winter, and spring. Does anything beat layering clothes and sitting by the fire. Chilly nights also make the best sleeping weather.
   This also means to take out the crockpot and start making those heavy stews and delicious soups. The kind of meal, which when served with a fresh loaf of bread makes the perfect dinner and leftovers. Love this time of year.
   Enjoy the day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Kids Are Alright

   Today being Saturday, you would think that it is a time to relax. That's what I plan to do right after I finish doing the laundry, clean the kitchen and the bathrooms. I have this silly cold and wanted to sleep in late but at 8:00 sharp, the sound of new roofing being attached to my bedroom rang throughout the mountains. Then every few minutes either my husband or Rocko (our employee) would throw something from the roof, which if you have never heard this, does make quite a noise. Of course, this set all three dogs into a chorus of barking.

   I just finished making the three boys breakfast, striping and remaking their beds. Boys are so unaware that they are existing in a mess. You literally take your life into your hands just walking into the room. Why does it always smell of feet? Aired that out and sprayed half a bottle of Febreze. Febreze take me away! Upon leaving that room, I then realized that I had collected so many towels, shirts, socks and shorts that, Yay, I could run yet another load of laundry.
   Sorry, had to leave for a moment, my son decided that since the dishwasher was running he would just leave the dirty dishes (these are extra dishes, I already did the breakfast dishes) in the sink. He told me people do not wash dishes with a sponge they put them in the dishwasher. Then why do we have a drain board?

   College is in five years. Oh dear lord, I am in trouble. Well, God did say go forth and procreate but he forgot to mention the maid/short order cook you need when they turn into teenagers.
  Have A Great Day!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trip to Bountiful

   Today was an amazing day. I was able to get "The Hand That Beats Thee" on to another eBook store so now it is available in many different formats. I was so excited to find this website and have the rights to do anything I wanted with my short story. Nothing worse than being locked into a company and not have control over your own work.

   I sat down early this morning to work on "The Wolves of the Iniakuk" but did not get much done. There is situation in the story that is not sitting well in my head so I need to figure this out before I can continue with it.
  So, while I contemplate the ins and outs of that scenerio, I worked on another short story that I have lying in wait for some attention. This one is called "Last Bus to Nowhere" and that is call I can say about that for now.
   Have to go, a short story is screaming for me to work on it. Toodle-oo!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


  Dragging my rear-end after two hard days at work, last night I treated myself to climbing into bed early and watching a movie. The brain cells were not working all that well so I chose something light, Burlesque.
  Here is a movie that is simple yet enjoyable. It does not rank right up there for best script or even acting but if entertainment is what you are looking for then definitely watch Burlesque.
  Christina Aguilera stars as Ali, a young woman from Iowa who wants nothing more than to be on the stage. She finds herself in Los Angeles outside a club. The glimmering lights and exotic costumes of the club Burlesque lure her in. After watching one show, she begins to wheedle her way into Tess (whom is played by Cher), the club owners heart.

  The music is upbeat and fun. Cher sings a couple of songs, but it is Christina Aguilera, who carries this movie. That girl can belt out a song!
  Even if you do not enjoy either one of the stars, take a stab at Burlesque. Very upbeat and very entertaining.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Patriot

  I am told that I am too sentimental. Maybe so, but I am a firm believer that we can never forget the tragedies that have befallen this world. This morning, I ran outside and put our flag to half-mast. I am also very patriotic.
  It has been ten years since 9/11 and I still cry when watching the videos. I must admit, that thankfully, I did not lose anyone close to my family on that day but I do remember it being one of the worst days I can remember.
  My husband had left the day before on a business trip in New York. My father had also gone to New York to meet up with some clients. Being a normal day, I loaded my son into the car and took him to his pre-school at the Jewish Community Center, then headed off to work.

 There were always radios on at the office (talk radio) but we tended to ignore them. One of the junior partners came running out of the office, yelling for everyone to switch to the same channel. A plane had crashed into one of the twin towers.

  We all sat and listened to the commotion on the radio and became very nervous for the people who were trapped in that building. Then the radio announced that another plane had just flown into the second tower. I was handed some money and told to go buy a T.V. for the office, immediately. Trish, the secretary and I headed straight to the first store we could think of and purchased a small television. Every single demo T.V. was showing what was happening in New York and all eyes were glued to the set.
  I looked at Trish and asked her if we should stop by my son's school and get him. She said that he was safe and not to worry.
  I knew he was safe; I just wanted him near me. We hopped on the Mass Turnpike to head back to the office. As we approached, the tollbooths all gates came crashing down and the red lights started blinking. At that moment, caravans of army troops started racing through the tolls heading straight for Boston. Trish and I both must have freaked because I remember racing all the way back to work.

  When we arrived, the T.V. was turned on and that is when the first tower came crashing down. Everyone gasped as if we were one voice. I turned to my sister and asked if she had heard from my husband or our father. I had no idea what part of New York either was in and was becoming very frightened.
  Then the phone rang. It was the preschool. All children had to be picked up immediately. Across the street from the Temple was an Islamic Temple and the police were guarding the school. My sister drove as we rushed to grab my baby.

  Obviously, no work was done that day as we all sat huddled around the T.V. My husband called around 2:30 in the afternoon and wanted to know what was going on. He had been in a closed-door meeting all day and not one person had let them know what was happening in our country. Thank God, he was not in the city.
  It turned out that my Dad was also outside the city. My family was safe but our hearts were reaching out to all the families that had been touched by that day. So many lives wasted. I, for one, will never forget that day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

For Whom The Bell Tolls

   Last night after having a lovely dinner out with my husband, we stopped by my old work place, Borders Book Store. As most of you know, Borders will be shutting its doors for the last time on Wednesday of this coming week.

   For the last month, I have been stopping in to visit with my former boss and coworkers and to see how the store is fairing. Always, hoping that maybe by the grace of God a small miracle would happen and Borders might get the money to stay open.
  Unfortunately, I was wrong. Last night, I was so saddened to see that the store is now halfway empty. I realize everyone likes a bargain but feel shame to know that these same people could have saved this company from ever coming to this.
  Borders Book Store was and always will be the greatest place to find books. It was a place where families brought their children to hang out, have food and drink while they searched for that perfect book. It was a place of warmth and security to some of the homeless people in the area and it turned many unknown authors into legends.
  This store was different from other bookstores and every employee knew that there was something special about her. She was and always will be a Grande Dame. A proud lady who always stood out in a crowd.
   My hat goes off to you with a fond farewell. My heart will always have a warm spot in it for the people I worked with and the incredible customers whose thirst for a great story always brought them back. You are one of a kind!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Space, The Final Frontier

     It has been a few days since I last blogged and truthfully, not much has happened. Labor Day was very enjoyable. Spike T.V. played the entire Star Wars series. My family and I managed to watch four of the six episodes. Tell me that we are not hooked on Star Wars.
      Actually, I have to admit that we are Trekies, Babylon 5, Stargate, and of course Battlestar Galactica fanatics. If there is a Sci-Fi series to be watched, we will hunt it down and watch until we are blue in the face.
      So, to say the least, we had the best Labor Day. We cooked in front of the T.V., we ate in front of the T.V., and we stayed up a bit later than usual to watch T.V.
      That is the way it was. Enjoy your evening.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

         Last night we were the lucky recipients of five boys. Let me expand on this, five teenage boys. Do you have any understanding as to what five teenage boys can consume in one evening?
         My husband and I went to the grocery store and stocked up on every conceivable nosh food that we could imagine. We also purchased enough food for dinner, breakfast, and lunch the next day. With the huge amounts of food that was placed on the table last night, you would think that leftovers would be a choice for tonight. Absolutely Not!
          Five raviolis, four tiny, chicken thighs and a few meatballs were the only things left. After, the boys delved into the munchies food and ice cream. Thankfully, no one was sick.
          It just amazes me how much they can consume in less than two hours.
          Well, time to make dinner. Bon Appetite and Bonsoir!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Memory In Writing

                The other day on the Writer's Digest website I found the most amazing page. They have created a site that writers can receive writing prompts. The first prompt I did had a picture of a man sitting in a room on an exam table. The only other items in the picture were a clock and an eye chart. It was not an exciting picture by any means but what WD wanted us to do is create an intriguing beginning to a story. The kicker was that it had to be under twenty-five words.
                Today, I worked on another prompt. They give you a scenario and you have to create the story around that scenario in 750 words or less. The scenario was that someone has been pulled over by the police for speeding. While trying to get their registration out they come across something important.
                I was writing my scenario about a woman who finds the very last photo taken of her father before he passed away from cancer. Well, I was deep into writing this when it dawned on me that I was sobbing. I actually had to get up from the computer and call a friend to break the intense hold the story had on me.
                My husband, I believe, thinks I am nuts. Nevertheless, he is the one who chose to marry me.
                Even though I found today's prompt to be highly emotional, it truly was fun.
                Have a great night all.