About Me

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Bookkeeper, tax preparer, cat lady, blogger, organizer, mystery writer.


I've finally decided that I am a writer - all the other things I do just pay the bills. Someone eloquent once said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Well, let's just see about that.

RIP Aggie

RIP Aggie
Aggie was my fifteen-year-old cairn terrier - or maybe I should say I was her 55-year-old person! She was my faithful companion, spoiled rotten and I am still trying to figure out what to do without her.

Peter the Cat...

Peter the Cat...
This is Peter the gingersnap tabby! He's seven years old and has just been promoted to Peter the Very, Very Good. He is working his way up to Peter the Great...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...
Bee is Peter's buddy. He's eight years old and has made himself right at home. I guess cats really do come in pairs or sets of three!

And Jasper makes three!

And Jasper makes three!
Jasper is our new guy - the Cat From Another Place. He's four years old and we think he likes it here - so far, so good!

Buzz about...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Can blonde be a recessive gene?

A Jewish man goes into a bar and orders a drink.  And then another.  After quite a few, he notices an Asian man sitting next to him.  Without warning, he punches the Asian man in the face.  Taken by surprise, the Asian man says, "What was that for?"  The Jewish man replies, "That was for Pearl Harbor!"  "You idiot!" yells the Asian man, "I'm Chinese, not Japanese."  The Jewish man shrugs and says, "Chinese, Japanese - it's all the same to me."  With that, the Asian man punches the Jewish man in the face and says, "And that's for the Titanic!"  The Jewish man rubs his jaw and says, "What are you talking about?"  The Asian man replies, "Goldberg, iceberg - it's all the same to me."
Alan Ginsberg
Daniel Ellsberg

I do have a point - so please bear with me (my maternal grandmother was a blonde).  I'm a child of the seventies and the evening news during the early part of the decade was consumed with Richard Nixon and the whole Watergate debacle.  There were so many players and so many plot twists that it was difficult for my teenage mind to keep track of them all.  Sure, I knew the main cast (Nixon, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Liddy) but the supporting cast of thousands (or so it seemed) was a little harder to keep track of.  One thing that puzzled me for many years was exactly why Nixon thought it was a good idea to break into the office of Alan Ginsberg's psychiatrist.  I mean, what could the ramblings of a beatnik poet to his shrink have to do with Nixon and CREEP - I've always loved that acronym for the Committee to Re-Elect the President.  It applies to more incumbents than just Nixon, doesn't it?  I also couldn't understand why a man who lived in San Francisco would be seeing a psychiatrist in Washington, DC - that was a little extreme, but hey, maybe he was really concerned about anonymity.  Anyhow, last week the decades-long mystery was finally solved.  I was reading an article about Daniel Ellsberg, author of the Pentagon Papers, and realized that it was the office of his psychiatrist that the White House Plumbers broke into, not poet Alan Ginsberg.  It is indeed good to laugh at oneself, even after thirty-odd years.  And my first thought was: Ellsberg, Ginsberg - it's all the same to me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I am crazy for white pizza...

and I only wish I could make one that looks even this good.  I tried tonight: homemade pizza dough, fresh spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and some lovely ricotta cheese.  Baked it on my pizza stone and I was so excited that it actually turned out okay, I started eating and forgot to take a picture of it!  This looks a bit like mine - but I didn't use any bacon.  My crust, however, left something to be desired.  You see, I've been spoiled by the pizza crust from Pizza ProsYes, they deliver.  And their crust is heavenly - they could put old shoes on the pizza and it would still be wonderful because their crust is not of this earth.  It's not just me; Ariela thinks so, too.  She took some leftover pizza home one day and shared with the kids.  Maria said, and I quote, "Mom, this is not just any pizza."  If I could just figure out their recipe - it's not that I plan to open a pizzeria - I just want my homemade pizza to be as heavenly as theirs.  Someday...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A sweet spot of tea...

I'll have to say I've become quite fond of those little Lipton Tea to Go packets.  I have found that when I make a big pot of iced tea, brewed or otherwise, it goes bad before I drink it all.  I discovered these when my friend Kathy in Utah sent me a book and used tea packets as packing.  I loved the citrus flavor as well as the honey & lemon - but I'll have to say I thought she was trying to kill me with mango.  Yuck!  But I overcame my momentary aversion to tea and the next time I went shopping, I bought more citrus flavor and tried the raspberry, too.  Excellent - and just enough refreshing tea for one serving.  No more nasty old tea in the refrigerator!  I know the individual servings probably cost a little bit more, but they're less wasteful in the long run.  The other benefit is that I'm drinking more tea and less soda - that has to be a good thing!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Cravings are weird...

aren't they?  I was lazy all weekend and didn't go to the store, so I had no hot dog buns for our annual Fourth of July hot dog fest.  Well, that and I haven't eaten anything but my own cooking since Wednesday and my stomach has been a bit upset.  I ate white rice yesterday for dinner hoping to settle whatever bad cooking I had unwittingly inflicted upon myself.  Anyhow, I've been reading all day yesterday and today and when I looked up at the clock and saw that it was after six, I decided I'd better eat something.  And what popped into my head?  Scrambled eggs.  Now I haven't eaten eggs as a meal for several years - ever since I freaked out on seeing a blood spot inside a perfectly good egg.  No more eggs for me.  I mean, I bake with them and I make boiled eggs for egg salad from time to time - but no eggs, scrambled, fried, poached or otherwise for a long time now.  Yuck, I thought to myself, scrambled eggs. Why am I craving scrambled eggs all of a sudden?  But somewhere between the sofa and the kitchen (about ten feet!) I changed my mind and whipped some up.  They weren't too bad and Aggie seemed happy enough with dinner.  I hadn't advertised the hot dogs too much anyway - so she won't notice that it's actually the fifth of July when we have them for dinner tomorrow.  I think I may just be over my egg thing.  Finally.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Truly amazing...

Three years ago when we moved into our office, I put two compact fluorescent bulbs into my favorite desk lamp.  I can't stand the light or noise from overhead fluorescent lights so we used lamps in the office and never turned the overheads on.  Since I don't like dark spaces - and to deter potential unwanted nighttime visitors, I left the desk lamp on twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  When I moved my office home, the desk lamp moved to the kitchen bar but it still stays on pretty much all the time.  And now, four years later, those two compact fluorescent bulbs finally burned out.  Amazing!  I can't believe they lasted as long as advertised.  All the light fixtures and lamps in my house have these bulbs - I can't wait to see how long they last!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Inspiration has struck...

You know, I can't help but be inspired when I pick up one of Alexandra Stoddard's books.  Her Book of Color is one I don't look at too often, but when I was dusting the bookshelves the other day, I hauled it back to my desk to browse through again.  Admittedly, I did it because it was too big for the stack it was in - and didn't belong with those particular books anyway, but I digress...  Paging through the photographs of glorious color, I looked around and realized that I haven't made much use of color myself lately.  I've been in this condo for a year and a half, and while I have lots of stuff on the walls and well, stuff everywhere, there isn't a lot of actual color.  The walls are a light taupe and the carpet is a nondescript beige.  So I've come up with a couple of ideas to inject some much-needed color into my world.
See this little wall that separates the kitchen from the living room?  I'm thinking of either painting it a sage green or covering it with white beadboard paneling that will match the kitchen cabinets.  I'm leaning toward the beadboard, painted with glossy white paint.  And there is a method to my madness here: for some reason Aggie thinks this is a great spot to rub her face on the wall - and no matter how much I wash it, it still doesn't look clean.  I could remedy that situation and add some interest at the same time.  The living room doors need a valance, too, and I have the blue fabric I need for that project - I just have to find a coordinating red print with some sage green in it for the contrasting lining.  Oh - and I have to get my friends to build me a wood cornice to drape the valance over.  But they're nice that way.
My other color idea is for the bedroom.  I love my antique iron bed and I really like the greenish blue quilted toile coverlet.  I do not, however, like the khaki bedskirt.  It was a sale find at Target when I was in a hurry to put the bedroom together - can you believe WalMart didn't have bedskirts to match the coverlets and shams?  Anyhow, it has served its purpose - but while studying the color scheme the other day, I realized how nice a black gingham bedskirt would look - sort of pulling the bed and the other bedding together.  I got one from Country Curtains in a very small black and cream gingham - and I just need to get Ariela to help me put it on the box spring.  I've also decided that the bedroom has gone without window treatments long enough - I'm going to order two yards of the bedskirt fabric and make a simple valance to further tie the look together.  I'm still pondering a couple of black gingham pillow shams or accent pillows for the bed and maybe a chair pad for the blue chair.  I've already replaced both of those ugly chests on either side of the bed - having moved my round Singer sewing table from the living room to the left side and a cute oak table with a drawer and shelf on the right - both inexpensive craigslist finds.
I do love it when a room comes together!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Weekend plans...

My friend, Richard, stopped by today and brought me some weekend reading.  In turn, he picked up my bag full of Monk mysteries to keep him busy.  So now I have weekend plans!  I've read a few Lisa Scottoline thrillers in the past and I'm sure Devil's Corner will be just as good.  She's not usually an author I pick up on my own - but I never pass up a free book when someone offers it to me.  I've never read Sue Grafton, mainly because my mother thought that her books were the be all and end all of literature.  My mother and reading is a long story for another time...  I'm certainly not going to go back and start with A is for Alibi, but Richard said that S is for Silence is well worth a few hours of my time.  I'll try it - I'll let you know what I think later.  The third book, Second Sight, is actually young adult historical fiction about the Lincoln assassination.  Apparently Richard picked it up at a thrift store and was surprised how good it turned out to be.  I've read my share of Civil War fiction (can you say Gone With the Wind?) and I'm hoping it's equally good.  When I was in high school I read a Civil War trilogy by an author who was popular in the 1940s - Gwen Bristow.  Her books are all out of print, but if you ever see one - pick it up.  You'll be pleasantly surprised.  I can't remember the names of the trilogy books - one might have been The Handsome Road - but her book about the California Gold Rush, entitled Calico Palace, was excellent.  And now I have the vague feeling of deja vu and having written about Bristow's books before.  Guess it's time to retire to the sofa with Aggie, Peter and Lisa Scottoline.