Monthly Archives: October 2009

This is why I enjoy Trick or Treat night

     These pictures are only a few of the people who came by.  We had so many Trick or Treaters that we finally gave up on taking pictures.  We went through 16 lbs of candy this year.  We all had a blast.

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Halloween break 2009

     This is my ‘see you in two days’ post.  Starting tomorrow, I’ll be busy getting ready for Friday’s festivities.  I’ll be back on Saturday with pictures of our fun.  I’m hoping to snap plenty of pictures of the little monsters who show up at our porch.  That all depends on fast they come through though.  Last year we had so many large groups arrive, I never got a chance to take pictures of them.

     You try taking pictures when you have to work the fog machine and hand out candy at the same time.   We did have fun though.  Maybe if I beg Dear Hubby enough he’ll be willing to snap a few pictures. 

     Have fun!  Many thanks to you for stopping by.  For those of you who take the time to comment on my posts, I am grateful.

Stitching seamless scenes

 

     Do your scenes give your reader the maximum effect?  Does each one move your story forward?  They do?  Well then, you are well on your way.  All you need do now is seamlessly connect the scenes.  Make the story flow, be logical, and compel the reader to keep turning the pages.

     Cue the sound of car tires screeching to a halt.  “What?” 

     Not so easy is it? 

     As many writers do, I agonize over each scene I write.  Did I build the tension in that one?  Have I thrown enough conflict at my protagonist?  Did I end the last scene with enough oomph to carry on to the next one?  Are the goals clear enough?  And on and on….

     If your scenes fall flat and the connections are rough, sometimes you need to step back for a day or two and then read what you’ve written with fresh eyes.  Read from the last scene to the first one.  This can often make the raw connections jump out at you and you’ll see where you need to fix them.

     Dear Hubby says that some days watching me write is painful.  I tell him, that some days writing is like wrenching each word out of my brain with an upholstery needle.  On good days, the words flow and the scenes stitch together as if run off on a sewing machine.

Summer versus winter

 

     In the wee hours of the morning, the sound of a distant train, crickets, waterfall, and fountains I’ll miss it in the winter.  Instead, I’ll hear the steady breathing of two sleeping dogs, the furnace running, wind howling, and the murmur of the TV that never stops.

     The scent of fresh mown grass, flowers in bloom, and warm garden soil.  Instead, I’ll smell dogs, a stuffy house, and many meals cooked.

     Instead of the warmth of the summer sun on my face and arms, a gentle breeze, and the grass tickling my feet.  I’ll feel cold, the crunch of snow under my boots, the slip of ice, and burn of cold winds.

     Instead of watching flowers bend in a breeze, radiant sun shine, trees full of green leaves, and insects playing tag with each other.  I’ll watch snow blowing across the yard; icicles drip and hang from the eaves, and sunshine turning snow and ice into gleaming diamonds.

     The taste of grilled foods, fresh fruit, vegetables, and berries picked a moment before.  Instead, I’ll taste hot soups, stews, and comfort, stick to your ribs foods.

     Yes, I enjoy living where I have four seasons.  However, three of them, spring, summer, and fall are my favorites.  I’ve lived in warmer places, colder ones too.  Where I live now suits me.

It bugs me that…

 

     Dear Hubby is always in pain and I can do nothing to help ease it.

     We can’t visit my Aunts and Cousins more often.  I do wish they lived closer to us.

     I get an average of at least 50 hits a week on my Bottom Line Books scam post.  This indicates that the company is continuing to rip people off at an alarming rate.

     I have inconsiderate neighbors who think nothing of blocking our driveway.  This means I have to waste time hunting someone down to have him or her move his or her vehicle in an emergency when I need to get my car out of the driveway.  I know this because I’ve had to do it more than once when DH’s mother has fallen or when he’s needed me to take him to the ER.  I’d have them ticketed, but by the time the police show up, they are gone.  These are the same people who persistently honk their car horns at all hours, crank the car stereos up so high that my walls shake, and they leave their dog outside to bark all day long no matter what the weather.

     The summers go by so quickly and the winters seem to stay longer.  Of course, I thought they did this when I was a kid, but it seems to go even faster now.

     What’s bugging you?

Trick or Treat night is almost here

 

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    I need to buy more candy this week I don’t have near enough for the hordes.  Thursday I’ll make a big pan of lasagna (in my brand new pan gifted to me by a very dear friend.)  Then on Friday night, all I’ll have to do is heat it up after the children have finished.  It saves me time.

     I supply the garlic bread.  G is bringing over a pumpkin swirl cheesecake that is to die for and I have a weakness for cheesecakes.  The pumpkin swirl is one of her best.  I know this because whenever she makes a cheesecake she brings me samples.

     While the lasagna is cooking Thursday night, I might carve a pumpkin or two if I can the size I like.  I haven’t seen many good ones yet.  Most of them are too short, too small, or too thin.  Yes, I’m picky.

     Friday G and I will spend the day decorating the porch—a haunted house theme this year.  We’ll get our exercise going up two flights of stairs to the attic to haul all the decorations down.  It’s going to take several trips.

USA network has another hit on their hands

 

     USA network has scored far above the competition for several years now.  Their newest gem, White Collar is another sweet treat.  The show is well written, witty, and has sparkling characters.  Give me shows like this any time! 

     To Jeff Eastin, the creator and executive producer I say kudos and well done.  Thank you for keeping me entertained. 

     All the other networks need to take a lesson from USA.  Drop the reality shows that are long past their freshness date and stink.  Quit rehashing the old, tired themes.  Enough of doctors and nurses—I don’t find anything about a hospital entertaining.  Done to death as well are the lawyer shows. 

     Go find good writers—hey, we are out here.

That’s a wrap…for this week.

 

     It’s been a long week.  In the last two days, the weather improved drastically.  We had a temperature of 75 degrees today and plenty of sunshine.  Whoopee!

     I now have a working oven light.  Another whoopee!  I no longer have to use a flashlight to check on things cooking in there.  My next door neighbor’s dear son came in today and was able to remove the end of the broken bulb.  Thank goodness for tall people with long arms!

     Dear Hubby is feeling much better since the oral surgeon removed the stitches.  In addition, I realized I haven’t heard him complain of a headache since the removal of those broken teeth.  That one deserves a big yippee!

     The pups are happy and healthy.  {Knock on wood there.}  I posted a new picture of Patty in the Bull Pen, and if you scroll down a few posts, you’ll see Waldo the owl.

     I managed to finish another chapter in my book without going postal.

     My kitchen is clean and I did some yard work today.  I do need to figure out how to plug the hose for the little gargoyle fountain since I’m worried that he might freeze and crack over the winter.  I’ll be bringing him in with all the other garden statuary until spring rolls around again.

Doggoned Green Tomato Pie

 

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     Doggoned Green Tomato Pie

3 ½ c. peeled and sliced green tomatoes

¼ to ½ cup of golden raisins (optional)

3 tbsp. butter or margarine

6 tbsp. lemon juice

1 c. sugar

¼ C lt. brown sugar

3 tbsp. flour

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼  tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. cloves

1 tsp instant tapioca

Sauté the tomatoes in the butter and lemon juice until just tender.  Combine tomatoes with sugar, flour, salt, tapioca, and spices.  Line 9″ pie pan with pastry, pour in filling, and cover with top crust.  Snip a couple of vent holes in top crust.  Bake at 450 degrees 10 minutes then reduce to 350 degrees and bake until crust is brown–approximately 35-40 minutes.

Green tomatoes are good in everything…right?

 

My potted vegetable garden

My potted vegetable garden

     I love green tomatoes.  I’ve picked them early to fry them when I couldn’t wait for the first frost warning.  I’ve mooched them from neighbors on years I didn’t grow any.  Last year I planted two tomato plants in a pot, this year I tripled that because last year I had no green tomatoes at the end of the season.

     I harvested all the green tomatoes left on my vines before we had frost this past week.  Now I have a basket full of them.  We’ve had them fried, made into chutney, green tomato salsa, and diced and sautéed with the onions in a chicken liver curry.  Remember, DH is on a soft diet.  (Nevertheless, the curry was very good!)  Now I am dredging up all the green tomato recipes in my files. 

     I think tomorrow, I’ll make green tomato pie but that only takes three and half cups.  Maybe more chutney is in order to use up what I’ll have left.  I could dice some into the chili I plan to make on Friday.  I bet that would be good.  Hmm, there’s that recipe I saw for green tomato bread—that’s it, next year I’m planting more tomatoes.

Things have a habit of disappearing

 

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     Now that the temperature is on the rise, I’m more in the mood to start putting up my porch decorations.  I will only put up black garland with orange lights and a few other strings of Halloween inspired lights.  The major portion of decorations won’t go up until the day of the 30th, which, for our town, is Trick, or Treat night this year.  They come down as soon as the pumpkin strikes eight.  They then become the party décor in the house for the rest of the night.

     If I lived in an area, where ripping people off wasn’t a blood sport, I would lavishly decorate on October the 1st.  However, I don’t.  Things have a habit of disappearing and not in a ghostly way.  Only the cheap stuff goes out before Trick or Treat night.

A buffet of possibilities

 

     We write chapters of our life with each day we live, every turn on our path, and bump in the road.  When we stumble, we can either move forward or fall on our faces.  I am of the move forward school of thought.

     Keep moving forward don’t turn back.  I’ve burned a few bridges, but then haven’t we all burned one or two?  When you live with regrets, regrets will kick you in the shins, beat you over the head, or eat your heart out.  I won’t live with them.  Regrets make lousy roommates.

     I’d rather dine on the buffet of possibilities.  I want to lift the tops of the chafers on the buffet and snack.  I want to drink the heady wine of discovery.  I will dance with the future.  Hand in hand with my love move forward.  I will help him over the bumps, pick him up when he falls, and together we’ll write more chapters.  In life, there are always possibilities.