Friday, October 31, 2008

Closing out Fall

It's Halloween. And, it's the last day of my favorite month of the year. I'm not sure where the month has gone. The best part of Fall is almost over. At least for me.

I love October. Mostly, I think, because it is a month of color. The leaves burst forth with a vibrant last glimpse of beauty before the gray of November. November is an okay month but when I think of it, I always picture it as gray. Bleh. Tomorrow it will be November.

Maybe I'm just in a funky mood. A gray mood?It's Halloween and once again, I'll not see the kids at my door begging for candy. For the past four years, I've been traveling on Halloween and have not seen my grandchildren in their costumes. I'm traveling this week as well, am many miles away from my home, and perhaps, this morning, I am simply longing to be there.

I'm such a homebody. Truly, I am. One would wonder about that in reality. Particularly if I told you that last year, I was gone from my home 33 weeks traveling for my day job. That's over 8 months out of the year. When I realized that a while back, it felt rather staggering to me. I'm not sure that knowing that even feels comfortable.

So, this morning, I'm eager to get home later this evening. I'll arrive much too late for Trick-or-Treat but I can only hope for next year.

Okay, so time to get out of the gray funk and get to the school where I'll be working today. With any luck, the kids will be dressed in costumes and that will give me a smile. Later, I wonder if the flight attendants will be dressed up. I flew home Southwest one year on Halloween and they were. We'll see.

Happy Halloween to all! How are you feeling today? I'm smiling because later today, I am going home!

maddie

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Murder on the Mountain is Released!

Murder on the Mountain, a novel in the Ladies of Legend series that I co-author with Janet Eaves, Jan Scarbrough and Magdalena Scott, is now available in ebook format at Resplendence Publishing! Look for the print version in January, 2009.

Murder on the Mountain has an interesting story in itself. This is a story that was conceived many years ago. In fact, it was my first manuscript to finish front to back. Of course, that first draft was terrible. I revised and revived it many times over the years and even put it away deeming it a "practice book."

But the book survived a computer crash and being ignored for years, until earlier this year. The story, although I knew it would need work, was perfect for the Ladies of Legend series. Set in the mountains in a small town in Tennessee, it appears this storyline was just waiting for it's time.

It's time is now.

I'm thrilled to see that Murder on the Mountain, a romantic suspense novel set in the fictitious town of Legend, Tennessee, released. This is a story of my heart and I hope it will be one of yours, as well.

Currently the ebook version is available at Resplendence Publishing. I'll let you know as soon as it is available on Fictionwise and Amazon.

For more information on the Ladies of Legend series, please visit Legend, Tennessee.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Vote for Cheese!

Okay, you guys, it's voting time again at Iron Cupcake: Earth.

Yes, if you read my previous post, you saw where I entered my rendition this month, secret ingredient, cheese. Yum.

To vote, please go to this link: No One Puts Cupcake In a Corner and look for my entry, Vermont Cheddar and Apple Cupcake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze at my Life, Unedited blog. The voting takes place in the right sidebar of the blog page. Just click on your choice and vote away!

Click here to see my previous blog post about my cheese cupcakes!

So, tell your friends and neighbors to vote cheese, please!

The polls close at 12 noon on Thursday, October 30th, so don't delay!

So What is, Life, Unedited Anyway?

Life, Unedited... unsliced, uncorked, unbridled, and unplugged. But definitely not undone.

A life is a terrible thing to waste, so I suppose, that is why I choose to live it. Whether bold or naive, I've jumped in the fray more often than not, sometimes to find I should have looked before I leaped, but often taking away lessons learned and savoring the experience for what it is.

Good. Bad. Or downright Ug-ly.

Regrets? I've had a few, but... (oh, that's someone else's line...) Anyway, rarely do I dwell on the mistakes, I do attempt to learn from them however, and always strive to move my life forward.

Unedited? Maybe. Edited? Thankfully each new day is a do-over. But the unedited stuff is sometimes the most fun.

So, join me in this unedited account of my daily life. Hang on, please.

p.s. So, see this blue-tongued girl up there? To me, she represents the epitome of Life, Unedited. She's my oldest grandchild, and without qualm or pause, licks blue-icinged cupcakes and happily sticks out her tongue for her Mimi (me) to snap a pic. No rhyme, no reason, no hesitation. Life. Unedited.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On the Shelf!

From conception to publication, there are several milestones I celebrate as an author.

The first, the finishing of the manuscript. Selling it, of course,
is another huge hurdle. Final edits are exciting as is reading the galley and at last, handing your baby over to the editor for publication.

Since I work with a small press, there are a couple of other milestones for me--when the electronic version hits the publisher's website, then Fictionwise, followed by the print verion going up on Amazon. All reasons for celebration.

Ah, but this morning, I celebrated once more, when I saw my books on the shelves in one of my favortie bookstores.


See? And right under the Romance sign, too. And face out. No, I did not turn them. My friendly bookseller faced them that way. How gratifying. And what fun! Of course I had to snap a few pictures. I'm just bubbling over. LOL



And here is Ladies of Legend, too! Along with a host of other anthologies. Thanks, Gina, for taking care of our books!

So, if you are in the Lexington, KY area, and in the state of mind for bookstore shopping, be sure and visit Joseph-Beth Booksellers there at Lexington Green and check out the romance section, okay? I'm sure you'll find lots there to choose from.

maddie

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kids and other updates

Wow, it's been a long week. And the weekend upcoming will be full as well.

It's 17 minutes after midnight on Friday morning and I'm just home from Phoenix where I've been for the day job since Sunday. The week was jampacked but good. Now I'm switching gears and on to other things. The job will not be on my mind for the next couple of days.

My son is getting married on Saturday! It will be a great day and one they have planned and looked forward to for some time. They are a little disappointed because, a) it's been raining and it was supposed to be an outside wedding, b) the tux didn't fit, and c) the flowers didn't come in so they are dyeing substitute flowers to match the decor. I think that is enough for one almost-married couple to endure. Here's hoping things go better from now on.

Good news! My dad does not have to have heart surgery like we thought. Some good meds with orders to watch the fats and exercise more, and come back in six months. The prognosis looks good. We are all so thankful.

And last, my daughter (the grown child who "doesn't have time to read") just called to say that she was on chapter 7 of A Perfect Escape which is hot off the press. I gave her one of my author copies last weekend. Her comment was, "Mom, I love it. This is just like the movie, Sleeping With the Enemy. You know how I love that movie! I can't wait to read more."

Sigh. Gotta love those kids, huh?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kentucky Romance Writer Booksigning Yesterday

Yesterday, 15 authors signed their books at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Lexington, KY.

At left you see my fellow Resplendence authors Janet Eaves, Magdalena Scott, Jan Scarbrough, Tia Fanning, and moi.

What a wonderful day meeting people and signing books! The bookstore was fabulous, along with it's staff. Thanks so much to Brooke and Gina for all of their help.

There was a very nice turnout, even though we were competing with the horses running at Keeneland and a University of Kentucky football game later that evening. Traffic sure was heavy in Lexington but people still made it to the store. One family drove all the way down from Toledo to see JR Ward. The sixteen year old girls was soooo excited and was bubbling.

Great day, ladies. So much fun and good to see everyone!

maddie

p.s. Off to Phoenix early this a.m. for a few days and then my son's wedding next Saturday. Pardon me if my visits here are sparse this week! See you soon.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Iron Cupcake Challenge - Cheese!

Cheese. A wonderful thing. I love cheese.

I'll take it in any form. Hard. Soft. And occasionally, even processed. It's a good food.

Lots of calcium. Vitamin D. Protein.


And evidently, cupcake material!

This month I had to think longer and harder about my cheese cupcake for the Iron Cupcake challenge. But persevere I did and came up with something that, oh, looks pretty and tastes pretty darned good, too. I'm happy. I think. I'll let the judges be the judge of that. (Hm, not my happiness but whether the cupcake cuts muster.)

My mother used to make a raw apple cake that I loved. I've made it too on occasion but not for a while. That apple cake kept coming to mind while I pondered this challenge. With some adaptations to her recipe for cupcakes, and the addition of some cheese elements, I set out to work. Here is my recipe:

Vermont Cheddar and Raw Apple Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze

2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
3 c. raw apples, sliced thin
1/2 c. golden raisins
3 c. flour, all purpose, sifted
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 t. apple pie spice
1/2 inch cubes of Vermont Cheddar cheese

Sift dry ingredients--flour, salt and baking soda, spice--together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
With mixer, mix sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until creamy. Add apples and raisins. Mix slowly. Add flour mixture until dry ingredients are incorporated.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. (use liners or grease pan) Press a cube of Vermont cheddar into the cake mix, not too deep. Bake at 350degrees F for 14-16 minutes until golden brown. Let cool slightly, remove from pan, then glaze while still warm.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze

1 5 oz. jar of Kraft Pineapple cheese spread
1 cup (+ or -) powdered sugar sifted
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 t. vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan or microwave. In mixing bowl, put cheese spread, vanilla and melted butter. Begin mixing on low to medium speed. Gradually add powdered sugar until desired consistency and taste. Spread over warm cupcakes to glaze.

Simple enough. Nothing too fancy but nice and hearty for a fall desert. The addition of the Vermont cheddar and the golden raisins lent a nice kick to the traditional apple cake. I can almost taste it with mulled cider. Yum.

So my entry will go into the competition today. Voting does not begin until October 26 at noon. Below are the wonderful prizes I could win. Please visit Iron Cupcake: Earth for more information, at http://ironcupcake.blogspot.com.

Many thanks to the sponsors. Please visit their places!

Friday, October 17, 2008

In Search of Wine

Now, several of my friends and I are partial to Tequila. One friend, who shall go unnamed but her initial is M, is really partial to big margaritas with lots of Tequila. I won't mention her name, but somewhere in the archives of this blog there is a picture of her with a margarita as big as her head.

Seriously.

But this post is not really about Tequila. Or about M. It's about wine.

Wait. There is a connection. And the connection is...Agave.

According to Wikipedia: Agave is a succulent plant of a large botanical genus of the same name, belonging to the family Agavaceae.

In short, it is the plant that gives us our friend Tequila.

And, Agave wine.

So you can make wine margaritas.

What, you say, is a wine margarita? Well, I'll tell you. This past summer while in the Southwest, I visited two restaurants that had wine margaritas on the menu. So my friends and I are saying, "What the heck is a wine margarita? We gotta check this out." So, we did. We learned that in restaurants that do not have hard liquor licenses, just beer and wine, they've learned that agave wine mixed with margarita mix, add salt and line and pour into a lovely margarita glass, makes a nice, smooth alternative to regular margaritas. Actually, it was very nice for a summer evening dinner.

So, I came to really like wine margaritas. I prodded the server in the restaurant. I wanted to know more about the wine. She told me the name and finally, she brought me the empty bottle. I brought it home with me on the plane. See?

Los Cabos agave wine. A product of Mexico. Bottled in California. Hm. Should be easy enough to find, eh?
Not.

I've been in search of wine since June. I've visited the local liquor stores here in Kentucky--the big ones and the small ones. Finally, I learned (I'm not a big wine connoisseur so didn't know these things) that there are actual laws about shipping wines across state lines and what wines can be sold where, etc.

I had no clue.

Finally, a guy at the Liquor Barn said, "We have no Mexican wines." Period. I suppose perhaps that wine really isn't a big thing in Mexico. I don't know. But obviously, Mexican wines are not a big thing in Kentucky, either. (think, Bourbon here)

So back to Albuquerque I went. Checked out a couple of liquor stores there. What? They don't have it either? A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be in the Four Corners area. Should I dare try? No luck.

Sad, I headed home. I had so wanted to make wine margaritas for my friends one day -- here in Kentucky. I decided not to give up my search. Some day, I would find the wine! As God as my witness....

Then, this birthday thing came along this week. My friend and coworker, S, asked me to stop by and she gave me a card. Then lo and behold, from beneath her desk, she pulled out a bottle of...

THE WINE.

Yes!

I hugged it. Seriously. I know. Sad.

Here it is.

Sigh.

Pretty color on that wine, eh? My friend, S, and her husband happened to be in Santa Fe over the weekend and with a little digging herself, she found the wine. What a perfect birthday gift!

Thank you, thank you, S. Ya know what I like. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Some Days You Just Need Meatloaf

Last week, while I was wandering around New Mexico (okay, really, I WAS working, but wandering sounds so...nomadic) my friends and I had time to stop for lunch before heading to the airport. It had been a particularly hard travel week for all of us and the last meeting of the day didn't go so well. All of us were out for a satisfying lunch, come hell or high water.

Just outside of Albuquerque, we slipped through downtown Bernalillo and stopped at the Range Cafe. I'd been there once before and by golly, we found it and were able to get a table. (side note, there is also a Range Cafe in Albuquerque, too)

It was crowded, as you can see. Of course, this was the Friday of the Balloon Fest so likely there were some tourists in town.

Or, it could have been because the food is that good.


It is. That good.

Now, my friend, D, is a carnivore like me. J, is vegetarian. Still, we were able to find lunches that met all of our food requirements and provided the momentary comfort we sought.

D is a big fan of meatloaf. We tease her about it a lot. She doesn't eat anything she considers to be exotic and meatloaf is safe. If it's on the menu, we know what she's going to order. Me? I just love meatloaf, non-exotic, or no. I love it. And that day, I needed meatloaf.

So, D and I order the meatloaf. She gets the platter and I decide on the sandwich. All I can say is...

Wow. Get a load of that platter. Comfort food abounds.


And sandwich.


All the while J, is drooling over her vegetarian Reuben. Boy, does that sound like a contradiction. How can you have a Reuben without corned beef?


Well, here it is. With a nice big, fat green chili. Only in New Mexico.

Will I slip back through Bernalillo again for the meatloaf?

Definitely. Some days you just need meatloaf.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reflections from The Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to me!

Thanks, Marilyn, for the birthday cake. But really, you don't have to sing for me.

No. Don't.

I mean, really, save that breathy birthday tune for Jack Kennedy or something. Believe me, if I wanted a celebrity to sing Happy Birthday to me it would be...oh, lessee...hm. Oh yes.

George Clooney.

I know. He doesn't sing worth crap. But he sure is purty to look at, you know?

Anyway, Marilyn, thanks.

And thanks, too, to all of my friends for the electronic and virtual birthday cards and emails. To my coworkers for taking me out to lunch. For my sister and son who both called to sing Happy Birthday to me over the phone. My daughter who said it first. My parents who sent the check (thanks Mom and Dad!) and all of my MySpace and Facebook well-wishers.

Whew. I think that about covers it!

That cake makes me think about cupcakes. Have I mentioned that the Iron Cupcake Challenge for this month is drawing near? The entries are to be posted by the 24th. I have to get cracking. I'll likely post my entry by this weekend. I have a conference to go to AND my son's wedding is the next weekend. Have I mentioned I don't have a dress yet? Well, I don't. Hopefully that will be remedied soon. Very soon.

So, the cupcake secret ingredient this month is cheese. Yes, CHEESE. I have my ideas and I'm not sharing them. Yet.

Other news? Have I mentioned that Maddie has a new book up on Amazon? What? I haven't mentioned that yet?

Well, I do. A Perfect Escape hit the Amazon virtual shelf this week (happy birthday to me, again!) This, sports fans, is a romantic suspense novel... A secluded beach. Some secrets. A sniper. What more could you ask for? Um, sex? Sure, there is some of that, too. So, go check it out. Just search the books for Maddie James. You'll find me. :)

More news? Hm. Keep in mind that this coming Saturday, October 18, is the annual Kentucky Romance Writers booksigning. I'll be signing anything and everything I have that is in print. We'll be at the Joseph Beth Booksellers store in Lexington, KY. I'll be joined by about 14 other romance authors from the region.

Now, how can you miss that, huh?

And no. I'm not telling you how old I am. You have to guess. And if you are right, I'll send you a virtual cheese cupcake. Seriously.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Project Abandoned!

No, not my closets project. I actually made very good progress on those today. Mostly because another project I decided to tackle while it was cool, took a turn for the worse in a few short minutes. After that, I was able to work diligently in the house on the closets.

This morning, I wanted to trim some wayward branches from a couple of bushes at the side and back of the house. I have three very healthy azalea which have grown tremendously in the past three years, even with pruning. Several spikes needed a snip, so I set out with my trusty wheelbarrow, my pruners and garden gloves, and started whacking away.

Before I knew it, project abandoned!

Why? See the gloves tossed haphazardly into the wheelbarrow along with the shears? What you don't see is me dancing around on my patio, batting and swarming flying THINGS, and practically stripping from the waste down in my back yard.

Why, you ask once more? Well, I'll tell you. This.

Or perhaps I should say, this guy plus a couple dozen cousins. This one, of course, is a picture I snatched off the Internet but what swarmed me...and yes, what STUNG me, twice! were yellow jackets. I know, because after the one stung me, I looked at him hard while he lay on my sweatpants on my kitchen floor. He was, rather lifeless as that point. Do yellow jackets die after they sting? Then why, do they choose to do the deed?

I don't understand that.

Excuse me? Yellow Jackets? And where did those suckers come from? I've never seen them in my azalea before now.

So after tending two my two stings (baking power paste followed by soap and water followed by hydro-cortisone) one on my thigh and the other on my tummy (yes, he got under my shirt!) I kept my distance and observed these creatures out my kitchen window. I must have really riled them up because they were moving all day long--until the evening started cooling off. Then, I noticed, that they were making a beeline, er, waspline? straight into the center of the azalea and down into the center...like it was the black hole of the Bermuda Triangle or something...then they promptly disappeared.

I looked, because my friend Magdalena told me to "look for a hole in the ground" because evidently, that is where yellow jackets nest.

I felt no urge to stick my head into the azalea to search for a hole.

So, project abandoned. I didn't even move the wheelbarrow until just a few minutes ago. Getting stung was not fun. Not fun indeed.

I guess the azalea will stay spiky for the winter.

Oh, well.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Update: Solo-Tasking Result

Okay...

Did I flunk Organization 101? Well, no, not yet, I think. Of course, I worked most of the day, emptied out 3 closets, and then began putting back together. Am I finished?

Um. Noooooooo....

But it's okay. I'll dig in more tomorrow. These things take time, right?

I did, however, get to use a power tool to install a new shelf. See?

And, I did get the garage cleaned out, organized, and swept. Yes! That has been nagging at me.

And...I managed to get one closet organized. If you had seen it prior, you would realize the accomplishment here. Just take a look at this mess of stuff that came out of the closet.
















Now, look at this.
And this.

Cool, huh?

I think I done good. Now, back to it in the a.m.

Night....

A Lesson from the Stars: Multi-tasking

See my horoscope for today.

October 11, 2008

  1. LibraLibra (9/23-10/22)

    You have been doing too many things 'on the go,' lately. While this might make you think that you are getting lots of things done, all of this running around could be distancing you from the real meaning behind what you are doing! You have to make more time, and you have to make it today. Slow down and pay attention to the task at hand, whether it's just driving to work, eating lunch, or going to the grocery store. This multi-tasking mania has got to stop.

I listen to my horoscope and today, as usual, it is right on track. Why do I do this to myself? In fact, at the moment I'm trying to check email and drink coffee and blog AND color my hair. Oops, it's been ten minutes, gotta go shampoo the dye out before it eats my hair....

Tadadadatadada TadadadaDA!tadadadada Tadadadadadada DA!tadadada Da Da...

Okay! I'm back. All Clairoled now and everything. Where was I?

Oh. Yes. Multitasking.

I suppose some level of multitasking in one's life is required and desired. In this age of technology we've all learned the skill. But what does it contribute to one's overall health and wellbeing?

I have to wonder.

I was told once by a medium that in a former life, I was a man who had too many things to do. He worried he wouldn't get them all done and was always doing so many thing. He died of emphysema, presumably before he accomplished all the tasks he wanted to accomplish in his life. This medium said that those characteristics of his life have been brought forward in mine. That when I get short of breath or my chest feels tight (and I sometimes do) I should remember this and basically back off.

I think about this from time to time. The horoscope today was also a good reminder.

I'm constantly thinking about and doing so many things. From day job to writing to just life and family in general, there are always things to be done. I sometimes long for the simpler life. Okay, I often long for the simpler life.

So today, I vow here and now, I will not multi-task from this moment forward today. I have one agenda item for the day/weekend and I will work to complete this ONE task before I attempt something else. Once started, no writing, no email (that gives me the shakes) and no other household tasks, etc....



What is that task? Organization. My office is overflowing and so are a couple of my closets, as is my garage. When I moved to this house three years ago this month, I was so proud of how neat and organized everything was. That was three years ago and a lot has happened in those three years. One, my daughter and her children have moved in and left again, twice. Each time they've left residual belongings behind.

So this is it. Today, things are put back into place. I have a plan. I will post progress later.

A question for you. Do you listen to the stars? Or a medium? Or your gut?

Another: How do you conquer the craving to multi-task?


I shall return later this evening after my day's work is done. I hope to hear from you.

maddie

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Close Encounter of the Hairy Kind

So what is this, you say, hiding in the grass?

Look close. Look very close, my friend, and tell me what you think you see.

Are you peering closer to your screen now?

I know you are.

It's there. Or should I say, HE is there. Sneaking under some grass as though to say, "Stop taking pictures of me! I've been traveling fast over rough terrain and you keep following me snapping away! Do you not realize that I'm trying to get away from you?"

Well, that conversation, of course, was only in my imagination. But maybe.

Have you figured out yet what this creature is? Perhaps this will help.

Oh, see him run!

See the big black spider run!

Running so fast I can barely keep up with him in my lens.

Running AWAY from me, thankfully, although for some reason I still chase...

Picture. Get the picture! I am on a mission now.

I have never seen one of these creatures before...not alive and in the wild and going about his merry tarantula business.
TARANTULA! AAAACCCCKKKKK!

Yes, my friend, I had a close encounter of the hairy kind this week. It was one of those moments when you least expect something like this to happen -- and I had a half dozen preschool children around me and I shout and point: "WHAT. IS. THAT???"

I was brave. Oh, so brave. You would not believe how brave I was.

Omigoodness! It ran across the pavement in front of us and into the grass. Fortunately, as I was anticipating photographing preschoolers (who were like, oh, it's a spider, yawn) I had my camera with me. The thing ran.

I started snapping. (while simutaneously asking, "do they bite?") I was assured, no, but just the same, I kept my toes firmly curled into my sandals.

Just so you know, for future reference, that if you are ever visiting the mountains about an hour out of Shiprock, New Mexico, that these little guys habitate there.

I had no clue. But isn't he pretty?

Sorta?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Boon's Family Thai BBQ, Farmington, NM

For some reason, when I visit a different region of the U.S., or am in another country, it seems odd to me to see restaurants from cultures or ethnicities than the one I am experiencing. For example, when I was in Japan, I found it quite interesting to have pizza at an Italian restaurant and even more curious to partake of French cuisine.

I don't know why it feels odd, because it sure doesn't feel weird to me in the midwest when I have lunch at my favorite Persian restaurant or pick up Sushi on the way home from work from my local grocery store.

Still, when I'm out of my home element, I expect local flavor, I guess. Like now. I'm in the southwest. I expect to see Mexican restaurants on every corner! And of course, they are there. On Monday, I visited two of them (excellent, too, by the way). But I'm always surprised when I find wonderful food of a different "flavor" in a regional area.

Take, for example, Farmington, New Mexico.

I've been coming to Farmington for years for work. I've sampled a fare number of restaurants in the area. My favorite story to tell about Farmington is that it is the one place in the world I would not expect to get the best sushi I've ever eaten. It's true! And you shall find more out about that as the week rolls on. I will be visiting that particular restaurant this week and of course, reporting on my visit.

Last night, however, I visited a new place--one that a coworker had been to several times before: Boone's Family Thai BBQ on W. Main Street. The service was excellent even though we kept our server hopping. He was friendly and very accomodating, even when I tried to get him to swindle the sweet and sour sauce recipe from the cooks. He hinted that if I come back later in the week, he might have it by then. Hmmmm....

It would be worth a repeat performance.

We ordered a couple of appetizers. The Veggie Cakes caught my eye and the egg rolls that of my vegetarian friend. Take a look.
The Veggie Cakes
The Egg Rolls

The Veggie Cakes were my favorite. They were a mixture of sweet potato, corn and green onions, browned and topped with honey and with their signature sweet and sour sauce. Wow. Crispy and flavorful. The drizzle of honey, combined with the sweet and sour, gave it a unique taste, bordering on earthy and flowery at the same time. The sauce was heavier on the sweet than the sour and also, I believe, was made with honey.
For my entre I chose the Yellow Curry Chicken, mild (which was still hot enough for me) with sweet coconut milk and chockful of meat and veggies. Very, very good. Couldn't eat it all, of course, so came home with a doggie bag. My friends order Beef Broccoli and Yellow Curry Tofu. All were pleased and we left sated, vowing to come back again the next time.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Plethora...

Yesterday was a very long day. I was up at 4 a.m., to the airport by 6, in Dallas by 8 (CST), in Albuquerque by 10 (MST) and then drove north to the Four Corners region, arriving at hotel (after grabbing dinner) by 6 pm MST.

Whew.

Am I getting too old for this? Maybe.

On to another subject. I recently joined up with BlogCatalog. This was a new one on me. It looks to be a social networking site for bloggers. I like it! Besides the social aspect, the site is chockful of information about blogging. There is so much I don't know and so much to learn. I've already gathered a few friends and will pick up more, I'm sure, over time. There are groups and I hope to hook up with some writing and food groups there, too. It sounds like more exposure for Life: Unedited, so that is a good thing!

So, check out BlogCatalog if you are a blogger, too. You might like it.

Finally, later this month, I'll have a new book coming out! This is a romantic suspense novel in the Ladies of Legend series. Right below this post you'll see a link for Murder on the Mountain. Click there for more information! That link will take you to a new site for the Legend, Tennessee series that I co-author with three of my writing friends. So, go have a look, okay?

Until tomorrow....

maddie

p.s. Yesterday was so long and tiring that I even forgot (can you believe it?) to photograph my food from two Mexican restaurants, lunch and dinner. Yes, I totally forgot! But this week promises some very nice culinary experiences, so stay tuned....

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Meet Fern

Hello. I'm Fern. And this is my summer place.

I've been living with Maddie for over four years. I first met her at KMart and evidently there was something about me she liked, because she picked me over all the other Bostonians in the lot.

I beckoned and we connected. She took me home.

But that was before we lived here. You see, we lived in one other house together before this place. It was smaller and a townhouse and I lived on the back deck. Then, Maddie told me that we were moving, just before the winter months were to set in, and she decided (I am forever thankful) to winter me and not let me die.

So I did. Wintered. Didn't die. Shed some leaves but grew a lot. The next spring, as soon as the temperatures were well into the 50's on a consistent basis, I came to my summer place, here. I like this summer place. I'm sheltered from the harsh sun and get plenty of humidity because, well, it's humid here near the river.

Now, as you can see, I'm rather large. I've been repotted once, last fall, and grew accustomed to my new larger pot with minimal effort. You might say, I bloomed. Although as we all know, Bostons don't bloom. We frond.

I heard that Maddie, after having wintered me for three years now, was contemplating letting me meet the Big Frond Guy in the Sky, because (gasp) she was wondering whether she wanted to vacuum up my dropped leaves over the winter. I also heard, that her dear friend Magdalena, actually gasped in horror when Maddie mentioned it, so obviously she felt guilty and decided then and there to do whatever it took to prepare me for winter.

So this afternoon, she debugged and despidered me, and let me hang out under the sprinkler, and then trimmed back all my scaly fronds, and the ones that were near molting stage, and brought me inside.

Ahhhhh. What a relief. Here is my wintering place.

Yes, I know. I am big. Almost as wide as the fireplace. Of course, I'm sure Maddie will move me should she start a fire. Fronds are NOT fireproof.

I suppose Maddie now felt her porch looked bare so she headed out to the neighborhood garden center and picked up a couple of flowers -- some Mum and her kid, I think I heard her say. But they'll never replace me. No. Because I'll always be bigger and well, I know deep down that Maddie is no plant killer.

Naw.

Besides, this is MY summer place. No Mums allowed.

Flowers. Bleh. Fronds rule!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

What Romance Authors Really Do At Booksignings

Sadly, we sold no books today. Clearly, this "Shop with a Cop" antique car show crowd was not into romance novels. Sigh. We tried. Seriously, we did. But alas, we packed it in and just had lunch. Romance, evidently, is a hard sale to the wrong crowd.

But, our table looked pretty, didn't it? (even if my end was a bit cluttered, hm.)

And we did do a lot of other serious stuff. See Magdalena contemplating getting her lipid profile done? Just $25.
Of course, while people passed by our pretty table, we soaked up small town ambiance. It seemed there was a plethora of small buns around. Like these. (BBQ sandwiches, we think.)

And these.

They looked smaller in real life. Honest.

We looked at the hot...cars.

And hogs.


All in all we had a good day. We closed up shop around 12:30 and headed across the square to Christie's restaurant, where I had eaten once before, and where I was seated in exactly the same seat as then...and, where I proceeded to order the same "Quiche of the Day" lunch. Creature of habit. And my habits do not fail me. It was as good this time as last.


There was but one incident that gave me pause all day. While walking to Christie's and admiring the antique vehicles, I spied a truck full of produce. A farmer's market! I love farmer's markets and the vegetables looked so yummy. I stopped and turned to Magdalena. The conversation went something like this:

Maddie: Oh look! A farmer's market. I must take pictuures.

Magdalena: Oh, sure. (weird look on her face)

Maddie oohing and ahing and snapping pictures of this and that. See?













Sighing, Maddie walks away and says: Wow, wasn't that pretty? I love vegetables.

Magdalena: Yeah, sure. They were great. For plastic.

Maddie, halting: Plastic?

Magdalena: Um. Hm.

Maddie, turning back to look at antique truck: No way. They're not plastic.

Magdalena: Touch them.

Maddie, peering closer and realizing, it is a freaking display!: I am so gullible.

Magdalena: And I thought you were the worldly one.

Finally, on my way home, I realized that I had not one picture taken of me during the booksigning. So, I managed to snap this one while moving down the interstate, just to document this experience for the tax man. (yes, Uncle Sam reads this blog)

Disclaimer: The act of taking pictures while driving is not recommended. Do not attempt. Professional driver-slash-photographer on board (sorta).