Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Unexpected

I was merrily on my way to work yesterday when I turned the last corner only to encounter close to the last thing I expected. A man lying on the sidewalk in front of this abandoned building. All curled up like a little kid with his knees bent and his hands tucked under his cheek.

My first thought was that he was dead. I mean, who sleeps on the sidewalk? Especially when it had been raining less than an hour earlier. So I parked and looked around. No way was I investigating alone. Fortunately a pair of my coworkers were a little further up the street.

I went over to where they were and asked if they’d noticed the man. They thought the lump was a trash bag and were quite surprised to discover it wasn’t. Neither of them really wanted to go poke at him either and we were about to call the authorities when a truck came around the same corner I had.

They stopped and one of the men got out. We heard him yelling, asking the man if her were okay. No response. Another individual joined them and had the nerve to touch the man. He gave him a shake and yay, the man stirred.

After a moment he stood up and looked around, thoroughly confused. The side of him that had been against the pavement was wet so he’d been there for a while. I was amazed. I don’t know about you but if I’d been lying in the rain on hard concrete I wouldn’t have been able to just hop up and start walking. Well, walking isn’t quite the word for it. Perhaps weaving or staggering better suit his motion. My guess is he had a few too many. Or many too many. He proceeded down the street, muttering to himself and, after two blocks, disappeared around the corner.

The things you see…

Happy weekend all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ooh, Pretty!

Looky! I got my new cover.

Close to Forever

Releasing August 11, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Good and the Bad

So how was your weekend? Do anything wondrous? Me? Nothing earth shattering.

I tried out the new SaladWorks. Do you have one? If not, you need one. Way too many choices, lots of specialty salads, all of which are interchangeable. They’ll also make all the salads into a wrap too. I ended up with an Autumn Harvest, with chickpeas instead of carrots. Love cooked carrots, prefer not to have them raw when I have a choice. Very yummy. I’ve been told by some that they think the place is pricey. Perhaps but for what I paid I ended up with two meals because they give you a lot. There are sandwiches too but I didn’t try one so I can’t comment other than to say some of them sound good and I’m likely to go again for one of them. Soup as well but it was too hot for me on Saturday.

Then, Saturday evening, someone, either purposefully or accidentally, set my neighbor’s garage on fire. It’s old and not in the best of shape so she really doesn’t keep much of anything in it but still, she could. Fortunately the fire didn’t spread much past the doors before the trucks got there. I can’t begin to imagine putting on all that heavy gear in this heat but I am ever so grateful that there are people who are willing. And who will risk their own lives to potentially save mine. Oh yeah, I was out there saying thank you before they left. The garage is less than 20 feet from the houses with a wooden fence on the far side connecting the two. It hadn’t rained for real since May so it very easily could have jumped. Scary to say the least.

It finally rained some today. Enough to wet the ground (and make it very, very muggy) though I doubt it was enough to bring the lawns back to life. They’ll probably crunch under foot by tomorrow again.

I’m going to watch the Ghost and Mrs. Muir now, if you’d like to join me. Please bring pizza. I have Reading Draft soda, the only stuff I drink, to go with it.

Friday, July 22, 2011


The record temperature for today, 105, was set in 1926. The official temperature at 4:30 was 106. Not exactly the record I wanted to witness being broken firsthand. The cats seem a bit miffed that I haven't fixed this one yet. Believe me, I would if I could.

There’s a closed down bar that used to rent rooms near my house. It’s always being broken in to so seeing someone on the porch is not at all unusual. Earlier this week however, a giant poster board action figure showed up. I have no idea why or who left it. It makes me wonder if there’s some sort of new trend starting with our local gang. Perhaps I’ll ask.

Happy weekend. Stay cool.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


A necessary evil. I hate it. Yeah, okay so that’s mostly because I don’t have any to play with.

The very nice alarm fixing man who is highly allergic to cats came to see me today. My system is going fluky and it needed some tinkering. Tinkering by someone other than me, that is. I’ve rigged it as much as I was able and it’s been working way longer than expected. It was his turn to rig it this time. It’s fine again. Temporarily at least but it requires some new gizmos which he’s ordered for me. Sweetheart that he is, he’s waiting to charge me for everything until they’re in and he replaces them.

For the same price I could snag me one of those nifty portable air conditioners that sits in the corner instead of taking up my only window and I could maybe sleep at night. With just the fan, it cooled all the way down to 90 in my room last night. It’s ten degrees hotter outside today and predicted to be even worse the next two so you can see why it’s so tempting to cancel the alarm work and have coolness instead.

A third option, since even I know it’s not going to stay this hot forever no matter how it seems is a pretty little Toshiba mini. In creepy green! It comes wifi compatible at no extra charge and is half the size and weight of my laptop. I’ve always wanted one of them so I can roam easily with my computer, writing as the mood strikes. Now I take a notebook and then have to transfer it to the computer later. Time I could be spending otherwise occupied. Besides it’s just so damn cute I think I have to have one. Yeah, I know. Back to that need versus want thing again.

So that’s my dilemma for the day. I suspect I’ll be responsible and go with the alarm system since Reading is really not the place to go without these days. Sometimes, being an adult really sucks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So how many of you tried the saran wrap, just to see if I'm wrong? Come on, fess up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Did I Ever...

…tell you about my mother and the saran wrap? Forgive me if I repeat myself. Many, many years ago I arrived home semi-late one eve to find her waiting in the kitchen. Always a cause for suspicion and that night was no exception. I asked what was going on and, very proudly, she stood and wove her way to me. In her hand was a square of saran wrap. She proceeded to place it on my head and proclaim that I would not be able to move. The saran wrap would create a force field, rendering me paralyzed. Not a normal function of that product and I bet one the inventors never even considered. As you might guess, it didn’t work. I said goodnight and laughed until I fell asleep.

Today, I came home from work to find a message from my mother asking me to call her back. She needed to know about the saran wrap. Um, yeah. Okay.

So, with great trepidation, I did. Apparently, she had been discussing it with someone and couldn’t quite recall how it worked. She was however, entirely certain that it had. It took some convincing for her to accept that it didn’t. I finally suggested she pull out her roll and try it, all the while assuring her she was safe in doing so.

Yep, that’s my mom for you. Growing up was, at times, an adventure.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Weekend

Over the weekend I decided to tackle some home rigging, er, repair that I’ve been avoiding. The molding that covers the screen edge on my screened-in porch has aged and begun to pop off the nails. I figured I better deal with it before the screen popped off too.

Sounds simple, right? Hahaha, nope. But then what in my life ever is? There’s a layer of lattice on the inside of the screen to protect the kitties from toppling out. Oh, did I forget to mention the porch is on the second floor? Well, it is. And the lattice is securely, as in extremely securely fastened. Which means tapping in new nails is not an option.

On to plan B. Off I went to Lowe’s. Chatted with a very nice man who told me which variety of glue would work best. Outside. Wood over screen to siding-type stuff. Put a bead on each surface. Let set for five minutes. Stick together. Okay. Only problem is the lattice is such that my hands barely fit through the openings. Yep, bruised all the way around my hands and wrists.

There was one spot with the molding off completely. That worked as specified. No real problem other than it took much, much longer to set up than stated. Then I moved on to the area where some of the nails were still holding and only parts of the molding were sagging.

First of all, the tip on the glue was not elongated and nicely pointy. Getting it between the molding and the siding was not easy. In fact, it ended up all over me. And then the screen shifted which required me to need to reach through the almost set up glue in order to yank it back into place. And, since the surfaces really weren’t separate, it was impossible to let them get tacky as instructed. So I ended up standing there, holding everything in place until it stuck. Naturally, this spot was over my head.

Let me tell you, the cats instinctively knew to stay out of range as they lurked about, smirking at me. They found it highly entertaining when three fingers were glued together. Which I didn’t really notice until after I managed to yank them free from the molding. And of course, I had no turpentine or even nail polish remover. Yeah, sometimes I just don’t think ahead.

But the screen is safely in place. The bugs will remain outside, much to the cats chagrin. And I went to a picnic in the evening, outdoors, and by the time I came home I had most of the glue, and a fair amount of the skin on my hands peeled off.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Is It Just Me?

Twenty-odd years ago, Reading took part of its defunct train yard and set up a shopping center. It never really amounted to much, though there was a cool book outlet for a few years. Now all that’s left are a Price Rite semi-scary grocery store and some variety of dollar store. I’m not sure if the over-priced discount shoe store is still there or not. I never found anything I wanted there so I haven’t paid that much attention. Which leaves many, many gaping holes of empty stores.

Then suddenly this week signs appeared announcing the Station Square planned expansion. As in, they’re adding on more space for a planned shopping center. Huh? What’s wrong with the store space that’s already there? Shouldn’t they fill that before they invest who knows how much to create more? Doesn’t seem quite right to me.

In happy writer news, Close to Forever has a release date – August 8th. Yay!

Happy weekend all.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Tease

Close to Forever

Marc is stuck teaching basic mechanics, but he isn’t happy about it. He’s even less thrilled to discover Chloe in his class. Marc hasn’t seen her since the day she ruined his family. He should hate her, but the more he learns, the more he feels there’s something that just doesn’t add up.

Chloe is ten minutes late for the first class, and the instructor decides to hold it against her. She’s never met a ruder man. Or a more dangerously attractive one. She doesn’t understand his animosity or the attraction between them. When Marc has a change of heart, Chloe must decide if he can be trusted.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Green Muck

There are very few things I enjoy about summer. I can break it down into three sub-seasons. The first is Chex Mix season. I make my own. It’s nothing like the stuff sold prepackaged. This lasts from Memorial Day to Fourth of July. That’s how long it takes to make and eat enough batches to use up all the ingredients.

The third season is fresh fruit and veggie season. It kind of runs all summer but is mostly towards the end because there are more choices then. If I have time, I go raid my mother’s garden since she grows all sorts of stuff. If not, I’m fortunate enough to live in an area with unlimited roadside stands. Everyone with any excess produce puts out a table, many of which operate on an honor system. Select what you want and leave the cash, generally a ridiculously low amount requested, in the jar. Make your own change. There are also several local farmers markets.

The second sub-season is in full swing now. Green muck, er, pudding season. What? Never had it? Never even heard of it? How could you survive all these years without it? It’s about as simple as can be to make and super yummy on a hot day.

Here’s what you do. Thaw a tub of cool whip. Mix in one can of crushed pineapple, one box of instant pistachio pudding and a third of a bag of mini marshmallows. Stir well and refrigerate. How’s that for easy? At my house, I don’t even bother with a separate dish when it’s time to have some. It’s like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – meant to be eaten straight out of the original container. Oh, I recommend buying three of each of the first three ingredients. That way you can make three batches and won’t need to figure out what to do with the leftover marshmallows. It will also make this season last long enough to get you into the height of the fresh produce harvest.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Are getting really weird. Have you noticed? Maybe it’s just here because it’s been so hot lately. And we haven’t had more than half an hour of rain at a time for two months now. Yeah, last week’s storm fizzled without doing much of anything.

I think that’s the problem. Not enough ozone zinging through the air, zapping people out of their doldrums. I know some of you like all this sunshine but enough’s enough. Too much of it and it gets downright depressing.

Especially if you’re like me. Sunshine is way too bright when my head hurts. Which it’s been doing a lot of lately due to the heat and lack of storms. Even though I spend my work days in front of a lovely ac vent my head still knows how hot and yucky it is outside. Yes, the artificial coolness helps with migraines but it doesn’t eliminate them all together. And at some point I do eventually have to go back out there so what little relief I’ve had is vanquished.

Come on winter! Since it seems there won’t be any decent thunderstorms let’s see some snow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quick Writer News

Close to Forever has been contracted by Ellora's Cave for the sweet blush line. Stay tuned for more details...

Friday, July 8, 2011


It's raining! Finally. I'm going back out to dance in it. Join me? Either way, happy weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ben & Jerry

For years I’ve had a love/hate relationship with these guys. I can’t decide if they are the best duo ever or the evilest sons of bitches in existence, for all the obvious reasons. Probably both, depending on what day it is.

The most recent irresistible temptation is their Boston Cream Pie. Boston cream pie ice cream with yellow cake pieces, fudge flakes and swirls of pastry cream. Oh yeah, super nummy. But then I absolutely love Boston Cream Pie. I’m always searching for the ultimate one. This ice cream is close. If there were just a bit more chocolate, it just might it.

Their other, limited edition ice creamy goodness is Key Lime Pie. Lime ice cream with a tangy lime twist, fluffy meringue swirl and pie crust pieces. Yep, it was one of those days so I got a container of this too. Nope, haven’t tasted it yet. Unfortunately, due to circumstances best not discussed, it’s not very likely that I ever will.

So what’s your weakness?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Be vewy, vewy quiet. There’s characters whispering inside my head again. Yay!

Now if only it would rain for more than a minute and a half, I’d be a truly happy girl.

C’mon everyone, let’s go dance in the street!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kutztown Folk Festival

Bright and early this morning, Howie and I zipped off to Kutztown. I thought I’d go early before it got too hot. Howie, being Howie, got us a space right at the entrance. Gotta love that little car!

Since we got there not long after it opened, everything was still fairly empty. Which means I got to chat with people as I wandered. I met this great woman who made garden pottery. While I was there, she was setting up molds for garden doors, the idea being that latter on kids would come by and paint them. Yep, I was tempted to ask if I could do one too but decided to be an adult and leave them for the real kids.

Next, I took in a glass blowing demonstration. Amazing how in five minutes a molten glob became a pocket flask. He made it look so easy. I can’t imagine the time and effort it takes to make it seem so effortless.

Then I went and found the chair caning display, the main reason for my going to this festival. It was being demonstrated by the cutest little old man and his grandson. I expressed my interest and was instantly given a five-minute lesson. Again, a true craftsman making something look incredibly easy. He followed up by going over a how to pamphlet with me and then let me ask questions. In the end, he told me to give it a try. If I run into trouble I have an open invitation to stop by his workshop. How cool is that!

Of course I couldn’t leave without walking through the quilt house. Absolutely gorgeous. All sizes and colors. All for sale. Um, yeah. Maybe someday I’ll be able to afford one. Probably better to just make my own. Believe it or not, that is something I’ve actually attempted and could accomplish if I decided I was determined. Today however, I merely roamed and drooled. Awards were handed out and the top quilts are being auctioned on Saturday. In case you’re interested, the bidding for the three highest winners starts at $1250.

There was way too much food, all of which smelled yummy. Too many choices so I ended up with a locally brewed birch beer (more on that in a different blog!) and a roasted ox sandwich. I resisted the homemade ice cream and apple dumplings. I know, dumb, right?

I haven’t been to this festival since I was 10 and now I’m wondering why that is. It was fun. Lots of crafts and exhibits, yarn spinning, antique tractors that are almost 100 years old and still functional. A petting zoo with the sweetest baby animals. Excellent, home-style food prepared without chemicals and preservatives. Music and entertainment. It’s a great event. And, it’s going on until Sunday so you still have time to attend. I recommend it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011


Tomorrow marks the opening of the Kutztown Folk Festival running daily from 9-6 through July10th at the Kutztown Fairgrounds.

I haven’t been to this festival since I was 10 years old so perhaps it’s time to go again. Past time even though people who have gone say it hasn’t really change.

It’s a week-long event that features all sorts of Pennsylvania Dutch traditions. Food, entertainment, crafts, everything you can think of including an ox roast, long rifle gun smithing, an historical wedding, folklore tales, and a quilt auction.

If you have children, there are plenty of interactive demonstrations to keep them happy. No matter who comes with you, you’ll go home entertained and well-fed. Anyone want to join me?

Have a happy and safe weekend all!