A little of this and a little of that...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've been so busy with my last book release (Paradise Dead, only $1.99), this blog has been largely ignored other than dumping all our news into the Friday Celebrate the Small Things posts. September will be just as crazy, so bear with me.

But here are a few notes from this week...

Cooper had a good vet visit on Saturday and was okayed for a bath & grooming on Monday. Here is a little before and after shot.


What a difference a bath, cutting off the scraggly ends, and doing a blowout makes. I know it won't last and while we can bathe him, we're not supposed to use our hair dryers on them. Ones for dogs are WAY too pricey so he will continue to get a grooming every once in a while.

We did get to see two cute little hedgehog pets while at the vets. Wish I could have gotten a photo of their adorable little faces!


Stu's been busy working in the yard, mowing whenever the weather allows and cleaning up the landscaping. One big accomplishment was buying a rain barrel (flat back) to put where the gutter spout was letting the water drain back into our foundation. Bonus? It looks great!


I've kept busy helping a friend with a new website and spending time in the kitchen. Banana Nut Muffins may have replaced banana nut bread baking. Perfect size! The last six were a bit larger due to using up all the batter and I also forgot to sprinkle nuts on the top of those. LOL! But they were delicious! This is the recipe I used:
  • 2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1⁄2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups, or use non-stick pans.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
Mash the bananas until smooth. Add the butter, then sugar.
Add the eggs, and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
Mix in the dry ingredients.
Fold in the nuts if desired.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill them about halfway or use 2 oz scoop.
OPTIONAL Sprinkle with nuts and sanding sugar if desired. (NOTE: I didn't use any sugar when I sprinkled the nuts)
Bake until a toothpick stuck in the muffins comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes.
Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

When I finished baking, I made some refrigerator Bread 'n Butter pickles - two jars worth. Here is the recipe I used. Alton Brown's B&B's


I put them in used Mt. Olive Pickle jars we had saved and will shake them daily until they are a week old. Next time I will intersperse the onion pieces rather than layer them. Also, be sure to pack tightly or you will end up with a lot of liquid with the ingredients just floating in the jar. LOL!


And remember, if you have read and enjoyed any of my books, PLEASE and THANK YOU!


Ciao for now!

Heartbroken....

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Our heart goes out to all affected by Hurricane Harvey....




Ciao for now!

8/25/17: Celebrate the Small Things

Friday, August 25, 2017


It's Friday and time to post my Celebrate the Small Things on this blog.

If you'd like to join in the fun or check out some other participating blogs, click the image to the right or the link at the bottom of the page.

My small things for this past week, some not so small, but all great!

First was the eclipse...we attended a private event at a local country club. The event was sponsored by our favorite microbrewery, Calf Killer Brewing. We had lunch, two glasses of a made-for-the-event stout beer, and each got a commemorative pint glass to take home. A good time was had by all. The beer was THE BEST, the food (offered by Good Ol' Sloppy Top) was delicious.









Here was Stu at the moment of totality...


This was the best my little iPhone SE could do...


And there there was none...


Second was getting our Adirondack chairs and turkey-tail table waterproofed and out on our deck. We bought them last summer when we were traveling NY state. We sat in a set at the Boatyard Beer Garden and fell in love. Curved back means no backache, curved seat - well, you get the picture. If Stu can sit in a wooden chair for 2-3 hours without complaining and it doesn't hurt my back - I'm all for it. You can read more here.



Tthird was Cooper's second vet check-up. Another worming and his final shots for this year. He's grown from 19.6# to 26.5# in three weeks! No wonder he's getting heavy. LOL! Downside, he still has his ear infection, especially in the right ear. He had been cocking his head over the weekend, yet responding more to sounds, so we were suspicious. He's on a heavier antibiotic and goes back in ten days. Keeping our fingers crossed. Oh, this is what you look like after you've been poked, prodded, had ears clipped, etc. Yeah, he was pooped!

He keeps getting cuter and fluffier though...we are both really enjoying him and his personality.


Final thing to celebrete was a good launch for my book, Paradise Dead. While I didn't sell near as many copies as I did the first book in the series, the event went well and I did sell some copies of my other books. The market is truly getting saturated with indie authors and books. It gets tougher and tougher. So....I do appreciate the shares and especially the reviews of my books!


Ciao for now!

8/18/2017: Celebrate the Small Things

Friday, August 18, 2017


It's Friday and time to post my Celebrate the Small Things on this blog.

If you'd like to join in the fun or check out some other participating blogs, click the image to the right or the link at the bottom of the page.

My small things for this past week, some not so small, but all great!

First was the release of my second Lei Crime Kindle World novella, Paradise Dead. We had a great launch party on Facebook and I made some new friends and hopefully new readers.

Second was my first post in the Write...Edit...Publish (WEP) blog hop challenge. I wrote about my 25th high school reunion. You can read that post here.

Third was Cooper's second vet visit. It was generally very good with his weight being up from just under 20# to 26.5#. Yup, he's getting big! His ear infection isn't completely gone so he's on antibiotics now for that. He is doing good with his puppy training, too. He was pooped afterwards...this was his ride home. LOL!


Fourth was finding this perfect on-the-door rack for my pantry. I found it at Target. It came with over-the-door hangers but Stu mounted it directly to the door (as often happens, the over-the-door hangers stopped the door from closing). Now I can find things more easily and it opened up more cabinet space for other things. Doing the happy dance!

Fifth and final was having a wonderful weekend with friends. Hubby made hoecakes (sort of a cornbread pancake) and they were a huge success, accompanying my chili. For dessert, we enjoyed some blueberry banana bread, freshly made that morning. We sent them home with the recipe for both the hoecakes and the blueberry banana bread.

We love having our butterfly bush beside our deck - here are a few photos I snapped this past week.






We also had a small praying mantis visit us. Unfortunately, my phone focused on the wind chimes and not the insect. LOL!



Ciao for now!

NEW RELEASE: "Paradise Dead" is live!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

You've heard me talk about this book for months! The second book in my Lei Crime Kindle World novella trilogy, the first being Paradise Down.

Well, here it is, Paradise Dead - LIVE! Get your copy now and if you enjoy it, I hope you will post a review on Amazon. Thank you!!


Hawaii - paradise or a death trap? 

Ten friends gather in Kauai to fulfill the final wish of an old friend - the scattering of his ashes. One by one, they are beset by accidents. 

Are they really accidents?

Or could something more sinister be at play?

Be sure to drop in for the Facebook Launch party tomorrow, anytime between 5pm-10pm [EDT] time. I will be hosting from 6-6:30 EDT.

Here are my prizes:

  • $15 Amazon gift card (1)
  • $10 Amazon gift card (1)
  • Ebook copy of Paradise Down (3)
    Note: If the winner already has the book, they can choose either a $3 Amazon gift card or an ebook copy of either of my Klondike Mystery books.


Ciao for now!

Facebook Party, Prizes and New Releases for #LeiCrimeKW

Monday, August 14, 2017


We're Having A New Release Party on Facebookand You're Invited!
 
Thursday, August 17 at 5 PM - 10 PM EDT

Authors will participate in 30 minute shifts, they will chat with you, you can ask questions, play games and even win some individual prizes from some authors. You can enter to win the GRAND PRIZE of a Kindle Fire, Hawaiian themed spa basket and gift card!

My time slot is 8:00-8:30 pm ET and I will be offering the following prizes to winners chosen randomly from all who post during my time slot. I hope to see you there and be sure to invite all your friends!
  • $15 Amazon gift card (1)
  • $10 Amazon gift card (1)
  • Ebook copy of Paradise Down (3)
    Note: If you already have this book, you can choose either a $3 Amazon gift card or an ebook copy of either of my Klondike Mystery books.


Ciao for now!

8/11/2017: Celebrate the Small Things

Friday, August 11, 2017


It's Friday and time to post my Celebrate the Small Things on this blog.

If you'd like to join in the fun or check out some other participating blogs, click the image to the right or the link at the bottom of the page.

My small things for this past week, some not so small, but all great!

First was finishing my second Lei Crime Kindle World novella, Paradise Down. It took an all-nighter and some long hours but I got it out to the editors and it's will be ready for upload in time for the big August 17th launch party! [watch for updates]

Second was Cooper getting his first grooming. They said he did real well except for holding his head still to get his neck done. LOL! We loved the trimming they did, and we can actually see both eyes. I've taken several photos but none of them are truly clear. Hard to photograph black pups! He is also loving his doggy day care.


Plus, he went to his first puppy training class this week and did very well. We learned a lot and will be practicing several times a day. We've already got SIT, we're working on LOOK, DOWN and STAY. We are using hand movements as well as voice commands.


Third is a HUGE thank you to my hardworking husband for getting the rest of the back yard fenced in for Cooper. He did an amazing job and Cooper loves it (and so do we).



Fhourth was getting my new glasses! I love them...no more readers (well, except maybe first thing in the morning when I want to get on the iPad while still in bed....snicker).



Ciao for now!

Cooper Doodle Update

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I know some of you follow Cooper either on Instagram or Facebook, but some do not. So here is a little update on him and his/our adjustment.

It is just three weeks since we brought him home and boy, have we seen some changes. He was shy, didn't play but did eat well. He weighed in at just under 20# and the vet advised us to feed him more as she felt he was underweight. (A shout-out to Dr. Bristol at Upper Cumberland Vet Clinic in Crossville who was wonderful - she even called us several days after his visit to be sure he was doing okay.) He's now at least 22#, according to our scales. He visits the vet again next Wed. so we'll see what he weighs then.


At first he wouldn't lay on his hammock, but he learned to love it. He now plays and sleeps on it and recently even crawled under it to get some toys.


He has adjusted to the crate, dragging toys in there during the day and sleeping all night. Initially we had 20-30 minutes of crying. Then 10 minutes. Now most nights it's nothing or a fuss for a minute or two. This photo was his first week...he fills it up more now. We may have to upsize to a 42", this is a 36". We have a fleece pad and topped with a soft fleece blanket we picked up at a discount store.


It's hard to get good photos with a black puppy...he comes out looking like a dust mop!


The best photos are outdoors with good lighting!


He quickly learned to walk on the leash, the commands SIT and NO. Now that we have started puppy training, we're working on LOOK, DOWN and STAY/WAIT. I need to work on remembering to say OFF when he jumps up on things (not too often) because I was saying DOWN. He has five more weekly sessions in this class.


He absolutely LOVES having all the backyard to run around in. He's great at going potty outdoors but still not 100% on asking to go out. Still a work in progress. But he chases the ball outside and he races around like an idiot - great exercise!


He enjoys his doggy day care, we're doing it once a week. Gives us a break and we use it to run errands and catch a movie. He had his first grooming this past week, just head/feet/hind end, but did well other than not wanting to hold his head still for under the chin. He came home SOOOO soft...that lasted a day. LOL!


He has two cute little habits - he loves to sleep on the heat/ac vents..this time he's sleeping on his back (that his little private area exposed) on the vent.


And he loves to lay down on the floor to drink out of his bowl, even wrapping his paw around it sometimes.


Here is the list of his favorite toys...some we got early on, some have been added. He loves smaller stuffies that he can easily carry around (and squeak).

While it's always a challenge to bring up a puppy, we're both very happy with our Mini Cooper Doodle.


Ciao for now!