Friday, July 31, 2009

What I'm Reading...

The Defiant Hero is the 2nd book in Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooter series. I talked last week about how much I loved The Unsung Hero. I absolutely couldn't put that book down. It was one of those that I carried with me whenever I left the know, in case I was lucky enough to get stopped by a red light where I could read a page. That's how much I loved that book!

This one, not so much. It's good. But I have no trouble putting it down and only going back to it when it's convenient. Of course, now the writer in me is spending more time analyzing it as I read, trying to figure out exactly why I don't love this one as much.

Here's the cover and the blurb from Suzanne Brockmann's websit:

"The United States refuses to negotiate with terrorists." Meg Moore remembered the warning from her job as a translator in a European embassy. Those same words will spell out a death sentence for her daughter and grandmother who have been kidnapped by a lethal group called the Extremists. Meg will do anything to meet their unspeakable demands; anything -- even kill -- to save her child.

When Navy SEAL John Nilsson is summoned to Washington, D.C. by the FBI to help negotiate a hostage situation, the last person he expects to see holding a foreign ambassador at gunpoint is Meg. He hasn't seen her in years, but he's never forgotten how it feels to hold her in his arms. John could lose his career if he helps her escape. She will lose her life if he doesn't...

HERO: Lt. (j.g.) John "Nils" Nilsson, U.S. Navy SEALs
HEROINE: Meg Moore
LOCATION: Washington, D.C. and Florida

Does that ever happen to you? You love a series as a whole but there are some books within that series that you just can't get into? Can you pinpoint why you don't enjoy those books as much?

I'm working on plotting a series...I need to know!!!! LOL

Have a great weekend!
Peace and Love,

Thursday, July 30, 2009's Thursday

I forgot to post today's blog last night and then we got up at 5:00 and drove to Duke today for hubby's follow-up appointment.

I'll give a quick update and be back with regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

The doctor said everything looked great. The tumor is stable. They can't see where it has gotten any smaller over the past several months - but the good news is it isn't growing. The doctor and hubby agreed there wasn't a need to continue with the chemo.

If at any point in the future the tumor should start growing again, then he can go back on the chemo. But the hope/plan is, the chemo that they did will prevent it from reawakening at any point in the future.


It's wonderful to have that chapter of our lives behind us. Now, maybe he won't be so exhausted all the time and he can start exercising, lose the extra weight he's put on and in general, start feeling normal again.

Have a great day everyone!!
Peace and Love,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hump Day Humor

My dad has been harassing me for a while about getting a Facebook page. Not really bugging me, but more like dropping little hints..."You don't have Facebook, do you?" So I finally stopped kicking and screaming against it and got myself a facebook page - a personal one.

The first day I was able to find an old highschool friend that I'd been looking for, for almost 20 years!! I'm so glad I got that Facebook page (even though I do tend to spend way too much time on it). Anyway, today's Hump Day Humor is compliments of my friend, and I hope it makes you laugh as much as it did me.

On the farm lived a chicken and a horse, both of whom loved to play together.

One day the two were playing, when the horse fell into a bog and began to sink.

Scared for his life, the horse whinnied for the chicken to go get the farmer for help!

Off the chicken ran, back to the farm. Arriving at the farm, he searched and searched for the farmer, but to no avail, for he had gone to town with the only tractor.

Running around, the chicken spied the farmer's new Harley.

Finding the keys in the ignition, the chicken sped off with a length of rope hoping he still had time to save his friend's life.

Back at the bog, the horse was surprised, but happy, to see the chicken arrive on the shiny Harley, and he managed to get a hold of the loop of rope the chicken tossed to him.

After tying the other end to the rear bumper of the farmer's bike, the chicken then drove slowly forward and, with the aid of the powerful bike, rescued the horse!

Happy and proud, the chicken rode the Harley back to the farmhouse, and the farmer was none the wiser when he returned.

The friendship between the two animals was cemented: Best Buddies, Best Pals.

A few weeks later, the chicken fell into a mud pit, and soon, he too, began to sink and cried out to the horse to save his life!

The horse thought a moment, walked over, and straddled the large puddle.

Looking underneath, he told the chicken to grab his hangy-down thingy and he would then lift him out of the pit.

The chicken got a good grip, and the horse pulled him up and out, saving his life.

The moral of the story?
(yep, you betcha, there is a moral!)

"When You're Hung Like A Horse, You Don't Need A Harley To Pick Up Chicks"

LOL...Thanks, Bick!!

Have a great Hump Day, everyone!
Peace and Love,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009



When I stand up for myself and my beliefs, they call me a bitch.

When I stand up for those I love, they call me a bitch.

When I speak my mind, think my own thoughts or do things my own way, they call me a bitch.

Being a bitch means I won't compromise what's in my heart.

It means I live my life MY way.

It means I won't allow anyone to step on me.

When I refuse to tolerate injustice and speak against it, I am defined as a bitch.

The same thing happens when I take time for myself instead of being everyone's maid, or when I act a little selfish.

It means I have the courage and strength to allow myself to be who I truly am and won't become anyone else's idea of what they think I 'should' be.

I am outspoken, opinionated and determined. I want what I want and there is nothing wrong with that!

So try to stomp on me, just try to douse my inner flame, try to squash every ounce of beauty I hold within me.

You won't succeed.

And if that makes me a bitch ,so be it.

I embrace the title and am proud to bear it.

B - Babe
I - In
T - Total
C - Control of
H - Herself

B = Beautiful
I = Intelligent
T = Talented
C = Charming
H = Hell of a Woman

B = Beautiful
I = Individual
T = That
C = Can
H = Handle 'anything'

"The greatest natural resourse in the world is not in the earth's waters or minerals, nor in the forests or grasslands.

It is the spirit that resides in every unstoppable person. And the spirit of the individual benefits us all.

Choose to be Unstoppable".

Have a fanastic day!!
Peace and Love,

Friday, July 24, 2009

What I'm Reading...

Last week, or maybe the week before, I mentioned I was reading a book by Suzanne Brockmann. It's one of her Troublshooter Series books and I loved it. So, I decided to go back to the beginning and start working my way through the series. I'm not entirely sure this is the first in the series, but its pretty darn close to the beginning.

I'm also beginning to understand why JR Ward says she used to carry these books around her house, crying, because she'd never be able to write like that. Yep...I totally get that!! LOL

Here's the cover and the scoop - details are from her website:

After a near-fatal head injury, U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a terrifying glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the Navy dismisses the danger as injury-induced imaginings. In a desperate last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorist team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly veterans of the Second World War, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton -- the sweet "girl next door" who has grown into a remarkable woman. Once known as the town’s infamous bad boy, Tom has always longed for Kelly. Now he has one final chance for happiness, one last chance to win her heart, and one desperate chance to save the day....

HERO: Lt. Tom Paoletti, U.S. Navy SEAL Commander
HEROINE: Dr. Kelly Ashton, pediatrician
LOCATION: Baldwin’s Bridge, Massachusetts

Romantic Times 4 and 1/2 Star Gold Medal Review
Voted # 1 on the Romance Writers of America's Top Ten List of Favorite Books of the Year 2000

Have a fantastic weekend!!!
Peace and Love,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chicken and Rice

Bored with the same 'ole, same 'ole, I did a search for chicken and rice recipes. This one popped up and it was easy enough that even I could do it. LOL

I thought I'd share it with you guys:

One Dish Chicken & Rice Bake

From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes

Serves: 4


1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)
1 cup water *
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts


Mix soup, water, rice, paprika and black pepper in 2-qt. shallow baking dish. Top with chicken. Season with additional paprika and pepper. Cover.

Bake at 375°F. 45 min. or until done.

*For creamier rice, increase water to 1 1/3 cups.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a steamed vegetable blend and crusty whole wheat rolls. For dessert serve fresh apple slices and store-bought caramel sauce for dipping.

Cost per recipe: $7.03

Cost per recipe serving: $1.76

Total cost of meal (including serving suggestion): $14.59

Nutrition Information

using Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup Calories 331, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 76mg, Sodium 601mg, Total Carbohydrate 33g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 30g, Vitamin A 2%DV, Vitamin C 0%DV, Calcium 2%DV, Iron 14%DV using Campbell's® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup Calories 312, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 75mg, Sodium 454mg, Total Carbohydrate 33g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 30g, Vitamin A 2%DV, Vitamin C 0%DV, Calcium 4%DV, Iron 14%DV using Campbell's® Condensed 25% Less Sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup Calories 325, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 76mg, Sodium 466mg, Total Carbohydrate 33g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 30g, Vitamin A 2%DV, Vitamin C 0%DV, Calcium 3%DV, Iron 14%DV

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I had the great priveledge of seeing Jeanne Robertson in person. She was the guest speaker at a Ronald McDonald House fundraiser in my hometown years ago. I laughed the entire hour she spoke!! A friend sent this to me in an e-mail and I was absolutely thrilled. It never occured to me to check on You Tube for her. This is about 7 minutes long but if you can find the time it so worth it. Enjoy!!

Have a fantastic Hump Day!!
Peace and Love,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Food For Thought...

"Your work is to discover your work, and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it."


Today is Day 1 for me, working on "Book in a Month." That was the display quote at the beginning of the exercises for Day 1. It really resonated with me so I thought I'd share it.

Hope it's a great day for everyone!!
Peace and Love,

Friday, July 17, 2009

What I'm Reading...

OK..I did it. I got Fade to Black and I'm reading it. Sometimes I have to skip over the disturbing parts or details (well, what I find disturbing) but overall it's an awesome book. Leslie did a really great job with it and I'll definitely read the rest in the series.

Liza, I think it's just you and me today - everyone else in on vacation or at conference so I'm not going to post the cover, etc.

If anyone else drops by and isn't familiar with this book, let me know and I'll post the cover and the blurb.

What are you reading?

Have a great weekend!!!
Peace and Love,

Thursday, July 16, 2009


There is nothing "quick" about this recipe, but it is so good it's worth the effort. And sometimes, the chopping, slicing, dicing is kind of meditative. I love Chili's Salsa. There are several websites that have "copy-cat" recipes so I went to one of them and found a recipe that was supposed to be like Chili's salsa.


So then I started playing around and modifying that recipe and have come up with something that's pretty close and pretty darned good. My family loves this!

1-14.5 oz can of tomatoes with green chilies (If you like it spicier you an use the kind that has diced jalapenos)

1-14.5 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes plus the juice

1 Tablespoon jalapenos (canned, diced, not pickled) PLUS
1 teaspoon jalapenos (canned, diced, not pickled) - I actually use 2 Tablespoons and then some juice thrown in too - my family likes it spicy

1/4 cup diced onion (I usually go a little more than this)

4-5 cloves garlic chopped or pressed (it just depends on the size of the clove and your personal preference)

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon cumin (or more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon sugar (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon salt (again, to taste, my family prefers a little more)

1/2 teaspoon chopped chives (again, I use a little more)

1 teaspoon fresh, chopped cilantro (the dried kind is fine too, the fresh just looks pretty floating around in there)

Directions: I slice the onion real thin, then chop. I put in a small food processor because I like it pretty fine - I don't like onion so if I can get it almost purified I can eat it. LOL. I add the jalapenos (I make this a lot so I actually buy the jars of diced jalapenos). Mix together in the food processor until well combined.

In large food processor dump in the cans of tomatoes, add the onions and jalapenos, then add all the other ingredients and process until well blended and until the tomatoes are the consistently that you like. This is gonna sound crazy, I know, but my family doesn't like tomatoes. We just don't like the texture so I blend this salsa until the tomatoes are pretty liquid.

A couple of hours chilling will help the flavors to develop.

Serve with tortilla chips or use as a salsa on tacos, burritos, whatever.

Let me know if anyone tries it or has a variety of this they'd like to share. Enjoy!

Have a great more get-up for this week!
Peace and Love,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hump Day Humor

I'm sure you guys have seen this crazy old lady before, but while I was on Youtube looking for something else I came across this video of hers. I hope you enjoy!!

Have a fantastic hump day!
Peace and Love,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Food For Thought...

"The forces you are struggling with, that you feel are holding you back - are illusions. They are not real - they never have been. See only the good that you desire in your mind."

Bob Proctor

Have a fantastic day!
Peace and Love,

Friday, July 10, 2009

What I'm Reading...

Force of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann

Being the huge JR Ward fan that I am, I know that JR is a Suzanne Brockmann fan. I hadn't read anything of Suzanne Brockmann's but I figured if JR Ward liked it then I probably would too. I wanted to get the first book in her Troubleshooter series but wasn't able to find it. And, being the lover of instant gratification that I am, I didn't want to wait for it to come in. So I grabbed the one that B&N had on the shelf and dove in.

I love it!

I also went to her website!!! There's an insider's guide available online - which covers the characters and books in the Troubleshooter series. And she also has other PDF files available for the books that have come after the insider's guide was available.

Have you guys read any of the books in this series? What are you guys reading now? Paula, did you get through that HUGE pile you were reading last weekend? LOL

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!!
Peace and love,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Einstein the Talking Parrot

I know, it's supposed to be recipe day...but I'm on the road and this is probably better than anything I'd come up with, anyway. I got this video the other day and was completely fascinated by this little guy. Hope you enjoy!

Have a fantastic day!
Peace and love,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hump Day Humor...

My mother loves this Pepsi commercial. She keeps it in her inbox so she can play it whenever she needs a chuckle. Hope you enjoy it also!

I'm headed to Ohio to see my family and work on plotting a series *gasp* with my uncle. Wish me lotsa luck!!

Peace and love,

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slice of life and food for thought....

We were at the river yesterday with lots of hubby's family: His uncle (from Birmingham), his cousin (and his wife and two kids from Houston), his parents and our nephew.

When we woke up yesterday morning, the wind was calm and so was the water. I guess I should explain that the river is 3 miles wide where our cottage is - we're close to the Pamlico Sound so the river widens drastically.

Anyway, my kidlet wanted to wake board while the water was smooth. Next thing we know, everyone is in the water. My hubby and Kidlet are wake boarding, cousin Jamie from Houston wake boards. Not to be outdone by his wife - and despite his back surgery - cousin Marc goes wake boarding and shows them all how its done. Big time!!!

Then little cousin Parker (4 years old) tries to learn to water ski and is able to get up on them with just a few tries.

And in between all these people, nephew Andrew (15 years old) tries and tries and tries and then, tries some more, to get up on the wake board. I was so impressed with his tenacity and his willingness to just keep trying. And there were even jelly fish in that water!! My kidlet fell on one and got stung right on the face. And yet, Andrew kept trying. He never did get up on the board.

On the way home I started thinking about his tenacity and I told him how impressed I was with him and willingness to just keep at it. He said, "It's kind of sad, considering how many times I tried, that I never got up."

"No, it's awesome that you were willing to keep at it." And then I told him the following saying.

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time."

Thomas Edison
1847-1931, Inventor and Entrepreneur

It's kind of like writing. And next time I'm tempted to quit, or question whether or not it's really worth it. Or wonder if I'll ever "make it" I'm going to remind myself of Andrew trying to get up on that wake board.

I hope it's a fantastic day for everyone!!!
Peace and love,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Corn on the Cob

This is one of my very favorite times of the year - when the sweet corn is ready. But I have one problem...I don't really know how to fix it. Well, not consistently, anyway. Sometimes it comes out perfect. Sometimes it comes out nice and chewy - not the way I prefer it! LOL

My mother-in-law says that she brings a pan of water to a boil, then drops the corn in, puts on a lid and removes the pan from heat and just lets the corn cook in the water until the rest of the meal is ready. I've tried this, it doesn't really work well for me.

I've also been told to bring the water to a boil, drop in the corn and let boil for 6 minutes. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't.

One way I've tried to cook it the last couple of years is to cut the corn off the cob and saute it in butter. When this works, it is wonderful!! When it doesn't, we're back to the nice and chewy.

I know we have some great cooks here. Tell me, how do you fix your corn on the cob?

Peace and Love,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hump Day Humor...

9 Months Later...

Jack decided to go skiing with his buddy, Bob. So they loaded up Jack's minivan and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard.

They pulled into a nearby farm and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.

"I realize its terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I'm recently widowed," she explained. "I'm afraid the neighbors will talk if I let you stay in my house."

"Don't worry," Jack said. "We'll be happy to sleep in the barn, and if the weather breaks, we'll be gone at first light."

The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night.

Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on their way.

They enjoyed a great weekend of skiing.

But about nine months later, Jack got an unexpected letter from an attorney.

It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the ski weekend.

He dropped in on his friend Bob and asked, "Bob, do you remember that good-looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our ski holiday up north about 9 months ago?"

"Yes, I do." said Bob

"Did you, er, happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and pay her a visit?"

"Well, um, yes," Bob said, a little embarrassed about being found out. "I have to admit that I did."

"And did you happen to give her my name instead of telling her your name?"

Bob's face turned beet red and he said, "Yeah, look, I'm sorry, buddy, I'm afraid I did. Why do you ask?"

"She just died and left me everything"

And you thought the ending would be different, didn't you? know you smiled .... now keep that smile for the rest of the day!

Peace and Love,