Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stay cool my friends

Best swimming pool in South East Asia - Vinpearl
Originally uploaded by 99 James Kieran Nguyen

Hi all, any of you in a heat wave please have a cool moment looking at this blue water. Can you find a pool or run through a sprinkler, or sit in an air conditioned theater to cool down?
I know it is 113 degrees in Los Angeles, and supposedly 100 where I live, but it is a mere 94 on the patio at my house and ocean breezes are cooling us down.
To imagine 113 degrees and no electricity for fans or air conditioning is frightening. We don't have air conditioning but we love our fans!
One cooling trick I use is I water our garden while wearing flip flops and then spray my feet with cool water from the garden hose. Ah, refreshing.
So I am sending COOL thoughts to any friends who are too warm.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brilliant suspense fiction, Someone to Blame by C.S. Lakin

I read many of the best psychological suspense novels and this is a brilliant one, as the author, C.S. Lakin, sets an ominous tone from the first page, which carries through the book. Matt and Irene are in deep grief over the deaths of their sons, and their daughter Casey is as depressed as they are.
When they move to a small town to escape their sadness, they find there is no escape, as the town is beset by many crimes from arson to assault, and a troubled and angry young loner, Billy Thurber, appears.
Matt wishes “If only he could hack away at memories and break them into harmless pieces” and for Irene, “An ice age had settled at the very core of her being and she could only guess at the years it would take to melt those glaciers down to manageable size.”
A nasty vigilante group forms to kill the person they think is guilty of the crime wave, while Casey develops a crush on Billy.
The denouement is thrilling and brought me to tears as I watched the mom decide whether to risk her life to protect someone. This rises up from her inner turmoil over not saving or protecting her sons.
The publisher kindly sent me an ARC of this book and I recommend it highly to everyone who enjoys psychological thrillers or novels about families in stress, with the hope of healing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I added Coleus to my garden

Solenostemon "Coleus" #7387
Originally uploaded by Nemo's great uncle

Do you love Coleus plants? Last week I bought a 6 pack of all different Coleus. Wow.
My garden can not contain ALL the types of plants that I like, and I am so glad I added these to shade and semi-shaded areas. One by one, we add plants we like, don't we?
The color variety for Coleus leaves is incredible, ranging in colors from copper, peach, fiery red, white, green, yellow and pink, and to a maroon so dark it approaches black.
I read that it is really an annual since the plants are tender and won't tolerate frost. Coleus range from 6 inches tall to 3 feet tall, and include trailing varieties too.
You can take cuttings before the first freeze, root them in water or cutting mix, plant when roots develop, and winter them indoors.
Some Coleus thrive in full sun, and many prefer semi-shade or shade. I found a place online that sells only Coleus at rosydawngardens.com (their ordering season is ended until Dec. 1, 2010) and I haven't bought from them, but wow, they sell 300 varieties. The photos at their website are very inspiring, including a purple Coleus. This link is working now, as of Sept. 21. I had typed it in wrong, sorry!
I think Coleus are very pretty indeed.
Do you grow them?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

flower heart on wordless Wednesday

flower heart
Originally uploaded by STEF MCK

I know lots of you, like me, love hearts and love flowers, so this photo combines them and is a day brightener, don't you agree?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chicken liver is delicious the way I cook it

chicken liver
Originally uploaded by stu_spivack

Now that I discovered a source of natural free range chicken liver, I have begun cooking it again.
As long as the source is good, like the Rocky Jr. Frying Chicken liver I found in our local natural food store, this is a healthy and delicious dish.
Just dip the livers in flour with salt and pepper and cook in a pan with olive oil and turn occasionally for perhaps 10 minutes total time.
This is a wonderful dish with a salad and baked potato or whatever you like to add.
Rocky Chicken is "sustainably farmed, raised on 100 percent vegetarian diet, and given no growth stimulants or antibiotics". I don't know if this is a big or small company, but you can look for similar companies in your area.
The price of $2.99 a pound is a very reasonable way to feed folks.
Scandalous omission! I forgot to write here that I always also cook onions in a pan too, just sliced and sauteed in olive oil. How could I forget when I first posted this? I think onions and liver are perfect together.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Skunk visitor

Skunk 02
Originally uploaded by StarWatcher307

Don't scare the skunk, please. No sudden movements or sneezing when the skunk family visits our back patio.
They are so pretty. One very large skunk visits and two small young ones, and they enjoy cat food.
The skunks live in our wild thicket of blackberries, we guess. Our house is in town and our back garden is wild and beckons songbirds and all kinds of God's critters.
Do you have any skunk visitors at your house?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oliver the cat at rest

Oliver with Arms Extended
Originally uploaded by Mr. T in DC

Cute cat, right? Wonderful thoughtful expression.
I found this photo on flickr to share with y'all.