Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm Still Here!

This has been probably the most difficult 2 weeks of my life.  From a routine test on my dearly beloved to a triple bypass in 3 days.  8 days in the hospital, and I never left him alone to become fearful or depressed.  He is recovering well, although it will be a long haul.

I suppose that the best thing I can say is I lost 5 pounds during those 8 days.

Or maybe that I never knew this stuff comes in such a rainbow of flavors.

No, the best thing I can say is that a brilliant cardiac surgeon saved my dearly beloved from an almost guaranteed fatal heart attack in the next year.  My debt of gratitude to him is infinite.  I will be back some time soon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Garden Tuesday: Belated Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus is late in giving us blooms.  Or, more precisely, bud.  As in one bud.  It's looked just like this for 6 days now.

Who knows if it will open or not.  But at least it tried.

There is a lot of stuff for me to manage this week, and next, for that matter, so I have no idea when I'll be around again.  So Happy Garden Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sweet Potato Bread

What to do with just a bit of leftover mashed sweet potatoes?  I couldn't just throw them out, but a sweet breakfast or dessert bread seemed to be in order.


1/4 cup margarine or butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg beaters
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1-3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream together the brown sugar and margarine or butter until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs.  Stir together the dry ingredients, then beat them into the egg mixture; add the sweet potatoes, and beat until smooth.  Stir in the walnuts, and turn into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350F for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.  Cool before cutting.

This tasted a lot like pumpkin bread.  We all enjoyed it, although Dan mumbled something about "stinkin' walnuts..."

Oh, and Mark correctly predicted the winners of 3 of the 4 NFL games this weekend.  I'm waiting for his insightful prognostications into the playoffs and Superbowl.  The kid's kind of a wizard at this football thing.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thorsday Book Recap: 2013

Instead of a Thorsday Book Review, I decided to make a listing of all of the books I read in 2013.  Some I reviewed, some I did not.  But between the Kindle and the library's used book sales, I had some excellent selections available to me.

1. A Provencal Mystery - Ann Elwood 4/5 (R)
2. Twelve Days - Teresa Hill 3/5
3. Pooh Bridge - Nigel Lampard 3/5 (R)
4. A Touch of Ice - L. J. Charles 3.5/5
5. 30 Pieces of Silver - Carolyn McCrae 4.5/5 (R)
6. Havoc - Carolyn McCrae 4.5/5
7. The Hamsa - E. S. Kraay 2/5
8. Moonlight Becomes You - Mary Higgins Clark 4/5 (R)
9. The Final Arrangement - Annie Adams 5/5 (R)
10. Treachery at Torrey Pines - John Van Vlear 5/5
11. The Disappearance of Grace - Vincent Zandri 5/5
12. Celtic Blood - James John Loftus 2.5/5
13. To Speak for the Dead - Paul Levine 5/5 (R)
14. Leaving Van Gogh - Carol Wallace 5/5 (R)
15. Out Of Time - Deborah Truscott 5/5 (R)
16. Chill Run - Russell Brooks 4/5
17. A Shot in the Bark - C. A. Newsome 4/5
18. Mary at the Farm - Edith Thomas 3/5 (R)
19. You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming 3/5 (R)
20. The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary and Sewing Circle - Lois Battle 5/5 (R)
21. An Innocent Client - Scott Pratt 5/5
22. Noble Cause - Jessica James 3/5
23. With No One As Witness - Elizabeth George 4/5 (R)
24. Blue Mermaid - Miranda Koerner 5/5 (R)
25. Marks of Time - Neil Jenkins 3/5
26. The Art Thief - Noah Charney 4/5 (R)
27. You Think You Know Me Pretty Well - David Kessler 4/5
28. History of the United States - Charles A. Beard 3/5
29. Red Harvest = Dashiell Hammett 5/5
30. Wanted Dead or Alive - Amber Scott 2.5/5
31. The Dain Curse - Dashiell Hammett 5/5
32. The Constantine Codex - Paul L. Maier 3.5/5
33. To Serve Them All My Days - R. F. Delderfield 4/5 (R)
34. The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett 5/5
35. In Good Faith - Scott Pratt 5/5
36. Blueblood - Matthew Iden 4/5
37. Return of the Native - Thomas Hardy 4/5 (R)
38. A Separate Peach - John Knowles 5/5
39. The 19th Element - John Betcher 5/5
40. The Adventures of Sally - P. G. Wodehouse 4/5 (R)
41. At Drake's Command - David Wesley Hill 3/5
42. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built - Alexander McCall Smith 1/5
43. The Poe Shadow - Matthew Pearl 2/5 (R)
44. Jill the Reckless - P. G. Wodehouse 4/5 (R)
45. Between Seasons - Adia Bressington 3.5/5
46. Curse of the Scarab - H. Y. Hanna 4/5
47. The Way to Dusty Death - Alistair MacLean 5/5 (R)
48. The Prefect's Uncle - P. G. Wodehouse 2.5/5
49. The Pampered Chef by Doris Christopher 3/5 (R)
50. The Dog Who Danced - Susan Wilson 5/5 (R)
51. Roanoke - Angela Elwell Hunt 3/5
52. Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo - Heather Wardell 2/5
53. What Came Before He Shot Her - Elizabeth George 2/5
54. Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane 4/5 (R)
55. The Lady and the Unicorn - Tracy Chevalier 5/5 (R)
56. The Jefferson Key - Steve Berry 4/5
57. The Cheesecake Queen - Miranda Koerner 5/5

I had not counted before this.  Even having read nothing from the weekend before Thanksgiving through the last weekend of the year, that's a long list.  We'll see what next year brings!

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Eldest Son's New Cat would like to remind all loving cat parents out there of one simple rule:  Never, ever let your brother buy your cat a Santa Suit, and then stuff your cat into it!

Happy New Year, everyone.  Hope you're all having a better time than poor New Cat.