Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just Life

That's where I've been; living. (Bear with me there is a question about sewing later.) Oh yes, so last time, way back months ago, I told you that I might have to go back to work. (The day job.) Well, I did. I went back in July.

So I have been at it for three months now. (For those who don't know, I have a chronic illness.) The first month of work was pretty bad. I had a hard time adjusting and didn't do much more than work and sleep. Mind you, I am only released from the doctor for 4 hours a day. After a month I followed up with the doctor, who left me on 4 hours a day, but changed my medicine.

Swapping meds is nothing new to me as nothing seems to work. I have been at this for 8 years now trying different things. Something I agree to new meds with no problem and other times I complain or just simply refuse. This time I agreed without any complaints. And I am so happy I did. It has taken a bit to get into my system. I've been on it now for about 7 weeks. This med does knock me out, so I can't drive or really do anything after I take it at night. I take it about 5:30 if I have no chauffeuring to for the night. If so, I take it a bit later. Anywhere from about 5 minutes to 2 hours it kicks in and I am gone, asleep until forced out of bed in the morning.
Okay, so it doesn't sound too great. But I don't hurt as bad as I have in the past. Now I do still hurt and have to manage my fibro, limit things that I do. But that is so much better than how my life was before. Before there was no managing my fibro. I was in sever pain all day, every day. Nothing was working and I was getting worse. It got so back that I slept away Dec, Jan and Feb.

Now I am back to work part-time and seem to be doing okay with it. I still have bad days. The good part is that I have had good days as well. I go back to the doctor tomorrow and see if I am released to work a full 8 hour day again. There will probably be more adjusting if I do and I will probably be gone for a couple of months again. I just felt like blogging today for some reason.

I have also felt like doing things that is me again. I think I might still be in there somewhere. And one thing about me other than loving to write, is loving to craft things. I think it is the concept of creating that I like. Whether it be a novel or craft project or upcycling, whatever. Lately I have been trying to figure out my sewing machine. My mother gave it to me a few years ago because it was older and I didn't have one. She has five other machines herself. (If you couldn't tell, she CAN sew. And sews very well. Not like me.) Anyway, if anyone out there knows anything about this machine, can you tell me how to make it zig-zag? I can't figure it out. Maybe in the future if my projects come out okay, I'll post some pic.

Put some mystery in your life

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Carl Brookins Review - Mood Swings To Murder by Jane Isenberg

Mood Swings To Murder
Author: Jane Isenberg
Publisher: Avon Books, PBO
December 2000
ISBN: 0-380-80282-1

Third in this series about an English teacher in the New Jersey college system. Bel Barrett teaches for a community college in Hoboken, a great platform for a variety of stories, because she'll encounter older students, some with families, and some withjobs, both of which can give rise to problems not usually encountered by more traditional, full time, students.

The previous books are "The M Word" and "Death in a Hot Flash." Author of this series, Jane Isenberg, is a veteran urban college teacher and she writes with authority, wit and a sure sense of her environment. She also understands the processes of female aging. Her protagonist is Bel Barrett who finds it impossible to ignore student problems outside the classroom and who also spends a lot of energy worrying about her two grown children. She is abetted by two women who seem to have more time on their hands to deal with Bel's murder cases than is usual. One is a fiery private investigator which solves one continuing problems for any amateur sleuth, that of access to various agency records and actions. The two provide Bel, who has a pretty full schedule, with assistance and reassurances. With a pregnant daughter in Seattle and a son on the East Coast, both of whom seem to be less than fully settled--in their mother's view, anyway, the two women offer a level of sanity and judicious advice.

This story has an unusual plot line. It concerns the murder of a Frank Sinatra impersonator, one of several who seem to litter the Hoboken landscape. Bel, her friends and other hangers on, including Bel's mother, are swept up in Bel's attempt to figureout who killed Louie Palumbo and why. One of Isenberg's strengths is the clever and logical ways she involves Bel in murder investigations. In this case, she and lover Sol, out for a romantic stroll literally stumble across the body.

Two sub-plots are nicely handled. Bel's relationships with her sometime-live-in son and her now pregnant daughter have no bearing on the main plot but they do add dimension and reality to the characters. All in all, in spite of an abundance of angst and soul-searching in place of action and suspense, this is another worthy outing, an American cozy with a little bit of bite mixed with mystery and eccentricity.

Carl Brookins,
Case of the Greedy Lawyer, Devils Island,Bloody Halls, more at Kindle & Smashwords!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Quick Hello

I know I haven't posted much lately. This past few weeks have been pretty hard on me with the loss of two of my pets and a denial in my disability claim. So I might have to go back to work soon. I haven't been able to do much writing under this pen name. However, today the muse kicked in for a bit and I wrote 1600 words on my YA shifter novel. I still haven't come up with a title for it, but I'm excited to get a few more words down. But as life would have it, I have somewhere I jet off to today, so the muse will have to wait until I am done with my errands.

Good day to everyone. I hope your summer is panning out okay. I have been able to go swimming for the last week. Which is good for my fibro. Though probably no swimming tonight since I will be out late. Here's to the hope of writing tomorrow.

Put some mystery in your life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Smoothie Recipe

It's almost summer and fresh fruits are appearing in the stores and at the produce stands. Yesterday I made a fresh smoothie and today I stopped for more fruit to make another one. They are pretty easy to make and mighty tasty. I usually make them when I have overripe bananas and don't want them to waste, but you can get the produce just for smoothies.

First I add ice to my blender. Not much, just a bit in the bottom. (sorry, I don't measure) I happen to have a fridge that makes crushed ice, but you don't have to. It just makes it faster. If you don't have crushed ice, crush it in the blender.

Next add a bit of juice, about two inches. The more you use the thinner your smoothie will be, use less juice for a thicker texture. I usually use apple, but you could use anything. Maybe some of the newer blends would be good, like blueberry or pomegranate. Apple just happens to be the cheapest juice and unless you add a ton, it's hard to taste.

After that, I use one or two individual containers of yogurt. I like yoplait light, fat free. They come in good flavors and I usually have them in the house just to eat. They even have banana strawberry, or I used white chocolate strawberry yesterday.

Then I add my bananas, usually three or whatever is too soft to eat. This will not be enough fruit, so I add whatever I have, strawberries or blueberries are good, but you can use what you like. If I don't have any fresh fruit in the house to add I have used canned pineapples and I always have these on hand.

Last I add some honey to sweeten. Local honey is best as it will add an immune boost to your system to help fight allergies.

Finally, blend until desired consistency and taste.

And there you have a healthy drink and a new way to use those ripening fruits in the summer. I had banana, blueberry tonight. Yummy! (Sorry, I drunk it before I thought to take a pic. Maybe next time.) I'd love to hear if you try this out, what you used, and how it came out. Or if you have your own recipe, I'd be happy to hear that too.

Put some mystery in your life

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Day with the Family

I don't usually take off and do things with my family. Take off meaning - get dressed, get in the car, and go somewhere. I know this will use all my energy and wipe me out for days. But since we have had a pretty bad last couple of weeks, I thought we should do something yesterday.

Don't get me wrong, I know Memorial Day is a day to remember lost military members and not a day to party. I so get that, being ex-military. But with so much death in my life lately, I really wanted to spend time with the ones who are still living and make memories.

My daughter has been dying to go miniature golfing and since we just got a course in town, I suggested we play. So we went. The course isn't the best. I would say since the economy is bad, they took a gamble to open it in the first place. But we don't have a lot to do in our area, no place for kids to go. The location is great however. It's right next door to the movie theater and restaurants. Plus, about a half a mile - if that - down the road is the Bass Pro Shop and the Mississippi Braves stadium, our minor league baseball team and farm league for the Braves. I image the owners thought the ball team would draw in customers. Or maybe the town and the ball team thought the golf course would help raise numbers for the ball games. After all, people do travel a good distance to see a game, so if they stay the night in any one of the new hotels in the area, they would want to have the option of doing something in the day while waiting to see the game at night. So again, the location is great.

Yet at the same time, the location is pretty bad. There is no shade. And I do mean no shade. It got rather hot. The green are small and not very interesting, except one that was beyond crazy. It should have been like a par 20. All in all, we had a good time with the boy making 2 hole-in-ones.

After putt-putt, we grabbed a bit to eat at Newk's and then headed home. Of course we had to pick up the girl's boyfriend or she just might have died from not seeing him.

So how did you spend Memorial Day?


Put some mystery in your life

Friday, May 28, 2010

Broken Heart

My blog has sat dormant for the last week. I do have a blog tour going on, but I haven't kept up with it much this past week either.

Reason: I lost my puppy, Bogey.

That little guy was the world to me. I even wrote a blog about him on the blog tour. He wasn't like any dog I have ever known and I have had a few dogs. To start with, Blacky, a stray that I feed, but passed when someone poisoned him. Then came Minnie and Cocoa. They came from the pound. They actually let us take those dogs home without getting fixed and a few weeks later Minnie had eight puppies. We found homes for them, but kept one, Princess. Well, Cocoa had to be put down because of cancer and Minnie ran away as we were moving. So that left us with Princess. One day when my husband was walking her, a little guy, Yorkie mix, followed them home. After we found the owner, they said they really didn't want him. So we took him in. I didn't want to because I'm not a dog person. But this little thing refused to take no for an answer. He sat on my doorstep in the rain and waited until I let him in. And that is how we got Bogey.

Minnie Princess

Bogey. He was outgoing and the funniest thing ever. He loved everyone, people and animals, even cats. He played with everyone. And if you didn't like him, he never gave up, insisting you'd love him. The cats thought he was funny.

He followed me around, babysat the kitties, slept with me, chased golf ball with my husband, you name it. Looking back, I see how he was a mischievous puppy. He tried to get out all the time, he chewed things, even my underwear, he perused the litter box for "treats", he stuck his butt in your face, he licked himself until his friends shined, he got in the trash, he marked territory...The only thing we really got onto him about was chewing the carpet.

And he took bad pictures.

But that was my good, bad baby. He didn't listen to anything and he ran in the street. I loved him more than I ever thought I could love a dog. I'll never forget him or stop missing him. My house felt so barren without his spirit. We lasted three days before we got another Yorkie. I'll never be able to replace Bogey, but my heart was so broken I had to have another little guy.

So here is Mulligan! My cute, full blood Yorkie. He's not as bad as Bogey, but maybe he'll get there. lol.

Put some mystery in your life.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Carl Brookins Review - A Journey to Die For By Radine Trees Nehring

A Journey to Die For
By Radine Trees Nehring
ISBN 978-1-60364-020-6
Wolfmont Press, trade paper
296 pg., May 2010

Here’s a good example, if readers still need one, of a crime novel that fits comfortably into the fine tradition of fiction that relies on good writing, a fine plot, odd and usual suspects and an interesting setting. The author relies on a good story rather than tortured or crass language, logical development rather than constant physical action.

Carrie King a neighborly, bright, woman of late middling years and her husband, Henry King, a retired cop from Kansas City, are making an exploration into Arkansas history with a trip on a restored train to a small historic community on the shores of the Arkansas River. At the halfway point passengers leave the train to enjoy a brief sojourn in the town of Van Buren . When Carrie and Henry reach the river and a large historic mural to study, the possibility of encountering a dead body of the farthest thing from their minds. But alas, there it is and then there are the buttons.

A charming and delightful mystery ensues. Nehring’s unerring ear for dialog and her sense of what constitutes a well rounded character serve the reader well as the Kings travel between home, Van Buren and Kansas City where Henry had a solid career as a police officer. There have been allusions in the past to Henry’s rather abrupt retirement and in a powerful emotional scene at the Van Buren police station, Carrie and readers will receive serious and deep insight into Henry’s secret.

In the fine tradition of traditional American mysteries, A Journey to Die for is an excellent and satisfying entry in this author’s “to die for” series.

Carl Brookins

Case of the Greedy Lawyer, Devils Island, Bloody Halls