Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

It’s hard to believe another year is ending.  There have been highs and lows, of course, but all in all I’m trying to stay positive and be grateful for what I have.  It’s time to look ahead to 2013.  What are your dreams?  Do you have any special plans  for the year?  What’s on your wish list of things to do?

I’m hoping for enough work to help pay our bills 🙂

I’m dreaming of all the wonderful books I want to read in 2013.

I’d like to cruise more 🙂

I’m planning to cook more good food at home and eat out less.

And I’m dreaming about the next book I want to write (and planning to do it!)

Most of all, I pray for good health for my family and friends!!! 

So….Goodbye 2012 (with all your ups and downs in my life)…and Hello 2013.

With Love to All,


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One of my perhaps quirks, which I prefer to think of as an endearing character trait 😉 is I do a lot of reflection every year end. Oh, sure, I think about New Year’s Resolutions and ways to grow mentally as a woman, but I know my limitations. I always try to bite off more than I can chew, so I try not to be too hard on myself. I know I’ll stumble and not achieve all my goals and dreams, but I do try to look back and learn a lesson or two along the path of life. Then it’s not for naught, right? Hmmm.

Anyway, I digress. Here we are in the waning days of 2011. I can’t help but look inward. Have I really changed so much from years gone by, or as the song goes, Am I the Same Girl? The more I “analyze” myself, the more surprised I am to realize I truly am the same girl in so many ways. I’ve been told I’m a “complicated” woman. Well, duh! I would hope by the time I’ve reached this age (herein referred to as “this age”) I would have added some layers to my whole being.

Food wise, I may add to or subtract some flavors from my palate of foods, but basically what I used to love to eat is even more appealing to me these days. I’m as passionate about chocolate as ever, but now Nutella has earned a place in my pantry, too. Whereas I used to love plain oatmeal for breakfast, I’ve now developed a craving for creamy Muesli loaded with cinnamon and juicy berries. See. Layers can be a good thing. And there is still nothing that would entice me to try escargots or liver. A snail is a snail is a snail, in my opinion. And liver? Seriously? Not in MY mouth.

I’m still the “little girl” that gazes at the lights on the Christmas tree and feels the magic. A small gift can send me straight to the moon as much as a large gift if it has meaning and is given from the heart. Yes, I’m still the “same girl.”

I still have the same interests that have woven their golden threads through my life – reading, writing, and cruising, to name a few. However, I was shocked the other day when I realized how my outlook on life has spilled over into what I like to read. When I was a starry-eyed teenager, Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Phyllis A. Whitney were three of my favorite authors. I was happiest curled up with a Gothic novel “starring” a young heroine running straight into danger. I picked up a Mary Stewart book last week. Of course, the tight, compulsive writing was there. It had to be! The difference wasn’t the book itself; it was my perception of life since I have now reached “this age.” Instead of the young woman running towards a scary attic, basement, cave, cove, forest…whatever…I wanted her to run the other way, grab her cell phone, and dial 911.

This brings me to another reflection. We are all the sum total of our experiences. My many years as a court reporter have definitely colored my outlook on life. They absolutely had to. Thus, the dark layer of reality I’ve acquired. I’ve honed in on what’s important and what really matters and learned to let the rest go. I totally “get” the fact that life is short and fragile and the need to love those you hold near and dear every single day. With that thought in mind, my wish for my family and friends is a beautiful, shiny 2012…a blank canvas ready to be painted with splashes of whatever colors you want to use. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Do you have any resolutions? Do you reflect on the year ending and think about the new one beginning?

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I’m overwhelmed. First, I feel guilty for not blogging enough . I will get better, hopefully. The problem is, as the title of this post states: There are not enough hours in the day. Actually, to be more accurate, I don’t have enough hours in MY days.

I have so many interests that I love to pursue…reading, writing, cooking, beading (which has totally been put on a back burner), blogging and keeping up with friends, meeting friends for lunch, dinner or just great conversation, surfing the web for fun and educational purposes, traveling…well, you get the point.

Then there’s life…or survival. Working at a demanding profession (court reporting) + less free time (much, much less) = some semblance of survival.

Get the picture?

I haven’t even accounted for time “devoted” to laundry and housekeeping.

I want some play time…without having to focus on m-o-n-e-y. I am not even sure that is in the cards for me. I need a crystal ball .

How do YOU do it all and juggle the balls being thrown at you???

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Happy Easter

Apprehensive Bunny

Tense Bunny
Sad Bunny!
Just HOPPING by to wish everyone a Happy Easter!

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I attended Glimmer of Life’s 1st Annual Dinner and Auction last night, and it was wonderful.  Glimmer of Life is such a FANTASTIC organization. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the work of this fabulous organization,  here is a brief quote from their site.  I happen to know the women associated with this organization and cannot say enough good things about them and their love for animals!!!  They’re the best!!!

Glimmer of Life, Small Dog Rescue of South Florida

Glimmer of Life is a 501(c)(3) 100% non-profit, no-kill rescue organization dedicated to saving the lives of neglected, abused, sick, and injured animals whose devastating health conditions would have caused them to be euthanized anywhere else.

Over 11,000 animals are euthanized each day in the United States. Many of which could have been saved.

Check out their web site to better acquaint yourselves with the wonderful work this organization does for small dogs!


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Yes, I’m still playing tourist where I live <g>.  Today was my South Beach excursion and going to a restaurant I’ve never eaten at before…BIG PINK…on South Beach.  What fun!  I guess you could say BIG PINK is a diner, but it’s so much more.  It’s casual to the nth degree…but has an extensive, interesting menu.  Yummy!!!


Cobb Salad

Reuben Sandwich


Amazing Cheesecake, which I did NOT eat!

Bigggggg Cookie at BIG PINK


And then after lunch a walk to the beach to appreciate the perfect blue sky and scent of the briny breeze.  I live in South Florida and haven’t even been NEAR the ocean in a long time!

A perfect beach day!

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What a fun day I had yesterday way way way south in the Redland Riot area of Homestead, Florida.  My husband and I spent Valentine’s Day acting like tourists and visiting places we had never gone to.  The weather was beyond perfect, and we wanted to get outdoors and savor the moment.  We drove and drove and drove through farm country.

Our first stop was the Knaus Berry Farm.  All I can say is yum, yum, yum.  The fresh Florida produce thankfully has not been harmed by the “cold” winter we’ve had.  I bought a basket of perfectly ripe, delectable tomatoes that I yearned for all day today and devoured some of for dinner tonight.   The lettuce, onions, beets, strawberries…all the fruits and vegetables were amazing.  What a difference just picked FRESH PRODUCE makes.  Speaking of which, you can pick your own strawberries there, but I’m too afraid of creepy crawly things. 

My husband veered from the produce area over to the ice cream stand and couldn’t resist a huge strawberry sundae LOADED with jumbo fresh sliced strawberries.

After perusing my trusty map, we headed to the Fruit and Spice Park.  This was the EDUCATIONAL part of our day, where I learned how significant this Park really is.  According to the “guide” in the Park office, we learned the Fruit and Spice Park’s tropical climate can be found nowhere else in the continental U.S. due to a combination of latitude, longitude, and obviously climate.  The Park has over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, and nuts, and other commercially important plant specimens from around the world. 

My head was spinning from information overload (not really but the only way I can justify the next photo).  We walked outside…I was feeling frisky…and…

One day off from court reporting and I go crazy!

Then we meandered down the road a pace (I was getting into this rural mode quickly and decompressing from a few HECTIC work weeks) and stopped at Schnebly’s Winery. 

Exotic tropical fruit wines are for sale at Schnebly Redland’s Winery, featuring such local delicacies as mango, guava, lychee, passion fruit and carambola.

Schnebly Redland’s Winery is the first winery in Miami-Dade County and holds the distinction of being the Southernmost winery in the United States. 


I couldn’t pass up the wine tasting and tried five wines.  I liked the carambola quite a bit, liked the lychee but wouldn’t drink a lot of it, and did not like the avocado, although I love avocados.  Go figure.  On Valentine’s Day I absolutely HAD to try the passion fruit.  Yes!

So there you have it.  Quite a different sort of “field trip” for me…but lots of fun.  Today I had to give up the Carmen Miranda look and head back to the courthouse and WORK again <g>.


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I thought I’d share a yummy recipe to continue my Hershey’s Kisses theme for Valentine’s Day.



48 Hershey’s Kisses

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (I like Peter Pan)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar


  1. 1 Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. 2 Beat butter and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  3. 3 Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. 4 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

 E N J O Y ! ! !

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February & Romance

Ahhh, it’s February, which connotes Valentine’s Day…and romance.  I’m a romance author, a romance reader, and a consummate romantic.  I believe in love…<g>.

What fun!  February actually has a designated day to celebrate romance.  What better way to mark the day than with CHOCOLATE?  Yummmmmmm.  What is YOUR favorite chocolate?  Yes, there are all kinds of special confections, but one of my passions is Hershey’s Kisses…small delectable morsels of chocolately goodness.  Unlike M&Ms, Kisses dooooo melt in your mouth, which makes them sooooo special.

I know the correct word is “music,” but to use a bit of poetic license:  “If chocolate be the food of love…”  Well, you get the idea.

This is also a great month for romantic comedies.  Some old favorites come to mind, Sleepless in Seattle (in which Valentine’s Day was very important), Serendipity (more chocolate), and Simply Irresistible.  Then there is a newer film, Valentine’s Day. What are your favorite romantic comedies and/or romance movies? 

How about romantic books?  What are your favorites?

Whatever your passion this month, ENJOY…and Happy Valentine’s Day…oh…and discover or rediscover the sensuality of chocolate.

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2011, so far

I’m actually having a really nice 2011.  In addition to the usual day-to-day working and keeping up with domestic life, I’ve been reading…a lot.  I’m always happiest when I have a great story that carries me away.  Thus, part of the reason for my exuberance.

Here are some books I’ve read and would recommend: 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford

Lucia, Lucia, by Adriana Trigiani

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

Three Spencer Quinn mysteries if you are a dog lover (as I AMMMMMMM):  Dog on It, One Good Dog, and To Fetch a Thief.  Fun, fun stories!

And now…drumroll because this is sooooo out of character for me…I’m reading the Twilight series.  I can’t believe it!  No one who knows me would believe it!  I just can’t stand not KNOWING what they’re like, having them recommended to me and feeling ignorant.  The SURPRISE here is (at least half way through the second book, Breaking Dawn) is that I’m truly enjoying the series. 

Oh.  Lest you think I sit around reading and eating bon bons all day, many of my books are audiobooks, which I listen to as I drive to and from work, etc., etc.  My latest passion is my iPod Touch, which my WONDERFUL son surprised me with for Christmas.  My Touch has now joined my Kindle as traveling companions.

Happy New Year.  What are YOU reading?

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