Nirvana

Nirvana

Monday, April 24, 2017

Stories from Paradise - Fern's Portrait

http://amzn.to/2ndM0qv
Fern and I are doing a little storytelling for fun. 

Every day we'll load a line into this post and build an ongoing story and we'll uhhh toot? No, twirp...like chirp but it's a bird symbol webbie thing. Anyway. We'll add a bit of the story there at that website thing with the bird and here and people can click on it and come see the whole story as it unfolds here. Does that sound like fun? You know it. So fun! So come back every single day so you can follow the story as it unfolds. 

So first we will start with Fern's story. 

We will call it. 



Fern's Portrait

A fog of Brut announced Delbert's arrival a full minute before Fern heard the scritch-scratch of his shoes sliding across the linoleum. The tension in her shoulders ratcheted righty-tighty. She couldn't stop a sigh. Not that he'd hear it. As bad as that sounded, the thought really wasn't an unkind one about a shuffling elderly man, half deaf because of infirmary. Instead it was just the dad-blamed truth about a man as stubborn and clueless as any could be. And she had a bounty of experience with stubborn and clueless in her 67 years. 

"Ferny. How's it going today?" 

Following a snort-laugh, Delbert's unwelcome words destroyed her peace as she set her paintbrush down on her palette and turned to face him. 

"Great, Delbert. I hope you won't be offended if I continue to work on my project."  

She turned sideways, back to the canvas, hoping and wishing that today he wouldn't take the conversation to the bad place. But he always did.

"Makes no difference to me. I like any view." He hacked and spit into her sink.

She fought a gag.

"So." He chuckled slightly. Here it came. It was coming. 
Maybe she didn't need to hear the words again. With a quick flick of the wrist she tipped her water over and it sloshed onto the linoleum. "Oh, goodness. How clumsy.You better stay back, you don't want to slip."

Welcome silence reigned for a moment while she bent to sop up the liquid, then came the wheezy chortle. "This might be my favorite view."

A small, white-hot flame of indignation burned in her gut as she wiped up the water.
In not wanting to hear his disgusting request, she was subjected again to his disrespect. How did one turn the other cheek in this type of situation? Or was it time to once and for all put the absolute fear of God
     ...to be continued...

Monday, April 17, 2017

This Just In...

Before I reveal whether or not Fern wore the tasteful hat I made for her...before I reveal another annoying thing about that woman! Before I share the weather catastrophe that ruined my outfit...before I share Fern's recipe I want to share this. Our story of murder and mayhem is on sale. Well better than that. It's on sale for free if you have one of those reader devices. Click here to go there. 

That is correct. For two days. It's free. No excuses not to read about how Fern and I helped to save all of Paradise. It's really a big deal. Bad stuff was going down. And with our help Detective Flynn saved the day (and a damsel, but I'm not supposed to talk about the "relationship" anymore, but between you and me, I'm expecting wedding bells. Fern's going to kill me, again.) I'll tell you, though, keeping Paradise safe is worth all the scars I received while nearly laying down my life for my neighbors. 

And. Fern did NOT wear the hat. Did NOT. But even if she had it would have probably not been on for long. 

Go get your free book. (there are others, too. Here's a list.) 
Murder of a Manuscript                                                                                              
Shock the Clock                                                                                                          
Common Mistakes Writers Make: Editing and Proofreading                                                
Firsts In Fiction: First Line Hooks, Hints & Help                                                      
Crashing Into Love - Where Personal Tragedies, Faith, & Love Collide                   
The Chamomile                                                                                                           
Out of the Frying Pan   (By the way, this does have 4.3 stars out of 5...so not only is it our story, but it's a good story...Just sayin.)                                                                                               
Searching for Sanity - Help for Moms from Moms of the Bible                                
Racin' Flat Out for Christ - Daily Devotions for NASCAR Fans                              
Why You Do What You Do - Your Personality is the Key  

And come back next week where I will share all the promised details in the first paragraph. Now. I have some serious cleanup to do! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Decorative Quandary

I have a problem. You'll know what I mean if you keep reading. 

Conversation between me and Fern: 

Me: Fern, please let me make you an Easter bonnet?!?!?! Please. PLEASE!!!!!

Fern: Not if it was made of gold and diamond encrusted Benjamins, Zula. That means no!

Me: But you would look so beautiful in the elegant bonnet I have pictured in my mind. Please!

Fern:  Sigh. What about my first answer did you not understand, Zula? I am not Easter bonnet material. I do not want to parade around like a silly matron who thinks she looks good with a garden party on her head. 

Me: But, Fern, I almost died last year. This is my first Easter where I really feel like I can celebrate life fully after staring the Grim Reaper in the eye. I want you to celebrate with me. 

Fern: It was a flesh wound, Zula! You are going to annoy me every day with this request. Fine! If it will quiet you, make me a hat and if it's not ridiculous I'll wear it for 5 minutes. 

You see it?!? She gave her permission. She made a promise. 

But I don't know what to do to pull off a hat she won't hate. Should you need a visual. Mine is covered with red paper roses. I've been making them for 2 days and have broken a nail and burned my fingerprints off. I didn't just cover the hat with paper roses. Ooooh that's a goodie and oldie. Paper Roses. Hummm, hum, humity-hum. 

Anyhoo. I'm adding a ribbon/rose train. It is going to be magnificent. I've made a hundred roses and probably need to make a hundred more to make this the most epic Easter bonnet, ever!!! 

But what do I do for Fern?!? Part of me wants to make paper roses out of brown grocery bags but that's not going to fly. What she'd like would be as exciting as a paper plate and I just can't! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Free Book and Minestroneyumm Soup

This just in! A copy of our story is being given away! Go here http://bit.ly/2nBaveJ ! 

Now here we go! To the other good stuff! I'm the best at scratch cooking. Not tooting my own horn, I'm just stating the facts. One day I might have to share testimonials to this fact. I have a notebook full of statements, comments and a blue ribbon from every state fair I've ever entered! 

But being a good cook means choosing your battles. I have to decide if I want to spend my time and energy on creativity or chopping things. Now. I love the feeling of chopping. It's a very satisfying stress reliever (especially with Fern around...I do so much chopping therapy) and the released scents can be just heavenly. But I will use a food processor like nobody's business if one will be a useful tool and free me up to be creative! 

That said I am not opposed to dump and go type meals. Soups are one of these. 


Today I share my minestrone style soup. Using fresh, frozen or canned ingredients you can make a restaurant quality soup. Delicious!

To cut down on sodium use home prepped dry beans, a homemade pesto and frozen or fresh veggies.

1 can of kidney beans (approx 15 ounce) (dump the juices down the sink, rinse and drain) 
1 can of white or great northern beans (approx 15 ounce) (dump the juice down the sink, rinse and drain) (use your own home canned beans 1 and 3/4 cups if you like) 
2 cans of diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano (approx 15 ounce each) (you could substitute chunky spaghetti sauce here.) (Or chopped fresh or canned tomatoes and add dried Italian spice (about a TBSP) and 2 - 3 cloves minced garlic)
Veggie broth (or chicken) (approx 4-5 cups) 
1 Cup of pesto sauce (you can use one that you've created, your favorite recipe, or store bought) 
1 Can of chopped spinach or 1 1/2 cups chopped frozen or fresh
1 Can (13-16 ounce) vegetable of choice. I used asparagus for kicks. I think I will use artichoke hearts in the future or green beans.
1 Cup pasta of choice. 
A Handful of quinoa Rinse it first if it's not prewashed. The package will say so.  

Put everything but the pasta in a crock or soup pot and stir well. Simmer for 4-6 hours. Add the dry pasta an hour before serving. Stir well and continue simmering.