Category Archives: life

2014 in review

fudge cake recipe is a keeper

I made this cake yesterday for dinner at my daughter’s:

It got rave reviews from the family. Very rich and fudgy, with a nice texture. Vanilla ice cream made a great accompaniment.

I made it exactly as written, except that I used a souffle dish instead of the cake pan, and I used orange Liqueur instead of the melted jam. It would probably be good with most any jam or liqueur. I will definitely be making it again for a special occasion when calorie count is no object.


bad timing

So I’m heading off to visit my family in Montana. It was the only time that worked for us. The weather’s supposed to be cold and snowy, so hopefully that means time to sit in front of the fire and write.

More likely, however, I’ll be sitting around chewing the fat with family members and eating too much barbequed ribs and chicken fried steak.

Would love to own a house on this street

I just realized I forgot to actually publish this photo from last Christmas in New Orleans! Me under the sign of the muse 😀 This neighborhood may or may not play a role in the ghost story in progress (working title Lady in Lace; most of it takes place in the French Quarter), but it’s playing a big role in my psyche since I visited there.

muse street

muse street


Middle child is getting married Friday. His fiancee wants to see baby pictures, so last night I dug through several old photo albums looking for the best ones. It’s amazing to think that such a small baby is now all grown up and on his own and ready to start his own family.

And it doesn’t seem like that much time has passed, either.

Today’s cool new thing I learned

We played golf this morning at the same local course we usually play. Today as I walked up to the third tee, I found myself surrounded by big yellow-and-black buzzing insects that looked a bit like yellowjackets. They seemed to be digging nests in the ground but fortunately I didn’t step on any.

When we ran into a course maintenance crew, I mentioned the insects, figuring that though I didn’t get stung, the next person might not be so lucky.

The groundskeeper told me they aren’t stinging wasps at all. They’re a kind of mud-dauber wasp called a cicada killer:

They’re called cicada killers because the female paralyzes cicadas with her sting, then carries the victim to the burrow to be food for her larvae. They’re very non-aggressive to people. The groundskeeper said if you scuff over one of the burrows, they just come out and open it again, then go back into protective mode. If you bury it again, they do the same thing.

They’re technically solitary wasps even though dozens of them will live in the same area and two or three females will sometimes share the same burrow.

So that’s the cool thing I learned today 🙂 What about you?

ideas into thin air

Every day I have at least a couple of thoughts that I know I could turn into blog posts, but by the time I sit down at the computer I’ve forgotten what they were. So when I had a good idea yesterday as we were heading out to lunch, I thought, “Well, I’ll just jot it down this time so I don’t forget it.”

So here I am at my desk, staring at the squiggles in my notebook. Apparently I had a profound insight about the “meaning” of “scones.”

Or is it morning with scones? Or is it possibly stones? That seems possible; I remember noticing the fake Italian front on the Olive Garden restaurant we ate at. But I don’t remember pondering the meaning, and I certainly wasn’t there in the morning. I might have been longing to go back to Italy to see the real thing, but I wouldn’t have noted that as a blog topic.

Stores? Morning of Stores? Meaning of Stores? Meaning of Stoves?

I give up. It’s going to have to remain a mystery.

New Orleans vacation

New Orleans was wonderful, though not good for my waistline or my writing.

My favorite t-shirt seen in the tourist shops: What goes down in Vegas stays in Vegas. What goes down in New Orleans, you go home and brag about!

My favorite restaurant: R’evolution, and the always-wonderful Court of Two Sisters and Commander’s Palace, though I can honestly say we didn’t have a bad meal the whole time we were there.

Loved the football game and the paddlewheeler cruise to the Chalmet Battlefield (Battle of New Orleans).

Loved it all.

And now to get back to work.

new red hat

Me in my new red hat, with a mimosa, at the Court of Two Sisters for brunch.

No novel progress, but the needlework project is done

broken shoulder is officially no longer broken

Checkup today with the orthopedist to see how my arm is doing. The x-ray shows complete healing. Plus I’ve got most of my range of motion back. Still need to keep working on the rest of it, but I don’t need to go back for any more followup. Hallelujah!

(Cross-posted to Cowgirl in New England)