Friday, February 29, 2008

Mystery critique Play it Again Spam

This Pennsylvania Dutch mystery was quite amusing. I was especially amused that Tamar Myers gave a shout out to Selma Eichler, who gave her a shout out in a later book of hers. I don't know if they actually know each other, but it is nice when people extend professional courtesies to one another. Most authors write about their protaganists love for Agatha Christie. While her books are excellent, I prefer to listen to them on tape, since I tend to need to obsessively read everything an author ever wrote once I begin her work. If I actually read her books, 79 of them, I do believe, then I would never be able to get anything else done! Besides, then my mom and I can listen together.
Well anyway, the protagonist, Magdalena Yoder, is a Mennonite Bed and Breakfast Proprietor. She is a morally upright woman, which is nice to read about. Sometimes she is judgemental, but nobody is perfect, and being judgemental is a sin us morally upright women do have to look out for. She has a sharp tongue, and equally sharp wit. I like her. She will be my new best friend, at least until I finish the rest of The Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery Series.

By the way, the stuffed peppers were pretty good. I do like them better with red pepper than green.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Slow Cooked Stuffed Peppers

I ran out of bread crumbs and needed to make something with the ground turkey in my refrigerator, using ingredients I already have because I didn't have time to go to the store. This is what I came up with. I will mention in the future how it turned out.

Slow cooked stuffed red peppers

4 red peppers
1 lb. of ground turkey
1/3 cup of instant rice
½ of an onion, chopped fine
1 can of tomato sauce , 8 ounces
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of water

Spray your slow cooker with butter flavor cooking spray. Cut the tops off of the red peppers, clean out the inside and rinse. Cut a small piece from the bottom of each pepper. Mix rice, onion, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Put the mixture inside the peppers and place them inside the slow cooker. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Murder Review

I truly enjoyed this latest Lucy Stone mystery (written by Leslie Meyer). You will learn more about the Irish occult than you will St. Patrick, but she leaves a nice trail for the reader to follow so that the reader can figure out the murderer with the clues given. I like that in a mystery. I leave you with one clue. St. Patrick didn't do it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mystery critique Murder Can Depress Your Daschund

Selma Eichler is the author of the wonderful Desiree Shapiro mysteries. I like Desiree, because, aside from being short, she reminds me of myself, red hair,dimpled knees and good humored. I first started this series when I was between Joanne Fluke, Donna Andrews, and Jill Churchill mysteries. Now Selma Eichler is one of my top choices. I really liked her latest mystery, and even though it is a series, she explains stuff that happened in the past when it is relevant (sometimes I skip over those, since I started at the beginning). The situations are believable, since she is a PI (much as I enjoy Diane Mott Davidson, I find it hard to believe a caterer can run into that much murder). The character development is also excellent, especially considering the scope of all the book in the series. I highly recommend this series.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Grammy Awards

I was highly disappointed in the results of the Grammy awards yesterday. "Hey There, Delilah" did not win for best song, and without a doubt it should have. I heard that songs for the first time on Thanksgiving during the parade, and I was moved to tears. Even my mom and my husband said it was beautiful. A song whose essence can be appreciated across the generations, having teenagers scream, forty year olds cry, and fifty and seventy year olds agree to its beauty deserved to be recognized. I know Amy Winehouse has her problems, and I don't want to make light of them, but a song chanting "I don' wanna go to rehab,no no no," shouldn't even be mentioned in the same category as a song as touching as "Hey There, Delilah". Consider me touched!

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Last night I dreamt that there was this edible substance falling from the sky. It was round, and breadlike, and tasted good, but I was convinced it was made from the foam you take off of soup when you begin cooking it, so I was criticizing it and not wanting to eat it. I was complaining about what I thought it was. When I woke up, I realized it was manna! I was not appreciating manna as it fell from the sky! I wonder what this means. What is the manna in my own life that I fail to appreciate? What is the good thing in my like that I am convinced is bad? I woke up and asked God's forgiveness for not appreciating His gifts, but I still don't if I don't know what it is that I am not appreciating. I hope God forgives me and leads me to understand what this gift is so that I can appreciate it and possibly share it before it is too late.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Positive Thinking

I was watching Oprah the other day, and she had guests who were talking about the power of positive thinking. I decided it couldn't hurt, so I wrote good health, clean house, and happy family on a post it note, and put the note on my bathroom mirror. I am now supposed to tell myself in the mirror daily that I love myself. Different people spoke about things they got by doing a vision board. Someone actually spoke about getting the stove they wanted by using their vision board.
My husband has told me in the past that this sort of positive affirmation is unchristian. I don't know. I think that focusing on my priorities are a good thing. I also think that I need to remind myself that God loves me before I say that I do. After all, God's love is the only thing that makes me worthy of anyone else's. And while I am not worthy of His love, He gives it freely, and who am I to question Him?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Favorite Blog

Last week, my husband stumbled onto this great blog by Ironic Catholic. Now I need to read her every day. She is such a hoot. On Tuesday she posted this video from Youtube "Muppets for President". I enjoyed it so much, I sent it to my friends and family via email. Today she has a name the picture comment with a picture of St. Francis in front of a tree. My contribution was less than ironic, but that is okay. She seems to be on the orthodox side of Catholicism, which works for me because so am I.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ashes, Ashes, We all Fall Down

     I know it is in poor taste to wish everyone a happy lent, since it is a time in which we are to work at being at one with Christ during His forty days in the desert, and eventually His Passion.  But I am pleased to begin lent, because it is a new beginning.  It is even better than New Year's Day, because our Lenten promises carry on a spiritual significance which our New Year's resolutions do not.  Our New Year's resolutions are all about us, while our Lenten promises are all about our relationship with God.
    I usually make the Lenten promise to stay away from sweets.  It is a worthy goal, but seems to be more about me than my relationship with God (let's just say for now I am a big girl and leave it at that).  That goal has helped me for many a year to realize my own weakness and Christ's strength, but I think it is time for me to do more.  It is time to build on that realization.
My Lenten promise this year is to spend time daily in prayer.  I know, as a Christian it is something I should be doing anyway.  But I am not.  I promise to spend time each day praying, and hopefully by the end of Lent it will be so much a part of my life that I won't stop.  I hope to find myself renewed...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dance Wars

I was watching Dance Wars:Bruno Vs. Carrie Anne last night, and I found myself rooting for Carrie Anne's team every week because Bruno's attitude gets on my nerves.  He is constantly criticizing Carrie Anne's team, claiming they do not look like they have it together, while he has nothing but praise for his own team.  Carrie Anne however, is more likely to criticize his choreagraphy than the performance of his dance team.  Bruno seems to go so far as to criticize the American audience for not appreciating his team's effort and result.  What a fantastic idea!  When the fans are not voting for your team because of your attitude, blame the fans for not knowing when they are entertained!  I hope for his team's sake that someone lets him know that it is his attitude, not the team or the fans who are to blame for his team's losses. I believe his team will lose again because of his attitude last night.  Hopefully, he gains some perspective, or at least learns some manners by next week.

Monday, February 4, 2008

I Hate Spam...

No not the luncheon meat.  I have never tried that, but my husband says it is excellent fried.   A friend of his likes it with peanut butter.  No, I mean the type of spam that provides no nourishment or satisfaction of the palette whatsoever.  I mean the sort of spam that has me standing on my cyberchair screaming "eek!"  
I don't know how I've done it, but I have managed to be the recipient of some of the most vile e-mail product advertisements I can imagine (it is true though, that when it comes to filth, I do not have much of an imagination).  I "unsubscribe" from the e-mail listings, only to have the same subject headers come up in by inbox.  I am tempted to get another e-mail address, send the info to all my friends, and let the spammers have the old one, with me not so much as glancing at it.  But what if the spammers get the new one?  How far can I run in cyberspace?  Is there a cyberrock or cybertree for me to hide behind?  Until then, I may pretend that my delete button is a laser gun and zap the spam right in the return key.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

In the beginning...

Several days ago I had a dream. My dad gave me a journal. It was not a special occasion, he just decided to give me a gift. I responded by telling my dad that I haven't written since I was in college. He seemed disappointed, and reminded me that I always wanted to be a writer. I told him that was when I had silly dreams, and thought I had something significant to say. I have realized that I am neither silly nor significant any more. His answer to me was to write something.
So here I am, writing a blog. I don't know whether he was speaking to me through my dream (he has been dead for 14 years) or if the wiser part of my brain is telling me I need a creative outlet. But I have decided that it is time to write.