After working all my life with five children and a husband who liked to eat but had no imagination for cooking I came up with necessary ways around tedious meal preps without skimping on taste or appeal.
This is one of those meals.
6 sweet peppers (red, green, or yellow…or all or any combination thereof)
16 oz. tomato sauce (Italian style)
3 clove minced garlic
1 medium onion
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 lb package of mozzarella cheese cut into 1 inch squares
Chinese cooked white rice
1 lb. chopped meat
I don’t know about you but I don’t eat the Chinese white rice I get with my Chinese food order. I love fried rice so I usually order that. What can you do with the white rice? I began freezing it. One day I was out of rice when I thought to make stuffed peppers, then I remembered my stash in the freezer. I defrosted it and mixed it with my chopped meat, added two eggs, seasonings (oregano, basil, pepper, sauteed onions and garlic), four ounces of the canned tomato sauce, and a little parmesan cheese…blending well. Wash and cut the peppers in half, lengthwise, and clean out the seeds then stuff them with the meat mixture. Put them in a glass casserole dish and press a chunk or two of mozzarella cheese into the middle of the meat and rice mixture. Finally, pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top of them., cover with aluminum foil and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for forty-five minutes. Between prep and cook time this one dish meal is ready to eat with a red or white wine in under an hour.
Sit down with a glass of wine or a hot cup of cocoa and enjoy these quick short stories that will take you into the third book coming in time for Christmas: Mayhem, MAGIC, & Mistletoe. One reviewer had this to say after reading Hair of the WERE then hooked into A Siren’s TAIL…
“I have just had the awesome pleasure of reading “Hair of the Were” and “Siren’s Tale” by a wonderful and gifted author. Eliza March blends in humor, sexual tension, and more in a can’t put it down book that will tantalize paranormal readers. This tale, pardon the pun, has it all. Think creatures of the night, creatures of the sea, Fae and water nymphs, and you would have the beginning of Adelaide’s journey in “As the Chair Turns” series. They all work in a totally cool hair and spa facility that caters to…you got it, paranormal creatures. And it doesn’t stop there, her best girlfriends ever are witches, and her best male friend is an alpha werewolf that would have her in his bed if she’d let him. Now, you would think with all of the above, that would be enough, but Delia as her friends call her has a chance at a rocking singing career. A career that could be forestalled by a sea-creature’s attack. Now if that don’t make you want to give up swimming, I don’t know what to tell you, but once you lay eyes on the Coast Guard hottie who makes Delia sing all the right notes, you might change your mind. The only other thing I can possible say is WHEN IS THE NEXT SAGA OF AS THE CHAIR TURNS COMING OUT?”
Coming before Christmas…Mayhem, MAGIC, & Mistletoe …More of Delia’s adventures.
Welcome to my world where magic and mayhem coexist. This installment of my ongoing series is about the Luna de la Mar Salon and Spa’s annual employee holiday party on the corporate yacht. Murder and mayhem run rampant when there’s an attempted mistletoe poisoning during dinner and a deadly stabbing before desert.
Kris the Christmas tree had reported that Perry the maître de was kissing the cook in the kitchen under the mistletoe when someone dropped the mistletoe berries in Delia’s salad. But the only witness, the Norwegian pine, is height challenged and claimed he couldn’t see anything above the suspect’s knees. And all would have been fine if someone hadn’t turned up dead.
The unidentified body, dressed in Delia’s red dress and shoes, wasn’t on the guest list. Who is she? And was Delia actually the target?
I have a love/hate relationship with dialogue in general: I love reading it when it’s written well.
When I’m writing it, I don’t want to pause during the mental conversations that my characters are engaged in long enough to add tags or description. Hey, the conversation is in progress–no interruptions allowed, except from the characters. But without narrative something is lacking. Long dialogue passages frustrate and leave me unsatisfied. I’m frustrated reading scenes when I can’t figure out who is speaking, or being unable to identify where or when the dialogue is taking place.
When I’m reading scenes, including dialogue, I want to be in the moment, but it takes precise design to create clarity. Who is speaking? What sort of words do the characters use? How high pitched or deep is the character’s voice? Where are the characters? What does the location feel like? Look like? Smell like? Sound like? How are the characters moving? Acting? Gesturing? What is the point of view character thinking? When a scene can draw all that together…now that is a dialogue scene I want to read.
Things to check:
He saids/she saids may be necessary to keep from confusing the reader, especially when there are more than two characters. Name them or characterize them. Characterizing is a way of defining a character with an accent, favorite movement, affectation, or phrase. Always read through your dialogue to ensure the flow is clear, readable, understandable, and that it makes sense. Make certain a response isn’t too far from the original question or comment.
Mixing narrative with dialogue? Wonderful. Be careful not to interrupt too much of the interactive dialogue. Keep narrative limited to short descriptive actions until there is a natural breaking point to add more detailed narrative or deep point of view. Then when appropriate, begin interactive dialogue again.
UGH! My indestructible fingernails clicked on the makeup counter as I considered a few alternatives. What to do? What to do?
Then voila! Something came to mind. Either go as I was or visit my two best friends and beg for help. Desperate…but these were desperate times. I picked up my smart phone and sent a text to the listing Witch Bitches. (I don’t care what Frankie says. I am witty.)
I thumbed in the message.
ME: Carrie, need a drastic favor.
Have to meet the band later and I look half D. E. A. D.
Makeup help please?
. . . Have you ordered your copy of A Siren’s Tail, Volume 2 in the Luna de la Mar Salon and Spa: As the Chair Turns series? After struggling with the formatting process on Amazon (which has never been a problem for me before – usually it’s with Apple) I think I might have all the issues resolved. Unfortunately, I’ve sold quite a few ebooks, already, with odd ball formatting. Sorry. I’m working on correcting this problem with a new formatting template I’m making for the future. Now do you want to read a little more?
Read on . . .
The return message tone beeped.
CARRIE: Come over. We’ll work a little magic 4 U
ME: Magic is exactly what I need. B right over
Since I discovered their secret, I affectionately refer to my witch bitches, Carrie and Jen, as the Witches of West Beach – because they live on the intercoastal side of our condominium instead of the ocean view side. Now I know why they usually personally prefer their own pale look against black. Occasionally, they add a little red for color. Jen wears short shorts with thigh highs. And when I say short shorts with thigh-high boots, I mean show-a-little-cheek length shorts, and wicked, studded, pointy-toed boots. Men love her hard-ass-mistress-of-the-night chain and leather look.
Carrie has the whole natural, witchy Stevie Nicks, seventies-hippie-gypsy-flowing-silk, beneath a leather bustier and lacy-thingy going on. She claims she has an aura very similar to Stevie’s. I’ll take her word for it since I don’t see auras. But I have to admit there is something haunting about Carrie. Sometimes I think it’s a glamour, but I’m not ready to mess with powers I know nothing about.
Delia Belaquoit was like any one of us—working hard, living her life, chasing her dreams, and achieving some modicum of success along the way. Great job, wonderful friends, singing in a band. She thought she’d hit the jackpot until everything she once believed in began to unravel…
Delia here… Hi, again! Magic does exist and people in Boca aren’t what they seem. Shh! No one is supposed to know.
When my former well-organized life blew up in my face, I decided I needed answers because the metamorphosis I’m undergoing isn’t following any known pattern. Remember when I used to be a sun worshipper? Now I’m exhibiting symptoms I don’t even want to think about.
Turns out there are certain aspects of my family tree that’re disrupting my humanity. Wait ’til I find my family. Just when I need answers, they disappear. Poof! Vanish. Except Edna, my great aunt. But she’s not talking. Some freakish sea monster stole her voice.
They are all so in the doodoo doghouse for keeping everything from me.
Thankfully, my witch friends are charming me through my dilemma and our search for answers. Frankie, our alpha Werewolf boss, is doing his best to keep me safe. The guy is loyal to a fault, even if the wolf in him doesn’t have a faithful bone in his body. So when Aelric, my on-again-off-again-not-really-a-boyfriend, asked him to protect me from sources unknown, Frankie jumped on it. I still think he has ulterior motives.
I’m eventually planning a monogamous relationship, just not yet. Frankie wants to “turn” me, but the monthly waxing effort makes becoming one of his pack out of the question. Aelric, the handsome Coast Guard captain, did make a few serious romantic overtures and almost “sort of” proposed to me, but he hasn’t managed to take me on a first date yet. Nor has he told me exactly what he is. Hope springs eternal. Because he did kiss me senseless, wowed me with an impressive unspeakable power move, then left me again. Now I’m alone with more questions. But I’m determined to get my own answers and find out where the threat to my family is coming from.
Oh there’s more… It just gets better every day. Why don’t you hang with me and see what’s in the cards for this month? The supernatural salon and spa staff, as always, are here to help.”
So August is well established and I need to make a mark to claim 2018! This could be it…
I’m looking at houses while waiting for a buyer for my place. God help me, yesterday I wanted to establish a buyer application. Title it: Are you qualified to buy this home?
Will you appreciate the trees.? Allow the frogs and lizards and bunnies to live unmolested?
The concerns go on and on. At what point did my relationship with this property turn from being a landowner to being the caretaker? A steward?
Can you risk selling your memories to a stranger who may not appreciate them? A tree you planted in memory of a birth? A bush to commemorate an anniversary? The house you can change but the living things here on this land depend on me to protect them. I respect their lives and independence so much that when we added on to the house, I moved the trees. They are thirty years older and much larger than they once were but they are my friends. I hope I find a buyer who will appreciate their cooling shade and constant presence.
Magic is real. The fix is in.when Delia lands the hairdressing job of a lifetime. After one taste of faery nectar, the fae knowledge banks open to her. Who knew the town was filled with supernatural beings just fitting in? Frankie, her hot boss, is a Werewolf; the massage therapists are catshifters; her best friends are witches, and Delia likes being human. Her life is about to drastically change.
Those of you who have been reading my blog probably know I’ve been talking about this for several years. One of my daughters is a realtor in CO so thankfully I can get tips from her.
The big question everyone asks is where we plan to go. We have no plans, just ideas.
Plagued with the maladies of aging, my husband and I quickly discovered we weren’t capable of doing what we used to. That’s a mind-blowing, daunting realization if you haven’t experienced it yet. Nevertheless, there were repairs and changes we wanted to make, but the house had ideas of its own, too. The old grand dame needed sprucing up. She needed to shed some bloat: ie yard and attic cleanup. Thirty years of accumulated “stuff” ended up being packed away or in storage, dumped or donated.
The old gal needed updating so we started with ” lipstick and make-up” in the kitchen. I wanted to make certain to keep the asking price within a realistic range so everything had to be in working order and in a livable condition with room to add personal touches of their own. I didn’t want to make expensive additions or decisions for the next family, but I thought it should have upgraded carpet and new granite counters in the kitchen. The appliances worked: the dishwasher and microwave were new, the stovetop would last a few more years, and the double oven is self-cleaning and in excellent shape. Both central AC units have been replaced within the last couple of years. The roof is brand new. So the bones of the house are good, sturdy, reliable.
What next? The next family have options to make it theirs and room to do it in. The one acre private lot in the heart of the county is accessible to the best schools and medical services. It’s not in the incorporated city and not in a gated community with HOA rules and fees. The layout is large and the rooms flexible. The place is comfortable, roomy, and, best of all, light, yet it still bursts with more untapped potential.
I originally took a 2K square foot ranch style home and designed it into a 4K square foot modern style, multi-level, open plan, and yet I can still visualize so many other options. After thirty years of maintenance, makeovers, and makeup, the right family will be pleased to liven up the once popular neighborhood gathering place again. The walls miss the sound of kids and teens and dogs barking. The pool misses the splashing and music. The yard misses the soccer balls and wedding tents, baby swings and tree forts. It’s time for someone to build that wooden walk among the tress along the creek and a gazebo in the front by the pond.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Even after purging the attic and closets twice there are boxes built up in the garage. Until we decide where and what we will live in, it’s impossible to know what we’ll keep and what we’ll give away.
I’m checking out RV living but where will I store all the stuff?
I’ve shown the house twice but it will take just the right family to be the perfect fit.
Too much input. My internal computer is slowing down and freezing up. I’m suffering from scattered goals due to wind blown thoughts. I’m feeling like a disorganized airhead.
I can only fly (or write) by the seat of my pants so long before my projects begin to weigh on me and bring me crashing to earth. The sooner I stop flapping and take control, the less weight I carry before I crash…and I minimize the injuries.
So what is my solution to regrouping? Lists. Calendars. Prioritizing. Organizing.
I pause. Put on some music. (Your choice.) Pick a good spot to sit or stand. Gather my stuff…
I go back to my old lists and gather them all together so I can reset. It’s my version of rebooting. I need a large surface to spread out my lists and various information. I’m definitely not as efficient as my computer. I check my phone notes and computer notes as well as my accumulated little notebooks. I pull out the sticky notes and gather my new blank sticky notes. I organize everything into piles (my filing system) until I can move them into an order of importance and create my new workload (my to do list).
A calendar is absolutely essential. One with room for details helps. If I could paint my walls with remarkable paint, I would create my life in washable markers where I can see it at a glance. Sticky notes, calendars, whiteboards, chalkboards, and daytimers are all electronic, so why am I less organized than ever? Too many apps. Too many options. I need my life in one place or fewer projects.
I attended a workshop last year and I’m thinking maybe I should actually implement the plan I started. I need to add open time I can move around in my calendar for unforseen calamities. I need catch up days for the internet being down, the grandchildren, time to smell the roses when my brain is fried, and a vacation from the plan.
All suggestions are welcome. Please comment with helpful tricks you’ve found effective. and thank you in advance.
Magic is real. The fix is in when Delia lands the hairdressing job of a lifetime. After one taste of faery nectar, the fae knowledge banks open to her. Who knew the town was filled with supernatural beings just fitting in? Rescued from a riptide by Aelric, a Coastie who looks like Thor, Delia is also being pursued by Frankie, her hot Italian boss. Unfortunately, he’s a Werewolf with a pack of females to look after. The massage therapists are catshifters, her best friends are witches, and Delia prefers being human, but her life is about to drastically change.