Thursday, July 30, 2015

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is road trip worthy!


Don't get me started on the trip to Memphis itself. I'll address that later.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is not just a great writer. She is a captivating speaker and a humorous storyteller. She is gracious to her fans. I'm an even bigger fan now than I was before actually meeting her.

She is signing my book and clutched in my hands is a red lobster sucker. She plays a trivia game using her books and winners get a sucker.

I won by knowing before anyone else where this quote came from:

"It wasn't everyday a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of a road, not even in Dean Robillard's larger-than-life world."
Comes from Natural Born Charmers, of course. I knew it right away but I stuck my hand up after "headless."

Then she told an amusing anecdote about where that idea came from. I won't spoil it for you in case you get to hear her speak somewhere.

There was a question and answer section where people discussed all of her books. And she answered questions. And she gave inside looks at her thoughts and processes.

I am so glad I went.

She talked about Heroes Are My Weakness some, too. I  put a half page in a blog about what she said about it before I read it but I haven't really talked about how much I liked it and why.

And BTW it got lukewarm reviews but it is one of my favorites. First read was good. Second read was really good. Third read I loved it.

I will blog in more detail about that later.

Now about actually getting to Memphis. It sucked. I got lost. So lost I had to pull over and call home and get help to find my way there. I don't know what it is with me and Memphis. Last time I went there I could not find my way home. This time I had trouble getting there but I got home okay. Well, I say I got home okay. Actually 3 different times I followed the map and knew right away the map was wrong, turned back and I was right - the map had been wrong. 3 times. If you knew what a bad sense of direction I have you would be amazed at this.

Anyhoo - I made it there and back. This was my first road trip in Danica Trish and she did wonderfully.  Yes my car has a first and a middle name. Danica for obvious reasons. After driving a van for years my little Kia Forte feels like a race car. Trish after Trisha Yearwood. I watch her cooking show all the time. She was talking with a celebrity guest once, don't remember who. They were talking about how much time they spend dressed up, made up etc. Trisha said - "Well, I think about 20% of the time I am .... showered." That's about how often I clean DT.

Gonna put up one more pic and then off to bed. It was fun to meet SEP and now I will be re-reading Heroes and Natural Born Charmer and ... and... and...


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My heart is racing at the thought...

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is signing books at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis, TN Wed. 7/29.

That's tomorrow night. That's 3 hours drive from me.

I haven't committed myself 100% yet but just the thought of going is making my heart race.

I hate Memphis.

I love SEP.

I loved Heroes Are My Weakness by SEP.

Maybe I'm going. Maybe this is why I took this week off of work with nothing planned.

ka thump, ka thump, ka thump.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

In search of the perfect summer meal

Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity knows that I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy in October of 2014. A VSG is commonly known as WLS or weight loss surgery.

Since then I have reduced my weight by 106 pounds and the scale is still going down.

I am constantly trying to figure out the perfect meal to fit into my 1 to 1 1/2 cup capacity sleeved stomach.

Recently Sarah Wynde wrote a blogpost titled: The Unified Theory of Salads. This is her theory in a nutshell:

"And, at last, my theory of salads. The perfect meal salad (based on greens) should include one protein, at least two textures, and at least three distinct flavors. But not necessarily six ingredients, since some foods, like goat cheese, can be both a flavor and a texture. And more has potential too, of course. Our Key West salad had double sweet — both mango and strawberries — which just made it doubly delicious."
I've been pondering that and realized I could do that without the base of greens (too much volume in my stomach) and at the same time follow rules set out by Dr. Josh Axe designed to overcome sugar cravings. (Although my cravings are more carbohydrate than straight out sugar - the biggest craving being potato chips.)
Basically he says try and increase the following in your daily diet: fiber, protein, healthy fats and sour - sour being yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, lemon (yogurt and kefir having the added benefit of probiotics).

So what precisely could I combine for this? I think my version of Waldorf salad fits. I like to use chopped apples, chopped celery, walnuts and cubed cheese. If I made the dressing yogurt, I'd be all set.

For Dr Axe's rules - Protein: nuts and cheese. Fiber: Nuts, apples and celery. Healthy fats: nuts, cheese and yogurt. Sour: yogurt.

For Sarah's salad theory - Protein: nuts and cheese. Textures: apples, celery, nuts and cheese all have different textures. Flavors: all five ingredients have different flavors.

So there's one version of a meal that meets everything. I'm going to go in search of others.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tis my birthday...

I am 58 years old today.



I weigh 100+ lbs less than I did on my last birthday.



There are beautiful dark purple gladiolas on the kitchen table.



We will be having green chile cheese enchiladas



and trifle made with strawberries, angel food cake and whipped cream.



You are all invited. (Mostly because we don't know how to cook in small amounts.)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Reading steady on July 4th weekend

It's 4th of July weekend.

And Kristen Ashley has a new book out: Ride Steady (the third in her Chaos series which sprung from her book Motorcycle Man)

And I got a 20 pound box of tomatoes at the Farmers Market so, naturally, salsa making became my Fourth of July celebration.

Ride Steady is one of KA's books which take place in Denver. In Denver her characters go to a Mexican restaurant named Las Delicias and have salsa that is supposed to be the best. Ever. Anywhere.

I think my salsa would give it a run for it's money.

I have been listening for pops that mean my jars have sealed as I write this. 5 pops so far. 6 more jars to go.

That's right, I will have 11 yummy pints of salsa all my own. I say all my own because I also made 5 pints for my mom. They've sealed already.

My mom likes traditional, medium salsa made with Mrs Wages.

I like my own spice combination, mild, and Anaheim peppers that I roasted on the gas flame, plus bell peppers of many colors, garlic and cilantro. Onion powder instead of the onion for me.

Our jars of salsa are beautiful! Another pop. Yay!

I enjoyed quite some time looking at beautiful men on bikes to try to find Joker. On the top right of this is a pic of Chris Hemsworth on a motorcycle. Close but not completely right. He does have the fierce expression I picture but not the right looks. (Although there a'int nothing wrong with his looks, that's for sure!)

Anywho - I'm enjoying my holiday and loving Ride Steady (in love with Joker) and now I'm going to go and dig in to my little bowl of salsa that didn't fit in a jar and some chips.

And though I'm not drinking Sangria, I just may listen to the Blake Shelton song. I put it on my ipod and I've lost count of how many times I've listened to it so far.

Here is the youtube version for you, dear reader:


Hope you're feeling free and happy this independence weekend!