Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have pulled this sunny summer photo from my archives to remind myself that we are on the cusp of Solstice. Woke this morning to dark and gloomy rain. The garden is at least three weeks behind schedule, we have had so few warm days. There are less than six pea plants listlessly twining up their strings. They have not begun to bloom. I'll be lucky to get any peas at all this year. Perhaps I should prepare to learn how to garden on a glacier while making friends with the neighborhood polar bears. Climate change is taking its toll on my garden, though yesterday I noticed hundreds of darling golden honey bees on my climbing hydrangea. Happy to see they aren't extinct just yet!

I have launched into revisions on my novel High Tide and Low Expectations. An excellent rainy day pursuit. This novel is a cozy mystery set in Westport, Washington. Lots of pirates and smugglers, rusty crab pots and irate seagulls.

It's the story of Cora Jane Dooley, ex-wife of a serial killer the media had dubbed "The Boise Butcher". She's on the coast living in her RV, seeking an uncomplicated retirement far from the eyes of the tabloids. Oops! Here comes murder and mayhem . . . and she is compelled to become involved in order to clear herself from suspicion. All in all a perfect rainy day project. I'll keep you posted on how it's goin'.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Red House Blues

I've finished the fifth rewrite of my novel, Red House Blues! Now the fun part - having a cover designed, getting the proofreading and editing sorted out, getting it published - etc, etc. I will be publishing through Creatspace probably by the end of summer.

Many of you know that I've been participating in National Novel Writing Month for the past five years. I figured it was about bloody time I got one of those stories out into the world! This particular novel was sparked by a conjunction of deadly incidents surrounding one particularly nasty old house in the Central District of downtown Seattle. (No, that's not the house in the picture but that structure is only blocks from the house in question. The meeting hall pictured has its own fascinating history - it was one of the first places Jimmy Hendrix played. It's reputed to be haunted, by the way.)

It's a supernatural/mystery/thriller combo plate of a book that I have had huge fun writing. The story centers on Suzan Pike, a young widow who goes in search of her murdered husband's lost notebooks and in the process stirs up a mindless and voracious evil. As soon as it's up on I'll let everyone know!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oh yes, the cheese! A former plant care client of mine, Kurt Dammier, has been in the local news lately ever since his mac and cheese made Oprah's top ten favorite things list. His company, Beecher's Handmade Cheese is well worth checking out. For years I urged him to come up with a gluten free version and I'm happy to report that it's in the works! His restaurant already offers it if you call ahead. Thanks Kurt!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Okay, I'm ready to admit it, I've become addicted to couponing! Last night I took a two-hour class at the Burien Community Center on how to more effectively feed my addiction (and thus my belly). The place was packed with eager cheapskates like me. Instructors were a mother and daughter team from the neighborhood who write a couponing blog. It's a sign of these hard times that we are all pinching pennies. But it's more than that. It's FUN!!! Every week the "junk mail" contains free money! Who knew?

My garage pantry is exploding!

My wonderful sister-in-law has been doing this for years and is a genius when it comes to getting things for pennies on the dollar. She is a true inspiration to this rank beginner. She has actually used bags of chocolate candy as packing peanuts when mailing more fragile goodies to us. Blows my mind! One time she shipped some homemade jams inside a giant box filled with tuna packs. We're still happily eating tuna-mac practically every week.

Which brings me to the subject of cheese . . . (to be continued. Have to get to yoga class.)