How Are You Doing?

During this pandemic, my local ABC station has been playing a commercial that features this statement. Asked by different news staff, the emphasis changes from person to person. The point being that we can all get through this pandemic, together.

If you read Sunday’s post, then you are aware that my oldest daughter has been diagnosed with Covid-19. We both have Amazon’s Echo Shows, so I was checking in with her to see how she was doing. In doing so, I was reminded of another couple who are friends of ours.

Dale and Ramona are originally from Michigan. In his youth, Dale was a runner. In his working years, he worked for the Post Office. He’s over 6 ft tall and an absolute beanpole in size. In these later years, he’s been afflicted with Parkinson Disease. Ramona is 5+ ft and might weigh 120!

Until the pandemic hit, Dale’s Parkinson’s was being handled nicely. He took exercise classes intended to keep him moving and attended support groups to stay connected with others. All that changed in March of last year. Sadly, the isolation of the pandemic has caused him to get worse, much worse.

In the last few months, Dale started to develop Parkinson Dementia. He’s spoken several times to neighbors about the “critters and homeless people” that they sent to his house. He’s called us wanting to talk to my husband about this. We’ve tried to gently redirect his attention, knowing that there is nothing there. In more recent months, he has started leaving the house and walking away. One such trip landed him on our doorstep. Another led him to the local police station in the middle of the night.

At this point in time, Dale is in a Memory Care Unit and Ramona is struggling with figuring out how to tell him that he’s not coming home. His Dementia has progressed to a point where she can’t control him and he’s become a danger to himself and possibly others. That’s a hard decision to make.

Take a good look around you, at work (if you are working!), at church if you attend, and in your neighborhood. Are there people around you that seem to be sturggling? Take a few minutes of your time to just check in on them, talk to them, pay them some attention. They may not be able to say it, but a kind word and a hug go a long way when you’re isolated and lonely!

It can happen anywhere!

Face it folks, when we are watching the evening news and they show neighborhoods where there has been some kind of crime, our first reaction is “that would never happen in my neighborhood.” It’s just human nature to assume that nothing bad ever happens around us. The truth is, it does.

I live in a very quiet neighborhood. The most exciting thing to happen here is when a nearby street was closed for repaving, and all the traffic was rerouted on to our street. This led to a lot more speeding than we normally see. Then this morning, something else occurred.

As I turned the corner from our trailer park on to the street, I was greeted with the sight of police tape across the street at the bike trail and the street was filled with police cars. Both from the city I live in, and the one that starts on the other side of the street. Now this was decidedly not a normal occurrence!

An admittedly nosy question to a police officer 👮‍♀️ yielded the story that it was still an active crime scene. For me, that was enough said. As I turned to go down the trail, a young woman who could barely keep herself together, walked up. She was a family member, and my heart hurt for her.

As I took Coco on her second walk. I noticed that the police presence had reduced. A question to the volunteer you see in this photo got me the information that the other officers had been sent home to get some sleep. In other words, this crime started sometime during the night. As I said before, this is a quiet area. Our peace had been shattered.

As the morning went on, other police officers arrived. Here’s the police photographer taking shots down the street.

The Mobile Command Center was a surprise. The local NBC affiliate was there talking with people. Surprisingly, a crew from Telemundo News was there. I didn’t know the family who was involved, but the Spanish crew was a wonderful addition.

The next time you are tempted to think that crime couldn’t touch your neighborhood, think again. Look at the peaceful street behind the police vehicle. It could happen anywhere.

The Sunday Post #21-17

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you have received. Share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead. Join in weekly, bi-weekly or for a monthly wrap up.

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, then I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

The Scars of Her Dragon by Julia Mills

The past is never just the past especially when it haunts your every thought and turns your dreams to nightmares. Forgiveness is the only path to peace. Unfortunately, that route is filled with the faces of the dead.

The dove brings love, peace and protection to the world. She has the power to restore what’s been lost and heal the wounds of the past. If only he would let her.

Rebel Lion by Anna Lowe

Lion shifter Dell O’Roarke has never been serious about life, but life is about to get serious with him. The beautiful stranger who’s just arrived in Maui isn’t just looking for anyone — she’s looking for him. And that’s not just any surprise she’s brought along — it’s a baby who looks a hell of a lot like Dell. Soon, he discovers there’s more at stake than his lifestyle as a swinging bachelor. Vengeful shifters are hot on the stranger’s heels, making Dell wonder… Are they after the woman, the baby, or him?

Leap of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair

After a decade of captivity, Darcy MacCormac escapes the corrupt, clandestine organization called the Scythe, leaving family and friends behind. She must find a way to rescue them. Discovered by other shifters, the brand-new cougar gets two mentors. Blademage Gawain is an easy-going blacksmith with a steel-hard core. His brother Owen is a deadly warrior. Grumpy. Rude. And he doesn’t like her.

Matched and Mated by Grace Goodwin

Miranda Doyle has spent months in the arms of a mysterious Trion doctor. His hands are skilled at more than just healing, but their casual “friends with benefits” arrangement isn’t enough for her. She wants it all, and the Interstellar Brides Program guarantees her not just a mate, but a perfect match.

Outlaw Wolves by Heather Long

Luciana Esposito Barrows never imagined her dream of uniting the Lone Wolves and giving them a home could go so terribly awry. First, her brother rejected her, repudiating her from Seven Hills and leaving her without a powerful ally. Then the U.S. packs put her on notice, monitoring their movements, keeping them contained…then the Russians came. The last person in the world she expected to turn on her, was her own mate.

Our last pet wouldn’t go outside when it was raining. It didn’t matter whether it was raining a lot or a little, he just wouldn’t do it.

So you can imagine my surprise when Coco insisted upon going out come rain or come shine. Her coat is rather thick so she stays wet for awhile after coming back inside. We gave in and bought her a rain coat!

The Sunday Post #21-15

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, then I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

Her Dragon, His Demon by Julia Mills

Her Dragon is strong and loyal, a leader among his kin. He makes her feel things she never thought possible and…he is her only hope for survival.

His Demon is beautiful and alluring, the other half of his soul. She is the One the Universe made for him and… she is his only hope for eternal love.

Together they must battle a darkness unlike any other led by Hell’s Chancellor himself. It’s not just their love that’s at stake…this time it’s their very existence.

Key Lime Pie

So many people think that making pies is difficult. That’s not necessarily true. Take this pie for instance. Believe it or not, it only takes 3 ingredients besides the pie crust!

This recipe was given to me when we first moved into the place where we live now. I don’t know who created it originally but since it was freely given to me, I am freely passing it on.

Rebel Dragon by Anna Lowe

Off to Maui for a relaxing vacation? Hardly. Surfer Jenna Monroe is on the run from a stalker who lusts after her blood. Instead of combing the beach for lost treasures, she’s forced to venture deep into the terrifying world of shapeshifters. There, even the good guys are hard to trust — all except for the hot-blooded rebel she can’t get out of her head.

Uncorked by Delta James

On the backroads of Italy, a fatal accident takes the lives of three of the four people in the car. The only survivor is an unconscious Kinzie Edwards, who is mistakenly identified as her twin sister. In a targeted act of violence, Kinzie loses her sister, Kayla and her humanity.

Claimed by the Vikens by Grace Goodwin

The only thing former Coalition warriors Calder, Zed and Axon have in common are long years spent battling the Hive, and their eagerness to claim their personal reward—their own Interstellar Bride.

Thunder Wolf by Heather Long

Most Lone Wolves have a story—a pack they left behind, a love they lost, or worse, one they buried. Some leave their packs to roam because they crave freedom, and independence. Some leave because in their hearts, they can’t bear to stay. Some leave because they see no way to go back…

Decorating and Redecorating!

Remember when I first showed you this arrangement? Recently we decided to make a few changes in the centerpiece.

It really is amazing what a big difference just a small change of color can make!

Key Lime Pie

So many people think that making pies is difficult. That’s not necessarily true. Take this pie for instance. Believe it or not, it only takes 3 ingredients besides the pie crust!

This recipe was given to me when we first moved into the place where we live now. I don’t know who created it originally but since it was freely given to me, I am freely passing it on.

Key Lime Pie

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup Key Lime Juice
  • 1 graham cracker crust (use the 9 inch one)

Combine the egg yolks, milk and juice. Mix gently without beating air in mixture. Pour into pie crust and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool and top with Whipped topping if desired.

This is the brand I use, Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice. Recently I was able to find it at either Costco or Sam’s Club. You can also add in lime zest.

The Sunday Post #21-14

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, then I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

Her Dragon’s No Angel by Julia Mills

Take one snowbound dragon, combine with one Christmas Angel, throw in a healthy dose of an attraction only the Universe could have conjured and top with the largest blizzard in a hundred years. 
Now sit back and enjoy the show! This one’s gonna be a bumpy ride!
Fate Will Not Be Denied but Heaven’s Got A Plan of Its Own!

Lure of the Fox by Anna Lowe

Desert fox shifter Ella Kitt has no problem risking her life — but never, ever her heart. Not that she expects to do either when she flies to Maui to help her Special Forces comrades with an easy security job. Or maybe not so easy, because she’s forced to work — and live — in close quarters with smoking hot army hero, Jake McBride. Jake isn’t just the one-night stand who makes her scarred heart flutter and her fox’s tail wag — he’s also a human, totally off-limits to shifters of her kind.

Winter of the Wolf by Cherise Sinclair

After years in foster care, Breanne Gallagher has the stable life she’s always wanted, living with her foster-sister and working as a chef. Then one devastating night, a hellish creature invades her apartment and shatters her fragile existence. Shifting between monster and man, it slaughters her foster sister and assaults Bree. Alone, wounded, her beloved home tainted by gruesome memories, Bree flees to a tiny wilderness town, following her only clue to her past.

Her Rogue Mates by Grace Goodwin

An Earth member of the medical recovery team on Transport Station Zenith, Harper meets two mysterious strangers from an unknown world. With intense eyes and even more intense desires, it’s easy for the two sexy-as-sin aliens to prove how good it can be with them.

His Moonstruck Wolf by Heather Long

When a matchmaker gets toasted at the after party, she finds the perfect wolf for her in the most unlikely of places. Of course, the last thing he wants is a mate, much less a matchmaking one.

Weekly Cup of Coco

Back in October when my husband first had to go on oxygen therapy, we moved this little stand to the bedroom to make room for the concentrator. At the same time, we put the Echo Show on the window ledge to use.

This week my oldest daughter contacted us. She’d just gotten a Show as well and wanted to see how to contact us on it. In the process of getting it set at the right height, we discovered that it worked better if we brought the little stand back to the living room. Coco wasted no time at all in claiming the bottom shelf as hers!

The Sunday Post #21-12

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, then I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews From Last Week

Her Dragon’s Soul by Julia Mills

He’d seen the golden highlights of her strawberry-blonde hair glistening in the firelight and it was obvious. When the seductively soft scent of Angel’s trumpets with their light lemony overtones had invaded his senses, Liam Drennan just knew she was the one the Universe had made for him and him alone.

The few times he’d decided to go to her something had pushed him away, made it impossible for him to get near her. He’d felt the mating call, even sensed the beginning of the mating bond, but something dark almost evil within her had shut it down and denied him access to his mate. There was something about Hannah McKennon that didn’t add up. 

Now, all Liam had to do was figure out how to tell his brethren’s mate that her best friend had something evil living inside her. Who was he kidding? There was no way this was going to end well for anyone involved.

Oh great! Just another day in paradise.

Char-Broil Everybody Grills!

Char-Broil’s Everybody Grills! is the definitive cookbook and how-to guide for everyone who loves preparing meals in the great outdoors!

  • 200 prize-worthy recipes for grilled and barbecued appetizers, main courses, salads, veggies, marinades—even desserts on the grill! 
  • 250 color photos illustrate each recipe in mouth-watering detail 
  • Expert tips & techniques from Sizzle on the Grill Web writer Barry “CB” Martin for brining, marinating, and grilling that yield juicy steaks, ribs, and chicken 
  • Developed in partnership with Char-Broil, one of North America’s leading grill manufacturers 

Sumptuous spreads of exquisitely grilled food; step-by-step prize-winning recipes; lists of ingredients plus preparation and grill/cook times; expert tips on techniques and the latest equipment; delectable marinades, sauces, and rubs: Char-Broil Everybody Grills! is the definitive cookbook and how-to guide for everyone—from the beginner to the seasoned barbecue enthusiast—who loves preparing meals in the great outdoors. 

Lure of the Tiger by Anna Lowe

Tiger shifter Cruz Khala doesn’t trust humans. He doesn’t trust destiny either — not even when it sends him the one woman capable of saving his tormented soul. But there’s more than love at stake as merciless shifter forces gather on sunny Maui, intent on stealing a priceless jewel with mysterious powers. Before he knows it, Cruz becomes the last line of defense between pure evil and the sapphire — and the only one capable of saving his destined mate’s life.

Footloose and carefree? Not anymore. Jody Monroe, pro surfer, is a woman on a mission — until an unknown gunman turns her world upside down. She escapes thanks to a stealthy, enigmatic stranger with haunting, yellow-green eyes who arouses all her fears — and her desires. Cruz is a contradiction: gruff and grouchy, painfully private, yet tender and protective of those he loves. And sexy. Mouthwateringly sexy, all the damn time. Soon, Jody’s life isn’t the only thing on the line — her heart is, too.

Firelord by Delta James

An arrowhead forged in dragon fire should have killed the beast Caitlyn came to slay, but she missed. Perhaps her aim was poor… or perhaps her body knew its master and betrayed her.

Either way, it doesn’t matter now. She is at her enemy’s mercy, and he is not going to be gentle.

She will be spanked until she is sobbing and begging, but the real screaming will begin when the Lord of Fire claims his mate, ravaging her quivering body in the way only one of his kind can.

Her Viken Mates by Grace Goodwin

Isabella Martinez was always good at rebelling, against her parents, her school, her boyfriends. She had needs no one could meet, desires so dark no one could tame her. When her wild side gets her in trouble with the law, she doesn’t think twice when given a choice between prison or transport to a new world as an Interstellar Bride. Alone on Earth, the decision was easy. But when she arrives on Viken, she learns she’s been matched to not one fierce, alien brute, but three—and their desires, their needs, their demands are far darker and more demanding than her own. As enemies plot to destroy Viken’s place in the Coalition Fleet, Bella will have to learn to trust, or lose everything. Her mates will feed the hunger inside her no others ever could. But their secrets will either break her heart…or set her free forever.

Wolf On Board by Heather Long

Meet Jake Danes of Hudson River—Lone Wolf, avid gamer, extreme sports enthusiast, and surfer. He’s spent the last two years roaming free, exploring the world and escaping the dark place his pack had become after betrayal and murder tore them apart. Sure, life changed back home, but Jake’s having way too much fun to return—riding the waves in Monterrey and living out of a van. It’s the perfect life, one he never wants to give up, no matter how many calls he’s fielding from his big brother…then he catches her scent.

Mimi Chase wanted one perfect year. Time away from pack politics and her mother’s matchmaking efforts. Ever since her big brother settled into mating with a healer, Mimi’s mom seems to have gone into overdrive—throwing her at every eligible male in the pack. Choosing to roam seemed the best option, and California the ideal location to get away from everything pack related. Her plans for art classes, yoga on the beach, maybe a cooking lesson or two while living a hippy dippy lifestyle are all she cares about…until another wolf butts into her every activity. Doesn’t he know the rules?

Lone Wolves aren’t supposed to form relationships, so why doesn’t he catch a hint? Worse, why isn’t she working harder to make sure he does?

Weekly Cup of Coco!

Well, this week my husband and I received our second COVID vaccination shot. I’m glad that’s over with for now. His health has been a concern for awhile now. It upset Coco enough that she practically sat on my husband’s feet while I was out at an appointment.

Regretfully, we also had to come to the decision to close his blog. While I repeatedly tried to coax him into using some of the devotionals that he sent out by email a few years back, he wouldn’t have anything to do with that. That left him with the stress of writing new material for every week. His heart isn’t up to the stress, so we reluctantly ended the blog.

Have no fear though, folks! I don’t plan to end this one any time soon.

Char-Broil Everybody Grills!

200 Prize-Worthy Recipes to Put Sizzle on Your Grill (Creative Homeowner) Includes Easy-to-Follow Tips & Tricks for Grilling, Smoking, & Low-and-Slow BBQ, and 250 Photos

Char-Broil’s Everybody Grills! is the definitive cookbook and how-to guide for everyone who loves preparing meals in the great outdoors!

  • 200 prize-worthy recipes for grilled and barbecued appetizers, main courses, salads, veggies, marinades—even desserts on the grill! 
  • 250 color photos illustrate each recipe in mouth-watering detail 
  • Expert tips & techniques from Sizzle on the Grill Web writer Barry “CB” Martin for brining, marinating, and grilling that yield juicy steaks, ribs, and chicken 
  • Developed in partnership with Char-Broil, one of North America’s leading grill manufacturers 

Sumptuous spreads of exquisitely grilled food; step-by-step prize-winning recipes; lists of ingredients plus preparation and grill/cook times; expert tips on techniques and the latest equipment; delectable marinades, sauces, and rubs: Char-Broil Everybody Grills! is the definitive cookbook and how-to guide for everyone—from the beginner to the seasoned barbecue enthusiast—who loves preparing meals in the great outdoors. 

This book was developed by editors at Creative Homeowner in partnership with Char-Broil, one of North America’s leading grill manufacturers. For 60 years, millions of folks have relied on the Char-Broil name for great backyard cooking. Now, this trusted grill company presents Everybody Grills!, a cookbook filled with everything you need to know to get outside and join the fun. You’ll find hundreds of recipes for grilling, smoking, low-and-slow BBQ, and frying a whole turkey for the holidays—without oil! 

Filled with more than 200 easy-to-follow recipes and tips for delicious grilled and barbecued beef, lamb, veal, pork, poultry, seafood, vegetables, sides, salads, appetizers, snacks, marinades, sauces, rubs, and desserts, plus more than 250 mouthwatering color photos, Everybody Grills! will help you grill, barbecue, and cook delicious meals outdoors that will have family and friends licking their fingers! 

Char-Broil Everybody Grills! has been recognized for: 

  • 2009 Benjamin Franklin AwardPublishers Marketing Association
  • 2009 IPPY, Bronze, Recognizing Excellence in Independent Publishing, Independent Publisher Book Awards
  • 2008 USA Best Books Awards Winner (Cookbooks: Grilling & BBQ), USA Book News
  • 2008 Indies Finalist, Book of the Year AwardForeward Magazine

You see all those little blue pieces of paper sticking out of the book in the photo? Those are all the recipes that my husband and I want to try. Whether it’s a full (new) recipe to try, or just a new sauce for your favorite dish that you already make, there’s something for everyone in this book. Yes, you may find duplicate information but this is definitely a keeper!

Erica S D
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
nice bookReviewed in the United States on January 2, 2021
full of great recipes with nice pictures that make me unsure what I should try first.

James Anderson

5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gotta have it!Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2018
This is a very nicely done paperback. Glossy pages. Recipes are mostly single-page with picture (love that) and simple and "normal" ingredients".

pkkmmokelly

4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
decent grillin guideReviewed in the United States on July 8, 2020
if you like to cook your dinner outside especially in the summer/spring/fall you'll enjoy this book great pictures and nice ideas well photographed...

Accessories for Your Instant Pot

Why Accessories?

While there are plenty of recipes that you can make in your Instant Pot without using any thing more than the pot and a trivet. You don’t need more than that for soups or stews. However, there are so many more recipes that just need an accessory or two to expand your use of it. I’m going to list a few of them with reasons why you might need it.

Egg Bite Molds

If you’re a fan of Starbucks, you have undoubtedly noticed their little egg bites. Now I don’t go to Starbucks, and couldn’t begin to tell you what is in them. Using a silicon egg bite mold will let you make egg bites of your own! Now besides your basic egg bites, I’ve seen cheesecake bites, meatballs, pancake bites, to name just a few. My favorite is muffin bites. If you buy the Martha White brand of muffin mix, it will make 7 bites, which is how many fits on a mold. I’ve been collecting recipe pins on my Pinterest Board, From My Kitchen and Instant Pot Recipes.

6 Inch Springform Pan

I didn’t quite believe it when I saw recipes for cheesecake that could be made in this smaller pan. I just didn’t believe you could cook a cheesecake in an Instant Pot. Then I did a little checking. It seems that custard recipes such as cheesecake, need a water to enable them to cook more evenly and slowly. The traditional method is to use boiling water in a roasting pan. Doing it this way, you would need to wrap tinfoil around the bottom of the springform pan to keep the water from leaking in. Now contrast that with placing your smaller springform pan on a trivet inside the Instant Pot. You get all the benefits of the water bath while still keeping the pan above the water! For a empty nest couple like ours, 6 inch pans are perfect.

6 cup Bundt Pan

This is another potential work horse in your kitchen. There are fabulous recipes out there for pound cakes that are sized for a 6 cup pan. In our current economic climate, wouldn’t it be better to make smaller cakes that will serve your family for one or two meals instead of three or four? I’ve even come across a recipe for “Monkey Bread” that is made in a 6 cup Bundt Pan in an Instant Pot! What a great treat!

6 cup Round Bowls, Cake Pans

These are great for making all kinds of things, casseroles, cakes. Just use your imagination. You may have to reduce the number of servings you are making, but wow, it is fabulous.

Steamer baskets

These should be another given accessory. There are any number of foods that are steamed. Steamer baskets come in a number of sizes. I even have one with a divider so that you can steam 3 different foods at the same time.

Hard Boiled Egg Rack

Easter is coming, folks. For those of you with small children and grandchildren, that means Easter Eggs. Now no one seems to argue that you need to boil the eggs for around 9 – 13 minutes. The problem comes in how long it takes that water to boil in the first place! The more eggs you need to make, the more water since you need to have water covering the eggs by 1 inch. BUT if you are doing them in a Instant Pot, you only need 1 cup of water no matter how many eggs you are making. Set the timer to 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the IP release naturally for 5 minutes before doing a quick release. Scoop the eggs out and place in ice bath for 5 minutes. No matter how many eggs you are making, they are all cooked completely! So much easier!