Sunday, March 27, 2011

Too Lion-ish!

Just three weeks ago, I was musing that March didn't know if it was coming in like a Lion or a Lamb. Unfortunately, it soon made its intentions known...

This month has been waaaay too Lion-ish for me! To say the weather has been nasty would be a gross understatement. We've had TWO tornadoes touch down in my neck o' the woods, something UNHEARD OF in NorCal! Please excuse me while I whine:


I don't remember previous years being so wet and blustery. My son and I went to lunch and then grocery shopping a few days ago and the rain was coming down so hard we could have been in a car wash! Then the winds would gust and send it sideways, so an umbrella was worse than useless. My favorite local weatherman said last night that our rainfall is at 157% of normal.


When I first moved to this area more than three decades ago, I visited the Donner Memorial State Park. I'll never forget seeing the "stumps" of trees the ill-fated Donner party used for firewood, because those "stumps" were fifteen feet tall! That's how deep the snow was at their camp back in the winter of 1846-47.

Well, last night on the local news, they reported that a ski area about 60 miles east of my house had six hundred inches of snow! Yes, you read that correctly, OVER FIFTEEN METERS (for you metric readers and 50 FEET for the rest of us)! People literally can not find their vacation homes. Here's a shot of one of the main roadways less than an hour's drive from my house.

Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere near all that snow. I'm too busy worrying about the Sacramento River, which is less than two miles away. It went over its "critical" stage last night. ACK!

But all the local weather forecasters are in agreement that the winter storms are over and spring will arrive before the end of the week. I'm not so sure I believe them.

Has spring (or fall) arrived at your house? And do you believe the TV meteorologists?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Smells Like Home

The DH and I have been down and out with an upper respiratory "crud" for two weeks. Luckily, my son was able to come over and help us out with the dogs, run errands, and he even cooked dinner one night.

My son is actually a pretty good cook when he puts his mind to it. I started teaching him to prepare meals when he was in junior high school, because that's when I started to learn myself. I taught him the old stand-bys like mac & cheese and mashed potatoes. Plus, I passed along some old family favorites like my grandmother's recipes for Spanish rice and meatloaf.

I knew I was on the road to recovery when my stuffy head cleared enough for me to smell the delicious scent of Gramma's meatloaf wafting through the house. AHHH! I've heard more than one real estate agent say that before they hold an open house, the homeowner should bake something that smells great, like cookies. Just the scent of something tasty will leave the buyers with a more positive impression of the house. I have to agree!

I'll never forget one particular Thanksgiving when I went to visit some very good friends who had recently relocated from California to Savannah, Georgia. My friend had a new range with a special timer feature. She prepared and stuffed the turkey late that night and set the timer to start baking. There were several over-night guests and I had slept on the couch. At about 7 AM I was awakened by the most heavenly smells of roasting turkey! YUM!

Another smell I associate with childhood holidays is my mother's yeasty rolls. They were a real hassle to make since you had to let the dough rise, punch it down, and let it rise again. All that on top of the rest of the meal and trying to ride herd over four kids was why she only made them about twice a year. Usually at Easter and either Thanksgiving or Christmas. The scent of them cooking was fantastic!

I've only attempted her roll recipe once. Unfortunately, my oven didn't heat evenly and they came out like rocks. After all that work I said NEVER AGAIN! But if I drive by the local bakery at just the right time, I can still catch a whiff of that wonderful smell.

What about you? Are there certain smells that bring back fond childhood memories? What are your favorite scents when you or someone else is cooking?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Wild Sight Is #1!

I'm so excited, I had to share the news.

Yesterday I discovered that the Kindle edition of The Wild Sight is being offered for FREE on Amazon. Plus, it was #1 on the Free Kindle Bestseller list!

Seeing one of MY books on a Bestseller List -- ANY bestseller list is a huge thrill!

If you don't own a copy of The Wild Sight (or even if you do) hop on over to Amazon and download a free copy. And, of course, if you decide to buy Kindle editions of my other two books, that would be GREAT too.

Do you pay attention to bestseller lists? Ever read books just because they are on a list? Do you buy and read electronic books?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lion? Lamb? Goats?

My grandmother used to quote that old saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Or "March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion."

So far, I can't tell which it is this year because the weather can't seem to make up its mind! We've had bright sunshine one day and blustery wind and rain the next.

I usually like the month of March because it is changeable. It isn't spring, but it isn't exactly winter either. I always think of the lines from the ee cumminngs poem:
in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
That sounds like March to me.

But, lion or lamb? Decide already!

Okay, maybe it is neither... Maybe it is GOATS!

My sister lives on a two acre parcel in rural Oklahoma and in addition to her dog and two cats, she also has chickens and goats (the little pygmy kind). Actually, it all started when someone who works with her husband was moving and gave him four chickens and a male goat. Well, since they had to build a chicken coop for just four chickens, they went ahead and bought six more baby chicks at the feed store.

Fast forward a few months, my sister has become well acquainted with the people who run the feed story, so they know she has a pygmy goat, Stinky. One day the clerk tells her someone else in the area is looking to give away a female pygmy goat. Since my sister has never met a stray animal she didn't adopt, Honey moved in. Well, I bet you can guess what happened last spring...
Honey and Stinky had a baby boy whom my sister christened Trouble. And that is how my sister became an accidental goatherd!

So the count was up to one dog, two cats, ten chickens and three goats... UNTIL LAST WEEK! You guessed it, Honey and Stinky became parents again. My sister was hoping for twins, but oh no. Honey had TRIPLETS! Three little baby girl goats! I know goats often have twins, but apparently triplets are fairly common too. So my sister's goat herd doubled over-night!

March definitely came in like a goat in Oklahoma!

At this point, the triplets are still unnamed. My sister didn't like my suggestion of naming them Inky (one is black), Dinky, and Blinky. Do you have any suggestions for names? And how has your March started?