From the Kitchen Counter…

The road to getting published… speedbumps, detours and all.

All I want for Christmas is….a palm sander??

View of my latest project:

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Mood Reading: zz (had a restless night last night – think the decaf I ordered after dinner wasn’t : (

Hope you all survived a happy holiday season and are on the road to recovery. Around our house it’s always a mad dash to the finish but we managed to pull it together at the very last moment. Seems I’ve got the Dasher part pretty much down, much to my husband’s vexation. Think he prefers more the Prancer and Vixen in me but with my new palm sander, saw horses, fully kitted tool belt, and a gift card to Lowe’s, (all Xmas gifts from the fam) he’s settling for Blitzen for a while!

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As I was saying…

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View of my latest project: (Read that: “latest creative distraction”)

Mood Reading: Beginning to look a lot like frazzled…

I know, I know….nothing like popping in on you at the busiest time of year. Especially since it’s been a little while since I last sat down to blog (okay, a BIG while – but what’s a year and half between friends?) But since I was thinking of what I would say in a Xmas card anyway, I thought what the heck – I’ll fire up the ol’ blog and see if she’s still churning!

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Fire Emergency Kit 101 – White Wine for Spritzers is essential.

View From the Patio Weds. Eve:Image 7

Mood Reading: ZZZ’s (now that the embers are out, sleeping much better : ) 

So, there we were on a hot, sultry Wednesday evening this week, preparing dinner as usual with the news on in the background. With temps in the 100’s all week – no air conditioning and humidity hanging thicker than molasses in the normally arid desert, I was more concerned with my now-sticky linen blouse and less-then-alluring hairdo than any forces of nature. As I mindlessly washed the arugula at the kitchen sink, (and dreamed of the downpour that Read the rest of this entry »

The Great “Sip, Ship and Schlep” (aka: My Aching Back) Tour Wrap Up

View of the haul atop my dining room table:

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Mood Reading: ZZZ’s (jet lag’s departure is late – I’m getting 8 hours in…only they’re between 8p.m. and 4a.m.)

photo copySo thought I should do a “Sip, Ship, and Schlep Tour” roundup as I just arrived back home from 3 weeks in France and Italy. As you can see from the opening picture, “schlepping” outdid the sipping and shipping by a good 3-1 margin! And somehow hauling all the goods (in an extra suitcase) over cobblestones, on and off trains, up flights of stairs, and through little alleyways still didn’t offset the kilos of pasta and liters of vino consumed each day. I am still wandering around somewhat dazed from the jet lag and sorely missing the frothy cappuccinos and morning croissants we’d become accustomed to, but have to admit, it’s a good thing we came home when we did. My jeans are woefully tight and my wallet is empty and we couldn’t have packed in one more flea market, brocante, wine tasting or Basilica if we’d tried! Read the rest of this entry »

As I was saying….

View from the Tuscan Countryside: image As I was saying, (see last blog post), sometimes the things unplanned are the most memorable on a trip like this.  Case in point…we set out this morning to go rent the car that we planned to have for three days of touring through the Tuscan countryside ala Thelma and Louise sans (hopefully) the final cliff scene. Read the rest of this entry »

Sip… Schlep, Sip some more…repeat. Touring Italy (traveling anything but light!)

View from Ponte Vecchio – Florence, Italy: image

Writing this from Siena hotel room – requisite glass of wine within reach, recent acquisitions safe and in one piece.  We’ve been eating, shopping, gawking and sipping our way through Italy. imageSeems ages ago since we were in Venice but it’s only been a week – we’ve covered a lot of ground (and water) in that time. One thing Elaine and I have learned on this trip…virtually every time we have deviated from our oh-so-planned-ahead-itinerary, or happened on a serendipitous conversation with a local, it has led us to a fascinating adventure that can’t be found in Rick Steve’s pages or any other guide book. Read the rest of this entry »

Out of Paris by the Skin of Our Teeth (and with a few Euros left!) Hello Venizia!

View coming into Venice by Water taxi:

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Mood Reading:  Not enough z’s to even register!

4:30 came awfully quick this morning.  Elaine and I spent our last night in Paris dining outside at a imagelovely little cafe near Isle St. Louis.  We chatted over chilled Sancerre with one of the locals about the magic and marvels of his beloved City of lights and then flanuered past Notre Dame around 11:30 pm.  The streets alive with tourists, residents, and endless energy – we came across a delightful couple from NYC who had just landed and stopped long enough to share some stories, give our limited but solicited perspective of what to see (their first visit) and share some bawdy guffaws and good natured laughs as only Americans can in an otherwise discreetly soft-spoken civilized city.  Got back to the hotel around midnite and realized we had only a little over 4  hours to pack our flea market finds (EGADS!! We’re only four days in and already using the expandable feature on our suitcases), sleep, phoof our hair, and start it  all over again in a different country! Read the rest of this entry »

Oooooh La La!!

View from the Left Bank – Paris, France:

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Mood Reading: 1/2 Z — jet lagged to the eyeballs, dropping off at 3 am and getting up and running all day but who cares, you can sleep when your dead.

imageSo, I’m typing this on my iPad mini from my hotel room on Rive Gauche in Paris — bear with the typos and abbreviations and cut me some slack – operating on little sleep and even less keyboard savvy.  My friend Elaine and I arrived on Friday for our much anticipated girls trip dubbed the “sip, ship and schlep” tour – the theme for the 3 weeks abroad being to hit as many brocantes, flea markets, and open air markets and wineries as is legal for two blondes. And oh yeah, we might even throw in some sightseeing.   I’m hoping to blog as we go (shorter but more frequent) but make no promises…we’ve been here 3 days and this is the first I’ve sat down since we’ve been here! Read the rest of this entry »

The Big Apple Continued (the city…not the technology)

View from Broadway and 79th – NYC:

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Mood Reading: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ’s (Came down with a nasty stomach flu that started Sunday evening and culminated yesterday – have slept for a day and a half!)

*My apologies – would have posted this sooner but was otherwise occupied hugging the bathroom toilet.

Part II – NYC: The Hood, My Editor Meeting, Those Funky Rubber Boots, and Oysters with one happy Cali-girl turned New Yorker .

imageWhen I arrived in New York City to meet with my editor, we had landed in a light drizzle. The following morning, I threw open my hotel curtains expectantly. Today was a new day – the day of my meeting and a day I’d been looking forward to for weeks! I have reached the last chapters of my novel and we were to discuss the sequence and details of its climax, the final draft, and the next phase – publishing and marketing.   Ever the optimist, I was sure I would find a bright sky and warm temperatures to go with my buoyant oh-so-sunny mood. How then, could I be oh-so-wrong? When I opened the drapes I discovered brooding dark skies and sheets of rain pummeling the streets and pedestrians below, the latter battling like hell with seemingly schizophrenic umbrellas. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Manhattan By Storm – uh…wait…The Storm That Took Manhattan

View from my niece’s skyscraper office in New York City:

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Mood Reading: ZZZZ’s (slept like a rock last night – still jet lagged so went to bed early and woke up late – after 3 cups of coffee – I’m almost back to my perky little self)

PART I

The weather forecast for New York City last week said “cloudy – chance of showers – and clearing by the end of the week”, so when photomy flight from Reno touched down last Tuesday, I wasn’t worried. I’d packed my brolly, had 2 pairs of knee high boots with me and when I got off the plane, the light drizzle was a welcome relief after the Nevada drought I’d just left. Little did I know… I should have packed a snorkel (as my friend Cathy suggested.)

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