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Published!


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So when I picked up my two kids from school today, I thought I’d surprise them.

I said, “Your Papa had a couple of his stories published in a book!”

Their response?  “Oh…”

“Would you like to read it?”

Brooke said, “Umm…  No-ah!”

The “-ah” is because she talks valley-girl sometimes and accentuates the end of words at the end of a short sentence with a “-ah”.   In this case, her answer was resounding”No.”

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Fellow blogger Russ Towne (his blog here) invited me to consider contributing to a non-fiction anthology.  Considering this would be the first time ever any story of mine would be published, I gave it a shot!  Not that I know anything about writing let alone publishing.

The book is now published and available on Amazon for $8.99 – less than minimum wage!  What a deal!  He entitled his anthology “Slices of Life”.  Russ wrote on his blog:

“I’m pleased to announce that Slices of Life has been released and is available on Amazon.com!

Slices of Life is an anthology of the selected non-fiction stories. From heart-warming memories of childhood, to humorous perspectives on aging and inspiring stories of survival to hilariously disastrous social encounters, this non-fiction anthology has it all! It features thirty-plus stories exploring the challenges, triumphs, and humor of life as seen through the eyes and experienced in the hearts of more than a dozen writers.

Please spread the word that this long-awaited book is now available.

Thank you to everyone who helped to turn this dream into a reality.”

A peek:

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I’ll hope you’ll visit his blog and Amazon, too  A direct link to Amazon is here.

Thank you, Russ, for the opportunity!

Marine Dog – Lucca


Man, this got my eye plumbing leaking…

Pacific Paratrooper

Two Heroes! Two Heroes!

Marine dog, Lucca, was given a wonderful tribute in the Parade Sunday magazine.  After more than 400 missions in Afghanistan, no one had been hurt by an IED when they were with her.  She was the only one that the Green Berets felt comfortable hugging after a tough day.

Mamma Lucca, as she is nicknamed, was injured herself.  Handler Col. Juan “Rod” Rodriguez quickly applied a tourniquet and she was air-lifted to one veterinary team after another in all-out attempts to save her life.  They succeeded, but Lucca lost her right left leg in the action.  You can see her honorary Purple Heart on her harness.  Today she lives with her original trainer, Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham and his family.  She continues to serve at VA hospitals and in schools.

Could someone please explain to me WHY this Hero’s Purple Heart is considered HONORARY??

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Farewell Salutes – 

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She’s Killing Me #2


I’m telling ya, she’s killing me.

My little Cake Boss.  She’s become a girlie.  Totally.

Nails.  Brushing her hair for dance classes.  Face timing.  Trying on different clothes just to go to a supermarket.  Spending 15 minutes in a soap store and not finding a single one she likes.  Never ready on time.

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My little Cake Boss on the right with two of her BFFs, K and N.

All summer long, she asked if it was OK to go to the beach or something with her friends.  I said no problem; just don’t do it at the last minute.

I even took her to two stores to buy a new bikini.  Egads.  She even asked me what color she should get to which I replied, “A warm color; I think purple looks best on you.”

So she buys a pink one.  Why ask?? See, she’s killing me.

Oh…  I said to get a beach towel since she had her pink Disney princesses towel since she was three.  Plus, they were on sale.  She said she didn’t need one.

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I had my kids for two straight weeks this time…  but she has dance five days a week plus the last two Saturdays were all day rehearsals. I had also promised to take my son to the range but my ex ruined my plans once again by interfering.

So this last Monday, my little Cake Boss – with the days now getting cooler – asked if she and two of her best friends could go to the beach.  Again, I said sure but let me know now so we can be ready.

On Tuesday, I asked, “Brooke, so can your friends go?”

“Papa, I asked, OK?  Just wait, OK?”

On Wednesday, I asked, “So Brooke, are they coming?”

“Papa…  They haven’t gotten back to me so wait, OK? Sheesh!”  Never mind they are classmates, BFF and spend all day together.

On Thursday, I asked, “Brooke.  So what’s the story with the beach this Sunday?”

“Papa!  I’ll let you know, OK??!”

On Friday, I asked, “Brooke…  So is it on?  Sunday’s the day after tomorrow!”

“Papaaaa!”

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GZ

So guess what?  After picking her up from rehearsal Saturday night and after eating dinner, she says, “Papa.  So they’re coming at 11:30 TOMORROW (caps added) and we’re going to watch Godzilla afterwards… but K needs to be home by 6:30 PM.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO SUNDAY MORNING at 9:00 AM…  Guess what?  She coyly asks, “Papa…  Can we go get a beach towel?  Its kinda old now. Heh heh, heh.”

We’re off to Target to get a beach towel with her friends coming a little over two hours…  October 1st is just a few days away.  Who’s gonna have a beach towel let alone a one she likes???

We can’t find one, of course…and she gets mad at me.

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We then we made a mad dash to Stater Bros. to get stuff to make hamburgers and BBQ for them afterwards… “Papa…  Why do you have to rush?!

So her  two BFF arrive and at 12, I say, “Brooke, you said you all wanted to watch Godzilla afterwards and K needs to be home by 6:30 so we need to go.”

“Papa, OK!!  Just wait 30 seconds, OK?!  Sheesh!”

Five minutes.

Ten minutes.  I’m waiting outside with the car loaded up.  I go back inside.  I find they’re still in her room… yakking away.

“Brooke! We need to go,” I yell through her door.

“Papa!!!  We’re trying on clothes so just wait!”

WTF??

Fifteen minutes.  Sure is a long 30 seconds.

After 25 minutes…  They are finally ready to leave and come out… but then she realizes she needs to “use the bathroom” and runs back into the house.  Criminy!

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BFF… with my ringleader Cake Boss in the middle.

Well, we finally made it to the beach around 1 PM…  But in a little over an hour, she says, “OK, Papa.  We’re ready to go home now because it’s getting a little cold.”

She’s killing me, I tell ya.  But at least they saw three dolphins just 40 yards off the beach… and they had a great time.

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Three dolphins just off the beach and right in front of them.

BFF…

Green Eggs and Ham… Not


So tonight, the kiddies asked if I could make something new.  Something different.

Not my Fettuccine Alfredo nor my grilled chicken with lemon and chive pan sauce nor my szechuan tofu…nor Hamburger Helper.

Nor green eggs and ham – but it was close.

They asked for bowtie pasta with (classic) pesto.

Like the one they ate at California Pizza Kitchen.

Egads.

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So Cook’s Illustrated came to my rescue again.  They had a recipe AND even a video!

Now…if I could only follow the instructions.  And I was determined NOT to leave a bag of groceries at the check out line like my blogging bud Jan Morrill did when she made pesto. 🙂

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Per Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe, the ingredients were simple:

2 “packed” cups fresh basil

2 tbsp “packed” flat leaf parsley (i.e., Italian parsley)

1/4 cup pine nuts (raw)

3 (skewered) garlic

7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano

(The trouble here in SoCal is the drought.  EVERYTHING is getting expensive.  Fresh pine nuts were $8.99 for a small carton!)

Also, note the type of parsley:

parsley

It does taste different and with all that garlic, I felt the parsley was important. 🙂

Boil the water but do NOT salt yet.  Skewer the three cloves of garlic and submerge in the boiling water for about 30 seconds then plunge into an ice bath.  Mince but it needn’t be too fine as it will go into the processor.

After generously salting the boiling water, start to boil the pasta while keeping a measuring cup in the colander; you need to remember to reserve about 1/2 cup of the water.

After toasting the pine nuts in a skillet over medium low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, everything went into the food processor except for the Parmesan and the water.  Scrape down the sides with a spatula as necessary until you get a relatively smooth mixture.  You should still be able to make out small pieces of the basil.  (Oh, you had to put the basil and parsley into a Ziploc and pound it maybe a dozen times to bruise the leaves before throwing them into the processor.  Doing so helps release the savory oils.)  Salt as necessary.

This is what it should look like:

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The rest is easy.  When your pasta is al dente, reserve about 1/2 cup.  Add about 1/4 cup of the reserved water into the pesto along with the Parmesan.  Toss with the pasta and you’re done!

 

Brendan Tevlin….It took Todd Pettingill to get your story out


A very important bit of information – for you and your family to digest…

GeeeZ ....

brendanYou must (MUST, please!) read THIS ARTICLE.   I’m hoping Bill Maher (see my post beneath this one today) hears about this and talks about it.

Then, because you’ll be SO MAD at what you read in the article,  HERE is the audio on The Todd Show.  The DJ, Todd Pettingill is trying to wake Americans up to the fact that domestic terror IS here.  The killer admits he was on a jihad.   He shot poor Brendan Tevlin, 19 year old kid who was a wholesome, nice boy, but whom the police apparently suggested was in a drug deal because they don’t want folks to hear about this incident and find out it IS terrorism!

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As Todd puts it “He was a young boy who was killed for being an American”   …I will add “…on American soil!”  The killer admitted this was a retribution for muslims being killed abroad.  And…

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