Unlucky 13 – A Book Review

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A Book Review

Unlucky 13 by James Patterson and Maxine Patero is part of the Women’s Murder Club series. Four women, who have become best friends, also solve crimes.

The book opens with Claire Washburn calling Sgt. Lindsay Boxer seeking her help in what becomes known as the “Belly Bombing Case.” People are dying. The middles of the victim’s bodies are being blown apart.

On the happy side, Yuki Castellano and Lt. Jackson Brady got married and sailed off on an Alaskan honeymoon cruise. Everything was wonderful until the ship was boarded by pirates.

News reporter Cindy Thomas is busy chasing Mickie Moralas, who is determined to kill Lindsay Boxer.

The book is full of action and suspense. We will let you read the book to learn all of the outcomes to the different scenarios.

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Friendship

 

Love by Kathleen Cassidy

Love by Kathleen Cassidy

 

My cousin, Bessie Grant Guerette, says that people come into our lives for a season and a reason. My relationship with Bessie is a good example of that statement.

When we were children, we used to see each other when our parents got together for a visit. As we got older, we saw each other whenever our paths crossed. Now that we are both retired, we communicate mostly by phone.

It doesn’t matter how long it is between visits or phone calls, we always pick right up where we left off. There is a bond between us that keeps us connected. It is a good feeling.

One day I told Bessie, I wished I could maintain a close friend relationship with all my friends. Bessie said that is not how life usually plays out.

As current friends move away, new friends come along to take their place. Or as employment changes, new acquaintances often become close friends. Be open to new friendships she said.
Our neighbor of twelve years in the Boston area retired to Florida about the same time Steve and I moved to New Hampshire. We exchange Christmas cards and random phone calls, but that is all.

Recently Tony got cancer and everything was going well until last week. Now he is in the hospital receiving some special treatment. The random phone calls are now daily calls. Angela says she looks forward to our calls because she knows I will be brining a ray of sunshine. The calls are usually less than three minutes long. It feels good to do good.

I am so blessed to know so many wonderful people. Some come and some go. Some come back again. All are welcome. Life is good. I am so lucky to still be meeting wonderful people and making new friends.

Mom Pop Pow – where you can do it if you try.

 

 

 

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America Celebrates

Flag

The American Flag has a lot of meaning to me. I like everything about the flag. I remember learning about Betsy Ross making the first American Flag. The red and white stripes represent the original thirteen colonies. The white stars represent the states. The stars increased over the years, but the flag remained the same as America grew and got stronger.

Just as we are all individuals, we all have our own memories of what the 4th of July means to us. For some it means a family get together and a BBQ. For others, it is a parade and commemorating those who have fallen in war. To end the day, there is usually a display of fireworks.

I especially like the music associated with America.

America the Beautiful
By Katharine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain.
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy
by George M. Cohan

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy
A Yankee Doodle, do or die
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam
Born on the Fourth of July

The Star Spangled Banner
By Francis Scott Key

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

This Land Is Your Land
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

God Bless America
By Irving Berlin

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

It doesn’t matter what political group you belong to or what church you attend. America is the greatest country on earth. We have the most freedom and hope for a better tomorrow. We have lots of reasons to sing about our country.

How do you celebrate America’s birthday?

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A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons – A Book Review

Book6

Steve and I enjoy audio books. We especially enjoy audio books that are so well read that you can practically see the story before your eyes. The How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell; read by David Tennant and published by Hachette is such an offering. One has to be an engaged listener because there is so much happening.

Check out our review of “A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons” below.

 

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Mt. Charleston

 

Mountain

Mt. Charleston is about 35 miles from Las Vegas where we live. It has snow in the winter and is cooler in the summer than our norms.

On the way to Mt. Charleston, we were surprised to learn we were on the back side of Red Rock Canyon, which is closest to our house. We often take visitors there. So far, we haven’t had any complaints.

Coming from the Northeast, friends have teased us that if we ever get lonesome for snow, we can go to Mt. Charleston in the winter. Steve and I don’t think that will happen, but you never know. The other comment is that if you can’t stand the heat in Las Vegas, go to Mt. Charleston.

Homes

This was our first trip to Mt. Charleston. Having visited the Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, Bryce Canyon and other awesome places in the area, I expected Mt. Charleston to offer the same wonders. I didn’t stop to consider that Mt. Charleston is a community where people live. I was just looking for fun and adventure.

View

Mt. Charleston hosts the Humboldt – Toiyabe National Forests and is part of the Spring Mountains. Although they do not sell gas on the mountain, they offer hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. The Resort on Mt. Charleston provides full service lodging, restaurant, banquet and spa accommodations. The Mt. Charleston Lodge also offers fine dining and has an exquisite gift shop as well as hand made gifts offered by Native Americans.

Mt. Charleston has hundreds of camping sites that are regulated. We saw many RVs at the camp sites. We theorized that maybe folks from Las Vegas were at Mt. Charleston enjoying the temperatures that are generally 20 degrees lower than Las Vegas.

building

According to the 2010 census, 357 people live on Mt. Charleston. That figure may have increased with all the lovely new homes there as well as the new ones being built. We wound our way up some of the narrow roads to see the homes and to get a view from higher up the mountain. We were very respectful and did not stray from the roadway. I imagine that high traffic volume could be a problem. We loved the road names; Snow White Road, Seven Dwarfs Road, Kris Kringle Road, Jack Frost Road and other unique names. The original town is blocked off to tourists.

signs

At this point in our journey, I was quite disappointed. Mt. Charleston did not offer a lot to see. On our way back to Las Vegas, we took the Kyle Canyon Road. When we saw the sign for Angel Peak Place, we decided to investigate. It turned out to be a bonanza.

desert

With our friends Cheh Low and Yee Tan, we discovered the Desert View Overlook – Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. It is gorgeous! There are lots of signs explaining what we were seeing. The paved way makes for easy walking. The education is fascinating. This is what I expected when we went to Mt. Charleston.

I am sure there are many sights we missed. What are your experiences at Mt. Charleston?

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How to Twist a Dragon’s Tail – A Book Review

Dragon

 

How to Twist a Dragon’s Tail is the fifth book in the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell.

In this book, Hiccup and the others encounter Humongously Hotshot and the exterminators; fire breathing dragons. Another adventure ensues and it is Hiccup with the help of Toothless who has to save the day.

The book is expertly read by David Tennant. It is published by Hachette Audio. Check out our review below.

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Our Monchu Celebrates

Cake

Last night our friends, Corky and Michael Eden invited us to dinner. What we didn’t know, was that a simple dinner with them and their daughter, Teresa would turn into a surprise celebration for our wedding anniversary. Pulling off a surprise get together is always a difficult task. When we arrived and saw Herb and Sara-Ann Lipson, we didn’t think much about it. We just thought Corky had invited them to join us.

About fifteen minutes later, Debbie Drummond, Michael Petit, Yee Tan and Cheh Low rang the door bell. When Mike opened the door, they burst in with a big “SURPRISE!” and it truly was a surprise. Then the party started in full force. There is something special about making a surprise party a real surprise and Mike and Corky achieved their goal.

From the perfectly prepared ribs to the exquisite cheese cake, everything was perfect. Best of all was the feeling our monchu, one family, created.

Fruit

Steve and I have always pitched in to help with whatever needed to be done. Last night we were not allowed to do anything. We were treated like royalty. I am glad we are just regular people, I prefer to help.

 

Butterfly

Several times during the evening, my heart was filled to capacity with love and wonderment. We have known these people less than two years since our arrival in Las Vegas, yet we are being honored as if we were family.

Tea

We are truly blessed to be honored in our new home by such wonderful people who we think of as family, our monchu. This celebration, added to the cards and greetings from friends and family not here, made this a very memorable day.

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Just A Little Bit A Kick’N

Weber

 

A few days ago, we went to Sam’s Club. A nice lady was handing out chicken samples that had Weber Kick’n Chicken Seasoning on them. That single bite of chicken was soooo good, I would have paid her lots of money for the whole plate of samples. I tried that before and it didn’t work, so I asked how she made the chicken.

Just wash the chicken, she said. Cut the chicken into strips. Then rub it with Weber Kick’n Chicken Seasoning and fry it in a pan sprayed with Pam or your favorite oil.

She served those succulent bite sized pieces of chicken with a little bit of mayonnaise mixed with Weber Kick’n Chicken Seasoning on top. It all sounded pretty easy peasy to me. Steve liked the chicken, so we were in business.

I do appreciate those free samples the big box stores give out. Over the years, Steve and I have added many new foods to our diet that we never would have tried without the free samples.

Steve and I bought the Weber Kick’n Chicken Seasoning and some chicken. Yesterday we prepared the chicken and I liberally rubbed the chicken with the spice. When it got hot in the pan, the steam that arose caused Steve and me to step back a little. Then we turned on the ceiling fan. Thankfully, the chicken cooked quickly and we got it out of the pan.

When our breathing returned to normal, we decided to sample the chicken before adding anything. It was so spicy; we both had trouble getting it down. In a croaking voice, Steve said it would be good with ranch salad dressing to cut the spice. We tried that and it was much better.

Before we cooked the remaining chicken, we rubbed most of the seasoning off. We learned that with less seasoning, our eyes and throat didn’t burn while the chicken was cooking and the chicken could be eaten without ranch salad dressing if one desired.

Last night we learned that the cold chicken makes a great snack.

After all the cooking was done, I read every word on the bottle label. There are no instructions about how much to use. I checked the internet for instructions. The specifics of how much to use was not listed in the five references I checked. I guess one is just supposed to know that you sprinkle spices to your individual taste preference. Life is all about learning.

The great part of this story is that Steve and I prepared the chicken together. It was another adventure, one of many we have had during our marriage. Steve and I cook together and have a fun time in the kitchen. Not only that, it sure makes preparation and cleanup a lot easier when we do it together. I hope you are enjoying your partner’s company in the kitchen.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

 

 

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WSOP – Las Vegas

WSOP Steve

If you look closely you will see Steve in the middle of the WSOP sign above. He is so excited. When we were living in New England, a year and a half ago, we never would have guessed that we would be living in Las Vegas where the World Series of Poker is played. Steve is a very happy man. When my man is happy, I am happy.

10 Million

The World Series of Poker is now playing in Las Vegas. The whole town is alive with excitement. Thousands of poker players have converged at the Rio convention center to match their skills against other players. All of the Rio seems to be charged with a special excitement. The $10,000,000 on the entrance steps is the amount the winner of the Main Event will take home.

IMG_20140529_173157

The common areas are full of merchandise for sale. The halls have venders ready to serve. Even if a person doesn’t play poker, it is a fun place to visit.

A Binion's poker table signed by numerous prof...

A Binion’s poker table signed by numerous professional poker players and WSOP Champions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The World Series of Poker was born in Las Vegas at Binions Horseshoe Casino in down town Las Vegas in 1970 with seven players.  The winner was chosen by secret ballot. Since then, the WSOP has grown to 79,471 entries in last year’s event.

IMG_20140530_145817457

Steve knows all the poker greats and sometimes becomes star struck when in their presence for the first time. I enjoy poker and I like to follow the professionals, but I am not at the same level as Steve. We were both very happy to see Vanessa Selbst win the second event of the season and get a gold bracelet in the Mixed Max – No Limit Holdem event.

We have had the good fortune of meeting many professional poker players through our association with the WPDG (Wednesday Poker Discussion Group.) Overall, poker players are kind, generous and fun people to be with. I have been very impressed with their generosity when someone is in need. Players create a poker tournament and everyone participates to raise funds.

Steve and I have had a wonderful experience meeting great people in Las Vegas who just happen to play poker. Have you ever attended the World Series of Porker or wanted to?

Door

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