Gadget Post: Hybrid Plug-In

You may or may not remember, this was my car. And despite that photo, Bixby fit well. And Scout, too. Though it was getting a little crowded on longer trips.

For various reason, though I really enjoyed my Kia Soul, I wanted to look at trading it in while it still had value. And I really, really wanted a hybrid (I’d have preferred an EV, but they don’t have the distance I would need for my sole vehicle).

Boy, was I happy when I found a hybrid/plug-in SUV:  Continue reading

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Merry Christmas!

Something a little different this morning…

Earthrise: This iconic view of the Earth rising above the lunar surface was captured by Apollo 8 lunar module pilot Bill Anders during the first human voyage around the moon on Dec. 24, 1968. Anders flew around the moon with Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman and command module pilot Jim Lovell.

Credit: NASA

On Dec. 24, 1968, Bill Anders orbited the moon as lunar module pilot with the Apollo 8 crew on humanity’s first voyage to another world. It was he who took the iconic Earthrise photo on Christmas Eve, a gift of perspective in a turbulent year. Here, Anders reflects on Apollo 8’s historic flight, Earthrise and the impact a photograph can have for Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights

Fifty years ago today, I was part of a crew of three men orbiting the moon, cocooned inside a 13-foot by 11-foot space capsule. Inside, there wasn’t much space at all. Outside, the immensity of our galaxy boggled our minds and dazzled our eyes.

Despite substantial risks in moving up the launch date in order to get ahead of the Soviet Union’s space program, we set world records for speed, altitude, and distance. We became the first humans to leave low-Earth orbit, and to orbit another celestial body. Ours were the first human eyes to see the far side of the moon. Months later, Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface.

The audacious nature of what NASA achieved in winning the space race remains unsurpassed. Those efforts fueled further progress that continues today, often through private enterprise. NASA demonstrated how American ingenuity could overcome nearly any obstacle.

Read more here.  And to see a video of the event, click here.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve Party: Sesame Brittle

I was doing some recipe searching for a project I’ll post about later and sesame seeds were heavily featured. That put me in mind of Sesame Brittle. I thought it might be nice to have it to crumble over ice cream on the Sundae Bar on Christmas Eve.

Such a simple recipe. No candy thermometer needed. I always use oiled wax paper, but I’m wondering if oiled parchment would work better. The heat of candy on the wax paper melts it in places. Difficult to peel off.

Sesame Brittle

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • salt

saucepan, wax paper (or parchment) and baking sheet Continue reading

Holiday Gift Idea: Run Aground in Paperback and Kindle

A little self-promotion!

 Available in Kindle for immediate delivery, or free with Kindle Prime

Two-day option available for Paperback here  (Because some people like the feel of the book in their hands. Including my mom. 😁)

If you can’t see the free preview above,  click here for chapters 1 and 2 here.

If you’ve read it and leave a review on Amazon, you’re entered for free gifts! (Click here to enter without purchase.)

A Sexy, Witty, Murderous Adventure

My life was not going as I had imagined. But I had a plan:

FIRST, in between being chased by Scary Dudes and frequently dodging bullets, I was determined to solve the murder of mysterious lawman, Mike Fraser. He died in my arms after involving me in a criminal investigation, so this was personal.

NEXT, I was going to get my Soon-To-Be-Ex to sign our divorce papers (a divorce he had insisted on, by the way). Then I would be free to take full advantage of the well-muscled U.S. Marshal that was now guarding my body, day and night.

FINALLY, I was going to find my dream job as far away from Peoria, IL and as close to an ocean as I could possibly get. It was a simple plan.

All I had to do was live long enough to implement it.

And I was definitely not going to fall in love with the sexy U.S. Marshal sitting at my kitchen table. Even if every cell in my body was saying he was too good to let go.

For TJ Wilde, it was difficult to tell who was more dangerous, the men trying to kill her or the man she was falling in love with…

RUN AGROUND is a wild ride through a small town. Corrupt cops, illegal gambling, lascivious morticians, contract killers and one sexy U.S. Marshal keep TJ Wilde on her toes while she tries to solve a murder. She’s also on the hunt for the jerks who keep ransacking her apartment. All while she tries to ignore the hunky man with the potential to mend her broken heart…or shatter it irrevocably.

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Keep up to date with my progress on the second book in the trilogy, UNDERWAY, follow or send me a friend requestion on Facebook

And of course, watch for blog updates here.

Run Aground in paperback or Kindle.

Christmas Eve Menu

Every year, around Thanksgiving, I ask my Christmas Eve guests what they want at our annual soiree.

This year we settled on fairly simple, yet tasty menu:

Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken 

This will be a tweaked recipe – kind of combining two of my favorite recipes. I’ve done a couple of practice batches – can’t have too much oven fried chicken! – and once I have it perfected, I’ll post.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

I’m doing my no boil mashed potatoes (recipe here) and serving it fully loaded with sour cream, bacon and cheddar cheese. Also gravy.

Cajun Gravy

This will be a spicy mix of sausage, bacon, minced chicken hearty gravy.

Bacon, Tomato, Green Beans

Pretty simple – tossing green beans with bacon (and bacon grease) and sliced grape tomatoes in a skillet until tender.

And finally, dessert will be the ever popular Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Premium vanilla bean ice cream served with choice of toppings – caramel, chocolate, peanuts, walnuts and sliced bananas

Photos and recipes to follow.

 

I Guess He Likes It Here

Just below him is Scout. They’re both snoring. I have another photo of him, same spot, but Bixby is next to him and Gabe has his paw on Bixby. I’ll download that one tomorrow and share.

He’s put on a fair amount of weight, which I’m sure I’ll hear about from the vet this week.