starting the day off right

It’s Monday.  I have a long list of things to accomplish, and at the top of that list is to write.

I have a deadline.  Again.

Oh, my.

Uh-oh.  I think I’m hyperventilating.

Before crossing anything off my list (pack up box for Post Office, find the sangria punch recipe, write 6 pages, call the bakery, email agent, wash the car, find that Kohls receipt, wash the kitchen floor, blah, blah, blah…) I needed to do one important thing.

So, coffee in hand, I headed down to the lake.

Good morning, town.

2014-09-22 036 (3)Good morning, beach.

2014-09-22 011Good morning, everyone.

I hope you’re taking a few minutes out of your busy Monday to enjoy your coffee and take a few deep breaths.

I feel better now.

Posted in lake | Leave a comment

another tv-less game day


At 5:00 PM (PT) I will put on my new Huskers shirt, bought in Lincoln, Nebraska last June.  It is not the shirt you see here, but it’s red and it says “Huskers” on the front.

I will look like an idiot, here alone at the lake. But no one will see me, so that’s good. :)

The Nebraska-Miami game is not going to be streamed online, so I am once again stuck with listening to it on the internet radio, with all of the inevitable techno-glitches that come with listening to anything online. It’s a great alternative to not being able to listen at all, but it is never perfect.

I think I will take my laptop downstairs and iron while the game is on. It could be a tense three hours. There’s a lot of history between these teams and today is going to show if Nebraska is really making a comeback.

Until then I am working on my short story and listening to the pregame show.  I have been to the library and the dump.  I have successfully restrained myself from entering The Pantry and buying ice cream or cinnamon rolls.

I have looked up recipes for making pear liqueur.  I have unloaded boxes of borrowed serving dishes from the car.  I have filled the car with gas.  And bought a Diet Coke.

I have made my bed.

I have practiced my yodel song, among others.  I have folded clean clothes and swept the kitchen floor.  I have decided what to bake for tomorrow’s dessert after band practice.

Four hours to go until kick off.

I think I will walk down to the beach now and look for arrowheads.

Three hours and fifty-one minutes to go until kick off.


Posted in a more pie opinion, lake, television | 1 Comment

an evening out

Dancing Mandolin Player and  her boyfriend Bob took me along with them to town tonight.  Hurray!!

We had dinner at DiLunas and saw this very talented husband and wife team:

kellymcraeKelly McRae is one talented songwriter and has a beautiful voice to go along with it.  Her husband plays a mean guitar and sings perfect harmonies.

They told us that three and a half years ago they decided to sell all of their possessions, buy a camper van and head out on the road to pursue their musical career.  (DMP and I had a revelation:  Imagine what you can do if you are young, have no children and no house payment! )

Sweet couple.

You can read more about them and listen to some of their songs at


Posted in lake, music | Leave a comment

power nap idea?

This is bizarre.  But for some people it might be the perfect solution to grabbing a nap at the library or on the subway or at the desk.  If I see anyone at the airport wearing one, I promise to take a picture.  

And here I thought my polka-dot micro-bead neck pillow was strange.

nap pillow

I definitely prefer my naps with my pillow, either on the couch or on my bed, but those are “comfy naps”, not “power naps”.

You can read all about it below or at

Ostrich Pillow

Napping Pillow


Sometimes all you need is a power nap — after a stressful day; to counter jet lag; or for a chance to relax. The Ostrich Pillow is a dream come true. Burrow your head and arms into its cozy “cocoon” and you’ll be in dreamland before you know it.Created by STUDIO BANANA THINGS, a brand that puts the fun in functional, the Ostrich Pillow puts a new spin on relaxation. Recognizing that we spend so much time at work, in front of

the screen or in transit, they created this new pillow to help us disconnect and dream. Power napping increases productivity by 34%. This pillow isolates the head and the hands comfortably so you can relax and replenish.Great for frequent travel, the dorm, the desk, or home, the Ostrich Pillow is like that comfy old sweatshirt you just can’t part with. Block out the noise, the light, and the world for a little catnap. Snooze and awake refreshed.

Posted in a more pie opinion | Leave a comment

heading to montana to shop

Good morning.

I am about to haul myself out of bed and head upstairs to turn on the Keurig.  A giant mug of coffee is only minutes away.

A huge fishing boat is passing the house, on a very quiet lake, right now.  I am impressed.

Back to the topic….

You are wondering where I am going to shop and what I am going to buy, aren’t you?  Well, it’s not exactly what you think.  The Two Kathies (Kathy and Kathi) have offered to loan me any fancy serving dishes, platters and various dishes that I need for the baby shower I’m hosting in a couple of weeks.

“Come shop,” they said.  “We have everything.”

And they do, these Supreme Hostesses of the Northwest.  They really do.

Kathy, on the river, said, “Come to my house first.  I have platters and china you can borrow.  And then we will drive to the mountain together.”

Kathi, on the mountain, said, “Come to my house and we will have lunch and sip tequila.”

Kathy, on the river, agreed.  “I will bring wine.”

Kathi, on the mountain, said, “We will make it a party.  Bring Dancing Mandolin Player and our French Friend Janou.  Borrow all of my cake stands and platters.  I will make lunch and we will sit on the deck and sip tequila and look at the Bull River Valley and tell stories about our summer.”

And I, sometimes known as “More Pie”, said, “Yes.  Yes.  YES!!!!!”

In three short hours I will load My French Friend Janou (whose pregnant daughter is the reason for the baby shower) and Dancing Mandolin Player (who, thank God, is finally recovering from a serious infection and hip injury and is now available to party) and drive to Montana.

I will load the car with bottles of wine and jars of plum conserve.

Could shopping be any more fun?  I don’t think so!

And speaking of shopping….two days ago I placed an order at  I needed new leggings and some long sleeved t-shirts.  And the nearest Kohls is 65 miles away.  Well, yesterday my “General Delivery” address caused some confusion.  A twenty minute phone call was needed to prove that I was who I said I was, that I was not a thief intent upon charging 2 pairs of leggings and three cotton shirts on someone else’s charge card.  It was quite the inquisition.

I was glad the people and the computers at Kohls are so diligent, but this is not the first time that my modest “General Delivery” address has caused problems.  Between the local UPS drivers, the post mistress and the FedEx folks, I have managed to get packages delivered or held for pick up.  Everyone I’ve dealt with has cheerfully cooperated.

But I think I would rather shop in Montana, on the river and up on the mountain, while sipping tequila and sharing stories with good friends.

I am soooooo looking forward to this day!

2013-09-18 034




Posted in food, friends, grandmother stuff, lake | 2 Comments

pictures from a very busy kitchen

2014-09-16 001Peppers from Retired Mountain Lady.

2014-09-16 004

      Flowers from Dancing Mandolin Player’s garden, and vintage blocks from a local antique store.


2014-09-16 005 Plum Conserve, to fulfill my insane urge to can something.

Old habits die hard.  From her perch in heaven, my mother-in-law is smiling at the jars lined up on the counter.  I hear her reassuring voice–“Don’t worry, they’ll pop,”– whenever I hear the snap of lids.

2014-09-16 006 More jars of plum conserve, which involved preparing the plums in two ways (macerating and drying) and cooking with kirsch (aka cherry liqueur) and walnuts.  To be served with cheese and crackers….

2014-09-16 007 Some goodies from the Community Center Tailgate Sale waiting to be washed.  Check out the array of vintage fabrics in those little blocks!  I love looking at them.

2014-09-16 009Treasures lined up, as I get ready to host a baby shower.  My French Friend Janou is FINALLY going to be a grandmother.

In December.

It’s a boy.

And life couldn’t be any more exciting.

So of course this calls for a party.

And now that you have seen my kitchen in all its glory, I’m going back to writing a short story for Harlequin.  It needs to be done in two weeks, which should be interesting.

Cooking, practicing the lap steel, learning new songs to sing, yodeling, band practice, a baby shower and going to a couple of concerts with DMP take precedence over writing.

But I will manage to fit it in somewhere.

Posted in food, lake, quilting, secondhand stuff | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

last of the summer flowers

2014-09-15 001

Thanks, DMP, for the “band flowers”.

Posted in friends, lake | 1 Comment

bargain boots

Seriously, could anyone resist these red boots?

2014-09-09 003$18.50 at the thrift store.  Does it get any better than this???

Posted in lake, secondhand stuff | 1 Comment

i want to be a cowboy’s sweetheart

Sometimes you just have to yodel.

Even if those people in the car on the road trip with you might not appreciate that particular enthusiastic musical urge.

I yodeled along with some of my favorite singers through at least nine states as we headed west in June.

Great fun.

And now I have a new song to sing with the Cougar Creek Band.

Patsy Montana recorded it in 1935 and become the first female country western songwriter to sell a million copies.

Here’s the Suzy Bogguss version:

Posted in lake, music, the band | Leave a comment

mason jars and cuppow!

I think this is so cool.

newsetof3sku cuppow-sku-of3

You can turn any wide mouth or regular mouth canning jar into a to-go cup.  Check out the website, for more information.


Posted in food | Leave a comment