Poppy’s Proposal

Poppy’s Proposal written by Gav Ough is like reading a romantic comedy. It was a quick fun read about a young woman trying to find the right guy. At first Poppy is lost and unsure of herself. She is stuck in a dead end job and has no clue where to go or how to do it. Jealous of her best friend she is left feeling guilty and lonely.

Then she thinks she found Mr Right. Or was it two Mr Rights? Stuck between two guys Poppy can’t choose just one. Eventually Poppy gets her Mr right and her dream job. There’s a few twists and turns along the way that keeps you turning pages  and wanting more. The ending was satisfying if a tad predictable but it was a chic lit book so all is forgiven we like happy endings.

The only flaw I found in the book could very well be a culture gap. The book was set in the UK and I am from the US. Poppy is judged very harshly when she dated two men. Neither of which were serious or even sexual relationships. While its not the best of ideas even here I doubt the treatment she would have received would be so harsh. It could also be that the author is a man and I don’t understand a man’s brain.

Overall the book was well written and enjoyable. I don’t normally read chic lit and find myself wanting to know what else Gav can come up with.

So I’m giving Poppy’s Proposal 4 out of 5 stars.

Crepes a la Dad

Everything is quiet on a late Sunday afternoon. We’ve been to church and ran a few familyerrands or had a ball game. Everyone is tired and cranky. My dad wanders into the kitchen and starts digging around. At first no one pays attention. He measures out the flour and other ingredients, still no one cares. The electric crepe pan is plugged in and the whole house stands at attention.

 

Mom sets the table, then loads it with jams, jellies, butter and powder sugar. The kids wander into the kitchen to check on the height of the stack. Not tall enough to start yet. Dad always had to get a head start before we began to eat or we would spend half of dinner waiting on crepes. The last inch of crepes seems to take hours as we wait.

Finally we sit at the table and the first batch of crepes is set in front of us. I place one on my plate spreading a thin layer of strawberry jam over it before rolling it up. The second received butter and powdered sugar. The first bite was pure magic that only dad could deliver. I watch him as I eat dipping the crepe pan, waiting till the crepe is perfectly cooked then gently easing it off, before repeating it again. Its a tedious task but he’s happy because we are happy.

Crepes were always a rare treat in our house. They took my dad a long time to prepare and they aren’t the best thing to eat for dinner. They always brought the family together though, waiting, eating, cleaning up. It sounds like any other meal but it wasn’t. It was forced togetherness while everyone was in a good mood. All of us were excited about the dinner to come. We had good conversations, joking and laughing at those dinners.

Crepes were dad’s specialty. No one else learned how to make them and now that he passed those days are  gone. Crepe dinners are one of my favorite memories of him and my childhood. I can still see him standing in the corner of the L shaped counter in our kitchen gently prying a crepe off the pan. Its one of those memories that refuse to fade even after 20 years and I hope it never does.

A Few Good Books

Like most people I started reading when I was a kid. I loved it. My favorite stories then were by R.L. Stine. I couldn’t get enough. Why I loved being too frightened to go to bed at night I don’t know, but I think that was only part of it. R.L. Stine always created a story that drew the reader in. I could picture myself in his story. The words weren’t static letters on a page they became images in my head. Most of his books also had a good

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mystery to them too. I always found myself turning the pages and never wanting to put the book down.

In my early teens I stopped reading. I don’t remember why. Perhaps it was simply because my teachers and parents wanted me to read, so I didn’t want to. I can’t remember. Then some one handed me Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice at the beginning of my junior year of high school. The obsession with reading was back. Once again letters were no longer inanimate objects. They danced off the page forming movies in my head.  I read through Queen of the Damned before Christmas break and the books are so much better than the movies.

Then I was introduced to the Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. At first I was intimidated, it’s 800 pages long. Once I got started I couldn’t stop. I fell in love with fantasy novels and I had a little bit of a crush on Richard Rahl. After that I was hooked. Ibook2 read any fantasy book or novel I could find that sounded interesting. I tend to like magic over swords and heroines over heroes. Magical races are always intriguing to me so if they are included it is an automatic bonus.

My favorite book of a all though is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. If you haven’t read it you really should. It’s one of those classic books people put on their book shelves to look smart like Shakespeare, I love his tragedies by the way, but its worth the read. Its another long read even the abridged version is well over 800 pages. I loved every bit. The story has everything, revenge, love, a hero, a villain, a princess. It is epic fiction and the movies have yet to get it right. They keep trying to improve perfection, it can’t be done.

My Goodreads profile has a listing of most of the books that I can remember the names and authors for the books I read. I assure you there are many more that I am missing. I read a lot of books from the library and can’t remember their names. The list is eclectic ranging from classics to romance novels. I love any book that has the ability to draw me in and make me feel a part of it. Most of them have their own unique world. New ideas and spins on old ones are always a must for me.

As I said earlier when I read a good book I see it in my head like I’m watching a movie. When I write it is exactly the same way. I see entire scenes of my books played out before me repeatedly  until I get it just right and written down on the page.  I get inspiration from other authors and their books.  I draw on what I’ve read to help me figure out how to piece my scenes together, or how to fix a problem in my own work. Now, most of the time I am either reading or writing. even my lunch break is spent eating over a notebook writing or a book reading. I wouldn’t have it any other way.book1

Five Little Things

I thought I would share five things about me that you probably don’t know. Sorry they aren’t embarrassing and my site is family friendly so no luck there. These are just random tidbits about me that unless you met me you wouldn’t know. So where to begin? We’ll begin with the most extreme and work our way back to tranquil.

I am a roller coaster fanatic. I love them. Really, I can’t get enough. When I was a teenager my family didn’t have a ton of money so I would ask for a season pass to Six Flags for both my birthday and Christmas gifts. My whole summer was spent at the park until I started working, then it was nights and weekends.

I’ve been to Cedar Point in Ohio and rode every coaster. I want to go back as soon as my girls are old enough. I’m also dying to ride the new Batman coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I keep trying to get friends together for a trip. All the way to Texas for one coaster, it seems perfectly logical to me. I’m just sad I haven’t got to ride it yet. The link above will show a video in case your wondering what all the fuss is about.

Only slightly less risky was petting a 300 pound tiger and two tiger cubs. I know it seems worse than the roller coasters, but it was a one time experience. The Tiger was in a cage and everything was in a controlled environment.

When I was in high school and my first couple years of college I wanted to be a veterinarian. A wonderful lady at church named Mary Starks had connections at the St Louis Zoo and knew my interest in Veterinary medicine. She arranged a tour of the hospital at the zoo.

They also took me behind the cages to see Max the tiger and his two cubs. I will never forget how soft his fur was or how big his paws were. The cubs played like any other kittens and had to be bribed to come close enough to the fence for a pet. If I can find the pictures I will post them to my blog at a later time.

In case you haven’t guessed my husband is Vietnamese. I however am not, I’m as white as they come being mostly German, Polish, and Croatian. There’s a little British Isles thrown in there as well making me a good old American mutt. Needless to say I grew up eating hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and spaghetti. Spaghetti was at least twice a week because my dad loved it.

I am pointing it out because I love Vietnamese food now. When we first started dating the food was an adventure. Not that it was bad, we just had a rule: never ask what IMG_7378something was until you decide if you like it. I’ve eaten some pretty interesting things. Some of it was amazing, I love goat curry. Some of it pretty bad, don’t try pig Fallopian tubes. While other things are an acquired taste, durian and balut being the two biggest ones.

Now that my mother in law lives in California I had to learn to make a lot of my favorite dishes myself. I try to learn something new every time we visit. There are also great blogs to follow my favorite is The Ravenous Couple . The quickest thing for me to make that will feed the family for several days is caramelized chicken, but they really love Pho, too bad it takes a full day to make. The picture shows a quick version called Pho Ga featuring chicken instead of beef.

 

 

Now we move on to the tame facts. The first is my collection of teapots. Its not out of control yet. I do find myself in resale shops flea markets and garage sales searching for that perfect quirky old pot. I have a few newer pieces that can be used because Isaac loves tea. My preference though is the old and unique.

IMG_7382This little teapot started the whole thing. My grandfather brought it back from Japan after WWII. I used to stare at that teapot when I was a little girl. When we had to pack up our grandparents house it was one of the few mementos I received from him. His flag from his service in the army was the other. My grandmother, his wife, left me a tea service and I have a cream and sugar set from my other grandmother. Things have progressed from there to a nice collection. I think my love for the first teapot explains my taste for the old and unique though.

Finally we reach the last tidbit. I sew and quilt. I started sewing when I was a kid. My mom showed me this valuable skill. She even taught me how to read a pattern, apparently that is a dying art. I’ve made several dresses, pajamas, and Halloween costumes for my girls. The girls started picking out their Halloween costume for 2017 in November of 2016 they were so excited about last years costumes. Requests are never finalized until September 1.

 

Quilting came much later. I just started that about three years ago. My little brother in my fraternity was having a baby and she needed a quilt. (All members of our Frat are brothers AAAE) I combed Pinterest for something easy and cute, drew out a plan, did a lot of math, bought my fabric and figured it out. The elephant quilt is what I came up with. It was pretty cute for my first quilt. Since then I’ve made several more. There are pictures of some below. I have one I am working on now and hope to have it finished by the time summer is over.

So that’s it five little things you didn’t know about me before. Some of them interesting others, maybe not as much. I’m sure there are more and If I think of anything interesting I’ll share those too.