Mr. Churchill’s Secretary

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Winston Churchill
This is one of my favorite quotes of Churchill’s, someone both my husband and I admire very much.
So, when someone mentioned to me a book titled MR CHURCHILLS SECRETARY by Susan Elia MacNeal you know I had to read it.  ISBN 9780553593617
It’s her debut novel and the first in a series with Maggie Hope. A woman who graduated at the top of her class and has a mind to rival the best in British Intelligence. Unfortunately being female the only position she qualifies for is secretary at No 1 Downing Street. The book opens with a bang and doesn’t stop. You care about the characters and when you realize the ending you ask “Why didn’t I see that?” If you go back over it you realize the clues were right there all along. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

Full Disclosure – I borrowed this book from my local library for my own pleasure and was asked by no one to do a review. I’m not getting paid or reimbursed in any way shape or form.


Memorial day

As the only girl with five brothers I was often outvoted when it came to what was on tv. This was back in the late middle ages, when everyone had only one TV.  No remote control, you actually got up and walked over to the TV to change the channel. But I digress.

Because of my minority status, I got to watch a lot of shows about cops and robbers and soldiers especially soldiers. One of their favorite shows was COMBAT!  This was in the 60’s. Close enough to WW2 that everyone had one or more family members who had fought.

I think even with the fantasy of television in those days, it gave people. especially kids, some frame of reference. For me, it also gave something else. I didn’t realize it then but I was building a base for my writing career. The good guys were always handsome, and kind and good.They love their mother, their wife/girlfriend.They didn’t lie,unless it was for the good of someone important. They did not break the law, unless it was for a damn good reason.

This is something I’ve noted in all my heroes, at least a little bit<G>

Today is a day for remembering heroes, those men and women who place their lives on the line every day so we can have our freedoms. So to those past and present, those who gave the final sacrifice and those who are still here. Thank you and may god bless you and keep you safe.

What’s for dinner?

I love to cook.  It’s only since health issues forced me to quit what i referred to as my “rent paying gig” that I’ve been able to indulge in trying new and different things. I had tried in growing up. I cooked for my dad and my brothers for a while. They did not always appreciate my artistry. J  Luckily, even after all these years, my husband does. Doesn’t mean I don’t get nervous.

Husband and I are trying to eat healthier these days. Having both our fathers pass in six months reminded us all to well of our own mortality.

We both like Tofu but I was tired of just making Tofu stir fry. What to do.

I perused my recipes and came up with a few ideas.  There was a recipe on cook channel I took that and used it as a starting point.  I had Tofu, I had spices, not necessarily the ones on the recipe, but spices anyway. Some of them hot.

I drained the tofu and shake at least 6 different spices on it front and back, maybe more. I just took what looked good to me. I rubbed it in and left it to sit for a while as I watched Dr OZ.

After my daily dose of the good doctor, I went back to the kitchen. Tofu tends to take on flavors of things it is cooked with so what to have for a starch. I was tired of the same old and wanted a change. I opened the cabinet and the first thing I saw, corn meal. Perfect I hadn’t made Polenta for a while. While I stirred the polenta, I heated the pan to sauté the tofu slices.

I cooked the tofu slices, orange tinged from the tumeric. One at a time. Then I took the polenta and put a few spoonfuls on the pan. I figured, I can do it with Mashed potatoes, why not with Polenta?

I cooked just enough for the two of us, storing the remaining polenta to use later in the week. Plated them with the tofu and sprinkled extra cheese on it. I am one of those people who thinks almost any meal is enhanced by cheese. My husband took a bite, then another, then he said, “I really like this!”  Another keeper.

I love it when things go the way I want them to go.

Some Free Meal

29 years ago today, I went on a blind date. At the time my friend said to me, “I thought you said no more blind dates.”

My answer was, “Hey it’s a free dinner, even if he does sound like one of the Dead-End Kids. For those of you old enough to remember watching them.

Yes,he sounded strange, he was from Brooklyn, I was from Boston. At least he wasn’t a Yankee fan! I know some of my best friends are Yankee fans, but not back then.

Any way I went on the date, can’t remember what I ate other than Chinese food. We were to busy talking. All during dinner, when we stopped for a drink and all the way back to my apartment.  I didn’t know it them but I think I lost my heart when he sat down on  the floor and began playing with my cat.

Seven weeks later I called the same friend to tell her we were getting married.  Her response was “Some free dinner.”

So Happy Anniversary to my husband Michael, my McDuff, my best friend.

Feline Terrible Twos

But Ma, We didn’t do it!

While we were in New York recently I bought myself a Nook Tablet. I already had a first generation Nook but have been lusting after a tablet. It got worse after visiting my friend who actually owned one.  Finally I could afford one.

It more than paid for itself before we returned from New York. Now I don’t know how I lived without it. I use it more than my laptop. The best part about it? My cats won’t sit on it. I should say can’t sit on it.

My life is ruled by two cats.  Yerbie and Pandora.  Yerbie has his own Facebook page started by my husband. Pandora is going through the terrible twos. Any one who thinks that is strictly a human phenomena is wrong.  I have feline proof of it.

Since I injured my back it is easier for me to sit in my recliner rather than at my office desk.  Yerbie will jump on the arm and sit there while I write. Pandora gets up and finds this little space between me and the laptop and gets down in there. She figures if she’s there I will pay attention to her and I do, for a few minutes.  She’s not big enough to cover the keyboard so I just let her sit there and use her as a wrist rest. After a few minutes she’s gone in disgust.

When I am on my nook, they both try to knock it out of my hands and then get upset when they can’t.

Yerbie will sit on my lap and wait patiently. Pandora needs attention now. She usually goes off in a huff. I suppose I should be thankful she hasn’t decided to do to my fingers what she does to my toes. When she’s hungry and I am not moving fast enough, she bites my toes.