Monthly Archives: June 2018

Jelly, Jam, Preserves, Marmalade . . . Palatable With Peanut Butter, Not So Much With Traffic

I can’t recall if I have an asphalt road in any of my novels. If they do exist, you can bet they are few and far between. I’m more of a woodsy kind of guy. If it’s not dirt, sand, stone, grass or any number of natural elements, including water; then, it more than likely doesn’t exist in my written world.

When I think about it, it’s probably a good thing. Who wants all the pollution, expense, aggravation and high blood pressure that goes along with a nicely paved road? . . .Well, evidently we do. There are approximately 263 million cars in the United States. I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked fellow motorists were rude and getting worse by the day.

Why do we have such a love affair with a mechanical beast that releases our aggressive nature, makes us late more often than not and ties us into knots with the appearance of a tiny scratch? Been in a traffic jam lately? You have to admit it’s a fun time. I can’t think of too many things I’d rather do, other than get mauled by a bear or set my head on fire. If you want to see a real traffic jam, then check out southern California most anytime of the day or night. That’ll get your blood flowing!

All in all, people like their rides. I’ve said this for years and still maintain this position. My favorite thing about an automobile is, “paid for!”

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Mosquitoes, Vacations, Heat Waves, Meat on the Grill, Tornadoes, Swimming…the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Summer Has it All!

I’m sure you already know summer’s back in town. It goes without saying, this particular season of heat comes around each year. I think what we all take for granted are the creature comforts that not so long ago was unavailable to the average homeowner. Air conditioning makes life bearable, especially for those who live in our southern cities from one end of the country to the other.

I can’t imagine writing on an ancient typewriter instead of the modern computer I’m able to use as I pen this blog.

Simple things like indoor plumbing allow us to take frequent showers so that others can stand to be around us. When I watch television and a show I have chosen is a western or something from an earlier time period, I often wonder about the odor in a room full of unbathed people dressed in wool clothing in the middle of the summer; not to mention the saloon girls engaging in their chosen profession. Kind of makes you shudder, doesn’t it?

The season we will officially embark upon June 21st is the summer solstice. It’s the time of year when kids are out of school, vacations begin, fresh vegetables grace our tables and grills throughout the neighborhood pummel our senses with enticing aromas.  All in all, summer is a wonderful time of year; just don’t forget to indulge in indoor water and a bar of Irish Spring.

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Burn Baby Burn!

I live in Virginia where our growing season runs from April to October. I’ve already enjoyed a bounty of spinach, kale, beets, onions and hot peppers. Soon my favorites will ripen, including tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green peppers and melons of all types. I am telling you this because my passion as an author is equal to my passion for food.

One vegetable I am particularly partial to is the hot pepper. I’m not into the melt-your-face type such as the ghost or Carolina Reaper which edges out The Trinidad Scorpion as the hottest pepper in the world. I’m more suited for the Cayenne which I can happily munch away on while eating lunch or supper. I will admit that I want my eyes to water, my nose to run and my forehead to sweat whilst I’m masticating these capsaicin packed capsules.

In case you’re wondering why an individual will put themselves through such a painful experience just to ingest a small explosive vegetable, allow me to tell you as I understand it. When we eat the active ingredient in a hot pepper (capsaicin), it releases endorphins. This release gives us a sense of well-being. It’s one of those cases of “hurts so good.” So my suggestion to you would be start with a pepper low in Scoville units (which is the scale used to measure the heat in a pepper) such as a Jalapeno. Take a bite and enjoy the burn!

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