Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Ode to Fix-it Man

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Okay, I confess. I am helpless when it comes to a lot of things. Computer acting funny? Car wonít start? Washing machine on the fritz? Donít call me, I wonít have a clue.

Thatís why I consider myself fortunate my husband is so handy. During the day he masquerades as a mild-mannered software engineer. But on evenings and weekends he transforms into the caped crusader, protector of our humble householdóFix-it Man!

Fix-it Man has been unusually busy this past week. The truck needed a new battery. The Saturn had three, yes three, things that needed fixing. The bathroom scale quit working. A sink was stopped up. The lights above the stove went out. Scary virus messages popped up on the computer. And the snow blower wheel broke off.

They are all fixed now. Itís nice being married to a super-hero!

Never Cut the Cats

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Flash here. Donít believe what Cindy said last time she wrote. I was not in a snit. I was BUSY coordinating† an important mission, thank you very much. Someone had to provide the inspiration for the felines in the plot of her new story.

Then we heard from our agent who said there was too much unconnected stuff going on in the story. She told Cindy to decide what was vital to the storyline and cut the rest. She gave Cindy a whole list of possibilities, including the cats Iíd worked so hard to inspire.

Cut the cats? Can you imagine? I mean weíre talking about felines here. What could be more vital to the story? Of course, these particular characters are not nearly as cool as me, but still. You donít just go cutting cats out of stories willy nilly!

Where would we be if The Cat in the Hat, Garfield, and Puss in Boots had been cut from their stories, huh? Just thinking about it makes my tail bristle.

Cindy was sympathetic, but she told me, ìWhatís the point of getting an agent if youíre not going to listen to her advice?î

ìAnd what about your feline muse?î I shot back. ìIsnít his advice important? Iím the one who got you that agent!î

Cindy laughed and patted my imaginary head.

So I held my breath and put my claws in standby mode. Iíd worked too hard on my creations to give them up without a fight.

Cindy got busy over the next few weeks. She cut the evil government agent. She cut the parentsí death. She even cut the robot climax scene. But she didnít cut the cats.

Instead, she molded and shaped the cats until they were vital to the story. I let out my breath, thinking catastrophe had been averted.

Then she got another idea. One that changed lots of things in the story. One that made my cat characters less vital . . .

Stay tuned. I havenít given up yet. After all, I am Flash, Feline Extraordinaire. And everybody knows you should never, ever cut the cats!

Flash on a Mission

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Itís been weeks and weeks, and we are still waiting to hear from three publishers. I have to tell you, curiosity is making my whiskers itch like crazy. Iím constantly checking the e-mail while Cindyís not looking. You canít blame a cat for being curious. Itís part of our natural feline charm, like taking naps in the sun and shedding on the furniture.

Meanwhile, the good news is that Cindy worked on my sequel, adding a brand new ending and several new scenes. Of course itís greatóonce again I save the day! Well, maybe I have a little help from my team, but not much.

The bad news is that as far as I can tell, sheís not going to write any more about yours truly until the first book sells.†

I donít think she realizes how bored I am sitting around doing nothing. A feline extraordinaire such as myself needs to stay busy. And donít bother getting me one of those stuffed felt miceótheyíre for sissy house cats. No, I want to get back to outsmarting butt-sniffers, defeating scar-faced men, and protecting secret inventions.

This situation called for some serious thinking, so I morphed into grooming mode. While working on my left hind leg I came up with the best idea ever. Why couldnít I provide the inspiration for the cats in her next story? Itís not as fun as being the star, and they canít possibly be as cool as I am, but it would be something to keep me busy while Iím waiting.

So I pawed through some of her notes and it seems her new idea doesnít have any cats at all.


My mission is clear. I must correct this unacceptable state of affairs. Everyone knows all fine literature should have at least one cat. Starting today, I will use all my persuasive powers to convince Cindy to work a cat into her plotline. I mean, how hard can it be?

Honored to Share

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Corn Recipe Entry

When I entered the Corn Roast Festival Recipe Contest, I did it to share a family recipe.

One of the best flavor mixes I've ever tasted is a dish my first mother-in-law Carolyn Davis Morgan taught me ages ago.

When she told me she was making Fried Corn, I was a bit less than enthusiastic. First of all, I could not imagine how anyone could fry corn.† Secondly, why would you add calories to an already starchy food?

Maryjo Costanzo Morgan shares Fried Corn recipe taught to her by Carolyn Davis Morgan

Carolyn Davis Morgan's recipe for Fried Corn garners Mj a trophy

Why?† Because it is absolutely delicious!

Here's the recipe - if I'd thought ahead, I would have more carefully named it "Nanny's Fried Corn" to honor Carolyn Morgan ... she gave me so much more than this recipe!

"Nanny's" Fried Corn

4-7 slices thick cut bacon
6-8 ears of ripe corn, shucked (you can use frozen corn, cooked, in a pinch)
salt, pepper to taste.

Cut raw corn from cob.

Brown bacon. Drain. Dice into ºî pieces. Set aside.

Carefully pour remaining bacon grease into a suitable glass container and set aside.

Put corn in the same pan the bacon was cooked in. Sprinkle with sugar ñ about 1 tablespoon per 3 ears of corn, more or less, and cook corn on medium-low heat to carmelize the sugar and corn, about 10 minutes. Stir often so it won't scorch.

Add bacon pieces. Salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Some corn is naturally sweeter than other corn, so reduce the sugar to Ω T. if you know a batch of corn is especially sweet.
I am deeply grateful to have had a person so generous, kind, and thoughtful as Carolyn Davis Morgan in my life.

The Reporter-Herald posted winners in today's paper.

The Loveland Corn Roast Parade is coming

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Parades. The first parade I remember well was on the Fourth of July and I was a participant. My older sister helped my little sister and me decorate our tricycles with red, white, and blue crepe paper. We affixed tiny American flags all over our bikes and pedaled the parade route through out tiny downtown to welcome Alaska as a state.

Then we saw Music Man performed live by my older brother's high school.

I was hooked.

Tomorrow I'll be in a parade, too. This time the theme is corn Ö for the Loveland's annual Corn Roast Festival Parade. I look forward to the smiling faces, the music and camaraderie, and all that goes with a hometown festival.

Watch for Loveland 365 ñ we will be a sandwich-boarded group marching and singing. It is good to celebrate living in a community and being a part of something whose sum equals more than the individual parts.

For info on Loveland's Corn Roast Festival, visit the Loveland Chamber of Commerce website.

What Color is Joy?

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Opening a brand new box of crayons ranks right up there on my joy scale. As a kid, I might not have been ready for school to†begin in August, but I was always ready for the fresh start and unlimited possibilities contained in the rainbow of perfect points in my new box of crayons each year.

My daughter starts her junior year of high school tomorrow. My son leaves for his sophomore year of college the day after that. Maybe they donít need Crayolas anymore, but I do.

I have a new box of 24 sitting on my desk right now. More than the basic eight, but not so many as to be overwhelmed with the choices. Blue green, apricot, cerulean, carnation pink, yellow-green, green-yellow. Now all I need is a coloring book.

A Feline Guide to Stress-free Living

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Flash here. In case you were wondering, Cindy came up with a new book idea since the last time I wrote. Oh, sheís really excited about this one, and has spent many hours at her computer, typing away with a smile on her face.

Iím sorry to report that this story is also missing Flash, Feline Extraordinaire, the best, most amazing, character ever. If she would only stop long enough to think about what sheís doing, maybe sheíd realize the error of her ways.

But no.

And itís not just Cindy. Humans in general have no idea how to live their pitiful little lives. You people continually have to DO, DO, DO. You never take time to BE.

On the other hand, your average feline is born knowing how to BE. And look at us, we donít suffer from any of the stress related ailments you humans do, now do we? Let me give you a few pointers. Read and learn:

Lie in a sunny place and watch an ant crawl across the ground. Whack it with one paw. Take a quick power nap to get your energy back after so much grueling exertion.

Amble to your food bowl. Itís important to keep up your strength with proper nourishment! Flop down for another nap.

Wake up and yawn widely. Lean back on your haunches and s-t-r-e-t-c-h, this really gets your blood flowing.

Stalk one of those infernal squirrels scampering across the lawn, chittering insults at you. Yowl, ìYouíre going DOWN, Tail Flicker!î and chase him up a tree. Slide down the tree trunk while your quarry escapes, laughing hysterically. Curse your humans who insist on trimming your claws down to little nubs.

Sorry. Forget that whole squirrel thing. I meant to say, close your eyes and meditate on the grass growing and the sounds of worms working underground.

See how easy it is?

Of course, there are situations where BEING isnít enough. Situations where you have to make a stand and DO something. Something like creep to the computer and get certain peopleís attention by hitting the delete key on any stories without yours truly in them.

Ahh. I feel better already.

Back to the Drawing Board

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Hi, itís me, Flash. Cindy is catching up today after being away from home for a week. Writing this blog was WAY down on her to-do list, so I thought Iíd use this opportunity to get something off my chest.

See, last week after dropping off a group of kids at church camp, she used the time as a writing retreat. Seeing as Iím her favorite main character, I knew Iíd be needed. Plus, an exotic vacation away from our little bay window writing nook sounded like just the ticket.

BUT, this retreat was not held in the mountains, near a gurgling brook, like I expected. It wasnít held at the beach, either. No, Cindy never bothered to mention our plush accommodations were going to be at the Super 8 in York, NE. Donít worry, though, it was better than it sounds. We scored a nice corner room with a viewóof the parking lot.

Now, York itself is a nice little town. American flags line the main street and big old houses overlook the charming brick streets. Cindy was so enchanted by some of these houses, she probably would have spent the week in jail for trying to peek in the windows if it wasnít for me keeping her in line.

But we werenít there for houses and brick streets and walks on the trail along the river. No, we were there to write. So when Cindy fired up her laptop, I was surprised to find her starting a new storyóminus yours truly. At first I thought maybe Iíd appear a little further in, but by Friday and page 72, I was still nowhere to be seen. Needless to say, I was ticked. Iíd come all this way and spent a week in a dumpy motel for nothing?

About this time Cindy started to have doubts. The story wasnít panning out like sheíd hoped. She didnít buy the main characterís motivations, the whole thing seemed like too much of a stretch.

Well, duh. You tell me, if you were eight years old, who would you rather read about? Milly, the perky kitten, or FLASH, Feline Extraordinaire?


Just because Iím a figment of her imagination doesnít mean Iím stupid. If she had only listened to me to start with she wouldnít have wasted a whole week of undivided writing time.

Next time Iím insisting on the beach!

Location, Location, Location

Monday, May 17th, 2010

If realtors are correct saying that location is the most important aspect of where you choose to live, then Iíve got it made. At first glance, you might not think living on the edge of downtown would be ideal.

But I love it.

Within mere blocks of my house I can find restaurants, shops, a museum, the post office and the library. Not to mention some of our cityís world-renowned sculptures. During the summer, I can even hear the Thursday night outdoor concerts from my own backyard.

But my favorite thing about where I live is the proximity to the recreation trail where I take my daily walks. Not far from my house are several county enclaves where I can hear roosters and turkeys greeting the new day. Goats contentedly munch green grass and new calves bask in the sunshine. A little further down, next to the river Iíve seen elk, great blue herons, raccoons, and muskrats. This time of year, I eagerly await the hatching of the seasonís first mallard ducklings. Watching them grow entertains me all summer.

Whatís the best thing about where you live?

Jam and Jive

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Prepare lunch you say

Diet you will

First and utmost you must eat and eat you must

Slather your bread, with a rich fattening, vitamin fortified cream cheese layered on,†one inch thick

Not just any whole wheat bread, but the healthful kind, full bodied, with extra fiber to keep your body running smooth

After which you apply a rich thick grape jam, followed by a spoon full of pure virgin white sugar, carefully sprinkled on top.

And just to be on the safe side, and to make sure your sandwich slides all the way down your gullet, pour yourself a glass of homogenized whole milk, with a dash of half and half to give it that extra bite

Now put your feast onto a favorite plate, cut it into two equal parts, then place them next to your cool glass of milk and you are ready to Jam and Jive