Tags: lilian-jackson-braun

frightful weather

Winter Weather COMING!!! (Oh, NO!)

I'm just fighting a constant fever right now. I might need to see my nurse practitioner at some point, I guess. This is decidedly a flare-up -- but it hasn't shown up in any one joint as terrible pain, yet. That's a good thing, I guess. But there are twinges of pain in my right ankle, left big toe, right wrist and right hip. (sigh) So I'm waiting and watching for any full-fledged joint flare-up. So far, it's not happening...

But I feel crummy. I seemed a bit better today, but not great. Marilyn decided we wouldn't head down to the beach today. And we'd talked about maybe going down tomorrow and staying overnight, then coming back on Monday (we work on Tuesday). But the weather is supposed to be NASTY tomorrow! We're certainly NOT going to be driving in either snow or (shudder) freezing rain -- and we're slated for both according to the weather reports. I guess we'll see.

We did dash out to get a lottery ticket and Starbucks earlier. Then after we heard the report about tomorrow, we went to the store to pick up a few items late tonight -- just in case.

I phoned June and Jim and unfortunately woke them up! They'd gone to bed. But Marilyn and I were worried they might need something from the store, so we wanted to check, just in case.

We finished our Lilian Jackson Braun's 'The Cat Who' book that I've been reading out loud ("The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern"). And we've started a NEW one. Well, it's very OLD, but it's been so long since we read these (a couple of decades, at least) that I don't even remember what happened. So it's like reading them for the very first time. The fun is the characters (including the two cats!) and the settings. And she's a very good writer, too. Marilyn didn't want to go back to the very first book, which was before Yum-Yum joined the family. So we're now reading the third book, "The Cat Who Turned On and Off" (which was written back in 1968). Once we get past the first three books, we'll reach the novels written during the 1980's.

Marilyn and I baked a few cookies today. Nothing much, but it was fun, anyway.

And we made the Ro*Tel Queso Dip that they're always advertising on TV lately. People eat the dip and then CRASH through fences and fountains and so on, it's so good. To tell you the truth, it IS pretty darn good! We only did half of the ingredients they suggest (and we did Velveeta's microwave version, rather than Ro*Tel's stovetop version) yesterday, and didn't finish it. So we heated up the leftover dip tonight and had it with taco chips. So good!

This brings us to Velveeta. Marilyn, Sue and I were raised on this product. Mom used it to make TONS of foods. She almost never used actual cheese! We used Velveeta for toasted cheese sandwiches and to add to any number of recipes. The first time Marilyn and I had real cheese rather than Velveeta, we honestly did NOT care for it! Hahaha.

That reminds me. Mom also made a packaged pizza for us growing up. It was made by Chef Boyardee and came as a 'pizza kit' that Mom would 'create.' We ate it into our teenage years, seriously. I enjoyed reading THIS ARTICLE about it -- yes, they still make it! (There were others who grew up with this pizza, too. Hahaha.) It did NOT use real cheese, so the first time our Aunt Dorothy took Marilyn and me out for a real pizza, we were freaked out by the 'strings' of messy cheese!!! We thought it was nasty. Hahaha.

In recent decades we haven't even had Velveeta in the house. But growing up it was ALWAYS in the house! How could you LIVE without it??? We're cheese people, so we always have Tillamook cheese around now. But you know what? Velveeta sure makes a yummy dip! I'd honestly forgotten how tasty it is.

We had another fire tonight (a small one, but we had both a pressed log and a small stick of firewood). Nice on a cold night -- and tonight is very cold!

This was another day of TV watching and playing on our iPads.

And that was our Saturday! Sleep well, friends.

Super LAZY Day -- Reading Out Loud (I Love It!)

This was another VERY LAZY day for Marilyn and me. We never got out of our jammies all day long -- and we pretty much laid around most of the day. Yesterday I cooked a meal, but NOT today!

Marilyn made cinnamon rolls, though! Pillsbury ones, out of the can. We hadn't had those decades, I swear! It made me remember the old: Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven. (Anyone else old enough for THAT?) And Marilyn looked up the Pillsbury Doughboy, who turned 50 (!!!) this year (on November 7). I love him! And I really enjoyed the cinnamon rolls. I think they're a nice change from something like Cinnabon -- to tell you the truth, I find Cinnabon rolls just too sweet.

As for any other cooking, all we ate were a couple of chicken pot pies (which can be thrown in the microwave, thankfully!). I wasn't much up to cooking today...

I SLEPT a ton again today. And we BOTH slept in. Marilyn was talking about how TIRED she's been, and I think it's little wonder. It was a very busy year. And we were running around like MAD for much of this month! It's nice to just lie around and then to nap whenever we feel like it...

Yesterday I bought two of Lilian Jackson Braun's 'The Cat Who' books for Kindle. I originally listened to them as books on tape way back when I worked for Hoffman Construction, downtown. At the time I was so close to the Main Library that I often walked there on my lunch hour. And because of the nature of that job, I could actually listen to books on tape during work hours. You can read about the series HERE -- and I highly recommend it to mystery lovers -- AND cat lovers! These books feature Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats, Koko and Yum-Yum, who are involved in a mystery in each of the novels.

Here's something really interesting about the series of books: The first three books were written in 1966, 1967 and 1968! Then she didn't write another one for 18 years!!! I came upon them in either the late 1980's or early 1990's (I can't remember which), on tape (as I already mentioned). Marilyn and I took a road trip around that time, and we took one of the tapes along with us -- so that's how Marilyn was first introduced to the series.

After that, we bought a bunch of the books in paperback. I recently started re-reading these. I sometimes call paperbacks 'bathtub books,' because I'll take one in the tub with me when I want to soak and read. I don't DARE take the Kindle in the tub (I'm not an idiot and don't want to risk dropping it!), so the old-fashioned printed book is best for these situations. The amusing thing, of course, is that once I start reading a 'bathtub book,' I get interested -- so I'll just keep reading it until I've finished it. (It's pretty rare that I can STOP myself from continuing to read and save the book for the next long soak. Hahaha.)

Anyway, one of the books I bought was "The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern." It's the second book of the series, so it was originally written in 1967. This is the book that introduced Yum-Yum -- the first book was just Qwilleran and Koko. This was the first of the books Marilyn read, as it was the one we listened to on our road trip (mentioned above).

Interesting notes: There's mentions of Orientals in the book -- which is no longer okay, but was common back in the 1960's. There are a lot of things like that, actually! The descriptions of things fit that time period now and then, such as one woman wearing a very short skirt (mini-skirts were the rage in the 60's). Now that we KNOW when it was written, we're paying attention to these details. But for the most part it holds up fine.

We own a number of the books -- but several have 'gone missing' over the years (as books sometimes do). There are quite a few that we've never read, so I'm hoping to eventually get them all for the Kindle. They seem to run around $7.99, which is really a good price for a best selling author. (I have another series I like where each book runs around ten dollars, or more. Obviously it depends on how popular the books are and how well known the author is.)

I never actually SAID that I'm reading "The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern" out loud, but that's what I'm doing! We love to have sessions where I read some book out loud. I love doing it, and think I'm a pretty decent reader. We've done this for years and years. It's a sort of nice way to share the reading experience.

Reading out loud used to be a very common practice. I suppose partly because many people weren't able to read years ago (or didn't read that well). It was considered a form of entertainment, but also a way to comfort those who were sick or elderly -- aside from reading to children, of course.

Mom and Dad used to read to us when we were little and I remember loving it! Dad was especially fond of reading things to us. He read from "Reader's Digest" quite a bit, which makes me smile.

Marilyn always read "The Hundred and One Dalmatians" out loud to Mom and me every Christmas. She'd start before Christmas and spread it out, ending on Christmas Day. (The story is set just before and on Christmas, for those who might not know.) And when we were in high school she read "Gone With the Wind" out loud to me and her then boyfriend, Tom.

I don't know if most people still read out loud. If not, that's too bad. At least people can purchase audio books in a number of formats if they want to have the same experience. But I love being the one doing the reading, personally!!!

It might snow again tomorrow. Anyway, we're planning to head to the beach on Wednesday...

I need to color my hair. Maybe I can get myself to do that tomorrow. Maybe. Hahaha.

Time to go read out loud a bit more before bed!