Dec 12, 2018

Winter Driving: How to Survive

Damn snow. Gabe downshifted to second gear, slowed the Jeep
 to fifteen miles an hour, swore and strained his eyes. 
Through the frantic swing of the wipers on the windshield 
all that could be seen was a wall of white. 
No winter wonderland. 

Gabriel's Angel


By HopsonRoad - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Winter adds an extra level of danger when a car breaks down.


He was hungry, soaked to the skin, and afraid he would run out of
gas-petrol-before he found anything remotely like an inn or village.
In his mind he went over the map. Visualizing was a talent he'd
been born with, and he could, with little effort, reproduce every line
of the careful map his hostess had sent him.
The trouble was, it was pitch dark, the rain washed over his
windshield like a roaring river, and the wind was buffeting his car
on this godforsaken excuse for a road as if the Mercedes was a
He wished violently for coffee.
When the road forked, Gray took his chances and guided the car
to the left. If he didn't find the inn or something like in it another ten
miles, he'd sleep in the damn car and try again in the morning.

Born in Ice

Dec 11, 2018

Team Thought Tom Cruise Died While Shooting the Crazy Helicopter Stunt

“How messed up?”
“Broke a lot of bones, bruised a few organs, sliced
some skin.” He shrugged, but Parker didn’t buy it
had been that simple, that casual.
“It sounds serious. How long were you in the
“Put me out for a while,” he continued in that same
careless tone.

Happy Ever After

_____________________ [CC BY-SA 2.0 
(], via Wikimedia Commons

This exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from Mission: Impossible – Fallout details how the actor did one of his most harrowing scenes.

"There was an audible gasp from the crowd. That's a huge drop," says Henry Cavill.

Cruise himself is pretty cavalier about the whole thing, having done crazy stuff like this for years.

"You know it's going to be a big impact. It really knocks the wind out of me," Cruise says.

Dec 10, 2018

Women are aging alone more than ever

“I’m happy,” she told him. “I tend to be a happy person, and I learned 
how to be happy on my own. It was good for me, to have that time, 
to find out a little bit more about myself. What I could do, 
what I could do without.”

Chasing Fire


By Alexandre Godreau alexandre_godreau -, CC0,

Figuring how to make it work

There are challenges — and rewards — to going solo.


She waited until she thought that Lulu had had time enough to get home from the bookstore but not enough to settle in too comfortably. 
After she’d waded through the lawn art, adjusted her eyes to the 
virulent colors that Lulu habitually selected to paint her house, 
and knocked on the back door, Ripley was pleased to see her timing was good. 
Lulu had changed out of her work clothes into a sweatshirt that read, 
“Coffee, Chocolate, Men . . . Some things are just better rich.” 
She had an unopened bottle of wine in her hand and was wearing ratty red slippers 
and the faintly irritated look of a woman who’d been interrupted.

Heaven and Earth

Dec 7, 2018

How to Build the Perfect Fireplace Fire

Doyle dumped her duffle, prepared to step out again and leave her to it.
But she walked to the fire, looked at him, looked back.
“What? I’m supposed to light a fire for you now? Christ.”
Muttering all the way, he took bricks of peat from a copper bucket, arranged them on the grate as he had as a boy.
It was simple enough, took only moments, and if the scent squeezed his heart, he ignored it.

Island of Glass


By FASTILY (TALK) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I have a fireplace, a cord of split, seasoned wood, and a cold family. So I make a lot of fires.

There are many resources for building fires that promise successful fire-building. Many. So, so many. I urge you to review them. There’s the lean-to method. The teepee method. The pyramid method. The top-down method.

But, for me, nothing about a fire is ever consistent—not the tinder or kindling or logs.

Dec 6, 2018

Cozy Nooks, Daybeds and Corners for Reading

"Lucky me. You've got a lot of books," she commented.
She studied his profile, the sexy, angular lines of it,
the way the dark glasses concealed the fascinating
contrast of those eyes of pure, light green.
"It's hard to picture you curling up with a good book."
"Stretching out," he said, correcting her. "Women curl up
with books, guys stretch out."
"Oh, I see. That's entirely different."

Night Shield


These snug spots may make you want to put on fuzzy 

socks and hunker down with a good book

Dec 5, 2018

Perfect Roast Chicken

"I know how to roast a chicken," Liv insisted, pushing the button for her floor. 
"You put it in the oven and turn it on for a couple of hours. Nothing to it."
"Please." He gave her a pained look. "It might hear you." 
He cradled the sack that held the chicken more protectively. 
"There's an art to these things, Liv. Seasoning, timing, preparation. 
If a chicken's going to give up its life for your consumption, 
the least you can do is have a little respect."
"I don't think I like the tone of this conversation." 
She glanced dubiously at his grocery bag. 
"Why don't we just send out for pizza?"

Endings and Begginings


By lilivanili from London, UK - churrasco de frangoUploaded by tm, CC BY 2.0,

For the perfect roast chicken dinner every time, 
try this popular recipe from Ina Garten, 
Food Network's Barefoot Contessa.

Dec 4, 2018

Why does snow make the world so quiet?

"I guess the quiet woke me. It's odd, don't you think, how quiet it is?"
"The snow always makes it quiet."

The Return of Rafe MacKade


By Stulli - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Hush. It's snowing outside.
At least, doesn't it feel like that when snowflakes make their grand entrance, pirouetting from the sky like tiny, twirling ballerinas?
And we're pressed up against windows, eyes wide open. Or outside, all giddy smiles with tongues eagerly outstretched.
Snowflakes look good. They even taste good. But they sound like … nothing.


On impulse, she bundled herself in her boots and coat and stepped out onto the porch.
Though Gabe had shoveled it off twice during the day, the snow came almost to her knees. Her boots sank in 
and disappeared. She had the sensation of being swallowed up by a soft, benign cloud. 
She wrapped her arms around her chest and breathed in the thin, cold air.

There were no stars. There was no moon. The porch light tossed its glow only a few feet. 
All she could see was white. 
All she could hear was silence.

Gabriel's Angel 

Dec 3, 2018

"Call me late to dinner. Just leave my name alone."

He nodded in agreement. "Do I call you Kathleen?"
"I certainly hope not." She grinned. "No one else does."
It took him a moment to understand. "Kasey, then."

Tonight and Always


By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia - 
Write Your Name, Ethiopia, 
CC BY-SA 2.0,

As far as the “you can call me anything you want,” portion of that joke, I can definitely relate. My name — which seems pretty straightforward to me — is apparently a booger to remember, pronounce or get right half the time. You might never call me late to dinner, but one of every 20 people are going to call me “John.”


"It stands for Magdalen Juliette."
A cough of laughter escaped him. It was the last thing he'd expected. "You're kidding."
"It stands for Magdalen Juliette," she repeated between clenched teeth. 
"And the only people who know that are my family, Bailey and Grace. 
In other words, only people I love and trust, which now includes you."
"Magdalen Juliette," he repeated, rolling it around on his tongue. 
"Quite a handle, sugar."
"It's M.J. Legally M.J., because that's what I wanted. 
And if you ever call me any form of Magdalen Juliette other than M.J.,
 I will personally and with great pleasure skin you alive."

Captive Star