Sep 25, 2012

the buck stops here

"Problem?" Cam leaned on the doorjamb, tongue in his cheek. It was an amusing sight after a hard day's work, he decided. His well-riled wife stalking around his all-but-bare-assed brother.
"Somebody's been in my garden and they stole my flowers."
"No kidding? Want me to call the cops?" 
"Oh, shut up." She whirled back to Ethan, who took a cautious and cowardly step in retreat. She looked fit to murder. "Well?"
"Well, I…" He'd intended to confess, throw himself on her mercy. But the woman glaring at him out of dark, furious eyes looked several quarts low on mercy. "Rabbits," he said slowly. "Probably."
"Yeah." He shifted uncomfortably, wishing to Christ he'd at least gotten his pants on before she burst in.
"Rabbits can be a problem with gardens. They just hop up and help themselves."
"Rabbits," she said again.
"Could be deer," he added, just a little desperately. "They'd graze over and eat every damn thing down to stubs." Counting on pity, he shot a look at Cam. "Right?"
Cam weighed the situation, knew Anna was city girl enough to buy it. Oh, Ethan would owe him for this, he decided and smiled. "Oh, yeah, deer and rabbits, big problem." Which having two dogs running tame pretty much eliminated, he mused.

Rising Tides




20 Ways to Keep Deer Out of Your Yard




Sure, they're pretty to look at, if you're quick—and quiet enough to catch a glimpse of deer galloping off into the distance. But set loose in your garden, they will ravage your tender tulips and plump pansies, leaving foliage raggedy and the fruits of your labor plumaged. Fortunately, with a little bit of insight into their habits, you can prevent your flowers, bulbs, and vegetables from becoming a free buffet.




Sep 13, 2012

what makes a perfect pub?

The air was scented with that sweet smoke, 
with the yeasty aroma of beer, 
and when his sister-in-law swung through from the kitchen with a tray, 
the rich, full scent of his brother's Mulligan stew joined the mix.

Christmas at Ardmore (Irish Jewels)


It’s a heady mixture of good ale, lager, wine, and food – 

not forgetting sympathetic conversation, hospitality and lighting 







"No, not here, not for this. Here you want duachais."
"Okay. Since I want it, why don't you tell me what it is?"
"Oh, it's Gaelic for…" She waved her hand as she tried to find the right translation. 
"For'tradition.' No, not just that. It has to do with a place most particularly, 
and its roots and its lore. With, well, with what and why it is."
His eyes narrowed, focused. "Say it again."
"It's duachais."
"Yeah, that's it. That's just exactly it."

Heart of the Sea

Sep 5, 2012

happily combining households

“"And I haven'’t put anything inside it. I talk about it, but I don’'t take the step. Not a chair, not a table, beyond what I needed for Steve. I guess I have to fix that.”"
He’'d been waiting for that. Waiting for that step. "I’ve got a house full of stuff here. It'’s a good start for picking and choosing.”"
She walked to him, linked her arms around his neck. "“I pick you. I pick the guy who’'ll slice tomatoes with me at seven in the morning because I’'m a lunatic. The guy who not only promises to help me, but does. The one who makes me understand I’'m the first Hardy woman in three generations lucky enough to be in love with a man who sees me. Let’'s pick something, and take it across the road. We'’ll put it inside the house so it’'s not hers, it’'s not mine. So it’'s ours.”"
"“I vote for the bed.”"
She grinned. “"Sold."”





Joining forces may seem easy compared to merging all your stuff under one roof. 

These pointers can help you keep the peace




If you are planning to merge two households, you may need to address everything from duplicate items and treasured family heirlooms to furnishings of questionable taste (and plenty of clutter). Moving in together, while exciting, can also potentially be the cause of some heated arguments and hurt feelings if tastes and housekeeping styles clash. Be proactive and pave the way for a smooth transition with these helpful tips.  



It was ridiculous, of course, for two people who were preparing for a party to leave the work to break down a bed, to haul frame, headboard, footboard, mattress, box spring, bedding downstairs, out to the truck, drive it across the road with a dog in tow. Then reverse the procedure.
But Cilla found it not only symbolic, she found it therapeutic.
Still, Ford’s suggestion that they try it out in its new place was going too far.
Tonight, she told him. Definitely.
Their room now, she thought, giving the pillows an extra fluff. Their room, their bed, their house. Their life.
Yes, she’'d put pictures of Janet in the house, as she'’d said in the dream. But there would be other pictures. Pictures of her and Ford, of friends and family. She'’d ask her father if he had any of his parents, his grandparents she could copy. She’'d repair and refinish the old rocker she'd found in the attic, and she'’d buy cheerful, happy dishes, and put Ford’'s wonderful roomy couch in their living room.
She'’d remember what had been, and build toward what could be. Really, had'n’t that always been the purpose? And she’'d keep looking for that truth.


Sep 1, 2012

french fries

"I'm making the fries right now, aren't I?"
"I thought Grace was going to make them."
Steely-eyed, Anna stared at him over her shoulder. "Are you suggesting that I can't make french fries?"
He was bored and restless enough to be pleased that he'd jabbed her ego. "Well, she makes really good

Inner Harbor



Slow-Fried French Fries

There are certain foods that are better when not made at home, like french fries. 
To achieve golden-brown perfection, you have to fry them twice...


"This might be the end of things between us. Can this relationship be
saved? Quick. French fries or caviar?"
"Really, that's ridiculous. French fries, of course."
"Do you mean it?" As if hope had sprung giddily into his heart, he grabbed her hand in a tight grip.
"You're not just saying that to string me along so you can have your way with me?"
"Caviar is fine on occasion, but it's hardly an essential element of life."

Chesapeake Blue