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Art Wall: January 2011

2011 Art Wall 1 

So I finally printed up some pictures from last September's trips to Pismo Beach and Morro Bay. I got some lovely shots (this was beFORE my old elphie's stewy mishap), and fully intended to post them by Thanksgiving weekend, but then my printer and computer suddenly stopped communicating, and after spending a couple weekends trying to fix the problem myself AND getting a Geek Squad tech  involved - both to no avail - I finally went out and bought a new, basic office printer. I kept the photo printer because a) it was expensive and not that old, and b) it still works perfectly just not with my computer, but after the horrible experience I'd had, the idea of printing anything that wasn't absolutely necessary left me with a feeling of dread, so I put it off. This past weekend, I finally just dropped a bunch of my favourite shots onto a disk, plugged the disk into my photo printer, and printed away. I'm so glad I did!

Also, you may have noticed I titled this post "Art Wall: January 2011". That's because I foolishly fully intend to post a new set of pictures EVERY MONTH THIS YEAR. Yeah. We'll see how long that lasts!

Teaser Tuesday: It's Not What You Expect by Normal Klein

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 Its not what you expect

Today I'm reading an oldie but goodie: It's Not What You Expect by Norma Klein. This is a book my mom picked up at a library conference many years ago, and is signed by the author. I don't know why I never read the book before now, but it's been quite a treat so far. Here's my teaser from page 72:

At times I have envied Ralph and Sara Lee. Not many people know who they are in love with starting in third grade and really stick to that.


Writing Little Stones for Real

So, I signed up for a river of stones  (aros) writing project at the end of last year, and while I have counted a couple January entries as "stones" simply becasue I tried to describe something better than I normaly would have, neither were really within the spirit of the project. So, I'm starting over. Beginning now, with this little stone:

returning students/means a very full bus, and/the end of comfort

Showing Mine for the Show Me Yours Blogfest

The following is the first 500 words of my unfinished NaNoWriMo 2010 novel. Comments and critiques welcome. Enjoy!

"Of course you know, the place is haunted," the real estate agent said with a big, dorky grin. The tag pinned to his bright blue blazer read George Finkle. A funny sounding name for a funny looking guy: short, bald, with what my dad used to call a “beer belly”. 

My mother sighed, but smiled politely at his attempt at humour. "I'm sure it is."

George Finkle chuckled and reached out to muss my hair. I hate when people do that, like I'm four years old instead of almost fourteen. 

"Of course, since the cemetery has been abandoned, you won't actually be responsible for the upkeep of the grounds or anything," he continued. 

"Of course," my mother replied as she peered into the small living room just off the narrow hallway where we stood. Jojo nudged past us and started sniffing everything: the fireplace, the ratty rug on the floor, the legs of the old wingback chair; anything she could get her nose on. Like she was a Bloodhound instead of a purebred German Shepherd Dog, and a retired police dog at that!

"And, this is the kitchen." George Finkle lead us off to the left into the small, old kitchen. It looked like something you'd see in a museum. Except dirtier. Peeling floral wallpaper, grimy cupboard doors, dirty green stove, chipped countertops and grungy, spotty floor. 

"Oh, gross!" My hand flew to my mouth. I hadn't meant to say that out loud.

"Chris!" My mom said. She gave me a look like, "Yeah, I know it's nasty, but we can still be polite!" 

"Sorry," I said.

"Oh, um, yeah, well, the house has been unoccupied for some time now," George said, blushing. "The original owner, the fella who caretaker for the cemetery for over 45 years, died and well ..."

"Did he die in here?" I asked. I didn't really want to know, but I couldn't help myself.

The realtor coughed and cleared his throat before answering. "Uh, well, yeah, as a matter of fact, he did. Right upstairs. In the first bedroom on the left."

"Man, I would NOT want to sleep in that room," I exclaimed. 

My mom looked at me and smiled. "I wouldn't expect you to, son," she said. "I'll take that room."

"You mean, you're really going to buy this house?" I asked.  Okay, I shouted, a little, and my voice might've gotten a bit squeaky at the end.

"Oh, there's nothing to be afraid of," George said, reaching to mess up my hair again. I ducked at the last minute. "Uh, I was just joking about the place being haunted. Of course. Everyone knows there's no such thing as ghosts."

 I wanted to say, oh, really? but luckily kept my mouth shut this time. How does he know? Has he ever seen a ghost? Because I have. Lots of them. Jojo, too. We both know ghosts are real, and places, especially places like this, where someone has died, can be haunted.     

Clean Eating: Split Pea Soup with Smoked Salmon

Split pea soup 2

Mom and I started 2011 with a delicious clean dinner from the newest Clean Eating magazine: Split Pea Soup with Smoked Salmon. This was probably one of the easiest and fastest meals I've made in a long time! I loved all the beautiful colours of this soup - the spring green of the celery and split peas, the bright orange of the carrot, and the pale pink of the smoked salmon - and the smell of the lemon and dill. Best of all, it tasted as good as it looked! And yes, I was very careful with my new camera when I took this picture:

Split pea soup 1