Saturday, December 19, 2015

What's Santa reading?

Santa could be reading the Naughty-Nice list ... but I prefer to think he's reading a Booktown Mystery. What do you think he's reading?

Friday, December 18, 2015

It's National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day!

I never had one until this year ... I inherited my Mum's ugly Christmas sweater. Oddly enough ... I don't think it had ever been worn. :

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Available today!

Out today ... The Jeff Resnick Mystery Collection--at a bargain price, too.

Yup, all six novels (so far) and all the short stories.  (Well, sort of.  Since the stories in Evolution aren't mysteries, they aren't included in this collection.)

They're in order, too.

Murder on the Mind
Dead in Red
When The Spirit Moves You
Room At The Inn
Cheated By Death
Bah! Humbug
Bound By Suggestion
Dark Waters

Get it from Kobo and Nook!  (Coming soon to iBooks!) 

Got a Kindle?  You can use a Free Nook or Kobo app!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's hoping you and yours have a safe, happy day/weekend with family and friends.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

If you need something to celebrate...

A sandwich without a pickle? No way! What kind of sandwich do YOU like with your pickle?

11-14 Nat'l Pickle Day

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Victoria Square Returns!

GOOD NEWS! The next Victoria Square Mystery has a publication date. December 6, 2016. (I'll share more news as I have it!)

This is my concept of what the cover should look like. What do you think?

(Who knows what marketing will come up with. There will probably be a cat on the cover, which will bear no resemblance to the cats in the book.  That's been the trend so far.)

Dummy cover Dead Bath & Beyond

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bring on the cupcakes!

Hey, it's National Vanilla Cupcake Day.  I like vanilla -- it's my favorite flavor, but not the only one.  What other flavor cupcake would you vote to have its own day?

11-10 Nat'l Vanilla Cupcake Day

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lots to Celebrate Today!

LOL -- all Lucy needs now is a BIG cake to celebrate her day.

Meanwhile, the Cozy Chicks are celebrating the publication of our latest group project, Tea Time With The Cozy Chicks at a virtual party on Facebook.

You can find the event by clicking this link.

There'll be prizes, too ... like tea bag holders, teas, and eight lucky attendees will receive a bone china teacup, handmade doily, and silver spoon.  (Here's just one of the cups.  Isn't it beautiful?)

You can get your own copy of Tea Time With The Cozy Chicks from:

Trade Paperback | Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide

Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Smashwords

Monday, October 12, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Look twice for motorcycles!

Today is National Ride a Motorcycle Day.

My character, Noreen Darby, used to ride on a regular basis, but she doesn't have time now that she's part owner of the Bay Bar on Beautiful Lotus Bay.  She wants everyone to remember to stay safe by wearing their helmets and leather -- and for motorists to look twice for motorcycles.
Here's a little cheesecake shot from the good old days!

Meet Noreen Darby ... and her bike.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The pretty blossoms on Lotus Bay ...

The Lilypad

File3401272172217Aren't lotus blossoms beautiful? 
The blossoms on Lotus Bay are actually white, but this picture was so pretty I couldn't resist.
Sadly, at this time of year, they dissolve into the bay and look like green mush.  But they'll be back and just as beautiful next year.

Tradewinds lotusI was recently at the Tradewinds hotel in St. Pete Beach, and they have a lily pond (complete with BIG FROGS and beautiful koi), and their lotus blossoms are a shade of purple.  Just beautiful.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

And I'm Smiling Again!

Good newsI've been hinting about it ... but the truth is I've had a hard time writing the next Booktown Mystery. It wasn't that my characters weren't cooperating, it was just that I had so much on my plate that writing wasn't my top priority for the past nine or ten months.

I feel terrible that I turned in my book six months late, but my editor is a terrific guy. I assured him that I would have it to him in a time frame that would still work and he trusted me to deliver it.

I sent the book in last week, and I anticipate feedback and/or a copy edit in December.

The second piece of good news is that Title Wave won't  be coming out with "the pack" on the first Tuesday in June, but a week later on June 14th.  What does that mean?  Maybe nothing ... maybe something good. I'll just have to wait to see how it flies. But I love the story and I've seen the pencil sketch of the cover and I have a very good feeling about this book.  (And I hope you will, too.)

I'll share the cover as soon as I get it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Raise your pinky and join the Cozy Chicks for afternoon tea!

The Cozy Chicks spent the summer working on a treat for our readers ....

Tea Book Cover 174 pixelsThe Cozy Chicks realized that tea was such a perfect complement to cozy mysteries that we decided to write a book about it. Not only does Tea Time with the Cozy Chicks have delicious recipes, but it also includes themed tea menus, fascinating articles, fun facts, curious quotes, and helpful hints on how to host the most memorable tea parties ever! And for an extra treat, a few of us have included excerpts of our work as well! Read, cook, drink tea, savor, and most of all enjoy!

Trade Paperback  |  Kindle US  |  Kindle Worldwide

Kobo  |  Nook  |  iBooks  | Smashworks

Monday, October 5, 2015

A little bit about my audio narrator ... Steven Barnett

I'm very happy to announce that my second Tales of Telenia book, JOURNEY, is now available as an audiobook. (You can listen to a sample of it here--just click the link.)

I thought it might be interesting for readers (hey, and me, too!) to find out a little bit about what it is to be a spoken-voice performer.  Let me introduce you to Steven Barnett. He has read not only the Telenia books, but also is the voice of my character Jeff Resnick.  (At least for the last 6 titles.  We'll be re-recording the first three in the not-too-distant future.)

Steven and I recently talked and here's a portion of our conversation.

How does one becomes a voice artist?
I'm not sure there is one generic way to become a voice artist. I started as a vocalist in college, learning to sing opera, but I've always been a talented mimic. I loved to imitate cartoons, famous people, anything I could for a laugh. I did voice-over work when I was in film and tv work and kind of just branched off from there.

Do you read the whole book first?
It depends on the length and type of the book. If the book is fairly short, say on the order of 80-90000 words, I will generally not read beforehand and just work things out in recording. If the book is longer, or has a large number of speaking characters and voices and things, then I'll read the book first and try to get a sense of the characterization beforehand, especially if the book has alien or foreign characters and languages.

Is the dialog the hardest because you have to switch voices?  How do you know which voice to use?  Do you color code them on your script?
For me, dialog between males isn't so difficult, mostly because I'm used to imitating character dialogue. What's hardest for me is dialog between a male and a female. Doing a feminized voice requires a lot of tuning in the musculature of the mouth and vocal folds and it's difficult sometimes to switch between them rapidly. One of my earlier projects involved two main characters, one of whom was a teenaged boy from modern-day Philadelphia and the other was a teenaged girl from 18th century Scotland. That was terribly difficult at first.
What's the hardest part about narrating a book?
The hardest part is consistency. Making sure that when you flub a line, you go back and re-read that line precisely as you read it before. Making sure that if you're recording a book and it's going to take more than a day, that your mic placement and your settings are all the same as they were when you started. Making sure your editing process is smooth and that each chapter matches the others in timbre, volume, and emotion is also a big part of that.

How did you get into this kind of work?  
By accident, like many others have, I'm sure. One of my good friends is an author and he stumbled across the Audiobook Creation Exchange website, or ACX, where authors and narrators of audiobooks can come together. He sent me the link and off I went.

What kinds of stories have you narrated?
I've narrated quite a few kinds: cozies, sci-fi fantasy, superhero stories, erotic fiction (boy, are THOSE difficult to read...), romance... I have a preferred genre I like to read personally, but I'm pretty much a mercenary when it comes to recording. I don't like to limit myself to one genre or another just because it's not what I'd read at home on my own time. In fact, one of my favorite books I've done is a book I'd never have read on my own in a million years-- a Southern romance story with some erotic scenes. It's a sweet love story and I highly enjoyed doing all the characters.

Do you have a favorite genre to read? 
I prefer to read genres where there are lots of distinct characters, so typically fantasy and sci-fi novels. I'm a huge fan of urban fantasy, so I tend to want to get those novels more, but the more and more I work, the more into mysteries I am becoming.

Lorraine Hart AudiobooksWhat are your future plans? 
Right now, my plan is to keep doing what I'm doing, but more of it, you know? More titles under my belt, more recognition. I'm working toward being named an Audible-certified Producer, which is a certification that tells authors and producers that I am a narrator of high-quality and able to deal with more expensive, high-level projects. It opens more professional level doors, let's say. But I'll work with anyone, regardless of budget, if the book is quality. In the future, my goal is to broaden my voice skills and perhaps do cartoons. I love character voices and comedy, so cartoons are right in my wheelhouse. I'm a huge voice-acting nerd, so it would be a thrill to work with guys like Rob Paulsen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Laura Bailey, Grey DeLisle, Jennifer Hale... the list goes on. That's my future.

Where can we find you online? 
Well, I don't have a professional website yet. Too busy to make one, I suppose, though I'm working on it. Right now you can find me on Twitter @PlasmatixUltra. I also have a Facebook page for me as a professional, and you can find that at .  I can also be reached via email at and a list of the books I've narrated is available on .  Just click this link. And, of course, you can always find me at your favorite audiobook retailers: Audible, Amazon, and iTunes!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hey, it's National Taco Day.

You can celebrate National Taco Day by making Angelica's recipe from Booktown #4, CHAPTER &  HEARSE.

Friday, October 2, 2015

It's frustrating when characters scream in your ear ...

And so I have FINALLY (after about a bazillion years) finished the next Booktown Mystery (just working on the recipes before I hand it in) and I need to start writing either a Jeff Resnick or Lotus Bay book ... but my Tales of Telenia characters are SCREAMING at me to work on their story.  I've been putting it off for over two years, and they've just about had enough.

Telenia ad-1I lost a lot of sleep during the last months of my mother's life and would lie in bed during the wee hours distracting myself from thoughts of death by plotting the story.  Yesterday I wrote most of the first chapter longhand (while engaged in another pursuit), Of course, then I remembered that I'd already WRITTEN part of the first chapter back in August.  So now I've got to merge the two because they're both pretty good.

I love these characters.  I love the stories and yet THEY DO NOT SELL, and I have not been able to convince my cozy readers to give them a try.

It's not smart to write something that doesn't bring in income, because let's face it:  writing is my job. I couldn't afford to take time away from a day job to do something like this.  So I guess I'll have to make it a hobby piece that can only be worked on AFTER I write something that brings in grocery money. (Did I mention I had to have my brakes replaced last week???)

It's okay, Mandy ... I haven't abandoned you (and Dohmas). It's just going to take a while longer until I can tell the rest of your story, even if only I and a handful of your followers ever read it..

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gotta love this new cover!

One of the best things about being an indie author is you can change things up.  I decided to change the cover on Recipes to Die for. I wanted it to reflect Katie's dream of opening the English Ivy Inn ... something that probably will never happen. Still, this is what she would have wanted.

Recipes-To-Die-For-medKatie Bonner and the rest of the locals from Victoria Square invite you into their kitchens to share tantalizing recipes and intimate stories about food, family, and life. So tie on your apron and sharpen your knives, because Recipes To Die For is chock full of culinary treasures such as Andy Rust's Cinnamon Rolls, Vance Ingram’s Barbequed Ribs, and Sweet Sue’s Toffee Squares. And you don't want to miss Aunt Lizzie’s Cream Scones.

They're to die for:

Trade Paperback

Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide

Kobo | Nook | iBooks


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New to you!

My friend Mary Kennedy and I are celebrating because we've both got new books out.  As this is my blog (tee hee), I'll go with mine first.

Six Pack-smMy readers asked for it,  and I've delivered.  A Jeff Resnick Six Pack features all six Jeff Resnick "short" stories.  (Some are a lot longer than others.)

This collection of short stories bridges the gaps between the Jeff Resnick novels of suspense and intrigue.

When The Spirit Moves You: Does Jeff believe in ghosts?
Bah! Humbug: Christmas with his girlfriend Maggie’s family is anything but merry.
Cold Case: A small boy is missing. Can Jeff find him?
Spooked!: A malevolent spirit visits for Halloween.
Crybaby: Have diaper bag—will travel!
Eyewitness: Jeff can’t move ahead in live until he finds out who murdered his wife.

Trade paperback | Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide

Kobo | iBooks | Nook   Coming soon to audio!

And second in the Hollywood Nights series from Mary Kennedy ... MOVIE STAR!

Movie Star-smJessie Phillips and her friend, Tracy, go Hollywood when a film company chooses Fairmont Academy as the setting for a sizzling thriller. Sparks fly off and on the set as the teens become embroiled in a mystery fit for the big screen, and things heat up for Jessie when the film’s star Shane Rockett takes a shine to her. Will Jessie score more than her fifteen-minutes of fame?

(This novel won an award and grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for "artistic excellence in literary fiction.”)

Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide

Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Smashwords

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New from my friend Victoria Abbott!

YAY -- Today the 4th Book Collector Mystery, THE MARSH MADNESS, by my pal Victoria Abbott, is available in ebook, paperback, and audio.

You're gonna love itThe national bestselling author of The Wolfe Widow presents another spine-tingling mystery featuring rare book collector Jordan Bingham and some Ngaio Marsh first editions worth killing for…

Jordan works hard to improve Vera Van Alst’s collection of classic detective stories. So when Chadwick Kauffman—heir to the Kauffman fortune—offers a very good price on a fine collection of Ngaio Marsh first editions owned by his recently deceased stepfather, she is thrilled to meet with him at his fabled summer estate, Summerlea.

The next day, Jordan and Vera are shocked to read that Chadwick has died in a fall from the grand staircase at Summerlea. But when the picture in the paper is of a different man, it becomes clear that the ladies are victims of a scam. And they’ll have to unmask the imposter fast, because someone is trying to frame them for murder…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters
Kindle | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | iBooks
In audio:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes | Tandor Media (on CD)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Happy Book Day to my friends!

Happy Book Day to my Cozy Chicks blog sisters Ellery Adams, Mary Kennedy, and Leann Sweeney, each of whom has a new book out today.  They are:

PAPERBACK PARLOR-smWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Jane Steward is organizing a week of activities for fans of love stories at her book-themed resort. But her Regency readers barely have time to brush up on their Jane Austen before tragedy strikes Storyton Hall. Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed.  Rosamund had as many enemies as she did admirers, including envious fellow novelists, a jealous former lover, and dozens of angry fans. It’s up to Jane, with the help of her book club, the Cover Girls, to catalogue the list of suspects and find a heartless killer quickly—before the murderer writes someone else off…

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Books A Million 

Kindle  |  Kindle Worldwide  |  Nook  |  Kobo  | iBooks

Scream-smBehind her down-home folksy persona, celebrity chef Sonia Scott is a real Dixie diva who’s made plenty of enemies in her climb to the top of the culinary world. One of them is the newest member of the Dream Club, Etta Mae Beasley, who claims Sonia stole her family’s recipes and used them in her latest cookbook.  After Sonia’s suspicious death from anaphylactic shock at a book signing held at Taylor and Ali’s retro candy store, Etta’s revelation sows seeds of doubt in Taylor Blake’s mind. Now the Dream Club needs to put their heads together to determine if one of their own decided to give the chef her just desserts…

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Books A Million 

Kindle  |  Kindle Worldwide  |  Nook  |  Kobo  | iBooks

SNEAK-smJillian Hart and Tom are finally tying the knot, but first they need to make sure Tom’s stepson, Finn, is as comfortable as possible in the lake house they will all call home. So when it becomes clear that Finn has fallen for a pretty cat from the Mercy Animal Sanctuary, Jillian and Tom readily agree to make room for one more—even though the tortoiseshell kitty is a notorious kleptomaniac.  So far, the cat has sneaked out of the adoption center time after time, bringing back trinkets, shoelaces, and socks. But when she brings back an antique locket, Finn enlists Tom’s and Jillian’s sleuthing skills. They hope to return the treasured item to its owner, but their search for answers is sidetracked when a body is found. Still, their sneaky cat’s find may just lead them to a killer.…

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Books A Million  |  Chapters

Kindle  |  Kindle Worldwide  |  Nook  |  Kobo  | iBooks

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My neighbors have driven me buggy

Sometimes I think Mr. L and I might drink a wee too much.  I mean, he was making us a second drink the other night and looked out the front door (in our quiet suburban neighborhood) and did a double take.  Wouldn't you?

Yes, suddenly there's an Amish buggy living next door.  Mind you, Mr. L and I aren't adverse to a little kitsch ourselves.

But a buggy?

I suppose buggies and flamingos CAN live in harmony.

Anything odd going on in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pour yourself a cuppa on Teacup Tuesday

Isn't this little teacup adorable.  Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the pattern (do you?).

Monday, June 22, 2015

Trying to find the new normal

If you've been reading the Cozy Chicks blog on a regular basis, you know that Maggie recently lost her mother.  Well, now so have I.

Maggie's Mom was in relatively good health until recently. So was my mother, except she'd been living under a death sentence since August, with the oncologist (a particularly unpleasant woman) telling her in September that she had six months to live.  My mother took the news with grace. She said, "I've had a wonderful life and I feel very lucky." She never cried. She never felt sorry for herself, and she rarely even mentioned when she was in pain.

So, we made the best of the time she had left. We spent time at our family cottage (until it got too cold). We went out to lunch and had toasts. She made her famous bread stuffing and creamed onions for Thanksgiving, and again for Christmas. She was happy. She had the greatest attitude.

I wish I could say I felt the same way. I woke up every day with dread. When will I lose my mother?

Mum did well until mid-February when she started saying, "I don't feel right." The cancer was beginning to spread, but we went out to lunch one last time and she ate her entire fish fry. I think that was the last decent meal she ate.  Soon after, she had to deal with nausea that wouldn't go away. Those in charge of her care kept insisting my mother use over-the-counter meds. They didn't help. She started losing weight. She lost twenty pounds in about three weeks because even the thought of food made her nauseous.

I did everything I could to find something she could eat.  I even learned to make the perfect poached egg Julia Child style. (Although it was actually a Gordon Ramsey video on YouTube that make that possible.)

Then she entered hospice care.  A nurse came to visit her twice a week. Things didn't get better. The nurse had no better luck at getting someone to treat Mom's increasing pain and the nausea.  I had to throw a temper tantrum to get SOMEBODY to listen, and my mother was finally put on a different medication that made a world of difference.  But by then she'd lost the will to eat.

Mom started feeling weaker, so my brother and I asked her to abandon her cane and use my Dad's old walker if she was alone in the house. A week later, we hired home health aids to stay with her at night, while my brother and I kept after the social worker about finding a bed in a hospice home.  Ten days later, Mum was invited to go to Mt. Carmel House.  A place to die.
The day I drove her away from her home of 15 years for the last time, she never even looked back.

For me, it meant I no longer had to run down the road four or five times a day to make sure she was okay. That she was eating, that she took her meds. To put on and take off her compression stockings. I was pretty frazzled, but then suddenly -- she wasn't in my care anymore. Though I went to visit her twice a day (put a lot of miles on my car and listened to a bunch of audiobooks on the way to and from the home), it was very stressful ... because once she went to Mt. Carmel, she gave up. Every day she slipped away a little more. Every day I left Mt. Carmel in tears. 

Mum stayed at Mt. Carmel for six weeks. Six weeks where I felt helpless and like I'd failed her.  Our last real conversation happened about ten days before she passed.  In her own way, she knew if she didn't say what she needed to say, I would never hear it. It was difficult for her, but she told me she loved me. She told me she was proud of me.  She told me she wanted me to have a lot more success in my career.

The nurses gave her exceptional care. I know how my Dad suffered in the hospital and the nursing home. The care he received was adequate (by their terms, not mine). The nurses and volunteers at Mt. Carmel were absolutely selfless. If there was anything my mother wanted (such as Bird's Custard), someone jumped in the car, went to the grocery store, and bought it. She wanted lemonade? They made her lemonade.

Mum passed away last Saturday evening, nine months and three days after the oncologist gave her six months to live. She used to joke that she didn't know if she should die sooner or hang on much longer just to thwart that woman who couldn't seem to muster an ounce of compassion.  (Believe me, she will die horribly in one of my future books.)

Mum asked me not to talk about her publicly until she was gone. She didn't want her Facebook friends to feel sorry for her, as a bunch of them were also my readers. That was the kind of person she was. She never wanted to stand in the limelight, but she supported me in everything I ever wanted to do.
But my Mum was a superstar to me. She and my Dad both were. My mother could sew. She made a lot of her own clothes when she lived in England, and when I was a little girl, she made a lot of mine, too. She once worked in a tailor shop and learned a lot. She made beautiful quilts, like this one I gave to Mt. Carmel so that other people would know that Valerie "Pat" Bartlett was an extremely talented needlewoman. She like to hand- and machine knit and made some beautiful sweaters. (For more than forty years, she hand-knitted all my Dad's socks.)
Mum was a great cook.  Her prime rib dinners were the stuff of legend. The only thing that eluded her was baking cookies. For some reason, hers never came out all that good -- but who cared, because everything else was great.

My Mum also had two green thumbs.  She was a great gardener. She could grow anything. She and Dad were organic gardeners long before organic became mainstream. Her orchids bloomed again and again. She kept African violets for years and they bloomed and bloomed and bloomed, too.

My Mum gave me the wonderful gift of a love of reading. She introduced me to mysteries (well, romantic suspense) when I was 11 or 12.  I was bored one summer day and she thrust a Readers Digest Condensed book in my hand and said, "Read this."  It was Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels.  I loved it so much, she bought me the hardcover (unabridged) edition (and probably another eight or ten of Ms. Michaels books--in hardcover!).  I'm a writer today, because I came from a house where reading was encouraged. We took both newspapers, Time and Newsweek (and a bunch of other) magazines, and our house was filled with books. When I brought Mr. L home to meet the parents, he knew he was going to like them because there were so many books on their shelves.

Not many people I know would have wanted to take a vacation, let alone 10-15 vacations, with their parents.  But I did.  Mr. L and I traveled with my parents to England (Scotland and Wales) twice; Italy, Canada (several times), Washington, Williamsburg, San Francisco, Lancaster PA, Bar Harbor, Portland, Boston ... I can't remember them all right now, but we kept going with my Mum and Dad because they knew how to travel.  We always had a great time.  Mr. L did not have a happy relationship with the in-laws from his first marriage.  He considered my Mum and Dad to be his best friends. (How lucky is that for a daughter?)

My Mum was almost 80 when she got her first computer. She loved to play Mahjong and do jigsaw puzzles online. She checked her email a couple of times a day, and she loved to read about what family and friends and her favorite authors were doing on Facebook.  (The last book she read was Duffy's Demise in Denim. She told me, "That Bruce Willis is always up to something!")
I have many, many happy memories of my mother. Like this picture that I took last summer at our family's summer cottage during a "girls only" weekend. Look at that smile. That's how I want to remember my Mum.
But right now I'm hurting. Like Maggie, I haven't been able to do much writing for the past couple of months. Back in January, I started a piece that came out earlier this week. Thinking about death so much, I knew the only way I could get through what was to come was to write about it. I turned to Jeff Resnick to channel my upcoming grief.  I literally wrote that story one paragraph at a time.  One day I might write 100 words, the next I might write only 25.  I kept going and tried to work on other projects, but as my Mum weakened, it was all I could do to get through the day.  (Thank goodness I have the most compassionate and the best editor on the planet.)

As Maggie blogged earlier this week, she's trying to adjust to the new normal without her mother.  Me, too. Like Maggie, I'm trying to find some structure, a new routine. It's still too new and raw, but I'm hoping that I can find that new normal and adjust. Time is my best ally right now. I need to get back to writing. It's what keeps me going. What keeps me sane. Tricia and Angelica are waiting. So are Katie, Tori and Kathy, and Amanda.

Mr. L (and Leann and Ellery) keep telling me to stop beating myself up, and it was actually Mr. L that said something that really resonated. "No matter what you or anyone else did, the outcome was going to be the same." And I can hear my Mum telling me, "Oh, Lorraine--please don't cry."  (But I still can't help it.)

I'm not the only person who ever lost her Mum, and many people left lovely condolences on Facebook that made me cry and made me smile. The ones I like best were the shared memories of their mothers.

Do you have a memory of your mother you'd like to share?  If so, please leave a comment.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Think--don't yank that plug!

And so we had a bit of toaster mishap recently.

Okay, not WE -- I had a bit of a toaster mishap recently.  I usually have green (*shudder*) juice for breakfast, but yesterday I was in a hurry.  (Green juice takes between 15-20 minutes to make.  A nuked egg and a slice of toast takes about two minutes.)

I have an elderly toaster. I don't consider a 58 old for a person, but let's face it, it's old for a toaster.  I bought my toaster in West LA more than 30 years ago and it has been a trusted friend ever since.  How do I know the toaster is 58 years old? Because the first owner wrote the date they bought it on the bottom. It's a Sunbeam, and isn't it a beauty?

Of course, like the rest of us--it's had it's little problems. The cord has been replaced, and the plug has been replaced more than once.  In fact, the current plug is REALLY snug in the wall socket.  It takes quiet a bit of tugging to get it out.

Okay, so I was in a hurry. The last slice of bread in the bag was a little bent, but what the heck--I put it in the first slot. You'll notice there no little lever. Nope, my Sunbeam has a little thingy INSIDE the toaster that senses toast and gently takes it down into the depths to bask in the heat of the glowing elements. After 58 years, my toaster is a little temperamental. You kinda have to watch it.  But I was nuking my egg,and kind of forgot. Next thing I know, the kitchen is filling with smoke from my charred toast.  So ... I yanked the plug. Only ... the plug stayed in the socked, and I held the cord in my hand.

Mr. L was not a happy camper. (He's the one who gets to fix the Sunbeam when I have a faux pas.)

I was out most of the day and came home to find this sign over the wall socket.

Yeah. I want toast.

What hoops do you have to jump through to get toast?