Sunday, November 22, 2015

Friday Friend Recipe #85 --Easy Pork Tacos

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.
What is the Friday Friend cookbook: I have about 50 of my closest friends and family on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends (from all over the county). At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 15 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions, exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts, had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday.
AND, we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
I was looking at the cookbook the other night and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog."
The Handyman--who knows me better than I know myself (this happened to be a question on the Friday Friend forum once---does your spouse/partner know you better than you know yourself?)--said,  "you'll never, EVER do that."

WELL---maybe I'll show him!  Maybe I will.
Which brings me to this... recipe #85
Easy Pork Tacos

This is SO GOOD.  And so Easy.  And...well, so good!
I love pork and I love putting things in tortillas.
After cooking all day the pork really does just fall apart so the shredding is easy, and you don't need any salsa because the peppers give it just the right amount of spice.

April's Easy Pork Tacos
April Cain
Winnemucca, NV
1 pork shoulder roast
2 jars pepperocinis (I only used one)
warm corn or flour tortillas
Put roast and peppers (with juice) in crock pot.
Cook all day on low.
Shred pork and put back in crockpot with the peppers.
Put into warm tortillas and Eat!

I have tagged April 15 times in my blog!  But I do believe that this is only her 2nd time in the cookbook countdown.
April and Doug are retired now.
Shelly and I HATE IT.    Seriously, we do.  We can't keep track of her anymore.
She always used to be right where she was supposed to... now, she goes gallivanting off with Doug at a moment's notice.  A month at the Oregon Coast. Okay.
But when she says they are going to CA for a few days and doesn't come back for two weeks?!!
This has got to stop!
What if we want to do lunch at a moment's notice?
Noooo-- she's off on a motorcycle trip!
There is also something 'not fair' about this!
I'm still at my desk.  Shelly's still at her desk.
Not fair!!
Okay, now that I've whined, I will tell you another fun fact about April.
She is a HOOKER!!
And you know we live in Nevada.   It's legal!
She is a natural at it too.
She invited me to be a hooker too, and I go because my daughter-in-law likes to hook and she's a bit shy, so I am like the 'mother' hooker, but it started with April.
Don't be shocked----but here is a photo of her--hooking --while she was camping.
(and there's another thing she and Doug are off doing without us!!)
(fine!  It's a knitting and crocheting group--sigh)
Now even tho I go to Hookers with April, I  don't know how to knit or crochet.
I bought some needles and yarn make a dish cloth.
But April posted this photo on facebook!
and she said:
For a few years now, I have been very lucky to be with a group a wonderful ladies called the "Happy Hookers" Don't jump to conclusion folks...these ladies crochet & knit! I crochet cute little projects like butterflies & anything created from granny squares. But these ladies are KNITTERS- I don't knit! Because I think the world of my fellow hookers, on my camping trip by the fire and my HOW TO Book, I am knitting a DISHCLOTH. I am so proud of my not so square & a bit bumpy project!
And I wrote:
Debbie Stone SERIOUSLY???? This was our together project!
And Shelly said: (the three of us do lunch every week! Or--we did --until---the RETIREMENT!!)
Shelly Cass Noble You had a together project? You're kind of scaring me.
April never really answered me as to why she was hooking without me.  She just laughed.   I wonder why? 
I'll probably never learn to hook now.
I depend on Jessica (my DIL) to do my knitting for me.  Slippers please.
Shelly you can come hook with us anytime.
Motorcycle rider.
Waterfall see-er.

Sunday Post #4

This is my Sunday Post #4
The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
I love Sundays to be 'lazy' days, but I  know that's not how today will play out for me.
Besides being the liturgist  in church (why? WHY? do I sign up for these things!)  I have to do some grocery shopping and cleaning.
And the Handyman will probably want dinner tonight!

Earlier this week I did a blog post on the cookbook I'm making my way thru--  The Friday Friend Cookbook--- and I mentioned that the notebook is beginning to show some wear  and tear and that it would probably fall apart before I'm finished making my way thru it.  A couple of days after I posted that,  I received  an email from my friend Shelly and she said:
You know…we (I) could “Shutterfly” the Friday Friend cookbook for you.  Scan the recipes, get photos from you, copy/paste your stories, etc.  Just let me know if/when you want me to start on this.  J
So of course I said: WOW!!  YES PLEASE!
What a friend!  She will join myself (who is making every single recipe in the book and posting about it) Barbara (who did the original cookbook--collected all the recipes and typed and copied every single one) in the Friday Friend Cookbook Hall of Fame!
I have a confession to make---I didn't cook one time this week.  Leftovers on Monday, Grilled cheese on Tuesday, book clubs on Wed, Thurs and Friday we took the Handyman out for his birthday dinner and last night we ate at Friends.
And like I mentioned --I bet the Handyman will want dinner tonight!!
I better get busy!
Book Blogger Hop (Do you read every day?)
Nonfiction November Week #3 (what non-traditional way to you read nonfiction? audio, etc)
All the Stars in Heaven (book opinion)
Between the World and Me (book opinion)
Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon update--Christmas Bells
Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving Week.
What's on the menu?
My brother called this morning and wanted to know if I had my mom's 'dressing/stuffing' recipe.  I don't.  I think she just made it by memory--which I ironic, because
1) that was the only recipe she ever made by memory-she was a recipe follower
2) she couldn't remember anything at the end of her life
3) on Thanksgiving morning we will, as a family, be taking part in the 2nd annual (in our small town) Up and AATT  (Alzheimer's Awareness)'Em Turkey Trot  3k, 5k, or 8k!  For Alzheimer's!!   In honor of my mom!!
Thanks to my friend Gini Cunningham, who brought the original Turkey Trot to us!!  (seen her from last year)
Before we had an OFFICIAL Turkey Trot tho, we did our own family one. 
And I will leave you with a few photos of the 'original'  Stone Family Turkey Trot.   (it was pretty much a free-for-all!    complete with Turkey hats made by the grandchildren--which fell off the adults as we ran)



Friday, November 20, 2015

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

From Goodreads:
From one of the greatest writers of our time: the most spellbinding, entertaining, wildly imaginative novel of his great career, which blends history and myth with tremendous philosophical depth. A masterful, mesmerizing modern tale about worlds dangerously colliding, the monsters that are unleashed when reason recedes, and a beautiful testament to the power of love and humanity in chaotic times.
Inspired by 2,000 years of storytelling yet rooted in the concerns of our present moment, this is a spectacular achievement--enchanting, both very funny and terrifying. It is narrated by our descendants 1000 years hence, looking back on "The War of the Worlds" that began with "the time of the strangenesses": a simple gardener begins to levitate; a baby is born with the unnerving ability to detect corruption in people; the ghosts of two long-dead philosophers begin arguing once more; and storms pummel New York so hard that a crack appears in the universe, letting in the destructive djinns of myth (as well as some graphic superheroes). Nothing less than the survival of our world is at stake. Only one, a djinn princess who centuries before had learned to love humankind, resolves to help us: in the face of dynastic intrigue, she raises an army composed of her semi-magical great-great--etc.--grandchildren--a motley crew of endearing characters who come together to save the world in a battle waged for 1,001 nights--or, to be precise, two years, eight months and twenty-eight nights.
From Me:
This book was not the book for me.
1 star.
I might not have loved the book, but I do love the girls I discussed it with.
The Lit Wits!
(7 out of 22.  Sometimes it's like that)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted each week by
This week's question is:
Do you read every day? If so, do you have a "page goal?"
My answer:
Yes, I read every single day.  I don't have a page goal, I'm just that nerdy person you see reading at a restaurant, or while getting a pedicure, or waiting at a red light (okay, I'm not that bad, but you get the idea).
Also, I'm an early riser.  Most days between 5 and 5:30 without an alarm clock.  My routine is to make coffee and sit and read, undisturbed for about an hour or so every morning.
THEN,  get ready for work, barely making it in time  (8:30).  And on the drive to work (about 5 minutes) I listen to an audio book.
I go thru ups and downs in my reading of course, but I still read  a few pages every single day.
What about you?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nonfiction November - Week 3--Non-Traditional Nonfiction Reads

Week 3 is hosted by Becca at Lost in Books.

This week we will be focusing on the nontraditional side of reading nonfiction.  Nonfiction comes in many forms  There are the traditional hardcover or paperback print books, of course, but then you also have e-books, audiobooks, illustrated and graphic nonfiction, oversized folios, miniatures, internet publishing, nonfiction short stories, and enhanced books (book itself includes artifacts, audio, historical documents, images, etc.) So many choices! Do you find yourself drawn to or away from nontraditional nonfiction? Do you enjoy some nontraditional formats, but not others? Perhaps you have recommendations for readers who want to dive into nontraditional formats.  We want to hear all about it this week!  

Non-Traditional.  Hmmmm.
I have noticed that there are a lot of good blog posts this week about audio books.  Of course, that too, is my favorite non-traditional type of reading  nonfiction, but I don't feel I can add to anything that isn't already out there, so I will share my weird love of COFFEE TABLE BOOKS with you. Oversized wonderful, glorious, amazing books you put on your coffee table.  If you have a coffee table, that is.

I just happen to have a coffee table in my living room, and right now I have three ---

They are nonfiction books about--letter writing and cursive handwriting. I love writing letters--old fashioned snail mail letters--I think it's really important, but  that's another story.  
Right now if you come to my house you can easily glance thru these books above, or  this one below, if you are in my Den/TV room:

An interesting history on the evolution the gas station.
I really miss the gas stations of my youth!

  If you take a quick look on my bookshelves you might see these:

This one is really interesting---the power of the headline!  Back when we got our news from the newspaper.

This is a great pictorial tour of back roads and signs that might 'save' us, in the American Landscape.  I find it interesting that most of these type of signs are in rural settings -- not to say that city dwelling people don't agree, they just don't feel the need to write it on old trash cans, etc,  I guess.

I LOVE the  coffee table book!!  You can find one on almost any subject imaginable.   They are easy to read in short spurts of time. A little bit here, a little bit the next time you sit down on the couch.  I think they are lovely, wonderful, interesting, intriguing, beautiful.
They are not for everybody though.  I have friends who say that books lying around on coffee tables look messy to them ( Fair enough.)   And they are pricey sometimes. Lots of glossy photographs in color = more money to produce and then ya gotta pay for it.  And they are the kind of books that were in the 'reference' library, not to be checked out, but only looked at. (at least when we were kids), and some people feel they can only look once--that's enough for them. 
I guess in a way, they are like photo-journalism to me...and I always did love National Geographic and  the old photo-magazines, Look and Life. I'm dating myself, I know.
So....does a coffee table book date me too?  Do only old ladies have coffee table books?

Now, having said that, (and I might joke about being old, but I'm really NOT ) here is a list of some  coffee table books I want--just in case anyone feels they want to send me a Christmas present:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

All the Stars in the Heavens

From Goodreads:
Adriana Trigiani, the New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker’s Wife, returns with her biggest and boldest novel yet—a hypnotic tale, based on a true story—that dazzles with the signature elements of her previous work—family ties, artistry, romance, adventure—and introduces an unforgettable new heroine: Loretta Young, an ambitious starlet struggling to survive in Hollywood’s dream factory

In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town’s golden age—an era as brutal as it was resplendent—and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame and success. With meticulous, beautiful detail, Trigiani paints a rich, historical landscape of 1930s Los Angeles, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.

The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he’s already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly.

Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young’s assistant, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots. Over the course of decades, she and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives.

Anchored by Trigiani’s masterful storytelling that takes you on a worldwide ride of adventure from Hollywood to the shores of southern Italy, this mesmerizing epic is, at its heart, a luminous tale of the most cherished ties that bind. Brimming with larger-than-life characters both real and fictional—including stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, David Niven, Hattie McDaniel and more—it is it is the unforgettable story of one of cinema’s greatest love affairs during the golden age of American movie making

From Me:
That's all.

Okay, that's not all.
I love old movies, I love old Hollywood.  I loved this book.
Having said that tho, I'm not sure this book is for everybody. I think it probably  suits a certain age group  (women of a certain age??? ACK! I can't believe I just said that) more than others, but who knows, I could be wrong.
4.5 stars.

I listened to the audio version and Blair Brown does an EXCELLENT job.

And on another note--- just for fun-- this video reminds me of this book!
The Golden Age of Hollywood.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Between the World and Me

From Goodreads:
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
From Me:
4 stars.
Yes, it is powerful.
Yes, it is eye opening.
Yes, it is thought provoking.
Yes, it is well written and well spoken.
Yes, I think everyone should read it.
While I might have disagreed with a couple of his observations, I choose not to, because I have never walked in his shoes.
I just hope that somehow he can also share a sense of joy about the world to his son.
In some way.  Somehow.
The author narrated his own book and I think he did an outstanding job.
I chose to read this because I am participating in Nonfiction November and I've seen this on a blog or two and it got great reviews from the bloggers.  I'm so glad that I've taken part in this event--it has opened my eyes to so many great reads that I was unaware of.

HoHoHo Read-a-Thon update

Today is the last day of the HoHoHo Read-a-Thon, and I think I've done a pretty good job.
I finished 2 novels
1 novella 
and 2 short stories

Twitter party tonight!
(We'll see if I can do this.  Twitter is not really in my comfort zone. I'm too old and by the time I finally get it---we'll have moved on to another form of social media. That's the one I'll master!)

My latest -- the novella --- is the book we are reading for our book club in December:
The Christmas Letters.

From Goodreads:
In The Christmas Letters, three generations of women reveal their stories of love and marriage in the letters they write to family and friends during the holidays. It's a down-home Christmas story about tradition, family, and the shared experiences of women. Here, in a letter of her own, Lee Smith explains how she was inspired to write this celebrated epistolary novel:

Dear Friends,

Like me, you probably get Christmas letters every year. I read every word and save every letter. Because every Christmas letter is the story of a life, and what story can be more interesting than the story of our lives? Often, it is the story of an entire family. But you also have to read between the lines with Christmas letters. Sometimes, what is not said is even more important than what is on the page.

In The Christmas Letters, I have used this familiar format to illumine the lives, hopes, dreams, and disappointments of three generations of American women. Much of the story of The Christmas Letters is also told through shared recipes. As Mary, my favorite character, says, "I feel as if I have written out my life story in recipes! The Cool Whip and mushroom soup years, the hibachi and fondue period, then the quiche and crepes phase, and now it's these salsa years."

I wrote this little book for the same reason I write to my friends and relatives every holiday--Christmas letters give us a chance to remember and celebrate who we are.

With warmest greetings, Lee Smith

From Me:
This was a lovely little book.  Told the story of a family thru the years and I do love that.
It wasn't very "Christmasy" tho, if that's what you are looking for.
The story wasn't about getting you in the Christmas spirit--it was about a family and  how perhaps you really do need to read between the lines of those Christmas letters. Life is never as perfect as we make it seem.

Personally, I am  a lover of the Christmas letter.  I love to see what's been going on with old friends and family.  I don't care if they do exaggerate!  Still fun for me.

I think the author said it best when she said "Christmas letters give us a chance to remember and to celebrate who we are.
3.5 stars!

First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros

Today is Tuesday--- which means I'll be joining up with Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea and her First Chapter, First Paragraph
Tuesday Intros, 
Where,  bloggers post the first paragraph of a book they are thinking of reading --- and get everyone's opinion to see if it grabbed them from the beginning or not.
Click here to join the fun!
( I always seem to be late to the game, but really for us on the west coast---not too bad.  You still have time!)

My Paragraph:
What actually woke him was the unearthly sound itself--a mournful shatter of frozen midnight falling to earth to pierce his heart and lodge there forever, never to move, never to melt--but he, being who he was, assumed it was his bladder.

My book:

Should I keep reading?
What do you think?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Friday Friend Recipe #84 -- Lemon Cake

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.
What is the Friday Friend cookbook: I have about 50 of my closest friends and family on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends (from all over the county). At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 15 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions, exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts, had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday.
AND, we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
I was looking at the cookbook the other night and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog."
The Handyman--who knows me better than I know myself (this happened to be a question on the Friday Friend forum once---does your spouse/partner know you better than you know yourself?)--said,  "you'll never, EVER do that."

WELL---maybe I'll show him!  Maybe I will.
Which brings me to this... recipe #84
Lemon Cake

This is what's fun for me!
Finding old notes like this one that went out to ALL my friends asking for recipes for the cook book.
Notice that Barb says if I have to Nag, nag, nag them, we WILL  get this cookbook done if it takes all year.

It's not a fancy cookbook---you've seen it.   A plain notebook.  Maybe I should have another Friday Friend make me a fancy one?
(this one will fall apart before long)

Also if you look closely at Barb's note above, she is going to go to Best Buy to get some cool graphics for this cookbook!  I'm laughing....and I wish it were okay to write "ha ha ha" in a blog post.  (oh-it's mine so I can do it if I want to?  ha Ha HA then!)  Oh, the things we didn't know about technology 12 years ago.

I love my cookbook (Thanks for all the typing Barb) and I actually do enjoy making all the recipes and the memories I have of my friends.

While Barb might not have known a lot about technology back then, she knew how to make a great lemon cake.
Tasty!  Yummy!  
Perfect for a picnic or potluck or a backyard BBQ!

and I'll just take her recipe straight from the pages of the cookbook.

Fun fact or funny story about Barb:
She loves the ocean!
She spends about  1 month in the summer and one month in the winter at her son's beach house in Washington State.  She's retired and her husband comes on his 'vacation' to see her while she's there. She sews and reads and walks and has coffee on the deck. 
(and sends me photos)
(and makes me jealous)

Here is an old FF email from Barb---about Thanksgiving 2007-- they were going to have a Beach picnic.  I wonder if that ever came to pass?
I hope so!

 And that my friends is recipe #84 in the Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown.

Barb has 21 recipes featured so far.

I just said to my friend Shelly, "I really need to get this cookbook cooked thru!"
But then....
....what would I do?

Oh yeah---READ MORE!

Friday friend recipe number 274 and 275-Grapefurit Shrimp Salad and Crispy Potato Chicken

  My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #274 and 275 My Mother-in-law's Grapefruit Shrimp Salad and Crispy potatoes . and you know all th...