Saturday, October 13, 2012

Four More Things You Never Knew About Me

While I was looking through these pages, it hit me that I've been blogging here since June 2006. That's a little over six years now! Wow! I didn't know I had that much to say.

As I was reading, I came across a post I did on 3 September 06 called Four Things You Never Knew About Me. Interesting reading, even if I do say so myself.

Upon reading, I thought, wow, the more things change, the more some things stay the same. And how some things have changed quite a bit. So I thought I'd offer Four MORE Things You Never Knew About Me. And, as before, at the bottom, I'll tag four more people to take up this challenge.

So here I go . . with added links this time :-) --

Four more jobs you've had in your life:

1. Sea Otter babysitter
2. Canine and Feline Nutritionist
3. Book Reviewer - What I'm Reading/Compuserve Romance Reviews
4. Publisher

Four more TV shows you love to watch:

1. Castle
2. The Closer
3. 2 Broke Girls
4. Ghost Hunters

Four more movies you could watch over and over again:

1. Taken
2. Shrek
3. Out of Africa
4. Somewhere in Time

Four more books you could read over and over again:

1. Wilson Rawls - Where the Red Fern Grows
2. John Steinbeck - The Red Pony
3. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - The Little Prince
4. Linda Howard - Mr. Perfect

Four more CDs you could listen to over and over again:

1. anything by Jack L/Jack Lukeman
2. anything by Janis Joplin
3. anything by Jimi Hendrix
4. 60's classic rock

Four more places you have lived:

1. Pacific Grove, CA
2. Montrey, CA
3. Monasterevin, Co Kildare, Ireland
4. Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland

Four more places you've been on vacation:

1. San Francisco, CA
2. Northern Ireland
3. London, UK
4. Las Vegas, NV

Four more places you'd like to go on vacation:

1. Monument Valley, UT
2. Grand Canyon
3. New Orleans, LA
4. The Netherlands

Four more websites you visit daily:

1. various Facebook pages
2. Tirgearr Publishing pages
3. Smashwords (Tirgearr Publishing dashboard)
4. Kindle (Tirgearr Publishing dashboard)

Four more of your favorite foods:

1. Tacos Fresca
2. Huevos Mexicana
3. Marks and Spencers brand chocolate chip cookies (my guilty pleasure when I'm too lazy to make my own!)
4. Pumpkin Pie (really, anything pumpkin! Unlike puppies, its not just for Xmas ;-))

Four more places you'd rather be right now:

1. Conwy, North Wales
2. Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
3. Big Sur, CA
4. Roskilde, Denmark

Four more bloggers you'll be tagging:

1. Charlene Raddon
2. Kristi Ahlers
3. Gretchen Beck
4. Marc Ferris

The people I'm tagging can either copy and paste this form into their blogs or reply on their FB pages.

** Remove 'more' from my post if this is the first time doing this game!

I hope you had fun with this. I did. Though while it's hard to just pick four of anything, it's harder to pick four more! How did you do?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Heart Shaped Dedication

How could I not blog about this?!

Back in 1995, a South Gloucestershire man called Winston Howes lost his beloved wife, Janet, to heart failure. She was just 50. They had been married 33 years. That's right. They married when she was just 17!

So in love with Janet and so beside himself with grief, Winston struggled to find a way to honor Janet's memory.

What did he do?

He planted trees.

Not just any tree and not just a few trees. But over a thousand English Oaks!

A farmer with 112 acres, he planted his oaks in a six-acre field. It took him a week to plan on his own, which included marking out a lovely heart in the center of the field, the tip of which points toward the town where Janet grew up.

If you can imagine what a heart meadow in a grove of a thousand oaks looks like, just check out Google Maps. There it is at the one o'clock position from the town of Wickwar in the heart of South Gloucestershire.

I don't know about you, but that's what I call love!

You can read the article here.

(click to enlarge)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Irish Spring

This is the road behind our house.

Horse pastures belonging to local stud farms flank this narrow backroad, and soon the trees will overhang, creating a canopy of green.

But for now, the daffodils are blooming in their thousands on this mile-long stretch of little-used road.

Here's the road behind us! Bloomin' beautiful!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap

Ya know, it's amazing what you can do with a few leftovers, and so few ingredients.


Leftover chicken breast (optionally: plain Quorn pieces dredged in Cajun seasoning {can do the same with the chicken if you want a spicier wrap}
Leftover romaine lettuce (iceberg will do in a pinch)
Leftover parmesan cheese (fresh grated right into the bowl preferred or why bother)
Leftover garlic and herb croutons
REAL Caesar dressing
Leftover flour tortilla wrap (the big ones)

Chop the lettuce in thin strips and put into a bowl big enough for mixing in. Shred the leftover chicken breast (or Quorn) and add to the bowl. Finely grate the parmesan cheese over the top of the bowl Sprinkle in a few croutons. Pour on some dressing and a dollop of mayo and give it a good stir.

Let the mix sit for a moment to let the croutons have a chance to soak up some moisture. Add a little more dressing and mayo if you think it's too dry! I love extra parmesan.

While the salad is 'resting', put a wrap in the microwave for about 20 seconds, flipping midway through. You want it just warm enough that it becomes soft and doesn't crack when you make the wrap.

Assembly is easy. Put a big spoonful . . . go on, add a little more . . . to the center of the wrap. Fold in the edges, then roll from the edge closest to you. Don't be afraid to use your fingers to stuff in the salad as you go. You can always lick them off :-)

Put the wrap on a plate, fold side down, and slice diagonally if you want to impress your friends.

Voila! One Chicken (or Quorn) Caesar Salad Wrap.

And yes, lately, I'm all about the food!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Borscht . . . Irish Style

It's been a while since I posted, so as a catch up, I offer you this --

Borscht . . . Irish Style!

No wordy post. Just a couple mouthwatering photos and a recipe. Enjoy!


1 left-over roasted chicken
2 large leeks
1 small head of celery
3-4 med/large carrots, peeled
1 med bell pepper, yellow or red
1 med/large zucchini
3 med fresh beets
1 Tbsp dry or fresh thyme (fresh preferred)
3-4 big garlic cloves
3 Knorr Chicken Stock Pots (or vegetarian)(if you can't find gelatine stock cubes, use your favorite traditional cube, or if using liquid stock, omit the next ingredient)
Water to cover
Good olive oil


Rough chop all of the vegetables into similar size pieces, making sure to peel the carrots.

Top and tail the beets, peel and chop about the same size as the carrots. Rinse the beets in a colander before use.

If using fresh thyme, use the most tender parts of the plant or stems and chop finely.

Peel the garlic and rough chop. Alternatively, bash with the side of the knife.

Get started

Heat a medium size stock pot on medium-high/high and add a good glug of olive oil. When hot, toss in the leeks and stir to coat them in the oil and saute. Do not brown them, so keep an eye on them and stir often.

When the leeks start to wilt, add in the celery, carrots and bell peppers and stir.

Add in the rinsed beets, then the garlic and thyme and stir well.

Now add in the gelatin stock cubes. As they heat, they'll start melting. When they do, add enough water to cover the vegetables. If you like a thicker soup, just cover the vegetables. If you like a soupier soup, add a little more water.

Note: If you're using prepared stock, use it in place of the gelatin stock cubes and water. Use as much prepared stock as you wish to get the liquid balance you like in your soup.

Cover the pot and let it come to a simmer. Turn down the heat while you prepare your left-over chicken.

De-bone your left-over chicken. You want to use both the white and dark meat, or whatever good pieces are left over. Be sure to check for bones in the chicken, and remove any veins, fat, skin or other unsightly bits. Roughly chop what you have and put into the pot. Gently push down the chicken until it's submerged in the broth. Recover the pot and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Note: For vegetarians - Omit the chicken and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Serve hot with crusty bread rolls and soft butter.


{photos and recipe copyrighted to Heart Shaped Stones}