Friday, January 15, 2010

Sweet Friends

Michele Emrath from Southern City Mysteries has bestowed upon me Happy 101. Now I will go ahead and share ten things that make me blissfully happy. Then I’m to tag ten bloggy friends. So they might see fit to repeat history.


1. My very first cup of morning coffee. I grind my own beans and coffee is best if you drink it immediately after it’s been brewed.

2. When my phone beeps and someone is sending me a cute photo. Especially if it’s one of my kids sending a pic of a grandchild. Yay! Got two today!

3. When I settle down to watch a movie in our home theater room and little Lita (think 3 lb Chihuahua) gets on my lap, burrows under the blanket and falls asleep.

4. The Husband, in general.

5. New shoes turn me on.

6. Traveling anywhere for any reason.

7. Project Runway

8. A perfectly chilled glass of chardonnay

9. Going on a hike and watching The Husband photograph wildflowers in the spring.

10. Writing fiction.

My posse:

Cheryl – Cheryl de los Reyes Cruz A Work In Progress
Sylvia – Sylvia From Over The Hill
Elspeth – It’s A Mystery
Stacy – A Writer’s Point of View
Alix – Casa Hice
Kristen – Me, My Muse and I
Delphin – The Romantic Query Letter and The Happy Ever After
Boomer – Baby Boomer Bliss
Kim – The Child
Katy -- Crazy Mommy

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Crap, it's really coming down.

I used to love the rain, I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. But the allure is lost on me anymore. Rain makes my dogs stink, and when they come in from outside they leave mudddy paw prints all over the floor. I know we need the rain. God knows we don't get enough. But it's so bleak.

I spontaneously began to hum the lyrics to Albert Hammond's,
It Never Rains in Southern California, a few minutes ago. I found myself wondering what happened to that guy, he was so popular and then seemed to disappear.

Bless Wikipedia, I found answers! In case you were wondering, it turns out he's prolific as all get out, he certainly didn't become a car salesman or a real estate investor. Did you know he wrote One Moment in Time, the song Whitney Houston performed at the Olympics in Seoul Korea? And he's written songs for some biggies, including Elton John and Aretha Franklin. He wrote To All the Girls I Loved Before, (don't hold that against the poor guy, the song sold millions, somebody must have liked it.) His son, Albert Hammond Jr. is in the band The Strokes. Mr. Hammond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 19 2008. And, in January 2010 Hammond's busy writing material with Welsh singer Duffy for her second album. Who knew?

Seems it Never Rains in Southern California
by Albert Hammond

Got on board a westbound 747
Didn't think before deciding what to do
Ooh, that talk of opportunities
TV breaks and movies
Rang true
Sure rang true

Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girl don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours

Out of work, I'm out of my head
Out of self respect, I'm out of bread
I'm underloved, I'm underfed, I wanna go home
It never rains in California
But girl don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours

[Instrumental Interlude]

Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it
Had offers but didn't know which one to take
Please don't tell 'em how you found me
Don't tell 'em how you found me
Gimme a break, give me a break

Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girl don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It’s a fine thing to mix it up every now and then. In fact, the beginning of a New Year is the perfect time to change our "mode of operandi". We human beings are creatures of habit, and although it’s a trite concept, it’s frickin true, the older we get the more likely we are to become accustomed to living our lives a certain way.

Funny, I realized the kitchen is the first stop for instruction on how to go topsy-turvy. Someone once decided to take some juicy pineapple and a little flour and bake their cake upside down. What a concept! And someone once decided to take a little flour, turn the griddle up high,
or maybe a flat rock heated over the fire? And then they mixed up flour, flour is a handy kitchen staple, with a little water and baking soda and voila—hotcakes. Although you'll have to flip those puppies, a tricky process at best, but if you manage to pull it off without a hitch you'll end up with delicious delivery systems for syrup! And what about the hazard-prone-pizza-dough-toss? Certainly this practice could end in disaster. But, if executed properly, another delicious result will transpire, especially if there’s a wood-fired oven at hand.

And who came up the flip hair-do? A style that defies gravity. I don’t know about you, but my hair doesn’t “flip out” on it’s own. Doesn’t Mary Tyler Moore pull it off nicely? I know; chances are Ms. Moore employed a stylist, or a team of stylists wielding gallons of super-hold hairspray. How on earth would you flip your own hair at the back of your own head? I can’t imagine how it could be humanly possible to accomplish this task on one's own. But no matter—doesn’t she look marvelous?

Whoever invented the topsy-turvy tomato plant thingy—what a bloody genius! I bought one of these last season but never got around to setting it up. I plan on using it this year, as soon as spring rears its warm little head. Tomatoes do very well here in Southern California, but it can get too hot for them in the thick of summer. Hanging this contraption in a semi shaded spot will help save the plants from scorching. I love it! I wonder if growing tomatoes up off the ground will eliminate those ugly-fat-green-horned worms that always seem to find the plants? One can only hope. Or will the industrious critters assemble and camp out underneath the hanging vines until enough of them show up to climb piggyback? Until some of them are able to climb high enough to reach the juicy plant? Shudder.

Just last night, a couple of my secondary characters living in my WIP got together. Now, these two were not supposed to meet, they were never scheduled to have a thing to do with each other. But now they’re up to no good and have succeeded in turning my story on its pointy little head! Back in the saddle and behind my Mac this morning, I analyzed this turn of events, and realized their antics only served to energize the WIP. I am pleased with the results.

Sometimes, for no particular reason, I drive down roads I’ve never driven before, even if it means I won’t reach my destination as fast as usual. I’m one of those that grows bored when submerged in the same old same old. I realize that this post relates to my last post, and I guess that's indicative of my current state of mind.

I’d love to hear how you all are shaking things up, sending monotony topsy-turvy, flipping your routines or notions upside down.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Different Strokes

The Husband and I enjoy strolling through the farmer’s market here in Old Town Temecula. The sights and sounds fill our senses. We buy locally grown veggies, fresh homemade hummus, fruit, or whatever catches our eye that particular morning. Without naming names, (you know who you are), I asked someone to go with us, and their flippant response was, “No thanks. What’s the point? I don’t do outdoor markets.”

Okay. Whatever. Not your cup of tea? No skin off my pointy nose.

It took The Husband,
way back in the 80’s when big-haired chicks roamed the planet in acid-washed jeans, a couple of years to indoctrinate me into appreciating sushi. Now, I love it. Well, most of it. I won’t touch sea urchin with a ten-foot pole, let alone my mouth. All our kids go wacky for sushi, which by the way is no cheap date. My brother, on the other hand, will not even consider Japanese food. I’ve done my best to make it very clear, don’t even try, you’re wasting your breath trying to convince my brother, (The Husband is big on turning other's into converts), he’s never going to step foot inside our favorite sushi bar, no way Jose.

Let me throw a few more well-worn clichés around: one man/woman’s trash is another man/woman’s treasure ~ to each his own ~ whatever turns you on, floats your boat, fires your rocket…

I have a friend that’s positively over the moon about bidding for stuff on e-Bay. She’s a storehouse of knowledge about cutting deals and shipping costs. I admit freely to being totally ignorant on the subject, although The Husband has picked up some computer and camera equipment at phenomenal prices. I just haven’t been motivated to check out e-Bay, and my friend thinks I’m losing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

When it comes to books, music, and movies, our preferences tend to really stand out. I just watched a movie called
The Brother’s Bloom, an offbeat film to be sure, but I LOVED it. I probably won’t recommend this film to most people my age because I’m quite certain they won’t appreciate it the way I do. And that’s okay, different strokes for different folks, (more clichés, sorry I can't seem to stop myself.)

When it comes to choosing books and movies, I’m constantly amazed at how limited most people’s choices are, mystery buffs tend to stick with mystery, fantasy w/fantasy, romance w/romance, thriller w/thriller, YA w/YA, and so on and so forth. I'm a fairly versatile reader and watcher of movies. I’m multi-dimensional and quite open to new adventures.

I wasn’t all that interested in seeing The Kite Runner. I just didn’t have the vaguest idea what it was about, but when The Husband put it one the tube I grabbed my popcorn and joined him. What a great movie! Now, I must read the book. Along those same lines, when my son talked me into reading Harry Potter several years ago, I didn’t expect to enjoy the book as much as I did. We bonded over Rowling's prose, how cool is that? Being flexible pays off at times.

How about you? Have you given any books or movies a whirl that you normally wouldn't have considered? Do you love something that others think is strange?

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.