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Make Me The Replacement for Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, the hugely popular and controversial host for Fox, was recently fired by Fox TV. They need a new host. I need a new platform beyond this blog for my views. So, I humbly ask my readers request Fox TV to hire me to fill Bill’s time slot. Here’s why you should do so.

  1. Bill O’Reilly was fired for multiple allegations of sexual harassment. I was raised to hold doors open for women.
  2. Bill was not funny. I am funny. Q: Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip? A: To get to the same side. See what I mean.
  3. I would be an invaluable political analyst having run for the presidency in 2012 and 2016. In the last election, I won all but 50 states.
  4. I’ve written two cookbooks.
  5. Funny cookbooks.
  6. In certain demographics, my books have outsold Bill’s.
  7. My show on Fox, will include a Bad Advice Friday where I give bad advice to all callers.
  8. One show a week will be on cooking. With really good food. Mmmm.
  9. My show will have bunnies.
  10. And dogs.
  11. And cats.
  12. I have over 150 spices and herbs.
  13. I command Paul’s Flying Squirrel Squadron.
  14. I bicycled from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.
  15. My vase was in the prestigious Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag.
  16. I have been to Slovakia.
  17. I know how to say “Where are the bunions?” in Spanish. “Donde estan los juantes?” See.
  18. I can spell Cincinnati.
  19. I have a recipe for a North Korean hamburger, so I can speak on developments in that country.
  20. I’m caught up on my laundry.
  21. My favorite food is the taco.
  22. My office faces south.
  23. I can count to 23.
  24. And more!
  25. I can ties my shoes and hold my booze.
  26. Mainly because I only occasionally have a near beer.
  27. I look both ways before crossing a road.
  28. I clean dishes while cooking fancy meals.
  29. I make hospital corners while making beds.
  30. I never ever block the aisle with shopping cart.
  31. I don’t tailgate.
  32. I can name every country that isn’t an island.
  33. I know that soup backward is puos. Puos is the plural form of puo.
  34. I’ve never been bitten by a mosquito.
  35.  And I played Snoopy in a 5th grade production of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

See? I am qualified. Please call Fox TV and put in a good word for me. Thank you very much.

The Velvet Voice, Paul De Lanceycookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

 

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Rizogalo (Rice Pudding)

Greek Dessert

RIZOGALO
(Rice Pudding)

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup butter
4½ cups whole milk
½ cup short-grain white rice
½ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon.

Makes 4 cups. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION

Add butter, milk, rice, and sugar to large pot. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is soft. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolk in small bowl. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract. and corn flour. Mix with whisk until well blended. Ladle rice pudding into cups. Let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then in refrigerator for another 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

TIDBITS

1) There is quite a bit of stirring in this recipe. Doesn’t that all that stirring get tiring? Yes, it does. Which is why the Greek Aeronautics and Space Agency (GASA) has developed an autonomous robot designed for voyages to the asteroid belt.

2) Greek astronauts can’t afford to take their eyes off their rocket’s window for even one minute as asteroids and space rocks could crack their window. Whoosh! The astronauts would be sucked out by the vacuum of space. That would be horrible. So, you can see why GASA puts a rizogalo-making robot (RMR) on all missions.

3) RMRs are expensive. It needs enough artificial intelligence (AI) to make rizogalo without human aid. I also needs to cook in zero-gravity. Have you ever tried preparing rizogalo in outer space? It isn’t easy. The last time a human tried this the International Space Station was closed while Greek cleaning women were shuttled in. Getting all those globules with mops proved frustrating. The women had be trained for six months. The clean up took seven months. The Greek government ran up such a debt paying for this that it had enormous difficulties meeting its international obligations. Massive infusions of cash from Germany and other governments saved off default. Even so, the Euro almost collapsed. This would have destroyed the world economy. No one would have had money to buy clothes and most food. We would have been running around naked and eating lutefisk! So again, you can see why RMRs are essential on lengthy space flights.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Chicken Flautas

Mexican Entree

CHICKEN FLAUTAS

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (4 cups more later)
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ pound queso fresco or feta cheese
½ cup salsa
12 uncooked or freshly made corn tortillas*
4 cups vegetable oil (or at least ¾” deep)
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro

* = Cooked tortillas from the store will require softening in the skillet or microwave. Uncooked tortillas while harder to find will make preparation easier.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

toothpicks

Makes 12 flautas. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken breasts and enough water to cover to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken to plate. Shred chicken using forks.

While chicken simmers, mince garlic and dice onion. Add garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add shredded chicken and cumin. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Add equal amounts of the shredded chicken/onion mixture, queso fresco, and salsa to the middle of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and pin together with toothpicks.

Add oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a tiny piece of the tortillas starts to dance in the oil. Add rolled-up tortillas to pan seem-side down. Sauté at medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until tortillas turn golden brown. Turn frequently, but carefully, to ensure even browning. You will most likely need to cook in batches. Remove from heat. Drain on plate covered with paper towel. Dice cilantro. Garnish with cilantro. Goes well with salsa.

TIDBITS

1) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “The Angler of Vienna,” was also a pretty darn talented musician, writing such toe-tapping operas such as, Il re pastore, Zaide, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cossi fan tutte.”

2) By the way, Mozart’s agent, Paolo Fettucine, arranged for tutti frutti, a new ice cream with chopped and candied fruits in it to be served at Cossi fan tutte’s debut. It was a stroke of P.R. genius. Ice cream lovers came for the dessert and stayed for the opera. Wolfgang never looked back, except when on the way to his secret fishing places.

3) But it is in Mozie’s culinary operas where The Angler of Vienna’s talents really shined. Who can fail to be uplifted by his sole English work, The Three Penny Hot Dog? or feel the anguish of Gibt es wirklich keine Apfelkuchen? (Is There Really No Apple Pie?)

4) The years 1784 – 1787 were his happiest; he had great fishing spots to himself. These interludes of quietude were also the moments of his greatest musical creativity as witnessed by the Fish Cycle operas: Der Kabeljau auf dem Markt (The Cod at the Market), Limone Pesce Impanati (Lemon Breaded Fish), and of course, “The Angler of Vienna’s favorite, Il Mio Punto di Pesca (My Own Fishing Spot.)

5) It’s ironic that Mozart, a famous fan of German cuisine, would write his greatest opera about Mexican food. But who could not be inspired by the brilliant cuisine of Vienna’s famous restaurant, “Los Cinco Tacos?” Wolfang tried the restaurant’s chicken flautas and fell in love with them. He would stay up all night to compose the brilliant, brilliant I say, opera, Las Flautas Mágicas (The Magic Flautas.) Unfortunately, the politics of that year dictated that no operas be performed in Spanish. (Do try to see it if it’s being performed nearby.) Broken hearted that he was, Mozart rewrote his opus. And so we have the not too shabby Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute.) But Mozart would never again write about Mexican food.

6) Then on December 5, 1791, Mozart’s muse, Ernestine, imparted to him the idea of writing the opera Stoßen der magische Kugelfisch, (Puff the Magic Pufferfish.) So strong was Mozie’s excitement over what he knew what would be his magnum opus that he grabbed his fishing pole and raced to Danube River. He continually glanced over his shoulders to see if anyone were following, for all the local anglers would descend on him en masse and fish and fish out his little side pond. It was heartbreaking. Mozart had to scrap one seafood opera after another because he couldn’t bring in enough fish to give a true, abiding sense of its flavor and abiding soul. On one occasion, competitors once fished all the trout from his special inlet. This is why we never got to hear his Guten Morgen, Forelle (Good Morning, Trout) and had to settle for the markedly Don Giovanni.

7) Anyway, Mozie eluded all anglers that day and caught six pufferfish. (1791 was an extraordinarily bountiful year for Viennese pufferfish.) Wolfie scurried home as fast as his chubby little legs would carry him. He cooked all the fish. Unfortunately, he died. For while his wiener schnitzel was second to none, he didn’t know how beans about preparing the potentially fatal pufferfish. His last words were, “Gott im Himmel, where are my car keys?” There were, of course, no cars in 1791 and so need for car keys. Culinary historians Mozart had channeling the frustration of millions upon millions of people two centuries later.

9) But Wolfgang’s musical vision for the pufferfish lasted through the centuries floating through the atmosphere until it found a suitable vessel, a worthy receptacle. This is how we got the classic song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Sure the name and length of Stoßen der magische Kugelfisch changed a bit, but that magnum-opus had been floating around for centuries and became susceptible to modern musical scenes. And there you go.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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How to Say All Over the World, “No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

lutefisktacotruck

“No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

I used GoogleTM Translate to translate the above phrases into the following languages. You might never need to use these words in your global travels, but do you want to take that chance? Read and remember.

Afrikaans – Geen lutefisk, asseblief, dit maak my siek. Waar is die naaste taco vragmotor?
Albanian – No lutefisk, ju lutem, kjo më bën të sëmurë. Ku është më i afërt kamion taco?
Arabic – لا lutefisk، من فضلك، يجعلني سوء. أين هي أقرب شاحنة تاكو؟ (Apparently, this language doesn’t have a word for lutefisk. Who knew?)
Chichewa – palibe lutefisk, chonde, IT kupanga chilichonse choipa. uli yapafupi taco galimoto?
Chinese, traditional – 沒有lutefisk,請,這讓我生病。 最近的taco卡車在哪裡?(What? The Chinese don’t have a word for tacos and they have nuclear weapons. Oh, this doesn’t sound good.)
Dutch – Geen lutefisk, alsjeblieft, het enig ziek. Waar is de dichtstbijzijnde taco truck?
French – Pas lutefisk, s’il vous plaît, IT faire tout mauvais. Où est le camion taco le plus proche?
German – Kein lutefisk, bitte, IT jeder krank machen. Wo ist der nächste LKW Taco?
Greek – Δεν lutefisk, παρακαλώ, αυτό με κάνει να άρρωστος. Πού είναι το πλησιέστερο taco φορτηγό; (What? The Greeks don’t have a word for taco and they call their country the Cradle of Western Thought?)
Hindi – कोई lutefisk, कृपया, यह मुझे बीमार बना देता है। निकटतम टैको ट्रक कहां है? (See? You can order a taco in India. All you have to do is read Hindi and pronounce it correctly.)
Hungarian – Nem lutefisk, kérem, ez teszi beteggé. Hol van a legközelebbi taco teherautó?
Latin – Lutefisk non placet, si male me. Ubi est proxima taco dolor? (If by accident you end up in ancient Rome, you’ll be able to ask for a taco truck?)
Polish – Nie lutefisk, proszę, to sprawia, że chory. Gdzie jest najbliższy ciężarówka taco?
Russian – Нет лютефиск, пожалуйста, это не делает меня больным. Где находится ближайший тако грузовик? (The fact that the country is run by an opportunistic dictator must be balance with the fact that Russians have a word for taco.)
Scots Gaelic – Chan eil lutefisk, feuch, tha mi tinn. Càite bheil a ‘fhaisge taco làraidh?
Spanish – Sin lutefisk, por favor, TI tiene ningún enfermo. ¿dónde está el camión de tacos más cercano?
Swedish – Ingen lutefisk snälla, gör mig sjuk. Var finns närmaste taco lastbil?
Vietnamese – Không LUTEFISK, xin vui lòng, nó làm cho tôi bị bệnh. Trường hợp là xe tải taco gần nhất? (Vietnam has no word for lutefisk. Had France and America known this the Vietnam War might never been fought.)
Yiddish – ניט קיין לוטעפיסק, ביטע, עס מאכט מיר קראַנק. ווו איז די ניראַסט טאַקאָ טראָק?

My spell checker went nuts with this blog.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

 

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Hitler Shops at the Supermarket

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Happy Festus

Greetings from the Old West

happyfestus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Holidays.

Paul De Lancey, raconteur, doctor, and gunslingercookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

 

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Why You Should Never Eat Lutefisk

lutefiskbin

Lutefisk is an abomination that proves Evil still stalks the land. It offends and destroys all the senses.

Sight: It looks like boogers or broiled phlegm.

Smell: It reeks like a rat decomposing under the cellar furnace.

Touch: It has the lovely consistency of a corpse’s innards that have finally exploded in the hot summer Sun, but you’re a dectective and have to search through the body with your glove-covered hands to find the bullet that the killer used to commit this cowardly murder.

Taste: Oh gosh, you’ll want to set your razor to its highest level and shave off your taste buds off your tongue just to prevent tasting the next bite.

Sound: After eating lutefisk, just the mere mention of it will set off PTSS.

It’s been a half century since I had lutefisk. Not enough time has elapsed.

I give up lutefisk every year for Lent. I have a will of iron. I have never even been tempted to backslide.

If you ever are invited to a dinner when lutefisk is served, my I suggest that you join the French Foreign Legion and politely send your regrets from some combat zone.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Spotlight on Deb Martin-Webster, Author of “Forever, Montana”

Description of “Forever Montana”forevermontanacover-1

 

The eagerly awaited third installment in the Love, Montana series, Forever, Montana begins where Always, Montana ends. After much personal upheaval Amelia “Rose” Montana is at last regaining a sense of normalcy after losing her husband author Lash Jackson Montana who publishes under the well well-known name of, Montana Joe. Rose has remarried, yet still struggling with a life without her beloved Joe. In Deb Martin-Webster’s latest novel she introduces a host of new characters bringing us full circle in the saga of Rose Montana-Saxton. Along with Martin-Webster’s signature plot twists, romance, Native American wisdom, and loads of humorous moments, Forever, Montana continues to portray the diversity, love and strength of this extraordinary family.

 

Excerpt From “Forever, Montana”

 

Chapter 1

Potatoes, onions, sugar, milk, sweet feed, horse wormers, three boxes of horseshoe nails, barn door hinges, Jack Daniels, four pounds of coffee and two daffodils for my beautiful Rose Darlin’ .

I miss being called Rose Darlin’. Lash’s death was devastating to an entire generation of loyal Cowboy and Western Fiction fans, especially those in the Cowboy Writers Community. They’re still mourning his death. Many readers knew him only by his nom de plume of Montana Joe. I know some fans that took his death harder than I did. One particularly overzealous woman named Mona Moon Rae. I swear I received at least forty sympathy cards from her, but that’s another story in itself.

Our marriage was short lived; however, the union created a lifetime of memories and a beautiful daughter. I know Joe wouldn’t want me living in the past. As difficult as it was, I had to move on with my life.

I’m now married to Paul Saxton. I remember Lash telling me what a fine man Paul is and if anything were to happen to him, Paul was someone I could depend on. His work ethic impressed Lash, as did his great sense of humor. Lash would say, “He’s one dang entertaining bloke.” He never knew what Paul was talking about. British slang wasn’t Joe’s forte. I’m beginning to pick up some of his expressions. His accent still throws me a bit. He calls me, Poppet – it means sweetie. When Lash and I first met, he gave me the nickname of “Rose” and it stuck. So much so I rarely answer to my given name of Amelia. Our housekeeper Cecilia always addresses me as Amelia. It took her two years to stop calling me, Miss Amelia. In some ways she’s like a second mother to me. She stayed on at the ranch after Lash died and remains in charge of the family menus, shopping, and offers a steady shoulder to cry on when needed. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

On occasion Lash and his cowboy persona Montana Joe would drive into town to pick up a few odds-and-ends and mail autographed copies of his books to special fans. He enjoyed chatting with the locals at the post office and swapping tall tales about his travels at the High Ground Cafe coffee shop where he was a regular. The locals swore that Joe singlehandedly kept the shop in business.

I remember one old fellow saying, “I ain’t ever seen one man drink so much dang coffee in my life! I bet he pisses dark roast.” They always had a good laugh at his expense. He loved sitting at the counter eavesdropping on their cowboy history conversations. Despite his being a world renowned author, the townies, our friends, and family never treated him as such. To us he was Good Ol’ Lash the western writer or simply, Joe.

I read the creased-worn shopping list a few more times before tucking it back into the pocket of his old ranch jacket. I don’t know why I went through the pockets of that particular jacket. It had been hanging in the attic since before his death; however, today I felt as though he wanted me to find it. Maybe it was divine intervention on his part; especially today. Paul and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary. I read the list of things aloud and chuckled. I thought, no matter what I’d jot down, he’d always add two daffodils to the list. It was his way of telling me he was thinking of me. I miss them. I tried planting them but they didn’t do very well in Montana – too cold I suppose.

I also noticed a couple of old emails I’d printed and saved. They were always signed, your cowboy Joe or Love, Joe. Sometimes I believed he was Montana Joe. So much so I rarely called him Lash. The puzzling subject titles were his assurance that I’d open them. Funny, this particular email subject title stated it was part one of two; however, I never received part two of two. But that was Joe. I never knew what he was thinking. I started reading it aloud.

To: Rose

Fr: Montana Joe

Subject: Vincent Van Gogh Lends an Ear – Part 1 of 2

Evenin’ Rose Darlin’

I’m just about to check into my hotel room in Jackson Hole and of course my thoughts drift back to you and how much fun we had at this same old hotel. Sayin’ I love you is the same as sayin’ I love breathin’. You know my heart girl and I know yours. I can be away from you for days and when I see you it’s like I never left. What a pair we are, darlin’. The other night we had some serious talk about how quickly we fell in love…and how things could have gone drastically different if you hadn’t taken that trip out west or if I hadn’t taken that last minute book signing gig in Currysville. Life has a way of working out the way it’s supposed to darlin’. We are a perfect example of that. You brighten this ol’ cowboy’s life and I’ll always be beholdin’ to you for puttin’ up with me. Bein’ the peculiar ol’ cowboy writer that I am!

Speakin’ of peculiar, here’s the perfect example. I remember our visit to the museum to see the Van Gogh Exhibit. Here’s me, not knowin’ the difference between a Monet and a Matisse and you the smart and sexy art critic tryin’ to bring a little culture into this old cowboy’s life. I was askin’ you all kinds of silly questions about Van Gogh’s work. And, you were tryin’ not to laugh when I took off my cowboy hat and had that bandage stuck to my ear. Any other woman would have been embarrassed beyond words and walked out – but not my Rose darlin’. You just looked at me and said, “Do you know that Van Gogh had an extra testicle.” The folks around us were so outraged but we laughed so hard they kicked us out. I tell ya’ darlin’, that was one of the best days of my life. You’re a crazy girl and I’m crazy in love with ya’, more than I’ve ever loved any woman, much more than I deserve. Keep on lovin’ me girl. We can only get better. Goodnight darlin’.

‘Ears to you darlin’, your artistically challenged cowboy, Joe

I loved receiving his emails and, honestly, there are times I miss them. Nonetheless, the past is the past. I’m with Paul now and we’re very happy. I tucked the email back in the box and closed the lid.

Jannine’s yelling from the bottom of the attic steps jolts me out of my daydream or evening dream since it was nearly 8:00 PM.

“Amelia ‘Rose’ Montana-Saxton, are you coming down for dinner or are you going to stay in that attic until your next wedding anniversary? Get your narrow ass down here because I’m out of breath calling you by your entire name.”

Glancing down at my watch I realize I’ve been sifting through Joe’s effects for more than an hour with the champagne glasses still in the box sitting beside me. I can’t believe this is all that’s left of him. I put the spurs, chaps and envelopes of old manuscripts back in their final resting places. Wiping the dust from my hands I dabbed my eyes with my sleeve. Joe, I hope you’re happy for me. Paul is a wonderful husband and has been such a great father figure for Charlotte.

“I’m on my way, Jannine and please tell Paul I found the champagne glass. They were exactly where he said they would be.”

I hate to admit it but Paul’s memory is much better than mine. He says he vividly remembers what I was wearing when we first met. I barely remember to brush my teeth, yet his photographic memory for retaining complex information astounds me. Numbers and routes all tucked away in his mind. I guess it’s his CDL training or just a natural born gift.

That’s why I find it so odd that he didn’t remember his previous marriage. When we first met he said he’d never been married. He later admitted the union was so short-lived that it wasn’t a marriage – more like a drunken mistake; nothing memorable. I left it at that. Still, I never understood the reasoning behind his omission. A marriage is a marriage no matter how short or insignificant. Perhaps I’m overthinking the subject.

Another odd omission on Joe’s mother’s part was finding out that Joe wasn’t born in June, but his actual birth date was in August. I suppose Charlotte didn’t want him to know he was Jameson’s twin brother. I wonder what other quirky facts will be brought to light? Oh well, I’d better head downstairs and join our guests.

Paul’s brother Thom and his wife Maggie flew in from England. Their British accent is much thicker than his. There are times I have to ask them to repeat themselves. They laugh and say that it’s me who has the accent and not them. Keough wouldn’t stand a change. I can barely understand him so I can only imagine their inability to understand him with his thick western drawl. All in all, I enjoy my ever growing eclectic family and friends.

I took one last glance and turned off the attic light. It took two tries to get the door to close properly. It needs new hinges. Keough said he would fix it. I know I’ll have to ask Paul to do it if I want it done before our next anniversary. Keough has his hands full with ranch work. Running a ranch as large as Casa Montana is no easy task and Keough isn’t getting any younger. Eventually, I’ll need to hire additional ranch hands. However, tonight was not the time to worry about ranch duties; it was our anniversary and time to celebrate.

Paul had the first bottle of champagne open and another chilling. The family was mingling in the family room and kitchen. It seems we always end up in the kitchen. I put the glasses in the sink to rinse them off. Paul came up behind me kissing me on my cheek.

“Are you okay Poppet? You were gone for quite a while and you seem a bit quiet tonight.” I told him of my experience in the attic, rummaging through a lifetime of memories.

“Paul, you know how much I love you?”

He nodded and said, “Yes I do and I know how much you still love Joe – am I right?”

I nodded. He continued to explain how a person can love two people with the same intensity. In his own way, he loved Joe as much as I did. “Joe was an amazing fellow. He had an allegiance of loyal fans that still refer to him as the best cowboy fiction writer of the twenty-first century. I know I will never replace him or compare to him, so I love him – just as you do. We shall always love Joe and that’s what makes us so unique. Two people who were brought together by one incredible and extremely bizarre human being – Lash Jackson Montana.”

I kissed Paul on both cheeks and thought, how lucky am I to be loved by such incredible men and not to mention very handsome men.

To say Paul is a brilliant, sexy and kind man was like saying the Aurora Borealis is a bunch of pretty lights in the sky. Not many women can say they’ve found the love of their life twice. We kissed again and joined our guests in the family room. Paul made a toast to another brilliant year of marriage and to friends and family past and present. I swear I felt Joe’s presence standing next to us. In that same moment Paul turned toward me, kissed my palm and winked, “. . . and that is from Joe.”

Chapter 2

Rose peeped into Charlotte’s room – she was still sleeping. I swear that girl could sleep through a twenty-one-gun salute with jets flying over the ranch. Her daughter was in her final weeks of fourth grade. Her birthday was six-months away and the only threat Rose felt was not getting the present Charlotte had been subtly hinting for – a canopy bedroom set. The young girl requested that she and Rose paint her room turquoise, orange and white. Rose was considering it. They already agreed on the solid orange; however, she stubbornly insisted on orange trim. Granted her room still has toys from her nursery days—mostly stuffed animals from Paul and Joe. However, the addition of pop singers and cute actor posters were rapidly covering her walls.

Charlotte hadn’t even entered her teen years yet, and Rose was already experiencing the Montana defiance. As much as we love each other she’s as strong willed as I am, not to mention having her daddy’s tenacity.

Charlotte zipped up her backpack and slung it onto her shoulder. Her walk to the truck was hesitant. She threw the bag into the back and plopped into the passenger seat. Rose glanced over at her half-closed eyes and said good morning. What came back was a garbled good morning reply.

“Well that was more or less audibly articulate and good morning to you too.”

She glanced over to Rose and gave a sarcastic grin. It’s the same shit-eating-grin her father flashed so often. Her mother asked her if there was something bothering her. She didn’t answer. Rose asked again.

“Mama, nothing’s wrong, I’m just tired.”

She’s been going to bed on time and Lord knows she’s getting enough to eat. Cecilia still can’t cook less than a banquet for dinner.

The ride was awkwardly silent. The school was only twenty minutes from the ranch entrance. However, they wouldn’t allow the school buses to pick her up stating they’d need to refuel midway to reach their front door.

The school’s entrance was coming up fast. Before they reached her drop-off area, Rose stopped the truck.

“What’s the matter Mama? Why are we stopping?”

Rose took a deep breath and asked her what was going on? “What’s wrong baby girl? You’ve not been yourself for weeks. Is it something I’ve done to upset you?”

She looked at Rose, her eyes tearing. “I’m just tired Mama. Tired of everyone telling me how sorry they are about Daddy’s death and how wonderful he was. I know he was a famous western writer and a celebrity . . . but, I’m not him! To be honest, I never knew him at all. He died minutes after I was born. Everyone expects me to be like him. I’m not a writer and I’m not famous; in fact, I failed my writing test.”

Charlotte pulled out a paper sporting a circled red F. “The teacher wants you to sign it. Can you imagine how embarrassing it is to get an F when you’re the daughter of the famous Montana Joe and Amelia Montana? They expect me to be like you and Daddy, but I’m not – I’m me and I’ll never be as talented at you or Daddy.”

Rose leaned over to give her a hug but she pulled away. “I let you and Daddy down. I’m sorry Mama, I’m sorry to disappoint you.”

Rose could feel her heart breaking into a million pieces. How did she not know how she was feeling? “Come over here baby. Look at me. First of all, you are the most amazing young lady l know. You are sweet, caring, tough and not to mention beautiful. Secondly, you could never disappoint us – ever!”

Charlotte leaned over and hugged her mother. Rose could see she was upset for the both of them. She never realized how tough it must be to be the daughter of Lash Jackson Montana. Rose took the paper and signed it then gave her another hug.

“Charlotte, you know you can always come to me, Pap-Pap, Morgan, Raymond or Paul—especially Paul anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed. We love you and would never judge you or your feelings.”

I remember how Paul was my rock all through Joe’s illness and death. I never thought I’d care for another man, however, his love and kindness supported me through the most dreadful time of my life. Rose asked her if she was okay to go inside

“Yes, and thanks Mama, I love you.”

“I love you too, Baby Girl.” She kissed Rose on her cheek and stepped out of the truck. She was about to drive away when Charlotte ran back over to the passenger-side window. “What’s the matter did you forget something?”

“No, but I need a huge favor Mama and don’t get mad, okay.”

“I promise I won’t – what do you need?”

“When we’re at school can you PLEASE not call me, Baby Girl? I’m almost a teenager for goodness sakes.”

“I’ll try to remember.”

“I love you Mama. Bye-bye.” She flashed her father’s shit-eating-grin and ran to meet up with her friends. Joe our girl is growing up way too fast. I’ll have to practice calling her Charlotte as well. Where had the time gone? She was only 2-years-old a week ago; now she’s almost a teen. Charlotte gazed back one more time, flashed another grin and disappeared into a crowd of noisy kids.

On the drive home, Rose thought how strong her daughter had been through all of the Montana drama: Keough discovering he had another son, Meryl’s husband dying, Jameson’s decision to resign from the Montford-Wellesley Corporation, Meryl appointing a new CEO and she and Jameson deciding to remain board members and backing away from the daily operations. Meryl and Keough have become close friends, refusing to call themselves a couple; however, everyone knew they were friends with benefits. Paul and Kurt have taken over much of the daily ranch work leaving Keough and Meryl to travel. They took a trip to Fiji, and then decided to go to Tahiti. Rose still laughs out loud at the photographs of him in a flowered shirt and cargo shorts. A New York Yankee’s baseball cap replaced his trusty black Resistol. It’s still hanging on the bunkhouse hat rack. As much as Rose misses the banter and petty arguments, he deserved his downtime. Meryl gave him a fancy cell phone for his birthday and he’s slowly learning how to operate it. Although he still thinks the term app is slang for appetite.

Morgan and Jannine decided to elope and married in Las Vegas. Rose agreed to give them a proper reception as a belated wedding gift. Planning the festivities was the only thing keeping her focused. She has been thumbing through party magazines and catering websites bookmarking sites she thought Jannine would like to view. Rose and her dog Lou have become serious homebodies. While the pooch is getting visibly older, he never turns down a walk in the pasture or a swim in the pond with Rose.

Joe’s emails were slowly diminishing. As strange as it must seem, Rose still found herself checking and hoping to see one of his nonsensical titles in the email queue. His long-time friend and faithful lawyer, Canton Parker called last month to inform Rose of his upcoming retirement.

Parker, as Joe referred to him, mentioned that he turned the entire legal portfolio over to his Junior Partner, Maxwell Laurence. “He’s up to speed on Joe’s affairs and . . . eh, his unique emails. He’s a huge Montana Joe fan and he’s eager to meet you.”

Rose thought to herself, Maxwell, I hope you know what you’re getting in to. My husband was strange and unusual to say the least. And I must stop calling him “my husband.” Paul is my husband now and he makes me extremely happy.

Walking over to the door, Rose whistled for Lou. It was a beautiful day to go for a walk. A long walk would clear the fuzziness in her head. Reviewing the morning conversation she had with Charlotte, Rose realized she was not the person her young daughter confided in anymore. Her best friends Juliana and Corey are her new confidants both of whom have been in her class since her days at the Early Childhood Center. To Rose, Charlotte was still that bossy little toddler ordering Corey around. Time is flying by and still Rose could not help but feel stuck in the past. Joe, these are the memories we were supposed to share. But I know you’re looking down at us smiling, chest puffed at how proud you are of our daughter. And to make matters worse an invitation was sent to the house from the school announcing an upcoming Father-Daughter Dance in October. Charlotte refuses to go. I tried to explain that Paul, Keough, Morgan and even Raymond would be honored to escort her. In fact, all four would love to take her. But that didn’t sit very well with her. She still has the Hottie Photo of Joe propped on her bureau. It was though he was close by and still watching over her. I totally understand her feelings of emptiness. Not having a daddy around, like the rest of her classmates, is a heavy burden for a child—especially a girl. It’s an emptiness I can’t hug or kiss away. But Charlotte has Montana blood coursing through her veins. I know eventually she will be able to handle his death. When you live on a ranch you grow up fast and you get used to injury and death. Horses go lame, cattle is hauled off to market for slaughter, ranchers constantly get hurt stringing barbed wire, toes get crushed beneath tractor wheels – the list goes on.

A child shouldn’t have to grow up this fast. I miss that little girl who would run down the hall with her Little Lou stuffed dog clutched in her arms at the first clap of thunder. And the times she’d come into the kitchen to steal a handful of animal crackers when she thought Cecilia and I weren’t looking. She was growing up before my eyes and I was missing it because I was stuck in the past. In my mind I heard Joe’s voice saying, Rose darlin’, it’s time you moved on and said adios to this ol’ cowboy’s memory. I took a deep breath and said aloud, “I’ll try.”

 

Bio

 

forevermontana

Originally from Pennsylvania, Deb Martin-Webster and her husband Pete moved to Western North Carolina and live on a small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains

She enjoys the simplicity of their country lifestyle and takes pleasure in the daily antics of their horse Colonel, a half-dozen rowdy barn cats and a large but friendly black snake they’ve affectionately named Licorice.
After retiring from a successful career in Art Administration, Deb has taken on a new career as a novelist and humor writer. In October of 2012, her western romance series debuted with her first novel Love, Montana. The second installment of the series Always, Montana followed two years later and now the saga of Montana clan continues in the third book Forever, Montana. Deb is also the author of two other books A Hot Dog Stand in the Himalayas, a daily diary for her granddaughter Sammie that developed into a collection of heartwarming fictionalized short stories and The Adventures of Annie Banana Bread and Larry Cranberry, a children’s book that teaches the acceptance of children with disabilities and diverse health conditions.
Deb is one of the original writers forming the successful online humor magazine,

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Exciting, Informative Football Headlines

Not all of us understand all the nuances and the intricacies of football. The following headlines from the San Diego Union-Tribune help us out:

1)
09-09-16a

 

 

 

I hadn’t thought of it, but yeah, that makes sense.

 

2)

09-09-16b

 

 

 

Another one of those things that seems obvious after someone else says it.

 

3)

09-09-16c

 

 

As opposed to nasally more confident or even adrenally* more confident.

 

I’d say more, but I want to spend some time to digest all this.

* = Spell check was cool with nasally but balked at adrenally, but I think I’m right on this.

Paul, sports fan

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

 

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Spotlight on Matthew J. Pallamary – Author of “Night Whispers”

Excerpt From Night Whispers

 

CHAPTER ONENight Whispers Front Cover

The sound of a key sliding into the front door lock jolted him out of semi-consciousness. The musty smell of old perfume whispered in his mind, reminding him that he’d been waiting for hours. His feet ached. He strained to see more, but the closet remained shrouded in darkness. Razor thin silver light shone through the door leaving a slice of moonlight across the clothes hanging in front of him.
Disoriented at first, he gradually remembered what he had to do. Part of him didn’t want to go through with it, but the voice wouldn’t allow him to think of anything else.
As if in answer to his thoughts, it whispered in his mind. Remain silent, it hissed. Do not move. You mustn’t be found. Breathe slow. Deep. In measured breaths. You are the divine instrument of God’s will. His hand will guide yours. Sweaty fingers slid over the handle of the sickle at his side.
His back felt stiff. His legs shook. He longed to move, but the sounds from the hall outside the bedroom told him that to do so would mean discovery.
The bedroom light clicked on and a slash of gold stabbed through the crack in the door, stopping inches from his face. He cringed, catching his breath. She came straight toward him. He held his breath, tightening his grip on the sickle. The pretty blonde stopped with her hand on the door as if lost in thought, then turned away and began undressing.
He exhaled slow, studying her through the opening. Cascading blonde hair and smooth curves. When she pulled an angora sweater over her head he saw firm breasts and smooth, delicate shoulders. He nearly gasped when she unzipped her jeans and wiggled out of them. Her panties followed. Seeing her in this intimate way sparked long atrophied desires.
That’s not why you’re here, the voice admonished. Put those filthy thoughts out of your mind. The harsh words made him feel hot and prickly; the way he felt when his mother used to scold him.
She turned toward him again and stared. He tensed, then remembered the mirror on the closet door. She cupped her breasts and turned from side to side, examining herself. His gaze darted between her breasts and the honeyed patch of pubic hair that graced her smooth, toned thighs. If not for the voice, he might have gone for her then, but fear kept him in check.
When he reached the limits of control, she turned and disappeared from view. The sound of running water came from the bathroom, then the toilet flushed. When she passed the closet again he saw that she put on a nightgown, then the light went out.
The dull glimmer of moonlight filled his consciousness once more, followed by the creak of bedsprings and the beeping sound of her cell phone.
“Ken?” She said softly. “Yes, babe, I’m home, tucked in and thinking about you.” A pause. “I know. I miss you too. We’ll spend tomorrow night together. All night.” Another pause. “I’m sorry too. I love you.” Pause. “Goodnight, babe.”
More creaking came from the bedsprings, then the sound of her breathing, strong and regular at first, then slowing.
Soon, the voice said. When the silence nears perfection. God will guide your hand.
He drifted with the voice, trusting it as it strengthened him; an old, reliable friend. He couldn’t remember when he first heard it, only that it gave meaning to his life and promised him happiness and fulfillment. Tonight he would give in to its insistence and it would reward him.
He remained still until no other sound came except her breathing.
Slow and even.
Moving with the patience of a snake stalking prey, his hand glided forward, fingers touching the smooth door, stopping when his hand made full contact. He applied pressure until the closet door swung open noiselessly. The voice had seen to it that he oiled the hinges before settling in to wait.
He inched forward, slipping between her clothes, once again catching the lingering scent of her perfume, extricating himself from the confines of the closet, emerging into the full glory of the moonlight.
Fear, love, frustration, and unbearable longing held him immobile when he beheld the graceful curves of the girl beneath the sheets. If only…
She stirred.
He froze while she rolled onto her back and licked her lips, mumbling something before slipping back into peaceful slumber. He moved closer, pausing again to admire the childlike innocence of her face, stifling the urge to stroke her hair.
Do it! the voice commanded.
He flinched, then raised the sickle, momentarily fascinated at the silver glinting off its blade.
Her eyes snapped open. Wide. A sharp intake of breath. Her mouth opened forming an “O” before the tip of the sickle plunged down, turning what might have been a scream into a raspy gurgle. The stark fear in her eyes dulled as he pulled the sickle out, dimming further with each successive strike.

 

Bio

MattPhoto2

Matthew J. Pallamary’s historical novel Land Without Evil, received rave reviews along with a San Diego Book Award for mainstream fiction and was adapted into a stage and sky show directed by Agent Red, and was the subject of an EMMY nominated episode of a PBS series, Arts in Context.

He has taught a Phantastic Fiction workshop at the Southern California Writers’ Conference in San Diego, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles, and at the Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference for twenty five years, and is presently Editor in Chief of Mystic Ink Publishing.

His memoir Spirit Matters took first place in the San Diego Book Awards Spiritual Book Category, and was an Award-Winning Finalist in the autobiography/memoir category of the National Best Book Awards.  He frequently visits the jungles, mountains, and deserts of North, Central, and South America pursuing his studies of shamanism and ancient cultures.

San Diego, CA

 

Connect with Matthew J. Pallamary

 

WWW.MATTPALLAMARY.COM

Friend me on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/matthew.pallamary

Visit my Author Page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MatthewJPallamary

Follow me on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mattpallamary

Connect on LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattpallamary

Favorite my Smashwords author page:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Picaflor

 

****************

 

Paul De Lancey
www.pauldelancey.com
www.lordsoffun.com

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