Monday, August 28, 2017

Favorite Food #OpenBook Blog Hop

Food—one of my favorite topics. There's a running joke that I should have been born Italian because my favorite food is just that—anything Italian. Spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, you name it.

What I don't claim is to be a good Italian cook. I don't make my own sauce or pasta. It always tastes better when someone else cooks it.

But I'm also a fan of comfort food. Old-fashioned cooking that clings to your ribs and fills your tummy. Chicken and Dumplings. Beef Stew. And I've got some great recipes. Granted, some of them are better suited to a cold winter's day rather than the log days of summer, but it's almost September already, and snow isn't too far off in these parts.

Here's my take on Hamburger stew:

Hamburger Soup


1 ½ lbs lean ground beef (or substitute ½ lb hot Italian sausage for an extra kick)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups shredded cabbage (I buy the pre-shredded cabbage. It cuts down on the preparation time.)
1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
1 tbls minced garlic
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
4 cups beef stock ( I usually use more)
½ tsp seasoning salt
½ tsb basil
¼ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown the beef, onions celery, garlic and pepper until the meat is no longer pink. Add the cabbage and cook together for a couple of minutes. Drain. (I find it easier to add most of the vegetables after draining the fully cooked meat.) Add the seasoning.

Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to a stock pot, add the beef stock and tomato sauce. Mix. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes and serve. (I like it with shredded cheese on top.)

I've used both yellow and green peppers at the same time to give it some added color. I also like to add sliced carrots.

Serve with some freshly baked bread and you have a real treat. (Don't make your own bread? Me either. I hit up my favorite grocery store bakery and warm up a loaf for a few minutes before serving.)

This is just as good as leftovers as it is the day you make it, but you may need to add some additional beef stock.

I wonder what our other authors are eating. Let's go find out!

August 28, 2017 – Favorite Foods. What are your favorites, something you could eat weekly or more often. Feel free to share a recipe.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

Monday, August 21, 2017

Health & Fitness for Busy People #OpenBook Blog Hop

I laughed when I saw the subject for this week's blog, because my workplace is one of those that "encourages" employees to take measures to be healthy. And even though I know it's supposed to be caring and help reduce insurance costs, it feels intrusive. I participate, but only in ways that I self-report.

And no one ever counts everyday activities as workouts. Cleaning house? You bet that burns calories. Ditto for doing yard work. You burn as many calories shoveling snow as you do when running, but I bet your fitness app doesn't tell you that.

So I'm probably not the best expert on "official" ways to stay healthy. But there are a few things I do.

Watch your eating. No, I'm not saying to give up all the things that taste good but are "unhealthy." Just eat smaller portions. Leave half of your french fries on your plate. You don't need to finish off the huge pile of spaghetti. Eating it won't help the starving children in Africa.  But like your mother told you, eat more fruit and vegetables.

Walk. As simple as that. Going down a few floors? Don't take the elevator. Going up a few floors? Same deal. If five flights of stairs is too many, work up to it. Start with one or two, then add another. And another. You'll get there. Is there one of those moving walkways in your path? It's okay to take it, but don't stand there and let it do all the work. Walk (stay to your left!) and you'll get to the end twice as fast. Better yet, walk around it.

Do you have a desk job? I suggest you fidget. I realize it may annoy your neighbors in the cube farm, so do it quietly. Tap your foot on carpet instead of tapping your pen. Play with your spinner while talking on the  phone. Studies have shown that you can burn up to 350 calories in a day if you fidget, and every little bit helps.

Last but not least. Watch out for the goodies that your co-workers love to bring and share. One piece of birthday cake a month isn't bad, but five or six start to add up. And, if possible, avoid the desks where people keep a bowl of candy. The temptation is real.

It's all very common sense, but sometimes hard to do. I know. I'm not the poster child for health and fitness movement. Some days I do good and other days we won't talk about. But I don't let my small failures discourage me from trying again.

I wonder what tips I can pick up from everyone else. Let's go find out by following the links below!

August 21, 2017 - Health & Fitness for Busy People – What little things do you do to stay healthy? Food, exercise, special vitamins, clothing, shoes, etc. What do you do that could help someone else.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Hooks Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea

“Guess who's here.” Lando elbowed Aiden in the ribs. “The girls from yesterday. And they're
both in normal clothing.”
“Huh.” The girl from the shop had exchanged her store smock for a nicely-fitting T-shirt. A
camera nestled between her breasts, accentuating them. Well, if fate was insistent about pushing them
together, maybe it was time he helped fate out. “Stay here with Grandma for a minute. I'll be right
He jogged towards the pair, trying to look cool. Not as easy as he’d hoped and he suspected zigzagging to dodge the rotting seaweed and other obstacles in his path made him appear drunk. Still, he’d take his chances.

From Love on The Rocks, part of the Stories of Sun, Sand, and Sea collection.

Stories of Sun, Sand, and Sea is 99¢ and available only on Amazon

A summer breeze, sandy shore, and sparkling waters. Is it the perfect setting for love or something more dangerous?
First loves, second chances, mystery, and intrigue, even murder.
Drift away with this collection of stories about Sun, Sand and Sea to 10 beaches…where anything can happen.

Short Blurbs

Whispers in the Wind by Angel Sefer
Blackmailed by a ruthless mastermind, Emily Stone finds herself on the Greek island of Alonnisos, impersonating the golden heiress of a luxury beach resort. Seductive Captain Andreas Aliveris is torn between his irresistible attraction to the stunning imposter and his need to protect a loved one. Can passion overcome suspicions and regrets in this game of danger, betrayal, and greed?

Amanda’s Revenge by Julie Sarff
One Hollywood heartthrob, one happily married woman and one very vindictive ex. Amanda is back looking like Winged Victory in a business suit, and Lily Bilbury is the only one who can stop her from ruining her husband’s career.

Beach Baby Blues by Stephany Tulis
In the midst of the sublime, an unexpected malady infiltrates the LaMagnifique cruise ship and bride to be, Honor Mattison’s, bachelorette party.

Will older sister Shelby's promise that what happens on the ship stays on the ship hold true or are some secrets just too dangerous to keep?

Judith Lucci
Kat had been counting the days until her beach reunion in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her college friends from New Orleans. It would be the first time she’d seen major heart-throb Liam Cross since Christmas. She dreamed of a diamond engagement ring as she tucked her new bikini into her suitcase. Little did she know that in a few hours her life would change forever. Fire and Ice, Love and Murder. The Ocean can be Deadly.

Love Notes in the Key of Sea by Anna Celeste Burke
Georgie Shaw and Detective Jack Wheeler have a second chance at love if Georgie can let go of her past. A new mystery brought them together, will an old one drive them apart?

Pandemonium on the Peninsula by Valerie Clarizio
Talia Johnson is living her dream in Door County, WI. But, being a Park Ranger comes with sacrifices.
Deputy Ryan Larson loves his job but worries about the attraction he feels for the surly Talia Johnson.
When pandemonium breaks out, Talia's life becomes endangered. Ryan races to help her. Will her stubbornness prevent Ryan from saving her?

Copper Moon – The Meeting by PJ Fiala
Looking for solitude and the perfect sunrise is all that’s on Brie’s mind, until she stumbles into Hank James, that is. Winning the Copper Moon Cup is all that Hank has ever wanted, this year is his last year to get it right. Will bumping into Brie ruin his chance?

Love on the Rocks by P.J. MacLayne
Carena Galloway has big city ambitions and a broken heart, and men have no place in her agenda. Aiden Wade is only in town to help his grandmother and his schedule doesn't include the local ladies.

But Fate, it seemed, had other plans.

The Art of Getting Away by Nicole Sorrell
When her SUV leaves her stranded, Carlos helps get it running again, then can’t stop thinking about the sassy girl with the blue-green eyes. After discovering she’s in the cross hairs of the most violent outlaw motorcycle gang in the Midwest, Carlos is in way over his head when he tries to help her get away.

After the Storm by Kinsey Corwin
Charlene "Charlie" McCann isn’t looking to repeat her mistakes and all Beck Holland wants is to tear down the walls she’s built. Can they survive what comes after the storm?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Interesting stats #OpenBook Blog Hop

As many of you know, my paying job is in IT, a very male-dominated field. How male dominated? Let me give you some stats.

According to a 2014 article in Tech Republic, women make up 26% of the computing workforce. That's only a quarter, folks. I will give my employer credit where credit is due, because we're closer to, but not quite at 50/50.

In the mid-1980's, 37% of computer science majors were women, in 2012, only 18%. So despite all the talk of encouraging women in technology fields, it's not working.

In May of 2014, only 30% of the Google workforce was female. Other big tech companies had similar stats.

A study done by the Harvard Business school showed only 7% of venture capitol funding goes to women-owned businesses.

Yet a 2012 study by Intel showed that women are the lead adapters of new technology.

According to the Department of Labor, 20% of software developers are female. But a study of Silicon Valley startups says that only 12% of engineers are women.

And yes, women are paid less. A study showed, on the average, women in computer related fields earn 84¢ for each dollar a man earns.

And one good one to finish the list out, In the fall of 2014, for the first time, more women than men enrolled in an intro computer science course. Not by much- 106 to 104- but it's a start. The article didn't track how many stayed in the field of study.

Here's a bonus stat. The average age of computer programmers in 2015 was 42.4. I won't tell you where I would fall in that survey, although I don't do programming. If I do a quick analysis of my coworkers, I'd say the age average is closer to 37.

Now that I've managed to depress myself, let's move along and find out what the other authors on the hop are talking about!

August 14, 2017 – Make a list of interesting stats in your niche - Want to blow your reader's minds? Create a useful resource of stats in your niche.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

InLinkz | view linkup

Monday, August 7, 2017

Changes #OpenBook Blog Hop

I admit it. I'm an old fart. I've seen a lot of changes in my lifetime.

Let's start with technology. I remember punch card computing. I didn't actually do it, but I knew about it. By the way, did you know they used to make wreaths out of used punch cards?

Solitaire was played with cards. Multi-player games meant you sat at a table or on the floor and and played Monopoly or Mousetrap or Candyland with your friends and family.

I remember the days of modems and BBSs and having to make sure you didn't use the phone when you were on line. I remember fan-folded paper and dot-matrix printers. I remember copy machines that used rolls of paper. You could only make one copy at a time and you had to cut the paper after each copy. Better than having to type on three-copy paper and praying you didn't make a mistake.

I remember the days of party lines for your phone. (You shared a line with your neighbors, and only one person could talk at a time.) You didn't share a phone number, just the line on the poles. You paid for long distance calls by the minute. I remember the first mobile phones. (They didn't fit in your pocket!) and the different variations of the cell phones. Oh, and when cell phones only made calls. Texting wasn't a thing unless you had a pager.

Thanks to Redrum0486 for the image

I watched the first moon landing on T.V. and have seen numerous launches of the space shuttle from my front yard when I lived in Florida. (As well as other rockets.)

Just for fun, let's throw in a few non-technology memories.

Country music was Country-Western and the singers wore cowboy hats. Remember Roy Rogers and Dale Evans? Rock was still finding its way. The Beatles were hot and hair bands weren't a thing, let alone disco. Auto-tune? Ha!

When you colored, you used crayons or colored pencils, not markers. (The 64 color box with a built in sharpener was every kid's dream.)  And adults would have felt silly buying a coloring book for themselves. But you could paint-by-number.

What will the other authors on the hop remember? I'm off to find out. But you can share your memories in the comments!

August 7, 2017 – List some of the things that you have seen change or develop in your lifetime.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

Check out this link