Beautiful, But Piping Hot, Sunday!

It will be around 93 piping hot degrees around here today and I am totally okay with it!

Yes, gang, 8 HUNDRED dollars later… the 25-year-old central AC in my 60-year-old house was finally fixed.  Alas, no, my home warranty company still would not approve a new & improved, energy-efficient AC for my house, but at least the old one finally got fixed and just in time for all these upper-80s, lower-90 degree temperatures.

So, even though it ate up all the money I had been trying to save to get the AC fixed in my 2001 Mercury Sable LS Premium sedan from yesteryear, I am really, really grateful that my house is cool.

And Fluffy is really grateful, too. Yes, gang, she continues to persevere. I do not know how she does it. She can barely breathe, and she weighs next to nothing, but she is still in there.  Still engaged with her surroundings. Still eating whatever is placed in front of her in her small white bowl.

So on we go! Yippee-ki-yi-yay

New in my world, besides a functioning AC, is THIS:

Cuisinart Fruit Scoop Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker
Cuisinart Fruit Scoop Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker

I bought it because it makes incredible fresh fruit sorbets. The first recipe I made was banana-chocolate chip sorbet. No added sugar, no dairy, very low fat, and it was really, really good.  However, if you visit that link above, you’ll notice that, not only does this ingenious little machine make healthy, nondairy fresh fruit sorbets in around 20 minutes, it can also make “totally rich, creamy, and decadent desserts” in the same amount of time!

What that means is that, once I tried my hand at organic strawberry-chocolate chip ice cream, loaded with sugar and fat and, most importantly, indescribable FLAVOR, suddenly the healthy, nondairy fresh fruit sorbets were no longer quite so taste-tempting.

Whether I find it in me to go back to the healthier recipes (and they are interesting, gang — balsamic strawberry-basil sorbet, for instance), or stick to homemade ice creams to die for all summer long, I am really, really happy I bought this little machine. (Plus, I got it on sale! I paid under $70 !! Yay!)

So, yes, everything is looking up this summer. For the first time in many years. Plenty of homemade ice cream. And the lawn and the gardens are finally getting back to how they used to look 3-and-a-half years ago — before the developers came knocking, saying they were tearing down my house.  The weeds are still a tiny bit out of control, but at least the grass is green and healthy again and there are plenty of flowers blooming amid all the weeds.

It helps a lot with my stress levels — to walk around my yard and see it looking a little bit “organized.” Alas, that also costs a fortune, so I need to sell a screenplay and/or a book, here, really, really soon!!

Okay, gang, on that merry note, have a delightful Sunday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, or not doing, as the case may be! Thanks for visiting. And I leave you with this timeless favorite! Enjoy your Sunday. See ya!

 (For some reason, the volume on the video is not working. Click the link to the YouTube version if you want to actually hear it!)

All this physical fitness must cease!! Pronto!

For the love of Pete!

The producer in L.A. was working out at the gym on Tuesday — yes, the very day of the much-anticipated meeting with the production company on Hollywood & Vine re: my script for The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parsons Ridge — when he tore something in his knee, ended up spending the entire day at the hospital, only to be released on crutches and so he had to POSTPONE the meeting!!

Ay caramba!!

What is this madness for physical fitness?? I’m only partially physically fit and I’m doing just fine. And while I was considerate enough to express concern, to say things that denote “empathy” and not dwell on the totally self-centered elements of this development, I am also searching high & low for a Get Well card that reads:

For Christ’s Sake, Get Better Already!

Meetings, meetings, meetings. When will my lousy knee get better?
Meetings, meetings, meetings. When will my lousy knee get better?

Life is okay!

Yes, folks, life is good okay! Fluffy continues to be a tiny furry little trooper, although that’s really a relative term right now.  She mostly sleeps and her breathing is labored.

Every morning, I wake up and think, “uh-oh, this is the day; she can’t go on like this much longer.” And even though I’d prefer to let her die here at home, I sometimes worry that I will have to have her put to sleep because her breathing is so labored. Then she wakes up and looks at me; really looks at me, like her tiny little self is still in there. Then she’ll jump down off the bed and drink some water and I think to myself, “I can’t kill her; she’s still in there!”

So we continue to take it one slow day at a time.

I should say one slow HOT day at a time. Loyal, long-time readers of this lofty blog (or, most likely, the lofty blog I had before this one), will no doubt recall that the central AC in my 60-year-old house is 25 years old.  I have a home warranty company that refuses to replace my central AC until the compressor literally dies. The unit leaks like crazy and R22 Freon is really expensive.

The tech was here to service it, yet again, on Monday. He put $330 worth of Freon into the unit and then a 25-year-old valve promptly broke and most of the Freon just went right out into the air. Aside from single-handedly affecting climate change state-wide (in a bad way), I basically threw $330 right into the trash can.

Another tech company is coming next week and I have decided to insist they fix ALL the leaks. They can’t leave until every last leak is fixed! This is not only a ridiculous request, it is also an impossible request! I am hoping that by insisting on being ridiculous and impossible, I will finally force the home warranty company to replace my central AC.

When the tech left here the other day, he said, “Don’t try to use the AC until you get that fixed! It could break the unit.”

However, I’m thinking, what sort of advice is that?? I’ve already ruined the ozone, and it’s 93 degrees outside, and I have a tiny cat dying of cancer upstairs who can barely tolerate the heat. The mission is not to save the AC unit, Mr. Wise-Guy, the mission is for it to die already so that I can get an environmentally-friendly new one!

Sometimes people make me nuts.

But on we go, right, gang?

Okay, I’m going to leave you with a little hillbilly ditty from yesteryear. I love this song.  I love Johnny Cash, in general.  This song came up in an email exchange I had the other day with a good friend of mine who works for NASA in Houston.  I hadn’t thought of this song in years. I regale you with it now! (Oh, you have to be drunk on bourbon before you can listen to it. Sorry, gang, but those are the rules.)

Okay, thanks for visiting! See ya!

 

Finally! I really do write!

The final revisions were made yesterday to my TV movie script, The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder At Parsons Ridge, AND I did the highly implausible: I wrote a logline that the producer said was “excellent”.

That’s a first.

Normally, my loglines suck. I usually marvel in awe at writers who can come up with a decent logline right off the top of their heads — or even right after they tinker with it for several days, laboring slavishly. I thought the one I came up with for Tea Cozy Murder Club was serviceable, at best. I imagined the producer would tinker with it until it was better than serviceable.

When he emailed me back and said it was excellent, I was dumbfounded. (“How can that be?” I wondered. “If I was the one who wrote it?”)

This is the logline (drum roll, please): The members of a small town book club that delights in solving cozy old whodunits suddenly find themselves with a very real not-so-cozy murder to solve.

Yes, you guessed it! The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder At Parsons Ridge is a cozy mystery. (So is The Miracle Cats and the Case of the Purloined Passport — see numerous posts below.) Even though everyone the world over knows me for my super-duper killer award-winning literary erotica, I haven’t written in that genre for nearly 10 years, and I only read it now when I’m hired to edit it. Nowadays, I only read religious tomes (this one is jaw-droppingly awesome and needs to be read by everybody you’ve ever known), or cozy mysteries. (I’m currently reading this one, by Louise Penny.)

So, the great news is that the producer will be taking The Tea Cozy Murder Club to a meeting with a production company in L.A. next week! I will keep you posted on how much they love it.

Yippee-ki-yi-yay!

On the Fluffy front (see post below about how my beloved Fluffy has advanced cancer): she is still with us and that makes it a great day! She is quite frail, though. This morning, at dawn, I scooped her up really gently in my arms and took her over to the screen door so that she could see the beautiful world that was awakening outside. It really was lovely out — and cool! 57 degrees! Fluffy was so alert and entranced by the outside world. The greenery everywhere, the flowers blooming and, most importantly, the happy birds chirping like mad.

I just love Fluffy. I will deal with my grief when I have to. For now, it’s just a perfect day.

Well, okay. On that note…Thanks for visiting, gang! Have a perfect day, too, wherever you are and whatever it finds you doing! See ya!

Alice through the looking glass is wonderful!!

My cousin and I both agreed the minute the movie was over that it was even more enjoyable than the first one (Alice in Wonderland) — even though I still love that first one.

But this sequel is really amazing to watch, incredibly empowering to girls (once again), and just never a dull moment.

It topped the box office overseas, but stateside, it hasn’t done so well this holiday weekend. But I highly recommend it, gang.  The special effects regarding Time and inside the clocks are spellbinding.

And the acting ain’t half-bad, either!!

Okay, have a great rest of the holiday. Thanks for visiting. See ya!

Opens Tomorrow!
Go see it, gang!!

From All Quarters… and Alice!

Life does indeed go on, even though it doesn’t look like it from the truly sporadic nature of my blog posts. (I like this definition of sporadic:  “Appearing in scattered or isolated instances, as  a disease.”)

Anyway, I hope my blog doesn’t strike you as a disease… ha ha

In an unfortunate segue, Fluffy is still hanging in there (see post below). She is actually doing better (which is a surprisingly subjective term when used to describe advanced cancer). She is thin as a rail and sleeps most of the time, but while awake, she is in happy spirits and even still a little feisty when encountering any of the other cats. I don’t think they have any conception that she’s dying. and in true “wild life” fashion, if they do know, I don’t think they care. That said, though, we are still a happy household, and I am always incredibly grateful each morning when I awaken and find her still alive beside me in the bed. Right off the bat, that makes it a good day. (Also a surprisingly subjective term. My use of the term “a good day” has truly narrow requirements these days.)

My stepmom, whom I adore, is also dying. It is getting near the end. She has struggled with MS for many years; the last 6 of which she’s been in a nursing home. She has always been an incredible optimist, always had the most inspiring outlook on life, always so uplifting to be around, even all these years that she’s been confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home. But now her pain levels are off the charts and she’s on morphine, which signals the beginning of the end, however, “the end” is a surprisingly subjective term when it is forecasting what morphine will trigger in terminal illness…

I will miss her so much. Not only is she a wonderful, charming, warm, and generous Italian woman, but she has also made my Dad really happy while they’ve been together. And for whatever reasons, the words “happy” and my “Dad” were not usually words that appeared close together in a sentence for most of the decades I’ve known him.

On the writing front… I got word from the producer in LA last night, that he is sending the final edits (for The Tea Cozy Murder Club: A Murder at Parsons Ridge) to me in the mail TODAY. I should have them early next week. Today, I’m working on the outline for the first book in the series (the book has the same name).  I decided last night that if I can write at least 3 pages a day, I could complete the book by the end of the summer. (Not always an easy task, since I write, re-write, revise, and edit pretty much every sentence as it comes out of my brain — which is why voice-activated software is useless for me, but also why I usually only need a first draft of any manuscript I write.)

Even though Valerie and I are still working on The Miracle Cats and the Case of the Purloined Passport, we are both dealing right now with cats who have terminal cancer. It has stymied the flow of inspiration for the time being. So we’ll get back to it probably later this summer. Meanwhile, I need something to keep my spirits up, so I decided to work on the first book of The Tea Cozy Murder Club series.

Re: the car accident (see some sort of post below, where a cable TV repair guy totaled my beloved, albeit exceedingly OLD Camry)…his insurance company is being what my lawyer describes as “stingy.” So I am biding my time, it’s been 2 months already. As I wait for an acceptable settlement, I am driving a really lovely, albeit exceedingly OLD, Mercury Sable Premium LS. Wow, do I love it. However, it needs a lot of work. It looks great on the outside, but under the hood, it simply is nowhere near as awesome as my Camry was. But I have to say, every morning when I open my garage and see that sparkling silver luxury sedan from days of yore, I get super excited and say, “I love you!!” And I totally mean it.

So. A holiday weekend is practically upon us. I am busy through the weekend, but on Monday, my cousin and I are going to see Alice Through the Looking Glass !! I cannot wait. We loved the first one so much.

You know…I  was saddened to read that Johnny Depp’s mother had died recently. It always seemed like they were very close. But regarding Amber Heard filing for divorce from Johnny Depp (I guess, now that his mom’s dead)… Well, long-time readers of this lofty blog have probably noticed that I stopped writing about Johnny Depp after his engagement to AH. I did that because my grandmother always told me that if I can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything at all.  Well, now I feel like I can say something sort of positive about AH. And that is, the fact that she’s seeking spousal support after 15 months of “marriage” doesn’t surprise me at all. (MEOOOWWWW!! ha ha ha)

Anyway,  I sure hope this means that one day in the foreseeable future, Johnny Depp can go back to being “sort of” happy (and go back to being the incredible actor he was before the nuptials set in). We shall see, gang!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, if you live state-side. If you don’t, just have a great weekend. Thanks for visiting. See ya.

Opens Tomorrow!
Opens Tomorrow! Go see it, gosh darn ya!

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis