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Not really. I have an inflammation of the inner ear, and it just FEELS like I’m aboard a ship sometimes. If I had some of those eyeglasses with the faceted lenses, I could sail this boat right back to the 60’s. Whoa, man, far out!

Had a great time at the Friends of Harrison County Book Box and OF COURSE bought some books: Alexander McCall Smith’s MIRACLE AT SPEEDY MOTORS, Ruth Benedict’s THE CHRYSANTHEMUM AND THE SWORD: PATTERNS OF JAPANESE CULTURE, Barbara Michaels’ OTHER WORLDS, BASIC CONVERSATIONAL SPANISH (with instructions on HOW physically to pronounce the sounds and diagrams of inflections) and a magazine called SPEED COOKING. The magazine has pictures of way cool kitchen gadgets I MUST HAVE, like a rolling pin designed to roll, shape, and cut lasagna all in one roll. AWESOME!

Speaking of quick and easy cooking (my favorite kind–if I’M the one doing it), I made this pretty salad the other night:


This was bok choy, Romaine lettuce, sesame seeds and carrots cut into flowers. You do that by cutting wedges out of the sides of whole carrots, then slicing as usual. We had this with blue cheese dressing, and it was very juicy and crunchy and tasty.

Lots of friends came into the Book Box today–Margaret Harris’ youngest daughter, Jeannine, my husband and lots of people we didn’t know but were very pleasant. Carolyn B and Pancho took over for us, and I got to try out my Spanish on Pancho. He said, “Muy bueno!” so I left happy.

We stopped by Amazing Glaze, a donut shop that just opened in Corydon. We got a lemon-filled, a cream-filled and a CUSTARD-FILLED, which is another way to say HEAVEN. We’ll have them with our tea tonight while we’re watching Monk on DVD.

Well, the ship is tossing, and I need to lie down before I do, too. Ya-har, maties!


Writing prompt: You go to sleep and wake up aboard a pirate ship. Is it realistic or silly? What kind of donuts do the pirates like?

We went to the Community Unity Christmas party and I took Alu Mattar. This is the dish I posted about where I started with making ghee, then grated the ginger and garlic to make the curry…. I’m not usually so painstaking; I can’t think what got into me.

Anyway, here’s the recipe, and it’s really quite easy. It must be, or I wouldn’t have made it.

Curried Potatoes and Peas (Alu Mattar)

1/4 cup (60 ml) ghee (see recipe below)
1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped onion or shallots
Salt to taste
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 ml) turmeric
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 10-ounce (280 g each) packages frozen green peas
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes
1 cup (250 ml) water
3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
1/2 tsp (2 ml) garam masala (see recipe below)

Heat the ghee in a heavy pot over moderate heat until it is very hot.
Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion and
salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and golden
brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cumin, turmeric, and cayenne,
followed by the tomatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of
the liquid has evaporated and the mixture forms a thick paste, about 5
minutes. Add the peas and tomatoes and stir to coat them with the
tomato mixture. Stir in the water and bring to a boil, stirring
frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes, until
the potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and garam
masala and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Our dear friend Jackie was there. She’s undergoing chemo and all her hair has fallen out, so she brought a bag of Christmas bows and invited us to give her some holiday hair. Here she is, all festived up.



Then, on Friday, I went to lunch in Louisville. We were going to Bourbon’s Bistro, but they’re only open for dinner, so boo-hoo for us. We went to Crave, instead, which we LOVE anyway.


They have the BEST home made soups and sandwiches! Jane got a cheesy broccoli soup and a Creole sandwich called something like Bamm, I’m Good. I got cream of chicken and rice soup and a veggie sandwich–just a few raw vegetables on sourdough bread with Benedictine spread, but it was SO GOOD! This is on Frankfort Avenue, across the street from Bourbon’s, Java Brewing coffee shop and my beloved Irish Rover.

While we were waiting to cross the street, I met these ladies who claim they were doing a tree survey. If you ask me, they were casing the joints, but they say they were surveying trees. huh! I’ve never had a tree answer so much as ONE QUESTION I’ve ever asked, and they want me to believe they’re getting trees to take whole surveys? I don’t think so.


Anyway, on Saturday, Mom and I worked the Friends of the Library Book Box book sale and then Southern Indiana Writers had a book signing. Most members were sick and only three of us showed up, but we had a great time, as always, and sold some books. Here are Jeannine Baumgartle, Joy Brown Kirchgessner, self and The Mysterious Mr. B, who said, “You’re not going to put this on the internet or anything, are you?” I assured him I was, but you never know when somebody might be on the lam, so I blurred his face for his own protection. Of course, it might just be that he didn’t want to be seen in our company…. Nah!


Writing prompt: What questions would you ask a tree?

I have no idea if that’s right or not. I’ve been listening to RUSH HOUR SPANISH, trying to pick up enough to give my new El Salvadoran sister-in-law some comfort and companionship, and the title of this post is supposed to mean, “no time to breathe”.

That’s today–and I don’t know the Spanish for “running sideways to keep from flying.”

Mom and I are working in The Book Box, the Friends of Harrison County Library book sale building, from 9-12. From 1-4, the Southern Indiana Writers and I have a signing at the library. From 7 to ?, there’s a FREE Lorinda Jones concert at the Presbyterian Church to benefit Community Services. There’s a Move On meeting in there, somewhere, but I have to pee sometime.


Writing Prompt: concoct a busy day for your least favorite character of your own or of somebody else’s. TV characters count.

I had a booksigning at the Harrison County Library and I’m MOST pleased! I know 10 copies doesn’t sound like a lot to sell, but some of the people who bought copies don’t even know me! So I’m happy, even if I didn’t get one single word written for NaNoWriMo.

signingReading from left to right: mug that looks like it’s a brick wall with HAPPY HOLIDAYS spray-painted on it, which I had a drawing to give away. JACKIE–CONGRATULATIONS! sheet for people to sign up to be notified of future signings. Stand-up poster of cover with price written on side. books. Christmas candy to give away and paper bag for wrappers. Behind the desk–Me, dressed to match the cover so people would instantly associate me with the book.

Mom asked me to take her laptop this morning, when we worked at the Friends of Harrison County Book Box. I expected to download her updates and then get some writing done, but then she needed a virus and spyware scan and they needed to be cleaned up, and then something else and something else so I ended up not getting any writing done.

Then the signing was great. Samantha came in and stayed the whole time, and it was WONDERFUL to get the chance to visit with her–there never seems to be time, and we had a good long visit. Jackie came in, with the cutest brown wool hat covering her chemo-bald head. Bless her heart, she is such a sweetie. Jeremiah came in with his bride Lorna–SUCH a pretty woman! Carol came in, and she and Samantha and I talked NaNoWriMo a little, since we’re all trying it this year. A woman who’s writing a children’s book that sounds like a sure winner came in, and a little girl came up to talk to “the writer” because she says she wants to be a writer–she says she makes up stories all the time and her mother writes down the words. Her first name is Danielle, and I’ve already forgotten her last name. I should have written it down. Maybe it’ll come to me. If it does, I’ll post it, and we can all watch for her in the future!


Writing prompt: Who is your main character’s favorite living author? Invent one, if you like. If your character were walking past a bookstore and saw that author doing a signing, would he/she go to it? What would he/she say?


Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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