Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.



THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Hello, I'm Rebecca Buckley, and I write books! Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year to You!

It's here!  The last day of 2013!  A calm ending for an event-packed year.  Seems as each year passes it's filled with new experiences and new thoughts.  I've even learned more about myself this year, learned more about who I am and what I'm about, what I want and don't want.  My life is an ongoing learning experience and journey towards the real me, as most of you probably realize in your own lives, it's neverending, isn't it? Until it ends.

I must say, I'm looking forward to 2014, looking forward to the challenges I know are ahead of me ... first, of course, upping my health level, then writing another novel in the 'Rachel O'Neill' series, starting a new mystery series, publishing other writers' books, traveling/research ... yes, mine is mainly a life that is all about books, and believe me, I'm very content and happy with that.

As usual I have had to backtrack and withdraw a few offerings to become part of other people's businesses, I tend to overdo that, tend to take on too much, which takes away from who I am and my own ventures. But I will still be on tap for parts of the commitments, although not full time.  One venture that I'm truly looking forward to, however, is assisting Bookbarn International operating from the UK, a company specializing in old and out of print books.  But that seems a better fit than most, within my knowledge realm, again, it's all about books for me, who would've thunk it?  lol lol

When I was a young girl growing up in the San Joaquin Valley ... I was all about boys and music and sports. Then as a young woman I was all about men, music, and partying.  Then after marriage and kids, as a middle aged woman, I was all about music, painting (art), and reading ... then came serious writing.  Now music and art have taken a backseat to books, although I dabble from time to time. Yep, thats me in a nutshell.  I read, I write, I research, I publish. It's a good life, and I've finally arrived where I belong. This is who I am today.

Do you know who you are, what makes you the happiest and most content?   Have you discovered your soulful nature?  Have you been able to peel away the layers of other peoples' influences and desires to reveal the real you and what you're about?  Well, it's taken me 70 years to do that. And I finally know exactly who I am. It's a terrific feeling!

Now I'm on to the next personal assignment . . .

Monday, December 9, 2013

DO YOU WRITE XMAS BOOKS?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Are you aware of how many writers release Christmas fiction for the holidays?  Are you among the many?

Starry Night - by Debbie Macomber
All I want for Christmas is you - by Lisa Mondello
The Christmas Tin - by Roderick J. Robison
A Nantucket Christmas - by Nancy Thayer
The Christmas Cottage - by Samantha Chase
The Christmas Diary - by Eylse Douglas
A Christmas Hope - by Anne Perry
A Redbird Christmas - by Fannie Flagg
Bah Humbug! - by Heather Hollocks
A Virgin River Christmas - by Robyn Carr

... and the list goes on and on ... seventy-five pages of Christmas novels and novellas listed on Amazon.

Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber have written numbers of them, even James Patterson writes them. Most of the major writers contribute to Christmas fiction. There are Christmas mysteries and Christmas romances, all genres.

Lifetime Channel, Lifetime Movies and Hallmark Channel run Christmas movies adapted from novels and novellas throughout the holiday season, every year new ones are produced. The Christmas film market is great for writers. All it takes is for your novel being read by the right person at the right time. Or submitting to the right person to get it produced, if that's your wish.

So this year I've joined the ranks with "The Christmas Diary" ... yes, same title as the book written by Eylse Douglas.  Didn't see that in time.  But doesn't matter, my story is different from hers.

This one is a story of a thirty-something woman, Honey Ray, who was raised by a single mother, Lydia Howard. Honey Ray never knew who her father was until just before her mother died. The book opens on Lydia's deathbed, Christmas Eve, when she gives Honey Ray a diary adorned with pink and red ribbons and a Christmas ornament, and tells her that the truth of her birth and her daddy is in its pages.  It's her last birthday gift to Honey Ray, for Honey was born on Christmas Eve, 32 years ago.

Part One of the book takes us from Lydia's death to Honey Ray finding her father in England.  Part Two takes us through a very intense year for Honey, ending on Christmas Eve once again. Don't want to give the plot away, so that's about all I can tell you, however I will say it does have a wonderful Christmas-y ending. But there is an unresolved mystery ... so you'll see where I'm going with the novel series that follows.  Yes, this is an introduction to another series, my 'Honey Ray' series, this time with even more mystery and suspense in the genre of Romantic Mystery.  

Be sure you download the eBook from Kindle or Smashwords.com for all other digital readers, or you can get the print copy from Amazon and other online booksellers.  You can also order from your local bookstores.  I hope you enjoy the book, it's a short one, a novella, and you may recognize the story at the beginning for it's taken from a short story I wrote called 'Mama's Diary'.  But it goes beyond that in this version.  More characters, more story, more heartbreak, and more mystery.

Have a good read ...

Here's a link to it on Amazon ... The Christmas Diary   ...

And have a happy holiday season!  

Friday, October 25, 2013

HIGH COST OF INTERNMENT

Today I read a message sent to our 1950 - 1959 alumni group by one of my schoolmates. After her sister passed away, a few years later she purchased a grave site next to her.  Recently she returned to place a headstone on the plot she had purchased so her children wouldn't have that expense. Well, the plot she had bought now belonged to someone else. It was sold out from under her. Sold twice, in other words, and someone else was buried there. I found this ludicrous, so sad. But as many do, she was planning in advance for her own internment. And as many do, the expenses are prepaid for the funerals and cremations, or they have insurance to cover the costs. In her case, they did give her another plot nearby, but not next to her sister. Still sad.

This only reminded me of a few months ago, when I was searching for internment options for myself, not wanting to leave after-death expenses to my family either. I checked out prepaid cremations and found some as low as $500, which wasn't bad, but for some people, including myself, right now that would be an imposition.  And when you make those prepaid arrangements, what's to guarantee it will be what you bought when death comes? And who's to say it won't be costing somebody even more at that time? I just don't trust it.

As for full-fledged funeral expenses, if you don't have life or funeral insurance or a lump sum in your bank, it can be devastating to your family by being hit with a bill they can't afford or is untimely, death alone is devastating enough. A funeral can cost up to $10,000 according to 2013 estimates, and that's not a fancy one.  I don't know what my financial situation will be at the time of my demise, I don't know when that best-seller is going to come through for me, so I'm looking at things realistically today ... as they are in the here and now ... and I'm making preparations I can handle.

I did even more research and found Science Care - Whole Body Donation.  It works like this:  at the time of death, a call is made to them, they make arrangements to take the body and use what they can to contribute to life-enhancing projects such as research for Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease and major surgical advancements. The remains, after donations, are cremated and returned to the family within 3-5 weeks.  All at no cost!  Now we're talking!  My kinda price.

So I registered with them.  I am now a card carrying Science Care Donor. My family does nothing but give them a call when my time comes. Easy enough. Science Care takes care of the transportation, death certificate filing, and cremation.

Then I decided I should get my personal and business papers in order. So I went through everything and recorded all pertinent and vital information in a book and have made corresponding files to support that information.  It's all ready and available. My kids are aware.

But remember, I'm only 73, I have at least 20 more years upon this earth (barring accidental death), the majority of my female, Brit, family ancestors made it to their nineties, and I believe I can too.  Nifty Nineties! Gonna give it a whirl!  Gives me lots of time to write a host of best-sellers.  Yes!! 

By the way, I'm off all meds now. BP is normal, heart rate is normal, and am taking off the extra pounds. Keeping the stress level down is a big plus. Loving life and what I do, eating correctly, mostly fruits and veggies - 2/3 of daily food intake.  There it is, my recipe for longevity!  (Working on the exercise bit, still. Not crazy about that.)


I figure I'm cheating the high cost of internment in two ways ... living longer, extending life for others through my death.  That's a good thing!



Thursday, October 10, 2013

MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC

Yes, I love music ... I love listening ... I love singing ... I love playing ... I love music!!!!!  Strange as it may seem, I do play the piano same as any other novice, amateur, dreamer of becoming a fabulous jazz player that will never happen in a million years!  lol lol  And same with singing ... I sing same as any other novice, amateur, dreamer of becoming a fabulous jazz singer that will never happen in a million years!  lol lol  But just the same, I love playing and singing.  So there.  And I do it for my own enjoyment in my home these days.

But the great and wonderful part of it all is that I do get to listen to music, am able to sometimes see and hear some of the wonderful talents of our age and time ... playing and singing ... yes!!! And I have known many musicians and several of them are still friends who are among those wonderful talents, some very successful, some not as successful as the top musicians of the time, but nonetheless just as talented.

I'm thinking tonite of a few closer to home ... Marianne Lindstrom and her daughter Allison Lindstrom - terrific singers! Dynamite singers.  My dear friend who is no longer with us - A. Paul Bergen, the best of the best basso talents!  My retired piano maestro - Don Dominguez, a dear friend and music partner who I just spoke to yesterday.

And then there are those in the music world who I was honored to have kept company with on the Central Coast of Calif. - so many of them, too many to mention ... this was when I was running the PPP Cafe and producing five nites of music every week.  That was such a wonderful time for me. Heaven, actually.  If it weren't for the personal stress and peripheral troubles at the time, those would have been the best years of my life. It ran a close second to my time in Santa Monica during the '80s and '90s.

Now I mean to tell you ... the '80s and the '90s were the days to remember - my L.A. days.  I have to say this and I mean it, those were my glorious forties and fifties.  Loved every minute of it. What a time I had, and music was my mainstay.  Wow!  What memories!   We would hit all the piano bars, the jazz clubs, the band clubs, even rock bands believe it or not. I had friends in all genres. What a world we lived in!  And I never did drugs, how about them apples?  lol lol

 Before the L.A. days were the gospel music days.  Yes, my sister and I were part of a gospel trio, we had a drummer, bass player and a piano player.  We traveled to churches and conferences to sing in California. Those were some very good times, yes indeed.  My sister would like to forget it, lol lol, but not me. I loved it. 

When we were teenagers in Wasco CA, we sang in the church choir with my dad. All three of us. Mary was soprano, I was alto, Daddy was tenor.  We rehearsed every Thursday nite, sang every Sunday.  Highlights of my weeks. I was also in the school choir and played the tenor sax in the marching band - one heavy heavy horn! And this was around the time we watched Cousin Herb every night at 6 p.m. on local TV, when Merle Haggard, Billy Mize, Jelly Roll Sanders, Buck Owens, and all the rest of them were local yocals in Bakersfield, before they really hit the bigtime in country music. They were all performing at the Blackboard, a dive just outside Bakersfield on Union, the old highway, before 99 came into being.

Back before I was a teenager, in the '40s, when we had our first television, on Saturday nights I'd watch 'Hit Parade', one of the few TV programs that were on in those years. At the time my dad and granpa owned and ran the local grocery and I was in charge of the magazines and comic books ... keeping them stocked and straightened.  I'd take home a copy of the previous month's 'Song Hits' magazine every time a new one came in, and I'd learn all the lyrics so I could sing with Dorothy Collins, Gisele MacKenzie, Russell Arms, and Snooky Lanson every Saturday night. Gisele was my favorite. I liked the sound of her lower, smooth range.

So ... my musicality ... thank goodness I have such good memories to pull out and relive whenever I want in this golden age.

Obviously I'm doing that tonite. And it feels good!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

. . . I'D PAY MORE ATTENTION

I posted a few days ago on my social sites that "If I had it to do over again, I'd pay more attention." An original quote, by the way, that came to me one late Friday night when my friend Trish and I were having wine and solving the world's problems. We discussed our own lives too.  And I came to the conclusion that if I had it to do over, knowing what I know now, I'd pay more attention.

Meaning several things . . .

One: I would have seriously considered what to do with my life, would have seriously considered what my dreams were, what I wanted more than anything else, maybe not husband and family, but what would make me the most happy. I would have diligently pursued the creative arts in some capacity: acting, music, writing, painting. Any or all would have made me very happy. As it turns out, I've done some theater, some music, some painting, and a lot of writing. So maybe I'm where I would have arrived at one point anyway.  But if I had begun much earlier, I would be so much further along in my career than I am now.   (A note to the young: recognize your passion and go with it early on.)

Two:  I would have gone on to earn degrees in English and Literature, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Fine Art.

Three:  I would have waited till I was in my late thirties to begin considering a mate, and then again, maybe not even then. Who knows? As it was, I had four children by the time I was twenty-seven, and was married and divorced several times. But I still managed to be creative and attended school in between this and that. If my educational credits were totaled up along with life and job experience credits, I could possibly wring out an undergraduate degree in English and then could go on for the Masters, etc.  But I'm thinking now I really don't need it. I'm doing what I want to do.

Four:  I would have begun world travel much sooner. Although in the past twenty years I've done more than most have done their entire lives. So I feel lucky on that count. But still I would have begun earlier and seen more. I guess I'm greedy.

Oh well, the past is over, no need to dwell on what I wish I would have done.  I can only do what I can and want now.  And I do. I still have dreams though ... and I am still watching them come true.

I'm grateful for my life and all it brings, and eager for more.   But . . . if I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I'd have paid more attention.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

LIFE'S IN LIMBO

Do you sometimes feel your life is in limbo?  I know you do, we all do at one time or another.  Over the years I've felt it and right now I'm feeling it.  Yes, I am. I'm just feeling it.

Don't take me wrong, I'm not just lazing and feeling strung out, I'm busy doing busy things ... things that really don't matter in the scheme of posterity or prosperity, but things that make me happy right now.  Like having a cup of hot chocolate, petting my cats, reorganizing my kitchen, looking at gardening mags, moving home accessories from one place to another, admiring my collections in the curio cabinets, checking out supplies, spot cleaning, searching Craigslist for an electric piano (feeling the urge to get another one, not now, later), checking out Port Isaac and Weymouth UK on the Internet (trip coming up in March 2014), and it goes on and on.  Just busy busy stuff, not really important. You see what I mean?

So maybe I'm doing all right, okay?  For what is there other than this moment in time? Yesterday's gone, tomorrow may never come ... is that how the saying goes?  It's today, this moment is all we can surely count on ... we may drop dead in the next moment.

Now I do have to say, it's been less stressful being in this frame of mind, being in the present, attending to unimportant things as it strikes.  My soul feels lighter.  So maybe that's what the teachings of Zen are saying, right?

But I do know my limbo-ness will come to an abrupt end soon, the time is coming when I will have to start producing again, will have to publish those last two books scheduled for this year, and will have to finish writing and edit my own books (two by December), then will have to market and sell sell sell!!!! Yep, that's part of my life too.

But today, I feel good.  My life is in limbo and I'm liking it.  

And contrary to what Bill Joy said, "Well, limbo is not a good place to be," I have to disagree, it's a good place for me, I need the rest.


Friday, June 28, 2013

EXTREME MEASURES - Vince Flynn

When the news flash came across the TV screen that author Vince Flynn had just died of prostate cancer at the age 47, first I was shocked that deaths were still occurring from that type cancer.  Next I was shocked that I hadn't heard of Vince Flynn, why hadn't I heard of him before?  Why hadn't I read any of his books?

Six of his fourteen books have been on the New York Times Bestselling Lists.  How did I miss that?  So, I immediately went to my computer and pulled up information on Mr. Flynn and I ordered EXTREME MEASURES, one of his Mitch Rapp political thrillers - counterterrorism.  When the novel arrived I sat down with it and read it till I finished it.  I didn't want to put it down. I carried it to and from the kitchen with me, to and from the bathroom, in the bathtub, read it from cover to cover, no skipping or skimming.  Damn!  He's gone and I have just begun to read him.  That sucks!

Some have compared him to Robert Ludlum, we all know who RL is.  I mean after Ken Follett's "Eye of the Needle" and "Key to Rebecca" I was sold on political thrillers, espionage. I immediately switched to Robert Ludlum and read his novels till they began to get boring, which is what happens after reading one author 'till you are saturated. At least that's what happens to me. Sometimes the books themselves become boring, the author's writing becomes stale ... his plots and characters ... that's when he needs to try something fresh.  Anyway, I've found that with Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, and Robert Ludlum - all major sellers.  Not with Jack Whyte, however, he still holds me, as does Ken Follett and as I suspect George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) will. I'm just now starting to read Martin.

But back to Flynn. I loved EXTREME MEASURES.  It's about rooting out a third cell of well-trained terrorists before they strike in the U.S. Two cells have been stopped. And boy, this is one fast-paced killer of a book, literally. The title of the book is how detainees and suspects are treated and grilled to get pertinent information from them, even though parts of U.S. government have banned those measures and try to make it stick. This book makes you really think about it all, it really does. It feels like reality. A must read if you haven't read it already.

At this point, I have to mention a book I published for Tom Onstott - SNIPER, that is also a terrific read about terrorists in the U.S.  I love it too.  And many readers have expressed their positive impressions of the novel and Tom's writing and are eagerly awaiting his next thriller.  Well, another is on the way. FOR THE LOVE OF A CHILD will be launched towards the end of July.  More on that later.  I'll be announcing it on the RJBP (www.rjbuckleypublishing.com) website as well as on Facebook and other social networks.

Read, read, read.  Do the author a favor, write reviews on Amazon after you read a book.

 


PARENTING - CUT OFF DATE

So when does the parenting end?  When is the cut-off date?  You tell me. Does it end after your child reaches age eighteen when he is either preparing to go to higher education or electing to skip that portion of schooling and jump right into the fray? Does a parent at that point step back and cross fingers with a prayer that their child will make it through the dangers awaiting them out there in the big dark world?  Without you to protect him or rescue him?  Can we cut it off like that?

Or do we continually come to the rescue even during their adult life, hoping like hell that they will one day learn how to take care of themselves and create a happy, painless, productive life?

I didn't have the answers, I'll admit it. And after all these years, I still don't. I've read almost all there is to read on the subject, I've discussed it till I'm blue in the face with friends, teachers, and qualified experts on family relationships. I was told 'tough love' is the answer. And yes, I did apply that at one point. It worked for a little while. Worked for me, but nobody else.  Got a lot of flack from my family, saying I was not doing enough, and of course the problem was still there even after I gave all I had to give.  My eventual avoidance and ignoring the problem didn't make it go away either, I had no clue how to fix it, and still don't.  It is not ours to fix others, only to fix ourselves. I keep repeating that to myself.

Many women I know have been through this with their families, and many more will go through it time and time again.  I have friends who have lost their sons and daughters to drugs or alcohol, crime or prostitution. It hasn't always been a parent who was neglectful or absentee either, so that is not always the cause. There are those of us who have loved our children through thick and thin - the thick and thin of our own personal trials and tribs -  and maybe we haven't been the model parent because of that, and have had to work to support ourselves and our children, and maybe we haven't been the parent our children feel we should have been, but then who is?

It seems in this day and time, the offspring of the '60s and '70s are less respectful of their parents than ever before. Maybe respectful is the wrong word, but let's use it as a word that describes love and admiration that one has for another. I grew up with respect for both of my parents. I didn't always agree with them and sometimes I felt like I wanted to run away, to escape them, one time I did. But I respected them. And in later years even more so than before. It seemed we became closer as I got older and began to understand where they were coming from, began experiencing what they had. I respected them. I've said many times in later years that they were right about almost everything they tried to drill into me. My parents were super religious, I wasn't. But that wasn't a major difficulty between us, as it turns out. They softened on their stance as they grew older. Our problem was my interest in the guys.  And I gave my parents much headache and heartache over that.  It was my problem for many years. But it finally came to an end, wasn't an issue anymore. As I reached my 50s, we learned to deal with it.  You see, as I got older I began to understand where they were coming from, and I respected their opinions.

Is that the key?  Should parents just sit by and wait for that day to come?  Our children growing old? Should we just live in another country till we're old enough then come home and have the respect of our children?  Is that the answer?  Well, I truly wonder if it's really worth it. Why do we have to have it?  Why not just let them go their way and do whatever.  Keep our distance, not get involved. After all we've spent most of our lives making the effort.

I've had this discussion with other women my age and older and they all feel the same ... sometimes the kids will never appreciate the journey their parents have taken with them or for them, the care and helpfulness they've given. The kids are ensconced in their own worlds now and don't have the time or inclination to be concerned or caring for their parents. The cord has been cut as far as they are concerned.  And yes, that is true in a sense.

So, are we remiss in worrying about our grown children? How they are treated by their spouses? How they treat their spouses and children?  What their bad habits are? How they live and work? How they spend their money?

Or should we just say fogettaboutit and not give it another thought ... just get on with our own solitude and peaceful lives without the drama?  Actually that doesn't sound bad at all. I definitely would like to be devoid of family drama.

Okay, so maybe that's the answer for we elders who brought children into this world, grown children that are now on a course unto themselves.  Yes!  That's it!  That is it!  Yes!!!!   FOGETTABOUTIT!  



P.S. To those of you who have respectful kids ... I salute you!   Not that I don't have respectful kids, "I'm just sayin,'" as sister Martha always sez, and "LIVE, LAUGH, AND LOVE!!!!  YOWZAAAAA!"   





Thursday, June 27, 2013

SOUTHERNER PAULA DEEN - A HANGING?


Shame on all of you people!  Talk about a hanging in the south! I thought those days were over. You can't tell me that most of you accusers, and so called judge and jury, have not ever used the N word in a joke or in conversation or listened to it in lyrics, or in a show, and the list goes on ... whether you are white or black or whatever color, you're guilty!

I do not believe Paula Deen used the word with animosity.  And her choice of attire for her wait staff at a wedding is her call, folks!  We need to get over this N word stigma.  I mean really!  Murder, rape, killings all over the world, injustices, wars ... those are worth our wrath and time. Not a southern-belle's choice of words.

A southern-belle who struggled with the best of them to eek out a living for her family after divorcing and having only $200 to her name to start over. Early on she had suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia, so cooking, never leaving her house, became her solace. Luckily her grandmother Irene Paul taught her the art of Southern cooking in those days. And regardless if you like southern cooking or not, all you critics out there, some of the most successful restaurants in this country are just that. It's not the most healthful eating, I'll be the first to say, but it sure does taste good, I have to admit. Even Julia Child's French cooking wasn't the most healthful with all that dairy and flour, but it sure tasted good too.

After Paula's divorce, in 1989 she moved to Savannah, Georgia, with only those 200 greenbacks to start a new life with two sons and a younger brother in tow. She tried hanging wallpaper, working as a bank teller, and selling insurance and real estate, whatever she could find.  On her off time she started a catering service, making sandwiches and meals that her sons and brother delivered for her.  She called the business "The Bag Lady."  Ingenious!  Then when she outgrew the home business she opened a restaurant in Savannah called "The Lady".  Now it's called "The Lady & Sons."  She's a hard worker, folks. Have you ever worked that hard in a kitchen? Do you know what it takes to make it in that business and to get as far as she has to have it fall down around her ears because of a disgruntled employee's grievance?

She even marketed a dessert line to Wal-Mart and now that will go by the wayside at the end of contract, according to Wal-Mart's recent announcement. Pooh on Wal-mart! Her cooking shows have been cancelled by the Food Network. Pooh on Food Network!

SO ARE ALL YOU FINGER POINTERS HAPPY?   Remember the old saying ...



And you better hope that when you laugh at an ethnic joke no matter what race it is about, and you let a questionable expletive slip, or you dress for a party or request someone else to dress like a maid of old southern times, that someone doesn't come at you and try to destroy your world.

Well, I don't believe you can destroy Paula.  She has gumption, just as Martha Stewart had.  And she'll fare well. Her books are selling off the shelves, she's number one at Amazon, and I for one am going to buy her cookbooks because I collect cookbooks ... and I cook with her terrific pots and pans (have the apple green set).  She's a lady, she is.  Still is.

Hang in there, Paula!

P.S. And to all my dear friends of color, you know how prejudiced I am not!  You know where I stand on the subject. But it works both ways, I've noticed.  Black against white too.  Not good.  The N-word  cannot be used as a catalyst in waging war with one another.

Another old saying ...



But then again, I know, I know ... words and names do hurt. So it's also up to us to be careful with what we say to each other. Be kind and loving, regardless of the situation.  If you know what you might say is hurtful, bite your tongue!





Thursday, June 20, 2013

I HATE BEING FAT! - Part 6

NO DAIRY NO SUGAR!  The eleventh commandment!  That's right, I've eliminated dairy and sugar from my diet. Did you know that in doing so those extra pounds that have accumulated will drop off without any extra effort?  Yes, 'tis true. I'm already seeing it happen and have been following this regimen, let me see ... this is the third day. 

Yesterday I talked on the phone with a writing partner, we partnered on a stage play CAFE DUSTYEFSKY, Don Dominguez of Manhattan Beach CA, and he said if I do this and stick with it and lose my weight, he'll try it too. He's 77 and like many of us in our 70s, we've allowed a few pounds to pack on. Now I know there are many of you who haven't gained weight, who are trim and slim and have been smart about preventing the fat attack.  But some of us haven't fought the battle as we should have done. SO ... here we are, now facing more difficulty in getting it off because our metabolism has slowed down due to inactivity and we eat the wrong damn foods to boot. 

NO MORE!  The key to eating right is our consumption of greens and fruits ... vegetables and fruits. Dark green vegetables are the best, whether raw as in salads, or slightly cooked. No canned foods. Absolutely NO CANNED FOODS.  I use my Magic Bullet to create my morning intake of fruits and veggies - usually blueberries, strawberries, apple, banana,squeezed orange, Kale or spinach, celery, and jicama.  That starts my day and is very filling.  I'm telling you it does the trick. And it gives you energy and aids your digestion of foods left over from the day before.  Your body is still trying to eliminate the  prior day's intake every morning. 

So eating a breakfast of all the crap we've been trained to eat since early age  - eggs, bacon, biscuits, sausage, gravy, yada yada yada - will stop the all important elimination process and cause the undigested food in our intestines to stay right where it is. It'll become sludge and stick to the intestinal wall and will become impacted, bringing toxicity to our bodies. That's how we get sick, that's how the toxins get into our bloodstream and attack our organs and the rest of our body, not only giving us gas and stealing our energy but causing all sorts of maladies and diseases. How we eat is how we feel. 

For instance: yesterday I made Borscht for dinner. All vegetables. It was delicious. Made up of beets, yellow onions, celery, carrots, leek, seasonings, lemon and apple vinegar.  The usual Borscht has potatoes and meat, but this one was strictly a veggie Borscht. It was tasty and filling, and there is plenty leftover to take care of a couple lunches.  Meat is to be used sparingly, by the way.  Beef once a week, fish no more than three times a week - Tilapia is the preferred fish, free of toxins. I prefer not to eat chicken, but I'm sure once a week would be alright.  We don't need meat for protein. It's in the vegetables.  Funny that we think we should eat beef for protein when cattle only eat grains and vegetables. lol lol  How come they don't eat meat for protein?  So why should we eat meat for protein? And did you know that we're the only country in the world that drinks milk for calcium after infant age?    

I've also plans to make mashed cauliflower (mashed potatoes substitute) and sweet potato 'fries' (not fried, but baked) for dinner one night this week, with a green salad.  The cauliflower will have coconut milk instead of dairy milk.  And of course no butter. I'm sure with the seasonings it will be very appetizing.  You know, it's worth it to get these ugly pounds off and keep them off. I'm to the point that I can withstand anything to accomplish that goal.  

Yesterday I had an open-face sandwich for lunch on a slice of gluten-free bread (yuk), a layer of Vegenaise (not bad), non-dairy cheese (double yuk) and sliced cucumbers.  It was hard to eat. The bread was awful. Brown rice gluten-free bread is absolutely tasteless.  So today I'll look for another one that might be better. That one is history. And the cheese was sooooo bad. I know I've had non-dairy cheese before that tasted better than that one.  This one was made of almonds.  So my search will include a different dairy-free cheese, since I can't fathom not having some kind of cheese. There are always options, I'm sure. 

Lucky for me ... I had already given up milk in my diet a few years ago.  Although I continued using it in baking and cooking, so I'm sure I won't miss it by substituting coconut milk instead. I don't foresee a problem there.  But ... butter I will miss.  Although I only have butter on my toast, yesterday I spread avocado on toast. Seems that's a good substitute for butter ... avocado.  Works for me.  

And I've been eating fruits and veggies for several years, so it's an easy transition to add more to my diet. The fruit/veggie drink in the mornings or fruit only in the mornings I've been doing for quite some time.  So that's easy.  

The biggies are NO DIARY, NO SUGAR.  I won't even begin to talk about sugar at this moment.  I'm still fighting that battle!  Big time!!!!!




Saturday, May 25, 2013

WHAT IS CHAMPAGNE?

Champagne is a sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. Primary grapes are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier.  What sets Champagne apart from other wines is it is fermented twice, second time in the bottle for carbonation. Strict rules are followed to be able to use the Champagne name. If not followed, the label will read 'sparkling wine', no reference to Champagne. However many get around it by using the term mĂ©thode traditionnelle when referring to it as Champagne. 

I remember while writing MIDNIGHT IN MOSCOW (4th novel in my 'Rachel O'Neill Series') I did some research on Scotch Whisky and Champagne (Rachel drinks Champagne, Maxim drinks Scotch). Found the following list of champagnes tonite, was wondering how far down the list my favorite would appear. Is yours on this one?  

TOP TEN PRESTIGIOUS CHAMPAGNES


1. 1893 Veuve Clicquo – only known bottle in existence – (Grand Marque Champagne house) – on display in Reims, France. Not for sale, priceless.

2. 1825 Perrier-Jouet – oldest know drinkable bottle of champagne found, fizz gone but still a drinkable wine.

3. 1820 Juglar cuvee – selling for $62,000 each.

4. 1907 Hiedsieck Diamant Bleu cuvee – 2000 bottles discovered in the Baltic on a shipwreck that was bound for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Averaging $3,700 a bottle after discovered.

5. 1990 Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut – One bottle sold for $18,800.

6. 1928 Krug – described by the head of Sotheby’s Wine Department as one of the greatest champagnes ever made. One bottle auctioned off in Hong Kong for $21,200.

7. Perrier-Joet Belle Epoque – 12-bottle personalized sets sold for $50,000. Joet is pronounced … “zhew-ette”, by the way, same as the Moet in Moet and Chandon.

8. Krug Clos d’Ambonnay – one of the most exclusive champagne houses. Production limited to 3000 bottles, price tag of $2500 each.

9. Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon White Gold – 3-litre bottle - $11,000 per bottle.

10. Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill - Speaks for itself, produced in honor of Churchill in 1984. Retail Price $215.


Interesting that all Champagnes come from France, however, other winemakers outside the region may use the designation if they follow the rules of secondary fermentation as I mentioned above ... you can read more about it on the following link  . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne . . . and by the way, all sparkling wines are not champagne.  I detest those sugary Asti sparkling wines that are passed off as Champagne. YUK!


TOP 10 INEXPENSIVE CHAMPAGNES ... yayyyyy, mine are on here:

1. Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley (Approx. $20)  I'm going to try this next.

2. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, Napa Valley (Approx. $20)
3. Non Vintage Barefoot Bubbly California Premium Extra Dry (Approx. $9)
4. Argyle 2000 Brut (Approx. $19)
5. Korbel Sparkling Natural Sparkling Wine ($12.99)
6. Gruet Brut Blanc de Blancs - New Mexico (Approx. $20)
7. Martini & Rossi Prosecco (Approx. $12.99)
8. Freixenet Brut Nature – Spain (Approx. $9)
9. Veuve Clicquot Non Vintage Brut Yellow Label (Approx. $45)
10. Cook's Grand Reserve California Champagne (Approx. $5)

I like Freixenet Brut and Korbel Brut ... but I think I'll try Roederer Brut next time. If I'm right, that just happens to be the maiden name of my friend Marianne ... she's of French lineage.

Oh, forgot to mention I prefer a Brut Champagne.

Champagne's sweetness is varied by the amount of sugar added after the second fermentation, determining the label's level of sweetness: 
Extra-Brut or Brut-Naturale 0-6 gram of sugar per liter (the driest of the dry, unsweetened)
Brut less than 15 gram of sugar per liter (dry, this is the typical style of Champagne with no sweetness)
Extra-Dry 12-20 gram of sugar per liter (still dry with a hint of sweetness or slightly sweet)
Sec 17-35 gram of sugar per liter (medium sweet)
Demi-Sec 33-55 gram of sugar per liter (sweet)
Doux more than 55 gram of sugar per liter (Sweetest, very rare and is considered as dessert wine)

Since I'm moving to England in the next couple years, I need to familiarize myself with this list.

TEN OF MOST ECONOMICAL CHAMPAGNES in England

Canard-DuchĂȘne Brut
Tesco Finest Rose Champagne Brut
Lanson Black Label Brut
Blanc de Blancs Brut
Besserat de Bellefon Cuvee
Duval-Leroy Premier Cru 
Pierre Darcys Champagne Brut
Nicolas Feuillatte NV 
Morrisons Best Champagne
Gosset Grande Reserve Brut

I love lists!   lol lol   Hope you do too. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

I DON'T KNOW . . .


That's right, I just don’t know.
I watched a documentary about Coco Channel today, and then tonight one on Jake Shimabukuro – one of the greatest and youngest ukulele players of all time. Just two of the many, many documentaries I’ve seen of famous and not-so-famous people in the world. One commonality they all have in common is the mutual drive and commitment to perfect their craft and talent.
So, what about me? Do I have it? I’m seventy-two years old. I’m a writer. A novelist. Can I possibly attain my goals at this late stage of the game? Evidently not at their levels of achievement or I’d be out there right now.
So I don’t know. I just don’t know.
Right now I’m sitting here sneezing my head off with itching, swollen eyelids – upper and lower – wondering if I should go to the doc tomorrow, the itchy swelling seems to be getting worse.  Most likely an allergy of some sort, but probably need to check it out. I put some of my standard home remedy Neosporin on my eyelids, hoping it would cut down some of it, which gave me some relief. Nose is stuffed up now.  Jeez!
Through it all I’m feeling somewhat perplexed and frustrated about my age and wondering how much time I have left to write that bestseller, and to get my writing to the point that I can honestly say … “Damn, that’s good! I did that!”  For I not only want to be writing for the masses, I want to be saying something worthwhile, albeit entertaining at the same time.  
Deep, that’s what I try to do. Write deep. One of my friends writes essays, deep, serious essays.  That’s not what I mean when I say deep.  I’m not interested in writing about ‘human cloning and religious ethic’ or ‘evaluating the role of outstanding personalities in 16th and 17th centuries’ … listed as subject matter for essays on the ‘Good Essay Topics’ website, in case you’re interested in finding an essay topic. 
When I say deep I mean deep into the minds of my characters. Getting into their subconscious minds. One author who was famous for that was Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I’ve mentioned this before. My Lord, could he ever get into the subconscious. When I can do that, I will be happy. I do at my level right now, actually. Just need to get to his level. His life experience had a lot to do with it, I’m sure.
Another of my all time favorite novelists of whom I wrote a play about, depicting her life from age twelve to ninety-two, is Catherine Cookson.  She was dictating a novel into a recorder when she took her last breath and slumped over in her chair, dead.   She wrote her first novel when she was forty-four after she took up writing as therapy to combat depression, had a vascular disease which prevented her from having children. A true rags to riches story - an illegitimate birth as Catherine McMullen in the Tyne Dock area near Newcastle, died as Dame Catherine Cookson a multi-millionaire, one of the richest in Britain. She too was able to get into the subconscious of her characters and make them leap off the pages.  More life experience.
So I’m thinking that the life experience a writer has in addition to the talent is very important when it comes to writing those characters, making them real, breathing life into them, getting into their minds. Of course, a writer must have imagination, but drawing from his own experience adds another depth to the characters.  It’s the difference between a character written by a ten-year-old and a ninety-year-old. 
So if age has anything to do with writing deep, then maybe I’m still on track.
Regardless, I certainly do not have a choice. I write because that’s who I am.  I read, I study, I write.  I experience, I live, I write.  I suffer, I love, I write.  In a nutshell, I am a writer. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

1500 WORDS A DAY?


          Writing 1500 words a day would mean in 30 days you've written a 45,000 word novel.  I think in Chris Baty's guide to writing a novel in 30 days netted 50,000 words in their endeavor (approx 1700 words a day).  He and 20 of his friends started the National Novel Writing Month - http://www.nanowrimo.org/ - concept that grew to thousands each year joining in - November being the writing month as the web site says.  Sounds like fun to me
But I am already doing it, not waiting till November.  You have to begin from scratch, with no outline, no plot, no characters, nothing in mind.  It is incredible how it just spills forth, it really works.  Baty's book "No Plot? No Problem!" is truly inspiring and it's lit a fire under me.  As if I need another novel on my plate.  But I believe the exercise is worth it.  I've written the first chapter and it feels like I planned it.  Just proves that you can sit down and start writing and it will take off without much effort. I think some of you have heard of and possibly participated in the 10-word game, where you pick 10 words, any words, list them and use them in a first paragraph starting a story. You won't believe how easy that is.  A very good exercise in creative writing. I've written quite a few short stories beginning like that. 
Anyway, back to the 30-day novel . . . the first line I wrote was: There he was again.  I don't know where that came from at all, but it certainly ignited my creativity and away I went. Followed by: She could see the edge of the green plaid shirt collar sticking above the blue windbreaker he must have put on somewhere along the line. He wasn't wearing the jacket while he was standing near the back door of the bus staring at her. His stark white hair and the green shirt caught her eye immediately in the after-work crowd. She got off at the head of the bus and hurried down the sidewalk, glancing back to see if he was still following her.  Now this is off the top of my head writing, no editing or rewriting, so it's raw . . . and exciting. I had no idea where I was going with it and that's the best part. 
I'm thinking this November I may write another during the writing month NaNoWriMo.  









Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I HATE BEING FAT! Part 5


Amazing!  I weighed in at 178 for the second day in a row this morning. I honestly don’t see how I don’t weigh more after yesterday’s binge.
Okay, I’ll tell you what I had that threw me into such a tizzy. 4 Nutter-Butters and 5 Lemon Thins.
I HATE MYSELF!
Alright, it isn’t the end of the world, but when I think of where I’d be if I hadn’t done the two days of bingeing . . . probably would have lost 2 more pounds . . . it really irks me.
I worked all night, by the way, till six this morning. So today I’m a bit frustrated and tired. But I did sleep four hours this morning.  So here it is noon already, time to start my day.
OJ and coffee coming up.
Oh, I know what I wanted to talk about . . . the FIT FOR LIFE diet. Do you know it?
Back in the eighties I followed the plan for a year, and along with it I did weight training at a Nautilus gym every day on my lunch hour. I was so fit you wouldn’t believe it. Wore T-shirts INSIDE my jeans. No muffin-top whatsoever, no bra rolls, no flabby arms, no gobbler neck.  There it is again, my FAVORITE FAB FORTIES
The premise on the FIT FOR LIFE diet is to eat only fruit in the mornings, salads and veggies at lunch, and a protein with veggies at dinnertime. Snacks are relegated to raw vegetables or other healthy tidbits. Basically that’s all it is. And there’re plenty of recipes to vary the intake, making it more palpable.
Diamond also encourages proper food combining, for instance never eat a potato with meat, eat a potato instead of meat. He stresses that 70% of your daily food intake should be water-based. Eat as much as you want of these water-based foods (fruits and vegetables – live food, as he calls it), leaving the other 30% for ‘dead’ foods, which are meats, dairy, grains, etc. Never eat fruit with ‘dead’ foods, surprise, surprise! 
The plan is relatively easy to follow, and I thought about doing it this time, but I’m liking the idea of counting calories and knowing exactly what minerals and vitamins I’m putting into my body, even though I’ve yet to do it right!!!!!  Yet to have the ideal day according to the program.

TODAY WILL BE THE DAY!

But first I’m going to toss out all the sweets, right now!  Oh, this is going to hurt!

Well, I made sure I wouldn’t think of digging into the trash bag of sweets later (which isn’t beyond me) by cleaning out the kitty litter box and adding it to the treat bag – now it’s a bag of candy and cat crap! 
Ha ha ha! There’s always a way to beat it. Works for me!  



DAY THREE

BRUNCH – Raw Juice
  84 Calories
    0 Carbs
    0 Fat
    0 Protein
    0 Sugar
    0 Sodium

After I had my juice and while I was out shopping, about mid afternoon I decided to stop at China City and have a meal. Hadn’t had Chinese for weeks and once the idea struck me, I had to follow through.

EARLY DINNER – Chinese Food
405 Calories
  43 Carbs
  16 Fat
  17 Protein
  28 Sugar
703 Sodium

Broccoli Beef, Chicken Chow Mein, Iceberg Salad & Italian dressing, Soft Serve Ice Cream and custard. Ooops! There it is again! The offender … DESSERT! 
Problem was . . . it put me over in my daily sugar allotment by 23 grams. The daily amount should not go over 24 grams, so I had twice the amount at one meal.
But with some exercise, some of that would be deducted. And with the walking I had done during the shopping, that helped. But I was still over. If I would have done the weight training like I’d planned, it would have been even better.  

But then when I got home, my friends called and wanted to pick me up to go have Mexican. I hadn’t seen them for a while so I went with them. I could just have something to drink, didn’t need to eat for I wasn’t hungry, and I didn’t want to foul up my day’s menu. It was a good plan.
Sure it was!

SUPPER – Chips & Salsa, Guacamole, Midori Margarita
  389 Calories
    54 Carbs
    23 Fat
      6 Protein
    11 Sugar
  294 Sodium


SNACKS
1001 Calories
    65 Carbs
    44 Fat
    34 Protein
      0 Sugar
1124 Sodium

When we came home after Mexican, we had some wine and conversation for a couple more hours before my friends left. Of course after they left, I went to the pantry and pulled down the Melba Round Crackers, got the cheese from the fridge and commenced to have cheese and crackers, I was hungry. Lordy! Lordy! 
You see how much I am out of control? 
Here’s what the day’s totals were …


DAY THREE TOTALS:

                                    Actual            Goal
CALORIES                2036                1200
CARBS                         183                  165
FAT                                88                    40
PROTEIN                      64                    45
            SUGAR                         58                    24
            SODIUM                   2214                2500

Double the calories allotted, over in carbs, double the fat, over in protein, double the sugar, I’m okay in the sodium department. So once again, the major culprits are CALORIES, FAT, and SUGAR!!! 
You know, if I would have taken into consideration a bit of the FIT FOR LIFE way of eating in combination with calorie counting, my day would have been much better, wouldn’t it? 
Obviously I NEED HELP!

Friday, March 15, 2013

FREE Should Mean FREE!!! Right???

How many times have you seen something on the Internet advertised as FREE?  And after you fill in the form to get the FREE service or product, you find out it isn't FREE!!!!   This totally pisses me off!  For instance, I just went to the trouble to fill in the form on Bookdaily.com which offers you free marketing to over 25,000 email addresses.  Yea, right.  When you get to the point of decision, you find out it costs $49 for the service.  And I suppose that's fair for the exposure you get, I mean there are nearly 182,000,000 book samples that have been uploaded since the site began.  Although I would like to see some actual sales statistics from one of the subscribers.  Now I may join up eventually, but right now I'm still a bit put off by the false advertising, plus $50 is a bit hard to come by at the moment.

I don't understand why a ploy must be initiated by these companies ... what if I were to say on my publisher site, 'get your free book here!', then when you go to order the book, you have to pay $19 for it?   Wouldn't you be a tad perturbed?  And there are tons of other offerings that do exactly the same.

One of the worst is saying it costs only $19.99 at purchase and then you discover it's $19.99 a month forever-after ... you didn't read the small small print in the very lengthy document that is usually in a separate window with a scroll.  Hiding the facts is just as bad as misleading you with a FREE ploy.

Okay, I'm done.  Just had to vent.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

LIFE'S TOO BUSY!

I don't really know what I mean when I say life's too busy.  What the heck is that?  What am I thinking, my life is busy all the time, it never lets up. Unless I pull the covers over my head and hibernate, which I'm thinking about doing.

I'm probably feeling this way because the past couple weeks have been unusually busy for me with family. Normally I'm not as involved and active with family. Maybe that's what is triggering this feeling of busier than usual. Must be.  It's a good busy, though, I'm not complaining. Really.

One truism though, I've decided to pass the gauntlet of cook (not that I was ever a good one) in this Arizona neighborhood to someone younger in the family, like my daughters-in-law Elaine and Kellie, or my sons. I've found it's becoming more and more difficult for me to produce food at its best.  I just don't have it in me anymore, I'd rather be writing or shopping or watching movies. So, girls, I'm through. (I think I've said this before) I mean it this time. My poor granddaughter Crysta witnessed my frustration in the kitchen for her birthday pancake buffet on Saturday.  lol lol   I'm sure guest and friend Marianne wasn't the least bit surprised at my grumpiness while cooking, she's been watching it worsen at the last few gatherings.  So, that's it. I mean it, guys.

As for writing, I am having a ball!  My latest novel (WIP) is moving right along, hope to have it ready by October to be published in December in time for New Year's Eve.  All my novels have my favorite holiday in them - New Year's Eve.  And I managed to publish a collection of four more short stories this month - "Shoe's On The Other Foot" - love it when that happens - available on Kindle and Smashwords.com as an eBook only.  But I'm thinking of writing a few more stories and republishing as a trade paper book too.

AND, as for my publishing company ... two new books coming out in April.  One by Charlie Moore and one by M. Trish Alden.  More about those later ... am working furiously with them, meeting deadlines.  Then there are three more books coming out by spring and summer's end.

Oh yes, in April am going to a 55 class reunion and will have a booksigning the next day locally - Bakersfield CA.  Check out my schedule on my website and hope to see you at one of the events - Russo's Book Store in Bakersfield - Sunday, April 28 - 2 to 4 p.m.

Oh gawd!  Life's too busy!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I HATE BEING FAT - Part 4



Somehow I managed to lose two pounds since yesterday.  I can’t explain how it happened since I gorged on some horrendous sweets. Three Cake Clouds (Little Debbies) and two Dove bars.  Shite!  My reasoning was I needed to finish off the Dove bars and not buy any more of them!   They come three to a package.  Gone now.  Absolutely no reasoning for downing the three Cake Clouds. Okay, okay. I'm not there yet, I know.  Obviously I haven't fully committed.  
One day at a time, as the alkies say. 

If you have too many expectations of staying on a diet or project too far in advance it can be frustrating, the fear of not being able to do it for any length of time is overwhelming.  You fall off, get back on. This is what I keep saying to myself.  So one day at a time, better yet I'm thinking, one moment at a time
I’m also thinking I need to get back to making the fresh veggie/fruit drinks again with my Jack LaLanne juicer and have plenty on hand for snack-time when I’m craving something sweet.  Plus it’s a healthy approach, helps meet the daily vitamin and mineral requirements.

At one point I had decided to go on the juice diet, having only vegetable and fruit juices for two months to lose my forty pounds. I had watched the Australian Joe Cross who made a movie of his foray into the juicing program as he traveled the U.S. telling everybody about it. He lost all his weight juicing.  It was a fabulous film and pulled me right in. And I’m telling you, there is value in what he subscribes.  (It's on Netflix - documentaries.) 
So I tried what Joe Cross did and lasted one entire week.  There it is again. You've got to keep doing it to make a difference, you can't quit!  No progress at all if you do it for one week or eleven days, which seem to be my durations. 
The juicing diet I’m talking about by Joe Cross you’ll also find on Amazon if you want to buy it. Search for ‘Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead’, the film he made.  It is definitely worth seeing.  The blurb says: “An inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health while traveling across America, juicer in tow, and inspiring others to do the same.”   It certainly inspired me, let me tell you. It got me started on this quest to get back on track. It was the beginning for me. 
So, today I’ll start making juice again to add in with the calorie counting program, and I’ll reach for the juice instead of grabbing the sweets during those down moments.  We’ll see how it goes.
Kale, celery, apples, carrots, and ginger are the ingredients of the juice I like best. You can vary it.  Lots of nutrients, hardly any calories, trace of sugar from the apples (green apples) but not much.  Perfect.
Need to make a trip to the grocery, though, no kale.  

Another film I watched that has made a difference and made me more aware of my obesity is “LBS.”  Yes that’s the name of it, pounds, lbs.
This one was made by Matthew Bonifacio from Brooklyn/Queens. “A 315-pound man [Matthew] decides to kick his food addiction to the country.”
Now this documentary is an eye opener too. A must see if you’re struggling to lose weight. You will see the actual progression as he runs from, literally runs from family and friends in Brooklyn/Queens and from his obsession with food to the outback in upstate New York.  Enlightening and very entertaining, this one does have a storyline, more like a movie, and true.
Again, vegetables and fruit play a huge role in his weight-loss too. And exercise!

WHICH REMINDS ME  . . . I DIDN’T DO MY JOYCE VEDRAL yesterday.  Damn!  Just twelve minutes of exercise is all she’s asking. Okay, I’ll be the first to admit, it ain’t gonna be easy to instill these new habits, exercise at the top of the heap. 


ANOTHER CALORIE-COUNTING DAY, TODAY

BRUNCH – OJ, Egg, Toast, Butter
297 Calories
  23 Carbs
  19 Fat
  11 Protein
  13 Sugar
299 Sodium

Had a late start today, skipped breakfast, just had the OJ. But around lunchtime I had the rest of my brunch, included OJ in the tally. 
So here it is: four ounces of orange juice and one fried egg (olive oil) and one slice of buttered toast.  Let’s see how far this carries me today. 
Am going shopping in a few moments for my juice ingredients, so I’ll have that as a snack later today and maybe this evening after dinner.  On second thought, I might have a glass of wine mid evening for a ‘snack’.  Juice this afternoon.

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

DAMN! THIS DAY WAS A TOTAL LOSS!
I FELL OFF THE DAMN WAGON AGAIN!
I QUESTION MY SANITY!
I’M NOT GOING TO LIST ALL THE CRAP I ACTUALLY ATE!

Now I’m thinking I gotta remove all the sweets from my house: cookies, candies, anything tempting, anything that grabs out at me when I open the cupboard and refrigerator doors, or walk by the tins or dishes holding my stashes, got to remove all sweets from my visual and presence. I have no self control! I know it’s a waste of money, but I’m thinking that it’s more important at this point to think address my health.

To hell with the money, it’s gone! OUT IT GOES!