Saturday, September 05, 2009

How Can I Follow These?!

Hey, Megan here. (I hate to scroll down before I read the posts, so I'll let you know up front it's me.) I've been reading the posts this month and am simply stumped. We've had the miracle of Jacqueline's family surviving being hit by a car; the sharing of fun with Shelley and Julia; and Ann's lovely daughter's wedding.

What could I possibly write about that would be as inspiring, interesting, or lovely?

Then Friday, I was handed the answer. My friend got THE CALL!

Okay, some might argue it's not miraculous (although MY sale certainly was! lol). But it's certainly fun, and inspiring, and lovely. She's a wonderful person, serves on our RWA chapter's board, is a firm friend, and obviously a good writer who works at her craft.

And she sold to Silhouette Special Edition so she's part of the Harlequin family now too. :)

By the time I post next month, I'll have a new great-nephew from my niece who doubted she'd be able to have a baby, and I'll have presented another talk, this time in Chicago. (If you remember my agony in June as I prepared to talk at Nat'l, you'll wonder if I'm just crazy to have agreed to do this again. I don't blame you. I wonder, too.) Since I checked in with y'all last month, I've been to two weddings, met some really nice people, got "adopted" into my new nephew's family by his mom and godmother, and finished a book proposal.

I guess this is just a "life is good" post. I keep knocking on wood, throwing salt over my left shoulder, stepping over cracks and avoiding ladders.

Wishing a wonderful Labor Day to those in the US, and a wonderful day to those in other places.

Megan Kelly

A Milestone: Rachael got married


Sunday evening, August 30, our daughter, Rachael (a family doc who also delivers babies), married Ben (a cryptographer, which is a person who keeps hackers out of computer systems). That's the happy couple, eating cake. The other photo are bridesmaids. From left to right are Katie, (our youngest), Steph (our middle), Beth and Sophie. I don't have any of my hubby or me yet...

Ben’s father and Rachel’s dad grew up on the same block and have been friends since they were old enough to run down the street and knock on each others’ doors. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine our kids would fall in love. But they did, and both families are over the moon. ☺

Several people at the wedding said, Why don’t you write a story like this! And I replied, If I did, everyone would say, Nah. That could never happen. Too storybook. ☺ Maybe someday I’ll use bits and pieces, and add in lots of emotional baggage and angst. ☺

Rachael and Ben were married in Santa Clara, California, near where they live, which meant most family and friends traveled to be there. That was fun in itself! Not the traveling, but the big gathering. Most family and friends stayed in the same hotel, so we played in the pool and hung out for at least part of every day. Basically, we celebrated for five days, with mani’s and pedi’s for the bride, bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and mother of the groom, among other fun happenings.

The festivities culminated in a big Jewish wedding, complete with dancing, good food and drink, and lots of celebrating. Rachael and Ben love to dance and have taken lessons for a few years. Mostly salsa and Latin stuff, with waltz lessons for a month or so before the wedding. They danced a fancy waltz-like dance, then switched to a sexy salsa–while little, strobe-like stars rained down on them. So beautiful. We were in awe! So were the ages four-seventeen cousins, nieces and nephews, who watched with open mouths and dazed expressions.

I’m still floating.

Thanks for letting me share, and wishing you joyous family occasions,

Friday, September 04, 2009

Recipe of the month

Salad with apples and walnuts

1 to 1 ½ pounds cut-up lettuce or salad mix (can also use spinach leaves)
2 apples, thin sliced and cut in finger-widths
1 cup walnut pieces
about ½ large red onion, thin-sliced and then cut in half (optional)

Mix together and toss with salad:
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons garlic salt (or 1 teaspoon salt and 1 minced garlic clove)

Jacqueline Diamond
Doctor Daddy, HAR, September

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Shelley And Julia

I’m not a great cook. I can bake well, and have been known to bake way too much during times of stress…but as far as sautéing, braising, poaching, etc~it’s always kind of been beyond me.

That’s not to say I’ve been happy about that.

I collect cookbooks, read them at night like they're See's chocolates, and often go to sleep thinking about making a really great dinner. Sometimes I’ve experimented with my family. Actually, I’ve done this a lot. My kids used to grade me…as in, Mom, I’d give tonight’s dinner a C.

Gee. Thanks.

Anyway, a few years ago I picked up Julie Powell’s book, Julie and Julia and read it one rainy Sunday afternoon. I absolutely loved it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the book, it follows Julie’s quest to make all of Julia Child’s recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking during one year. I loved Julie’s traumas with lobsters and her renewed fascination with butter. This past month, I went to see the movie, Julie and Julia. It was a delight!
Seeing that movie inspired me again. I went out and paid too much for a fancy pot, picked up one of my Julia Child cookbooks, The Way to Cook…and two Sundays ago made Julia Child’s French Onion Soup. It took me hours. I had to run to the store for brandy. I followed that recipe exactly. And, well, let me just say right here that the results were terrific.

Finally, after years of failed attempts, lots of C-rated soups, and more than a few packs of Alka-Seltzer, I made a terrific pot of soup. I smiled about that for days!

Have I tried anything else lately? Not really. But I’ve left my expensive pot on the stove top, just as a reminder that sometimes practice does make perfect. And that every once in a while, I can still earn an A for dinner.

Has anyone else seen that movie? Or finally made a dish…that after years of failure…turned out beautifully?


Wednesday, September 02, 2009


CONGRATULATIONS Linda Henderson! You’re the August winner. To receive your free autographed books please contact Marin Thomas, Roxann Delaney and Linda Warren through their Web sites.

To enter the contest simply leave a blog comment and your name will go into the drawing. Easy and painless. And FREE BOOKS.

So check back often and be sure to leave a comment. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

One small miracle

Six weeks ago, I got the kind of phone call you never want to receive. My niece Jessy and her 23-month-old son Frankie had been hit and run over by a car while crossing the street near their house in Lakewood, California.

They were in a crosswalk when a car came around the corner too fast. The driver, who had not been drinking, said she didn’t see them. Yes, she did stop afterwards.

Frankie’s skull was fractured in four places. He also suffered broken ribs and internal injuries. The car ran over Jessy’s leg but somehow only bruised her.

My husband and I rushed to the hospital. With family members from both sides, we prayed and offered what comfort we could.

A week later, Frankie went home, still hurting but more or less functioning normally. None of us could believe his quick recovery.

On Sunday, we celebrated his second birthday, two weeks late. A large group of friends and relatives gathered to eat and bring presents. Little kids cracked open a piňata. Frankie ran around, and took his turn at the piňata.

Is he changed? Yes. He’s more solemn, and more easily frightened. Doctors plan to keep a close watch on his development. But he seems pretty much back to normal.

As at most family gatherings these days, there were guests who’re out of work, and others struggling with various health and financial issues. But for a few hours we set all that aside and celebrated our own small miracle.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fabric Wall Art

Here’s a fun and inexpensive project to create a theme for a child’s birthday or holiday party.

Supplies and Equipment

fabric scraps
a large bowl
a paint brush
towels or a drop cloth

Glue Recipe
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
4 cups boiling water

Cut the shapes you want to use from fabric scraps. Smaller cut-outs will be easier to apply than large ones.

To prepare the “glue,” stir 4 tablespoons of cornstarch into 1/2 cup of cold water in a large bowl, then pour in 4 cups of boiling water. Let it cool.

Put some old towels or a drop cloth on the floor along the wall to soak up the drips.

Dip the fabric pieces into the starch solution, or paint the solution onto the back of the fabric with a paint brush. You’ll want the fabric to be thoroughly soaked.

Apply the fabric to the wall and use your fingers to smooth out the bubbles. Paint on more starch solution if necessary.

When the party is over, simply peel it off and wash away the “glue” with warm water and a sponge.

This is also a great way to add flare to a child’s bedroom, especially if you live in rental accommodation that doesn’t allow tenants to paint or put up wallpaper.

Have fun!