Thursday, September 30, 2021

Thursday 13--Rain

 

Join us here.

In honor of a rainy day here in New Mexico, I give you 13 musings on rain.

1.  We don't get much rain here, at least in my part of the state.  According to our local Chamber of Commerce, Rio Rancho gets about 8 inches of rain a year, and about 10 inches of snow.  We are in what's called the high desert, or steppe in other parts of the world.  Today, it's raining on and off, and supposed to all day today and tomorrow.  Water from the sky is blessing here.

2.  I grew up in Mississippi.  Which is the 3rd rainiest state in the country after Hawaii and Louisiana.  And people wonder why I moved to the Southwest.  In Mississippi, it pretty much rains every day in the summer and very often during the rest of the year.  On top of it being humid as HELL.  Wet, sticky, and rainy.  Although I don't remember caring that much.  We played outside rain or shine, and puddle stomping and making paper boats to race in the ditches was a thing.

3.  Hurricanes.  Talk about rain.  Sheets and sheets of it, as if it were coming out of some great faucet in the sky.  Scary amounts.  Camille and Katrina devastated my hometown.  I was there for Camille, which happened when I was 7.  I spent that hurricane under the bed with my Mom and brother.   My dad was on a submarine out to sea (they are safer there, sitting on the bottom).  Thank goodness we were far enough away from the Gulf that our house stood.  We lost a couple of hundred year old pecan tree in the front yard though--never did find it.  Just uprooted and poof, gone, like it had never been--nothing but a hole in the ground.

4.  Bucket rain.   Otherwise known as thunderstorms.  In the South, we had this all the time--like someone turned over a bucket.  5 minutes of rain so hard you had to pull over if you were driving and then .... nothing.

5.  My favorite kind of rain.  The soft, gentle kind, that goes on for a whole day.  I think they even call that a "soft" day in Ireland.  Makes you feel all cozy, like you want to tuck in under a soft blanket with a good book and some cocoa.  We don't get that here much.

6.  Southwest Monsoon.  The first time I heard this it cracked me up.  Because the kind of rain we get here in the Southwest is anything but what you usually think of as a monsoon.  It's an actual weather pattern, pretty specific to Arizona and New Mexico.

7.  The Case of the Creaky Car.  One year my parents came to visit when we still lived on the east coast of Florida.  They had this super nice Cadillac (kinda odd for my parents, but it was a phase).  We decide to go to dinner, and down highway A1A we drive (it literally runs right along the beach).  We have a great dinner at a joint called SnackJacks and head home.  Cue torrential downpour (see Bucket Rain above, except this went on for at least 20 minutes).  Mom pulls over, because we can't see a THING and don't want to drive off the bluff into the ocean.  Rain finally stops, but the road is 3 or 4 inches deep in water.  She drives slowly to our destination, we all heave a sigh of relief, and go about day.  From that day forward the car had this SOUND, squeak, rub, creak....something coming from underneath.  My Dad, a car guy, tears the car apart, his buddies tear the car apart, and he can never find the source of the sound.  He sold the car and never bought another Cadillac.

8.  Rainy days and Mondays.  Wasn't that a song?

9.  Cold rain.  I lived in the Tidewater area of Virginia my last 2 years of high school, my first marriage, and for a couple of years in the late '80s.  If you don't know it, the whole area is surround by water.  One year, I lived in a cottage on the York River.  It rarely snowed, but that was the most miserable, cold place in the winter.  Damp cold, cold rain, that just gets in your bones and stays there.  Don't miss it.

10.  Maddie hates the rain.  HATES.IT.  We have a tough time getting her to do her business outside when it's raining.  We open the door, she sees water on the patio and hears it hitting the patio table, and she's is all NOPE, not happening.  We end up having to put her on a leash to get her out into the yard.  And that's if it's NOT thundering.  All bets are off when it's thundering.

11.  Ruidoso Rain.  We went down to Ruidoso, NM for 4th of July to get Maddie out of our neighborhood.  The fireworks are incessant, they use the large, illegal is this county mortars, and everyone has cinderblock walls.  Sounds like I imagine Afghanistan sounded.  Anyhow, it's a lovely little mountain town, and it rained the entire time we were there.  But it was the good rain.  Soft, stopped every now and then to let the sun peek out.  No thunder.  A wet, cool, 4th of July.  Very different from here (it's about 4 hours south and west of here, up in the mountains).

12.  Rain, rain, go away, run and come back another day.  Said no New Mexican ever.

13.  The Acoma Rain Dancers are a youth dance group at Acoma Pueblo here in New Mexico.


 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Finally Made the Appointments

I can be a procrastinator.  Not about work so much, but everything else is fair game.  Even when it could be detrimental to my health.  I have a dark crusty mole (?) on my neck that drives me batty.  It has definitely changed over time, albeit very slowly.  I made a dermatology appointment 3 months ago, which I have changed twice because of work meetings and the like.  I finally just sucked it up and took a day of vacation so I could actually get there.  I want this thing off.my.neck.  

I've also been having a lot of eyestrain-type headaches.  Too much screen time, I expect.  And I'm wearing glasses that are like 12 years old.  Yesterday, I made an eye appointment.  Finally.

The only appointment I ever seem to keep up with are the pets, mental health care provider, and my PCP.  Mainly because they won't continue to prescribe whatever meds Maddie or I needs unless I get my butt in there.  Which is, I suppose, why they do that.

Speaking of health, I have my wellness visit for work this week.  Ugg.  I'm not going to "make weight", but at least I have enough credits in the no smoking, labs, and blood pressure area to get the full discount on my health insurance for the year.  Which is not chump change--it amounts to $200 discount on my health insurance per paycheck.  A whopping $5,200 a year (for me) and another $5,200 a year (for hubs).  Over ten thousand bucks that doesn't come out of MY pocket, for taking care of my health.  Well, hell, I'll take it. 

And, on the same day, I go to get my Pfizer booster.  My little "thank God it's not COVID" scare makes me very happy that they are available for middle-age, overweight, hypertensive women like me.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Currently...

I am….

Reading:  still reading Nicola Griffith's Ammonite.  Almost done though, so I'll be moving on to Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood.

Listening to:  my little heater.  We cool the house down at night, or else no one sleeps, and since hubs sleeps later than I, I have a little heater in my office to warm things up so I can work without my my fingers aching.

Loving:  Cooking yesterday was fun.  The orange chicken did not come out at all like I expected, and not in a good way.  It wasn't terrible, it was just blah.  So, we'll bag THAT recipe.  On the up side, I think the thighs, and a bit of the sauce, some almond slivers, celery, and a few more ingredients might make a kick-ass chicken salad.  We'll see.

Thinking:  I really need to call my PCP and sort out this leg cramping thing. 

Feeling:  A little achy still, but much better.

Celebrating:  Hubs' birthday is tomorrow.  Mom and I are taking him out to Sushi King.

Grateful for:  My permanent answer to this is “everything”. 

Weather:  Wow.  It's 54 right now (at 0652), no wonder my feet were freezing.  High of 73 today, partly cloudy, 15% chance of rain.  We're almost out of Monsoon Season (ends in September).  Feels like Fall out there.  LOVE IT!

Enjoying:  Blogging.

A quote I want to share:  

Image Credit

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Cooking is Fun and Easy--Borracha Beans with Hatch Green Chile Sausage

Another episode of Cooking is Fun and Easy coming at you!  Today, I’m making Borracha Beans (Drunken Beans) with Hatch Green Chile Sausage in my Instant Pot.  This style of beans is a Tex-Mex thing, put I’m giving them a little New Mexican punch by using Opa Hatch Green Chile sausage.  I adapted this recipe from this one, at Dad Cooks Dinner.  I made it straight from the recipe the first time and am looking forward to tasting my Nuevo Mexico version!

This is a great meal on its own, or with rice, or with flour tortillas or a nice crusty bread.

Ingredients


 

1 lb dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed.  I am excited to be used Ness Farms pintos for the first time.  This is a local farm in the Estancia Valley, which is on the other side of the Sandia Mountains from us.  I’ve heard good things about these beans!  You can use any old pinto, but they do sell online, if you get a hankerin’ for a New Mexico brand.  

8 cups of water

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

2 ounces diced bacon.  I love using ends and pieces, because of the fat content, plus its easier to dice.

1 large onion, medium dice

3 cloves garlic, minced (I’m using roasted garlic left over from a previous dinner this week, so this should be interesting)

1 tablespoon mild New Mexican red chile (you can also use any chili power blend)

Salt to taste

4 cups chicken broth (this adds so much richness—we use Knorr chicken stock concentrate, but today, I’m actually using chicken stock hubs made about 3 months ago from the freezer

12 oz beer (a dark Mexican beer is preferred, couldn’t find any, so I’m going with Dos Equis Ambar Especial

14.5 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes

Minced cilantro for garnish.  Didn’t make it to the store, so I'm using freeze-dried.

4 links Opa Hatch Green Chile infused Sausage, or whatever smoked sausage is your jam.  I like Opa brand, which we can get at our local grocery store, because the skins really snap when you bite into them.  Kind of like Kielbasa, which would also work.

Directions

First, and most importantly, rinse and sort your beans.  I use a cookie sheet.   Everything starts on one side, and I pick out the dirt, pebbles, and broken beans and push the good ones to the other side of the sheet.  Then I rinse the good ones thoroughly in a colander.  Notice all the little dirt bits here—these things do come out of the ground, after all.

Then, do a quick soak.  Put the beans into your instant pot with 8 cups of water and a tablespoon of fine sea salt.  If you’re using regular table salt, decrease that amount to 2 teaspoons.  Set for high pressure for one minute.  Allow a natural release of 30 minutes, then quick release.  Drain, discard the water. 

Wipe out the instant pot liner.  Then, cook your bacon on the saute setting until crispy on the edges, stirring often.  Add onion and garlic, stir to coat with bacon fat, and sprinkle your red chile powder over it.  Keep on sauteing until onion just begins to be translucent.  Add beer, scrape the bottom for any bits, and stir in the chicken broth and the can of tomatoes.  Add the beans back to the pot a give a stir.


Pressure cook on high for 18 minutes and meanwhile, slice your sausages into ½ inch slices.  Saute in a skillet until lightly browned, then drain on paper towels.  When the pressure cycle is complete, quick release the instant pot.  Stir in the sausage and let rest for 5 minutes.  Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with flour tortillas (the way we do it New Mexico), rice, or a crusty bread.  I also love this with a sprinkling of Mexican-style cheese or a dollop of Mexican crema, or just plain sour cream.

This freezes beautifully, and makes 8 cups of soup.

Note:  If you live at altitude like me, the cooking time needs to be adjusted.  Dad Cooks Dinner has a FANTASTIC table for high altitude pressure cooking here.  


 
If you made this, or just drooled at the recipe, please let me know in the comments!

Sunday Stealing--Bun Toting Librarian

Well, first of all, the title of this Sunday's steal cracked me UP!  Great choice, Bev.  If you want to join us, go here

1.      When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

“You LOOK sick”.  Wednesday night, I started having cold symptoms or something.  Headache, body aches, cough, fuzz brain.  I slept 10 straight hours, which NEVER happens.  I’ve been vaccinated for COVID, but these days, you can’t be conservative about these kinds of symptoms, so off to Walgreens Hubs and I went for COVID tests and started quarantine.  I can’t bear the thought that I could infect anyone, so I just did the right thing.  Knocked off work early today, and slept for 3 hours straight in the middle of the afternoon.  UPDATE:  Negative.  What a relief.  I was shocked that my test came back in a little over 24 hours.  I got an email from Walgreens, followed by a text from the New Mexico Department of Health.  I love living in a state that takes this pandemic seriously.

2.      What shirt are you wearing? 

Image Credit

A shirt my hubs got me.   I really loved the Jurassic Park movies, and this scene in particular.  Hubs thinks I’m clever I guess. 

3.      Do you label yourself?

I suppose.  Woman.  Liberal.  Nurse.  Wife.  Daughter.  Mother.  Human.  Thinker.  Reader.  Neurodivergent.  I think we all label ourselves to some degree or another.

4.      What does your watch look like?

A FitBit Versa 3, with an analog face.

5.      What were you doing at midnight last night?

Sleeping.

6.      Last furry thing you touched?

Ellie the cat.  Just had to move her from my side to get up and get a glass of water.

7.      Favourite age you have been so far?

I thought 40 was pretty great.

8.      What is your current desktop picture?

Two actually.  A photo of hubs and another photo of my brother, Dad, and hubs together. 

9.      If you had to choose between $1,000,000 or to be able to fly what would it be?

Well, that’s easy.  Show me the money, as my Dad always used to say.

10.  The last song you listened to?

I have no clue, I’ve not been into music much lately, my tinnitus has been off the chain, so I’m taking a break.

11.  What do you do when vending machines steal your money?

I don’t put any more money in them.  I literally can’t recall the last time I even USED a vending machine.

12.  Would you move for the person you loved?

It would depend.  I did this way too many times in my youth.  Sometimes it worked out well, and other times it was an unmitigated cluster.

13.  Name three things that you have on you at all times?

At ALL times?  My wedding rings, my tats, and my underwear.

14.  What’s your favourite town/city?

It’s a 3-way tie between Santa Fe, NM; Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; and New Orleans, Louisiana.  Great food, great architecture, interesting stories. 

15.  Does anything hurt on your body right now?

Pretty much everything, I’m not feeling well.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Well THAT Was a Thing I Did

I spent most of today (up until just now) re-reading most of blog posts and applying labels.  Out of 227, I probably looked at 175 of them.  I really should have thought about labeling when I first started this blog, but that would have been too easy.  Hubs says to me "but WHY?!?!"--well, I kept wanting to find things, and due to the sometimes cryptic titles I used, had to read many, many posts to find them.  Fixed that, ya'll, lol!  So, now if I want to find recipes, posts about family, or the pets, or old Saturday 9s or Sunday Stealings, I can.  I feel like accomplished something today.

In addition, we found a great new Chinese place for lunch.  And picked up some things for the Orange Chicken I'm making tonight at our favorite local butcher, Keller's Farm Store.  Stay tuned for another Cooking is Fun and Easy post coming up.  Actually a couple--we're doing a cooking day tomorrow and I'll be making Borracha Beans (Drunken Beans).  Keller's carries locally farmed pinto beans from the Estancia Valley that I've been thinking about trying for years, and finally bought.

Hope your day was just as good.

Saturday 9--Cardigan

Join us here.

Saturday 9: Cardigan (2020)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) When she's feeling low, Taylor Swift compares herself to an old cardigan, forgotten under the bed. Do you store anything under your bed? Or do you try to keep that area clear (except for dust bunnies)?

I try to keep it clean under there so Rosie the Roomba can get the dust bunnies and cat hair up.  But hubs’ socks keep ending up under there.  Like ALL the socks.  How does he do that?

2) The lyrics begin with a reference to a new phone. Do you foresee yourself getting a new phone before 2021 ends? Or are you happy with the one you've got?

Oh hell no.  They are just too dang expensive, and my Samsung Note 9 has features I don’t even use, so I highly doubt there would be any reason I would need a new one.  And it’s so lovely to have a reasonable phone bill again.

3) She sings that her lover haunts all of her "what if's." Have you recently wondered, "what if?" What were you musing about?

I try not to “what-if” myself, because it always seems to go to a place of negativity and regret. What if? Feels like looking back.

4) Taylor Swift admits that she rewinds after concerts by watching Friends reruns. What do you do to relax?

Re-read old favorites, re-watch old favorites.  In fact, I’m watching an episode of Firefly right now, “Our Mrs. Reynolds”.  I’ve seen it …. Well, at least 50 times.  Baths are big favorite for relaxing too…I have a deep, corner, garden tub so big I can literally float in it (Grant you, I’m not that tall, lol).  I get the water as hot as I can stand, and it’s lovely.

5) Thinking of TV shows, Taylor appeared on a 2009 episode of CSI. That series was about crime-scene investigators who use forensics to solve murders. Do you enjoy crime shows?

I could watch the original Law and Order anytime, anywhere, over and over.  I’m slowly getting through Bosch as well.

6) Taylor grew up on an 11-acre tree farm where she learned to ride. Her mother was a horsewoman and hoped riding was a passion they could share. When she was 12, Taylor admitted to her mother that she really wasn't that into it and wished she could spend more time on her music. Her mother was supportive. Tell us about a tough conversation you've had that turned out well.

Most recently, discussing Mom's future.  She misses having a house of her own.  She doesn't miss the giant yard and the house headaches and money spent.  She thought about buying a house here.  We discussed it, literally wrote down all the pros and cons, and she took it home and thought about it and made what I think was a wise decision to stay in her apartment.  I was proud of myself for helping her sort through her feelings about it objectively without putting my personal feelings on her.

7) She enjoys good, old-fashioned mysteries, especially those by Agatha Christie. Are you currently reading a book?

Yes, Ammonite, by Nicola Griffith.

8) In 2020, the year this song was released, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek died. The search for a new host has caused interest and even controversy. Would you enjoy the job?

I’m an introvert, no way would I like being on TV in front of millions.

9) Random question: Of Superman's three superpowers -- tremendous strength, the ability to fly, and x-ray vision -- which would you choose?

I think flying is the best of those.  Wouldn’t it be cool to swoop in and out of the clouds, skim across the tops of rivers, and generally be a bird?  I think so.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday 13 -- Favorite Foods

 

Join us here if you'd like.

Food is a thing for me.  I love eating out, always have.  I love all sorts of cuisines from home cooking to haute.  Food, in my brain, is connected to memories from my life.  I thought I'd look back at some favorite foods in my life, and see what burbles to the surface.

1.  Potato pancakes.  Or, as my mother calls them Kartoffelpfannkuchen.  She remembers eating these as a child and they were one of my favorite things growing up.  She would always let us choose our favorite meal for our birthdays, and this was ALWAYS what my brother and I chose.  It's very simple, potatoes and onion grated on a box grater, squeeze most of the excess liquid out, add egg and salt.  Fry in a pan.  Mom re-taught me how to make them a few weeks ago and it was like Scotty put me in a transporter and I was at our family table in Mississippi again.  Crazy how food can do that.

2.  Oysters.  My dad was one of those guys who knew ... everybody.  He had
a buddy in Biloxi who had an oyster business (back when Gulf oysters were the shazam), and we'd drive over there and get a bushel every now and again.  Dad would ice them down, shuck them, and we'd all sit around the table and eat them raw, as fast as he shucked.  Good thing he was good at it, lol.  I like mine with a dab of remoulade and a squeeze of lemon.  Mom and I found a place in Boston on our trip that had a $1 per oyster happy hour and we indulged heavily.  Yum.  Weirdly, I do not like them cooked.  The texture is weird (I know that sounds like an oxymoron).

3.  Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.  I think every kid in the world probably likes this.  We actually had it the other night, although I gussied it up with sourdough bread and gouda, sharp white cheddar, and Kraft single for old time's sake.  I've come to prefer Progresso over Campbell's, but either way, it's good eating.

4.  Wild salmon.  When we moved to Alaska in 1997, I had never had wild salmon.  Let me tell you, the first time was a REVELATION.  I mean, it doesn't even bear a passing resemblance to the stuff you get in the grocery store, much less the stuff in the can (which is what people in Mississippi ate when I was a kid, in patties).  The same can be said for Halibut, Alaskan Crab, clams....no comparison.

5.  Steamer clams.  Or, as my brother and I called them "clams with the bellies on".  We only got to eat these when we left the South and went back to Massachusetts to visit relatives.  My parents would make a beeline for their favorite clam shacks literally before we got to where we were going.  Mom and I ate several pounds of clams whiles we were in Boston, lol.  Oh, and they absolutely, positively MUST be fried.  To.die.for.

6.  Seafood Gumbo and Courtbouillon.  The first is self-explanatory.  My mom made hers with a whole blue crab, shrimp, and lump

crabmeat.  Courtbouillon (pronouned koo-bee-on on the Mississippi Gulf Coast) is a tomato/roux-based redfish stew.  Back before Paul Prudhomme almost destroyed the redfish fishery on the Gulf Coast.  I want to make this soon--but you do need red drum/redfish, so I'm waiting until I can afford it, lol.

7.  Pizza.  I've always liked pizza, but I REALLY like the wood-fired, smaller, and thinner ones that are more popular today.  I love the curated toppings.  My favorite place for this is a local chain, Il Vicino.

8.  Green Chile Cheeseburgers.  This is a quintenssential New Mexican thing, and in my opinion, the best come from the Route 66 Pitstop Laguna Burger.  They are enormous and oh so very juicy and tasty.  It's just a counter in a gas station, but they are worth the trip to get one.  My cousin came to visit a few years ago and we spent a wonderful day exploring Sky City at Acoma Pueblo.  We shared a Laguna burger after.  It made it perfect.

 

9.  Green Chile Stew.  Another New Mexican icon.  It's made lot's of different ways, but I like mine with hamburger.  When I first moved here, my new boss took me to Golden Pride and bought me a cup for lunch.  I was hooked.  It's my favorite winter meal. 

10.  Mexican or New Mexican food (they are quite different).  In general.  The first time we had Mexican food, I think I was about 10.  I was like, chips and salsa, where have you been all my life!  When I was first married I was poor as a church mouse, and had an equally poor best friend.  We would pool our couple of dollars, go to Chi-Chi's (remember them), order 1 cheese enchilada for the 2 of us, and eat about 10 baskets of chips and salsa.  For that day, we didn't FEEL poor.

11.  Lexington-style North Carolina BBQ.  Pulled pork, baby.  On one of our first dates, hubs took me to this little BBQ joint in Mt. Airy, NC for BBQ.  I can STILL remember how it tastes.  That style of BBQ is all about the pork, pulled or chopped, covered in a vinegary, spicy "dip" with a touch of tomato.  Classic way to eat--on a bun, with a heap of slaw on top.   After hubs moved to Florida, he'd buy gallons of the sauce when he was home visiting.  Sadly they closed some years ago, but I'll always remember how it tasted.

12.  Hubs' chicken wings.  Naked, and perfectly crispy, covered in Frank's Red Hot mixed with a stick of butter.  Served with celery and blue cheese.  Always delish.  He has the crazy process that takes 2 days to make them, but damn, it is worth it.

13.  Hot and sour soup and dumplings at Pop-Up Dumpling House.  This is a little joint inside our local international market, Ta-Lin Market.  This elderly Chinese lady and her husband run it.  8 steamed pork dumplings and a bowl of hot and sour soup for $7.95.  Best meal deal ever, and her soup is literally the best hot and sour soup I have ever eaten anywhere in my life.  When I feel crappy, this is the meal I want.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Stealing--More from the 5000 Questions


You know you want to join us...here.

1. If America is one nation under god then are atheists citizens? 

The whole one nation under god thing bugs me, just on principle.  The founders seemed to have a bit of confusion with the whole separation of church and state thing.  But I’m not a student of American history so much, so I may be talking out of my ear. 

People of every religion (or no religion at all) are citizens if they were born here, or were naturalized.  Religion has nothing to do with it.


2. Is there anything that you believe should be banned for any reason?

Banning things is a slippery slope.  Brings to mind that great Bradbury book Fahrenheit 451.  Someone mentioned reading it on their blog and I downloaded it from the library.  Time for a re-read.  I can't imagine that there is anyone out there of a certain age who didn't read this in school, but if you haven't, run, don't walk, to get this one.  It's truly a classic.

 3. How often do you eat too much?

I am an emotional eater.  I always wished I was like my mom—an emotional non-eater.  But this is the brain I got, so here we are. 

4. If you died tomorrow, what mark would you have left on the world?

I have saved lives; men, women, kids.  I’ve comforted the dying, celebrated the cured, welcomed new lives.  I suppose that's a mark of some sort?

5. Are you a city person or a country person?

More like a medium sized town within driving distance of a small city person.  Hah!

6. What annoys you the most about yourself?

I am not a good listener.  I work on it, but it has been a struggle my whole life.

7. Who was your childhood hero?

My Dad.

8. With nearly 100 channels why is NOTHING ever on?

That’s a really good question.  Thank goodness I can watch re-runs of Law and Order over and over, because lately, that's all we've been doing.

9. Would you adopt a stray kitty wandering through your neighborhood?

I have four of the beasts, all rescues, in a 1765 sq ft house, which is NOT enough room (for them).  I’d take it to the no-kill shelter, but I don’t need another cat (or dog for that matter).

10. Which Lord of the Rings movie has the best ending?

Probably the Return of the King, but my favorite sequence in any of those movies is the Battle of Helms Deep.  Amazing.

11. What are you missing in your life?

My daughter, my grands.  It is what it is.   I think about how I do for my Mom since she moved here and I wonder—who will do for me when I am old?  It’s a rather sobering and terrifying thought.

12. What could you make a sculpture out of that's in the room with you right now?

Well, I’m on the patio.  I could stack the patio chairs artfully.

13. Do you believe in the lost city of Atlantis?

I’m sure there’s a kernel of truth in that story, but an underwater civilization, no.

14. Have you ever read The Little Prince?

It rings a bell.

15. What fantasy book would you like to see made into a movie?

Guy Gavriel Kay’s wonderfully poignant book about freedom, memory, and loss; and the power of love and hate…. Tigana.  It is brilliant, just brilliant, and I literally read and re-read two consecutive hardcovers into shreds before I finally wised up and bought it on Kindle.