The Val & Kit Mystery Series

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One Lovely Blog

Thanks, Anna Celeste Burke, for nominating Roz and Patty Write for the One Lovely Blog Award. We’re grateful to be in such good company, among bloggers already given this award. We hope everyone who reads this post will check out Anna Celeste Burke’s blog, Desert Cities Mystery, and read her posts and learn about her books!

Here’s what’s involved now that we’re up for the award. The rules say:
·       Thank the person nominating us and link back to that blog. Click here to meet Anna Celeste Burke and check out the Desert Cities Mystery blog.
·       Share seven things about ourselves—look out below!
·       Nominate 15 or so bloggers we admire—what fun!
·       Contact our bloggers to let them know we’ve tagged them for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD—done!

·       We love working within our self-imposed deadline for returning chapters to each other. Sometimes we don't make it, but it's good to have. 
·       After Roz scoops ice cream into a bowl, she puts it in the microwave for a few seconds. She likes it slightly melted and the consistency of very thick soup.
·       Patty LOVES delicious apples because they are so, well, delicious. She finds them the perfect complement to many of her other favorite foods: cheese (she is from Wisconsin, after all), peanut butter, nachos, walnuts, Cheetos, cottage cheese, you-name-it.
·       Because Roz lives in a climate where the sun shines most of the time and when it rains it is often torrential, she has grown to appreciate grey skies and light drizzle.  
·       Because Patty lives in a climate that has l-o-n-g winters, she has grown to love spending a couple of those cold months in Palm Desert, California (the setting for our next Val & Kit mystery). She also loves to visit Roz in Houston.
·       Roz likes men who open doors for women and give up their seats on the subway. It's not fashionable, perhaps, but it's just nice.
·       Speaking of men, Patty has five brothers, no sisters.

Tamara McCleary              

Sunday, August 3, 2014

No Reservations Required

If you’ve never had lunch served at a restaurant run by Texans Cash Brooks (who’s four) and Bodie, his three-year-old brother, you are missing out. Roz had this great pleasure recently, when circumstances called for a few hours of babysitting.

The “restaurant” was the living room. There was seating available on the couch, but not the recliner since Grandpa Ken had already claimed it. They dined à la carte, as Cash read from the “menu,” a Sports Illustrated magazine that offered such delights as hockey-stick stew and baseball-glove stew. In fact, it seemed that any stew could be whipped up as long as there was an accompanying picture in the magazine.

Bodie, doing double duty as cook and waiter, took their orders and then stirred all the ingredients in a toy saucepan. Once fully cooked, which took several seconds, the stew looked remarkably like a mishmash of Lego pieces. Roz did go off the menu and requested a potato, which the stew seemed to be lacking. This sent Cash scurrying around the house, and returning with a red clown nose that he plunked into her stew. The imaginary beverage menu was limitless. She chose chocolate milk with marshmallows.

They ate casually off their laps, with their cook continuously dishing out his endless culinary delight. This was a real all-you-can-eat place. And, as an extra treat, Cash produced a miniature bottle of steak sauce from his pocket (part of his personal collection of condiments, which he generously shared).

When the cook was asked if a particular piece of green Lego could possibly  be broccoli, he replied very matter-of-factly, “No; it’s a piece of green Lego.” Well, duh! We wonder how many older cooks are that honest.

When they’d eaten as much as they could, Roz asked for the check. Bodie presented her with a tiny piece of paper, a quarter of the size of a postage stamp. Luckily, she had her Amex card handy.

Later in the day, they went to a real restaurant for lunch. It was good, but not as good as Cash and Bodie’s place.

Bodie, Grammy and Cash

As writers, we know that showing is usually better than just telling. Sometimes this doesn’t come naturally, but the Brooks boys delivered this message with a bang.

When Roz returned home, she thought a lot about Cash and Bodie and their fabulous restaurant, and how much there is to learn from little kids. Their creativity was impressive. How lucky was she to dine at such a fine establishment and get to see their imagination soar? Free and uninhibited, and a fine stew thrown in.

We think Kit, our gourmet cook from The Val and Kit Mystery Series, would be very proud of these boys.