Tag Archives: Saluki

S. In Springtime, Salukis…and Sex? #AtoZChallenge #MFRWAuthor


Looking Toward Spring

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is GoodS..all smooth curves, almost in motion even when still, almost slithering like snakes on the page. Some of the script S’s look like they’ve tied themselves in knots and aren’t quite sure which way to turn.

S could be for Snake, or Saluki or Sex. It could be about Spring, and one of my favorite songs…I discovered this version, and this singer, last Spring

The song itself has always been fun for me but this man sings it to perfection. I had to be careful looking for this particular song since Bryn Terfel’s You Tube collection is huge and wonderful. And very distracting.

Did not know kale is perennial

Did not know kale is perennial

Spring brings us such a huge variety of weather: wind, rain, snow, frost, SUN. Sometimes all in one day. I hover over the perennial garden as bits of green peek through. Or not.

The Salukis go from tight thick coats to massive SHED in one afternoon. As much as possible I comb it out, gather it up, and leave it out for the birds. They like that sort of thing for their nests.

I see I put SEX in the title. Got your attention, didn’t it? Fact is, sex sells. I know that’s used as an excuse for the success of Romance writers. Yes there is sex in Romance books. There’s sex in life as well. It’s one expression of people reaching out to each other. It’s a deepening intimacy in books and in life. It’s also a part of nature.

As a writer, some of those scenes are the payoff for the effort put into the prior scenes. When I’m writing a ‘closed door policy’ book (where private things are kept private) the sex can be a reward of sorts to the characters who have helped me build their relationship to this point. Which doesn’t always  make sense to non writers. For some (most?) writers the characters have to be real or the book won’t be real.

In the meantime I’m going to enjoy the Spring I’ve been gifted with this year. In case it goes back into hiding.

Boo, Biddy, Fire Dragon, snow times a few years ago

Really, I saw Spring here, just yesterday

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Step into the Abyss #MFRWAuthor

Okay, it’s Indiana Jones (and isn’t Harrison Ford young??) But it does illustrate the concept of having some faith in yourself.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you look for You Tube videos concerning stepping into the abyss, you’ll find a wide range of choices. Several have to do with the space station, and have a caption:

Every second boy wants to become a cosmonaut. The profession seems romantic and dangerous.

Sorry, that’s a digression. I was amused at the idea that only a boy wants to be a cosmonaut. Seriously? Since my days of reading Andre Norton I was torn between training horses and exploring space. Neither one of which was practical but hey a girl can dream.

The point I think I’m making is, nothing in life is guaranteed. All we can do is use the gifts we’re given as best we can.
Bulbs planted will come up. Recipes attempted will be edible. And I will eventually adjust to the time change.

Eventually we'll wake up...honest

Eventually we’ll wake up…honest

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We ARE Family

My January 27 blog referenced loss. This was the anniversary of my husband’s death, and also his father’s. It was also the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Someone asked me if I had family at Auschwitz. Being of essentially WASP background, I had to say no.
With an event of such magnitude, how can we not all be related?

One my father’s side I represent the British Isles…Scot, English, possibly some Irish. We are the Hendersons of Glencoe,. That would be the ones who decided to leave without fighting, or so I’m told. Be that as it may, and it was so very long ago, we are also kin to those Scots who were slaughtered at Culloden in a brutal attempt at domination.
On my mother’s side, I’m American Indian. Choctaw to be more specific. My mother was born in Oklahoma and there’s a saying: if you’re born in Oklahoma and you’re not part Indian, you’re lying. Again, something told to me. And certainly the white folk on this side of ‘the pond’ can’t have much pride in how they treated those who were different.
Fact is, I’m a mutt with delusions of grandeur. After all on one side my ancestors were landed gentry in Merry Olde England. On the other side? There’s some German immigrants and an Indian lady named Liza Blue. I hear there’s also a horse thief and a scoundrel. The horse thief might have been on the more refined side of the pedigree.
Even so.
When something as brutal as the concentration camps happens, we are all family. We must be. We must connect not only to the Jews but also to the Africans and the Kurds and people around the world without a voice to stand against oppression.
“We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately”..a statement of a man who was not perfect but who was willing to stand up for what he believed in…Benjamin Franklin.
This probably seems like a disjointed rant. Maybe it is. And maybe I’m trying to express what I’ve believed in for most of my life. There is no such thing of supremacy of any race, color or creed.
We are ALL family

GROUP HUG? Or just giddy fun?



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Another Gem from Seth’s Blog

From Seth Godin’s blog: ***It’s pretty common for successful people to imagine that their success is solely the result of merit. It’s more satisfying than pointing to all the external factors that have contributed to that success. The trap is in being satisfied. Satisfaction in their meritocracy causes companies, industries and cultures to calcify, to harden themselves against new ideas and new people.***

The complete blog is here: Meritocracy

Does that hit home with you? I’ve certainly encountered it, in many facets of my life. Authors claiming their book was picked up by an editor because it was the best book ever written. Even though the editor was wanting to fill a slot with shape shifting bats, and this was the most appealing shape shifting bat story on their desk.

It’s especially trying when someone gets in your face about winning over you when the truth is something far more subtle than one person is “better” than another. We have the choice of snapping back at them, or just congratulating them and moving on. The moving on does sometimes offer a feeling of superiority, doesn’t it?

Well the sun is shining on last night’s snow and it’s going to be a gorgeous day. I just wanted to share this with you before I trekked out.

Now where did we bury that toy?

Now where did we bury that toy?

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Today is MY Day

Yeah, I’ve been kind of AWOL. I’ve thought about a lot of things to share with you but the words don’t hit the page! The Saluki and dog world part of my life has been in ascendance  for the past few months and it’s going to take front stage for a while longer. But that doesn’t mean I can’t share the dogs with you as well as the books, does it?

Many of you know I chose a low carb lifestyle after Tom died in 2012, and it’s been so good for me. Someone on one of the wonderful low carb support groups posted this song (new to me) that has helped her keep moving forward when the rest of the world is having donuts for breakfast:

How perfect is this for all of us: Writers, Dog People, those struggling with Low Carb? Especially this line: “Don’t expect more or less, just go out and give it your best”

This is a short blog, getting me back into the swing, and sharing tonight’s dinner of ‘mac’ and cheese, with the ‘mac’ part (of course) cauliflower. The initial recipe is here: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, giving you comfort food and veggies in one dish. I’m just cooking for myself and I’ve found a 12 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower is more than sufficient for several meals. So I played with this a bit, reduced the extra ingredients, tossed the frozen cauli into the microwave while I was heating up the cream and cheeses…yeah, cheeses, I raided all those partial bits of cheese in the drawer, and decided to substitute Brie for the cream cheese (I’m thinking in terms of a low carb cheese cake for me and friends, so I want to hold on to the cream cheese, plus the Brie had been in the drawer for a while) Of course I added chopped green chilies! Unfortunately I was too hungry to stop for pictures, but here it is with a serving (or so) removed: 081

Was it good? Well heck yeah! Would I recommend it for people on low carb? You bet, and also people who just want ‘better’ comfort food.

We’re gearing up for the Saluki National in June, at Purina Farms. Yes, I’m entered. In fact I’m going to debut the Fire Dragon in Agility…and now I have something else to tell you about, next blog.

Happy yummies!



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Family Values at the Holidays…Anna Blake

Family Values at the Holidays.. Anna Blake, fellow writer and horsewoman extraordinaire, shares a glimpse into her non horse life, with a family that is not nearly as in tune with her as she deserves. For that matter as we all deserve. We don’t expect our families to share our passions but we would certainly like it if they tried to understand.

I’ve been fortunate, with a family liking animals though not all as intensely animal oriented as I became, and I’ve no doubt they have spent a lot of time over coffee or beer sharing Monica stories and shaking their heads. But even when they don’t “get” my obsessions about dogs, especially these silly skinny running fools, they do get that the dogs matter to me.  And also that more than once the dogs have helped me hold onto my sanity, or whatever is left of it.

My Family, a few years back!

My Family, a few years back!

We have our birth families, and those families we’ve made for ourselves. Often the second set is far closer to us but once in a while if we’re really really lucky, the same people are in both families. I feel exceptionally blessed since I gained a huge new subset of family when Tom and I married, and they remain in my extended family set.

As much as we bemoan the Internet for how it seems to depersonalize relationships, most of us have met new people with whom we’ve clicked through that time sucking medium, and are the better for it. As we head into a new year with potentially frightening possibilities, we know our families, whether close enough to touch, or only a keyboard away, will be with us on this journey, as we will be with them.

Some of my Saluki family

Some of my Saluki family

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Where Have I Been?

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.

Okay, not quite to London and no I didn’t see the Queen, at least not the one we think of. Physically I made the trek to Lompoc CA which is geographically on the California coast, roughly between Santa Barbara and San Francisco. For those who live with and

Moochie, photo by Jane Taylor

Moochie, photo by Jane Taylor



for and through their Sighthounds, Lompoc is a destination to achieve at least once in their lifetime. When we lived in California, the end of July was reserved for the Sighthound gathering; at one time the event was held at UCSB, and Tom wanted us married before we showed up there together. Which is why I could remember our anniversary, not to mention his sister stitched a lovely reminder for me.

Since moving to New Mexico we made the trek to Lompoc twice. What had been a two hour was now to a twenty hour trip, so the decision was not as automatic as it had been, totally impossible for the last few years. But this July marked a significant anniversary for one of the Saluki clubs, and there would be at least two hundred of this lovely breed there every day. Not to mention one of the shows would be dedicated to Tom so it was also an emotional trip.










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Welcome to What Time is it Anyway Season

I have a very dear friend with a killer work schedule who revels in Daylight Savings Time since it means she’ll get to see the sun at least once a day. Since I do love her, when we talk I try to be cheerful about time changes. It’s not as if I’m tied to a clock myself these days.  Getting UP relates to getting the dogs out more than any specific time constraint.  Though I gotta tell you, Salukis are far less likely to listen to excuses!

Come PLAY with us...this was in 2010,sadly nowhere near this much snow now

Come PLAY with us…this was in 2010,sadly nowhere near this much snow now

Doesn’t help that the day started out dark and next thing you know these white flakes started to float out of the sky.  Snow’s great if you get enough to help the water table but I’m afraid this is only going to be enough to restrict outside activity and not enough to help out the drought.  Sigh.  But it is pretty and South Mountain looks wonderful with a shawl of snow.

At the LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) meeting yesterday we got to listen to Clifton Chadwick read excerpts from fabulously written books while Sara Hanberry Baker led us in some introspective and sometimes wild discussion.  I’d love to link to their blogs but neither seems to have one.  However LERA does! If you haven’t checked out our fabulous chapter, take a few seconds when you can.  We have a superior blog (wow, proud much?)

Belonging to LERA is inspiring, especially when Darynda Jones and Robin Perini make it to the meeting.  Name dropping anyone?  We have over 50% published so there’s a lot of names to drop, which I’ll be doing in the next few blogs, especially when these wildly successful ladies share their secrets.  From Darynda we learned about Write or Die, a no nonsense writing prompt that sounds worse than a spouse nagging.  I’ve downloaded, and will let you know what happened.

Since I had such a large group of taste testers I tried out a lwo carb peanut butter pie recipe I’d been playing with. I was told not to change a thing.  Cool!


First the crust, standard Almond Flour. I found quite a few and will probably be trying others, especially the one with cream cheese

1 and 1/2 cups almond meal or almond flour; 3 tablespoons melted butter; 1/2 cup or so cocoa powder…not hot chocolate mix, this is just ground cocoa…I get mine from Trader Joes’s; Artificial sweetener equal to 3 tablespoons sugar-used very little sweetener, maybe 2 Tbsp of a sugar alcohol sweetener, like Erythritol.

Heat oven to 350 F. Melt the butter (if the pie pan is microwave safe, melt the butter in it) and mix the ingredients up in the pan and pat into place with your fingertips.  Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust is beginning to brown. After 8 minutes, check every minute or so, because once it starts to brown it goes quickly.

The filling, really simple:

One 8 oz block of cream cheese; One cup natural peanut butter (that’s just ground peanuts, again from Trader Joe’s);
One cup heavy cream; 1/4 cup sweetener (if sweeteners bother you, then about 1/2 cup sugar, I’d suggest one of the

The full sized pie was scarfed up, fortunately I made an extra for a friend.

The full sized pie was scarfed up, fortunately I made an extra for a friend.

yummy raw sugars).  This was pulled together from various recipes.  I tossed the cream cheese, PB, and sweetener in one bowl and blended; put the heavy cream in another bowl and whipped it into submission. Then fold them together.  In the future I’ll look at various directions more carefully and add the sweetener to the cream.  It still came out yummy.

Now, I’ve yet to find a sweetener that doesn’t leave a burny after taste in my mouth and I’m thinking for something decadent like this I might use some good raw sugar instead.  Debating, but if I slide from Low Carb to Paleo, which allows a bit more in the vegetable department, artificial ingredients are not on the menu.

I have a line on some local organic vegetables and my mouth is saying “bacon is great but I could really go for some more veggies please!”  I’ll let you know how that works out.

In the meantime, enjoy Daylight Savings Time, hug your loved ones no matter how many legs they have, and keep writing.


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Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood…why not?

I spent last weekend pretty much hiding out from reality.  Added to my usual issues, I had convinced myself one of my dogs was in dire straits though the symptoms were mild at worst.  In a time honored tradition of avoiding what I can’t face, I did nothing all weekend but read, my lap filled with snuggling Salukis.  I caught up on some of my long time favorite authors, and indulged in new ones.  And I came to realize one of the more popular characteristics for a hero (or heroine) is to be misunderstood.

Think of Clint Eastwood’s wandering cowboy, kicking off a long series of taciturn heroes with mysteries just waiting to be solved by the right partner. Rhett Butler certainly comes to mind, as well as Rick Blaine (Casablanca) In Romance books, Laura Kinsale has given us a multitude of maligned, misunderstood leading men and women. More recently Eileen Dreyer’s “Drake’s Rakes” as well as Jennifer Ashley’s wild and mysterious Mackenzie brothers portray the heroes of a thousand mysterious layers.

Sometimes we as readers know more about the hero than the other characters…do you find yourself wanting to shake the heroine for not understanding what’s really happening?  Or do you want to Gibbs slap the hero for keeping such secrets when he knows how much she’s hurting?

Ah, emotional overload, the true reason I read and write Romance. Think about it, how many of us would devour book after book if everyone got along and no one hid secrets (other than presents or surprise parties) for more than a few days? Lady Macbeth would have been a sweet granny in the corner if she hadn’t let such deep dark secrets fester in her soul. Would we even remember the play without her secrets?

Thinking about this made me realize I was being far too nice to my people.  Much better to have them nobly misunderstood for 90% of the book until all is revealed to cap off the Happily Ever After. Back to the drawing board for more emotional torture.  This is going to call for serious nutritional support. Might even need to break out the dark chocolate with almonds.  Oh, the sacrifices we make for our muse.

On a lighter note I visited with  Terry Odell earlier this week, talking about, of all things, misunderstandings in song lyrics. It gave me a great walk down memory lane, you might have fun yourself.

Who’s your favorite misunderstood character?



My dog?  She’s not at all misunderstood. X-rays showed soft tissue injury. But she’s definitely enjoying the extra attention.


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