My Updated Website & What I’ve Learned

I have added several new pages to my new website, changed the colors, added more photos and, in general, given it my best shot so far with my current skill level in website design (read: minimal – moderate). I am still baffled by how to connect this to a Google search so it’s actually helpful to my writing coach business, but I guess I will slowly figure this out. If anyone has a WIX website and knows the answer to that question, please contact me in the Comments Section. I have been trying to unravel that mystery for several days now to no avail.

Alas, I am ready for a second unveiling for those of you who are willing to give this a look-see and offer feedback.

The address is:

Lessons from Creating My Own Website:

1) Yikes, this is not very easy.
2) Good grief, shouldn’t I have hired someone to do this for me?
3) Dear Lord help me figure out how to connect this to Google and other search engines.
4) Why didn’t I use a WordPress website since that’s where my blog is?
5) Do I now need to create a website for our estate business? Probably. Should I use WordPress? Holy s–t, you mean after all the work I just did learning how to use the WIX site?
6) Do you really think having a website is that important anyway?
7) Again, calling for help on how to connect my website to actual search engines.
8) Will I be 80 before this thing is actually up, running and useful?
9) I do feel fairly proud that I did this all by myself.
10) I guess time will tell if a website is useful. The good news is that whether it’s tied to search engines or not, I actually really do now have one. Hooray.

Okay, on that note, I’ll close. Again, any feedback will be helpful.

Hope everyone is having a good Sunday. Angelenos and Texans, I hope you are all staying out of the heat.

Talk tomorrow.


Heatwave in LA

LA is experiencing a heat wave and it’s been tough on all of us. The temperatures over the past few days have been high. Yesterday is was 97 degrees; today close to 95. Plus the humidity has been up so the heat feels even hotter. Add to the mix all the asphalt from the roads and the concrete buildings all over the city and it suddenly becomes one big radiating mess. One of the women I know said that the temperature INSIDE her apartment was 95 degrees yesterday and only cooled down to 90 at 11 last night.

Many of us don’t have air conditioning because most of the year it is not needed or else we only have an air conditioner in the bedroom. Ray and I are in that category. Today and yesterday, we had work that required being in other parts of our house. It was fine earlier in the day, but by mid-afternoon as the western sun was beating down on the west side of the house, the downstairs got pretty unbearable. Today was the same. Luckily, we’ve had the option to head up to the one cool room in the house; many others don’t have that choice.

I believe the heat wave is due to break either tomorrow or the next day. I hope so. Many Angelinos suffer in extreme heat, especially those who have no money for extra resources. Hopefully, we’ll get some relief soon. Head for the beaches, folks.  They will be crowded, but at least there’s the cool ocean breeze and the water.

Take care. I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.

FULLERTON CA, AUGUST 8, 2012:  Fullerton locals were  cooling off in the Spray Pool at Lemon Park in Fullerton on August 8, 2012 while the temperature was around 95 degrees. A heat wave will maintain its grip over the Southland today, sending valley temperature past the century mark, but the humidity will be lower than forecast, meaning the heat won't be quite as oppressive as had been expected, forecasters said. (Glenn Koenig/ Los Angeles Times)

A Busy, But Fulfilling Day

It is 11:28 pm and I have had a very long day. I had my writing friend here at 8 this morning. We wrote for 1 1/2 hours together. This was, of course, wonderful since we are both excited to have a designated time to work on our works-in-progress.

For much of the rest of the day, Ray and I did work related to our estate business. This is also satisfying because this is work that needs to get done and we both felt good that we are moving forward as we should.

This evening, I participated in a writing group. We discussed the writing that we’re involved in and critiqued each other’s work.

Then, I had a late night student with whom I was working on a school writing project. This was more editing on my part then writing. I was simply helping my student shape his work to read stronger and clearer.

Now it’s almost midnight and I am heading to bed. I am up early to head over and pick up granddaughter Luna who will be spending part of her day with Grandma and Grandpa. She will play while we work nearby. That will be fun for all of us.

On that note, I’ll bid you good night. I hope you’ve had a happy day.

We’ll be talking again tomorrow.


Revisiting Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers – A 5-Star Recipe

This is a great recipe for a turkey burger.  It comes from Cook’s Country Magazine, which is part of America’s Test Kitchen and I can guarantee this is one seriously excellent burger.

The Fried Onion Burger (FOB) apparently originated during the Depression in El Reno, Oklahoma, which is 25 miles from Oklahoma City. Mashing onions into the burgers allowed the cooks to use less meat. However, I must say that the flavor that you get from these burgers makes up for any meat you might not use.

Let me know if you try it.  I’d love to hear your impressions.

Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers

1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/8 inch thick
salt and pepper
12 oz 85 percent lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 T unsalted butter
1 tsp vegetable oil
4 slices of American cheese
4 hamburger buns, buttered and toasted

1. Combine onion and 1 tsp salt in a bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a colander and let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Using tongs, transfer onion to clean dish towel, gather edges and squeeze onion dry. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp pepper.

2. Divide onion mixture into 4 separate mounds on a rimmed baking sheet. Form beef (or turkey) into 4 lightly packed balls and season with salt and pepper. Place beef/turkey balls on top of onion mounds and flatten firmly so that the onion adheres and patties measure 4 inches in diameter.

3. Melt butter with oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Using spatula, transfer patties to skillet, onion side down, and cook until onion is deep golden brown and beginning to crisp around the edges, 6-8 minutes. Flip burgers, increase their heat to high and cook until well browned on the 2nd side, about 2 minutes. Place 1 slice of cheese on each bottom bun. Place burgers on buns, add desired toppings and serve.

I served these with rosemary roasted potatoes. This was a great side dish for these burgers. Yum.


Our Visitor Tonight: Daughter Liz

Liz came over for dinner tonight. Ron is off in Argentina with his Spanish class and that left her a little more free to make the trek over from Glendale after work. I made her one of her favorite meals: noodles with homemade tomato sauce. The fact that my children were fed this meal every night literally for years makes me wonder why any of them would want it now. However, all three of my girls have told me that spaghetti or noodles with my tomato sauce is one of their primary comfort foods – it reminds them of home. I will just take that as a compliment and leave it at that.

Liz is the new coordinator of the Glendale Adventist Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, which is where her sister, Sarah, is working as a resident. This gives these sisters a chance to see each other at least a day or two a week at work, plus Liz lives really close to her new work so the family can rendezvous at her apartment when we are returning Luna to her mother after keeping her at our house. (Liz’s place is closer for us than Sarah’s). So, all is well in the employment department for Liz.

Tonight we just sat and caught up on all the news related to work and home over the past couple of weeks.

Thank you, Liz, for making the trek over. It was lovely to see you.
Send our best to Ron when you talk to him. Tell him to have lots of fun.

Talk soon, folks. It is time for bed.


Arrived Late This Evening in Ojai

We have come up to Ojai tonight to avoid getting up at 5 am to come in the morning. We need to mark off the trees we do not want to be picked; the pickers will be arriving bright and early Wednesday. (We mark off a few trees every year for our personal use.). We will only be here for the morning tomorrow since we need to get back home in time to attend to work there. Still, an overnight here somehow feels like a good week anywhere else so we both know it is well worth the trip. 

According to a website I just checked, the moon is in the waxing Gibbous phase with 67% illumination. It is true that it is pretty bright.  Ray and I were able to walk around the orange grove with little help from flashlights. The moon makes everything look soft and shadowy. Not in a scary way but rather in a muted way. Without the moon, the night here is very dark since there are no city lights. Of course that means the stars can be pretty spectacular. 

This newly arrived Airstream of ours is making these quick trips very easy. All we have to do is grab the dogs, a few clothes and a little food and we are all set to leave LA. Once here, we can be settled in a matter of minutes. Ah, the luxury. Here is what I am looking at right now:

Let me just assure you this is a major upgrade from the 1953 Spartan Manor which is our other accommodation here at the orange grove.  Not that I don’t love that Spartan. We have had countless happy times within those walls, believe me. 

Okay, I am now off to bed. I look forward to a very quiet night. 

Hope you all are feeling happy tonight. 

We will talk tomorrow. 

The Soothing Comfort of Leonard Cohen

I am listening to “The Essential Leonard Cohen,” and I can feel a distinct difference in my stress level beginning with the first song and continuing through to the last. With each successive song, I find my shoulders relaxing more and more and my mood lightening. Of course, some of this is because I love the words of this master poet, especially combined with music. Also, I connect some of these songs to positive memories from my past. Also, Cohn, now in his 80’s, has a raspy voice, which is also soothing.

Here’s one of Cohn’s songs that is one of my all-time favorites, Anthem. The video on this is awesome, by the way.

I have been to two of Leonard Cohen’s concerts in recent years and I must say they were fabulous. This is exactly how this song was performed.

If you are feeling stressed, I would recommend listening to a little Leonard Cohen. You may find yourself breathing deeper and relaxing like I do.

Have a good evening, my friends. Sleep well. Monday is coming up.

We’ll talk tomorrow.