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own up to what you’ve done

Something has happened.

One of you did something and I am asking that you step up and take responsibility for your actions.

I know, with certainty that it was one of you! No one, absolutely no one else, but one of my readers could have known and done what you did.

I know this because one of you did something after you read about a situation that was ongoing, and you read it about it here.

Please step forward and admit it, to not just me, but to all of us.

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April 19, 2014   No Comments

Friday funnies


Not much to add to this one, it was 98 degrees on April 10, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. It should be about 84 degrees!  #toosoon  #notready  #wedontneednorecordheat


I know I’ve said it before, but I swear I spend 39% of my life looking for things I’ve put “somewhere” in my house.



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April 11, 2014   No Comments

Friday funnies

The Friday funnies this week have a theme.


This is what I would have said if you asked me how my day went either of the last two days.

dads house

That is because for the last two days, two full days, I spent all day at my dad’s house cleaning. My dad is a hoarder. He hoards recyclable items; plastic storage bags, plastic grocery bags, paper bags, boxes, sour cream and the like containers, frozen food containers, rubber bands, junk mail, etc.

12 seconds

He is spending three days and nights at his church on a Lenten retreat. The only time I can get in and successfully clean his house is when he is away. Otherwise, he watches me like a hawk and argues with everything I try to get rid of.


So, cleaning is the theme today…. yeah, good times!

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April 4, 2014   6 Comments

more birthday wishes

Two of my dear friends are celebrating their birthday today. Here are the most recent photos I have of them….

amy scott

Amy, with her husband Scott, at our Progressive Dinner on March 1st. Cutest couple ever!

37 1-2 weeks

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March 21, 2014   No Comments

Happy Birthday, my friend

Happy Birthday


That is “Happy Birthday” in Japanese. You are in Tokyo and I am in Barcelona. That is even farther apart than we usually are, 6,470 miles.  When I’m in Arizona, it’s only 5,800 miles.

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March 12, 2014   1 Comment


Remember the Twins Baby Shower I had in January for my friend, Tram?

Tram and Steve had their TWINS yesterday!

Sweet Tram sent me a text at 2:06 AM on Monday morning saying, “MY WATER JUST BROKE!!! Heading to hospital soon!!”

I already had an alarm set for 4:15 AM since I had to get ready to board the flight to Barcelona, Spain via Philly that morning.

When I landed in Philly, I sent a text to Steve, asking what was happening… and he responded with this photo and

Z &Z

“Zak first then Zoey- 4:04 & 4:05 AM  weighing in at 5.7 and 5.8 pounds.”

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March 11, 2014   4 Comments

Friday Q & A

This is the third installment of my Friday Q & A, also know as “Questions from Lori & Answers from Linda.”


Myself, Lori and Amy

If you recall, my sweet and dearly missed friend, Lori, asked me four detailed questions when I first challenged all of you to pose them to me. Lori stepped up to the plate and I’ve already answered the first and then the second.  This is the hardest of the four, but I don’t want to shrink from the task at hand any longer.

Lori and her adorable husband, Jonathan, have been doing business and living in Tokyo, Japan since September 2012. Lori is fabulous cook and had the most gorgeous, huge, well-equipped, workable and enviable kitchen imaginable when they lived here in Scottsdale.

lori kitchen

This is Lori’s Tokyo kitchen!  Can you imagine? When I wrote about how much of a closet Marissa’s San Francisco kitchen was, Lori wrote to say that she envied it, now you can see why!  Here is what Lori emailed me at the time:

“I have attached pictures of our charming little Tokyo kitchenette. And when I say “charming” – I use that term in the loosest of senses . .  . the charm quickly wore off … and we are left bumping into each other, cursing at each other and are at our wits end to figure out what to cook on our 2 miniscule burner cook top. 

No oven (regular, toaster or otherwise) but a decent microwave, but little else to work with in terms of pots, pans or cooking implements. And clean-up! Did you see the size of that dishwasher?  Although I have to say it is very àpropos given the fact that we have exactly 4 plates, 4 salads, 4 glasses and cereal bowls. 

So, with information and visuals in hand- what the heck would you cook here?  Oh-and of course I forgot to mention, there is no access to “normal” foods, spices, condiments, etc. So, Miss Linda – if you were in my slippers and kimono what would you do?”

The exact question Lori put forth on that Friday, three weeks ago, was this:

Is there a way or rule of thumb to adapt any recipes for the oven to a microwave? I literally never used the microwave except for re-heating in the US, and sadly that is all I have to use here in Japan (along with my tiny stove-top).

glam microwave lady

My problem is that, I too, only use the microwave to thaw, melt and reheat food. I do not use it to cook with. I had to turn to the internet for help. Then I tested the theories on a few small items, a chicken breast, a rice casserole, and a piece of salmon. I found all the hints and tricks below to be spot on. Lori, I hope this helps and I hope that while you’re visiting here in the States, you’ll pick up a microwave cookbook and then experiment on your own when you get back to Japan. Please keep me (us) posted on any successes and on the failures too! You have a knack for writing amazingly hilarious “fail” stories!

pretty microwave lady

Here are my Dozen best tips for Microwave Cookery

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February 28, 2014   No Comments

Friday Q & A

Last Friday, I answered a question that a follower emailed to me. I said that if any of you had questions for me, I’d answer them on future Fridays. Today is future Friday #1.

The only questions came from my dear friend and former neighbor, Lori, who is now living in Tokyo, Japan with her husband, Jonathan. In fact, Lori asked four questions and I will tackle one the of them today.

vento family

Here is Lori and Jonathan with their beautiful daughter, Kylie. I swiped this photo from Kylie’s Facebook page, I’m hoping none of them mind. :-)   Lori’s question:


“You and I talked about this before. If you were going to take me shopping @ Trader Joe’s . . . . . . what are their top products in your mind, that you use all the time and are consistently delicious and versatile? Basically what are your “go-to’s” that you simply can’t leave the store without?”


That is an easy question to answer but so extremely hard to narrow down. Girl, I could go on all day! We shall start with these frozen garlic cubes. I panic if I don’t have at least 2 boxes in my freezer at all times.


Right when you walk into my neighborhood Trader Joe’s – you run into the produce and cheese area.


In my opinion, Trader Joe’s is the numero uno place to buy cheese. It is inexpensive, it doesn’t sit on the shelf long because everyone knows TJ’s is the best place to buy cheese, so it’s always fresh. And there is great variety.


Two of the produce items that I will only buy at Trader Joe’s are arugula and


Belgium endive.


Raisin Rosemary Crisps. They taste exactly like Raincoast Crisps, but are less than half the price. TJ’s Crisps are $3.99 a box, whereas a box of Raincoast costs $9.99!


Actually all the crackers are yummy and inexpensive.

best aisle

Here’s my favorite aisle in the entire store. It has…


Fire Roasted Red Peppers








Grains and pastas

olive oil

Olive oil, and so much more! And on the opposite side of the same aisle…

dried fruit

Dried fruits and…


Nuts. So many kinds of nuts.

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February 14, 2014   4 Comments

Friday Q & A

Instead of the usual Friday Funnies, today we’re going to do a Friday Question and Answer. A loyal blog follower emailed me and asked:


Q: Linda, do you always cook your family dinners from scratch or do you sometimes buy ready-made dinners?

A: Of course, I buy ready-made! And we order take-out and delivery pizza and I cheat, not just sometimes, but often enough.

Trader Joes bag

Last night for instance… after a long day working on the upstairs with Connor, we ran into Trader Joe’s and picked up a “quick cheaters” meal.

Allow me to explain. For an entire week, the two of us have been working on cleaning out and changing up the upstairs area of our house.


Upstairs there is a linen closet and five rooms; Marissa’s bedroom, a bathroom, Dave’s office, Connor’s bedroom and a big room that we’ve always called “The Playroom.”

playroom doors

When I say big, I’m talking about a rectangular 26 feet long by 19 feet wide room without closets or other cutout areas. Just four walls, 2 windows, 1 sliding glass door that leads to the deck, and double doors that open into it. There is so much potential for that room, now that a “playroom” is no longer needed.

More on what we’ve been cleaning out and changing up later. The point is – I was too tired to make a homemade meal after all that work and heavy lifting. So while we were in Trader Joe’s, I asked Connor what he wanted for dinner. He said, “Noodles.”

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February 7, 2014   4 Comments

Friday Funnies are back…

… it’s been six weeks since our last Friday Funnies. That’s five weeks too long!

for fun

This is how the three men in my life; my husband, son and dad see me.

Whereas, this is how I’ve been feeling lately ….

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January 31, 2014   No Comments