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MaryJoPutney
Author. Traveler. Cat lover. Introvert.
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by Mary Jo The holiday season is a busy time, but the Wenches never stop reading! Here are some books we've enjoyed recently. From Pat Rice: For over-the-top emotion and a well-written circus that would make a perfect Bollywood film, try A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR by Sonali Dev. Strictly speaking, this is women’s fiction, but it’s also Bollywood, so you know among the tragedy and unrequited love is a happy ending. We have the intrepid young woman from India, married at the age of five but never having met her husband after the wedding day, who fights all odds to gain... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Word Wenches
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Ridiculous amounts of snow! Yes, that's Syracuse. *G*
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on That Winter in Wales at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I was doing some research reading and came across a sentence saying that in days long gone, the typical breakfast for most people was was cooked grain mixtures. I looked at that and thought, "Hello, oatmeal! And its cousin, corn flakes!" Which led me into reflecting on how some things travel down through the centuries, maybe with variations but the underlying food is the same. (Picture below is a German breakfast buffet from Wikipedia by Torsten Seiler from Cologne, Germany) Breakfast means literally to "break our fast"--eating after the hours of sleep. In places where people do... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2016 at Word Wenches
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By Mary Jo Terroir has nothing to do with terror, horror movies, or upcoming Halloween. Instead, terroir is a French word derived from Latin "terra" and French "terre" meaning the earth. Most often it's used to refer to the natural conditions of soil, sun, weather, climate, et al, that produce specific flavors in food and drink. In other words, it's the agricultural version of "we are what we eat." We all more or less know this even if we don't think about it much, but in wine cultivation, terroir is an important concept. I might add that I am no... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2016 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo Last week I wrote about our safari to Botswana, which was a great getaway with pampering and fine food and lovely, hospitable people. But even though tales of Tarzan and amazing wildlife loom large in our imagination, safaris and elephants are only a tiny portion of the vast, ancient, and diverse continent of Africa. Which is why today I want to talk a bit about modern Africa. In particular, I want to talk about Johannesburg, a world class city and one of Africa's major hubs. We spent almost a week in "Jozi," partly because it was the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2016 at Word Wenches
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Stephanie, we were gone 18 days, which is not insignificant. It was a great trip but I missed my cats!!!
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Andrea, you'll love it! I'm working on how to get an elephant into one of my Regencies, but it won't be easy. *G*
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Dee, we're lucky that all our African experiences have been lovely, but I can see where a bad one would be very off-putting. You live in such a lovely place that there is no need for more travel!
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Sue, how interesting!! Giraffes are gentle herbivores, but they are very large and very strange, so it's not surprising that they could freak out a very small child. But you were safe in your father's arm, which makes it a lovely memory.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Annette, thanks for the kind words. Part of the fun is sharing the experience with others.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Mary T, like you, I loved the cats most of all. The lions were laid back and the leopard was busily hunting for lunch and ignoring us. Lovely to watch them.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Faith, I think the Mayhem consultant and I were just born with the travel gene. Such fun to visit far-off places!
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Teresa, giraffes are gentle herbivores--but they have a kick that can kill a lion if they're attacked. Do not mess with giraffes!
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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A safari in Botswana may sound exotic and dangerous, but it's only exotic. Not dangerous at all!
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Laura, you're very welcome. I love showing my vacation pictures.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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Molly, I'm glad you enjoyed my brief account. It was so lovely and different!
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2016 on Seeing the Elephant at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo On September 8th, late in the evening, I pressed "Send" to email the manuscript of Once a Rebel to my editor. And the next morning we flew to Africa. I wrote 7K words that last day in order to have a semblance of an ending. I do not recommend this. <G> But the safari in Botswana was wonderful. Nothing like going off the grid when you've just finished a book! I'd had no particular awareness of Botswana until I read the first No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith. Born in what is now... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2016 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo It's Labor Day, and I'm laboring. <G> I need to complete a late book in the next few days (there's a plague of that amongst the Wenches!) so that means typing as fast as my inaccurate fingers can manage and hoping it makes sense. After I've transferred the book from my computer to my editor's, I shall quietly slink off the grid for a couple of weeks and not look at any electronic screens and not labor at all. The labor of many, many people is what has built civilization and as such, it's well worth celebrating... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2016 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I’ve been thinking about writing a piece on procrastination for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to it…. Okay, I couldn’t resist saying that. <G> In fact, this blog is a reboot of one I wrote in 2010. I'm deadline crazed so decided to pull up a golden oldie, and when I saw this on the list, I knew it was perfect! I've been a serious practitioner of procrastination for as long as I can remember, I never thought much about it, other than experiencing the usual guilt. Then I read ah article from New Yorker called... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2016 at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo A few days ago, the Mayhem Consultant and I watched a movie we both loved: The Finest Hours. Based on the book by the same name by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman), it's the true story of an insanely brave Coast Guard rescue that took place in a vicious nor'easter storm that took place off Cape Cod in 1952. (Released in January 2016, the movie didn't make much impact, but it deserves to be seen.) The storm was so violent that it broke two tanker ships in half near Cape Cod. Both were cheaply built WWII... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2016 at Word Wenches
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Ooooh, chives, wonderful! I have clumps of them growing here. Not only delicious, but lovely when they bloom in last spring. And no better way to serve them than with boiled new potatoes.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2016 on Basil, sweet basil! at Word Wenches
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Sue McCormick, a budding pesto maker indeed sounds like Jayne Ann Krentz. I'm sure her descriptions were so luscious that no one could resist finding some pesto of their own. *G*
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2016 on Basil, sweet basil! at Word Wenches
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No wonder your feelings about the church are complicated! I think that reading and studying and meditating are good ways to create one's personal spiritual path.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2016 on Basil, sweet basil! at Word Wenches
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by Mary Jo I grew up in the farm country of Western New York and had a fine vegetable garden, but tomatoes were basically just another vegetable, less prized than sweet corn or squash or potatoes. There were none in my garden. In retrospect, I think that being so far north meant that tomatoes didn't grow as well as they do farther south. I formulated this theory after moving to Maryland, where tomatoes are very nearly a religion. <G> Perfect, juicy, sun-ripened Maryland tomatoes are much sought after. Locations of farm stands with great tomatoes are greedily exchanged. And where... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2016 at Word Wenches
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Today's Ask A Wench question collected by Mary Jo: "What are your work cycles? Do you prefer writing in the morning, late at night, or high noon? Are you more productive in winter, when there is less incentive to go outside, or in the summer, when you burrow into the air conditioning and might as well write? Or--is your writing rhythm all about your deadline???" Anne here: Mostly I write in the morning, though sometimes I also write in the evening. Mid-afternoon, around three, I'm pretty brain dead so I use that time to walk the dog or do housework... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2016 at Word Wenches
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