Diane Sawyer My Newsletter/Blog # 24 July/August

Diane Sawyer Portrait

Hello to all my loyal newsletter readers and welcome to my new readers and to those who changed email addresses and contacted me with an update. I hope all of you enjoy this July-August 2015 edition.

Fondly,

Diane Sawyer

Writing News

Montauk Mystery Montauk Steps Tomoka Mystery Cinderella Murders Montauk Cave

The very latest news: Amazon’s marketing specialists continue their special promotions of my 5 novels. And that is very good news. Happy Reading!
Previous news: My web site address is http://dianewsawyer.com   (Note that the middle initial “w” must be included to avoid confusion with Diane Sawyer, the newscaster.)

Please visit my web site and share my enthusiasm for my friend Roy Baker and his expertise in setting up everything and including his gorgeous photo of a sunset at Lake Maggiore, near my home. All the previous blog/newsletters are there and this one will soon join them. The hardcover, paperback and e-book editions of my novels are available on Amazon and other on-line sites—and you can even get to them directly via my web site by clicking on the photo of the book cover. That Roy, my web designer, is so clever. Happy Reading!

This and That

You have my friend Barry to thank for both Noah’s Ark and Lexophile which follow.

“Everything I need to know I learned from Noah’s Ark.”

1. Don’t miss the boat.
2. Remember we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
4. Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
5. Don’t listen to critics. Just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. When you’re stressed, float a while.
10. Remember, the ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic, by professionals.

Lexophile is a word that describes a person who loves words (maybe a play on words is more accurate). Here’s an example: You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish. Another example: To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
I’m going to subject you to 6 in this newsletter and 6 in each of 2 future newsletters.

1. When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
2. A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
3. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A. (my personal favorite)
4. The batteries were given out free of charge.
5. A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
6. A will is a dead giveaway.

 

Travel

Gibraltar

Going stir crazy during countless rainy days here in Florida, I went through my travel albums, intending to organize them. Instead, I fell in love all over again with the places I’ve visited, and gave up any thought of ever organizing travel memories. Tucked away with photos and notes about Spain (what a gorgeous, historic, and fascinating country) were my postcards from Gibraltar (a wonderful alternative to photos). Memories flooded back about my visit to Gibraltar, a destination included in my tour of Spain, and I would like to share some of them with you. But first a few facts: Gibraltar, a British colony and fortress, covering only 2.6 square miles, is perched on the Rock of Gibraltar. The populated city area at the foot of the Rock is home to 30,000 Gibraltarians. The Rock, composed of Jurassic limestone, and visible from 62 miles away, forms the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean.

The view from the water is impressive as your gaze travels from a point along the 7.5-mile shoreline up rugged rock cliffs which stretch 1,398 feet toward the sky. At night, the buildings of Catalan Bay, a little fishing village on the coast, are lit up and sparkle in the night sky. The street lamps along the village promenade overlooking the bay are bathed in foggy light and give off a spectral glow. Roads that climb the Rock toward the upper area, a nature reserve inhabited mainly by apes (actually wild monkeys), reveal a scattering of lights that cut through the darkness, creating a mysterious effect.

Several modes of transportation can be seen on or near the Rock. Ships anchor in Gibraltar Harbor. A ferry line goes to Tangier, Morocco. Cruise ships choose Gibraltar as a port of call. Locals favor motorcycles for their daily transportation as they zip past some of the 500 different species of flowering plants and olive and pine trees which thrive in the sub-tropical climate.

Opportunities abound for tourists. The one-page leaflet I saved, complete with a map features the following: The Great Siege Tunnels, Moorish Castle, Museum, Cable Car, the Rock Apes (isn’t that a great name for a rock group?) St. Michael’s Cave, Europa Point, the Marinas, City Center, Dolphin Tours, the Convent, Trafalgar Cemetery, the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, Parson’s Lodge, and Shrine of Our Lady of Europe and Museum. As it turned out, I didn’t choose any of them. When we arrived by bus, land traffic approaching the City Center was snarled (drivers, by the way, drive on the right side of the road) and our bus waited in a long line before parking. Time was limited. What I could see on my own outdoors in the fresh air appealed to me and several others in our group, so we chose to wander around, soak up the atmosphere, talk to local people, sample the national dish called calentita (a baked bread-like dish) and appreciate the views from many perspectives. It was a wonderful experience. Those who took the tours raved about them. It was fun hearing about the variety of experiences in such a small place.

Most amazing of all was the opportunity to observe and contemplate the extraordinariness of a world existing on a rock, where a population with a long and diverse history took root; a population whose ethnic origins and cuisine included not only British and Spanish, but also Genovese, Maltese, Portuguese, German, Jewish, Moroccan, and Indian. My conclusion? Gibraltar pointed out why so many of us choose to travel. It is to see a world that at first glance appear so unlike our own, in this case the United States, a vast country with superhighways and wide-open spaces. Yet in retrospect the country we just visited often resembles our world too. In this case, a diverse population and friendly people with a zest for life. That’s reason enough to plan a trip to somewhere we have never been. Happy Travels!

Cooking Delights

I recently discovered a wonderful cook book at a library book sale near where I live. I was hooked when I saw the table of contents and thought about the variety of cooks who read my newsletters. Some of you have told me how much you enjoy the recipes that I include, and you really appreciate the simple ones. So to please you (you know who you are) I looked for REALLY SIMPLE recipes and came up with two.

Super-Easy Coleslaw

Combine a 16-oz package coleslaw; an 8-oz. bottle coleslaw dressing; and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss and serve!

Easy Carrots

1 pound carrots, 1/3 cup golden raisins, ½ cup honey, 2 tbsp. butter or margarine.

Scrape carrots, cut into ½ inch slices, and cook in boiling water 10 minutes. Drain, return carrots to saucepan. Add raisins, honey, and butter. Cook over low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve!

And now for something a bit more complicated: Greek Salad for 8

What makes this particular Greek Salad special is that all the veggies are chopped to approximately the same size, so that they all receive equal amounts of the dressing. It’s delicious! (Make sure to rinse, dry, and remove seeds from all veggies before chopping.) You can substitute your own home-made dressing if you prefer, with olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar or both.

Veggies: I head romaine lettuce; 2 large tomatoes; 3 medium peppers—1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange (or 12 mini sweet peppers, mixed colors); 1 red onion; 1 cucumber.

Other ingredients: 1 cup crumbled feta cheese; 1 6-oz can pitted black olives ; as much as needed of a 9-oz bottle of Ken’s olive oil & vinegar light options dressing; salt & pepper to taste;1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp. fresh oregano; 2 squirts of lemon juice.

Directions: Just before serving, combine veggies and cheese in a large bowl. Shake salad dressing and pour over salad; add salt, pepper, dried oregano and lemon juice; toss and serve.

Confession time: Last weekend I served this salad to my family to test it out. Everyone loved it. I put the recipe in my “keeper file.” The next day I discovered that the onion I had chopped and stored in the fridge, had remained in the fridge and never ended up in the salad bowl. So, if you don’t have onions on hand or you don’t like onions, feel free to omit them. I can’t say if the onions would improve the salad or not. There’s something to be said for not messing with success. I’m not going to tempt fate and add onions to any future Greek salads. That’s all I’m saying.

Bon appétit!

Fondly, Diane

@ Copyright 2015 by Diane Sawyer. All rights reserved.

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