Friday, February 21, 2020


Today was a cooking day.  It was also a sunshine day and the temperatures rose through the day until it was 37 degrees when I went to knitting at 6pm.  Of course the wind kicked up so it felt like about 18 degrees but I can't be too unhappy when it's sunny.

 I did a little web surfing and found a recipe for German Spent Grain Bread or Biertreberbrot.  (I am not even going to try to pronounce that)  I'll get in touch with DS to let him know how much of the spent grains I need to rustle up a batch of this bread.  I found another interesting looking recipe so I might have to try them both.  I'll report.


This morning I baked a small spaghetti squash to have with the WW Sloppy Joe piled on it.  Man, that's tasty.  The sloppy joe sauce needs a little more tweaking but I won't push it away.

Then I had to go to the store because I was out of chicken broth and onions and wanted to make Curried Chickpeas and Rice which made the house smell wonderful. (and portioned out to six servings--hooray!) I had a hard time deciding what to eat for supper--chickpeas or sloppy joe, sloppy joe or chickpeas?  Sloppy joe won.  I'll have chickpeas tomorrow.

21 February--Barbara Malcolm, Three Cheers for Murder. 

The coroner, Dr. Sidney Lange motioned to Archibald and they move into a relatively quiet area of the room.  “I found a couple of drops of blood on the back of her tennis dress, just below the neckline.  Ask your buddy there if he’ll give me a sample of his blood for comparison.” 
Archibald shook his head.  “I don’t know how that’ll fly.  No lawyer would stand for that.” 
“Well, you can ask.  Are you charging him?  Have you read him his rights?”         
“No, not yet.  I do think we’ll take him downtown for further conversation, though.  Probably want to call a lawyer then.”  Archibald suggested, “Maybe you can ask him for a sample.  That way it’ll be your neck if there’s a problem down the road.” 
“Thanks a lot,” said Dr. Lange.
Archibald asked, “Any guess as to the weapon and how long she’s been dead?” 
“The weapon, no, although it looks a lot like the wound on Tiffany Davis last Monday.  As to how long she’d been dead before she was found, I’d say less than 30 minutes.”
“Thirty minutes!” the detective exclaimed.   “Are you kidding?  The killer must have just disappeared.  Unless he’s the one who called us.”  Det. Archibald turned to look at Lars.  “Maybe I should ask this guy a few more questions.” 
As Archibald turned to resume questioning Lars, he was interrupted by one of the uniformed policemen who’d been searching the rest of the club.  “Detective Archibald, we need you upstairs.  We found someone hiding in the bar.” 
Archibald took Graybow aside and told him to keep questioning Lars.  “The doc says she’d only been dead about 30 minutes when we got the call.  Read him his rights.  Keep after him and maybe you’ll get lucky and get a confession.”  He directed another officer to remain with Lt. Graybow and Lars.
 “Let’s go,” he ordered.  He hurried upstairs to discover that it was Kenneth Edwards, the same man found outside the boutique where Tiffy was killed.  “Edwards!  What are you doing here?”
Edwards had been handcuffed by the police.   Archibald directed the officer to remove the cuffs and they sat at one of the small tables in the bar.  The pair of officers stood together nearby, arms folded, focusing on the questioning.
“Well, I came in to pick up cans the staff saves for me and figured I’d found a warm place to sleep for the night and maybe something to eat in the kitchen.”  Edwards’ head drooped in shame.  “I’d planned to bed down on the carpet after raiding the kitchen for grub.  I wouldn’t have eaten much, Detective.”
Archibald asked, “Anybody see you come in?”
“The bartender, Roy, let me in and then he left.  Said he had a date.  I just stayed.”
“Did you hear or see anyone else?”
Edwards leaned toward the detective in an effort to make him believe him.  “I heard a tennis match and people, a man and a woman, talking on the court.  Then they left and I didn’t hear anything until Lars came in to make sure the register was closed.  He turned out the last lights and then he left too.”
“He see you?”
The suspect shook his head.  “Nah, I ducked down behind the bar over there in the corner.  It’s pretty dark over there.”
“Then what?”  Archibald asked.
“Right away there was a shout and then the sirens.  I couldn’t figure out how to get out of here, so I just hid in the storeroom.”  He pointed toward the back of the room.
They all turned to look at the closed door.  “How’d you get in there?  Wasn’t it locked?”
“No, they just close the door.  There’s only a little food and cups and plates and stuff in there.”
There was silence while Archibald considered what he’s heard.
“You know, Edwards,” he mused, “I think it’s just a little too coincidental that you turn up at two murder scenes in one week.  What say we take you to the station to continue this conversation?  There’s a nice warm cell down there you can spend the night in.”  He motioned the two officers forward to take the suspect into custody.
“Take him away,” the tired detective growled.
The officers exchanged a triumphant glance, happy to arrest someone.  They stepped forward, roughly snapped on the cuffs, muscled Edwards to his feet, and escorted him to the squad car.

And that's really all I did today, aside from tossing the sheets into the washer and dryer, sorry I don't have anything more interesting to say.

Thursday, February 20, 2020


I went outside yesterday to plug the birdbath heater back in and realized that I had to put boots on to get out there to pour water in and brush off the inches of snow that had piled up.  Imagine my surprise when snow got in my boots.  It was way deeper than I thought it'd be and way softer so I sunk down into the snow thereby allowing it to get into my boots and get my socks wet.  No fun.

It didn't take long for the birds to realize that the open water was back.  This Mourning Dove came to perch on the sole remaining crook out back and even stayed there long enough for me to snap its picture.

I knitted the last February Preemie Hat yesterday.  It's a micro preemie size (fits on a clementine) and boggles my mind that a tiny baby with that small of a head survives and thrives.

Today I went to have lunch with DS down at the brewery.  He'd gotten a grain delivery so he was busy making his first batch of Good Dog Porter which they've been out of for about two weeks.  It'll take two weeks for it to be brewed but it's coming.  He has two other batches of two different beers bubbling away in fermenting tanks.

I made Egg Drop Soup yesterday so I'd have some for lunch and to share.  I did it on the spur of the moment and didn't have the exact ingredients the recipe calls for.  Instead of two cartons of chicken broth, I had one of beef and one of chicken.  No biggie, I figure that broth is broth.  Instead of a bunch of scallions, I had half of a big sweet onion.  Still onion.  Instead of two cups of chicken breast, I had all of the dark meat from a rotisserie chicken.  Still chicken.  Instead of bok choy, I had a partial bag of frozen peas.  Still green.  I've gotta say that this might be one of my best efforts, soup-wise.  I made careful notes and will make it this way again; the chicken/beef combo seems to be the key.  Soup is the perfect lunch on such a frigid day.

These are the spent grains after the baby beer is drained off into a different tank.  It smelled like baking bread when I got there.  A farmer from Lena reached out to DS and drops off barrels for the spent grains that he feeds to his livestock so he gets the grains and DS doesn't have to dispose of it.  I know I've seen a recipe for baking bread using spent brewing grains.  I've got to look it up and give it a whirl.

I was so excited to see the brewing in action.  The tanks are huge and shiny and there's lots of water involved but it's basically the same process as home brewing, just on a grander scale.  I'm so proud of my little boy making his dream a reality.  Tonight a couple of the knitters at the Guild meeting made a point to come over to me to say how much they like the place and the Guild officers (of which I am one) decided that Zambaldi is the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon board meeting which they held while I was in Florida.  I'll make the next one.  So gratifying.

20 February--Barbara Malcolm, Three Cheers for Murder. 

It was 9:45 PM Sunday, June 13.  Archibald and Graybow have been called to the scene of yet another murder.  This time in the local tennis club.  Archibald and Graybow were dressed as if they never left work, rumpled suits, wrinkled white shirts, ties askew.  The locker room of the club was brightly lit.  The locker area was just inside the door.  The rows of lockers are a pale salmon color, the floor sand colored ceramic tile, the walls a light turquoise.  The wooden benches between the rows of lockers are a natural oak.  Kimmy’s body was slumped into her locker as though she were seated on the bench when she was killed.  On closer examination we see that she’s wearing only one shoe and sock.  A bag from Kitty’s Korner bookstore is on the floor next to her.  Archibald, Graybow, and the crime scene crew are in the room.  Everyone is wearing latex gloves, there are camera flashes as the photographer records the scene.  The morgue crew, lounging near the sinks in an area beyond the lockers, are awaiting the signal to remove the body. 
Lars, the tennis pro at the club, sat on a bench a couple rows away from but in sight of the body, being questioned by Archibald and Graybow.  Archibald stood with his left foot on the bench and leaned toward Lars, crowding him.  Graybow stood with his arms folded across his chest, glaring down at the hapless tennis pro.  Lars had his head in his hands and was shaking his head in denial of their accusation that he killed Kimmy.
Archibald advised, “Why don’t you just tell us what happened.”
“We finished our game and she came in here to change.  That’s it.  When I came to find out if she was ready to leave, there she was.  Dead!”  Lars spoke as if he’s having trouble believing what he’s saying.
“Yeah, you just came in here a few minutes after your game and there she was.  You didn’t hear anything or see anyone,” Archibald repeated dryly.
Lars looked up.  “Exactly.  There was no one else here.  Just Kimmy and me.”  His hands rose to cover his face.  “Who did this?” he cried.
Leaning menacingly toward the grieving man, Archibald growled, “I figure you and she had an argument and you got mad and killed her.”
“No! I didn’t do that!  We had a good game and now she’s dead.”
“A good game.  I heard you and she had more than a game,” Archibald sneered.
Lars sighed, “Not tonight.  We just played tennis.”
Graybow asked, “What do you mean, not tonight?”
“Well...we’ve had a relationship for a while.  But I love her--loved her--and just wanted to make her happy.”  At the realization of what has happened to his lover, Lars shoulders slump even lower.  He’s slowly collapsing in on himself.
Archibald pounced on the admission of the affair.  “Oh, you love her, do you?  Maybe she told you that she was staying with her husband and you got mad and killed her.”
Lars head roses rapidly, his posture suddenly erect.  “No!  She was planning to leave her husband, yes.  But I’d never kill her.  I wanted to take care of her.”
“You took care of her all right.  She looked like your ticket out of this town, didn’t she?  And when she told you she was breaking off the relationship, you slipped in here and murdered her!”
“No!  It’s not like you say!  We were in love.  She was learning to be a trainer.  Did you see the books in her locker?  We were going to work together.  Be together.  Now that’s over.”  Lars seemed drained by the emotions of the last hour.
“It’s over all right,” Archibald snarled, “You can bet I’ll figure out how you did this.”

I had a great session with T the Trainer today.  It feels so good to work my muscles especially on a day like today when it's bitter cold.  Sunny but in the single digits.  Sunny is always good.  Eighty degrees colder than Tuesday isn't so good.  BUT my first writing friend, cda, called this morning to say that she'd registered me when she registered herself for the week writing workshop at The Clearing in September.  I'd been dialing for forty-five minutes getting a busy signal so I was over the moon when she called to say that we're in.  Hooray!