Neck and Neck by Leo Bruce

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Lionel Townsend, Beef’s toffee-nosed biographer, finds himself a prime suspect when his aunt in Hastings is poisoned. At the same time, an unpopular publisher is found hanged in the Cotswolds, apparently a suicide. While the two cases seem to have nothing whatsoever in common, Sergeant Beef tramples his flatfooted way to amazing, simultaneous solutions.

I really enjoyed this one! My second Sergeant Beef book. Hoping to find them all.

Kidney, and I’m Not Talking Pie

This last week has been a bit rough, even including a two day hospital stay. I’m dealing with my second kidney stone in two years. This one is a monster 7mm! Had an X-ray which showed the stone in the ureter. I had a horrible reaction to pain meds he sent me home with and ended up back in his office Saturday and had pain meds through IV and then again on Sunday. Sunday night the pain stopped suddenly and did not return. Monday we did another X-ray and the stone was still there. A decision was made to have a CT scan. Monday night I was running a low grade fever and chilling. I thought it was because my IV spot was inflamed. Wednesday I went to Knoxville for the CT scan. One the way home (it’s an hour ride) my doctor called with the results and told me he would suggest I turn around and go to the emergency room at UT hospital! We were near Morristown when he called so he said to just go to the hospital there, that he would call ahead and send them my records. Urine test showed infection (urinary) so they admitted me and a urologist was brought in and laser surgery scheduled for Thursday. The surgery was a failure, he couldn’t get to the stone without damaging the ureter. A stent was put in to allow the kidney to drain. I am having lithotripsy done around the 15th-16th. In the meantime I’m on antibiotics. They gave me a pill for bladder spasms and lucky me had a reaction to it! I was up all last night with the worst headache I’ve ever and vomiting and diarrhea. I am exhausted and so weak. I will be so glad when this over! My last stone was 6mm and I had to have laser surgery on that one.

Dr. Berry said my calcium levels were high so he suspected hyper-para-thyroidism. We ran a test and I do have it. The para-thyroid is the size of a grain of rice and balances our calcium levels. Mine isn’t working, this is why I’m getting such monster stones! So after I get this taken care of I have to have it removed. Thankfully it is a simple out-patient procedure! There is a 2mm stone lurking in my kidney as we speak just waiting to grow big and strong! The sooner I get this thyroid out the better!

We don’t use traditional insurance anymore and our family doctor doesn’t take insurance. He has a membership practice. We pay a yearly fee and we can text or call him at any time and come into the office anytime. The care is phenomenal! He calls and texts me to check on how I’m feeling. Such a difference from insurance! I’ll have to do a post on it sometime. But right now I’m going to go as I’m not feeling 100% and I’m tired. We had reserved a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia for this coming week, just 3 hours away. I told Bossman I can rest there just as easily has here so we are going down tomorrow. Hopefully there are no complications and we can stay the week!

Goodnight all.

Good Eats

I’ve tried several new recipes lately and thought I would share them with y’all!

Really good soups that I will make again and again!

Easy Tuscan Bean Soup  –  30 minutes and dinner is ready!
Get the recipe @The Wanderlust Kitchen

Hearty Italian Vegetable Beef Soup – This was so easy and so DELICIOUS! It freezes really well too. Find the recipe @Barefeet in the Kitchen

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Lemon – No meat! Fast and easy and even those of us that don’t like lentils really scarfed this up! Find the Recipe @ Vegetarian Times

Main dishes:

Sweet and Sour Chicken – Simple and lick the plate good!  Always good recipes @ A Family Feast. Haven’t had a bad one yet!

Barbacoa Beef – I made the corn salsa and the cilantro lime rice to go with this. She includes the links in this recipe. I cooked it in the slow cooker not a pressure cooker/instant pot. A fantastic meal! @Skinnytaste another one of my go to recipe blogs!

One Skillet Chicken with Green Beans and Mushrooms – @ What’s in the Pan

Baked Pork Steaks with Mushrooms – We discovered a meat market nearby and we get these huge lovely pork steaks there. Two can feed four people! This is my favorite way to cook them! Get the recipe @ A Cook at Heart

Moroccan Meatballs – I made these for company and they were a big hit! Another Skinnytaste recipe! I also made Moroccan Spiced Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Carrots that night and everyone had seconds and thirds on those! Get that recipe @Gourmande in the Kitchen

Discovered this older Italian fellow on Facebook, Pasquale Sciarappa. He does live videos of him cooking his Italian recipes. His Polish wife holds the camera and reads comments people make. Love watching him! His accent is heavy and he dances and drinks wine and tells jokes. The recipes are authentic recipes. I’m dying to try some of his recipes! Check out his web site.

Hope you find something here you like!

The Coconut Killings

By Patricia Moyes  born in Dublin 1923

A U.S. Senator is found brutally murdered with a machete on the grounds of an exclusive golf club on one of the British Seaward Islands. John and Margaret Colville, who operate a modest hotel on the island, ask their friends Chief Superintendent Henry Tibbett and his wife, Emmy, to come to St. Mathew’s to conduct an investigation. Although an amiable young islander who tends bar for the Colvilles has been arrested for the crime, Henry soon discovers that the murder rests on complex motives reaching far beyond the Caribbean.

Henry Tibbett, Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard, has for years delighted those who love a classic British detective story. A modest, self-effacing man, Tibbett possesses an almost uncanny “nose” for crime, and those who know him well realize that his gentlemanly demeanor masks a shrewd mind and a fearless spirit. When he teams up with his wife, Emmy, a cheerful but formidable woman, there isn’t a criminal anywhere who can rest secure.


My first Patricia Moyes book. I really liked the characters of Henry and his wife and think I will enjoy more of this series. I didn’t care for the setting of this one though and didn’t really like any of the other characters. Reading other reviews on this book, others commented that this was their least favorite book in the series. Leave it to me to start with it!

Not quite the ‘cozy’ I expected, it was a cross of cozy and political thriller. American politicians, lobbyists and the cotton industry tie in with the murders. Meanwhile there is political unrest on the island and curfews are set amid riots and burning buildings. Could they be connected? A well plotted mystery.

Henry had the use of a Moke to get around the island. Not sure what that was so I looked up an image of one…

Reading Ireland @746 Books      #begorrathon19

Update

Two weeks since we dropped my son off at the recovery program, Uturn for Christ. He is doing wonderful. He was terrified of course. In addition to alcohol he was going to be stopping cigarettes also and of course no cell phone either. Hmm, not sure which one would be the hardest to live without! The pastor/director called 5 days in and said he had a relatively easy withdrawal and was doing great. He wanted me to bring his drivers license as that was a commodity there and he was going to put our boy ( boy- he’s 42! but he’s still my boy) to work as the driver! Of course I was elated as I had been having visions of him so sick and struggling.

They do jobs out in the community and around the ranch there where they live. There are about 10-12 men currently going through the program. They have Bible study daily and chapel three nights a week. We are allowed to visit on a chapel night and stay after for coffee and donuts and a short visit. They also go to a local church on Sunday mornings and we could attend with them. We went out to chapel service a week ago to drop off laundry soap and the drivers license. I was so pleased to see him doing well. He’s very thin and seemed a little weak and tad bit shaky, but overall doing well. It seems like a nice ‘band of brothers’ atmosphere and they all have jobs and pitch in to help each other. One of the gentlemen, who came in shortly before our boy, introduced himself and said our boyo has a good heart and they’ve become fast friend. He is an Irish, Catholic father of 5 from Boston! I feel good about his environment and the people he is with. He has a broken spirit and humility. The pride and anger is gone. He is finally at that point where he is ready to say ‘Okay God, I want what you have for me. It’s all yours, all my failures, all my victories.’  He’s digging into Scripture. We are so excited for him and can’t wait to see what God is going to do with his life! And I’m so pumped that he is going to stay here in Greeneville near us after! We haven’t been going out, staying back. It’s his journey and he doesn’t need his momma butting in. Will probably go out Friday night though.  They are going to Knoxville to a worship gathering on April 2nd and we’ve been invited to go with them.

I received a letter from him Yesterday. He said he gets up at 5:30am and goes to bed at 9:30pm after a half hour of solitary time in the Word. He’s feeling much better, some days are aggravating, but each day gets easier. The only thing he doesn’t like is they have to wash their clothes by hand! He’s finding it very interesting being cut off from all things secular and he is learning a lot about the Bible. He said during Bible study and discussion the other night he realized that all those years he was telling God to back off, He stayed by his side waiting!

When you take someone out of their life and they are secluded away to address a life altering issue there are lots of loose ends left dangling. We’ve been dealing with all that background detail for him.

IMG_2512We brought his dog home with us. She is a border collie/husky mix and what an intense dog! Vera Lyn is one year old. I was terrified to bring her home as she has had issues with chewing carpet and pottying in the house. She is an absolute doll baby! One accident in the house and never again. No chewing. She is incredibly smart and you only have to tell her once. My other son and his family wanted to keep her for our boyo so we met them halfway between our house and theirs at a rest area and had a picnic and they took Vera home. They are young and energetic and the grandkids were over the moon to get her. Their dog passed away a couple of years ago. We will go get her when boyo comes home and he can take care of her! I do miss her sleeping with me and following me around, but dogs are a lot of work and to be honest I am exhausted!

She had no problem making herself at home! She helped me cook and do dishes and make beds. Can’t wait until she comes back! But we are going away in April so this works better.

Addiction is a terrible, destructive thing. A prison, a personal Hell that effects everyone around you. Just like the song I shared yesterday says though, it’s okay to not be okay because the One who holds the stars is holding our whole lives. If we didn’t know the pain of being broken we wouldn’t know what it feels like to be whole! If we didn’t know what it looks like to be dirty,  we wouldn’t know what it feels like to be clean. And if all of our shame hadn’t driven us to hide in the shadows then we wouldn’t know the beauty of being free! Thank you for your prayers for us!

“If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed!”  John 8:36