Saturday, January 03, 2009

Books, taxes, and naps

I finished the new P.D.James novel, The Private Patient, and while I know James is THE mistress of the British detective story, all I can say is it sure did end far away from where it began, although James connected it all neatly in the end. The first 40 or so pages, as I've mentioned, were devoted to exploring the character of the victim. But after she died, she became almost a minor player and we readers became enmshed in the lives of other characters. By the last third of the novel, it was fairly clear who was the murderer (although there was one other possibly credible suspect), but the way it worked out was a surprise. Would I recommend the novel? I don't know. I'm not a fan of British mysteries, and as Mary Lu said, it's not a book you can't put down. On the other hand, it wasn't a book I wanted to leave before finishing it (I have a real thing against doing that and only succumb on rare occasionas!).
I have started work on my 2008 taxes and separated everthing into categories, etc. Have done all my accounts, except my everyday checking account and, sorry, I just can't face that tonight. Another time, another day. After all, all those 1099s or whatever won't come in before the end of the month. And I've also made great progress on preparing to query a small press about my mystery--but I need some files from my office computer to do that and didn't want to go up there today.
I spent the morning finishing up taking down Christmas decorations, packaging them, etc. In the process I found tax stuff for '01, '04, '05, and '06. I can only hope '02, '03, and '07 are already in the attic where they belong. And of course I can never remember where I hid all the non-Christmas objects or where they go. Am still missing one black stoneware pitcher that has sentimental value. And I was afraid to take my grandmother's tureen down from the top of the wardrobe where I'd hidden it. Will wait for someone more sure of foot and hand to do that for me.
Charles and I had lunch at the Black-Eyed Pea--I love their veggie plates, though I think he cheated. He had baked potato (think of all the calories in the bacon and sour cream) and turnip greens, which I really don't like. I had carrots, corn, squash casserole, and green beans. I thought you had to choose five but when I hesitated over the fifth, the waitress said, "Seniors only have to order four!" I demanded indignantly how she knew I was a senior, and Charles laughed and said, "Because you are with one!" Then we went to Central Market, which always interests him though he doesn't buy anything.
And then I came home and had what I felt was a much-deserved nap. When I woke up I couldn't remember if it was Sunday morning or not and I'd just had my last sleep-in morning. Then I realized it was afternoon. I was so deliciously comfortable, with my feet wrapped around the very warm cat who was curled at the foot of the bed, that I hated to get up. But I did, fed the dog, and rode my bike. Fixed one of the dinners that makes Christian say I have odd tastes--pickled herring for appetizer, followed by braseola (the Italian beef version of prosciutto) dressed with lemon and olive oil, shaved parmesan, and watercross. Sooo good.
Which reminds me of a recipe Lisa taught me and I've been meaning to share: enchilada casserole that's the easiest I've ever heard of. For each person, take a corn tortilla and cover one side with green enchilada sauce (okay, you could use red), put it sauce side down in a casserole, top with cubed chicken, green chillies, and more enchilada sauce. Add a second tortilla, covered with more enchilada sauce and grated cheese. Bake until heated and cheese is melted. I can't eat a whole one--still have half in the fridge.
Gotta go. Sleepless in Seattle is on the TV.

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