Dictionary’s New Words


The Oxford Dictionary added about 1100 “new” words to the latest edition; that dictionary overall includes more than 829,000 words. “New” doesn’t mean the word just came into existence or use. It means newly accepted by the OED.

The update includes mansplaining, snowflake (not the ice flake; used as a derogatory term for a person who feels entitled to special treatment), hangry, helicopter parenting, and me time.

See the full article at:



True Titles

50 Hilariously Honest New Titles For Your Favourite Books


“Have you ever picked up a book after reading the title and thought that sounds interesting, only to read the story and think that title really doesn’t do the book justice? We decided to take a brutally honest look at the most popular books, and as a result we’ve changed their original titles to reflect what the essence of the story is about.

We have created 50 hilariously honest alternate titles for some of your favourite books.”

So go to the site and see if you can guess the actual titles. (Oh, yeah, and be sure to look at the penguin image on each cover.)

My favorites:

The Judge Did It  (And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie)

Clowns Are Scary  (It – Stephen King)

Creepy Person Bites People, Makes More Creepy People  (Dracula – Bram Stoker)

All The Best Characters Die  (Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin)

Alice Experiments With Drugs  (Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Caroll)

Sugar Induced Hallucination  (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl)

What Happens When You Leave the Planning to Dwarves  (The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien)

2017  (1984 – George Orwell)

Pretend You Have Read This Book to Impress Your Friends  (War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy)

Seren is two!


20171207_133151_4-1Oh my goodness, how did I forget to post about this? On November 30, Seren (Sandfox Starlight Serenade) turned two. Now, I’ve always found with Corgis that two years old is a turning point — they suddenly become adults. But, uh, it doesn’t seem to be happening with Seren. In fact, for the past week he’s been a complete monster. My mother still refers to him as “Naughty Puppy”, rather than by name, and he’s been matching that. I really hope this is just a phase brought on by the sudden freezing temperatures and snow.  But he is still adorable.

Attentive, happy monster:


Naughty, mad-at-me monster:


Bad Sex in Fiction Award


“Each year since 1993, the Bad Sex in Fiction Award has honoured an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel. The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction. The prize is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature.”

Christopher Bollen has won the 25th annual award for The Destroyers, his third novel.

“She covers her breasts with her swimsuit. The rest of her remains so delectably exposed. The skin along her arms and shoulders are different shades of tan like water stains in a bathtub. Her face and vagina are competing for my attention, so I glance down at the billiard rack of my penis and testicles.”

How flattering to liken a woman’s skin tone to bathtub stains. And I suppose testicles are the same shape as billiard balls (how many does he have?). But does that mean his penis is the triangular rack?


Recipe: Welsh Pasties

My grandmother used to make this (although she made her own crust and did one big dish, rather than individual pasties) when I was a kid. I remember my father getting angry when she made it during a visit to us–to him, it was “Depression food”, cheap to make; “I can feed my family better than this!” he said. But I loved it–simple and filling and tasty, and made with love by my Nana.

Here’s the easy-to-make version of Welsh Pasties, that the men could carry off to the mines or fields for lunch:

  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts-thawed to room temperature
  • 4 potatoes, cut into thin half circles, or diced
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef, or beef sliced thinly against the grain and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion, sliced into thin half circles, or diced
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 beaten egg

Heat oven to 350F. Unroll crusts onto a greased cookie sheet. On half of each pie crust, place a layer of potatoes, one of onions, and beef. Season with salt and pepper. Layer again with potato, onion and beef. Season again. Fold the pie crust over the potato/meat filling and crimp securely to seal the crust closed. Brush tops of the pastry with egg wash. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Can be served with softened butter, if it seems dry.


Recipe: Cawl

Cawl (pronounced ‘cowl’) is a basic Welsh lamb stew. Historically the Welsh were poor miners and farmers, so the traditional foods tend to be simple and lean heavily on what cheap ingredients were available. Lamb was plentiful and not costly for them; leeks seem to be in almost everything. Now, what I pay to get lamb takes a week’s grocery budget!

If you get the Travel channel, check the backlist for Delicious Destinations, Andrew Zimmern’s trip to Cardiff, Wales. I drooled all the way through.


(All the root vegetables should be cut into chunks of similar size, to ensure even cooking. And you’ll need a good grocery store in order to get rutabagas, parsnips and leeks; try the “organic” section.)

1.8 kg (4 pounds) lamb neck or chops, or a mix of lamb cuts
salt and pepper to taste
4 white potatoes cut into large chunks
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1/2 swede (rutabaga/neep), cut into large chunks
Optional: 1 parsnip, cut into large chunks
2 leeks, sliced (green and white parts)
1 or 2 vegetable stock cubes, to taste
Optional: Parsley sprigs

  1. Put the lamb in a large pot. Cover with water, add salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes or more, until tender.
  2. Skim the fat from the top of the water. Remove meat and cut into smaller chunks; add back into pot.
  3. Add all the root vegetables. Cover and simmer another 45 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced leeks and vegetable stock cubes. Add more salt or pepper if needed. Boil gently for 20 to 30 minutes. You can add parsley sprigs when ready to serve.

Serve hot with hearty bread. Can be refrigerated and reheated the next day.