MJ Monday: MJ’s Music: Summer Songs

Is there anything in the world better than cruising down a road, wind blowing through your hair, and your music cranked? It is surely one of the joys of summer.

Many years ago, on the first fine spring evening in our neck of the woods, my husband had the music blaring…and was pulled over. He didn’t realize he’d been speeding. He explained to the officer: “It’s warm, the Beach Boys  were on, and I got caught up in.” The cop understood and let my husband go with a warning.

When I say summer songs, I don’t mean songs about summer, but songs that are from my younger days. Songs whose artists now go on tour, traveling from State Fairs, to minor league baseball stadiums, to any other kind of outdoor venue you can think of. The Grass Roots. Jay and the Americans. Day long, night long concerts out of doors. The (surviving) Monkees, Flo and Eddy (The Turtles), Gary Puckett. BJ Thomas.

What music makes you want to celebrate summer?

MJ’s Musings: Three Things I Hate About Summer

Summer is my favorite season. I love being warm. I love not having to bundle up to go outdoors. Flipflops. Loose, casual clothing. Baseball. Lightning bugs.

However, there are three things I hate:

  1. Fireworks being set off in the neighborhood as soon as it gets dark.  It was bad enough when fireworks were illegal in my state. Now there are pop-up kiosks everywhere, and they’re doing kick-butt business. As soon as Memorial Day weekend hits, the noise is annoying  and disruptive. All night, every weekend until Labor Day. No, I don’t have pets who are traumatized by the noise. I don’t suffer from PTSD. I’m a woman who values peace and quiet. Setting off firecrackers at midnight, even on the weekend , is rude.
  2. Air conditioning set at Sub Zero Temps: TV Stevie and I went out to dinner the other night, and I was too cold to enjoy my meal.  If the restaurant kept the temp that low in January, they’d go out of business. Why does 80 degrees mean to keep the indoors at 60? You are not a meat locker. Stop pretending to be one.
  3. Too much to do: I am lucky. I have friends who want to do things. I have a husband who wants to do things. Summer in central New York is too short, so we cram a lot of living into a few short months. Sometimes I look at our calendar and weep. I want to spend more time kicking back on my patio and chilling. I work hard all week at Day Job so I could afford my home. I’d like to enjoy it more. Summer is too short.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Movies-Love in the Afternoon

My husband wanted to clear out his DVR player, and this 1957 classic was on there. I mostly loved it.

Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier–a very nice cast, although Cooper was a little too old to be playing the love interest. There was an ick factor there. Other than that, it was lovely romantic comedy.

Hepburn was stunning and amazing as always. I prefer Chevalier as an older actor than a younger one, so I thought he was marvelous here as Hepburn’s father.  Cooper is a wonderful actor and didn’t disappoint in this…except for the age thing.

Chevalier plays a private detective who is investigating an American playboy (Cooper). His daughter, played by Hepburn, becomes fascinated with the subject of her father’s investigation.

The film does offer the requisite happily ever after ending.

Four stars.

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Heaven Texas

I really like this book. I love how the heroine is the only one who can see through the hero’s BS–and calls him on it. The hero is a lot deeper than many romance heroes.  He is a genuinely good soul all the time. Even at the black moment in the story, and events turn ugly, his innate goodness shines.

Some of the town folk and athletes are stereotypical, but I think the author does that to enhance the qualities of the hero.

The reason the book is so low on my list is because of the secondary plot/romance between the hero’s mother and the bad-boy who’d loved her from afar in their youth. I’ve read this book numerous times , and while that plotline is  not as creepy-icky as it seemed the first time I read the book, and is really handled quite well, I still find it creepy-icky. In this reader’s opinion, there’s a scene that occurs in a dark closet that should have remained in the dark closet and not on the page.

Overall: 4 stars.

MJ Monday: MJ Meals-Mediterranean Turkey Wraps

These wraps became a summertime staple for us last year. I keep a batch in the refrigerator nearly every week. They make a quick and easy lunch on the run. My husband will grab one before he heads out to a baseball game. I packed them when we went to our film festival last year, making for an easy, inexpensive lunch one of the days.

Here are the ingredients:
1/2 c. softened cream cheese
1/2 c. softened feta
1/4 c. Kalamata olive spread
a few generous dashes of onion powder
fresh chives
fresh oregano
spinach
8″ tortillas
good sliced turkey from the deli (not prepackaged national brand)

 

Mix together the room temperature cream cheese, feta (try to get out as many lumps as you can), Kalamata olive spread, onion power, snipped chives, chopped fresh oregano. (I love going to my garden and plucking the herbs I need).

 

 

Spread the mixture over all of a tortilla

Place a slice of turkey on one half of the tortilla.

Cover the turkey with spinach leaves

Starting with the turkey-spinach side, roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.

Wrap each rolled tortilla tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours before eating.

They’ll last for a week in the fridge. So easy to grab and go.

The recipe makes as many wraps as it makes. It depends on how thick or thin you spread the cheese/olive/herb mixture. I usually get between five and seven wraps per batch. If you use larger tortillas, your yield will be less.

Enjoy!