Long Live Rock and Roll!

One year for Mother’s Day, I anxiously opened the wrapped gift from my then 15 and 17 year old daughters, to discover the latest Ozzy Osbourne CD. Most mothers might have been disappointed, but I was happy to have the Oz-man for my Passat’s CD player to drive in the fast lane to

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I’m a rocker at heart. Growing up in L.A., I went to the Inglewood Forum and saw some amazing acts. Back then, it was Led Zepplin all the way. And listening to tunes on the radio, it was KLOS, the one and only, bad boy heavy rock station. In Boise, we have a variety of radi

o stations. My current vice is 96.9 The Eagle, FM. It’s Bob and Tom in the morning, two guys who make me laugh out loud. When they’re done, it’s all rock and roll–from “my day.” The other day, the rumbling beat of a base guitar and keyboard solo began the intro to a song. You know it if you’re my age. That fingertip tapping rhythm, and that infectuous desire to start singing the first line as soon as it’s belted out . . . “It’s been such a long time, think I must be goin’. Time doesn’t wait for me, it just keeps on rollin’.” Yeah, that’s the one. Boston.

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I have this original vinyl in my collection with all the original Aerosmith, Kansas, Styx, Emerson-Lake-and-Palmer, Foreigner, and all the other greats from the ’70s and ’80s. They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore. These were groups whose music stands up today. Their tunes are still played on the radio. It’s classic rock and roll, baby.

My 12 year old step-daughter and I were driving somewhere the other day, and she plugged in her iPod in to my car system and was singing to stuff. I didn’t know a single artist on her play list. I was like–who is that? She was into Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Katy Perry. I dare any one of these artists to be around in forty years so Kieryn can sing to their tunes when she’s driving her kids to the mall. Ain’t happening, ya’ll. These guys just don’t have the rock ‘n roll in them.

Since I plan on living until I’m 100, I’ll be around to check this out for myself and see if she’s still singing to that rap beat.

Peace out. (Okay, so I do get into Usher. He’s about the only dude I like who’s doing the hip-hop stuff.)

An Open Letter To The Incarcerated Men . . . You Know Who You Are

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Guys . . . I know you all have a story to tell, and I’m sorry for your misfortunes. It’s never your fault, and I sympathize, but honestly . . . I don’t have time to be anyone’s pen-pal. I don’t know why it is, but I’m getting a lot of fan-letters these days from men who are serving time. No, I can’t come visit you, even if you send me the application form in advance. No, I don’t ship any personal items of my clothing through the U.S. mail (or overnight)–you know which unmentionables you ask for. No, I won’t send you my photograph, not even without the autograph. And, yes, I’m aware my photo is in the back of the book, but that’s going to have to hold you over. Yes, I really look like my picture, but I gain and lose weight, so on any day, it might be a bad time of the year and I’m in my fat jeans. Yes, I am tall, so I am most likely taller than you. No, I won’t be able to contact someone for you. Yes, I am very happily married and I’m not looking to hook up with anyone else.

I appreciate all the kind words about my writing and my books, and I’m happy they help the days pass for you. In a different time, you’d be able to read them on a beach instead of where you are, so I hope that one day, you can enjoy the freedoms this country allows. God bless, and take care.

Stef Ann Holm

Book Title Help Needed

So I’m starting the last book in the Moretti series and I need title help. The title has to start with the word ALL. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free! If my editor and I use your title suggestion, you’ll win autographed copies of ALL THE RIGHT ANGLES and ALL THAT MATTERS. So put your thinking caps on and start posting! Thanks!!!

Nifty Fifty

So I turned 50 today. I’ve been awake for four hours. I still feel 49. The sky hasn’t fallen in yet. I guess if you go by the time I was born, I’m not officially 50 until 4:33pm–Los Angeles time. Which will be 5:33pm Boise time. In any case, it’s just another birthday. I’m now officially at the halfway point in life. I told my husband I plan on living until I’m 100. All I ask is, if I’m in a nursing home at that time, somebody better keep my chin shaved should I necessitate it.

So my fabulous husband has pulled out the stops celebrating for the old girl he married. He surprised me with a weekend getaway to Victoria, B.C. We flew to Seattle, then caught a seaplane to Victoria. This is moi co-piloting.

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Victoria (and Seattle) were having a “heat wave.” Temps in the mid-80s. A tid bit sweltering with the humidity, but I’m a sun-bunny so it was cool with me. We had a lovely time walking and looking at the shops, and marveling at the fabulous floral baskets and flowers in Victoria.

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Here was a restaurant with was alive with color. We took lots of photos so we could do baskets like this at our house next year.

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Tonight my sweetie and I are going to dinner to celebrate. I’ll wear the beautiful diamond bracelet he got me! Then this Saturday, we’ll have a family dinner at a way cool Boise restaurant. My oldest daughter is in NYC right now so we’ll wait and do the family celebration this weekend. (And my youngest daughter takes her cosmetology boards today!) So my birthday will be drawn out for a week. Maybe at the end of it, I will feel 50.

Nahhhhhh. I’m fairly certain I’ll still act immature. (Just ask my 9 and 12 year old step-daughters and I’m sure they’ll vouch for my major geek-dom, especially when I drag them through Disneyland, running and holding their hands, anxious to get on the next ride!)

Birthday Time. 5:48pm, August 18. Spiffed up and ready for din-din at my fav restaurant.

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And a beautiful gift–the 50 pink roses my husband brought home! My daughters have goodies for me and we’ll celebrate this Sat. Gee, I like this kind of birthday that spreads out for a week!

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Momma Duck and Her Babies

I’ve been meaning to post a photo of Momma duck and her babies. Remember I wrote about the duck who made a nest in our front planter? She had her babies on May 23, about mid-day. Of course we were out of town, but that’s the time frame we can figure out since we returned home t

hat night and someone was at our home earlier in the day and the eggs were still there. Here are all 15 ducklings swimming away in the pond. Recently, a group of eight hens has flown back to the pond after a pretty quiet summer on the water. I don’t know what happened to all our ducks,

but now eight are back on a regular basis. They don’t seem skittish when I walk by them, or go up to the water’s edge. And that they’re all female makes me wonder if they’re the ducklings who hatched in my front yard.

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New Author Photo

I have a new author photo, compliments of my whacky and fun (she has green-thumbs, too), stepdaughter, Tarah.

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To Blog or Not To Blog

I had a recent meeting with my web designer extrodinaire to talk about changes we’ll make to the site for my upcoming November title, ALL THAT MATTERS. He’s great to work with–one, because he’s my stepson, but two–he’s extremely organized and anal (I hate that word, but it applies to me as well). Ryan, always prepared, had data ready for me to view–such as how many hits I get on this site, where they’re coming from, etc. So in one month, I get 3,000 hits. I was like–you’re kidding me. Nobody really posts a comment to my blog, so I kind of figured I was talking to myself. He said I have a lot of lurkers. You know who you are. :-)

If I weren’t an author, I wouldn’t blog. The only blog I read on a somewhat regular basis is my step-daughter’s because she posts cool photos and she’s funny when she writes about her kids puking or something equally amusing that our grandkids have been up to. Mostly when I blog it’s been about where I’ve traveled. (Next up, Disneyland again! I just love it there.) Some of you e-mailed me privately about when I was trying to lose weight to fit into the gold dress and you told me that was inspiring. And sometimes my husband comes home from work and tells me about customers or friends who’ve called him up to tell him, “I didn’t know you and Stef went to (fill in the blank) or you guys are up to (fill in the blank.) The folks he knows regularly read my blog. (Hi everyone!)

I’m going to try and update a bit more frequently since I do have a book coming out in November. I may try and be more “authorish” and write about writing (ha hah). Being a writer is usually one of the last things I talk about. I do like to talk about my dogs–Molly and Cocoa who turned one yesterday and I baked her a batch of Pupcakes and we lit a candle and sang her happy birthday. I also like that show Deadliest Catch. Don’t ask me why–it’s the same episode over and over. Announcer: The crab season is kicking up and the ships are taking rogue waves, it’s a fight to the finish.” I think that about sums up each episode–but it’s great entertainment to me. It’s the only show I watch on a regular basis. I don’t seem to watch much TV.

This morning I put on THE TUDORS while I walked on the treadmill. The series has started out fabulous. I think the first season on DVD could be good for a five pound weight loss.

Other than that . . .

I thought you lurkers might find it interesting to see what my office looks like right at this moment, this second, so here ya go. P.S. It is RARELY this trashed, but I’m moving data from my old computer to my new, and I’m also organizing my folders/papers in preparation to start a new book.

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Alaska, The Last Frontier

So I haven’t blogged lately. Out of town again. Went on a cruise through Alaska and loved it. I’ve never done a cruise before. I wondered if I’d get seasick. One night we had rough seas, rocking the ship like a cradle. I didn’t even realize it in my sleep. I woke up to use the restroom and my hubby told me to be careful walking. I figured out real quick that I was being knocked into the wall. Never felt queasy. This is a good thing!

We were on the Regent Seven Seas, a fabulous ship. I kept calling it a boat. Oops. We flew to Vancouver, BC and sailed with seventeen other couples my husband knows from work. What nice folks! Our first day was spent at sea, and the company faked Greg and the guys out by saying there was a “meeting” when in fact, the men spent the morning cooking with the ship’s chefs a la “Iron Chef.” My hubby’s team won! Gotta love the outfits they all wore. I’m feeling those dew-rags.

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We docked in Ketchican first. Lovely town. Very green, colorful. Lots of shops. I didn’t know this, but the shipping companies own most of the stores. Very odd. We were told do not buy from the shops that aren’t locals.

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We took a float plane ride over the fjords. Our pilot landed on a pristine lake and told us to get out and walk on the floats. Hello?! We did . . . great photo, but I was standing on aluminum barely a foot wide. One slip, and into the frigid water we go.

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The next day we traveled through narrow passages with icebergs. I didn’t know this, but only 1/9 of an iceberg is visible on the surface. The rest is under water. Also, there are more bald eagles in Alaska than any other place. I love this photo as it shows the eagles on the iceberg. And icebergs aren’t white. Many are this artic blue. The water is so dense, so compacted and frozen, it turns this color.

Next port was Juneau. We found the candy shop and loaded up on fudge, chocolate bark, peanut brittle, kettlecorn. I forgot to mention, when you cruise, this is what you do. Eat and sleep. And sometimes shop. And maybe walk in a town. Other than that, you drink any cocktail you feel like–all included, eat any time of day, whatever you want. It’s ridiculous how much food is at your beck and call.

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This is the Regent in the Juneau port. This photo was taken from another float plane trip.

One of my favorite towns was Skagway because of its historical flavor. We took the “Ladies of the Evening” tour to get the history of working girls in Alaska. We also took a street car tour. This building is unique in the regard that it has more driftwood on the outside than any other known building.

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For beauty, and totally untouched splendor, non-touristy–Sitka. Hands down. Would love to go back and vacation there. This town was so quaint. The cruise ships can’t dock there (all passengers are taken ashore on the tenders), thus, the shops are locally owned and operated. I bought a funny painting for my kitchen. Everything in the picture is “Alaskan”. I love it.

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The second to last day, our captain piloted the ship to the Hubbard Glacier. Words can’t begin to describe this wonder. We sailed through ice so thick, you couldn’t see the water. At one point, a berg scraped the hull, leaving paint on the berg, and we sent the tender boat out to check for damages. This is us with the glacier in the background.

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This was a truly fabulous trip. I loved it. I’d do a cruise again. Only next time–some place warmer! Brrr. . . .

A Chef’s Affair

Boise has some pretty good fund-raisers. I’ve been to several now, one even at the Governor’s Ranch. The latest one my hubby and I attented was the Chef’s Affair at the Boise Centre on the Grove. I’d wanted to do this one because I love to cook and I like Tyler Flore

nce even more. He was the celebrity chef for the event. Since the evening was black tie–we got spiffed up and went to the small gathering of “fans” to see Tyler cook for us. What a fabulous hour and a half! We learned how to make some really good things. When I try them, I’ll post the recipes and share. I bought Tyler’s book and had him autograph it to me. I rarely get an autographed book from someone since I do that for my job, and meeting most writers–well, they’re my friends anyway. But this was quite exciting to have Tyler sign my cookbook for me.

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We enjoyed a five course meal made by Idaho’s top chef’s. Oddly enough–my favorite selection was the “pork belly.” I know–major yuck-factor, but it actually won the audience award for favorite entree. The evening raised quite a lot of money for the Idaho Food Bank. I am amazed, and proud, of how Boise steps up to the plate and takes care of things when they are needed. My husband got into quite the lively bidding–with the “female” auctioneer coaxing him on. Too funny.

Coming soon:

Tyler’s recipe for skirt steak and homemade onion rings. Oh–and a strawberry shortcake that looked to die for!