Three Dishes

Something a little different than normal. I was inspired by a couple of new restaurants we discovered in Lexington – Corto Lima and Kentucky Native Cafe.

We ate at Corto Lima for our anniversary. Glad we did. Their food was delicious and different from our usual. It’s Latin inspired. And, they certainly don’t skimp on the alcohol in the margaritas. We’ve now eaten there twice. We tried sitting outside for our second visit. The sidewalks of downtown Lexington restaurants are now lined with tables and chairs, somewhat reminiscent of Paris. During Memorial Day Weekend, I tried my own versions of two of the dishes from Corto Lima – Quinoa Chaufa and Mango Con Chili. (Pictured below)

And, inspired by the Kentucky Native Cafe is Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Sauce. The Kentucky Native Cafe is part of a Greenhouse. Tables are beneath trees and lush foliage to the back of the greenhouse area. Also delicious, and even after we ate we lingered at our table. It felt like meditation. Eating in the woods is the way to go.

My own plate of Cous Cous and Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Sauce. Now, too make a CousCous dish.


Jessica Lost Her Wobble

My first book, Jessica Lost Her Wobble, is a beach book. I’m working on giving her a new look for summer. Jessie, a woman facing a mid-life crisis after her divorce, goes to an island to re-invent herself. While there she discovers meditation and yoga and learns to ride a bicycle.


Reviewed by Lisaswritopia

The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries – a Review

These life mysteries are awesome! Each of these stories is a slice of life with the little mysteries that we encounter. The absurd, the comical, and the mysterious aspects of life are presented. Some of these stories are sad enough to bring you to tears. Others are serious enough to cause one to ponder the serious aspects of life. And some will make you laugh.

“The Missing Butler” – The very first sentence of this story—”It was that butler fellow that did it.”—also happened to be the last words of the woman making the accusation. She died right after she said them. But there is a problem. If this woman did have a butler, no one knew about it or knew who he was. An enjoyable, well-written mystery story that really could happen. Inspector Nigel Brown has his work cut out for him.

“The Mermaids” – This slightly humorous tale about growing older, exercise, relationships, and the power of imagination has some very realistic characters.

“Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall” – This story is about a very unusual family vacation.

“Nine Lives” – An old cat tells a kitten about each of his eight previous lives. Since I have eight cats right now and have owned many more in the past, this story really interested me.

“The Wickham” – This is a cute sci-fi story. Alien students go to the planet of Hollywood in order to learn about its literature. So this one would be a slice of life for aliens.

giraffe in a Melbourne zoo, wikimedia commons

“Auld Lang Syne” – What happens when an older married woman runs into a former sweetheart while grocery shopping?

“The Plans” – A man steals a giraffe from the zoo because the giraffe asked him to help it escape. Need I say more? This is an awesome story.

“Jury Duty” – It is said that there are two sure things in life: death and taxes. I think that a third sure thing should be added to the list: jury duty.

“Murder Under the Oaks: The Cojoined Twin Caper” – Let’s just say that the oak trees have a mind of their own.

“Conversations in a Coffee Shop” – Two people on a date talk about spaghetti, streakers, and how times have changed while in a coffee shop.

conversations in a coffee shop, flickr

“Master of the Stacks” – How much of a part in your life do books play? If they are a huge part of your life, you will really enjoy this story.

“Man’s Best Friend” – One of man’s best friends is taken to an amusement park, and after a harrowing day, makes a new best friend.

“When in Paris” – A couple in Paris on vacation learn to adjust to the Parisian culture.

“The Lost Moment” – How does one get out of a boring, predictable relationship?

“The Red Geraniums” – This is the most emotional of the stories. It focuses on a young girl who is afraid of men because of what her father had done to her, and it focuses on how she overcomes this fear. The name will make perfect sense once you read the story.

red geraniums, public domain

Which story was my favorite? Honestly, I have three favorites. I loved the mystery in “The Missing Butler.” My next favorite was “Nine Lives” because of all the cats I own. “The Red Geraniums” made me sad and angry, but then it made me so happy I almost cried.

I purchased my copy of this book from Amazon. If you would like to purchase your own copy, I have provided an Amazon link below.

Amazon Link: The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries

open up to imagination,

Favorite Sentences:
The fairytale land of green is rough and haggard, a gnarled forest of evil beings lurking in a microsomal realm reaching to grab me with each pass.

Needless to say, Miffen was both miffed and sad.

Like obedient dogs, we kept our gaze upon this authority figure as we slid with the grace of ballet dancers in perfect choreography without the aid of Prokofiev music back onto our own hard benches.

Did the lawyer expect me to believe he was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time on seven different instances?

About the Author:
J. Schlenker, a late-blooming author, lives with her husband out in the splendid center of nowhere in the Kentucky foothills of Appalachia where the only thing to disturb her writing is croaking frogs and the occasional sounds of hay being cut in the fields. Her first novel, Jessica Lost Her Wobble, published in December 2015, was selected as a finalist in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition and was awarded five stars from Readers’ Favorite. One of her short stories, “The Missing Butler,” received honorable mention in the first round of the NYC Competition.


Forest Bathing

For the last couple of days I’ve renewed my interest in our trails. The Japanese call it forest bathing or Shinrin Yoku. It’s healing to be out in nature, to walk along forest trails, to observe and become one with the earth.

I do believe what they say, “Location, location, location is true.”  My location is nature. It’s what truly inspires me and activates all of my senses.

On my walk I was greeted by this turtle. He or she peeked out for a picture. I always think of longevity when I see a turtle. A good sign for my first day back on the trail. The turtle also symbolizes determination and is slow and steady–all good things to consider if I’m to make a habit of daily walks and overcome my laziness.

One of the last things before ending my 1.7 mile walk was this redbud. At least I think this is Redbud. Please correct me if I’m wrong. It grows all over our hills.