Crime & Clutter
by Cyndy Salzmann
A storage unit, a 1963 Volkswagen minibus, and tattered letters...reveal shattering secrets from the '60s.
It's been a year since Mary Alice lost her father -- the father she never really knew. Now she's stuck cleaning out his rubbish from a storage unit. Just when she'd rather it all go away from her well-ordered life, her long-held secret is discovered by the feisty Marina, one of the six members of the Friday Afternoon Club. When these friends make it their mission to help Mary Alice tackle her stash, they arrive at the storage unit, prepared to clean. But what they discover takes them on a riotous ride through the crime and clutter of the sixties, the angst and betrayal of those caught in The Revolution, and the forgiveness that can only come through acceptance of a different kind of Cause.
How many days do you wear your blue jeans before they go in the laundry?
Jeans are so much more comfortable on the second day. Plus, laundry is the bane of my existence. I am always behind. My only solace comes from Gen 2:25, "They were naked and not ashamed."
How many sizes of clothing do you have in your closet? In storage?
I sometimes think I should have those little size rings in my closet 8, 10, 12, "none of your business."
What is your comfort food?
My mom's fried chicken and cream gravy. Especially in the summer when she serves it with homegrown tomatoes, green beans fresh from the garden and creamy mashed potatoes. Maybe this is why I should have those size rings in my closet...
White chocolate? Milk chocolate? Dark chocolate?
Definitely dark chocolate now that researchers say it is a "super food" that's better for you than blueberries. Plus I just found out that Harry & David sells dark-chocolate-covered blueberries. I can just feel the vitamins coursing through my body when I pop one of those babies into my mouth.
What's your favorite mode of communication?
E-mail, Instant Message, Land Line Phone, Cell Phone, Old-Fashioned Snail Mail Letter?
I adore receiving a snail mail note or letter. There's something special about seeing someone's handwriting and knowing they took the time to write and post a letter. However, thoughtless person that I am, I always use email.
What's your idea of a day of relaxation?
Massage. Pedicure. Lunch. Movie. Bath. Bed. Ahhh...
When you are stressed, who's the first person you call?
I have this reminder on my fridge... "Go to the throne before you go to the phone." But I usually call my hubby at work to whine - unless it's Friday. Then I can make it to 4:30 and whine to my FAC friends.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
My husband and son's channel surfing. I want to scream, "Just make a decision and stick with it!"
Who would play you in the Cyndy Salzmann Movie of the Week?
My friend Marilyn recently told me that my new hairstyle makes me look like Renée Zellweger. (Marilyn is now my very favorite friend.) So, I guess I'd have to let Renee at least audition for the part...
If you could do one thing over in life, what would it be?
Work less. Play more. That is so shallow...
Triple Chocolate Pecan Brownies
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Instructions:1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Prepare brownie mix as directed on package. Add remaining ingredients to batter. 3. Put batter in greased 9 x 9 pan. Bake 40-45 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
Uses for salt...
Add a pinch of salt to your coffee basket before brewing. This will make the coffee less acidic tasting.
To clean silk flowers and plants, place them in a large bag with one cup of salt. Shake vigorously for a few minutes. Your plants will come out dust free.
Remove rust from household tools by making a paste with salt and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Apply to rusted area with a dry cloth and rub.
Too many books?If you find your shelves overflowing with books, consider donating them to your church library. If you want to read a book again, you can always check it out.Another handy tip is to slip a box in your closet to stash novels you've read. Then when a friend or family member who likes to read stops by, pass it along. For the books you do decide to keep, categorize them according to subject so you'll be able to find the book when you need it.