Wednesday, October 22, 2008


If you would like a signed bookmark for The Christmas Cookie Killer, and or Frankly My Dear, I'm Dead, please send a self addressed stamped envelope to
Livia J. Washburn
P.O. Box 931
Azle, Texas 76098

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Fireplace

This is Gerald. He's doing our rock work. He finished outside and the fireplace should be done tomorrow. Just in time, too. It's starting to get cooler. It took 19 tons of stone and he lifted every stone.

I never dreamed we'd have a fireplace after losing the last house to fire. Of course we are a lot more careful with fire than the guy that caused our house to burn down. While just burning brush, I dug a hole four feet deep, including a foot and a half through gravel, with the tractor. I watched the fire until it had burned down and then buried it. I don't know if I'll ever be comfortable around fire again.

The old house had a gas stove and heater so we always had heat when the electricity went out. We decided to get the fireplace because the new house is all electric. When that next ice storm comes through this part of Texas and takes down half the power lines we'll still have heat.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

New House Update

As you can see the house is coming along. We had some problems getting the green shingles that we wanted. Most places don't even carry green shingles and 30 year shingles blew off the old house, so we wanted something heavier. We ordered 50 year shingles but received a call the next week that they no longer make that shingle in green. We ended up with lifetime emerald green slate shingles. We're waiting for the ridge line shingles to come to finish the roof. The rock along the bottom should be finished this week.

Inside the pipes and wiring are in the walls and ceilings, and the insulation is almost finished. We decided to get the foam insulation even though it's more expensive. In the long run it should save money. After it's all blown into the studs and ceiling, the shaved pieces will be added to the insulation in the ceiling. The house will be well insulated so our energy bills should be low. The sheetrock will go up this week.

I ordered 24 small fast growing dragon trees (Paulownia). By ordering them this time of year, I was able to get them for half price. They're small 6-8" and I put them in pots for the winter. This way I can move them inside if we have a hard freeze. I'll set them out next spring. Dragon trees are fast growing trees, about 30 feet in 3 years. A dozen are Kawakamii which only grow to be around 30 feet, and a dozen are Elongata which are supposed to grow to be 80 feet. We should have some nice trees in a few years. I never would have known about the dragon tree if my cousin hadn't told me about her tree. Thanks for the tip, Sabra. We definitely lost the big pine tree that was close to the old house. The fire just did too much damage and the branches died one after the other. Now it'll have to be brought down.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

I'm always on the lookout for new uses for things we no longer use or need. Of course I had to go to this website: 29 new uses for old nylons
Yahoo! Green - Many women have felt the frustration of getting all dressed up when — rrrrip! — a run in your nylons. Here are some great uses for damaged stockings.

I would really like to create an outdoor hand-washing station. Now I need some damaged stockings. You would think with three females living in one house we would have produced some damaged stockings since January 29th. To tell you the truth, I haven't even bought a nice dress to need stockings since the fire. I'm a slacks kind of gal. Guess it really wouldn't be going green if you have to buy the stockings to make the hand-washing station. I'll have to give this some more thought.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Kirkus Reviews Frankly My Dear, I'm Dead

Rhett Butler is murdered, and the suspects naturally include Scarlett O'Hara.

Sassy southern divorcĂ©e Delilah Dickinson has just started up a literary-tour business. Her maiden voyage involves Gone With the Wind—and is nearly gone with the wind itself. Delilah, her son-in-law, Luke, and her teen twin nieces, Amelia and Augusta, are shepherding the tour group around the Margaret Mitchell home and Movie Museum when one of her charges, a German tourist, accuses another, Elliott Riley, of trying to steal his camera. After Delilah smooths things over, the group buses out to Fontenoy Hall, a plantation that provides food, a ball, overnight accommodations and characters from Gone With the Wind in period costume. The group is charmed until Riley finds the corpse of Rhett Butler, aka Steven Kelley, in the garden. When the police arrive and hold both tourists and actors for questioning, Delilah decides to turn sleuth and salvage her tour. Steven, head of the drama department at a nearby college who supplied the student actors and costumes, enjoyed quite a reputation with coeds despite a wife who played Scarlett to his Rhett. Although frozen out by the police, Delilah keeps hunting for clues and finds enough to put her life in danger.

The first in a Literary Tour Mystery series from Washburn (The Christmas Cookie Killer, 2008, etc.) is a promising addition to the ranks of cozies featuring strong Southern women.

ISBN: 0758225660
ISBN-13: 9780758225665
Format: Hardcover, 304pp
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Pub. Date: November 01, 2008