Sunday, February 27, 2011


My husband and I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for over seven years now, and we love the area. The evergreen trees, glorious Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier sitting on the horizon like a giant baked Alaska - all are absolutely beautiful. We enjoy the local seafood too - salmon, oysters, halibut, ling cod. But there are a few things I've been craving from our years in Miami.
Pumpernickel and Egg Bagels
Miami (specifically Miami Beach) has sometimes been called the sixth borough of New York City, mainly because so many New Yorkers have migrated there. When they came, they brought bagels with them. Yes, we have bagels in the Seattle area, but I've searched high and low and have yet to find either a pumpernickel or egg bagel. (FYI: A plain bagel is not the same as an egg bagel.) I've found blueberry, chocolate chip, jalapeno, and orange cranberry (gag) flavors, but those just don't stand up to lox, cream cheese, and a sprinkling of capers the way a pumpernickel bagel does.
Moro Rice and Fried Plantains
Thank you, Cubans! Every couple of weeks I'd eat at a fast food chain that offered darned good moro rice (black beans, sausage, seasonings, mixed with steamed rice) and fried plantains. (Pause here to drool.) Never mind the calories or cholesterol. It was worth it.
Robert-Is-Here Milkshakes
On the way to the Everglades, not too far from Florida City, there's a fruit stand named Robert Is Here. (Long story about the name. Google it if you're curious.) Not only do they have almost any kind of tropical fruit you could want - and some you may never have heard of, including mamey, sapote, and atemoya - they also make the most delicious fresh fruit milkshakes ever imagined. Believe me, a thick fresh peach milkshake can turn a hellishly hot South Florida day into heaven.
I do love the Pacific Northwest's delicious blueberries, marionberries, and Rainier cherries, and Washington state wines are hard to beat. And I'm not saying I want to move back to the lightning capital of the U.S. or face the heat or threat of hurricanes every summer. But a nice dish of arroz con pollo followed by flan for dessert ... ooooh, I can almost taste them. Maybe it's time to cash in some of those airline miles and make a run south.

Friday, February 25, 2011


1. Can you drive a stick shift?
Well, I could the last time I tried! Isn't it like riding a bicycle? Something you never forget?
When I turned 16, my dad decided it was time for me to learn to drive the family car - Chevy with a stick shift on the steering column. He put me in the driver's seat, and my mom and two brothers sat in back. Every time I'd release the clutch, the car would lurch forward and die, and the three in the back seat would burst out laughing. It wasn't long before I was in tears! Finally, Dad drove us home. At my next lesson, it was just Dad and me. I did just fine without the audience!

2. What are two foods you just can't eat?
Celery and turnips. Yuck.

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?
I'm a staunch supporter of Girl Scout Cookie sellers and buy at least one box every year. I'm a Thin Mints girl.

4. How do you pamper yourself?
Not often enough! The ultimate pampering experience is a massage. Aaaaah. 

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
I've had lots of nicknames over the years:
Ruthless - My middle name is Ruth, but when I played Spades during lunch at one of my jobs, the guys started calling me Ruthless.
Sandy Ruth - My husband calls me this as a term of endearment. We're Southern so using two names works for us.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

FOLLOW FRIDAY 40 & OVER - BLOG HOP - February 25

The RULES to join in the "Follow Friday 40 and Over" blog hop are very simple:

*Go to Never Growing Old (first blog on the list -
*Grab the button
*Add your link to the list on the blog site
*Visit as many blogs as you can
*Follow the ones you like (and comment to let them know you're following)

Thank you to JAVA for continuing this fun blog hop!


I went to my bank recently to set up a new account. The woman behind the desk was chatty, asking me about myself, giving me that “hometown bank” experience you see in TV ads. So I told her the plot of the book written by me and my friend. She confessed to being an avid reader of romances and asked the book’s name.

“I.O.U. Sex,” I replied.

She burst out laughing, grabbed a piece of paper, and wrote the book’s title on it in bold letters. When she reached to put the note in her purse, it fell to the floor.

I laughed and said, “You might want to be careful with that. No telling what someone might think if they found your note and read it.”

Her cheeks turned red and she slipped the note into her pocket. I wonder what her husband or boyfriend would say if he found it? Next time I go to the bank, maybe I'll gather up enough courage to find out if that happened.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Back in 1967, when I was twenty years old, the Beatles released a whimsical song—“When I’m Sixty Four.” I remember thinking the song had an old fashioned sound to it--not Rock 'n Roll at all. I definitely could not imagine being that age myself. How could anybody live to be so old?

Well . . . here I am, sixty-four, and I’m not old at all (at least in my eyes). I also still think the Beatles’ song is fun.

So to anyone else who’s sixty-four, about to be sixty-four, or has already passed her sixty-fourth birthday, here’s a song for us all:

PS: I guess I’m lucky because my husband still needs me and still feeds me!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


This is beyond weird. Our book is a romance whose main characters are Baby Boomers. That term is used in the book's synopsis and as a tag on Amazon. But when I checked the Amazon page recently, the book was ranked in the "Babies-Age 3" category! What??? How could that be? I checked that listing online and, sure enough, there was our cover—right ahead of OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM!! I couldn't believe it.

I try to keep a sense of humor about these sorts of things, but I can tell you that I.O.U. SEX sure looked out of place among all those kiddie books.

Then I had an AHA moment. If Amazon outsourced some of their work to foreign countries, could “Baby Boomers" somehow have been translated to “babies”? Or maybe some bleary-eyed Amazon programmer had skimmed our category listings and punched the wrong key. I immediately emailed and asked Amazon to remove the book from that listing, which they did.

But here's the really strange thing. For a time our book ranked #17 in sales in that age group.

Hmmmm. Maybe mommies are reading it?

Friday, February 11, 2011


I read a post on another blog that told how the writer met her husband, many years before. With St. Valentine’s Day approaching, my how-we-met story seemed like just the thing to include here. I did change the names of a couple of the characters* in this tale, but the story is true.

Cynthia* and I had been sharing the apartment for a couple of weeks when she asked my advice. "There's this guy I'm crazy about. His name is Mike* and he works for my dad," she said. "I sure can't call and ask him for a date, but maybe I can invite him over to see our new apartment. What do you think?"

(This was the late 1960s and most women still weren't quite liberated enough to initiate a date.)

"Call him," I answered. "I can stick around for a while and then go out somewhere and leave you two alone."

Cynthia picked up the phone and dialed.

Mike said okay, but he had one condition - he wanted to bring along his buddy, someone for Cynthia's roommate. 

She put her hand over the phone. "Do you mind? I'll owe you big time if you say yes."

"Sure! Why not?"

So, Mike brought along a guy named Bob with a weird last name. I did leave the apartment after a while, as promised, so that Cynthia and Mike could be alone. But I didn't leave by myself, even though Bob really wasn't my type. I liked tall thin guys, and Bob was an ex-football player with a thick neck and big hands. But he was intelligent and had a wicked sense of humor, he knew the words to all of Bob Dylan's songs, and he was such a good kisser! He was someone I could fall in love with, if I was interested in falling in love with someone, which I wasn't.

Later I found out that Mike actually brought Bob with him as protection against the wedding bells he saw in Cynthia's eyes! Since she was the daughter of his boss, he was in a sticky situation. But eventually, Cynthia got the message.

Mike never came back to the apartment, but Bob did. We married one year after that first date and are still married forty years later.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


A message in my email this morning made my day. It described a newspaper article about the rise in sales of young adult books for electronic readers. Maybe there's hope for the future of literacy after all!

Here's a link to the article.

NOTE: One of my favorite Y-A authors is Judy Dearborn Nill. Three of her books are now available as eBooks and paperbacks through Amazon: Just for Kicks, Simple Twists of Faith, and The Rise and Fall of Bibi Karstad. Here's the link:

Friday, February 4, 2011


The email reads as follows:

At 8:00 p.m. it is 12 degrees (the wind chill is six below zero!) and dropping. Our poor heater is working like crazy, but we are warm and cozy inside, thank goodness.

A message from Minnesota? A missive from Maine? No, just an email note from Sandra in North Texas to Sandy Ruth in Washington state. She poked her head out her front door long enough to take this picture, then wrote more:

Every 2 hours our electricity goes off for 15 minutes (they called it a rolling blackout), which makes for a confused computer and electrical system in our house. EVERYTHING is iced in, and it is only supposed to be in the teens today and even lower tonight. What a mess!

Here's hoping everyone else who's dealing with this nasty winter storm is as safe and snug inside as Sandra.