Friday, February 27, 2009

Bone Tear an interview with author Harry Hauca

The following is an interview with author Harry Hauca about his new book, Bone Tear.L. When did you decide that you wanted to become an author?

H. I was writing some short articles for a professional journal, Nursing spectrum, (I am an RN) and they paid pretty well. I was enjoying myself and thought that I could do this. Then the work got around and I ghosted Guide for Interns (Blackwell Science) which was really difficult due to the fact that the physician was foreign born and there were many problems to overcome. So, with this in mind, I thought that I could write a novel.L. In your opinion, what makes a great story?

H. To be great, s story mush first be written well and the characters must be real (meaning flawed) they must overcome the situations that they are placed in as well as deal with their own limitations. Never "dumb down" the reader, get the reader emotionally involved either for or against the characters. Research was more difficult than I had thought that it would be. I did a lot of medieval research, the Roman occupation, battle strategies, church history, as well as herbal lore. H. Then I just made it as I imagined it would be back then, very Hobbesian.....solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. The more I read and studied, the more I wondered how we as a species can be so barbaric and cruel, and yet have such lofty and noble accomplishments. It also seems as though we are always destined for conflict of one sort or another.H. ..too, there was work on sexual mores, women's rights, more than you might imagine. An interesting aside, they rode horses to the wars, but did not battle with them, stirrups were not introduced until 1000 A.D.L. How did it feel when you finished the last sentence of your book?

H. Interesting question, how did I feel when it was done....relief. No elation...I knew I was tired but needed a rest before i could even begin to think of the sequel.L. Do you have any other books in mind?

H. I am currently working on a sequel to BT which will have a great deal of surprises, not all pleasant. I've written about a dozen or so articles for Nursing Spectrum, a professional journal and it was my editor who encouraged me to write.L. Was it difficult to get a publisher?

H. BT is being published by PublishAmerica. I sought agents time and time again....always revising my query letters, trying to gain some interest and faith in the work. I had some nibbles, but never a bite. BT is not a spoon-fed kind of story, and it does not fit into any easy formula. I expect something of my readers, and involvement with the characters who have all the warts and blemishes of real people.L. Is your book available yet? where cn people go to learn more information about Bone Tear?

H. I have a fledgling website, but am adding to it each week wit more as the official release date comes closer.

Bone Tear is currently available at

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Signs of Spring

Finally! There are signs of Spring in the Jarvis Garden. Snowdrops, Galanthus, are beginning to push through the cold soil and forming buds. The temperatures have been so low in the northeast that no late winter clean ups have been done. Unfortunately there are leaves still covering the beds. Here on Long Island gardens can change daily. Things will pop up everywhere if we get one day over sixty degrees. These snowdrops are a bit late. They do come up sometimes through the snow in January, which is what they are known for."Cracks" in the soil make room for other early bulbs to emerge. These are snowdrops and some grape hyacinths, Muscari.After walking around to the back, there were some very early purple Crocus Siberi, flowers doing their best to bloom through last Fall's maple leaves.Here are the early Daffodils, Narcissus, next to the kitchen foundation. These will eventually turn out to be a ragged variety that were found on the property over thirty years ago. Just dig them up and keep replanting them to get extra clumps every year. The Mahonia, Oregon Grape Holly, somehow keeps going even in this cold weather. The shrub is putting out its flower buds which will be "grape-like" fruit later in the Spring. Robins and Cardinals are very attracted to this plant and will feast on it until all of the grapes are eaten.This is a tea cup that has the Galanthus, Snowdrop flower featured as its flower for the month of January. This set if from the Royal Albert "Flower of the Month series, 1979." It is bone china and made in England.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Catch Up Round

The Star Magnolia finally bloomed,the Bridal Veil, or Baby's Breath flowers turned out like this,the Forsythia did a yellow thing,and the Japonica was the last, but the best to come out after forcing the branches indoors. Will this very cold winter ever end?Rick Caran is almost finished with his new book about Jilli and her adventures with a neighbor boy. This is a sweet story describing how a little dog can make the difference in the boy's life, and in the life of an elderly neighbor. This is a vintage teapot that has a music box which plays "Tea for Two." The music box is incorporated into the design of this teapot so that you can make tea inside the pot without harming the music box.The bottom of the teapot has a wooden circle with the turn key and the starter.You can see how the music box is inside of the bump, and protected from the liquid tea.What are all of these mini teacups and saucers for?A historical association will be having a tea party for children with their dolls in April. Masses of doll sized, and child sized teacups, saucers, and accessories found at tag sales or thrift shops, are being collected for this event.If you keep on collecting odd pieces, eventually some of them will match up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day Brownie Cakes

Happy Valentine's Day to all.
Brownies are fun, and the ones that come out of a box mix are really pretty good. You still have to add ingredients and bake them, so the house smells wonderfully chocolate. Usually baking from scratch is best, but brownie mixes can be added to or the brownies may be decorated.Here are two pans that were purchased at tag sales. They make the perfect molds for Valentine's Day treats. With a little frosting, candy hearts, candy sprinkles, doilies and vintage plates, the holiday brownies are complete.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Applesauce Cake Recipe

Here is a recipe for Applesauce Cake that everyone will love, and the home made applesauce is the best ingredient of all. Measure out one cup of the applesauce.Chop one half cup walnuts.Pictured here is a wooden bowl and a Mezzaluna Chopper, or Demi Lune chopper. The size of the bowl should match the curve of the metal part of the chopper. These are readily available in speciality cooking shops and on line. Sometimes this tool comes with a hollowed out square of wood, instead of a bowl, but the walnuts stay inside the bowl better than the block of wood.Measure one half cup of vegetable oil.Measure seven eighths 7/8 cup brown sugar. This amount should be approximated. Almost filling the dry measuring cup should do it. Use either light or dark brown sugar.Combine one half cup raisins to the mixture.Sift together 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves.Recycle the heavy waxed paper that comes in cereal boxes, for a good surface to sift upon. Sometimes a good clean cotton dish towel works well too.Use dry measuring cups and the sharp side of a spatula for exact measuring.Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Scoop into a glass baking dish and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. Please note that you might want to double this recipe because the family will make the cake will disapear so quickly, especially if you top it off with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. If it is doubled increase the time a bit.This is one style of antique Mezzaluna Chopper. Sometimes they have two knobs at either end of the metal piece, in any event they make interesting collectibles because there are so many different designs, and they are easy to display.This is the old plate that the cake sits on. It is a blue onion pattern.This is the English mark on the reverse of the cake plate.This is the mark on the reverse of the saucer, "Liberty Blue Historic Colonial Scenes Old North Church Made in england."

Applesauce Cake Recipe

1 cup applesauce
7/8 cup brown sugar
½ cup melted shortening or oil
1 ¾ cups flour sifted
1tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. powdered cloves
add ½ cup raisins & ½ cup chopped nuts

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients and raisins & nuts. Scoop into a greased pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting a Jump on Spring Forcing Flowering Shrub Cuttings

Now is the time to go outside and clip branches from flowering shrubs in the garden, even though they look like they are sleeping. I went outside and brought in branches from the Forsythia,Japonica, Japanese QuinceStar Magnolia,and the Baby's Breath shrubs.Other plants that force well include: Crab Apple, Spirea, Ornamental Cherry and Pear branches.Find large clear glass containers at thrift shops or tag sales. The water in larger containers should be enough to keep the branches stable, but if the size of the container is small, clear or colored marbles or beach stones can be used to weight down the vase. Add a few drops of chlorine bleach, or plant freshener to the wanter, after cutting the branches to size. Arrange the branches so that they are balanced, and the container will not tip over.Japonica
After about a week, the sleeping buds will begin to show some green growth.
Baby's BreathForsythia
It is a matter of style, but the graceful, loose branches of flowering shrubs should not be chopped so short, that the arrangement looks other than how they might naturally grows out in the garden. Star Magnolia bud starting to open.