That Time I Was Featured on Derfwad Manor

That Time I Was Featured on Derfwad Manor


Linda describes herself as chief cook and bottle washer at Lalaland. She’s a Boomer-age ex-pat California Girl, in a constant state of adapting to life in the upper Midwestern Plains. She’s married to Downtown Dad, and together they have three kids in various stages of leaving the nest. Feel free to drop in occasionally as she tries to find the moral of the stories, the funny within the tragic, and the ironic within the weird.


Linda and Downtown Dad

Where are you from? 

I was born and raised in Southern California….That’s my first response.  But like most 18 year olds, after graduating high school, I couldn’t wait to escape the family madness  get my hometown in my rearview mirror. So, technically, I can also say I’m from Seattle, and Houston. Ultimately though, having  survived nearly 25 frigid winters  lived in the Midwest for the past quarter century, I’d better get used to saying I’m from there, er – here.  That’s a hard question… let’s move on to the next one.

Michael Tomlinson

Who is your favorite musical artist? 

That’s easy! He’s a little-known, folksy, bluesy, acoustic guitar slingin’ singer who makes his home in Seattle. His name is Michael Tomlinson, and I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity to introduce you to the magic of his music.

I first heard him on the radio in 1981 with a song called The Climb about Don Bennett, a one-legged man in his late 50s who climbed Mt. Rainier. I was immediately hooked, and ran out to buy the 45. (you remember those right?).

He has lovely way of evoking emotion and images with his words, as well as a beautiful voice, and I think you’ll agree, he’s pretty easy on the eyes too! I saw him perform in person a few times at places in Washington like the now defunct Silver Spoon in Duvall, and at the Rusty Pelican in Edmonds where I screwed my courage to the sticking place and asked for his autograph.  I’ve been stalking him a fan ever since.


What is your idea of a perfect Sunday morning?

Downtown Dad and I would wake a little before 8, and after getting a couple of cups of steaming coffee and the newspaper, we’d sit propped up in bed with cozy pillows and blankets to watch CBS Sunday Morning.  We would then, shuffle in our robes and slippers, out to the kitchen (which looks nothing like our current kitchen, what’s going on here? Oh, I see why, this is my ‘perfect’ Sunday – all the dishes are done, and we don’t have to search for pans and utensils before we start cooking) where he would whip up one of his amazing clean-out-the-fridge-omlettes.



Baths or showers? 

If I had all the time and money in the world my druthers, I’d take a long hot bath with Jafra Royal Almond Body Oil in the water. Every. Single. Day.



What is the last book you read?

When Christ and His Saints Slept; by Sharon Kay Penman. It’s the first in her medieval trilogy which covers the darkness and divisiveness of the upper class in England in the twelfth century, as they haggle over the throne. There’s some romance – not a bodice ripper – but all in all a very well written historical non-fiction novel, despite the huge cast of characters.  I’ll be starting the next one in the series, Time and Space, soon!



What is the last movie you saw?

Lincoln.  Loved it.  Absolutely jaw droppingly amazing.


If no one is around, do you swear?

I think there’s practically no point in swearing if there’s no one around to hear you do it – unless of course you hit your thumb with a hammer, then the explosive expletives are more therapeutic than theatrical.


Who is your secret boyfriend?

While my secret boyfriends must usually fall within the narrow criteria of being very intelligent, with a sharp wit, and rock some shade of grey/graying/white hair, I have been known to make exceptions.  I also do not discriminate between the living and the dead.  So, in no particular order, they are:  Don Henley of the Eagles; Colm Wilkinson, the first (and only) Jean Valjean; Barack Obama, William Shatner; and Humphrey Bogart.


What is your favorite laundry detergent?

When it comes to laundry detergent, I’m fiercely loyal to Tide. I’ve used some form of Tide since I moved out on my own.…Well, except for that short fling with an upstart detergent called Surf, purely because I liked the name. I reconciled with Tide after Surf wiped out in the American mass market. Apparently it’s still available online and in places like Dubai, and Copenhagen.


If hell exists, what would you like to hear Satan say when you arrive at the fiery gates?

“Damn gurrl, I had a hundred bucks at 6:1 odds on you going the other way!”



Here is a poem I wrote about Downtown Dad’s obsession with genealogy.


Stoic and straight-backed
as the chairs they carried into their bare yard,
your ancestors sat for this photograph.

I have seen them
staring at me through years and glass.
And I have seen you stare at them
looking for the trickle
that will distill you from their sepia world.

I can feel the determination
in their old and impervious roots.
And I can feel their immigrant blood in your veins.
Sometimes it wakes you at night.
Ancient whispers calling you,
stirring your ancestral boughs.

So you dig
through time and dust,
patiently unearthing the grains of their truth
and their youth, and slowly,
the years dissolve, and that gnarled couple,
dutifully dressed, children by their side
breathe again.

Perhaps they ran away
from dried up dreams,
waded through defiant streams.
Maybe a clatter of galloping horses
echoed along the cobbled roads
from a distant fjord,
freedom’s wind erasing all traces of their past,
carrying them like topsoil
to fertile ground.

This may explain why you kneel
just to feel the soil they sowed
sift through your fingers,
and why you love the expanse of plains
too vast to comprehend horizon,
and the summer smell of a sea of green corn
on an Iowa evening.




I created this recipe once by starting out to make Chicken Alfredo, but then my inner Emeril kicked in!  Next time you are called upon to bring a crockpot full of lovin’ to a potluck, try this, you’ll have to beat people back with your ladle to keep them from licking the pot once it’s gone!  (Disclaimer:  In no way should this dish be considered health food)

Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Sausage

2 packages Aidells Cajun Style Andouille Sausage (slice into rounds)

2 packages frozen cocktail sized shrimp (thawed)

1 green bell pepper diced

1 bunch green onions chopped

3 stalks celery (with leafy ends) chopped

1 small jar sundried tomatoes diced

1 quart ½ and ½ (or heavy cream at your own peril)

½ cup parmesan cheese

Tony Cachere Cajun seasoning to taste

½ package of pasta – your choice

Saute bell pepper, green onions, and celery in olive oil until tender.  Add sundried tomatoes, stir to combine.

Add the ½ and ½ along with the parmesan cheese, stirring until it comes to a very slow boil and thickens.

Pour veggie cream mixture into crockpot on low.  Add sausage and shrimp.  Add just enough pasta to fill the pot.

Heat on low for a couple of hours.

Bam! Enjoy!




Thanks Linda! It was great “meeting” you.


  • Posted January 17, 2024 7:42 am 0Likes
    by Robin

    Eyecatching looking at the man

  • Posted February 10, 2024 12:13 pm 0Likes
    by Avijit Barua

    Lesly, thanks a lot.

    If all goes as planned, I will have a few e-books published within a few months’ time. 🙂

    In addition to the book I’m currently writing, of course. 😉

    Blogging is awesome, and, yes, it’s a great way to showcase yourself to others… and sell things!

  • Posted February 22, 2024 2:37 am 0Likes
    by Avijit Barua

    Lesly, thanks a lot.

    If all goes as planned, I will have a few e-books published within a few months’ time. 🙂

    In addition to the book I’m currently writing, of course. 😉

    Blogging is awesome, and, yes, it’s a great way to showcase yourself to others… and sell things!

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