Spicy Spinsters


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Finding Men

Posted by [email protected] on June 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Where The Boys Are

Remaining the world’s most popular spice, peppercorn is a climbing vine.

     Hey, do you remember me? I’m Patty, from the first story in Spicy Spinsters. I used to be an introvert, but after listening to a subliminal suggestion tape regarding overcoming shyness, I’ve become at ease with introducing myself to men. Now I can give you some helpful advice.

     There’s an old movie called “Where the Boys Are” about college students going to Florida for spring break. Available, good looking young men having what we used to call “potential” flocked to the beach in that flick. Like the movie, there were plenty of “fish in the sea” in our youthful days.

     As we got older, the sea turned into a lake with fewer fish. That’s when we became less particular and began holding our heads perpendicular when we looked at “prospects.”

     When the lake dried up, we found ourselves standing in a puddle trying to fish while competing with younger women. That kind of competition used to threaten me until I understood I own something the younger set doesn’t have—experience. You just have to let a man know what’s best for him—you of course.

     With all the bravado gents pretend to have, they’re nervous about new romantic endeavors just like the ladies. Sometimes you need to muster the confidence to visit their habitats. You can find them online, or you can go the traditional route. But you do have to make yourself visible.

     Do you remember being a young child covering your eyes with your hands and saying, you can’t see me, because I can’t see you? That’s just as silly as hiding behind your door at home every night, staring at the TV all alone and wondering why you can’t find a “good” man. In other words, you have to put yourself out there and not only look, but you have to make sure men see you, too. How are you supposed to connect with someone if you never make yourself available? Even if you search online, sooner or later you have to go somewhere to meet the guy.

     Many people enjoy going to bars to seek romance. Personally, that’s just not my scene. I get a little dippy after my first stiff one (maybe I should I say strong drink?). Alcohol changes people and at our age you can’t waste time waiting until someone’s sober to see if you want to let him into your life. Instead, you might try classes one or two nights a week where you think men might be that have similar interests to yours. (Use a little common sense in this area. I don’t know about you, but the man of my dreams isn’t likely to take a cake decorating class).

     Make a list of every place you think men might be and get creative. Don’t forget men are boys in grown-up bodies. For instance, I bet if you take a kite to the park on a windy day, you’ll have new playmate in no time at all.

     We’d all like to find Christian Grey with his seductive 50 shades. He’s rich, good looking, complex and willing to explore a woman’s fantasies (not to mention sharing his). But even though he made grey my favorite color, I have to admit Mr. Fifty’s kind of scary. He’s far too intense. It’s ok to work hard, but some of us just like to relax when we play.

     Stay open to dating all kinds of men with different characteristics. Accept that since you’re not perfect, you’re not likely to find a man without flaws. Although it’s important to have chemistry between you and your future man, sometimes it takes a little time. The guy, who was average when you first met, might take a little time to show he’s a real gem.

     Be careful of con artists. Even if you play the cougar and a much younger man is your delicious prey, make sure no one becomes financially dependent upon you. (Need I remind you of the two homeless guys in Spicy Spinsters? I hate to admit it, but I was attracted to a dazzling vagabond).

     Now that I’ve given you a few tips, don’t wait for cupid to shoot an arrow. Get in the ring and give it the ol’ one-two punch. The guy will never know what hit him until after he’s fallen in love.


Please Note: The above is an expression of opinions and not professional advice. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes. You are solely responsible for the use of any of the content and Jewel Hopson is not responsible for any event or claim.


Posted by [email protected] on March 4, 2013 at 2:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Thyme is closely related to basil, oregano and marjoram. With over 100 varieties of thyme, lemon, wild, and garden are the most commonly used. A staple of modern European cooking, thyme works well in almost any dish. Some people believe thyme strengthens the immune system. Its oil has been used in tonics to treat depression, cold and muscular pain.

My name’s Maggie and I’m stepping out of page 162 from the Spicy Spinsters character collection. Although Mary’s my identical twin sister, most people don’t get us confused with one another. She’s a recently widowed conservative, while I’ve never married. I had little choice but to be the willow branches bending with the breeze to keep up with the way dating changed after the sexual revolution.

I talked Mary into getting back into the dating game. Although I gave her plenty of suggestions for a makeover to help put her in a new frame of mind, I had to wait until she was emotionally ready to take the next step.

Months passed after I told the story in the book before she could begin dating again. Perhaps if I shared this information I told her with you it could help settle some of the butterflies fluttering in your stomach when you go on a first date with a man.

Avoid TMI (too much info.) on the first date

Think of your first date as a casual interview. For instance, you wouldn’t trash your old boss with a perspective employer. The new man’s likely to consider complaints about the ex could mean your life includes too much drama. If you begin complaining about the past too soon, he might think you’re a man basher or that you’re life includes too much drama.

Sometimes we have the tendency to immediately put everything on the table. We want to know right away if he’s going to bail because of what we think he’d consider a deal breaker. We think we’re sorting out the men who might jump ship before investing our emotions. However, the circumstances that a man feels he can accept further into the relationship is usually different from what he’ll put up with on a first date.

Men love intrigue and mystery. They fancy themselves as skilled hunters and love the chase. While he’s doing that it gives you the chance to decide whether or not you want to continue seeing him. Besides why tell a relative stranger all your personal business?

Everyone wants to feel a date’s listening when they speak. Let him share the conversation by making him a part of it rather than making him the audience at your one woman show. Asking him questions will let him know you’re interested in him and will let you know if you want a second date.

If you can’t follow the above advice, go to a movie, or a concert, the ballet, the theater or anything where conversation is limited.

Please Note: The above is an expression of opinions and not professional advice. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes. You are solely responsible for the use of any of the content and Jewel Hopson is not responsible for any event or claim.


Posted by [email protected] on September 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Pineapple mint prefers well drained soil. Usually cultivated for ornamental purposes, it’s aromatic and can be invasive.

Hello, I’m the mistress found on page 34 in Spicy Spinsters. So talented and eager to please, I remained a kept woman even when my youthful bloom faded.


When I first started going through a rather early menopause, I panicked. I thought I had nothing to look forward to but a wrinkled face, a saggy body, a thinning scalp and shriveling vaginal walls. However, these days of quick fixes, modern medicine and surgery can pull together even the most undisciplined woman who refused to exercise or use sunscreen. Therefore the book can be as good as the cover! Your gynie can see to it that you remain Juicy Miss Libido Lucy for as long as the clock ticks.

Say what you want about the good ol’ days, but our grandmas didn’t strut their stuff when they were our age the way we do. Back then a cougar was just a big cat. While there’s nothing wrong with hunting much younger men, don’t write off the men your own age or even men slightly older than you are now. A healthy, older “gentleman”* is much more generous than the young “slick” who is probably wondering what you can buy for him.

While it’s true, the young bucks have more fire (and that hot energy might kindle the flames faster than a ember), there are reasons sex with a senior man could be the best you’ve ever had. Your old older man’s hormones are no longer off the charts, but he is able to touch his lady unselfishly and patiently, without making her feel rushed.

Mature men have knowledge and experience, whether he’s been one year with 50 women or 50 years with one woman. If a good sex life is part of his past it’s probably because he was tuned in to his partners’ needs. Now you can be the beneficiary of that knowledge base.

An older man has more confidence, and isn’t trying to prove he’s the greatest lover of all time. He knows lovemaking is just between the two of you, and the time he spends with you isn’t a competition between him and any lover(s) you had in the past. He has nothing to prove. In short, he’s pleasing you for the right reasons.

* I said “gentleman.” I didn’t say cantankerous, old cheapskate.

 Please Note: The above is an expression of opinions and not professional advice. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes. You are solely responsible for the use of any of the content and Jewel Hopson is not responsible for any event or claim.


Dining Alone And Other Activities

Posted by [email protected] on March 10, 2012 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The medicinal factor of gingerroot isn’t mentioned in the book. Most of us know to reach for ginger ale when we have a slightly upset stomach. Many people take crystallized ginger (purchased from the spice section at grocery stores) on cruises to prevent sea sickness. Therefore, ginger not only adds flavor to recipes; it’s good for us.

Confidence to do Things Alone

Being a Spicy Spinster, I learned long ago the joys of my own company. While it’s nice to share experiences most of the time; being alone with my own thoughts, doing what I want without considering anyone else’s agenda or time is less stressful. Food can taste better if you don’t have to justify the fattening sauce you just had or the desert you ordered. Furthermore, there are times after lunch that I love to slowly browse in shops and feel irritated when others want to zip into boutiques, get what they want and get going.

You met me on page 96 in Spicy Spinsters: Stories of Seasoned Bachelorettes. Perhaps that’s when I learned to enjoy my own company. If I didn’t spend a lot of time with other people, I wouldn’t talk about my love affair. Billie Holiday used to sing, “Love will make you do things that you know is wrong.”

Sometimes I miss my youthful days when I was a flight attendant on layovers by myself. I didn’t have to consider anyone’s activity priorities but my own. Not everyone wants to spend an entire afternoon on the beach or in a museum. And have you ever tried to get a group of 10 people to agree on which Broadway production to see? You can probably tell I was not one who thought the entire crew had to stick together.

Life’s precious whether you’re having fun with someone or if you’re savoring it by yourself. As the young people say, “It’s all good!”

Please Note: The above is an expression of opinions and not professional advice. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes. You are solely responsible for the use of any of the content and Jewel Hopson is not responsible for any event or claim.

Favorite Valentine

Posted by [email protected] on February 11, 2012 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Paprika seasons and garnishes many dishes. It’s a powder made from grinding fragrant, sweet pepper pods. The flavor can range from mild to hot. The tough pods take several grindings to produce just the right texture.

How many lovers are too many? I’m glad you asked. Hello, dear friends. I’m the character from “Autonomy” (page 133). I’m the one who confessed my relationships and trysts without shame. At my age, what would be the point?

It wasn’t always that way. When I was a teenager, I honestly believed I’d be chaste on my wedding night. Then the Sexual Revolution came along turning my generation into the Last of The Red Hot Virgins. After the wild party began, men confused us by acting like we were prudes if we didn’t sleep with them and tramps if we did.

For today’s independent woman, I’d say you have to do what suits you. The way I see it is if a young girl is 15, one lover is too many. Sex can be too complicated and too full of emotions for someone that age to handle. If a woman is 25 and has had five lovers, I’d like to know what the rush is. Give yourself time to explore a relationship. But if you’re 60 years old and have never been married, 10 lovers are not enough. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Favorite Valentines

Yes, I’ve had many lovers. . . I’ve been wined and dined, so to speak. Saint Valentine’s Day come and go year after year. There have been flowers, dinners, champagne and chocolates. Pretentious, boring men have thought themselves impressive with rented limousines. Impressive men have given me furs and fine jewelry.

But what was my favorite Valentine of all time? I’ve always thought if a man gives a woman a dozen roses if could impress her, but a single rose would touch her heart. Too bad it loses its effectiveness when you have to “tell” men this to get them to do it.

Let’s face it; Saint Valentine’s Day is woman’s holiday. We’re the ones who gush over it. It’s the gift that makes us feel special or loved that we care most about. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It just has to give you the best smile you’ve ever had.

Andrew’s Card

My book bag contained my spelling book, my English book, my arithmetic book, my homework and something that actually made me want to go to school that cold, snowy morning. All my carefully written Valentine’s cards were neatly placed inside. There were 35 of them. I had 25 for my class, eight to take to friends in other classes, one for my sister two grades ahead of me and one for the teacher.

The school buzzed with children as equally excited as I was. Smiling teachers told us to place our cards in the boxes covered in red paper and decorated with paper hearts and lace. They probably saved the boxes from previous years since we didn’t help make them. In each classroom the boxes had a slit on top to drop the cards so the teacher could pull the lid off the box in the afternoon. That’s when we’d have punch and cookies while the teachers passed out the Valentine cards.

Usually, we were in our seats at 9:00, but on February 14, we had an extra 20 minutes. Ready to begin our lesson, the students were all surprised when the teacher said, “Andrew brought a card so big that it won’t fit into the opening of the box. So I’m going to put it under the box.”

Our mouths fell open as we all turned to look at Andrew squirm in his seat. “Who’s it for?” We wanted to know. Andrew looked at the floor.

“Oh, I’m not telling,” Mrs. Powell, the teacher said. “You’ll have to wait until the party this afternoon.”

“Awww.” We wanted to know about the card right away.

“If anyone looks under the box, he or she will be in big trouble,” the teacher said.

Well, that was enough for our third grade class. Mrs. Powell went on with the lesson, but I could hardly concentrate. Who could that big card be for? I wondered. I hadn’t seen Andrew talking to any girl in particular. He wasn’t all smiley or up in anyone’s face. Who could he like that much?

We still had neighborhood schools back then, so when I went home for lunch (and my mommy fix), I told my mother about the huge card that grew even bigger in my mind.

She asked, “Do you think it’s for you?”

“Oh no, Andrew doesn’t like me. I don’t know who it’s for. But it’s for somebody he thinks is really special.”

After lunch we had to get through more lessons before the party. Unbearable suspense made it impossible to learn that afternoon. When would I know the name of the girl on the envelope of the big card?

Finally, at 2:15 our books closed, the cafeteria ladies brought the cookies and punch into the room and the party began. Mrs. Powell began passing out the cards in the box first. We smiled and thanked one another, and since I knew Andrew didn’t like me anyway, for a short while I forgot about the big card under the box.

Then someone said, “Hey, wait a minute. What about the big card under the box? The one Andrew brought.” Everyone said, “Yeah, we wanna know who gets that card.”

The teacher pretended she forgot and said, “Oh, there is one more card under the box. It’s the one everyone’s been asking about.”

We all turned and looked at Andrew. Once again he looked shyly at the floor, giving us no clue.

Mrs. Powell had the card in her hand. The class went silent. It seemed like she walked in slow motion closer and closer she came and stopped at my desk and placed the card in front of me. I was the special one who got the card.

Everyone gathered around my desk as I carefully opened it. It had a yellow duck holding a red heart, saying, “Valentine, I think You’re Just Ducky.”

All this happened in 1958, and I still have that card. It was the best Valentine ever, because it touched my heart like none other.

Please Note: The above is an expression of opinions and not professional advice. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes. You are solely responsible for the use of any of the content and Jewel Hopson is not responsible for any event or claim.

Valentines' Dinner For Two

Posted by [email protected] on February 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Use carob powder as a food stabilizer or darkening agent.However, it can’t replace the full flavor of chocolate. Nothing represents St. Valentine’s Day like flowers, jewelry and scrumptious chocolate.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Hello, I’m the caterer from “My Make You Do Wrong Man” (pg.52) If your thinking of having your significant other over for a romantic dinner for two you might want to use my suggested menu served with champagne in your candlelit living room, on the cozy sofa, in front of the TV while watching your favorite, romantic movie.


Plateau De Fruits De Mer With Two Sauces

Have the fish vendor steam the fish and shuck the oysters for a small charge. You can make your sauces early that day.

¼ c. white-wine vinegar

1 tbs. finely chopped shallot

2 tbs. finely diced, peeled cucumber

Coarsely ground black pepper

1/3 c. catsup

1 tbs. horseradish

¼ tsp. finely grated orange zest

4 jumbo shrimp, steamed, peeled and deveined

4 oysters shucked and in shells

1 lobster tail steamed and cut in half

Garnish: lemon wedges


Rack Of Lamb With Mustard Sauce

1 rack of lamb frenched

Coarse salt and ground black pepper

1 tsp. vegetable oil

¼ c. dry white wine

1 c. chicken stock

2 tsp. whole grain mustard

1 tsp. pomegranate molasses

Preheat oven to 425°. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat oil over high heat in a large ovenproof skillet, and sear lamb, fat side down, until brown, about 6 minutes.

Remove lamb from skillet, and discard fat. Return lamb, seared side up to pan, and roast in oven until thermometer inserted in the center reaches 130°, 15 to 17 minutes. Set lamb on a cutting board loosely tented with foil.

Pour excess fat from skillet, and place over medium high heat. Add wine, and simmer, stirring and scrapping up browned bits, until reduced by 2 thirds (about 2 minutes). Whisk in stock, mustard and molasses and simmer until thickened, (about 8 minutes). Carve lamb into individual pieces and serve.

Roasted Fennel And Artichoke Hearts

1 fennel bulb (12 oz.) cut into ¾ inch wedges

with 1 tbs. fronds reserved for garnish

1 can whole artichoke hearts in water (13.75 oz.)

drained, patted dry, and cut lengthwise

3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 tbs. roughly chopped flat leafed parsley

Preheat oven to 425°. Arrange and artichokes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbs. of oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until caramelized on both sides, about 35 minutes, tossing after 20 minutes.

Drizzle with remaining oil and lemon juice. Add parsley and toss to combine. Garnish with fennel fronds.


Chocolate Pots De Créme

This desert takes up to 4 hours to chill and can be made 2 days in advance.

¾ c heavy cream

½ tsp. instant espresso powder

¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp. sugar

pinch of coarse salt

Preheat oven to 325°. Bring ½ c. plus 2 tbs. cream, the espresso, and vanilla to a simmer; pour over chocolate in a medium bowl. Let set for 3 minutes; whisk until smooth.

In another medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk, sugar and pinch of coarse salt; add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Strain custard through a fine sieve into a 2 cup- glass measuring cup. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally (about 15 minutes).

Place 2 teacups in the center of a baking dish. Divide custard between cups, and fill pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the teacups. Cover tightly with foil; poke several holes in the foil. Bake until custard is set around edges, but wobbly in the center (about 25 minutes).

Remove cups from water bath, and let custards cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days. Before serving, whisk remaining 2 tbs. cream to soft peaks and dollop over pots de crème.

Hmmmm. If the romantic dinner and movie rental doesn’t put him in the mood for love, may I suggest listening to Ravel’s Bolero??????

Please Note: The above is an expression of opinions and not professional advice. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes. You are solely responsible for the use of any of the content and Jewel Hopson is not responsible for any event or claim.


Posted by [email protected] on January 29, 2012 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Because of saffron’s expense, it’s important to get every bit of flavor out of it. Substitutes are cheaper, but don’t produce the full flavor.

Hello, if you read Spicy Spinsters, you know me as the high priced call girl from “The Life I Love.” I’m the gal that guys pay more for. . . If you want to get him and keep him, try my advice.


Most men prefer confident, positive women who take care of themselves. The standards for beauty are different for all men. No matter what you think you look like, someone believes you’re gorgeous. But if you have poor hygiene, you’ll face endless Saturday nights with Tiger-Lily, the cat (you might remember her from “I Won't Meet Preston" pg 139). Good grooming is the general air of freshness that proves you care about yourself.

Also make sure you don’t stay in a time warp. Is your hair style the same as it was fifteen to twenty years ago? Even if it is the best do-for-you, does your hair need a little highlighting or perhaps a new color? How about your make-up? Trends change and so do our faces, by the way. You might need to apply wrinkle filler or maybe the eye shadow color that used to look good is making you look tired now.

As for the first few dates, women who enjoy themselves in the moment and don’t think too far ahead generally make men feel comfortable. Don’t turn off your man by talking about the next date, or what’s going to happen next month, or the next ten years. The last thing you want is to seem needy.


Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Always keep him guessing. If he never knows what to expect you can give a man variety on your terms. It doesn’t have to involve anything you’re not comfortable with doing. However, you do have to put on your thinking cap and experiment.

Part of the attraction a man feels for you at the beginning is that you’re new to him, and

he's learning all the overpowering mysteries about you. So make sure the newness never ends. The bedroom is an adult playroom; and the bed is a fantasy island. Role play. Use props. Dress the part. Make him feel wanted. Initiate the game sometimes.

Keeping him guessing doesn’t stop in the bedroom. Create tension and interest by not always doing or saying what he expects. Let him wonder about you, and get him doing things to get more of your time and attention.

Lastly, the brain is the biggest sex organ of all. While women want to know men listen to us, men are different animals altogether. Men are turned on by respect. If you lose your man to another woman, it will probably be because she made him think he’s great while you destroyed his ego. On the other hand never short change yourself. Don’t let him forget what a prize you are!

Please Note: The above is an expression of opinions and not professional advice. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes. You are solely responsible for the use of any of the content and Jewel Hopson is not responsible for any event or claim.