Author Spotlight, Book Review

Fun, Engaging, Fast Moving – Game of Chess

The delightful Chess Quest Series by Michael Young brings the wonder of knights of the old realm into modern day

chess-quest-no-sale
When his grandmother goes missing Rich Witz sets out to find her. His discovers he’s the last heir to a line of White Knights who, in a long-standing battle, have been protecting the world from the evil one. Continue reading “Fun, Engaging, Fast Moving – Game of Chess”

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Friendship

Mindfully Eating Chocolate

The other day a work associate brought us a box of See’s Candy as a thank you. I placed the box on my desk until the Doc had a moment and I could give it to him. The pretty golden box, containing some of my favorite chocolates, hovered in the corner of my vision for hours. Continue reading “Mindfully Eating Chocolate”

motivation, professional creative, Writing

Techniques of a Professional Creative – intro

I developed the presentation Techniques of a Professional Creative, which I’ve given to several writing groups and at a recent writing conference, because I was feeling stalled in my momentum as a writer.  I wanted to learn techniques to become more focused and to take my writing to a higher level. As I studied I came to realize I wasn’t the only professional creative to be feeling this way and the desire to share what I was learning grew. In order to reach more people I’m sharing these ideas in a series of blog posts.  I use the turn writer and writing but these ideas are applicable to any creative endeavor – entrepreneur, musician, artist, etc… Feel free to substitute your personal creative work for the title writer.

Never sacrifice what you want the MOST,

for what you want the most

at that moment.

                                                – James Owen

The things shared in this, and subsequent posts, will help us to keep our eye on what we want most and not get sidetracked with what looks appealing right now. Continue reading “Techniques of a Professional Creative – intro”

Homemaking, Recipes

Irish Soda Bread

St. Patrick’s Day always causes me to think about Grandma Dorothy and her Irish Soda Bread.

Dorothy at 104
Grandma (at 104)

So, in honor of my Irish heritage, and wanting to share with neighbors, I made a batch of

Irish Soda Bread basket
loaves in a basket

bread. Though I gave them a modern twist — dried cranberries and cherries instead of the traditional raisins. Baked into mini loves and tied with a green ribbon  they were ready to deliver.

 I give you:

Grandma Dorothy’s Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread ingredents
I like to use King Arthur flour, it tastes better than others

8 cups flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs – beaten
3/4 cup oil
3 cups buttermilk

2 cups raisins
–or—
use any combination of your favorite dried fruit such as:
cranberries, cherries, and apricots (chop the bigger fruit into small pieces)
to equal 2 cups

optional – 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Grease two large loaf pans or eight mini loaf pans.

Set oven to 350

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
In a separate, bowl mix together the eggs, oil, and buttermilk.

Add the liquids to the flour mix. Stir with a large spoon.
Mix in the raisins (traditional) or the cranberries and cherries and if you wish the nuts.

Divide among your pans.

For mini loaves bake 35 minutes
For large loaves bake 60 minutes

Enjoy!

eco-friendly, Homemaking, recycle, simple steps

Thinking about – Plastic Bags

A friend posted on Facebook how she loves the plastic bags her groceries are packed in each time she shops. She listed the various ways she reuses them and ended with the 2207065273_a55b16424c_ostatement that she does not feel guilty about using plastic bags. Most replies were in agreement with the post. A few souls posted their love of reusable grocery sacks and the ways they’ve reduced their plastic bag usage at home.

reusable-bags

It should come as no surprise that I fall in the ‘reusable bags are better’ camp. I have a few thoughts for those individuals who can’t seem to step away from the plastic bag addiction. Continue reading “Thinking about – Plastic Bags”

Beekeeping, Urban Farm

Creating – Honeysuckle Yellow

Recently I took two days and plotted out the next book, Honeysuckle Yellow. This book has been on my mind for years. Every once in a while I’d mull over the ideas, adding a bit here and there. So much story finally filled my mind that I had to get it scratched out on paper. When I’m done with the edits for Beatrice Blake, Novice I’ll start the first daft of Anne and Nico’s story. Continue reading “Creating – Honeysuckle Yellow”

3 Simple Steps, Garden

3 Simple Steps – Yard Care

With spring around the corner (we hope) in the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere (hi friends to the south) moving into fall I’d thought it time to mention:

3 Simple Steps – Lawn Care

lawn
(1) When you mow let the clippings fall back to the ground. This will provide nutrients for the lawn, food for the good microbes in the soil, and save you a bit of work.

If you must bag the clippings then: Compost – either in your yard or through a community composting program. compost

[Many communities now have green waste cans along with the trash and recycling cans – YAY for them. If you’re community has yet to get with modern times most landfills or transfer stations offer a green waste drop off. This is also a good place to pick up inexpensive compost or mulch]

 

(2) Aerate – this process allows needed nutrients to reach the roots of your lawn aeration-graphic
There are many devices touting they can aerate your lawn (shoes with spikes – they don’t work, equipment to buy or rent) the easiest is to hire a lawn care company to come and aerate for you. They have the right equipment and it is fairly inexpensive. As a bonus you won’t have to deal with the care and storage of another piece of machinery. If you think of renting an aerating machine keep in mind those suckers are heavy and you will have to transport and clean the equipment.

(3) For that extra green boost switch to an electric mower or better yet a new push mowerreel mower
Want even more organic lawn care tips? Check out this slide show from Popular Mechanic.
3 Simple Steps will pop up occasionally on this blog and feature easy to manage, difference making, changes you can do right there in your home and community. If you have a topic idea you’d like to see leave me a message.