Social Media Overstimulation

13 Oct Social Media Overstimulation

Social Media OverstimulationI’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. But it wasn’t until I watched the video below that I decided to actually talk about it here on SGL . I am on some sort of technology a lot lately – whether it’s my ‘smart’ phone, laptop or tv – and I’m not too fond of that! I know that a lot of it is because of my health, with having so little ability to get out and do things, the lure of internet is strong.

But I want to fight back a bit against it. I want to pick up my crocheting again. I want to write more (which, I realize is still on the laptop, but it’s not surfing through pinterest….) I want to write letters to my friends. I want to start that challah bread cover I have plans for. I want to learn calligraphy. I could even get adventurous and pick up the guitar I own. Once we move, I can start piano again too (- currently it resides in my parents’ house).

To put it simply – I want to be present in my own life. I want to go toward the goals I have!

I am not saying I’m going to cut myself off completely from all the things I do online, after all I’ve got this blog and that requires not only writing each post but then the promotion that takes an awful lot of time each week. I am also a part of a writing group and contemplating joining another creative group. I enjoy these groups that encourage me to create, to work on my craft and push me toward the goal of creating an income for myself.

Some of you might have seen this video already, but I encourage you to watch it anyway. I have seen others like this, but I enjoy this one as it rhymes and that makes me happy, always. (why do you think I love Dr. Seuss?? )

can we auto-correct humanity?

What to get the Chronic Pain Sufferer in your life

20 Nov

what to get the chronic pain sufferer in your life

It is ironic that I decided to write this today. I have spent all day on the couch, in severe pain. I even called my doctor asking for a prescription pain killer – which is completely unlike me. But, the idea for this came a few weeks ago when I was seeing all sorts of gift guides for the gardener, the at-home-chef, the beer lover, the crafter, etc etc. I decided what we needed was a gift guide for the chroni pain-er. hehe. just going with the flow of wording there, folks.

Some of these ideas can get pretty expensive, but I wanted to add them as well, because they really are great! I hope this gives your Christmas shopping list a bit of help! I am seeing some fantastic gift basket combinations while reading this list. Of course, these would be great for birthdays or ‘just because’ gifts as well.

calming essential oils

lavendar scented candles

eye pillows - i have so many of these and they are great!

bottle of excedrin (or their preferred pain killer)

gift certificates for the chiropractor or a massage

music (itunes, cds etc)

hoodie pillow

offers of help to go grocery shopping or do laundry

freezer meals

tea

comfy pajamas

book to read

cozy blanket

neck pillow - i have this specific one, and love it

Please tell me if you have any items to add to this list! I’d love to include more ideas!

Treasured Memories

17 Nov Treasured Memories

I woke up this morning with two completely unrelated thoughts. The first was trying to figure out why, in my dream, my OH was trying to make me iron clothes when I was sick (for those of you that don’t know, I only iron maybe twice a year….and that’s only when necessary).

Treasured Memories

And the other thought was that I miss my grandparents and great aunt so much that it almost hurts. They have all three been gone for several years, but at every new bend in the road that I walk, I find I miss them more. I miss my Auntie Opal with her gentle smile and comforting presence. I miss my grandma with her laugh and wealth of knowledge. I miss my grandpa with his twinkling eyes and helping hands. So easily I can see them each as they were when I was young and visiting them in Antelope Or, or at the property that my parents’ now own. Sadly, I don’t remember doing much with my Auntie Opal, other than just simply spending time with her – meals, quiet evenings listening to my uncle’s Elvis records and always being content to be near her. I remember going to my grandma’s house for a meal one time, and that was when I learned I didn’t like buttermilk. But I drank it – for her. I remember washing dishes and planting flowers with my grandpa. I remember how much he loved my grandma – his pet name for her, the way his eyes lit up when he teased her. They were a match, he and her.

My heart aches that my OH will never meet any of them.  He will never know how truly special each one of them were. Words won’t fully describe how each will live on in my heart, and how I cherish the memories I have.

I love you, Grandpa, Grandma and Auntie Opal.

(And Dad and Aunt M, if you read this, I’m sorry if I made you cry.)

~Laura

Writing Blockage and a house big enough to move in

12 Nov writingblock

writingblock

Well it’s week two of nanowrimo and I’ve hit a writing block that won’t budge.

Sadly, it hit with the short story i’m writing for a completely different project too..

Let me explain, I am working on a novel set in the 1890s for nanowrimo. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s the reason so many people are chugging coffee and other caffeine stimulants and typing until their fingers are permanently curved. For the month of November, the goal is to write a novel (50,000 words) – the website breaks it down for you to see your stats along the way and you can connect with other writers around the world. This is the second year I have done it and am hoping to do better this year than last!

Along with that, I have joined a creative group online with some friends – old and new –  that requires having a project to put up every two weeks. I am doing a series of short stories, each on the same event but from different perspectives. What’s been fun about that is that my dad wrote a short story a while back and shared it with me, asking if i wanted to add to it. Well, I have decided to take off his story and work from that. It’s more of a futuristic story – the complete opposite of my novel! – and I’ve never done anything futurisic.

Did I mention that we just moved too? Getting settled has been a bit crazy and fun…..well, sort of. ‘Most every day you can hear one of us (excluding the dog of course) say something about how big the house is. Or how nice it is. Or how quiet the neighborhood is. Gives you an idea of how ‘great’ it was at our old place, doesn’t it? Of course, we also moved about three hours away, so we are looking forward to going back and visiting everyone in a few weeks. I will take photos as soon as the house looks nice enough to… which should be soon, really because it’s pretty bare and when stuff is still in boxes how messy can it get, really?

….. and I just found my dog getting into the garbage. Argh. Went over to take a cute photo of her begging to come in and…well, if you have a dog, you can picture it.

anyway, continuing on – I am wanting to get back into the swing of things here on SGL, but with so much writing needing doing in the next few weeks, it might be a bit sporadic, so bear with me – i do have great post ideas though! Even a gift-giving guide formulating in my slightly-functioning-brain.

If you have anything you want me to blog about or advice for getting over this writer’s block, I’d love to hear it!

~Laura

Book Review Oct 2014

28 Oct

What with packing-cleaning-eating-sleeping-doctor appointments-meeting with friends, I am not going to be able to do a full book review with you this month! I will list them out for you and you can check them out for yourselves!

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers (not going to finish, didn’t like it enough to)

Libby’s Story by Judy Baer (still haven’t finished)

Castles: Maidens Meet Their Knights by  Tracie Peterson  (loved!)

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne  (loved!!!)

The Whitney Chronicles by Judy Baer  (love love)

Our house is pretty bare right now, and it’s only a few days until we load up the uhaul truck! I am excited, nervous, ready and kind of scared. This is the biggest move I’ve done – ever, so it’s a little hard on the nerves! But it will be so nice to have my OH home every evening, have a synagogue to be a part of, have a nice house and yard and to start a new adventure. I am not sure when I’ll get back on here – it will be a week or so I imagine.

But for today and until then, I leave you with these  deep words courtesy of Dutch Bros (and my mom’s cup) Book Review Oct 2014

Any favorites or new books you’ve found that just have to be shared??? 

don’t forget – you can find me on goodreads!!! 

Children’s Book Lineup

23 Oct

While going through some boxes a few weeks ago, I ran across a children’s story that I started writing years and years ago. While the characters are a little unimaginative – a frog and mouse are friends – I still like the idea and feel like I could take these two friends through so many different adventures and create a fun and wonderful world for kids to explore.

20141023_104909

I’ve always liked the idea of writing children’s books – I LOVE checking out this genre whenever I go into a bookstore. I inspect the flow of words, the artistry, the pictures themselves (do they tell the story without the words??) , is it a fun and engaging story for even the adult who is reading it to enjoy? When I find one that hits all of these marks for me, I get excited and have to show whoever I’m with (my mom gets it a bit more, my OH doesn’t quite understand the importance of it, heh).

So, I thought I would share some of my favorite children’s stories with you all today. I actually have started missing reading these regularly ( i worked with kids for about 10 years, so i read A LOT)

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper - three friends- cat, squirrel and duck live in the woods and make their soup the same way everyday. but one day, duck wants to stir the soup instead of adding the salt and a terrible fight ensues. When duck leaves in a huff, his friends begin to worry about him.

Delicious by Helen Cooper - the three friends have another problem – there are no ripe pumpkins in their garden! So cat and squirrel make other soups to try and make duck happy, but all he wants is pumpkin soup. can his friends get him to try, and like something else? (Me and the little guy I nannyed years ago took to quoting part of this book, it is that wonderful)

A Pipkin of Pepper by Helen Cooper- you didn’t really think I was past these books by helen cooper did you??? Once again, the three friends have a soup problem, they are out of salt! They travel to the city to buy some but duck gets into trouble when he stays at the pepper shop too long and gets left behind. What follows is a delightful tale of cat and squirrel searching for him and finding him. i love the way they get back home too.

Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel  - classics right here folks.  In 5 delightful short stories, we see the wonderful friendship of frog and toad as they go through sickness, losing a button, funny swimming suits and no mail in the mailbox. The pictures in these are simple but i adore their style. (yes, I own a ‘vintage’ copy!)

Corduroy by Don Freeman -  please tell me you already know this story! this has been a favorite for years. Poor Corduroy wants a person all his own and just when it looks like a little girl is going to buy him off the department store shelf, he has lost a button! That night, he goes in search of it, only to be dissuaded by the night guard! The happy outcome of this story is so sweet. I also love the other books in this set. (yes, I own this one as well!)

Laura’s Star by Kaus Baumgart - laura is lonely one night and wishes for a friend. when she sees a star fall, she hurries outside and finds it lying hurt on the sidewalk. she bandages it and tells it all her secrets. but when she wakes in the morning, it is gone.  i mean, really, how can you go wrong with a storyline like this?? plus, my middle name is Starr, so it was a perfect gift from a friend. =)

and this last one is a suggestion from my OH -

Benjamin’s Balloon by Alan Baker - Benjamin blows up a balloon and so begins a traveling adventure that causes him a certain amount of worry. i want to read it now, don’t you??

There you are, folks, a completely-unplanned list of some of my favorite picture books.

What are some of your favorite children’s books? Are any of you also slightly obsessive about this genre?

Southwest Corn Chowder

20 Oct southwest corn chowder

I know, you’re thinking another soup recipe? But, other than the chili i made a few weeks ago, this is the first soup/chowder I’ve made this fall! (does chili even count as a soup/chowder?? it’s like it is it’s own catergory….)

But, I MUST share this soup recipe with you. I have been hearing its’ praises sung for several weeks now. Mainly from my mom (hi mom).

I mean, I’d never even tasted this soup and I knew it was going to be a favorite of mine. Makes a big pot to last for days and days (or, if you don’t eat like I do, you could freeze some for future meals!) Is decently healthy – I’m sure you could cut out the cream and it’d still be delicious. ( maybe cream doesn’t seem unhealthy to you, to me it screams fat which screams it’s-all-going-to-stick-to-my-thighs….)

Of course, being the special type that I am, I tweaked the recipe a bit. But, if you don’t have any food allergies and eat regular bacon, you’re home free.

southwest corn chowder

A friend of my brother and sister in law’s made this as a meal for them after they had their adorable daughter (whose hair is turning red! hehe!)  and they were nice enough to share some with my mom, who then had to have the recipe… who then wrote the recipe down for me. So, thanks brother and sister in law for having a cute little girl and getting meals delivered to your home =)

So, on to the recipe!!!

Southwest Corn Chowder

5 Strips Bacon (I used turkey)

1/2 to 3/4 large yellow onion – finely diced

3 celery stalks – diced

2 bags of 16oz frozen corn

6 potatoes, cut in small cubes (peel if you want)

4 chicken breasts – cubed

2 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 cube butter

1/2 c flour

1 pint coconut milk (or cream)

2 TBSP chili powder

8 c Chicken broth or stock

In your largest pot, brown bacon. i wish i would have chopped mine up before i cooked it so i didn’t have to pull it out of the pan and wait for it to cool, then cut.. anyway. brown bacon. add onion, celery and garlic. cook until onion is done, then add chili powder and potatoes.

In separate pan, cook chicken. Add dash of chili pepper. Add cooked chicken and corn to vegetable mixture. Then add butter. Stir until melted, then add flour and continue stirring.

Slowly stir in chicken broth. ( i only had 5 1/2 cups of chicken broth, which was okay, because my pan was full. so no worries if you’re short on this!)

When potatoes are cooked, finish by stirring in coconut milk and salt and pepper. (i didn’t use a full pint of coconut milk, i just poured one can – which is about 13 oz – into the soup)

Enjoy!

southwest corn chowder

(hopefully I’ll be able to start getting better food pictures. for now though, just appreciate the fact that I not only thought to take some, but that I waited to eat long enough to actually take them. )

What are your favorite fall soups/chowders??

~Laura

Taking Stock

9 Oct taking stock
taking stock
making: nothing, unless you count the book i’m writing
cooking:  nothing.
drinking: vegetable juice and water
reading:  The Whitney Chronicles, Around the World in 80 Days, 
wanting: an official move date!
crafting: nothing currently, but plans to start some soon
wishing: for a cute little golden retriever puppy, named copper perhaps?
enjoying: having my OH home for the weekend, and my dog laying directly under my legs snoring peacefully
waiting: for an official move date!! oh, i already said that —- all the features of our new house we are excited for – more counter space, bigger yard, more everything really, compared to our current place. 
liking:  anything acorn themed…. warm sweaters and cute beanies
wondering: if my health will ever get back to what it should be
loving: my dog – she’s so cute when we are on our morning walks
hoping: I can get ready for nanowrimo and get packed without getting overwhelmed
smelling: my husband is juicing right now, so it is a fresh, vegetable scent filling the house
needing: more sleep
 
wearing: a new-to-me pair of jeans, sweater and an old navy t-shirt
 
following: a new crochet blog! plus many other great blogs
 
noticing: I’m feeling a bit better since i’ve started juicing this week. 
 
thinking: I am a published author – completely forgot about it! 
 
bookmarking:  a LOT of crochet ideas. blogging advice. 
 
thanking: my mom for being willing to be my chauffeur so often ; my dad for texting me while he’s working out of town; the sweet thank you card + pictures i got from my sister in law; my Saviour for getting me through the horrible pain these past few weeks….months…years… several years…you get the idea
 
giggling:  i guess i’m not…?
 
feeling: tired. a tad frustrated but blessed – i know that is a bit of an odd combination but that’s where I am. 

Copy and paste and play along! Leave your link below!

Writing Prompt.

6 Oct

I just found a whole long list of writing prompts and I’m so excited about it. I am hoping to do these at least every few weeks, or whenever my brain is just stuck!!! Hope you enjoy.

prompt : Reinvent Golf as an extreme sport

He couldn’t remember how he had gotten into this. All his life he had told himself that he would never, ever get into an extreme sport. and now, here he was – playing golf. Golf had become an extreme sport about twenty-five years ago. People died over this game. Gone were the days of polite clapping and khaki pants – these days the spectators were almost a part of the game, screaming out which club to use, the distance to the hole and even getting in fistfights. The players had changed just as much – they were in it to win it, no matter what. The courses had been the first things to change though – cliffs on one side and a deep lake on the other added to the adrenaline rush of getting your small ball onto the green in the center.

And that’s what had changed – people wanted a bigger adrenaline rush from this sport. A bit of danger. A bit of daring – and a whole lot of betting.

Betting.That’s what had turned him off from it in the first place. He could still remember it so clearly –  being six years old, his old man a golfer. That day his old man had slapped his worn-out hat on his head, nodded at the boy and headed out to play for the right to keep their home. His old man had lost. And so, they had packed up and moved out – to the side of town that he had never been allowed to go to before. Food was scarce, school didn’t happen anymore and he hated it. All because his dad had been unable to resist that one lousy bet.

But now, ten years later, he found himself on the green, a club in his hand and a feeling of dread in his stomach. Golf. Who would have thought it would come to this.

~Laura

A List of Delicious Recipes

2 Oct

My mom pointed out the other day that I haven’t done any food posts in a while! And, while I’m sure this isn’t quite what she had in mind, I thought I would share recipes of the new recipes I’ve tried out these past few months! Well. honestly, the energy bites are a favorite for over a year now.  . . .

list of delicious recipes

Coconut Crusted Turkey Burgers -  i have made these 3 times now and love them, although they came out best the first time I made them. This last time they were a little too dry, not sure what I did differently. But i love the coating on the burger, giving it a whole lot more flavor than a turkey burger would normally have.

Skinny Baked Cauliflower Tots - umm, these are delicious!  I am a fanatic about tater tots and french fries – and I think I could eat these instead every time! I did use my sheep cheese, and only about a quarter of what they called for….and forgot the egg, heh. But they wer still deeee-licous!  I think these could be a sneaky way to get kids to eat their veggies.

Avocado Tomato Feta Toast Poached Eggs - yum yum and yum! With our allergies, I used our homemade Challah bread, sheep cheese and duck eggs. You must make this some weekend morning!!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread - This recipe looks fantastic, the pictures, the ingredients all got me so excited to make this! I made my own pumpkin puree and got right to work whipping this up! I ended up not being too excited about it in the end – the pumpkin flavor wasn’t strong enough and the glaze didn’t , well, glaze. It tasted really good but didn’t thicken the way it  was supposed to. I might have to try it again just because the recipe still calls to me.

No Bake Energy Bites - these are so simple to whip up. and so yummy! I typically do a double batch because one just isn’t enough!

I hope you found something to try in this short list!

~Laura

Esther Ju*Lee

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This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

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housesandbooks

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Watching The Photo Reels Go Round And Round...

Snapshots of a self-taught photographer's photographic journey and process..."I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round, I really love to watch them roll... People asking questions lost in confusion, Well I tell them there's no problems, Only solutions..." --John Lennon

Esther Ju*Lee

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Farmhouse38

A little bit of farm in the city.

chucksforchancho

Ideas worth crafting. Memories worth keeping.

ReFashionista

Change the way you think about fashion.

Emma in the Kitchen

...it's a seasonal affair

kheisen's Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Living, Cooking, and Baking

The River Walk

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

Jane Austen's World

This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

Spilled Ink

Where Ink is Splattered All Over the Page...

Sugar Cane Allergy

Living Safe in a Processed World

Gluten Free Recipes & Tips

housesandbooks

Thoughts about houses and books

Watching The Photo Reels Go Round And Round...

Snapshots of a self-taught photographer's photographic journey and process..."I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round, I really love to watch them roll... People asking questions lost in confusion, Well I tell them there's no problems, Only solutions..." --John Lennon

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