Two ovens are better than one. That's my motto. And since I LOVE food and eating, I can use two ovens to cook all the faster in.
Unfortunately my Victorian home (built in 1890) didn't have any place for a wall oven but, heck, that's not holding me back at least not when I have a handy-husband sitting around the house. So, I put my husband to work, cutting holes into the walls of my kitchen to create a wall oven and microwave slot.
All the better to feed you with my dear.
WAH-LAH!!! My new wall oven.
If you have any fun recipes I might want to try - please put them in the comments section. I'm planning an oven party...
I try to recycle, recraft, and reuse. So, when I'm thinking of a card for someone, I think what that person likes and then I try to make it.
Today, at my gardening group lunchtime meeting, we had a master gardener come talk to us and I wanted to give her a little card to say "Thanks" so I took a picture from my garden and glued it onto some heavy construction paper and folded it into quarters. WAH-LAH gardening card!
So can you think of any ideas like this, ways you can use simple things sitting around your house and put them together to make something meaningful without spending any money?
Please share your ideas in the comments section. Thanks.
(These photos were taken with my phone - sorry for the low quality)
I don't know about you but, at the end of the week, I'm worn out. So, I could sure use a little laugh or at least a smile.
DISCLAIMER: Now, I have no idea if any of these are true. A friend sent them to me. But, maybe, they might make you smile and IMO that's a good way to start a weekend. IDIOT SIGHTING
When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. 'Hey,' I announced to the technician, 'it's open!' His reply: 'I know. I already got that side.'
This was at the Ford dealership in Canton, MS IDIOT SIGHTING:
We had to have the garage door repaired.
The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener.
I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.
He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.' I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, 'NO, it's not.' Four is larger than two.'
We haven't used the Sears repair service since.
My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter.
She said, 'you gave me too much money.' I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back. She sighed and went to get the manager, who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said 'We're sorry but we could not do that kind of thing.' The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change.
Do not confuse the clerks at McD's.
I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.'
From Kingman , KS IDIOT SIGHTING IN FOOD SERVICE:
My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for 'minimal lettuce.'
He said he was sorry, But, “We only have iceberg lettuce.”
-- From Kansas City IDIOT SIGHTING:
I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?' To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?' He smiled knowingly and nodded,
'That's why we ask.'
Happened in Birmingham, Ala.
The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, 'What on earth are blind people doing driving?!'
She was a probation officer in Wichita, KS IDIOT SIGHTING:
At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker who was leaving the company due to 'downsizing,' our manager commented cheerfully, 'This is fun. We should do this more often.' Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
This was a lunch at Texas Instruments.
I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the sake of her life, couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.
A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriff’s office, no less.
“I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.” Gloria Steinem
Marriage and a career?
That’s nothing. Try adding kids into the equation. Suddenly you’ll move from simple addition into the miraculous world of modern-day math, only this time you’ll be using the metric system.
Just ask any junior high teacher.
And, calling an Employed Mom a “working mother” is more than redundant—it’s an insult.
The sixties might have been celebrated as the bra-burning revolution but then why is Victoria’s Secret so popular today?
So, hooray for the flower-power season and three cheers for freedom!
Only I must be missing something.
I still feel like I’m chained to that never-ending chore called housework.
Maybe it’s because my Mom was way ahead of her time. In the sixties, she was raising 9 kids and running her own beauty business.
Mom was an original feminist - before the word was even invented. I just don’t know how she did it.
She’d have us up and ready for school—every day. All nine of us, wore clean clothes to class, came home to find a home-cooked dinner on the table, and could always count on finding food in the fridge.
I can’t begin to compete with her. There’s only one possible explanation: Mom must have been related to Samantha Stevens. Even now, nearly 50 years later, I’m thinking she had to be using some of that magic.
I’m supposed to be living in the New-Age, with the help of mechanical modern-day magic, I have an entire world-wide-web of technology right at my fingertips.
There’s only one problem.
I’m traveling down that information highway, at hyper-cyberspeed, while I'm supposed to be wearing high heels and looking sexy--forget it America! This isn't Fantasy Island.
Even using my cellphone, email, mapquest, and GPS, I’m still lost.
LIFE is a giant four-letter word: W.O.R.K.
But the real enemy of every Mom is T.I.M.E. and I have the evidence, written across my face. Just look at me, you can see that roadmap to the information highway etched across my face. I like to think of those little lines and wrinkles as a Mom’s badges—so forget the Botox baby. Wear those scars proudly.
I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing in life is ever free and women’s liberation came with a hefty price-tag.
Freedom isn’t free—it’s a lot of hard work.
And, we might have come a long way baby. But where the heck have we ended up?
Moms, today, just want to be it all—and do even more—for everyone.
I think about women—especially every M.O.M. who holds down an eight hour job and have to flip that word around to say W.O.W.!
Being a Mom is one occupation where none of the usual rules apply. What other job offers no training, has you on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no time-off or vacation – remember there’s not even a bathroom break from this occupation? And there’s no financial incentive of any kind to compel you into this career. You can’t even expect a paycheck, commission or bonus at the end of the month.
Yet educated people actually choose this career choice and, when they finally are initiated into the sisterhood of the traveling pants—it’s really the waistband that’s traveling not the lady inside them. But we all celebrate the onslaught of morning sickness, nightly trips to the toilet and stretch pants with a party, shared as a shower with a bunch of other women.
It’s an unfortunate reality that Dads are rarely divine and everyone is bound to make a few mistakes - which kids will point out for years to come.
You might think its funny one day, probably when the kids move out. And, Mom didn’t really have a magic wand because parents are simply people.
So, in this game, called raising kids there can be no bench players. And, if reality pitches a problem across your home plate, swing with your sense of humor - that way, you may not hit a Home Run but at least you’ll never strike out.
I pull out my yarn (paper) and knitting needles (pencil) and wrap the string (ideas) around the needles then I start to work the needles together in a smooth rhythm until a little fabric (story) is produced. I weave the material together(characters) until, bit by bit, something starts to take shape. It could be a sweater, a hat or even a story.
Sometimes something goes wrong, I drop a stitch or create a new one where one doesn't belong. Sometimes I even have to rip out some of the story, um, I mean sweater until I get back on track. And, I know, I can't just stop in the middle because I'm at the hard part. I have to keep on going, even when the going gets tough.
Finally, I exclaim "WAH-LAH" I've got a finished sweater, um, I mean story.
Is there anything in your life that reminds you of writing?
We drove up to Seattle to take Luke to SEATAC so he could hop on a flight to Paris. How is it that kids end up in Paris and parents end up driving 6 six hours to make sure everything goes okay?
Well me and my husband decided to make the best of the trip. In Tacoma we stopped at the Museum of Glass. One of the coolest things was the Kids Art Gallery. Kids under the age of 13 draw the art and then glass artists bring the art to life by creating the masterpieces. One of my favorites was this little monster:
Plus we watched the glass blowing and art making all in progress. It was a lot of fun.
If you want to get your garden beds ready for planting but, you have a bunch of weeds to deal with first, don't use chemicals to get rid of the pesky plants. Instead try using black plastic. Lay it down in the weed-ridden area, tack it down with bricks or heavy rocks. Leave the plastic over the weeds for four to eight weeks, when you pull off the plastic, the weeds will be gone and you will have a perfect bed to plant.
This is one idea. Of course, organic gardening is all about patience and practice. Not every idea will work but these types of ideas will be much better for your plant beds and the planet. No instant gratification in the organic world but it's worth the time and energy to help keep our soil chemical-free.
So, do you have any great organic gardening ideas? If you do, please share them in the comments section.
Blogerific Rena Jones has agreed to be interviewed here on my site. Thanks Rena! All you wannabe picture book writers should take heed and listen to these words of wisdom from multi-published Rena Jones.
And check out her books. 1) When did you realize you wanted to be "a writer"?
It was probably around 2005 after visiting Glacier NP in northwestern Montana. We spotted some mountain goats on the cliffs and I was inspired to write a story about one of them. My very first story was called Manny the Mountain Goat.
2) How did you send out your first manuscript (I mean how did you know where to send it, how to format it, etc.?)?
I bought several books on writing for children and getting published, so that's where I learned the basics of formatting manuscripts. However, I made the mistake of sending it out to many publishers without doing extensive research first. I found ones that said they accepted my type of story, but I didn't look any further to see what type of books they had published in the past. Big mistake -- I spent a lot of money and burned a lot of bridges in the process.
3) What made you decide to go without an agent?
I'm not sure, to be honest. It just didn't occur to me in the beginning, especially since I was submitting picture books. Obviously, I've learned more about the business since I first began and definitely see the benefits of having an agent.
4) Have you ever thought you'd like to search for an agent now that you are a published writer? If not, why not?
Yes, especially since I have some middle grade novels written.
5) Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
My family loves visiting national parks and wildlife watching, so that's been a huge inspiration. I also live in the mountains and we have a lot of critters roaming around outside. My children are also an inspiration for my writing, especially my boys, who are always coming up with crazy ideas for my stories.
6) Have you ever thought of writing in different genres?
Yes, as I mentioned, I have two middle grade novels written. I enjoyed writing those, but I'm not sure I have what it takes to write YA or adult novels. Picture books seem to be the thing I enjoy writing the most.
7) What is one thing you've learned about writing, publishing, and blogging that you never thought you'd learn?
Oh, I've learned so much since I first started, so it's hard to pick just one thing. However, one thing that sticks out is promotion. It's something you always have to work on and you can't expect your publisher/editor/agent to do all the work for you.
8) What is your favorite time to write and why?
I don't really have a specific favorite time to write, especially because I homeschool my kids and that takes a lot of time. When an idea hits me though, it's hard for me to do much else. I tend to write in spurts, sometimes short and sometimes long.
9) What advice would you want to pass on to all the newbie writers out there reading this?
It's the same advice I give when someone asks me about homeschooling -- I tell them to read, read, read! Read books that teach you how to write for children, read books that show you how to get a book published, read books in the genre you're interested in writing. Join a writer's message board and read old posts and listen to what experienced writers have to say. Be a fly on the wall and soak up as much information as you can, especially before you open your mouth and ask questions. I've had so many questions answered just by doing searches on message boards.
10) What is your favorite thing about Lemur Troops?
My favorite thing about Lemur Troops is definitely Nikki Shoemaker! She is an amazing illustrator. I instantly fell in love with her drawings when I first saw some of her work posted on the 4RV Publishing website. I was so happy to find out she would be doing the artwork for Lemur Troops & Critter Groups. I can't even pick a favorite page -- I love them all!
11) What's your next goal?
I would love to get one of my middle grade novels published, so I'm working on that now. I also have quite a few unpublished picture books I'd like to start submitting. And then there are my other books coming out with 4RV Publishing -- The Marshmallow Man is next in line. I'm really excited about this one. Stephen Macquignon did the illustrations and he's done an amazing job on it.
I went to an auction this weekend to help support the Soroptimists of Portland. They are committed to providing service to their community and have raised thousands of dollars to fund projects that "Make a Difference for Women" through volunteer service.
The first Soroptimist club was formed in 1921 by a group of 80 women in Oakland, California. The name comes from two Latin words that mean "best for women".
If you're interested in volunteering in your community, you should check and see if there is a Soroptimist group in your community.
Wonderful writer Rena Jones has awarded me the From Me To You award. Click on her name to visit her blog because she's an amazing artist in more ways than one. Check out some of her books for children or her art. She's an amazing photographer. To accept this award, I'm supposed to list seven truths about myself.
1) I love to write - duh... 2) I love to eat - really BIG duh... 3) I love to sleep - who doesn't? 4) And paint my feet - okay, just my toes - ah, nails... 5) I love to talk - everyone who knows me - knows that. 6) I love to walk - with my dogs, and cat who tags along 7) I love to mock - my kids will tell you that's true too.
So, there are seven obscure things about me...kinda boring but now we're on to better things
I would like to nominate the following bloggers for this award ...
Why fill up the landfills and then have to go buy garden soil--when you can use your leftover table scraps and grass clippings to make your own soil.
"Gardeners know the best dirt", at least that's what people say, but I'd say "Gardeners soil themselves".
I hate to call rich organic materials mere "dirt". It sounds so much better as "soil". And, if you want to make some of your own, all you need is some garbage or leftover fruit and vegetable trimmings. Don't use meat or dairy products - they attract rodents. All living things will decompose and to help it along its way to becoming that rick, dark, crumbly mixture of organic material gardeners are always searching for, you simply need to mix one to two parts carbon-rich materials ("browns") or fall leaves with ("greens") grass clippings or left over fruit and vegetables.
You can start by keeping a jar by the sink, with a nice lid to keep the "aroma" inside the jar. Toss your coffee grinds, peels and other "waste" into the jar. When the jar is full take it outside to a bin and dump the organic material inside. If you can turn the materials, with a pitchfork, that will help accelerate the process. And keep the mixture damp, by simply adding a little water - think of it as "watering your garden" in process.
It takes a while for the materials to turn into soil but it's worth it. You'll be creating great garden material and saving the planet at the same time.
And, if you're looking for someplace to put all that wonderful, rich, soil - check out ECOwomen.net to see how to B.Y.O.B. Build-Your-Own-Bed, your own Garden Bed.
I've got that twitchy, antsy feeling coming over me again. The flowers are in bloom, the trees are blossoming with foliage and there's the sweet scent of . . . something on the horizon. It's the aroma of art and crafty people gathering for that special season of . . . writer's conferences.
Yep, it's that conference time of year again.
If you live in Portland it's time to sign up for the SCBWI spring conference. Check this out and get in gear before it's too late.
And if you know of more conferences in our area, please share. If not, tell me what conferences you like to attend and why.
Maybe we can all learn a little something before the big event(s).
We had an old rusty tablesaw - minus the saw - sitting around. We've been thinking about making it into something but just hadn't gotten around to it.
Well we had a family dinner this weekend and thought it would be nice to have some place to set the food while we're cooking outside so my husband decided it would be EZ to turn this eyesore into a barbeque table - for outdoor cooking. So he used a little leftover thinset that we had out in the shed to "glue down" the cement backerboard. Then he cut up some leftover slate we had from the patio installation. So this slate tabletop is a perfect re-crafting of recycled materials and it makes a nice addition to our outdoor furniture.
1836: Samuel Colt released the first Colt revolver. 1868: Impeachment proceedings began against President Andrew Johnson. 1933: The Nazis won parliamentary elections, giving control of the country to Adolf Hitler. 1946: Winston Churchill used the term 'Iron Curtain' in a speech
March 5th seems to be an ominous date in history.
Any good things you can think of that happened on March 5th in history?
So I display the 350 Challenge badge because I want my blog to help fight climate change. And the organization that started this cyber-community awareness program is looking for projects to support. Check out this link to nominate a project - or to vote for one.
Answer: Queen Esther ate only poppy seeds and chickpeas with other beans for three days to avoid breaking kosher laws while she figured out a way to tell the King about Haman's evil plot to exterminate the Jews.
All you writers out there, we all need a little editing now and then. This looks like a fun company you might want to consider: Declaration Editing and Design. with helpful staff, you should check out their website and read more about their editing services which include: "Editorial Response Letters, Developmental Letters, Developmental Editing" and more. Friends of Mystery were on hand too. Their next meeting will be Thursday, March 25, 2010 with the Spotted Owl Winner, Phil Margolin & Robert Dugoni. This event will be at the Terwilliger Plaze, 2545 SW Terwilliger in Portland at 7:30 p.m. Willamette Writer had a booth and was promoting their Tuesday night meetings which are free to members and $10.00 for non-members. Also the Oregon Council for the Humanities was on hand and giving out complimentary magazines (and FREE is always a good price).
There were so many organizations on hand (and it was all FREE) that I can't put it all in one post. But next year, if you're in Portland, keep your eyes and ears open for this fun and informative event designed specifically for writers.
Thanks for visiting my site. "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." DC Talk