Have you ever wanted to go green...? How 'bout red--like a red-head? Well, this is a 'toon my son did for a friend of mine who blogs over at ECOwomen.net. Pop on over and get some tips on how to help protect the planet.
Plus, remember it's Ruby Tuesday. So celebrate by reading a few fun blogs.
It was a disaster. And, a food final FAIL. Well. . .almost. I actually passed the class but only by an inch.
One night my frosting was too thin then the next night my frosting was so thick my piping bags burst from the pressure. You can tell by looking at my day lilies: I worked all week and then went to cake class . . . tired. And of course my frosting had to be a total fail that week - with Friday as my final.
Okay, I know, a food final is no big deal in the scheme of life but when you've spent a boatload of time preparing frosting and flowers, it's hard to have things flop. But that's the way the cookie-Um, I mean, cake, crumbles.
Well, I muddled through as best I could and on Friday I finished my cake. It wasn't how I'd envisioned it but it was fun and oh well, it was the best I could do. I guess I'm going to have to accept the fact that I'll never be a match for Duff or the Cake Boss.
My teacher said my cake looked like an explosion - of flowers. Not a compliment. Plus she said no one would want to eat those colors. She says, "People prefer pastels."
I told her, "My kids will eat it." And they did - at least some of it.
Plus, here's a preview of what I hope to have on my blog this week: How to Make an Ice Cream Cake. This cake turned out much prettier - at least that's what I think.
Of course, my teacher also said, "No one wants to eat a blue cake."
I'm such a rebel ;)
And, Mackenzie came to the rescue with her ice cream skills. Mackenzie used to work for Baskin Robbins. So she got paid to learn how to make cakes - while I paid to learn how to make cakes. Shows you who's smarter.
So, if you're interested in learning how to make a cake for a hot day that will surely satisfy the senses, come back and watch my vlog (video-blog) with Mackenzie doing the ice cream culinary-licious work - later this week. I ran out of time to upload it to Youtube. But here's a small taste of what's to come:
There are so many ways to save a little money (and the planet) this summer.
1) Take a walk - rather than a ride in the car 2) Pack a picnic - using "real" dishes - rather than paper plates and plasticware 3) Use a "reusable" water bottle when you go for a bike ride - rather than a throw away 4) Start a compost pile - rather than fill up the landfills 5) Hang a load of laundry outside to get that fresh-air feeling - rather than using the dryer 6) Go for a bikeride and feel the wind in your hair - rather than sitting in front of a fan 7) Read a book - rather than watch a movie 8) Have a candlelight supper - turn out a few lights around the house
And, if you're interested in suggestions on how to go green around the office, check out this site.
DAVID MICHAEL SLATER is giving a presentation on voice for writers. July 12th, 6 - 7:45 p.m. at the Hillsdale Library. Please feel free to spread the word/invite other groups or individuals. I'm soooo looking forward to it!
A Snail with a Tale. This is the story of a pest who lives in the garden. He uses his radula or tongue to rip leaves apart so he can eat them. These little mollusks are common garden pests but they're kind of cute too. Just take a peek at Steve one of the snails living out in my yard. These little guys carry their homes around on their backs and are thought to be lazy but imagine if you had to carry your home around with you :) not a minor task. If you want to read more, check this link out.
How 'bout you - any pests you have around your house that you think are kind of cute? Or am I the only one who doesn't like to kill the little creeping, crawling, critters?
August 8th is the date to start getting ready for. It's the Providence Bridge Pedal and believe me, it's worth the ride. It's the 15th Anniversary of the Ride and it helps raise money for Providence Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute. Plus, you'll be helping your own heart and vascular system at the same time.
So, if you think you aren't ready, you've got time to pull out the bike, pump up the tires and start getting those feet in shape for that pedaling.
I'm looking forward to the event - hope you will too.
Here are some simple, money-saving, tricks and sustainable hints to use this summer that will save money and protect the planet at the same time:
• Hang clothes—especially whites—outside in the sun to dry, at least in the summer. It will give your clothes a fresh natural scent. Saving energy one-third of the year is better than not at all and you’ll be letting the sunshine bleach your whites rather than harsh chemicals. • Close your curtains and blinds during the day. It will keep the house cooler and help reduce your use or air conditioning in the summer. • Wash clothing in vinegar and baking soda rather than harsh chemicals. Use ¼ cup white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda. • Always use rechargeable batteries rather than the one-use variety. • Take digital pictures rather than one-use cameras, even on vacations. They don’t take up that much space and it’s so easy to email photos to family and friends. • Soak a washcloth in water, place it in a baggie and put it in the freezer, when you’re on a road trip, you’ll have a handy wipe that won’t leave any waste behind. Plus, if you’ve got a baby, it can double as a slightly frozen, crunchy, and soothing teething toy to munch on without any worries about worn-out teething rings.
TIPS AND HINTS
Turn off computers - especially the monitors - at night.
Taking the stairs saves energy and helps your cardio health.
Hang a sheet or blanket over your windows on the hottest days of the year - it will keep the heat outside and lower the temperature in your house from 5-10 degrees
Definition: When you're playing a video game and start pressing all the buttons in a panic, that's triggin. Can also be applied when working on your PC and pressing the mouse when things aren't working.
Who doesn't need a mask to wear sometime? I love to slip one on when my husband is reading late at night in bed. I know, we lead an exciting life. And polka dots...make me look stylish even when I'm asleep - he-he
So, if you're interested in supporting art and artists, here's one who works in the medium of fabric, check out this site: Magnus and Jane
And here's a great gift idea for all our chicken loving friends - I mean coopwise.
Okay, Saturday I ran the 10K Helvetia Half Drop - I finished!!! My time was slower than I would have liked but I'll do better next time. I ran under a friend's registration # because she injured her knee and couldn't do it and had already paid the entrance fee. So, the good news is I wasn't the last lady in the 30-34 age group. I was getting near the end though - so sorry to ruin my friend's running history (at least on paper) but at least I finished.
So Sunday I was pretty tired. I watched Paranormal Activity, which was a fun movie if you like creepy stories. It's a Blair Witch kind of show: filmed like a documentary but all fiction. That's the bad part though. It would have been soooooo much more interesting if it was based on some true phenomena but no it's all make believe.
Now I've got to go watch the season opener of True Blood - and believe me, this fanpire is so excited :)
With better weather, we begin to drift outside. And what better way to celebrate the sunshine - than with fantastic food.
So pack up a basket and head - like Yogi - for a picnic in the park. But before you decide to use paper plates and napkins with plastic "silverware", why not make this a memorable meal?
Pack up your best plates, glassware and silverware and dine with more than a little taste. What's the worst that could happen and it's more likely you'll make a memory that will live on forever.
Pick a theme, romantic afternoon, playful picnic, or finger food...? It doesn't matter you'll have a great time no matter what the theme.
And if you use real plates, cloth napkins and even stainless steel "silverware", you'll be protecting the planet at the same time - no waste and even the leftover food might be shared with the "wildlife".
So go outside and play - in the park. Then come back here and let me know if you had a funtastic time.
Time to add another pet to this menagerie - well kind of - Trooper is a goldfish that we've had for a while but just set up his home. I bet he thinks he's swimming in the ocean after his stay in the goldfish bowl.
So do you have any pets? What's your favorites pet memory? Love to hear it.
Sunday was a rainy day in P.O. so I watched a couple of movies I had wanted to see when they came out in the theater but didn't have time to see.
Daybreakers was one. I am a true fanpire and always love to watch vampire movies. This one had a new twist on an old theme. The vampires were living the lives of human - only at night. And the vampires were farming the people for their blood. But being greedy, blood-sucking creatures, they'd overeaten or maybe I should say over-drinken - anyway there were not enough people left to feed the humanity or vampirity. So, what to do?
If you want to find out, you'll have to watch it 'cuz no spoilers here. However, even though it was interesting - I wouldn't say it was recommended by me. Not a "must see" but like Arte Johnson used to say, "Very interesting. . ."
This is at Barnes & Noble in Vancouver, Washington
An invitation to hear some great poetry:
"Strand by strand a spider strings Her scaffold stalk to stem, And when a passerby drops by Midflight, she draws him in…"
Would you like to witness some wonderful words woven together for children? Poetry appealing to literature lovers of all ages?
Barnes & Nobel welcomes local poet Susan Blackaby for a reading of her beautifully written and illustrated book Nest, Nook and Cranny. Nest, Nook and Cranny is broken into different sections - Desert, Wetland, Woodland, etc. and contains work that's visually appealing, with a large variety of metaphors that also provides a great way to learn about our natural world. It’s intended for kids ages 8-12 but would make a good gift to anyone.
This is a rare event for Poetry Group regulars and for everyone's children and grandchildren.
Barnes & Noble Vancouver 2nd Wednesdays Poetry Group Wednesday, June 9th Everything in back left-hand corner: Critique Group 6 pm Author Reading 7 pm Open Mic 7:45 pm 7700 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., 98662
Shawn Sorensen Community Relations Manager Barnes & Noble Booksellers Vancouver Plaza 7700 NE 4th Plain Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98662
My daughter bought me a present today. She got me the Switch shoulder bag by Sherpani. When I asked her why, she said because my purse is so ugly. And then she asked me if I noticed that it has an Earth-friendly Fabric? It's made from 67% recycled fabric.
Very cool. Check these bags out - I think you might like them.
Hope you all have a sunny weekend - I've got my fingers crossed.
Well, if you're a writer you should want to - or at least have a lot of conflict. That's what makes a story interesting.
Tuesday night I went to Willamette Writer's mini-seminar at the Old Church in downtown Portland to listen to Elizabeth Engstrom talk about the structure of a good story. She said that we want to live vicariously when we read. Most of us have calm lives but that's not what we want to experience when we read. So, as writers, we need to provide some excitement for the reader. Let them live through our characters. And they have to connect with them too.
So, we need to create a world of conflict and then amplify it even more. Now, I'm off to my WIP to ratchet up the conflict. I have to tell myself I wanna fight.
Pork Pot roast can seem pretty bland but if you score the fat side and stuff the scored edges with chopped, fresh, garlic it will be even better. But then I like to top it with apricot/pineapple jam and sliced apples. Then I sprinkle fresh chopped oregano and thyme on top. I also stuff a couple of bay leaves into the slits and cover the pork with aluminum foil to roast at 450 for about an hour, then I turn down the oven to 350 and pull off the foil to let the top brown (I actually like to let my top get a little darker than most people.) I love to snack on the crunchy sugarified topping. This is a typical Danish type meal but it's called Fleskesteg
I use a meat thermometer to make sure the inside of the pork reaches a temperature of at least 150 degrees - but I prefer to let it get closer to 160 degrees. Plus, I place the meat on a rack inside the roasting pan, so that the drippings fall into the pan to make gravy.
Allium reminds me of giant wishes. They are so big and bold and yet so delicate. It's hard to believe they are from the onion family but they are. Just like the little white flowers. You wouldn't know, except if you break the stem and squeeze it, then you'll get a strong whiff of onion aroma.
These allium bulbs can be expensive but you can get a similar effect by buying leeks and letting them go to seed. And leek bulbs are about 25cents per bulb and you can buy them at any feed store.
I've planted a bunch of basil - different kinds - so I can make plenty of pesto this summer. I might even try freezing some - never have had any left before to freeze but you never know. Plus, I put in about three tomato plants because I can eat tomatoes like candy. I still need to plant some cucumbers and zucchini but there's time.
How 'bout you, have you got your garden going? I'll leave you with a few photos of some of the flowers in my garden.
June 29, 2013 - MAKING YOUR FIRST PAGES SHINE with Chronicle Editor Melissa Manlove - this Rogue Valley Connection workshop is in Ashland. See website: www.scbwior.com/events for more details.
June 8, 2013 - Our FIRST SE PORTLAND schmooze is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th at 10:30 a.m. at the Holgate Library, a branch of the Multnomah County Libraries. This is your chance to Meet and Greet the Co-RAs, ask them questions, and get acquainted with each other. We will meet in the meeting room at the Holgate Library ? 7905 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Carol Bloemen at firstname.lastname@example.org ?
SCBWI - The Great Critique - July 20th at Tabor Space
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