Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

While we were in Leavenworth, Washington we went to see a musical. Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat was loosely based on the bible story of Jacob and Joseph. Joseph's brothers are jealous of him and conspire to kill him but in the end they decide to sell him into slavery.

Because Joseph can predict what dreams mean the Pharaoh promotes him to an adviser and Joseph's life is changed.

In the end, his brothers have to come to him for food and beg his forgiveness.

In the musical, the story is performed with a lot of humor, dance and songs. The songs vary in theme going from Elvis style to Western to rock and roll.

All-in-all it is a fun family way to spend an evening outside under the stars listening and watching a lot of talented people perform.

Monday, July 29, 2013


I tried paddleboarding this weekend. I expected it to be like kneeboarding...difficult but it wasn't. It was actually really easy.

I started out on my knees on the paddleboard. Then I floated around a little bit until I felt comfortable. After I felt comfortable, I stood up...carefully. That was the hardest part. Then I simply paddled around the pond...or man-made lake. I paddled around for about an hour. I did fall in once, when I was paddling into the wind and trying to turn around real fast. Then I swam for the board and pulled myself back on top. Then I had to stand up all over again. And I paddled around until my swimsuit dried off.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Paddle Boarding

So tomorrow I'm going to try it. I've never done it before. I've spent many years doing watersports: kneeboarding, wakeboarding, waterskiing and innertubing but never paddleboarding. It looks relaxing ... if you have a good center of gravity and balance but I've always been more of a strength type athlete not a flexibility and balance type gal :( so we'll see how this goes. Has anyone ever done it? Have any tips for me?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Word Game - guess what it means

Nefarious - do you know what it means?

Take a guess.

Then scroll down to find the answer...




ANSWER: Wicked or criminal: "the nefarious activities of the organized-crime syndicates".

wicked - villainous - vile - infamous - mean - evil

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mango Sticky Rice - Super Simple and Oh So Yummy

People want to make it sound hard and I don't have time for that. I need EZ-Smeazy or forget it. I'm not going to be doing it. I have other things I want to do than spend all day in the kitchen but I still want food that tastes yummy.

So, when I looked up how to make Mango Sticky Rice I was exhausted after just reading the recipe.

That's no recipe for me. It even had a difficult name "Khao Niaow Ma Muang".

Okay, maybe it is a classic Thai dessert but I just wanted to make it for my family not learn an entirely new language.

The recipe I found gave all sorts of strange (difficult) cooking instructions. Such as:

1) Insisting on making sure I got the "right" rice for this dessert - they said "regular (savory) rice will not work; you need sweet rice"


Then the recipe I read said:

2) Soak the rice in 1 cup water for 20-30 minutes, OR up to 4 hours


The more I read the more I thought, "Hey I don't think I can make this stuff" but then I figured, rice is cheap - what's the worst thing that could happen? So, I decided to experiment myself.

I took three cups of rice and cooked it in four cups of water (in my regular rice cooker--the way I always do)

Then I poured one can of sweetened condensed milk over the rice when it was finished cooking and about one can of coconut milk. Then I cut up a couple mangos and put it over MY MANGO STICKY RICE...It was super YUMMY! And EZ-Smeazy!


My ingredient list:

1) 3 cups of cooked white rice
2) 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
3) 1/2 can of coconut milk
4) 2 mangos (sliced up) to be put over the sticky mango rice.


1)  After cooking 3 cups of rice, stir in 1 can sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 can of coconut milk.

2)  Top with slices of fresh mango.

WAH-LAH!!! You will be enjoying Mango Sticky Rice in less than a half hour.

It may not be the same exact melt in your mouth - out of this world -  Mango Sticky Rice that you get in your favorite Thai restaurant but, believe me, it's close...real close.

In fact, I served this at my Renewing of My Wedding Vows Celebration and I had people calling me and texting me for my recipe. No kidding.

Writer's Contests, Agent and Editors Wishlists, and Writers Conferences

There's a lot going on in the writerly world.

There are contests like the one over here and agents and editors listing their wishlists here (and it's not even December) and conferences galore, like the Willamette Writers Summer Conference.

So much to do, read, and write, if only we all had a little more time.

Monday, July 22, 2013

SCBWI The Great Critique

It was a wonderful morning, filled with inspiration, words of wisdom and new friendships.

It all began at 9:00 a.m. at the TaborSpace in Mt. Tabor. Over 30 writers got together to share their work and have other writers critique their pages.

Oh and it started off with donuts...of course, from VooDoo Donuts (another of course). So with coffee cup in hand and pages all around I sat down to listen to writers read their first five pages.

It was so much fun to see what other people are interested in and hear what they all had to say. It was a great time of sharing, caring and further preparing...because writers are never "finished" with their story. It goes on and on, writing, rewriting--or revising--and then reading and then going through the process all over again.

I think everyone had a good time and we all learned a thing or two.

So until the next Great Critique session...I'll be at my computer clicking away.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Great Critique

Another chance for writers to be mentored and critiqued by a professional and their peers. We did this in January and it was so successful that attendees asked for a repeat, so here it is!
Location: The Dining Room, TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215
Time: 9:00 to noon.

Never been in a critique group? Wish you could be critiqued by someone who is ahead of you in the publishing game? Want to strengthen your work? Need a fresh set of eyes and ears on that oft-revised piece? Want to have your manuscript ready for the May conference? This is your chance. A published writer will lead each small group and critique your manuscript. You'll also hear others' work and get feedback from those writers too. Plus you'll learn from the comments by the critique leader about the work of others.
SCBWI members - $10.00 (That's less than the price of a Friday night movie!)
Nonmembers - $15.00 (If you bought any refreshments, your movie night would cost way more!)

How it will work:
  1. Sign up now with the kind of manuscript you'll be bringing. You may bring a maximum of five double-spaced pages or 1200 words. DO NOT bring more. Use standard manuscript format, which means your first page will not be a full page. For picture books, we suggest you bring no more than 750 words.
  2. We will do our best to place you in a group of 5 or 6 peers who write in the same genre and with a published author who writes in that genre.
  3. We'll let you know how many copies of your manuscript to bring to the meeting.
  4. We'll also send you some basic critique group guidelines.
  5. At the meeting each of you will have a chance to pass your work around to your group and read it aloud.
  6. Each person in the group will make notes on your manuscript as you read. They'll write down what they like, mark errors they see, indicate where they are confused or what doesn't work for them.
  7. The professional writer will verbally critique your work. If time, other participants may comment.
  8. You'll receive your copies with written comments from each one in your group. Take them home and let the ideas simmer.
  9. You might even make some new friends or find those to form a critique group.
"Can’t imagine sitting with a group of strangers and reading your manuscript aloud? It should be harder to imagine sending an untried, unedited, unrevised bit of your soul out on submission!" – Jenn Bailey, children's writer and social media expert
PAL AUTHORS CRITIQUING include Carolyn Conahan, Cat WintersEmily Whitman, Mike Thaler,Susan Hill Long and Suz Blackaby.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cork Floor

Okay, a friend sent me this picture of a super-sustainable floor. If you look closely you'll see, it's made entirely from corks. So, at first I thought WOW! That is fantastic. What a way to think outside the box...or outside the bottle ;D

But then I started to think about it. How much wine would one have to drink to have so many left over corks that they could make this floor? I don't know but that might be a sign of more than sustainability...

Still, I think it's a great way to reuse something and the floor would be so springy and comfortable.  So, if this does nothing more than simply act as inspiration, that's okay too.

Remember you don't have to throw away, save that cork for another day...or floor ;D

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Plants have been used throughout the ages to heal, energize and even create a little magic.

Myths, magic and legends surround gardens.

Vampires are compelled to stay away by merely hanging garlic cloves at every window and werewolves can be taken down with simple wolfsbane, also known as monkshood, the Devil's helmet, or wifesbane.

Where else do gnomes, fairies and imps live but inside the flowers? Even leprechauns are known to live in the woods. Perhaps its the beauty found in the forest, garden and flowers that make people associate magic with this realm but maybe there's more to it than that.

Plants have hidden powers, for instance foxglove can be toxic and it can also be used to help people with heart disease.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wrap it Up

We had a birthday party to go to and I wanted to make the present prettier than my usual wrap. So I took an old shoe box and laid out the paper.

I cut the paper to fit the box and used spray adhesive rather than tape to secure the paper to the box. Then I used the reverse paper (white and black rather than black and white) on the inside to make the contrast pop.

I added a couple of ribbons in contrasting colors to keep with my theme of opposites.

I think it turned out pretty and these were leftover from a previous party so it was a sustainable gift wrap.

Movie Review Monday - THE HEAT

SANDRA BULLOCK and MELISSA McCARTHY are great comedic geniuses. I laughed so hard although this FBI fun-fest is a bit predictable, well more than a bit but it's still very funny and a great way to spend a family day especially if it's a hot afternoon, what a better way to enjoy the afternoon than inside a cool theater?

Sandra Bullock plays an ex-foster kid who grew up to be an uptight agent who gets bribed by her superior to work with a rough Boston Cop to try to take down a ruthless drug lord. If Bullock wants her promotion, she's going to have to work with McCarthy - and get along - like a team.

In the end, it's so funny although there are moments of drama.

So, over all I would recommend this show for a fun afternoon - at matinee prices - because it's not a GREAT film but I would say it is definitely GOOD.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hot Weekend

What a way to spend a weekend...in the water, floating,wrestling and laughing. It's never a hard fall, when you hit the water...well, usually it's not.

It was a leisurely afternoon on the water.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thank You

I wanted to make my own thank-you cards. So I got some ribbon with a bit of bling to it. I used some spray-on adhesive and wha-lah!!! Home-made thank yous.

Well, almost homemade....I used notecards that I bought for a buck and then I embellished them.

They turned out pretty cutesy ;D

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I'm Floored

I know I've been talking about this remodel project for a LOOOOONNNGGG time but it's still going on.

My husband has been making his own new floorboards out of old wood to create tongue and groove flooring. He used the boards he took out of the walls when he raised the roof.

It's a messy job and he's been working hard to make sure each piece fits just perfectly.

Now, he's working on installing the boards.

It's hard work - especially on his knees. So, he's using my gardening pad to keep his knees from wearing out.

You can see the white one and the half-yellow one. My hubby is such a sustainable fellow, he finds ways to use objects in new and useful ways and you can see that he's making progress. He's even adding venting so the room won't be so hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

Now we're almost ready to paint the walls, refinish the floors and move in.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

DIY Shopping bag and tee shirt

Some races give away tee shirts but I don't really like tee shirts that have tight necklines. So, I decided to turn the shirts into a shopping bag and a tank top for my husband.

Here's how I did it.

I started out with the tee shirt and then trimmed the neckline.

Then I cut away the arms.

After I cut one off, I used it as the pattern for the other arm.

Then I ironed down the seams where I wanted to stitch them.

Then I sewed the raw edges.

And the shirt and bag were done.
Simple sewing to turn something I wouldn't use into something I definitely will use and my husband will too.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend. If you want to try a treat for the holiday, pop a little corn and throw some blue and red m-n-m's in the bowl for a pretty 4th of July munchie.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hot Half-Marathon

This past weekend the family all went to Sunriver and participated in the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival.

We all signed up for events. My hubby and son and friend did the Tour de Crest, marathon bike challenge. My daughter and her girlfriend did the 5k, my sis, niece and another friend did the 10k. And I ran a half marathon. It was a HOT weekend.

My run was really hard because of the heat. It wasn't bad for the first six miles but by the eighth mile I was struggling.

I stopped at the "hydration stations" or what normal people call "water stops" and drank one cup of water and poured one over my head. But still my calf started cramping (I was probably getting dehydrated) and had to shake it out and stretch it, but then I was able to finish.

So, I learned something from this experience. . . I need to run in the heat, train in different temperatures. Maybe if I didn't just run early in the morning when it's cold, I would have done better.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I just can't go over to Bend or Sunriver without crawling deep into a few holes in the ground. Some people call this caving, others call it spelunking. 

It's so fun to escape the 100 degree weather and climb down into a cold cavern. These caves are always about 50 degrees so you need to wear a coat, and a headlamp...at least if you want to be able to see and keep your hands free, just in case you trip over fallen rocks.

It's easy to find these gaping openings in the landscape. You can't miss these lonely ladders sticking up out of the ground. And it's so much fun to climb down into the dirt. It always reminds me of Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth.

It's difficult to get any good photos when you're in total darkness but here are a few.

And when you crawl deep enough into the earth your eyes will start to adjust but then you'll turn a corner and you'll see the way out. It's a simple sign...light at the end of the tunnel.

I always try to find new caves to explore. One day I hope to be able to rappel into the Arnold Ice Cave. But first I'll have to build up my upper body strength to hold my own weight as I lower myself down into the cave.

How bout you? Have you ever wanted to crawl down into the Middle Earth? ;D

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tour de Crest

This past weekend was a few days filled with athletic events. My hubby and son did a marathon bike ride up the side of a mountain. They had a great time and even came in together.

They had to hop off their bikes at the end and run through the finish line. And I was there waiting for them.