Friday, August 30, 2013

Long Labor Day Weekend Begins today - Look Here for Events

Portland knows how to party and if you're looking for some fun ways to spend the days, click on this link to find concerts, shows and ways to celebrate. Or just type in to find all the fun ideas of ways to spend your weekend.

I hope you all have a funtastic time with family and friends. Remember it's the last official weekend of summer! So don't waste it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Progress on the Room

Some of you have followed along on this remodeling journey from the beginning. When the ceiling was way too low.

So they looked around to see what they could do

And they decided to raise the roof and rip off the walls...

Well, it's been a long process but the room is finally painted.

Now there's just the trim for the windows, the final coat of pain, the deck off the french doors, the refinishing of the floor...YEP, we're almost there.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Salmon Balls

Salmon balls or salmon patties are delicious for dinner and Super Simple to make. Here's how you do it.

2 cans of canned salmon
2 packages of saltine crackers
2 eggs

Mix ingredients together until you have a nice mash.

Then using your hands, squish patties (just like hamburgers) and fry on a cast iron pan that's coated with olive oil until the outsides turn golden brown - or for about 3 minutes on each side.  You can salt and pepper to your own taste. But, I like to squeeze fresh lemon on my patties.

Serve with rice and creamed least that's how I like to serve them. Super healthy and tasty.

EZ Cooking and healthy too!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Squash Minions

Okay, so I'm on a Minion Mission. . . or kick, or whatever you want to call it.

But since I love Halloween...and all holidays...I wanted to start practicing my pumpkin carving. So, why not start with a Minion?

This is how I did it.

I pulled out some duct tape, yes, we do have lots of colors of the stuff sitting around the house.

I used yellow, black and the old standard gray.

I started with a little pumpkin and some yellow duct tape.

I started covering the pumpkin in tape.

Then I used garden wire to make the monocle and wrapped it in gray duct tape and the sides in black duct tape.

This is a no muss, no fuss pumpkin carving.

The Next Level SCBWI Professional Series

The SCBWI is offering free seminars for children's book writers and illustrators.

The third Saturday of each month at TaborSpace on 5441 SE can take your writing to the next level. Doors open at 2:00 and speakers start at 2:30 p.m.

The first session launches in September so mark your calendars for September 21, 2013 and keep watching here for more information or pop on over to the SCBWI website and check it out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Minions Galore

So I wanted to create my very own minions but it's hard after working all day and coming home tired BUT this is a super way to make your own minions with hardly any fuss, muss, or ;D

I got this from a Pinspiration I found on-line and then simply quickened up the process.

First I stopped at the store and bought some marshmallows, candy eyes and white chocolate tinted yellow.

Then I simply microwaved the chocolate in a cup, stuck lollipop sticks in the marshmallows and took the little minions for a dip.

 While the chocolate was still warm, I stuck candy eyes on them.
As you can see I used bamboo shish-kabobs to lengthen the sticks so I could put them in glasses until the chocolate hardened. Then I made some frosting (but you could buy your own at the store and just color it with food coloring).
I like cream cheese frosting and it's so easy to make:

1 2 lb package of powdered sugar
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup water

Then you blend the ingredients until smooth and separate it into a couple bowls so you can add food coloring and make different colors of icing.

Then I use a pastry bag and a small tip to pipe my icing but you could use a baggie and just snip off one corner and squeeze out your frosting.

Then I added blue pants
Super simple and oh so fun...ny :D


  • So what exactly is schmoozing?
  • Who can do it?  
  • What's the purpose?

    Well according to Merriam Webster here's what "schmooze" means:

    To converse informally : chat; also : to chat in a friendly and persuasive manner especially so as to gain favor, business, or connections 

    And what could be better than getting together with like-minded folk and chatting about the thing we are most interested in: writing.

    Well, if you're like me, and love talking with other writers then listen up:
  • There's a Schmooze going on this Saturday: 
     Aug 24, 2013, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., SE Portland
SE Portland Writers and Illustrators
Holgate Library (7905 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland) Schmooze will be Aug. 24th, 10:30 - 12:30.  Roz Malin will speak on the Willamette Writers Conference, Kiersi Burkhart is bringing handouts on her Professional Series coming up. She is also planning a pre series Schmooze in Sept.

 Yes, YOU too can Schmooze. So come on over to the library and meet up with other writers. You just might make some great connections and a few friends :D

And if you want to check out what other Schmoozes are taking place, hope over here to the SCBWI Oregon website and read all about it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When I'm feeling Blue

Yep, I got a new car. She's a baby blue beauty. And she reminds me of my youth - way back in the 60's when bugs (or beetles) were really popular.

So, I couldn't just ride around town with the top down, not without making myself a new retro style foo-foo fluffy baby-blue blouse (see yesterday's post), a hair scarf and eyelashes.

No, not my eyelashes, Mimi's carlashes. You've probably guessed it. Mimi is what I've christened my new car. Here's to Mimi!

So now I'm enjoying the warm weather for all sorts of new reasons. . . he-he and MAYBE I'll actually get a tan this year. Every other year I've only managed to get dark white ;D

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Homer's Odyssey

Nope. Not that one. This Homer is a cat. A blind cat.

This little black cat had an eye infection that required removal of his eyes. So Homer grew up blind.

It was a cute story but rather slow for me. There were a few interesting parts:

1) 911
2) The burglar story

but aside from those parts in the book, I was a little bored.

I also wondered how the heck a woman could be around...with, best friends with a guy (for three years) and not realize that she was in love with him...or at least "had feelings" for him until he started dating another woman.... REALLY? Sort of unbelievable.

Of course Gwen Cooper would have to dramatize a bit to make a story stay interesting but I wondered about a few things...and thought they couldn't be true.

But all-in-all it's an easy story to read. Kind of cute and not too long. But then again, the ending left me like "Huh?" It was anticlimatic. No ah-ha moment, no big conclusion, nope not this one...

So on a scale of 1 to 10...I'd give it a 4 and 1/2 - kind of mediocre.

Monday, August 19, 2013

DIY Ruffles

Maybe I went a little over-board but I wanted to make a retro-shirt to match my new car because I couldn't find one at the store that was a perfect shade of baby-blue, plus I wanted a scarf to wrap around my head to match.

So I went to the fabric store and bought a yard of baby blue chiffon then I cut it into strips and started sewing.  Here's how I did it.

First I did a loose zig-zag stitch then I grabbed one thread and pulled it together to gather the material.

If you want to see how, watch this.

It's super simple and it costs way less than buying ruffles.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Vampire Energy

It sounds cool but this isn't like "V" on True Blood or some supernatural source for a metabolic high. This Vampire Energy is a bad thing. And I haven't thought much about it.

Probably all of us have appliances plugged in that we aren't using. Well, did you know that those appliances are secretly sucking energy out of those cords?

In the US alone, unused appliances suck up over 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and cost homeowners more than $100 each year!

That's not only bad for your wallet, it's bad for the environment too. So take a quick walk around your house and take a peek at those wall outlets...are appliances plugged in that you aren't using? Unplug them.

You'll be saving a little money for yourself and helping the environment at the same time.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

FREE Writer's Workshop

Roseanne Parry will be teaching a free writers workshop at the Garden Home Library Tuesday the 20th of August at 7pm. The workshop will teach you how to create emotionally resonant characters using the seven deadly sins as a framework for understanding human conflict and motivations at the deepest level. 
Garden Home Library is at 7475 SW Oleson Road, Portland, OR 97223-9019

Here's a link to their webpage with a map. Please register. The class is free.
Rosanne Parry has written:


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Word for Wednesday-a Game for Writers

Word: Inapposite

It looks like it's misspelled..."write"?

It's not.

Do you know what it means...?

Take a guess...

Then scroll down for the Answer....




Not appropriate or pertinent; unsuitable (if you don't believe me...check it out here.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Yep, that's steam wafting off the succotash.

Still, it was not a huge success. There were only three entries. Not many daring people out there when it comes to SPAM.

Anastasia's was actually good. She hid her SPAM inside a coconut rice. It really was yummy. Mine wasn't bad but I wouldn't say it was good either.

I even bought the low sodium Spam but .... there's only so much you can do to hide that taste.

I tried to cook my entry in blocks. I had hash browns, my version of succotash (without the corn and benas) yeah, I know, that's succotash but I use tomatoes and zucchini, garlic and a few other ingredients to make my version, and then the SPAM.

So, my meal was to be multi-layered, you start on the bottom with the crispy hashbrowns, then you add the succotash and top it off with a few tidbits of SPAM.

Everyone thought I should have tried to hide the SPAM inside something.

But, I guess I've been watching too much CHOPPED - I was thinking that wouldn't be embracing the ingredient ;D

Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

DIY Sock Buns

1) Scissors,
2) one sock,
3) a hair tie
(and (maybe) a couple bobby pins)

 Cut the toe off your sock and start to roll it up into a thick hair tie.

Then pull your ponytail through the sock hair tie and start working it in and around
 Keep working the sock hair tie down to your scalp
 Smooth out your hair and if desire put another hair tie over the entire bun to hold everything in place

If there are any loose strands tuck them in with bobby pins.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Back to School Blues

I remember getting ready to go back to school. I was never blue about it though. I liked the idea of wearing a new outfit to school and seeing all the friends I hadn't seen over the summer.

Of course, I didn't really like the idea of getting up early or not getting to watch my favorite shows because I wouldn't get home until fifteen minutes after Barnabus Collins hit the big screen. Yep, my favorite show back then was . . .


I know, Johnny Depp played the wonderful part of my first fanpire experience: Barnabus. But that show didn't do the old series justice.

It was a spoof instead of scary. It was campy rather than creepy, it was shallow rather than...well you get my point.

I hate to put down a movie with JD in it...but oh man they could have done Barnabus so much better.

So, what does Barnabus and Dark Shadows have to do with going back to school...

Well, really not much, except for the fact that if the writers/directors and editors had put a little more thought into the remake, it might have done much better at the box office. And parents need to put a little thought into getting their kids off to a good start if they want them to "perform" well.

You might want to start now. Having the kids go to bed fifteen minutes earlier each night. I know, it's nice to stay up into the wee hours of the night, but kids won't be able to adjust in one evening...especially when you consider the excitement, nerves and anticipation keeping them up that first week.

If you think ahead and work a plan, your kids won't have to be solving for:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Berry" Sweet

 I love jam and blackberries so, in my mind, nothing goes together better than blackberry freezer jam and well, me. I could literally eat it all...and that's saying something because I make a lot of it in the summer but it never seems to last into winter.  It's so simple to make. Here's how I do it.

5 cups of blackberries
5 cups of sugar
1 package of freezer jam pectin
1/2 cup of water

Mix blackberries and sugar together and stir until VERY well blended.
Boil the water and pectin then pour over the blackberries - blend the mixture for ten minutes then pour into jars, tupperware, or anything that can go into the freezer.

WAH-LAH!!! Homemade jam in minutes. And nothing tastes this good.

The jam will stay fresh in your fridge for two weeks or up to one year in the freezer - of course mine rarely makes it past the two week mark. ;D

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What the Shuck

Or maybe it should be "How to Shuck..." Oysters Rockefeller

Growing up in a family with nine kids and grandma living in the back bedroom, we didn't have much spare room in our house and we really didn't have any spare food. I grew up on some seriously cheap food. I remember having ketchup sandwiches for lunch and more than my share of SPAM . . . and that was a real treat.

Dad caught a lot of our food. I don't mean in the city. No. He went fishing...a LOT. And he hunted for deer, elk and other poor wild animals. Maybe that's why I was a vegetarian for six or seven years of my life.

Anyway, we ate things that Dad was able to dig for, fish for or hunt for. In other words, we ate lots of salmon, trout, and yes...smelt. Plus, we ate what people today think of as expensive food: crab, oysters and clams.

My Dad didn't cook very often but there are a couple things I can remember him making: oyster stew, clam chowder and hamburgers...or maybe they were elk burgers...

But we kids learned how to clean fish at a very young age. But nowadays, I have my hubby help me in the kitchen when it comes to shucking corn...or oysters.

Here's how my husband does it. First he put on some gloves (but even one would do the trick)...just in case he slipped. Then he pulled out a long screwdriver and went to work. We had the oysters sitting in a cold bath...just to wash away some sand and grit.

He slipped the screwdriver into the opening end of the shell and slowly twisted it until it opened. Then he used a butter knife to scrape the oyster out of the shell.

We rinsed the oysters off and chose the best half of the oyster shell to display.

Then we put the oyster back on the half-shell
And then I poured my prepared mixture over the top of the oysters.

I sprinkled some breadcrumbs over the top and baked them at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you cook them too long, they become rubbery.

 Here's how they turned out.
And we had some corn on the cob for a few carbs. Plus we had smelt on the side and of course some wine to wash it all down.


4 T butter (melted)
1/4 c onions sauteed on the stove until carmelized
2 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)
1 cup of cooked spinach
2 T parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup red wine

I poured this mixture over the oysters then I sprinkled breadcrumbs over the top and baked on a foil-lined cookie sheet at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


"Sew" I'm not an organized beader. I simply lay my beads out on an old cookie sheet that has a lip around the edge to keep all my beads contained.

They don't look so pretty inside an old stained pan . . . but it works.

And then I take a strand of fire wire and just start stringing them up.

It's sew simple and I always end up with something useful. This is my version of a croakie and I can even wear it to work.

Plus, I never lose my glasses with this strand of beads keeping them hanging around ;D

Monday, August 5, 2013


Passionflower has been used as a calming herb for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria. 

My husband and I were on a walk this weekend when we saw this vine that had exploded all over the chain link fence. We had to stop and look at it. It was sooooo beautiful. I snapped a few photos and when we stopped at Portland Nursery, I asked what flower it was.

"Passionflower," the clerk said pointing to his shirt.

Yep, a passionflower was printed on the front of his jersey.