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Lentil Loaf

After all the food in New Orleans I was ready for some “plain” food. The simple food of my childhood. . . I scrounged around the kitchen and came up with lentils and rice and I was in business! It took about 10 minutes to assemble the loaf and 60 minutes to bake it. I threw a couple of potatoes in the oven with it. When it was time to eat I steamed some broccoli and made a quick salad. Funny how ...

Vacation in Las Vegas & electing a President

This is the view from the window of our hotel in Las Vegas. We were here last 25 years ago, my husband had heard so much about the changes that had taken place during that time that he has spent ages planning a return trip. Well, the city has certainly changed and grown since we saw it last, but apart from the dazzling lights and razzmatazz of The Strip there’s a lot of buzz here about the forthcoming election. The buzz we ...

Kismet: It’s All Good…

“I have no regrets in my life. I think that everything happens to you for a reason. The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person.” Rita Mero Kismet: It's All Good Part I – Kismet: It’s All Good… Kismet means fate/destiny. Providence; external circumstances, outside influence, divine intervention. Typically, when the subject of fate/providence comes up in conversation, we find two schools of thought vying for attention; those who believe fate carries much weight in our lives and those who ...

January 2013 Goals

A New Year is a good time to re-evaluate; even though technically we are almost half way into the first month of 2013. I have never been exactly big on New Year’s resolutions. The few times I have made them, I utterly failed at reaching them. They were the usual suspects. The things you decided that will somehow fix your life if you do them right. Mine are usually along the lines of  losing weight, exercising more, saving money or finishing ...

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Spinach Soup)

Nothing says Portugal like Caldo Verde. This is a simple but delicious soup. Ingredients: 4 Tbsp olive oil 2 large onions very finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic crushed 250g chorizo sausages cut into rounds 6 large potatoes cut into quarters 8 cups water 2 tsp salt 500g kale spinach finely shredded Method: In a large pot heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the chorizo and fry for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir so that the potatoes are coated with the oils Add ...

Piglet’s Plot in June

This year I’m keeping a photographic diary of my humble vegetable garden; what’s growing when, where and how well. Yes, I know it’s August and I’m writing about July June, but with recent trips to the UK and France I am way, WAY behind on my blogging activities. I took all the photographs, so at least I could backtrack and post at a later date. Raised vegetable garden June 2013 The white onions planted on the 19/11/2012 are now ready for harvest ...

Lucie, For You

The Trifextra Challenge this weekend is to write 33 words inspired by this song from Mick Jagger and the Stones with whom he Rolls: *** We were wild, dangerous and fierce— oblivious, yet hell-bent on blighting the world. It was wicked-good fun while you lasted. In spite of the guilt-searing pain, I am damned pleased to meet you.

Fun Flower Facts: Hyssop

Hyssop (or hyssopus) is a herbaceous perennial shrub belonging to the mint family with attractive spikes of flowers that come in purple, blue, pink, white and orange. Both the flowers and the leaves are fragrant, with scents ranging from bubblegum to licorice. Plants grow to be 2-5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. Hyssop is easy to grow from seed and the flowers are long lasting, blooming from late summer until fall. The most popular cultivated variety is H. officinalis. These ...

The Guys Guide to Giving Flowers

92% of women can remember the last time they received flowers, and 89% say receiving flowers makes them feel special. Giving great floral gifts, however, still remains a mystery to most men. To help them out, author and TV host Rebecca Cole provides guidance on giving females flowers. “If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then the pathway to a woman’s heart is through her other senses,” said Cole, author of Flower Power and co-host of Discovery Channel’s ...

Happiness: Installation Art At Storm King…

“Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.”  John Lubbock, Sr Happiness: Installation Art At Storm King... Zhang Huan, Three Legged Buddha, 2007 Happiness: Installation Art At Storm King... Louise Nevelson... City On the High Mountain 1983 Happiness: Installation Art At Storm King... Alexander Calder, Knobs & Gui Mistletoe, 1976 Happiness: Installation Art At Storm King... ...

Creative Reuse Finds

I know, I know, I've been all about creative reuse lately, but I'm really excited about it!  As one reader pointed out, I forgot to post what I got at both stores!  So, in one big combined photo, here's what I bought. Besides a whole lot of yarn, here are some other fun treasures: Two older pattern folders, one for sweaters and one for dishcloths, hence all the cotton yarn. A pair of US 10.5 Susan Bates needles, a good brand and one ...

Design For Change

Design For Change

It’s not that often that we see a big business get into supporting global change and conservation.  I was impressed when an email arrived in my box today, from Eckersley’s art store, promoting an initiative from Oxfam. –  Design for Change – which is a unique and collaborative online space for designers, writers, thinkers, inventors, believers and changemakers to forge creative solutions to global problems. They currently have a challenge running to come up with solutions for ways we can reduce ...

December Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in Portugal

On the 15th of each month I participate in a gardening blog hop called Garden Bloggers Bloom Day where garden bloggers all over the world share what is currently blooming in their garden. The temperatures here in the Western Algarve have not dipped below 3C at night and have hovered well over 12C during the day. In fact last night it was 18C. We’ve had lots of rain as well as sunshine so the perfect combination for hungry mosquitos as well ...

Entrelac

I'm still recovering from tendinitis in my  left shoulder and elbow.  I hate it.  It's painful, it gets in the way of work, play, and sleep. I'm still doing a little knitting.  I can't quite crochet yet as it uses my left arm and hand a lot.  Spinning is completely out of the picture until I'm better. What I found works well with knitting in little spurts is entrelac, a method of knitting where you get a nice, basket weave pattern.  It's ...

Guest Post: Bulb Flower Gardens

The fondest experience for any gardener is the sight of the first spring flowers peeking through the last snow of winter. These spring flowers have been long seen as a sign of new life. Whether ...

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Artist’s Studio

My new artist’s studio is is finally setup! Your artist’s studio is the hub of your creative endeavors. It is your home away from home. Often it is the home of your heart. An ...

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Freebie Friday: Free April 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!

While for some of us it’s hard to believe, Spring really is on it’s way! Here in Edmonton we are looking forward to double digit temps next week! Exciting! To help celebrate Springs arrival here are ...

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7 Questions With an Author: Frank Viola

Frank is a highly-sought speaker and an incredibly prolific writer with 16 published books so far. His web blog frankviola.org is one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the Internet. His latest work is a ...

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A Good Master And A Greater Revelation

Jason Clark is a singer/songwriter, author, speaker, and pastor. Jason’s passion is to know the love of God more each day. He lives to see a generation step into their identity as sons and daughters ...

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Haiku: The First Day Of Spring…

Today is Thursday March 20th, the first, official day of spring! The buds start to peak through; crocuses, forget-me-nots, blossoming cherry trees herald the awakening of a new day. Spring has sprung and we can ...

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Peer support through blogging

One of my reasons for returning to study is that I would like to set up an organisation whose sole purpose is peer support for adults (both women and men) who experienced abuse as a ...

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Defining Moment 1985

One strong arm robbery (no weapons) turned into 2 when the take on the first was too light. The 2nd got us caught. I was driving, and we were about to pull away but a ...

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Run Like Hell!

Humans can be porcupinish in nature. You get too close and their adrenaline kicks in, triggering a panicky spray of barbed quills, homing in on your most vulnerable places, usually the face and eyes. And why ...

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The Kid Got to Me

When she told me that she wanted to write books I knew that she had suffered. Only the scarred would dare to write, to make sense of, or at least to look at, the entrails ...

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Afterlife of the Viking

Shevata leaned back on the armrest of the obsidian throne. “Zermon, no more savages!” “I’ll remind you that you released the last one?” Zermon rolled his eyes looking over a short man brought before ...

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Acknowledging the pain of others

People like me, who write about their experiences of child sexual abuse, do not intentionally set out to cause other people pain. Unfortunately, however, we do. When we are lucky enough to have people ...

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Legolas and Gastar

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The famous battle-capable elf from LOTR and “The Hobbit” meet the lead characters of the Gastar novellas. Let’s have a bit of fictional fun. Shevata braced her left side where she removed the arrow. The bleeding stopped and as she slowly concentrated against the barred door, she felt the pain ease off and her muscles relax. …

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On the Confederacy of Genius

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When I do interviews about being an author, the often-asked question is “What is your favorite novel?” That’s always a tough question to answer, and for me, I’m inspired by almost all fiction and non-fiction when it comes to my writing. Films inspire me as well, with the many years of migraine headaches had me …

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On The Bonafide Books

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“Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” As we continue the never-ending struggle of the traditional vs. independent publishing methods for writers the never-ending question comes up: Are traditional books better? Are they more entertaining? Are they better written? Do they have better editing? Do they give more in depth detail? (I’m focusing on fiction). What is so bad …

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Results of My Ad Campaign to Increase Facebook Likes

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Most useful things are constructed one piece at a time – and the pieces shift before they’re finally right. Last weekend I sprang for $120 across two days for a Facebook ad campaign to increase the Likes on my Yours In Books FB page. The true felt-cost was really only $65 thanks to a $55 “windfall” …

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On the Amazon Wars

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While surfing Twitter skimming over Indie novels I haven’t heard about, I hit one that piqued my interest. While others may not admit it, I know I “stargaze” on websites. 5 star reviews catch my attention and 1 star reviews catch my attention. 3 star reviews don’t mean much to me as a reader. That …

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My Manuscript Is In Shambles

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You know how, when you’re doing a major housecleaning, there comes a moment when you look around and see everything in shambles? You think your place will never be nice again. But you keep at it, and the next time you look around (it seems), everything is gorgeous. Well, that’s where I’m at with my …

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