Posts

Going Back To The Early Days Of My Writing Career … Like 1991

Image
In my daredevil exploits of sorting and cleaning every room of our house and gathering things for a yard sale, I’ve come across some pretty interesting things. I learned that I will never have to buy another safety pin, ever. I learned that I have more old Christmas cards than I realized, so I’ll be up-cycling them for years to come. And I learned that I have always loved to write. This folder from the Young Writers’ Conference my eighth grade year was a surprise and very enlightening. Plus, on the back of the bookmark is the best quote ever: “To do is to be.” - Socrates “To be is to do.” - Plato “Do be do be do.” - Sinatra   I honestly don’t remember writing this story about a little boy who learned two very important lessons from his mischievousness and disobedience. My 13-year-old brain created a 4-year-old boy who had authority issues, destructive tendencies and a knack for doing the worst things at the worst moments. He did learn his lessons from the school of hard knocks, but not

Blackberry Pork Chops

Image
It’s full-on blackberry season at the Carrell Wildlife Preserve, so everything I cook and bake for the next few weeks is going to have blackberries in it. Sit back and get ready - we’re starting with pork chops! While the chops were cooking according to the recipe below, I also made noodles and vegetables in the microwave. You can add whatever sides you want, timing them to be done at the same time as the chops. And wait until you see what my secret ingredient is! Hint: I don’t deglaze my skillets with wine. Ingredients: 1 Tbsp chili powder 1 Tbsp  1 tsp cayenne powder Salt and pepper to taste 4 pork chops 2 Tbsp olive oil 2 Tbsp minced garlic 1/2 cup Sprite, divided 3 cups blackberries, crushed 2 Tbsp sugar 1. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, —-, cayenne, salt and pepper. 2. Heat olive oil in large cast iron skillet. Coat one side of each pork chop and place spice side down in the skillet. Rub remaining spices on top of each chop. 3. Brown both sides of the chops, 3-4 minutes on

Words For Wednesday

Image

My Early Birthday Present Is Both Useful And Sweet

Image
I have the best husband in the entire world! Not only did he order exactly what I needed to organize a huge part of my craft room, he spent half the night putting them together so I would have an early birthday present. This was my storage system for wood-backed rubber stamps for years. It was unsightly, incredibly heavy and completely awkward for actually finding stamps in it. Danny listened when I explained what I actually needed - shallow, wide drawers to hold a single layer of stamps. I wanted to be able to see them at a glance, which is the exact opposite of a big bucket. After Danny put my two sets of drawers together, I spread out every single stamp I own on the floor of the craft room by theme. I honestly didn’t think I had this many, but I also have a huge drawer full of cling stamps in another container. Another day… Now I have 12 drawers of neat, organized and sorted stamps. I don’t have any room to grow, so I can’t invest in any more stamps right now, but that’s ok too. Aft

Following The Straight And Narrow Is Like Climbing The Ridge

Image
We call this the ridge. It’s Danny even wrote me a song several years ago called Turkeys on the Ridge. And I’d rather watch the turkeys climb it than trek up myself. I can do it, but it’s not easy. Between my asthma and my fibromyalgia, I have to stop two or three times on the way up so I don’t pass out and roll all the way back down the hill. That seems counterproductive. So it’s not a sprint, but a marathon when it comes to the ridge. So why bother? The very best blackberry patch on the entire property is at the top of this hill. The thickest vines with the largest berries are up there, and for that reason I will make the climb. There’s good stuff up there, so I’m willing to put my body through a workout to get there. Oh my goodness, how much easier it is to come back down. Gravity takes over and I’m back to the house in no time. Thank you, gravity! Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in t

A Floral Explosion For Your Two-Page Planner Spread

Image
Are you ready for the explosion of floral patterns and colors I’m bringing to you today? I hope so because this layout is so much fun to make and so pretty when it’s finished! To make this spread, you’ll want two clean, white pages. The one on the left is the one I designed myself to go with each printed daily page, on the right. Then you gather up all those great floral stickers you have collected somewhere. Yes, you know the ones I’m talking about. We all have them. First you’ll line up your pages so they’re touching, then overlap the largest florals you have down that seam. The bigger the better here, and it doesn’t matter if you cover the holes because you’ll fix that later. Then go back for a second pass with slightly smaller flowers, overlapping even more. The idea is to cover up as much of that white middle as possible. Pass #3! This time you’ll add some filler leaves and tiny flowers, just like you would if you were making a real flower arrangement. It’s totally ok for the stic

Lessons Learned While Berry Picking

Image
It’s been a couple of weeks since I check on the wild blackberry bushes that are spread all over the property. The last time I looked, they were almost all green, meaning the flowers had just fallen off and they were waiting to soak up the rain and sunshine. This morning, they were almost all red! They’re coming right along. I noticed several other things while I was out walking the property, and hopefully they’ll be as much of a blessing to you as they were to me. First, if I’m only looking for berries, I miss out on the other plants and colors spread all around. I have to keep my eyes up and open for other beautiful things, too. The one thing that’s different always stands out. In a sea full of red berries, the black ones look like flashing neon signs. So if you are something special, or do something different, you’re going to stand out in the crowd. There’s often snags in your plan, a hitch in your giddy-up and a beaver slide in the middle of the trail. You can’t control them or pre