Spirituality

Life Lessons in Unexpected Places

I loved the movie Galaxy Quest.

 

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I loved it in all its cheesy glory. I mean, we all know what it wasn’t, right? It wasn’t exquisite art or high drama. It wasn’t an Academy Award contender. It was quite unashamedly escapist entertainment.

Every cliche, every nod to some other sci-fi production, they all generated that warm fuzzy nostalgia. It was supposed to make you feel good, to laugh. But could there be something more hiding within?

Never give up, never surrender.

That’s been my mantra for the last few years. I finally got the surgery I needed for an on the job injury. So now I’m sitting at home with my left arm in a sling, off of work for a few months, and about to dive into what is sure to be an excruciating course of physical therapy. With voice to text and the WordPress app on my tablet I may never type again.

Quick word of advice. If you are about to have surgery on a joint like a shoulder or knee, take the pain meds. Take them around the clock. Don’t try and be a tough guy. Do what the doctor says, even set an alarm for the middle of the night. Trust me on this one.

But this was a fight every step of the way. Ultimately one I couldn’t fight all on my own, I had to hire an attorney. I did question myself all along. Was I doing the right thing? Why did I have to fight so hard for treatment that was so obviously necessary? Was there something I wasn’t seeing?

Sometimes life throws situations at us for a reason. Sometimes we are supposed to struggle because we are supposed to learn something.

There were lots of points where I could have walked away. And that is exactly what the companies opposing me wanted, because it would mean they didn’t have to spend money and fulfill their obligations. They worked very hard to try and convince me that my pain and my injury were not worthy of their consideration. They marginalized and minimized me.

Giving up would have meant a lifetime of pain and increasingly restricted physical abilities for me. That’s not high drama or exaggeration. After being injured my activity level, my ability to enjoy my hobbies gradually degraded. I went from being an active person who gardened and exercised to one who sat around most of the time. I gained weight. I became depressed. For the first time in my life I could not exercise or physical therapy my way out of an injury.

I did a lot of soul-searching and did a lot of meditation. I realized I had a choice. I could give up. I could walk away. That was certainly the easiest path at least in the short-term. At several points along the way my obstacles seemed almost insurmountable. My challenge, my lesson was to overcome those obstacles and take that harder path.

I refused to compromise on my quality of life. I fought for me because nobody else would. When I had exhausted all the options I could see I had to know when to ask for help. I won’t deny there was a certain gritty satisfaction in shoving all their marginalizing and minimalizing bullshit right back in their faces.

It was not an easy lesson. But it was a valuable one. It’s also one that is still evolving, but I am already stronger for it.

Never give up, never surrender. Not on yourself. Not on your dreams.

What have you had to fight for? When have you had to overcome insurmountable odds?

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Well, Hello! Yeah, It’s Been A While…

Do you remember this song?

I always loved this song and the hopefulness in the lyrics. Listening to England Dan and John Ford Coley gives me this happy, nostalgic feeling. Like a homecoming, warm and familiar, and oh-so-glad to be back. That’s what it feels like to come back to this blog.

Hi! Do you remember me? Almost 2 years ago I wrote this post. Yeah, 1 or 2 weeks became almost 2 years. I’ve missed you guys! But it’s been a really incredible time, and I wanted to share some of my adventures with you.

I hurt my shoulder. Still hurts, but still writing. Working on it.

I put my (mostly) completed novel on hold, and finished a first draft manuscript for a non-fiction book. This one even has a publisher! More on that later.

I lost a good friend.

HaHaHaHa!  Your accent is terrible!
HaHaHaHa! Your accent is terrible!

I made a new one.

X071814bThe seasons changed, my garden grew and ebbed. My chickens still peck and scratch in my yard.

Overall, life is good. I’m looking forward to getting re-acquainted and hearing all about your adventures and life stories.  I’ll be touring around Blogville – checking in on all my favorite writers – I’ll see you there. And you can find me on Facebook too!

Happy New Year to all of you. Here’s to making 2015 great!

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Sorry I’ve Been Gone So Long…

I took the summer off, sort of.  I still had to go to the day job, of course; bills and mortgage…you know how that goes.  I had surgery in late June, and that was pretty much the last time you heard from me.  It’s not that anything bad happened, but it was this really transformative experience on multiple levels.

At some point in life, you’re going to reach a point where you realize you can’t do it all.  I know that everyone’s journey through this life is different.  We all face difficulties, and I thank Spirit that, while I’ve had my hard times, mostly my life has been very blessed.  But also, that our journey through the adventure that is life is uniquely our own.  I reached a point where I recognized that I’d taken on too much, and something had to give, that something was my blog and social media networking.  I’m not very technical, I deal better with warm bodies, so when I found myself falling asleep in my chair at 8:30 p.m. over dinner night after night, I knew I had to let the blogging and writing go for the summer.  I had other things I had to focus on.

In retrospect, I can see that my exhaustion was part of my healing.  It didn’t help that right after my surgery, I found I couldn’t sit to write for protracted periods, it was just too painful.  So I fell out of the writing habit in a few short weeks, and then the garden exploded.  Not literally, but my part time hobby was not so part time any more.  It’s totally been worth it!  See:

The one well-kept corner of my yard.

And then there’s the girls.  Remember my little chicks?  They’re all grown up:

The flock out enjoying some time in the play area.

Isn’t she a beauty?

They only just started laying a few weeks ago, but it’s so nice to have fresh eggs once again.

Frankly, summer up here in the Northwest really has been awesome.  We’re looking to break a record, we’re approaching 51 days without measurable rain.  That is unheard of for Seattle!  It feels like being back in SoCal, with sunny days and temps in in the high 70’s.  Gorgeous.  I mean really, it doesn’t get any better than this:

Or this:

I also realized I needed to do some work on myself.  With the surgery, and going through my healing process, I realized I had to make some changes.  I’m active; at work, in the yard, but it’s not enough to maintain health, so Hub and I joined a gym.  I’m not the weight-lifting gym rat that I was in my 20’s or even 30’s, but I’m going.  It was a bit disheartening to recognize how out of shape I drifted, but I also was gratified that I can still get on the cardio, and my body still remembers the proper form for deadlifts and squats.  I’m eating healthier too, more greens, more salads, less junk food.  Even though I still so WANT to run and just get a yummy burger and fries at time.  Still do, but FAR less than I used to.

I’ve tried in the past to get healthier, exercise more, yada, yada, blah blah.  This time, it seems to be sticking, at least for the last few months.  The key, for me, was realizing I’m not perfect.  I gave myself permission to fail.  We’ve all seen the memes running around Facebook with the inspiring quotes about getting back up, and making mistakes, right?  The most important lesson I learned this summer is this:  It really doesn’t matter how many times you fall down.  What matters is that you get back up.  Bounce back up, ease back up, ask for help back up, it doesn’t matter, so long as you get back up.

So this is me, getting back on the blogging horse.  I may be rusty, but I’m back.  Nice to see you, and thanks for reading.

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Wild Wednesday – Taming The Wild Garden

A gardener’s work is never done, but even if you let things slide you can still reclaim what you’ve neglected.  I certainly neglected a corner of my garden.  It looked awful; scruffy and overgrown with weeds and grass.

This is half-way tamed.

See how long and luxurious that grass is back behind my grape and trellis?  Now picture that grass spreading all the way across the rest of the picture, surrounding the grapes and filling in wherever there’s dirt.  That’s what I started with, this is about half-way done with getting rid of the grass and weeds.

Have you ever pulled out a thick carpet of healthy grass by hand?  It’s not easy, I definitely got my workout today!  But what to do with all that grass?

Wild Wednesday Chicken Tip:

You can feed your weeds to your chickens, as long as you haven’t used any pesticides or weedkiller around them.  Hub and I call it ‘giving them some chicken salad.’  Okay, maybe that’s only funny to us.  Anyway, chickens love dandelions and grass, luckily two things I have in abundance.  They best part is you don’t even have to knock all the dirt off the roots, they love to scratch through it for bugs!

Araucana chick playing queen of the hill.

It took me all day, but I managed to transform my cluttered, scruffy neglected garden corner into this:

I had stared at that corner for weeks thinking, I gotta do something about that, but wasn’t sure what.  Aside from the obvious need to remove the overgrown sea of grass, I wanted to make it a useable space, but I didn’t know what I wanted there.  I was dealing with other projects, and because I wasn’t ready to do anything with the raised bed in that part of the garden either, I just sort of shrugged my shoulders at it.

As I tugged on grass, sifted the rocks out of the dirt, and carried each and every one of those pavers, it occurred to me that gardening is good for a number of things.

It teaches me that it’s okay to prioritize things.  That corner could have grown quietly for another week or two if need be, and had gone to the wild side while I took care of more critical projects.  Did the heavens fall from my neglect?  Heavens no!  One of the best lessons I ever learned was that perfection is not necessary.  I learned to let go of the obsessive perfectionism of my youth, and it’s done wonders for my stress level.

It keeps me active and physically fit.

It gets me outside, closer to nature.  I’ve learned to appreciate the movements of the seasons, and it gives me a deep sense of spiritual satisfaction to take my garden through the yearly cycle.  Gardening is a very spiritual experience for me, the physical activity is fairly routine, and this frees my mind to practice certain meditative techniques.

I take time to appreciate the beauty surrounding me, and say a little prayer of gratitude.  Does that sound cheesy?  Take a few moments with the flowers in my garden and see if you still feel the same.

I’m kind of into purple and pink, and it shows in a lot of my flower choices.

Gardening also teaches me patience.  Somethings are really worth the wait, the time and the care you put into them.  Even if you don’t get immediate dividends, the waiting itself can be a positive experience.

For example, I started an asparagus bed.

That’s not very exciting at all, is it?  Asparagus is best started as a crown, every little mound there contains one of these little beauties:

Kind looks like one of those face-hugger beasties from Alien, doesn’t it?  I’m lucky to live in a place where asparagus will grow like a weed…once it’s established, which is the tricky part.  You can see I’ve dug down (well to be honest, loving Hub dug the bed for me) made little mounds and lovingly placed each crown on it’s own little pillow of dirt and compost.

Cover them up, water and watch them put up little spears, adding more dirt as they grow upwards until the whole bed is filled in at the end of summer.  I’ll watch them put up little spears, which will turn into little ferny things, waiting for the bed to establish itself.  During that time, I’ll still have to maintain them, keeping their bed weed-free and watered.  I’ll do this for the next three years, only then can I enjoy my delicious, home-grown asparagus.  No, that’s not a typo…three years until I can harvest.  Once that bed is established though, it will produce for up to 30 years.  It’s a good thing Hub and I love asparagus, huh?

One of the best things my garden has taught me, is the value of delayed gratification.  It’s helped me develop my patience and, as odd as it sounds, an appreciation for waiting.  Think about that.  We all spend, or waste, time waiting…in line, at a stoplight.  Do you spend your time building your irritation, and focusing on how tense you are?  What if instead you gave yourself permission to let go of your anger and frustration?  Give yourself permission to take one or two deep breaths, and relax.  Focus on something you’re grateful for…your kids, your husband, your dog, your health, the list goes on, instead of concentrating on how angry you are to be sitting in traffic.

Try this a few times and see if it doesn’t put you in a better frame of mind.  I’m really curious to hear how it works for you!  Please drop me a comment and tell me if you found sitting at stoplights or standing in line a little more bearable if you take a few seconds to breathe, and relax.

Paranormal

Weird Weekend – How Real Is The Paranormal?

It’s all just in your head.

You have a very active imagination.

You should pay attention to the real world and not a bunch of made up ‘stuff.’

I use the word ‘stuff’ here because the actual word involved male cattle and their end products.  I get that a lot of my interests are found on the fringes of normal.  I love a good conspiracy theory, and I read books that many would dismiss as pure fantasy.  I’ve been told everything above more times than I can count.  If you read back through my blog you’ll see that I’ve had plenty of encounters with the otherworldly.

When does a first-hand account matter, and when is it dismissed?  Is the only evidence necessary that which we see or feel?  Does something have to be measurable by current technology to be valid?

What happens when science starts to catch up to theory, or myth?

Have you heard of Michiu Kaku?  He is the co-founder of string theory which is said to bridge the gap between classical and quantum physics.  Dang, I sounded smart just there, didn’t I?  I’m not much of a physicist, so I rely on sites like this one to help me through.  Parts of string theory rely on the existence of other dimensions than the four we are used to; height, length, width and time.  I have to ask, if there can be extra dimensions, why couldn’t there be worlds, or intelligences that exist within them, just as we exist in the dimensions of the ‘real’ world?

Do you want to automatically say No?  Why?  Do you see the possibilities and also wonder?

What if our myths, legends and religious tales stemmed from breaks in those dimensional barriers, and those other beings crossing over?  What if some people here on Earth were able see through those dimensions, to the worlds beyond?

Have you seen a ghost?  What if tales of things such as demi-gods, werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal creatures like centaurs and dragons were glimpses into dimensions just next to ours?  Are people who report, and consider such things merely delusional?  Why have such stories persisted through the centuries?  Have you seen something you couldn’t explain, and didn’t report because you were afraid people would think you were crazy?  Will you share it with us here?  Were you peering through the walls that separate those dimensions we’ve not yet learned to measure?

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Wild Wednesday – How To Raise Chickens In The City

What You Need To Raise Chickens

 

1 month old Araucana pullet

 

At work, I am affectionately (I think!) known as the Crazy Chicken Lady.  Not many people raise their own meat and egg-producers, and as someone pointed out, “You know, they sell eggs and chicken at the grocery store, you don’t need to go to all this work.”  Yeah, I did know, thanks!  I raise chickens because I really enjoy knowing that some of the food my family and I eat is raised, and killed ethically, treated humanely and that I provide them with the best life possible while they are with me.

But that’s not the only reason…chickens are fun, they give you eggs, they’ll rid your garden of pests, and they’ll eat your weeds.  With the right handling they can even be affectionate.  Really!  Okay, I also know not everyone wants to commit to this level of urban farming, and no worries, it’s not for everyone.

One of my Dark Brahma’s looking like a baby pterodactyl. Complete with ‘prey’ in her beak!

However…if you’ve ever thought you might like to try your hand at chicken ranching in the city, go for it!  I’ll bet you find it’s easier and more rewarding than you thought.  Here’s what you need:

 

  1. Some chickens
  2. A safe place for the chickens to sleep and lay eggs
  3. A safe place for the chickens to spend the day
  4. Chicken food
  5. Water

 

See?  Simple, but, of course there is also the time commitment factor.  Expect to spend some time every day with your flock, feeding, watering, gathering eggs and cleaning their pen.  It’s important to get to know your birds, so spend some time observing their behavior and how they interact.  If you know how your girls act normally you’ll be able to quickly spot if one starts to exhibit signs of stress or illness.  On workdays, I take between 5 and 10 minutes in the morning to let the girls out and make sure feed and water is full for the day.  I take 15 minutes or so in the evening after work to check each one, gather eggs, top off water and food, and close them in for the night.  Weekends and days off I move them to different pens for variety, clean pens and scrub feeders and waterers.

Where do you get your chickens?  I ordered mine from McMurray Hatchery but most feed stores will have live chicks in the spring, or you can search online through places like Craig’s List or even the newspaper will likely have a pet or livestock section.

 

Chicks Or Older Girls?

Ball of fluff?

Or teenager?

This is entirely up to you.  Chicks are fragile and require extra care, can die easily and often without warning or sign of sickness, but they will be the least expensive option.  For best success you should keep them indoors, in a draft-proof pen (I used a large cardboard box) and a heat lamp is a must.  They won’t start to lay until they’re around 4 months old, so you’ll have to be patient, but you’ll get the most eggs out of a bird in her first year or so; after about 2 years, egg production drops off.  Pullets (hens under 1 year) or hens will be anywhere from $8 to $20 per bird, but less likely to die on you spontaneously.  You’ll have the instant gratification eggs almost immediately, but if you buy older girls, you may have slower egg production.  You might consider this a bonus if it’s just you or one other person and you don’t know what you’d do with a bunch of extra eggs.  I just sold my 2 ½ year old hens, 4 of them, to a family that wanted to try chickens but didn’t want to bother with chicks this year.

 

Where Chickens Come Home to Roost

Literally. This is where my chickens roost at night to sleep.

Hens need a henhouse; someplace they can sleep at night, with nest boxes for egg laying.  A henhouse needs to be secure from predators; things like foxes, coyotes, cats, raccoons and even rats love to find henhouses with easy access.  Chickens shut down in the dark.  Their eyesight is poor at night and they know that lots of things out there in the dark like to eat them, so their instinct is to find a safe place to roost when the sun goes down and not move until morning.  If a night-roaming predator makes it into your henhouse, your girls will not have a chance, and the predator will have an easy meal.

Nest boxes should be big enough that your hens can stand up, 12” x 12” x 12” should do.  Make them easy to access for egg collection and cleaning.

Chickens also need some land they can forage around in during the day, but you still need to protect them from wandering predators.  Cats, hawks, roaming dogs are all a danger to your flock.

There are plenty of online chicken supply sites.  Check out places like My Pet Chicken, Omlet, or Backyard Chickens for more information on breeds, chicken coops for sale, plans to build your own coop, feed and equipment.  A plethora of chicken information is available to you.

You should check your local laws regarding keeping chickens in your town.  Some have limits on how many birds you can keep, and many prohibit roosters.  You also want to be a good neighbor; let yours know you plan to add chickens to your yard.  Generally, free eggs help smooth things over.

Luxury! An indoor henhouse, no standing in the rain and snow to clean!

This is my henhouse.  It’s in my garage, so my hens are doubly protected from the elements.  It also means I can clean it in the coldest and wettest seasons and still stay dry.  The nest boxes are on the left, the perches are on the right, and there is a door cut into the garage wall that gives them access to their enclosed run.  The run is roofed over with chicken wire, and it runs on two sides of the garage, giving the girls plenty of room to roam.  They are safely enclosed in the run, and I don’t worry that the neighborhood cats are stalking my hens while I’m at work.  I’ve never,  ***knocks on wood***, lost a bird to predation.  Also, I have two other pens that I can rotate my flock to during the day to give them some variety and a change of scene.

Easy access to nestboxes, and perches.

 

Note how the door to the outdoor run is blocked with the metal bar to prevent any predators from pushing into the henhouse at night.

The litter tray pulls out, making cleaning easy.

 

Feeding.  There are lots, and lots, and lots of commercially available chicken feeds out there.  I give my girls a locally milled, non-GMO, organic feed, but your local feed store should have a good selection or be able to answer any questions.  You can also give your chickens scraps:  left over greens or fruit, plain yoghurt or cottage cheese.  They love to hunt for bugs; if you turn them loose in your yard to forage they will help control pests.  However, if you have delicate or valuable plants, you will want to protect them from scratching chickens.  Laying hens need extra calcium for making shells, be sure to provide plenty of oyster shell (again available at feed stores).  I just fill up a feeder and leave it to the hens to eat it when they need it.  I figure they know better than I when they need more calcium.

Hens drink more water than you think.  Provide them with plenty of fresh water daily.

Enjoy those fresh, delicious and good-for-you eggs!  Read here about why your eggs will be healthier than those produced by factory farm chickens.  Yes, there is a difference!

Have you raised chickens?  What are some of your favorite breeds?  Do you long for some little cluckers of your own?  What else do you think you’d need to make your fowl fancies come true?

I always enjoy reading your comments!  Thank you for stopping by and please share your thoughts with me.

All pictures are taken by and under copyright to me.  Please ask permission before using. Thank you!

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My Oldest Friends

Do you re-read books?  I do.  They’re like old friends that I visit with from time to time.  The words run across the page, filling my mind with welcome, familiar images, but it’s the emotions they evoke that really capture me, and bring me back again and again.

Lately I’ve been reading and re-reading some of my favorite books for research.  Jane Austen, Robert Heinlein and Edgar Rice Burroughs have all been in the rotation.  Recently, I needed some insights into character dialogue, so I went to one who excelled at witty banter between clever and believable characters, Georgette Heyer.

Are you familiar with Georgette Heyer?  If you write romance or read romance you need to check out her Regency novels.   Blazoned across the top of each tattered copy I own, ‘Hers set the style for all the rest.’  It’s true!  Georgette led me to Jane Austen, and every other Regency romance is measured against their standards.

Since she was writing in the 1920’s, her language may seem stilted or difficult to follow to more modern readers.  Some of her sentences become very involved, and as familiar as they are, I find myself having to go over them once or twice to get the gist of what she’s saying.  But that is their charm, and what draws you in.  She takes you into the world of fashionable London during the reign of the Prince Regent.  From 1811 – 1820, or 1795 – 1837, depending on how you’re slicing it, the Regency period in England is the transition between the Georgian and Victorian eras.  When you read Georgette Heyer, you sink into this lost era, the one that brought us Lord Byron and Mary Shelley.

If you want character development, clever twists, and just plain fun, you cannot do better than to read Bath Tangle, the one I just finished tonight.  Lover’s triangles, high society, and the lovingly detailed backdrop of Bath, England are blended together charmingly in this frothy romp.

I was looking for arguments, conflicts and fiery exchanges between characters that are desperately in love with each other and trying just as desperately not to show it.  Through Lady Serena Carlow and the Marquis of Rotherham, Ms. Heyer dishes up some delightfully spicy fights.  Plenty of flame and passion, yet these characters…wait I don’t want to spoil it!  Read it and let me know what you think.

My old friends inspire me to be a better writer.  I try and write the kind of stories I want to read, and to recapture that sense of wonder I spend time with those stories that have moved me, elated me, made me cry, and made me laugh.  I find there are no better teachers.

Do you re-read old favorites?  Or go through books once, and then never look back?  What writers have inspired you?

Spirituality

Spring Gardening

I’ve been busy NOT writing.  At first, I was stressing, because I wasn’t doing it ALL!  You know, 10 pages a day on the WIP, blogging multiple times a week, social media socializing, AND raising a bunch of baby chickens, getting my garden started, plus that little day job and keeping the house running, keeping Hub happy.  Does the list ever end?  What’s a multi-tasking, writer/Reiki Master-Teacher/blogger supposed to do?

I went to play outside.

Here’s some of the planting I did:

It doesn’t look like much now.  But that green mist on the left is actually two rows of carrots.  The skinny green spires are onions, and I’ve sown more carrot seeds on the right.  Those are still under a cold frame at night.  Behind them are garlic, some spinach and lettuce seedlings.  At the far back, bush and pole beans.  So Yummy!

 

 

I’m toying with the idea of putting in an herb garden.  One of those that’s just packed with plants, no stuffy borders, just the plants making a showy display.  So I’m experimenting with the spot I’m thinking of, and I put in a bunch of herbs in pots to see how they do.

 

Yeah, I’m dangerous in a nursery.  I have to avoid them or I just end up with more plants.

My garden just was too tempting to resist.  I find gardening rewarding on so many levels; first, I’m out getting exercise, always a plus!  It’s also a very meditative and spiritual practice; it helps connect me to the earth and the seasonal cycles by planting and nurturing growing things.  I love watching them grow.  It helps keep me grounded, and I always offer Reiki to my garden and chickens when I’m out there.  Some of my best insights, and writing inspiration have come to me while I was out in my garden.  Today was gloriously sunny and gorgeous, I even had to put on sunscreen! My chickens were loving the sun too!

No, they’re not dead, they’re dust-bathing!  They have a grand time flinging the dry, loose dirt over themselves, and they kind of coo with pleasure while they’re doing it.

Hub and I also put the baby chickens outside for the first time.  They learned about sunshine, and grass, dirt and rocks, and bugs.  Now they’re all sacked out, tired and happy.

 

Hard to believe these dinosaur looking birds were once these tiny balls of fluff!

 

Hey, I managed to get some writing done after all!  I love weekends like this!

How did your weekend go?  Were you enjoying the sun?  Running around with friends?  Hanging out with your kids?  Hope that it was awesome!

 

 

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Eleven Questions

Just when I was needing some inspiration for getting back into my blog, I was tagged by the talented Rachel Funk Heller for the Eleven Questions Game.  You will definitely want to check out her blog and read the answers to her eleven questions.  Here’s her answer to number 4; I want to be at this dinner:

“4. You can invite any three people in the world for a dinner–anyone alive. Who are your guests?
Bill Moyers, Rachel Maddow, and Sting”

Here’s how the game is played:

1.    You must post the rules. 
2.    Answer the questions on your blog. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3.    Tag eleven people and link to them.
4.    Let them know you’ve tagged them

So, here’s what you’ve all been wanting to know about me:

What is your favorite cruciferous vegetable?  None.  Really, I am not a fan of broccoli, cauliflower, etc. and so don’t eat them.  I even tried broccoli sprouts once, thinking to get the health advantages, and had to feed the bitter things to my hens.  And they weren’t thrilled with them either.

At what age did you realize Santa Claus, might not be real?  I was under the age of 10 because by then I was desperately in love with Han Solo and Santa was definitely a kid thing.  I don’t remember though if I was 8 or 9 when I realized that Santa used the same wrapping paper as Mom.  Hmmmmm.

Where is the worst place you have ever made whoopee?  In a very prickly thicket, with only a thin blanket on the ground.  Ex-boyfriend thought it was ‘romantic’ to do it outdoors.  Sure, fine, but fewer sticks underneath would’ve made it a lot more comfortable.

What is your favorite rodent?  Rats.  Really, I’ve had multiple pet rats.  They are very affectionate if raised right, and highly trainable.  Pet rats come in lots of varieties and color schemes.  I mean come on…isn’t that cute?

 

List your five favorite letters of the alphabet.  In no particular order:  H, I, J, K, and L.

If you could be a Spice Girl, which one would you be?  Probably Sporty Spice, I would love to be able to do backflips.

If you were a super hero, what is your super hero name and your special power?  My special power would be talking to animals, and my name would be Chatterbox.  I would wander the streets chatting up the pets of your favorite celebrities and then blog about all their deepest and darkest secrets.

What is your Drag Queen name? Take the name of your first pet, and the name of the first street you lived on.  Inky Regatta, which conjures up all sorts of images.  Hmm, I feel a new character coming on…

Boxers or Briefs?  Boxers all the way.

You’ve just made an embarrassing fast dash into an elevator car, after you make it and the door closes, you are panting and out of breath, you look up and there is your favorite celebrity of all time: what do you say?  “Quick Han Solo, tell me again what a scoundrel you are!”  You notice that’s the second time I’ve mentioned him?

What is your favorite Halloween costume of all time?  The chain mail bikini a very old friend made for me one year, worn over my leather bikini, with a swirling cape and trusty sword at my side.  Then I wore it to a Renaissance Faire the next year.  Oh, what fun that weekend was!

So now it’s my turn!  I get to ask the questions, here’s what I want to know about all of you!

Dream vacation anywhere, and I mean anywhere; here on earth, out in the cosmos, favorite fantasy realm or time period, and why?

When did you first realize you were a writer?

How would you like to reach bestselling author status:  traditional publishing, with agent, editor and one of the big 6?  Or go it alone, a-la Amanda Hocking style, self-published all the way?  (If you are already there, which route did you take, and how’d that go for you?)

Last movie you saw, and what’d you think?

You can no longer write!  Gasp!  How do you express your creativity now?

If you could wave a magic wand and fix just one thing, anything you like, be it pollution, politics, or maybe just the way your hair frizzes when there’s too much humidity, what would it be and why?

Is there life after death?  Do you want there to be?

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Who’s on your list?  You know, the exception list, as in:  “Honey, yeah, Han Solo just called and he’s good to go.  You know he’s on my list.”  (Ok, so he’s my favorite example)

You can take a trip, and find out 100% absolutely without a doubt that there is a God, but the process of finding out takes a couple weeks, and involves some risk and personal physical sacrifice and pain.  Would you take the trip?

What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon as a kid?

Inquiring minds want to know:

Emma Burcart 

Pat O’Dea Rosen

Coleen Patrick

Alica McKenna Johnson

Louise Behiel

Jansen Schmidt

Kara P. Flathouse

Jessica O’Neal

August McLaughlin

Diana Murdock

Deborah J. Hughes  

I look forward to reading all of your answers!  Happy Easter to all, may your day be filled with love, joy and the blessings of your family.

And because I just couldn’t resist:

 

 

Uncategorized

It’s So Good To Be Back!

 

Yeah, remember that song, Sister Golden Hair by America?  I always loved this line:

“I’ve been one poor correspondent, and I’ve been too, too hard to find,  but it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind.”

As the song says, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about all of you out there, blog followers, and fellow WANA’ers.  I will be catching up and getting back in the round of reading, following, blogging and tweeting away this week.

Some of the time I was dealing with life issues, some of it I was helping some friends through a few crises, some of it was my own body needing some down time, and demanding it by catching cold.

Mostly though, I needed to step away from writing.  Part of that was my own process in writing my WIP, but I also had a breakdown in my faith in myself.  How many of you out there have had that moment of questioning:  “Is this really worth it?  Can I really make this writing thing work?”

The short answer is yes.  No, I’m not getting paid yet, but in the round of distractions that kept me from the computer, I kept finding my thoughts straying to, ‘oh, I should write that down’, or, ‘that’d make a great blog post.’  I found the direction I needed for the major conflict in my WIP.  I found that even though the words slow down for a while, they always come back.

I recently read an article that said our best solutions come from our unconscious.  When we ‘let go’ of an issue or problem that is bothering us, it frees our subconscious mind to put its supercomputing powers to work.  I have had plenty to take my mind off my writing angst.

What distractions?  I have 26 of them to be exact; chicks arrived!  A little over a week ago, Hub went to the post office and collected our order of chicks.  Yes, post office, they came through the mail from McMurray Hatchery.  And yes, they do just fine without food or water for the trip.  They still have a remnant of yolk sac that provides them with enough nutrition and hydration, so they do not need to eat or drink for the first three days.  This adaptation allows mama chicken to hatch all her eggs, which can take a few days, and then she takes them out of the nest to get food.  It also allows hatcheries to ship live chicks via priority mail.

They have been a handful to care for!  Feeding and watering twice a day, changing their litter, plus all my other animal and people chores meant I fell asleep as soon as I was done eating dinner, at 8:30.  It’s a good thing most of them won’t be around for very long, the 16 meat birds will be ready for the freezer in 2 months.  The 10 egg-layers are going to be the only permanent residents.  Here’s some pics of the little darlings.  They’ve grown amazingly fast just in the first week.

 

 

Check out my feathery feet!

 

We are chicks with 'tude!

 

I’ve also started my garden for the year.  Hub built me my first cold frame:

 

Grow!  Grow!

 

There is sits, with carrots, lettuce and spinach seeds safely tucked underneath and, hopefully, germinating.  This weekend I’ll work on getting my tomatoes, beans, peas and corn going.  I might try peppers too.  Those seeds I’ll start inside though, too cold still for those tender things outside.

 

So hello again to all my friends out there in the CyberWorld!  It’s pretty fast paced out there I know, hope you all remember me.  If not, I’ll remind you!  I’m looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs too!