Mondays and Dreams of Moving

I am at a loss on what to post right now. There is only two hours until midnight, and I have yet to do a NaBloPoMo post. I’d better start writing I guess.

Mondays are not my favorite day of the week. If I had to decide what day people choose to be the most irritating, it is on a Monday. Or maybe, my brain just wants to be a little cranky. Either way, the calendar should skip Mondays and go directly to Tuesdays. Another solution to eliminating the first day of the week is to add the hours to Sunday and Tuesdays. Don’t worry, the hours wouldn’t be working hours unless people wanted to work.

The internet has also been distracting me. Last night I was looking at ranches and farms for sale in Washington. I really like that state. There’s such a mix of environments there. My mom and I had fun driving across Washington in September. I have never seen bigger dust devils in my life! It’s pretty dry and nearly desert-like in the central part. Throughout the state there are woods, mountains, plains, vineyards, orchards, wind farms, river regions, ranches, urban areas, small towns…it’s a pretty cool and diverse state.

I’d probably move there if I could. Last night I came across this interesting environmental development called Skokomish Farms. It’s sort of like a community farm thing on the Puget sound, close to Olympia. The land is divided into 40 acre homesteads. Individuals can buy a parcel, allot 5 acres to build their home and anything else they’d like, a stable for example. The rest of the parcel is farmed by the community. The buyer can plant and do the labor themselves if they want, and if they have a particular crop in mind they can ask to grow it. On the website it said they were trying to get organic status.

There are orchards, vineyards, fields, greenhouses, pastures, and livestock areas in the community. The developers brought in some unique cattle from Britain. White Parks I think. I liked the fact that it’s an attempt to partake in clean agriculture, and residents can be as involved as they want in the farming activities. It sounded like an interesting concept with other business opportunities coming from what the farm produces.

Unfortunately, it’s an expensive dream. You have to buy the land ($275,000) and build your own house. Here is a half hour video that shows some of the area and an interview with the developer.

Perhaps one day I will win the lottery!

Did I mention you can see Mt. Rainier? And it’s just a short drive and ferry ride away from the Seattle fish markets and all the organic food you could probably imagine. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I didn’t quite get to the Puget area when I was on vacation. Maybe next time.

I think ideally, if I were to move anywhere in the world of my choosing it would be in Europe somewhere. I like their attitudes towards limits and bans on GMOs and foods. Plus, the history of so many places there intrigues me. All of my ancestors came from there. I’d like to see where they lived.

If you could move anywhere, where would you move?

The Definition of Humility

the definition of humility

Humility is an important trait in people. That is how I feel anyway. I have grown up around mostly humble people (there have been a couple of exceptions, but in the Midwest, I’d say humility is more common than not). I kept thinking about humility today and how I wanted to write about it. But first, let me give the definition according to Google Search.

hu·mil·i·ty
(h)yo͞oˈmilədē/
noun
  1. a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.
    synonyms: modesty, humbleness, meekness, diffidence,unassertiveness;

    lack of pride, lack of vanity;

To be humble is to be modest about oneself and the skills or achievements that person may possess. It means not thinking anyone is of a lesser level of importance than yourself. In the above definition, it says a lack of pride and vanity, but to be of a humble mindset I don’t think a person necessarily needs to have a lack of pride–just don’t have an excessive amount of it. People should take pride in what they do. It adds to the value of their work or something they have created. It stimulates a sense of worth and self-satisfaction.

We need this as humans. It encourages healthy self-esteem and goal setting. It is a motivator.

I think the quotation in the image above makes a great point. Have you noticed the more full of pride and arrogance someone is, the more artificial they seem? I mean, hello Kanye West! He is the prime example of what humility is NOT. I get it, he loves his own work. That’s great, but talk about an overdose of pride. If he wouldn’t have gotten Kim Kardashian to marry him, he likely would have cloned himself and wed his clone.

If you look up self-love in the dictionary, his photo will be there, maybe hers too–wait, not maybe, it’s a resounding yes.

I get annoyed when celebrities or anyone doesn’t remember how to show genuine appreciation for where they are in life. They seem to forget how to be normal. It’s dehumanizing.

At any rate, I feel people are more likeable, approachable, and totally real when they take on a humble attitude. We all should be thankful for the skills we were blessed with, and any compliments or accolades we might receive. If you’re real, more people will be able to relate!

What is a character trait you think is important?

 

Russian Borscht

Russian Borscht

Russian Borscht, a soup I have never tried. I had been thinking about making borscht for awhile. I had heard the name many years ago, and the word always intrigued me. What was in borscht? It sounded like a meaty soup to me. The heavy sound of the name made me think of that. Ha…was I ever wrong!

When I was growing up on the dairy farm, my dad had hired employees who hailed from various countries. Maybe this is partially why I love international cuisine so much. Sometimes these guys or their families would cook us a meal, or introduce us to things from their cultures. I always loved that. I often was tired of basic American food, you know…meat and potatoes, burgers, hot dogs, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed those things sometimes, but when I had the chance to try something new I eagerly took that opportunity!

When I was in my last years of high school, my dad had employed some Russian interns. They had come to learn about dairy farming and agriculture so they could take what they’d learned and use it when they went home again. They joined us for holidays and shared things with us about Russia. One time, they had us over for supper. I chuckle about it a little writing this because, at the time, the two young men who were employed were only a couple years older than I was. It seemed they were really excited to have us over for a meal.

They had made some kind of dumplings (I don’t know what they were called), and they were stuffed with meat. We topped them with sour cream and some pepper. It was somewhat like eating a stroganoff stuffed pirogi. They were very good. A simple dish, but tasty. What was cute though was the guys had given us boxed wine to wash the food down with!

That memory made me want to try cooking Borscht. I am curious about Russian food since I have had so little of it. Read more »

Fantasy Wardrobe Friday: Southwestern Fringe

Fantasy Wardrobe Friday: Southwestern Fringe

You know what Friday is? It’s Fantasy Wardrobe Friday! I am looking forward to doing this weekly segment every week because I do enjoy shopping! Albeit this is virtual window shopping, but that’s ok too!

Today’s inspiration was this Southwestern Poncho from Forever 21. Last Winter, I had been at the Mall of America Forever 21 and bought a different Southwestern patterned poncho with a detachable fur collar. It was really affordable, as is the one above. I love ponchos. They are such an easy thing to put on and wear. Speaking from a disability standpoint, I like being able to throw it over my head and not need to worry about threading my hand through a bulky sleeve. That can be a bit challenging. Actually, it’s a downright pain in the ass (my animosity for the cold temps is coming out).

Anyway, when it’s cold like this I still need to wear my Winter coat…maybe if I had a poncho made out of a down comforter I could ditch my coat.

The fringed Minnetonka boots I felt were a nice addition to the poncho. Monnetonka makes really comfortable leather footwear. I have a pair of their moccasins and they feel nice on the feet.

To round out the rest of the Southwestern fringe ensemble, I added a black fringed bag, silver accented rubber bracelets, feather earrings, and a fun fedora like hat.

The One Blogger Skill

One Blogger Skill BlogHer Prompt

I am taking the BlogHer NaBloPoMo prompt that landed in my email today and I’m going to roll with it! As bloggers, we are always trying to improve our skills. One week we are learning and tweaking our SEO, the next we are researching how to take better photos. There are a lot of things we are trying to do in rapid succession. But we all have the one blogger skill we hope to get a better grasp of so that we master it. Until then, we see this skill in our favorite bloggers, and admire what they are doing with that skill.

I love reading about the personal experiences of other bloggers and how they are helping themselves and their sites grow. When they write posts about what they learn, it helps the rest of us too. We get to read about what that person tried and discovered, as well as what worked best for them–or didn’t work at all. While every blog is different, in reading what others have done we can make more informed choices on how to progress with our own blogs.

The one blogger skill I wish I had that I often see in others is the ability to plan an editorial calendar. Granted, I think I needed the NaBloPoMo challenge to give me the extra push I needed to focus and become more determined to get myself into my writing groove. Deciding to do this gave me some confidence in my ability to write regularly and share. But as I touched on a bit in yesterday’s post, I wish I would have planned some content in advance.

Some of the bloggers I follow regularly have written about editorial calendars and how much they help in the content creation process. This is something I will be trying once this challenge is done and I determine what days of the week I will be posting. The daily thing is not a routine I can continue after November, so I will knock it down to 2-3 posts per week. I think that is still a pretty good goal, and hopefully with an editorial calendar I can plan things out a few weeks in advance.

Do you utilize an editorial calendar? How is it working for you?

 

NaBloPoMo: What Happens When…

…You decide to challenge yourself with National Blog Posting Month at the last minute, and you have other things you need or want to do? Posts like this happen! I have no topic I want to blog about right now, I just needed a break to do some other projects. However, I can’t just post nothing when I can post a little blurb and not miss a day of the challenge.

November isn’t halfway through yet, and I usually have only enough energy to write one post per day. Yesterday, in addition to writing one, I did the prep for another recipe post. That will be tomorrow’s task I think.

This NaBloPoMo challenge has already taught me a thing or two about the next one; start early and pre-write some content for the days I can’t or don’t want to invest a major chunk of my day to writing.

I just need to keep pushing. I can do this!

Have you written any of your NaBloPoMo content in advance? How many posts did you prepare beforehand?

Take Me Back To The 80’s

Take Me Back to the 80's

If time travel were possible, I would have a time machine take me back to the 80’s. I wouldn’t go back permanently, bt taking a vacation to that decade would be fun. I’d bring back a lot of souvenirs…not that I’d need many, since I think I still have some memorabilia stashed at my parent’s house! Just kidding, I’d be bringing tons of souvenirs back with me. I wouldn’t miss that opportunity!

The 80’s were old school, with a blast of neon and high-top sneakers, ripped jeans, head bands, and stuff hair. Socks had to have just the right scrunch over the tucked in pant legs that were also pinned to make them tighter around the calf. They were simpler times with a complex wardrobe.

I was only 7 years old when the 80’s ended, so I know I didn’t experience them in their full splendor. I think I would’ve needed to be in my late teens or early 20’s for that. The music was and still is pretty important to me. Give me some Journey over Nickelback any day!

What I really get nostalgic about are the toys. Weren’t the toys great?

My personal favorites were She-ra dolls. Remember those? They were like the first action figures for girls. I had a few of them: Cat Woman, Entrapta, Angella, SweetBee.

Princess of Power: Cat Woman

Cat Woman

Princess of Power: Angella

Entrapta

Princess of Power: Angella

Angella

Dolls2_SweetBee1b

SweetBee

There was a similar set of female action figures made by Galoob which were pretty cool as well. They were Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones. I had two of those, Golden Girl and Dragon Queen.

Golden Girl

Golden Girl

Golden Girl Dragon Queen

Dragon Queen

They need to bring these dolls back! The She-ra dolls were made from 1984-87, and the Golden Girls were only manufactured for a year in 1985. Both sets of dolls had separate outfits and playsets that could be purchased. I think it’s weird these dolls didn’t last long. Maybe if these companies gave the dolls another go, they might be more successful.

It annoys me that there aren’t any female groups of action heroes. If you have a team, it’s all men except for the token female. Why aren’t the genders represented more equally? Sure, there are the single action figures, like those of Katniss from The Hunger Games, or Princess Leia from Star Wars–but it’s not like having that strong female group of women with each having a uniquely special power, and bright colored outfits.

There’s nothing wrong with having power and being feminine…as llong as it’s not objectifying. We don’t need toys with Playboy Bunny boobs.

There was a Kickstarter I read about once that was promoting a line of female heroine figures. I looked it up again, and they’re pretty cool. They’re called IAmElemental. If I were a kid again, I’d probably like these. But I don’t particularly like that the clothing is all plastic and the hair is all molded and not like real hair. I know the aim isn’t to be a fashion doll, but action heroes might like to change their wardrobe too, right?

Maybe one day the retro figures from decades past will be revisited, given a little makeover, and brought back. My Little Ponies were. My inner child can always hope!

 

Image Credit: Here and Here

6 Things Cold Regions Should Give Citizens

6 Things Cold Regions Should Give Citizens

Cold weather rant time! I despise Old Man Winter. He is my enemy. He is the reason the next few months will irritate the hell out of me. First, the sun is taken away from us an hour earlier due to daylight’s savings time and the daylight still continues to shorten–then we get a snowstorm.

The first snowstorm of the season moved in last night, an unwanted tenant. Ugh. I don’t remember liking Winter as a small child very much either. I could still walk then, but I couldn’t do outdoor activities without help, like sledding. My balance wasn’t that great either. Walking on icy cement was dangerous for me and all the snow gear made it difficult for me to move. It was so much fun! *sarcasm*

I hate freezing my ass off. But I also hate putting on more clothes because it hinders the little movement I do have. I go out only if I really have to because once I get cold, it’s hard to warm up and I just feel tired.

I’d rather be too hot than too cold. I’d rather take clothes off (obviously within reason) than put more on.

Anyway, states that have to endure harsh Winter months should get some perks, don’t you? I mean, with the season comes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the days are shorter and we are lacking vitamin D. We have to pay outrageous heating bills, there’s holiday pressure to plan and buy gifts thus adding to the hits our wallets take. Not to mention the hassles of snow and it’s removal. So, I have devised a list of 6 things cold regions should give to the citizens having to deal with the weather.

1. Give every household free or discounted heat. The utility companies charges keep going up, and it’s not like they are encouraging us to get solar panels to help gather energy for our own homes–not that we get much sun as it is.

2. Set every household up with a UVB Tanning Bed to encourage people to get more vitamin D.

3. Vitamin D in pill form (chewable gummies perhaps), would be good as well.

4. Mass distribute electric fireplaces made by the Amish.

5. Free grocery delivery to everyone so there is no need to make more trips outside than necessary.

6. Automatic snow plowing services. When I say automatic, I mean the city goes and plows driveways automatically because you live in that town. You do not need to hire anyone, it’s provided by the city for free (well not entirely, citizens pay taxes).

That’s all I can really think of now. Wouldn’t those things be nice? I thought about putting booze on the list but nah. That wouldn’t help much.

I suppose my ranting about Winter won’t make things improve, I only wanted to get this out of my system!

 

 

Inspiration: A Dance with Dragons Quote

George R. R. Martin A Dance with Dragons Quote

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” -George R. R. Martin

I was catching up on some reading last night after I posted yesterday. I am about 45% through A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I suppose it’s good I’m doing NaBloPoMo while reading that book because I can hold on to the book longer. Fellow readers can likely understand what I mean by that. Books are more than just books. We become attached to the characters and the places we read about, and sometimes it’s difficult to let them go when we are finished with the last page.

Last night, I came across a quote in A Dance with Dragons that the character Jojen said. It’s a popular quote judging by the little Kindle notation that told me 9597 highlighters had highlighted it (is that number accurate? I always wondered about that). It struck a chord with me because I feel like when I read a book, it is kind of like being someone else. What’s going on isn’t real, but you are transported to different times and places, living inside other people, knowing their thoughts, dreams, fears, and secrets. You follow them in their paths until it is time to say goodbye.

The story ends, and you find a new life in a different book to share temporarily with new characters.

Is there one book that you were really bummed to finish? What was it? Mine was the Taj Trilogy: Shadow Princess, A Feast of Roses, and The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan. Comment below!

 

Thai Nam Tok Beef

Thai Nam Tok Beef Recipe or Waterfall Beef

Wyoming. The home of vast ranches, robust longhorn cattle, the Big Horn Mountains, and really amazing Thai food. Wait…what? Thai food?

Yes, Thai food. I admit I don’t know that there is an abundance of Thai eateries out there on the range, but sometimes when traveling, you just stumble on something completely unexpected.

When my mom and I took a trip out to Washington in September, we had planned to spend a couple of days in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We have driven through the northern part of the state a few times before, but we wanted to see what the southern route held for us. The evening we made our way into town, we hurriedly checked into our hotel and began searching on our smartphones for a well-loved local gem. We settled on a Thai restaurant called Anong’s.

Trying international cuisine is a roll of the dice sometimes. I feel like a lot of places try to tone down flavors because the establishment thinks that’s what the local citizens want. I need a full flavored, make-my-tongue-dance experience! Take me on a tour of your country through my taste buds! Don’t dull my food please. I can get dull food at a Taco John’s or China Buffet.

A dancing tongue dish at Anong’s is Thai Nam Tok Beef. I cannot describe how mouthwatering this beef was! I must say, in Wyoming, they know how to cook their meat! It’s perfectly charred on the outside, tender and juicy inside. Nam Tok is sliced beef in a lime and chili pepper mixture and topped with red onion, cilantro, and scallions. Anong’s served it atop a few salad greens.

It’s just too…YUM! So, I decided to try it at home! Read more »