Monday, July 29, 2013

Emotions into Words

I don't talk much about my writing. It seems presumptuous that anyone would have any real interest or connection with the stories floating around in my head. But I keep writing them because the characters keep talking to me, they keep working through life questions, and they're living out lives that don't look like anything close to mine, so that's fun.

Lines to pitch to an agent. 90 minutes of adrenaline.

I attended the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Conference this weekend (which explains the #pnwa label I used on twitter all weekend in case you were wondering). It was super fun and ridiculously exhausting. Which, I think, is what happens to 95% of writers when they attend a writing conference. (That other 5% is the anomaly of the extroverted writer... I watch them from my semi-sheltered seat against the window.)

Yes, there's sun in Seattle. It's a secret, don't tell!

It's a relief to be with other people who have this innate drive to tell stories. I heard it said this way "We translate feelings." That's it. We're all gathered and talking about the feelings we immerse ourselves in and try to create each time we work on putting words to paper (screen).

Practice words, trying to figure out how to encapsulate a story.

Everything I write is an exercise in capturing a feeling. Those feelings are universal, regardless of age, sex, and life experiences. So, even if my particular packaging isn't up everyone's alley I keep reminding myself that the feeling is true, the emotion is relatable and important, the identification of those highs and lows is a good thing.

Caffeine or to keep the energy up.

I was a finalist in the Romance category of PNWA Literary Contest this year. A complete shock. I didn't win but the weekend of positive encouragement from people doing the same thing as me day to day, year to year was another form of winning.

How fun to be in the company of the finalists and winners!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I love this photo. I took it on our drive home from Las Vegas. That long, derelict, beyond remote drive. Nevada is a weird, strange place.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gluten Free

Those that follow me on facebook or have to interact with me over food will  know that we've had a major shift in our household in the past nine months. Due to some health issues with both The Princess and Sweetpea we made an experimental switch to gluten free eating.  The changes in both girls have been miraculous and, consequently, we haven't looked back.

While the changes have been great, the learning curve has been steep and my pantry now has a very different look. This is probably going to be the most boring post ever BUT I've been asked by many people what changes I've made so I figured a tour of my newly stocked pantry might be the easiest way to show those who are curious. (I straightened it up so you could see the important labels. Don't be fooled, it's usually way more haphazard!)

Rice cakes, TJ's corn pasta, Oatmeal, Annie's rice pasta mac & cheese, Almond Milk, Coconut milk and cream, Tru Roots pasta and rice blends, dried beans and lentils, and GF pretzels.

Coconut oil, TJ's rice penne, Aramanth, Quinoa, Coconut sugar, bread crumbs (these are actually GF corn flakes chopped in the food processor)

FLOURS!  Tapioca, Coconut, Buckwheat (yes, it has wheat in its name but it's actually a berry and GF), Almond, Brown Rice, White Rice, GF All Purpose (from Bob's Red Mill or TJ's)  These aren't all of the flours I plan to stock for various recipes, I try to add to my stash each time I go to the grocery store. (i.e. Sorghum)
Bob's Red Mill has been a wonderful resource for grains, while I'm lucky to live close enough to actually go straight to the source, I can also get much of it at the grocery store. Trader Joe's also carried a good stock of GF supplies. Bread, of course, is one of the big changes. I've worked hard at learning to bake my own because it's way less expensive but I also try to have a back-up loaf in the freezer. I really like Udi's brand.
Crackers, most chips and cereals are all pretty much out. We've found a few substitutes that we like. TJ's Cheese Crunchies, all of the varieties of Chex cereals (Cinnamon and Honey Nut especially!) and all-corn tortilla chips (some corn tortilla's are actually a blend of flour and corn meal). I've got plans to try making my own crackers but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Check out my pinterest board if you're interested in actual recipes I've tried (or plan to try). I try to make notes on the ones I've tried.
**I am completely under the radar when it comes to companies and therefore am in no way compensated for any recommendations. These are just what we've discovered we like after much trial and error!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Berry Season


Berry picking season.

I promised the girls that we'd go blueberry picking and, after much talk and excitement, we piled in the car and headed up to the farm.

I knew right where we were going.

Until we ended up at the raspberry fields by accident.

I'm a little confused, I thought blueberries were blue...

We came home with 9 1/2 pounds of unplanned for deliciousness and directions to the blueberry fields. That's next week, I guess.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Breakfast in the Park

Those hot days of summer have arrived, much to my yearly chagrin, and I'm trying to find ways to beat the heat. First brilliant idea: Breakfast in the Park!

Lucky for us the park is mere steps from our condo and, since I am all about simple when it comes to food, it was a matter of grabbing some Morning Glory Muffins and bananas and heading out to the cool air while we still had it.

Everyone was thrilled and we had a good hour before heading back to a pre-planned tea-party The Princess had on her agenda.

After I posted a picture of our morning on facebook I got the most delightful comment. Turns out that my grandparents used to do breakfast in the park, quite unbeknownst to me. Of course, theirs were more elaborate with "coffee, eggs, and bacon cooked over the fire." I'm so thrilled to have that memory shared with me and to find out that I was unknowningly carrying on the tradition.

Monday, July 1, 2013


There's nothing like a 90 degree day to strike fear in my heart. What am I going to do with these children all afternoon while we swelter inside our little space?  This is where Pinterest comes in to save the day. Today we did a bunch of science experiments - easy, fun, only requiring things I already had in my kitchen. My type of afternoon!

First up: Thunderstorms

The Princess can now tell you what density means and which air, cold or hot, is denser. This one was so good we did it twice.

Next: Color absorption (1)

Absorption and color mixing. Maybe next time we'll try this one with red and blue and see if we can make purple.

Finally: Color absorption (2)

Quick, easy and almost instant gratification. Plus, once things travel for a few minutes you start seeing the colors separate into their components.