Lovely Lavender

Geraldine:

This gorgeous photo of a lavender field caught my attention as I browsed my WP Reader today.

I ♥ lavender!

Do you use medicinal plants on a regular basis?

Have a healthy, happy day, G :-)

Originally posted on Wellness Seeds:

fresh lavender flowers pic

Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

We had a sneak preview of spring weather on Tuesday, with warm sun and cool breezes. I stopped by the garden between clients to get a boost from the crocus and mini iris that have been blooming steadily for a few weeks now. I walked around the garden, catching glimpses of little goodies slowly but surely poking out of the earth. So good for the spirit to see that!

And I really only intended to observe… but suddenly I found the clippers in my hand, my jacket thrown aside and there I was, pruning away the winter!

I cleared the old, withered leaves from the lambs ear, cut the dried stems from the chrysanthemums and straightened the wire frame that will soon be entwined with a lovely, low growing pink clematis. Then I noticed the lavender plant toppling out into the aisle. “ Oh my, do…

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Book Review: Street Magic by William Hammett

Geraldine:

Looking for a good read for the weekend/upcoming week?

Check out my new review of:

Street Magic by William Hammett.

An original story that I enjoyed from start to finish!

Happy Reading and Weekend. :-)

Originally posted on My Poetic Path:

street magic cover

Street Magic by William Hammett 

From the Amazon product page:

The people of Pace, Indiana, are jolted from their routine small-town lives when a street magician, Lark the Magnificent, begins staging one incredible show after another. There is seemingly nothing this man in an electric-blue suit can’t do, from levitating above the sidewalk to making it snow on a sunny day.

But Joe Bailey, meek bachelor and town archivist, notices that things in Pace aren’t quite right. People are going missing, stores are closing, and someone—or some thing—is living in a row of abandoned homes on River Road.

In this homage to Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, William Hammett has written a chilling novel in lyrical prose about the evil locked behind the doors of small-town America, an evil that Joe Bailey will have to combat with his own brand of street magic.

My review:

This book…

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Mr. Cheddar: Indie Author!!!

 

ched with BLACK GLASSES

Woohoo ! Mr. Cheddar has been bit by the “writing bug”. ;)

He is currently working on 2 eBook projects that he plans to have completed in the next few weeks.

I am “assisting” with the typing as he does find the small keys a bit challenging, with his mighty paws!!!

Will keep you posted as things progress.

I can tell you at this point though that one book is a collection of his best cat-ku (that’s haiku in cat-speak) and the other is a collection of wisdom and wit from a catty perspective.

Wish us luck! ;-)

Have a wonderful week, G and Mr. C 

Easter Ched is….

“taking it to the streets again!” ;)

We both wish you the best Easter holiday ever.

May your Easter basket be filled with all kinds of sweet and special treats! :)

Hugs and Headbonks from G and Mr. C

On the Menu: Tangy Barley Buttermilk Soup

 

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It was a perfect “soup day” yesterday, here in BC. :)

There was a bit of chill in the air, intermittent drizzle….so I got busy and made a big pot of: Tangy Barley Buttermilk Soup along with some: Sausage, Cheese and Thyme Muffins. What a yummy and oh so satisfying dinner it was! :)

GGK II cover (front )

I’ve shared the complete soup recipe below, this one is from the Groovy Green Kitchen II: Simply, Super, Supper Soups.

The muffins are from volume I of: The Groovy Green Kitchen: Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker. They were perfect with this luscious, cream soup. ;)

The_Groovy_Green_Kit_Cover_for_Kindle

I hope you’ll enjoy a bowl (or two) soon!

Happy Cooking and Week!

PS: Yes, the cover of the GGKI has been updated.I also did some work on the interior photos to improve the overall presentation. If you have a copy already, an update would be available from Amazon. If you need any further info. about this, just send me an email (see contact page).

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Tangy Barley Buttermilk Soup

This soup was inspired by a recipe from the first edition of the ground-breaking book: Diet for a Small Planet. My updated version adds garlic and herbs but leaves out the butter. Serves 6.

-¾ C. pearl or pot barley

-3 T. vegetable or olive oil

-1 large (preferably sweet) onion, diced

-2-4 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)

-2 teas. bouquet garni seasoning or GGK Herbal Blend Seasoning (GGK seasoning recipe is in the book)

-1-2 teas. dried chives (to taste)

-¼ – ½ teas. freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

-1-2 teas. Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend (to taste) (optional)

-5 C. vegetable soup stock

-2 C. regular or low-fat buttermilk

-Optional garnishes: finely chopped fresh parsley or chives

Thoroughly rinse and drain barley, set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat vegetable oil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.

Add herbs, black pepper, Mrs. Dash seasoning (if using) and barley and stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly.Cover and steam over MEDIUM-LOW heat for 5 minutes to release flavors and slightly toast barley. (Hint: be careful not to burn the barley, stir at least a couple of times)

Add vegetable soup stock, cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to LOW and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until barley is cooked but not mushy.

Add buttermilk to soup and simmer for 2-3 additional minutes, just to heat through.

Adjust seasonings if required. Garnish and serve.

Your Yarn Pattern Suggestions, PLEASE! ;-)

slice of spring autumn shawl

I just completed my: Slice of Autumn/Spring shawl, which I posted about here.

It’s been raining here in BC and I haven’t had the chance to get out and get photos of this and several other finished yarn projects I have to share. 

In the meantime, I am “itchin;) to start another knit or crochet project but I can’t decide what to make. 

I have 5 skeins of KP Stroll Tweed Fingering in Barn Door Heather shade, that I’d like to use up next.

I thought a short-sleeve cardigan/cardie would be nice in this yarn but I’m open to other ideas for projects too.

Only things I don’t want to make are another shawl or socks.

And, I want to use up all of the 1155 yds. if at all possible, or close to it.

If you have any knit or crochet patterns to suggest, please do! :)

And yes, I have checked at Ravelry already but wasn’t able to find anything that was “just right”.

Happy Knitting and Week, G 

Are You a Multi-Tasker? (I AM!!!) ;-)

No, I can’t juggle (but Joe can) :) but I DO ♥ to multi-task!

                                                       

I’m happiest when I’ve got at least two (sometimes more) tasks on the go, at the same time.
                              
As an example: I often find myself : on the phone, writing a report/list/letter… and eating, all at once. I seem to manage just fine, when it comes to multi-tasking.
 
Doing one thing at a time always seems so SLOW to me! ;)
 
I’m usually trying to cram as much into each day as I can; especially when I’m feeling really energetic. And multi-tasking also makes me feel more energetic!
 
But, it seems that multi-tasking is not the best idea/strategy; at least according to a number of articles and posts I’ve been reading recently.
 
***
These is just a sample of dozens I noted online: 
-An article at the UK Daily Mail about the physical effects of multi-tasking.
-Another article from About.com about multi-tasking vs “chunking”
Chunking sounds like it might be a good idea, at least at times.
 ***
What do you think about multi-tasking? Do you multi-task on a regular basis?
                ***          
Photo courtesy of Flickr
PS: A version of this post was also shared at my one of my other, earlier blogs: Take a Happy Break. I thought it was worthy of an encore here. ;)

Book Review: Never Too Late to Go Vegan

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Never Too Late to Go Vegan by Carol J. Adams, Patti Breitman and Virginia Messina

My review from Amazon.com:

I have been a vegetarian, avid vegetarian cook and cookbook author for over 20 years. But to date, I have not taken “the plunge” to become a total vegan, YET! But it IS a topic of interest to me, and often on my mind.

Vegans come in all shapes, sizes and age groups, but it’s still often thought of as something only the “under 30″ crowd would embrace willingly and gain from.

In: Never Too Late to Go Vegan, authors Adams, Breitman and Messina prove without a doubt that this definitely is not just a good choice, only for the younger crowd.

This truly is (as the cover states) “the over 50 guide to adopting and thriving on a plant-based diet”.

And how I loved to see the word “thrive” included in that description. :-)

For those of us who want to enjoy a long, healthy life, “to thrive” is something we should all be aiming for; no matter what stage we are currently at in life’s journey.

The book contains a wealth of information for the new or wannabe vegan. And although the book is focused mainly on those over 40, 50…and beyond, this certainly is worthwhile reading for anyone, at any age, who is considering making the switch in their own lives to a vegan diet and lifestyle.

Some of the chapters included:

-Why Now? Positive Aging the Vegan Way

-Relationship Dynamics: Family and Friends and Veganism

-Veganism and Caregiving

-and yes, there are a good variety of recipes included too!

Cashew Herb Pate, Southwestern Corn Salad, Sweet and Spicy Baked Tofu, Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake and lots of other easy to make choices; and certainly not just the vegans or vegetarians at your table.

I found the overall tone of this book to be upbeat, interesting and encouraging too. And unlike many vegan guides, it doesn’t contain a lot of graphic information (and no photos) about the horrors of meat-production. I think that most people over 40, who are at the point of considering veganism, are already all too aware of these troubling and disturbing facts. That for me was a bonus.

There are many real life stories shared in this book too, again something that I really enjoyed; from older vegans, sharing their own personal challenges in adopting and maintaining a vegan lifestyle. It’s never an easy choice, even in today’s supposedly more enlightened times; especially if you happen to be sharing a home with staunch meat-eaters.

The book wraps up with the recipe section (over 100 pages!) and also a number of recommendations for further books and cookbooks to check out and other suggested vegan products.

I’m still not a total vegan, but after reading “Never Too Late to Go Vegan” a couple of weeks ago,  I am contemplating taking this step even more.If you’ve also considered a vegan lifestyle and just happen to be over 40…you’ll want to check out this excellent resource book.

Highly recommended!

You can also visit the author’s website here. 

Mr. Cheddar Wishes You The Luckiest Day Ever! ;-)

ched on st. paddys day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May the Luck of the Irish be with you! :)

The Dangers of Vacuum (and other) Dust :-(

158-365 Cleaning

Do you know what dust is actually made of?

Are you aware of the health dangers associated with inhaling dust?

This is just one of many reports about how harmful inhalation of dust can be. You can read many more online.

Since reading more about this topic myself several months ago, I always make sure to have windows open when vacuuming now and to wear a dust mask when dumping out the dirt cup of the vacuum too.

Small measures that can add up to better health, in the long-term. It’s so worth the extra bit of time and effort.

What steps do you take in daily home life/when cleaning, to safeguard your health?

Have a healthy, happy weekend! :-)

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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