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My Favorite Book Series and Why

WednesdayBloggingChallenge-copy

The Wild Rose Press Lobster Cove series will always be my favorite because my first published novel, LOVE CATERS ALL, was in that series. It was very challenging to work with a group of authors and an editor to create a small town full of characters who know each other. It was a double challenge, both a first book and working with a “bible” to track all the details, but the results were great. I worked in that world for my second book, THIRD STRIKE’S THE CHARM, and I read lots of books in that series. Now it feels like a real place where I once lived.

What is your favorite book series and why?

This post is part of a blog hop with lots of authors. Check out their posts by going here: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/miscellaneous-musings/wednesday-weekly-blogging-challenge-for-april-1-2020/.

Types of Exercise I Enjoy — blog hop

I love this topic from Long and Short Reviews. 

Well it’s pretty easy for me to answer, I love walking and kayaking.Nicci kayaking at night

I have found that if I love to do something, I actually do it consistently. This, I realize, is not a revelation, LOL! I don’t know about you, but the best news of the last twenty years was finding out that walking for thirty minutes most days is enough to be healthy. That’s something I can stick to. What do you like to do, if anything?

Today ‘s topic is part of a blog hop, and I invite you to check out what other authors are sharing by clicking on the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge here or in the following image. Even if you just read a few, you’ll enjoy these interesting people.  

 

 

 

Books I want to ReRead

There’s another fun blog hop this week at Long & Short Reviews and you can see lots of authors’ choices here: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/category/miscellaneous-musings/

When I was a kid I read and reread James Herriot’s books, All Creatures Great and Small and the sequels.

As a teen I read and have since reread The Scapegoat by Daphne DuMaurier. I’ll probably read it again; it has a mystical gothic style I like.

I am rereading Making Things Better by Anita Brookner.

I have reread Left of the Rising Sun by John Holland several times, love that one.

I plan to reread Safe Harbor by Danielle Steel.

How about you?

This post is part of the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge hosted by Long and Short Reviews. You can see the list of topics here.

 

Blog Hop — Favorite couple from literature, TV or film

I’m participating in a blog hop with https://www.longandshortreviews.com/category/miscellaneous-musings/. Check it out to see other authors weighing in.

Without thinking too long or hard about it, I came up with Rick and Ilsa from Casablanca because they sacrificed their love to do the right thing. It still is so bittersweet to me to think about that ending, I get teary eyed.

What about you? Do any couples from books, TV or movies stick in your mind? And if so what is it that makes them special to you?

 

Five tips for waste reduction

We live in a challenging time but also an incredible time. The issues cannot be ignored, and it is good to be part of this time. I think just by being alive now, we are participants in a grand experiment. Can we cooperate to reduce global warming and plastics/garbage waste and can we solve social issues? It’s an experiment, but failure isn’t really an option, is it? Let’s do it!

Everything happens on a personal level, as in what choices do I make every day? I think we are waking up to that. My motto is a quote that was shared in one of my social media streams, “We don’t need a few people doing waste reduction perfectly, we need a million people doing waste reduction imperfectly.”

Of course those who do it perfectly set good examples, but what I like about this motto is it helps reduce the sense of hopelessness and absurdity that stops us from taking any action. The old, “If you can’t do it right, then don’t do it at all,” thought process is not helpful here. Carrying my own bag into the grocery store makes a difference. Think about a million people doing that or even tens of millions (all of California where charging for single-use bags at the store has made a  big difference). We are part of that social evolution, and it matters. And even if it’s just one person, it matters. You never know, you might look so cool and with it with your canvas bag at the store that you inspire someone else to remember their bag next time.

Here are five easy ways I reduce waste and garbage. Maybe you can try them, and also please share your methods in a comment or on Twitter or Facebook. My other social media links are in the sidebar.

  1. Use a food sealer that does jars (and mostly use mason jars not the plastic bags)

    This is a tool that has a compound effect. It reduces using plastic bags and wasting food. When you vacuum your leftovers in a jar, they can last two weeks. Food waste produces methane gas at the dump, and that’s even worse than carbon dioxide.

    Here is the latest version of the machine. I have an older model.
    https://amzn.to/38wBbn5

    Here is the accessory kit for the mason jars:
    https://amzn.to/2NSRW43

    And these vacuum bottle stoppers work great for wine.
    https://amzn.to/2TQYO5z

  2. Make yogurt (and store in vacuum sealed jars)
    I have the Instapot that makes yogurt and once you make a batch, you can keep using your own yogurt as starter. You have to buy milk, but milk cartons break down.
    https://amzn.to/2Glc4aS
  3. Pick up trash
    I use a grabber to pick up trash on the ground, walking with a plastic bag, and throwing everything I collect in a proper garbage can on my way home. I use a grabber like this so my hands don’t get dirty.
    http://bit.ly/2urhRsI
  4. Get a FlyLady mop for picking up dust around the house on one side and mopping with the other side. This goes in the washing machine so you don’t have to use those disposable mops or dry dusters.
    http://shop.flylady.net/p/%28MOP%29
  5. Use parchment paper and rubber bands to cover bowls in the fridge.

Do you have anything you’re doing to reduce waste?

A Keto-ist’s* Lament

Oh little roll
do you know
how much I want thee
oh little dinner roll?

What butter I could
spread on thee
what cheese could I laden
oh little dinner roll

But bread my fingers hurt
and dough my sugar spikes
so little roll
little dinner roll
to guests do I leave thee.

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Hey there! I hope you are enjoying post-Thanksgiving day. I ate some sugar (but no dinner rolls), and a little stuffing, and I gained some weight, but it was fun, nice to be with family and to put out our nice things we only use on holidays, and now it’s back to my routine. How are you fellow Americans holding up? I hope you aren’t shopping! LOL! Although I shouldn’t say that, I do have books to sell, but they’re not on sale, oops! However, please feel free to grab one, they aren’t expensive and e-books don’t have any packaging or use any resources! They are a guilt-free pleasure. *smile*

I hope you have a peaceful day. My Australian and other far-flung friends, I hope you get rain if you need it, sun if you need that, and all the way around, good internal weather.

*Keto-ist: One who follows the ketogenic diet. (I follow a modified one, and it helps with arthritis and the blood-sugar roller-coaster.)

 

Kayaking is inexpensive…or not

I thought kayaking was pretty inexpensive. After all, once you have the boat, it’s free to launch and paddle around. Well it didn’t turn out like that for us. Here’s the story.

Last year:

Me: What would you like for your birthday?

Hubby: A kayak.

Me: Okay!

He’s hard to buy for. I’m not. My list of wants is always 10 pages long, LOL! But for him, it is very hard to figure out a gift, so this clear-cut request is great! But…flash forward…little did I know it would change our lives completely.

We talked about kayaking before, and I had given him some kayaking adventures for other birthdays, a guided one on Lake Tahoe, an overnight camping trip on Tomales Bay. And now he wants his own.

It makes sense, but the thing we hadn’t been able to figure out was where to store them or how to transport them. But the birthday request is easy. He does the research, and I order it and float it on the pool with a bow for the big party.

Here’s where it starts getting more expensive. Hubby doesn’t want to kayak alone of course, so I need a kayak. My birthday is the following month and I get one.

Now we need a kayak rack. The car is really old though, and kayak racks are specific, so we accelerate our new car purchase plans by six months. And then we buy the kayak rack, a good one, so it’s not too hard to put them on there.

For a year we haul the kayaks around, there aren’t a lot of good places in the Bay Area, so we go up to Lake Tahoe, we haul them to Redwood City, and we take a camping trip on Lake Almanor, but despite the excellent rack, getting them on and off the car is still kind of hard. The worst part is securing them with straps and taking those off then putting them on at the site and repeating all that for the return home. Ugh.

Over Christmas, while visiting our son in San Diego, we decided to take a trip down to Coronado. This is an island, (technically a peninsula, but it is thought of as an island), near downtown San Diego. We’ve been wanting to live by the beach for about a decade, and have spent a lot of time looking at houses. We could never afford to be that close to the beach though, and we were never excited enough about what was available to move our whole lives. However, while there at Christmas, hubby receives a link from Zillow about a condo in Coronado with a killer view. What if we could actually squeeze ourselves into a small place like that? Then we could really be on the beach.

So, we take Lyft down there and look at the outside of one of these high rises that has the condo for sale, then have lunch, then wander by a real estate office. A friendly realtor spots us perusing their brochures, and soon we are looking at the condo on the inside, but it’s a high rise and there’s nowhere to store your kayaks and it’s a bit hard to cross the main road to launch them in the bay. He says he knows exactly where we need to be and takes us to the Coronado Cays, the best-kept secret of San Diego.

Wow. You can literally launch from your back yard.

So now we are moving to Coronado. In fact, we did the moving there part first and we’re doing the sell everything in the Bay Area second, LOL! This is our life now:

We also kayak during the day, and my phone has been the camera. It is encased in a waterproof plastic thing, so the images can be a bit blurry, but I am working on upgrading my photo situation.

In summary, kayaking turned out not to be so inexpensive. Actually, it will be quite cost effective once we’re down to one home, and we are so excited. We both really love it. I love birds who are abundant thanks to a wildlife sanctuary, the quiet, the physical challenge of paddling, and the sensation of floating.

At least now you’ll know why I’m posting so many kayaking pictures! I’ll also post one of my new writing space soon. I really like it and am close to finishing another novel. I swear it’s because I moved. It energized me, and I like my new work space a lot.

Happy World Heart Day

It’s heart health day! I am taking heart health seriously as it has struck close to home a couple times, including this week! And cardio disease is in my family. So I’m making a pledge to exercise, include the good stuff in my diet, and exclude the bad stuff.

I’m taking a look at how to include 30 grams of fiber per day because that’s what the doc recommends for me. Handfuls of beans added to salads, lentil salad, a cup of raspberries, walnuts and almonds; I can do this and so can you. It’s worth it.

I hope you will make a pledge to be heart healthy too.

Here’s a great link for International Heart Day.

World Heart Day

And my poster…

heartheroposter-190928072240O2nJV

You can make a poster too: https://www.world-heart-federation.org/world-heart-day/create-a-poster/

Here are the results of some research I did yesterday, net means you subtract the fiber from the carbs for the net carbs. I don’t do low carb, but I do reduced carbs because too many carbs and white carbs also are bad for your ❤️ and other things like blood sugar. My doc said that too. This is a bit haphazard, I didn’t nail down every nutrient on each one, but this is my starting list. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Fiber:
.5 cup oats: 4, carbs 29, net 25, calories 160
.5 cup Lentils: 8, carbs 20, net 12
1 oz Walnuts: 2
1 oz pecans: 2
1cup kale: 2
1 artichoke: 10
1 cup raspberries: 8, 15 carbs, net 7, cals 64
.5 avocado: 7
1 pear: 6
1.5 oz. Keto granola*: 3, carbs 5, net 2, calories 200
1 cup Blueberries: 3.6
.5 cup Pinto beans: 8, carbs 20, net 12

Look at avocado and artichokes, wow!

For exercise, my doc said to do 30 minutes a day of cardio, defined as working up a sweat. I do more at a low intensity. I’m not sure that’s as good but I’ve read elsewhere it is good, and the thing for me and my husband, if we love doing something, we do it every day. If not, we fizzle and stop. We love long walks on the beach and kayaking and have rearranged our lives so we can do those things every day, easily. I believe that will also be good, and actually, my doctor was very happy when she heard about our new lifestyle.

There are about fifty tasty looking lentil salad recipes in the New York Times Cooking archive, and cookbooks usually have one in them as well.

Good luck and be heart smart.

* From the Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners by Amy Ramos, a serving is 3 ounces, I do a half serving. I use grass-fed butter instead of coconut oil as I avoid coconut fat. This is all nuts and seeds. Oh, another modification, I use two tablespoons of agave which I mix with the melted butter and spices, and I double the spices, which are cinnamon and nutmeg. The recipe calls for stevia, but we don’t like it, and the amount of agave per serving is very small.

Happy National Play-Doh Day

Fun Fact: Play Doh was originally invented as a wallpaper cleaner by Joe McVicker but a second use was discovered for it – play!

photo 4 (6)
Photo by thelesleyshow

I love it. It’s so fun to play with children and Play-Doh. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and best of all, easy to clean up! One of my grandchildren and I made a humming bird together that I thought turned out pretty well. The twins made a chocolate chip cookie, green for the cookie, brown, super smushed chips, LOL! The main thing is all the focus they put into the activity and the delight when they complete something. The other thing that was nice to see with the cookie was how well they have learned to share and play together. Bravo parents!

When’s the last time you played with Play-Doh and what did you make?