Monthly Archives: March 2015

Paid off my car!

party car paid offThis is the first time I’ve ever paid a car off. In my 20’s and 30’s, I thought I had to trade up every two years. Sheesh, what we do to impress and keep up with the Joneses…

Kindle writers are a whole new breed of writer

What keeps you interested in a story? I just had an eye opener. I’ve been reading some Kindle mystery authors. The last time I read suspense novels, they were written by the likes of Stephen King and Agatha Christie, so I see my expectations were high. The good thing about Kindle is anyone can put a book out. I appreciate all over again how April Rane is able to weave a compelling story around interesting characters when many writers are not. What keeps your interest in a story? I want details, I want to be able to set the scene in my mind. I want to know what the self talk is throughout, and I’d like to know the details of what the surroundings look like. If it’s too detailed or boring, I can skim past it, but I like to immerse in the story by knowing the details. When a writer gives too few details, or fails to paint a picture or tell a compelling story, I lose interest.

RELATED:  I get to edit April Rane’s Mystery Series

Expanding my territory, seeing new sights, having new thoughts

hiking49 degrees in the courtyard yesterday and 57 degrees this morning! I’m used to walking when it’s dark out, but since I’ve been expanding my territory, I like to wait until daylight so I can see the new sights. I don’t think I’ll be walking the Camino anytime soon but it’s fun to trek around my neighborhood pretending I’m crossing the Pyrenees. There’s not much traffic on the blocks I walk, unless I choose to wander out onto Eldron or Emerson. It is an equal mix of residential homes and wooded lots. Walking the new route at daybreak, I get to observe the wildlife at the edge of the woods out at the road. Bunnies, armadillos, opossum, raccoons, turtles, squirrels, birds, bats, snakes, lizards, butterflies, dragonflies. When I’m walking in new territory, I notice I can walk longer. Maybe that’s because I’m allowing myself to be invigorated by my own excitement of the new sights. The new sights and sounds set up new thoughts in my mind, and those new thoughts replace whatever self-talk I had going on. When I began, my left ankle had a twinge and my right knee as well. By the time I’d walked a few minutes, both stopped. I walked farther than previous, so I was aware of my shins getting a workout. I wore my ultrapadded Timberline hiking boots, which are more comfortable than my Asics for walking. The walking is like a moving meditation and is becoming part of my daily spiritual practice.   Continue reading

Clear the cache, find the hidden code and clear it up

web studio wont take 4-15 image 72I use Web Studio 5.0 to create my websites. To the left is a “preview” of the front page of my site, showing side by side two covers of the March 2015 magazine. The only problem with that is — as you see on the right — the two images I used were for the April 2015 cover. I have completely deleted the March image jpg file out of the Web Studio file. I inserted the April image jpg twice. It continues to show the old file. The old file links it to the April 2015.pdf magazine so I know the file is being read. But I’ve got code somewhere that is over riding what I do to fix it. Kind of like in life when we’re having a problem trying to achieve something — there’s always some hidden code to clear up before we can move forward. It’s usually the releasing of an old belief and accepting the possibility of a different, expanded, better experience. I guess the moral of that story is even if I think I’m doing all the right things yet still not accomplishing what I set out to accomplish, that means I’ve got old code — or old beliefs and expectations — ingrained in my consciousness somewhere. My job before I can move forward is to keep clearing the cache to weed that out.

Designing a custom ad for someone is like treasure mapping

Eileen Jacobs vistaprint cardsI had the most fun this week designing new business cards for a friend. As I do for ads in the magazine, I give a few choices to decide between. A different image, different text placement, different font. What I like is not necessarily what someone else will like, so I give choices. For fun, I also posted the choices on Facebook and asked my FB friends which they preferred. I got some great feedback and we settled upon one of my favorites. I love this part of my job. Designing a custom ad for someone is like treasure mapping, it’s an exercise in creative visualization and pre-paving. Here is the final front and back design for the business cards. I love the image of the lotus, which appreciates the muck it is growing in as needed for growth, all the while rising above it. It was the perfect image for my friend. A galpal asked how I could make a profit if I spent hours making different choices of business cards and playing on Facebook all day with them.  I told her it’s not “how much am I going to make on this job?” it’s more like “how good can I make it feel while I’m in creation mode and technically on the clock?”  Because what I’m feeling in the moment is what I’m attracting for the next moment.  As a result of me making the playful posts on Facebook asking which choices my FBF liked, I attracted three new clients that I’ll create business cards for.  As a Facebook Special thru April, I’ll design your business card and order 100 two sided cards from Vistaprint for you for $100 total. That’s $30.99 to Vistaprint and $69.01 to me for design, layout and ordering, a $175 value. The cards will be mailed directly to you. Email me at with your text and artwork, or I can choose the images for you. You can Paypal payment to or I can take a credit card over the phone. I’d be thrilled to create one for you.

Calamus and Mullein — herbal alternatives to help kick a smoking habit

calamus mullein smokingSeveral friends are switching to smoking loose tobacco so they can wean themselves off cigarettes naturally. As they research alternatives, some are switching to a pipe so they aren’t inhaling paper from their hand rolled cigarettes. Ayurveda emphasizes prevention of disease, individualization of treatment, and the maintaining of balance between body, mind and spirit. Ayurvedic medicine can be helpful in the treatment of chronic conditions such as asthma, coronary heart disease and more. An Ayurvedic remedy for respiratory problems is adding mullein and ground calamus root to your loose tobacco.  Calamus root has numerous traditional uses aside from helping one to quit smoking. It eliminates phlegm, clears congestion, and tranquilizes the mind. Additional uses include: amnesia, anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, tinnitus, chronic bronchitis, and bronchial asthma. You can also steep the leaves and roots to make a tea.  Calamus is a greatly valued herb in Ayurveda, as its stimulating aroma rejuvenates the brain and the nervous systemContinue reading

I get to edit April Rane’s Mystery Series

magnolia murders book coverAm so excited! Today I spoke with a favorite friend and author and I will edit her next project.  The Aradia Chronicles is April Rane‘s myth series and it includes the best selling Myth of the Moon Goddess; Alyanna, Amazon Priestess and Andalusia, Goddess of the Sea.  I’ll be editing her mystery series, and am reading the first book The Magnolia Murders: Louisiana Lady – Book One right now.  April tells a good story and paints a vivid picture, so it is an easy read.  The Camino de Santiago research goes on hold while I read April’s books to get in the vibe. Follow April on Twitter at and on Facebook  I love that I get to work with people I love and whose work I support.  Life is good. I have no complaints whatsoever.

The Gaming Rocker Goes To A Good Home

AK 100 Rocker Gaming Chair with ergonomic bucket seat

AK 100 Rocker Gaming Chair with ergonomic bucket seat

I mowed the back yard today, the first mowing of 2015. We sat on the new cushions on the back porch with Benny and then took rode our bikes around the hood. It makes me feel 16 again to be riding bikes on the block with my bf. I saw that someone had picked up the exercise bicycle I put out on my driveway yesterday, but did not take the AK 100 Rocker Gaming Chair with ergonomic bucket seat. Even if you don’t play video games, it’s a cool chair to just sit and rock in too.  It was a gift to me from galpal Jenny McVicker.  I have so many chairs, I used to have classes here and keep thinking I will need them again. This one I had for fun, but haven’t used it in a couple of years. If I stop using something, I want to pass it along to someone who will use it. My friend Patricia Bell told me she’d take it. “With my sensory kids this would be great!” Patricia and her husband foster four small children who have behavior and sensory processing issues. I always enjoy having her stop by with her young crew in tow. Each time I’ve seen them they’ve been well behaved, although keeping it under control takes constant wrangling from mom, who does it with a smile and a cuddle. Patricia later told me, “I picked up the chair. Yeah! The kids love to rock. I’m going to use it as a discipline tool as well as a sensory regulating tool. All the kids have rocked in it today including the baby who likes to sit/rock and sing in it! Thanks again.” I love that she got the chair!

New cushions for the back porch

YinYang on new cushionA productive day: walked early, laundered bedding, put air in tires for both bikes, biked a little, began labelling the subscriptions for the post office run tomorrow.  I cleaned the back porch and installed a pvc window shade against the east screen to give privacy from the back fence line and shield the morning sun. I moved two chairs off the porch — ah — room to breathe! I keep forgetting I no longer need to seat twelve. I’ve been fixing all the leaks in my back porch roof and the back porch is becoming live-able again. Hurricane Jeanne toppled a big oak onto the aluminum roof it in 2007. In 2012, a friend unbent the roof and it’s leaked like a sieve ever since. That turned the porch into a mud room the last two years, where I’d stomp off dirt from the garden and place my gardening tools on hooks on the wall. Last year, the man removed a 4 foot tall lantana bush growing on the porch roof, which let light shine thru the pin holes so I could see where to plug them. Only two remained and I got them today. That was confirmed when it rained and there were no leaks! Yay — that meant I could once again claim the porch as living space!  Continue reading