Positivity – Day No. 1

Here is day one of my 31 Days in October. Ironically, I chose positivity to be my first post about a month ago. The irony is trying to stay positive knowing as I write this that I have 30 more posts I have to write and I’m not as far along as I had hoped. I have semi started three posts and it’s only  four days until this post is actually going to go online.  (I’m tapping it out on a Sunday trying to get ahead of the game. Yikes!) So here goes.

Positivity is something that seems to be a trait inherent to women. We are supposed to be positive. Have a positive outlook on life. Project positivity in all we do. But sometimes we aren’t. In fact, I would bet you that most women are positive less than 50% of the time. No, this is not an actual statistic; just some common sense and looking at my own life. Men can be moody, and suddenly they are mysterious. Women are moody and it’s PMS.  I’m sorry, but it’s hard to stay positive when 5 days out of every month (this is lowballing it. I would go more like 12 days out of the month)  things are not working quite in tandem with actually feeling good.  (I feel like I should cue Michael Buble and have him sing his ‘Feeling Good’ song.)

I was listening to Joy the Baker’s podcast, No. 125 yesterday…. Okay it was actually in late August…. so yesterday means the 26th of August…. moving on.  In it, Joy and her cohost, Tracy, were talking about how to stay positive when things are getting to you. It all had to do with New Orleans and the ‘stabby’ season. It’s so hot you want to just stab something. (To get the full effect of what I’m talking about, listen to the podcast)

So what do you do when you are not so positive? For me, music is huge. I have my sad songs, my jazz songs, my pop, and if I need a boost, I turn to various songs. I can’t pick anything in particular, but something with a good beat. Lately, my need for music has been higher than usual. I have needed some ‘downtime’ in which I can just chill. Granted, my chilling is while hanging laundry, or cleaning chicken pans.

Sometimes finding the little things in life are good for a positive boost. Like taking a picture of a favorite subject…… for me this is pretty much flowers, flowers, bees, and more flowers.

Flowers fix everything.  Which reminds me of Anna Kendrick in her Miss Adventure for Kate Spade.  See?


All ways to keep very positive in my mind.

In the podcast, both the gals were talking about rosewater as a way to stay positive. Personally, while I love rosewater, I won’t use it on my face.  But I love essential oils and they keep my mind happy.  Fresh scents most of the time. I love Rosemary and Lemon. Citrus oils are my friend. All time favorite oil I think is Lime. It smells like you just grated lime peel.  Yep, that’s a good way to stay positive.

And lastly, while these items might seem cliche, they work.   Exercise.  I run, or bike, or yoga.  That endorphin/adrenaline boost  is really powerful.   And coffee. Or tea. You can never have enough coffee or tea in my mind. Men drink alcohol…. women drink tea.

How do you stay positive?


Plank Challenge: 20 seconds


Dutch Pancake – Flash Fiction

Updated 4/26/15, for Sunday breakfast

Updated 4/26/15, for Sunday breakfast

“Can I get you something to drink? Coffee, tea, water, beer….” Phil trailed off as he watched Emma inspect his bookshelf.

“You drink tea?” she asked as she looked back at him over her shoulder.

He shrugged.  “Sometimes.”

“I’d love some coffee,” Emma answered and pulled out a book with a red spine.  “Do you happen to have eggs, milk, flour, and a skillet?” she asked as if inspired by something.

“Uh…. What?” Phil stared at her dumbfounded as he pulled coffee from the freezer.

“Do you have all of those things?” Emma asked again, enunciating each word carefully as if he was a child.

“Yeah. I do. Why?”

“Excellent.  How long does your coffee take to make?”  Then she noticed he had set out a stove-top percolator.  “Oh, at least fifteen minutes, yes?”

“Um. Yes.”  She was worrying him a bit with her cavalier manner and random questions.

“Good. Pull out the skillet and let me work.”  She seemed all business as she pushed up her sleeves, metaphorically since she was wearing a sleeveless top over tan chinos.

He fixed the coffee, putting it on his gas range to perk while he watched her rummage in his fridge pulling out eggs, milk and butter. Then she was pulling out bowls, a whisk and mixing flour and sugar while beating eggs and milk in another bowl. The butter went into the skillet which in turn ended up in the oven turned up high.

She found his small bottle of vanilla hiding amongst the salt and pepper in his ‘spice’ cabinet.  He ignored her muttered comment about ‘men and their lack of proper cooking spices’.  He was rather mystified by her mixing.

When everything was combined, she yanked the skillet out of the oven and poured the batter into the pan, popped it back into the oven and set a timer.

“That’ll be ready in no time. Do you have jam or powdered sugar?” at his negative shake she frowned.  “Maple syrup?”


“That’ll do.”  She rinsed everything then wandered back to his bookshelves.

She was rather a conundrum in his mind.  She worked outside most of her day in dirt and soil, but she wore diamond drop earrings.

“Just rhinestones,” she corrected.

She wore sturdy pants and a chambray sleeveless top; riding boots.  But he caught a hint of lace hiding beneath the shirt.  Why would someone getting dirty outside wear lacy lingerie underneath?

She was prim and proper with her attitude and spoke without cursing, though she did let a swear word out as she commented about something she hated.  She read naughty books but liked to write clean and elegant poetry.  She admired his Varga paintings, and liked some of his more ‘risque’ books, but she looked like she stepped out of a Norman Rockwell.  Or something that would be considered ladylike.  A study in contradiction.

She was gleeful when the timer rang and she opened the door to the oven, shielding the contents from him.  Then he was utterly surprised at the giant puffed up pastry, or whatever she had made, that was practically escaping from the pan.

“It’s a Dutch pancake,” she answered his minor shock.  She directed him to get plates and forks while she cut the pastry and the whole thing collapsed.  The doused their halves of the pancake with the fake syrup in his cupboard and carried their plates and cups of coffee out to the deck, sitting in the mid-afternoon sun overlooking the mountain lake.

His first mouthful was pure decadence. Not too rich or sweet, but oh so satisfying.  He caught her grin as she bit into a dainty bite of hers.

“I moaned, didn’t I?” he asked.

She giggled.  “You did, but I’m glad you like it.  It’s my specialty.”

“Well you do a damn fine job of it.”

“Thank you.”

“I may have to keep you around,” he said as he devoured his piece.

“I may let you,” she teased.

The thing was, he wasn’t teasing……………

Ah, flash fiction…. sometimes it comes out perfectly.  This was inspired by a recent thought and my new love of Dutch pancakes that I make almost daily for my family. There is something so magical about eggs, milk, flour, sugar and butter that puff up to something so ooey gooey yumminess.  For those interested, I highly recommend King Arthur Flour’s recipe but up the sugar. I don’t use lemon, but it’s a personal thing. I really suggest you try it.

Lemon Puff Pancake with Fresh Berries

Or try this one that I think might be better.

Dutch Baby Recipe

As of 4/26/15, I have modified the recipe using both of the links I shared and so, play around with it. You want it to climb and not sink, like my image above.  So much goodness in such a simple thing.(I should add, I do gluten free, so even better)


A Bit of Dialogical Debate

“Coffee all the way.”

“No! It’s like the worst ever!”

“But it’s so smooth and rich.”

“No. Coffee is like so bitter. Tea is way more smooth.”

“Only if you add milk and sugar. Plain, it’s rather sharp.”

“That’s so not true. . . Well, it could like be sorta brisk. . . but that’s why you ad the milk and sugar.”

“With coffee you don’t have to add milk or sugar. So you don’t have any calories to worry about.”

“Calories, schmalories. Who cares if it tastes like dirt?!”

“Dirt?! And what would you call tea? Leaves stewed in water!”

“Oh yes, coffee is sooooo superior.”

“Well there’s no need for you to get sarcastic.”

“Well, you don’t need to act like you are so much more superior.”

“Fine. Drink your tea, but leave me alone about the coffee.”

“I didn’t start this in the first place. You made a fuss when I said I was going to have tea!”

“So, have your tea.”

“Fine. I think I will.”


Okay, I love both tea and coffee and actually both of those are arguments I use for either…. Hopefully you can feel the different change in speech. I’m not sure. I usually use the ‘he said, she said’ moments, but I kind of wanted to try going without that.  Enjoy.

Now let me drink my tea.


Saturday Inspires – Books, Ink, Coffee… Mostly In That Order

Books. Gotta have ’em. Ink. Love it; need it. Coffee. Well, as we all know, a must.

I think all of these things inspire this blog. Maybe because they are all what get me through the day. I can’t live without books. I have been debating a Kindle for a while now, and I have the opportunity to get one for a decent price due to sales and gift cards and what not, but honestly, I’m just not ready. Most of the books; in fact all of the books I read are real books. I hold them in my hand. I don’t want to have to purchase books I want to read for my kindle, when I can spent a quarter at my local library. I’d much rather support the library than anything else.  I’m just not read.

Ink. Well, as a writer, that is crucial.  There I was in the post office today and thankfully I had a pen at hand. I yanked an envelope out of the trash bin and started making a list poem from the bulletin board.  Someone recently just clued me in to how unique our bulletin boards are in my town. We have several of them and you can get anything from a cord of wood to kittens. Just check the boards.

Coffee.  Lord knows I can’t live without my coffee. Right now I have been seriously overindulging in the cafe. I think 7 cups is more than I really should be drinking. I mixed it up tonight with a cup of Gingerbread tea. (Celestial Seasonings) It was herbal, so that was a change. But I love my coffee. If I liked the local coffee shop more, I’d spend too much time there. Since I don’t, I don’t spend time there. Ha!

Here are images that I keep to inspire me all relating to books, ink, and coffee. There might be tea in here too, because, hey, as a writer, we drink a lot of tea as well.














Oh. My. Gosh. Yes!  I swear it took a half hour for that pot to perk the other morning. It was only 12 minutes but seriously. I NEED coffee first thing. Do not talk to me until I have at least poured a cup and I’m sitting on the couch. I cannot think without coffee. And at least two cups minimum in the morning.

So, happy Sunday. I will be having plenty of coffee this morning. Possibly while I watch In The Kitchen with David (QVC and don’t mock me. He’s hilarious)

Signing off


Rainy Nights In The Springtime

Here I am on a rainy spring night.  Yes, it is really finally spring.  Bing is confirming it. (I had to check)  It’s one in the morning and I just had to type something.  I should be picking a picture for Wordless Wednesday, but you are going to get two posts today.

There is something kind of magical about rain on a spring night.  The freshness.  The clean mountain air where I live.  The silence that is far from silent.  The air moves differently and you can feel the change.

Right now I’m reading Liz Dalby’s East Wind Melts the Ice.  It’s a journal mixed with cultural and historical information of Japan.  It takes the Japanese calendar and breaks it down into individual weekly essays.  It’s incredibly fun to read, though I have yet to ever finish the book despite checking it out half a dozen times from the library.  It’s one of those books that’s so good you don’t want to finish it.  Ha ha, that is a really sad excuse, but it’s actually true. I’ve shied away from finishing it.

I am drinking a tepid cup of coffee, though it was hot a bit ago (black, no sugar) and I have Penny and Sparrow’s Ten Boom album playing.  Penny and Sparrow are a new band I found after seeing a post by rainydaysandblankets a Tumblr blog.  Her blog has got to be one of my most favorite to visit.  I really should do a favorites of Tumblr’s blog post.  There are some really great blogs out there.  Anyways, Penny and Sparrow is a really amazing band of two guys.  Check them out if you can.  Quite impressive in the folk-slash-rock genre.

Well, now to see what to post for Wordless.

Signing off


Flash Fiction : A Marry Me Cake

Slice of pound cake

Slice of pound cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Tim!  Hello. Come in,” Jessica exclaimed as she opened the screen door wide enough to let the tall man in.  This was a pleasant surprise as Tim never came to visit and Jessica hadn’t seen him in months.  He was always charming and ready with smile for her, but they didn’t run in the same circles.  She kept to her book clubs and very prim and proper world while Tim tended to run in a more boisterous crowd.  The contractors and loggers.  No, they didn’t cross paths much, but she enjoyed every time she did get to see him.

“I just finished making a pot of coffee.  Would you care for a cup?” she asked over her shoulder as she walked towards the kitchen.

“Sure,” Tim answered, following her into the cheery room.

“Have a seat,” Jessica motioned to the kitchen table and chairs.  She took cups and small plates down from the cupboard, then reached into a drawer for spoons and dessert forks.  Tim arched a brow in question as she set a covered cake plate on the table.

Jessica lifted the cover to reveal three quarters of a moist yellow cake lovingly encased in a fluffy chocolate frosting.  “Can I tempt you with a piece?” she queried with a knowing smile.

Tim’s glazed over expression was enough of an answer so she sliced him a generous piece, then cut a much smaller one for herself.  After pouring the coffee and sitting down herself she motioned for time to dig in.

His first bite turned into a long drawn out moan of delight and Jessica smiled in pleasure.

“Good god woman, what did you put in this thing?  Ground up ecstasy?”  Time said this with a groan as he took another bite.

“No.  Just butter, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla and other cake making ingredients.”

Tim looked up at her, a thoughtful expression on his face.

“Jessica Martin?”


“Marry me.”

Jessica laughed.  “Oh Tim, stop it.”  She sipped her coffee, but she was finding it hard not to smile like an idiot.

“I’m not joking.  I would give you anything you could ever want if you make me cake like this.  How are you at pie?”


I made a Betty Crocker Starlight cake with fluffy chocolate frosting the other day (I highly recommend this recipe if anyone cares, and yes, I only make homemade cakes)  The cake is long gone; my father adores cake, but this thought came to me and I just had to play around with a guy eating cake and asking a girl to marry him just because she  makes a fine cake.  I love cooking for men, and I kind of like showing off when I can with food. Hey, they always say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. You can’t tell me it isn’t true.

Well, my father is happy now because I just baked another cake yesterday. I don’t do much, if anything, for father’s day, but I know he appreciates that cake. For those interested, a Betty Crocker Daffodil Cake. Pillowy soft angel food like, but with a gorgeous yellow sponge swirled through from the egg yolks you add. (Another cake I highly recommend making, if you aren’t afraid of angel food cakes)

Signing off