Monday, December 31, 2012
This December has been a bit different in that while traditions and history have been mentioned, I've included more about my personal life than usual, and I've wondered why?
I just celebrated fiftieth birthday this month. As a child, a 50th birthday didn't occur to me. As a teen, my lifestyle and bad choices did give very good odds on making 25, forget 50. But things profoundly changed for me in 1984.
The more days that pass, the more amazed I am that I'm still here. All things considered, I am beating some serious odds. But then aren't we all.
I'm grateful that you have taken some time to read When Kate Blogs. I do so appreciate the clicks and comments. Some comments have become conversations which have turned into long-distance friendships via the internet. I consider myself blessed.
If you like what you read here, and you'd like to connect, here's how:
I'm looking forward to it. ;)
May you have an excellent 2013!
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
While my family of origin had holiday traditions, when I started my own family I took the time to analyze the good and the not-so-good of holiday traditions. I kept what I liked, what worked & brought happy thoughts to mind. Then I built new traditions with my spouse and children as they've grown.
Times have been tough so this year is the first in several that we've had a tree in our house. It was so delightful to bring this lovely little tree into the house and devise a way to include the best of the best memories and wishes for the coming year.
We support the tree farmer, the tree yard and young delivery man wishing only that we could have offered them more than what they asked, for the joy their work has given us already far exceeds the price & tips we gave. After the holiday, we will donate the tree to be recycled into mulch for common areas.
What traditions have you incorporated into your holiday celebrations?
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Born in Illinois on January 7, 1906, Evelyn set her sights on flying from the first time she saw a plane fly overhead. Her parents moved from Illinois to California where Evelyn had the opportunity to save $2,500 during her teenage years working at her parent's gas service station. She applied her money to flying lessons at Burdett Fuller's Flying School, obtaining her license in 1928.
By 1929, she and fellow female aviators competed to champion women's endurance flight. Howard Hughes and Will Rogers watched as the twenty women including Amelia Earhart, Pancho Barnes and Evelyn Trout powdered their noses before boarding their aircraft. The gentlemen dubbed the race, the Powder Puff Derby.
Pleased with their daughter, the Trouts gave Evelyn her first light weight plane in which she was able to set a number of records for increasingly long endurance flights, altitude records and became famous for refueling during her longer flights. Her longest flight was 122 hours 50 minutes.. She was also the first woman to fly all night.
Through the 1930s, Evelyn flew around the country demonstrating airplanes and participating in races, sponsored by the Sunset Oil Company. She continued to fly until WWII when she turned her attention toward entrepreneurial ventures. She owned a rivet company, a real estate company, printing company, insurance and investment company.
For more about Evelyn Trout go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobbi_Trout
For more about the Women's Air Derby aka Powder Puff Derby go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_Air_Derby
Monday, November 12, 2012
What are the basics?
- Make a plan.
- Take action.
- Eat regular meals.
- Talk with friends.
- Keep anger away.
- Get rest.
- Laugh a little.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
The novice begins with or without the help and guidance of a particular master. If the apprenticed remains with a master, at some point the blend must be followed by a break to independence. Otherwise, the apprentice is only a servant. The apprentice path is as simple and clear as it is created by the master for the apprentice. Always an advantage to be an apprentice to a master who without reservation gives freely to the novice.
But sometimes the novice has no single master. The world becomes the teacher. Each person gives information. Each experience adds to the apprentice's knowledge. This path is hardly clear, nor is it simple. However, this path is clearly profound.
Gautama discovered a particular path to enlightenment and became Buddha. He shared his discovery with followers who became his apprentices. Later the apprentices became masters who accepted apprentices and so on, for hundreds of years. But Gautama was the first.
For a creative spirit there are steps to learning which mirror the spiritual journey of Buddha. The feeling of unease spurs the creative to a new endeavor, a new teacher, a new technique, a new media, a new genre. The creative exhibits the inner need to expand, to find new and different experiences from which to select, manipulate, change, and imagine.
The path of the artist by definition must be a solitary journey. Certainly a collective project brings together artists but without the spark the process of art is just a copy. The newness of discovery is what separates the creative from an imitator.
Once imagined the creative moves toward making the unreal real. The process may be as small as a sketch or note. The process may be as large as a sculpture or building. The artist holds the experience in their heart, their being expands. They learn and grow from the experience and move closer to bliss.
However you may travel, with or without a master, the journey may be creative learning that leads to bliss. All you need to do is step on the path.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
When my kids were little they were allowed a treat at the market if they were good throughout the store. Their good behavior was regularly rewarded with a honey stick. The straw honey holder was just enough sweet to encourage the best behavior and it was good for them too.
Local honey helps acclimate the human body tot he flora of the area. Eating the honey made from local pollen and becoming allergy resistant during high pollen days are directly related.
Pooh Bear has it right when it comes to Nature's sweet goodness. Honey is also an ingredient in medicines. It's also significant in many religions.
Honey is the produced by bees as they use the nectar to create and store the food source for the hive. The bees make honeycomb then fill the cell with honey from the pollen/nectar they're gathered from flowers. Beekeepers are masters as retrieving the extra honey from the hive to provide honey for humans and still sustain the bee hive for future production.
Honey as a medicine has been used since the beginning of human medical treatment. As a syrup, honey treats stomach troubles and indigestion. It is also an ingredient is salves and other topical treatments for wounds and burns. There is an antibacterial property that explains why these ancient medicines do work.
Venerated by the Hindus as a one of the five elixirs of immortality. Buddhists tell of the legendary monkey who brought honey for Buddha to eat. Jewish tradition calls the Promised Land, 'the land of milk and honey' and Jews also include honey in the Rosh Hashanah celebration. Christians include honey in the story of John the Baptist who was sustained in the wilderness on honey. The Prophet Muhammad included honey in the list of healthy foods.
The National Board of Honey http://www.honey.com/nhb/ has an extensive website with a honey locator, a honey blog and recipes!
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Small projects come and go off my plate. Most of the time I meet the deadline. Every once in a while, I don't. 'To err is human' I remind myself, but still try to get all things done on time, even when it's not possible.
The smaller projects are easier for me to move through. I get attached to larger projects. I fiddle with commas, periods, semi-colons. I re-write, re-do and re-arrange. The larger projects are harder for me.
So I try to trick myself into believing that these smaller projects are unrelated. 12 projects instead of 12 chapters. Sometimes it works.
I dream about larger projects, they become part of me, a growing process. Larger projects leave me a wreck at the end. I miss them. It's as if a friend has died. Well, not really, but you understand me, yes?
There are these tidbits and remnants that no longer have value. I need to delete, clean my desk, clean my zip drive and move on.
So I woke this morning realizing that a page in the book of my life had turned. Onward and forward into the future.
Friday, September 21, 2012
- I have a little tea ritual that I do that makes my experience a calm moment. There’s the cup, the tea, and the ceremony which includes a survey of the color of the tea for just the right flavorful intensity. Anyone who knows me knows: I love my tea.
- My dogs get the credit for my exercise program. I highly recommend getting a dog if you want to add walking to your daily activities. Every day they have those moments when they can tell that I need to get away. Whether we walk a long way or a short distance is usually determined by how tense I am at the beginning and how quickly I release the tension.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
Blue Moon or an extra full moon in the season or an extra moon within a calendar month was once called the betrayer or liar’s moon. At one time priests decided to use the extra moon, the thirteenth moon to relate the story of Judas the betrayer, the thirteenth follower of Jesus.
Since the medieval time, superstitions have come and gone to explain the moon and it's effects on the tides and people's hearts.
- Superstitions about blue moons include an old farmer belief that the full moon pulls the plants up from the ground. The extra full moon symbolizes the promise of a bumper crop on the way.
- Underground vegetables such as carrots or potatoes grow better if they’re planted by the moon.
- For the romantic, the full moon is as good as a green light to take your relationship to the next level. Many a young woman hoped to receive long stem roses and a ring by the light of the full moon.
- For the sick, the full moon represented a time for curing illness. As doctor’s know now, if a patient believes something is a good omen or the sign of healing, the belief often works it’s placebo effect and the patient does exhibit improvement.
The Man in the Moon Came Down Too SoonThere is an inn, a merry old inn
beneath an old grey hill,
And there they brew a beer so brown
That the Man in the Moon himself came down
one night to drink his fill.
The ostler has a tipsy cat
that plays a five-stringed fiddle;
And up and down he saws his bow
Now squeaking high, now purring low,
now sawing in the middle.
The landlord keeps a little dog
that is mighty fond of jokes;
When there's good cheer among the guests,
He cocks an ear at all the jests
and laughs until he chokes.
They also keep a hornéd cow
as proud as any queen;
But music turns her head like ale,
And makes her wave her tufted tail
and dance upon the green.
And O! the rows of silver dishes
and the store of silver spoons!
For Sunday there's a special pair,
And these they polish up with care
on Saturday afternoons.
The Man in the Moon was drinking deep,
and the cat began to wail;
A dish and a spoon on the table danced,
The cow in the garden madly pranced
and the little dog chased his tail.
The Man in the Moon took another mug,
and then rolled beneath his chair;
And there he dozed and dreamed of ale,
Till in the sky the stars were pale,
and dawn was in the air.
Then the ostler said to his tipsy cat:
'The white horses of the Moon,
They neigh and champ their silver bits;
But their master's been and drowned his wits,
and the Sun'll be rising soon!'
So the cat on the fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle,
a jig that would wake the dead:
He squeaked and sawed and quickened the tune,
While the landlord shook the Man in the Moon:
'It's after three!' he said.
They rolled the Man slowly up the hill
and bundled him into the Moon,
While his horses galloped up in rear,
And the cow came capering like a deer,
and a dish ran up with the spoon.
Now quicker the fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle;
the dog began to roar,
The cow and the horses stood on their heads;
The guests all bounded from their beds
and danced upon the floor.
With a ping and a pang the fiddle-strings broke!
the cow jumped over the Moon,
And the little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the Saturday dish went off at a run
with the silver Sunday spoon.
The round Moon rolled behind the hill,
as the Sun raised up her head.
She* hardly believed her fiery eyes;
For though it was day, to her surprise
they all went back to bed!
The next blue moon will arrive August 21, 2013.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
When you’re broken, you pick up the pieces you can find and move on. There really isn’t anything else that can be done. Putting things back together doesn’t work out, it’s never really fixed. With time, a scar grows where your heart broke and you do the best you can with what you’re given, but the heart is never really whole again.
I discovered my heart was truly broken in the emergency room of a hospital. I was eighteen and beside myself with grief. Within minutes of devastating news, my symptoms included shortness of breath, dizziness, heart racing and chest pain. Of course, I panicked, which is another symptom.
The doctors were entirely nonchalant while the nurses hooked up monitors and discovered my heart was broken, I had a mitral value prolapse. They were a bit concerned because while the condition often has no symptoms, I seemed to be having them all.
On the home front, I had just discovered a) I was pregnant and b) my new husband of about four months was having an affair. I suppose I was a bit stressed out.
After several days they released me from the hospital. They were unable to determine physically why the symptoms appeared. I was instructed to modify my activity and life based on the severity of the symptoms.
Since that day I've followed the doctor's advice modifying life to manage unexpected situations. Now, doctors and nurses just love to listen to this classic mitral value prolapse which requires no treatment.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Life gives characters and storyline ideas to every writer on a daily basis. There’s so much information in a day, it’s incredible. When the question comes up what to write, how does a writer decide what’s worth the telling?
The writers I like best tell stories about real life in fiction or non-fiction; it doesn’t really matter as long as truth comes through. Joseph Campbell is one of my favorite writers.
Myth serves to provide base stories for culture, much of the information given in myths in a general way works with individual life too. Given a long enough time line the characters in myth are seen for who or what they are, often providing the information needed for others or for the listener to come to the correct conclusion. Trends lead the protagonist or hero through a series of adventures to reach the discovery.
Often the discovery of self which is at least a portion of the quest includes overcoming obstacles, sin or character flaws to gain important skills and to acquire a sense of self or virtues along the way. In addition, the secondary players in the quest such as the villain or the trickster often reveal him/herself through the course of the story.
This is the stuff that makes a good story. Young writers who read myth gain the wisdom of the ages in a few short years. In addition to reading, observing people in their natural habitats help to make characters more believable. To become an accomplished writer there is a need to understand the basics of a good story as well as how people interact, so the story is not only entertaining but believable.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
What is the Liebster Blog Award?
2. What is the best book you have read this year and why would you recommend it to others?
3. Where do you get your inspiration?
4. What is your favorite part of nature?
5. Would you rather be a bumble bee or a butterfly?
6. When did you first begin to write?
7. What is your favorite sport?
8. If you had a choice for a pet, would you rather have a gerbil or an iguana?
9. If you could be reincarnated, who would you like to be?
10. Which would best describe you, a cool cucumber salad or a hot tamale?
11. What is the best food you ever ate and where?
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Known as the white whale, beluga whales or Dephinapterus leucas naturally live in the Arctic & sub-Arctic regions of the ocean, around Alaska, Canada, Russia and Greenland. Adult Belugas grow up to length of 16 feet and live to 50 years in captivity. They are stunningly white. The name Beluga comes from the Russian word ‘belukkha’ which means white.
Scientists refer to the Belugas as canaries for the high pitch sound they make. But the term canary is also accurate in that the whales are sensitive to pollution and serve as indicators of healthful or unhealthful environments, much like the mine canaries.
Beluga whales were the first live ocean mammal to be displayed in a permanent tank to the public in New York City. Since that time Belugas are periodically harvested from the sea to replenish the aquatic centers around the world. Researchers working with the whale have discovered that the whales are able to identify and have distinctive sounds for particular objects, giving the hope that someday humans and whales will be able to communicate.
Belugas swim at a tranquil pace and appear to be smiling most of the time. They are known to be playful with each other and their human handlers. In general, they are social creatures living in pods. However, belugas move from pod to pod increasing their social circles.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Figure heads on the front or prow of ships were carved from wood. Many were carved in the shape of a woman but some striking examples included Neptune or other mythological characters or animals, such as lions or horses.
The figurehead was often meant to help non-literate people understand the ship’s name. Figureheads were popular until the 20th Century.
Maritime folk tales tell others stories about figureheads. Water spirits or Water faeries inhabit the figurehead. These spirits guide the ship and keep it from danger as well as protect the crew and passengers from sickness and other traveling maladies. If misfortune overtook the ship, the faeries would lead the sailor’s to Heaven. Without the masthead and the fairies, the sailors would be left to haunt the seas.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
E.B. White’s body of work includes Charlotte’s Web & Stuart Little and Elements of Style.
He first published in The New Yorker magazine in 1927. He continued to write for the magazine for decades as well as writing a column for Harper’s Magazine. He turned from magazine articles to children’s fiction publishing Stuart Little in 1945 and Charlotte’s Web in 1952.
In 1959, he focused on his former professor, William Strunk’s work: Elements of Style originally published in 1918. His improvements made the book become a grammar standard.
E.B. White’s story Charlotte’s Web is now a children’s classic. His impeccable writing provides an excellent example of well written literature. The story is character driven with only mild action but such heart-warming characters that children around the world know and love Fern, Wilbur, Charlotte, and Templeton.
Fern’s compassion saves the life of Wilbur, the runt of the litter.
The runt of litter, Wilbur overcomes his lowly status to become: SOME PIG and win at the county fair.
Charlotte helps save Wilbur from slaughter. She explains her life pattern to Wilbur who doesn’t like her necessary diet, but comes to understand his friend’s habits.
Templeton, a fairground rat serves himself first and offers life’s lessons to the sheltered pig.
The lesson for writers from E.B. White life is to keep writing.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Bougainvillea is firmly planted in my childhood memory. The pink flowering plant native to South America grows well in the warmer climates of the US.
Bougainvillea is a frost-sensitive so it grows best outside in warm, frost-free climates and in pots or baskets in cooler climates where the plant can be brought indoors. It’s a slow growing plant that flowers year-round when planted in fertile soil.
Start a Bouganvilla with a four to six inch cutting. Strip the leaves from the lower half of the cutting. Plant the cutting in a good potting mix. Water thoroughly. Place the pot in an area of filtered sunlight until the cutting starts to grow. At six weeks transfer the Bougainvillea into the garden.
In my memory, the Bougainvillea shaded the back porch, protected me from the hot summer sun and gave me a great place to play with my dog.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Annotation is the practice of highlighting, underlining or jotting notes in the margins while reading. Creating comments which are usually a phrase to a couple of sentences gives points of reference and relevance to the writing.
Learning to annotate in books that you’ll use as reference in the future is helpful for several reasons.
- Placing notes with definitions help with the understanding of the document or work.
- Notes will remind you of your frame of reference.
- Stream of thought notes will recreate those moments of discovery or realization.
- Words and thoughts will move you from one thought to another for growth through a systematic form of logic.
Read a passage. Pause. Do you have any questions or thoughts? Write them in the margin.
As an example: The first paragraph of the Gettysburg Address with Annotation
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
What is four score and seven? A score is twenty years – four score is eighty years- 87 years ago.
Who are the fathers? Revolutionary Founders and Country Forefathers: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, etc.
Conceived in liberty Dictionary lib·er·ty [lib-er-tee] noun, plural lib·er·ties.1.freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control. 2. Freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.3.freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.4.freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint: The prisoner soon regained his liberty.5.permission granted to a sailor, especially in the navy, to go ashore.
Why is this speech so moving so many years later?
Gettysburg was haunting when I visited there.
Annotating makes the book your own. It helps study. It helps memory. It helps growth. Annotating is a good habit for readers and writers.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
If you write daily, write often, write, write, write; you are a writer. Writing is something that writers do.
Picking projects, finishing them and moving them through to publishing, is the business of writing. Today's market requires writers do much of the editor and publisher duties. In addition. writers are expected to market their books too. Wearing 10 hats is the business of writing today.
With so much on a writer’s to-do list it’s amazing that any writer gets anything written. The answer is to write about what you absolutely love or hate, passion will make the difference in writing regularly.
One of my passions is Disneyland. I was three when my parent s first took me to the Magical Kingdom. I’ve loved Walt Disney’s creation ever since. Today, I have a regular column at Examiner.com about Disney California. It’s easy to write about the Happiest Place on Earth.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
“Would you like a glass of Sassafras?” The barmaid offered her suggestion to the rugged cowhand. She liked Billy. She also knew that Billy had a problem with whiskey. It seemed the strong stuff led him one of two places into jail or into a gun-fight.
“Why, yes, ma’am, I’d love me some of your Sassafras,” he smiled his charming smile at Miss Sally. “I never liked it before, but your recipe is the best in the west.”
Miss Sally’s recipe changed every time she made it based on available ingredients. She was thrilled that Billy liked hers best. The base ingredient was the Sassafras root but she could use Licorice or Sarsaparilla too. Spicing the root for a zing flavor, she often added chocolate, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, hops, mint or anise.
“I’m so pleased you like it Billy, but you know it’s different every time,” Sally smiled.
“This one is the very best Miss Sally, I hope you wrote down what went into this here, Root Beer,” he said with some foam dripping from his upper lip.
“This time I did,” she waved a small piece of paper with the ingredients back & forth like a flag.
Billy sighed, “Sally, I think I’m in love.”
Monday, June 4, 2012
Life happens and writers write about it. Well, that’s sometimes true. More often than not, life happens and writers write to vent their frustrations or create a new universe. I’ve done both.
All life is inspiration if we choose to see it that way. Wherever it comes from, the inspiration to write should be honored. Take notes of those moments when you think to yourself. This so-and-so should be the victim of a serial killer. Don’t kill him, just write about it.
Therapists often assign writing as a way to work through problems. These writings need not be fodder for blogs but they can be used as inspiration. For example: a certain 7th grade English teacher was excellent as a pompous merchant in a short story. The butt-in-ski nose with the small half-moon glasses was priceless. I couldn’t make it up. But I did change his profession and exaggerated his character-traits to the delight of my editor.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
A Big Thank You to Sandra McLeod Humphrey for passing the Versatile Blogger award this way for the post 'Avoid Kid Melt-Down'
Sandra's excellent blog is called Kids Can Do It! Dare to Dream Big!
Instructions for the Award:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award
2. Include a link to their blog.
3. Paste the award on your blog.
4. Share 7 things about yourself.
5. Pass this award on to as many as 15 blogs you enjoy reading and let them know about the award!
Seven Things about Me:
1) Tea Drinker
2) Love Chocolate
3) Ride Horses
4) Ride Motorcycles
5) Love Big Dogs
6) First Children's Story was Randy Raccoon
7) Thrilled to help other writers; the focus of Inspiration Write Every Day
15 Bloggers Who Are Versatile:
Kathleen @ http://parlezmoiblog.blogspot.com/
Delores @ http://mybabyjohn.blogspot.com/
Mieke @ http://www.miekezmackay.com/
Joshua @ http://vivelenerd.blogspot.com/
Mysti @ http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/
Sabrina @ http://sabrinaafish.blogspot.com/
Thanks again Sandra :)