Living the Dream …

It’s not Tuesday morning, but it still is Tuesday at least. So that’s saying something for me!  Yay!mental self five

Next is: Yes, I want to write! It’s not writer’s block. It’s like the exact opposite. I need to write on Marigold, and Tarina, and Brink, and I get slammed at work (five months out of the year, work is very conducive for writing, but the rest of the summer and fall months ….), and end up getting there early and leaving late and then sandwiches for supper and Momma’s in bed by 9:00.

The weekend is laundry and keeping the mildew in the bathroom down to a transparent minimum and some grocery shopping for the next week of sandwiches. And Momma’s in bed by 9:30.

Yes, I hear you. You don’t have to sleep. Sleep is for the weak. Get up at 5:00 instead of 6:00. Stay up until 10:00 instead of 9:00. Mildew never killed anybody. That thing you’re writing is awesome – Go write on it! Thank you, thank you. But the horrible reality is that I’m no longer 20 something. Or even 30 something. Gone are the days I would raid on the EverQuest until 4:00 in the morning because most of my guildmates were in Europe, and then up at 7:00 and have a full day of fog-free work. Nope. No more.


It’s just. Gone.

Now there’s kids that think they have to eat every single day, and insurance to keep up, and colleges to apply to, and some sort of nameless spark plug problem that causes my car to go into “limp home” mode at the most inopportune times.

It’s enough to make you want to build a time machine and go back to your 17 year old self and update that smart-mouthed little know-it-all.

No, I shouldn’t have to wait until everything is pristine and perfect to write. That’s another , right there. So I’m trying to “sprint” method. At least to tide me over until I can do more than sprint. I write for 20 minutes. I do something else that needs doing (usually involving dirty dishes or dirty clothes) and then I come back and write for 20 minutes. Or in the case of work, I actually get breaks. I write what I can then (welcome to my lunch break) and then hope for the best.

Anything to keep me motivated. And to keep me from just throwing my hands up and saying: You know, my stress level would drastically decrease if I would just give up on all desire and aspirations.


So there we are. And here’s another opportunity suggestion to go get your copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s worth it. I’m telling you. It helps me almost daily.


My dad’s birthday was Sunday. (That’s where I had the first homemade ice cream of the year. My mom found this recipe years ago when *I* was in college and now nothing compares. I’ll give it to you at the end of the post. It’s just that good. Eat some while reading Douglas Adams. Oh my.)


I won’t give away anyone’s ages. But my dad is 28 years older than I am. And I’ve been out of college over 25 years. So my dad would not be considered a spring chicken. He gets by. He loves what he does, where he is, and us. So all in all, pretty good. He said something while we were eating cake that came across something like this:

“An old man told me to put lime on my tomatoes to get rid of that blight. I don’t know if it’ll work, but I tried it.”

It took me a couple of times to run that sentence through my head to figure out what was rather odd about it and finally it hit me: An old man told me.


So someone told Dad something was a good idea and because he was older than my father, my father took his advice. Just like I would take someone’s advice who is my father’s age. Because they are older, obviously, they have some experience in all of the things. And so it’s just good sense to listen to them.

Now when does this happen? Because it definitely does NOT happen sometime after the individual turns twelve and before they move out of the house. (I have two teens. ‘Nuff said.) So it must be a Moving Out of the House rite of passage. I know for a fact, I knew everything by the time I was 16 and I’m pretty sure I remember thinking I knew everything even around the age of 22 or 23. Then I got a real job and moved to a different city and then I got married, and then I got a mortgage and … at some point I started listening to everyone and anyone older and more experienced than I was about lots and lots of things.

And that is MY rambling for today!

    ~ * ~

I checked on my Go To writing inspiration source, DarWrites, and came across her


This was # 7:

Google any combination of the words fun and writing.  You’re guaranteed to get something interesting.

Writing FLow Chart

This lovely little chart from David Hunter Shaw’s Blog! Nice!

As always, if you like Darlene’s content as much as I do, check out her Pinterest page  for more!

    ~ * ~ 


Home Made Vanilla Ice Cream (The Best)

Vanilla Ice Cream 


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons good quality vanilla
healthy pinch of sea salt


Place ice cream maker {bowl portion} into the freezer and chill according to manufac- tures instructions.
For ice cream base, measure all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir to combine and dis- solve sugar—about 3 minutes. Assemble ice cream maker and pour cream mixture into machine. Churn until frozen. Spoon ice cream into airtight container and freeze 4 hours to overnight to freeze completely. Serve as desired.



The Dirty Truth

The Dirty Truth

(it’s about laundry)

Two Guests today. One with my month’s epiphany. The other with budgeting info.

But first.

Geez, Tuesday did it to me again. It whizzed right by without an alarm or anything.


I hope July Fourth’s Independence Day was great for you. July is our biggest birthday month of the year, with November second.


So, it’s one birthday cake after another for about four weeks, and sometimes there’s homemade ice cream. Like this weekend. Now I have to find my ice cream maker because I’m going to have to have me some more of that.

Last week’s missed post was still for a good reason. I went with my eldest to freshman orientation. (~sniffle~)


What I thought could be an excellent opportunity for some girl-girl time, breakfast at IHOP, and then writing for the approximate 3 to 5 hours while she learned everything one needs to know before stepping foot on campus. Nope.

Of course not. First, we had a tag-along. And it was male. Next, it was freaking hot. Yeah, I know it’s the middle of July in the South but usually there’s some shade and a breeze and iced tea or lemon popsicles or something. So, no sitting in the car or at a picnic table on a quiet, deserted campus for inspiration. Which left the library which would’ve been great, except they thought it was a good idea to offer those who brought their freshman a little extra orientation while the freshmen were registering for classes and touting majors they probably won’t complete. I’m not cynical, just been there.

Note to self: Despite a huge, yummy breakfast at IHOP, there were no hors d’oeuvres served at our little extra orientation, which was a general rehash of what we had just heard – with an extra level of security. I wish I’d had the forethought to add on to the survey they asked us to fill out before we left: Chex-mix, tea and deviled eggs would’ve been good to offer us while we waited. This southern lady is not used to more than 6 hours between snacks. Thank God for Chick’fil’A. But I digress.

I seem to do that. I blame Douglas Adams for my thinking it’s okay to do. By the way. If you’ve not read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy yet, go buy it now. It’s worth it. It’s a classic. Truly. Go. We’ll wait.


{As on Amazon}


Melissa Snark – a lovely little paranormal and shifter author – had a moment of clarification from Facebook last week. And while I’m liking the conclusion she found, I’m also wondering if I can expand on it. Just couldn’t wait to share her “sound bite” from Facebook with you!

* “Sometimes an author pauses at way points on their journey to question the fundamental motivation for why they write. Yesterday’s experience put me on the path to excessive introspection. … I want to hear from my readers, “Oh yeah, that was great”. So while it may not be a totally achievable goal, it’s what keeps me motivated.

Money isn’t my driver. (Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to be able to pay my editor and cover artist. They keep me in books.) I’m not fast enough to keep up with the new book every 4 weeks release schedule that so many authors are driven to.

It takes me a long time to turn out a manuscript. I go through multiple re-writes. I’ve gutted entire books and rewritten them from the ground up. That gives me my answer. I’m writing for craft. I’m writing for the story, and because I want to turn out the best story I can. I want it to be great.*”

Melissa Snark


(used with authors knowledge and permission)


Up now is Ella-Amazing, outside of authoring topics, with budgeting and cleaning.

And most of her advice – particularly with the laundry – I am currently an active radical partaker.

Ella’s Elements on Efficiency and Economy


How to Be Organized and Maintain That budget and STILL Be a Cool Mom


The Dirty Truth

Household chores. We all hate them, especially when we have to go to the store and fork out our family fun money to buy products to clean up. It can be cheaper than you think to have a sparkling home that smells great. Carpet spots; smelly, kid stained laundry; dirty bath tubs; soap scum on your shower; clogged shower heads; spotted faucets; disgusting toilets; spotty mirrors; dirty floors; dusty furniture?

You can clean it all with these few ingredients:

Fels-Naptha laundry bar

Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda


Small bottle of your favorite essential oil

Off brand of dawn dish liquid

White vinegar

Pine-sol or Mr. Clean type cleaner (any scent, any brand will do. So, get the cheap stuff.)

Bleach (The off brand works great for house cleaning but I use Clorox for laundry, not the ‘splashless’ as it doesn’t seem to whiten as well.)

Fabric softener


Laundry detergent is super expensive. I didn’t realize how much. But an active family of four can easily have 20 loads of laundry each week. This does not include your blankets or sheets or special items. This is just basic laundry. Add in the rest, you’re looking at possibly 100 loads a month. A large bottle of Tide (96 loads) will run about $21 before tax. So, at 1200 loads a year, you’re going to need 13 bottles. That’s $273 per year! If you’re one of those lucky souls who can’t use the basic laundry detergents because of allergies (*raises hand*), you’re looking at specialty detergents, like Dreft Baby Detergent. Same sized bottle will run around $67. That’s $871 ! OUCH!

There’s a better way. Make your own. I know, I know. I was a skeptic, too, but economics made me give it a shot. My husband found this recipe on the internet. So I didn’t create it but I love it! This stuff is amazing! My family loves to get dirty! It cleans anything and more that detergent cleans, including body odor smell from sweaty clothes.

You can use the concentrate as a stain remover on any color or fabric; it works for regular or high efficiency machines; it doesn’t irritate my skin; and best of all – my laundry detergent bill went from almost $400 to about $20 a year. Yep, honest: $20 A YEAR! It’s so easy to make and use, and you can find all the ingredients at your local store.


Here’s the recipe:


½    Fels Naptha soap bar

½    cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

¼    cup Borax

3    gallon (at least) bucket with a lid

Empty laundry detergent bottle


Grate half bar of soap (I put mine in my food processor and grind it to powder to speed up the melting process.) and add to saucepan with 1 quart water.

Stir continually over medium low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. DO NOT heat this stuff over high heat. When it reaches a certain temperature it tends to boil over. So, keep the temp at medium. Dissolve entire bar before continuing.

Pour 1 gallon and 3 quarts of hot tap water into bucket. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved.

Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. It will be the consistency of gelatin all the way to the bottom of the bucket. I use a large whisk to break it up but a wooden spoon, yard stick, anything will do.  Stir well. There will be some clumping. That’s fine. It doesn’t have to be totally liquefied. This is your concentrate.

Fill a used, clean, laundry soap bottle half full with concentrate and half full with hot tap water. Shake before each use.

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. I don’t do this as I like the smell of the concentrate just as it is.

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 2 ½  gallons of concentrate which equates to 5 gallons of detergent.

Top Load Machine 3/4 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

Front Load (High Efficiency) Machines ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

For tough stains, pour a little of the concentrate directly on the stain and brush lightly with an old tooth brush.  Works on carpet spots, rug stains, car spots, any cloth or carpet dirt. And it smells great!



Ever pick up a towel to mop up a spill and think it’s not absorbing as it should? Extra tip – don’t put fabric softener in your towels and wash cloths. It prevents the cloth from absorbing water.

Use laundry scent boosters instead (one booster pack to a large load is plenty). They will make your towels smell fresh without reducing their ability to absorb AND you’ll find after a few washings to remove the leftover fabric softener from the cloth, that the towels actually dry faster in the dryer. Check it out!

(( More to Come. ))