Contact Me

Friday, February 22, 2013

Random facts

This is the third day I have been inside.  Living on a 97 acre piece of land makes this a rare event.
Right now my reason for staying in is ice.  I go out in snow and rain, but ice and I do not mesh.
Cars and I have no traction on ice.

 I have been working on the edit of my novel Tattered Wings.  I love seeing it get better and better, but once in awhile, I stray.  This afternoon I strayed because of odd facts.  That's right.  Not brownies or ice cream or even a second cup of coffee, but odd facts.  Facts fascinate me.  I am always amazed to watch Jeopardy and have someone come up with an obscure fact.  I wonder how they know which star is the brightest one in the northern sky of the southern hemisphere on December 9,1918, at dusk.  Okay so maybe that wasn't the question, but it was something unknown to us normal folks.

So here I am  to entertain you will some facts not known to most of you.

1.   There are more chickens than humans on the earth.
2 . Butterflies taste through their feet.
3 . Lightening strikes the earth 8 million times a day.
4.   Dolphins sleep with their eyes open.
5 .Only 11 % of the earth is used for crops.
6 . Your heart beats about 100000 times a day.
7.  A flea can jump 130 times his size.  If you could do that you could jump over the St. Louis arch.
7.  China has more pigs than the rest of the world combined.
8 .97 % of the world's water in non-drinkable
9.  70% of the world's red meat eaters eat goat
10  Silent and listen have the exact letters.
11.  The blue whale is the largest mammal on earth.
12.  Bull frogs never sleep
13.  We don't sneeze when we are sleeping\
14.   We use the equivalent of two liters of oil per person in the world, per day.
15.  Only 20 % of the people in the world have a passport.

Okay, I am ready to go back to editing.  I hope you are all enjoying some good weather and are not stuck in the house as I am.  Life is good.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Today I learned a new term.  Life Hacks!  Okay, so maybe I am behind the times.
 I use life hacks, I just didn't know  what they were called.
I use a clothespin  to keep my potato chip bag closed.  I have been known to use lots of ordinary household items in odd ways. What I didn't realize was that it made me a visionary.
My innovative ideas usually come late at night when I want to go to bed but know I will have to face my problem in the morning.  I grab the first thing I can find to solve my immediate problem and low and behold. I am an innovator.
  • Even more surprising is there are books about life hacks, blogs devoted to only new life hacks, and people who jot every new thing they do so they can write a book about life hacks.  Hum. Why didn't I think of it first?

Wikipedia says a life hack is a productivity trick, a shortcut or skill, or a novelty method  to increase productivity and efficiency.
If you put a "pool noddle" under the fitted sheet on your child's bed to keep him from falling out, you have invited a life hack. Use a clothespin to hold a nail while you hammer it not only saves fingers, but it is a life hack.
How many do you use?  Leave your favorite life hack in the comment box and  let's see what we come up with.
I wonder if using my computer instead of a pen and paper is a life hack?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year

 Happy Chinese New Year.
Actually Happy Lunar New Year.
Whether is it your birthday or not, if you are Chinese, you are a year older today.  One of the interesting facts about the Chinese  New Year. This is the year of the Snake.  People born in the year of the snake, 1905,1917, 1929,1941,1953,1965,1977,1989, and 2001 are said to share some of the same characteristics.  So far as I can ascertain, it would correspond to our Taurus. 
I'll tell you a few of them and you can see if they are in any of the people you know who were born in the years listed above. They are INTUITIVE, REFINED, INTROSPECTIVE, ACUTE, AWARE, CUNNING, PROUD, VAIN AND VICIOUS.  Hum...I see a little of all of those things in everyone I know, depending on the subject and their passion for it.  But, we will go on.
They need CALM and QUITE to thrive.
They require sleep and relaxation.
Do you feel like I am reading your horoscope?  Well, I pretty much am.
People born in the Year of the Snake are known to change jobs frequently, and are organized and precise.
On the other hand they have a habit of diving right in to decisions that can cause them financial ruin.
Snakes make excellent Scientists, potters, Spiritual Leaders, Jewelers, Investigators and Painters.

Red is usually the favorite color of a Person of the Snake.  Red is actually the luckiest color to the Chinese.
I am drawn to pale yellow, personally.
Did you know the Chinese New Year never takes place on the same date year after year?  Mainly because it isn't a calendar event, but a lunar event.  The next Chinese New Year will be January 20, 2014.
Children are given money in bright red envelopes much like our children are given Christmas presents.  The envelopes usually have an even amount of money in them but nothing divisible by 4.  Four means "death" in China.
Because the new year is a celebration of renewal, everyone does their spring cleaning.  Old use things are tossed out and new clothing and items are purchased.  There is a custom of painting your doors on the Chinese New Year.
There are twelve cycles in the New Year, the year of the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.  Then it begins again in the same order.
The Chinese calender is the oldest known.
So, today, as you dig out of the blizzard, walk on the beach, work in your garden or any of the other millions of things we do on a Sunday afternoon, take a moment to say HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Clearly one sixth of the world celebrates this day.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


One of the nice things about being a writer is the writer's groups.  I belong to ORA (Ozarks Romance Authors) and Sleuths,Ink ( mystery writers group).  There are many more and if I had the time, I would join them all.   So much talent in the same room when I go to a meeting, I can almost see it vibrating in the air.

This year I participated in JANO.  It is designed to get the creative juices going for writers in the area.  We did however have writers as far away as the Philippines and Michigan compete, and where ever C. Patrick Nagle's  ship happens to be sailing.

There are several categories, Best title, best first line, best blurb, best first page and first person to get to 50 thousand words.  Reading peoples progress during the month was fun and the  wind up dinner last night at the Event Center was well done.  We had good food, laughter and I made new friends.

My entry won best title and the basket was a writer's dream of paper, pen's, flash drive, candy and books and more.
What was best about the experience was the honor of being in the room with so much imagination.
Congratulations to the winners and everyone else.  Believe me, there were no losers in the room.

Friday, February 1, 2013



For those of you growing weary of philosophers I thought I would stray to something else I am passionate about.  FOOD.
Here at the farm we raise natural beef and lamb.  For days my farm partner has been bottle feeding a lamb.
His Mama doesn't have milk enough to sustain him.  The sheep were originally purchased to keep the fruit cleaned up in the orchard and to fertilize it.   We practice perma-culture here.

Perma-culture is the concept that everything you do enhances something else within the area and makes life healthier for everything and anything in its immediate area.  Such as, bugs.  Some insects that attach apple trees (we have 154 or them) actually go to the ground three times in their life cycle.   Mostly they travel in fruit hitting the ground.  So, the sheep eat the fallen fruit, poop in the orchard and eat the grass so I don't have to mow.

We breed the ladies and sell the guys for meat.  They are sweet, healthy and fat and their life is one of happiness until the day they are driven to the processor. Nothing like the animals standing so close together knee deep in their own feces and eating food they were not built to eat.
We raise our cattle much the same way.  We say they are apple finished because any apples or pears ( we have 39 Asian pear trees and 45 domestic pears) the sheep don't eat go to the cattle.
Peaches are another story.  No one eats the peaches but us.  (36 trees).  The pits from the peaches will kill horses, sheep and cattle.  They are not digestible

Actually, I got off subject.  My story is about eating out.  I am certain everyone who reads this is not going to stop eating out.  In our life and times, we are subject to times when there is nothing else we can do.
We can, however , be informed.

Let's talk about GMO foods. Genetically modified organisms. GMO foods were designed to increase the yield in of corn and soy beans to help farmers grow more, etc.  To genetically modify a seed, the nucleus is penetrated, e-coli is introduced and the new hybrid gene is introduced.  Nasty, right?

Well, when you eat out you are eating meat that was fed the corn and soy beans produced in this way.  Not good.  So, try fish next time.  But, because of mercury in the food, try a smaller fish like flounder and sardines.  Any fish who is a bottom feeder.  Stay away from tuna and shark.

Seventy percent of all rats in an independent study died of cancer within two years of eating large amounts of GMO food.  Twenty percent of the rats who didn't eat it died in the same time period.

Am I trying to scare you?  Yes.  or at least open your eyes to better health.  We all know someone who is a part of the cancer epidemic, if not you yourself.

Here are a few researched facts before you head to your favorite restaurant  or go grocery shopping.

Monsanto invented GMO and the government allowed them to do their own research.  This alone should
open your eyes to several things.  Next. Corn and Soy beans are government subsidized crops so they are in everything.

Along with corn and soy, also now gmo is rapseed oil which is canola oil, cotton seed oil, soy lecithin, so that affects your corn chips, and cereal, meat because they eat the gmo products and dairy because not only do they eat the food, but some have growth hormones.  We are lucky in the Springfield area that Hiland Dairy doesn't use antibiotics or growth hormones. Now papayas and alfalfa have been added to the list.  And corn syrup is in everything.

Other little facts, Natural foods can have up to 30 % non natural ingredients without labeling them.
Organic is the same unless it says 100% organic. There are some answers.  Eat local.  Don't shop the center of the grocery store where the packaged food is.  Go to your local farmer's market, but don't assume they don't use pesticides unless you ask them.  And most of all.  Demand GMO labeling of all foods.
There.  I feel better now.