Happy New Year!

To all my friends (and to the friends I’ll make in 2018) and family, may you have a joyous season and a wonderful new year. May we all see one another in 2018 in good health, prosperity, and love. May we receive all the blessings that we desire.

My Adventures in Native Gardening

I bought two native plants and potted them both along with some other flowers.  Being on the third floor of a condo, I’m limited to what I can do.  What I really would love is to dig up the seldom- (very seldom) used tennis court and plant an organic vegetable garden.  Someday, the board will see the real benefits of having organic produce, native plants, and (yes, solar paneling).  So today I hope to attract one or two  butterflies to my little patch of the world.

Where There’s Hope, There’s Love

January 21, 2017

I witnessed, experienced, and enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime event:  The Women’s March on Chicago.


All people of everyone ability, socio-economic background, race, faith, and preferences were there.

We were respectful, peaceful, and loving. We were 250,000 strong!

We took over the City!  This is what love can do:

Where there’s love, there’s hope!

My First Live Podcast – Speculative Fiction Cantina

I finished my first live podcast with S. Evan Townsend of Speculative Fiction Cantina.   I really, really had a wonderful time.  The time went by so quickly.  So quickly, that I didn’t have time to be nervous.  In fact, I was very relaxed.  I hope you would give the interview a listen.


Or the short link: http://ow.ly/k5g3306NqxW


If you’re an author, perhaps you would like to be one of his guests.

S. Evan Townsend








Sometimes I Only Need A Hug

Please forgive me, faithful readers.  I haven’t posted in quite a few weeks because I’ve been going at a breakneck pace to the point that I’m feeling rather frazzled.

Then I looked on Facebook and was given a wonderful hug.  Thank you, Melissa.  Check it out:



I’m now sending a hug back.

Mr. Robot: A Tightly Written Cyberpunk Series

I literally tripped over the series a few weeks ago and I’m so grateful that I did.

Mr. Robot has proven to be a very tightly written cyberpunk series with enough cinematography and dialogue to be interesting.  What really keeps my eyes peeled to the screen are the Easter eggs.

Spoiler Alert for EPS2.4-m4ster-slave.aes

If you haven’t found all the little surprises in the mentioned episode yet, please don’t go any further.

Thank you to all involved with producing the scene where the CEO of E (I’m still a little shaky with who’s who as I’m coming late in the game) is dressing down an executive in his office.

There’s a mirror image:  Except the mirror image of the bookshelf on the CEO’s right is missing a few items.  Will we viewers find out the meaning to the imperfect mirror image in a later episode?

A Little Corner of Beauty

I love how a plan all comes together!  I love when people come together for a plan even more!

We Interfaith Green Partners met at Deer Grove for a light picnic and then a tour of some of the most breathtaking prairie I have ever seen.

Bees love these!

We were given an introduction  and historical background by one of the stewards.  A lot of hard work and many years went into restoring Deer Grove. When I said that I was eager to know all the names of the plants, I was  handed a field book and told to have at it.  It was all in good humor; I ended my walk with him and he gave me the Latin names of the plants.

We broke off in two groups when it was time to go out in the field.  My group took a very long time because we kept pointing to almost each and every flower or plant and asking our guide “What’s that?”  He gave us the common name of the plant and some facts.  Even when we weren’t asking, our guide stopped to tell us about a plant he thought would be interesting to talk about.  Believe me, all the plants were interesting.


Our guide is in the background of this photo.

Then we saw something so spectacular!  There was a small, shallow pond with cranes, egrets, blue herons, and ducks.  I was confirmed that bird migratory patterns are changing.


I wish you could see what we saw.

Being out among native plants did my soul a world of good.



Adventures in Kombucha

I went to a fermentation workshop in March and got interested in preparing my own kombucha.  I did some research and now I’m wondering if brewing my own is such a good idea.

The SCOBY looks really, really disgusting and the brewing process takes a lot of sugar.  I haven’t used sugar at all for the past ten years (not even in cooking).  I  use honey.  I understand that to make jun is a lot harder to do.  I copied a photo from a Google site:


Anything once is worth a try to improve health.

I received a mother SCOBY from a friend and now I have two gallons brewing on my kitchen counter.  At the very least it should taste good in about four days.  At the worst I’ll discover that my experiment is not a good one.


The Aldo Leopold Center

June 18, 2016

The Aldo Leopold Center

I’m soooo very @grateful to visit the Aldo Leopold Center.  The facility is LEED certified and used the very pines that Aldo and his family planted in the 1930’s to build the main building.

I have a lot of good ideas in for my own little balcony garden.

My next career fifteen years from now, I see myself volunteering for a facility like this one and writing full time.



The Storyteller’s Secrets

I finished an exceptionally wonderful book by Carmine Gallo, The Storyteller’s Secrets.  Needless to say, I took a lot away from his messages.

I’m a quiet person who uses the written word as her voice.  In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m a Toastmaster; but I’m still a quiet person.

Carmine Gallo’s message is to use storytelling as a means to persuade the audience and promote a product.  Here are a few key points:

  • Identify your brand’s core purpose.
  • Dream in moonshots.
  • Reframe the story you tell yourself.
  • Share the backstory of your life.
  • Tell stories of struggle and the lessons learned.
  • Introduce a “hero”–person or product–who triumphs over adversity.
  • Consistently and publicly frame your vision in a founder’s story.
  • Make stories at least 65 percent of your presentation.
  • Violate expectations.
  • Use simple words and analogies to hide complexity.
  • Enrich your story with specific and relevant details.
  • Unleash your best storytellers.
  • Deliver serious topics with a side of humor.
  • Tell authentic and personal stories tailored to your audience.
  • Be succinct; use a few well-chosen words.

Three other points:

  • Before delivering a speech, check the wording with the Flesch-Kincaid readability formula (www.readability-score.com).
  • Pictures trump words.
  • Share stories to strengthen cultures.

My purpose to my books, Stars’ Fire and Snowfall’s Secret is to have eliminate bullying of any kind.