They’re Home! They’re Home!

Do you remember last year? And what Mum and Dad and the pups put me through?

Well I do. I’m glad I didn’t have to go through that again.

BUT

I’m still mad at Mum and Dad and the Pups for leaving me and my puppy brother with a sitter.

BUT

I’m beside myself with joy. Mum and Dad and the Pups are home!

HOME

I ran in circles and gave kisses and barked. (Shh, sometimes I can’t help it.)

My puppy brother danced – show off! – and gave kisses and barked.

We missed Mum and Dad and the Pups. We missed our walks with Mum. We missed our naps with Dad. We missed playing with the pups.

Now we can’t get close enough to Mum.

Puppy BrotherPuppy brother has his head on Mum’s lap. She just said you haven’t met him yet! (Shame on Mum.)

Here is my puppy brother.

The adoption people said he’s two. I think he’s younger. Yep, he really is the size of my head. He’s so funny.

Isn’t he cute?

Mum and Dad call him Mini Me because he follows me everywhere and copies me. (Don’t tell them, but I like it.)

To the Heroes

Happy Veterans Day

Thank you for your service!

What Do These Things Have In Common?

This tarot spread –

This blurb –

Quiet computer geek, Brie, has spent her entire life living in her outgoing twin sister’s shadow. When a vortex dumps Brie on a world where men are property and she’s saddled with a “love slave” the Sovereign ordered her to choose, she learns just how similar she is to her twin after all. Brie teams up with Claude to free the men. Brie’s just worried she’ll lose her heart in the process.

Claude has managed to avoid the final step of the Sovereign’s call the two decades he’s been eligible. On the eve of his fortieth birthday, the day that would have freed him for the rest of his life, he finds himself lined up and chosen. Claude can’t help but wonder if his support of men’s rights tipped the scales of chance against him. His new master, an other-worlder, isn’t what Claude expected but rather a kindred supporter of equality. Could she be who he’s dreamed of?

This painting –

Yep, I’m attempting the steampunk story…again.

Yep, I’m attempting the steampunk story for NaNoWriMo…again.

However, this time I did not go back to what I’ve already written. This time I followed the guidelines in Fast Fiction: A Guide to Outlining and Writing a First-Draft Novel in Thirty Days by Denise Jaden. I spent time working on my characters and plot during October, and scenes are playing in my mind. Now to just get it all on paper!

Ten on Tuesday: Series Love

ToT-ButtonToday’s prompt is 10 Favorite Book Series.

Here we go, in no particular order…

  1. Stardoc Series by S. L. Viehl
  2. Daughters of the Glen Series by Melissa Mayhue
  3. Rescue Me Series by Kallypso Masters

What series are on your list?

Hello…? Is Anyone Here?

She shakes a cobweb from her arm.  At least she hopes it was just a cobweb and not a web with a big hairy spider attached.  Shudder.

Thick vines cover the entry and she wonders if this is what the Prince encountered trying to enter Sleeping Beauty’s castle.  No matter.  Moving on.  Stepping through the arch of vines, she enters the blog.  Shadowy moonlight filters through partially exposed windows.

samhain-wheel-300x300Rather appropriate for Samhain Evepronounced Sow-wen – don’t you think?

Samhain marks the end of summer, which we’re feeling even here in the desert, and the beginning of winter for the Celts, with the day after Samhain being the official date of the Celtic New Year.

Like all new years, a time of rebirth.

Tomorrow is also the first day of NaNoWriMo. We’ll see if the muse smiles on my attempt.

Here’s to breathing life back into this ol’ blog.

Weight Loss Progress Report

Okay, this will be a monthly feature. At least until I’ve reached my goal :)

Most of July was spent losing and gaining the same freakin’ few pounds. Yet when I look at my overall tracking chart I’ve hit or surpassed my targets with the exception of one week.

23 pounds down.

What I noticed in July is the inches are disappearing. I had to clean out my closet and dresser this weekend due to clothes being too big. Awesomeness!

I had planned another cleanse for July, mostly to keep my palette set to no sugar, but also to kick my weight loss to the next level.

CleanseThe cleanse consists of two days of greens, some combo of parsley and lettuces this time rather than the nasty Swiss Chard mix, and a day of “sweets.”

The first time I did this I dropped 7 pounds and wasn’t overly aware of being hungry. This time…oy…very hungry. I don’t know if it was the different greens or if my water intake was off or what. My results weren’t as impressive either though it did take care of the budding craving for something sweet.

Additional cleanses will be played by ear but suspect anytime I hit a plateau I’ll choke down another three days of juiced meals :)

The sweetest thing that happened in July is that That Man has joined me in the pursuit of weight loss. It makes this whole process that much easier.

Tasty Tuesday: Gluten-Free Bread

Basic BreadMaria and I talked about comfort food, aka bread, in the comments of my Gluten-Free Muffins post last week. The smell of fresh baked bread, heaven.

I’ve been limiting my wheat intake for a while now and, surprisingly, haven’t really missed the bread. However, it is still a comfort food. When I’m feeling weak, or simply tired of tacking what I’m eating, the idea of warm bread calls my name.

The Wheat Belly Cookbook has a Basic Bread recipe. It’s the starting point of just about every bread recipe in the book and the foundation for yumminess like French Toast.

I was missing the Garbanzo Bean flour for the recipe but was able to stop at Whole Foods after my hair appointment Saturday. Thus…

Baking Day!

Basic Bread SliceThe Basic Bread is a dense bread and very filling. It is not, however, a bread you’d want to eat dry. At least, it’s not for me. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the results.

As with the muffins, substitutions were made: olive oil instead of butter, and a soy-based yogurt for buttermilk.

Made up more muffins, too :)

What’s one of your comfort foods?

Tasty Tuesday: Gluten-Free Muffins

Allow me to preface this experiment a bit. My mum is a nurse by trade and a supporter of holistic medicine and a firm believer that most illness can be controlled, if not cured, by diet. A few years ago she came across the Wheat Belly books by William Davis, MD. After reading the books and conducting her independent research, she went wheat free at home.

Their results were amazing.

Mum had struggled with Thyroid issues most of her adult life and this leveled her numbers. She also dropped almost 100 pounds. Go Mum!

My dad no longer needs any kind of meds to manage his diabetes.

To say my parents have a new lease on life is an understatement. Inspirational too.

Now, a one of the foods the blood type diet says to avoid, for my blood type, in order to lose weight is wheat.

Well, Mum had sent me the Wheat Belly Cookbook and Cooking with Coconut Flour (by Bruce Fife, MD) but it wasn’t until Sprouts opened near me that I figured it was time, long overdue, to give this whole wheat free thing a try.

I stocked up on about half the recommended pantry items for a wheat free kitchen and cracked open the cookbooks. My first attempt:

GF MuffinsMuffins.

The recipes make six muffins each so I made Blueberry and Carrot Nut.

I did substitute the butter with olive oil because the blood type diet also recommends I avoid dairy to lose weight. Though I did keep the eggs – that’s an experiment for another day! (And a word to the wise, make sure you have a shifter because shifting the coconut flour by hand is a time-consuming task.)

The results:  Yum.

Ten on Tuesday: Beloved Furniture

ToT-ButtonToday’s prompt is 10 Things About Your (insert your choice of furniture here).

So here’s 10 things about my Bedroom Suite.

  1. My parents bought it in a garage sale the year they married.
  2. My parents shipped it cross country, at least once, including a ferry crossing or two, and brought it to the states from Canada.
  3. I claimed it the summer of ’76, rescuing it from our family garage sale.
  4. I’ve moved it cross country twice.
  5. I remember the thrill of touching the top of the highboy dresser for the first time as a child. It sparkles in my memory like a rite of passage or, at least, growth.
  6. I’ve watched that same thrill dance in each of the wee beasties’ eyes when they touched the top of the highboy dresser for the first time.
  7. Two of the four wee beasties were born on the bed embraced by its head and foot boards.
  8. It is a French Provincial suite consisting of head and foot boards, dresser and mirror, highboy dresser, and two night stands in a natural wood accented with gold leaf.
  9. It needs Maria’s refinishing magic, desperately. Barring that, money and time :-)
  10. It officially became an antique in the years since I claimed it – I estimate it to be in the neighborhood of 130 years old this year.

~Sorry no picture, too much chaos here in Casa de Barclay.

Video I Love: 100 Days of Rejection

My boss goes to a lot of conferences as part of her job and the industry in general, not to mention an impressive number to receive awards. One of the things she likes to do when she gets back is schedule staff meetings to watch videos of the various keynote speakers.

She breaks out a bottle or two of wine and our operations manager will bring in snacks.

We did this Friday afternoon. #lovemyjob :)

The keynote speaker was Jia Jiang.

It was a “my story” speech and very inspirational.

He shared his story of coming to America as an exchange student and landing in rural Louisiana. Landing in a town of about 500. He came from Beijing, a city of about 15 million at the time. I’d say that’s culture shock, LOL.

But his speech was about rejection. At some point he found himself living the “American Dream.” He was working for a Fortune 500 company but had no passion for the position. He was married with a baby on the way. His wife gave him six months to follow HIS dream. Four days before his son was born, he quit that Fortune 500 job.

Would you have the guts to do that? I wouldn’t.

Long story short, his dream fizzled but his wife wouldn’t let him give up. Thus he went on a journey to desensitize himself from the pain of rejection. He even created a blog of videos journaling his road to overcoming rejection.

There are so many levels of wow in that to me.

Here’s a shorter but similar speech ~ ENJOY!

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