K is for Kefir & Kombucha

k is for KEFIR and KOMBUCHA .   I started my journey along the fermented road a few years ago.   I was not a fan of yogurt; I ate it but meh; and back to start of my journey;  I ate some chicken one night (yeah I did it to myself)  and  you know what happened afterwords.  I had a horrid case of food poisoning.  I called out of work and I am not known for doing that.  I can count on one hand the number of times that I have stayed home.

I was so miserable that I didn’t even realize that my phone was on silent and yeah it exploded when I did eventually emerge pale and still feeling yucky.   I ate an entire pint of vanilla yogurt and honestly that was the only thing that stayed in my system.   So that began my love affair with vanilla yogurt.

Zip to the future:  Last year on my birthday my best friend Jeff from my Navy days and Guam sent me a KEFIR culture and a book Cultured Food for Life by Donna Schwenk  who is also the creator of the Cultured Food Life website.   Thank you Donna!!!   And thus my journey of KEFIR  and KOMBUCHA  began.   

IMG_0675
My VERY energetic batch of KEFIR,  which needs to be shifted to fresh milk.

I received this package in the mail. It literally was a box with a glass jar with milk and a culture inside.  I made the mistake of opening it before reading the instructions:  there might be some pressure build up and to be careful upon opening.  And yeah KEFIR literally exploded into my life.  KEFIR cultures are odd looking.  The best description that I have found and agree with is they look like a head of cauliflower.   My batch is rather vigorous and very hungry.  (I have had to prune them back several times lol) They love their diet of whole milk.   The end product resembles a liquid form of yogurt which you can add fresh fruit and other flavors.  I love mixing it with honey, oatmeal, and chia seeds, which then thickens into a breakfast pudding overnight. 

IMG_0674
This is my current brew of KOMBUCHA.  I am sorry for the blurry pic!

I will say honestly I am still in the experimental phase of KOMBUCHA .   I am not a fan of vinegar and if you let the brew go for too long; it tends to add a rather tart, tangy flavor to the tea.  The KOMBUCHA journey started with a bottle of raw  unflavored organic  KOMBUCHA  and a glass jar from the thrift store.  I have since graduated to a gallon pickle jar which is working out better overall. (I am so glad the pickles are now gone!!! No more pickles for me for a long time!) So far my favorite favors tend to lean towards the bubbles and the soda like textures of ginger and cranberry. 

 Have you experimented with either KEFIR or KOMBUCHA ?  Tell me below I would love to read your responses. 

 

J is for Joy

J is  for joy.  And it took me a while to figure this out.   I asked my friends and the one word that every one said was JOY.  So I pondered and tried hard to think of other words: jump, junior, jello, janitor… and I kept coming back to JOY.

IMG_0604

JOY is the birth of a new morning;  the reds, the yellows, the pinks of the sun peeking its way through the eastern sky.  JOY is the blaze of color of a promise of a new beginning, it is hope, it is peace.

 

JOY is the start of a new project, from the beginning: IMG_0559 (1)

IMG_0560 to the middle; and finally to the end, the last stitch.

IMG_0586

JOY is friendship, JOY is family.  JOY is love; it is whatever makes you happy.  So take what ever makes you happy and call it

JOY 

 

 

I = Ice Cream

letter I is for ICE CREAM.  images

I have many fond memories of Ben and Jerry’s and the original scoop shop in Burlington Vermont.   Factory seconds were a dollar a pint and we dug into a little chest freezer for our icy treasure.  It was a  treasure indeed; experimental flavors, mountains of heath bars, and other crunchy sweet surprises: chunks of chocolate, marshmallows and  M & Ms,  broken up Oreos,  and more.  And then there were the pints that were all one flavor.  We would dig in deep in search of a tasty sweet morsel, but there were times in which there was no reward despite our hopes.  But that was all right we still enjoyed that pint of ice cream.

Ben&Jerrys-Coffee-Heath-Pint-Small

Coffee health bar crunch still is my favorite flavor.  It is heaven on a spoon and there are chunks of heath bar mixed with smooth coffee ice cream.  I can remember walking all over down town Burlington with a spoon and a pint of my favorite ice cream.  There was a rock in front of the down town mall, that served as the perfect picnic spot for our delicious pints.

I haven’t been back to  Burlington and the University of Vermont in a long time.  It was a wonderful four years filled with fun, mad study sessions,  finals, midterms and ICE CREAM .

 

G&H = GHOST

GH are GHOSTS.   Everyone has them.  Everyone has seen the ragged screaming female GHOST who leaves a chill, as she dives through her victim  in her rage and despair. But I do not believe that all GHOSTS are vengeful, or are locked in a screaming fit.  I think there are GHOSTS who are trapped and simply want to move on to the next plane or level of existence.

I think that we all have them.  They are as quick as that flicker that I catch out of the corner of my eye.   I turn my head and there  is nothing but my cat Pixie giving herself a bath on the end of my bed.  And then I see a red flash of flame and whoosh!!! I am transported to a certain alley!

IMG_0592 (2)

Yeah I did wander off on to a tangent, but in a sense I haven’t veered that far from GHOSTS .  After all this certain alley is about a school that is loaded with GHOSTS and lots of other things, magic, and events that go bump in the night.  Yes there is a scary element to GHOSTS   but I like to think of them as a being who see  the world in a different way.  They are the veil to somewhere else, a guide through that gate to another world or existence.

What do you think about GHOSTS ? And where have they taken you?

 

F is for Fumble

F is for FUMBLE. 

  And this is my FUMBLE dedicated to my fellow gamers and geeks.

fumble

The dreaded fumble that all  gamers fear.   I can remember cringing and staring at the DM as he hovers behind his DM screen.   In fact he is smirking and with an evil grin the FUMBLE charts make their way to the top of the pile of papers and rule books.  “OH what fun what can I have with your character?  Can I have a lightning bolt fly out of the sky and strike you down?  Or what will happen?  Your fate is within my hands.”

I just cringe and start searching myself through all of my charts and papers, scrambling with dice and hoping that I can counter out the dreaded damage that is going to impart grievous mayhem and harm upon my character.

And then the disaster starts to rain down,   I watch as the number of dice start to stack, my hit points start to decrease; and I gulp.  My poor character is flattened by flying colorful dice.   I sigh and then start to gather up the dice to roll up  a new friend.  I sniffle and wave goodbye to yet another person. In the corner of my eye I see  my fellow gamers gather up their dice,  whispering a prayer to the dice gods that their avatars would not succumb to the same fate of the dreaded FUMBLE  .

E is emotion

E  is emotion and it is something that I seem to be overflowing with.  I can’t control it but I don’t think that anyone can successfully control it either.  It turns me into a puddle of mush.  So I retreat back to my college days.  Emotionally I seemed to be the strongest.  Nothing could touch my emotions.

We partied hard,  studied, drank and danced to Billy Idol, Def Leopard, and the other hair bands of the 80’s.  There was a group of us in which we gave ourselves the nickname; the Wierds.  I loved that time period but would I want to go back and repeat it. Emotionally my answer is  no; I don’t think that I could handle it.

Emotion is fundamental to writing, but I find myself living  my characters as if they are without emotion. I think that the question that I am asking how do I put emotion into my characters?  I do not want them to be ice cold; without feelings.  I struggle with this daily and I still emotionally have not figured out an answer.  Do you have the answer?

D is for Dreams

dis for dreams.   Dreams are essential to every thing.  They create new wonders, new technology, lead us into places we have never been before.  Every idea, started out as a dream; and dreams are not limited to the times that you are in your bed sleeping every night.  I day dream all the time.   I have found myself standing in the middle of a room just staring off into space and then someone “wakes” me up to return to the real world.

Have you ever had that sensation of just falling asleep but you can hear everything that is going on as if you had never fallen asleep?  I have done that as well and then abruptly I “wake” up aware of some loud noise that woke me up.  I grumble flip over and then try and go back to sleep.

I have dreamed in my power naps.  I love my naps and wake up refreshed and ready to go again.  Though I will have to admit I have power napped that turned into 45 to an hour in length.  Sometimes that little power nap ends up in me sleeping the rest of the night.

I love the dreams in which I am an active participant.  But at the same time those are the dreams in which the alarm clock cuts in and boom it is gone.  I also like the dreams where some one or something woke me up; I rush to go to the bathroom, get a sip of water and climb back into bed to slip back into the dream almost where I left off.

And then there is that dream the repeater in which you are having a nightmare over and over again.  It is like Groundhog day,  or that episode of SG 1   Window of Opportunity in which Col O’Neall and Teal’c discover that they are in a time loop. This is one of my favorite episodes by the way.  The only way that I have found to break the repeat cycle of the nightmare rotating over and over again is to get up and get a drink of water. I have to “physically” break the connection or like a loop I will keep reliving it.

Dreams are essential; they are a playground in which there are no rules, you can try out new and crazy things.  I try and keep a notebook by my bed in an attempt to record those awesome dream.  Who knows that mundane dream could be the key to the universe!

C is for Cross stitch

Cis  for CROSS STITCH ,  and thank you Jacqeline  for the idea!!  Today I am taking the fork in the road from my story.  But my reasoning is that CROSS STITCH just as important to my writing as any other distraction.  I can drift off and think about the next perplexing problem that Jake is experiencing as I stitch away.  It calms me down except when the frog comes to visit and his distinctive call of  “RIP IT RIP IT”  is heard and then I do get frustrated.

I have many projects and ufos (unfinished projects).  A few that I have posted here and there are more that have not made it onto the internet.   but yes CROSS STITCH is a very big part of my life.

IMG_0318

This one is a free design from DragonDreams I follow her on Facebook  and I just love her designs.   I worked it on 16 count aida and it  is actually a finish for me !  The Little Line story on the other pages I have been posting is a loved project of mine as well. It is a design called Magic Dragon designed by Joan Elliott who has a site here too!

With CROSS STITCH  I can go on forever but…I won’t  Enjoy!!