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Archive for May, 2013

I’ve never been obsessed with being natural. And, quite honestly, I’m still not obsessed with it. However…I’m beginning to see how making your own natural products can be beneficial. Not only are you keeping harmful chemicals out of your body and home, you’re saving money! I’ve always thought living more natural would be more expensive. In some ways it is. Organically grown food is more expensive for sure. Although I wonder if it might save on doctor bills later on. But making your own products is cheaper in the long run. I’ve made my own moisturizer, deodorant, shampoo, and insect repellent. I actually LIKE these products better than the store bought items. I’m going to try to make dusting spray and room deodorizing spray. The best part is that it’s FUN. And you feel such a sense of accomplishment. And it really doesn’t take that long to make these things.

Now about the vodka. I mentioned yesterday I needed vodka. It’s because it’s the base of things like room spray and…deodorant. I found THIS website that gives lots of recipes and info. They actually use a deodorant that is just…vodka. Yeah, you heard that right. They no longer recommend rubbing alcohol for long term use because they say it has some toxicity. The idea behind vodka deodorant is that it kills the bacteria that causes odor. I’ve also seen vodka as a base for perfume.

Now, here’s my favorite website for buying ingredients. Mountain Rose Herbs. I wish I could afford to buy more from them. Eventually, I’ll be able to stock up if I buy a little at a time. Especially if I’m saving money in the long run.

So am I going to go completely natural? Nah. I like Sweet N Low too much. LOL. But I want to do this as much as I can.

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I’m sitting here on the balcony of the 20th floor of our condo listening to the waves and feeling the breeze coming in from the ocean. I’ve been reading recipes to make natural products and just placed another order with Mountain Rose Herbs. Now I need vodka. No, not to drink. More on that another day. 🙂

I’ve been a BAD WRITER. Yeah, because I haven’t written anything since week before last. I had so much to do to get ready for this vacation that I just decided I was going to take time off from writing until vacation is over. Now if something about my WIP happens to hit me, I’ll jot it down. But this week is about relaxing and reading. No work.

This morning, I got up and made everyone biscuits, gravy, and eggs (I make it all with canola oil, no saturated fats), then we all went to church. Tonight, after evening church services, we will find a good seafood restaurant to go to. Last night, I had the best stuffed grouper I’ve ever had. There was absolutely NO fishy taste.

This vacation was much needed. I’m SO glad we had it mostly paid for before hubby got sick, or we might not have been able to go. He started back to work on a totally different job (at the same company)last week, so he’s still in training. His boss actually told him he should have used his vacation time while he was out of work! We would have lost our money if he had done that! Plus, after all the stress, he needed this vacation. Some people have no heart.

If I have time, I’ll post a little bit about my thoughts on natural homemade products tomorrow. But if I happen to just want to lie around on the beach and read…I might not. LOL

I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend. Or if you’re in a country that doesn’t celebrate this holiday, I STILL hope you’re having a great weekend!

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I’m not going to post stats because I’m in a big hurry. I’m trying to go on vacation tomorrow, and a bunch of stuff has fallen into my lap (not literally, lol) at work. Stats haven’t changed from last week anyway.

I went to the doctor yesterday to get my prescription for my insulin so I won’t run out on vacation. My doc is out “indefinitely” because he hurt his foot, so I saw a nurse/practitioner. She was so pretty I wanted to smack her. LOL. Seriously, she was very nice. She looked at my last A1C test and decided she wanted to do another one. It’s not high like when I first found out I had diabetes (it was over 13), but it was still 7.2 and she wants it to be under 6.5. So if this test still shows it’s high, I have to up my dosage of Metformin, which is the medicine I take in addition to insulin. It helps the insulin work better. I don’t know if she will up the dosage of the actually pill, or if I will have to take 3 instead of 2 a day. Grrr. Anyway, since my husband’s illness, I’ve been under all kinds of stress…emotional, physical, financial…and I just haven’t been as careful with my eating and exercise. So my weight loss has been at a standstill. I really need to cut down on fats. That’s my main problem. I just like so many fatty foods. I don’t like veggies much at all, and I don’t like too many fruits. I may just have to start choking some things down whether I want to or not. Bleh. Or at least make a list of veggies I DO like and concentrate on figuring out different ways to eat them. Okay let’s see, onions, cucumbers, lettuce…that’s mostly it. I like squash, zucchini, and okra…but fried. *shakes head in exasperation*. I DO like beans (legumes, not green), so I need to substitute those for meat sometimes. I need help here! Does anyone have any good recipes involving onions, cucumbers, or beans???

At least while I’m in Florida, I’ll be eating seafood instead of beef. I LOVE crab! My friend whose family is going with us owes me a couple of dinners because I sold her my cat cage, so it’s going to be crab legs, baby! LOL

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I haven’t written anything this week yet since I’m going back to my Thursday, Friday, Saturday writing schedule for awhile. And then I’m going on vacation next week, so I’m going to READ instead of write that week. But I DID do something I’ve needed to do for a long time. In fact, I’m really ashamed that I hadn’t done this yet. It’s been hanging over my head for a while. When I proofed Haunted Lake for print, I found several errors in the original manuscript. Errors that had been missed before publishing the ebook. I fixed them and had others look over it before publishing in print. However…I never got around to replacing the manuscript for my ebooks on Amazon, B & N, Smashwords, etc. I’m am SO not proud of this. So last night, I went into my office and got the printout of my book where I had corrected the errors, and got to work. I fixed all the errors and made a couple of small changes I had made for the print version. And I got it uploaded everywhere.

The only snag I ran into was with Smashwords. Since all retailers have changed the requirements for book cover sizes, Smashwords couldn’t distribute the new version to Apple, Sony, etc. until I sent a new cover. (Amazon and B & N didn’t make me send a new cover.) My wonderful cover artist, Anya Kelleye, is super, super busy right now since she’s picked up several new book cover jobs, so I hesitated to ask her to fix this for me. I emailed her, told her the situation, and asked how long it would take to change the cover size. She dropped what she was doing and immediately fixed this for me. What a friend she is! So I was able to upload the cover and now Smashwords is happy. And I feel better knowing that an error free (I hope) version of Haunted Lake is now out there. This is still my favorite of all the books I’ve written. I don’t know if it’s the BEST one I’ve written, but this story is still close to my heart.

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I’ve never tried to do a reblog before, so I hope I’m doing this right!

How You Can Help the Tornado Victims in Oklahoma.

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I finally got back to the gym today. I’ve been walking on the treadmill at home, so I’m starting back with weight work at the gym. I’m still experimenting on the best time to go. I’m limited on time at lunch, so I’m trying to find the least busy time. I had to wait on a machine today, and that’s the reason I stopped going to the bigger gym I used to go to. This one is pretty small, but I think it’s getting more popular. It’s inexpensive ($15 a month) with NO contract. 🙂

I went to the health food store and got some liquid vitamins/minerals. I was so tired of swallowing those two humongous pills. I looked at a couple of different kinds and then sought the advice of the girl that worked there. She actually recommended the least expensive of the two and explained why. The one she preferred was made from ALL whole food, rather than only partial whole food. Let me tell you, that is the worst tasting stuff I’ve ever taken (except maybe V-8 juice). It’s green, kind of the same color of the liquid fertilizer we sell where I work, and there’s STUFF floating around in it that wants to STAY in my mouth. But, hey, all in the name of good health, right?

So I’ll leave you with something pleasant. Here is the latest picture of Willow and Oz. Willow’s not really that fat, it’s just the angle of the camera. LOL

willowandoz

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Happy Sunday, everyone!

As many of you know, I’ve been having problems figuring out what to do about my hero. There’s a horrible secret in the town where he is sheriff, and I’ve been trying to decide whether or not he could be forgiven if he knew about this secret. Could we forgive him? Could the herione forgive him? But I was sitting down for a session of writing Thursday evening, and instead of jumping into the story, I took out some paper and started jotting down notes about the town’s secret and why it happened, etc. And I realized the hero didn’t HAVE to know what was happening. He suspects some things, but they are so unbelievable that he denies to himself what’s going on. It’s going to work this way, I think! I didn’t exactly do an outline, but I wrote down some major points of things that were going on. Next, I’m going to write down some things that need to happen. My biggest problem now is how to explain to the reader what has happened in the past without an info dump. In this case, it’s going to be hard. I think part of it will be explained in dialogue where someone has to tell the story. Doing that is close to an info dump, so I’m going to have to be careful. There are just some things that can’t be revealed any other way than to tell the story.

Well, I wrote three days last week, but not the three days I originally planned to write. Instead of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I wrote Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. But it was still three days! I wanted to post a word count, but I can’t get Microsoft Excel to work this morning. I’m going to reboot my computer and see what happens. I’ve never had trouble with this program before. 😦

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A good word to describe this movie is “awesome”. But I’ve felt that way about all the Iron Man movies. What makes this one a little different is that it focuses on Tony Stark as a man, not just Iron Man. I’m not sure how I feel about all his anxiety attacks. They just kind of happened at random, and they were kind of unbelievable to me. Some humor was actually added to these scenes of his anxiety attacks, so that made them interesting. They did make him seem less of a self-involved jerk, although I feel like most of us could always see a little of the nice guy behind the bluster. I love Tony Stark. I love his quick wit, his self-confidence. But I always like the side of him who cares, especially how he cares for Pepper. I also am not sure how I feel about the ending. I can’t say what it is, or it would be a big spoiler for many of you, but I was kind of surprised. I hope Iron Man returns for Avengers 2. We shall see. Oh, and on a side note, I loved the character of the little boy that helped him. That was a nice touch in the movie.

So, is this my favorite of the Iron Man movies? I don’t think so. Hubby didn’t like it as well because there was too much Tony Stark and not enough Iron Man. I don’t think that’s why it’s not my favorite. I love all three movies. I just think I like the first one the most. I usually like originals better than sequels. Not always, but usually. Each movie had its good points. It’s really close, but I vote for original Iron Man.

How about you? Have you seen all three movies? Which one was your favorite?

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I haven’t done a Fitness Friday post since April 26. There has been so much going on that I just didn’t want to post my gains. That would be kind of depressing on top of all we’ve been through the last month or two. I got up to 175 at one point in the last couple of weeks. Anyway, it’s time to get back on track. This has to be quick because I’m at work and I have NO idea how I’m going to get everything done today. Here’s the stats.

Stats for this week:
Beginning weight: 193
Today’s weight: 171.5
This week’s loss: .5 lbs.
Total loss: 21.5 lbs.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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I just finished watching the newest Les Miserable movie a few minutes ago. I’ve had the original Broadway soundtrack for a long time and have always found it beautiful and emotional. The wonderful voices of Colm Wilkinson (who plays Jean Valjean) and the ones who played Javert, Fantine, and Eponine (sorry, I don’t remember the names) always send shivers down my spine. However, the voices in this newest movie lack that ability. I will admit, I felt the emotion of the movie mostly because of the story and the acting. But not really because of the singing. The thing that bothered me the most is that many times when they should have been singing from the heart, they were “talk singing”. I don’t know how to explain what that means, but I think some of you might know what I mean. It was frustrating because it wasn’t done that way in the original. I think they wasted Hugh Jackman’s voice in many of the songs. There were a few songs, though, where I wasn’t disappointed. “On My Own” is my favorite song from Les Mis, and I was afraid the woman portraying Eponine (Samantha Barks) wouldn’t be up to the challenge. As she belted out the tune, I said to my husband, “Yes, she nailed it!” It wasn’t as strong as the original, but it was good. Then when Hugh Jackman sang “Bring Him Home”, he was able to show us that he does have a wonderful, strong voice. There were a few other songs that were okay. The guy who played Marius (Eddie Redmayne) was pretty good as well as the one who played Enjalros (Aaron Tveit).

Now to Russell Crowe as Javert. As an actor, he was a good choice. As a singer, not so much. It’s not that he doesn’t have a good voice, because he does. But it’s not STRONG enough for this type of musical. The one who plays Javert on my original soundtrack has a VERY strong voice, so it was hard to hear a weaker voice in this role. He didn’t do a bad job on “Javert’s Suicide”.

I think the worst ones were Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, playing the Thenardiers. What they did wasn’t really singing. The original soundtrack was really funny when these two were singing, and the WAY they sang made it funny. This movie failed with this couple. Their acting was spot on in these roles…just not the singing.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie. Of course, I cried. This is a sad and depressing movie, but at the same time, it shows that people can be redeemed. The cinematography was good. The acting was good. The singing just wasn’t up to par. Not terrible, just not up to the standards of the original Broadway musical.

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