Tag Archives: Blogging

Happy Third Blogoversary!

Do you remember this picture? I sure do. It was used on my very first post, “Hanging On For Dear Life”, three years ago.

Three years ago? Can you believe it’s been three years already? Where does the time go?

Lots of things have happened in our lives since then. For most of us, they’ve been too numerous to count. I mean, some of us have been thrown a curve ball or two in the midst of trying to eek out a living and at the same time, follow our passion. And for those of you who are fortunate to make a living off of your passion? Congratulations to you!

As you may have noticed, my blog has grown silent over the past couple of months.

Why, you may ask?

Well, because of life actually. I had too many things that demanded my attention. And the blog, for one, was not a priority. So I let it go. But then, as weeks went by, it became easier not to blog. I mean, who cares if I blog or not? Does it really matter?

It’s not like I’m saving lives or changing the world. It’s just little ‘ol me writing a little ditty about nothing very earthshattering. Nothing that could put an actual dent in someone’s existence.

So I thought, why not take a look back at my first post and see what my purpose was for starting this venture. What was my core motivation for blogging? After all, there had to be some reason why I had decided to jump into this crazy endeavor.

Here’s what I said:

“Since this is my first blog, that picture got me thinking. What is my purpose for writing a blog? Yes I’m petrified, but I’m certainly not dangling on a rope suspended from the rooftop of a high-rise hotel.

“My hope is that through my writing I will be able to touch people’s lives and connect with others that will in someway benefit them and not just myself. Just know that as I embark on this new venture, I will be hanging on for dear life while I look out from on top, ready to descend that steep and slippery slope, putting myself out there amongst the unknown galaxy of the universe, otherwise known as the internet, sharing a little splice of our lives.”

Ah, interesting. That picture says more than a thousand words. It’s a great motivator, is it not? But notice something else. The purpose of this blog was not to write strictly about myself. And I think that still rings true. I get great satisfaction writing about life and other people. I find it stimulating to share things with you that stem from a variety of topics.

No, it’s not all about me. Although some day it may be when I get ready to release my new little baby out into the world. Yes, I’m still working on that one. But believe me, when it’s finished, you’ll be the first to know!

Meanwhile, it’s Happy Third Blogoversary!

It’s good to be back!
 

So what do you think? How has life been treating you? Do you find it easy or difficult to blog? Does life get in your way, or are you able to navigate through the muddy waters? What helps to keep you motivated? What topics have you found interesting lately?
 
 
Cheers everyone! And as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Karen

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Just a Little Bit…

You all remember this picture, right?
 
      
 

 
 

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?
 

Well, after last week’s post on West Nile and having received some very kind and healing words from you all—thank you very much by the way—it made me think.
 

Uh-oh, I know that might sound dangerous!
 

I began to think about just how much everyone seems to be dealing with these days.
 

When we engage in conversation or a relationship via the internet, we tend to put our best foot forward. It, the internet, becomes a comfortable screen that we may hide behind. After all, no one can see us. What we say represents who we are. So we hope.
 

But what we don’t know, and cannot know because of this unique realm of invisibility is—how is the other person who we are conversing with? They may sound chipper and happy, perhaps even supportive. Yet, what things in their life have they experienced or are currently experiencing and how are they coping?
 

First of all, think about what you’ve all accomplished over a relatively short time.
 

There are a great number of you who are experiencing pretty amazing things in your life. Some have already published books and are on the road to success. Meanwhile, you’re Writing, Blogging, Tweeting and well, let’s just say that you’ve become very social. :)
 

Congratulations to you all!
 

And then there are the rest of us that are right behind you. This is such an exciting time!
 

However, some of you are pulling double or triple duty. You’re working, parenting, writing and publishing. You’re involved in the many extra-curricular activities that revolve around your children or aged parents. You’re also cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping and again, writing.
 

You all need an award!
 

But then there are the other things. You know, the things that we may keep to ourselves not wanting to share the burden with anyone else. Yes, the personal stuff. After all, we must keep up appearances, mustn’t we?
 

Let’s face it. Life happens. Yes life and the many things that happen out of our normal routine. Yet, how do we get through it? Ah, that’s the piece of the puzzle that seems to be different for each and every one of us. And because of that difference, that’s when we need to apply that little word from above—Respect. If we apply a little respect to the other person, it gives them dignity and makes it pretty hard for us to judge one another.
 

I want you to know that y’all are awesome about this! After last week I just want to give you guys a big hug!
 

Think about it. Had I not blogged about my experience with a life threatening virus, would you all have known about it? Probably not. Yet there are so many of you who have also dealt with serious issues such as the death of a loved one, a severe health issue, a divorce, a family crisis, a financial crises, the loss of a home, the loss of a job, burn-out, depression and the list goes on.
 

What, you thought that I was the only one who’s had problems?
 

So what can we do?
 

Show one another Respect. You know, what Aretha sang about. And no, I will not be singing to ya! Okay, maybe just a little bit.
 

Here’s a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T:
 

Relevant- Each an every one of us is important. Each of us plays a key role in another’s life besides our own.
 

Esteem- Admire and appreciate one another. We need to give ourselves value and overall worth.
 

Sense- If you get a feeling from someone that something is wrong, be supportive. Look for ways in which you can give added strength.
 

Prize- We are each exceptional, desirable individuals. There is no competition here. We all have something special to offer.
 

Enjoyment- Every one of us possess the ability to entertain and give others a sense of immense joy and happiness.
 

Cherish- Cultivate long-lasting affection and care to family and friends.
 

Tribute- Acknowledge others with generous gratitude and appreciation.
 
 

With much gratitude and affection I want to thank you all for your support!
 
 

So what do you think? Have you been overwhelmed lately? Has life thrown you a curve? Are you suffering from burn-out? What have you found helpful to replenish your energy and focus? What time do you make for the more important things in your life? What has helped you to feel grateful and full of appreciation?
 
 
 

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Anger Can Be Draingerous!

 
Okay, hold on to your britches! There’s a misspelt word in the title!
 
Yes, I know. Be patient, I’ll explain in just a moment.
 
      

Anger…
 

That’s a subject that a lot of us don’t like to talk about. It’s uncomfortable for most of us, yet it’s a part of us. It’s as much a part of us as any other emotion, such as love, hope, worry or fear.
 

That said, anger is not always a draingerous emotion. If used properly, anger can be an extremely productive way to encourage our determination to overcome certain obstacles or goals. So if we think of it as a controlled substance, there are times when an expression of anger may be appropriate.
 

It is an essential emotion that writers can instill in their characters to create great drama and conflict. But what happens when this emotion turns its ugly head and becomes draingerous? Remember, anger is an emotion that we all carry with us 24/7.
 

Well, first we might ask ourselves, why is there so much anger? It’s an important question to ask if we are to use the emotion of anger properly. And since the cause of most anger is one of the most complex subjects, we’ll just stick with the specifics.
 

There is a general consensus by health professionals today that most anger is a trigger emotion. It is a trigger that often results from injustice. It can occur when we’ve been slighted, insulted or when shown a form of disrespect.
 

“Anger triggers” can vary from person to person. And depending upon our age, gender or culture it may affect us differently. There are those of us who are seldom affronted, while others are easily provoked, holding on to anger like a security blanket for days, weeks, months and sadly even years.
 

It seems that a self-centered world is filled with the potential for such triggers of anger. Then add sensitivity into the mix and you’ve got an explosion of anger inducements from poor parental example, cramped living space, economic disparity, prejudice, injustice and bullyism just to name a few. Well maybe more than a few. But you get the point.
 

The urge to become angry and blow off this proverbial steam can be so overwhelming!
 
So how can we manage to keep this emotion of anger under control?
 

For several years, give or take 2,000 or more, the thought was to let one’s tension release through anger and a sense of psychological refreshment would emerge. This point of view was taken from the Greek philosopher Aristotle and later a neurologist named Sigmund Freud. They both claimed that if people repressed their negative emotions and restrained them they would develop a mental disorder such as hysteria.
 

Well, that’s all fine and dandy for a fictional character in a novel, but for those of us non-fictional characters, does this really work? And is it healthy? Studies have now shown that “Letting It All Out” with your anger often leaves us feeling more uptight and less relieved.
 

So what can we do?
 

1- Try to avoid doing or saying something that we may later regret so as not to trigger that draingerous form of anger in the first place. (I know, much easier said than done. But it can be done!)
 
2- To reduce anger: slow down and unwind. If we feel ourselves becoming overly anxious or excited and are in danger of losing it, let’s take our leave, take a walk or meditate. There is a proverb that says, “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out.”
 
3- Learn to relax. Follow technics that have proven to be effective in combating stress-related anger: Breath deeply with slow repetition. Immerse yourself in something that you enjoy such as reading, listening to your favorite music, regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.
 

While we try to put these few suggestions into practice, we might also want to make sure that our expectations are realistic. If our expectations of ourselves and others are too high, this may also lead us into a life of frustration and anger.
 

So remember—All of us can become angry from time to time and how we convey that anger is a matter of personal choice. If we express our anger in a more positive manner, it can be a healthy way to compose a fine masterpiece and work of art. On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to circle the drain with a more negative complex form of anger, it can prove to be, as my youngest son used to say when he was just a little guy—draingerous! :)
 
 

So what do you think? What kinds of things make you frustrated and angry? What do you do to keep calm and cool? Do you enjoy harnessing that powerful emotion of anger into a character? What helps you develop characters that are filled with anger?
 
 

Would you like to see more great posts like you saw today? Then I encourage you to go now! Run up to the top right hand side of the page and click on the Follow button to receive your personal copy of future posts!!!!
 
 

Thank you everyone for dropping by and for all your wonderful comments!
Karen

 
 
 

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Perform in a Springtime Melody!

      
Don’t you just love Spring? After a drawn, dark, dreary season of winter everyone yearns for it. The days grow longer, the temperature warmer, and we begin to put a little spring into our step. We may even do a bit of spring cleaning as if dusting those wintertime cobwebs out from amongst the blustery mind-like shadows in our heads.
 

If we were to take a few moments to look out the windows of our imagination, what would we see? Well, since its spring, we might envision crisp clear blue skies with rolling hills covered with green grassy pastures and bright new leaves budding on limbs from ambitious stalwart trees. We might imagine bees buzzing, birds tweeting (yes tweeting), and butterflies flying in the air without care.
 

Yet one of the most prized possessions of the season of spring are its flowers. Yeah sure, go ahead and sneeze if you have to, but seriously, aren’t flowers part of the reason why we love spring so much? It’s like our world comes back to life and takes on a melodious color!
 

Take the Tulip for instance.
 

The Tulip was originally a wild flower grown in Central Asia. It was first cultivated by the Turks around the year 1000 AD then the flower was introduced to Western Europe and the Netherlands in the 17th century by a famous biologist from Vienna named Carolus Clusius . In the 1590’s he became the director of the Hortus Botanicus, the oldest European botanical garden found in Holland.
 

Mr. Clusius was hired by the University of Leiden to research medicinal plants and while doing so, he received some bulbs from a friend who happened to be the Ambassador to Constantinople (presently Istanbul). The friend had seen that beautiful flower called the tulip, (from a Turkish word for turban), in the palace gardens and sent a few to Clusius for his garden in Leiden. Then Clusius planted them and this was the beginning of the amazing bulb fields we see today.



It is in the Netherlands, far from our fictional imageries, that the most renowned display of these beautiful flowery gems blossom in a truly exceptional park called Keukenhof. Keuken meaning kitchen in Dutch, thus Kitchen house or Herb garden in English. More than seven million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, gladiolas, and other bulbs planted each year form a glorious décor in such an abundance of colors and fragrances, why there is nowhere on the face of the earth quite like it.
 

Flower lovers from all over the world flock to this country’s most spectacular bulb fields. This is where you can enjoy the ultimate feeling of spring, the wonderful works of art along with its inspiring flower gardens and the best in organic expressions.
 

Because Poland is increasingly becoming an important market for these incredible Dutch flowers, this year’s theme is called “Poland, Heart of Europe.” Among the highlights for this year is a special exhibition of a 39-by-65 foot portrait made from 50,000 red, orange and purple Tulips that make up a mosaic of Frederic Chopin and a special theme route. Who knew classical music and romance form a whimsical combination with flowers!
 

So as we clear out those shadowy cobwebs of our mind from last winter, let’s use our colorful imaginations to buzz with lots of conflict and action. Let’s keep our blogs fresh with activity and tweet like birds in support of one another. Let’s write like butterflies and fly free in the air of creativity. Let’s make like beautiful flowers and perform in a springtime melody!
 
 

So what do you think? Has your mind been a bit cluttered lately? Are there shadowy cobwebs lingering in your mind from last winter? Or are you abuzz with lots of colorful creativity! Is your blog active and are you tweeting to support? Let’s help each other to be creative!
 
 

If you enjoyed this, I encourage you to run right now to the top of the page and hit the follow button to receive future posts!
 
 

Thank you for your many thoughts and fine comments everyone!
Karen

 
 
 

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Sexy as a Rockstar!

Okay, today I’m either going blow this post out of the water or blow your mind! Whichever the case may be, I hope you can dig it!
 

During the last few weeks I have visited some amazing bloggers and for one reason or another I have noticed there is a theme. It seems that some of our blogger friends have health issues. Health concerns that have caused them to be very sick with headaches, food allergies, inflammation, acid reflux, and toxins—yeah you got it—nasty stuff.
 

So I thought, hmm…this isn’t always a pleasant subject, but I’d like to share something amazing with you all that I think will make you to sing. Sing? Well I don’t know about actual singing, but it will definitely help you feel better. Why? Because of the incredible results from this one simple ingredient. Now don’t be repulsed when I tell you what it is. It might not be on your list of favorites, but when I share with you some of its awesome benefits, you may just want to change your mind.
 
 

What am I talking about?
 
 

I’m talking about Kale.
 
 

Kale?
 
 

Yes Kale.
 
 
            
 
Okay, here’s the skinny on our new friend Kale.
 

Kale is the sexiest of all vegetables. Yeah I said sexy. Why? Because it provides a rich earthy succulent flavor and packs more nutritional value with fewer calories than almost any other food on earth. And the cool thing is, it can be found in markets throughout the year with its season reaching a peak from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste, especially the Tuscan variety and it’s more widely available.
 

Like its cousins the broccoli, cauliflower, and collards, kale is a descendent of the wild cabbage, a plant that is thought to have originated in Asia Minor and brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by a faction of crazy Celtics. Curly kale played an important role in early Europe, having been an important crop during ancient Rome and a popular vegetable eaten by peasants throughout the Middle Ages. It was English settlers who brought kale to North America in the 17th century.
 
 

So let’s take a look at the benefits of this sexy vegetable, shall we?
 
 

First of all, this bad boy Kale has some of the best cholesterol–lowering benefits of any vegetable around. It has recently been proven to lower the risk of certain types of malignancy such as cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. It is now recognized as promoting comprehensive support for our body’s detoxification system, even helping to regulate detox at a genetic level, whoa…while playing a major dietary role as respects to both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
 
 

Okay, now that I’ve convinced you, how do I eat it you say?
 
 

Well if you want to heat it up, I mean cook it; you will want to prepare it properly. To do this you want to ensure quick and even cooking by cutting the leaves into ½” slices and ¼” stems then let them sit for approximately 5 minutes to enhance its health promoting properties, then steam it for another 5. Voila, you’re done.
 

But one of the best ways to enjoy Kale is fresh in a salad. And the most desirable trick is to give it a massage. Yes, I mean you need to get in there and give that sexy green vegetable a deep tissue massage. You can feel it relax as the leaves darken and shrink to almost half its volume. The flavor changes as well. In fact the color and texture will change and soften with its pre-massaged bitterness replaced by a sweet green melodious flavor.
 
 
  
 

Your taste buds won’t lie people. They will sing because it really is the king of the salad. And because you’ve massaged its leaves, *shivers*, it will have an amazing texture and just the right amount of sweet and bitter flavor so you don’t need much salad dressing. It’s suggested that all you need is a little extra virgin olive oil along with a pinch of salt and vinegar or lemon juice and you have a perfectly composed salad.
 

Now if you really want to turn things up a notch, you can juice it! That’s right. Kale gets even sexier when it’s mixed in a juice with some beets and cucumber in a carrot base. Or perhaps you might prefer an apple base instead for an even sweeter experience. Whatever the case, you can always bank on its delicious flavor along with its awesome fresh nutritional benefits. And don’t let not having a juicer stop you. Most health markets now have juice bars which makes drinking down that bad boy that much easier and affordable.
 
 

Okay, so where am I going with all of this?
 
 

It is a known fact that if we don’t feel good, we won’t be able to produce an exceptional product. We want our minds and bodies to be in sync and be at our optimum. We can do all the exercise in the world, but if we don’t feed ourselves with the proper nutrients we could be wasting our precious time and voice energy.
 

So think about it the next time you shop at your local supermarket. Don’t just walk on by, but grab yourself some of that Kale. Because that bad boy is as Sexy as a Rockstar!
 
 

So what do you think? Have you been in a slump? Feeling a little funky and sluggish lately? Fighting a flu or cold? Or heaven forbid you have a more serious illness? Could you be using some of that sexy Kale?
 
 

As a sidenote: Kale is rich in vitamin K, so if you’re one that’s prone to blood clots, please eat in moderation and eat lots of garlic because it’s a natural blood thinner. :)
 
 

If you enjoyed this, I encourage you to run right now to the top of the page and hit the follow button to receive future posts!
 
 

Thank you for your many thoughts and fine comments everyone!
Karen

 
 
 

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