3 Things I Learned This Week, Life, better known as blah, blah, blah

Favorite Things 2017

It’s that time of year when I share my favorite things I have discovered this year.

1. JOSIE MARAN Argan Oil face cream SPF 47. I recommend shopping around for the best deal, saves you a bunch of money.

2. Essential oils – I love these and use them daily/nightly. I’m partial to YL, as I’ve tried others and not had the same results.

3. Plant based diet – Every week I see more news on how great this lifestyle is, and I can agree a million times. Find what works for you. I have cheat days, but I feel better and sleep better when I have a plant based diet day.

4. Community programs for free – your community should put on free workshops or low cost workshops. I attended one this summer about gardening (free) specialized to my area. I walked away with knowledge, a goodie bag and they even provided snacks!

5. Heirloom tomatoes – what can I say, I’m behind, but I tried them for the first time this year! I used to think why does anyone want to buy a tomato that looks all messed up?? But wow, the taste is amazing. Especially since most tomatoes I was buying, even organic, were tasteless and didn’t ripen properly. Bonus, I’ve been very successful at growing new plants from their scraps!!

6. Macadamia oil hair – I’ve tried several brands and find them all to be about the same. Worked better than the coconut oil treatments I was using.

3 Things I Learned This Week, Spotlight on Writing

Keeping Your Book On Their Minds

Nonnie and I coverUnless your book is becoming a movie, you will most likely see sales fall after the release hype has died off. It’s important to keep people talking about your book in order to make sure the sales don’t forever see the bottom of the cliff. I have picked up a few pointers along the way for my book, which was released back in December of 2014.




  1. If you are able, host a Amazon, Goodreads, or LibraryThing giveaway to get your book cover back in front of people.
  2. Does your book have a theme that you can use to spark attention again? For example, Nonnie and I, is about the fears of starting school, so the perfect time to chat my book up is during the yearly Back to School happenings.
  3. Do searches for your name and the book within social media to see if anyone has been talking about it that you may not have know about. For example, Amazon listed Nonnie and I as a free e-book for 1 day and that popped up several search alerts of people promoting my book (that I wasn’t even aware of). Use this as a way to understand what works and doesn’t work in social media, and to thank the person who is spreading the word.
  4. Schools are always short on funds and often ask the public for assistance from authors to send in their books. Doing so might lead to a upcoming school visit or Skype visit that would promote your book even more.
  5. Offer to do interviews for blogs or vlogs. This is a great way to make more connects and find new readers.


3 Things I Learned This Week, The Life of Dogs


Ransom 9 wks 006It has been a while since I have written about dogs. The last post was about losing my girl, Charley, in September 2015. I now have a new puppy, 10 weeks old, a handsome little chocolate English lab.

I like to say that I have a good deal of dog knowledge due to having had a dog aggressive dog (Charley). Sadly, I was never able to correct Charley to be the dog she needed to be, and I realize now that it was my fault, not hers. This is not a negative statement as it might seem, although I believed this until now.

The thing I have discovered, or re-learn, is that not only is every dog different, but it all comes down to family, more specifically me, Mama Dog. I took some time to think about Charley and her behaviors. Even with all the tools I had, I never learned. I also noticed that I was, in just 2 weeks, doing the same thing with the new puppy. When it comes to family, and dogs in that family, everything is about the person/the handler. Essentially, control yourself to control the situation. Seems simple and easy. Nope. The reason, at least for me is to react, to activate myself before and during, due to instinct. Of course, I am not talking about “harming a dog reaction.” I am talking about becoming frustrated, nervous, upset. This energy then feeds to the situation and thus everyone in the family loses control, there is no leader so we all try to be the leader.

This is a long way around saying that the only way to fix the start of puppy “bad” behavior is to look at myself, and my leadership.

3 Things I Learned This Week, Spotlight on Writing

Giraffe Fun Fact Q & A – NONNIE AND I

Xist Publishing, 2014
Xist Publishing, 2014

As many already know, in 2005 I set out to write a story about a girl and her best friend, a giraffe. I wanted to capture the plains of Botswana and a special friendship bond. I spent time researching giraffes to make sure that the words I presented were true. Ten years later it became the beautiful picture book that is NONNIE AND I.


How long do you think a giraffe sleeps for?

Giraffes sleep about 5-30 minutes in a 24 hour period.

How often does a giraffe drink water?

Giraffes only drink water about every 2-3 days. They acquire a lot of their water in the 75 pounds of food they eat a day.

Do giraffes sleep standing up or laying down?

Giraffes most often sleep standing up, but sometimes they will sleep laying down, resting their heads on their bottoms, while another giraffe keeps watch for safety.

Do all giraffes have the same spots?DSC_6867

A Giraffe’s spots are like human fingerprints, they are all unique. The two main factors of different spots have to do with where they live and what they eat.

Do giraffes make noise?

A giraffe makes snorting, grunting, hissing and moo sounds.

Why is a giraffe’s tongue a blue-black color?

The dark color protects the giraffe’s tongue from becoming sunburned.

How tall and how much does a giraffe way at birth?

Wildlife Zoo - Aug 2014 038A giraffe weighs 100-150 pounds at birth, and is about 6 feet tall.

3 Things I Learned This Week

HaPpInEsS iS hArD tO dO?

I recently read an article in the April 2015 issue of Redbook (THANK YOU LIBRARY CARD!) by Stephanie Wood. In the article she reported a statement by Alice Domar, PhD., saying that for most people seventy percent of your life is satisfying and fifteen percent goes to being happy and another fifteen percent goes to being unhappy.


I could not believe what I read.

I felt immediately disappointed and sad with this percentage. I also felt a bit of relief because this number was close to what I felt. And I didn’t like seeing it on paper.

The article goes on to mention that for women everything basically needs to be perfect at home, at work, with family, health and money (Domar, PhD., 2015) in order for them to be happy. Men’s happiness was not mentioned. Probably because it takes less to make a man happy. Us women can be tricky.

I don’t like fifteen percent against seventy percent. It’s not like I will get to come back and do this life over again, so why can’t the seventy percent be happy and fifteen be satisfied? Because…why not?! Well… Matthew McConaughey would say why not!! And did so at recent graduation speech at The University of Houston. McConaughey declared that joy is what one should strive for, and not happiness, because trying to achieve happiness will result in a let-down. Dare I say…unbelievable?!?! (Which according to McConaughey is the “stupidest word in the dictionary.”)

Good thing I will advise you all to think for yourselves, and what works best for you to find happiness in what matters to you.

For those wanting the Time Magazine take –¬† McConaughey¬† – read the whole speech.

For those wanting Entertainment Tonight’s highlights (with actual video clips of the speech).

3 Things I Learned This Week, Life, better known as blah, blah, blah

The Central Oregon Way

Oregon Thanksgiving 2014 008Over Thanksgiving I went on a trip to chilly and damp central Oregon to visit my father. According to stories told in the car I had been there before. (Back when I was a skiing fool!) While I remember being a skiing fool, I don’t remember central Oregon.

There were a few things I learned during my short trip.

  • If you are looking for a conversation and simple chats head over to central Oregon. I was not aware such Oregon Thanksgiving 2014 029random conversations with smiling faces could exist.
  • If you are in the mood to be cold and surrounded by trees in the winter, but don’t want to drive all the way to Washington stop at central Oregon.
  • If you want to see deer that don’t care you are sharing their land, go to central Oregon. But watch where you step.
  • If you follow rodeos apparently central Oregon is the place to be.
  • If you don’t own a 1) truck 2) tractor 3) or are selling a tractor, then you are out-of-place.
  • If you are into travel brochures and flyers galore central Oregon has many road-side information booths not under any supervision.


3 Things I Learned This Week

Weekend Health Tip

I love desserts, and I have a huge issue with snacking well after dinner. However, I find that if I brush my teeth I can’t just go and keep snacking. After dinner I will have dessert, but to keep from it being a long drawn out snack attack I will brush my teeth right away. I find this to be a great way to stop late night snacking that isn’t healthy.