Category Archives: Things to Try

I’m Getting a Tattoo!

Well, actually, I’m getting a temporary tattoo to see if I really want to get a permanent tattoo.

I’ve wanted a tattoo for a long time. I even know what I want to get. But the thought of actually having one FOREVER, or at least my forever, is a bit frightening.

I found an online shop that sells lots and lots of different temporary tattoos.

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Conscious Ink. Temporary on the skin. Indelible on the soul.

There are oodles of different tattoos to choose from honoring feelings, empowerments, transitions, and so on…

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I don’t really care what the temporary tattoo says or looks like because it will only be visible for about five days.
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I already have one of my permanent tattoos, should I choose to get one, picked out.

But I kind of like the idea of having different tattoos for different occasions…

Maybe I’ll get two of this one for Carol and I to wear when we play in our next pickleball tournament.

LDT

Bread from Heaven

Carol posted this a little over a year ago on Facebook…

CarolBreadAnd I’m such a fan of fresh baked bread that I’ve wanted to try it ever since.

But I couldn’t do it while living in Homer because we didn’t have a regular over. And we’ve been crazy busy with ‘life’ and moving in over the last few months.

Finally, I ordered the special Dutch Oven that Carol recommended for the bread earlier this week.

PanIt came yesterday, so I searched for Carol’s recipe and tried the bread.

Here’s the link to the recipe: Simply So Good | Crusty Bread.

Words fail me…

I can’t even begin to describe how good this bread is. And how easy it is to make. I didn’t even stop to take pictures after I pulled it out of the oven. We just cut in and ate some…

Felt like I’d died and gone to bread-eating heaven. Amazing!

The great thing about this recipe and method is that bakers can add lots of different ingredients and the bread still turns out. I can’t wait to add some whole grains and dried cranberries or rosemary and roasted garlic. Yummy!

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My house smelled so good that I keep going outside every so often so that I can come back in and smell the bread anew. 🙂

Here’s wonderful video from the Simply So Good site showing how to make the bread. Enjoy…

PS THANKS, CAROL! And Rich thanks you, too!

Burning Man

Burning Man is a week-long annual event that began in San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986 and migrated to the Black Rock Desert near Reno in northern Nevada, in the United States.

It’s hard to describe both in terms of what it is and how the experience affects people. Burners travel to it from all over the world. It’s an amazing experience to those of us who have been.

My favorite part of the Burning Man experience?  Fire Poi Dancers.

My least favorite thing?  Playa dust storms.

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Here is a PulseRadio.net article about it that highlights parts of the Burning Man experience. (Thanks to Andrea for posting it on Facebook. 🙂 )

12 Things you Need to Experience at Burning Man 

Love it or hate it, Burning Man does provide some of the most unique experiences you can find on the globe – there isn’t really an argument for that.

A couple weeks back, we wrote a sarcastic piece about why people should not go to Burning Man. While the sarcasm was lost on some who take the whole event a bit too seriously, the bottom line is that we love Burning Man.

But instead of telling people why they should go, we figured it would be more effective to tell you what specifically you may love if you go. Everyone has to find their own way at Burning Man, so plenty of things on this list may not apply to you, but these are experiences we have had and will remember forever. Plus, how do you really know if they apply to you unless you actually give them a shot?

Isn’t that the whole point of Burning Man?

Spend an afternoon exploring the Playa endlessly on your bike

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So many people get stuck dancing, drinking and partying at Burning Man that they forget what makes this place so special: the art and the surprises. The best way to experience this is to grab a few friends – or even just solo – and just look far out onto the horizon, point at something and ride to it. It’s truly unbelievable what you will encounter out there and the effort these artists put into creating something that only lasts a week. Half the fun is the random sights you run into along the way. The other half is guessing what that is 500 yards off in the distance – and finding out you were completely wrong when you arrive.

Enjoy random conversations with strangers

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Yes, the art and the parties are a huge part of the Burning Man experience. But without the crazy and wonderful people who build Black Rock City and fill it up, this would just be a festival in the desert. There truly are the weirdest, kindest and most amazing people – from all over the world and all walks of life – you encounter in your time on the Playa. Take the time to engage in some conversations and enjoy the experience of learning about and from other people. Those new friends you make are what you remember most.

Climb all over stuff

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Burning Man isn’t your average art show. No, this is a true adult playground where unless there is a sign or a rope saying otherwise, you are free – and encouraged at your own risk – to climb on anything you want. Whether it’s a tower in the middle of nowhere with an amazing view at the top, a giant hammock on the Playa or the inside of a huge scuplture, get off your bike and be a kid again.

Experience the Dr. Bronner’s shower

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Showering on the Playa can be a challenge, especially depending on your camp situation or if you’re not a tech billionaire. But there is a solution to get cleaned up – as long as you don’t mind doing it with a few new friends. The ‘Magic Foam Experience’ at Camp Abraxas (4&G) will shoot a bunch of Dr. Bronner’s foam all over you, let you scrub up and then rinse you off. It might be the most refreshing experience out there. Lines do get long though, so be prepared to wait a bit.

Pay your respects in the Temple

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The Temple is an annual display of love, devotion and remembrance, but it’s also filled with a lot of sadness. Any place where so many people come to honor their lost ones is going to have tears. But Burning Man isn’t just about partying. It’s about love, relationships and reflection. Some people are intimidated to go into the Temple, but it’s a must-do. It’s one place on the Playa where there is total peace and tranquility and it’s cathartic to have a good cry. Plus, we have all experienced some kind of loss in our lives and this is a spot like no other where we can honor those that we miss.

Dance your ass off at Pink Mammoth or Distrikt

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It’s hard to miss two of the city’s best daily dance parties. Distrikt for its huge fog horn that blasts off intermittently during the afternoon and Pink Mammoth for its unmissable, bright pink shade structure and bar. Cold drinks are flowing non-stop throughtout the day, which is unbeatable in the desert heat. But if you came to party, you’ll find thousands of like-minded friends – and some of the best DJs in the world – at these two camps. Tip: Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream set on Sunday afternoon is always a perfect way to wrap your week.

Walk around the Playa at night

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This may sound elementary, but until you have done it, you won’t know why it’s so cool. Most of the time, when you are getting around Black Rock City, you are riding your bike and have to – somewhat – keep your eyes on the path in front of you. But when you ditch your bike and just go for a walk at night, you can truly – and safely – take in all the sights and craziness going on around you. Crane your head in any direction you want, stop whenever you want and take your time without fear of a wipeout. Burning Man at night is a sight to behold, so make sure you take it in.

Stop into a random bar

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How many times do you just go to the same spots to party or dance or drink or visit friends during the week? It’s easy to forget that there is so much going on around us, most of which we completely miss. So when you are cruising around on your bike, instead of just looking at that bar and wondering how it is, pull over and grab a seat for some free drinks – you’ll be amazed the stories you hear and the things you see. Where else can you do that without ever spending a dollar?

Have some alone time

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There are 68,000 people at Burning Man in a pretty tightly-packed area. It’s a lot to deal with for even the most social person. Because there is so much going on and so many friends to keep up with, it’s a challenge to grab some moments for yourself to take it all in and reflect. Whether that be walking away from the dance floor at Robot Heart and laying on your back in the middle of the pitch black desert or taking a bike ride by yourself or sitting on top of a bus and watching the sunrise, other than your trips to the toilets, make time for you.

Ride an art car

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This is one of the few places on Earth where you will see the most ridiculous mutant vehicles (or art cars) cruising all over the place in front of you. Yeah, they are cool to look at, but they are even better to ride on. Whether you know someone who built one or you ask to jump on a random one that you encounter on the Playa, make it happen. It’s something you likely will never be able to experience anywhere else.

Watch the sunrise at Robot Heart

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There is a reason Robot Heart has become world famous. Sure, the world-class DJ lineups are insane and create some unforgettable moments. But what’s more special and will forever remain etched in your brain is when the Robot Heart bus is parked way out on the Deep Playa and the sun starts to creep over the horizon. Many of the thousands walk from the dance floor over for a front row seat on the dry desert lakebed to pay homage to the blazing ball of fire that keeps this world living. The best part is whoever is DJing at that moment always has something special in store for the sunrise. Truly monumental.

Go out of your way to give

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Much is made of the “gifting” system at Burning Man. Yes, there is no money exchanged there for drinks, food or services, but you don’t necessarily need to have something to give away to everyone to take part in this concept. We all have something to give, whether it’s a hug, a conversation, advice, a drink, a tool or a ride. And whether it’s for complete strangers, a ranger or people in your camp, step out of society’s normal comfort zone and give without any expectation. The simplest thing can make someone else’s experience complete.

OverDrive

A few days ago I ventured to a public library and got a library card for the Meridian Library District.

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I haven’t had a library card for years because when we lived up in the mountains, the library for the area we were in was another 30 miles up the mountain and the library was tiny. I could have paid the $50 (?) for out of town residents to get a City of Boise library card, but I was too cheap…

So now that we have a permanent residence in town, I have my own bona fide library card.

And here’s the best part: Now that I have my library card with my own library number, I don’t ever have to go to the library again unless I want an actual book to read or want a book on CD to listen to.

overdriveI can do everything else online via OverDrive. *

Libraries that belong to OverDrive (and my library does 🙂 !) add to their collections from a catalog of over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks, and videos.

Using the OverDrive app, users can access and/or download content to view on their smart phone, tablet, or computer. The app is compatible with iOS, Android, Chromebook, Mac OS, Windows, and Windows Phone.

After I installed the app on my phone, I quickly connected with my library’s list of available audio books and found Our Souls at Night which I listened to over two days while cleaning, taking Sophie for walks, and knitting.  It was the perfect book for my first audio book in almost two years.

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And now I’m off to surf search for another great book to listen to while walking the dog, cleaning the house, shopping for groceries, etc…

As soon as I finish the WWII novel I’m reading using my Kindle app on my phone, I’ll look for an eBook to download from the library.

I think my amazon.com bill ju$t got a whole lot $maller.

*Thanks to Melissa who told me about Overdrive after her friend Tobie told her about it.  🙂

Best Kitchen Device

About six years ago, we received the BEST kitchen device ever as a gift from our son.

We used it and used it and used it until we finally had to buy a new one from over-use. I’ve lost track of how many we’ve bought as gifts for others…

It’s called Veggie Chop,  and it’s made by Chef’n.

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  • It’s hand powered, so it’s perfect for camping, but it works so gosh-darn well that we use it a couple of times a week.
  • It’s perfect for chopping nuts, veggies, fruit, graham crackers, chocolate, etc…
  • It’s dishwasher safe and quite easy to clean. But be careful of the blades because they are wicked sharp.
  • It’s the best $20 you’ll ever spend your hard earned money on.

Take a look at it in action.

Do yourself a favor and buy one for a gift–for you!

Then you can be as surprised and happy as Mr. Bean is when he sends himself Christmas Cards. 🙂

Gad Zukes!

Meridian, Idaho

Our new home came to us with a small garden.

And that garden obviously has very good dirt!

We’re overrun with zucchini. It feels like we’re having zucchini at every meal…

We try to pick them before they become zumpkins — zucchini as big as pumpkins. 🙂

But  we missed a few that grew big enough to feed a small army.  

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We’ve given them to friends. I’ve taken them to pickleball practice. And we’re very close to leaving them on neighbors’ doorsteps, but we’re afraid that they will do the same to us if they figure out that we’re the culprits…

I found a great zucchini muffin recipe on-line that I’ve changed a bit to make it healthier with less oil and sugar.

Here it is in case you’re being overrun with zukes and need a way to use them up. These freeze well so you can have fresh (frozen) zucchini all year round.

Zuked Muffins (Makes 12 LARGE or 24 standard)

0730151725Ingredients
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup applesauce (or 4 ounce individual serving package)
1/3 cup of yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Bran Buds cereal (or chopped nuts)
1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

NOTE: I use large muffin tins because then I can honestly say, “I only had one!” You will need to adjust the baking time to maybe 20 minutes if you use standard sized tins. 🙂

Directions

  1. 0730151801Beat eggs until light and foamy.
  2. Add sugars, oil and zucchini.
  3. Blend well with spoon or mixer.
  4. Add baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Blend well.
  6. Add flour.
  7. Blend well.
  8. Add Bran Buds and Cranberries.
  9. Stir well.
  10. Pour into greased or lined muffin tins.
  11. Bake at 325oF for at least 25 minutes or until done.

Old Broad Aid

Meridian, Idaho

When we  bought Homer,  we traded in my car.  No need to have it sitting in storage for a year.

When we  came back to Boise and decided to not travel full time,  I needed a car.

So we  bought a new one.  The  only requirements were that it was a mid-sized SUV and that it a GMC.

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We ended  up with a GMC Terrain,  and I love it.

My only  complaint is that it’s white. Not that white is a bad color for a car.

It’s just  that there are always dozens of white SUVs in the parking lot and I have a hard time finding my car.

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I found a cheap and effective solution… 

It’s about a yard  of knitted ribbon that I found at Walmart.  I made a pompom out of it and tied it to my antenna.

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Because it’s a knit, it stays on even when driving down the highway.

It’s the best aid for this old, forgetful broad who never remembers where she parked her car. 🙂

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Male Character Study

Meridian, Idaho

I’ve been on a Netflex binge, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

After such limited  Interney connectivity and no opportunity to steam for the last year, binging seemed appropriate. 🙂

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I rejoined Netflix and perused the plethora of choices. I prefer TV series over movies, so that helped me narrow my choices.

I settled on Longmire, a contemporary western crime series based on a series of books written by Craig Johnson.

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I chose it because I really like the actress who plays the female lead. Katee Sackoff  was excellent (and creepy) in 24. She is excellent (and sardonic) in Longmire.

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Once I started watching Longmire, I became more and more intrigued by the portrayal of a deep and long-lived friendship between Sheriff Walt Longmire and bar owner Henry Standing Bear.

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Walt and Henry have been friends since sixth grade. They forged their friendship across racial lines, an anomaly for the time.

What I like about watching them interact is the honest comfortableness between them. They have each other’s backs and accept each other as they are.

However, they will call each other out if one goes too far. The intimacy of their knowledge of each other is a refreshing change from typical machismo testosterone-laden shows.

You might give Longmire a chance if it sounds interesting to you. I like it, and you might, too.

Airplane Yoga

Meridian, Idaho

As Melissa and her best friend Kassi fly to Montreal to watch Women’s World Cup Soccer this morning, here’s a post especially for them to stay calm and serene on their long, long flight!

I actually did a lot of these while flying to and from Europe a long, long time ago.

They really helped me feel better and less likely to snap at the person next to me as he smacked his gum over and over again.

Happy and Safe Travels!

Neck Release

yoga-1Instructions: On the edge of your seat, keep your spine upright and shoulders rolling back. Rest your hands lightly rest on top of your thighs. As you inhale, stretch your head back gently and on your exhale softly allow your head to rotate forwards.

Keep this slow rotational movement all in one direction five times and then softly repeat in the opposite direction. 

Benefits: When sitting for long periods of time, create mobility into your upper body. We can carry a lot of tension in neck and shoulders.

Emotional Release

Yoga-2Instruction: Sit cross-legged, place your arms across your chest and lock your hands under your armpits. Keep your thumbs pointing upwards. Raise your shoulders without cramping your neck muscles. With your chin tucked and lips closed, breathe deeply and slowly through both nostrils for three-11 minutes.

Benefits: This pose promotes a calm mind. You’ll find that your thoughts are still there, but you won’t feel them.
Please note it’s best to ask cabin crew for a glass of water before this practice.

Spine Flexibility

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Instruction: On the edge of your seat, align your feet aligned with your hips. With your hands lightly on top of your thighs, inhale, and roll your shoulders to arch your chest upwards and outwards.

Look to the tip of your nose, and on your exhale, roll your spine forward. Allow your body to follow the flow and length of every breath. Continue for 10-20 breaths.

Benefit: This movement will enable you to free any tension or emotions that you may hold onto by releasing blockages within your spinal column. Cat-cow pose opens up your spine.

Rejuvenate and Calm

plane yogaInstruction: Stand with your feet hip distant apart. From your hips, tilt forward with your knees and just let your arms hang down, placing one hand onto each elbow.

Press your feet firmly on the floor and take 10 deep breaths, then stand up slowly.

Benefit: Forward bends lengthen your spine.

Energize and Revitalize

plane yogaInstruction: Lift your right foot off the floor and bend your knee so your lower leg is behind your body. Carefully grasp your right ankle with your right hand and pull straight up until your heel is by your butt. Hold for five-10 breaths before switching sides.

Benefit: Stretching your quadriceps.

 

Meridians and Qi

Meridian, Idaho

So yesterday was my first full day after my first acupuncture session.

I was amazed at how well my shoulder felt until late last night. Pain was significantly reduced.

A side benefit was that the whooshing noise my tinnitus makes was reduced by about 25% for one night, and a bit less the second night.

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The actual acupuncture went well. It was relaxing and I only felt a couple of the two dozen or so needless go in.

As Rachel put them in, she pops the top of the needle holder a bit. I think that makes them slide right in.

I laid on the table with the needles in place for twenty minutes. I was extremely relaxed and almost fell asleep because of the relaxing music playing and the warmth from a heat lamp.

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Acupuncture is based on using needles to stimulate qi (or chi) through your body along pathways called meridians.

The belief is that illness or pain occurs when those pathways are blocked. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balance.

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Most who practice and receive acupuncture say it takes a series of visits to reap benefits. And I get that. My situation didn’t arise overnight, and I don’t expect it to heal overnight.

I have a few more scheduled, but I’m sitting on the fence trying to decide if I want to go back.

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I just feel like finding the right Amma massage therapist might be better for me.

Amma provides both the qi stimulations with the muscle manipulations that my body seems to prefer.