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Sunday, May 22, 2022

characters speak up...



For those of you who are interested in stories or essays about stories, this is something I wrote for myself years ago. I came across it and it reminded me of all the stories and characters from the past that still occasionally speak to me (inside my head). 

It is an odd piece, so if you want to skip it, that's perfectly fine with me. I just thought I'd share it as some of you will recognize Annie from "Time After Time" (and in the soon to come sequel "Carrick Cove"). She spoke up in this piece along with several others. 


Main Characters converse with writer…

 

OK, it’s a fact. I love to write. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps because it uses my imagination and possibly extends the joy of youth… when imagination rules a good portion of our lives. I can well remember the feeling of being immersed in a world of my own when I was a child. Then again, writing is psychologically therapeutic. Putting down one’s thoughts on paper is liberating… clears the mind and organizes thoughts.

So... the question I’m tossing around in my head this morning is just who are the characters that pop up in our heads when writing a story?  Are they another form of ourselves? Are they a conglomeration of people we’ve known, met, loved, hated… people we’d like to be, people we’d like to know, etc.

Today I’m going to invite these characters to give me their thoughts. I want them to express what it’s like to be a character in a story. Do they enjoy it… like actors in a play? Or do they not like being manipulated by the writer? And more importantly, do they sometimes take over and do their own thing?  I feel that my characters definitely do this on occasion… and to be honest, I enjoy it when they do… because they may do or say something unexpected… something I wasn’t aware was even in my mind (or in theirs)… thus, giving the story an unforeseen turn.

Anyone out there or ‘in there’ (pertaining to inside my head) that would like to speak up?

 

“I would! And I’m not happy!”

OK, why not?

“Because you created my character years ago in a story for Nanowrimo. We were together for months developing the storyline… then you just abandoned me… in the middle of the jungle searching for answers to my brother’s murder. “

Oh, I do remember that story. “My Brother’s Keeper”, I believe.

“Yep, and I’m still out here waiting…”

Oh dear, well I did/do intend to get back to it at some point. Please be patient.

Silence.

Anyone else?

“Yes… I’d like to say something.”

Please do.

“I was the young girl who was kidnapped by the man trying to influence my father’s vote on the environmental issue. I escaped and had quite an adventure finding my way home.”

My, that was a long time ago.  I actually don’t remember the name of the story… “A long way home” maybe? But I do remember you, Claire. You were very brave.

“Yes, and I wanted to say that I loved being in that story.”

If I remember correctly, you grew up a lot on that journey and learned a lot about yourself in the process.

Anyone else?

“OK, Annie here from ‘A Time for Kindness’. Just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I did find myself to be an extension of you, the writer… perhaps the person you think you might become under the same circumstances?”

That’s a distinct possibility, Anne. I do love Maine and that’s where I put you in the story.

“And you’re doing it again in what you are writing now.”

Is this still Annie?

“No, this is Gladys from “The Gift of Time and Money”.

Oh, but your story is still being developed.

“Yes, and it’s been on hold since November. I was left in Ireland where I’d just inherited a small cottage in the little town of Cong which apparently was where John Wayne’s movie ‘The Quiet Man’ was filmed. I do feel like my character who finds herself the recipient of a vast inheritance in her later years a bit of wishful thinking on the writer’s part. But I’m enjoying being part of the story, especially after spending time in that lovely London flat and that darling cottage in the Cotswold’s.  But I do wonder if you will be coming back to us any time soon. “

Yes, well, sorry for that abrupt departure. The holidays and family did take me away for a bit. I do hope to be back soon and we’ll explore more of the area around Cong, Ireland before moving on to the manor house in Scotland.

Guess I’d better cut this short or I may be inundated with other previous characters wanting their say. For the most part, I’ve learned that the characters do seem to enjoy being part of the story but don’t relish being left too long on hold. Perhaps I’ll continue this line of thought at another time… and give more characters a chance to weigh in.

 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Having written this a few years back, I’m going to say that of all these characters having their say, Annie is the one that can no longer complain - as I went back and completed her story in “Time After Time” and in the sequel “Carrick Cove” (which although completed had not been sent to Amazon for publication yet).

The others are stories still on the back burner, some completed, some not.  But whether or not they will ever be published isn’t important. What is important is the pleasure these characters gave me in cooperating with me to bring about their existence and their stories (if only in my imagination).

 

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If you’ve read this far, thank you.  I didn’t expect you to. But I like communicating with the characters I’ve created over the years. Feels a little like Schitzophrenia as in some ways they may be a part of my own psychological make-up. Anyway, I wanted to share their thoughts here. They all made valuable points and deserved to be heard.  (And over the years, there’s a possibility that I might have shared this before… if so, forgive me as my memory does have its days.)


Hugs,

Rian



Thursday, May 19, 2022

Plantings, Hawaii, and... alternative milk products

 

veg trug with dirt

Finally got the recommended dirt for our veg trug. We also bought a few plants:




There's bell peppers (yellow) in the back along with zucchini and yellow squash. Then in the front there's curly parsley, basil, and dill.

I wanted to plant lettuce and spinach, but need to wait till August to do this as apparently they are fall veggies. Anyway, we shall see how they do.

If my selection or spacing is questionable, I would appreciate any comments as I haven't planted anything in years (except for some hanging herbs on the porch) 

Debbie (It's all about Purple blog), I know you use a trug as your blog is where I first saw it... so if you have any comments, your experience will be a big help. Also, thanks for the recommendation of the water bottles. We did do this. (and I love the pics of that carousel on your last post! It's gorgeous!)


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Also, our oldest son and his wife are in Hawaii


deserted beach on Maui


waterfall on Maui


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Nothing else going on. I  have tried almond milk and cashew milk so far... both are ok, but not like real whole milk. I bought some Mootopia Lactose free milk this week as recommended by Annie (Hootin Anni). It is good! Since I'm not sure if lactose is part of my problem, I don't know how it will do. But I'm liking it... so, we'll see.




I also bought 2 types of yogurt recently. I don't normally do yogurt as it was on my 'no-go for migraines' list. But thought it might help my 'gut'. So I'm trying just a few tablespoons a day to see what happens. These are the 2 I bought:


Yoplait and Brown Cow yogurt


Guess that's it for today... nothing terribly exciting, but in today's world, I'm thankful for that. If I don't post again over the weekend, I hope you all have a great weekend! It's been in the 90's this week, but the weatherman says it's going to be lower next week... with some possible thunderstorms (we do need the rain).  Take care, and as always thanks for dropping by.


Hugs (virtual),

Rian



 





Wednesday, May 11, 2022

after Mother's Day... and a few questions

Quiet, but nice Mother's Day! Kids texted or called. DH made me waffles and bacon! (yum!) And got these cute pop-up cards from oldest son and his wife.  

pop-up Mother's Day cards

Oh... and White Face brought one of her tiny babies to the back porch  for us to see. She left him there for a few hours and then took him/her back with her.  The kitten is a little black and white and should be about 2-3 weeks old. She's the one who had the 4 kittens and moved them from the side fence to the porch during the storm... and somehow lost the white one. We haven't seen them since she took them off the porch and moved them elsewhere, so we were excited to see this one. I'd been telling her that she needed to let us know that the kittens were alright. I guess this was her way to let us know.

Oldest son and his wife are in Maui, Hawaii today. They used to live on Oahu, but moved back here to Texas at the beginning of the pandemic. She is a traveling nurse... so they will move again soon. But they loved Hawaii and are spending some time there this week. I will share any pics I get. When we visited them in 2019, it was the first time I'd ever been to Hawaii... and I loved it too... especially all the deserted lava beaches (and all the green)!

DH and I have been 'treating' ourselves a little this week. We ordered take-out from Cheddars yesterday (bar-b-que ribs and chicken tenders with Italian green beans and a honey-butter croisant) So-oo good! I have been cooking almost 24/7 these last 2 years... so it is great to eat delicious food someone else has cooked (not that I mind cooking as I don't, but still...) And we ordered a slice of cheesecake to share with coffee today! 




Next are a few questions... and forgive me if I've asked them before (my memory isn't great). But lately I've been on a little bit of a health boost - and have started drinking almond and cashew milk as well as chicken bone broth. The bone broth is supposed to be good for aching joints and bones. A dear friend said she finds it helps her, so I thought, why not? When I googled it, it said it was good for digestion and gut health and may support immune function.

Question 1: Have or do any of you use this bone broth and what is your opinion?

The almond and cashew milk are simply to lower my use of dairy products. I love whole milk, but sometimes I think I may be lactose intolerant or possibly just on occasion? So I thought I'd add these other dairy free milks to my diet. 

Question 2: Have or do any of you use these alternative milks and what is your opinion?




...and lastly, I haven't used this yet, but my doctor recommended me trying an over-the-counter B-12 supplement since my B-12 was very low on our last well check visit.  So I bought these which are supposed to be taken one a day and dissolve under your tongue...



Question 3:  Any one take or have taken these?

I'm not a pill taker. Except for Tylenol when needed for a headache (do get ocular migraines), the only pills I take are a daily D-3 (again low occasionally on blood tests) and a daily (Macuhealth) for my eyes (recommended by my Eye Doctor). The reason for this is that I simply feel that unless one has a severe problem that is life-threatening (in which case meds are definitely necessary), eating well for the most part should be enough (IMO). 

That's it for me. I'd love to hear your comments if you have any concerning my questions. If not, that's OK too...

And I have to share one other thing with you before I go. I got the wordle in 2 yesterday!  First time to ever get it in 2!!




It takes so little these days to amaze me...


Hugs (virtual),

Rian




 


Saturday, May 7, 2022

Do you iron? and a recipe...

Question:  How many of you still iron?  This morning I decided to go through some of my old summer shirts that I  generally don't wear in the winter... but although they had been washed, I had folded them up un-ironed. So I took them out and started ironing a few, thinking that I hadn't ironed anything (but quilt fabric) in ages. Some of the newer fabrics don't need ironing, but these old 100% cotton ones still do (and 100% cotton is still my 'go to' for hot Texas summers).




And to be honest, I don't really mind ironing. It's a bit relaxing as long as there's no rush involved.  What do you think? Do you enjoy it? Hate it? Or just don't do it anymore?

And I'm sorry to bring up such a mundane subject when the world seems to be having such serious problems (pandemic, war, the economy, politics, etc.) But it's my way of coping...  concentrate on the things that I have control of... in my little corner of the world.

This post will be short, but just wondered about this. Has ironing gone away with the times - like so many other things? 

I will post the recipe for Garlic Chicken Fried Rice here as it is really a good easy recipe that anyone could make... and not expensive. 


Garlic Chicken Fried Rice  

 

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

8oz  cooked chicken strips (cut up)

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups 'cooked' rice

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp rice vinegar 

1 cup peas



Heat 1 Tbsp oil in skillet. Add peppers and onion. Cook and stir until onion is clear (5 mins.), then add garlic and chicken.  Remove to another dish for now.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in same skillet. Add the rice, cook and stir until heated through. Stir soy sauce into rice, then add rice vinegar, and peas. 

Return the chicken mixture to skillet and blend together, heat through. (here I add  one scrambled egg and some Dash 'garlic-herb' seasoning). Then serve!

Note: I make half this recipe for the 3 of us. You can make it all, but you will have leftovers. 


Closing this with another pic of Mr. Chocolatte... in the chicken pen!




Hugs (virtual),

Rian




Thursday, May 5, 2022

more bunny pics, etc.






This is how I feel many days. However, some days I get a lot accomplished, but it doesn't show. Frustrating, although I still feel good about it.

Going to start today with some updated 'bunny' pics from my daughter.  Apparently Leo is a girl... and she has a brownish black bunny boyfriend.  They have been spending a lot of time together. Maybe baby bunnies are in the future?

Miss Leo and Mr. Chocolatte

Mr. Chocolatte

Nibbling 

son-in- law observing bunnies

Interesting development, yes?  (I would like to see baby bunnies out there too)


Now on to other things...

another tiny house


another she shed



I know you're probably tired of seeing these... but I find them very interesting.  And if you'll notice, I tend to like the hunter green colors. This next pic is how I'd like my own kitchen to look... more green and greenery.




And that's it for today. I do have 2 more pics that don't have any rhyme of reason to include here. I just like them... 😊



Love these!







The first pic is an old one of our Tux. Whenever we were packing to go somewhere he would insert himself into the luggage as if saying  "Take me with you..."  (if I was a witch, he would have been my familiar). Miss him... and all of them so much.

Wishing all of you a great rest of the week (not much left since tomorrow's Friday already) and a fun filled weekend (even if it just means more times for naps!)


Hugs (virtual),
Rian






Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Tiny house plans, she sheds, and stuff...

Tiny House Plans

I happen to be surfing through Pinterest the other day and came across this adorable tiny house: 




and so I went a little further to check to see if any others looked interesting... and found this:



...may not be as charming (although definitely cozy) as the first, 
but pretty cute all the same.


It seems to me that if you're going to go tiny, having a second floor would be best... however, if you are of an advanced age, stairs could present a problem.

Also interesting to note, apparently tiny houses are now being bought and used as Airbnbs. 

Next on my surfing... was man caves for women... or she sheds! Now this I would like to have!  (a place with lots of light to write, do pottery, and paint...)  


If you google or go to Pinterest, there are dozens of images. However, this is the only one that seemed to have lots of light. We have room in the back for something like this, but of course it is not a priority... but one can 'dream'.

cute!



Today is Monday, but I'm not going to post this until Tuesday as  I'm trying out the Garlic Chicken Fried Rice recipe tonight and will report on it tomorrow. 

Saturday night's Irish Stew recipe was good! The meat (chuck cut in 1 inch squares) was tender and the slight Guinness taste in the stew was good too (and the recipe was easy - which is always a plus).

My veg trug came Sunday and DH put it together today. He said it was an easy construction. Next I have to think about whether I want to plant this season or wait. Guess I'll check out some planting info and North Texas planting dates.  Here's a pic of the trug.



It's 6 ft long, and 30 inches deep


I would like to plant bell peppers, lettuce, garlic, onion, parsley, and basil as these are what we use a lot of on a daily basis. And I like young mustard green in salads too! (Have I mentioned that I LOVE salads!) But I'm not familiar with which of these things are spring or fall plantings. I will google it, but if you know, I would appreciate any advice.

* Garlic Chicken Fried Rice Monday night was very good.  Definitely will make it again and will post the recipe soon. *

Wishing everyone a wonderful week... cool today here in North Texas, but apparently going to warm up as the week goes on. 

*Getting ready to send off to Amazon for Proof Copy of second book in Annie's Story. Once that is approved, printing will start (finally).*

And thanks again for putting up with all my silly ramblings...

Hugs (virtual), 
Rian








 


 





Sunday, May 1, 2022

Rabbit Rabbit! White Rabbit!

 

It's May 1st! 


Leo (the white rabbit) lounging in chicken pen...

Rabbit! Rabbit! White Rabbit!