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Start Zinnia Seeds Indoors For Early Blooms

The Redneck Rosarian

Zinnias complement our roses with beautiful blooms Zinnias complement our roses with beautiful blooms

If there is one flower I must have in the garden other than roses, it is zinnias. One of the easiest flowers to grow, Zinnias provide a multitude of blooms all season long.  To get a jump start on the season, I typically sow seeds indoors in early March and by the time April comes round, i’m ready to plant them in the ground or in containers.

I start with Jiffy seed pellets. Very inexpensive (less than $3) at local stores.

I start with Jiffy soil pelletts I start with Jiffy soil pelletts

Place the seed pellets them in a tray or other container. I have one seed starting tray that I bought several years ago for this purpose, and I reuse it every year, but any container will do. I also use pie pans, butter bowls or the proverbial dixie cup…..

Add warm water to expand the pelletsadd warm water to cover the pellets…

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Debtless & Cheap – Frugal Fast Food

Was busy today and suddenly realized I have no post for the Nablopomo challenge tonight.

Here’s a tip for fast food on the cheap.

Tonight hubby and I were really craving fast food. I was ready to give in and fork over the $30.00. Instead I paused, remembered our debtless challenge and went to the fridge.

I pulled out a pound of ground beef, found a fabulous recipe for burgers online, read here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/beer-burgers/ peeled some potatoes and went to work.

In 20 minutes I created the meal we craved, price tag $10.00.  The food was delicious and healthier than we could have picked up at a fast food joint.

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Cheap, healthy fast food, who knew?

Bon appetite

Hunting The Humor Falling From The Sky

In search of the next great writing prompt, I surfed my way over to this blog: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/make-em-laugh/  Clicking around I ended up on a page that offered advice on crafting humorous blog posts. Since I am incredibly
boring and know how important laughter is to well being, I read on.

“Get out there and participate in life because the funny is all around us,” is the advice that jumped out at me. As a recovering negative recluse this challenge is the PERFECT mission for me.

The phone rings, it’s my husband. For a week now we have been bantering back and forth over a T.V. commercial. The scene, a woman running on a treadmill tells her friend that a tree falling in the forest does make a sound. Hubby agrees with her, I say it
does not.

After hanging up with him, the phone rings again. It is a client calling to schedule delivery. He gives me the address I write it down and sign off.

Continuing with work I idly fiddle with the piece of paper I wrote the address on. Grabbing a cup of coffee I sit back down in my chair. In front of me on the desk is the address.

“1009 Fallen Oak Place.”

Laughter bubbles up, hubby wins. It seems trees do make a sound when they fall. Actually they use mobile’s too!

Because this was such a fun and delightful exercise, I am going to dedicate this weeks NaBloPoMo to life’s little humours. I will keep a close eye out for the funnies and write about it here. Please join me in sharing the laughter and joy by telling your own tales of humor either in comments section here or on a blog. Let’s make it a week filled with more laughter!

NaBloPoMo Post #7 & Law of Positive Attraction

NaBloPoMo Post #7 & The Law of Positive Attraction

Have written a few heavy posts recently and decided post #7 will lean toward the positive lighter perspective.

This morning I had to call a customer to reschedule his pickup time. These calls make me nervous because 8 out of 10 times the person on the other end gets irritated by with change. In turn leading to an unpleasant conversation that leaves me feeling drained afterward.

This time before making the call I sat back and thought about attracting the positive that is wanted instead of the negative that is unwanted. Relaxing and quieting the memories of angry and annoyed customers, I pulled up memories of positive discussions where spirit of cooperation and working together on best outcome existed. Then I made the call.

The customer on the other end was very understanding. We re arranged the pick up time and I thanked him immensely for the understanding.

Did my decision to relax and remember the wonderful clients with clear positive vision instead of the narrow negative sightless customer impact this conversation?

What do you think? Have any positive experiences using law of attraction to share?

A Call From Dream Stealer Publishing

NaBloPoMo post #6

I was truly blessed yesterday to spend time with the writer’s very best friend. The one the only ‘dream stealer’ aka the realist. One of that lovely class of people I like to call the party pooper.

This is how the encounter went. It started off as a regular, mundane day. I had just finished writing a piece titled, “What Family and Friends Think of My Blogging.”

Over lunch this person whom I am close to and have extreme respect for broached the subject of my writing. He reminded me that writer’s are usually poor. I smiled and thanked him for reminding me of the obvious. As if after 6 years of writing regularly I hadn’t discovered THAT stunning piece of valuable information already.

With each word he spoke my emotions and defenses were going up. I was having a hard time hearing a word he said. But I did catch the odd “delusions of grandeur” and “none paying hobby” in the conversation.

I told him how keenly aware of the odds I am. Apparently the stats suggest I have a better chance of winning a lottery than becoming a successfully published author. Considering not one of the 6+  novels written is anywhere close to submission ready,
this really isn’t a problem for me at this time.

I guess my acknowledgement of reality wasn’t enough. The party pooper didn’t seem to feel that I got it and continued his discourse on how impossible it is to make money writing stories.

“Like really, am I not fully aware of the odds?” I fired back. By this time my e-motions were in full swing right along with my insecurities. I was starting to sound more like a whiny teenager than an adult. Maybe he just felt I needed to realize it MORE.

Anywayz… er, I mean, anyway. I reminded him that writing is what I love to do. Right along with reading. Those two activities are the the most pleasant way I have to spend my spare time.

Finally the emotional fog began to clear and I heard him ask if I had an interest in social media marketing. He even Suggested companies hire those who are adept at it and wondered if that would be a field I could make money from. I immediately started to shake my head. No I was not interested in sales, online or anywhere else for that matter. I am quite happy providing caregiver services and making a wage that way.

With a little distance between me and the conversation yesterday, I know his heart and questions were in the right place. I am very sensitive about discussing my writing, although I have gotten better. But in the above situation I allowed my fears and insecurities to get the better of me.

As for my writing. Of course I would love to be published, what writer wouldn’t? But take heart those who know me, there are no delusions of grandeur in my head. I live in a real world where I have real responsibilities to fulfil. Just please understand that I am
fully aware of the odds of getting published so not to worry.

If you really want to show your love and support please comment on the writing. I can handle constructive criticism and I am learning to ignore mean spirit comments without basis or critical value.

I am living the regular life and dreaming big. Writing is my hobby, my passion and my dream. Becoming a better communicator and translating imagination and creativity into enjoyable stories is my ultimate goal.

A final thought. I learn more from writing failures than I do from life mistakes and so I write on…

Woe Unto Me For Touching The World Of Irony

I wrote a blog post this morning and before I realized it I typed the word “irony” into a sentence. I stopped and wondered if the usage was correct. I visited a couple of decent websites for the definition and explanation on correct usage of that dastardly word.

Now I have a question. In the following example is the usage of irony correct?

A woman is riding a bicycle through the park. She stops to watch some young children tossing rocks into the lake. Later that evening the same woman is seated at the dining room table having a meal with friends. Some local hoodlums throw a rock at her window.

Coincidence? Of course. The question is was this an ironic coincidence?

A second example:

A woman is getting ready for work as a child care provider. Lately she has been feeling restless and wonders if a job change might help. Although not a religious person she looks out at the morning sky and says a little prayer for direction and an answer to her dilemma. Later that day a child gives her a gift. The child did a project at school on all saints day. Their assignment was to choose someone in their lives who they felt deserved sainthood. The child had picked the daycare worker because she was always helping others. The woman took this as an answer to her prayer and continued in her childcare role.

Again, coincidence? Of course. This I would call a “pleasant” coincidence in the context of the story. But is there anything ironic about it?

What do you think? How do you use the word “ironic” correctly? Do you have any simple rules that help remember the rule?

What Makes You Happy?

Today’s writing prompt is “What makes you happy?” Since the list is endless, I have chosen a few top favorites.

  1. Helping and supporting others – love the feeling that someone has felt supported because I cared.

  2. Family – spending time with family, visiting, sharing a meal and laughing is by far right up there at the top of my list of happiness activities.

  3. Bike riding – soaring down the streets, through parks and sharing a friendly good day with a passer by. Not to mention the exercise that brings a great feeling of well beings.

  4. Holidays – decorating, cooking, time with friends and family just love all of it.

  5. Daycare – caring for children, doing crafts and activities the interactions with kids makes me feel

  6. Cats – they are loving, soothing and great fun to play with.

  7. Reading a good novel – when a story draws me in. I become (for the time I am reading the story) a part of that world. My imagination flies up and I fall in love with the characters, their lives and adventures.

  8. Writing – writing for me is definitely a form of therapy that makes me happy.

  9. Visiting with friends – this is pretty much self explanatory. Great friends, awesome conversation and lots of fun. I will say no more 🙂

Those are just a few of the things that make me happy. Spread the joy and share some of your happy moments.