Writing, Gardening, Lifestyle Change: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

About 7 chapters lightly edited. At this point I’m checking for the continuity issues that are most certainly being added as I add the flashbacks to Afghanistan. I’m also pulling the stupid, just for words only, stuff I put in the story in Dwight’s point of view. Not that Dwight, Jean’s ex-husband, is stupid. Just the repetitive crap I put into the story in his POV. It’s a work in progress, people. Emphasis on work.

Zucchini madness is still upon me. Friday I foisted, er, uh, gifted, my author friend Sue a bag full of zucchini. She claims to love zoodles, so there she is. Unfortunately, Saturday I found 2 large zukes and 3 small ones hiding under the leaves. Ugh. Sunday I turned the big ones into grated zucchini and froze them. Zucchini patties and zucchini bread for the winter, I guess. Others I turned into zoodles for more zoodles and spaghetti sauce on Sunday. I’m closing in on getting the veggie drawer emptied but I know there are at least 5 of the little green guys growing in the garden. Probably at harvestable stage on Monday.

In other garden news. The hummingbirds are in a feeding frenzy for their migration. The pic at the top is of one of the little guys loading up. Above, this bug, bee?, appeared on my oregano as I was watering Saturday. Not the best picture, I know, but still, he’s quite a distinctive looking little fellow. Anyone know what it is?

On my new diet, no weight loss last week. Still at 218. I knew the rapid weight loss was just water, but it was nice while it lasted. I certainly feel better. I’m just thinking about how much better I’ll feel when I drop another 20ish pounds. I’ve changed up my first thing in the morning celery juice for a more mixed green juice. If you’ve ever seen Fat Sick and Nearly Dead with Joe Cross, you’ll know what I mean. My friend Debbie is a certified trainer and swears by the stuff. See her story here, https://thehealthygrandma.wpcomstaging.com/my-family-and-our-story/. At any rate, it’s a wider variety of vitamins and minerals and a different flavor from straight celery juice, so I’m liking it. Have you tried Green Juice? Drop a comment below!

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The Summer giveaway is now in progress! Check it out here: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. As always, each author is giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting,is October 26th, still at 1pm. So, if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Writing, Gardening, Getting in Shape: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I got into Mystery at the Reunion last week and will continue on with it this week. I added the scenes I wrote early in the month and have been making some corrections and additions as I read through the manuscript. I still have at least one more scene to add, maybe a couple, that are set in Afghanistan. I also have to delete some horrible chapters I added just for word count. Ugh. I will have to make that word count up somehow just to make the book actual novel length. Unless… Hmm… Unless it really just should be a novella. What would you all think about that? Something to ponder.

The garden is overflowing with zucchini. I have just one plant. It produces about 4-5 zuke’s per week. My veggie drawer is full of them. Then, the other day I asked hubby to pick up organic cucumbers while he was at the store. He came back with 4 zucchinis. Sigh. Sunday, I made spaghetti sauce from scratch, no sugar added, and zoodles. Just to use them up. Hubby wasn’t interested in zoodles, he wanted regular pasta. All I have on hand is gluten free stuff. He picked a box of that and made it for himself. No matter to me. Zoodles and sauce are great, and I have leftovers for weekday lunches. Yummy. Disappointing are the tomatoes. I have had a few ripen but not a lot. The ones I have had though, have been just wonderful. Come on, tomatoes! Let’s get ripe!

Cilantro Lime Salmon ove rCaliflower rice

I began my lifestyle change on the 12th of August, with cutting out the unnecessary stuff. Like the evening wine! I had a chat with a nutritionist friend of mine on the 18th, where she recommended a sugar detox. Since I’d already begun just that sort of thing, though not completely, I said I’d go for it. I began that on the 19th. Had a bit of a headache that day, nothing major. I don’t eat a lot of sugar to start with and dropping what was left wasn’t difficult though I was surprised by the headache. My friend mentioned that sugar is as difficult to kick as cocaine, and I guess the headache proved it, though I’ve felt fine since. I began my diet on the 12th at 230 pounds. Sunday morning, my usual weigh-in day, I was at 218. Did I mention I eat gluten free and paleo? Works for me every time. Want to share your path to wellness? Jump in the comments and leave a story!

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The Summer giveaway is now in progress! Check it out here: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. As always, each author is giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. If you happen to be in Pine, AZ, on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Garden, Fund Raiser, Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Sunday, I decided the potato vines had died back enough and I dug up the five plants that had self-seeded. The above picture is my entire harvest, about 10 pounds of potatoes. Most of them are red skinned. Those three plants not only self-seeded better but grew lots more potatoes. There are a couple of purple potatoes in there and a handful of Yukon Golds. It’s been my experience that the reds, at least here in my garden, produce much better than the others. In my climate, the potatoes started growing in March and I harvested on June 28th. I have time now to plant beets, but I expect the chipmunks will eat the baby greens as soon as their little leaves poke up through the soil. Sigh. I also pulled all but one of the bolted arugulas. Only one plant left to provide seed for a next planting. Time, I think, for a trip to the local garden center for some already half-grown veggie bedding plants. The critters may be less inclined to eat those.

I’m asking that people donate to my favorite 501c3 non-profit, the Payson Book Festival as my birthday fundraiser. Cancelled this year for the Coronavirus, I thought I’d try to get a jump on earning money so that the 2021 Payson Book Festival will be even better than before. So if you’d care to, pop on over to Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/donate/952277878565180/10217646111446962/, and drop a little money into the kitty. You can find out more about our festival at www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

The weather back to hot and dry and windy. Several small fires have popped up and been controlled. I am hearing rumors that the Forest Service will close the Tonto National Forest, because it’s so dry here. Everyone who lives here, hopes so, as it only takes one careless person to start a fire in this tinder dry environment.

I’ve seen some Facebook posts from people asking what everyone is doing for the 4th of July. My answer: Nothing. I’m staying home. I’m not going out without a mask. I’m not starting a fire. All the usual town events are cancelled, if not for the Corona, then to help keep fire danger down. Maybe I’ll grill. Remains to be seen.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

New sale! Over on Smashwords starting the 1st of July, it’s the summer/winter sale. Several of my books are on sale and I hope you get a chance to go to that site and check them out. Click on the link and scroll through the list to see books on discount sale. Have fun and check out some other authors while you’re there! https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell Don’t forget. The sale starts 1 July and ends on the 31st.

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is nearly over. Want to win a prize? You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page.

Where will I Be?

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ, on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Mother’s Day, Horror Flash Fiction, ebook Sale: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I love the way this red-orange one has only opened the outermost petals. The rest is still a bud!

The tenth was Mother’s Day and like pretty much everyone under stay at home orders, I had a lovely day at home. Hope you had a great one. I lazed half the morning away reading emails, watching Food Network shows and having breakfast. Then I watered the garden, had a shower, and took some time to macerate some strawberries for strawberry shortcake. I found a Paleo Lemon Pound Cake recipe and made that as my shortcake base. Dinner, however, is less elegant. I have a fridge full of leftovers, so we’ll be having left over pork scallopini, Cauliflower rice with asparagus, and the afore mentioned shortcake for dessert. Not bad, right? The rest of my rose bushes are blooming. Above is a picture of one of the red ones. It’s an orangey red. Below is a coral peach color one. I love both of them.

This one is a coral peach color, which in full sun, the camera on my phone didn’t capture very well.

I found a contest for a Horror Christmas/New Year/Solstice short story contest and I’ve been working on a story. I think I’m doing well on the scary part. My ending is a happy one though. Those of you who like to read horror, would a happy ending be disappointing? Comment back if you have an opinion, I’d really like to know.

I should mention here that I have a sale going on over on the Smashwords site. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/conniecockrell This is my author page and as you scroll down, you’ll see all of my books. Since I make my books as inexpensive as possible right from the start, I don’t usually do sales but because of the lockdown, I did put some on sale for 60% off. You’ll see the sale prices listed on the ones on sale. This runs through the end of the month, so hop on board an get some reading in. Prices will return to normal June 1st so don’t delay.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page.

Where will I Be?

Payson Book Festival, at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event is now cancelled the next festival is July 17th, 2021. The danger to our authors, volunteers, and guests just seemed too great to hold the event. I’m disappointed, as are the committee, volunteers and authors already scheduled to attend. With luck, next year will be much better.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ, on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Dinners, Poetry, Good Causes: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So, during our stay at home, I’ve been cooking dinners regularly. Of course we have the occasional frozen pizza night and a hot dogs and French fry supper but I’ve been quite likely to try new stuff too. The other night I made a chicken satay. I saw a Youtube video of some guy who does food tours of the food in Vietnam, Laos, and China, and one of the things he tried was a street vendor’s chicken satay. It looked good so I tried to make my own. It turned out pretty good and it was a fun, dinner on a stick, that we don’t do more than once every five years. Last night I tried marinated pork chops with a pineapple salsa. That was good, too. What are you experimenting with for dinner?

I’m still participating in April’s Poetry month. I post a new poem every day on my Facebook page if you’re looking for something quick and fun to read. https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts/ You can participate if you like. I sometimes give links and other hints for writing your own poetry.

Bald Eagle at our local pond. Taken by Randy Cockrell.

Have you seen people on Facebook announcing their birthday but instead of gifts, are asking people to donate to a cause? I’ve run this question a couple of weeks now. I noticed yesterday that my second brother set up a donation thing for his Amateur Radio Club for his birthday. Hmm. I’ll have to step up my game, though at this point I’m thinking donations to my local food banks would be most appropriate. Have you ever set up a Facebook donation for your birthday? What did you choose?

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is now open. You can get to it here, on my Giveaways page. As soon as the winners are announced for the St. Patrick’s giveaway, I’ll let you know.

Where will I Be?

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event is under consideration for cancellation. We’ll know more in May

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, September 25th – 27th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Note that the event is a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Thursday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my appearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance. Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

The Garden, Navajo Flatbread, Appearance News: Monday Blog Post

My nectarine tree in full bloom

Newest News:

So, finally cleaned up the 3 backyard raised garden beds. They only had a few stems and dead leaves in them. I have no idea why I kept putting it off since November. It took all of five minutes to clean. Sigh. I also went to the front yard and pruned off the dead stems from the lavender plant. I hate that job and it took me about an hour. Now though, it’s done, and the plant is all ready to put out new flower shoots. The weather here is getting warmer, even though we can still get frosts and maybe even a late snow. No matter. I’m going to put in some lettuces and maybe even the peas. I’m certainly going to put in my Swiss Chard. It’s a mild kind, all green, that substitutes really well for spinach, which I can never grow. With luck, the chipmunks will leave it all alone. The bunny from last year must have moved on when it ran out of my garden veggies to eat. I haven’t seen it in months.

I found this easy bread recipe on-line for Navajo flatbread and I made it for supper last night. https://templehousegallery.com/pioneer-plate-blog/2020/3/18/bread-shortage-easiest-kind-of-bread-you-can-make It was quite easy to do, and I substituted a mix of cassava, tapioca and a general-purpose gluten free flours for general all-purpose flour to make it. Came out wonderfully. It calls for a cast-iron pan but I used my non-stick frying pan and they came out perfectly. Very tasty. I served it with a chicken tikka masala with broccoli and peas. I’ll make it again.

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway is done. I’ll post my winners as soon as I get them. In the meantime, prepare for the Spring giveaway which will be starting in the next day or two.

See below for cancellations and changed dates for my appearances.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The St. Patrick Day giveaway is now over but the Spring giveaway hasn’t quite started yet. I’ll post my winners as soon as I get them.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. This event hasn’t been officially cancelled though the library is closed through April. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th. This event has been postponed until the end of September. Current dates are now September 25th through Sunday the 27th. Note that it’s a day shorter, starting on Friday rather than Saturday. For people who have special Thursday passes and other special tickets, check out the Fan Fusion website for details on how those will be handled.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Self-Distancing, Panic Buying: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

It’s calving season in Central AZ. This is just one of the cuties I saw on a drive about a week ago.

I started staying home last week so I’m about a week and a half into my isolation. Hubby excepted, of course. Most of my friends are doing the same. I saw a friend of mine walking her dog by my house the other day and I ran out to say hi, ten feet apart, of course. Sunday I ate the last of my homemade coconut milk yogurt so I made some more. It will be ready on Monday. Hubby does the shopping for us, and reports the stores still with many empty shelves. To keep busy I found a Youtube site, Lunch Doodles by children’s author Mo Willems. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmzjCPQv3y8  The series is set up for children but it thought it was fun and some good practice for me to illustrate my own children’s story. I’m also involved in a Pixar workshop on storytelling. You can find it at https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/pixar/storytelling. I figured that Pixar has a great storytelling set up and is very successful at it so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve done two sections so far and have really enjoyed it. So if you’re looking to strengthen your writing skills, check it out. Both the doodles and the storytelling are free! Final thing, if you aren’t doing Facebook, you might want to come back. Tons of people are posting recipes, (I can’t eat regular bread but the post on cast iron skillet bread looked so good!), games and exercises for you and the kids, fun links to games, movies, art, music, and so much more. Just scroll by any post that you dislike and get to the good stuff.

Stay safe. Stay well.

I don’t often do this but with the store shelves continuing to be empty I thought I’d post this piece by author Angela Chrysler www.angelabchrysler.com. The entire newsletter is full of great advice, but this part of her post seemed especially significant to me.  It’s on panic buying and to be honest, I’ve found myself doing the same things, the last time I was in the store. So, with many thanks to Angela, here’s her post on:

The 5 Stages of Panic Buying.

I first started seeing panic buying two weeks ago in early March. Was 7 March really only that recent ago?
I didn’t panic buy in Stage #1. I stood back, wrinkling my brow and asked, “What? Toilet paper?” I didn’t panic buy in stage #2 when herd mentality kicked in. I knew how to recognize the lemming stage. I did however panic buy in stage 3 with the, “Oooh! I finally found this!”
Here are the multiple stages of panic buying and how to control them as they hit.
 
Stage #1 – “How we feel in control when things are out of control.”
Summary:
I see Olaf in Frozen II sitting in the forest with children who proceed to shove crystals into his face. “This is how we feel in control when things are feeling out of control.” It’s an old instinct that runs deep and, if you can’t recognize it, you most likely will have it. If you’ve ever been without, it will hit you harder than most. Think of those who lived during the First Great Depression.
The problem with it:
This is the stage that sets off the chain reaction to all the other stages. It leads to economic downfall and an imbalance of supply and demand. This Stage is the stage that starts all other stages. It is the catalyst. The cause that creates the effect.
How to recognize and stop it:
Are you buying what is not on your list? Do you need it now? Are you being emotional or logical? First and foremost, are you scared? Every one of these stages is a fear response, but this one more than most because it is the least logical. Nothing more. Be honest with yourself. Be aware of it, and remind yourself that buying that extra gallon (or five) of milk will not solve the issue. You will still have a possibly lethal virus running rampant around you. You may still get sick. You will just have one (or five) more gallons of milk to store in your fridge. Buying that milk will not stop the virus.  
 
Stage #2 – The Lemming Stage.
Summary:
“Everyone was buying the giant balls of butter, so I got on for each of us!” This is one of my favorite lines from 3rd Rock from the Sun. Sally Solomon came home with four turkeys when she experienced her first Thanksgiving in Season 1. We do this because when monkey sees, monkey does. We don’t understand WHY everyone is buying toilet paper, but we assume they have news that we don’t have and stopping to ask for an explanation could result in you losing out while others grab and run. Act first. Ask later.
My husband is an Aries: the one astrological sign that likes to mess with people…because he can.  “Ooh!” My husband said and dramatically snatched up a kitchen sponge, clutching it to his body protectively, then, slunk away as if someone would wrestle it from him. “What’s that?” Shoppers around him instantly zoomed in to the wall of sponges and started stocking up. Seriously people, pay attention to your emotions specifically the impulses driven by fear.
I also call this stage the “lemming” stage as these are the panic buyers who buy because they see everyone else doing it.
The problem with it:
This stage feeds the next lemming beside you. Panic breeds panic. While Stage #1 launches the downfall, the lemming stage builds the momentum and keeps it going until nothing is left. Still largely fear-based, this stage doesn’t have a drop of logical thought around.
How to recognize and stop it:
This one is easy. The ONLY reason why you would panic buy in stage #2 is because you consistently saw the same item in everyone else’s cart OR you went to a store, saw that the shelf was almost bare and you grabbed the last two cans of dog food before remembering that you don’t even own a dog. Or you were one of the ten shoppers who saw my husband clutching the sponges to his chest. Ask yourself, am I buying this because I need it or because I saw what others are doing?
 
 
Stage #3 – The Adrenaline Stage –
“Ooh! I haven’t been able to find this!”

Summary:
Still fear based and still no logic in sight. I did this yesterday at Target. I found THE LAST packs of tissues!! (I didn’t need them). They were travel sized, BUT THEY WERE MINE (I didn’t need them)! “At Last” played in my head. I cried, actually cried, with relief. I wouldn’t even put them in the cart. They were MINE (I didn’t need them).  
The problem with it:
This one is tricky because it has the illusion of logic attached to it…even though it doesn’t. Did you read the part where I said I didn’t need them? Yes. Buying something because you finally found it looks logically, but if you’re buying something for anything other than need, it isn’t logical. It’s emotional. I have $6.00 less in my wallet than I had yesterday for something I don’t need, and I took from someone else who actually may need it. It was this event yesterday that led me to writing this article.
How to recognize and stop it:
Recognizing this stage is simple. Did you ever use the phrase, “I found it!?”Before you buy ask, “Do I need it?” If the answer is no then yes, you are in stage #3. If you DO need it, you’re not panic buying UNLESS…You are buying more than you NEED. Logically determine your need before you buy. Not sure if you need it? Then ask yourself, “Can I do without this?”  
 
Stage #4 – The Stage of Overthinking Foresight –
“I found it NOW, but what if I can’t get it when I need it?”

Summary:
This is the stage that has not happened yet…but it will. This stage will hit alongside Stage #5. You can and probably will have Stage #4 and Stage #5 at the same time. There is one subtle difference: Stage #5 can last for years, even a lifetime. Stage #4 will only last for a month or two after the demand drops and supply can finally recover.
This stage will hit when toilet paper does make its way back on the shelves. This is the one I feel the most. I could easily buy 3 dozen packages of toilet paper when they FINALLY hit the shelves…just because I can’t trust they won’t be there. I know others will have the same feeling. If we don’t keep Stage #4 in check, we could easily start the whole cycle over again, prolonging the supply deficit.  
The problem with it:
This will keep mandatory essentials scarce. It will continue to keep the bare shelves bare. It will start panic buying over again from Stage #2.
How to recognize and stop it:
This is the first stage that is not only emotional, but it is VERY logical. This is why Stage #4 is so dangerous. One could easily convince themselves why they need to buy and will stock up. It is easy to recognize, but not so easy to stop. In fact, it’s downright DIFFICULT to stop. It’s simple. Imagine the paper product aisle in Walmart fully stocked. What would you do? If you answered, “Buy it all” you are probably in Stage #4. What I recommend is the following:
Consult an old grocery list. One you used March 2019.
Buy only what is on that list and ONLY in the quantities you would have purchased in March 2019.
This stage truly is the “it looks easy on paper, but in practice…” I know. I’m right there with you. This stage is going to be hard.
 
Stage #5 – Trauma Induced Stage –
“I missed you! I’m getting you now because I finally can! I finally feel empowered! I will never live without you again!”

Summary:
This stage will arrive alongside stage #4. But, when stage #4 dies out, stage #5 will stick around a little (or a lot) longer. This one is the one that could stick with any one person for the rest of their lives. This is where the trauma of having no toilet paper for 3 months could easily result in keeping a year’s worth of toilet paper for the rest of your life. Do you remember that weird quirk your grandmother had where she always saved every last piece of wrapping paper no matter how mangled it was? Or your grandfather who kept every newspaper because there was always a way he could use it later? Yeah. That is what Stage #5 looks like years later.
In short, Stage #5 is what the trauma of doing without leaves behind.
The problem with it:
It is a trauma that, if left unchecked, could result in a mind or severe case of hoarding. It can lead to storage problems, financial ruin, or, in some cases, severe forms of clutter.  
How to recognize and stop it:
Does the thought of not buying 6 months’ supply of toilet paper renew feelings of panic? Do you literally fight back tears or violently lash out if someone tries to prevent or question the quantity of toilet paper you purchase? If any part of this stage fills you with a massive waves of emotion, you’re probably in stage #5.
If it is a mild case, to stop it, apply the methods of stage #4. Again, easier said than done. If it is an advanced case, a licensed therapist may be in order.

I know that made my blog post longer than normal but I thought it important that we examine our own emotional situation and work together to get the supply lines back to normal.

Giveaways:

Hooray! The St. Patrick Day giveaway still live! This is one of our shortest giveaways and sure to be shut down any day now, so be sure to click on the link right away. As always, we ask that to win, you follow us on one or more of several social media, or our newsletters, or our websites. You don’t have to join all of them, but to find out more about the many wonderful authors, you’ll want to do that. Here’s the link. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ or go to https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2703c98f110/  Sign up today!

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Critters! CokoCon 2020, Payson Book Festival: Monday Blog Post

Not the actual rodent that jumped out of the engine compartment.

Newest News:

Critter in the engine compartment is no joke. Hubby took the Prius to the garage for an oil change. They came and got him just after they pulled the car into the bay. They pointed out a two-foot in diameter nest. Apparently when they opened the hood the rodent critter jumped out and disappeared into the recesses of the garage. I imagine it scared the tar out of the poor mechanic. Anyway, the critter has apparently given up making nests in the glove box and has moved to the car engine. Yay! Another place for us to check daily to make sure nothing has moved back in. Sorry. No pictures.

I’ve spent the last week processing Payson Book Festival registrations. Nearly all of the tables are now full. It’s only the 12th of January! They go so fast. I’m glad, of course, that the festival has become so popular. I’m just sorry I can’t get more authors in to show off their work. Readers, be sure to mark your calendar for July 18th, Payson, Arizona, at the Mazatazal Hotel and Casino ballroom. You won’t be sorry! www.PaysonBookFestival.org.

Healthy eating!

Just some personal stuff. We all know that January is the month for many of us to try and get healthy. I don’t know about you but the holidays really make me ready for vegetables in January. Anyway, I’ve gone back on my Paleo routine and as of the 12th, I’ve lost 10 pounds. Most of that is water weight, but still, my pants fit better, I feel better and I’m ready to get back to some sort of exercise routine. A friend of mine is opening a gym and I’ve signed up for a free, “getting to know you” class on Friday. I’m so excited to see what she has done in her new business and to wish her well as well as get in some movement in the new year. What are you doing to get or keep healthy this month? Let me know in the comments!

Giveaways:

I missed the Valentine’s Day giveaway. I’m not sure how. However, I am signed up for the St. Patrick’s Day giveaway. I’ll post links as soon as I get them. I’ll post the Christmas winners as soon as I’m notified.

Where will I Be?:

Tempe FanCon. January25th from 10am to 4pm at the Tempe Public Library.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is still available. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Sweet and Sticky Orange Ginger Wings

from Joanna Smith of www.fedandfulfiled.com/sweet-sticky-orange-ginger-wings/

A big, Happy New Year, to everyone. If you’re like most people you are now 25 days into whatever diet you decided to do after the excesses of the holiday season. I have renewed my plan to eat paleo but also, it’s near the end of the month and the Super Bowl is coming so I was looking around for something I could make or serve, that didn’t seem like diet food.

These wings really hit the spot. As the title suggests, they’re sweet and sticky with just a hint of heat from the ginger, so perfect for kids as well as adults. This recipe is already Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) ready but I changed some things up to make it paleo as well.

Sweet and Sticky Orange Ginger Wings serves 4 – 6

Hardware

Cutting Board

Medium Mixing Bowl

1 cookie sheet

1 – 2 wire racks (like for cooling cookies)

Small saucepan

Zester

Large Knife

1 Cup Measuring cup

Measuring Spoons

Large Spoon

Ingredients

For the Chicken Wings

2 lbs of chicken wings, thawed (I used a bag of wings from Walmart which was 4 pounds, so double what this recipe makes.)

2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch (Optional)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

½ teaspoon sea salt

For the Orange Ginger Garlic Sauce

¾ cup orange juice (use whatever you have but here in Arizona it’s orange season and I was able to juice some lovely totally ripe oranges from a friend’s tree. It took about 4 oranges.)

½ cup coconut aminos (a substitute is soy sauce, but if you’re going for gluten free, use the gluten free kind.)

¼ cup apricot preserves (again, to keep it paleo and gluten free I made my own by finely chopping dried apricots, covering with water, and simmering until the water was just about gone. The result isn’t really jam, but the liquid is thick and sticky and acts enough like the preserves to use as a substitute. No sugar or honey needed, the fruit is plenty sweet enough.)

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon orange zest (removed from one of the oranges before juicing. It will need the whole orange.)

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon raw honey

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon arrowroot starch, to thicken

¼ cup chopped scallions, plus extra for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Grease a wire, oven-safe rack and place it over a baking sheet.

Put chicken wings on a plate and dry with a paper towel.

Mix together arrowroot starch, ginger, garlic, and sea salt and lightly dust the chicken wings. Toss to coat. Place wings in a single layer on wire rack.

Bake wings for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. I flipped my wings once part way through cooking. Turn oven broiler on and broil for 5 more minutes, until skin is crispy.

While wings are baking, whisk sauce ingredients together (except for arrowroot and scallions) in a saucepan and ring to a low boil over medium heat.

Turn down to low and simmer sauce for 8 – 10 minutes, then whisk in the arrowroot starch and allow to thicken for an additional 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallions.

In a bowl, toss baked wings in the orange sauce and top with extra chopped scallions. Note: I thought only half of the sauce was needed. I stored the rest for later use.

It’s a lot of steps but each one is very easy. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite chicken dish to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Cilantro-Lime Salmon Over Cauliflower Rice and Peas: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

 

Cilantro-Lime Salmon Over Cauliflower Rice and Peas

It’s Christmas and if you’re reading this on Christmas Day, you’re probably all set to eat your holiday dinner. Whether that’s a standing rib roast, a glazed ham, the feast of the seven fishes or some combination thereof, it’s probably over the top, heavy on the fats and sugars, and enough to put you in a food coma. The day after tomorrow is left overs, of course. But sometime before the final bingeing of New Year’s Eve, you more than likely want something a little lighter. This may be what you’re looking for.

I was watching an episode of The Pioneer Woman and she made a Cilantro-Lime Rice and Salmon dinner. I like salmon, and in my house, we don’t eat fish as much as we should. This recipe sounded perfect. I modified it to be paleo, and this is what I came up with. Feel free to make adjustments to fit your family’s tastes. This is easy and fast to make and very easy to be made to feed 2 people or a big crowd.

Cilantro-Lime Salmon over Cauliflower Rice and Peas feeds 3 with leftovers

Hardware

Cutting Board

Medium Mixing Bowl

1 Large and 1 Medium Frying Pan

Zester

Large Knife

1 Cup Measuring cup

Measuring Spoons

Large Spoon

 

Ingredients

Salmon

2 Limes, zested, juiced

1/2 bunch Cilantro, minced

1 1/2 each 12 oz packages Riced Cauliflower

1 cup frozen Peas

1 cup Gluten Free Soy Sauce

Oil for Cooking (I used Olive Oil)

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Cut salmon into serving size pieces. Salt and pepper both sides. (If you’ve purchased your salmon already portioned, even better!)

Check out Chicklets In The Kitchen for all of the directions.

It’s a lot of steps but each one is very easy. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite fish dish to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.