Tag Archives: health

Flat On My Back…

2 Sep

I feel old today…

http://tinylittlesandra.blogspot.com/2008/12/so-i-guess-its-about-time.html

I feel old because I hurt my back doing something, who knows what, maybe golf, gardening, sitting and editing too much. Either way now I’m on my back in bed with a cat that kicks me in his sleep and a back brace. I guess it’s called Sciatica and with this kind of pain, giving birth without an epidural is starting to sound good in comparison.

Anyhow, this really BITES.

The Turtle and The Hare…

9 Jun

My feet looked at me and said, “I’m tired of being the turtle!”

I laughed, sipping on my hot cocoa as my feet were elevated on the couch. “Too bad!” I retorted, though I felt the same way – I was tired of being the turtle, too.

“Get me some new shoes and I’ll show you what we can do,” my feet challenged.

A half smile snaked across my cheek. “But I don’t like to run.”

My feet chuckled mockingly. “How would you know if you’ve never tried? You’ve always had an excuse, but what you don’t realize is that once you start, I guarantee you won’t want to stop!”

Finding I was looking for a hobby, and not one to turn down a challenge, I narrowed my eyes and grabbed my old sneakers. “Let’s first give these shoes a try. I’m not buying you new toys if we won’t use them!”

My feet frowned, but found they had no other choice. I took them to the track and off we went.

At the end I stopped, breathing hard after only one mile.

“So?” my feet asked, practically dancing with joy.

I didn’t want to admit that I liked the feeling, so I just smiled and winked instead. “Yeah, we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”

The next day I woke with the most veracious need to run.

My feet chuckled at me. “Told you so!”

“Fine,” I broke down. “I’ll get you new shoes.”

Little did I know that was the beginning of the end – the end of being a turtle, and the beginning of what would become my marathon training regimen.

We now run three miles when we go out and we barely break a sweat (well, can’t really say the same for my feet). Biking for and hour and a half seems like a stroll through the park, and weight lifting – a cinch! Life as a Hare is so much better! My feet were right!

It’s marathon season, folks! Get out, and get moving!

Whiskey Demi Glace` and a diet…

27 Apr

Well, fishing weekend was great! The first day was rather windy, and the motor in our bass boat stopped working while we were out on the lake, but hanging out in the cabin drinking wine and watching movies was not bad at all! Not to mention the whiskey demi glace` on steak and the cream clams with a salad…

needless to say this week is all about salad and rice cakes… maybe some edimame to splurge.

to celebrate diet week, I’m going to give you a favorite diet dinner recipe!

Citrus-Herb Game Hen

Courtesy Giada DeLaurentis

Ingredients

  • 2 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) Cornish game hens
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, from 2 medium oranges
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, from about 3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Marsala wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or currants
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions

Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Rinse the game hens and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, shallots, orange zest, lemon zest, thyme, mint, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons of the zest mixture over the skins of the game hens. Place the remainder of the zest mixture under the skin and into the cavities of the hens. Using kitchen twine, truss the legs together. Place the hens in a shallow 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Add the chicken stock, Marsala wine, lemon juice, orange juice, and cranberries. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the leg juices run clear. Remove the game hens and set aside. Place the flour in a small saucepan. Whisk in the pan juices. Bring the juices to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Whisk in the butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

To serve, remove the kitchen twine and place the hens on 2 serving plates. Drizzle with the citrus-herb sauce.

Cook’s Note: Reserve 1/4 cup of the citrus-herb sauce for the Crouton Salad.

Crouton Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 (8-ounces) loaf rosemary bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes* see Cook’s Note
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 3 cups packed arugula
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup Citrus-Herb Sauce, see Roasted Citrus-Herb Game Hen recipe
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until toasted. Set aside to cool.

In a medium salad bowl, mix together the cooled croutons, arugula, and pine nuts. Add the Citrus-Herb Sauce. Toss well until all ingredients are coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

*Cook’s Note: You can also use olive bread or any plain rustic loaf in place of the rosemary bread.

Parallel Proof a Success!

5 Sep

Saw the proof for my new book Parallel today. VERY happy with it. Release date still set for Sept. 23, I will be one of the first to tell you if that changes, but right now my heart is set on that as well. I guess what we are trying to do is get all my fans together on one day, so those of you that are looking forward to that, sept. 23rd is the day 🙂

Come help me reach a larger audience by making me a best seller! I am passionate about this new story, and I’m hoping you will be too…

Yay!

Abra E.

Parallel Website Now Active!

30 Aug

wallpaper_rose_800_600

Parallel Website Now open!

The Book will be released on September 23rd and I am hoping you will all join me and be a part of this story. It has been a goal of mine for a while now to create one day (09/23/09), where all my fans can go on Amazon and help me become a bestseller 🙂

Parallel was my side project that I wrote between the Second and Third books of the Feather Book Series. Since the Feather Book Series I am happy to say that, through hard work and learning, I have advanced my skills as a writer and believe I have finally written my gem 🙂

Naturally, for all my Feather Fans, no worries, Raven is also on it’s way! Hopefully in time for Chirstmas!

Come check it out today…

www.ParallelTheBook.com

I finally Unpacked…

20 Jun

Do you know how it feels to have everything in your life packed up for three years??? I do. Roughly three and a half years ago my husband asked me to marry him so I packed all my stuff and moved across state. Today, finally, I unpacked it because the house was finished and the opportunity arose. I found so many things I forgot about. For anyone that’s seen the movie Dream Catcher there was a great analogy I’d like to use here. In the movie, one of the characters refers to his memory as a “Memory Warehouse” where he actually keeps files of his memories in file boxes in a sort of library. I like to believe my mind works the same way. In the movie, when  a memory no longer holds enough clout and the character needs room for new memories , he incinerates them in an incinerator. I believe we do the same, and with all the things I had packed, I did. When we got married two years ago, I got all new things and so my old things were forgotten. Opening the boxes was a total mind trip, finding things you thought were gone forever, or that you never knew you ever had, even if it was something you had all day. Amoung things I found my journals and of course those house memories I had long but forgotten, and it makes it seem as though I’m reading about someone elses life. Most of the memories I can’t even make a mental image for anymore. Just interesting, much like a time capsule I suppose…

Well, good for unpacking right??

A.E.

From Writing Books, to Making Books…

21 Feb

wallstreetartbookcoverscolorado-real-estatedeathandtaxes

 

 

bookcoveridea_one            

 

 

 

 Writing Books to Making Books…

 

In college I used to hand sew my own books. I miss the assembly, but I think since then I’ve found something with the same satisfaction, and joy. Recently, I’ve been designing book covers for other writers and I love it. I’ve done a business book for an entrepreneur/CEO in California called Iron Ambition, an Art book for a very intriguing project where artists interview artists, based off the blog Thinking About Art by J.T… My own books, both Moonlight Manor and Feather Book Series, and then some sample covers for wall-street guru’s and real-estate tycoons…

By literally quitting my job, I have found a whole new avenue. After writing my first book, I knew that making and designing signs for the University in a tiny office with no windows, was not for me. Deciding to cut down on my hours at the University was a heavy decision, especially when I was on the cusp of getting a mortgage for our the house I had been remodeling for over two years. I lost the dream health coverage, and the security that the job brought, but what I’ve found is that in the two months since, I have built a career outside of that place, with little effort and all the talent I could give. 

I was wasting my talent at the University, literally flushing each great idea down the toilet, with no hope of advancement. When I first started there, I worked my tale off, but like most state jobs, you realize there is no point in being an over achiever beyond earning a lame slip of paper that says you are employee of the quarter (I was nominated twice and won once) After I won, I was a little bummed. Where did that get me? NOWHERE…

I feel that the freelance I am doing now is gratifying, self-fulfilling, and certainly more entertaining. I have my small office in the basement, it’s warm, cozy, my cat’s visit on a regular basis, and I can exercise, do laundry, bake bread, clean, and run errands while I send artwork to be approved and changed by my clients.

Freelance isn’t for everyone, I believe you really have to have the mind for it, and the talent. I work weekends, because I love to work, and the schedule is all mine. Being busy makes me feel alive, gets my blood pumping, and my mind out of the negative…

Needless to say, I love it, and I’m glad I made the leap, and took the chance.

And my mortgage got approved 😉

Abra

 

If you need or like any of the designs in this blog post, or are looking for layout of your own book, or design for business reasons, or other, feel free to contact me…

abra@featherbookseries.com

or find me on elance: HERE and review my portfolio


The Art of Becoming Edgar Allan Poe…Getting inside the mind of a tortured soul

31 Jan
Picture From Wikipedia.com

Picture From Wikipedia.com

My book series roughly revolves around the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and the 19th century in general. Today, as I was writing book two, I had the experience of re-creating what Edgar would have really been like, if you had met him in the flesh.

Since my book is a bit quirky, and at times funny, I decided to take Edgar’s personality to an unexpected level. A bit nutty, and a bit eccentric and self centered, Edgar tends to excite all around him. When I Wikipedia’d him, there was an old photo, and despite his undeniable look of disdain, and perhaps boredom, I played at the gentle fact, that I definitely almost sense a smirk, deep within, one that fooled everyone. I believe he merely wore a mask, played his part to enlist his work.

As one of the founding fathers of Science Fiction, I found that adding him to the Feather Book Series was a natural partnership. Besides his additions to the world of Sci-fi, he was also the first to bring the world of Mystery/Thriller, to the forefront, being the first to start the genre.

Now, I hadn’t known all this when I initially enlisted to use “The Raven” as a founding topic of Feather, but now, I find that Edgar fits more than ever into my scene, creating the perfect web of mystery, and interest.

In book two, Guardian, expect to see Edgar depicted as never before. An eccentrically happy man in his forties, the forties he never lived, but lives now. A man full of happiness, creation, and dark secrets, a man I see as myself, and more.

if your interesting in reading feather, it is currently available on Mobipocket, Amazon, and lulu.com. Book comes out on paperback today! and you can order through the website using the safe and secure Google checkout…

Also On MobiPocket, Diesel Books, Kindle, Books On Board, and Barnes and Noble

Also On MobiPocket, Diesel Books, Kindle, Books On Board, and Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

 

I Finally Have an Office… and I’ve run off the Hippy ghosts…

27 Jan

 

remodeled kitchen

remodeled kitchen

I finally have an office as of today, the extensive remodel on our bad 70’s home, turned contemporary, is finally becoming fruitful. The 3500 square foot, tear-out-all-the-wood-paneling-and-shag project has revealed many surprises, asbestos, mold, rot, leaky roof, etc etc. 

 

My office until today, had been the dining room table, which is never very exciting, or good, hardly the place to escape the television and write…

Along with an office I have a bedroom, no longer haunted by the swingers of it’s horrible past, and a closet large enough to fit all my husbands clothes… yes, my husbands.

I am still hoping for another snow storm to hit and tear off the deck, but considering there was already fifteen feet piled on it from the snow drifting off the roof, it now seems unlikely that I will score a new porch via insurance…bummer.

 

the kitchen before we tore down the wall and canned the avocado...

the kitchen before we tore down the wall and canned the avocado...

 

 

The record player, that once housed the ever delightful Neil Sedaka vinyl, is long since trashed, as well as the avocado bathroom, and mint green kitchen.

6 bedrooms are now 5, and the entire lower floor is a separate apartment all together. 

The Bomb shelter (yes BOMB shelter) under the garage is still just storage, but someday it will serve as the wine cellar, but thats still a long ways away, so the bottles continue to collect dust.

There is still a hole in the floor that looks down on the lower level and basement, but the cats rather enjoy collecting nails and dropping them down there, so I can’t yet bring myself to patch it.

All in all I’d say. Never do this, you’re crazy.

My Thoughts on the movie “Wanted”…

17 Jan

overall, I found Wanted to me extremely inspirational. I had never given it much clout, but found that as soon as I began watching it, I should have paid more attention. I loved the way, that in the beginning, the writer made the mundane, extremely interesting. The voice of the main character was fresh, raw, and intrigueing, not to mention similar to that of Fight Club. I enjoyed the old world feel of The Fraternity and the overall idea of curving bullets, reading fabric, and otherwise.

I think everyone can relate with how the Main Character feels, tired of his life, and wishing there was more. We all want to imagine the unimaginable, a cinderella tale if you will. Besides, the trick with the wax was rather smart.

Anyways, morover, it’s nice to see this type of movie, because it’s yet another layer to add to inspiration. I grab bits of exciting material from all things I see and do, but this movie lended me more than most.

The end, in my opinion, was perfect. I’m one of those people, whom may say, “well that was lame” at first, but then, when you really think about it, if the movie had eneded in any other way, it would have felt somewhat corny.

Good good, you should watch it…