Author Archives: Annie

Time to Move on

Published / by Annie

Now that the new Shoestring Girl is making its way through the publishing channels it is time to move on to my next book project.

One thing I plan to do is take the old posts that were salvaged and format them into a book for your reading enjoyment.

Next I plan to work on a novel.

I plan to work on both project simultaneously; that way when I get tired of focusing on one I can switch to the other and maximize my productivity.

What projects are you working on?

The New Shoestring Girl is now LIVE on Smashwords

Published / by Annie

Hello everyone!

Guess what? As soon as I started working in a program I remembered well from before I was hurt I managed to get this book properly formatted on the very first try!

It is now live on Smashwords here, and will be coming to Amazon, Apple, and other retailers soon.

I will let you know  just as soon as other retailers begin listing it; you can keep up to date on my Facebook page and the sales page here on Annienygma.

Thank you so much for your support!

My New Writing Setup

Published / by Annie / 2 Comments on My New Writing Setup

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I was dedicating my old XP to writing, so today I figured that I would talk about my setup.

My computer is really old. In the 11 years that I’ve had it the battery has died and the speakers have started failing. It is currently on its third keyboard, and even that is starting to fail. At one point I even had to replace the processor fan when it died. Even with all of that the poor thing is still ticking, though I’ve created a few workarounds.

I hooked up an external keyboard to solve the typing glitches, added an external mouse because the buttons on my touchpad tend to act up, and then tossed in an old monitor that I’ve had for years. As a result I’ve created a dual monitor desktop system out of this ancient laptop. That allows me to have two files on full screen, which makes working a lot easier.

Here is a picture of my setup:

Even better; I worked this up using stuff I already had. It literally didn’t cost me a penny! I set up an old folding table in my kitchen (my favorite room for writing) so now I even have a dedicated writing spot. I’m hoping that this new setup makes me more productive.

On another note, now that I’ve got my issues fixed I’ve been making steady progress when it comes to formatting the new Shoestring Girl for ebook format. Hopefully it will be finished soon so that I can move on to my next project.

An Early Birthday Gift

Published / by Annie / 2 Comments on An Early Birthday Gift

Kes, who happens to be one of my oldest friends (I’ve known her since the 8th grade), listened to me vent my frustrations about writing with my current limitations. After learning about the workaround I discussed in the previous post, she decided to surprise me with an early birthday present:

A copy of Office 2007.

She found it on eBay for around $20 and is having it shipped to the house. I’m so excited! I was wondering how I would work things out once the free trial ended on my dinosaur.

Once I got the news, I started thinking. My ancient Toshiba runs Windows XP. I bought it in 2006; the very last computer that still had XP that the store stocked. I dual boot it with Ubuntu 16.04 but I kept the XP installation alive to play some old software that no longer works. The XP partition has never been online since it was last wiped. I use SneakerNet (a.k.a. a USB thumb drive) or simple transfers through my Linux install if I need any files from the Internet. This allows me to safely use the older operating system.

Since I don’t really need to go online when I’m writing (the joys of the Internet are rather distracting), I decided to essentially dedicate the XP partition to writing. I plan to install the new copy of Office on it and work to my heart’s content.

In time when my finances straighten up or I manage to repair Katie’s old laptop (it died back when I was completely nonfunctional), I will use it with Linux to go online when I need to but keep this old system as a dedicated writing machine.

So, in short, the Universe worked things out. I have been debating for years about having a computer dedicated to my writing so now I’ve got it. Hopefully it will last for many more years.

Thank you for the gift, Kes!

Painful Realization

Published / by Annie / 7 Comments on Painful Realization

I have made a painful discovery over these past few days: I am not as healed as I would like. I have severe issues when it comes to learning and using software that I wasn’t extremely familiar with before I got hurt.

While I managed to get the new book formatted for print, I have had a nightmare when it comes to formatting this puppy for ebook format. I can get everything to work in LibreOffice, I can even code it so that it works in html, but when it comes to converting those files to the DOC format that I need in order to submit it to my ebook distributors, it messes up every single time.

I’m not talking tiny glitches; I’ve seen everything from hamburger text, missing hyperlinks (to mark the chapters), and NO access to the footnotes. I have nuked this file and started over so many times I am ready to cry.

But I haven’t given up. I’m very familiar with Microsoft Word, fortunately (I took a class on it years ago), so I know how to format everything so it will look nice in that program natively.  My problem is with the conversion process. So I got the bright idea to borrow a computer that had Word installed so that I could use it to get this ebook finished.

That didn’t work out so well. They had games and stuff they wanted to play so I had to give the computer back. Sigh.

But I kept trying. I managed to get the 45-day free trial of Office 2003 to work on my ancient dinosaur. I’m not as familiar with it as I am the newer versions, but it works. As a result I have nuked this file ONCE AGAIN (feels like the 20th time) and started formatting it in THAT program.

Wish me luck that I get it done before the trial is over. I plan to work nonstop, taking breaks only when forced, in order to beat my deadline.

Hopefully when I get some more money coming in I will be able to locate a copy of Office on eBay for cheap, one of the older versions that you don’t have to pay for a subscription to. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, know that I am doing my level best to get this ebook formatted and released so that you guys can have it on your ereader devices.

And please wish me luck. I’m gonna need it.

Happiness and Attitude

Published / by Annie

Welcome to yet another Throwback Thursday post, courtesy of John Grebe, the awesome person who managed to save these posts. He recently published a thoughtful critique of the 100 Things Challenge that I highly recommend.

This post was originally published on March 18, 2010.

~#~

“The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything.  They just make the best of everything.” ~ Anonymous.

Lies We Tell Ourselves

It’s easy to look at our failure to accomplish our dreams and lie to ourselves concerning the real reasons they don’t materialize.  Have you used any of the following?

  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m not talented enough
  • I don’t have enough time
  • I’m too old
  • I’m too young
  • I’m broke
  • I’m afraid
  • I can’t

“The reality is that much of what has been accomplished in our world was achieved by men and women who shouldn’t have succeeded. Many people and obstacles were against them, but they succeeded because they refused to believe the lies we tell ourselves.” ~ Stephen Seaford

Your attitude will determine what your experience is. Decide to be happy, and your world will eventually change to give you more things to be happy about.

Decide to be sad or broke—you can guess what you will get more of.

Have you ever said some of those statements listed in the previous quote?

As lovingly as I can put it—stop.  Stop thinking these negative thoughts about yourself and your circumstances.

We didn’t make it to the moon, invent such wonders as computers and cell phones by saying we couldn’t, we were too dumb or that we were broke.

So the house is a mess and you don’t have enough money to pay all of the bills?  Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you CAN.

Be happy that you paid X amount on this bill.  Grateful that you had enough money for dinner tonight.

Thankful and delighted that the table is cleaned off now, or the dishes washed!

Focus on the good in your life NOW, and more good will come. This happens because you are changing your vibration to the positive, which cannot help but attract more positive vibrations to your life.

Try it.  What do you have to lose?

The Shoestring Book is now in Print

Published / by Annie / 4 Comments on The Shoestring Book is now in Print

Amazingly, CreateSpace worked really fast; my book is already available for sale in print!

You can find it on Amazon and CreateSpace.

Katie and I are working as fast as we can on the ebook; I made a newbie mistake when I was creating it that has forced me to completely reformat it so that it will look right. Right now we’re taking turns doing this page by page. As soon as it is published I will let you know. We’ve got over 400 pages to reformat so this is going to take a little while, I’m afraid.

 

The New Shoestring Girl Book is Almost Ready!

Published / by Annie / 4 Comments on The New Shoestring Girl Book is Almost Ready!

Hello Everybody!

I am exhausted. I’ve been working at this non-stop since I last posted. In the end I had to get Katie to help because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to do some things with the formatting and I needed fresh eyes and a healthy mind to help review this 400 page monster.

But we did it!!!

The book cover

Right now I am in the process of uploading the print version of this book to CreateSpace to get it published. Once that is finished I will work on formatting this sucker for ebook format.

To thank you for all of your help and support I want to give you the PDF copy of the book for free. It isn’t much, but I want to pay forward all of the kindness and support you have given me. Please feel free to pass it around to your friends – and if you know of any bloggers who would be interested in it, please send it to them as well.

You can download the book here. Just right-click and select “Save As” to download it to your computer. (This link has now been removed since it is now available in ebook format. You can purchase it here.)

If you don’t mind, would you mind leaving an honest review about the book somewhere when it is published? Reviews are like gold to authors cause they are what help us get noticed. Heck, just telling your friends about us helps more than you can imagine!

Anyway, I won’t keep this PDF file up forever; I plan to remove it once I get the book published in ebook format at the very least, so grab it while you can and share the love.

Oh – I will let you know when the book goes live.

Thank you. Thank you for everything!

Love, Annie

Accountability

Published / by Annie

One thing I have been doing with my latest book is to keep a running journal of my progress. Every day I post an update on my Facebook page to let everyone know how much I’ve gotten done.

There are some days when I’m feeling lazy that I don’t want to write but, knowing that I will have to post the fact that I didn’t get anything done on the book is an excellent deterrent to laziness.

This just gives me the motivation to get started every day; once I get going it is easy to continue. My daily goal is to write 1,000 words a day; my daily average is actually 2,501 words a day though some days I might write more or less depending upon what is going on with my life.

Have you ever held yourself accountable for your goals? Please share your stories in the comments below.

By the way, I tend to update my Facebook page a lot more often than I update my blog these days; I share interesting money-saving things I find online as well as the progress on my current book. If you like stuff like that you might want to follow my page.

My Book Killed Google Docs

Published / by Annie / 2 Comments on My Book Killed Google Docs

Hello everyone!

I think I killed Google Docs. Well, if it ain’t dead, it sure ain’t happy with me at any rate.

I’ve been having problems working on my current book for a while now. Google Docs began getting slower and slower, to the point where I would have to wait several minutes for my words to show up. The sad part is that I’m typing this sucker one-handed; it was taking longer for the words to show up on the screen then it was for me to type them!

Then it started crashing. Repeatedly.

After a lengthy battle I finally decided to download the file and start working on it offline using LibreOffice since I no longer own a computer that has Microsoft Office.

Google Docs would only allow me to download in RTF format and DOCX format. the RTF was, shall we say, imperfect? It was also over 100MB in size. The DOCX file refused to open due to an error. Simply copying and pasting left all my footnotes behind.

I still had a free account on Office Live from years ago so I used it to open the DOCX file.

It would only open read-only.

By this point I was ready to throw something out of a window. It was well past 2am, I wanted to work on my book, and nothing I tried worked. I called it a night. The next day I went in search of a buddy to happened to have a copy of Word.

We managed to get the DOCX file to open and converted to something usable. It isn’t perfect, but it is way better than what I had.

I’m leaving the book online for now in hopes that you can at least look through what’s there but I learned a valuable lesson: Google Docs does not handle large files well. Fellow writers, consider yourself warned.

Now I’m off to work on the book again. I will upload changes/new sections if I can. Sorry!

Remember this as you pursue a simpler life

Published / by Annie

This was originally posted on my blog back in May of 2010. The image is a new addition.

While you are pursuing simplicity there is one thing you must never lose sight of.

This one thing is simple yet complicated at the same time.  I can’t take credit for it however, Shakespeare said it best:

“This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Don’t follow my idea of simplicity.  Don’t follow your mother’s or the dude’s down the street.

Follow your own.

How I Survived Several Years Without Running Water

Published / by Annie / 5 Comments on How I Survived Several Years Without Running Water

In today’s modern age water is usually only a handle turn away. As a result it is usually taken for granted. But what would you do if that flow of water ever stopped?

Once, a long time ago, it did for me. This is how I survived.

After finding myself an unwed mother I really hated myself. I had failed in the one thing that I was raised that females were to provide: A loving father and family for her young.

So I dated, thinking to correct that issue. I decided to go shopping for a father for my daughter.

After a time I thought I had found him: A man who seemed like an industrious person, down on his luck but willing to sacrifice to come out on top. Being no stranger to sacrifice and knowing how hard it is to find someone with the strength to do without and struggle in pursuit of a greater goal convinced me that he was “the one.”

I was wrong and he was a lie, but by the time I realized this we were already married and I was stuck; forced to live in a house without basic utilities like running water and sewage I decided to make do.

At first we used a bucket instead of a commode, and when it would fill up my husband would carry it outside at night and return some time later with it empty. I do not know what he did with the wastes but if there was a compost pile he used – I never saw it, and I do not want to know.

Within a few months we dug a large pit into the earth, and I watched as my husband added gravel to the bottom of the pit, poked holes in an old metal barrel, and covered it up. We now had a septic system, and were able to use the drains in the sinks and the commode he obtained from unknown sources.

Water at first came from the homes of friends and family until time and distance removed that option and I became too embarrassed about my living conditions to ask other people. By this time most suspected I was in an abusive relationship, and it hurt to listen to the countless lectures on what I should do with my life. I became a recluse, and started getting water from a local gas station, carrying it home in re-purposed cooking oil containers given to me by a local restaurant.

Dishes were washed in hot water, by hand, in two plastic containers, but I digress. First all I had to wash in was a couple of large bowls, and everything was either dried by hand or placed on clean towels until it air-dried until I obtained a dish drainer.

Bathing was primarily sponge baths, done in cool water in summer and water heated on the stove in winter. Eventually the children and I would take baths in an oversized Rubbermaid storage container, pretending it was a bathtub. Every opportunity to bathe at friends houses was accepted graciously until the lectures became too much to bear.

As the years passed I would ask my husband when the oft-promised water meter was going to be dropped, volunteering to do whatever needed to be done to hurry things up. “You already have running water dear,” my husband would sneer. “Now run to town and get some!”

Eventually flood damage caused our last source of easily available water to close and I was desperate for a solution. Grasping for an idea – any idea, my eyes fell upon the creek just yards away from the back door of the house. I thought in desperation – why not?

Bucket by bucket I would carry that water into the home, and its unlimited supply enabled me to keep things so much cleaner that I would thank God for the wonderful bounty of that little creek. All water would be boiled before being used for washing with a little bleach added to the rinse water, just in case. I refused to take any chances.

One day I decided to use that water in our old washing machine since we had no money for the Laundromat. Bucket after bucket I carried that day, first filling up the tub to wash and then again to rinse load after load of laundry. I was delighted at my industriousness, ignoring the blisters on my hands, thinking of how proud my husband would be that I had not begged for money to go to the Laundromat but had instead managed to care for our laundry needs at home. I lost track of time, however, so when husband came home his dinner was not ready. He was not impressed.

My next door neighbor sensed my plight; a few weeks later he caught me outside with my buckets and volunteered his small sump pump for my use. Gratefully I accepted the small device, rigged up enough extension cords to cover the span, and as the pump was not strong enough to push water all the way to the house created a holding area halfway between with re-purposed trash cans. It was a slow process but my daughters and I were delighted. It was the closest we had been to running water in years.

Eventually my husband gifted me with a sump pump of my very own, one powerful enough to reach all the way to the back door with a trickle of water, and I felt like a queen. I could easily wash laundry during the day, though the trickle of water meant that it took a long time for the laundry tub to fill up.

Drinking water was purchased at the store after beginning to use the creek.

I had given up asking about the water meter when one day there was a knock on my back door. A man from the water company was outside, where did I want this meter?

Oh, happy day!

 

What Were You Doing Eight Years Ago?

Published / by Annie / 4 Comments on What Were You Doing Eight Years Ago?

Time has a way of flying by when you get older. Ev Bogue reminded me of this in his latest post, as he reminisced about what he was doing eight years ago.

Just for fun, I’m going to look at the old me from eight years ago, in January 2009.

In January 2009 I was living in the projects in Western Kentucky. We had a nice home but I didn’t enjoy the person in charge of the place. It was a beautiful apartment, however–the most beautiful home I have lived in before or since.

I started writing online on Christmas of 2007 so I had been writing professionally for a year. My first submissions didn’t go online until after the new year had arrived. I wasn’t making much, just a couple of dollars a month, but I was proud of that income.

I was working at home in the Internet troubleshooting department of a major cable company. I would wake up on weekdays, log into the system, and help customers troubleshoot their internet connectivity problems. I enjoyed that job.

I had yet to start my first blog. Several of my friends were encouraging me to give it a try. I would do that shortly before I was laid off from my job in May of 2009.

I had never written a book. I didn’t even believe I had a book inside of me at that point, though it had been a dream to write books for most of my life. I could see myself with a whole bookshelf filled with the books I had written.

I had discovered minimalism so I had thinned out my possessions to what I believed was a manageable size. I wouldn’t get drastic until early 2011 when I moved back to Central Kentucky. I still owned a vehicle back then, though I rode my bike to work when the weather allowed.

Thinking back

Thinking back, I am amazed at how far I’ve come since then. I’ve published 30 books and am well on the way to writing my 31st. I’m finally working out the best way for me to write longer fiction as well.

I’ve seen great times and awful times; throughout all of them I have just kept writing. I still remember the thrill when the first person purchased the very first book I published. I remember the delight when I said farewell to my day job and spent several years living on my royalties.

I recall my disappointment when I went back to a public job when my royalties dropped and the fear I’ve had about paying my bills since I got hurt there.

And now, with my pain levels dropped, I am writing again. I believe that this is going to be a very eventful year.

What about you?

What were you doing eight years ago? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Don’t Throw Your Pickle Juice Away

Published / by Annie

Pickle juice is one thing in this house that never gets thrown away. In fact, we occasionally run out of pickle juice before we empty the pickles from the jar (we have to eat fast then!).

One of our main uses for pickle juice is to drink it as a dietary supplement. It helps with digestion and stomach upsets much better than the stuff you find in the store marketed for this purpose. Also, pickle juice provides potassium, which can help with muscle spasms and other things.

Did you know that pickles were used back in the Wild West days to help prevent scurvy? It contains Vitamin C; the lack of which causes this ailment.

In my experience, dill pickle juice works best. We try to always purchase the kosher versions because we believe it to be healthier. I’m not sure about that fact, however – it is simply a personal belief.

On the rare occasions we find ourselves with a surplus of pickle juice, we toss some hard boiled eggs into the brine to make pickled eggs. My dad taught me how to do this as a child. We always had pickled eggs in our refrigerator as a snack.

Because of the many uses of pickle juice I urge you to reconsider before you pour it down the drain. You can find some great uses for your leftover pickle juice on this site. It has some good tips.

Cheap Rent: Man lives in storage locker for two months

Published / by Annie / 3 Comments on Cheap Rent: Man lives in storage locker for two months

Talk about cheap rent! Here’s a video about a man who actually lived in a storage locker for two months!

This is actually doable; I know a family who lived in a storage building for several months after a job loss caused them to get evicted. I wouldn’t want to do that around here when the weather was cold; my friends did this back during the summer a few years back.

Enjoy!


Updates and Thoughts

Published / by Annie

Hello everyone!

Just wanted to let you know what has been going on.

I’ve been slowly tinkering on the Shoestring Girl book (you can see my progress and help edit it here). It’s going slow but at least it is still going. Sending thanks and great big bear hugs to everyone who has helped so far with the book!

I’ve also been practicing with my fiction writing as both a reward and a break from the book. Friend and fellow author Ronnie Virdi (he is a great author, check him out!) is doing really well with his fiction works; in time I would like to add some more fiction titles to my repertoire in order to boost my income and get the stories out of my head that I’ve harbored there since I was a kid.

I’ve had a lot of trouble drafting longer works so I decided to play with fanfiction as practice. I’ve gotten good reviews and learned a lot. For me, I apparently work best without much of a draft. If I just focus on one scene at a time I do much better than I ever have; one of my current stories (split up into parts) is getting close to 60,000 words. Considering that most of my stories fizzle once I reach the 1,000 word mark, I am delighted with the results of this experiment.

For the record, the change might simply be the result of the head injury; my Shoestring Girl book I’m working on has topped 70,000 words, making it my biggest book to date. Either way, I’m delighted with the results.

Since I have been feeling better I had a very long talk with some friends and family members. I suggested that I might want to try going back to a public job in some fashion because, frankly, I’m sick and tired of being broke. I was shot down faster than a guy with a lame pickup line. Each and every one of them said that I have quite a ways to go before I’m ready to go back to work. I might not see it (being on the inside) but they all pointed out some serious communication and mobility issues that I still have. Due to their very valid points I am still off work.

Sigh. Did I say that I’m tired of being broke? I don’t mind living cheap but this constant struggle to pay for the basics (and not having enough to even cover that) is getting ridiculous!

On the bright side, my Social Security Disability claim is apparently still going, thanks to an attorney I hired but didn’t remember (I know, my memory stinks). A friend of mine who has helped several friends with their disability cases (she fought for seven years to get hers after being injured) has volunteered to help. She has known me since before the accident and has been one of the most vocal about not letting me drop the case to try to work. As she put it, I still have a lot of trouble understanding verbal conversation, especially when there are distractions, as well as trouble remembering and following instructions. She said that someone trying to train me in a new position would likely suspect that I was on drugs, despite the fact that I don’t take any. Ouch!

She also pointed out that while I am trying (via my writing) to pay the bills, that I have worked my whole life, am thus qualified for the assistance, and that said assistance would make things easier while I strive to get my writing royalties back up to a living wage and get on my feet overall.

As for my current situation, I have had to sacrifice my MagicJack because I could not afford to pay the annual fee. I am currently using the Talkatone app on my old iPad mini to make and receive phone calls as a result. It doesn’t ring in half of the time but it is better than nothing.

I’ve managed to keep the water and the Internet turned on, and while the electric bill has a balance I have yet to receive a disconnect notice. Thanks to you guys I’ve managed to keep the landlord happy but here soon I’m probably going to have to seek assistance to cover that.

We’ve got food, though, so that is a very good thing. We’re still doing laundry in buckets so we have clean clothes as well.

I am going to warn you, however. If I can’t pull a rabbit out of my hat I will have to relocate this blog to a free host if I can’t come up with the renewal fee in a couple of months. I will work to keep the website name (I believe I should be able to manage that). I’m also considering the creation of a mailing list to keep in touch with you in the event that worst comes to worst. I will keep you posted on that, so don’t worry. If you check the website and my Facebook page you will know how to find me.

That’s all I can think of right now. If you have any questions just leave them in the comments.

Take care!

~Annie

Mental Peace

Published / by Annie / 2 Comments on Mental Peace

This post was originally published September 26, 2009.

~~~###~~~

In our pursuit of simplicity, we will meet a lot of people who live and think a lot different than we do. These people may even try to convince us that we are wrong in wanting to pursue a simpler more peaceful existence. We may watch others doing this or that and think how silly they are to be doing this, while they are looking at us with the same disdain.

That is not peace. Nor is it simplicity. When we worry about what others do or think, we rob ourselves of energy better spent on making our own lives as peaceful as possible. We waste time better spent on us by worrying about what these folks are doing and saying.

Let’s be frank here: Who cares what they think or do? Honestly, in a hundred years, who’s gonna care what these people have done? In a hundred years, who’s going to care what YOU have done?

Since in the end it really doesn’t matter what you or anyone else does, why waste your time on it? Why not instead focus on having the most peaceful existence that YOU can have?

Plowhorses are frequently fitted with blinkers to keep their focus on the row ahead. This helps the farmer to keep the rows straight as he plows. The farmer has to do his part as well, for if he is distracted he may guide the animal in an unwanted direction. He has to pay attention to where he wants to go.

We are like that. If we are worried about what the field near us looks like, we won’t be paying enough attention to our own field, and thus our rows will be crooked.

This is true for any pursuit, but the pursuit of simplicity, frugality and minimalism concentration is very important. We tend to lose track when barraged by those who don’t understand, who don’t share the same goals as we do.

Instead of worrying about them we need to spend that time focusing on ourselves, focusing on what we want to accomplish.

The less we worry about what others want and are doing, the more peace we will have in our lives.

How to Tenderize Meat Without a Gadget

Published / by Annie / 3 Comments on How to Tenderize Meat Without a Gadget

This is one of the earlier posts that has been salvaged.  It was originally posted on September 24, 2009.

Meat tenderizer

If you have ever dealt with a tough piece of meat, you know it can be frustrating. The temptation is high to buy that hammer especially designed to tenderize that piece.

You don’t have to. In fact, you already have something in your kitchen that will tenderize that cut of meat just as well as a mallet. It’s called a plate.

Yes, the average run-of-the-mill ceramic plate. Turn it on it’s side and it becomes the perfect weapon against meat toughness!

I sprinkle my meat with a bit of tenderizer on each side before tapping it multiple times with the side of one of my plates. In the picture I use a saucer cause it’s smaller and easier for me to manage, but any type of plate or saucer will do, provided it’s solid and not plastic or paper. Then again, some of the more solid plastic plates may work as well!

Just whack on that tough piece of meat with the edge of a plate until you think it is good and tender all over. I enjoy taking out any frustrations so mine get beat up pretty bad, flipping mine over a couple of times just to make sure I’m done!

Remember whenever you think you need a new gadget – you may have something already at home that will already do the job, sometimes even better than that shiny new thingy at the store. One less thing cluttering up your drawers, and a bit more money in your pocket!

Enjoy!

Old Posts

Published / by Annie

Thanks to the efforts of reader JG, I am now able to go through the old posts that I sacrificed to defend this website.

I am slowly going through them and plan to put the best of the stand-alone posts up one by one, Throwback Thursday style.

As for the rest, since they are a bit like a journal, I am going to put them all together and release them as a journal of sorts. This way those who are interested can start at the beginning and read all the way through to where we are today. Please be warned that it is going to take a bit for me to do this; I want to finish up my current book project before I start.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me!

AND…

Thank you my friend for rescuing the posts. You are wonderful!

~Annie

P.S. How do you like the new website design? Katie is the one that designed not only the header image but the little icon that shows up on your tab. That girl has some serious talent!