PSA: We’re all in this together

A friend is struggling mightily right now, and she’s not alone in her feeling of overwhelm and hopelessness. Every one of us is dealing with personal stuff on top of the societal and planetary crises. I want to note this here and now, as a reminder for the next time someone cuts me off in traffic or doesn’t return a wave or any number of completely trivial things that might wind me up.

Everyone is dealing with way too much these days. But we’re all in this together and we are all we’ve got.

So, it’s good to extend a little grace whenever we can. ๐ŸŒป

Each of us, magnificent

Today’s reminder for anyone who needs it: show up as yourself. You are magnificent, warts and all! (Or, in this pelican’s case, bumps that form on the bill during breeding season.)

Barr Lake State Park. April 8, 2021

Remember, when you show up as your magnificent, authentic self, you’ll find your squadron.

Shout-out to all who’ve engaged and connected with me in real life and an online capacity: thank you! โค๏ธ

Sorry to Bother You, but go see this film!

I laughed and nodded my head throughout this movie that absolutely nails where we are as a country (and have been for some time). The acting is superb, the visuals are amazing, and the music is a perfect fit. Best of all, I left the theater feeling like there’s hope for us after all. SORRY TO BOTHER YOU shows us how it can be done.


PSA: Get thee some waterproof paper!

I just had a nice shower and a very productive plotting session. AT THE SAME TIME.

Whoa, Tracy! How is that even possible?!

It was possible because ย of an amazing invention called AQUA NOTES.

AQUA NOTES are pads of waterproof paper that you can write on with a pencil while taking a shower. I just wrote out three pages of stellar notes for my work-in-progress, and I’m thrilled because I figured out stuff I didn’t even realize needed figuring. Those pages of notes are like bonus material! And it all came to me during my relaxing shower, an activity that frequently gets my subconscious to come out and play. This time, I was prepared!

Where can I get some of those magical AQUA NOTES, Tracy?

I recommend buying them here, where you can buy 4 pads and get the 5th for free. Write on, friends!

PSA: How to peel an orange

I’ve been writing today so, of course, I’ve also done a fair amount of wandering into the kitchen to see what was happening in the food department. A few minutes ago I spotted a lone orange in the fruit bowl and picked it up with the intention of eating it slowly so as to procrastinate as long as possible promote healthy digestion. But then I realized it was one of those oranges. You know, an orange with that thin kind of rind that’s so difficult to remove you end up with a high percentage of orange still attached to the peel and/or because of aggressive peeling you end up gouging out chunks of orange with your thumbs? I know you know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I put the orange back in the bowl and remarked to Zebu that I didn’t have the enthusiasm to mess with the peel. To which Zebu replied, “Roll it.”

Roll it?

Yes, people. Roll those oranges!

Note there are no thumb gouges in this specimen.

Note there are no thumb gouges in this specimen.

I rolled that orange on the table for about thirty seconds and then proceeded to remove the rind in one piece! It’s a freaking fruit miracle! This experience has expanded my world view to the extent that I will no longer avoid thin-peeled oranges. Because of what I learned today, I will face ALL citrus fruits with confidence.

When I told Zebu I was going to share this information as a Public Service Announcement he replied, “I think everyone already knows this, Mom.”

It’s probably true. I didn’t learn about apple slicers until Wildebeest was in kindergarten and one of the other moms used that awesome tool during a class party. (Confession: I also got really excited about that fruit technique.)

So maybe you already know how to roll. If that’s so, congratulations! But if not, then please go forth and roll those oranges!




Chain of Fools


This was me in February 2009 as I embarked on Flexibility Quest:

This was me in January 2010 eleven months into Flexibility Quest:

This is me after neglecting regular yoga practice for the past eight months or so: 

                                                                                image from

Don't be a fool:
If you're doing something that makes you feel good 
and is good for you, keep it up.
I'm here to tell you that rusty joints ain't no fun.


PSA: Use Paper!


As mentioned here and here, I've been using Scrivener to write a first draft
and while I love the program for many reasons,
I got caught up in my chapters being (easily accessible) separate files
and so never printed out anything.

As a result, I got a wee bit confused on plot issues
and came to a screeching halt when I felt overwhelmed by the whole process.

This past weekend I printed out all I'd written and read it again.
Hard copies are awesome. 
And helpful.
And absolutely vital to the writing process.

So, friends, don't scrimp on your paper usage just because it's better for the planet.
The planet does need our love and care, but so does our mental health.                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                            © Tracy Abell 2009      

What she said!


PSA: Pine Nuts


Sunday night Zippy made the best cilantro pesto
It was to die for.

Today we’re regretting it.

It seems some people react to over-consumption of pine nuts
by experiencing a metallic taste in their mouths.
People like us.
Two to three days after the fact.

So for instance, this morning’s smoothie tasted metallic.
Even my coffee didn’t totally mask the taste.

And in case you’re thinking a constant metallic taste 
would aid in weight loss (because who eats when everything
you stick in your mouth tastes like a handful of old pennies?),
I’m here to tell you the post-pine nuts sensation isn’t a consistent sensation.

Some things taste better than others.
For example, I just got done "experimenting" with
a slice of cold pizza
a handful of tamari-roasted almonds
a bowl of cereal
and a banana.

Nothing tasted all bad all the time.
There were glimmers of good.
Not really good, but okay good.
Except I kept hoping for something that was 100 percent good from start to finish.
Which means I ate more than necessary.

So be warned: if you want to make that delicious cilantro pesto, go easy on the pine nuts.
And if you decide to live dangerously, let me know if there’s anything that tastes 100 percent good.
Especially since this phenomenon apparently lasts eight to ten days.


Turn your Live Journal into a book

I’m probably way behind the times here but in case there’s someone out there unaware of this great service, it’s possible to turn your Live Journal into a book (via pdf file).

It’s fast.  It’s easy.
You get a table of contents.
Your images are included along with click-able video links.
Comment threads in all their witty glory are preserved for all eternity.

The service is free but I made a donation because it’s such an awesome program.
I also recommend emailing the files to yourself so you have backup in case of hard drive malfunction.

Go, right now, and save your blog!


Health Insight

Thank you again for all the good wishes regarding Zippy’s heart.  Yesterday he went to work and felt fine, even as he took a nearly two-mile walk on the mall.  He walked slowly and with a friend, and enjoyed being out in the fresh air.

Since many, many people are suffering in this poor economy and job market, I wanted to share something that might help someone:

We thought Zippy’s feelings of low-energy and breathlessness (and eventual tightening in chest) were a result of stress since the company he works for filed for bankruptcy in November and his job terminates at the end of March. 

But Zippy now realizes there was a major difference between how stress affected his body and how the blocked artery affected him.   

In the past, whenever he was under stress exercise always made him feel better.
When his artery was blocked, exercise did NOT make him feel better (physically or emotionally).

(My siblings found this info helpful since they’ve been walking around clutching their chests, wondering if they’re also on the verge of heart attacks.  My family has a history of heart disease, as does Zippy’s.  And yes, I realize Zippy and I had no business having kids since we’re both practically blind and have family trees filled with clogged arteries.  But that genetic ship has sailed).



I just spent two hours at the Toyota dealership because of a CHECK ENGINE light in my Prius.  For those unfamiliar, the Prius is a hybrid, therefore, it has lots of computer stuff and battery stuff (like my mechanical lingo?!) going on.   I was told there were fifty possible explanations for that light.

I signed an agreement to pay a minimum of $110 to diagnose (and possibly fix) the problem.  I prepared myself for bad news.

Diagnosis:  LOOSE GAS CAP

That’s right.  No matter what type of car you drive, you must tighten the gas cap or else a vacuum or a leak (or something) develops which will cause that damned light to go on.  This problem is NOT specific to hybrids!


Good news:  I got lots of revision work done (I took over one of those little rooms where the salespeople put the screws to the poor souls negotiating a price for their new vehicle) so I could read my pages aloud and make necessary changes.

Gooder news:  They “only” charged me $55.

Goodest news:  There’s cold beer in the fridge.