Friday, July 20, 2018

An Entertaining Summer Read

Surley Ogre Bike


Boy am I tired!  2774 miles in 46 days biking the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.  Actually, I accomplished this trek vicariously through the engrossing travel diary of Carrie Morgridge. 

 

She and her husband, John, decided to unplug from their modern world as professionals, take off from their jobs for two months, and ride the GDMBR from Banff, Canada, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. In preparation for the endurance ride, they logged 667 miles training on their Surley Ogre bikes. 

 
John and Carrie Morgridge

From Canada Carrie and John traveled through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.  When they reached their destination in Antelope Wells, they make a small loop across the Mexican border and back to finish their ride.  During their journey, they crossed the Continental Divide 32 times.

 
#carriemorgridge

I loved the descriptions of the wildlife and beautiful scenery she described all along the way.  They camped out in their tent with occasional stays in hotels and inns along the way, where they could rest comfortably and, when available, use laundry facilities.  They traveled through sunshine, rain, hail, and snow.  Sometimes the dew was so heavy, it soaked their tent, which they had to pack up after each outdoor overnight.

 

Their endurance was amazing to me.  In their 50s, they biked on highways and dirt paths, flat ground and very steep inclines. Some of the rocky paths were so hazardous, they had to walk their bikes.  Other times the way was so muddy they could only go a few feet at a time before having to dismount and scrape the goop from the tire spokes.  They weren’t novice cyclists before this adventure, having competed in Ironman competitions, but the rigorous daily demands of the GDMBR put their endurance to the test.  They had several side benefits of their adventure, including toned bodies, a little weight loss, and a strengthened marriage after total dependence on each other to make it to their goal.  The afterglow was a desire to slow the pace and to love life more once they had returned home. 

 

From a girl whose cycling experience occurred on the flat gravel driveway of my childhood home, I salute Carrie and her husband for accomplishing their incredible quest.  I was thoroughly engaged by her chronicles.  This is a fun summer read for adventurous teens through adults!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

StarPassage - 3rd Edition

#starpassage3

Once again Clark Burbidge has woven an intricate tapestry of history, adventure, and tension that enfolds the reader.  StarPassage: Honor and Mercy is hot off the presses and is the third in Burbidge’s StarPassage series.  Burbidge’s meticulous research is evident at he carries the reader to diverse settings, such as a B-17 bomber in World War II, the cobblestone streets of Doncaster, England during the Black Plague of the Middle Ages, a prison called the Black Hole of Calcutta, and the battle at Gettysburg.  

 
Clark Burbidge @clarkburbidge

 

The story is a classic struggle between good and evil with so many twists and turns in the plot and unexpected outcomes, you never know what is going to happen next.  This is such an engaging read, you won’t want to put it down.  Readers from about fifth grade and up will be riveted by this book.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Salad in a Jar


My Young Living Essential Oil team had another fun edible event, Salad in a Jar.  Everyone brought a salad ingredient to add to the lettuce we provided.  Each guest received a Mason jar and a handout of salad dressing recipes.

 

 

I mixed up three dressings containing Young Living Vitality oils. (Recipes are on my Pinterest board.)  We also served water and tea with Vitality oils available to add to their beverage.

 

I also made some healthful NingXia Red gummies--tasty, healthful, and no sugar, although you could add a dab of honey if you wish. 


What are Vitality oils you say?  They are Young Living Essential Oils that are specifically labeled for internal consumption.   They are quite potent because they are pure oils distilled from plants and contain no other additives.  A little goes a long way!  For instance, if you're flavoring a batch of frosting, you might use a drop or two of orange.  However, if you are flavoring your favorite pasta sauce, you'll want to dip the tip of a toothpick in the oil and then stir into the sauce.  Taste and adjust from there.  A whole drop of  oregano might be too overpowering in your recipe, for example.  Peppermint is tasty in iced or hot tea, brownies, and hot cocoa.  With 43 different Vitality essential oils, delicious possibilities are endless.

tinyurl.com/jillsteeley

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Teen Tome - Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold




The book I’m reviewing today is for an age group I don’t normally address on my blog.  However, I enjoyed it so much, I couldn’t not tell you about it. Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the first of 5 books in the Kitty Hawk series by Canadian author, Iain Reading. Despite a few curse words sprinkled occasionally through the book, it is a riveting read that’s hard to put down.


 


 

The main character, Kitty, has just graduated from high school, has been a pilot for several years, and is flying alone to Alaska to study humpback whale feeding habits in Alaska for seven weeks of her summer.  That’s pretty amazing so far, but it’s nothing compared to the adventure that awaits. She flies her pontooned De Haviland Beaver from her home in Tofino, Canada, to her base in Juneau, Alaska.  In daily flights along the waterways of southeast Alaska she observes, photographs, and documents the whales’ activities. This is where you begin to see the tremendous amount of background research the author had to have done to write this book.  He weaves the information and history skillfully through the fabric of the whole story so that it doesn’t at all feel didactic.  From flying the Beaver to grizzly bear behavior to the Yukon Gold Rush, the story keeps you turning those pages!


 


 

Another of the appealing factors of this book is the strong female protagonist.  She is smart, physically tough, and able to overcome her fears to do things she didn’t think she could.  These characteristics are clearly evident when her curiosity causes her to be captured by a band of brother and forced to trek up treacherous Chilkoot Pass carrying their stolen gold. 

 

 Just when they almost reach their destination and she’ll be free from them, a crazy, gun-wielding man shows up with the guys’ half-brother and steals the gold from them.  There were so many switchbacks in the action of the story, I almost had whiplash or maybe a heart attack!  If you have a teen who loves adventure stories, get this book in their hands.

 

I love the author's section near the end of the book where he gives more tidbits of information about the true details about the people (including authors), places, events and things he mentions in the story.

 

 

** Follow my blog and leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing for a copy of this  engrossing book.**

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tea Party Time

My friends and I held a tea party this week featuring teas flavored with Young Living Vitality essential oils. I also baked cookies with lemon and orange Vitality essential oils.  About 20 friends attended and everyone had a lot of fun. 

 

What in the world are Vitality oils?  They are the twin sisters of the Young Living essential oils.  The difference is the Vitality line is label specifically for ingestion. That means you can cook and bake with them, put a drop in your beverages (Use only glass or good quality stainless steel containers for this.), put them in capsules to swallow, and/or drip a drop under your tongue safely.  They are realllllly potent though, as they are pure oils.  A little goes a long way.  When using particularly strong oils for the first time, like basil or oregano, you may want to just dip the tip of a toothpick in the oil and stir that into your dish.  Add more as needed, but with care.  You can't take it out once you've overdone it!  

 

I didn't have time to make sugar cookies from scratch, so I cheated and used Pillsbury cookie dough.  I added 4 drops of lemon Vitality to one batch and 4 drop of orange to the other.  They were quite tasty!



We used an assortment of teacups that my friends had and four types of tea.  You can see the directions on the chalkboard.






























While half the group dined, the other half went to another room where I had set up a couple of oily DIY projects.  The two groups switched activities as they finished their first one.  The first DIY was a bath bomb crumble.  The picture on the right below shows combos of Young Living Essential Oils they might choose to scent their bath bomb crumble.   

 

  

 

 

 

 

        






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The other DIY was a chill-out roller.  They put a few drops of essential oil in the roller bottle and filled it with extra virgin olive oil.  Then they selected a goodie bag to hold their DIYs.

Everyone had such a good time, we're planning another one for the fall. 

 

 

 

 

#teaparty     #vitalityoils    #youngliving

#bathbombcrumble    #chilloutroller