Write Anywhere 084: Montana Food Hop

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Are you a food adventurer? Do you like to travel through food?

I’ve always been an adventurous eater. I think I owe that to three things: Continue reading

Write Anywhere 083: Montana Mountains

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Do you ever wish you could get away from it all?

One of this year’s many challenges has been to keep on task with my Write Anywhere goals of finding interesting and inspiring places to stir up my writing creativity. Finances, Keeper Hubby’s health, as well as my own aches and pains, have kept me home at times when I would have liked to go out exploring new spots and practicing my writing and photography skills.

I love the challenge of going other places for two reasons: it helps me be present and focused by making specific times for creativity, and it helps me push down the symptoms of panic disorder that would prefer me to lock myself away. Sometimes that’s hard to deal with, but my creative voice is more valuable to me than the discomfort I deal with when I make myself vulnerable by getting out in public venues.

I didn’t expect the situation to change much through this year and had resigned myself to that fact with more than a hint of frustration. But at the end of fall sweet Hubby made it possible for me to take a much-needed caregiver’s break to explore a fascinating place with some of my favorite people. Continue reading

Writing and Creativity As A Practice of Freedom

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Are you practicing your freedom today?

flags, photo by kristin nador

Happy Independence Day America!

July 4th is almost here. It’s a great day to relax, enjoy time with loved ones, do something American like go on family picnics (invented by the Victorian English), eat hot dogs (invented by the Germans), corn on the cob (first cooked by the Maya Indians), slurp snow cones (invented by Italians, specifically Roman emperor Nero), go to the local amusement park (invented by the Danish), blow up fireworks (invented by the Chinese), and attend a baseball game (uniquely American). A true celebration of America’s melting pot philosophy. I hope you and yours enjoy the holiday. Continue reading

Write Anywhere #77: Comedy Club

by Kristin Nador/ @KristinNador

The days are new now. The children are grown and flown, and going from a four-bedroom house to an 850 square foot apartment in a different state, life’s pace has changed. It’s the beginning of the second act. I feel like it’s a season for trying new things, for being braver.

I’ve been missing Write Anywhere.

if you’re new to this blog, Write Anywhere is a challenge I give myself as I discover new and unusual places to write and get inspiration. I visit a spot, look for ways it inspires my creativity, and share my thoughts. I invite readers to join the challenge and find their own Write Anywhere places and spaces. Whether it’s writing, photography, painting, music, or any artistic expression, taking yourself out of your regular routine and looking at things in a different way can spark new ideas and take you along creative paths you hadn’t considered before.

Continue reading

Write Anywhere #76 Bone Museum

It’s been a long hiatus here on the blog. Life went sideways but Keeper Hubby and I have left Oklahoma and landed mostly intact in our little apartment near Lexington, Kentucky. I hope to be posting more often now.

A funny thing happened on the way to Kentucky… not really. I injured my hip during the move, and developed a severe case of plantar fasciatis. Left hip, right foot. Not much locomotion happening now. I’m continuing to heal thanks to physical therapy, but in the meantime I’m mainly confined to the house. It’s very frustrating when you’re used to being independent and going places whenever you choose, and then you can’t. I’m anxious to begin exploring my new surroundings, but I’ll have to listen to my body for now.

The isolation has given me time to reflect on this new season of life.

The nest is officially empty: Artist Daughter and her hubby Saint Nick have gone off on an adventure of their own in the Big Sky Country of Montana. Poet Son likes it there, too.

Musician Daughter, Musician-In-Law, and Destined-To-Be-A-Musician are still in The Middle happily expecting to make their group a quartet in the fall. I’m happy for them all, but find myself nostalgic, the phrase “Remember when…” popping out of of my mouth almost daily.

I’m working hard on focusing forward, working on my health and my writing. Write Anywhere venues will be limited during my rehabilitation, however. My goal at this point is to get out once a month, at least until I am physically back to 100%, to discover new places to fuel creativity.

In the meantime I was fortunate to have one last Write Anywhere outing in Oklahoma with my youngest before we all went our separate ways. Artist Daughter invited me to spend the day with her. She advised I should bring my camera, because photography would be the main activity. I love taking photos, but little did I know I’d not only be preserving the trip in photos, but preserving my time with her in my heart.

Write Anywhere #76: Bone Museum

Museum of Osteology Oklahoma City Oklahoma photo by kristin nador Continue reading

Write Anywhere #75

I believe you can find the fuel for creativity anywhere.

I’m kind of passionate about it.

I think it stems from a conversation I had when I was young and impressionable. Not really a conversation but a statement presented to me as gospel. Someone who I looked up to and was supposed to be a nurturing presence told me I wasn’t creative. Flat out. Not creative.

Oh, yes, you are a pretty girl and yes, very smart. But you can’t do ‘arty’ things.

This person told me Continue reading

Write Anywhere #74

We’ve reached the last part of my August travels. It’s been a wonderful journey that I’ve enjoyed reliving by sharing it with you here on the blog. I know most of you have probably caught up with me at this point, but just in case, here is how the adventure went down:

Driving down Interstate 44 towards Tulsa, I reflected upon all my experiences over the past week. No matter how much you want to shield your children from hurt in this world, it’s going to happen in one form or another. As devastating as their experience was, I was proud of how the kids were handling it. I knew they would be okay.

I also discovered  Continue reading

Write Anywhere #72

It’s been a long time getting through my August adventure. We’re almost there! If you’d like to follow along from the beginning check out the following posts. If you’re up to date, start right after the jump:

 

Musician Daughter and Musician-in-Law had to make a decision. Just a week before, they lost their baby to miscarriage. Now their son Destined-To-Be-A-Musician’s (BAM for short) second birthday was days away. Would it be right to have a festive party while still mourning their loss? Would it feel right? Would friends and family understand? They didn’t want to deprive BAM, but the thought of birthdays seemed too much, the heart wounds still too raw.

We all decided to focus on the positive for BAM’s sake, and instead of an all-out birthday party, we planned for a casual day at a favorite local attraction. BAM could have a fun time, oblivious to the inner turmoil of his parents, and the bittersweet reminders did not have to sting quite so sharply.

Write Anywhere #72: Grant’s Farm

Hardscrabble U.S. Grant Cabin

‘Hardscrabble’ Ulysses S. Grant Cabin, near St. Louis, Missouri, public domain

Grant’s Farm is a 281-acre animal reserve nestled at the edge of south St. Louis owned by the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch company fame. Part of the acreage was the original homestead of Ulysses S. Grant, General of the Northern Armies during the Civil War and the 18th president of the United States. The cabin he built in the 1850’s before he became president, nicknamed ‘Hardscrabble’, still stands and can be viewed on a tram tour of the park. Visiting the park is free except for parking and buying food if you choose.

This is where we took BAM for his big day, and he couldn’t have cared less about all that history. There were more interesting things for a 2-year old to think about.

Tram at Grant's Farm, St. Louis, Missouri

BAM and tram

The first thing to fascinate BAM was the tram itself. Never having been in anything like it, he enjoyed the open-air ride and spotting animals along the path to the main park area.

Grant's Farm, roaming animals, St. Louis, MO

our view from the tram

When we reached the main park, which is more like a zoo than a farm, we encountered the goat pens. For fifty cents you could purchase baby bottles with milk to feed the goats. BAM didn’t understand the point of standing in line with all those interesting goats running around, and let us know he was not pleased.  But the wait paid off when he got to feed the hungry goats. At first he got confused and thought Mama wanted HIM to drink the baby bottle. Didn’t he graduate to sippy cups already? But then he watched the other children and got the hang of it.

boy bottle feeding goats, Grant's Farm, St. Louis, MO photo by kristin nador

greedy goats

I worried the pushy goats might overwhelm BAM, and the many flies he feared that hung out with those goats, but seeing other kids involved and the novelty of these silly critters drinking baby bottles kept him focused. He even wanted to give some of the goats a brushing.

brushing the goat

brushing the goat

Next we saw a macaw show, and BAM was fascinated enough with the birds to sit still for all of 10 minutes. That’s a long time for a two-year old!

Macaw on rollerskates, Grant's Farm, St. Louis, Missouri photo by kristin nador

Macaw on skates!

After the show BAM spotted the carousel. His parents didn’t want to take the ride, because his last visit to a merry-go-round ended in tears. Well, this one did, too, but not because he was afraid, but because he didn’t want it to end! Turning two gives you a different perspective on life, I suppose. 🙂

carousel at Grant's Farm, St. Louis, MO photo by kristin nador

fun on the carousel

We walked through more animal exhibits, with monkeys, elephants, and a camel ride. BAM took a quick stop at the ducks and geese for more feeding.

feeding geese Grant's Farm, St. Louis, MO photo by kristin nador

feeding geese

BAM had fun throwing the food, but the heat was getting to all of us. Time for a snow cone break! And free beer (limit 2) for the adults!

Umbrella in the biergarten, Grant's Farm, St. Louis, MO photo by kristin nador

getting some shade

At the end of the day we took BAM to the famous Clydesdales paddocks, but he didn’t want to get too close. Goats are okay, but horses are something else altogether.

young clydesdales, Grant's Farm, St. Louis, MO photo by kristin nador

beautiful young Clydesdales

I wrote by documenting the day in a journal-type book that I will give to BAM in the future. Sometimes writing is not creating fictional worlds but just a way to be a witness to real life. As BAM and I ran around Grant’s Farm together, and his parents saw his happy smiles, I felt I witnessed a small bit of healing start that day as well.

Where did you write this week?

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The Dumb Google Mistake I Made That Cost Me All My Blog Friends – Can You Help?

Caïn venant de tuer son frère Abel, by Henry Vidal in Tuileries, Paris, France courtesy Alex E. Proimos, Creative Commons

Caïn venant de tuer son frère Abel, by Henry Vidal in Tuileries, Paris, France courtesy Alex E. Proimos, Creative Commons

I was sad when Google announced they were discontinuing Google Reader RSS content aggregator on July 1st 2013. I had only recently discovered Google Reader in the last year, and it was a beautifully streamlined way to keep track of all the great blogs I was connecting with through blogging. Being able to catch up and comment on posts, favorite special ones that particularly spoke to me, and easily categorize groups of blogs was a win-win.

What was I going to do without Google Reader?

Throughout the blogosphere many offered comparable RSS content aggregator suggestions. Feedly had the most accolades. It’s structure is very similar to Google Reader, and made moving your Google Reader data into Feedly easy with a click of a button. Sign me up!

I’ve been reading my blogs on Feedly since May and it’s been great. When I took a break from blogging for carpal tunnel symptoms I also took a vacation from reading blogs. When I returned and pulled up Feedly, it was empty! Where were all my blog subscriptions?

Well, Feedly’s easy click of a button lulled me into a sense of security. I failed to read the fine print on making sure my Google Reader info stayed there once Google pulled the plug. What I should have done? Saved all my data by getting my OPML file, zipping, unzipping, and all sorts of things I didn’t do.

Thus Google Reader gone, Kristin’s blog subscriptions gone.

Lesson: read instructions carefully.

So now I am left with an empty Feedly account and all my blog subscriptions somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle.

And here’s where you, Dear Bloggy Friends, can help.

In honor of my dumb mistake, I’d love it if you could give me some blog recommendations. I love blogs about writing, book reviews, blogging, social media, photography, creativity, mom blogs, grandma blogs, humor blogs, pop culture blogs, history blogs, current events blogs, basically if a blog is well-written, I’m going to check it out.

Post a list of your favorites, and don’t leave out your own. Let your blog friends know so they can give a shout-out selfie here on Ye Olde Blog. Feel free to scroll through and snag some good ones for yourself.

Let the shameless plugging commence.