Karen Shanley


Different Perspectives on Fireworks

Fireworks—classic component of the July 4th holiday weekend.  Large crowds gather to watch the night sky turn technicolor. Often spectacular. Always noisy.
I imagine that if there are any extra-terrestrials flying over, they get their own fireworks display.

Both of the above examples unsettle me for different reasons. All you dog people know what’s wrong with the first example. And all you star gazers know what’s wrong with the second example.

These are the only fireworks that get me excited this time of year!


How to Sync and Save to Dropbox on Surface Pro Right From the Desktop

dropboxHaving hit another strong writing phase, I decided to treat myself to a Surface Pro 3 (see below for my purchasing  recommendations). And since I use Dropbox for all my files, imagine my disappointment to find that the Dropbox app isn’t really integrated on the Surface tablets. But I found a really simple solution. For those of you frustrated with not being able to save directly to Dropbox, here’s how to do it:

Here’s how to get Dropbox to work with Microsoft Surface tablets

Since Dropbox is such a huge player in cloud storage, you’d think either they or Microsoft or both would have integrated the Dropbox app so that you would be able to both sync and save files directly to it from the desktop. Not so if you’ve downloaded the Dropbox app from the Windows Store. Continue reading

Best Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe

confetti-saladWI know, there are a bazillion salsa/salad recipes, so why do you need another one? Of all my dishes, this one NEVER fails to get rave reviews–no matter how fussy the eaters! There’s something about the combination of flavors that seems to make every mouth happy.  Even though it’s really just a tricked out Black Bean and Corn Salad, it’s been dubbed “Confetti Salad” at our house because it’s so colorful.

The great thing about this salsa is that you can vary ingredients or amounts to your heart’s content, and it will still taste great! Without further ado–here’s the recipe: Continue reading

Dystopia vs Positive Action

tomorrowlandAll’s right with the world again. Cait’s back home for the summer.

Looking for something to do together as a family, we went to see Tomorrowland. It was a toss up between that and Pitch Perfect2.

While far from the best movie I’ve ever seen, it’s an interesting piece on several levels. In a nutshell, it’s a story about what it would take to break out of the dystopian miasma that the world has seemingly fallen in love with for a better world, literally.

This guy has written a post that sums up the exact conversation I’ve been having with people for the past year. Depressingly, I’ve found it’s a surefire way to make people’s eyes glaze over.

But maybe there’s a glimmer of hope… Cait, an avid reader of dystopian best sellers, came out of the movie expressing that she found it very inspiring! She even said she’s ready to swear off the steady post-apocalyptic/super hero crap the under 25 demographic is spoon fed (sorry–that’s how I feel…) in favor of more optimistic studies on the future.

Score one for holding out hope for the future!

Spring is… Springing

I can’t really say Spring has sprung yet because we’re about two weeks behind where we normally are at this time. But it’s definitely springing!


My herb and perennials garden looks to have survived the winter in one piece. Read on to view my garden by the numbers. Continue reading

Exquisite Partnership

The Open European Championships in Heelwork to Music and Freestyle 2014- Sandra & Lizzy

The music is The Last Unicorn.

Australian Shepherd Rottweiler Mix — Good Idea?

Australian Shepherd Rottweiler MixI was recently asked by a friend to help her evaluate a dog from adoption.

The young dog she fell in love with was an Australian Shepherd Rottweiler mix.

Either pure-breed alone can be a real handful. So what did I think about putting them together and adopting the result?


Here’s the process of thinking I shared with my friend: Continue reading

Dessert is in the Eye of the Beholder

finn-litter-box It’s been an exciting couple of days. I go away for just ONE day and come back to find that not only has Wink eaten a corner of a rag rug to shreds, but then he helped himself to the covered kitty litter box for dessert!

How did I find this out? When he started throwing up the evidence.

Not aware that he’d been binge-eating at this bazaar banquet (sorry for the overdone alliteration–sometimes I can’t help myself), I quickly got brought up to speed with one look at his technicolor throw-up.

Then the trick was to get it picked up faster than he could scarf it back down. You don’t want to know how I beat him…
Continue reading

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