Karen Shanley


A Generational Thing…?

flashThe power went off at around midnight last night.  My first thought was how beautiful the total darkness was. My second thought was that Cait was still downstairs with a visiting friend.

So I got the flashlight out of my nightstand and headed downstairs to pull out some lanterns for them.



I saw a bright light coming around the corner, heading up the stairs at the same time. It was Cait. She was using a flashlight app on her phone.

Is there anything kids don’t use their phones for?  I know, dumb question.


Turning a Farming Hobby into Money


Timothy Boucher’s Lettuce Operation

I’ve been growing food since I was 12 years old. That summer, I hand-dug a quarter acre garden in one of our unused horse fields  and I’ve never looked back.

It’s provided a never-ending source of enjoyment and satisfaction for me through the years.

No matter how crazy life might get, all I need to do is take a walk in my garden to lift my spirits.


As I’ve gotten more proficient and efficient, I’ve dabbled with the thought of selling locally. I figure it’s something I can do into my old age. And so I’ve been collecting resources and information to have at the ready when I decide it’s time to jump in.

This morning, I came across this guy who has some great tips. Seems we’re kindred spirits in more ways than one. We both love our garlic and we both say f*#k weeding.


They Call These Puppy Treads but They’re Awesome for Older Dogs and Humans Too

Puppy-Treads-wWhen I was asked to try out these Puppy Treads, made by Handi-Ramp  in exchange for an honest review, I jumped at the chance!

You see, I immediately saw these non-slip, self-adhering, clear vinyl strips as having the potential to solve multiple problems for dog owners with wood floors. (More on this in a moment.)

But first, here’s the low-down from their site: Continue reading

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.
If there were any extra-terrestrials flying over, they got their own version of a  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

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