Thursday, October 31, 2019

Writing Prompt Thursday: Lies

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Name one thing that you have lied to yourself about. Why did you do this?

Wow, this is a tough one this week. The first thing that pops to mind is a bit tough to write about, but since it's come up twice today, maybe I'm supposed to share it with all of you.

When I was 29, my ex-husband and I divorced after nearly ten years of marriage. After the divorce, I was broken. I had no idea of self-worth or even identity. During that time, I met a man online and for my 30th birthday, we agreed that I'd fly from Michigan to New York to see him. Everything that could go wrong with that trip did and I should have turned around and gone home, but I believed this man cared about me and I really didn't want to spend my birthday being ignored and alone. I kept telling myself that I just had to get there and everything would be alright.

I was wrong. By the time that I got there, I was exhausted. The airline didn't have my bag so I had nothing other than the cute, dressy outfit that I had worn.  I'll spare you all of the details, but that night was far from fine and I woke up the next morning, bruised and bleeding. Here's where lie #2 comes into play. I was so confused by what had happened. Since we were entering into a new relationship, I wondered if I'd given off some sort of mixed signal. He did his best to convince me that everything was fine and that nothing bad had happened. I was there, I was lost and confused, I believed him. I had nowhere to go and calling someone to come get me never crossed my mind. I didn't believe anyone would come if I did call...and I didn't know anyone else in that area. That night, there was an attempt at it happening again, but when I completely disassociated, it wasn't fun for him, so he stopped. The next day I flew home, confused by what had happened, hurting, and yet somehow looking forward to seeing him again. He was that good at manipulation.

Why did I lie to myself? Because I believed I was unworthy of love, affection, and any kind of positive attention. Part of me believed that any attention was better than no attention. I'm not that girl anymore. I have boundaries. I believe in me. I'm proud of me. That makes a big difference.

I hope you believe in you.

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Ravioli Lasagna

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1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 (28-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
25-30 frozen cheese or meat ravioli
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
2 tablespoons warm water

After browning the meat in a skillet, drain well and add the pasta sauce (save the jar!) to the meat in your sauté pan. Stir to combine.

Scoop a large spoonful of meat sauce and spread into the bottom of an empty slow cooker. Add a layer of frozen ravioli. Then add another layer of meat sauce. Continue layering until you run out of ravioli and sauce. Sprinkle cheese evenly all over the top.

Put 2 tablespoons of water into the empty pasta sauce jar, and shake. Pour this water over the top of your "lasagna."

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for about 4. Your lasagna is done when the pasta on the ravioli is tender and the filling is heated through.

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Book Review: The Dollmaker of Krakow

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In the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.

Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past.

The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina's courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter--that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him.

But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.


The Good:
I absolutely fell in love with the characters. Each one is so well done that they become real people (and dolls) before your eyes as you read and by the time you reach the end of the book, it feels as if they're friends. Then, there's the story itself. This talented author created a world that I could easily imagine in my mind. I was pulled in and when the end of the book came, the reality of my bedroom was a bit startling.

The Bad:
Only that nobody warned me that I'd need tissues before the book came to its end.

The Summary:
This could easily be one of my favorite books that I've read this year and I've read some really good ones. The story will draw you in, the characters will become friends, and by the time you reach the end, you'll be praying for more of little Karolina. In fact, I would love to see a novella all about what happens at the end of the book. No spoilers here!

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Writing Prompt Thursday: Mathematics

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Come up with a mathematical formula to express something you know/believe.

Me + My Children + Time = Happy Me

Me + The Man + Time = Happy Me

Me + Hard Work + Dedication = Success

Hard Work + Money = Progress in certain things

Me + Good Book + Cozy Blanket = Downtime

I thought this one might be tough, but really it's all about taking everything down to its base. I think I could probably do this for half the day and have a bit of fun with it, but I'd much rather see your formulas.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Pomegranate Beef

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 pounds beef roast
4 garlic cloves (whole is fine, or you can chop them)
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup golden raisins


Use at least a 6-quart slow cooker. Swirl the olive oil into the bottom of the stoneware. Add the onion. Rub the spices on all sides of meat and add to the crockpot with the garlic, the whole can of tomatoes, pomegranate juice, vinegar, and syrup. Sprinkle the raisins on top.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for about 5. The meat is done when it has reached desired tenderness. Serve with mashed potatoes and drizzle with the sauce.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Book Review: Cherry Ames - Boarding School Nurse

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This is another book in the Cherry Ames series. In this case she's gotten a job at a girl's boarding school which is basically down on its luck. There aren't many students, and most of Cherry's nursing problems are fairly minor. There is a mystery involving one of the girls, though, where she wants to find a formula for a perfume made by an ancestor of hers.


I'm still not reading as much as I would like but I couldn't resist this when I spotted it sitting on my night stand. I read this series when I was a kid and fell in love with them. In fact, they're my bucket list book series. I only own three of them so far, but I'm always looking in thrift stores and at garage sales for more. That said, this is the one that always stuck with me...

The Good - 
This is a light, quick read akin to Nancy Drew. Cherry is a regular girl who struggles with a bit of insecurity, but who is always there for her patients and who has a quick mind.

The Bad -
These were written during a time period when nurses were often seen to be below doctors and not as important. Certain things like this are apparent within the book.

The Summary - 
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I suspect that now that I own it, I will read it over and over again. If you're able to keep in mind the time period that it was written versus getting offended, this is a great series no matter the age of the reader.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Writing Prompt Thursday: Interpretation

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You are the wind's interpreter. What is it saying?

Keep going. Just keep going. It's tough, but you're tougher. Stand in front of me and I'll give you the nudge that you need. Don't fight it, just go with it. You can do this. Life won't defeat you. I'm on your side and will help push you when you need it.

Thank you, wind. Thank you for hearing my cries and answering. It is hard right now, but I can do this and when I feel that I can't, I'll stand outside and feel you whip through my hair, lifting me. I'm not alone even when I feel like it.

What does the wind say to you?

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Philly Cheesesteak

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1 pound sliced tri-tip
1/2 sliced onion
1 red, green, yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced and seeded
1/4 cup of white wine
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Favorite cheese
*French Rolls

Place sliced meat into crockpot cover with sliced pepper and onions. Pour white wine and Worcestershire sauce over top.

Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-6.

Spoon meat onto sliced french rolls or other favorite bread-item and top with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is nice and melty.

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Announcement: Sale!

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This just in...Due to my car having fits, I am running a limited time sale for new and current clients! How does it work? Super simple!

  • Contact me today about your project (current or future).
  • Put down a deposit to hold your space in my queue. 
  • Get 10% off this project!
  • When you're ready, we'll work together to make your project the best it can be!
That's it! Super simple. Now, how limited is this sale? It will only run until I have enough money set aside to get my car repaired. Don't delay because things will fill up quickly. 

How to contact me?
Again, super simple! Message me on Facebook (Katrina Roets) or email me at - Just make sure that you mention the sale! I'm dubbing it the "Keep Katrina From Losing Her Mind" sale. You can just call it the car sale.

Thanks, all! I look forward to working with all of you!

PS If you love to read as much as I do, make sure you check out my book sale over on Facebook!

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Writing Prompt Thursday: Worth It

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Write about something presently in your life that is "worth it."

Whew...there are so many things that I could write about. The kids, the man, the dehoarding, the working...but really, I think that they all boil down to one thing. The struggle, the fight. Some of you may read over at Welcoming Weight Loss so you know that I deal with PTSD, Bipolar 2, and OCD on a daily basis. It's not always easy and some days are far easier than others. It often means though that I just "don't want to." The motivation isn't zero, it's negative one million. I'm "out of spoons" or however you want to say it. There are days when I want to do it all. Of course, those are the days that what gets done isn't really what needs to get done. It can be a lot to be me, but the struggle is worth it. Every day that I listen to me and I take care of me makes things just a little bit easier. Every day that I take my medication, I get out of bed, and I work is worth it. It allows me time with my children. It allows me time with the man. It allows me to find me and to be me. If I didn't fight the fight, I would be missing out on a lot and the world would be missing out on me. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it. I have days where I forget that, but I'm lucky that I have those who will help me fight on those days. Today, I have a lot to do and there's an underlying voice saying that I don't want to...but the laundry will get folded, the posts will get written, and I will fight on. I hope you'll join me in fighting the fight that keeps you here with us all.

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Monday, October 7, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Vietnamese Pho

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Vietnamese Pho:

6 cups beef broth or stock
2 inch chunk of ginger , peeled
3/4 teaspoon anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 sliced green onions
1 pound thin sliced beef
Package of rice noodles
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Put all of the broth into the crockpot. Add the meat, green onion, ginger, fish sauce, and spices.

Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 4-6. It's done when the meat is fully cooked.

15 minutes before serving, add the entire package of rice noodles to the pot. Push them under the liquid with a wooden spoon, and cover. By the time you set the table, the noodles will be tender and glass-like. Serve in bowls. Add any additional garnish, such as bean sprouts, fresh cilantro or basil, and lime wedges.

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Writing Prompt Thursday: Where I Live

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Every week, I'm sure I've found a question that's going to stump me, but I'm discovering more and more that my brain kicks right in and starts running away with the answer faster than I can get it down here.

This week's question:
Give your city (or town or region) a new name that reflects what type of place it is, and explain why you chose that name.

This one is almost too easy. I would rename it Farmville and then I would chuckle as people thought I'd lost my mind and thought I was living in a Facebook game. I might even let them think that. It could make life interesting for a while, unlike life here in the village. I often say that I live in the middle of nowhere, Michigan, and I like it that way. It's quiet here. Nobody bothers anyone else and for the most part, the town is surrounded by fields and farms. Did I mention that it's quiet? Often the only sound I hear is when the train happens to come through on the track at the edge of the village. Sure, there are downsides but they're so minimal that they don't even count to me. I only notice them when other people are horrified that the closest fast food place is 10 miles away and the closest Starbucks is something like 18 miles. That's okay. My health would be far worse if I had easy access. I like the quiet, the sense of not being isolated, but being on my own.

How about you? What would you name where you live?

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