Category Archives: Laurie Ryan

To Everything, There is a Season…

It’s been a strange month for me. After a very active and participatory summer, things have slowed down for us. Part of that is because the pandemic has worsened in our area, though it does finally seem to be leveling off. There’s also the fact that it’s getting colder and activities are moving inside. But mostly, it’s because I had so much going on, I needed a break. Lol. The timing is right, with Fall shedding her awesome colors.

Still, it’s weird to go from so much activity to almost none. It has, though, been good for my writing. Getting lots of words in. And digging out some recipes I haven’t tried for a while, like homemade chili and hamburger pie. I haven’t made hamburger pie in years and I LOVE the Bisquick crust to it. It’s a Betty Crocker recipe and you can find it here if you’d like to try it.

 We’re finally getting some rain in the Pacific Northwest and it is welcome. We were getting pretty parched. I wish we could share it with some of the areas that continue to be dry and arid. But we did get out for some fishing before our favorite lake closed to the sport for the year.

The rest of this month is quiet, with lots of writing tasks to get through, including an intensive workshop I signed up for on newsletters. That will keep me busy as I watch the leaves turn and dark comes earlier every day.

Since this is a sort of potpourri month for me, I’ll finish with my favorite quote:

“I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived.” Jean Luc Picard

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website

Summer’s Ebb and Flow

August is probably my least favorite time of the year. Summer’s hottest month here where I live and everything takes on a dry, arid look. I am a creature of the Pacific Northwest and generally love the rain. Maybe not as much as Hurricane Ida just dumped on the southeast and east coast. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

In spite of not being my favorite time of the year, August was full of family and friends and joy. It flew by.

First was a camp out. Smokey air and 102 degree heat didn’t keep up from enjoying ourselves. It just meant we spent more time in the water.

Then we had kids and grandkids staying here for a week. Going from a household of two to a house full of six worked out really well. I loved the time with the grandkids and took them swimming and played games. It was awesome.

We watched our granddaughter get her white coat, her entrance into medical school. Congratulations to her!!!

Then came our grandson’s wedding. It was a beautiful day. Just cloudy enough to make the pictures pop with perfection. Such a joyous day, since they’d cancelled their wedding in 2021 due to Covid. Plus, our grandson built the arbor they were married under. A chip off his grandfather’s block. 🙂

Finally, we finished up the month with a close friend’s visit for several days. Yo and I met when our husbands were stationed in Germany and we’ve been friends for 45 wonderful years. The time apart falls away when we’re together and it’s like we live next door to each other. Comfortable and full of laughter and fun.

Now September is here and I’m more than ready to hunker down for a while. To watch the weather change and do our part to keep COVID-19 at bay. While we were careful at these summer events, we’re happy enough to just be home by ourselves for a while.

Except, the ocean is calling. So who knows. Maybe there will be Autumn adventures in our future. 🙂 I hope you’ve had a wonderful, laughter-filled summer.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website

Ahh, Summer…

July was a busy month and August looks to be busy, as well. It’s like everyone is trying to get stuff in before we have to hibernate again. I believe things are ramping up again with COVI-19, so I’m grateful to have chances to see family and friends before it gets any more dangerous.

I got to spend 4 days with my grandchildren while their parents took a vacay. Since the family had just returned from a family vacay, the kids were happy to just be home. We played games, went swimming and had lots of fun. And of course, hung out with Bo, the sweetest golden doodle I’ve ever met.

We went fishing twice. The mountain looks soooo bare after our record heat wave. Wow.

Our grandson got married. They had a parents-only wedding, so we weren’t there in person, but we’re very happy for them.

I have been using my outside office a lot and getting quite a bit of writing done. Or did, until my schedule caught up with me.

We celebrated my sister-in-law’s banner birthday and my baby brother’s retirement from the day job.

Good friends visited from out of state. And, most recently, our 12-year-old granddaughter spent a few days with us. We swam, went to our local wildlife park, and ate lots of birthday cake for her birthday.

Oh, and we took author pics. She and I are writing a book. Her ingenuity and imagination, my editing skills. It’s been fun to work together on it and, if it ever gets published, I figured we needed good pics to show off, right?

So, after a busy month, I rolled right into another busy one. I’m working hard to be careful and am grateful that almost all of my extended family has been vaccinated. But come September, I’ll probably be more than ready to isolate for a while. 🙂

I hope you’ve had a summer filled with laughter and hugs. Careful hugs. Enjoy this time while we have it. I’ll leave you with a quote from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann:

“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And wether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website

Ahhh, Summer…

First of all, Happy Fourth of July to all the USA folks who just got done celebrating it. And Happy (belated) Canada Day to our northern neighbors.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have a fairly temperate climate. We get snow in winter…sometimes. We get rain. And we have well-rounded seasons. What we don’t normally get is over 100 degrees in the summer. Last weekend, we hit 110 in places. That’s unheard of around here, and with so many people not having air conditioning, it was brutal.

Hubby and I were lucky. We have air conditioning. Put it in a few years ago when we hit 100 degrees five times in one summer (another very rare occurrence.) So we were able to weather the heat fairly well, though we got a little worried about how hard that A/C unit was working! I sat on deck and did some work in the mornings before the heat got bad, then it was inside for the rest of the day.

This is me, the one time I stepped outside late afternoon. It was 105 degrees and I didn’t stay out there for long. I’d never do well in a torrid climate. Yikes!

On a slightly different subject, I was recently at my grandson’s house visiting. Their backyard is torn up, so we sat in the front yard for an outside visit. It made me realized that I never see people sitting out front anymore. Houses uses to have big porches and people would sit there and visit, greeting folks that walk by. Does that happen anymore? Most of our outdoor entertaining and visiting is done in our back yard. That seems to be the way things are these days. It’s kind of sad, to be so sequestered. I like my neighbors. I just don’t see any of them very often because we’re all in back yards. Lol.

Well, I wish you all a wonderful July, full of sunshine and just enough rain to keep things green. And full of laughter, love, and enough work to make your time off precious.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website

Inspiration

This month, I launch a new romance series. I’m a beach junkie. I love being at the ocean, walking along the beach in search of treasures, watching the waves roll in, or just sitting in a chair reading and listening to the roar of the ocean.

I decided to set my series on the Washington Coast, and Willow Bay was born. Fictitious, but tied to some of my best beach memories. It’s been fun writing these stories and I may (or may not) have used them as a reason to head for the ocean. Inspiration always powers books to strong finishes, right?

As a writer, those kinds of inspirations can come from anywhere. I went to a Tall Ships festival and my three-book series, Tropical Persuasions, was born. My fantasy series, Earth Legacy, came from all the news about climate change. My horse story, Rudy’s Heart…well that came to me in a dream. 🙂

Inspiration enhances all our lives. Just looking at our Over The Backyard Fence blog partners. If you like to paint, like our own Kit Domino, a field of bluebells sends you rushing home to the canvas.

If you love dogs, like Faye Avalon, you help raise puppies to help others and end up with the love of your life in Miss Vivvy. Or, like Marie Tuhart, you search for one dog and take on a sister and brother both.

Lavada Dee is inspired by family, life, and travels near and far to expand her horizons, and we are inspired through her travel blogs here.

Jillian Chantal does a weekly photo blog, Wordless Wednesday, and she inspires me with the the amazing pictures she posts.

Without inspiration, it seems like there would be no forward momentum, no growth. I for one, try to keep my eyes open for those inspirations. From an eagle floating overhead to the beautiful blooms of a flower. From a friend’s post about what got her through a tough time to another’s announcement of an imminent wedding. It’s all fodder for my own happiness and for my stories.

Do you notice inspiration around you? I hope so. 🙂 Have a wonderful month and I hope you get some glorious sunshine to inspire you.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website

Geocaching Mars

Has anyone been keeping an eye on Perseverance, NASA’s robotic explorer, since it landed on Mars? Hubby and I have enjoyed keeping an eye on things. It was a nail-biter the day it landed, but all went smoothly. If it’s something you’re interested in you can find more about it here.

Some of the highlights:

7/30/20 – Launched.

2/18/21 – Landed in Jezero Crater on Mars.

2/19/21 – MEDA environmental analyzer records first weather report on Mars. -4 degrees Farenheit (-20 degrees Celsius)

4/19/21 – Helicopter Ingenuity lifted off from Mars surface, the first powered flight on another planet. By the way, did you know a small piece of muslin from the Wright Brothers’ first flight is affixed to Ingenuity?

But one of the coolest things that happened, for hubby and I, was something we were actually able to participate in. We like to geocache. I’ve probably mentioned that a time or ten, including in last month’s blog. It’s urban treasure hunting without the treasure and it gets us out walking and you can find more about it here.

Well, Geocaching.com and NASA got together and planned the best geocache EVER. An alphanumeric code was added to a plate that the Perseverance camera would use for calibration once it landed. It would take pictures of that code and send them back to NASA.

We, as geocachers, were able to dig through the Perseverance pictures and find that code, then log the find on geocaching.com. So we’ve officially geocached Mars and we got this digital souvenir to remember it by.

So far, almost 76,000 other folks have, too! I know I’m being a geek, but this was soooo cool to be part of.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website

Happy Places

I’m a water person. I love being near the water. In January, I went to the beach by myself to get some oceanside time. It was a new rental in a new area for me and I keep saying I found my happy place. It was 160 steps down the path to be on the beach. And I could watch the waves from our bottom floor apartment, as well.  A couple weeks ago, I went back with hubby and he liked it too. Now, he’s a farm guy, so our little acre of grass and garden is his happy place. But he gladly went with me to see mine.

We got lucky with one day of abundant sunshine and we got out geocaching the area. For those of you who might now know about geocaching, it’s kind of like urban treasure hunting (without the treasure.) People hide containers with paper logs in them and we use our GPS to find them and sign the log, then go online and log that we found it. It gets us out walking and we’ve found some really neat hidden places this way. If you’re interested in learning more about it, you can check geocaching out here.

Anyhow, after the day of out and about, we had a very stormy day. Windy, sideways rain, angry waves etc. We were snug in our little place and got to watch the storm blow through for most of the day. That was as cool as the sunny day before.

I can hardly wait to go back, but alas, this particular rental is very popular and I might not make it back there again until fall. But it’s in my heart and I’ve got lots of pictures to remind me when I feel the tug.

Where’s your happy place? Is it at home, at the beach, deep in the forest, in a high rise apartment in the midst of all the hubbub of the city?

In other news, I released a short story last week in my fantasy line. Wolf’s Call was the final time I’d be with the characters I developed for the Earth Legacy series. I’ll admit I cried writing it, cried editing it, and cried when it released. That series, for me, was a years long endeavor and the characters were dear to my heart. You can find out more about Wolf’s Call here.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website

Gallery

One Month at a Time

It’s been a strange month, waiting to get our vaccines, which we’ve both now gotten. I had some side effects from the second vaccine (Hubby did not) but I’d do it again to have this bit of protection. In looking … Continue reading

2021 – Finally!

Did we make it? Are we out of 2020 and into the new year? I’ve been afraid to poke my head out from beneath the blanket to check.

As January tends to be one of the months where getting fit is promoted (due to all those New Year’s Resolutions), I thought I’d talk about an experience I had at a boot camp a few years ago.

I thought it would be a good way to lose some weight.

Boy, howdy, was it. I lost, I think, 34 pounds in a month. But what a way to lose them. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done.

I started on a Thursday. Day 3, for me, was Memorial Day weekend that year. And I found out the hard way that there is a special workout that CrossFit places do around Memorial Day. It’s called the Murph and is named for Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a US Navy SEAL killed in action in 2005. 

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Lt. Murphy. What a horrible thing. And I applaud this kind of remembrance, one that is helpful and healthy.

My only problem with the Murph workout is that it occurred on DAY 3 of my boot camp.

Here’s what the Murph includes:

  • A one mile run.
  • 100 pull ups
  • 200 push ups
  • 300 unweighted squats
  • Another one mile run

I can’t remember exactly how long it took me to do that workout, but it was somewhere around 3 hours. I was the only one left working out for the last hour. And I sat in my car crying my eyes out, wondering why I did this to myself.

The next day was Sunday, our day off. Ooooh, boy, was I sore! I give myself props for showing up on Monday and for the rest of the month.

But never again! Now, I’m older and it’s harder to lose the weight, but I continue to walk and try to eat healthy and lose a little bit here and there. For me, that’s the balance I need. And that’s what my goal for 2021 is. To find balance.

I hope you had a safe and joyful entry into this new year and that your heart is full of possibilities and balance.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website

Decorating for the Holidays

Every year at this time, getting the Christmas boxes out is like a rite of passage. I smile as I open the boxes and view the things I haven’t looked at since the prior year. I smile as I pull each old friend out. Some of them are new, some have been with me for years. All are things I treasure. And as I put them around the house, I think about how I picked this one up at a bazaar with my sisters-in-law.

How Kris Kringle, a gift from my sister, smiles back at me from his corner by the bookcase.

How my husband, who doesn’t like decorating but puts up lights on the house for me, lets me put a few small nick-nacks and color in his corner of the family room.

The nativity set my daughters always loved.

The crafted reindeer a friend gave to my Mom while in a rehab facility to cheer her up.

How old traditions and new meld each year, turning our house into a beloved family history lesson. Decorating for the holidays makes me nostalgic and happy and is more important this year than any before. A lot of people put up their trees weeks ago and I applaud them for doing that. Because now is the time to slough off the stress and just enjoy. From a distance, but thankfully, there are electronic ways to be together. Even 50 years ago, the isolation would have been so much worse.

I hope that, whatever holiday you celebrate, that you have treasures to unearth and smile at for a while this year.

Happy Holidays, everyone! And remember, 2020 is almost…nope. Not going to say it until it’s a done deal. 🙂 Instead, I’ll leave you with a picture of hubby and me on Thanksgiving. It might have been just us, but we dressed up (I even put on makeup!) and got the good china out for dinner.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
Newsletter
Website