Monday, February 26, 2018

How to Survive a Badly Injured Fingernail

It might be a little dramatic to suggest how to survive a ripped fingernail, but anyone who has ever suffered the throbbing discomfort of a nail cut or torn past the quick may not think so. This fairly minor injury can cause a lot of pain!

Accidents happen.

In January, I was reminded that improper use of a sharp knife can be dangerous. I've learned all sorts of things from the online Master Class classes I have been taking, including the importance of heeding the teacher's warnings. Despite being cautioned against using a well-sharpened chef knife on a hard vegetable until completely proficient with the knife skill technique being taught, I did it anyway. 

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and then make a purchase, I may receive a form of compensation. I only recommend products I believe in.

a sweet potato and chef knife on a wooden cutting board

Oops. I did not cut off a finger (as it had been suggested could happen) when the big knife slipped. I did, however, slice right through the middle of the nail on my pinkie finger. Ouch.

Fortunately, the damage to the flesh under the nail was not deep. But it hurt - a lot. I was terrified I would completely rip off the top half of my nail before it grew out. My solution for a

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Everyone Has Some Artistic Creativity in Them

Our artistic creativity is shaped not just by our innate abilities and training, but often by the input of others.

I was rebuked by a Sunday School teacher when I was about 4-years-old, because I had not followed her directions. I cut out the little pictures on my page before I colored them, which was apparently not the order in which she wanted us to do things.

Coloring page, crayons and scissors

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and then make a purchase, I may receive a form of compensation. I only recommend products I believe in.

We were supposed to color first so, when our strokes strayed from within the picture outlines, our crayons would not make marks on the desks. I was shy and eager-to-please, and not

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Learn Something New Every Day project: January 2018

My Learn Something New Every Day of 2018 project went well during its first month. As I explained in my last post, my goal is to recognize and record one thing I've learned at the end of each day. I'm sharing my lessons here, with the hope that you'll find some of them interesting or helpful too. 

Some days the information gleaned was useful and on others quite trivial, but for each day of January, I recorded a tidbit of knowledge I didn't have during the previous 24 hours. 

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and then make a purchase, I may receive a form of compensation. I only recommend products I believe in.

Perhaps the lesson that amazed me most and was reinforced to me repeatedly this month, is how very quickly puppies grow up! 

8 week and 17 week photos of a german shepherd X puppy

Ours has already tripled in weight and grown exponentially since we adopted her.

My List of January Lessons: 

For more in-depth information about some of these topics, more details can be found in my previous post about Week 1 of this project and in future posts (soon to be published on this blog). 


Week 1.

  •  1. Puppy toys can come unstuffed.
  •  2. How to unclog a vacuum. 
  •  3. It’s a small world. Well, sort of. 
  •  4. Use vinegar to poach an egg.
  •  5. The best place to do a puzzle. 
  •  6. The aloe vera plant is useful for more than just first aid for burns.
  •  7. An interesting political idea.

Week 2.

  •  8. It's easy to make excellent artisan bread with a lovely crunchy crust.
I will be posting full details on how to bake bread like this soon, in an upcoming post.
Homemade crusty artesian bread
This is the bread recipe I have always wanted!

  •  9. Puppies grow quickly. 
The photos above already prove this point, but I can't resist sharing two more. We think she's cute.
      Puppies grow so fast!
      I've lost track of how many times we've been told, "Wow, she's going to be a big dog!"

  • 10. There's an easy way to get a dog to take a pill without spitting it out.
  • 11. I found a few new ways to use the "Notes" feature on my iPhone and MacBook efficiently.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Learn Something New Every Day of 2018: Week 1

One of my goals for 2018 is to learn at least one new thing every day. 

Learning something new every day is not difficult. Being aware that we are doing so is sometimes the real challenge.

The things we learn on a daily basis range from significant to trivial, intellectual to emotional, mind-blowing to diminutive. Some days we learn things we already knew but forgot. Sometimes we learn things we never wanted to know or things we have always desired to grasp. 

Learning something intellectual, mastering a new skill, finding out something new about a friend, or understanding the world or myself a little better are just a few of the ways in which I expect I will meet this goal. I hope to recognize and record at least one thing I've learned every day in 2018. 

Learn one new thing each day calendar

Some things I learn may be worthy of being shared. 

Sometimes I may learn things that readers of this blog may also find interesting, entertaining, or informative. When I do, I will try to share them here. This could even become a regular series of blog posts - but the probability of that remains to be seen!

Here are some things I learned last week:

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve

The End of Another Year.

I always experience conflicting emotions of nostalgia and anticipation on the last day of the year. For most of us, I think it is a time for reflection and goal-setting. And hopefully, a celebration of what has been and what is yet to come.

Please Be Safe.

During the holiday season many of us are on the roads, either traveling to/from holiday destinations or attending holiday parties. If your weather has been anything like ours, please drive slowly and use extra caution.

a snowy scene

My December Was a Bit of a Blur.

I thought all of 2017 went by quickly, but December seems to have zipped by at light speed. I spent the first few weeks in a bit of a sleepless fog, but for a very happy reason.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Don't Hang Christmas Tree Lights Without a "Magic Wand"

If you have tall trees to decorate, don't put up the lights until you read this post!

I sometimes recommend products on this blog, but only ones that I would use myself. A few years ago, I wrote an article about a tool that makes it easy to hang Christmas tree lights. And it does. Even on tall trees!

the light pole extends to multiple lengths

We've had a lot of snow in Montana already this year, but it melted due to unseasonably warm temperatures over the past week or so. Sunday was the perfect day to put up our outside holiday lights. Before we began, I got out our trusty tool. 

We decided to string lights on a tall pine tree and our Canada Red Cherry tree, which is now much taller than when I wrote about it, here. We had no need for a ladder, no tense moments, and no feelings of frustration throughout the process. Lickety-split, my husband and I had both trees decorated.We don't put lights on the roof of our house, but this tool would work well for that too.

Photo showing length of Christmas Tree String Light hanging pole
Taller than our garage when fully extended, this pole has a very long reach!
It is easier to put lights on a tree when two people participate; it helps a lot to have a second person managing the unstrung portion of the lights. There is a little bit of a learning curve to using the light pole, but it is quite easy to get the hang of it. My husband and I would have struggled a lot more if we had decorated the trees without this tool. It is practically a magic wand! We will never decorate another tall tree without it.

A light stringing pole was used to put on these tree lights.

One more good thing. When it's time to take the lights down, this tool makes that an easy task as well.

So, where can you get this magic wand?  I got mine from Amazon.  Click the link to go directly to the Amazon website, where you can order one of your own. 

I do get a tiny bit of compensation if you buy from Amazon after clicking the link, but that doesn't increase your purchase price at all. And I promise that is not the reason I'm telling you about this tool.  

The mission of this website is to pass along helpful ways to make the most of life. This is definitely one of those.

Happy decorating!

Do you decorate your home with outside lights? When do you put them up?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy American Thanksgiving

Let's make the most of all our moments
and be thankful
for every one of them!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Most - - of Every Moment


A few years ago I wrote about how December always sneaks up on me

Still looking for a recipe for your Thanksgiving feast? In this post, I shared a complete menu of recipe ideas.

What are your tips for getting organized for the holidays?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

It's Been a While

"It's been a while" is a bit of an understatement. 

It's been nearly a year since there's been anything new published on this blog. In fact, it has been so long, it will take courage for me to hit publish once I complete this post.

Some bloggers announce they will take a hiatus, or go into hibernation for a bit. I wish I had. However, to make a statement about taking a break, you have to know you will be doing so. I didn't. Instead, I started to fade away and then just disappeared. Nothing has been published here since January 1st, 2017.

Screenshot of my blog archive stats

I got stuck

This blog was once an almost daily habit, and something that I loved and nurtured. Somehow though, I strayed away from its original intent and the reasons it brought me joy. I fell prey to what tempts all bloggers: a need for blog success. My work became influenced by the techniques everyone says are necessary to be a successful blogger. Those differed from the ones I was comfortable with and that made me happy. I finally just got stuck. 

Some real life stuff got in my way as well. Having both our kids away at school, some family members with significant health issues, and the prolonged illness and eventual loss of our beloved dog all impacted my writing muse. I quit writing altogether for a while.

Eulogy for our dog

I got off-track

Bloggers share a lot about themselves, their family, and friends in a very public way. I have always wrestled with concerns about the Internet and privacy, but in past posts I tried to do the "smart" blogging thing. Loyal readers got to know me and my family pretty well. 

This blog however, was never intended to be a diary or a newsletter about my life. While following the popular blogging trend of sharing a lot of personal details and posting frequently, this blog became a little bit of both. While I enjoy the personal connections of blogging, that was never the main purpose of this website. 

I took a big step back and retreated from writing, blogging, and all other forms of social media. As the months went by, however, my need to write returned. I took some online writing classes, have been doing freelance writing as a ghost writer, resumed work on some short stories, and even won a fiction writing contest! Now, I'm ready to return to blogging with a clear plan of how I should proceed.

My new way of blogging

This blog began as a place for me to write and to pass along helpful ways for making the most of life. I've missed having this space to be creative and sharing good tips and tidbits with this audience. That is the main reason I'm resuming work at The Most -- of Every Moment.

I'm back to being a blogger, but in a very different way. I'll no longer be posting on a schedule or with any regularity. Posts will be published only when I have something worthwhile I want to share, and when I have time to write about it. If you want to follow along, the best way would be to sign up for my newsletter, which will deliver posts right to your email. 

I'm looking forward to getting caught up with the blogging community and reading favorite blogs again. I will probably resume some use of social media. Primarily Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and mostly just to read what others are doing and share the helpful things I find.

Something worthwhile: for readers who are also writers. 

Aside from apologizing for disappearing and informing you of the future of this blog, I mentioned courses and a contest offered by websites I enjoy. If you write, be sure to check these out:

  • The Write Life is a website that offers a wealth of information for writers and bloggers. They offered the amazing bundle of writing courses I signed up for last spring.
  • Re:Fiction is a wonderful resource that I recommend for all fiction writers. They host a monthly content for fiction writing from a prompt; the winner gets a prize and there's no entry fee!

Thank you 

Thank you to all of this blog's loyal readers, and to anyone who is visiting here for the first time today. 

When I spent some time this morning reading through my archives, I was pleasantly reminded by the volume of useful information published here. I even learned some things that I'd forgotten! I hope my past and future posts are valuable to you as well. That is the best measurement of this blog's success.

How can I help you find ways to make the most -- of all your moments?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! Some words of wisdom from 1755 to 2017.

In the year 1755, Benjamin Franklin wrote some advice still worth following in 2017: 

Happy New Year words of wisdom.

I would change this quote to be gender-neutral, by substituting the word person for the word man at the end of the sentence. I can find no other fault with these wise words. 

Happy New Year. Wishing you peace, happiness, and health in 2017.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016. It changed the world -- and even this blog.

As the year 2016 played out, posts from this blog became intermittent and then just dwindled away. I began spending less and less time on social media and even reading other blogs I have always enjoyed. I can place the blame on a number of things. Some have resolved and some are ongoing. I am not sure yet of the future of this blog, but I cannot let the new year begin without a farewell post to 2016.

2016 New Years poster

2016 ... What a year.  

There were so many moments of 2016 (personally, nationally and internationally) that filled my heart with pride, with fear, with sadness, and ultimately, with hope. It seems as though our world has rotated a bit on her axis, and feels different than it ever has. As we settle into 2017, I am hopeful we can find ways to heal. Our earth needs it, our country needs it; the whole world needs to heal. 

Even the health of my family had a rough year.  I've employed more of my nursing skills in the past six months than I have for a long time. I'm grateful now that my human family members are on the mend, that our dog is walking on all four legs again, and that I have only one week's worth of antibiotics left to shoot down our cat's throat!

Cat looking at medication and syringe

Blogging is different than any other kind of writing.

One thing I've learned over the nearly three-year life of this blog, is that blogging is a very personal thing. Successful bloggers share a lot about themselves, their families, and their friends online. I have always been a little guarded in this; as a nurse I am trained to highly value confidentiality and after all, I did spend years warning my children against the dangers of the Internet! 

The wonderful connections I have forged with faithful readers and my special blogging friendships have gradually led me to become more comfortable sharing my own stories. I always, however, have felt it important to receive permission before posting anecdotes or photos of other people.

Something in my attitude changed again over the course of 2016.  

My hesitancy to include anything in my blog about other people's health led me to question what actually is appropriate to publish. The nastiness of this American election year has me a little repulsed by social media, especially as many posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram seem to have become more egotistical and narcissistic.  (You know the ones I mean!) Perhaps the overwhelming, constant onslaught of information that invades my inbox and social media accounts has simply made me weary.  In any event, I began to question the value of the words and photos that I publish.  All this (as well as various demands on my time) were contributing factors, but my diminished posts in recent months were mostly a result of a muse that disappeared. My writing and creative spark just evaporated for a while.

Lately though, I have been missing this blog.  I suspect I will return to it in some fashion in 2017. My hope is that I can find a way to fill each post with valuable information, in a warm format that reaches out to readers yet maintains firm boundaries between real and Internet life. 

Even after writing this, I am hesitant to hit publish. What value does this post really hold? I feel it needed to be written, though - as an explanation and an apology to my long-time readers for my abrupt and unexplained absence. Publishing this today seems necessary to add closure to the past year of sporadic blogging  - and to pave the way for future posts.

We all have work to do in 2017.

I've rarely touched on politics here, but our upcoming American Presidential Inauguration is on practically everyone's mind. I hope we will all resolve to make the world a better, kinder, more tolerant and healthier environment.  Our work is cut out for us - but I believe in the human spirit. We can learn from mistakes made throughout history and we can stand up against what is wrong, and we can find ways to educate and guide leaders to the right decisions. Every voice and every positive action counts.  Protecting our environment, standing up against intolerance and injustice, and spreading kindness and truth is something we should all strive to do, all of the time.  Those repeated actions may be the best way we can all "make the most - - of every moment" of 2017. 

2017 Happy New Year photo

Happy New Year.  Let's make it a good one.