Friday, November 3, 2017

The Study-Time Top 15

I study, I work, and sometimes I cook. And when looking at the text for business law one more minute makes me want to bite my computer, I write a short blog post. Today I give you my Study-Time Top 15. These are artists, not songs. Fifteen songs would get me 6 pages in. I need closer to 6 hours.

You're welcome.

1. DJ Silence
2. Delerium
3. Clannad
4. David Gilmour
5. Enigma
6. Two Steps From Hell
7. George Winston
8. Tim Janis
9. William Ackerman
10. Underworld
11. Lindsey Sterling
12. Mediaeval Baebes
13. The Piano Guys
14. Yanni
15. Cu Dubh

You see here a list ranging from sweeping instrumental pieces (Tim Janis) to piano solos (George Winston); rocking bagpipes (Cu Dubh) to AMAZING guitar (Mr. Gilmour) to trance-techno (Underworld) and all kids of other stuff thrown in.

You can check out DJ Silence here:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What's Up @Home?

Hello Friends,

   As seems to be my habit, I have been long away. All of my daily tasks tend to turn into a whirlwind of whatever, and my poor blog is always the first thing to be sacrificed. So what's up @Home, anyway?
   September 4 I started studying Business Administration at Bay Path University. My concentration is in Strategic Human Resource Management. I was promoted to Human Resource Manager in April, and by July I realized I had found my niche. My first love will always be Literature, but I have found myself in a career I enjoy and want to stay in. Bachelor of Science, here I come! (Well, in 2019, anyway)
   Session I went well. One of my classes, 'Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders,' was both insightful and fun. This session I'm working on business law and marketing principles. Dry. As. Dust. (Sorry Professors!) The semesters are broken down into three six-week sessions, two classes each session. Twelve weeks of classes squashed into six. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go mad long before spring 2019.
   I have also signed up with the e-zine Eternal Haunted Summer ( as a book reviewer, and have applied to be an editor for Bella Online ( I have finished reading Danu Forest's excellent book Gwyn Ap Nudd and my review will be in the winter issue of Eternal Haunted Summer. I won't find out if my application for the 'Work and Family' editor at Bella Online has been accepted for another couple weeks. I'll share an update as soon as I know. I also managed a belated post to SageWoman and still managed to get all of my Session I classwork done on time.
   I always seem to be most productive when I have a pile of stuff to do. It was the same in high school and my previous college years. I also seem to get the most done at work on days when my desk is lost under a mountain of papers. I have no idea why--maybe the mess inspires me subconsciously: the more I do the faster the mess is gone? And if that is true, why is my house a disaster all the time??(As an aside, my final cumulative grade for Session I was 98.42%, so while my house may be suffering, at least my grades are acceptable.) Maybe I just need to carpe more diem. ...sorry Bay Path...
   For all of the writing I've been doing, I haven't done much creative writing, unless you count a research paper titled The Lost Art of Letters: The Breakdown of Communication in the 21st Century. Creative, but not very exciting. If I can get into the right headspace I may try to compose something to submit to Faerie Magazine. Also, the planned topic for December's Wild Sister is very relatable, and I may try my hand at that as well. Keep your eyes open--I may be popping up in random places!
   I was suddenly going to apologize for that last statement, it seems to smack of hubris. I won't, however. Positive thinking is nothing to apologize for, and I have come to realize that I apologize for far too many things. I will apologize for rudeness and mistakes I make, but beginning here I am done apologizing for having faith in myself.
   It feels like an appropriate time to make this resolution as we have just entered the season of Samhain. In the Pagan calendar, the new year falls on November 1, a fall festival of harvesting, introspection, and planning. The literal harvest is in; now is the time for the metaphysical harvest as well.
   You will see more of this journey as I travel. Perhaps by sharing my own stories (and food, always food!) I can help guide others, and in turn be guided by them. After all, we never stop learning!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Just a little bookly blurb....

Anyone who has visited Ellie's Home at least once knows how much I LOVE books, and how much I enjoy sharing them with, well, everyone! Here is a great holiday idea I found on BookBub!
And yes, it's still much too early to really think about the holidays, but if you're looking to buy 24 storybooks (or 7 or 21, depending on which holiday you celebrate), you may want to start a little early!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Three Things

Three Things: An Irish proverb tells us there are three slender things that support the world: a stream of cow’s milk into a pail, a growing blade of corn, and a thread being woven into cloth. To the ancient Celts, these things were staples of life. In The Celtic Spirit, Caitlin Matthews asks that we consider what three ordinary things support ou...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ellie's Kitchen: Martha Stewart's Ropa Vieja

I'm not a die-hard Martha Stewart fact I don't actually recall reading her magazine anywhere but at the dentist's office. So why did I feel the need to pick up the issue I saw at the grocery store? Absolutely for the promise of the ropa vieja recipe.

Who doesn't love the smell of  slow-cooked beef stew? Because this is a slow-cooker recipe, I'm able to toss everything together and left it quietly do it's thing, slowly filling the house with deliciousness while I scrub the bathroom (no fun but entirely necessary).

I am not ashamed to admit that most of Martha Stewart's recipes are over my head. I'm a home-cook, not  an uber-cook. (That title belongs to my sister who has a degree in culinary arts and has worked in amazing places like Wales and Cape Cod. For those of you home-cooks who can whip up a Martha recipe with one hand stirring and the other guiding you young reader across the page, I totally salute you. Please excuse me while I wallow in my inadequacy and let my slow cooker do all the work.


  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, cut into thick slices
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thick slices
  • 3 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
  • 1 jalapeno (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), cut into thin slices
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup small Spanish olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained, plus 1 tablespoon brine
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
  • Cooked white rice, for serving (I made  pot of coconut rice. So tastie)


  1. Preheat a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Season steak generously with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high. Add steak and cook until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, jalapeno, and cumin seeds; season with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Pour mixture over steak in slow cooker; cover and cook on high until very tender, 5 hours (or on low 10 hours).
  3. Transfer steak to a platter; cut in half crosswise. Using two forks, shred meat. Transfer sauce to skillet; cook over high heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in shredded meat, olives, and capers with brine; cook just until heated through, 2 minutes more. Top with cilantro and serve with rice.
  slow cooker root ropa vieja