Below The Salt News

Honoring Creativity · Pondering Possibilities · Sharing Knowledge · Valuing Usefulness

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Music: Augustin Hadelich’s “Fantasy of the Cats”

We listen to music for a variety of reasons — to relax, to distract, to celebrate, to evoke a memory, to capture a moment, to alter our mood, to reflect our emotions, to enhance our brain functions… But, have you… Continue Reading →

Book Review: GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel Khong

“…there is a bit of magic in this author’s ability to tell a deeply affecting story with interspersed humor” I will be honest: I don’t know how to feel about this book. Prior to picking up GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel… Continue Reading →

Pondering The Possibilities: Male Cat Birthing Coach

The idea of a male cat birthing coach seems to go against everything we think we know or have been taught to think about the nature of human vs animal behavior. Humanity — 1) compassionate, sympathetic, or generous behavior or disposition: the… Continue Reading →

A Christmas Cookie Tradition of “Wait Until Christmas Eve”

When my children were very little, I began our Christmas cookie tradition. It was simple then – just a few cookies: chocolate chip, peanut butter kisses, and sugar cookies — cut into snowmen, angels and bells. Each year, I added… Continue Reading →

Words: Zane Grey “What Any Man Can Do…”

Author Zane Grey has a few simple, timeless suggestions for when, in the midst of our helpless frustration, we wonder what any one man or woman can do to change things or make a difference in what is happening around… Continue Reading →

Book Review: THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY by Susan Rivers

As a fan of Civil War-era historical fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed the slim debut of THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY.  An epistolary novel told in its entirety through letters, legal court inquests and journal entries, it mirrors the real-life story of… Continue Reading →

Pickled Mixed Vegetables For The Holidays

The holidays will be here soon and pickled veggies will add just the right touch when entertaining. Just about any vegetable — and some fruits — can be pickled. All you need is vinegar, water, sugar, salt and some dry… Continue Reading →

Words: “Where Human Beings Grow Human Souls …”

Where do we find our courage, our strength, our resiliency, our compassion… Ursula K. Le Guin explained in her Mills College Commencement address, 1983 (excerpt): “Because you are human beings you are going to meet failure. You are going to meet disappointment,… Continue Reading →

Series Review: THE GOOD PLACE

Every now and then a tv show surprises me in an unexpectedly good way.  A recent Netflix binge brought me, happily, to THE GOOD PLACE! While our lives often seem like a twisted series of moral dilemmas (and then we… Continue Reading →

DEMENTIA DIALOGUES (TEDx) — Remaking Conversation

The value of communications and conversations are not just in their exchange of wants, needs, and information, but the connections and relationships they build with each interaction.  One of the most compelling things about TEDTalks — they help us to… Continue Reading →

Making Gelato Like A Pro

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. If you have ever visited Italy, you probably ate creamy, delicious gelato and wondered why it tasted better than American made ice cream. What makes Gelato different? Gelato has less fat in… Continue Reading →

Book Review: THE SPORT OF KINGS by C.E. Morgan

What I’ve come to learn about myself as a reader is that I am patient enough (who knew?) to enjoy epic novels that span generations (This one was 545 pages). And I’m nerdy enough to enjoy puzzling out long, beautiful… Continue Reading →

Words: “The Bastard Muses … Propaganda, Sentimentality, and Pornography”

In the age of social media when we are overwhelmed by too much information and too many ultra compelling stories from questionable sources with untold or dubious purposes, it’s helpful to remember Cleanth Brooks’ warning about the “Bastard Muses ”… Continue Reading →

The Myth Behind Fried Green Tomatoes

When I first moved to the south about twelve years ago, I saw fried green tomatoes on just about every menu here. While living in the north, I had not been very aware of this dish.  As a home cook… Continue Reading →

Book Review: ALL THE BEST PEOPLE by Sonja Yoerg

I’ve read all of Sonja Yoerg’s work and with each novel, she brings something different to the table. In her first novel, hidden secrets; in her second, a search for self among the wilderness; and in ALL THE BEST PEOPLE,… Continue Reading →

Reclaiming Creativity

Creativity is how we reframe and redefine our world.  It is how we express our joys, fears, interests, hates, passions, frustrations…  It is how we feed our curiosity, learning, understanding, artistry, craftsmanship, resiliency, social connections…  It is a profound part… Continue Reading →

Book Review: THE FIRE BY NIGHT by Teresa Messineo

There is something about THE FIRE BY NIGHT by Teresa Messineo that packs a big punch. Perhaps it’s the reality of nurses who volunteered to serve during the war and who were put into the same horrific, life-threatening predicaments as… Continue Reading →

Book Review: THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF LOVE by Elizabeth J. Church

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to learn that I found much to love about THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF LOVE by Elizabeth J. Church.  1) Crows! 2) Science! 3) Southwestern setting – I so enjoyed the references to… Continue Reading →

Music: FURTHER by Black Lab

The only thing better than finding a song that speaks to a pivotal moment in our lives, is finding a band that continues to reconnect as we journey through life. I didn’t know it at the time, but I first became… Continue Reading →

Make Your Own Coffee Cake

This is my all-purpose coffee cake recipe that our family loves. I can vary the filling and shape it to create a different cake each time. The basic procedures are the same for whatever filling you choose. Seasonal fruit filling is… Continue Reading →

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