Thursday, May 14, 2015


I wish I was somewhere else right now. Anywhere rather than here. Out of a total of three adults in the house, I speak and hear my voice echoing as response. The wall next to me is more interactive.

It makes me feel invisible. And right now, at this very moment in time, when I feel more vulnerable than I can remember feeling in a long, long time, ANY response is welcomed.

But I am being ignored.

Not in the usual way people get ignored by household members. It isn't deliberate. I'm not sure that would be better (okay, let's be honest here, it wouldn't). It's because the sound of my voice isn't important. It's because the things the other two people here are engaged in trump any sound coming out of me.

If you're reading this and you're feeling the way I do, know you're not alone, because I completely understand how you feel.

If, on the other hand, you're reading this and are doing the same thing to your family and friends that my housemates are doing to me, consider this your wake-up call.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't state that I'm sure I'm guilty of doing this to others.

It sure is lousy being on the receiving end of it, though.

How do I deal with this?

Well, I have a very active imagination -- thank goodness. I picture myself in a place where the people around me not only respond to my comments but also love my company and are glad I'm around.

And show it.

That's who I'm going to surround myself with: people who adore me and who I adore back.

Note: I don't totally blame the people ignoring me today. Both are busy pursuing their goals and dreams and I wouldn't want it any other way. But generally I think if someone in the same room as you speaks up, the least you can do is respond. Even if it's just to say, "What did you say?" or "Give me just one second while I finish my thought here ... " Anything is better than nothing. 

. . . 

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt goes perfect with my state of mind: What place do you want to visit based solely on beautiful photographs that you've seen? The answer is: Forks, WA. And the prompt for photography is "sun flare". I happened to find a picture on the internetz that captures both, and is quite lovely:

How about that? Photo courtesy: Manitou Lodge Bed & Breakfast.

Unfortunately, I think it's more sunbeams rather than sun flare exactly. Oh well. Close enough. Of course, unless you've been living under a rock the past decade then you know Forks, Washington got put on the map thanks to the Twilight saga. But it really is a place that I became smitten with, not just because of the story but the gorgeous video of those forests in the films. Sign me up.

I'm about halfway through a transcription assignment and I really need to stop this and get back to finishing that. Because after I finish that I have another project to do on oDesk. Both will take me a few hours to complete, so ... I need to get cracking.

Cya laterz, cyberland.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Recipes, and photos

Today's writing challenge on is about photo-inspired kitchen wizardry. More specifically, "Do you sometimes make recipes due to the accompanying photo?"

The visual writing prompt is Bokeh.

I'm not really sure at this point what I'm going to write about, and frankly, I'm not particularly inspired by either of those subjects. I love bokeh -- I just don't feel inclined to write about it.

But here's a picture of my doggie, my little man, Sattva (ZAHT'-vuh ... second half of bodhisattva) (which I just found out is the name of a horse running the Preakness this weekend; the horse is the same color as my little man Sattva!):

It's kind of hard to see his color in this pic because of the filter I put on it. But it's a bokeh filter from a photo editing app on my smartphone, PicsArt. I love PicsArt.

As far as diving into recipes based solely on the photo alone ... umm, have you HEARD of Pinterest? Hel-lo-oo, I gain weight just looking at the delicious yumminess on that website! It's not fair!! And the blogs out there dedicated not only to delicious food but equally delicious photos to go along with them are too numerous to mention. Thank God for small favors, I say. I've seen more than one blogger whose passion for photography matches their passion for food. Here's one: The Simple Veganista. She explicitly states that she loves taking the pictures as much as preparing her subjects. And she's really good at it.

Speaking of food -- and bokeh -- here's a picture I took of the sign outside The Spaghetti Warehouse in Toledo, Ohio. Again with the lovely bokeh filter from the PicsArt app.

The air temperature was in the single digits when I took this picture. We won't even discuss the wind chill. This was taken on January 25, 2014. I just absolutely adore the vintage look the filters lend to this shot. It makes bone-chilling cold seem friendly. And delicious.

I do love living in this digital age.

I love that I can capture pictures like this ... on my phone. 


Last night I saw the movie Hackers for the first time. I was drawn to watch it because the actor Jonny Lee Miller is the lead. Miller is also the star of one of my absolute favorite TV shows (oh; I should add that to my profile) in production right now, Elementary. I can't stand the character Miller plays -- Sherlock Holmes -- but I adore his performance. Miller has a sublime gift. He's brilliant. And he's surrounded by talent matching his in the form of Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn (mmm, Aidan Quinn ... ....... .....................) ... oh sorry, I'm back, heh, and also Jon Michael Hill. The writing, the directing, the acting ... some of the best commercial production around. I say, kudos to CBS for making TV better with this show! The dialogue is so complex, I have a hard time following it. And I mean, c'mon, who doesn't love Lucy Liu??? She plays Joan Watson. Yes, that's right, Joan Watson. And I don't care what kind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle purist you are, she owns it. The whole cast absolutely kills it, week after week after week.

I can't tell you how many people I've met who are watching the British version, Sherlock, and they won't even consider watching Elementary. I mean, I get it; when you experience something as well done as those shows are, anything that smells remotely sacrilegious to the original, pure inspiration seems unbearable. But it drives me crazy. If one were going to attempt to rewrite Sherlock Holmes, CBS productions managed to assemble exactly the right people to pull it off with Elementary. It's worth watching one lousy episode, at least.

It just really bugs me when people draw conclusions about something they've never experienced, never looked into or looked up.


The point of bringing that up, about seeing Hackers, is that it got me thinking about how far we've come since that movie came out. And I love all of it. Life is better now for all the technology we have. It's a blessing.

Yes, it's being used to hurt people.

So are knives.

Knives can be great, when they're used to cut fruit or carve wood. But just like the internet, knives are a tool. The internet and computers (and knives) are not inherently evil, nor do they attract evil by their nature. Because the internet and computers are also doing great things by bringing positive messages to people who really need to hear them, and by bringing people together who otherwise would remain separated.  Among other things. More importantly, I seriously doubt God put the grey matter between our ears to sit there and look pretty. This digital age we live in is, in my opinion, one of the highest achievements human beings have heretofore dreamed up.

It's a beautiful, sublime thing.

Hello, blog. It's good to be back. :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Life of a Mosquito

It was a suicide run, I knew that. But still, my thirst would only be quenched my sinking my stinger into that human flesh hovering oh, so near to me! I needed blood; ironic, isn't it? That my quest for life would only result in my death.

She was an aggressive one. There would be no 'sip-and-run' this time. I'd only managed to narrowly escape the clap of her hands as she tried to thwart my attempts at getting close to her. One time the burst of air from one such hand clap grazed my wings, sending me spinning as I drunkenly dodged her next two assaults. She almost got me! But she failed - that time. I had to dive for cover before trying again. She was onto me like a pun intended.

I circled around in the shadows while the human moved about the room, preparing something hot to drink herself. I waited for my next opportunity, but I was running on fumes, and desperate to taste blood.

Finally, it happened: she was busy doing whatever and she moved close to me which I was waiting for. There it was - a flash of bare skin, illuminated by light from the window.

She stood still, I made my move.

Landed stick it in drink; ahh ...

... The end.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ahoy mateys!


    My pirate name is:

    Iron Mary Kidd  

    A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you're a tough person. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate.    Arr!
  Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Thursday, March 22, 2012, and Feeding Your Pets Homemade Food

Author's note: I must make the assertion here that at the time I wrote this I was very passionate about the subject of feeding raw food to our pets. I'd stumbled across two websites which provided lots of information making an argument FOR the diet ... and I got swept away with it. I confess I didn't do a lot of research into the arguments AGAINST the diet, and so this entry comes off sounding rather one-sided. That's because it is. Read with caution and do your research. 

For the record, I still believe feeding cooked meat is bad, but I give my "little man" carrots and apples as treats, also peanut butter -- the organic kind with no sugar added, just mashed-up peanuts -- and occasionally I'll tear off a corner of a pound of ground beef and give it to him raw. I've never seen him suffer any ill effects from this. At the same time I'm not willing to gamble. 

I'm keeping this post here because I believe it's important to keep the discussion going about what we feed our beloved family members -- both the four-legged and the two-legged kinds -- and to constantly demand nothing but the highest standards of quality from the pet food companies we patronize at our local pet stores. I am fundamentally against abuse of ALL kinds, but to me abuse of non-human animals (and children) is worse because they can't speak for themselves. 

~ Sarah Barres, May 12, 2015

Conducting a search of "are apples good for dogs" I stumbled across this website: No Cans - Make Your Own Pet Food. I poked around the website reading everything the person posted on dogs with interest. Like the author of I too became extremely worried and paranoid about what we were feeding our dogs after the Big Giant Pet Food Recall of '07. I totally sympathize with the author of that website because all the bad things happening to our beloved pets just broke my heart, and I wanted answers. Mostly, I wanted to stop feeding my pets poison, since that's about what it amounted to. Unfortunately it takes a big devastating event like that to bring to light the harm other people will do to each other and pretty much any living creature.

However, I was disappointed to see all the cooked meat in the dog recipes. I looked and looked for a way to contact the website administrator but I found nothing obvious. Many people close to me know that I feed my dogs raw meat and raw organ meat from time to time, and I wanted to direct the author to some of the stuff I found. She/he certainly did her homework and research and I totally relate to what that means, and the desire to share what one has found. Neither one of us wishes to make a profit off our findings; we simply wish to share what we found in the hope that other people can benefit from our hard work and enjoy healthy pets like we are. 

Well, here's what I found, I hope you enjoy it!, a website and administrator that is full of so much compassion it pours off your computer monitor and overflows into your life., the reason your cats don't like the people food you're giving them is because you're cooking it. Your cats want a whole, entire, raw fish, head, eyes, tail and all. Give them that and see how they respond! They will love it, and you can feel satisfied knowing you're giving them exactly what they need and love. 

If anyone reading this can forward this information to the site administrator of, please do!

Anyone else reading this, I sincerely hope you also benefit from this information. Most people probably can't afford to completely switch their dogs/cats over to a raw meat diet as it is quite expensive nowadays, but giving your pets some raw meat and raw organ meat once in a while is not only safe, it is recommended. 

I am not a veterinarian. But I know several veterinarians who would endorse what I'm saying here. Check with yours first, always, especially when it concerns your beloved pet. 


Here's another fantastic resource, although I should say as a disclaimer that I haven't actually read the book yet, but it gets raves from other raw meat diet proponents: ladies and gentlemen, I give you the BARF diet.  (Bones and Raw Food diet ... get it?)

Here's to good health ... all around! :-)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nothing at all

Which is precisely what I've posted in nearly a year! What is wrong with me? I'm going to have to turn in my "blogger" status card.

My excuse is that I never have any time. But the truth is that I simply choose not to do it; I can't deny that. I love blogging ... I love writing, about myself, about other people, about subjects that interest me such as camping, human and animal rights, living off the grid, environmental awareness in general, politics, all things Japanese, news broadcasting, news journalism, to name but a few. I've reduced myself to only discussing such topics with co-workers and my husband, but the blog post is always percolating in the back of my mind. I can't help it. I've had a very intimate relationship with words since I was about 4 years old. I don't write because it's "fun" or "cathartic" or because I feel it's good for me to do, nor for any one reason, nor for any combination of reasons. I write because it's what I do. I write. That's me. I'm a writer. What do I do? I write. I don't act, or speak, or build houses, or manage funds. I write.

And ever since I realized my superpower if you will, I've realized how I can either spread hatred or make the world a better place. I keep my hatred posts private; only I see those. (Those are what I'd call episodes of catharsis.) The more edifying journal entries capture the public spotlight on my blog, however. Of course I write such subjects knowing that, like beauty, the message is in the eye of the beholder.

I also enjoy writing fiction, and my absolute favorite thing in the world to do is invent dialogue:


"Nuh-uh! You told him??!? Holy crap, I can't believe you did it!" Jenny starts laughing loudly and heartily. All I could do was stand there beaming.

"You told Dustin that you found out about the scam he was running. I can't believe it!! I gotta say, I really did not think you would go through with it, Becca."

"If you think that's amazing, you should have seen the look on his face, AHAHAHAHA!!!" Now I was laughing right along with Jenny. "His face froze, Jenny, like a statue! Like all the life, all the emotion just drained out of him! I had to resist the urge to poke his face to make sure he was still human, hee hee hee!!!" I was almost shaking from giddiness, a nervous giddiness, granted. A month ago I stumbled on some documents on my brother's desk that proved what I'd been suspecting for several months now: that he was actually scamming college students into believing they were paying off loans, when in fact they were paying his personal bank account. I was furious because I myself had student loans once upon a time, but back then I kept the amounts as low as possible and paid them off quickly...


Ah, but I digress. That is not the most inspired thing I've ever written so forgive me for the lack thereof.

The point is, blowing the dust off this blog here is hopefully the start of a new leg in my journey. I can't wait to see where it takes me ...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Now this is my kind of home furnishing...

I did a search for my handle, "SolarSoda" because I wanted to see what would come up and I stumbled across this which is very cool!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches

I'd like to tell you about this great service to our community. I stumbled across this while renewing my car registration online, and I came to the page where you pick a worthy cause to make a donation to (or not). After staring at the 15 or so charities staring back at me, seemingly with their hands outstretched, I nearly gave up in frustration: how do you choose among so many completely worthy causes? I want to help save the manatees AND the marine turtle, and well, children need to be saved from abuse and veterans deserve a decent place to live ... *forehead connects with desk* ... perhaps I should pick one that maybe doesn't get the kind of attention the manatees probably get?

Armed with that focus I went through them again, and one caught my eye that I wasn't familiar with - Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches. Sounds like an outreach program. I was right. I settled on that one because it really spoke to me, louder than the other ones did. Troubled youth holds a special place in my heart for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that I'm married to a reformed, former troubled youth, but also from watching Naruto, the ultimate story of a reformed troubled youth.

Youth are our future. Every day at work I hear stories of more and more funding being pulled from the very things that cultivate a solid future: education, the arts, sports. Not to mention the increase of bullying stories, some with very tragic endings. And lest we forget the youth being raised in single-parent homes because the other parent is either off fighting in a war, or never coming home because of that war! These are troubled times, cultivating more troubled youth than ever before. At least places like the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches gives both the kids and their parents some light at the end of this dismal tunnel.

I want the world to know I support this very worthy cause, and I hope after reading this you will consider supporting them too, either here in Florida or in your own community.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Journey to Socotra

After seeing this story on the Today show yesterday, I've decided I'd really like to visit this place, a place "time forgot" about, and where the famed Dragon's Blood tree grows, a tree that can potentially live for 800 years ...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010 - October 15

Since 2007 Blog Action Day has been raising global awareness about issues that affect each and every one of us: the environment and poverty were topics in previous years.

This year Blog Action Day is calling on us bloggers to focus on water. Click here for a list of great ideas on what to post about water.|Start Petition

The best part about this particular call to action is that it falls on my birthday, so that makes it very personal to me. It is no surprise that water grabbed the most votes for this year's topic; the BP oil spill scared a LOT more people than just those immediately affected by it. Many scientists, university professors, and other experts weighed in on just how far-ranging the effects would be, and the unanimous conclusion, at least in terms of physical and economical damage, was all bad.

Bloggers however, are going to take that catastrophe and turn it into a tool to teach and inform and educate the globe, not just about how to help the Gulf coast heal, but how water issues all over the world need our attention, badly.

Please join us! Please help. Because every single human being on this earth deserves a nice cool drink of clean water always!

Even if you don't blog, you can still make your voice heard. Click here to sign the petition and to just learn more about why water is such an important issue all over the planet.