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Archive for April, 2011

Kaylin’s May 2011 Newsletter

“Optimism is a cheerful frame of mind that enables a tea kettle 

to sing though it’s in hot water up to its nose.”


Dear Friends and Avid Readers:

After experiencing the loss of family members, friends and business associates to cancer over the past few years, my husband and I  recognized the need for preventative medicine rather than focusing on aftercare. Together, with Governor Kitzhaber, Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Lynn and Dave Frohnmayer and many like-minded individuals in our community, we’re seeking ways to raise awareness and to direct our fund-raising efforts toward expanded research and the care and treatment of cancer patients and their families.

This year, ticket sales and profits from our upcoming Artful Giving Blanket Concert will benefit Portland’s Providence Cancer Center. The official site for this event will be held on the grounds of our 15-acre estate in Troutdale, Oregon on Saturday, July 16th 11am – 6pm. With KATU Anchor – Steve Dunn as our presiding MC, musical entertainment will be highlighted by Aaron Meyer, Linda Hornbuckle, Sonny Hess and Northwest Women Rhythm and Blues, Patrick Lamb, and Curtis Salgado. Nearly two dozen local artists will display their artwork for purchase, and complimentary food and beverages will be provided by Duck Pond Winery and ten of Portland’s finest restaurants, including Morton’s, El Gaucho and Portland City Grill.

Together, we can make a  difference by improving the quality of life for families affected by this indiscriminate disease. Visit www.artfulgiving.net and be sure to make plans to attend this exciting event!


Quote of the Month:

“It is not intelligence alone that brings success, but also the drive to succeed, the commitment to work hard, and the courage to believe in yourself. Know that your dreams must come from your heart’s deepest desires. Only then will the barriers come down before you. To know your heart, you must know yourself. You are who you decide to be, not who other people decide for you to be. Be noble. Stand on the higher ground. Create your life and then go out and live it.” — Unknown


Recommended Reads: 

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. Set in the 1940′s, on the eve of the NHS in rural England, a Doctor visits an old stately manor to see a maid who was complaining of stomach pains. When Dr Farrady dug a little further it turned out that the maid wasn’t ill at all but trying to get sent home as she was afraid of things “going bump in the night” (and day!) in the house. Farrady strikes up a friendship with the house members (of whom there are only 3 left) and becomes embroiled in some very strange goings on. The real taking point is at the end of the book. It appears that Waters has left her readers to make up their own minds about what was really going on in the house but there are some great theories flying around that makes this a good read for debate.

Blindness by Jose Saramago. This book is amazing, incredible and breathtaking. The story starts with a man in his car at traffic lights who goes suddenly blind. He is helped home by a stranger, who a few hours later also goes blind. Within a few days the blindness has spread round half the city and also those afflicted are herded up by the government into a disused mental asylum and left alone. The wards quickly become overrun with filth and chaos ensues. In the middle of this, though, we get to know a handful of characters very well and it is really their story that we follow through the never-ending days, lack of food and riots. The whole story is told through long paragraphs of unbroken text. There are no quotation marks, hardly any punctuation and none of the characters are given names. But it works!

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind. This is one of the weirdest books I have ever read but also one of the best. Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of 17th century Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human’s. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odor he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill.


Kaylin’s Favorite May Recipe:   Corn Bread Cobb Salad  (Yummy!)

Corn bread croutons add a kid-friendly, Southern spin to this classic salad. This recipe will yield enough for a picnic potluck or a light family dinner and lunch the next day.

Ingredients:

  • FOR THE CROUTONS:
  • 2 cups cubed corn bread, preferably day-old
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • FOR THE DRESSING:
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 3 hearts romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 4 large eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 1-1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) Monterrey Jack or Cheddar, shredded

 Directions:

1) Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-size bowl, toss the corn bread with the oil, and salt    and pepper to taste, until the cubes are well coated. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, turning once with a spatula, about 8 minutes. Set the croutons aside. 

Tip: Croutons can be made the day before and stored in a ziplock bag until ready to use.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle in the oil and continue whisking until the dressing has thickened. Add the lettuce to the bowl and toss to coat it with the dressing. Transfer the lettuce to a serving platter.

3) Arrange the chicken, eggs, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, red onion (if using), and cheese over the lettuce. Season the salad with more salt and pepper, if you like. Serves 6 to 8.


 Here’s a little something to make your smile: 

An Irishman had been drinking at a pub all night. The bartender finally said that the bar is closing. So the Irishman stood up to leave and fell flat on his face. He tried to stand one more time; same result. He figured he’ll crawl outside and get some fresh air and maybe that will sober him up.

Once outside he stood up and fell flat on his face. So he decided to crawl the 4 blocks to his home. When he arrived at the door he stood up and again fell flat on his face. He crawled through the door and into his bedroom. When he reached his bed he tried one more time to stand up. This time he managed to pull himself upright, but he quickly fell right into bed and is sound asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.  He was awakened the next morning to his wife standing over him, shouting, “So, you’ve been out drinking again!!”

“What makes you say that?” he asked, putting on an innocent look.

“The pub called — you left your wheelchair there again.”


So remember … Stay positive, give happiness away, and be sure to recommend Flaherty’s Crossing to everyone you know! 

Have a great month!

Kaylin

http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com

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Reading Room Review – Flaherty’s Crossing

I thoroughly enjoyed Flaherty’s Crossing while reading it and I already miss Kate and Drew as characters.  This novel was such an exploration of what love is, what it is like to lose a parent and forgiveness.  How is this done?  Drew and Kate are married but seem to lost track of each other and their marriage, they are both at the breaking point, but after an accident and as time passes the two start to work together and talk together again.  But can some secrets that still remain ruin the reigniting love between them.

Kate also has issues with her father in the beginning of the book and he is at death’s door.  The book goes through what Kate does after his death and how she learns more about her father and herself and how to go on with life.

This book is full of emotion and characters that really come to life.  I feel like Kate and Drew are a part of my family now, and that is pretty amazing for a 250 page book.  Also I found this book kept surprising me.  As soon as I though I had something figured out, it was different than I thought.  But it was the relationships that kept me reading above and beyond the plot, even though the plot was wonderful, the relationships were outstanding.

I look forward to reading more of Ms. McFarren’s work in the future.

My Rating:  4.5/5.0

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