Book One - The Golden Telescope
Posted in BLOG WRITING
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My Book: The Golden Telescope

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE GOLDEN TELESCOPE – BOOK ONE in the JACK and the MAGIC HAT MAKER series. Anyone who loves magic, mystery, and time-travel will love this first installment in the new 9-book series about 12-year old Jack Mac Paidin and his adventures in time and space. Twelve-year old Jack Mac Paidin’s life is miserable. His parents are dead, and he’s stuck with his heartless aunt and uncle, who make him live in the cold, dank basement. Then his life takes a crazy turn when he touches a golden telescope that reveals he has magical abilities. He learns that he comes from a long line of magic workers who want to use his powers for their nefarious purposes. A mysterious visitor rescues him using a magic hat and takes him to his ancestral home in Dublin, Ireland. Though Jack’s life at Mac Paidin Manor is much better than it was living in the basement, things are far from perfect. There is a dangerous organization called The Dark Cabal, and Jack learns that it is responsible for killing his parents and separating him from his brother and sister. Confronting them will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined. After years of trauma-related asthma attacks… and life as a number-loving nerd, Jack finally feels like his life has meaning. Even though he is bewildered to discover that there is a world of magic he knows nothing about, Jack learns that he is special. He is the only person who can help find his Grandma Lydia trapped in the past and solve the mystery surrounding his parent’s death. Full of relatable characters, wildly imaginative situations and countless exciting details, this first book in the series by author Tracy Partridge-Johnson portrays an unforgettable story and sets the stage for many incredible adventures to come. A captivating story filled with magic, mystery, and time-travel for middle-grade and early teen readers of Philip Pullman, J. K. Rowling, and Rick Riordan. Wow, I started reading at noon today. It’s 8pm. I haven’t moved. It has kept me wanting more at every turn of the page. When I got to the end it was a great loud Ahhhhh! My partner ran in thinking something was wrong and laughed when I told him it was the end of the book. I Loved IT. Well done. XXX ~Sandra H. Amazingly creative, filled with details and imagery that fill your mind with scenes as if you’re there in the moment. Such a great book for all ages. I read this to my 8 and 5 year olds. They both loved it!! Definitely a book for all ages! Can’t wait for more!! ~ Rachel W. Learn more about author Tracy Partridge-Johnson HERE.

Donald Trump - A Presidential Portrait
Posted in PORTLAND PYROGRAPHY
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Donald Trump – A Presidential Portrait

Donald Trump is President of the United States of America And since Donald Trump holds that distinguished office, I decided a presidential portrait is the ideal theme for my current “Just For Fun” project. It’s been awhile since I created a piece on vegetable tanned leather, and I just happen to have some on-hand, so I decided this might be a fun one to work on. I’ve also been wanting to create a larger piece as an example of my portrait work. What better person than President Trump for this piece? He has such a “larger-than-life” personality! He is the perfect subject for this undertaking! The project size is 16″W x 20″H, much larger than any portrait I’ve burned before. On wood or leather. There is a LOT of shading in this photo, and much of that is very dark…with his navy jacket and the deep blue and red in the flag…plus the blurred shading in the background. That much shading represents many, many hours of burning. So, I’ve allowed time to work on this project, between client work, and when the mood strikes me. I’m happy to say it’s about finished! Which is great, since I started work on it in the summer of 2019! I just need to add final touches then have a custom mat and frame made suitable for the dignity of this piece. *I’m secretly hoping to send this completed portrait to our president and would love to, ultimately, see it hanging in the White House! Wouldn’t that be amazing?! I’ll update this post with the matted and framed piece…ready to hang. Until then…you can view the progress I was making on this piece below. And if you like my work you can… See more of my projects…both for fun and commissions for clients…on my website – www.portlandpyrography.com Follow me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/PortlandPyrography You can contact me at my website above if you’re interested in hiring me for your own, original work of pyrography art! And definitely LIKE, SHARE, and CLICK THE BELL on My YouTube Channel to receive notifications if you like my time-lapse pyrography and other videos! Thanks! Tracy                                                      

Cratejoy - We Craft Box
Posted in Crafts

Craft Projects for Stay At Home Time

I’ve always been a ‘maker’, even before that term was a thing. I’m an artist. I have to have at least one (or more!) craft projects in progress at all times.. And as a mom, back when I was raising my kids, crafts helped me keep my children occupied and provided quality family time. More recently, I’ve been able to engage my cute grand kids by sharing a variety of craft projects. And it makes my heart sing watching them experience the joy, pride, and sense of accomplishment that comes from having made something truly unique with their own hands. After years of collecting supplies, my work shop is filled with lots (and lots!) of different craft project materials. From beads, wire, stones, and pliers for jewelry making, to yarn and looms and crochet hooks for weaving, wood pieces, vegetable tanned leather and burning tools for pyrography and leather tooling, colored pencils, pastel chalk, construction paper, and artist tablets for drawing, rolls of sheet metal for embossing. I have a lot of supplies, lol! But sometimes, with all those supplies, the options become overwhelming. That’s why I am excited by the idea of a monthly craft project or box subscription! Sometimes organized simplicity is best. And especially when it’s something someone else has put together for me! Just grab and go! So, I thought I’d share some of the fun and exciting projects I’m thinking about doing, in case they might look fun to you, too! Here are some of my favorite suppliers for craft projects LIA GRIFFITH For those who love to learn, make, and create. Mostly with different kinds of paper. Lia Griffith offers beautiful and elegant craft projects for the discriminating home decorator. But they also offer lots of really cool and practical projects, like this one for homemade hand sanitizer But they also offer kids craft projects! Just check out all these AWESOME FREE PROJECTS for kids! And they don’t stop at free stuff for kids! They provide loads of free Printable Note Cards and Stationary as well as lots of instructional videos for a wide variety of darling projects! I’m in love. <3 You’ll definitely want to spend some time browsing around on the Lia Griffith website!     CRATEJOY Subscription boxes for everyone. And they aren’t just kidding! I mean, WOW! These guys offer something for everybody! Whether you’re looking for a craft project for your kids, book clubs, cooking clubs, self-care boxes, care crates for Grandparents, gifts for teachers, fun and games for the family…they have it all! They even offer a page full of Stay At Home Essentials that include a wine crate, a cookies crate, a vitamin and supplements crate, and more! (There’s even a  box, lol!) Here are their categories; Beauty, Books, Geek & Gamer, Home & Living, Food& Drink, Kids, Art & Culture, Health & Fitness And they make it super convenient and affordable! Check them out! A CHERRY ON TOP This is an online craft store specializing in…

Markus Rothkranz - Before and after Raw Foods
Posted in DIET & NUTRITION

Markus Rothkranz – One of My Inspirations

Markus Was One of My Early Raw Food Heroes. Back in 2007 I began a journey in search of the optimal diet for healing and disease prevention. That search led me to a mostly raw food diet. I’ve written a lot about that experience over the years. You can read my personal story HERE. But to summarize, I was was convinced that eating a mostly raw, whole-foods, plant-based diet was the answer to human nutrition and disease prevention. As a result, I decided to launch an online magazine devoted to spreading the word about this lifestyle. I purchased a domain name: EIGHTY PERCENT RAW dot com, and proceeded to recruit a team of more than 25 monthly contributors. Most of these writers were professional raw food chefs who developed their own raw recipes. But there were also health coaches with years of experience advising clients, and other healthcare providers. Some of Our Raw Chef Contributors TINA JO STEPHENS of Chef Tina Jo HEATHER PACE of Sweetly Raw ADAM GRAHAM of The Live Food Experience CHRISTY MORGAN of The Blissful & Fit Chef MATT AMSDEN – of Rawvolution ANI PHYO of Ani Phyo ERICA ALBANESE MIMI KIRK of Young On Raw Food SUNNY GRIFFIN – founder of Astara Skincare KAREN RANZI of Super Healthy Children DR. LINDA JOY ROSE of Natural Wellness Academy I published the online magazine for about 4 years. Unfortunately, the server where I hosted the magazine was hacked a couple of years ago, so most of the content, sadly, was lost. But you can still visit EIGHTY PERCENT RAW for a taste of what it once was. Thankfully, I cross-posted some of the articles on my personal blog, back-in-the-day, and I am currently beginning to resurrect that site. But Markus Rothkranz was one of my early influencers, when it came to learning about all of the health benefits that come from following a high living food diet. I don’t remember how I discovered Markus If memory serves, I seem to recall learning about him before I even launched the magazine. I started following a raw-foods diet after my younger cousin was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That was before YouTube was even a thing. Even before Facebook. But I had a MySpace account and was active on that site. That’s where I was first introduced to the concept of eating only raw foods. I didn’t find Markus on MySpace…but I remember finding out about him shortly after that. I started following the diet myself, and sought out others in the raw-foods online community. Alyssa Cohen had an active forum where I started to interact. But one thing led to another and somehow I found out about Markus. And I was astonished by the results he achieved following a living foods approach. And all of his other audacious accomplishments blew my mind! Not only did he heal his own body of the serious illness and disease he experienced in his early life, he is a shining example of…

The Hunger Games
Posted in WRITING

The Hunger Games Senior Editor to Work on The Kidnapping King

The Hunger Games book series senior editor to work on Book 2: The Kidnapping King. I have some good news and some bad news. First, the Good News: I’ve been keeping this under wraps for a couple of months now, but with all this social distancing and stay-at-home stress, I thought this might be a good time for a REVEAL! So, here it is: The Senior Editor who worked on The Hunger Games series expressed an interest in working with me on Jack and the Magic Hat Maker. So, I’m happy to announce that we are now under contract, and that person will be editing Book 2: The Kidnapping King! Woo Hoo!  That leads to my bad news… Which isn’t super bad, just a delay. And that is that my original deadline for having the manuscript for Book 2 completed was April 20th. That said, given the current social crisis, my editor from The Hunger Games and I have agreed to push back the deadline for book 2 in the series to August 15th. We ARE still moving forward with that book together. I just need to get into the right head-space to continue my writing. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I had a brainstorming meeting this morning that re-ignited my passion, so I’m going to dig back in and get back to work on the manuscript. In the meantime, I would love to have you INVITE YOUR FRIENDS to LIKE the Jack and the Magic Hat Maker FACEBOOK PAGE. It would warm my heart so much to see that following grow! Would you please help me reach 10K followers before the August 15th deadline? How cool would THAT be? <3 😉 <3 Wishing you and your loved ones all the very best during this challenging time! Blessings, Tracy

woman-in-pink-long-sleeve-hoodie-carrying-toilet-paper-rolls
Posted in BLOG DIET & NUTRITION

Want To Save Toilet Paper? Go Plant Based. I’m Not Even Kidding.

Toilet paper is in short supply. We all know it. Covid-19 has utterly obliterated the national supply of toilet paper. People can’t seem to get enough of it. Actually, the shortage isn’t about hoarding so much as it is about the supply chain. This article on Marker.Medium.com is a worthwhile read if you want the lowdown on the real source of the problem. Still, if you’ve tried to purchase a package at your local grocery store or online recently, you know, only too well, how frustrating the experience can be. I’m not here to solve that particular problem But I am going to clue you in on a little TMI (Too Much Information) secret most people aren’t aware of. What’s that, you ask? Uh-hem… Adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet will do amazing things for your…digestion. I’m trying to be discrete here. But let’s say I have it on excellent authority (personal experience) following both a high-fat/low-carb diet as well as a low-fat/high carb diet, and the difference is astonishing. Enjoy The Go has all new meaning, folks! Let’s just say that a ‘side benefit’ of removing fatty, greasy, heavily animal-based foods from your diet and replacing them with whole-plant foods (mostly raw) will do WONDERS for everything surrounding toilet duty. Even hubby, who is not plant-based, noticed enough to TELL ME what a difference he is experiencing since I started feeding him a high-fiber beverage daily and preparing plant-based meals he enjoys So, I’m just saying, if you want to conserve the toilet paper you already have, and make bathroom time less of a pain in the…you know what…give a whole-foods, plant-based diet a try. Even for a few days! Then let me know if you have the same experience we’ve had. You’ll be glad you did!    

Be Happy
Posted in DIET & NUTRITION

Top 10 List For Building Your Immune System

A strong immune system is your best defense against any virus, illness, or disease. And plenty of doctors and health professionals agree! So, what can you to to ensure your immune system is as strong as it can possibly be? There are a few well-documented steps you can take that will make you nearly bullet-proof when it comes to preventing sickness and staying healthy and strong! HERE ARE MY TOP TEN ONE – ELIMINATE ALL JUNK FOOD FROM YOUR DIET – There are opinions on both sides of the isle regarding which is best; a low-carb/animal-based diet or a high-carb/plant based diet. Both can be effective for health and weight-loss. But the one thing both camps agree on is that it doesn’t matter as much what you DO eat, but more importantly, what you DON’T eat! What do I mean by that? Both lifestyles advocate for consuming a whole-food, no-junk diet. So, no matter what diet you follow, just make sure to eliminate all or most of the following; refined vegetable and seed oils, refined grains, refined sweeteners. If you eliminate foods with just those ingredients alone, you will be doing your immune system a HUGE favor! Sounds pretty easy, right? Ya, you’d be surprised! Almost all packaged and fast foods you purchase contain at least one…if not all of the above ingredients! Make sure you are reading labels when purchasing packaged foods. Better yet…only shop for single ingredient, whole foods. And remember that even some meats and cheeses contain other non-health-promoting ingredients. Check out Farm Foods for high-quality, grass-fed meats you can order online and have shipped directly to your door. TWO – GET PLENTY OF GOOD QUALITY SLEEP – Sleep is the time your body uses to preform repair at the cellular level. Many people have a hard time sleeping, especially when their mind is consumed with stressful thoughts. If you have a hard time getting quality sleep, Magnesium might help. Daily Magnesium intake may: Help maintain normal muscle and nerve function, Help maintain healthy heart rhythms, Help in the absorption of calcium and potassium, Help support glucose metabolism. Which all assist in your ability to relax and get to sleep more quickly and ensure you sleep more soundly. MagOx is the #1 Pharmacist recommended brand.     THREE – GET SOME SUNSHINE EVERY DAY – It is a well-known fact that vitamin D (not actually a vitamin, but a hormone) is only produced in the human body when our skin is exposed to sunshine. But did you know that sunshine is also an amazing antibacterial, disinfectant, and sanitizer? This article by The Sunlight Institute does a great job of explaining the details! So, be sure to try to get your daily dose of those magical rays!       FOUR – GET SOME EXERCISE – But (and many will love this bit) not too much. According to this article by the U.S. National Library of Medicine regular physical activity can have lots of benefits on your health…

Uncorked
Posted in BLOG

Uncorked. That Pretty Much Nails It

Wine is a blessing. I don’t know about you, but if you’re anything like me, you’ve been doing most of your grocery shopping online. THANK GOODNESS, that’s an option for us right now! Fortunately, Jeff and I are feeling happy that all of our basic needs are being met, and our biggest concern has become wiping down and disinfecting doorknobs and surfaces after we’ve received boxes and packages. But the one vitally important product we are starting to run low on, and which we have not ordered online so far, is alcohol. More specifically – wine. Jeff normally sips scotch or bourbon or whiskey in the evenings. But I’m more of a wine girl, myself. And I consumed the last drops of the red I had on hand last night. No bueno. So, today I went searching for online delivery options. And remembered California Wine Club! I have been a little reluctant to order from a wine club because I perceive them to be more expensive than I’m used to spending, and I bristle at the idea of a recurring monthly obligation. However… I do drink wine almost every single night of the week. And we frequently buy nicer bottles… So I was pleasantly surprised by the bold graphic announcing their Spring Sale, boasting bottles starting at just $8.99 each (with only $1.00 shipping!) when visiting their website! That’s an amazingly affordable price-tag for Artisan wines! I’m in! *Full disclosure – I am an affiliate for California Wine Club…so, if you do purchase their wines using the links on this page, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! If you do decide to try California Wine Club, please let me know your experience! I’d LOVE to hear your review of the bottles you purchase, so please leave those in the comments below! And I’ll do the same! Even though we can’t assemble in groups together right now, we can still share our love for vino in a virtual way! Goodness knows we can use all the help we can get right now! Besides…I read somewhere that this darn virus doesn’t like resveratrol! So, bring on that red wine, Baby! Until next time, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Cheers to LIFE! Blessings and Hugs, Tracy  

bowl-of-soup
Posted in DIET & NUTRITION

Soups and Stews, People. Soups and Stews!

I grew up in a devout Mormon household, where Emergency Preparedness was a central part of daily life. As a young adult, I was a military spouse for nearly 20 years. Both lifestyles taught me the value of frugality and making what you have stretch as far as possible. I learned how to cook at my mother’s side, as she prepared meals “from scratch” for a family of seven. Most nights, the main dish was some type of soup, stew, or casserole. Very rarely did we experience the luxury of eating meat by itself. Mom taught me to make tasty meals from affordable, mostly shelf or pantry-stable ingredients. Meat and poultry were condiments used to add flavor and texture. Then, as the wife of an enlisted soldier with a minimal budget, those lessons my mother taught me really paid off. My kids can probably tell you of the times I had to get creative with the food I had on hand, sometimes even stretching MREs (Meal Ready to Eat) meant for a single soldier’s meal so that it helped to feed a family of five. So, I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas for stretching your grocery dollars so that you can prepare tasty meals that are both filling and nutritious. SOUPS AND STEWS TAKE CENTER STAGE A single beef patty or chicken breast can be stretched to add flavor and protein to a large potful of stew or soup! Hey, even completely meatless versions can be delicious and satisfying! A potful of lentil or split-pea soup flavored with salt, Liquid Smoke, onion, and garlic powder can be very satiating. Especially if paired with a slab of home-made bread, biscuits, or muffins! (I’ll share recipes in the near future.) HERE ARE SOME OTHER LOW-COST MEAL SUGGESTIONS Buy meat and poultry with the bones in – These can serve double-duty. Pot roast and whole chickens are great! Slow cook the pot roast or chicken, then divide the meat into smaller portions that can be shredded and frozen in individual zip-top bags to add to meals. Save the bones to make soups and bone broths. These are incredibly nourishing and can even be used or extended, if necessary, for more than one batch. Ham hocks are also great to add fat, nutrients, and flavor to meals. Purchase canned meats – Tuna, chicken, salmon, Spam, sardines, kippers, etc. These are shelf-stable items that offer options for adding protein and flavor to dishes such as casseroles and stir-fry type meals. Store root vegetables and those with long life – Root vegetables are known to store well if kept relatively cool and in a dark place. All varieties of potato, carrots, onions, beets, turnips, parsnips are excellent choices. These foundational veggies add bulk and satiety to a meal. Other vegetables with a relatively long shelf-life are celery and cabbage, and to a lesser extent, cauliflower. These ingredients can boost flavor, nutrition, and density to a dish. Keep a supply of legumes, lentils,…

Jack and the Magic Hat Maker - Book One: The Golden Telescope - Hardcover
Posted in WRITING

So You Want To Write A Book? My Top Author Tools

Author Tools Have Come A Long Way, Baby! If you’re reading this post, you probably know that I recently published my first fiction novel: THE GOLDEN TELESCOPE. The book isn’t the only book I’ve self-published. I wrote and published a self-help book back in 2009 called Lady Get A Life. It was the story about my experience leaving a dysfunctional marriage of 18 years to move out on my own. So, that was an entirely different writing and publishing experience than I had when authoring a work of fiction. When I wrote Lady Get A Life, I didn’t use many author tools. I wrote that book before Amazon revised its writer platform. Back in 2009, their author tools were a part of what was then called CreateSpace. It was a pretty decent tool for the time. And it was free to use. The service even provided an ISBN for your book at no additional cost when you published through their service. eBooks weren’t a thing yet Even though Amazon launched its revolutionary KINDLE EBOOK READER in November of 2007, the ebook trend hadn’t taken hold yet, and digital books weren’t as popular as they are today. So, I didn’t bother publishing Lady Get A Life in ebook format. I chose only to publish that book as a paperback. CreateSpace made it a relatively simple and straight-forward process. I just wrote the text using Microsoft Word. I then converted it into a .pdf (required for uploading to CreateSpace). Their platform included a layout and design tool, which I thought was great since it allowed me to handle the cover design within the service at no fee. I did have to find a logo designer In those days, I was on a tight budget, so I couldn’t afford to hire someone. But I wanted a custom image on the front of my book, so I did some searching and found an online digital logo design tool called LOGO MAKER that was low-cost and met my needs nicely. I was a total noob back in those days, lol! And author tools have come a l-o-n-g way since then! I removed Lady Get A Life from my Amazon offering, so it can’t be purchased anymore. I’ve thought about revising it and uploading a new, second edition. I’ve learned a lot about writing in the last couple of years, so it might be worth another go with that book. But for now, I’m focusing my energy on writing BOOK TWO: THE KIDNAPPING KING in my Jack and the Magic Hat Maker fiction series. Writing Tools I’m Using Now I started writing THE GOLDEN TELESCOPE in 2016 but didn’t take myself seriously, as an author, until the last few months of 2019. I’d written a few chapters but then set the project aside for a couple of years. Then a new fire got ignited in my belly, and I picked up the writing with a new sense of passion and vigor last year. When I first started writing, I was using Microsoft…

Trying the Carnivore Diet
Posted in CAR CHATS

Trying the Carnivore Diet

Will I see any benefit from adopting a carnivore diet? I decided to give it a try and find out for myself. I was eating a whole-food, plant-based diet for several months (off and on for y-e-a-r-s!) but that wasn’t working for me. So, I decided to pull out all the stops and try this all-animal (no dairy for me) approach. Why the dramatic shift in my diet and lifestyle? Many people would probably assume I was eating a plant-based diet for ethical reasons. Not so. I’m concerned about my own health, first and foremost. And, for me, diet isn’t a religion.  More about that here. Of course, I care about animals. Both from an ethical as well as dietary quality perspectives. But that bird out in my yard has no qualms about pecking that living worm out of my yard for his supper. Nor do any number of other species on this planet who eat other living beings in order to survive and thrive. (Don’t even get me started on how many MORE life forms are killed through agriculture than via the conventional meat industry. Do your own research on the matter.) Bottom line, for me, is I want to achieve optimal health. And I have some stubborn weight to lose. So, the carnivore diet I was first introduced to the idea (like almost everyone else) by watching Joe Rogan’s Interview with Dr. Shawn Baker. And that got me thinking. Then I learned about the success Jordan Peterson and his daughter, Mikhaila, were having following a carnivore diet, again, watching Joe Rogan’s interviews with them. (I hadn’t realized the impact Joe Rogan has had on my personal life until this very moment, lol!) and I thought about it some more. But I still wasn’t convinced to try it myself. Then one of my best girlfriends decided to try the carnivore diet… And she became an evangelist. She was constantly telling me why she was so passionate about this lifestyle and why she believes it is the holy grail of diets for the human species. And I still wasn’t convinced. In fact, I flat out resisted. But over time, as my body continued to struggle to lose weight, and I started having little health concerns pop up (insomnia, skin problems, concerns about possible high blood pressure and insulin resistance), I decided to give the carnivore diet a shot. Hell, I’d water-fasted for 7 days straight. This couldn’t be nearly that extreme. And I share my experience in the video above. I’d love to hear about your experience if you’ve also given the animals-only diet a try. Please leave your comments below. Enjoy!