Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Morning Star and Weekend Links

Morning Star

Your moment of winter zen: the waning crescent moon and Venus, the morning star. Thank you, Tim!

And thank you all so much for listening to me fuss about my cold yesterday. I talked to a friend last night and was glad to hear I’m not the only one who takes getting sick so personally. Strong women don’t catch colds! Except when we do…(sigh).

Anyway, I’m feeling slightly more human today. Not quite up for joining my family at Ski Club tonight but at least able to shower and get dressed and venture out into the world. I hear it’s supposed to be above zero, so we have that going for us.

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Will you be watching the Olympic Games coverage?

+ Speaking of the Olympics: Do you think it’s really as bad as this in Sochi? I saw the tweets and felt so sorry for the staffers and journalists working the Games. My World Games memories (Special Olympics, 1993) are of snuggling under warm duvets in Salzburg, eating lots of delicious cheeses, and skiing in Schladming. Not having to climb out of my hotel window because the door wouldn’t open! I guess they’ll have some great stories?

+ If you’d like to make a party out of your Olympic viewing, this mountain cake would be so fun. And while you’re there, check out how to make cute and clever pop-up box valentines.

+ Valentine’s Day Photo Party Poppers.

Date Night Jars. Why not make one for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day?

+ Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cups. Yum.

+ How experts use salt in their cooking, and why.

+ Have you embraced the world of apps? I have not. Not that I don’t want to―I just keep forgetting! But I keep thinking about this cool app that magically turns regular old photos into beautiful watercolor images.

+ My mom told me this could help a really miserable cough: thickly coat the bottom of your feet with Vicks VapoRub and pull on a pair of warm socks. Have you tried it?

+ The trailer for “The Drop Box” hits close to home. (It’s not about DVD rentals, folks.) Of course it made me cry, but I would have cried harder if I didn’t know that these kids can have happy endings.

I hope you have a wonderful, healthy weekend! Thank you so much for your comments and ideas this week―it always means so much.

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