Category Archives: Julie True Kingsley

I live on the coast of Maine with my crew, including one lazy chocolate lab & a rescue dog from Arkansas. I’m obsessed by books, food, travel, eating local, and the outdoors. Life is fun.

Julie True Kingsley: Art Night Out! Wordless Wednesday

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
October 17, 2012 at 02:46PM

Julie True Kingsley: Cow Shit Corner Award #9

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
October 15, 2012 at 09:41AM

Hello Cow Shit Corner Award! Honestly, it’s been a while since we’ve had a new nominee, but just like always the universe seems to dump one on my lap every couple of months or so.  In the past, we’ve had a nasty book club band, a sweaty chewing tobacco incident, and more.  How does this fit in the frame of other awardees?   Just fine in my opinion, I’ll get on with it.

The Egg

Last week, I put out an all call for an acquaintance of mine who is collecting sneakers to bring to Ethiopia for the orphanages.  I realize that it was possibly a tad cheeky to ask people to just “Fling ‘em on the porch,” but the thing is that people did! I started finding sneakers here and there, tucked into the corners, and right by the front door.

Awesome, that is, until people started throwing other things on the porch, not of the sneaker variety.

Picture this:

I’m watching a little Halloween Wars on the Food network.  Kinda of lame Saturday night, but it happens.  We were just about ready to go to bed when I heard this explosion of sound coming from the very front porch that I used to collect the sneakers, for the orphanage, for the children, etc..

I’m not gonna lie–I thought the house had been shot!

I mean, Henny Penny, it sounded like the sky was falling. We raced to the front porch and I immediately knew that this was no sneaker donation.

We had been egged!

I forced my husband out the door to try to apprehend the eggers, while I frantically scrubbed and wiped the goo from the house.

I contacted my neighbors for an ambush via text.  It went like this:

“Holy crap, I’ve been egged.  P. prepare the girls for attack.”

My neighbor has all kind chickens out in the backyard, or as she likes to call it–the Ponderosa. Those girls know how to lay some eggs!

I get this text back:

“Seriously? Did U call the police (were any of them cute?), the girls are locked and loaded.  I think we should at least throw eggs back-at the perps.”

So take that, Cow Shit Corner Awardee #9!!!!!  We are waiting for you in the ‘hood.  Your time will come.  It’s simply not good karma to egg a porch that is looking for donations to an Ethiopian orphanage  I’m seeing some food poisoning and possible car trouble in your future.

And beware, we are locked and loaded.  Next time, I won’t be so slow to react.

Oh, BTW, contrats on the Cow Shit Corner Award.  Once again, you are in very good company!

Julie True Kingsley: Cleaning Day

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
October 11, 2012 at 08:49AM

I wrote half of another post yesterday.  It was snarky, very snarky. I thought that I’d keep my snark going, honestly it’s kind of tough for me to let go of snark once I’ve got it rolling, but it’s gone.  Here’s my replacement.  Enjoy!

Cleaning Day

Do you like cleaning? Do you like getting your exercise picking up crayons, and little slips of paper, and oddball stickers off the floor? I really don’t.  I do it. I do it every day, but it’s something I do with a great deal of disdain.  My focus is the main part of the house.  I disregard the children’s rooms (which they clean for their allowance), and the basement as if it doesn’t even exist.

The basement is the area in my house where I say things like, “It’s fine if you want to kill each other, just do it in the basement.”  Or, “Yes, you can make a six bedroom fort with a private bathroom and library if you do it in the basement.”  Sometimes, I hear screams that are unnatural coming from the basement.  I don’t care.


The basement got bad, really bad this past summer.  So while I was up chatting with friends over warm muffins and coffee, or writing, or enjoying a good book–the basement was slowly unravelling.  It got to the point where nobody actually wanted to go in the basement. I become somewhat embarrassed by that place. People would come over and I’d say things like, “Oh, we don’t go down there.  Monsters.”

My mother has the cleaning gene.  She’s just really good at it.  She actually came yesterday and helped me clean that basement.  She’s a wizard at organizing and getting corners and making sure that everything is just so. My basement looks like it belongs in a magazine now.  You should see it!

But you know what Phyllis Diller once said,

“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.”

Julie True Kingsley: Life Is Better With A Pint of Vermont’s Finest

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
October 08, 2012 at 05:30AM

(Photo courtesy of Julie Desmond)

I can tell a thousand stories about Ben & Jerry’s.  Yes, I’ve toured the ice cream factory in Vermont. What ice cream addict hasn’t? In college, I think that I occasionally dated both Ben & Jerry every Thursday night while watching Beverly Hills 90210 with the girls.  As I recall, back then we decided that one pint was a single serving.  Needless to say, me and Ben & Jerry’s go back.  Way back.

(Picture Courtesy of Ben & Jerry Website)

So let’s slip back to Portland, Maine circa 1989…

It was senior year, when everything you do seems to be that much more magnified because its all about to change.   I was so lucky.  I had the most amazing group of friends.  Three of us were named Julie.  There was Danielle and Kate.  There was Holly, and of course Mike.

We’d all go to the beach, to movies, to the mall.  We’d meet for bagels or pancakes in the morning, and giggle as we were late for school.  We’d occasionally sit around and drink warm cans of Busch beer, then stick the beer boxes on our heads and pretend to be beer monsters for fun (How lame is that?).  Yet, it’s tackling the Vermonster that is one of my favorite memories with them.

Are you familiar with the Vermonster? It has twenty scoops of ice cream, four scoops of hot fudge, three chocolate chip cookies, ten scoops of walnuts, two scoops of four toppings of your choice, and whipped cream.   It has a whopping 14,000 calories.  That’s right let me say this again, it has 14,000 calories.  There were seven of us.  That’s 2,000 calories each, but we didn’t care.

We shoved huge chunks of ice cream into our mouths, moving from Chunky Monkey, to Best Vanilla, to Oreo Mint, to Cherry Garcia.  The whipped cream was not that poofy stuff from the jar, it was the heavy homemade variety that mixed perfectly with the gooey hot fudge.

Did we finish it? No, we didn’t even come close.  We were Vermonstered by the Vermonster.  It won.  I remember all of us staring into the soupy mess, wishing we had room for more.  Afterwards, we all walked through the Old Port, high on sugar and friendship.  The night was perfect.

Ice cream pulls people together.  Eating a Vermonster is something that you should do with a group of friends.  You should do it in high school while your metabolism can handle the imminent sugar shock and your veins are void of cholesterol.

Many people from this same group got to together for a Forties Feast.  Kate and I tackled a tasting menu called, “The Land of Luxury,” while the other girls tackled “Feast and Forage.” Some things don’t change.

So, I’m lifting a scoop for you guys from 1989 and Ben & Jerry’s.

Good friends and Good Times!

Check out all of the other blogs on with the theme Life Is Better With a Point Vermont’s Finest:

Publikworks-An Above Average Crackpot

Jacquelin Cangrove

She’s A Mainiac

The G is Silent


Peg-O-Legs Ramblings

Lenore Diane


Georgette Sullins

The Blurt Blog

Julie True Kingsley: Pittsburgh, an Idiot, and some Jail Time

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
October 05, 2012 at 09:07AM

Last year around this time, I travelled to Pittsburgh.  I did quite a few posts about my trip.   In one of the posts, I did the unthinkable:  I forgot the h in Pittsburgh.  I guess this h is a real hotspot for people.  It really riles them up.  Makes them a tad cranky.  Pushes over the edge.

Just check out this blog story that originated from a little missing h.

“Hey you big fat idiot, you forgot the damn h in Pittsburgh.  That a point with me, I’m a local.” ~Ralph

I recall thinking to myself.  Geeze buddy, you don’t need to be so snarky.  I’m working on fifteen minutes or less on this posts.

“Ralph, thank you for alerting me to my huge mistake.  It’s was unthinkable what I did.  I’ve remedied the situation and the h is now intact in Pittsburgh.”

At this point, I went along with my daily life not really thinking about Ralph again.  I mean, he was some random commenter on my blog.  Until a few months later when I got an email from a man I didn’t know, it was Ralph’s brother, Jim.

“Julie, I am hoping that you can help me find Ralph.  He’s missing.”

Well, this has never happened before.  People, batten down the hatches we’ve lost Ralph.  I responded as tactfully as I could:

“You know, Ralph called me an idiot once a few months ago due to a missing h in Pittsburgh, but I’m totally curious where he is.”

“I used to be a newspaper man.  I understand the notion of wanting to see a story through.  I’ll keep you posted.” ~Jim

“Please do…” I responded.

A few weeks passed and I didn’t hear from Jim again.  As far as I could tell, Ralph was just hanging out harassing other people’s blogs.  I mean Ralph couldn’t really be missing, right?

Then out of the blue,  an email from Jim:

“Julie, I just wanted to let you know that we found Ralph.  He has been incarcerated in Milwaukee for outstanding parking tickets.  He’ll be home and safe in Pennsylvania in no time at all.”


Blogging is a random thing, yup it is.

Julie True Kingsley: Setting a Scene with Contradictions

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
October 04, 2012 at 09:13AM

I really love contradictions in scenes.  Check out this one out.  It’s not the best picture, but I love the natural elements of nature settled next to the brightness of the graffiti.  A good book must have those contradictions–an equal play between the good and the bad, or simply preying on the beauty of difference.

Recently, I was reading a review of the new movie, Pitch Perfect.  The review basically said that this movie was a lot of fun and that it fit into the same genre as The Karate Kid, and Bring It On, etc., but what the reviewer said that they really liked was the detail that went into character.  Specifically, he spoke about the lead character’s nasty, chipped, black fingernails.  I love that.  A good set of chipped fingernails say so much.

In my new work in progress, I’m playing around with those themes of contradiction.  It’s simply a blast.


Julie True Kingsley: Just Fling ‘Em on the Porch!

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
October 02, 2012 at 12:02PM

I got an email last night requesting sneakers.  Yup, it has come to my attention that a fellow Mainer is adopting her new daughter from Ethiopia. She is currently looking to bring sneakers (used is fine) to kids in the orphanage when she heads down later this year.

They are looking for specifically:

Size nine mens or size two youth.

If you’d like to donate, just drive by my house and fling ‘em on the porch.  I’ll gather them up, box ‘em, and get them ready to go.


PS- You don’t even need to slow down since the porch is huge, though the paper guy can’t seem to hit it unless the sun is out.  Do your best.


Julie True Kingsley: One Lovely Blog Award

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
October 01, 2012 at 04:09PM

Must say, I was thrilled when Read Cook Live nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award last week.  It’s a good chance to take some time to reflect on ten other blogs that I’d love to nominate (obviously, this is post will take longer than fifteen minutes!).

Blogging is such a funny medium and a true leap of faith.  I’m always  thrilled when I hear from somebody that read and liked my blog that I didn’t meet somewhere along the way (Like at a writers’ conference or the grocery store or at a cocktail party or–you get the point). So thank you, Read Cook Live.  I’ll start with assigned protocol and give seven random facts about me:

Seven Random Facts!

7.) I’ve taught almost every age from preschool to grad school in some capacity or the other.

6.)  Kayaking the New River Gorge in West Virginia,  I got sucked out of my boat and had to swim away from undercut rocks while a girl screamed, “Swim or die!”

5.) Don’t look in my closets, they are very bad, very very bad.

4.) I’m allergic to cats, apples, hamsters, plums, some perfume, ragweed, rabbits, hay, guinea pigs, cherries, and peaches.

3.) If I lived back in time, I think I would have had my babies outdoors and then just got back to work in the fields, or the factory, or whatever.

2.) Because I wouldn’t spend five dollars for a map, my husband and I almost lost our truck down a ravine in Colorado while heading to a ghost town.  I now purchase the maps.

1.) Some of my best friends are named Julie.

Top Ten Blogs!

In random order.

Sarah Albee’s History Blog-This blog tickles my history bone daily

Lenore Diane– Great outlook on life and daily musings

Feeding the Flashlight– Middle Grade Book Reviews

Missed the Boat Again– Hysterical musings from a newly “empty nester.” Great food posts.

Anni Cardi– Great YA Writer Blog

Back Road Journal- Amazing Food and Travel Writing

Anna J. Boll– Great Writing Blog and Fellow Mainer!

Pompatus of Pete– Pete lives in my neighborhood.  I had no idea his thoughts were so random.– Of course, I love this!

Word Of Julie-Check out her little library.  I want to make one.  I really do.

The Accidental Coochie Mama- Best Blog Name Ever.

Julie True Kingsley: Warm Applesauce, It’s for Breakfast

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
September 25, 2012 at 09:13AM

Feel that cold? That’s a September morning in Maine.  There is nothing you can do about it but simply embrace it.  The sun will warm the house up soon enough, so why not  start your day with a warm concoction of apple goodness.  This feeds not only the body, but also the fall spirit as you start your day.

Did you think that I got up this morning to make this? Oh no, this is one of those handy crockpot recipes that cooks all night so its ready in the morning.  The best part of this recipe is that your house smells amazing as soon as you wake.

Crockpot Applesauce:

Peal and quarter loads of apples.  I used Macintosh apples.

Fling them in the crockpot.  Add some water (I had about four pounds of apples and a cup of water).

Add a cinnamon stick (You could also add nutmeg)

Squeeze a little lemon (or add lemon peel if you are feeling fancy)

Add some sugar (I used 1/4 c. brown and and a little bit of white).  You could also use maple syrup, which would be delicious.

Add a dash of salt.

Then cook on low for ten hours.  In the morning simply give a little stir.  We had ours with local maple sausage and hot cocoa.

This is really too easy not to try.


PS-I’m hoping to make it to November without heat because that’s how we roll!

Julie True Kingsley: Finding Followers on Twitter~My Top Ten Tips

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
September 24, 2012 at 12:26PM

First, you may want to review why I think that Twitter is a great tool for writers.  I’d like to add to that post today with a focus on how to gain followers on Twitter.  This post is for everyone, not just writers, so put on your social media thinking cap and lets get started.

Twitter is a great search engine and social media tool that will increase your exposure to new ideas and possibilities–it is also a fickle beast.

Mike Stiles wrote about a really great post on why out of Twitter’s 500 million followers only 170 million are active– This is well worth the read.  If you are too lazy to click through, I’ll summarize.  Twitter is hard to use until you use it.  It’s like heading off to college and finding the perfect dorm.  This might take a while to find.  You may have to move off campus.  You may need to transfer.  It’s the same thing.  It’s about finding a group of like-minded people that you want to get to know and that will help you with your future.  Easy.

The biggest question that people ask me about Twitter is how to get anyone to follow you.  This is a fine question.  Let’s be frank–Twitter is a rough start.  If you have no followers, nobody wants to follow you.  Honestly, I don’t want to follow you.  People with no followers are often just spam.

That’s the conundrum right there.

Okay, let’s break this down.  It’s simple.  After you have 100 followers people just come out of the Twitter universe and its effortless to build a large platform with little to no work!  The downside, it does take some time to make the Twitterverse work for you, but in the end the industry connections are well worth the time spent building a base of followers.

Finding Followers on Twitter! 

10.) Don’t go on and just follow celebrities.  They don’t help you build community

9.) Start slow & pin-point which search engine you want to be a part of.

(writing, social media, web design, etc.)

8.) Design your site with the vibe that you are trying to convey.

7.) Use images to show what is important to you (Twit pics).

6.) Find chats via hashtags and join conversations. Follow people here!

(I got the best info the other day about story apps under #storyappchat)

5.) Tweet about focused content.

4.) Retweet stuff that you think people will really love.

3.) Don’t be afraid to delete people that won’t follow you back.

(If they don’t want to be friends, ditch ‘em. It’s not personal.)

2.) You can always find people you actually know! Or sort of know.

(This works best if they are in same network you are looking to build followers in.)

1.) Just be yourself!

Twitter can be an awkward cafeteria of cliques.  To deal with this you really have no choice but to just jump in.  I mean, really, we are not high school anymore!

Julie True Kingsley: See the World

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
September 21, 2012 at 04:29PM

I’ve never really been a compulsive person.  You know what I mean.  I sometimes exercise.  I sometimes clean my house.  I never clean my car (and it shows), but lately I’ve been a tad hooked on a project that seems to be taking over my life.

No, it’s not Joshua Chamberlain.  It should be Joshua Chamberlain.  You might recall we are long lost siblings.  It’s my new writing project that seems to be sucking the breath out of my soul.

The funny is that when this happens you literally fall out of your real world and into a fake world.  This might be when you tell me that I need some serious therapy.  I agree.

The thing is when you finally go back out into the real world its so vibrant and magical.  Check out those chili peppers from my walk.  Aren’t they amazing! So red and alive.

I meant to say so many other things today, but I didn’t.

See you Monday.

Julie True Kingsley: Daytripping in the Granite State

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
September 19, 2012 at 08:48AM

Nothing like hitting the road on a fall weekend!  Especially when the destination is the lakes region of New Hampshire.  Confession, as soon as we crossed the border I became obsessed by notion of cider doughnuts.  We stopped at the Old Country Store and Museum, but no doughnuts.  I might be a tad doughnut OCD, but I’m still thinking about them.  I wonder what that says about me?

If you are interested in fighting food cravings click on this article here.

This is the famous Squam Lake.  Doesn’t it make you want to sink in and just be? I’ve spent a fair amount of time on this lake just tooling around.  It’s one of those places that has the magic to transcend you to lazy mode in an instant.

Along with cider doughnuts (you don’t think that I’m obsessed by only one thing do you!), I spend a lot of time planning my writing retreat.  You know the place that I’m going to buy when I magically win the lottery.  My retreat of choice would be on a lake, but my ultra first choice would be a camp on a lake with a library.  Seriously, check this one out.  I surprised these people got me to leave.

Oh look! A wish tree.  This was created by the participants from an arts retreat, called appropriately Squam.  We also met the nicest blogger while walking around.  Here’s her blog:  Liz’s pictures are way better than mine because she had the benefit or early and late light.  Check her out!

I believe in houses that blend into the landscape.  People in New Hampshire do this well.  There is no fancy-shamzy trying to outdo your neighbors here! Just blend in.  Live free or Die.  (For those of you who are from away, that’s the state motto).

Yes, I love a good road trip.

But, I can’t help but wonder just where I’m going to get myself an apple cider doughnut.  Love those things.

Julie True Kingsley: Squirmish? Don’t Read On.

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
September 18, 2012 at 11:38AM

So often in my life, art imitates life.  It’s the oddest thing. It’s almost like I manifest stuff for myself.  Let me be clear:

I don’t seek out these random bad situations for myself, they simply happen.

Last Monday, I spent some time in the ER. It’s very friendly there.  I spent five hours in the waiting room watching You Tube videos with a guy that needed stitches and chatting with my dog trainer.  My diagnosis was–get this–kidney gravel.  This is not something that you want to be dealing with, but I’m a big girl.  I can handle my gravel. Right? It’s not like a full kidney stone!

The next day–after six ibuprofens in six hours & about twenty glasses or so of water–I drove up to Brunswick, Maine to do some research on Joshua Chamberlain.  You know him: Famous Mainer who let the 20th Maine at Gettysburg.  Well, turns out that me and Joshua have some issues in common.

The tour started well enough.  It was a little busy so we went upstairs and checked out the Longfellow room and explored the history of the house.  I was perfectly fine for this part of the tour.  Then, I started to get a tad uncomfortable.  My back hurt.  I had to pee (You think I would’ve figured this out before the tour!).  Honestly, I started to get a little sore all over.  That’s when I heard about Chamberlain’s issues.

You see, at Gettysburg a bullet ripped through his horse then went into his hip and groan.  As I was hearing this news I was starting to sweat.   When I heard that his bladder had been nicked, I actually felt his pain. This wound almost killed him and affected him for the remainder of his life.

My kidney gravel and Joshua Chamberlain’s broken bladder made this not the most informative tour for me.  I didn’t ask one question.  I left without my story, but I feel that Joshua was speaking in my ear that day.

He was saying, “Let’s stop talking about our bladders.  It makes me need to pee!”

Life often imitates art.

So sorry that I shared.  It’s ridiculous and not at all important.  But really, does this weirdo stuff happen to you?

Oh, and the tour? Totally worth the price of admission, but don’t go with a case of the kidney gravel.  It won’t end well.

Julie True Kingsley: Weekly Waffles!

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
September 17, 2012 at 09:32AM

I’ve found that if you simply approach the school week as if you are heading to a deserted island– and no matter what happens you cannot go back to the grocery store– that I have a tad more piece of mind.  I’m not kidding! It’s the constant “running to the store” that not only makes me spend a good 25% percent more a week on groceries, but also takes up so much valuable time that could be used for other things.

One of my solutions is cooking in bulk and freezing things that the kiddos can eat for snacks.

Since we are primarily gluten free (or low gluten) this makes it a tad more difficult.  I’ve had so many baking catastrophes with seemingly alive batter seeping out of the waffle maker and onto the counter like a blob from the Creature Double Feature that I could weep.  That’s why I was so glad to find this perfect combo of ingredients for waffles.

Here’s my recipe adapted from The King Arthur Flour 20th Anniversary Cookbook:

Low Gluten Waffles 

1 cup. organic corn meal, 3 cups white spelt, 4 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 eggs, and 1 quart buttermilk (I use Kate’s), and 1 stick melted butter.

Mix dry ingredients.  Beat together wet ingredients.  Blend together (but not too much or it’ll get tough).

By not using regular flour I find that I need to grease the waffle iron very well (I use the spray kind).  Then just cook one after the other.  I sometimes make special toppings.  Other times I don’t.

I share with neighbors.  I then take the rest of the dough and lay it flat on a cookie sheet and freeze it.  Then I simply put it into a plastic bag in the fridge for a quick snack.  We just slightly thaw, then break in half and toast.

Then if I’m lucky the neighbors send me something delicious.  Like this:

Some quick notes about this recipe.  I have another recipe where you whip the egg whites.  Those waffles are higher, but don’t fit as well into my toaster.

We usually top our with real maple syrup from our friend Charlie’s Sugar House.  Or you can place some ice cream in the middle and make an ice cream sandwich.  Whatever you do they are easy and delicious.

Julie True Kingsley: Fort Knox for Halloween

From: Julie True Kingsley’s Blog
September 12, 2012 at 02:45PM

There are just so many historical sites that take themselves too seriously.  That’s why when I noticed the Fright Night at Fort Knox I knew that I had to highlight it on my blog.

Even though I grew up in Maine, I’d never been to Fort Knox until this summer.  I was instantly impressed by the true creepiness of it.  I mean–it’s beautiful–don’t me wrong, but this place has some weight to it that gets the old imagination going.

Fort Knox Quick Facts:  25 years to build, cost of over a million dollars, made out of granite (Check out more: here!)

If you look closer you might start feeling the cold seep through the computer into your bones.

Just looking at this makes my fingers ache to write something creepy and zombie-ish. 

If you want to dig further into the ghost hunts of Fort Knox click here.

Or watch the ghost hunt here.

“If fear cannot be articulated, it can’t be conquered.”

~Stephen King

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