Monday, December 23, 2013


In spirit of the holidays (albeit a bit on the late side) I'm posting a recipe from my mother-in-law for Snickerdoodles.  I'd never eaten a snickerdoodle before, let alone baked one. Now, I have a new favorite cookie! Hope you enjoy! (Thanks Cyndi H.!)



3 C. Flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 C soft butter (2 sticks) at room temp.
1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten first before adding
1/4 C milk
Cinnamon-Sugar mixture (for coating)


Preheat oven to 375° Sift dry ingredients into a medium bowl and set aside.
Put butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream well.
Stir in vanilla and eggs and cream well again.
Add the milk, stir.
Add dry ingredients to mixture, mix well, then cream all together well.
Roll one teaspoon of dough in a cinnamon-sugar mixture to fully coat and place on greased cookie sheet (use a sheet with little or no lip) and bake for 10-11 minutes. (time may vary from oven to oven)

Makes approx. 36 cookies.

High altitudes: increase flour by 1/4 Cup and oven temp to 380°

Tip: If you don't have soft, room temperature butter, but need it for a recipe and don't have time to wait for it to soften up, grate it with your cheese grater. Works wonders and it creams up in your recipe well. I did it with this recipe as well as others and it worked great!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Brains —It's what's for dinner

Intelligence is not defined by one's educational level, but by one's own actions, awareness, ability to work through problems, and much more.

Ok, so this post isn't about eating brains for dinner, but it is about intelligence and a little self-discovery in the brain department.

My mother was a very intelligent woman, but had to leave school in 9th grade to take care of her mother who was bed-ridden for 36 years. My mother took care of her, her first two children, her first husband and held a job as a waitress.  Amazing woman.  She continued to be amazing with her second marriage as well as me (I'm the baby of the family and her third child and the only child to her second husband.)  And in her 60's, she went on to become a Certified Nurse's Aide (CNA) and we were all so proud of her.  Yet, unfortunately, since she had never made it through middle and high school nor received a diploma, she thought she was stupid.  I told her over and over again that she was very smart and that just because she didn't have the "book smarts" that she thought she needed; that didn't mean she wasn't smart.

She was the one who taught me long division when my father, who was an electrical engineer, had me on page 3 of a division problem and still didn't have an answer!  Brilliant man with absolutely no common sense whatsoever.

My Mom was the one who helped me through mathematical word problems, history books, studying for spelling tests, etc.  She was more than book smart, she was amazing!

Why am I rambling on about my mother when it's not even close to Mother's Day?  Well, today's Google page is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Crossword Puzzle.  Well, my mother used to do the crossword puzzle in the paper every week and did it IN PEN!  And she never made a mistake!  Ok, well, maybe once, but that's it.  I'm working on Google's crossword puzzle and I've gotten 11 so far that I think are correct.  And I cheated on gave up on two more.

My disastrous attempt at this crossword puzzle has made me realize just how smart my mother was and how much I've let myself go —mentally, that is.  (Ok, truth be, I've let myself go physically as well, but that's a whole other comparison to my mother, who was in tip top shape until I came along.)

So now what? I have a BA in English, yet I can't finish a simple crossword puzzle. I have been reading on the web about proper grammar and have found many things have changed and there are many things that I –have forgotten.  There's the -hyphen vs the –en dash vs the —em dash, comma splices (which I am dreadfully guilty of,) the Oxford comma, leaving one space after the period instead of two (that's new and very hard to get used to doing. It's more like 'space space backspace RAWR!' It nearly kills me to only do one space after 40 years of knowing it's supposed to be two spaces, which is what I learned back in the day,) and many more grammatical rules to learn and relearn.  Not to mention my loss of spelling ability.  I used to be amazing in my spelling abilities.  Even words I had never come across I could usually guess correctly.  Now, if it wasn't for auto-correct, and that ugly squiggly red line on the computer screen, I would make even more of a fool out of myself than I already do. (Ugh, see, there's that stupid single space that makes my hands nearly convulse.) But times change and I suppose I need to change with them.

So, many of the grammatical advice I've recently received has been from The Write Practice, which is, in my opinion, a wonderful site that has certainly shown me my terrible ways. I'm not sure how I like some of it, such as the single space vs double space after a period, or the comma splice theory, but I do like the blog and enjoy relearning my grammar and they also have wonderful writing prompts and helpful information on honing your craft as a writer. Of course, if you're not into writing, then you might not care for the site, but if you enjoy writing in any form, then I would suggest checking it out.

There's also Lumosity to help my brain out. I enjoy the site, but can't afford to pay for it, so I just visit once in a while (when I remember... ha! ironic, isn't it?) and get the few free activities it will allow. It helps to get the brain going again —or at least, that's what I tell myself.

With the new year coming so quickly, I find myself wanting to make tons of resolutions, but I know they won't last very long. (And I'm sure I'll be doing a New Year's Resolutions post soon.) Which leads me to the need to prioritize my hobbies, my goals, my dreams, etc.. (Does that get a second "." after the "etc."? Hmm, I think so, but again, there's my brain not remembering.)

Many times, I just feel like I'm overloaded and over-worn. Too many hobbies that I want to enjoy, too much housework, then there are the kids, the husband, the... everything! And no time to do any of it. Oh, I get a few things done, but between my two little ones always tugging at my, climbing on me, wanting me to hold them, etc., I don't get much done. And I'd rather enjoy time with them than worry about the dishes. Know what I mean?

So, what's the point in my rambling on in this blog post? Well, the new year is approaching fast. I want you to join me in prioritizing your New Year's Resolution list. We all know we won't keep them —at least, not all of them, but let's see who can keep the most the longest! A challenge. Let's make our lists and meet back here at the first of the year to share them. Then, at the end of the year, let's see who had kept any. Maybe we'll even meet up in the middle of the year and do a "list check" and see what we've accomplished and what we may need to re-try. It's never too late to start again. My mother getting her CNA license in her 60's was proof of that.  And I need to start getting my brain back into shape, before it's not worth anything —except maybe dinner for zombies!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Some Goodies for my readers

Hello and Merry Christmas!

I've been trying to get some goodies for you and I finally have a moment to upload them...

First a Christmas Wallpaper... What do you think?

Free Christmas Wallpaper
And here are some more Alphabet pages that I've made.

I'd love to know what you think of them.  Let me know!  Enjoy and check back for more!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm a NaNoWriMo 2013 Winner!

Oh my gosh, I haven't made a post in quite a while... Since September!  October was such a hectic, crazy month and is thankfully over now.  Then came November, which, for those who really know me, means NaNoWriMo!  (National Novel Writing Month for those who don't know.)  And I was totally obsessed with my novel.  Well, I "won" NaNoWriMo, which means I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days!  But my novel is in no way complete.  I've got quite a bit more work to do on it before it's finished.  There are a ton of scenes that I still need to write, then there's the editing process to go through.  Eventually, I hope to get it published... either by self publishing or by traditional methods.  Either way, I'm hoping it's something that others will want to read.  We shall see.  In the meantime, I'm excited to say that I did it!  I wrote 50K words in 30 days!  50,272, actually, according to the official NaNoWriMo validator.

It was amazing, hard, insane, and there were quite a few times that I thought I was going to throw in the towel because I was so far behind and it looked impossible, but I did it!  @NaNoWordSprints and #NaNoWordSprints on Twitter were definitely a big help too.  Great source of inspiration!  And it was so fun to tweet with fellow WriMo's!  Anyway, I just wanted to toot my own horn and explain why I haven't been around on the blog here.  I'm hoping to get back to normal now and finish up on some of the projects I was working on previous to Hectober (Get it?  Hectic + October = Hectober) and NaNoWriMo.  The ABC Book that I'm making for the boys, some crocheting, of course, I need to finish up my novel and work on some editing, decorating for the holidays (we've got a tree and a few things up, but still got a lot to do) and there are a few others that have been left undone.

Well, that's all I have at the moment.  Now to go figure out something for dinner.  I have a ton of great recipes for side dishes, but I really need to expand my main meals section of my recipe book.  I'm getting tired of the same old same old, ya know?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ABC Book continued

So, after my recent post about ABC's and Reading, I got inspired to make a few more pages.  They're simple, really, but when you have two little ones and you're baby sitting a newborn, it gets a bit challenging to get anything done.  So, I figured I'd post the first four letters for your enjoyment.  I hope someone else gets some good use out of them as well.

I'm not sure about the cursive on the C, it looks a lot like a lower case "e" if you ask me.  What do you think?  I might change it before I actually print it out.  I'll post an updated one if I do.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ABC's and Reading

Ok, so I've been a total slacker on this one... I started this ABC book for the kiddos forever ago and I may get it done by the time the kids are in college LOL.  But seriously, now that my 3 year old is really getting into the alphabet (he actually knows the whole alphabet... in order!) and is learning to identify the letters, I'm realizing that there is an issue with the different styles of font. He can identify most of the letters in a sans serif style of font, but when you add the little squigglies and stuff with serif fonts, he's still a little confused.  It throws him off.  So I've decided to change up my ABC book a bit and have a serif, sans serif and cursive font on the letter page.  Here's what I've come up with for the A page to show you what I mean:

Since they don't teach cursive writing in school anymore (at least, not around here) I feel it necessary to teach my child how to write in cursive.  It's a lost art, really.  And I don't want my two little ones to be like my stepson whowriteswithoutspacesoranypunctuationtothepointwhereyoucan'tbarelyreadhiswritingatall.  I had a hard time typing that, I automatically put spaces in without even thinking.  I don't know how he can write without spaces or any punctuation to the point where you can't barely read his writing at all.  UGH, it drives me nuts.  But, he's 19 and has moved out, so I don't have to go over anymore of his homework, thank goodness!  But I'm going to work with these two little ones of mine, like my mother worked with me.  Thankfully, the 3 year old really likes books.  I'm hoping the 1 year old will too.

Feel free to use these ABC pages that I make for your own personal use.  I'll post more as I get them done.  And if you want to link back to my blog, that would be super nice, but not necessary.  Although I'd love to hear if you like what I've done on here.  

Thanks for stopping by today.  Speaking of learning your letters, which leads to reading... how's your Banned Books Week going?  Did you pick a book?  Which one did you pick?  I'm working on Moby Dick.  It's a book I never got a chance to get through, but have always wanted to read.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's almost here... Banned Books Week!

So, have you chosen a book yet?  It's not too late.  Banned Books Week is next week, so choose one of your favorites for a re-read, or choose a book you've never read before.  Celebrate the freedom to read!  

You may not agree or like certain books, but that doesn't mean they need to be banned.  However, I recently found out that 50 Shades of Grey is in my stepson's school library.  I've never read it, I don't intend to.  But I've heard what it's about from numerous sources and I certainly don't agree with that being in a school with children, but that's my opinion.  I had to really reevaluate my stand on banned books.  I'm still not happy with it and I'm irritated that books such as Moby Dick and Where the Wild Things Are are banned, yet something like 50 Shades of Grey can be allowed in a school.  (Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?!)  But I suppose I would be a hypocrite if I wanted that book banned.  Or are there legitimate reasons to ban a book?  And if so, where do you draw the line?  To me, it seems that the line has been drawn, scribbled out and redrawn so many times that it's all kind of fuzzy on what should be allowed and what is questionable.  

I haven't contacted my stepson's school yet... I'm not even sure I will.  What I can do is trust that we have taught him right and that he makes a good decision about whether or not to read that book.  But he's an adult now and it's his choice.  I am concerned about the younger students there, such as 7th and 8th graders who aren't mature enough, at least, in my humble opinion.  

What do you think?  What is your stand on banning books?  Have you read the 50 Shades of Grey book?  Would you want it in your child's school library?  What about the other banned books that are out there?

Click here for a list of banned books.
Click here for a Pinterest list of banned books.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Banned Books Week Coming Next Month

Banned Books Week
Sept 22nd - 28th
Read a banned book!

Let's be a little controversial for a moment... While wasting time surfing around the internet, (ie. lost in a sea of Pinterest pictures,) I came across a notice regarding Banned Books.  Being a complete book nerd, I took notice of such an atrocity.  How could anyone ban a book?!  Honestly, if you don't like a book, no one's forcing you to read it.  Leave it alone and move on.  As for required books in school, well, there are reasons for certain books to be read, lessons to be learned, and intellects to be utilized.  But there are options other than banning books.

Looking into it more, I found out that many of my favorite books, including ones that I had to read in school, have been banned or challenged numerous times over the years.  Seriously, if a parent is so adamant against a certain book being read by their child, for whatever reason, then write them a note and tell the school that your child will not be reading that book and needs a different one assigned.  Most schools, (granted, in only my own personal experience) I would imagine, be accommodating, providing the parent(s) could give a logical reason.

So, you may be thinking that the books are very controversial books with lots of sex, drugs and whatnot, that you wouldn't want your child exposed to.  Well, chances are, by the time these books are available to them for reading, they've probably already been exposed to even worse than the books have in them.  And if you deny that, then it's probably high time you search your child's room and backpack when they aren't expecting it... check their history on the internet too, and see where they've been surfing around!

But, anyway, before any parents out there get their knickers in a twist, I'm sure your diddykins is not "one of those" kids and is the perfect little angel.  I'm sure there are a few out there.... they aren't in my house, that's for sure!  But I'm certain that someone's home has a decent child out there.... somewhere.

Now, just to show you how ridiculous this list is... here are a few of my favorite classics that have been banned/challenged:

Where the Wild Things Are (A childhood favorite)
Red Badge of Courage (some seriously awesome symbolism in this book)
Moby Dick
The Great Gatsby
Click here for a list of many more.
Click here for a Pinterest list of banned books.

On Banned Books Week, everyone is encouraged to read a banned book.  Find one of your old favorites or pick up one you always wanted to read, but never found the time.  Enjoy it, savor it, understand it, and relish in the written word and the freedom to do so.

And the next time you hear the words, "Banned Books" think of all the great classics (and many contemporary books as well, such as The Hunger Games) that have been unjustly banned.  Which banned book will you read?


Monday, June 17, 2013

Toolbox for the Creative

The Writer's/Artist's Toolbox
I recently read an article online about having a "toolbox" handy.  It was full of amazing and very helpful links and tips.  Well that got me to thinking... What is in MY toolbox?  What does a writer/artist NEED?

A notebook/sketchbook- this is essential, of course, and really shouldn't need stating, but we're starting with the basics.  keep this handy at all times.  Both if you must.  I'm looking for the perfect combo of a sketchbook/journal to use... The search continues.  I also keep a sketch pad and pen in every room (yes, even the bathroom!)  As for me, I have a terrible memory and if I don't jot things down when they pop into my head, they'll be forever lost.

Pens & pencils - Again, obvious, and they go with the first item, but just having one single pen or pencil on hand is like only ever eating vanilla ice cream.  Sure, it's great, but it makes a better foundation to add lots of other goodies.  I like to have variety because I never know when inspiration will strike for a good sketch/doodle/etc.  Inspiration for a good doodle?  Oh, you bet!  A good doodle can be a great catalyst for just about anything... The shapes, colors, style... You just never know.  And sometimes I do a quick doodle just to relax my mind. 

Camera/camera phone - personally, I carry both about 99% of the time (yes, my purse is huge and heavy, but I never know what I'll come across and what I'll need) and I've begun a collection of some amazing photos... Sunsets, sun rises, animals, bugs, flowers and other plants, etc.  And one of the best thing to photograph is textures.  You can use these for your art, book covers, crafts, and much more.  Start noticing the world around you and capture it!

Recording device - If you're driving or have your hands full, but need to get an idea out before you forget it, then a recording device is a must.  I believe many of the cell phones nowadays have some way of recording your voice.  If yours doesn't, then call yourself and leave yourself a voice-mail.  Leaving yourself a voice-mail is a great tool, especially for work the next day.  When I would leave work and remember something important that I would need to do the next day, I would call my extension and leave myself a message.  Then I was able to "forget it" for the evening and relax without worrying all night.  And there are also plenty of Apps for recording devices on your smartphone, if you have one.  Some are even free.

A good writing application - And I don't mean an "App" on your phone.  I mean something along the lines of Microsoft Word, WriteWay, Scriviner, or something as simple as Notepad.  Personally, I use WriteWay, but I've heard many good things about Scrivener as well.  I used to use Word until I came across WriteWay.  What I like about something like WriteWay or Scrivener is that they allow you to break up your story into sections, so you're not scrolling down and down and down, for infinity, just to find one small scene.  Sure, you can use Ctrl "F" but it can become quite a hassle if you're looking for something vague.

A great imagination and a sense of wonder - You need to have curiosity and the ability to look outside the box, maybe even throw out the box completely.  Ask lots of questions especially "What if?"  That question is a great catalyst for any story of any genre.  What if?  Take something ordinary and ask yourself the question, "What if...?" and see where it takes you.  What if my cat had special powers?  What if the South had won the war?  What if you had done this over that?  And be sure to search out the beauty in even the most ordinary items.  I've seen some of the most amazing photography and art pieces of some of the most mundane objects.  Don't just look at the lighting, but look at the shadows as well.  Negative space is one of the best artistic tools we can use.

 So, what's in your toolbox?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Character Collecting for Stories Part II


Character Collecting for Stories Part II:  In my last post I talked about Character Collecting.  Well, after re-reading my post, I tried to read it from a reader's point of view and thought someone might think, "That's all well and good, but how exactly do you collect characters for stories?"

Good question!  Here are my steps in "collecting characters" for Character Creation later on:

Tools.  First of all, always keep a notebook with you.  I keep a notebook and a camera with me at all times, you never know when inspiration will hit.  Then, be sure to transfer it somewhere safe and easily accessible  such as your computer or in a filing cabinet, etc., whatever you prefer for record keeping.

Be observant.  One of the most important things we can do as writers/artists/creative beings, is to be observant, but in this day and age, with all the technology we have at our fingertips, we tend to stay in our little bubbles, even when we're out and about.  Let's break that down even more...

Pay attention to what's going on in the world, rather than just in that little bubble of yours.  So many times we are so caught up in our own little world, worrying about bills, school, kids, work, etc., that we miss little interesting things going on around us.  So, take the blinders off for a moment, put down the smart phone/iPad/handheld device (scary, I know) and hold still, close your eyes.  Take a deep breath, what do you smell?  What do you feel?  Is is chilly?  Humid?  Feel the ground beneath your feet, is it gravel, grass or pavement?  What about sounds, what do you hear?  Now, open your eyes and write down whatever stood out to you, what made you "feel" where you are.

People Watch.  Now that you have a feel for your surroundings, look around at the people.  Who catches your eye?  Does anyone stand out?  Once you find someone who peaks your interest, for whatever reason, write down a few things about them.  What do they look like?  Who are they with?  What are they doing?  It's important to get all the details, almost a sketch of the person, but in words.  And if you can draw, even better, go ahead and sketch the person out.

What's the history?  Now, make up some of their background.  You obviously don't know them, but you can still make up something.  Are they late for a meeting?  Are they waiting for someone?  Where did they come from and where are they going?  Imagine what's going on inside their little world and jot down those details.  Sometimes, when I look up at a plane flying overhead, I imagine a passenger on that flight and wonder about what exotic locale they are headed for.  Maybe they're a spy or headed to a dense jungle, looking for.... Well, you get the idea.

What's in a name?  Finally, give your character a name or at least, a description of some sort.  Naming is one of the more difficult tasks, if you ask me, so you don't have to name them right now, if you don't want to.  i usually like my character's names to have meaning.  But whether you name them or not, give them a designation when saving their information. such as the header:  "Girl running past fountain."

So, next time, when you need a story, or a character for a story, just pull out your collected characters and see if one of them can help you out by giving you a scenario or just simply by doing whatever it is that they were doing when you first noticed them.  Then, just write whatever you see and let your muse free.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Character Collecting for Stories

Character Collecting
People Watching for Stories

I like to "People Watch" looking for my next Main Character.  For example, one day, years ago, I was working at a T-shirt shop, downtown St. Augustine, and saw a little girl run past the fountain outside.  She was smiling and having fun, but it struck me as interesting for some reason (probably because she looked so care free and I was stuck working on a beautiful sunny day) and I quickly got a pen and paper and jotted down some stuff:

Little girl, about 8 or 9, green dress, running... Those thoughts led to:  "She ran past the fountain..." and that instantly got my muse's attention, "...frantically searching..." searching for what?  Her parents? Her brother? Her dog? An escape route?

Oooohh, that's good!  Escape from what?

She then became the goal, the Damsel in Distress, if you will, for a story that is turning into a novel that I'm working on.  I started it during NaNoWriMo in November 2011, the first year in which, I was a winner.  I still have much work to do on it, many hours of writing, (I made it to 50K words, to "win" NaNoWriMo, but the story's not done) editing and tweaking to complete before it's worthy of publishing, but still, a whole novel from one moment in time when I noticed a girl run past a fountain.

It's taken on a life of its own and is nothing like I had originally envisioned.  I know I should outline my story, but that just seems too rigid for me.  They characters in my stories rarely follow the outline, anyway, making their own paths.  I just let the scenes play out in my head and I write what happens.  I'm called what is termed a "Pantser" -- an author who writes by seat of their pants, rather than using an outline to guide the story.

If you need the structure of an outline, by all means, sketch one out after the initial Character Collection or Inspirational Epiphany.

Just be sure to collect those characters.  There are so many out there who are unique, you can't miss them.  They're in the line at the bank, walking on the side of the road, sunning themselves at the beach, wherever people are, you'll find a character for your next novel.  I saw a very strange couple walking on the sidewalk one day, they looked so out of place, I had to pull over to write down the details.  I've got them saved on my hard drive and they might possibly become the main characters come this November's NaNoWriMo or maybe this summer's Camp NaNoWriMo.

Just be observant and open to anything.  You never know, a "character" that you find may not work for anything you're writing now, but down the road, you may find that you need the special flavor that only they can bring to a story.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Earth Hour 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013 is EARTH HOUR

Earth Hour

Remember to turn off your lights for an hour tonight at 8:30pm.  Earth Hour is a world wide event that has gotten a really huge following around the globe.  It's good for the environment, it's good for your electric bill and wallet, and it's a good statement of support for our planet and it's conservation.  Please join me and thousands of others by turning your lights off for one hour this evening.  And don't forget to share the idea with your friends and family.

Will you participate?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

Project of the Day:

Worked on the guest bathroom today.  Our son "cleaned" it this past weekend, but it still needs a lot of work.  A teenage boy and a parent definitely have two very different opinions on what counts as "clean."

Not that I"m the best at being a Domestic Engineer, far from it.  But when the dirt and grime get to me, then I know it's time for an overhaul!  LOL

So, I broke out the Magic Eraser and went to scrubbing down a couple of the walls and the door.

Much better!

And he actually noticed!  Remarkable.

Photo of the Day:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

Project of the Day:

Worked on my novel again.... just basically doing some research, but it sometimes takes a while.  And I always seem to wait until the last minute.  This time, I'm going to be ahead of the game for NaNoWriMo and do my outline and research (or at least, most of it) before November when it's time to do the actual writing.

Photo of the Day:

Guess we weren't the only ones to want Chick-Fil-A for lunch!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

So, how did everyone do with the time change today?  We did ok, we woke up in plenty of time for church, but for some reason, we ended up running late anyway.  I don't know what happened.  I think there's a time displacement bubble in the shower, so that you get in and only spend a few minutes, but time outside of the shower-bubble goes faster and when you step out, it's been twice as long as you wanted/needed it to be.

Project of the Day:

Well, we had a very busy day today.  We had church, of course, but then we came home and I cooked a pork roast in the oven.  It turned out wonderful!  So yummy!  Lots of veggies.  I like to use the buttery golden potatoes, I sliced up two very large sweet onions, celery and threw in the last of my baby carrots.  Added water halfway up the side of the roast, added in a veggie bullion cube (I was out of broth.  I don't like using the cubes unless I have to.) I sliced up three garlic cloves and shoved them into the slits I'd cut in the top of the roast and then added the spices.  Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (I find it helps to bring out the flavor of the fresh onions,) a pinch of marjoram and then I dusted the top of the roast with a bit of parmigiana cheese.  Weird?  I know it sounds like it, but it's good, trust me.  It turned out so yummy.  You didn't even need a knife!  The big dinner was my big project of the day.  That's usually the biggie on Sundays.  I like to cook a big meal and enjoy Family Home Evening.

However, I did also get on the computer and phone with a friend of mine to help her test out a couple virtual classrooms.

Photo of the Day:

Chocolate Ice Cream!  Don't judge me, he didn't get a lot.  But it was Family Home Evening and we decided for everyone to get a treat after a really good dinner.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

Project of the Day:

Boy, were we busy this day!  First, we started the day out right and walked.  It was cool out and we didn't go far, but it was so nice to have a little bit of quiet time with my Hubby.  Next, he measured the back patio and off to Home Depot we all went to price some supplies.  Then, I wanted to hit the gardening area.  We picked up some pots for my plants and some seeds, along with a few other miscellaneous items.

After lunch, Big Bubby (the 18 year old) finally cleaned his bathroom (which is the guest bath, so I'm always nagging him to keep up with it, but it's like talking to a wall.)  We got some laundry done, I got some emails done and sent, and I got a few other little things done that I have been carrying over from one week to the next.

All in all, it was a very productive day.

Photo of the Day:

Buggaboo picked flowers for Mommy (Me) and it was hilarious.  It was from a weed, but what was really funny was that he would pick each "flower" one at a time and bring it to me, then walk all the way back to the plant (a good 20 feet or so) and then bring the next one back to me.  When it was all out of the flowers, he started picking the buds.  But he'd bring about 3 or 4 buds to me at one time.  Needless to say, he made many trips.  LOL  It totally melted my heart.

Change Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks!

It's that time again, the time of year when we "lose" an hour.

Sunday March 10th, 2013 at 2am

So, tonight, at bedtime, if you're one of the lucky ones who get to play havoc with your biological clock, remember to change your clocks forward by one hour.


To tell you the truth, I actually like this time better.  I like having more time in the sun.  It feels like I have more time to get more done.  When it gets darker earlier, it just makes me tired sooner.  Check out this site for printable calendars for your sunrise and sunset times.

Another thing to put on your calendar is that this is a good timely reminder to check your emergency supplies / food storage.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

Project of the Day:

As the project for today, I spent my time on trying to catch up on my list that I've had going for two weeks now.  Crossing off a handful of tasks was very satisfying, but having to highlight a few important ones that didn't quite get done, was a little on the depressing side.  But Hubby's off this weekend, so I should be able to accomplish a few more things before the next week starts piling up.

Photo of the Day:

Well, I'm glad someone is getting some
sleep around here, because it certainly
isn't me or Hubby!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

Project of the Day:

Worked on making some cards today and getting them sent out.  I'm also still working on the ABC book for the kids.  I'll upload some more of them for you all soon.

Photo of the Day:

Buggaboo enjoying his first Gelato at Crispers

Writing Prompt

Writing prompt by Mama Kat

10 Random Things I Know How To Do:
  • I can hit a 100 yard target the size of a dime with a rifle.
  • I know how to change the tires, spark plugs and brakes on a car. (but that doesn't mean that I want to)
  • I can dance The Twist.
  • I know how to build my own computer. 
  • I know how to crochet.
  • I can make my kids laugh. (usually at something totally stupid that I'm doing)
  • I can type 55 wpm.
  • I can make my own really good Pinewood Derby race car.
  • I can recite/sing 12 different Mother Goose stories while feeding a bottle to a baby. (handy when my 2 year old gets out his collection)
  • I know how to write basic HTML. (I really need to update my knowledge on it, but I think I'll have to wait until after the Terrible Two's)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

Project of the Day:

We had the missionaries over to help us out with cleaning out a bunch of excess crap in one of the bedrooms.  We're such packrats... especially me.  I'm terrible.  The thing that doesn't help much is that I have a ton of craft stuff; Stampin' Up, scrapbooking stuff, yarn, etc., but this house is very lacking in the storage department.  So, I really don't have anyplace to put that stuff.  Anyway, we made a decent dent in the back bedroom, but we still have a ways to go.

Photo of the Day:

Came across this potholder that, I suppose, belonged to my parents:  I just can't believe that it's still in decent shape.  Needs a little TLC with some stitch repair, but other than that, It's pretty good.  Strangely enough, my parents were very Democrat, although they believed in voting for whoever was better suited for the position of president, they very rarely voted Republican.

Of course, Eisenhower was president a decade before I was born, so I don't even know who McCaskey is. I've tried looking him up, but with no luck yet.  Anyone have a clue?  My parents lived in Somerset county, Pennsylvania at the time, but that's really all I know.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

Project of the Day:

Worked on laundry like a fiend today.  I skipped a day or two on laundry and you'd think I'd skipped a month for all the laundry that piled up!  I swear, it multiplies like rabbits!  I put a nice huge dent in the piles of clothes today, though. So long as I don't skip any more days, I should be able to get it down to a somewhat less daunting of a task.

Photo of the Day:

Hubby dug out the ol' Nintendo and a game or two from the shed and lo and behold, the sucker came on!  We couldn't believe it.  It's been buried under a ton o'stuff for forever out there.  But, the problem is that the controller wasn't working.  Need to see if there's another one hidden away somewhere.

Never really cared for the hunting/fishing games.  I'd rather do that stuff in real life, not on a video game.  Personally, I'm a Centipede and Joust fan, myself.  But Donkey Kong and Pac Man are up there too.  (Boy, I'm old!)  So, what's your favorite old video game?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Project & Photo of the Day

Project of the Day:

Worked on a new idea for a novel.  NaNoWriMo isn't until November, but last year, I wasn't prepared and I didn't make the goal of 50K words.  I still plan on finishing the story, but this year, I want to win, so I've begun working on the outline and some of the research that I will need to have done in order to be successful this year.

Photo of the Day:

Random fun photo taken while playing blocks with my son.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Project in Need of a Title

Project of the Day:

Worked on making homemade cards for Birthdays and for Visiting Teaching.

Photo of the Day:

Tomorrow's goal project... Send out cards for this month's Birthdays & Visiting Teaching.

Better Late Than Never

Well, it's 1:02am on March 3rd, but I haven't gone to bed yet, so I technically consider this still the 2nd.... so, for a project for Saturday, I worked on projects for Primary at church tomorrow.

And I did a ton of laundry today too... finally making a dent in it.

Here's my photo for the day...

This is one of the blossoms on our mini pumpkin patch.
Hopefully the freeze tonight doesn't harm them.  We
already lost some from the last freeze.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Project (365 ÷ 12) 2

Well, until I figure out a better title to this project idea, Project (365 ÷ 12) 2 will have to do.

Today's project was, I must admit, a completely personal and very selfish one.  I am a gamer at heart and I haven't had much time to myself since Buggaboo was born 2 & 1/2 years ago.  So, I found the opportunity today to have my NPC Scanner addon for my video game, World of Warcraft, let me know when a certain rare character spawned in the game.  I had been camping this guy, Sarnak, for a few days now, (just putting in a little time here and there,) and today, I vowed to either get the crossbow I'd been drooling over or break down and finally buy it off the Auction House.  Well, when I was at my wits end with him, it finally dropped! The Fishsticker Crossbow!  I really needed the mental break and I enjoyed running a few quests with my new bow, before finally logging off the game.

Lame, I know.

Especially for a project that's supposed to get me back on track.  But sometimes, you just need a break from worrying about all the daily junk that piles up.  I did laundry too (speaking of "piling up") so, today wasn't a total waste.  I played with my kids, washed some dishes, made my husband's lunch for work, etc.... I didn't totally give up on the whole house or anything, so don't judge.  Some women go shoe shopping, I sit and play video games.  And I can sit on the floor and play with my kids while I wait for the NPC Scanner to go off letting me know that Sarnak finally showed up.... which is what I did.  The boys loved it, we had a blast!  So, today was Play Day!  So sue me.  No, don't... you wouldn't get anything anyway.  Can't get blood from a turnip and you can't get any money from my wallet!  LOL  (I have to laugh, or I'd cry at the truth in that statement.)

Anyway.... Here's the photo for the day:

I took a photo of the clock hanging in our guest bath, then played around on PhotoShop a little.  Since I'd been talking about time management and all that, I got inspired to take a semi-dramatic photo of a clock.  Here's the original, if you're interested:

So, enjoy your "time" with me in this journey to self discovery and discipline.

Project (365 ÷ 12) 2

Project (365 ÷ 12) 2 ??  What the...???  Well, to clarify, I've totally bombed on keeping up with this blog to report my successes and failures on my Project 365 x 2 idea.  If you're just tuning in, I wanted to do a "project" a day to clean/organize my home as well as post a "photo of the day" and report about both on my blog here.  Well, as you can see, from the last time I posted, I've crapped out on that.

I've been doing projects and taking photos, I just haven't been so successful on the posting portion of the deal.


Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking.  I'm lucky to squeeze in a shower, and if I can go to the bathroom without one of the kids screaming for me, I count that as a successful day!  I can't find five minutes of quiet each day, let alone get a chance to get on here every day.  I really don't know how other parents do it... especially single parents!  I think I'd go totally insane... no, I know I would, I'm halfway there already.

So, anyway, Project (365 ÷ 12) 2, I've decided that I'm still going to stick to my original New Year's Resolution, albeit, as sidetracked as it is, and start fresh with the beginning of a new month.  Only, this time, I'm going to make smaller goals.  One month at a time.  Hence the "365 ÷ 12" part.  And I'm still going to aim for both projects, which is the "x 2" part.  So that should explain the weird title of this post.  Now, for me to just hunker down and do it.  I'm able to squeeze in other stuff... so there should be no excuse as to why I can't do this too.  Discipline.  That's what it all comes down to.

Time Management & Discipline.  I need to learn how to manage my time better and then find the will power to stick to it.  Add on "Staying Positive" during the whole process while taking care of the home and the family and you've got... well, I don't really know what you've got because I've never achieved that yet.

So, here I am, about to embark on an adventure of sorts, into the unknown.  Time management, discipline, positive attitude, home and family maintenance.  Hmmm... lets see, what shall we call it?  We certainly need something better than "Project (365 ÷ 12) 2" because that's just too mathematically rigid for my tastes. (I like math, but I'm more of an artsy-fartsy kind of gal.)  So, titles.... Hmmm..... How about "Resolution Reiterated" ??  No?  Too much, huh?   Guess I'll have to think about it some more, unless any of you have any ideas?  I'm open to suggestions on what my dual project should be titled.  Gotta start off right, ya know!

(*...Goes off to find inspiration, a project to do, and something to take a picture of....*)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Project 365 x 2

So, I've totally slacked on posting for my Project 365 x 2 that I started this year.  I've been quite successful in keeping up with both doing projects each day as well as taking photos every day.  I just haven't had a chance to get on the computer to post them, so I'm going to get caught up in this post.  (If it gets a bit long, I might break it up into a few posts.)

January 1st
I cleaned around the edges of the kitchen floor and the front of all the appliances.  The little nooks and crannies like the edges under the kitchen cabinets and the grate on the bottom of the fridge always seem to get ignored because they're just not up in your face and obvious.  But it's amazing how much cleaner the kitchen looks when they've been cleaned.  I mean, really scrubbed, not just swept up, but scrubbed good with disinfectant wipes.  With two little ones, it's so hard to find time to do these little details, but they're so important.

As for the photos, Sometimes I've been finding it hard to decide on ONE single photo to post.  Especially when I've taken pics of my little guys.  But I'm going to try to narrow it down to only one.

I just love the hilarious expression on Mr. Giggles
January 2nd
Sent out Visiting Teaching cards for this month.

Saw this strange bug outside the bank one day.  Don't know
what kind it is, but he looked really cool.  I think he was hurt,
though.  I think one of his wings was damaged.  He's really
pretty, though!
January 3rd
Large dusting project where the Elders came over to help out.  I hate dusting.  It aggravates my allergies so badly, that I can't stand it.  But then, the dust accumulates so much, that my allergies are affected anyway.  I swear, sometimes I think I just need to live in a bubble.  Anyway, we got a good section done this day.

Buggaboo holding our kitty, Jasmine
January 4th
Started on an ABC book for the kids.  I've been wanting to make one of these for forever, and I finally got it started.  This day I got the letter "A" done.  I'm going to print each of these on a 4x6 photo page (the letter on one and the words on another) and put them in a small photo album.  I think these will be great to keep them occupied, particularly in church or when we go out to dinner.

Photo of the Day:
Mr. Giggles in his Bumbo seat
January 5th
Worked on stuff for Primary and finished the letter "B" since I was on a roll with the letters.  I'm really excited about getting this particular project completed.


Photo of the Day:
All three boys, all watching the tube
Ok, the kids are getting too rambunctious and it's time for lunch, so I'll post more later.  I'm hoping to get caught up with all my days (which is my project for today, by the way *wink*)

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