Monday, October 29, 2012

2 DAYS!!!

We've only TWO DAYS left until the beginning of National Novel Writing month and I have no idea what I'm writing. Now, some folks enjoy the feeling of writing by the seat of their pants. Sadly, I'm not one of them. I need a rough road map of where I want to go and key points I want to visit along the way. I haven't got that yet and it's starting to bug me a bit.

I like to use the month of November to push my boundaries. Test myself and see what I'm made of. My first year, it was simply to write 50,000 words of fiction that didn't completely stink. To take a plot idea and run with it. The next year I settled on a middle/young adult work that my kids could read. Two years ago it was erotica/romance. Just how far could I get myself to go with a sex scene? (And yes, I really did suprise myself with that one!) Last year I tried to tackle a sequel to the young adult story, but didn't get very far. Actually, few of us got very far that year. I'm not sure what happened to the others, but I know what happened in my case. Or at least I think I do. I hadn't finished editing the first book and it seemed silly to go on to the next. That and I got sick half-way through.

All of which brings us to this year. What the heck am I going to write? I thought I'd tackle a non-fiction mythology book. It's something I've been thinking about for a good while now. But then I got this sliver of an idea for a true vampire tale, which is something I've also been thinking would be fun to write. And by true vampire, I mean the revenant vampires of folklore. Something truly horrific as opposed to what Hollywood and lit. have been tossing our way. (THAT was my first novel.) However I didn't have much to go on, until last week that is. One the way back from taking a friend home from our meet n'greet, it started to plot itself in my head. Great, right? Except it stopped and I haven't had the chance to think more on it...So, WHAT am I going to begin writing in a few days? I still have no idea, but something tells me it'll be neither of the above, because that seems to be how it's going this year.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NaNo 2012

Ohmygersh! Only 
 more days until 2012's National Novel Writing Month kicks off! Are you ready?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

S'more Birthday Cakes

So, the Monkey Girl turned 13 a week and a half ago. Yep, we've TWO teenage girls in the house now. For her party, she wanted a s'more theme - you know, those melted marshmellow, chocolaty goodness treats. Where she gets her ideas, I don't know, but it was fun. Mr. Incredible made a giant s'more for the pinata. But those pics will have to wait for another post, since my camera batteries died and my sister took pics on her camera instead. I need to get her SD card downloaded to my computer.
Instead, I want to share the cakes we made with you. This is the first time MG's wanted sometime homemade instead of one ordered from the store. Of course, stumbling across these cupcakes from Martha Stewart probably helped with the decision making process. (Yes, I love Martha.)

I thought they were so cute and was really, really happy when MG wanted them for her party's cakes. Of course, that then means I had to MAKE them. Checking out the recipe through me for a loop. It uses what germ! What they heck? I've never seen a recipe like this, but it looked healthier than your regular cake. I just wasn't sure how it would taste. So guess what cake Mr. I got for his birthday the weekend before? Sometimes he can be a really great sport. So is our gaming gang, thank goodness. And they were rewared wonderfully. Drama Queen said the cake tasted like snickerdoodles in a pie. I suspect they were going for the graham cracker crust effect and hoped I'd like it better once we got the chocolate sauce and marshmellows on. (I did!)
Since we needed A LOT of cakes, I made regular sized and mini-upcakes the day before. They didn't go together quite like Martha's, but that's okay. We used her recipes and the pic as inspiration and made our own thing. Take a look:

Cute, right? Saturday morning, MG and I sat down to assemble them and quickly realized that putting them together like the originals just wouldn't work. The mini cupcakes were too big, so we stacked the minis on the big cupcakes and then added the big marshmellows. After we'd filled one of the cake plates with finished cupcakes, MG decided to add the mini marshmellows around the sides so we got to use them as well. I've got to tell you, sitting at the table putting those together with MG was my best memory of the day. We weren't in a hurry and got to have some fun with it. It was great. She kept looking for ways get the chocolate sauce all over her fingers so she could lick them clean. Yeah, it was that good.
If you want the recipe, just click on the image of Martha's mini cakes above and it'll take it to her webpage. I'd post the recipe where, but I honestly didn't change anything in it and so don't feel right copying it verbatim. I'm going to try making it again in a couple of weeks for gaming night, only I think I'll just make it as a regular cake, slather on the chocolate sauce, and toss on some mini marshmellows. One of DQ's friends, who has joined our gaming group, keeps requesting them.
For the display, we used my old cake plates and arranged them on our new-to-us teak cabinet in the dining room. They looked lovely and we could sit the rest of the food around them. However, it didn't look nearly as lovely in photographs, so here's a shot of them sitting on the deep freeze, which is our main workspace in the kitchen right now. (New counter/cabinets should be in in the next week or two!)
I love how Pinterest lets me post ideas so I can attempt them later. It was nice to be able to go through web pages and blog posts finding ideas for her party and then have them all nicely organized, with pictures, in one spot to go back over them together.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


So, the madness that comes at the end of a school year finally settled down, only to be replaced by the madness that comes with house-hunting and moving. We're getting settled in nicely at the new place I think. While there are still quite a few boxes to unpack, the rooms actually look like rooms people live in as opposed to some storage facility. The girls are even planning a mega-sleepover this coming weekend, where they'll take over the living room.

There are a lot of things to love about this new house, but right now I'm just enjoying sitting on the back side porch, listening to the rain and enjoying this view:

This is off to the side of the porch, where the parking area is located. That's, I think, an old depot in the background. The Lion's Club uses it as their meeting house.


Right in front of where I'm sitting. I just relaxed and enjoyed the view. Yes, we're still in town, but from this porch it certainly doesn't look like it! What a nice change after the last 15-16 years. At the house we lived in when the girls were born, you could go into the backyard and pretend you weren't in town. We had some pretty old, tall trees and a hedge, but it was also small, damp, and mosquito laden. And you could never quite get the view of the nearby rooftops out of the way. I like this view much better. The country girl in me can breathe again.

I'll try to post more about the house soon, but now I need to try to get back to work. Writing doesn't take care of itself....

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Takin' a Break

Hi all, I'm just going to make it official and let anyone interested know that I'll be off the blogosphere until the end of May. I just don't have the time or energy right now to make the posts that I want to make, although I am getting my blood sugar under wonderful control. However, we're also in the last month of school, which is always a rush to the finish line, and we need to sort and pack up for moving stuff to various other schools. I'll be back soon. Promise. I've really missed posting.

Monday, January 23, 2012

When Pigs Fly

I know I've been MIA lately on here, especially after tossing out all those challenges I was going to attempt this month, but I've apparently been under a cloud of depression that just started to life a little over a week ago. I hope you'll forgive me. I've still got those tutorials lined up - just need to sit down and get them written up. In the meantime, I managed to get the earrings that I've made so far this month photographed today and will try to share some of my favs in the coming days. (I'm going to put them all in a Facebook album.) I just had to share today's pair with you now, though. How cute are those lampworked beads? Little Flying Love Pigs. How sweet is that?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Planning for 2012

Really, it's more like planning for January, as there are several things I'm going to try this month. I discovered internet challenges last year and have found myself seriously drawn into them. (Anyone remember the A-Z Reading Challenge I posted about? I picked out a list of Andre Norton books and managed to read 4, I think. My husband wound up moving his collection into the antique secretary that his older sister returned. And then stuffs got piled in front of the door, and well...I can't easily get to them anymore. (At the moment, it would be a major excavation to get to the secretary!))
The first challenge I was crazy enough to agree to isn't even an online one. Someone at work tossed out the suggestion that we put together a team for the 2012 Athens Takes It Off challenge, which runs 10 weeks. Looking for a some encouragement to get back into my healthy, sugar-friendly eating, I mentioned it to my husband. He thought it was a good idea. That was all the encouragement I needed and so I signed up. Now if I can just figure out when the weigh-in is...

Just click if you'd like to find out more about Athens Takes It Off. I'll try to post regular updates and hopefully you'll encourage me to stick with my eating goals, which is really what this is all about for me. (Apparently I dropped quite a few pounds just by being mindful of what was going in my mouth...and then I got that sore throat and it all went out the window.) Feel free to play along on your own and see what healthy changes you can make in your life during those 10 weeks - you can share them in the comments section on here if you'd like and then we can cheer each other on.

The next challange is also one of mindfulness. I'm going to give the "river of stones" a try. For this challange, you need to properly, or completely and wholely, notice something and then write about it. There are bunches of ways you can share, or not. The whole point is to take that moment in time to notice something fully and to record that noticing, and to do that for 31 days. I'll be sharing some of my small stones over on the Laural Reufner blog, but you can find out more here if you'd like to play along.
And one final challange, because things are better in threes, right? This one is a creative, fun challange and I'd love to have you join me. I'm making a pair of earrings every day during January. For the second year, the editor of the Beading Daily enewsletter tossed out the challange to create a beaded pair of earrings everyday in January. While I'm not sure I'm making the kinds of earrings she had in mind - I don't do peyote or right angle or herringbone beaded stitches - I'm still making earrings. Heck, I might even make some as gifts for during the year or for Christmas. And I was so excited that I've already started. My husband gave a gift certificate to our local beading store, Beads and Things, and I guilt-free splurged on the stuff to make a pair of earrings with pretty kyanite drops on them. I just couldn't wait. (That's them in the photo uptop.) So last night, I had to make a second pair of earrings as well. (I'll actually post a tutorial on those earrings soon.)

I think a creative, month long challange off and on during the year could be lots of fun and I'm trying to think up some other ideas that would work well. So far, ornaments in July are sounding like a pretty good time. Why should January have all the fun?