Thursday, February 26, 2015

I Miss Blogging!

Well so much for blogging regularly this year!  I've been gone for over a month and I really miss it.  For a while last year I was pondering whether I should continue blogging, but with this recent forced time off I've realized how much I love it and I don't want to give it up.

I won't be posting regularly for a while though, as right now all my energy is being spent trying to help Jess get healthy again.  She's been struggling for a while but last month was really scary and stressful.  It seems now that we have the right doctors treating her and she is starting to feel better.  But I'm afraid it will be a long road.

For now, I'll still be lurking around the blogosphere and posting when I can and I'm hoping to be able to do the A-Z.

Hope you're staying warm!  Here it's been below 0 for a number of days! I'd love to hear what you're up to these days.

Kathy 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cute Kid Alert, A-Z Challenge, and Cheesy Deliciousness

It's already the 15th of the month, but so far January has gotten off to a good start.  I've been working hard on editing and it is going pretty well actually.  I set a goal of getting through one chapter each week and so far, I've kept on pace. :)

Cute Kid Alert













My 10 yr. old son decided to stop homeschooling this year and go to our local public school but my high school aged girls wanted to keep homeschooling.  It's worked well, except the girls miss their little brother so much while he's at school that one of my daughters decided to leave a note for him every morning before he gets on the bus.  She writes it late at night and puts it on the table so he sees it as he's eating breakfast.  She gives him little random assignments each day.  Today, it was to take a video of himself while doing 3 jumping jacks and hugging our beagle.  The girls have watched that video at least three times today as they anxiously await his return.


A-Z Challenge
 I've also come up with some ideas for this year's A-Z Challenge, which will be here before we know it!  The sign up lists opens in two weeks!  This year I want to pre-write at least some of my posts, so that I have more time to visit everyone else.


Fault In Our Stars
I read the book last year and loved it.  It's about two teens with cancer who meet in a support group and fall in love.  We watched the movie last weekend and it was excellent.  It's a tearjerker, (my eyes were puffy by the end and I think I used a whole Kleenex box),but not depressing, I think it's beautiful and hopeful.  I definitely recommend it, if you haven't seen it yet.


Cheesy Deliciousness

This morning here in Ohio it was about 10 degrees so I decided I wanted to make something warm and cheesy.  My mom's au gratin potatoes were the perfect accompaniment to such freezing cold temperatures.

















Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it!

Au Gratin Potatoes

4-6 Idaho potatoes peeled and diced
Cream Sauce:
4 T butter
2 T flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk + more if needed
4 T mayonnaise
8 oz shredded mild cheddar cheese

Boil diced potatoes. Drain off water and pour potatoes into a baking dish. Melt butter in saucepan on low heat.  Add flour gradually blending with fork.  Combine milk, salt, and mayonnaise in small bowl, then gradually add to melted butter and flour in saucepan and stir until well combined.  Add 1/2 the cheese and stir until melted and creamy, if too thick add more milk and then add the remaining 1/2 of the cheese and cook stirring constantly until fully melted and has a smooth consistency.  Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and mix in gently. Bake at 350 for about 50 min or until just starting to brown on top.


How is your January going so far? Are you doing A-Z this year? What's your favorite recipe that warms you up?

Hope you're having a great week!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG




It's time for the first IWSG post for 2015!

If you haven't heard, the IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, as a place for us writers to share our struggles and joys and to encourage one another.  It's a place to express your doubts or concerns without feeling afraid or silly.  We post the first Wednesday of every month.  For more info click here.

This month Alex thought it would be a great idea for us to give a short introduction of ourselves.  Here are a few facts about me:

I have a husband, three crazy kids, and a dog who are everything to me.
I've been a figure skating coach for 25 years and I still crave that feeling of flying through the chilled arena air.
Ever since I can remember, I've been fascinated with words, stories and writing.
I love music, travel, and books.  
I love meeting new people, laughing, and experiencing life as much as possible.


This month, I'm pretty excited.  I don't know what it is but I have a great feeling for 2015 and as I've been traveling around the blogosphere, I've seen that a lot of other people are feeling the same way.  That's a lot of positive energy rolling around right now and that has to be a good thing!


What is there to be excited about?

Well, I'm excited to finish reading the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond.  What I've read so far is fantastically inspiring!

It's so inspiring that I'm determined to dedicate more time each day to writing.  So often in the past I let daily responsibilities get in the way, pretty soon the moon is high in the sky and I haven't written a word.  My main goals are to finish the third draft of my novel so I can finally have some beta readers look at it and to write a short story or two.  I know I can do it if I just make more time to write.

I'm also excited about my oldest daughter, Jess, who will be graduating from high school this year and hopefully finishing and publishing her second book, The Inferiors, the sequel to From the Ashes.

That's already a lot of good things and I'm sure there will be many more.  What are you excited about this year?

Kathy :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

What Will 2015 Bring?

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful break.

This year was one of my favorite New Year's celebrations ever.  It was perfect.  

Nothing big or extravagant.  Just my brother and his family at our house cooking together, playing games, dancing and being silly.  No big crowds or parties or standing out in the cold, just simple fun.
  
I've always loved New Year's.  To me, there's something magical about the idea of leaving the past behind and starting new.  Focusing on moving forward, remaking yourself.  Benjamin Franklin said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”  (Quote from Goodreads) 

I didn't really make any resolutions for 2015, but I want to make this year about simplicity.  To enjoy the simple things in life and cut out the unnecessary waste and clutter, to live in the moment and see where it leads.  

I have a good feeling about 2015.  I plan to dig in and immerse myself in my writing and other projects and I think great things will come from it!

Happy New Year, here's to a great 2015 filled with love, laughter, and hard work!  

Kathy :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Deja Vu Blogfest



I'm participating in DL Hammons Deja Vu Blogfest today.  The idea is to repost a favorite older post from this year that you feel didn't get quite the viewing you'd hoped for.

I thought, hey, "that will be easy," then I started looking at my old posts.  Yikes, what a decision.  Not that they were so amazing I thought they all needed reposting, I wish.  I was a little underwhelmed and I wasn't sure any of them actually deserved being reborn.  Finally, I found one.  It's short and sweet and I thought it exemplified a kind of Christmas-time spirit, so here goes:


From October 17 2014,

No Powers Necessary

Yesterday, I was talking with my 10 year old son about my YA Fantasy novel (in editing phase) as I drove him to his guitar lesson.  He’s an avid reader of YA books so I respect his literary opinion. I explained some of the problems I was having with it.  First, he told me that a few of my ideas were a little too cliche so I might want to change it up a bit. Then he went on to give me his input on the weaponry my characters should be using, one of his favorite aspects of any story.

After a while he thoughtfully added, “Your main characters shouldn’t have magical powers.”

“Why?” I asked, sneaking a glance at him in the back seat.

“Because they shouldn’t have to use magic to be special and save the world.  Anyone can do it.  Everyone is special just by being themselves.”


Wow, I thought, and mentally prayed that he would always be himself.


Hope you enjoyed my Deja Vu post and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Kathy :)

Show the world how special you are by being yourself!




Thursday, December 18, 2014

20 Years of Bliss

If you've been a follower for a while you know I love nothing more than to go on family adventures.  It doesn't have to be to some exotic location, we've had a wonderful time exploring places like Gulf Shores, Alabama and Mystic, Connecticut.


But the best adventure of my life, began twenty years ago today.  That was the day, in a small town in Michigan, in the middle of the ice rink where we met, that my husband and I said, "I do."

Standing at center ice, in front of our friends and family, we knew we were embarking on a wonderful and crazy journey.  We had no idea where it would take us, or the bumps in the road we would encounter, but we knew that traveling the road together was the only thing that mattered.

Twenty years has passed so quickly.

We've done so many crazy things together, like raising three crazy, wonderful kids, white water rafting down the Ganges River, biking down Mt. Haleakala at sunrise, driving to Alaska with our kids, and moving countless times back and forth across the country, but even the little moments like going grocery shopping together, hanging out at the coffee shop, or sitting on the couch cheering for our favorite teams are just as special.  It's the time spent together, talking, laughing, crying, exploring, no matter where we are, that has made me love him even more today than twenty years ago.

I'm so blessed to still be on this adventure of a lifetime.  I wonder what other roads this journey will take us on.

Kathy :)





Friday, December 12, 2014

The Evolution of Language

I'm a native English speaker...or at least I was.  It seems that the English language has evolved without me.  I don't know what happened.  I never thought I was going to be one of those old people who didn't understand new slang.  In college, I even helped my linguistics professor compile a slang dictionary!

But it has happened.

I  have two teenagers and a ten year old, so I thought I was keeping up and pretty hip on today's language.  Not even close!  Through almost constant texting and instant messaging teen language evolves so quickly that I feel like a foreigner when I listen to my kids talking to one another.  And the "olden times" sayings that I use produce blank stares from my kids asking for translation.

Here are just a few of the words my kids have said in the last month or so that stumped me:

Jays/(z)- Jordans -I'm assuming the shoe
Bae- an acronym for Before Anyone Else, I thought it was just short for baby
Bruh- what?  like when someone does something stupid or weird
Yeet- form of expression like yeah, but used when really excited
On point or OP- perfection ex: "Your outfit is on point!"  (for gamers, my son informed me, OP means over powered)
mod- minecraft stuff which is a whole other language that I don't get
hella- Hell of a
turnt- party up or yeah, accompanied by hands in the air (like "let's get in the partying mood!")
turn up- similar to turnt
TBT- Throwback Thursday usually to have an excuse to post a weird picture from the good ol' days
tbh- to be honest
YOLO- You only live once (I did figure this one out, but I've never used it)
TT- Transfromation Tuesday similar to TBT


Our kids have even made up their own words used within our family:

Sloth- a creepy person
Ladyboogles- lady bugs that scare our beagle
Bdonkers- thank you
Ridonkulonx- ridiculous
Deeeeeee- said when something super cute is around
Maomaoer- an imaginary treat "thrown" from oldest daughter to son to get him to do stuff
Bobfobis- what my kids call me though sometimes it's Piggymom or Momservant

Nicknames my girls call my son (he actually loves these so don't feel bad for him):

Chubtin (not sure why cause he's super skinny)
Pig Brother
Bean Brain
Clockhead

Nicknames for our chubby beagle Rory:

Flopperoogleboogle- he does have huge floppy ears
Pigtin
Beagleuchador
Dumbzo

Said to our dog when he's bad:

Good boogles don't bite, and you bit, so you not a good boogle, and if you not a good boogle, then there's only one thing left to be, a bad boogle so that's what you are a Bad Boogle!!!  Oh but you can also be good sometimes! (then they give him a hug and kiss!)

Even these words tend to evolve weekly into newer words and my husband and I are left trying to keep up!

So "keep your ears peeled" (something my grandpa used to say) and listen to all that teen speech or someday all us old folks will be left needing a translator to talk to our grandkids!

I'd love to hear any new slang you've heard, or "olden times speech" that no one understands anymore.

Have a great weekend!  Time to get hella turnt!

Kathy :)