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


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 :)