Monthly Archives: November 2007

Yippee! Woohoo!! and all that other stuff!!

NaNoWriMo Winner

As I sit typing this post I am listening to the glorious sound of 114 pages that I wrote being printed off at this very moment. That’s right folks I did it. This morning at 11:36 a.m. Pacific time I completed my ‘book’ at 50,250 words! Admist much cheering by me, and undoubtably a sigh a relief from my children who were probably wondering if they would ever have a mom again  😉  (Just kidding I really didn’t neglect them – THAT much anyway, heh)  I raced of to the shower for the first time this month.  HA! No – I decided a few more hours of stink wouldn’t be that bad so I raced off to dock my laptop and print the sucker out.  I want to hold that stack of papers in awe and say “That’s all mine – I WROTE all that.”

 Then I’ll toss it aside probably until after the baby comes and begin thinking about the editing process next spring sometime.

 So why did I do it?  Sometimes I honestly wondered  – I mean was it a waste of time.  But the marvelous feeling of accomplishing something I have never done before and always talked about is immense.  I don’t know that I ever thought I would ever actually do it until I found out about NaNoWriMo and the gauntlet was thrown down. I am not one to refuse a challenge.  So no my reward is an incredible feeling of accomplishment and a stack of papers to boot. 🙂

The journey was not easy my friends with almost 10 non writing days coming a few before and after Thanksgiving I had my challenge ahead of me as I closed in this last week. I had my plan all laid out and set before me. Then on Monday Evening Emily got sick and threw-up.  Tuesday evening Jacob caught the bug. By Wednesday I was down for the count.  After sleeping nearly all day while the kids fended for themselves, buried beneath a pile of blankets to try to keep the chills away, puking my brains out, and feeling miserable with a fever I almost gave up on the idea all together.  Thursday dawned and I actually managed to hold something down – and didn’t have to clean up anyone else’s vomist at well.  The final dash to the finish line began and as I increasinly began to feel better I began to write more.  Today I feel GOOD – and I am ready to celebrate my success with real food and CHOCOLATE!

So, I shall go and care for my children, do my laundry, clean my house, and take that long awaited shower (I really have showered numerous time this week and month). 🙂  Don’t be surprised if you see a picture of a stack of papers soon – you know what that will be. 🙂

And here is my stack of papers – excuse the dorky flower, I was playing around and the picture with the flower is what happened to turned out the best…


And lastly a copy of my esteemed certificate:

NaNoWriMo Winner Certificate


Filed under Writing


A NaNoWriMo update

 I’ve lots to write about – we had a crazy fun, busy weekend.  But that will have to all wait. I am afraid you won’t hear much from me as I scramble to meet my deadline of 50,000 words by midnight Friday.  I am at 38,020 words with 12,000 more to go. A minimum of 4,000 words a day it feels like it is actually in reach and obtainable.  Every spare moment I have I am spending typing furisouly at my computer.  I am determined and bent to meet that goal.  So, I will be writing little else until I am finished. 

Making a mad dash sprint to my deadline…


Filed under Writing

My Head is Rolling with Ideas, so What’s the Problem?

I have a flood of ideas that I haven’t even worked into my book yet. I am seeing it go places and take turns that I had never expected. I know my writing is horrible – come on, who rights a GOOD first draft? 🙂 – and that doesn’t bother me because I can fix it later.  I love writing and once I am typing away at my computer I can hardly type fast enough to keep up with the flood in my brain.

So, what is the problem? Why am I finding myself falling behind on my goals for word count and such?

I think it is a matter of time and motivation.  I suppose it isn’t so much that I lack the motivation to write – I just lack the time to not feel guilty about wanting to write.  When the kids are squirreled away in quiet time or bed time, laundry piles up, dishes need doing, sewing and other projects need to be accomplished, or sometimes I just want to be a vegetable and do nothing because the kids are finally quiet and in bed.  There are so many things that NEED to be done that I have a hard time taking the little time I have to do them to sit and write….and write…. and write….

and there are the days when I dont want to write and the ideas gnaw at my brain and my nap is flooded with my characters and their escapades and then I feel bad for not writing.

Then there is that feeling when you get behind – do you say there is no way you can catch up and give up the fight?  I’m not a quitter.  Do you shrug your shoulders and say let bygones be bygones, start fresh with a new daily word count goal to me the final goal, or do you go completely crazy trying to ‘catch’ up.  I tend to go crazy, where I think I should just start fresh.  Hmmmmm….  maybe I should remember that, or just be sure to meet my goal each day whether or not I feel like it.

 One thing I have discovered – writing 2000 words a day is a simple thing IF you do it.


Filed under Writing

Go Fetch!

Ok, I know most of my posts have been about Jacob lately, and I promise I am not showing favoritism – he is just doing so many hilarious things lately.

I was cooking in the kitchen yesterday and Paul was playing with the boy on the otherside of our penisula counter (not an island because it is connected on one side 😉 ).  Paul’s roar of laughter caught my attention, so I began to watch.

 Paul tossed Jacob’s stuffed doggie into the next room with a jovial, “go fetch!”

Jacob dutifully ran after it, bent down and picked it up with his teeth and ran back to Paul.

“Drop,” Paul would command and Jacob would drop it at his feet, and excitedly wait for Daddy to throw the stuffed animal again.  They did this over and over.  It was absolutely hillarious to watch my husband playing fetch with my son.

Of course Jacob’s obsession with dogs doesn’t stop there.  Lately he and Emily have taken to crawling around the house for many fun filled hours of chasing each other and barking. 

I’m just waiting for him to start lapping water out of the dog bowl. 😉


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob

A Trip to the Pet Store

Jacob and I ran our errands this morning, went to the post office, got gas, and other odds and ends. When everything was done there was only half an hour before time to pick Emily up from Kindergarten.  Not enough time to go home, but not enough time to do any of the bigger errands such as a grocery store run.  Then I realized I was only a block away from our local pet store.  It is a really neat pet store with all sorts of different kinds of animals and kids and patrons are invited to pet and touch the animals.  So, Jacob and I made a visit to the pet store.

He was enthralled with the bunnies and enjoyed petting them, and then there were the huge tortoises roaming a corner of the store that he thought were really cool.  Though he did hide behind my leg when one of the tortoises started moving towards him.  He hopped up and down at the sight of the fish, oohed at the lizards, and giggled at the birds.  He was entranced as he watched ferrets run around their glass cage.  And there was a cat that promptly got him meowing.  This pet store doesn’t typically have dogs and cats, but will have and sell them from time to time, especially for owners who are looking for a new home.

Today they happened to have an adorable Samoyed puppy.  He was roaming the store greeting the guests and chewing on his rawhide bone.  It didn’t take long for this little guy and Jacob to make friends.  Jacob would see the puppy and go wild with excitement, calming down to pet her gently.  The playful puppy would lick his hand and nip at his shoes sending Jacob into delighted giggles.  It didn’t take long before this adorable little dog was following us – or should I say Jacob – all over the store.

Jacob blew kisses to the dog and waved bye-bye when it was time to go.  The staff was haulingin a shipment of various petfood bags, so the door was open as we left.  We walked out the door and were almost past the big glass display windows when I felt a movement behind me. I turned and saw a gal that worked there bend to scoop up the dog in her arms.  I apologized to the little puppy, “I’m sorry, we can’t take you home today.”  But I thought it was so cute how the puppy tried to follow us home, she and Jacob sure made friends.

Aside from the fact that Samoyed are rather high maitenance dogs – and I am definitely NOT up for a high maitenance puppy, she was a whopping $529 – WAY out of our budget.  Right now, anything above free is would be considered out of our budget, heh. 

It sure was fun watching Jacob and the Samoyed play though.


Filed under Children, Jacob

Stiff Necked

That would be me.  I am not afraid to admit it.  I have become stiff necked – which is why I am sitting here trying my hardest not to move (yeah right – with a toddler around?) with a heating pad.

 I woke up a few days ago knowing immediately that I had slept wrong some how as a pain shot down the side of my neck and into my shoulder when I turned it a certain way.  It will go away by the end of the day and after a good nights rest.Ummm…. yeah, its worse. So this morning I awoke desperate for a heating pad.  My heating pad was broken and had been tossed, and my little microwaveable one made of wheat had long since gone the ways of all the earth.

I’ll just make a new one, I thought.  So I hopped on line to see if there were any pointers I needed to be reminded of.  One major thing had changed – deer corn (or feed corn – the non-cracked kind) was recommended over every other kind of grain.  Partially because it holds its heat better and it poses less hazards than the others – fire type hazards from drying and over cooking, etc.

But, I don’t want to go to the store and try to haul out a bag of corn, I thought to myself. I hurt now, I want one now…Then the crying and the sobbing starts – no, just kidding.  But the idea of trying to bend over a sewing machine with a stiff neck did NOT sound like fun.  Then I hit on a quick tip for those in a pinch and I thought… DUH.

So, I did what the tip suggested. I grabbed a ziploc freezer bag (microwaveable) filled it 3/4 full of rice, left it open a bit to vent and nuked it for 2 minutes.  Then I sealed the zipper and dropped the hot rice filled ziploc bag into a pillow case (the material on a towel was too thick – I wanted to fell the heat!) and slapped it on my neck….  ahhh relief.  It works until I get time to make a new corn bag for myself. 🙂

So, if you want to make a microwaveable heating pad (I loved mine for my super cold feet in winter – though I think my hubby liked it better than me, because then I didn’t stick my icy feet on him trying to warm them up 😉  ) here is how:

What you need:

Fabric – nothing fancy, Cotton blends are best because of fire hazards in the microwave.  The suggestion I found that I am going to do this time is to make my corn filled bag out of cheap muslin and then make a pretty slip cover for it.  For one bag two 9X22 inch strips are recommended -one for the bag and one for the cover.  You can make it any size or shape you want, really – just be sure to only fill it 1/2 – 3/4 full so it will mold around body.

Corn – (not cracked corn) during hunting season you can pick up a 40 lb bag for $4 (or so) at Wal-mart, or you can find it other places.  One 40 lb bag will make up to 20-22 heating pads, depending on size – you might decide you want to make some bigger pads, etc. Because it is a natural product there is a chance that there may be a weavil egg or two laid in it.  Because of this you want to keep your corn in a sealed container, and if you don’t use it, feed it to the birds.  The Site I gathered the most info gave a ton of info on the benefits of corn vs. other grains and instructions for killing off any eggs in the corn, which I will mention later – and I will post the website too. 

So what you do is you fold your strip in half and sew your corn bag on two sides – leaving one side open and fill it with approximately 4 cups of corn – more if you are making a bigger heating pad.  Then sew the open end shut.  For a slip cover, hem raw edges on the short ends – or surge if you are lucky enough to have a serger, then fold in both ends, over lap the short edges a bit.  Sew down the long sides and voi-la you have a slip cover.  Slip covers are nice because it makes it easier to clean.

 Before you use it heat your corn bag in the microwave for three minutes, let cool, then heat again, and possibly do this a third time. This will get all moisture out of the corn and kill any eggs or germs in the corn.

Your bag is now sanitized and ready to go.  When you use it, heat it for approximately 2 minutes – it will stay warm for an hour or two. If you are reheating a bag that isn’t completely cool yet, only heat it for 1 minute.  

If you want more info on why corn over the other possibilities, why not add essential oils and things, and other useful information, such as cleaning instructions, check out this fabulous site done by a gal who researched these for a hospital – it is loaded with info, plus photo directions on making the heating pads – in case I gave lousy directions. 😉

Corn Microwaveable Heating Bags

They make great gifts – and are cheap to make.  So, may our necks be softened and our feet be warmed.  🙂

 P.S. If you need an icepack you can also toss them into the freezer.


Filed under health, Hobby

Things That Go Bump in the Night

It was late and very dark outside when I stepped onto the damp cold deck to look for our dog Susie.  I peered into the dark, not wanting to go further in order to hunt her down.  I saw something move out of the corner of my eye near the edge of the house.  Was that? I wondered as I aproached the corner of the deck.  No, I puzzled to myself, It was too high to be the dog. Concerned now, and with my imagination diving off into a thousand different directions I turned to quickly hurry into the house.

Something huge hit me from behind as it flew out of the bushes, tackling me to the deck. Strangling a scream I tried to fight the thing off, when I heard the all too familiar chuckle.  I pounded his arm, “You dork, I almost had a heart attack!” I was relieved and flustered to see my grinning husband beside me.

Suddenly I had a very strong urge to use the bathroom. Confusion poured over me as I realized I was laying snuggled in bed with my hubby’s arm around me. Huh? Confusion quickly gave way to hillarity as I realized I had dreamed the whole thing.  Great, I thought to myself,  not only does he lurk in dark corners of the house to jump out and scare me when I am awake, but now he is startling me and making me jump in my dreams.

Either that, or I have watched one too many crime shows on the tele.


Filed under Humor, Love and Marriage

Family Work Day

As promised the pictures from our leaf raking party. One of the neighborhood friends even helped out – she was hiding behind Dot for one of the pics, so if it looks like Dot has an extra arm and rake, that would be the reason why.   🙂

Autumn has to be one of my favorite seasons, I enjoy so much I don’t even mind raking the leaves.  I suppose there are times, such as now, when I would rather not – actually the raking isn’t so bad, it’s just trying to pick the piles up afterwards. But I enjoy the crisp cool afternoons with all the family out having fun working together.

Dot Raking

Jacob Raking

Emmy Raking

Lizard Raking

Gathering leaves

Jacob and Em bagging

Of course to a two-year-old the idea is to rake leaves – and where do you find the most leaves? Why in a pile of course!


Family Raking

The Girls Raking (with friend hiding behind Dot)

The kids were really disappointed when it rained all day yesterday because they wanted to rake some more leaves – the good thing is that the wind was blowing so hard I think most of the rest of the leaves came down off the trees – so now we can rake once again and maybe for the last time…


Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, Lizy, Photography

Another NaNoWriMo Update

Almost half way there! Woohoo! 🙂 I managed to catch up over the weekend and I am sitting at 24,062 words right now – having already done my writing for the day.  I have never written this much all in one story before and as I look at the climbing page count I think in absolute fascination, “I am actually writing a BOOK!”  Of course, it is only a first draft, and extremely terrible, but hey, at least I am writing it. 🙂

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Filed under Writing


We spent yesterday as a family work day out in our yard raking leaves – pictures to come tomorrow most likely.

At one point Daddy went to get the blower to get leaves out of the flower beds.  When Jacob heard the gate shut he went running down to the gate looking for Dad. I, with my trusty camera in hand, watched him run and wait oh so patiently for his beloved Daddy to return, the photo oportunity was too precious to pass up.

Jacob gray 1

Jacob gray 2


Filed under Children, Jacob, Photography