Monday, September 30, 2013

Hot Water...

You don't realize how important it is to you...until the heater goes out. Yep, our hot water heater sprung a leak this weekend. So unfortunately, I didn't get much done that I wanted to do. The cleaning I was hoping to have done...nope. The pumpkin carving I was planning...nope. The cleaning out of the closets to donate the coats we don't wear any more...nope. All because we were researching which water heater we wanted to buy and then driving around to look at them and purchasing and ...well, it's a lot to do. Plus, I didn't want to spend all the money to have it installed. So we drained it...ourselves. Yep, that's a lot of work...water's heavy.

Anyway, that was my weekend. How 'bout you? I sure hope you had more fun than we did.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friday Funnies - these are the jokes my husband sends me

What do you think?

Okay I don't usually whine...much...but last week on Friday night it was my niece's 40th birthday...yeah, I'm old. But anyway, she is a mother of 7...yes, count them, 7 children...but that's not the awe...mazing thing. The amazing thing is that she adopted three children, after having four biological children. She adopted all three because her daughter became friends with the oldest and she and her siblings were taken away from their mother and going to be put in a foster home.

Anyway, that's the kind of woman my niece is. She couldn't stand the thought of the kids being split up . . . so she adopted them all.

And, like I was saying, Friday night was her 40th birthday and her entire family was going to a football game where her son would be playing in his senior game against her old high school.

So, I got an idea. I called the school district and the athletic director/vice principal of the school where the game was being played (the school where my--40 year old--niece and nephew went to high school). I told them the situation, you know, that my niece and nephew had gone to their school back when they were young and they would all be sitting in the bleachers that evening to watch her son play his senior game against their old school and wouldn't it be nice if they could announce "Happy Birthday Nikki" over the loudspeaker at half time...?

I got an email back that said, "No. Their job is to make an entertaining evening for the home team."

They wouldn't wish my niece a happy 40th birthday because her son was playing on the opposing side...
even though it was her alma mater...

Now, what kind of an adult would say that? What kind of community building is that?

I don't know...I was really kind of depressed after that but what do you think?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shadow of a pumpkin

So first I painted my pumpkin black then I put lace over the top and spray-painted it gold.

Now I have a few more ideas...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pacific Rim - the Movie

My hubby and I went to see Pacific Rim this past weekend. It was Godzilla meets the Transformers.

It was a fun action film. I don't usually like these kinds of shows but it was kind of fun because it reminded me of watching one of those Godzilla films I used to watch on Saturday afternoons when I was growing up.

It also sort of reminded me of Stephen King's movie/book "The Mist".

In Pacific Rim, alien dinosaur-type creatures come through a rift in the earth (kind of like middle earth ;)
Only this rift is down underneath the water...

So all in all it was a fun night out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Muppets

I've been on a Muppet Kick!

I've been making Miss Piggy and Kermit this week. I also made a minion and I'm working on a new pumpkin . . . see him in the background...he's pretty plain right now but give me a day or two...

Here's how I made Kermie.

I took some green duck tape and covered the pumpkin.

Then I used ping-pong balls for eyes. I used bamboo skewers to hold the ping pong balls to the pumpkin.

Originally I just drew a mouth on him. But my boys said no one would be able to tell who he was. So I added the collar out of fabric I had around the house and used an old paper plate and some construction paper to make his mouth.

I glued it all together and then put Kermie with his love Miss Piggy.

And I was pretty happy with how he turned out. Of course the boys still don't think anyone will know who he is...I must be getting old because who doesn't know the muppets...?

Friday, September 20, 2013

How Far Will You Go?

So there's no doubt about it. I love conferences. I love classes. And most of all I just love to learn new things. It's not true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. . .

So, I'm going to head up to the Western Washington SCBWI for one of their October events.

This will be a character building, not mine, but fictional characters workshop and a query building workshop.

So while I love to learn new things, I can also stop by and see my cousin and his family and catch up with them. I love Seattle.

So how bout you...what will you go a long ways for....?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I love to decorate for Halloween and I had this little squash sitting around. I asked my daughter, "what do you think I'm going to do with this?"

She grinned and said, "Gonzo!"

She immediately knew what I was thinking before I said a word.

She knows how I think.

First I cut the ping-pong balls in half and colored them with pens to make eyes. Then I cut little slots to put the "eyes" inside the squash.

After I had the eyes in place I started painting.

Then I added a little wire hair.
I propped him up on a cake stand. I still have more to do but this was fun.

Whistle in the Dark by Susan Hill Long

Last Thursday I went to the debut book opening of Whistle in the Dark. It was held at the Cedar Hills Powell's Books.

This is a fictionalized historical novel about a young boy who wants a dog but gets a miner's cap instead.

I haven't read it yet but I have started it.

It was a fun evening listening to Susan Hill Long talk about her journey as a writer.

I'll post more when I finish the story. . . but for now, you just might want to run out and get your own copy. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


So with the creepy days of Halloween just around the corner, I've started pulling out the ghosts, ghouls and goblins and advertising ;D

Here's my latest little sign... I reused the sign from the Renewing of our Vows celebration. We had this stuck in the yard so people could find our place. It had a picture of me and my hubby on it but now that that's over, this is a good sign to celebrate Halloween.

It was super easy to make. All I needed were a few dollar store stencils and a little paint.

And my son penciled in the little ghost and I just had to fill-in the lines, kind of like coloring only with paint.

And then I stuck it in a pot out on the front porch to "warn" would-be trick-or-treaters that the house is haunted ;D

Did you notice my cauldron filled with flowers? A little good, a little evil (he-he-he) but isn't that what Halloween is all about?

You tell me, are you getting ready for the holiday?

Monday, September 16, 2013

99 Days!!! The Countdown Has Begun

Yep, it's right around the corner and time to get going...

So, are you like me, and have about a million projects you've started or are thinking about starting for the holidays? Well, there isn't much time left...not if you're knitting, crocheting, sewing, hammering, beading, drilling...yep, time flies.

I've started a few fun projects like this one.

It's going to be a forest green scarf with red fringe . . . yeah, I think it's perfect for Christmas. And, I'll admit it's meant to be fun..ny. I don't mind wearing stuff like this at the holidays and I have a few friends who might not mind either ;D

But, as you can see, I'm not very far on this project so I've got to get my little fingers flying over those sticks if I want to have these things ready before Santa comes.

How 'bout you...any projects hanging around that you need to get done?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Halloween Wreath

This is a super simple (no-sew) wreath. All you need is a frame, some fabric and a couple of spiders hanging around ;D

Here's how I did it.

First I pulled out some leftover fabric I had from the celebration we had this summer for renewing our vows. I laid the fabric out on the floor on my cutting board. Then I cut four strips - trying to make them each about the same size.

Then I started weaving them into the frame I had in the basement from last year.

I kept weaving strips into the frame until it looked pretty full.

I tried to make it even and then I hung it up on the front door to see how it looked.

I tucked and pushed pieces into place until it looked the way I wanted. Then I started sticking little spiders onto the fabric.

I started with one I had used for a zombie fun I'd done a couple years ago. This one was a clip on - so super simple and free, which is always a good price.

Then I added some little spiders from a dollar store where I'd bought a bundle of them a couple years ago.

So, being that I had all the materials, this was a free wreath. I even had the wreath hanger.

But you could use any leftover fabric that is one color: black, orange, green, red would work really well.

If you make one, let me know, I'd love to see it.

Happy Halloween...even if it is a little early.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th - it's a Wonderfully Witchy Day

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to bake. And ideas pop into my head at the most random times and I just have to make them.

Here's one I had today.

It was all about olives with those pink palmetto centers...they're kinda spooky, if you ask me. And they made me think of ghouls and goblins and, yes, witches.

So here's what I did with them.

I took blue corn chips and some dough and made hands to come crawling out of the (corn chip) ground. Then I topped the olives with a witches hat (an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate).

The hands were super simple to make. I took some poppin dough and rolled it out to make fingers, I put an almond sliver on each "fingertip" and then I baked them for 10 minutes.

Super simple and yummy too.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pineapple Salsa - Over Ripe Tomatoes Put to Good Use

This is a super simple Salsa recipe. And, if you like sweet salsa, this is the one for you. Or, if you have a lot of overripe tomatoes in your garden, here's an easy way to get rid of them in a tasty way


1 CUP chopped tomatoes
1 CUP chopped pineapple
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 lime (juice)

Then I throw the ingredients in the blender and pulse two or three times. I pour it out into a pretty glass bowl and salt to taste. I like kosher salt. It's thicker and chunky...kinda like me ;D

Whale Watching

We went on a whale watching tour this weekend. I know, it's not wise for a woman who gets seasick to go out on the ocean but...I never said I was wise.

And, even though I did get sick, it's was worth the trip. We were surrounded by a pod of gray whales. I could see three at one time.

Now, I wasn't able to get any great photos because I was leaning over the edge . . . watching them swim around us...and other things.

But Fatina got some great tailshots.

It was like a trip right out of a brochure.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shark Rescue

This poor little guy was getting batted back and forth against the rocks in a tidepool. The girls tried to set him down in an area where he could get back out to open water and survive. He had a couple gashes on his side from either being tossed against the rocks or . . . something worse. Maybe a sea lion had bitten him.

Either way, the little guy was struggling against the strong tide and the rocks. The girls sat him down and we waited for the water to wash him back out into deeper water.

We don't know if he made it but his chances were much better because the girls tried to help.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Miss Piggy

Pretty pumpkins take practice so I've started working on my Halloween display.

Here's the projects I've been working on.

Miss Piggy Pumpkins and minion pumpkins.I've done them two ways:

1) I've painted the pumpkins

And then as a second option, so there wouldn't be much clean-up, I used duct tape to cover my pumpkins in pink.

Both give a nice covering.

And I used styrofoam cups to make the nose and toilet paper rolls to make the ears.

I used some braided headbands and pearls to add a few more decorations. Now I have even more ideas for my next batch of pumpkins.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Last March I volunteered at a wolf sanctuary. I just thought you all might like to see the difference between a wolf and a husky.

And if you want to hear the wolves howling (but remember they're loud), watch this:

The big difference between dogs and wolves is that dogs are generally smaller. Wolves ears go off the sides of their heads, while dogs ears go straight up. Wolves jaws are different - they can crush bones. And wolves should never be domesticated. They are meant to run wild. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Star Trek into the Darkness

Okay, so I grew up with Captain Kirk and Spock and McCoy (Bones) and all the rest of the crew. So, I guess it should come as no surprise that I LOVED Into the Darkness but that is still saying a lot because believe me, I'm not a big Trekkie or a huge SCI-FI Fanatic. But, this was such a well-done film that I have to stand up and give it props.

I enjoyed how they played off of the old characters and made them fresh and new. I loved the little quips that played on old dialogue but never seemed dated.

My hubby and I went and saw the film last Friday night and then we took a drive up to Crown Point...I guess that "Old" "new" show made us feel like kids again. We put down the top on the car and drove out under a starlit night. We saw planes flying right over head as we cam back by the airport and we parked to look up at the stars. Not bad for having been married for over 30 years.

So, I'm just saying, if Into the Darkness could do that much for us and a Friday night, it's worth the $10 bucks per ticket to see the show.

And, if you see(n) it, let me know what you think. It can be a wonderful night filled with stars whether they're on the screen or in the sky.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Word for Wednesday - a Game for Writers

Guess what the word means...

Word: Sepulcher

Do you know what it means?

Take a guess....

Then scroll down....



Here's a clue: I first read about a sepulcher (or sepulchre) when I was reading POE.

Yes, I read Poe as a young girl and I still remember the word...

I think it was from Annabel Lee...

It's a tomb, or burial chamber.

Did you know:

If you want to read more, check out this site.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Homemade Halloween

I start out with some pretty simple cards and then I embellish them to my hearts content..."witch" just means there's no limits to what you can do, if you're willing . . .  to use your imagination.

And, I'm cheap, so I use whatever I have laying around the house to add a little "magic" to my cards. It might be candy eyes...

Or even beans I've bought in bulk to make some ten bean soup.

Or it might be some fun Halloween stickers...

And I have to add a few personal touches, like initials or names...

And I like to bring it all together by adding a little something to the envelopes too.

And it might be food or feathers or stickers, it doesn't can personalize anything and it's so much fun . . . plus whoever gets these handmade Halloween cards will definitely see the time and attention that's gone into the gift. And in these days of email and texting, it's fun to find a little surprise in the mailbox that says, "I was thinking of you."