Friday, May 31, 2013

No more time...

I've got to sign up...or the price goes up...and it's funny how much $10 can influence my decision. I've been going back and forth on which event I want to do at the Pacific Crest this year.

I'm thinking a half-marathon, or maybe a 10k or maybe even a duo with my hubby...

My sis and niece are doing the 10k so it would be fun to run with them...but...

I don't know. And the price goes up tonight so I have to decide...and quick

We'll see, decisions, decisions, decisions

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Plus-Size Two-Piece 'Fatkini' Flies Off Store Shelves | Video - ABC News

I think this is cool. Women feeling comfortable with who they are.

What do you say?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Boys and their Toys

I always thought when my kids grew up they'd box up their old toys and put away childish things.

Not so.

The boys might have grown up but their toys just got bigger.

And I'm not talking about boats and cars, nope I'm talking about helicopters. No. Not real - pilot driven - helicopters. I'm talking remote control beauties.

My son went out the other day and bought three of them...yes that is a "boat"load of money that went into those toys. But he's saying he's going to use them to create a little art...filming with them.

And if he does, I'll think it's pretty cool but until then it's just boys with their toys.

How 'bout you - do you have any childhood toys that have moved with you into adulthood?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cake-n-Bake Challenge

It was so much fun. Having family and friends over with some really great food.

We do this once a month. Have a cooking challenge where we all get together to eat, talk and vote on the "best" for the month.

We even have a little trophy and ribbons :D What better way to spend a day - than food, family and friends.

This month it was CAKE. And I love cake. But then I love ice cream and candy and...well I love sweets.

Anyway, here are the entries:

This photo really doesn't do them justice. I am going to need to take a photography class. I just never capture the "full" impact. Like the winning entry on the left, it was a cascading tower of flowers. Each flower so intricate and delicate...unbelievable. And the cake with the strawberry gelee in the front, it was surrounded with pretty pink flowers. Yeah, it seems that the theme was strawberries but that was just great minds thinking alike...I guess.

Or Steve's chocolate ganache, filled with banana pudding...there just aren't words to describe them all . . . other than yumilicious!

I guess I didn't get the strawberry theme memo tho' - I went for Memorial Day Theme with Lady Liberty.

My son was a little - maybe a lot - disappointed that I used fondant. It never tastes as good as whipped cream and's true. But it's like being a kid again and playing with PlayDoh, it's so much fun I just can't resist.

Here's how I did her:

I made a Barbie cake - yeah kind of cheating - the doll part wasn't edible. But it's for fun. I had to spray paint her green...and she's rubber-at least her arms and face (the body's plastic) and paint doesn't stick very well to rubber. So I had to sand her a little to make her (more) tacky ;D and then I stepped outside and sprayed away. I stuck her in a styrofoam cup so the paint wouldn't get on anything. Then I put her on a paper plate, because she was dripping.

I glued a little crown on her head and even did two just to see how they'd turn out.

I went with the dark green girl. Kind of looking like Elphaba :D

After I had the doll done, I started frosting the cake base for the fondant to adhere to.

 Then all that was left was the fondant, which I rolled out and tried to fit to the form. For the base, I stamped bricks into some marzipan (to add a good taste and a different texture) then I stamped water into blue fondant (because we all know Lady Liberty stands in on an island in the middle of water...right?)
and I made some little blue balls to cover the bottom. I had to pipe a bit around Lady Liberty and the base because they didn't fit perfectly. I also added a couple of fondant flowers to fill in some gaps and Wah-Lah, I was done.

I put a sparkler in her scepter and lit the little firework to send showers of sparks all over the table.

But the best part of the day wasn't even the was seeing family and friends.

I really tried to get a picture of Caroline and Sasha curled up kissing but (like I said) I'm not the best photographer in the world, maybe I'm even the worst. But here they are together. :D

Movie Review Monday - The Great Gatsby

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD wrote The Great Gatsby in 1925. The setting is the fictional town of West Egg during the summer of 1922, on Long Island.

It's a story about Jay Gatsby and his opulent lifestyle and love of Daisy Buchanan.

Fitzgerald was inspired by parties where he saw extravagance and decadence. It took him two years to write the story and the first year the book was out, it was considered a flop. It only sold 20,000 copies (not really a flop) but Fitzgerald considered himself a failure.

It wasn't until the book became a standard in school curriculum that there was a resurgence with his writing. Today the book is a contender for "The Great American Novel" and a classic that is redone in plays and movies. 

Friday, May 24, 2013


My son and I were talking about a friend of his who went to Sweden and then to Turkey to work on a farm...he called it "woofing".

I'd never heard the expression before. At first I thought he was saying roofing. But he sneered at me, in that way that sons sneer at you when they think you're one of those daft old folks. Then he explained it to me.

The program initially started as as "Working Weekends on Organic Farms" but grew and grew. Today Woofing is a world wide movement to help organic farms grow and prosper and the name now means World wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thought for Thursday - Queries

Query Letters are difficult to deal with. They are beasts actually. Scary, intimidating creatures that can take the wind out of a rhinoceros' snort. Yeah, that frightening to some writers. And why?

It's just a short little paragraph or three. Where you can tell someone about your story. I try to think of it as a chance to sit down and blab with a good friend (okay I wish) but that's the way I approach queries. I think of what I'd say to a friend to get them to read the story. I don't even have to think of the story as mine.

I think back to the last time I told a friend she just HAD to read a book. Then I think about the things I thought were memorable or what made the story worth reading. That's what I share in a query. And maybe a little bit about me and a little bit about my friend (the agent I'm trying to entice into reading more).

Yeah, I never blab just about me, that wouldn't be polite. Okay, well almost never. Sometimes I get carried away and just jump right into my story. But isn't that what you might do with a friend, if you're talking about an exciting story that she just HAS to read?

When you share enthusiasm, it catches on...or at least that's what I'm hoping for.

So happy querying...and don't be so bothered by the beast.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Word for Wednesday

Play along...

Do you know what the word means?

Don't peek and take a guess...

then scroll down to find the answer...


Do you know the word?

Maybe not?

Scroll down


To demonstrate clearly 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Unbreakable Rules of Marketing

Cathey Armillas was one of the guest speakers at the conference this past weekend. And she was fantastic.

I really enjoyed her energy, excitement and tips, hints and tricks for branding. I think anyone would gain more than a morsel of information by hearing her speak.

I don't know if it's because she's also a soccer player but I'd say she kicked this presentation into the outfield.

And the energy was more than contagious.

She's an awe...mazing marketing specialist.

So, if you ever get a chance to see her speak...or even simply listen to her speak, I'd recommend it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

SCBWI Spring Conference

WOW! What a weekend.  That's about all I can say after a weekend of eating, reading, writing and being surrounded by inspirational speakers.

If I can encourage anyone to attend one of these conferences, I want to do it. You'll definitely get more than your money's worth.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Random Acts of Senseless Violence

Okay, it's time for another bookclub book. And, NO, I didn't pick this one. Has anyone out there read
Random Acts of Senseless Violence? I'm hoping to start it on Sunday. It sounds good, a little rich girl goes through a terrifying transformation. That does sound like my kind of story.

Lola Hart is writing her life in her diary. She is a little rich girl, cushioned from the horrors that lurk in the New York streets. But Lola is about to undergo the same transformation as her city. This book charts Lola's journey from middle-class affluence to a life of violence.

We'll see. I liked the last story, which wasn't a book I would have picked. That's the good thing about book clubs. They make you step outside your comfort zone and try new new books, new genres.

So, that's what I'll be 'bout you?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Adding Bling

I'm getting ready for the SCBWI Wagons Ho event this weekend by getting out my western gear.

I've got my cowgirl hat

But it's a little plain. "Sew" I pulled out some ribbon, some rhinestones, and my all purpose glue gun.

Then I started gluing those sparkles to my hat.

Here's how it came out.

And after the conference, I can pull off the ribbon and be back to the plain old me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hair style #3

So I thought I'd try another hairstyle for my renewing of my vows ceremony.

I really wanted to have some braids. So here's how it came out.

I'm going to try a couple with my hair down because that's the way my husband really likes my hair but I want to have a braid or two incorporated in the style, even if it's only a headband braid...see the one on the counter? Maybe something like that.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Doggie Dash

Saturday was the Doggie Dash. It's a fun dog run to help raise money for the Oregon Humane Society.

My sister, niece, husband and I did the run.  The run starts at 9:00 a.m. and then walkers start at 9:45 a.m.

Here are a few pictures from the event.

Monday, May 13, 2013

DIY Tee-shirt Remake

For Mother's Day my daughter gave me a tee shirt to match my new little car. Unfortunately I don't like collars up around my neck "sew" I worked it over into something I would want to wear. Here's how I did it.

I used a file folder for a straight edge and drew a "V" neck line on the tee-shirt.

Then I cut the collar off and put some cotton binding down on the edge.

I sewed the binding on the V.  I love how it says "Oregon" on the license plate and has a peace sign for an emblem.

Then I put some elastic in the arms and Wah-Lah a new shirt entirely.

Now, this is something I'll wear when I'm cruising around town in my beetle.

Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Flooring

My hubby has been remodeling one of the bedroom's in our house. It's taken a while . . . or at least longer than I'd expected. But part of the reason is that my husband likes to reuse everything he can. He recycles, repurposes, and upcycles building materials. This is one of those projects.

He tore old wood out of the walls and then cut the wood scraps on his table saw to make his own tongue and groove flooring because there was a spot in the floor where there was no flooring. This was because he raised the roof, literally, over one peak of the dormer.

Here he is working with the 120 year old wood.

The flooring all fits together nicely but now he has to install it and then sand it. The process takes a bit of time. But we both like the idea of not filling up the landfill with beautiful old growth wood, even if it is bits and pieces...we can always find a use for it.

Now I'm hoping it isn't too much longer until the floor is finished, the walls are in and we can move into our new bedroom.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day is just around the corner

With Mother's Day creeping up on us, I started thinking about what sorts of gifts I'd want. I already have so much that I thought...I'd like something homemade, or maybe something planted for me. Then I started hopping around the blogosphere and I found this:

How bout homemade knitting needles? These ones are made out of chopsticks. Aren't they cute?

And they could be personalized to match a mother's style.

It was a fun blog where I found these. If you want to check out some other great homemade ideas, hop over here.

And I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend :D

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cabin in the Woods - Movie Review

I love scarey stories so when both my sons said I might like this show I had to watch it. On Saturday night, I bought some Erin's popcorn and curled up on the couch with my hubby.

It started out with a bang and my husband and I looked at each other. If the show went like this, it couldn't last long. People were dying quicker than I could remember their names.

The thing I liked about the show was the premise. It was a story about multiple monsters in the world and people actually choosing the way they die. Of course the choices were bad and worse. And this Hunger Games type of sacrificial game was all for the gods to be entertained...or that's what I got out of it.

The thing I didn't like was that there was no back story to the kids who were being sacrificed. No Peta, No Gayle, No Prim...nothing to make us look back and think, "Oh No! I don't want her/him to die."

It was just senseless sacrifice.

So, overall I would rate it a D+ to a C-... Okay, but not on my recommended movie list.

How bout you? Have you seen it? What did you think?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Movie Review - Oblivion

Jack Harper is one of the last few humans left on earth...or so we think.

This is a 2 hour and 5 minute movie...a little long for me and there were a few points in the show where I thought "okay come on, that's enough." But there was a surprising least for me, and that's one reason I really enjoyed the movie. I love it when I can't predict the outcome.

There were moments when this movie reminded me of Star Wars and that was fun nostalgia.

Over all, I'd say it was a fun show. But, like I said, it ran a bit long for me and moments seemed drawn out. So, if I had it to do over again, I'd wait for it to come to Net Flicks.

I'd rate it a C+.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Thirty years and counting. . .

So we're renewing our wedding vows and it's only a little over a month away...

It's going to be a little celebration and I want to have a special hair style for the occasion. That's why I went to the beauty shop to try out a couple different looks.

The first is supposed to be sort of a middle ages not me, you know, the time of hobbits, elves and --oh wait-- that's middle earth. Maybe she was talking about my age.

Anyway, here's the first option:
Next is an upswept style:

My son said he thinks these are old lady hairstyles. I told him that's okay because I am.

My husband said he doesn't like them.

Here's the view from the back, which my hubby says looks like a bird's nest.

So, now I'm rethinking the entire updo thing...

Hum, I don't know.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta - on the Waterfront

If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, check out the Esplanade. There will be a celebration going on May 3, 4, and 5th.

Fireworks at 9:55 p.m. Friday, May 3rd, and an artisans village and rides. It will be an entire weekend filled with fun at the Cinco De Mayo Fiesta.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, filled with fun, food and :D

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Crisis in the world - no pizza makers

So it appears that Italy is facing a shortage of pizza makers...can it be?

Say it isn't so...

Italy and pizza go hand-in-hand...right?

That's like saying there are no apple pie bakers in America, no baseball players and no hotdoggers . . .

It must truly be the end of days.

What say you? Italy and pizza...getting divorced...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Doggie Dash - May 11th at 9:00 a.m.

If you like to run or walk and if you love animals, then this is the event for you. The Doggie Dash. And, if you want to support the cause, you can donate here: Doggie Dash 2013: kim kasch - Doggie Dash 2013.

May 11th at 9:00 a.m., if you're a runner, and 9:45 a.m., if you're a walker. The registration fee helps support the Oregon Humane Society and it's also a fun event.

Bring your doggie and dash, walk or run around the waterfront to help raise money for a very good cause. There are events after the dash just for your pet. And, you can have your photo taken with your pet.

It's a great way to spend a day. So, if you're in Portland, come down to the waterfront on May 11th and join in the fun. Hope to see you there.