Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The world of a six year old - in pictures

Pictures by my 6 year old.  These are really quite good.  They are very artistic.  They make you think about the way the world looks to a six year old.  Insightful, inspiring....

To kill a plant

I never knew that mint plants came in so many flavors.  There is mint, spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, candy mint and more.  I bought a candy mint and fell in love with it's smell.  It wasn't the best looking mint plant, but I couldn't resist the smell.  I kept it on the back patio with my other potted plants.  It did fine, but not too healthy.  I watered it good and stuck it on the front porch.  The candy mint was very happy there and it became nice and green.

Then we had that dumb heat wave and power outage (which for us included water outage.)  The plants did not get watered.  The candy mint fried in the sun and died.  I put it back on the back porch and left it there.  It was a black bit of plant.  Sad and dead.  I couldn't throw it out.  So, it sat for several weeks, dead as a doornail on the back porch.  It sat through several rain storms.

This weekend, I noticed a little shoot of green was coming up from the candy mint plant.  I figured it was a weed that had managed to plant itself into the pot.  I picked up the pot and looked at the little plant.  It looked like the candy mint.  I gingerly touched its leaves and smelt my finger - mint!  The candy mint came back to life!

It is now in my house, sitting in a cool, but sunny place and it is growing again.  I pruned away most of the dead plant and the candy mint is once again growing.  I won't kill it again.  I promise.
The dead candy mint and the tiny sprout of new green mint.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who ya rootin' for?

My kids and I just watched a bit of the soccer games from the summer Olympics.  We saw the Spain vs Japan and the Mexico vs S. Korea.  I cheered for them all.  Every time one team got near the goal, I cheered them on.  Every miss on the goal, I groaned.  When it comes to games involving teams other than USA, I just cheer them all on.

Oddly, in both the games I watched, none of the teams scored while I was watching.  Maybe I had better not watch the USA game.  They might not score......

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chair Survey Results

Well, here are the personality results of the amazing chair survey.  Does the description fit you?

Straight back kitchen chair:         
You are used to dealing with tough situations.  You follow the rules and you are strict, but fair.  Your friends and coworkers respect your ability to make decisions.  But like kitchen chairs, you also bring people together for good food.

Folding chair:    
You are adaptable.  At work, co-workers look to you during company changes because you always keep a cool head.  At home you are fun and always trying new things.  You bring people together and are a great host/hostess.  People feel relaxed and at-ease when they are with you.

Chair without a back:     
You don’t follow the rules.  Always looking for the alternative, you are creative and innovative.  Supervisors go to you when a new solution is needed for a problem.  You are not confined.  You never have your back against the wall and can see in all directions.  At home you are always looking for new projects that allow your creative juices to flow.

Big squishy arm chair:    
You are kind, friendly and welcoming like a comfortable sofa.  Co-workers and friends come to you when they need a friend.  You are a good listener and can give level-headed advice.  However, you will not be taken advantage of.  The big comfy armchair is also like a throne and you are like royalty.  You are respected and revered.

Rolling computer chair: 
You are a logical thinker with a flair for fun.  A problem solver, you are heavily relied on at work.  You can be depended on.  At home your logical side keeps the finances in order while the fun rolling side is great at rolling with the punches and seeing the cup of life half full.

Amazing, isn't it?  Any idea who might have done the exhaustive and creative research for this incredibly accurate survey?  It's me!  Yes, I know, I'm good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Chair Personality Survey

A new survey has come out from Mrs. Golightly's Sitting University.  It is a personality survey based on your chair preference.

Are you:

A straight back kitchen chair
A chair without a back
A big squishy arm chair
A folding chair
A rolling computer chair

This is quite the interesting survey and one I'm sure you will find to be most enlightening.

Tell me in the comments, who are you?

Monday, July 16, 2012

My teen improv group

Back in April or May, I started an improv group for the local teens.  It has been a lot of fun and we've had eight kids coming regularly.  We've played a bunch of games, but I'm starting to see their favorites and what they do best in.

They are a funny group of kids.  They are all sci-fi geeks and I say that in the most loving way possible.  They love Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who.  They are fans of The Muppet's, Lord of the Rings and Weird Al. 

In addition to doing improv, I'm going to introduce doing some sketches.  I'm writing one now called "An outer space survival guide."  We will draw on funny cliches and situations from their favorite sci-fi shows.

Recently we tried a new game.  It has no name that I know of, but you could best describe it like a biography show.  We choose a famous character, like Han Solo from Star Wars.  The kids have to create their own character and how they are related to Han.  They take turns coming to center stage with me.  I'm the interviewer. 

Me:  Welcome, may I have your name please?
Teen:  My name is Papa Lapa Shapa Lapa Ding Dong.
Me: Welcome Mr. Ding Dong.  Tell me, how do you know Han Solo?
Teen:  He use to come to my dance studio.  I taught him how to dance the cha cha.
Me:  Really?  Is Mr. Solo a good dancer?
Teen:  He is now. 

and it just goes on from there.  That little conversation was based on one of the characters one of the teens did.  I loved the name the kid used and he says it very fast, so it's really funny.  Each time we meet they get more and more creative.  They are also getting louder and louder as their excitement grows.  Someone get me some ear plugs!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Need a Logo?

Does your company need a logo?  My husband has created a number of professional and individualized logos for various companies. 

Hubby's for hire!  If your company needs a logo, contact him and he will create a logo to your specifications.

He is very good.  He created my Auntie M's Children's Theater logo, see on the right side of the blog.  If you are interested in having him create a logo for your company, leave a comment and I'll have him contact you.  His rates are very reasonable.  Check out some examples of his work:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My first book

This is a digital world!  I wasn't going to wait any longer for a 19th century process when the 21st century is at my fingertips.

Very few publishing companies publish more than a few books a year and even fewer of those traditional books are from first-time authors.  The publishing world is a near impossible world to break into.  I've been trying for several years, but all I got was the standard form letter saying, "Thank you for your interest, but we are not looking for anything new at this time (or we are not the right publisher for your work).  Best of luck."

A few months ago, I read an article about a woman who published her first book through Amazon's Kindle online publishing.  Within a year, her book had sold over 600,000 times!  A movie company was looking to buy the rights to the book.  All of that and not a single traditional paper book was printed.  Last month I read another article about an author who had published a couple of books the traditional way, but was completely frustrated by the process that the publishing company goes through.  The author lost all rights to the publicity of her book and the publishers took a considerable chunk of the profits.  This author switched to Amazon and love it.  The author retains all control of the publicity and can even set the price of their book.

I knew this was the way for me to go.  Two weeks ago, I took the step and published my first book through Amazon.  I'm very proud of this.  It is a middle school aged fiction for girls.  So far, I've sold three copies! I bought one, of course, my grandmother and my aunt. Thanks family for your support! Check it out: Go Band Go!

"Moriah, Eva and Kathy are best friends and starting the seventh grade. Moriah and Kathy play the flute and Eva plays the trumpet in the school pep band that performs at all of the school’s football games. With such great friends Moriah is sure that this year will be fantastic.

Then, Moriah’s parents announce they are going to adopt a baby from China and Moriah is worried that the baby might turn out to be as annoying as her brother, Michael. On the first day of seventh grade, Moriah forgets to take her flute to school, finds out she has the dreaded Mrs. Talbot for her history teacher, and Walter, the weirdest kid at school wants to talk to Moriah in alien languages. When she gets to her first football game, Moriah realizes she knows absolutely nothing about football. And when all the band’s mouthpieces go missing, Moriah is on the lookout for the thief.

Moriah is going to need Eva and Kathy to help her get through the seventh grade and she begins to see that her friends will need her too."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is the price OK?

You know the routine when paying for something at a store:  If you use a card of any kind, you have to answer 3-5 questions before the purchase transaction is done.

"Your total is $37.84"

slide card

"Enter pin"


"Do you want cash back?"


"Is $37.84 OK?"

To me, this is the kicker.  I just want to yell at the machine NO!  No it is not OK that I'm paying over $3 for a gallon of milk.  No it is not OK that the loaf of bread is $1.20.  No it is not OK that I can fit $37 worth of food into one little grocery sack.  No, $37.84 is too high.  Can you lower the price a bit?

Instead of yelling "NO!" at the machine, I punch the 'yes' button and get my receipt. 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Our corner of insanity

Can I just say that life has been a little on the crazy side recently?

Let me go back a bit:

June 21-23 - Hubby is in the hospital with stomach pains that ended up with one procedure and gall bladder removal surgery.  I spent most of my time during those days at the hospital with the Hubby.  One of our children's birthdays fell during that weekend.  Needless to say, it wasn't the ideal birthday for that child  (or perhaps it was as mom and dad weren't around that day and the kids were able to do whatever they wanted all day long.)

June 24 - 29 - Hubby is home, but hurting.  I'm not a great nurse, but I try to make sure he is as comfortable as he can be.  Lots of ice packs and heating pads.  I try to do normal stuff around the house.  The kids hang out and play.

June 29 - At 11:30pm, the power is knocked out.  A storm is starting.  Two of the kids are asleep and the rest of us go to the back door to watch the storm.  It is an awesome storm to watch.  The wind blew like we've never seen before.  Trees were swaying like flowers in a breeze.  My potted plants all fell over.  The lightning and thunder were constant and it even rained a bit.  The storm lasted for a good half hour before the wind finally slowed down.  We went to bed.  No power.  It was pretty warm in the house.

Saturday, June 30 - We got up early and surveyed the damage done to the house and yard.  The house suffered none.  The yard had some downed tree limbs and our corn garden was flattened. We were one of the lucky ones.  Several friends had trees fall on their homes and sheds.  We cleaned the limbs out of our yard, did our best to stand the corn back up and save it, and gathered all the trash that blew in.  Our water is from a well in our yard.  Sadly, when the electricity goes out, so does the well's pump.  So, we had no water.  Temperatures were in the hundreds.  It was hot, we were sticky, and had no way to cool down or wash off.  I made a couple of trips to a nearby gas station for 5 bags of ice.  We had to save our fridge/freezer food.  I built up a fire in the fire pit (extra hot) and we cooked lunch and dinner over the fire.

Sunday, July 1- I spent a terribly hot night in the lower half of the house.  I felt so icky.  We went to church, quite sticky and my hair was a mess.  I pulled it up into a bun and hoped no one would look at me (or smell me) too closely.  Everyone at church had had their power out for a while.  Some of them got power immediately, some on Saturday and some while we were at church, their power came back.  Some of us weren't so lucky.  One of our friends invited us to their house that evening so we could shower.  Ooo, it felt so good.  Unfortunately, we went back home to a hot, sticky house.

During the weekend, I fixed all of our meals over a fire in cast iron pans and dutch ovens.  I did dishes outside in a couple of tubs of water.  I even tried to wash some clothes, but my tubs weren't deep enough and without a washboard of some sort, they didn't get very clean.  But I tried and I was very proud of myself.

Monday, July 2 - I was HOT!  After finding out the boys scout camp had been canceled due to the power outage (ironic, no?) I packed up the kids and we left for my sister's home in Illinois.  Poor Hubby had to stay home in the heat.  His job was to keep our plants as alive as possible and be here when the power came back on to take care of the house. 

I drove for 15 hours!!!!!  I've never driven that long before.  My previous record was 13 hours, but 15???  I will not be setting a goal to break that record.  It is too freaking long.  My kids were awesome in the van for the 15 hours.  The drive is actually 13 hours, provided you don't stop for gas or bathroom breaks.  Well, we had at least 4 bathroom breaks, two gas stops, and two food stops.  All of Virginia, West Virginia and parts of Kentucky had power outages too.  It was hard to find a working gas station.

July 3 - At 1 in the morning (my time, midnight my sister's time)  I pulled into the driveway of my sister's home.  I was so tired, but the kids, who had been sleeping in the van the previous 3 hours weren't as tired as I was.  It took a while to get them all settled down and asleep. 

July 3-5 - Hung out with my sister and had a wonderful time.  We hadn't seen each other in 2 years.  It was great fun.  I could type a super duper long post about my visit with her.  As this post is already reaching an epic length, I'll not tell about my stay in Illinois.  A call from Hubby told me power came back on in the late afternoon of July 3.

July 6 - Drove back.  This time, we made 2 bathroom/gas breaks and one short food break.  We ate our meals in the van as I drove.  It took 14 hours.  I got back at 11:36pm.  What a long, long, long day.  My two youngest fought a lot, but really, the kids were all amazing considering the amount of time we spent driving.  I came home to 25 more quarts and 20 more pints of pickles and dilly beans.  Hubby was incredibly busy on the 4th of July.

July 7 - TODAY!  Unpacked.  Cleaned my kids room.  What a project!  Also, had a date with Hubby, who is feeling much better.  Hopefully, the crazy unexpected semi-crisis's are over and we can enjoy the rest of summer the way it is meant to be enjoyed - watching The Monkees!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Annual 4th of July Cake Contest

The annual family cake decorating contest!

This year I got to be with my sister during the competition.  We rocked it!

Remember the Alamo!!

The Land of Lincoln