I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Time to get Crafty

Here's the 2012 Family Calendar

Now that NaNo is out of the way, it’s time to think about Xmas gifts and all that goes with that already.  I can’t believe December starts tomorrow.  The days fly faster every year.

Ornaments I gave my sisters one year

My sisters and I exchange Xmas ornaments every year and have been doing this at least fifteen years already.  We each have a supply of “special ornaments” now.  Some years I make some to send each of them because this makes it more personal, but this year I bought some that I’ll mail soon.

 Inside of 2012 Calendar

Today I’m working on my mother’s calendar.  I’ve been giving her a family calendar every year for about four or five years now.  I make up collages of family pictures and arrange them on a background for each month.  It’s a lot of work, but fun.  It’s also challenging trying to find new pictures I haven’t used already.  I ask for new pictures from the different family members every year.  Sometimes I get them and sometimes I don’t, so I have to get creative to make sure everyone is in the calendar at least once.

This gives me a chance to work in Photoshop and further hone my skills there while creating something unique that will be used all year long.

                                   This is the birthday/anniversary pages

In the back, I list all the birthdays and anniversaries, as well as placing them on the calendar in the appropriate place.

When I’m finished I print the pages out being careful to align them so they match up with the appropriate month.  Then I bind the whole thing using my Fellows binding machine.  I love that thing and it does a professional job in very little time.

 This is the calendar back from 2014

So I’ll be working on this project for the next week or two.  Are you making any gifts for Xmas?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is essentially a harvest festival and in that way is celebrated around the world, but at different times than it’s celebrated in the United StatesCanada also celebrates Thanksgiving, but they hold the celebration in October instead of November, probably due to the harvest taking place earlier because of cold weather.

I love this holiday and not because we get to pig out on various food dishes, but because it’s a special day to actually give thanks for all we have.  I think most people are so busy living their lives that sometimes we forget to be thankful for all of our blessings.

It’s nice to have a special day to get together with family and friends and enjoy a good meal and stories together.  Camaraderie and laughter is good for the soul and wonderful when you have others around to share this special day.  We can all be free of work (once the meal is ready) and can enjoy each others company until it’s time to clean up.  But this will go fast if you have helpers and they aren’t stretched out on the couch watching sports.

If you have pets, make sure you’re furry friends are having some turkey too.  It’s lean and good for them, as long as you remove any skin, bones, and spices first.  My cats love turkey cut up into bite sized pieces.  After all, they’ve smelled it cook all day.

So go and be merry and be grateful we have so much because there are lots of places in the world that aren’t as fortunate.

To read 20 fun facts about wild turkeys click here:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Plugging away at life

Look at the fabulous desert sunset

I’m busy working on my NaNo project and not much else.  Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) holds this competition every November.  We have a week to go and I still need 6,345 words.  Of course winning is only for my own satisfaction and I get a neat badge to display on my blog and website.  But I also get a sense of satisfaction that I did it and that’s important to me, even though I know I can do it because this is my third competition.

Some days the words are stuck and some days they flow easily and my imagination is in overdrive.  I cranked out 5,000 words yesterday.  Maybe that’s why I had a headache when I went to bed.  I overworked my brain.  That helped a lot on my word count though, so it was worth it.

 Raven sleeping in my chair

The cats (Koki and Raven) keep me company and are always up here (my office is upstairs) napping on my reading chair if they aren’t running like crazy little fur babies chasing each other from one end of the house to the other.  The old gal, Tootie, stays downstairs and sleeps all day so she can wander the halls at night.  I don’t know what’s gotten into her the last month, but she meows a lot during the night and wakes us up.  The vet said it’s an attitude problem.  Oh great, so now we have an old cat with an attitude.

Speaking of vets, I was shocked to open the paper late last week and find my vets obituary staring back at me.  “Wow!  How can this be,” I asked myself.  The guy was younger than me.  He helped a lot of animals at PAWS and various other animal sanctuaries where abandoned animals wait to be adopted.  So I contacted the gal I got Raven from and found out he choked to death on something stuck in his throat that his wife couldn’t dislodge.  That’s just awful to die by choking.  The paramedics arrived too late.  So now I’m waiting to see if the wife will close his practice or give it to another vet who helped him out part-time.

My husband made a cherry pie.  check this out:

On the weather front, it’s been livable so far.  We’ve had some cold mornings and, while it never really gets warm, it does warm up to the 50’s during the day.  It’s supposed to be in the 60’s on Thanksgiving, so we’ll see if that really happens.  I’m not holding my breath.

 Tootie and Raven on the bed
The bed’s getting pretty crowded at night because the cats snuggle into the covers to get warm.  They don’t like the cold anymore than I do.  Maybe I was a cat in a former life.  Hee-hee.  Raven’s still getting cat slobber in my hair when he wakes me up every morning.  But I love him so much and just want to mish his little face.  He purrs loudly all the time.  Even my old ears can hear it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Something broke…go see what happened

Raven and Koki upstairs in my office

This is a common statement in my house since Koki started playing with Raven.  My husband has bionic ears and is able to hear through walls and knows what’s happening in the house at any given time.

 Raven and Koki

So I wonder how many calories you burn running up and down the stairs by the time I’m on my fifth or sixth trip.  Naturally by the time I get up here, the cats are lying about looking innocent and usually I don’t see anything out of order.  Once in a while they’ve knocked over a small accent table or something and nothing major…yet.

 Koki coming back up the stairs

Raven waiting for her

I have to say “yet” because I don’t want them to break anything when they’re having the best time playing, although realistically I know it’s only a matter of time.  So hopefully what they break won’t be too important.  They have such fun running from one end of the house to the other.  It gives them exercise and I don’t want to spoil that, especially since it took Koki eight months to warm up to the boy.

 Koki sleeping on the modem after play time

Raven sacked out on my reading chair after play time
It’s entertaining to watch and I try to take pictures when I can catch them in the act.  I think they must hear me coming though and Koki probably says, “Lie over there and be quiet.  She’s on her way.”  Naturally they always think they’ll be in trouble.  Yesterday Raven went and hid in the closet.  It took me the longest time to find him.  These cats never come if they think they’re in trouble for something, so I had to look under all the furniture and in every nook and crevice.  How young do they think I am?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

We’re headed for the deep freeze

It’s that dreaded time of year again when things turn nasty and cold.  The next three nights will be in the twenties with tomorrow’s high only in the 40’s.  Right now the sun is shining and it’s in the low 60’s here, but the wind is starting to pick up and will blow all this s*** in here.

We tested the furnace today to make sure it will work.  We haven’t turned it on yet this year.  And we’ll be out covering plants again before dark, the ones I still have that didn’t perish last year.  Some of the Sago palms are too big and heavy to move to the garage.

When we were at the store earlier in the week I was trying to stock up on things and my husband said, “Good grief.  It looks like you’re getting ready to hibernate for two-three months.  Just stop it.”  I told him I was because I’m not going out if it gets too cold and crappy.  He said he’d go out then.  He goes stir crazy in the house anyway.

I’ll just settle into writing, rewriting, and reading like I always do, or cleaning because there’s always something to do if you look around.



The cats are wondering when I’m going to drag out their fleece throws and make them tents on the couch corners.  I don’t know if it’s happening this year because you never know when you have to be ready to show the house, but we’ll see.  I don’t want to deprive them either.  They like to snuggle in and I don’t blame them.

I’m making chili and cornbread tonight.  Doesn’t that sound good for a cold night?  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A New Home for the Holidays

My Home

Tired of shoveling snow and months of cold weather?  If you’ve ever thought about desert living, check out this house in the high desert of southwest Utah.

This home is near several national parks and about two miles away from a beautiful state park.  You’ll love living here if you love the outdoors and watching wildlife.  This is especially true for hikers, campers, rock climbers, and photographers and artists.  There’s something magnificent to see everywhere you look from the scenic red rocks, to petrified sand dunes, to old black lava flows.

If you’re not into outdoor physical activities, you might enjoy plays from Broadway that are acted out using the backdrop of the unique red rock amphitheater only two miles away.  Enjoy a performance of an array of plays, bands, and comedians throughout the year.

 Tuachan Amphitheater

My home is large enough to accommodate a big family, or a retired couple that want space and a place to entertain relatives and friends.  The landscaping is low maintenance with just enough grass to make it desirable, yet easy to take care of.  Barbecue and watch all the wildlife you want from your own backyard.  At night view stars all the way to the horizon because we don’t have all the big city lights. 

This home sits on a large lot in the picturesque community of Ivins.  It backs up to the desert where you’ll find hiking and horseback riding trails, making it also the perfect place for walking your canine friend.

One of many hiking trails behind my house

Ivins is a small community of about 7400 people located minutes from St George where you’ll find all the shopping and restaurants you could ever want.  There are two Walmart supercenters in the area, as well as a Costco and all the chain stores and restaurants.

We get over 300 days of sunshine a year here.  Summers can be quite warm, but winters are mild and short when you consider the northern and central United States, December and January being the coldest months here.  As surprising as it sounds when you think of Utah, we get very little snow, if any, every winter.  It’s usually melted in a day or two.

We’re also only two and a half hours north of Las Vegas, or thirty minutes from Mesquite, Nevada where you’ll find fabulous buffets and gambling activities.

I must warn you, we have very little humidity here year round.  I love this house with its spacious open floor plan and so much storage.  I wish I could transport it closer to my family, but as my husband reminds me, we do need to downsize a tad at our age.  And of course it’s impossible to transport a house unless you’re Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

We’ve enjoyed a great ten and a half years here.  Now it’s someone else’s turn.  Please take a look at the website, enjoy the pictures, and ask questions if you have any.  All inquiries will be answered.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Leaping Game

Raven - my little darlin'

Raven has come to the “flying squirrel” part of his life.  He thinks it’s great sport to leap as far as he can at any given time.  I wish I had some pictures of this, but it happens so quickly and he’s from point A to point B in a flash.

He gets a running start from one side of the room and it’s up over the couch, table, and chairs and into the top of the cat tree and then he reverses his actions coming back down so fast that it makes the chair rock, which makes my husband yell at him, which he thinks is great sport.

What happened to the kitten that used bump his chin on the kitchen counter when trying to jump up there not so long ago?  Raven now jumps from counter to counter all the time and is even thinking about attempting a feat from the ledge on the cat tree to the kitchen counter, which is probably about eight feet away.  I can see the wheels in his head turning.

 Koki on my desk is usually my shadow
Meanwhile, I’m not getting much sleep at night anyway because I’m participating in the NaNo this year and once I do make it to bed, Koki sleeps on my legs most of the night and just before dawn Raven crawls on my head and starts biting and licking my hair.  My guess is he’s trying to wake me up.  I don’t know which is better, cat slobber in my hair or him biting my toes like he did in the old days.

Raven is into anything that comes in the house

Such is life at my house where Koki and Raven are finally getting along.  Another piece of good news is that so far the weather is holding in the low 70’s and we’re able to open the windows daily for a while.  I know this won’t last long, but the leaves have hardly started to turn yet so one can hope.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Raven’s First Birthday

Raven - 1 year old

Can you believe my little man is no longer a baby, but is grown up?  I keep telling him not to get old on me.  Time goes by too fast.

He’s so happy he’s big enough to jump on the counters now and get into more things, but he’s good if I tell him to get down.  I don’t mind if he looks out the kitchen window and watches the birds and chipmunks.  I just don’t want him up there when I’m cooking and he knows it and minds well.

 Cat tree destruction and the culprit

He’s still biting on things, as you can see by looking at the corners of the cat tree. It’s even worse now, but that’s the cat’s furniture so I guess its okay except for the fact we have to drag this heavy thing out on the patio and repair it once in a while.


Raven’s sleek and shiny.  Overall, he’s a handsome little guy and loves people, always ready to love up on anyone that comes over.  He likes to be doing things and loves to go visiting to the neighbors to see her cat, Snuggles.

 Raven and Koki enjoying the feather whirl

He’s really is happy that Koki is finally playing with him.  That only took her seven months!  It’s on her terms, but he loves it when she’s in the mood.  She seems to like him much better as a grown up cat, even though he’s bigger than her now.

So Happy Birthday to the best natured cat I’ve ever owned.  Raven loves the attention so much that he doesn’t care what I do to him.  He never fusses about anything and always turns that motor on full blast.  I think he’s so grateful to find a forever home and not be out in the cold like he was when they rescued him a year ago.

 Getty Images

On another note, the dreaded day has come to turn the clocks back.  Ugh!  It’s going to be cold and dark for a while.  It’s already crappy here today with dark skies, a brisk wind blowing, rain, and the temp sitting at 57 degrees.  I had to move my tropical’s into the garage two weeks early and about froze out there doing it.

I don’t think this time change would be as bad if we didn’t lose a whole hour all at once.  That’s hard on me every year.  I guess the spring countdown will be starting at my house.