Thursday, December 30, 2010

Almost a New Year

As usual, I've been an absentee blogger.  I finished my General Psychology class earlier this month (ended up with a B!).  Studying and turning the assignments in on time took up a lot of my time and focus.  Most writers have full-time jobs outside of writing, families, and other obligations.  Me, trying to juggle more than one thing at a time makes my brain numb.  I did want to sign up for another class for the spring semester, but couldn't find another web-based course that wasn't already filled up.  I told myself to stop being chicken and just put myself out there and sign up for a class that I'd actually have to show up for.  The mere thought makes me nauseous, but if getting that degree is really what I want (and it is), then that's what I'll have to do.  Eventually.  Family obligations is another factor in how long this is going to take.

As for writing, I'm getting back to it (slowly).

This is a picture I took from our driveway as we were piling luggage and kids into the car to make the 3 1/2 hour trip to my parents' house for Thanksgiving.  I'm just glad the holidays are almost behind us.  

Saturday, November 06, 2010

NaNoWriMo '10

I started a new blog recently - http://www.kitchendork.blogspot.com/ and have been blogging over there.  Initially, the idea of a food blog started because of a conversation I had with a friend about a rather non-flattering picture of myself with one of my favorite authors.  It was supposed to be an incentive to eat healhier and get more exercise.  I can do both, but since the direction of the blog turned more toward food (my love of eating) and cooking (my lack of skill), it wasn't really about trying to lose weight anymore, although there still is that goal.

Then there's the other goal.  The month-long writing challenge that is National Novel Writing Month.  I'm way behind on word count, but hope to get caught up this weekend.  Funny how my Psychology textbook has become much more interesting than writing this novel.  Can you say avoidant?  Heck, cleaning the bathrooms seems more interesting right about now.

However, I do have a picture that I'd like to use as my book cover.  I took this from my backyard last week, before I even had any idea what I was going to write this year for Nano.  The working title is Board Stiff.  It's a mystery.  The hero has a construction company, and so far that's about all I know for sure.  We shall see how it all comes together.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eventful

Just now getting around to posting this, but last Saturday, I met Ian Somerhalder ("Damon Salvatore") and Candice Accola ("Caroline Forbes") of The Vampire Diaries at Hot Topic in Frisco.  There was probably over 500 people there and I was within the first 250.  Waited in line about an hour and a half. 

Ian and Candice signed posters and then did a Q&A downstairs.  When Ian signed my poster, he said, "Look at that, she's holding his hand.  Damon just can't get any love."  He was referring to Elena and Stefan holding hands in the poster.  I just laughed because I didn't know what to say!  His eyes are even prettier in person.  Candice just said, "Hi" and "How are you?"  They both seemed like really nice people.







































Before the Q&A, Sounds Under Radio, as heard on The Vampire Diaries soundtrack (released yesterday!), played a few of their songs.  Got to meet them and have my picture taken with them afterward, which was cool.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mia on Monday - Helping with the Laundry














I had some wash cloths folded on the couch Friday morning and was about to do the towels when Mia jumped up there, knocked the wash cloths over and weasled her way under the blue towel.  Couldn't resist a picture of my little helper.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fun with Food



















My lunch from yesterday afternoon.  A good friend recommended Five Guys to me, and I finally took the opportunity to stop in there and try it out.  One word, yum!  Undoubtedly the best burger (and fries) I've had; all of their toppings fresh and delicious.  I got mine with mustard, pickles, tomatoes and grilled mushrooms.  My mouth is watering again just thinking about it!  Their menu also offers hot dogs and sandwiches. 

You can scoop some peanuts (in the shell) when you walk in and have them as an appetizer.

Love the classic rock that was playing, too.  Fun atmosphere.
A return visit is in my near future.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mia on Monday - Fall
















The above pic is from last Fall (Mia's first Halloween), but wanted to use it today since it is that time of year again.  I got out all my Halloween decorations yesterday.  Mia loves to try to bite the straw hair on the decorative pumpkins.

















And she stared out the front window for a long time trying to figure out what the big thing near the door was - our blow up grim reaper.



















Pic from Halloween '08

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kiss Me

Some pics from the Rockin' the Park concert I went to at Pizza Hut Park yesterday.  The event included Kiss, Daughtry, Pat Green, Drowning Pool, The Envy and The Academy Is.  By the time I got there, I caught Pat Green, Daughtry and Kiss.  Which was just as well.  It was so freaking hot until the sun went down a little bit later.  My feet were killing me when I got home, too.  I don't know how Kiss does it night after night; have continued to do it all these years.  I felt like I needed a foot soak and massage.

One of their trailers as I was walking toward the park.












Field area, which is where my ticket was for but it was too hot down there (did I already mention it was hot?!), so I went back upstairs where I stayed the rest of the time.















Pat Green.














Daughtry - they sounded really good.  His drummer was awesome!






























Kiss! This was my first time seeing them.  So cool!  I got hundreds of pics, but will try to narrow it to just a few of my favorites.














Gene


















Eric Singer on drums (from the jumbotron, since it was hard to see him where I was)














Eric Singer sings Beth.

















Tommy Thayer's guitar solo.


















Paul flying out over crowd to smaller stage to sing I Was Made For Loving You.















See if you can find Gene in all that confetti.




























Fireworks after the show!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rat Race










The oldest's rat trap car for his physics class.  Fun stuff!  It's supposed to go at least 5 meters, and it went about 15 when we tried it out. 

Materials used:

4 CDs
1 rat trap
4 eye hooks
Part of 1 coat hanger
6 balloons (1 for each wheel, 2 for wheel grips)
Wooden dowel cut to make 2 axles
String (we used kite string) - String is tied around rear axle, so when you release the trap, it pulls the string off of rear axle like a top and makes the car go.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Satuday Sightings - Blue Skies

Part of Patriot's Day celebration at the football stadium this morning - vintage military planes, piloted by former military pilots.








Photo courtesy of SB

Monday, September 06, 2010

Saturday, September 04, 2010

She's a Rainbow















The pretty double rainbow after this past week's storm.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mia on Monday - Cat Nap

I totally forgot my saturday sightings post over the weekend, and am late getting Mia on Monday up.  School started for my boys last Monday, and my own class (General Psychology, which I'm enjoying) started the same day, so I've been consumed by it all, and just remembered last night 'oh yeah, I do have a blog that I like to keep up'.

I have a ton of reading to do, and an assignment to submit today (it's a web-based course if I didn't already mention that and I may have but can't remember because my brain is fried).  So, there's the reading and there's the nap I'd like to take right about now.  I wonder which one will win out.

This older pic of Mia is exactly how I feel.  Completely exhausted.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Mia on Monday - A Cat After My Own Heart



















Mia checking out one set of bookshelves I got a while back.  I've since filled up both sets.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mia on Monday - Guest: Dee



















Mia said Dee could be a guest in her spot today, so here she is posing in front of some pretty pink flowers.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Write Words

I found out recently that one of my favorite indie bookstores will be closing its doors after two years on Saturday, August 14.  As much of a bummer as the news was, I took the opportunity to attend one last book signing tonight.  And, of course, will drag my mom there on Saturday when she and my dad come to visit for the weekend.

Sheila Lowe was at Legacy Books to discuss and sign copies of her latest forensic handwriting mystery, Last Writes.  Sheila is a 'real-life court-qualified handwriting expert' with more than thirty years experience in handwriting analysis.  It was interesting to learn a few things about how certain styles of handwriting can be interpreted. Check out her site for more info.  Awesome stuff!















The stuffed bunny has something to do with the latest book.  Sheila held a raffle and I won 'Tickles Vanilla.'















Here he is at home on my bookshelves with signed copies of Sheila's books.  Isn't he the cutest thing?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Saturday Sightings

Shades of Gray















I went to my first painting class last night at Painting with a Twist.  Actually, not sure 'class' is the right word.  More like a fun, creative experience.  The place has only been open for 6 or 7 months and I found out about them in the latest Frisco Style magazine.  Having wanted to take painting classes at some point, I knew this was my chance to try it out.  And I'm glad I did.

The owner and art instructors were all very nice and welcoming.  Everyone's name was written on a specific spot, you find your spot, and everything is already set up - the canvas, paint, brushes, cups of water for cleaning brushes.  The instructor gave step by step directions, sometimes followed by a funny comment.  Like, "Watch the hair or she'll end up looking like Princess Leia."  He, as well as other artists that work there, came around to check and see if anyone needed any help, new brushes, clean water.  Was a good time.
















Some of their display paintings. 













And my painting that I did tonight called Tiffany's.  I should've thought to take a pic of it before I left the place.  Oh well, there's always next time.  Definitely next time.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Mia on Monday - Mia's Story










An even older picture of Mia from her first day with us (6/22/09).  A little background on Miss Mia:  One of my youngest son's friends had a litter of kittens and he wanted to bring one home.  I told him I didn't think it was a good idea because Dee (our older cat) wouldn't like it.  Well, Youngest brought the kitten home in a backpack anyway. Dee took one look at her and growled.  Poor baby just wanted to play with the big grouchy cat. I brought New Kitten into the study with me and she immediately fell asleep on my shoulder.  The little thing had already wiggled her way into my heart.

Next came the naming of the kitten.  Youngest said we could call her "Maybe.  As in maybe we can keep her."  I told him I didn't want to call her Maybe, so I thought of other names, asked him what he thought of Mia, and it stuck.  I told him that was spelled M-I-A.  Oldest said, "That also stands for missing in action."  Which totally suits her.

It took Dee a couple of weeks to get used to her, and she mostly tolerates her now.

Here's a pic of them together.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Books...They Are An Addiction

I got to cross off another thing from my list of things to do and places to visit today.  Back in May, before Adventure Bookshop, an independent bookstore in downtown Frisco, even opened their doors, I saw their sign when I was just driving through and got all excited about the idea of a bookstore nearby.

The old-house-turned-bookstore has floor to ceiling books in every room (I was in heaven), hard wood floors, and a quiet warmth that only a small, independent can offer. 















Besides my things-to-do list, I also have an ever growing book wish list and was able to find four books from my list on the shelves, including one that wasn't and I've been curious about the particular series.  They carry a good selection of used mysteries, romance, thriller, western, sci-fi, christian and children's books.  I ended up with four cozies and a paranormal. 
























I spent a little bit of time chatting about books and authors with the bookseller.  A friendly man, generous with his time and love of the written word.  He and his wife owned another bookstore in Arkansas before they moved here and opened this one.  Glad to have them and the books.















One of the coolest signs I've ever seen!        

                                               














I'll be back!