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Friday, May 31, 2013


I HAD to buy this ice cream. It was on sale!

Coryn: Daddy, that's mean! The police are going to find you!

 Today is just another reminder of why I shouldn't wear white.

Coryn told me tonight that when she grows up I can come over to her house, she will cook me dinner, and I can have soda and wine. I'm kind of looking forward to this.

Mom lesson of the day: just because a skirt appears to be a "practical length" in the safety of the dressing room and even if you practiced sitting on the dressing room bench in front of the mirror to check it for wardrobe malfunction potential, does not mean that it is a practical skirt for various daily activities such as crawling on your hands and knees under the table to fetch toys.

I just realized I am a Facebook fan of too many things Coryn likes. I can't scroll down the page without her saying, "Go back! That was the Doctor! Mom, stop! That picture's from the Princess Bride! Mom! That's Shawn and Gus! Can I watch that video?"  

Coryn while I was changing Claire's diapers: Pray to God that I won't have a nose! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Sure, you can draw on yourself with markers.Why not?

My little alien princesses.
Follow Who? Social Weekend Hop

From Grandma With Love

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stash Tea Mug

So a long while back, in January, I posted this post about a gift certificate I had for Stash Tea and how I was going to spend it on a mug. I was going to tell you which mug I picked when it got here, but then I forgot that the last order I had placed through Stash Tea was to send a present to my mother-in-law and that was the shipping address that it had as default for whatever reason. . .

By the time I caught the error the cup had already been incorrectly delivered and it took me until my trip back home last week to collect my item, but now, here it is:

Happy Hipster Cat!

Isn't he cute and classy?

He makes me happy.

So that is my Stash Tea Mug post. Now I'm going to go drink some tea!


Narrative Art and the Five-Year-Old

Coryn's latest thing with her pictures is story telling. She will draw a picture of something and then change it as the story progresses  .  . . sometimes to dark ends.

The best example of this I can think of was the other day when she did a pretty impressive (for a five-year-old) drawing of a seal jumping out of the water. There were waves and the sun in the sky and seal had the general shape and the correct number of appendages to be a seal (I guessed it was a mermaid at first based on similar drawings she has done in the past). It was an awesome drawing, but before I could make a photographic record of it or hang it on the fridge, the story took a sinister turn.

A few minutes later I looked down at the picture and there was a fin, a toothed fin no less (really scary animals don't keep their teeth in their mouths. They can be on portion of their body surface), emerging from the water.

"Is that a shark?" I  asked. She said that it was. "Oh no, your seal had better swim away!" I said. She said no, it was a friendly shark, so I left her adding teeth to the shark (she likes to draw things with lots of pointy teeth) to do something in the other room. Unfortunately, when we came back the shark had relapsed on its "seals are friends, not food" position and as a result Coryn had scribbled the seal out of the picture. "What happened to the seal? Why did you scribble all over him?" I asked, disappointed that I hadn't thought to record the seal before its grisly end.

"The shark ate him," she said simply.

this drawing is a mermaid, according to Coryn
A pair of dinosaurs met a similar end at the hand of one of their pointy toothed brethren. (Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal)

Even if the story line doesn't end in death and destruction, she has gotten into the habit of working her artwork to pieces. She'll start by drawing. Then out comes the scissors and glue and before you know it the entire picture has turned into  a collage which in turn gets shredded to bits and left on the dining room floor.

Sometimes I can salvage the tiny pieces of her art. I had her paste a bunch of them onto the cover of one of my notebooks which made it a practical piece of art.

I'm planning to do some art appreciation "studies." I have an easy lead in with a favorite Doctor Who episode regarding Vincent Van Gogh and I showed her some of Van Gogh's artwork on the computer which led to her doing her own version of the famous "Starry Night" painting.

I did help a little bit coloring in the sky and grass and then she asked me to make a house in the corner, so the house is mine too. Everything else is her interpretation of the painting.

I plan to make a trip to the library soon to get some art and artist themed books. I know there are some good ones devoted to Monet and Van Gogh and so I'm going to start with impressionists and work my way around in no particular order. I have found some coloring pages of famous artwork, but my printer hates me and will not print up black and white pictures because we are out of yellow ink. . .I have no idea where all the ink goes.

I'm easily distracted these days. I'm working on a couple of projects at once and I am still struggling to get Coryn reading. She is really bright and has an awesome memory, but phonics seems to trip her up for whatever reason. She is actually better at sight words (She can read some Spanish words due to the Spanish curriculum we've been using; she just remembers what they look like from worksheet to worksheet), but everything I read seems to point to straight phonics being the way to go if you want to avoid confusion and re-training later. 

I didn't expect reading to be such a frustration. I still really want to homeschool though. I am very good at introducing her to things that are fun, it's the practical stuff that gives me a hard time. If I can just get the reading down, I will feel confident to proceed.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Liebster Award Tag Post!

I thought I'd begin by linking the other times I've "won" this award because I always nominate a bunch of people like it says to and it is cool to share and reshare my nominations.  . . plus, who doesn't love tag posts?


If you look over these posts, you'll notice I have a tendency to bend the rules, and I'm sure that this time will be no different. Rules? RULES! What rules? There are rules?

Why, yes, yes, there are, and here they are (TA DA DA DA! Drum roll, trumpet sound):

The rules for the Liebster Award are simple:
1. Each blogger should answer the questions the tagger has set for you.
2. Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award on to and link them in your post.
3. Create 11 new questions for the chosen bloggers.
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
6. No tag backs!
The one I usually break is #2. It is really hard to find 11 new bloggers, especially because of the award description:
A Liebster Award is given to showcase smaller blogs who are up and coming, and who have less than 200 followers. The word Liebster comes from German and means kindest, dearest, beloved, cute, and endearing. This is an award that you accept with the intention of paying it forward.
The under 200 part is what makes it hard. I follow a decent amount of bloggers, most of which are not huge, but almost all of them are still over 200 followers. 
I also have a hard time coming up with random things about me that aren't boring or embarrassing, so I'll start with the easy part.
I was nominated by Loni at Clearwater Cottage. Please check out her blog and the other worthy nominees! Now, here are the 11 questions Loni asked her nominees. 

My Questions for You:
1.  How long have you been blogging?

It's been a little over a year ago that I started being "serious" about it. I've had web spaces off and on since high school where I shared stuff in one format or another, but it wasn't until I started to get hits (ie pinterest re-pins) on a craft project I posted last January that I started thinking I could actually get people to read this blog and even then there was a big  move going on and I wasn't able to devote serious time to it for a few more months.
2.  Why did you start blogging?
I've always been a writer in some form or another, and I really really really like attention. Honestly, it drives a writer a little bit crazy over time thinking no one will ever read anything she has written and I started taking it out on my Facebook friends by being one of those people who changes their status every five minutes and has to have a clever comment on EVERYTHING . . . so  I decided to funnel it into another outlet.
3.  What homemade project are you most proud of?

Do my novels count? As I said, I'm always writing.  Crochet wise, the most awesome project I ever made was Claire's mermaid tail for last Halloween.
4.  What is the best costume (Halloween or other) that you have ever worn?
A couple years ago I pit together a simple Star Trek costume out of items in my existing wardrobe and some ribbon and stuff. I was the proudest of that, though other things I have worn have been appreciated by others more.
4.  What is your favorite book?
Lord of the Rings. I count it as one book. Deal with it. ELENDIL! I AM ARAGORN SON OF ARATHORN! I . . .had better stop now. . .By the way, you did four twice. That's cheating . . . but I'll play along anyway.
5.  How would you classify your decorating style?
Eclectic. Or as Matt would say, "Dumping a bucket of cats all over everything does not count as decorating. . ."
6.  Dog or cat?
Based on my last answer and my blog name, the obvious answer is cat, but  I am very fond of our German Shepherd, Caen, and it seems cruel to choose. As a species I like cats better. Specifically if I had to choose between my current cat, Carlton, and Caen, Caen would probably win..
7.  What has been your longest distance trip?
I've made the flight from Oregon to Japan multiple times. It isn't fun.
8.  What is your favorite thing to do on long car rides?
Be a passenger. I hate to drive. I am actually fond of using such times to hash out story plots in my head. I'm not a big book on tape person and other car activities make me car sick.
9.  What is your favorite show on TV/Netflix?
10.  What is your favorite childhood memory?
I'm not really sure. Just general memories of being alone in the woods writing, most likely. Nothing specific stands out.
11.  What are you thankful for today?
This answer is almost always my husband. Feels like cheating to use him again, but I really like being married to my husband, and I almost missed out on that, so it feels like I live in a constant state of gratitude that he reconsidered me . . . sort of a long story which I really need to tell someday.

So Random Things:

1. I can crochet a hat in about two hours. I'm just that fast.
2. I'm considering getting a ring tattooed on my ring finger because my wedding ring keeps making my finger break out in a rash and I hate not having one on.
3. My favorite jewelry pieces are the two cat shaped pendants my husband got me.
4. I first said I was going to marry my husband when I was only ten. I'm very persistent.
5. The biggest controversy in our home is whether or not to homeschool our daughter. My husband, even though he was homeschooled, is resisting, but I have her at least through kindergarten so I have time to convince him.
6. I don't play, or particularly understand, console games, but I enjoy a lot of different computer games, especially games like Myst (Riven is the best in the series).
7. My biggest worry right now is managing to see Star Trek Into Darkness in theaters. It's like the Hobbit all over again! Can't handle the stress!
8. I really like to listen to youtube ASMR videos. It's a weird hobby.
9. I'm a sharer, probably an over sharer, and my husband is a very private person. This has probably been our biggest marital difficulty. Early in our marriage he would listen in on my phone conversations and groan, "You're talking about me again . . ."
10. I always wanted an imaginary friend but could never really maintain the fantasy of one.
11.My dog ate my glasses this weekend. I think it was to punish me for being gone for two weeks and leaving him behind.

Questions for my Nominees:
1. Squeamish or not?

2. You and your whole house has been (Wizard of Oz style) transported to a strange new land and must pick something from your home to give as gift to the illustrious leader. What do you choose?

3. I mentioned earlier that I need to tell my and my husband's love story some day. Do you have a story you feel you should tell but have been putting off because it is almost too important or personal?

4. Ideal fictional vacation spot (ie out of a book or movie)?

5. Big party or intimate gathering?

6. Sweet or spicy?

7. Longest thing you have ever written?

8. Finish the sentence: Brevity  is . . . (not necessary to include the word soul in your response; points if you do; extra points for originality)

9. Book you most look forward to sharing with a child some day (points if you already have)?

10. Do the points really matter?

11. Favorite way to waste time?

Okay, so now the hard part . . . I'm definitely not going to be able to find eleven that I haven't nominated before, so some of these might be repeats from previous Liebsters.

  1. Christina at Consider the Lilies
  2. Sara at Live It Well
  3. Desirae at Not So Ugly Ducklings
  4. Sami at Forever & Always a Sailor's Girl 
  5. Amanda at Faith Love Strength 
  6. Meghan at First Comes Love 
  7. Lindsey at Road to 31
And I give up! I tried not to award anyone I had awarded before, but I think I may have messed up already! If you would like to participate in this award please go ahead and take my questions! They are free questions! The answers will cost you!

Back to "normal"

Those quotation marks mean that normal is being used ironically, not that I'm emphasizing how normal everything is. Quotation marks are not for emphasis, people. That's what italics are for.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we were on a vacation of sorts over the last few weeks, back home to visit family, so my blog as been mostly dark. Like Into Darkness dark.. . omgosh, if I don't find a baby sitter so I can watch the new Star Trek movie I swear I'm going to go crazy and sit outside in my Starfleet costume flashing people the live long and prosper sign while mumbling unintelligibly in Klingon, which, since I don't really speak Klingon, is the only way I know how to mumble in Klingon. . .

you see why normal is in quotation marks?
So there is a lot to do around here from dealing with the loss of the basil plant I swore I told Matt to water for me (he says I never mentioned owning a basil plant) to catching up on television to looking into epublishing for my few finished novels (including one you can read in full here for free right now; if I decide to publish it, it will go away so get it while you can) and a bunch of other stuff.

I also have to choose whether or not to cut down an encroaching vine that has snaked its way across my kitchen window.

My neighbor has mentioned how hard it is to keep these off the side of the house, but I sort of like how they make it look overgrown and enchanted garden-y. Besides, if it grows into a beanstalk their might be a golden harp in it for me.

Oh, and Claire has learned to climb. She pushed her sister's stool over to get something off the kitchen counters yesterday. She then climbed up onto her sister's chair and from there onto the table top and is using my chair to get sharpies off the desk. This was not an issue with Coryn. Coryn was a cautious climber and rarely tried her luck on anything that could involve a fall. Claire is apparent a risk taker.

While I was in Oregon I got a lot done on my Choose Your Own Adventure story, and some of it I'm rather proud of. Take a look if you get a chance. 

I have a lot of posts I would like to make about:
some note cards I ordered from another blogger's Etsy account,
crochet stuff I've been doing,
a Liebster award I've been nominated for,
the Stash Tea Cup I ordered way back in January that turned into a very long story. . .

and there must be more . . .

There is probably more, but right now I should probably focus on getting my house and schedule back to how it should be.

I'll be writing more soon. I promise!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Geek Parenting

Tonight on the car ride home:
Coryn: Mom, are mermaids real?
Me: I don't know. I've never seen one and I don't know of anyone else who has but I like to think that the sea is so big there could be things in it that no one has seen. Maybe even mermaids.
Coryn: I think they are real. I can't get them out of my mind.
Me: It's okay to imagine that things are real even if you can't see them. That's called wonder. It's what keeps people exploring.
Coryn: There are people who explore the deep. They are deep sea divers!
Me: Yes, that's why the Doctor loves humans, because they are always exploring and are very curious. It's a good thing to be curious. It keeps us learning about our world.
Coryn: We always explore. We never give up. We always win!
Me: Yes, those are very good things.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Being a Geek

Today I was expounding on various theories involving the ever tricky plot lines and twists of Doctor Who and after writing what amounted to an essay on various theories about the "Impossible Girl" I took a step back and realized that what makes me a Geek isn't my taste in literature and entertainment so much as my ability to obsess about them.

The problem with Geek fascinations is that they allow you to write papers worth of speculation if you actually take the time to try and puzzle them out. Everything Geek is bigger on the inside.

I prefer the term Geek to Nerd not because I find Nerd to be derogatory but because I don't consider myself "smart" enough to be a Nerd. To me a Nerd needs to be able to fix computers or chart star systems or replicate DNA or something like that. A geek just needs to be fascinated by something, to be excited by something, to enjoy forms of entertainment that provide both escape and an opportunity to think creatively.

Math and sciences were never my subjects. I preferred history and literature.  I still do. I consider myself above average at puzzle solving and I almost always know who the bad guy is in a television show, not because of evidence but, like one of my fictional heroes Castle, because I understand stories. I suppose I could be a word nerd, but I'm a little too scatter brained to really embrace the title. 

 I've always been Geeky about my fascinations by the definitions provided above: the ability to be unashamedly obsessed with something and demonstrative about it . . . and to over analyze it. It started out with cats, in all honesty. I have always had an unhealthy fascination with felines. Later it was the Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew, not geeky but long enough series that I could devour one after another after another . . . Then I found Narnia but it didn't really take off until I got into Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.  . . and the Geekiness started to pile up. I liked large universes. I liked to be able to think about my fiction. I liked to be able to write fan fiction . . .I'm not into every single Geek show/book/etc but I have a basic knowledge of most of them. I am a little into gaming, but I'm not exactly 1337, if you know what I mean.

Geek is now becoming a bit more mainstream (I think partially because a lot of particularly handsome men are involved in Geeky activities). There are also a lot more Geeky options. It isn't just Star Trek/Star Wars any more. It isn't just Scifi and Fantasy, though most still fall into one or the other of these categories. There is more demand which is breeding better series with more money behind them.

So I may change obsessions every few years. I am not as into Star Wars as I once was (thanks a lot, prequels, gag) and a lot more into Doctor Who than Star Trek at the moment, but the underlying condition of Geekdom means that whatever I am into I am going to be all in! Fully devoted and running one hundred different theories about plot lines and background stories at any given minute. That is the joy of Geek!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


We will be going back to Oregon to visit family over the next couple of weeks, so there will not be a lot of activity on this blog or my other projects.

Caen says, "Bye-Bye!"