Nov 022016
 
Upset About NaNo

Anything to stop me from typing, Underfoot pulled out all the cute. He started by peeking over the laptop and staring at me with sad, doe eyes. Then, he crept around the side of the laptop, climbed up my chest and planted himself in front of my face. He succeeded in stopping the tap-tap of the keys that time. It’s hard to do anything except laugh when you have a cat in your face.

After I made him get off my chest, he jumped up on the cat jungle gym behind me so he could step off it and onto the back of the chair. It took him several minutes to climb down the side of the chair, doing something I think he believed was stealth, to the arm where he plopped down, pushed my arm out of the way and put his pouty face on the edge of the laptop.

Poor baby, but I still managed to finish day one!

Underfoot Unhappy About NaNo

Oct 312016
 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael

We were visited by two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles today! I gave Zander a glow stick and he called it a lightsaber, so I guess Raphael carries a lightsaber now. Bah, I should have given him another one so he could carry one in each hand like Raph and his sai. Oops.

He kept showing me the “lightsaber” in the pictures, so I have about ten pictures with the glow stick in front of his face or right in front of the lens.

Alistair was so cute in his Michelangelo outfit!

They’re so adorable and it was a fantastic 18th-anniversary present to see them all dressed up.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Oct 192016
 
overused words

While I try not to overuse many of these particular words while writing, I still find an overabundance of them during the editing process.

I think “like” is the word I overuse most often. Then again, I was a teen in the 80’s. I like get stuck in like valley girl like speak. Not really, but that’s my favorite excuse.

overused words

Oct 172016
 
Underfoot's New Toy

While we were out buying baby clothes and toys, we also bought Mister Underfoot some new baby toys. He has a plethora of balls and mice and things that squeak and jingle and tickle, so we decided to get something a little different. And since he plays with our grandkids toys, we thought something they could all play with might be a good idea. Hunting down all the cat toys before the grandkids come over so we can keep them out of reach is a little time consuming. He gets upset with us for it, too. I’m interested to see how upset he’s going to get when the grandkids play with “his” toys.

So we looked for something that he might like that would also be safe for babies and toddlers. Here’s what we came up with…

uftoys

He’s played with the little gray kitty that rolls around a few times. He plays with it more in the kitchen where it’s easier to push and spin around on the linoleum, but the bell-in-a-ball-in-a-ball (it’s a jingle bell inside a ball inside another ball) he went nuts for. It’s like a cat toy, but inside another larger ball so the grandkids can’t stick it in their mouths. He chases that thing around the house like it’s full fish rolled in catnip.

We have to watch our feet when he’s playing with the ball because he has no regard for toes, feet or even running into legs. I still haven’t seen him take it up the stairs. He pushes it down, but I’d love to see him carry it up sometime.

This is the best picture I could get of Mister Underfoot and his new favorite toy. Looks almost scary, doesn’t he?

Mister Underfoot's New Favorite Toy

 

Oct 162016
 
Bookshelf

My hubby picked up a horror book for me! I only wish it was colder so I could curl up in a blanket with a cup of hot tea while reading. But since it’s supposed to be in the 90’s for the next couple of days, I guess I’ll have to settle for sitting under the cool breeze from the fan and drinking iced tea with the hope that autumn will be in full swing before I’m done with the book. 

Now to find out what’s magic about this cottage…

“We thought we’d found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Charming, maybe a little run down, but so peaceful. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge’s painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our love for each other – well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic.”

“What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions, and the bats – oh God, the bats! Even now those terrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened…”

Summary from Amazon.com

Oct 142016
 
Stuffed French Bread - Cut

It was delicious, but I actually messed up this recipe. Instead of cutting the bread in half, I left it whole. It still turned out yummy. So yummy that I’m working on variations. Chicken, bacon, broccoli is the first variation I’m going to try and maybe Philly cheese after that. Sloppy Joe’s was also suggested.

I thought without the bread on top that the cheese would brown. We like brown cheese. Sadly, it didn’t. If you leave the bread as one piece and want the cheese to brown, try broiling it for about 10 minutes. I thought about trying it, but we were hungry.

I left the original instructions of cutting the bread in half and added my mistakes in the recipe. I liked the bread being more like a bowl, but I’ll be trying it the way it’s supposed to be in the future.

Stuffed French Bread
Serves 6
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf french bread
  2. 1 pound lean ground beef
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  4. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  5. 1 can cream of mushroom or cream of onion soup
  6. 1/4 cup sour cream
  7. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  8. salt and pepper, to taste
  9. 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  10. 2 teaspoons dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Slice the french bread in half, lengthwise, so you have two equal pieces. Or, you can do what I did and misread the instructions and not cut the bread in half but leave it whole.
  2. Scoop out the bread in the center of each piece or the center of the entire loaf if you leave the bread whole.
  3. Place the bread you scooped out in a large bowl and tear into small chunks. Set the two halves of french bread or the one whole piece with the center scooped out onto a large baking sheet.
  4. Brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain.
  5. Add garlic to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add soup, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook mixture 5 minutes or until heated.
  7. Add the beef mixture to the bread in the large bowl. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into the center of one half of the french bread or center of the whole piece. Spread out evenly. Top the mixture with the shredded cheese. Top with the other half of bread or leave open if you didn't cut the bread in half.
  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Life in the Lofthouse.com
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Oct 122016
 
Writing

This article has some very good points about storytelling and examples from the immensely popular Stranger Things.

If you’re planning on watching Stranger Things, you might want to wait until you’ve finished before reading this article. It’s not spoiler heavy, but it’s better to know as little as possible before watching. Makes things more interesting…

7 storytelling lessons your can learn from Stranger Things. Reverse-engineer your stories to apply the best storytelling elements to your writing.

Source: Storytelling Lessons From Stranger Things | Disc Makers Blog

Oct 102016
 
Zander's Lion King Quilt

In the post Zander’s Baby Quilt, I commented that I didn’t have pictures of the Simba and Nala quilt my mother made for Zander. She promptly sent me the pictures she took.

After he unwrapped it, we held it before him and asked if he knew who it was. He flashed a huge, shy smile and said, “Simba.” Later, again smiling, he pointed at the quilt and said, “Lion King.”

I need to stop forgetting my camera. I wish I’d gotten a picture of his reaction to seeing the quilt. It was so adorable.

Oct 092016
 
dhampir

I’ve seen this book compared to Buffy, so it looks like I’m in for more vampire slayer fun. While I usually read horror books throughout October, I’m officially out of horror books to read. I never thought I’d be able to say that.

Dhampir is fantasy, or so I’ve read, but I’m hoping since it has vampires, it will do for my horror fix.

I’m enjoying it so far.

She hunts the realm’s most dangerous game.
Her fees are exorbitant.

She’s worth every coin she receives.

Or is she?

Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain—grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere knows she’s dealing with simple folk, who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and sees nothing wrong with exploiting them for profit.

Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their newfound peace will not last—for Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who know her true identity—and fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.

Summary from Amazon.com

Oct 072016
 
sausagetortellini

I didn’t have enough ham, but I was hungry for the Tortellini and Ham recipe WildOne posted, so I decided to try it with smoked sausage. I also had a couple of tomatoes from the garden that needed to be used and thought they would pair well with the sausage, too. And of course, I replaced the peppers with broccoli for the pepper hater.

What I came up with is something that tasted different enough I thought it needed its own post, but at the same time it curbed my craving for Tortellini and Ham. I really enjoyed both recipes and I think which one I make will depend on what meat I have at the time.

Tortellini and Smoked Sausage
Serves 6
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package (19 ounces) frozen three cheese tortellini
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 10-12 ounces smoked sausage, sliced
  4. 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  5. 12 ounce bag frozen chopped broccoli
  6. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons ClearJel (cornstarch)
  8. 1/2 cup homemade chicken broth
  9. 2 teaspoons dried basil
  10. 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  11. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  12. 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  13. 4 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, divided
Instructions
  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook smoked sausage in olive oil over medium heat until browned on one side. Flip sausage and add broccoli and onion. Cook until broccoli is crisp tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute longer.
  3. Combine the ClearJel or cornstarch, broth, basil, parsley and pepper; stir into sausage mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Add tomatoes and heat until tomatoes are just warmed.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons cheese. Drain tortellini; toss with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Notes
  1. You could use boxed cheese tortellini.
  2. You can use fresh broccoli.
  3. You could use canned chicken broth.
Adapted from WildOne's Tortellini and Ham Recipe
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
sausagetortellini

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