Friday, October 25, 2013


I'm back!  My trip to Oregon was great.  I wandered all over Gresham, Beaverton, and Portland with my friends and family.  It was just want I needed, and although I was ready to come home, I already miss it.  I will share more about my time there in an upcoming post; however, right now I have something else on my mind:  National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.

*Official crest of NaNoWriMo: That's right- we have a crest.

NaNoWriMo is kind of a big deal- well, at least to professional and aspiring writers.   It is held every November and thousands of writers participate every year.  In fact, over 145,000 novels are currently registered* on, (including mine)!  There is one real purpose to NaNoWriMo: To get you started on that book.  You know- that book you've wanted to write since you were fourteen, twenty-six, fifty, as far back as you can remember, whenever; NaNoWriMo is the kick in the pants you've been waiting for.   

The rules are simple:  50,000 words in 30 days.  They don't even have to be good words.  Just write.  What do you write?  Anything.  Subject/content/characters are all up to you.  You can do it alone, with friends, or join others in your community who are participating.  There are always groups getting together for write-ins, meet and greets, and advice.  Registration is free and you'll have access to all kinds of resources and community forums. 

If you meet this goal- Yay!  If you don't- Yay! You started!  I did it last year, and only made it to 10,000 words.  But that's okay, because its 10,000 words more than what I had before NaNoWriMo.  With less than a week to go, I'm busy preparing for November 1st.  I decided to pick up where I left off last year and turn my 10,000 words into 60,000.  I have all my pages typed up, and just need to finish entering my edits.

Now you might be wondering, "Is NaNoWriMo right for me?"  The answer is YES.  Why?  Because it is right for anyone who wants to try.  And, I think we can agree, that you want to try.

Click here: National Novel Writing Month awaits.

*Registration is only a commitment to participate.  It does not mean you have to upload your novel, or that it will be viewed by others.  The website does allow you to share a brief summary or excerpts from your novel, but it is not required. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Curling and Other Natural Disasters

As I alluded in my previous post, there are many more adventures planned before the year is up.  I did say I would be posting some photos of a star gazing trip, and a Bonny Knees competition.  Well, the star gazing was postponed due to inclement weather, and none of my Knee shots turned out.  All you have to know about a Bonny Knee competition:  Blindfolded girls feeling up the knees of kilted men.  Yay, for my heritage!  Don't get any ideas; I was merely a spectator. 

To round out September, my friends and I opted for Curling; another Scotland-originated activity.  Curling isn't terribly easy to convey in a few sentences, so please enjoy the following "instructional" videos:

The importance of Form over Distance:

The benefit of Distance over Technique:

The importance of Follow Through:

(Ellen, Laura, Rachel, & our spontaneous teammate, Jun)
Well, I hope you now know all you ever needed to about Curling.  If not, please visit for some actual background on this Olympic sport.
I will be on the road the next couple of weeks, visiting friends and family in Oregon.  I look forward to sharing about my time there with you all.  Have a great October!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Photo Gallery

Good afternoon, Everyone.  I was browsing through my previous posts and realised that I have very few pictures to back up any of my stories.  So, not in any particular order, I proudly present...
Proof I Do Stuff (Part One):

I sail:



I get invited to swank parties:



I'm not afraid to get my Gypsy on:
 I actually did eat that Habanero Pizza:

I met a Penguin:
I was helpful at weddings:
Oh, and this happened (Boise Comic Con):
So...I hope that settles things.  See you around for Part Two, where I witness a Bonny Knee competition, take a trip to see the stars (the ones in the sky, not in Hollywood), and attempt curling...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I have been MIA for a few weeks now and I feel like I've neglected you.  I know you've been up nights waiting for my next post, and I apologize.  I'm back now, so get ready for a good night's sleep!

I've been out of control lately.  I have been super emotional, super tired, super ready to crawl back in to bed five minutes after getting up.  It's been hard.  We have required overtime at work every week, and I've been putting in extra time to try to get a hold on my bills.  My brain is numb at the end of the day. I suppose that is one reason I've been away so long.  Per my Counselor's request, I have also been journaling everyday and that taps me out in the writing department.  I am keeping a record of my ups and downs, looking for patterns, triggers, and angst.  It is a good practice, even if you're not dealing with depression, it is a helpful way to assess how you are doing and what is important to you.

Despite all this, I have managed to complete adventures, hang out with friends, and check things off my To-Do-List.  I attended Roller Derby for the first time, went back to Flying Pie for seconds of Habanero Pizza, am attending our local Highland Games in two weeks, and am planning a late night star-gazing trip to the Bruneau Observatory with friends.  September has been one of the most eventful months of the summer.  I guess it is good to keep busy.  September has not always been a good month in my life.  September marks several difficult anniversaries.  Throughout the years friends have moved away, jobs have fallen apart, I lost my Grandmother, and years later, my Father; all in September.  So I am grateful to be busy.  I will gladly accumulate as many pleasant memories to associate with this month as I can.

What I'm really looking forward to is October.  October is my favorite time of year.  The weather gets cooler.  The leaves start changing.  The fire season in Idaho finally starts receding. October is a breath of fresh air.  It also sets off the beginning of several festive events and holidays, which I love.  Another reason to love October is that I'm taking a vacation.  I am spending 10 days in Portland, OR, to visit family and friends.  I am driving- my first big road trip by myself- and have been entertaining myself by mapping out my route online.  I can't wait, and I can't wait to share my trip with all of you! 

So, here's to happier memories, and to more blog posts.  I will see you soon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The Flying Pie Habanero Pizza.

Come one, come all, to ruin your palate on this deceptively delicious, gourmet, seasonal pie. 

Tip: Ask for cream cheese as an additional topping.  It cuts the heat.

Flying Pie Pizza is a regional favorite and you have to give them a try if you're ever in Idaho.  Every year in August when Habanero peppers are in full force, so is this pizza.  It is a big event for pizza lovers; even those who hate habaneros are more than happy to file in as spectators.

Warning:  You have to sign a waiver to take this pizza out of the restaurant

There are three levels to the Habanero Pizza:

Level One:  Approximately 6 fresh habanero peppers (heat equivalent of 5lbs of jalapeños). 
Level Two: Approximately 12 fresh habanero peppers (heat equivalent of 10lbs of jalapeños).
Level Three: Approximately 18 fresh habanero peppers (the heat equivalent of 15lbs of jalapeños).

Why would anyone submit themselves to this special kind of torture?  Well, some people love heat; some people love a challenge; and some people love to laugh at both.  Even an old pro will turn some shade of red upon consumption. 

Bonus:  Free ice cream with every pizza ordered.

I'm not getting paid to write this, (although if they wanted to buy me a slice, I'd let them).  I only bring it up because Flying Pie's Habanero pizza was one of the very first outings of my Adventure of the Month Club.  It holds a special place in my heart, and I look forward to it even though it's hotter than my personal liking.  I was there just this last Friday, and will be meeting some more friends this coming weekend for a second round.

 So, If you're ever in the area late summer, and ready for a challenge, you know where to find me.

Remember:  Avoid touching your face until after you've washed your hands.  Habanero oil in your eye is an adventure worth skipping.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


I'm not feeling terribly inspired today.  However, I know it is important to push through this lack of interest and work anyway.  So, here I am.  Here I am to write.  Something.  Some of you with something, anything, better to do may want to go about your business.  The rest of you; fasten your seat belts.

So far today, I woke up late and rushed to get ready for church.  After church I went to Whole Foods, where I purchased an iced coffee and some yogurt.  I then came home, looked up who the 12th Doctor will be, watched Miss Marple on Netflix, ate cold pizza, and am currently on the living room floor typing this post as my laptop battery recharges. 

The only thing I've decided for certain today is that when I'm in my 80's, I'm going to solve crimes.  I'll be cute, tactical, and borderline aggravating.  I'll have friends all over the English countryside who will invite me in and make me tea while I scrutinize their neighbors and relatives for clues.  I will be at first a nuisance, and then revered by the local authorities.  I can't imagine a better way to retire.  Now, if I could only decide what to do with the next 50 years.  I suppose I could start my sleuthing career a little early by taking my cue from Jessica Fletcher.  Bonus- I'd be a successful murder mystery writer. 

I don't know about you, but I feel pretty good about this plan.  Still, I'm left with at least 25-30 years until I make it official.  Since my golden years are going to be pretty darn exciting, I suppose I can risk something a bit more mundane in the interim.  A home, family, and hanging out with friends.  Perhaps a good Murder Mystery Dinner from time to time.  After all, I'm going to need the practice.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Call Center Confessions

We sat in wedges.  Nondescript wedges completing a circle and pointing to a center of nothing.  Imagine a Trivial Pursuit game piece, that you snap colored triangles in as you master subjects, or one of those circular cheeses made up of individually wrapped triangular chunks.  This is the better analogy, as each desk had it's own slightly off cheese-odor.  Some people bring in family photos and potted plants to their office; we brought our own Clorox wipes.  We couldn't bring in photos or plants if we wanted to because we weren't coming back to an assigned spot.  The beginning of each shift was a silent, bitter battle to secure a somewhat less disgusting wedgicle for the day.

The initial training lasted eight weeks.  I loved training.  I love learning- even about cellular customer service.  I felt very proud when I scored 100% on my final exam.  I know it isn't a big deal.  It just felt good to excel.  Fast forward 12 weeks, waiting for my next call, and silently enduring a panic attack.  Nothing was wrong.  No one had yelled at me, and yet, there I was, realizing that this was as good as it gets, and not knowing what to do.  I sat there waiting for a call that wasn't coming when I felt the hand of my Supervisor on my shoulder,

"Hey, do you want to go home?  The queue is low."

Home?  Did I want to go home?  Oh, yes.  I wanted to go home.  I had never been asked that by an employer before.  I felt like an angelic choir was going to appear. 

"Yes, I would...thank you, I think I'm having a small panic attack right now.  Going home would be good."

My Supervisor's expression shifted from confusion, to concern, to discomfort.  I think he was wondering why I was telling him this.  His team's emotional problems were slightly above his pay grade.

"Oh, man.  Well, close out your programs and feel better..."

He walked away. 

The concept of going home early sank in.  It did not fix me.  I was genuinely having a mild panic attack in that moment.  However, I felt such relief.  So much did I love getting to go home, that I began impatiently waiting for slow queues.  Eventually I discovered a bulletin board in the back where you could sign up to leave early.  That's right- SIGN UP to LEAVE EARLY.  My first stop every shift was to see if they were asking for volunteers.  One time they made an announcement that the sheet was going up.  Everyone who was not on a call put themselves in break mode and ran to the back.  I joined them as soon as my call was done.  As I headed back I overheard two employees talking about it,

Employee #1:  "Why does everybody want to go home?"

Employee #2:  "Ha, they hate money."

I don't know why that conversation has stuck with me for so long.  I thought it was absurd at the time, but I think I now see where he was coming from.  You work hard, you earn money, you pay bills, pay off debt, plan for vacations, stay on top of everything.  You keep signing up to leave early- your paycheck suffers, your debts and dreams suffer.  However, I still don't believe anyone signing up "hated money."  I believe they loved something else more.  Loved getting home to have dinner with their family- (we worked the swing shift- 2pm to 11pm).  Loved getting to hang out with friends.  Loved going home and taking a nap, etc.  Most of us were not in a job we loved.  We made the most of it, but the pull to stay would never equal or exceed the pull to experience everything else. 

I stayed in my position for about eleven months.  Then, with the urging of a friend, I interviewed and obtained a position as an Front Office Manager in a Physical Therapy clinic.  For a long time this was a better fit.  I really enjoyed it, but ultimately, I moved on.  Several missteps later and where am I now?  Yep, a Call Center.  But a nicer one.  With a real cubicle that I can decorate, and co-workers that I know by name.  It is not what I hope to be doing for the rest of my life, but I'm not praying for a sign up sheet either.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Home again

I've spent the last few days house sitting for my friends while they attended family camp.  They have a dog and two chickens, so you could say I was house/dog/chicken sitting which, of course, sounds way cooler.  Their dog, Maxwell, was easy to please.  He wandered in and out of the house as needed, and napped in the living room.  The chickens needed their scratch, (supplemental feed), to be let safely in and out of their coup, and to have their eggs collected daily.  They were very pleasant creatures and would even come over to check me out when I came near. 

Here are the lovely ladies themselves.  Unfortunately, you can't see the coup to the right.  It looks like a little red barn!

I enjoy house sitting.  To me it is like a mini-vacation.  However, I don't go crazy in other people's homes.  In fact I tend to minimize my environmental impact as much as possible.  I'll walk the same route throughout the house, clean as I go, and try to not to move things around.  I do this so it is easier to tidy up before I leave.  I try to leave things as clean, or cleaner than when I left them.  I know how much of a buzz-kill it can be to come back to a unkempt home. 

One of the main reasons I like house sitting is because I get to enjoy a home without having to maintain it.  The grass is not mine to mow, (unless requested), the garden is not mine to tend, and the remodeling projects are above my pay grade.  I get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of other people's labor.  From the swing set on the back porch I don't look out to see a dozen weekend projects looming.  I look out to see a charmingly tended yard, hanging flower baskets, and a tree house. 

Even though I appreciate the freedom to be lazy, I have to admit I hope to own a house someday.  I know this would mean that all that labor and upkeep would finally be my responsibility.  But it would also come with the satisfaction that by my own hand I created something to take pleasure in everyday.  I'm not sure I'll have a chicken coup and a tree house, but I bet I could handle a hanging basket or two.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Hello Everyone! 

I don't have a lot of time tonight, but I wanted to brag a little.  I just checked and my blog is approaching 700 views!  Huzzah! 

I realize this may be considered small change to a lot of prominent bloggers out there, and there's always the slight chance a small portion, oh, I don't know, of about half or so, of these views are just me frantically re-editing my posts after I published them, but that's okay.  It still means a lot that you're checking them out at all. 

I truly hope you are enjoying them.  They are therapeutic and a great way for me to practice and improve my writing, but if they weren't providing something of value to you, then half the joy would be gone.

Thank you!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Off with Her Head...

Confession time!  When it gets hot, and I'm taking one of my long walks, my hands plump up like the Incredible Hulk.  See!:

Before pic

After pic

And, I don't want to hear "I don't see the difference," because if I do, I'll crush you with my gigantic hands. 

I decided to post these pictures, because in my country today is a day about Freedom.  And, I'm posting these pictures to liberate myself.  I'm tired of feeling awkward about the size and shape of my body.  Tired of hiding behind throw pillows, and strategically large purses.  My body fluctuates, (hence the pics), I have scars, bumps and calloused heels.  I'm overweight; when I work at it, I lose weight.  Sometimes old habits win, and I gain it back.  It is the body I was born with.  It has suffered some abuse over the years, and I'll never look as good as some women, but if I feel healthy, and comfortable- why isn't that beautiful enough?  Maybe not photo-shop/bikini beautiful, but everyday beautiful.

I'd be remiss if I told you I believe this without wavering.  I fight inside my mind plenty about whether I'm good enough, and although I've received my share of insults from others, most of the criticism comes from myself.  My head becomes my own worst enemy.  Lots of people live this way, and it is a tragic waste of our energy, and not what we were created for. So, I hope my amazingly large hand(s) inspire you to not be ashamed of your own wonderful, imperfect, and fearfully-made body.  At any rate, I hope it reminds you not to take physical appearance too seriously, and that you are not alone in that struggle.

Oh, and- Happy Independence Day!  May we continue to live in freedom from our enemies- the ones who wish to hurt us- from without or from within.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Why the Saturday Market and I are just friends...

Having the house to myself for the next nine days has afforded me the opportunity to DO WHAT I WANT!!!  And, apparently what I want is to...clean...and groceries.  Ah, yeah!  I embrace this practical side of myself, and as I am decisively procrastinastic, (that should be a word; even though it's not), about the cleaning, I went shopping instead. 

While most cities have a Saturday Market; my city has two.  Rumor has it one of the main organizers of the original Market, was let go, causing the split.  Consequently, downtown Boise sports two separate, but equally charming Markets, separated by a block and a half. 

I am pulled to the Saturday Market, as I am more and more pulled to organic and local products.  Organic eggs, milk, honey, and blueberries are becoming staples to my diet.  Of course I mean to expand on this trend; however, my budget is limited, and I can stretch my grocery dollars farther by avoiding organic, locally grown, meats and produce.  I know, I know- it's not very socially conscious, but I am trying- and I will continue to incorporate these options into my life. 

Besides financial restrictions, a big reason why I tend to limit my Market purchases to local honey, and a chocolate croissant, is the overwhelming abundance of choices.  I mean, how do I choose?  Pricing is consistent across the board; so, do I frequent this booth offering locally grown organic berries, or that booth...offering locally grown organic berries?  Or, how about that one- of which the funds go to local refugee families, or that one, over there- which no one else is shopping at, and really, how sad is that?  Do I buy from an Idaho farm, or from an Oregon farm which is still technically "local."  Where does the social consciousness end???  In response, I commit to none.  I buy my croissant from Guston's, and my coffee from Dawson's, and people watch. 

But, you say- weren't you going grocery shopping?   Why, yes; yes I was.  And, I did.  After.  At Winco.  For stretching dollars, Winco is probably as good as it gets in Boise.  I am even able to buy a few organic items there.  In fact, today I had an internal struggle over eggs.  Do I choose the organic, or the cage free eggs?  The cage free eggs are probably also organic, but the label doesn't say, and I'm not sure I trust it.  And, what does that imply, anyway?  That there are anti-biotic and pesticide munching chickens roaming wild and free, while the hormone free chickens are living in little chicken-ghettos with no porches and yards?  I'm starting to understand while some people go bat-crazy over sustainable living.

After the great egg crisis of 2013, I picked up some organic milk and chicken.  I bought panko bread crumbs to prepare the chicken with, as I remember hearing panko was all the rage five years ago.  I think that is another reason why I'm non-committal about the Saturday Market.  I never think about what I want to make before I go shopping.  When I see all the options: arugula, purple asparagus, different types of root vegetables, I have to wonder how long they will sit in my fridge forgotten before starting to rot.   

I have no reservations about what light this puts me in.  I can admit I'm no lion in the kitchen; however, just as I'm trying to be better about eating healthier foods, I am also open to improving my domestic skills.  Hence, the panko.  So, I may experiment in the kitchen a bit over the next several days.  Once I feel more comfortable there; perhaps, I will feel more confident at the Market.   


Monday, June 24, 2013

Lion House

A large mansion sits along an affluent Boulevard in my city.  The mansion is white with red steps leading up to the front door, and two somber stone lions guard the porch.   It is an old, eccentric, and beautiful home, done in the Spanish Mission style; all of which makes it prime real estate for a ghost story. 

And, behold- there is such a story surrounding the Lion House of Harrison Blvd.  Its origin belongs to a child that drowned decades ago in the basement pool.  The pool, having caused such lasting devastation to the family, was filled in and boarded up; but this was not enough to subdue the spirit of the small boy who perished.

Well, that is one version.

Other reports say there never was an indoor swimming pool, and the truth is that a child did drown in that neighborhood in the 1930's; but in an outdoor pool, one or two houses down from the Lion House.

The idea that the home is haunted perpetuated a few years back when a local historian received a tour, and was told by the owner that a ghost of a woman roamed the mansion searching for her lost child.  When asked how the ghost made herself known, the owner referred to electrical variances and noises in the she discovered the ghost's motivation, let alone gender- I do not know.  The only plausible witnesses; the two stone lions- weren't added to the home till the 1980's, and therefore, were not on guard to witness any truth in the myths surrounding the house.   

What we do know is that the construction of the Lion House dates back to 1911.  Its Spanish style was inspired by the builder's experience living in San Diego, CA.  The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 inspired him further to build the house with concrete walls, 12 inches thick.  It was an impenetrable safe house.  It was home to a former Governor and other influential residents. 

So why am I blogging about an improbable ghost story, seemingly unrelated to my own life?  I attended a lecture a few days ago regarding local myths and how they influence society; how they bring people together to form plausible explanations of the weird and strange.  How difficult they are to vanquish despite all our modern principles and research.  How necessary they are to our survival as a community, and how slowly, over time, for good or for bad, they become our history.  All this made me realize that the story of the Lion House is quite important.  Every vicious local legend, every family story I knew growing up- that we are distantly related to Marie Antoinette; that we bear some long lost connection to Andrew Carnegie- formed a framework for ideas, hope, pride, horror, and finally- the ability to embrace the unexplainable.  Together we share a unique history- verifiable or not, that we cannot shake.  How will our history evolve as we grow older; as time puts more distance between the story and the truth?   Will they be used to unite, or manipulated to cause division?   Or, are stories too strong to be wrangled, too wild to contain?  Each year spreading out further and further from their origin, until they can only exist as acceptable fact.   

For now, if you research the Lion House, you will come across conflicting reports- pool, no pool- ghost, no ghost.  Either way, it truly is a gorgeous building, a lovely landmark of this city, and that beauty in itself is sufficient to render it absolutely haunting.   

Take a tour inside the Lion House and decide for yourself:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Call out...

I am not consistent in my writing.  I ignore inspiration until it turns reluctantly away, leaving me to my own time-wasting devices.  By the time I'm ready to sit down and write, all my ideas have abandoned me- and rightfully so.  As inspiration has left me, and I'm vastly behind on my blogging; it's time to give credit where credit is due: Netflix, Pinterest, and Facebook.  Amazing time killers.  Creators of Writer's Block.  And, in moderation- great things.  Two hours of Kitchen Nightmares, and Supernatural, is entertaining, and a refreshing break from daily stresses.  Nine hours of Kitchen Nightmares, and Supernatural, well, that's an addiction.  And, with any addiction, there is the penalty of having all your natural human energy sucked away by heartless things that will never appreciate, never grow, or benefit from it. 

Truthfully, I could blame these havens of time-suckery for my lack of progress, but as I've said many times- it all comes down to a choice, and the choice is mine.  When I think about my story- the story that I both hate and love, enjoy and find excruciating, am most proud and most ashamed- I choose to not think about it.  I could choose to finish it, change it, throw it out the window, but instead I choose to ignore it.  How self defeating.  I'm making all these changes in my life to get better physically, improve my finances, and try new things, but I won't change the one thing that could make the biggest difference- how I approach my story.  I need to approach it as an ally, not an enemy.  A friend, not an adversary.  At the very least- a frenemy.

I am a very introspective person, and it is hard for me to ask for advice.  So, I am making a choice right now to ask for help.  Any advice out there on how to turn things around?  What gets you back on track?  It would be much appreciated.

Monday, May 27, 2013


I bring to you the long awaited Sailing post!  I avoided it for awhile; however, as I am currently laid up with significant lower back pain and can't move- why not write?

I've been out sailing twice now.  I am particularly proud I didn't fall off the boat either trip, and am confident that I want sailing to become a regular part of my life.  However, this may may be more difficult to implement then I had hoped.  The first time I went sailing I was a part of the race.  I steered the rudder, and tacked the jib to the left and right.  My host was very laid back and willing to teach.  On my second trip I was merely a passenger.  The husband and wife I sailed with were a well-oiled machine and didn't need my help.  They also won pretty much every race we sailed.  It was fast and furious- for 5 to 10 mph- and I felt brave enough to crawl/walk all over the boat; something I did not feel capable of the first trip out.  However, there was no steering, no tacking, and I realised pretty quickly that sailing lost a lot of its appeal when I wasn't a part of the action.  In order to really learn to sail I will need to make some friends who sail for fun, (not just to compete), where allowing me to participate won't run the danger of slowing them down.   

Both times I sailed I had the good fortune of a steady wind, cool and refreshing weather, and happy hosts.  The sun never beat too hot, and the wind never blew too cold.  I mentioned before that I never fell off the boat, which is true; however, I did almost fall down the companionway, but in an amazing display of strength I didn't know I had, I was able to pull myself back up.  Probably the least enthusiastic I was during the whole experience was when I endeavored to use the ships toilet.  By toilet I bid you to imagine the following: Down the companionway towards the front of the boat and on your right, you find a wooden panel attached with a hook.  Upon opening you discover a small toilet with room enough only for your bottom.  There is no privacy- only the trust you have for your shipmates not to stare.  As you are inside the boat there isn't room to straighten up and you are half crouching as you shuffle your pants down to your ankles and fall gracelessly backwards on to the toilet.  Once your business is complete you now have to struggle, half dressed, to rise up from your sitting position while the boat tips you forward and back.  You give up and try your best to shimmy your pants up as much as possible before falling forward on your hands and knees.  With as much dignity as you can muster you stand, pull your pants up the rest of the way, and use a bottle of water to "flush" the toilet.  You close the panel and secure it with the hook- but not before falling forward several times as the ship teeters.  Finally, you wander back to the upper deck like nothing ever happened.  I withstood a lot of bruising for the relief of my bladder.

On my first outing I managed to not ever need the facilities.  I also came out unscathed, bruise-less and feeling pretty darn capable as a human being.  On the second outing, along with being battered about, I managed to lock my keys in my car after we returned to shore.  This was done in what I can only describe as a magnificent display of "not thinking."  Ellen- my Adventure Club partner- let me use her phone to call for a locksmith.  It took a very long time for them to understand my coordinates, and an even longer time for them to make it out to the lake.  In the meantime, a handsome Scotsman/fellow sailor offered to throw a brick through my window.  Despite the chivalry of the offer, I declined.  Ellen and I set about engaging the sailors, crew, and their families at the after-party-potluck held in the dock parking lot.  I learned that until I really understood sailing and boats, I would be hard pressed to keep up in their conversations.  Eventually, the locksmith arrived and with several apparatuses which I could not name, my car was once again accessible. 

Despite the random inconveniences of the day, all the way home I wondered when I'd be able to get back.  I determined to become more learned on the subject.   I now gauge most days on their "sail-worthiness."  I am considering buying a boat...well, someday.  For now I am content with pouring over Sailing for Dummies, at local book stores.  I hope to join the sailors of SISA, (the Southern Idaho Sailing Association), again soon.  Future events will be held farther out of town and most participants camp out.  I'm sure I'll have more to tell as I get more involved, and will try to get some pictures on here soon.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sunny Days

Today is one of those warm, lovely days that inspires people to leave their couches and venture outside.  Until it gets a bit too warm and I, I mean- they, scramble back for home.  I was sitting outside at the cafe enjoying Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis, when the temperature rose a bit high for my temperament and I made my escape.

I trekked home through the sports complex passing playing children and parents huddled in the shade with cameras, or binoculars, (depending on how close the shade was to the game).  Ground hogs, who normally dominate the entire park must hate Saturdays.  Their homes quake with the heavy footfalls of oblivious humans.  Several dodged away from me as I crisscrossed the fields.

I took a short cut on a walking path that runs behind our neighborhood.  Some winged created attempted to fly up my right nostril before I snorted it out.  I don't know what is going around with nature lately; the other day a bee flew into my car and down my shirt.  I managed to stay on the road as I opened my collar and waived it back out the window.    

All this to say that despite the heat, and the bugs, I lived all week for this weekend.  Not my best week at work thus far.  So, a couple days with nothing planned?  Perfection.  I hope everyone finds their weekend equally refreshing. 

A few weeks back I promised you an exciting tell-all regarding my sailing adventure.  Well I have to admit it was less eventful then I anticipated, aka, no one fell off the boat.  Honestly- I loved it! I can't wait to go again and I promise to dedicate my next post to details.  

Happy Saturday, Everyone!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I hope everyone is having an excellent day.  I am writing to you from my couch, having just returned from a marvelous walk up to Cafe Capri where I sat outside and spent over an hour reading in the sun.  I started with Les Miserables; not a light read, and eventually switched to High Five by Janet Evanovich.  Yeah, I like to mix it up.  No, I was not carrying a backpack full of novels, although I would.  I was gifted with a Kobo this last Christmas and it comes in handy when packing light.  I know everyone has busy lives but I highly recommend sitting outside with a good book, or trashy novel of your choice.  It is a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lazy, Lazy...

Did you realize it has been at least two weeks since I've posted?  That it has been over ten days since I went on one of my walks?   And, it has been weeks since I last worked on my book?  I did.  I have inadvertently cycled into an extremely lazy season, and man those drag out longer than an Idaho winter. 

I've learned over time that there is not much to be done except to ride it out.  Eventually, I get discontent with my slothful contentedness and start giving myself short pep talks.  These typically turn in to "shame-on-you!" talks; which are easier, and more satisfying to ignore.  When I finally admit skipping one more day might turn in to a lifetime of accomplishing nothing, and waking up old and rotten; I put one leg in front of the other, and walk out the front door.  That is what I did today.  I started with what took the least mental energy, and made my way up to Cafe Capri.  I travelled there through wind, and threat of rain, sipped my coffee, flipped through Barista Magazine, (oh, yes- it exists), and walked home. 

Since I've been back; I showered, started laundry, cleaned the cat box, am writing this blog, and will soon head out again to whatever this day has in store.   

So, if anyone out there finds themselves similarly averted to productivity, my advice to you is to start small; put one foot in front of the other; over and over again, until you find yourself back on track.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Jib, the Hull, and the What?

As I mentioned in my previous post; I was to attend a Banquet Saturday night for a local Sailing Club.  To be honest, I didn't know we had a local Sailing Club.  Kind of land bound here.  We do however, have some good lakes scattered about; and those who love to sail make frequent use of them.  Between April, and October, SISA (Southern Idaho Sailing Association), holds several regattas, (Glossary provided below).  I feel it was a successful event.  I went in, and actually talked to people!  About tillers!, and hulls!, and Oh, My!- there are a lot of names for things on a boat. 

I will be studying such terms, and diagrams over the next several weeks; because when I'm out on the water, being yelled at; I want to know why I'm in trouble.  I met several people who were more than happy to answer my questions, and offer important advice such as: 

Clothing:  Wear layers. It can get pretty cold because of the wind. Gloves- we'll be pulling lines (ropes) and it can be pretty painful. Sneakers- with good tracking.

Food: Bring a sandwich/water. Nothing fancy- something you can eat with one hand is best.

Bathroom: Go before you get on the water. Some boats have a "toilet." But...yeah better to go beforehand

Precautions: They can supply life jackets. It is important to wear a good sunscreen, and if possible one that protects from wind burn as well.

As you can tell, a very entertaining sailing post is on the horizon.  Maybe as soon as early May!  I look forward to sharing it with you.  In the meantime, outside of studying sailing terms; I will be working on my story, and getting my characters in to a more complicated situation- involving a prison convict, and father issues.

Regatta: A series of boat races, usually of sailboats or rowboats, but occasionally of powered boats.

Hull: The main body of a ship or other vessel, including the bottom, sides, and deck but not the masts, superstructure, rigging, engines, and...The outer covering of a fruit or seed, esp. the pod of peas and beans, or the husk of grain.
Tiller: a lever used for steering, attached to the top of the rudder post. Used mainly on smaller vessels, such as dinghies and rowing boats.
Jib: A triangular staysail at the front of a ship.
Staysail: A sail whose luff is attached to a forestay.
Luff: The forward edge of a sail.
Forestay: Long lines or cables, reaching from the bow of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast. can look up the rest.  It just goes on, and on...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The bright side...

This post is coming late, and I apologize.  I like to post on Sundays because I usually have a lot of time to reflect before I write.  This last Sunday I was reflecting on why I owe the Federal Government money, and why my dreams of financial Independence were yet another step away.  I admit it took a couple of days to look on the bright side.

Today is different.  Today my mind is free to dwell on other things.  Positive things.  New things.  You see; I belong to a small band of Adventurers.  Once a month we gather together, and attempt something we have never done before.  This coming Saturday I am going solo on a reconnaissance mission for an upcoming adventure.  I will infiltrate an exclusive party, gather information, and through my contact- whom I have never met; will network on behalf of my team.  If I am successful my colleagues and I will soon be posing as crew in a local, competitive, sailing race.  Hopefully, no one will catch on that I have no idea what I'm doing.

I mean, you haven't caught on yet; have you?  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

In which I don't talk about writing...

I've been thinking lately of where I'd like to go if I got the chance to travel again.  Over the years I have been to Canada, Mexico, Honduras, and Indonesia.  Although these opportunities have blessed me in various ways; I can't say that any of these locations were a part of my Travel Bucket List.  In truth my List is quite small.  There are really only three locations on my mind as I write this.

1. Machu Picchu: 15th-century Inca site. 7,192' Elevation. Cusco Region of Peru, South America.

To be honest, I never thought much of Machu Picchu.  In fact, I'm not sure I had heard about it until college; and that was only because of a brief line in a poem I read by Gwendolyn Brooks.  I didn't think about it again until a few years later as I was flipping through channels, and PBS was showing a special on the Inca Civilization.  The majesty surrounding this now empty city was breathtaking on film, and I realized that I wanted to stand there myself one day.  I imagine it is quite humbling.  You can travel there by train- and I have always wanted to travel by train!  There is an impressive hike up of course, but totally worth it.

Also- look how much fun these alpaca's are having!

2. France: No city in particular.

I want to visit France one day.  I actually made a promise to my Father that I would.  He had me promise to find a small cafe, sit outside, and have wine, with cheese.  He had traveled there himself for work, and I know that he wished he could have taken me to see it.  We lost him several years back, and I miss him greatly.  This is not a promise I intend to break.


3.  Scotland:  My heritage.

I am not fully of Scottish descent; perhaps three-quarters?  However, no place in the world feels so uniquely home to me then Scotland.  I know that my anticipation may exceed reality when I finally get to go; but somehow, I don't think so.

Where would you go?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

In which I am sick, and tired.

It has not been the most productive week.  I was able to write out a scene Wednesday night, between work, and babysitting; but other then that nothing.  I had good intentions for this weekend, but this weekend had other intentions for me, and I spent all of Saturday between the bathroom, and my bed.  Today, I was able to get up despite some seriously achy legs, neck, and shoulders.  I even took a walk.  I thought getting my blood moving would be beneficial.  I made it up to the Cafe I frequent; but I spent most of the time staring out the window. 

I realized that the notebook I grabbed was a journal I took to Honduras last Summer.  I read through it, and it brought back good, and negative memories; it is interesting to read what you wrote in a different time, and most certainly; a different place.  It feels like more time has passed then really has.  I had forgotten about the Honduran boys collecting giant beetles in discarded plastic bags; only to chuck them at our girls as they walked by.  I forgot how sweltering the sun could be even high up in the mountains, and how hard it was to communicate; not just with the Hondurans, but with those on my own team.   There weren't many entries in the journal, so it didn't take long to read.  After a few more minutes of staring out the window, and at blank paper; I gave in, and walked back home.

I wouldn't say it was a completely fruitless venture; I actually thought through a character I'd been debating about for several days now; and found a spot for them that actually made sense.  This character would probably be the most magical character I have so far; in fact- this character shouldn't even exist.   My intention going forward is that my characters are limited in special abilities.  And, that can be hard when trying to make a story based in a fantasy world go forward.  My Main Character isn't going to find out he has a secret parentage of Gods, or Wizards.  I want him to be as real as you, or me; but vital to the story nonetheless- just like you, or me.  It can be difficult to balance.  At least I have more pieces fitting together.  On the other hand I still have so much to write out, and I'm feeling pretty puny right now.  Hopefully, I'll have a chance to sit down this week, and update my story.  Soon I will need to print a copy out, and take an editorial pen to it.  I don't want to get rid of much right now- only make sure the sequence of events is making sense.

I have a lot to do this week; but here is what I'll probably be doing momentarily.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Eyes bigger then her stomach...

I've been having a hard time not making this story too big.  At the rate I'm going it'll have to be 1,700 pages long.  Now some of you might accept such a challenge; but I'm pretty confident it would be a hard sell to any agent/publisher.  Not that I'm anywhere near 1,700 pages, mind you; more like 35- but in my head it remains massive.  Ideally, I would have the opportunity to turn it in to a serial; realistically- I need to finish writing one book before I start outlining the next eight. 

I suppose it's a good sign I'm motivated to expand this story beyond what I had originally intended.  The fact that I'm getting past the fear of completing it at all is a very good sign.  I get excited about what is to come, and what could come; and it is hard not to jump ahead to the good parts.  This is true in reading, writing, and in life.  What is harder, and more satisfying, is making the parts in-between equally good. 

As I continue to work on the in-between parts; I want you to know that I am trying to come up with an apt description of my story.  I need something to tell people when they ask about it.  All I can say right now is that it concerns two people sent on individual jouneys; who discover their paths are one and the same.  But with dragons.  Well, maybe.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The time has come...

Good Evening!  I hope every one's weekend is going well.  I am feeling well rested, have been fairly productive, and still have a whole day off to look forward to.  Yay, for three day weekends!  Although I have the urge to power nap, I have deemed today, "Pull Everything Together Day", and in a few minutes, I will do just that.

It took some time, but I finally hunted down all my notebooks, scraps of paper, and scribblings.  I have been hand writing my story on the advice of a dear friend, and debut Author, Miriam, (check out for thoughts on Writing, and the occasional cute animal pic).  I found her advice to be sound- you are far less likely to edit in real time when writing by hand.  There is no backspace option when something doesn't suit you, and erasing or scribbling over your words does nothing to hide the evidence of their untimely death.  Yesterday, I wrote out a very important scene, of which I am particularly proud, and there is no way I would have gotten as far as I did if I had been at my laptop. 

However, the time has come to add everything to my saved draft.  I ask for crossed fingers as I control the urge to edit prematurely, and that everything will back-up safely

In the meantime, in homage to Miriam; please enjoy these baby ducks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


My writing process has evolved significantly within the last six months.  If you count holding a flickering plot line in your head for 12 years a process.  Now, rather than stuffing ideas deep in my mind for safe keeping, they are scattered across my life; under bedside tables, on desks, in my car, crumpled in purses, and inevitably, misplaced.  It's as though notebooks and scraps of paper roam free across the landscape of my life, sometimes disappearing for days at a time.  One such wanderer carried off a fairly important scene that I will be hard pressed to recreate.

Losing your work is a heartbreaking event.  Not long ago, after getting down the bulk of my story, Technology had a good laugh at my expense, and failed to save a single word.  I was in shock, and found myself unable to rewrite what came so naturally before.  With regret, I filed my project away, once again in the back of my mind, until I felt it was time to try again.  Needless to say, there is a lot of backing-up going on these days.

So, there is improvement in my process;  I am maturing, but organization is key.  I'll have to let you know how that goes.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I took a walk...

I took a walk today up to Albertsons.  The air was clear, cold, and the sun was finally out.  It is beautiful up in Columbia Village.  We have a great view of the low mountains to the north of the valley, and the sky stretches forever to the east, west, and south.  I take walks primarily for exercise, but it also clears my head, and helps with my anxiety.  It has also become a great stirrer of my imagination.  For about a year now I have traveled the same route up to the main grocery store, coffee shop, and small local businesses.  It is about 2 miles one way.  It takes me about 1/2 an hour, and I have time to let my mind wander while my spirit is fed by the visual beauty of my surroundings.

 I stop at the Cafe Capri to have coffee- usually iced, even when brutally chilly outside, and sometimes I linger there, but more often I head out as soon as I've finished the last drop.  It is on the way home, when I come down the opposite way from the shops, and cut through the Simplot Sports Complex; a large and open park that hosts soccer, and baseball in warmer weather, that my mind sinks in to whatever subject lays waiting.  One Sunday, a week or two ago, it was masticating on fan fiction, and I was flying through time and space with The Doctor, when it occurred to me what a vain waste it really was.  Why was I exerting all this mental and emotional effort on someone else's story?  Why would I put time and effort into their creations but never my own?  It was right then that my mind switched the track and I began to think about the story I had put off writing for years. 

I wasn't starting from scratch; I had put down 25 pages last November during National Novel Writing Month- a far cry from the 50,000 word goal, but I wasn't complaining.  At that time I had the beginning, but as I walked the paved path through the park I found I had my ending.  I now have the arduous task of finding the middle, and who knows how my beginning and ending will suffer for that lack of planning.  Today in my mind I watched as my main characters met for the first time, and I began to think on their story; where they will go and how they will change.  It will take time to fill all the gaps in-between.  A lot of walks will be taken.

 It is my desire to finish this story, find a critique group to help me in revising, and eventually, attempt to have it published as my first novel.  I will continue to enter into the stories of others, and dream I have a part to play in them, but now I will enter into stories of my own creation, to play the biggest role of all.