Thursday, June 22, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) My youngest son's birthday! He had quite the day of activities planned, which kept us on our toes, but it was tons of fun.

2) A day or two of cool temperatures between the hot ones! It's beginning to get hot and muggy, so any cooler day is always a treat. Next week there should be a couple too.

What about you? What put a smile on your face this past week?

Discover some change in the bottom of your sock drawer? Pet a sweet kitty? Did you finally complete something you've been wanting to do for a long time?

What are you celebrating this week?







Friday, June 16, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) My stone wall plus veggie garden is up and thriving! I can't believe how well it's doing because...*cough* *cough*.... Let's just say that gardening and I have experienced our share of battles. But this garden is going so nicely that I'm planning on adding a second level behind it. Now, listen to the groans of my children, since they have to help me pick up the rocks from the creek and load them onto the trailer.



The wall goes up to the upper end of my thigh and currently has 2 zucchinis, radishes, spinach, lettuce and 12 tomato plants. There are two layers of rock to make sure it doesn't collapse on me, and the whole thing is filled with our homemade, fertilized soil (made from my lovely girls below.)


The light colored stones are what I added. Gosh, those corner stones are heavy! As in, they were shoved...never carried. Lol! I think they weigh more than me! The other, darker wall was already there.




And here are a few of my girls. The little black guy in the middle was born this last week. Now, we're complete with 7 cows, 7 calves and one super sweet bull. Yep, fertilizer production for layer number two is going well.


2) Plum wine! My husband has always enjoyed making wine, a hobby I'm glad he's found (and  trust me, he's experimented with every type you can think of over the years). Since we moved to the US, he hasn't gotten around to it. But this last Fall, we had so many wild plums that he decided to give it a go. The result? 25 liters of the most delicious, light wine...perfect for these hot, humid temperatures (and with only 9,5% *hiccup*)

3) My very own 'book' came out this week, A Glowworm! This is a Ubook (for those of you who haven't heard me squealing the past few weeks). What is that? It's a new form of book, being currently patented by the Black and White Publishing Company. The book plays out, sentence by sentence, on a video, while music, which has been composed specifically for the book, plays in the background to help create the right atmosphere. The music was composed and performed by Nathan Moran. I was lucky enough to also have my done in narrated form, so that it makes a lovely audio book as well. Thanks, Melanie Schulz! She had a little bit of a challenge since there are several terms in German, but she did a beautiful job.

It has a more 'artsy' feel to it and is lovely to listen to...especially with a glass of plum wine (if I may say so myself.)



This is about 1 hour and 10 minutes long and covers a lesser known event in history, which drastically changed the lives of hundreds of young women between the ages of 17 and 25 in the years following WWII in Germany.

Of course, I appreciate all shout-outs, shares and such...don't we all?

And that wraps it up for this week!

What about you? What put a smile on your face this past week? Hit those hot temperatures yet? Pop some fresh berries into your mouth? Find a new shampoo?

What are you celebrating?



Friday, June 9, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) New pool! We 'inherited' an overground outdoor pool when we bought the house. Unfortunately, this year marked the end of the liner and pump. Luckily, we found one marked down (because it's camouflage and nobody's into camouflage???). The kids and I put it together, and now it's pool time!

2) Summer reading program at the library! The kids love participating. . .I'm not going to lie. They love the prizes more than the reading. But it keeps them busy.

3) Blueberry season has arrived! This meant a trip to the local farmer fields and lots o' pickin' to do. We picked up 2 gallons, which is just enough to bring us through the occasional blueberry pancake and muffin treats during the winter. . . and a blueberry frappe or two this summer too.

4) Seeing my finished Ubook! Yep, this one is going to hit the world pretty soon *squeal time*. It's quite a different experience to see the story not only appearing word by word on a screen, but the lovely narration and fitting music in the background are amazing. I can't believe how much work went into it and am kind of humbled...but also super excited!

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Grab an inner-tube and head for a water slide? Go to a concert? Enjoy a delicious dinner?

What are you celebrating this week?



Friday, June 2, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Nice day with family! Monday, Memorial Day, we went to my parent's, had a BBQ and the kids went fishing and kajaking. It was simply a lovely day.

2) A Skype session with my son! He's off in bootcamp (for those who don't know). His group won the obstacle course and as a prize, he was given back his cell for two hours. So he spent the entire time talking to us. He's healthy, looks ridiculous with his hair buzzed and says he's dreaming of the day he can eat regular food again without having to stuff whatever he can grab in his face as fast as possible.

3) Lawn mowing! Well, not the work itself - obviously. It's amazing how many machines are always breaking down on our farm, and of course, all of our lawn equipment fell into this category the last weeks. Luckily, my hubs is a tinkerer (and I do what I can), and sure enough, we got enough of it running to attack those weeds. Ho! Were they tall. And we have several acres to slash. But it's almost done and looks so clean and neat!

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Going on vacation soon? Find a new book? Discover a delicious coffee? 

What are you celebrating?







Friday, May 26, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) Surviving the week! It's been one of those weeks where the words 'nothing else can happen' weren't allowed to be uttered. But it's over and yesterday, nothing negative happened. So yay for that!

2) Slushies and shakes! Yesterday, the kids and I headed out to the hay barn, got all of those aluminum cans together (we pick the up off of the dirt road leading to our house. People are messy!) and took them to the recycling center. Sure enough, we had enough change to buy everyone a slushie or shake. It didn't hurt that Sonic had a half-price day.

3) My oldest daughter survived the Greyhound bus! She and friends decided to visit one of their mothers and wanted to try the Greyhound. I warned her that it's not exactly the same experience as transportation in Europe. It wasn't a smooth trip, and after a couple bus no-shows they ended up getting back a day late. She has stories to tell (many very interesting indeed!) and has decided never ever ever to ride with the Greyhound again.


What about you? What put a smile on your face? Lick an ice cream cone? Bathe in the sun? Go hopping through wildflowers or receive a friendly wave from a stranger along the street?

What are you celebrating?



Friday, May 19, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) A little quiet. After last week's rush and haste, it was nice to have a couple days of more peaceful days.

2) Garden finally getting planted! I don't know if any of you remember, but last Fall I started on a rock wall to make a type of terrace garden near to the house. I'll post pictures when it's completely done...but for now, I'm getting very close and could put at least a few plants in.

3) Fireflies! These lovely creatures are back - yay! This year, they're coming on strong too. Our entire lower field lights up as if Christmas tree lights have been spread across it. It's simply beautiful.

4) Last day of school for the kids! Which means Summer can begin. . .whatever that might mean.



What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? 
Did you bask in the sun?
Figure out a plot twist?
Grab a tasty doughnut?

What are you celebrating?





Friday, May 12, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


This week has been a constant running and losing track of everything. And that's why I'm a little late this morning.

1) Oldest off to Boot Camp! This one, of course, comes with a little sigh. He's gone all summer long. But all babies must get big.  This is also the thing that caused my entire week to do a belly flop. The lovely army messed up the paperwork (didn't get it approved in time) and didn't bother to call and tell us. Which meant several 8 hour drives in the car, messed up pick-up times, forgotten pick-up calls...in other words, after three days, my son is finally in Boot Camp.
And I need some sleep.

2) My oldest daughter's graduation! That's tonight. Which I also have to smile at, simply because she forgot to check her robe size a few months ago and last night, figured out it was for someone 6'4'' to 6'6''. (No, she is no where near this tall) Which means quick sewing and hemming for me this afternoon.

3) A new calf! A love baby calves.

And what about you? What are you celebrating?




Friday, May 5, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

Rain again! We had a lot of it last weekend. 15 inches in 24 hours and a grand total of around 20 some inches in 2 1/2 days. Flooding? You bet! But lucky for us, we only caught the edge of the storm. We're keeping the folks just a couple miles south of us in our prayers. It seems that every road on the southern side of our area is no longer passable thanks to knocked out bridges and streets under water (Still 5 days later) 

We did loose a fence line or two, and I get to spend the weekend hauling the debris out of the field (it went under). We even were stuck in our house for 2-3 days since our poor dirt road didn't handle the rain well. Actually, the kids loved the stranded idea, especially since it meant a day off of school. 

But no damage otherwise! Just a very wet pony and some soggy barn cats. (The cattle could care less. . .the stand in the middle of the pasture and eat grass no matter how harsh it rains.)

Next week, I'll be celebrating mowing grass and high weeds because I'm betting we're going to have a lot of that now.

What about you? What are you celebrating this last week? Get some of that rain? Build an arc? Plant some flowers? Dust off that book shelf?

What put a smile on your face?








Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG


It's time for another meeting of THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP . . .Better known as IWSG because otherwise, it is a mouthful.

For those who don't know (And you don't???), this is an awesome group of writers, started by the just as awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh, with the purpose to support, help, assist, offer advice, offer a shoulder, cheer on, and about anything else you can think of along these lines. Writing is a roller coaster ride, and writers need all the support they can get.

If you want to join in, head over to the main site and sign up.

Special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts:  Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!


I got slammed with words of writing wisdom this last month from my 11-year-old son.


"Mom, you're not a writer. You don't have your own book yet."

That hit a sour spot in my gut, the one I've been thinking myself but trying to ignore. "I know. But I have several short stories and--"

"Those don't count." He even scowled. Mean kid. "I mean your own book. Not a book with all these other authors' stories in too." (Amazing that kids know how to grind that knife in just right)

Of course, I know that short stories count but my dream is to have my own book out there. He knows that.

So I told him again about my very own story, which is coming out this June. It's a short story BUT it's going to be under it's own title. Even when I was telling him, I knew he wasn't convinced because my so-called book is a narrated Ubook (head over to blackandwhitepublishingco.com to see what that means). And that's not a 'real' printed book.

"So what's wrong with you, Mom?"

I started to paddle for explanations and told him that I do have one story out with publishers for consideration. . .the same one that's been out for oh....2 years? Yeah, the excuse sounds lame even in my ears anymore.

The truth is that my inner editor is killing me. I write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite and never get past the first 25,000-30,000 words. If the story isn't right, I'm not happy.

"That's trash, Mom. You're doing it all wrong. Write the story once all the way through. You're going to edit it a thousand times anyway, right? So it doesn't have to be a real story at first. Just write down what happens, and then go back and make it into a real book. That's why you edit, isn't it?"


He's right. I know it. But having him say it, made it finally hit home.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things with a touch of mystery

This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Rain! I might as well celebrate this one because we are getting tons of it this week. The world is turning green and lush with it, and my cows are chomping away. Flowers are popping up everywhere (we're ignoring the weeds and bugs). Now, all I need is a Kayak, and I'll be in seventh heaven.

2) Banana Bread! I found a lovely recipe packed with walnuts, butter and streusel on top. 

3) Since I'm on food. . .sweet potato fries! There's a sports bar in town (I have to smile because our small, farming town does now have one) and they have the most delicious sweet potato fries. So crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and the coating has a touch of nutmeg. They come with marshmallow dip, but that's not my thing. Too sweet (can't believe I'm saying that!)

4) Picture Books! (This one is a bit of a mystery to me) As most of you know, I've been sucked up heavily into the world of book reviewing. One of my favorite parts is the constant arrival of wonderful books in the mail (it's like Christmas a couple of times a week!). For some reason, the last 6 months have taken a huge lean toward picture books thanks to a few publishing companies. Anyhoo, a couple of weeks ago, I've started to get a picture book every week from one of the big publishers. Weird thing is, I can't remember ever agreeing to review any of the book titles. I've checked my emails...my social media sites...everything I could think of, but there's no sign of anything. Nope. Nada.
Still, the books keep coming. Once a week. Lovely, beautiful, hot off the press picture books. 
So I've been reviewing them. What else is a girl to do?
Still, I'd love to know how/why I'm getting the sudden influx. 
Mystery upon mystery.


So what about you? What are you celebrating this week? A cup of hot coffee? Maybe tea? A surprise trip? A funny video clip? What put a smile on your face?








Friday, April 21, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) My oldest son's birthday! It was a rainy day, but we had fun driving here and there, going out to eat, shopping, and having a family game evening. With his birthday comes the end of our birthday rush (four birthdays in four weeks).

2) Easter! It was a lovely one. We did the traditional egg dying, Easter Bunny baskets, Sunday service, Sunday family lunch and egg hunting. The day ended with several rounds of games...just a nice day.

Otherwise, it was simply a nice, calm week. . .and that's something to celebrate too!

What about you? What put a smile on your face? Have dinner with someone? Run across something you'd completely forgotten you'd had? Finally touch those toes?

What are you celebrating this week?








Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Happy Book Bday, Masaki Broken But Not Dead by Joylene Nowell Butler!

An amazing writer, author, blogger and supporter of all is releasing her book today! I'm so excited to be helping her announce it to the world because this is one to look out for.





MASKI
BROKEN BUT NOT DEAD
by Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller

An IPPY Silver Medalist!



When Brendell Meshango resigns from her university professor position and retreats to her isolated cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. His racial comments lead her to believe she is the solitary victim of a hate crime.

However, is all as it appears? After two bizarre days, the intruder mysteriously disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Taught by her mother to distrust the mainstream-based power structures, and with her stalker possibly linked to a high level of government, Brendell conceals the incident from the police. But will her silence keep her safe?

Then her beloved daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

You can find it . . .

Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iTunes
Amazon



Book Buzz!

“Joylene Nowell Butler gets straight to the story, taking you from one happening to the next and keeps you turning the page.” - Martha A. Cheves, author

“A psychological thriller filled with suspense, action and drama...” - John Bell, 93.1 CFIS-FM: Prince George, BC

“Riveting and beautifully written. You won't be able to set it down.” Judith S. Avila, author





All about. . .

Joylene, Métis, is the author of Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and Break Time. She and her husband and their two cats reside in Canada for the summers and Nayarit for the winters. They believe life should be an adventure. https://cluculzwriter.blogspot.com/


Friday, April 14, 2017

Celebrate The Small Things with Spring Rolling In!

This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

A lot. This was a pretty packed week.

1) My daughter's weekend (I'll just call it that because, basically, that's what it was.) It was Prom and her 18th birthday. So we had lots of smiles and celebrations going on. And just because I am a mom, and we are known to get proud of our kids at times (Mom thing), here's a Prom picture of her and her boyfriend.



2) My mother also had her birthday this last week. . .yes, it's a birthday run-down from March through April in our household. Tons of cake. Tons. But it's nice to finally be able to spend time with her.

3) Everything's growing outside! I've been spending a lot more time outdoors working on fence lines, weeding, cleaning...all those great Spring time duties. While working, I love to simply gaze at nature and try to take it all in. Although I am a Winter girl, I can't deny the beauty and warmth Spring brings.  OH! And to let you guys in on a little of it, I have pictures!

Pictures? Yeah, I know I'm not usually the huge picture person, but thanks to one other celebration this past week, I can finally push that end up a little. My tablet died a couple weeks back and with it, my only camera. (I don't own a cell phone *gasp* We don't have coverage out here, making little sense to own one). This week, my new Kindle arrived! Among other things, I can take pictures - Yippee!



Yep, those are my cows in the background.
Lexa asked last week how I move them from one pasture to the next (I currently have 16 head). Believe it or not, these are super sweet  cows. . .they have to be for a silly, city girl like me.  All I do is call 'Oh girls!', and they follow me in a single-file line where ever I go. 

Now, back when my parents had a ranch in Nebraska (notice I say parents. I am really a complete born and raised big city girl, and they decided to leave the city and go rustic after I moved out), my brother actually had to use a horse and rope. Cowboy style (He was a fast learner). Those cows could have cared less how much you called them and trust me, you NEVER turned your back on one. Or front. Let's just say it was a good idea to stay on your horse or have a fence nearby, which you could scale very quickly if necessary. (Oh, I got monster bruises from the few times I tried to help out!) Anyway, the only reason I can keep my 'girls' is because they are SO much more tame here in the Ozarks. Bringing them in for shots or loading or sorting is still an adventure (especially since it's usually just little ole me, several prayers and some quick knot tying to get gates to open and close as needed...and yes, I have loads of respect for a 1200 pound animal)...but normal 'cattle movement' is usually as easy as a breeze.

Thank heavens.



The wildflowers popping up in the grass are so pretty, I can't get myself to mow over them yet.


So that's a sneak peek of my world and celebrations (as said, it was a BUSY week). What about you? Ready for Easter? Planning on a great vacation this summer? Smell a flower? Get a new hairbrush?

What are you celebrating???