Zoo. Tuesday was Andee’s end of the year field trip for her fourth grade class for which I was a chaperone. She was thrilled that her mom and little sister were able to join us for a day of fun even though it was raining most of the morning. That didn’t hinder the animals or us! I hope you enjoy this peek into our day.
Peacocks were out in force among the crowds, proudly strutting their stunning beauty. One let Andee get almost close enough to pet.
The kids wanted a fun picture, then a nice lady offered to take a photo of my little group in the pachyderm house. Baby Mackenzie had fun at the elephants.
It was an awesome experience to pet the stingrays! They feel like catfish to me; soft and velvety. It’s interesting that you simply put your hand into the water and they come to you and brush against your hand for a pet.
Obviously, I can’t post all the pictures taken, but here are a few I like. Those catfish in the picture right above with the geese were crazy! We fed the geese and those things made the water boil with their feeding frenzy. The baby elephant was born in December, and the animal in the next picture is a bat-eared fox. The pink flamingos were spectacular, but the red and green macaw didn’t have a spot of red on it, that I could see. 🙂
Thank you for joining me on my first complete A to Z Challenge. Today brings it to a close, but feel free to browse back through posts to see how my April 2015 went. You can click the top logo to visit blogs of other participants or to find out more about this fun journey you might like to join next year. It’s not just for writers, but bloggers of all kinds.
Until next time,
Yellow. This past weekend we painted our new bedroom and it made me think about when I was ten and how yellow was my favorite color. I had the only (mismatched) yellow plate that the family knew was ‘my’ plate. I cried when it got broke one day when I was doing dishes. For years I’ve loved yellow. I still do, even though green and burgundy top it these days. 🙂
I always wanted a sunny yellow kitchen when I got my own house. That never seemed to happen in the other homes we’ve owned, until we bought this house four years ago. The whole house is pale, boiled-egg yolk, yellow inside, except for the three bedrooms which were pink, burnt orange and purple. The purple is the only one still that color and it will get a new green coat soon, as my office. The pink is Andee’s room and now in her favorite color blue as of two summers ago, and the burnt orange was painted a lovely beige over this past weekend with a clean white trim. I’m thinking about some deco-painting in there to break up the beige, since I’m a fan of color and hubby is not. 😀
The living room will be beige one day, with a pale green accent wall or wainscoat all round, I haven’t decided which yet. Oh, and the bathrooms are white, not yellow. The downstairs one will be aqua blue and golden sand to accentuate my ‘fish’ theme, not sure what we’ll do with the upstairs one yet, but probably the generic beige with white trim too. I might consider leaving yellow in the kitchen, but a brighter shade and only in moderation to bring out the red already there. Not the whole room, I’ve had my fill of yellow these last four years! LOL
All in all, I can’t wait to get to painting the rooms in colors that make me happy!
What do you prefer for your home, color or not? Which makes you happy?
Join me for tomorrow for the letter Z, which will be a lot more exciting, I hope.
Hint: Andee had her class end of the year field trip yesterday. 😉
Wishes and prayers. It’s one of those “I can’t talk about that here” days, weeks. I wish I could and one day maybe I can, but for now… I apologize for this post being a little late.post being a little late.
I’m wishing something painful wasn’t, and praying for someone so very special. If you’d care to, we could sure use your prayers, too. Good wishes, whatever you believe in as a higher power, we could use lots of right now.
Visualize. It’s what we all want readers to do with our writing, but it’s one of the hardest parts of writing there is, for me, at least. How can I help readers ‘see’ what is in my head as I write? It all comes down to showing vs telling. Don’t just tell the story. I’ve heard non-writers say “I can write a book. I’m good at telling stories.” Oh if they only knew. Yes, almost anyone can tell a story.
My ten year old granddaughter can tell a story, but can she write a story that will pull me in? Not yet. It’s about digging in, knowing your characters and portraying them on paper, or screen, so readers also know them as the story progresses. It’s more than sharing the key points. It’s showing how a character reacts to a point, how they perceive it and get through it. It’s feeling like you are in the story, living it.
Have you ever seen Inkheart with Brendan Fraser? Talk about living the story! But that’s how I feel when I read some authors books and how I strive to write for my readers. Well, maybe not exactly like that. I don’t think I’d like getting stuck in the story I’m reading and having to find someone to write me out again!
Writing a visual story, struggling to do so, can be enough to kill a writer’s dream or make them give up before they finish the story.
It’s damn hard. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t written a story that I’d want to read. It’s painful, unnerving and, at times, depressing. It’s what, in the end, makes me glad I’m a writer who doesn’t give up before the heart of a story is revealed and put out there for others to live.
Would you rather read a book that makes you sad it’s over, or miss the characters when you close the book? Or would you want an author to tell you a story just so you know what happened? What is it in your favorite books that the author(s) do to help you visualize every nuance and close the book feeling like you’d just lived it?
I hope you’ll join me Monday for the letter ‘W’, as I near the end of my first successful (so far) Blogging A to Z Challenge.
Until then, have a wonderful weekend!
It’s been three years since I sold my first book. It’s been three and a half years that my fil has been living with us. That’s how long it’s been since I was able to go and do what I needed or wanted without restrictions, a time line for returning home. See fil couldn’t be alone very long at any given time, so any time I went out, whether to go shopping, visiting or with hubby, I knew before I left that I had about two to three hours before I’d need to be back. Just in case. In case something happened, he had another stroke, he wanted to cook on the stove, in case of any number of reasons, I had to be home.
It’s strange now to go somewhere with anyone and not have that restriction to hurry back. I didn’t mind the restrictions for the most part, I was glad hubby had that special time with his dad that I didn’t have with my own. But it made it hard to go anywhere over night, like to visit our daughter when they still lived in Colorado, or to my brothers’ in St. Louis. Now I find myself thinking I need to get back soon, when I don’t. It’s a good feeling, yet strange, and a little sad.
Youngest daughter and I went to see fil this morning and we were both relieved he seems to be integrating into his new home, making acquaintances with other residents and the staff. He was in a light mood, laughing and chatting with us. No, we didn’t always understand what he was saying (he lost his speech with the first stroke), but he was trying to interact. He gave us the in depth tour of the game area today. Board games, puzzles, books, pool table, computers, and even stopped to tease one of the directors in her office. That’s a very good sign.
So for today’s letter I have to embrace and learn how to be free and Unrestricted, and plan my days around that again. I plan to make the most of this as soon as the current remodel is done in a week or so.
I’m back for the regular letter post. If you’re joining me for the first time, welcome! If you are returning, welcome and thanks for coming back for more of my rambles. 😀 I’ll be spending a bit of time today visiting other A to Z challengers and I hope you’ll click the logo above and do the same! Let’s get on with R!
R is for Remodel~
My father in-law has lived with us since 2011, shortly after his stroke. Recently he had another, small but undetectable, stroke that has caused him to lose almost all cognizance and common sense. Before that he was still able to do most things for himself; dress, take meds, do laundry, cook (in a microwave only), care for himself and his dog. Until he lost his license in a separate incident two years ago he could still drive, and did, to dr. appointments, fishing, to the dog park, grocery shopping, etc.
After four days in the hospital this month he came home, and it was immediately apparent we could not care for him here any longer. Physically, I’m unable to care for his needs while hubby works, and he has to work for obvious reasons. For whatever reasons he didn’t qualify for in-home care, nor would he allow it. It was a sad day for all of us, but we found a nice ‘home’ for father in-law to move to and he is adjusting so far.
Now we are remodeling the two rooms that were his suite in our house. We will now move into that downstairs bedroom and I’m excited not to have to travel, a million times a day, up and down those darn stairs that caused a broken rib, and sprained ankle for me in the first eight months we lived here. Within two months after moving in I slipped on the stairs. The carpet was pretty old and slick, no match for my bare feet. I had my socks in one hand and a full cup of coffee in the other and down I headed. Our stairs have a landing half way and I was three steps down from the top when my left foot slipped out from under me. Socks went one way and coffee another, while I went down two more steps I don’t recall touching. I never dropped my cup, though it was emptied! LOL I sprained my right ankle when I landed. I went on about my day, we were building the horse pens so I could bring my Sonny Boy home. That night I ended up in emergency with a painful, swollen and badly sprained ankle.
It was a few months later that, while coming down stairs I was almost to the floor when I slipped on the carpeted stairs again. I landed on the ground floor just as fil came from his room. I almost took out his little dogs. I told him I was fine and got up, got Andee off to school and settled in to write. I couldn’t hardly breathe all day. I called Mitch and told him to bring hand rails home to mount to the stairs. I don’t know why the original or previous owners never installed that one crucial thing! But nobody did. Maybe I’m the only person the house had it in for. 😆 He brought the rails home and installed them immediately after getting home. A couple of hours later I finally caved and had him take me to the emergency to learn I’d broken a rib. Soon after, we pulled all the carpet in the house, save for in the one room downstairs. My second broken rib was my fault and happened on the back porch steps a year later after a ice/snow storm. Do not run down icy steps!
So we’ve torn the bedroom down stairs apart, moved the closet door, added a light in the hall of the bathroom and stripped the last of the original carpet out to be replaced with hardwood flooring, like the rest of the house now has. It’s a gutted mess right now, but we hope to have it finished by May. We’ll replace that burnt orange with a lovely beige color on the walls, which will also run throughout the house (now a horrid rotten-hard-boiled-egg-yolk yellow!) The downstairs bath will have an ocean theme with an aqua lower wall and golden sand on the upper half of the wall.
We painted Andee’s room two summers back in a nice blue she loves and our current room is a weird pink. The living room will get the beige with a teal or burgundy accent wall.
Then I can carry out plans for our current room upstairs. It will get a face lift in beige and green once we move out. More on that later. All I’ll say for now is that I’m very excited about those plans and my work future! 🙂
These are plans we’ve had since buying this house, but fil’s illnesses prevented us from using chemicals and paints so we put it off for his comfort.
Once again, I find myself playing catch up. Maybe I should let fate win and just give up. 😆 Nope. Not my style. So here we go with O through Q and then I’ll do today’s post later today.
Overwhelming. This last two weeks have been this way. But I think things will slow down soon. For now, this is all I can say for today’s letter. LOL
Positivity. My sister has five acres that she shares with her daughter and sil and her only grandchild. She loves having her baby boy so close and babysitting him while both parents work. I have two of my five grandgirls close (Andee lives with us) and wish the other three were closer. One is about an hour away, Andee’s baby sister, and the other two are way out in California with their parents. I miss my oldest daughter terribly, and her two girls. Kaia was four the last time we saw her, she’s now seven. Little sister was just two when I saw her, Safira is four now. I speak to them regularly on the phone, but it’s not the same. Sp I have to look for the positives in this situation. They are old enough to talk to me. We have phones that don’t require long distance bills. I once called a friend in Canada and it cost me $11 for less than a half hour! I can’t hug them, but they know who I am. Two of my girls never even got to meet my grandmother and my mom passed before my first daughter was born. I feel so blessed to be able to know all of my grandkids even from a distance. 🙂
If your grandbabies are near you, give them a hug every chance you get. Have a blessed day! 😀
Andee has had a quest since she broke her arm on the 7th of April.
When she broke her arm the first time three years ago she had one cast striped. They didn’t have the colors she wanted then so she ‘settled’ for pink and purple. She is a tomboy so pink is not her favorite color. lol She wanted blue camo, but they didn’t have that color either. Go figure! LOL Once again, she was determined to
get a striped cast. They still don’t have blue camo, but she didn’t want it this time, so that’s ok. I took her for a check up yesterday and they renewed her cast with another full arm length one. She was a little bummed about that because it means continued restrictions on physical activity. Nope, no cartwheels this next ten days either! 😆 She got red with blue stripes and I have to say I kind of like it, though I did try to get her to go with green again, like the last one. I was also the first to sign this one. 😀
To top it off, I’d gotten her new boots while she was at her momma’s this weekend. She hasn’t stopped wearing them. Guess she likes them. And you can’t beat $35 boots for $10 after clearance and BoGo deals! I want some now. LOL
Oddly, on 4-7-15 she broke her arm exactly two weeks short of three years to the day she broke it the first time. Today, 4-21, marks that anniversary of the first break in 2012.
Well, that’s the latest. See you later for Tuesday’s regular letter post!
Well, it seems the universe, or powers that be, or something is trying to make me drop from the challenge again this year. I was struck with the flu about the time of my last post and have been laid up since. That’s not what I expected when my sister and I discussed Spring Fever. 😆 Today I recapture my freedom. LOL Hey! I refuse to be bullied, so off with you, flu! 😀
I am finally almost feeling human today. But despite all good intentions, I find myself four days (letters) behind again. Ugh. So, I’m going to cover K thru N here today. Hold on tight. 🙂
Kindness. I love when neighbors step up. When father in-law (fil) had to go to the hospital three weeks ago it was the kind, and new, neighbor next door who took Andee into her home and fed her pudding, with her own children, while waiting for the ambulance and Andee’s aunt to arrive and take her home for the night. It’s the little things that can make a bad or scary situation better, even if just a little. Pudding can ease many things. 🙂 Thanks Kimberly!
Love. As I mentioned, I’ve been sick. Since taking in my father in-law and our oldest granddaughter, it’s a rare day when I get to just sleep in, sick or not. On the occasional Sunday when Mitch is home, or intermittently throughout the summer is about all I get. While my girls were growing up I don’t think I ever got a real ‘sick day’ because, well, moms and dad’s in a mom roll just don’t get that privilege. I get that and accepted that years ago.
Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were two of a handful of days I can count on one hand with two fingers missing. Monday I was up to take Andee to get her cast on. But the other two days Mitch left me sleeping while he got Andee up and off to school before he left for work. I was so unprepared for that chance to just be sick and just worry about getting better. It’s not, by any means, that he never cared before. But when our girls were growing up he was often at work long before daylight and it was my role to take care of the rest. Now, for the first time in a very long time, he’s in a more relaxed job and position and able to care for me if I need it. We’re both in a position that we can do things we weren’t able to in those earlier years. I’m taking this time to thank my husband and let him know how much I appreciate him. Thank you, Mitchell. I love you!
Murky Words. I’ve been struggling all month. I have two WIPS I want, need, to complete and get to my editors soon. One is an absolute deadline of June 1. The other, well, let’s just say I’m running out of time and can’t get it back. So what’s the problem? I’m calling it murky words. That is those words you know what they need to be, you know where the story is supposed to go, the A+B=C formula is in place (that is not to say there IS a formula to writing, just that you know the beginning, middle and end of the story). But it’s the in-between that refuses to cooperate. See, I know where I want both stories to go and how to give these two couples their HEA. I just can’t get those murky words to clear and become what I envision. Good thing I’m not a quitter and am determined to see these couples see that happy ending one way or another. 🙂 Do you have those stories that just don’t seem to want to be written? How do you handle them (remember, deadlines on both, so I can’t set them aside any more than I already have)?
Necklaces and other goodies. I’ve mentioned my artsy side, that I make jewelry, among other totem-like items. I’ve sold some necklaces inspired by the Highlander Beloved series by one of my all time favorite ladies and authors, Vonnie Davis, and some tiny bookshelves with miniature books for AJ Nuest’s Golden Key trilogies. Then there are key rings for Sarah Grimm’s Midnight series. I swoon for Dom! I’ve made a clock out of a CD, created a pretty Carmex lid (both as taught by polymer clay experts Lisa Pavelka and Katie Oskin) and Christmas ornaments for the grandgirls, and had a lot of fun with those. It took me almost a year to decide to start a website and blog for my creations. I should share the fun. So, a couple of months ago I did just that, then posted a couple of blogs to initiate the site. Then I sort of just forgot about it. Silly. Well, I thought I’d share that site here. My crafts are titled Fanciful Allure and I look forward to having you visit me at my other home in cyberland. I’m still getting it all prettied up, but there are a few creations around the site you might enjoy. If you see anything you might like for yourself or to give as a gift, though it’s more a hobby right now, I might be able to make something for you. Just email me from there and we’ll talk. 🙂 Shares here and there would be so appreciated to help get the word out about my craft blog. Thank you for reading and, in advance, for visiting my ‘Lisa’ site!