Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Final Countdown...

There are less than 12 hours before the beginning of NaNoWriMo and I can't tell you how excited I am.  I can't sleep because of all of the ideas floating around in my head.  One of more brilliant ideas (I think) was to go to Google Earth and get a picture of the mountain meadow that is Shelby's home.  I knew what I wanted and where it was, in fact, it's so clear in my mind that it was a little surprising not to see all of my buildings already laid out.

This is actually the property at Wild Basin Lodge, but I took it over for 3 Heathens Ranch.  The St. Vrain River runs across the top of the picture (N-S).  The Wild Basin Lodge does not exist in my book, so pretend it's not there at the top of the picture.  The ranch house, barn, bunk house and corrals are in the meadow.  The rest of the property will have riding trails and lead to the National Park.

Another one of my more brilliant ideas came just as I was falling asleep last night, but I can't tip my hand yet.  It will end up being my opening chapter, which I'll post tomorrow.

My goal for tomorrow is 5,000 words - well above the minimum 1,667 per day that is suggested to stay on track.  My hope is for a strong beginning so that on nights when I have to work until 10:00 pm, I've got some wiggle room if I can only crank out a few hundred words.

I do have to say, I'm a little nervous about juggling three different genres at the same time.  I still intend to post to Lyon's Roar (action-ish) and Tales from the Trail (creative non-fiction) while writing my NaNo, which is romance.  I'm not sure where all of this writing has suddenly come from - I guess it just feels "right" to try out all of these genres to see which one "fits".  Please forgive me if my other two blogs suffer in the face of my NaNo, but I'm really going to try hard to keep that from happening.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dead Sexy, That's Me! we were supposed to wear our Halloween costumes to work.  I, um, hadn't planned on dressing up for Halloween since Jay and I are not doing the Halloween thing this year (we're going to see Wicked instead).  I didn't want to spend any money on a costume that I was only going to wear at work, so I came up with the scariest thing I could think of...

...the "Damn Bears Got In The Dumpsters Again" outfit (also known as the "Hoss Rustlin' " outfit).  Now, if  you haven't read my blogs about VW Bear or Hoss Rustlin', you may not understand quite how sexy this outfit is.  First, you throw on a pair of flannel jammie bottoms (today's were light blue with Tinkerbell, but usually it's my maroon/grey plaid ones) and match them up with whichever long sleeved shirt is handy.  Then step into the first pair of boots you can find - in this case, my obnoxious blue boots (God, I love those boots), without bothering to fix the pants.  Top off the whole thing with bed-head and you're well on your way to being as Dead Sexy as I was today.  Livery wear at its finest!

'Course I had to explain my costume over and over again, but it was a good excuse to wear my flannel jammies to work.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shelby Johnson

Character info for my NaNo, "Love Beyond The Ranch".  The brief character sketch then lead to Shelby answering the Get To Know You, which was fun.  I learned a lot about Shelby in the GTKY questionairre.

• Name: Shelby Johnson
• Age: 34
• Single mom
  • Widow? N
  • Divorce? Y
  • Abandoned? Y. Husband Bruce ran off with a younger woman, Bernice, when CJ was a young pup.
o Number of kids? 3
  •  Caitleigh, 11 
  •  CJ, 9
  •  Luke, 13
• Running livery: Three Heathens Ranch; used inheritance from her Grandfather’s death to buy the ranch in the Rocky Mountains.
  • With kids? Y
  • With family? Off-site
  • With friends? Best friend Al works on the ranch as the nanny/cook
  • Alone? Mostly
• Dating
  • Blind dates
  • Speed dating
  • Dating clients – NO!
  • Internet dating

Get To Know You Questions
Are you a morning or night person?
I’d like to be a night person, but so much of what I have to do is morning work and I just don’t have the energy to be a night person. So I guess that makes me a morning person by default.

Do you believe in life on other planets?

Hell, why not?

Do you have any bad habits?

I’d like to, but I don’t have time for them. *Laughs*

Do you have any celebrity crushes?

Viggo Mortenson; he’s a hell of a horseman and pretty to look at, too.

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

Well, I had my ears pierced, but there’s not much time for that anymore. I’ve got one tattoo, the Chinese character for hope, that I got during a fit of depression

Do you prefer sweet or salty foods?

Depends on the day

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

A horse. Or a wolf. They’re both majestic, family critters

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Who has time to think about superpowers?

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Right here. My ranch is the only place I want to live. What could be better? Living in the Rocky Mountains is the perfect place.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I don’t know. Yes, I do. The wild horse sanctuary.

If you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on?

The ranch.

What do you think about right before falling asleep ?

How much I’d like to share my life with someone here.

What is one regret you have:

That I was a better wife so Bruce wouldn’t have run off on me.

What is one thing that no one knows about you?

I secretly hate the bastard and love the woman he took off with because she actually did me a favor.

What is one thing you like about being an adult?

Getting to eat dessert for breakfast if I want.

What is one thing you miss about being a kid?

Being carefree and having someone take care of me

What is one thing you would change about yourself?

Wish I was better judge of men

What is the best band of all time?

Chris LeDoux

What is your dream job?

I’ve got it. I get to ride horses in the mountains for a living.

What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?


What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?


What is your first thought when you wake up?

How many horses do I have to pull?

What personality traits do you look for in a partner?

Honesty and hard working

What was your favorite childhood television program?

The Lone Ranger

What's your favorite animal?

Uh, horse

What's your favorite color?


Would you rather have a million dollars or true love?

True love

Can you commit to one person, are you right now?

I’d love to commit to one person, and, no, I’m not committed to anyone right now.

Have you ever judged someone, then ended up being close with them?

A couple of times.

Do you think you'll be married in 10 years?

I’d love to be, but in reality, I don’t see it happening. I’m just too busy at the ranch to even consider the energy it would take to date, have a relationship and get married.

Name something you dislike about the day you're having

There’s just not enough time or money to go around

Who was the last person you hugged?

My kids. Thank God for them.

Will this coming up weekend be a good one?
Well, the books are full of rides. So, I guess business-wise it’ll be a good weekend.

Have you ever met someone who turned out to be amazing?
Nope, still waiting.

Have you ever liked someone older than you?
Yeah, and the bastard ran off with someone younger than me.

Currently liking anyone?

Is there someone you'd like to fix things with?
I used to think I’d like to fix things with my husband, Bruce, but actually, life’s gotten a lot easier since Bernice stole him away. Thanks Bernice.

How many times have you dyed your hair?
Who has time for that? I think the last time I even considered it, I was in high school and I got highlights for prom.

Do you believe that your first love can be your only love in life?
God, I hope not. Otherwise, I’m screwed.

When's the last time you smoked a cigarette?
Never. Smoking and hay don’t mix.

Do you currently have any hickies on your neck?
Uh, gross. And that would require a hickie-er and there’s no one getting that close to my neck.

Is anything bothering you right now?
Am I doing the right thing with the kids? Is it okay to raise them this way? Are they going to hate me forever for growing up poor?

You smoke pot, don't you?

Do you hate anybody?

Is there someone you don't ever want to be out of your life?
My family

Who was the last person that told you they loved you?
The kids, right before they went to bed.

If you were stranded on a desert island would you survive?
Absolutely. I’m a survivor; it’s the only way to get along in this world.

Have you ever thrown up on anybody?
Not that I recall

Have you consumed any alcohol in the past 72 hours?
Nope. Haven’t had time to run to the liquor store.

Do you get mad easily?
I’m too tired to get mad

Have you ever kissed anyone eighteen years or older?
Uh, yeah. Remember, Bruce was older than me and I’m well over eighteen.

Have you ever slapped someone?
Yep, and it felt GOOD.

Do you think your wasting your time on the person you like?
Since there’s no one I like, it’s kind of a moot point, isn’t it?

Do you miss anyone?
My grandpa

Will you be in a relationship next month?
Yeah, right.

Do you think there are circumstances when it's okay to wait for someone?
I’m sure I could think of some

If you found a baby turtle on the side of the road would you keep it?
Wanna see it?

The upcoming weekend, have you got plans?

Do you think you can last in a relationship for 6 months without cheating?
Without batting an eye

Do you like to make the first move?
I don’t know; it’s been so long

Have you ever tried your hardest and then gotten disappointed in the end?
Recall I was married and got totally hosed.

Do you remember who you liked on New Year's?
I remember that I got to go to bed early that night.

Want someone back in your life?

Are you a morning person or a night person?
By fact of my job, a morning person

Could you go the rest of your life without drinking alcohol?

Have you ever thought about getting your tongue pierced?
Why would I do that?

If your house was on fire what would be the first thing you do?
Get the kids out and turn the horses loose

Ever fallen for your best opposite sex best friend?
Eewww…why would I mess up a perfectly good friendship?

Have you ever been searched by the cops?
Well, yes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Jay and I went to see Zombieland on Friday night and I have to tell you, it was a blast!  It reminded me that I still haven't uploaded the video from the October Defensive Pistol match.  Since I don't have a nice video button anymore, I uploaded it to YouTube and am hoping that I can link it to this post.  I think I got it to work, so enjoy!

Friends of the Loveland Library Book Sale

I love this book sale - especially the last day.  The prices are good on the first day, $1.00 - $2.50 per book for teen and adult books.  If you're looking for specific books, the first day is the day you want to attend.

But it's the "Bag Day" that you get the best deals!  Bag Day is the last day of the sale and for $4.00 you get all of the books you can stuff into a plastic grocery bag.  Since I'm an experienced bag stuffer, I actually got charged $5.00 for two of my bags, but I can't complain, it's still an amazing deal.  Jay and I met his parents and siblings there - they were book sale virgins, but quickly got into the spirit.  I'm hoping that they felt like they got a good deal, because I know that Jay and I did.  We went under the guise of picking up books for my parents' B&B, Allenspark Lodge, but I knew I'd come out with plenty of reading material for myself.

For a mere $26.00 we came home with 105 paperbacks and 14 hardbacks.  Yeah, that works out to twenty cents a book.  How do you beat that?  I don't even care that I accidentally picked up two duplicates in the heat of the moment - I'll just send my dupes to Deejo in Arizona when Mom heads down there in a couple of weeks.  Over sixty of the books are for the lodge; the remaining books are in my TBR pile.  I'm not quite sure when I'll have time to read them, with NaNo coming up, but I'm sure I'll find time in the next year or so to get them read.

For those prices, it's a great way to find new authors.  If I buy a book and hate it, I'm only out twenty cents.  Big deal.  But if I find a new author, I'm even happier.  This is the time of year that I try to step outside my genre boundries and try new things.  After all, it's basically only costing me my time.

Names, Names, I Need Names!

NaNoWriMo starts in exactly one week and I'm having a hard time with character names.  The absolute hardest part of any writing for me is the character names.  I have the main character's name, her childrens' names, and half of her best friend's name (first only).  My problem: I don't have a name for her potential love interests (the guys she meets speed dating or online) nor do I have names for the horses in the barn.  I need barn names!  Okay, honestly, I need guy names too, but I'm really stressed out about not having barn names because the horses make an appearance long before the boys do.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Messed Up Book and An Even More Messed Up TV Series...

I just finished the book Frozen by Larry Johnson and Scott Baldyga.  An article in JEMS (Journal of EMS) magazine piqued my interest, so I ordered it that day from Amazon.  I have to tell you, the first night I started reading it, it gave me nightmares.  This is a true story based on Alcor, a cryonics company, based in Scottsdale, AZ.  There are many who will argue that it is written by a disgruntled employee trying to get Alcor closed down, but as the author gets drawn into the cesspool that is Alcor, it reads like a bad science fiction novel.  The scary part?  It's all true.

It's a book that you need to read for yourself, but it is not for the sqeamish.  As I read the book, the scientist in me just couldn't see how it all would work.  These people are clinically dead - not just for minutes - before they start the "washout procedure", but some times for hours.  Alcorians believe that when their "first life cycle ends" they can be frozen and "reanimated" (thawed out) at a time when science has caught up and has cures for all that ails them.  The biggest question I was left with...what about their souls?  I'm not super religious, but I do believe that our souls help to make us who we are.  When the Alcorians complete their first life cycle and are frozen, what happens to their souls?  Do they get frozen too, only to be reanimated in hundreds of years?  Food for thought.  And what about the Alcorians who opt not for the full body suspension, but the neuro only suspensions?  When they are reanimated in the future, are they just going to grow a body to plunk the head on?  Or are the heads just going to live in jars?  More food for thought.

Another little morsel for contemplation...where do TV producers get off ruining perfectly good books by turning them into cheesy TV series?  Now, I'm sure there are some perfectly good TV series based on books.  Not that I can think of any off the top of my head, but I'm sure that someone can name one.  I had the unfortunate experience of flipping throught the channels today and coming across Legend of the Seeker, a TV series based on Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth novels.  I have always thought, from the first line I ever read, that the novels would make epic movies.  Why Goodkind decided to sell the rights so that this drivel that is such a flimsy representation of his amazing work is beyond me.  It took just about three minutes for me to get absolutely incessed that anyone could bastardize such an amazing series of novels.  I'm so angry about it, I can't even think straight to put the words down.  Let me just say, I'm extremely disappointed that this series of novels is being represented by such a horrible TV knock-off.  Now I need to go start re-reading the series to erase the images planted in my brain by the devil box.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Putting The Cart Before The Horse...Or The Cover Before The Novel

Jay's just finished up a few months of his Graphic Arts program and was inspired to make book covers for our NaNoWriMo projects - what a great excuse to play around in PhotoShop!  Below are are book covers and a short synopsis of our stories.  Apparently, it's not cheating to have a plot outline or character development before November 1st, so we're working on that.

The dating world is a tough place to be, especially if you're Shelby, a single mother running Three Heathens Ranch. Follow Shelby's journey through the crazy world of speed and internet dating as she pursues every woman's fairy tale - to find her very own Prince Charming - while managing motherhood, a riding livery and her own loneliness.

Post-apocalyptic war has driven the surviving citizens of the world to the only two safe havens left to continue their lives. Most of Africa and South America were left unmutilated by thermonuclear war fallout and are the only continents left to support human life, but all is not well. A new ruthless form of government has risen during the chaos of the war and is now subjecting the remaining citizens to its own form of brutality...oppression! An underground rebellion for freedom is forming on both continents and may be the last hope for humankind...

I'm really feeling inspired by our "official" looking book covers; it gives me something to aspire to.  NaNo is still 13 days away, but I feel like I'm starting to build a good head of steam and can hopefully knock out more than 50K words.  I'd love a finished product.  Hmmm...keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Overnight Gender Re-assignment

My wonderful, amazing Ed Assistant, Amanda, always tells me, "you're such a boy," when I talk about going off-roading with Jay or going shooting or going to the XRRA championship.  Guess she's more right than she thought.

This virus (I'm refusing to call it the flu, my rapid test came back negative) has absolutely turned me into the stereotypical sick male.  I'm whiny, demanding, and an all-around pain in the butt.  God help the child that does not ask how high to jump when I suddenly need something.  After all, I gave them life.  The least they can do is bring me Sprite, snot rags, and munchies while I'm lying on my death bed.  Right?  At least I'm not asking them to massage my feet or give me bed baths.  All I want is to be left alone (until I summon them), peace and quiet (like that will ever happen), and a little sympathy.  Is that too much to ask?

I'm pretty sure that they're organizing a coup and I'll be left to die by my lonesome, pooled in my own fever sweat, begging until my voice gives out for snot rags or Sprite.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Germs, germs, go away.

No, really, I mean it.  I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Just two weeks ago I had the head cold from hell while my daughter was down and out with the flu.  I took a sick day for the first time in a very, very long time, rallied and got my sorry butt back to work.  I truly believed that the household was out of danger from the flu, despite the fact that AshLynne's boyfriend had tested positive for it and had spend a week home from school and work.  My reason for being so optimistic is that it's been TWO weeks, the incubation period should have been over.  Hmm...not so much.

Yesterday, I felt great.  Went up to Mom's to see Estes for one last time before she came down to winter pasture today.  The weather was crappy up on the hill, even though it was absolutely beautiful down here in town, so we didn't go out on a ride.  I attempted to spend some time with Queen Estes, but she wasn't feeling it.  She'd let me pet and scratch, but the minute I went in for a cuddle or a kiss, she'd turn away.  I'm now thinking that she could smell that I was getting sick.  Horses identify their humans by smell, and if I didn't smell right of course she wouldn't want me in her personal space.  At least that's what I'm telling myself to keep from getting hurt feelings that my baby girl didn't want any cuddles yesterday.  Today, my parents loaded her up and took her to winter pasture in Lyons.  From now until March/April, I'll get limited visits with her, as she'll be turned out with the rest of her old herd (and my parents' horses, which will move down next week) to run loose for the winter.

I'd like to think she was saying "sorry, Mommy."  but I somehow doubt it.

Last night, I had a little cough and a stubborn lung cookie that just wouldn't go away, but I still had no idea I was getting sick.  This morning, I woke up with a little headache and took some Tylenol before I went to work.  Still didn't think I was sick, it was just a freaking headache.  As I was teaching my phlebotomy class (which I LOVE), I kept getting hot, then cold, but I was moving between two rooms and the students had the same complaint.  One room was hot; the other was cold.  Still had no idea I was getting sick. 

My headache got worse, but, you know, it was time for the Tylenol to wear off.  No big deal, just take some more.  My lower back started aching, but, again, I blamed it on something else...the new "grown up" shoes I'd worn to work on Monday.  In all honesty, I never wear heels, and my new shoes have some good heels on them and my back's been hurting ever since.  But, probably, three days after the fact, my back pain should have been gone.

I made it through class, got back to my desk and started coughing until I gagged.  Then the hot flash hit.  Oh shit.  It hit me...this was no bueno at all.  I snuck back into the lab, grabbed the thermometer and zapped myself with it.  101.6  on Tylenol.  Shit, shit, shit.  Can't be right.  Nope.  I'm impervious to microorganisms.  I can't be sick.  I slunk back into the office and handed the thermometer to the Education Assistant.  She zapped me in the other ear.  101.7.  Shit.  Guess that explains the headache and muscle aches.

You know, for working in medicine as long as I have, I'm apparently pretty crappy at recognizing the symptoms of illness in myself.  I'm impervious to microorganisms, I'm impervious to magic anti-sick mantra didn't help at all today.

They couldn't get me out of the office fast enough and they are probably fumigating the whole thing as I type this.  And they're probably saying that they knew I was sick all along...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Powerful Post

One of my blogging friends just posted this, Daddy, I still love you.  It's an amazing piece of work from an amazing human being.  He did not participate in the Mass Blogging today, but his piece fits in well with the overall theme, Family Relationships.

Thanks, Nate, for letting me steal this.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mass Blogging Day - Family Relationships

Today I'm participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We're celebrating the release of Therese Walsh's debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy, (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers. Visit  The Muffin to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit  Therese's website to find out more about the author.

My Grandma Mary is the most beautiful woman in the world. She always has been and always will be. She’s the oldest of nine children, three of whom died in childhood from pneumonia. Her entire life has been dedicated to raising children: her younger siblings, her cousins, her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I don’t think that matriarch adequately defines her role in our family.

The majority of my childhood memories revolve around my Grandma Mary. My biggest goal – really, all of us kids’ biggest goal – was to finally get as tall as Grandma, who towered over us as a whopping four feet six inches tall. Not only was it a milestone for me, my siblings, and our cousins, but it continues to be a milestone for our children, though she’s now four foot four inches tall. She’s a tiny little thing, less than one hundred pounds and getting shorter by the day, but at 89 years old, she still draws people to her with her strength and beauty.

Growing up, the whole family would gather for Sunday family dinners and Grandma and Grandpa’s house. My parents and siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins would all spend Sunday evening eating and watching the Disney family movie. As we got older, the Sunday family nights went by the wayside, but we always spent time with Grandma. When we got to junior high and high school, we took our friends to Grandma’s and she welcomed them with open arms. I can’t count how many “adopted” grandchildren she has; each of us brought two or three into the family, which has carried on with our children and their friends.

I didn’t seriously go to college until I was 22 and married with two children. I got pregnant with my third during my freshman year and got divorced during my sophomore year. I could not have finished college without the unwavering support of my grandma. When the kids were very young, she wouldn’t hear of me putting them in daycare – they belonged with family. She was in her early 70’s then and stubborn as a mule. I didn’t fight her. It would not have done any good. Once the kids got to be pre-school-aged, I managed to convince her that it would be okay for them to go to pre-school. Luckily, they were spaced out enough that we could “wean” her from them. And then my cousins started having children, so she has never been without children to take care of.

She is the glue that holds the family together. We – me, my sibs, and our cousins – have grown up, gotten married and had children of our own. And she’s treated our children as wonderfully as she treated us. There is no doubt in our minds that we are loved. Totally, completely, unconditionally loved. There is nothing that we could ever do to diminish that love. In her eyes, we are all saints. And in our eyes, she is the saint.

She had her first heart attack less than a week before her 50th wedding anniversary. A couple of stents and a week later and she was out on the dance floor with Grandpa looking as beautiful and radiant as ever. We all feared we’d lose her when Grandpa died of a stroke a few years later – after all, they were still madly in love. She mourned his death and moved on, again surrounding herself with children. She needed the great grandkids, just as they needed her. She’s convinced that when she has no one to take care of, she’ll die. She’ll have nothing left to live for if she’s got no one to nurture and love. Sadly, I believe her.

She is getting older, a little more hard of hearing, a little more frail, and I fear that time is running out for us. She’s an awfully healthy 89 year-old; she still lives at home and takes care of my cousin’s young daughters. She’s got a few health issues, but nothing like I’ve seen in other people her age. But I’m a realist, and I’ve worked in medicine a long time, I know that every day we have with her is a gift, a gift that won’t last forever. I dread the reality of her death, not just because I would lose her, but because, selfishly, I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up without ever knowing the unconditional love and affection she so easily dishes out.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bits 'n Pieces

First, it's freakin' cold here.  I remember winters like this when I was a kid, you know, when October hits the snow flies.  I remember Hallowe'en costumes being made to be worn over our winter coats.  No cute little ballerinas for the Colorado Kiddos.  But, honestly, I've gotten spoiled since childhood.  We've not had bad, snowy weather on Hallowe'en for a long time.  And it's not even Hallowe'en yet.  We've got weeks to go before then.  Being Colorado, it can be in the 70s come All Hallows Eve or it could be 7.  You just never know.  Neither do the weather professionals.

Jay and I watch a lot of cooking competitions now:  Top Chef, Hell's KitchenThe Next Iron Chef and Chopped.  Our schedule revolves around those three shows.  There are others, of course.  Ash is a big fan of Food Network's cooking challenges.  One of the most common contests in these shows is to do a "biography of your life in food"; we see that over and over again.  Or, the variation, "make a favorite dish from your childhood."  Always, I'm stumped,  I couldn't just choose one favorite dish.  That was, until last night.  I really, really wanted some of Grandma Mary's fried tacos so I went to the store and bought the makings.  As I was making them, in all of their simple, fried glory, I realized that those tacos would be what I'd have to make for such a challenge.  Since it is a cooking challenge, I'd have to fancy it up a bit, I suppose.  Do something like make my own corn masa tortillas and use ground kobe beef (please don't gasp at the thought of grinding up kobe beef - it's okay) or something.  But the one thing, the absolute one thing that I would not give up...the lard.  The lard makes the dish.  Just can't fry Grandma's tacos in Crisco or vegetable oil.  It's not right. 

So as I was frying up the tacos last night, I was reminded of my all-time favorite meal EVER!  My all-time, very favorite, has-not-been-matched-since (sorry Jay) meal...drum roll please... the fried tacos we had in Mexico when we went to the tortilla factory, got fresh tortillas, made up the tacos in the condo and cut up and fried the remainder of the tortillas as chips to eat our fresh guacamole with.  Yum.  Just the smell of the frying tacos last night transported me back to that condo.  I guess that's what the judges mean when they are asking for a "food memory".

On another note, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time and was a little worried about my ability to write 50,000 words in just 30 days.  Last night, I worked on my Tales from the Trail post and in just under an hour and a half had completed a post of 1,400+ words.  That hour and a half included editing and formatting, not the stream-of-conscious writing that I'll have to do for NaNoWriMo.  As long as I have at least an hour and a half a day of seat time with my computer, I should do just fine.  I hope.  I did get Jay and Jordan to join me in the NaNo challenge, so it's kind of a family thing right now.  Wish us all luck.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Very Cool Picture

Ignore me, but take a close look at the barrel of the gun.  Thomas (probably just luck) managed to catch the bullet as it exited the barrel.  What a cool damn picture.  Thanks Thomas!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Killing Zombies - What a Great Day!

Today was the first Defensive Pistol Match (NCRGC) I've been to since June or July last year, right after Jay and I got engaged.  It was awesome!

Last night, Ash and I had a good mother-daughter bonding moment when she came up to my room to help me load up my magazines.  Not quite the typical mother-daughter bonding moment, but special to me at least.  I love that my kids are also interested in shooting.

I recently got my Para LTC back.  I had to sell it a couple of years ago, but the gentleman who bought it told me that if I ever wanted it back, he'd sell it back to me.  So, lucky me, I got it back.  I picked it up on Friday and fondled it a lot over the weekend.  It felt wonderful to shoot it again.  I ran into a couple of snags, but they were my fault, I'm sure.  My hands and forearms aren't nearly as strong as they were when I was shooting all the time and I limp-wristed it a couple of times, causing a mis-feed or two.  No big deal.  Despite the cold weather and mist, I had a grin ear-to-ear.  Nothing better than killing Zombies on a Sunday!

Have lots of video, but since I've "upgraded" to the "easy-to-use" blogger I've lost my ability to upload video.  WTH?  But that's a blog for another day.  Just know it was AWESOME!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


What the heck is that?!?

National Novel Writing Month.  A challenge to write a complete novel in just thirty days, from November 1 to November 30.  Last year over 120,000 writers entered and only 20,000 completed.  The requirements for completing?  50,000 words.  It's all about shaking off the shackles of perfection and writing.  That's only 1667 words per day.  Hmmm...that's kind of scary thinking about it that way.  So I won't.

Wish me luck.