Monday, November 7, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

A great big Thank you!!! to Smarty Pants Fun Printables for awarding me the Liebster Blog. I feel priveleged. Smarty Pants has all kinds of great paper crafts for kids on her site. As a crafty, type mom who homeschools, I really appreciate resources such has her site. My favorite is the Fall Harvest Pumpkin craft. Check it out!

An award like this is meant to be passed on. Here's how it works.

In case you are not aware, this award spotlights the up and coming blogs that have less than 200 followers.
By accepting this award, I get to:

1. Copy and paste the award on my blog. Copy and paste this post as your new post to announce you have won, but edit to fit you.

2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to me. (the link is at the top)

3. Reveal my top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

4. Hope that followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

Here are some notable mom blogs that you really should check out::

The language on this blog is not for the easily offended. There is even a gateway into the blog giving you the opportunity to opt out, should you choose to do so. But I appreciate her candor and her forthrightness.

This blogger is mother of a blended family with ten children. Wow. I have trouble with my three, so I have to find out how Crystal does it!

For the terminally domestically challenged like me, this blog is a godsend. I might actually be able to have people over someday!

I found this blog through a hop and at first did not know if the post was serious or not. It took me a while, but I finally got it. :O)

The title says it all. It doesn't matter what your family situation is, you can make it matter.

Let's keep the blog love going, ok? Take care of yourselves out there.

Back to It

NaNoWriMo is down (11:15 am eastern US) but I have 2,210 words today for a total of 12,903 words. Even though I took the day off yesterday, and did no NaNo writing at all, I'm still at 1843 words per day each of the 7 days so far, so above the average needed to complete 50K words during the month.

NaBloPoMo 2011

NaBloPoMo prompt:

Monday, November 7, 2011
Making family time is important to me. How do you balance your children, relationship, and work life?

My boys were actually one of the bigger problems presented when I started this month of concentrated writing. They love to come up and tell me things about what they are learning (we homeschool) or want me to "come look Mom" at something they found on the computer or in a book. I've had to put my foot down a little that when I'm "doing my writing" that I get time to concentrate, but that I will be happy to "check it out" later. And I do make time each day to spend time with each of my 3 kids. DD (age 8) still comes out in the morning and wants to cuddle for a few minutes in Mommie's lap...and I let her, because, much longer is THAT going to last?

DH and I have been together for about 15.5 years now, married for almost as long. We met online in an RPG back in the mid-90's. We can probably count the number of "dates" we've had on the the fingers of two hands. This is a little sad and something that I would like to change. But it has worked for us so far. Why? We communicate and accept each other as we are. Sometimes it's the flip side of that coin and probably no one else would put up with some of our foibles for as long as the other one has. We're not the perfect couple, but we're not bad either. I think maybe a difference is that we are committed to each other and to our 3 children, and believe marriage is not a magic happy pill.

I want to say at this point that I have read some heart-breaking blogs from single moms of late where I believe it was a good thing that the marriage did not survive, whether the biological fathers of their children slinked off to avoid paying child support or whatever the problem was. And I know there are some women who can be just as bad. Argh, I'm beginning to stumble over my words, trying not to piss anyone off. So I'm just going to stop.

Hurrah! Something positive on which to focus!

I am grateful for our pets today. We have a dog named Sneakers and a kitten named Whiskers. Sneakers came to us as a puppy from someone giving her and her siblings away in the WalMart parking lot. Our daughter had the job of naming the dog and came up with "Sneakers", after the dog I had growing up (who actually looked more like she had sneakers on...four little white feet on a black and brown body). This Sneakers is a lab, chow etc mix and looks like that little puppy that does the toilet paper commercials.

When we come home from a trip or errands, we always make a joke about who is going to open the door, because Sneakers can just about known down an adult with the exuberance of her greetings. She is obedient and does not leave the yard unless one of us do on foot. She always lets us know when someone is at the door.

The most endearing quality, though, is that when one of us is sick or otherwise "down", she will come and lay on the couch, bed, or floor and put her head on some part of the body and just about not moral support.

Whiskers is our newest addition. She and the dog get along amazing well, considering.... She has turned into a good mouser, which, on the outskirts of small-town Kentucky is a good thing. I just wish she would not leave her prizes in the middle of my bed. Ugh. I usually have to get DH or DS1 to take the thing outside, because touching one gives me the willies.

Whiskers purrs at the slightest touch and brings out the tender side of my sons, who are normally teenage boys in thought, word and deed. And that is golden.

I love blog hops. What can I say? :O) Here is one I found after a google search on "monday blog hops" a little while ago. It is my first visit to Meet Me Monday and there are 28 entries so far. For those who don't know me (which is probably pretty much everyone on that hop, I'd imagine)...

I am an invisible woman, wife, homeschooling mother of 3, erstwhile assistant to adults with mental retardation/developmental disabilities, writer, 2011 NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo/Gratitude Challenge participant, and proud Kentuckian.

Oh, and my coffee cup is empty. I'm gonna go fill it up and I'll "cy'all tomorrow". Take care.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day Off

NaNoWriMo - day off

NaBloPoMo - well, call it cheap, but this is my post for today.

2011 Gratitude Challenge -

I am grateful for my brother today. Since I moved away from Salt Lake City in June of 1997 with my husband and (then only one) child, he has had the lion's share of care for our aging mother. He had put his life on hold, postponing finishing his master's degree in music at the University of Utah in order to at first care for her at home, and later, manage her affairs when she required more intensive medical intervention. Our mother passed away in March of this year, and he handled everything connected with her death and will sell the house within the next year, 95 percent of this on his own. I know it has been a wear on him. I wish we could have been closer so I could have taken some of the weight from him.

But my in-laws have medical issues of their own where we live now. My husband's Mamaw is a year older now than my mother was when she passed. Mamaw still lives at home, but needs a lot of in-home care. FIL (my father-in-law) now in his 60's has a host of medical issues related to a life of hard work.

I am a most fortunate woman.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Slow Saturday

NaBloPoMo 2011



I wrote 2,269 words today, about being transferred to Home 6 and some of the ladies who lived there. My NaNoWriMo total stands at 10,693 words.


Today's prompt:

Oopahdoo, I forgot they don't give prompts on NaBloPoMo on the weekends.

2011 Gratitude Project:

I am grateful that God built us in day of rest. I planned out my NaNoWriMo so I could take Sundays off and still be done on time. Now I just hope I can do it...take a day off. Not my best thing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Fun

NaBloPoMo 2011


NaNoWriMo: added 2,162 words today for a total of 8,424. Today the writing seemed to go with the differences between management's talk and walk. Kind of an Orwellian, "some people are more equal than others". Ugh. Had to remind my well-meaning 14 yr old son that while I am writing, I would prefer not to have interruptions talking about cross-over fan fiction (between a tv show and one of his computer games). I told him he could, however, interrupt me for emergencies and hugs.


Today's prompt:

Friday, November 4, 2011 When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?

OMG, I have to use a computer. My mind races two or three ideas ahead of the pen sending out words onto the paper, so much so that oftentimes a word from one idea will somehow be mashed into the word from another idea, making up a whole new, utterly unrecognizable word. (I wonder if that's how Shakespeare introduced like 10,000 new words to the English language.)

I guess some of it has to do with the purpose of the writing. If I am writing a letter, I much prefer pen and paper, especially if that paper is self-decorated and possibly even self-made.

2011 Gratitude Challenge:

I had thought of something really good earlier this morning when I was outside with our dog, Sneakers. But when it came time to write about it, it had flown the coop. So I went outside to try and remember it by retracing my steps. That idea is still in hiding, but another one came out.
I am grateful that we have food to eat, and rarely if ever (unless by choice) go hungry. I know not everyone, not even in our own community is that lucky.
If there is a food bank in your area, please consider making a donation of food or money, or boxes or plastic bags...or your time. Especially in this upcoming season when we celebrate and give thanks for bountiful harvests
We have all received help from someone at some time. Maybe we were able to "pay them back". Maybe we can show our gratitude by "paying it forward".
Feeding America has a great food bank locator. If you are one of my US sisters or brothers, please take a look and find one near you.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wild Weekend Wanderings

NaBloPoMo 2011

The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom


NaNoWriMo: 2,174 words today, for a total of 6,262 words. My goal total for the 3rd was to be at 6,000 words so everything there is cooking just right. It was a little harder to get going today, but my 8 yr old DD has been sick since Saturday with a cold and is just having a miserable mama doesn't get much sleep, capisci?


Well, I'm taking care of that one right now. Except I'm trying to follow their blog prompts, so need to take a minute and go check that out.

Thursday, November 3, 2011
Can you listen to music and write? What song did you hear today?

OK, there it is. Oh, heck yes, I can listen to music and write at the same time. I listen mostly to country music (stop groaning, city sisters and brothers). But my laptop is in what could be grandiosely called our dining area, which spills over into the living room, where the tv is usually on Science, Military, or Nick Jr channels, so music per se does not really enter into is a lot. My music time is usually when I'm driving alone in a vehicle. Then I crank it up, unless I'm at a stop sign or in a neighborhood. Then I turn it down a little bit. But there is a song stuck in my head from a commercial right now...I know it's been on the radio, but the name just isn't coming to me, but I remembered another snippet of the tune just now, so maybe it will come to me eventually.

2011 Gratitude Challenge - Day 3:
I am grateful to my mother and father for having me and honor the struggles they went through raising a family. It's not a job for wimps, that's for sure. Dad was agnostic, but went to church with us on Christmas and Easter, and when my brother or I played the piano. Mom was raised Christian Scientist and followed that Christian denomination until she passed away at the end of March of this year. Towards the end of her life, she stopped going to church, though, and for the most part, no one from the church contacted her. That always made me a little sad. I did not know my mother's father had been an alcoholic until maybe ten years ago. I wish I had, because that would have made some of her actions more understandable. And we might have been able to talk about it. Parents, please don't be afraid to be human.

My father passed away in 1979, when he was 47 and I was 17. I was in a play in high school at the time called "Lazarus Laughed". And I was very nearly stabbed for real by a Roman soldier character on stage. So that was a difficult time. Dad was the oldest of four siblings, children of a farmer turned railroad man and the first of his family to graduate college. I remember attending the ceremony at WVU where his doctoral degree was conferred.

They worked...hard...their whole lives to make sure my brother and I had every opportunity. Although we frequently disagreed on what those opportunities should be, I know without a doubt that they meant the best.

Finding New Friends Blog Hop:
I've been doing blog hops for a while and this is my 2nd FNF submission. They are great for building followers and comments on your blog if you are new to the blogosphere and help to keep anyone's blog reading fresh, because there are always new folks hopping along. By and large, I have found a very supportive community and it is (they are?) GREAT!

Blog Hop Till You Drop:
Another great group of bloggers. Check out a couple of the never know where the next great idea is going to come from, right?

Peace out, y'all! :O)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Lot of Ground to Cover

NaBloPoMo 2011

Give a Hoot Wednesday Blog Hop

If anyone can jog my memory on how to get the buttons side by side (I know a little html) i/o one on a line, that would be SO GREAT! :O)

So, day 2 of NaNoWriMo is in the bag. I wrote 2032 words today, bringing my total to 4088 (or 4098, I can't remember which right now). Today it was mostly character descriptions of the 8 adult males with MR/DD with whom I worked during 2006. Don't worry, names are being changed to protect the innocent.

The NaBloPoMo prompt for today is:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?

Wow...that is tough. The powers that be might have to move my date back, because there's going to be a LOT on the menu! *lol* One of my favorite foods is a gyro. And those are not complete without a baklava or two. There's a meat that I picked up quite often when I was an au pair in Switzerland 20 years ago from my mother's home canton, called Bundnerfleish, that would have to be at least part of the appetizer. That, and raclette cheese melted over potatoes. Add a big salad with garbanzos, bacon bits, water chestnuts and honey mustard dressing. A Coke Zero and/or a white chocolate peppermint mocha w/an extra shot or two (what would I care...if it is my last drink, eh?) of espresso. Dessert would have to include cheesecake (possibly turtle cheesecake) and pumpkin pie, along with a ridiculously large bowl of my own flavor creation, cinillamint mocha ice cream (cinnamon, vanilla, mint candy chips, coffee and chocolate).

I know, after all that, I would probably just wish that would be my last meal, but what a way to go.

I follow "Life According to Damaris" and saw on her blog a link for the Give a Hoot Wednesday Blog Hop, so this post is serving for that as well.

And the last thing I am covering today is the 2011 Gratitude Challenge, where participants agree to post one thing per day in November for which they are grateful. I know, I'm a day behind, but I found the challenge through someone who joined late, so I figured I could too.

November 1: I am grateful for my relationship with God. I'm not a 'thumper' by any means, but too much has happened in my life and I have gotten through it, to not mention Him here.

November 2: I am grateful for my family. Even though it is difficult sometimes, with various medical prolems and developmental issues, I would not trade my family for ANYTHING.

'Nuff said.

Thanks for reading and I invite you to leave a comment (and to follow me on GFC if you're feeling really adventurous. I'm 6 followers from 100 and would love to bust that barrier somethin' FIERCE!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo Kick-off

Well, it's here. NaNoWriMo month. For anyone who may have the same look on their face as folks in my family, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. The premise is to write 50,000 words of a novel, all during the month of November. Apparently, I found the site about 4 years ago, but this is the first time I am actually participating.
Given my penchant for getting on Facebook and whiling my computer time away there, I made a deal with myself to write on my novel, tentatively titled "Requiem for the Hated", first thing in the morning. I have written 2,056 words, or about 4% of the total. I am choosing to give myself the option to not write on Sundays, so my per day goal of 2000 words is slightly higher than the 1,666 words needed to write 50K words in 30 days.
It went faster than I thought today. But I suppose part of that is because it's the first day and I was especially eager to get writing. That and all of my ideas are in front of me. I think the challenge will come in the later days when there is less than 10,000 words to go, my ideas are mostly used up and the self-editing is in full swing.
I'm writing a fictionalized account of my work with adults who have mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities. For the initial draft, I'm using the real names, simply so I don't have to come up with covers for everybody and slow down the mad rush to 50K words. So there probably won't be a lot of novel excerpts in the blog...until I come up with covers.
Finally, NaNoWriMo supports a writing course for young people. I'd love to help them out, but am currently supporting a husband and 3 children, so I'm helping by spreading the word. Did you know that:

So, if you are financially able, please consider supporting my writing by visiting my sponsorship page. If that is not possible, if you could see your way through to tweeting or posting for your followers on Facebook, etc, I would be very grateful!

And, if you would like to participate, there is certainly still time! Just visit and get going. And add me as a writing buddy (I'm KentuckyGal on the site).