Wednesday, January 31, 2018

stranger than fiction..

Before you read this, let me say this. My mind comes up with story ideas that are sometimes a bit odd. This is not so much a story, but an idea that popped into my head not too long ago. Feel free to pass up this post if you consider the subject matter uninteresting. I'm sure many will. But that's OK. I simply find it necessary to put my thoughts on paper. 

Main Characters converse with writer…

OK, it’s a fact. I love to write. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps because it uses my imagination and possibly extends the joy of youth… when imagination rules a good portion of our lives. I can well remember the feeling of being immersed in a world of my own when I was a child. Then again, writing is psychologically therapeutic. Putting down one’s thoughts on paper is liberating… clears the mind and organizes thoughts.

So... the question I’m tossing around in my head this morning is just who are the characters that pop up in our heads when writing a story?  Are they another form of ourselves? Are they a conglomeration of people we’ve known, met, loved, hated… people we’d like to be, people we’d like to know, etc.

Today I’m going to invite these characters to give me their thoughts. I want them to express what it’s like to be a character in a story. Do they enjoy it… like actors in a play? Or do they not like being manipulated by the writer? And more importantly, do they sometimes take over and do their own thing?  I feel that my characters definitely do this on occasion… and to be honest, I enjoy it when they do… because they may do or say something unexpected… something I wasn’t aware was even in my mind (or in theirs)… thus, giving the story an unforeseen turn.

Anyone out there or ‘in there’ (pertaining to inside my head) that would like to speak up?

“I would! And I’m not happy!”
OK, why not?
“Because you created my character years ago in a story for Nanowrimo. We were together for months developing the storyline… then you just abandoned me… in the middle of the jungle searching for answers to my brother’s murder. “
Oh, I do remember that story. “My Brother’s Keeper”, I believe.
“Yep, and I’m still out here waiting…”
Oh dear, well I did/do intend to get back to it at some point. Please be patient.


Anyone else?
“Yes… I’d like to say something.”
Please do.
“I was the young girl who was kidnapped by the man trying to influence my father’s vote on the environmental issue. I escaped and had quite an adventure finding my way home.”
My, that was a long time ago.  I actually don’t remember the name of the story… “A long way home” maybe? But I do remember you, Claire. You were very brave.
“Yes, and I wanted to say that I loved being in that story.”
If I remember correctly, you grew up a lot on that journey and learned a lot about yourself in the process.

Anyone else?

“OK, Anne here from ‘A Time for Kindness’. Just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I did find myself to be an extension of you, the writer… perhaps the person you think you might become under the same circumstances?”
That’s a distinct possibility, Anne. I do love Maine and that’s where I put you in the story.

“And you’re doing it again in what you are writing now.”
Is this still Anne?
“No, this is Gladys from “The Gift of Time and Money”.
Oh, but your story is still being developed...
“Yes, and it’s been on hold since November. I was left in Ireland where I’d just inherited a small cottage in the little town of Cong which apparently was where John Wayne’s movie ‘The Quiet Man’ was filmed. I do feel like my character who finds herself the recipient of a vast inheritance in her later years a bit of wishful thinking on the writer’s part. But I’m enjoying being part of the story, especially after spending time in that lovely London flat and that darling cottage in the Cotswold’s.  But I do wonder if you will be coming back to us any time soon. “
Yes well, sorry for that abrupt departure. The holidays and family did take me away for a bit. I do hope to be back soon and we’ll explore more of the area around Cong, Ireland before moving on to that manor house in Scotland.


Guess I’d better cut this short or I may be inundated with more characters wanting their say. For the most part, I’ve learned that the characters do seem to enjoy being part of the story but don’t relish being left too long on hold. Perhaps I’ll continue this line of thought at another time… and give more characters a chance to weigh in.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

a few odd pics and mundane musings...

"MOM !!!"

Again I was surfing through Pinterest yesterday and came across this pic. Had to post it! So funny! The expression on that cat's face is priceless. 

And then this...

This poster I saved and sent to my daughter saying that I'd like to be able to be this way, but haven't reached that point yet. She texted me back that I should always feel OK to say exactly what I feel... and I agree it would be nice, and is possible with some people, but over the years have found that it isn't always prudent to do this. 

And lastly, here's another pic that got my attention...

This is definitely a secluded lighthouse station. I imagine that's a helicopter pad next to it.  I tend to like 'secluded', but this might be a bit much.

OK, back to the mundane... somewhere a while back, someone asked if retirees made their bed when they got up each morning. I remember reading various answers and reasons why and why not. I didn't voice my response then, but will now. Yes, I do make my bed every morning as I get up. Takes only a minute to do so and starts the day off with an accomplishment... not to mention looks better whenever I pass through. Is it important? Probably not... or if so, only to me. 

And I certainly don't keep a spotless house. It's clean, fairly neat, maybe a little cluttered in areas - pottery, watercolor, and quilt supplies here and there, books on bookshelves for the most part, but some in stacks, and definitely a corner where grandkids toys are piled. 

I don't know about others out there, but although we're up between 7:30 and 8:00 each morning, I'm not truly awake for about 30 minutes. Basically I stagger to the bathroom, run a brush through my hair, greet each of the cats good morning, put the coffee on... bring DH a cup, and plop down in armchair with a blanket, my coffee, and a cat - to watch the morning news/weather. By the time Kelly and Ryan come on at 9, I'm ready to start my day. (Now if we're at my daughter's in the hill country, I'd prefer to have my coffee out on the porch watching the chickens and the horses..)

There are always dozens of things that need doing each day... whether you work or don't work. You just have more leeway for when they get done when you don't work. And because of this, it's possible that less gets done... but that's OK too. IMO we paid our dues and now have the option of doing it our way (for the most part). So there are some days that a lot is accomplished and some days not so much. 

One thing we do daily no matter what is going on... we both stop between 3 and 4 and have tea or coffee. Even if one of us is out running errands, we tend to meet back at the house for this.  

Guess that's enough gabbing for today. Better close this. Besides, it's almost 3:00.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Monday, January 22, 2018


50 years ago on Jan. 20, 1968  

Saturday was our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We went out to dinner with dear friends who will also be celebrating their 50th in a few weeks. They plan to have their celebration down in Louisiana where most of their family reside. We also plan to celebrate in the French Quarter in New Orleans - but in the Spring.... (when the weather is nice enough to walk around the Quarter) since that is where we spent our honeymoon in '68. (DH and I were both at LSUBR at the time and we had to be back on campus in Baton Rouge for graduation 2 days after the wedding - so it was a short honeymoon)

My dear friend was the maid of honor at my wedding and she is sitting next to my dad in the above picture. Her wedding was 2 weeks after ours and I was her maid of honor then. Here is the picture (at her wedding) she gave me recently.

This is her as the bride and me by her side... such dear memories!
We were so young. And I so appreciate the fact that we could share our 50th Anniversaries as we have. Actually I especially appreciate the fact that we both made it to this point... our parents didn't.

And if you notice that I had 8 bridesmaids... well, I was finishing my last semester in college and pretty much left 'the wedding' to my mom. Basically all I needed to do was show up for dress fittings... which was fine with me. Mom loved it... and although I had a wonderful time, organizing it wasn't my thing.

OK... enough reminiscing.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week! (Try to stay warm)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

a scare...

Nothing like a scare to get your blood moving and your heart stopping. We got this text from our son at 8:15 AM yesterday morning Hawaiian time (12:15 PM Central standard time here in Texas).

As I read this, I froze for a second... then handed it over to DH with a "what???" It was followed almost immediately by this next text of what our son was seeing on his phone on Oahu.

Have to say that I went from confusion to denial in about 60 seconds. First thinking... "what???" then thinking, "no, it can't be real..." 

Luckily (such a trivial word)... it wasn't. 

For within about 15 minutes,  while we searched the TV stations for news, this 3rd text was sent.

Whew! Some mistake! Last we heard from the TV news coverage at the time was that they were trying to determine *how* this happened.

Hard to believe that a mistake like this could be made as easily as they are saying.

And lastly, after watching the news last night and listening to some government official talking about this episode, I heard him say (and I know that I'm paraphrasing here) 'that if a nuclear missile did hit Oahu, people would need to stay in a secure location for about 2 weeks until the radiation level was safe for them to go outside. And that it wouldn't totally destroy the island, there would be survivors'.

This is NOT what I needed to hear. I needed to hear that if a nuclear missile was launched, that we had the capabilities to shoot down that missile before it even reached it's target.

(I also read on a news report that due to the proximity of  North Korea to Hawaii, that the people on the island would only have 15 minutes to take shelter...?)

It's now 3:57 am Sunday morning. Sleep eludes me.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

the pull of Pinterest... and my own oddities

I came across this poster while surfing through Pinterest and had to post it.  It's so true...

We recently switched phone providers and were given unlimited data... so I was able to put Pinterest back on my iphone. If you've never used Pinterest, you should check it out. It's free... and you can cancel at any time. But there are absolutely fascinating pictures and ideas that show up. Some just blow my mind. (of course my mind may be easily blown). 

Here are a few examples:

an old abandoned house

Some architectural oddities that are extremely interesting.

crow at window in winter

Can't tell you why this one gets me, but it does...

cat watercolors

I love these!

And this tornado from 2012...

Isn't that something?

Anyway, hope I didn't bore you, but these are just a very few of the things I've found that fascinate me.  My daughter loves some of the interior and exterior designs that she finds there. However, my interests are so eclectic, that  the site is an endless source of enticement for me.

Deviating from Pinterest and delving into my own source of oddity, here are pics of the 2 new ideas I just came up with for my Cheeky Chickens sculptures.

Chicken soap dish or kitchen sponge holder

chicken than can sit on top of cup or bowl

I'm not sure why you would want a chicken sitting on top of your cup or bowl...?? but you never know.

Hope you had a great weekend. It was overcast and dreary here, but it wasn't below freezing! Praying that all of you that are still snow-bound will get some relief soon... and that the worst is over.  And as always, thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Requested eggnog recipe... and a few pics

Home-made Eggnog

Mama H's Home-made Eggnog

Eggs 3
Sugar 1/2 cup
Milk 2 cups
Cream (evap milk) 1 cup

Separate yolks and whites
Beat egg yolks with sugar until creamy
Heat milk and cream until very hot, but not boiling
Add a little egg yolk mixture to hot milk gradually, stir carefully, then add rest.

Beat egg whites with a little sugar (to taste)
When stiff, add to egg yolk/milk mixture
Can add a sprinkle of nutmeg and a little whiskey now or can add these after pouring into tall cup or flute.

Makes about 4 - 6 cups depending on size of cup or flute.

Excellent when cold also!

OK! We're finally above freezing today! Hurray! Of course it will go down below tonight and probably tomorrow, but at least it's better during the days... and the sun was out!

I've kept myself busy with projects... including making a flannel pillowcase for the ferals' box.  My daughter-in-law had given me this flannel cat fabric a while back and when I was working on my cousin's sofa pillows today, I thought... why not use that for the ferals' box... might make it a little warmer?

flannel pillowcase

As for the other projects, I'm still working on those...

sofa pillow - not quilted yet

3 of 4 cheeky chickens sculptured in clay

I have to tell you a funny story... actually not that funny.... you probably had to be there. Before we got up this morning, I was telling DH about the strange dream I had just had. It involved many of my family and a few friends and really had no 'plot' as such... I just saw many people (some not with us anymore and some who are) all milling around looking at old photographs. One of the photos made me teary and the next thing I knew my mom and I were in St. Louis Cathedral (which is the cathedral in Jackson Square in the French Quarter). Telling DH the story I said, ... "as we walked in, I noticed that Julie was there".  As I said this, DH exclaimed, "The cat!!"... and I burst out laughing... couldn't stop... had tears running down my face. "No... not the cat! My sister's best friend."  Not that funny a story I know, but it's been a long time since I've had such a good laugh so early in the morning... and I kept picturing the cat in the cathedral.

Oh, another surprise I had later in the day - we took down the Christmas tree and all the Christmassy stuff in the den. I left the rest up in the front room as I figured that if we're stuck in the house by the fireplace all week due to the weather , I'd like to enjoy the coziness of Christmas a bit longer.  Well, later when I was working on something in our computer room, I turned around to find this.

Tux had climbed into one of the wreaths we'd taken down

Wouldn't that make a good Christmas card? (maybe next year...)
I laughed, took a picture, and went back to what I was doing. Later, I found him asleep in the wreath.

Tux asleep

Cats are so funny. What would we do without them?

Monday, January 1, 2018

the new year cometh...

piecing strips 

I'm starting this post on Saturday, but plan to continue writing on it Sunday and Monday too. It's too cold outside to venture out, so DH is watching soccer while I work on some quilted pillow covers for my cousin in New Orleans' new sofa. I've finished piecing 3 of the 4  sides for 2 pillows and will start on adding the batting next. 

The temps are in the 30's, but are supposed to go down to the teens and 20's for the next few days. I know this is not that awful for those of you up North who are really feeling the arctic freeze, but it's way too cold for us. DH says that when he ran off to the store this morning to pick up a few things, it was bedlam there... with people scrounging for things like we were in for a winter siege. I don't imagine it will last long - as it usually doesn't. As long as we have coffee, hot soup, and a fireplace, I'm good.

If I get tired of quilting, there's always clay projects. I need to refill my stock of  Cheeky Chickens and of course play around with the new computer to get familiar with Windows 10 and all the other things it does. DH set up the new Epson printer... so we can print again!

Ghost lying by Aga

Julie and Tux

The inside cats are comfy either lying by the Aga or on our bed...  at the moment. 

The new computer has a stylus... or pen to write on the screen. I've been practicing how to use it - although the main reason I wanted it was to proof my writing right on the screen and not have to print it out first. Anyway, so far this is all I've done...

I gave our grand daughter mouse ears and whiskers!

It's now Sunday and DH and I just had some home-made eggnog with just a touch of bourbon to toast in the New Year... (that is still 3-4 hours away, but it's obvious that I'll never stay awake until the ball comes down). I use my mother-in-law's old recipe for eggnog and we both love it. 

Took a quick pick before we drank it...

by the fire...

It's now Monday morning, January 1, 2018... (rabbit, rabbit rabbit! white rabbit!) It's 14 degrees F here this morning. We had 5 ferals squeezed together into the covered blanketed catbox on the front porch last night and DH opened the garage about a foot so they could use that as shelter also.

Happy 2018 to Everyone!