Monday, August 22, 2011

Quote of the Week

Sorry it's a bit delayed today, but you'll have to understand why. Remember on Friday how I said I had this nasty viral laryngitis? I thought an apt post to share would be all the yellow warnings that came on that one bottle ...

I'm a bit under the influence as I type this now, so forgive any rampant disconnections, non-sensical stuff. Have a lovely day :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) Kidlets were sick over the weekend and I caught it. Or so I thought. Turns out... 2 dr visits, Husband telling me I looked like death warmed over, AND Bossman sending me home from work later I've got some "highly contagious, viral laryngitis that's 'going around.'" Throat's raw, can't stop coughing hurts to speak / eat / move anything above my collar bone. Suck. On the other hand, I got some kick-A drugs, the "controlled substance" variety that makes me feel way better, but maybe not a great thing to be under the influence of when parenting, Lol!

2) I apologize in advance in my posts over the next week or so, as I remain under a controlled substance's influence, are completely discombobulated.

3) We're repainting 3yo's room this weekend. Well, Husband is. We're tagteaming on the housework (as I'm able what with the sickies on me and all). I get to catch the family's laundry up and he gets to move furniture, replace a light fixture and repaint 3yo's entirely pink room. It came with the house when we bought it and we've just been putting it off. And now? It's been decided that it's time. And our little pink princess? We've discussed it and she's totally okay with painting it the "vanilla ice cream" color we've picked out.

4) Oh, another apology: to anyone I owe anything to. I'm a little behind because of all this sickiness and not wanting to spread this God-awful plague to the rest of the world. Soon as I'm out of quarantine, I'll get things sent.

5) All right, almost just hacked up a lung. Gonna take some drugs and head back to bed now.

Hope your weekends are filled with way more fun than mine will be.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Off the Beaten Path

Speaking of the Scenic Route, I thought I'd just drop in a few pictures from the scenic route the family and I took over the summer when we went to visit one of my dear friends who is an awesome crit partner and AMAZING adult urban fantasy writer --Amanda Bonilla. (SHAEDES OF GRAY, Signet, is out December 6, 2011 and is available for pre-order it now!)

We had opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have had and both our families had a great time getting to know each other!

I would show you where we stayed, in this cute little 1975 nostaligic (flowered wallpaper, orange/green decor - very *ahem* vintage. It was awesome!) lakeside cabin. Husband was too excited by everything else, he forgot to take a picture of the outside of the cabin we stayed in, but here's a picture of a picture of it! Yep, that says May 10, 1917. And guess what? It looks EXACTLY the same on the outside. Well, except it's a dark red color, not the black and white, but you know what I mean. See, totally vintage. So cool!

This was the view we woke up to every morning, coupled with the sounds of boat motors and people wakeboarding and waterskiing

3yo discovered the way down to the dock, beach and lake pretty quickly after we arrived.

Besides the lake, we got to go out on ATVs - which we'd never been before. And we all had an awesome time!

The view from the top of the ATV trail we went on. Beautiful!

Husband (who is an avid outdoorsy-man - fishing, hunting and all that) got to go salmon fishing! And he caught enough for us to bring some fresh fish home too! Yummilicious (see last Friday's Lox post!)

We got to see wolf tracks! And Husband was too excited to remember to put something beside the track to really demonstrate the size, but that thing was close to the size of BOTH my hands open, palm up!

Fire Chief Juan took us on a fire station tour complete with checking out the ambulance. 3yo to the Chief: "I'm sorry sir, it's too late. I can't hear your heartbeat." Lol!

We went on a fire truck ride through the district.

Then came back and learned how to use the hose and foam spray the firefighters use. We may have a couple little firefighters on our hands...

...Or maybe not. They decided the best part of the tour was playing in the foam spray afterwards!

We picked deliciously sweet wild strawberries. They're tiny but PACKED with flavor.

Every strawberry I've had since then has been bland in comparison.

Thanks so much, Amanda, for letting us come to visit! We had a blast getting to know the family and I'm thinking our husbands may be BFF from here on out. You know, since they are already planning next year's trip out there!

So you see, sometimes, getting off the beaten path and taking the scenic route is good for the soul, the spirit and just plain fun. It lets you recharge and take a break from "reality" and all things that comes with. Doesn't hurt, either, when the place you're staying has NO internet except for what you can get on a little smartphone. After a while, that just gets annoying.

*Raises glass* Here's to summer vacations and scenic routes! Make sure you take some time once in a while to get off the beaten path. Wild strawberries and wolf tracks may just be around the next corner!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Scenic Route

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best when he said "Life is a journey, not a destination."

Man had a point. Because really, what's the Final Destination for us all in life? Something involving a hole and some dirt, right? (or, if you're like a certain movie franchise where Death is the bad guy, you NEVER die... but that's a subject for another blog post)

It's taken me a while to realize that stepping back isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's been so much going on in the things I'm involved with, personally, writerly, dayjobbishly, you name it, that I found myself stretched too thin to do anything really well. It took a while to realize that stepping back and taking my time, reorganizing my priorities and realizing that it's okay to go slow some of the time.

It sure beats running yourself ragged and then not being able to do anything at all. Something so many of us forget, because we're too busy on that marathon that is parenting, writing, working, etc.

So to all of you who have also had what feels like one of the busiest summers ever, I leave you with this thought: someday on this journey, when you reach your Final Destination, chances are, your inbox (email, texts, twitter, FB... etc) will NOT be empty. So do you want to miss out on the scenic route now?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random Stuff Friday

1) OK, I suck. Yeah, I know, it's been a while, but I can't help it. Well, I guess I can, but I've just not been able to get to the blog recently. There's just been so much going on with the end of the summer closing in, lots of things I didn't count on or plan for and I am so a planner that it's basically thrown my entire rhythm off.

2) I have a ton of pictures to share with you guys, but I can't seem to find the memory card they are all on. I was going to show you all the beautifulness that is where we went for our family vacation (to visit my dear authorly friend, Amanda "Auntie Mandy" Bonilla and her family). It was an amazing trip and the kidlets didn't want to come back, crying as we drove away. And in case you didn't already know, Amanda Bonilla has an amazing adult urban fantasy coming out SHAEDES OF GRAY (Dec 2011, Signet).

**UPDATE ... in a conversation earlier this week with 6yo regarding our next family vacation -
Husband: Do you want to go to Disneyland or Auntie Mandy's house?
6yo (no hesitation): Auntie Mandy's house!
End of conversation.
So clearly, you need to see the pics, because apparently Auntie Mandy's is even BETTER than the Happiest Place on Earth. I'll try to get some up next week!

3) Our bank recently updated their website. And it sucks. Like mucho suckage. It takes FOREVER to log in and I can't even figure out how to READ the damn homepage and NOTHING is intuitive and as we speak, I have a window that's been loading for about 5 minutes so I can try to figure out how I can see the balance in our accounts. Seriously, folks, only make the big webpage "improvements" if you're actually going to IMPROVE something. *steps off soap box* Rant over.

4) Our friend "El Jefe" made a comment to me earlier this summer that basically stated that you can learn how to do ANYTHING from YouTube. I'm not a big YouTuber, but I did take his advice and taught myself the basics of crocheting via YouTube, but that's not our big accomplishment for the summer. We love food at our house. (And thanks to the Pots 'n Pens blog, to which I'm lucky enough to be a contributor, I've had a great chance to learn more new recipes - go check it out if you haven't already. **shameless plug!**) Anyway, back to the food and YouTube ... THIS was the big summer achievement:
Homemade Lox! Husband did all the work, I just reaped the rewards of being the taste tester. Our relationship works out best that way most of the time ;) Here it is on a cracker with some veggie cream cheese, capers and red onions on top. YUM!

5) Guilt's rolling in. I owe some CPs revision pages and I should really get to work on those - soon as I'm done with day job stuff today. So I wish you guys much productivity or wordage or relaxing and enjoying one of the last few weekends of the summer. I got stuff to do. Or else someone's gonna come down here and kick my @$$

Have a great weekend everyone!

Oh and if you're still wondering, the bank page STILL hasn't fully loaded.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An Unplanning Experiment

I'm a planner.

Many a friend will tell you (along with most of my family), I'm sort of a freak about my calendars and day planner and timelines.

But recently, with illness and exhaustion, day job stresses and life in general going a bit crazy in the Aphayrath house, I've not been able to maintain my freakish timelines I've laid out. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. Well, that's not true. I don't actually like it at all. Not one bit, honestly. I like my timelines and the accomplishment I feel when I hit a deadline, even if it is self-imposed. So working with no timelines has been a bit bizarre for me, an experiment in the unplanned.

Which is funny, because I'm a total pantser when it comes to writing. I've learned about myself that if I overplan a book - you know, outlining and all that - I get bored because I already know what happens, so there is less of a thrill for me in "unraveling" the story as it were.

As things slowly calm down, I'm taking the time to re-establish the planning portion of things that work for me as well as accepting that there are parts of what I do that I cannot plan for anymore (like, OMG, seriously? what happened to that character? how come she turned out like that???) and sometimes, the unplanned stuff is what makes my plans turn out just the way I want them to.

Are you guys life planners and pantser writers? Or am I just the only crazy one?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quote of the Week

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

Ralph Waldo Emerson