You have made it all the way here, so you may as well sit down, take a minute to look around, and enjoy. What you will find, depends on the day and my mood. You just never can tell.

Monday, April 21, 2014

What's On my Mind - April 21, 2014

Welcome to another week.  What has progressed in my world?

1.  The Kitchen is DONE!  I mean, waahooo done!  Here is the finished product. It’s hard to get a decent photo of a whole room but you get the gist.  All that is left to do is unpack all the bins full of kitchen crap.  I will be going through everything with a fine tooth comb as there is no reason to keep all the items I have.  I have so many pie pans/plates that I could start my own business.  I need to thin out a bit.  If there are items of sentiment, but I don’t use them, I believe they should be stored and not taking up space in my cupboard.  Do I like the end result?  Oh, my goodness, yes!

2.  Easter is over.  I love Easter.  The candy.  The food.  The Toys.  The Eggs.  It’s a reawakening of Spring.  It’s a time of forgiveness.  It’s a new start.  This year, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I usually do.  The kitchen stressed me out.  Family and crowds stress me out and I have a HUGE crowd at the house at Easter.  Twenty Three people to be exact.  I love seeing most of them.  I love sharing the day with them.  However, that doesn’t stop me from freaking out over it all the same.  After all the festivities were over, I needed to lie down. Thankfully, the Easter Bunny brought us the movie, Frozen, so I was able to relax and watch that for a hour or so.  

3.  Spring is here!  I have so much stuff to do outside the list is staggering.  Do I mind it?  No, not really.  I like spring clean up in small portions.  If I had to get it all done in one day, I would hate it.  As I don’t, it’s an enjoyable chore.  The sun shining.  The bunnies hopping about.  Frogs and deer, and fish.  This week, I need to work in the orchard.  Winter just went on and on and I didn’t get out there to trim up the tress.  Since we had a hard frost last week, I believe I can get away with the trim up still without hurting the tress.  I also need to clean out the pond.  I need a good pair of waterproof, snakebite proof gloves though.  Since we have an infestation (meaning 3) snakes that have taken up residence in the waters to eat my fish, I’m a bit hesitant to be shoulder deep in the water clearing out lilies.  They aren’t poisonous, but I still don’t want to get bit.  Esp. from the black water snakes as they have anticoagulant in their bite.  No thanks. 

4.  I made decent headway on my horror story last week.  Yay!  I plan on working more on that one and hopefully getting it finished up in the next few weeks.  At least the first draft anyway.  This novel is taking longer than most of my others, as I keep having to stop and research things.  One was how to properly clean an antique music box. 

Hope you all had a great Easter and you are enjoying the slowly warming Spring.  See you next week!

Monday, April 14, 2014

What's on my Mind - April 14, 2014

What’s on my mind this week?

1.  The date for one.  Today is 4-14-14.  I like dates like this.  Seems like this would be a good day to be born or be married or something.  One of those easy dates to remember. 

2.  My kitchen.  I have refrained from moaning and whining about the trials that have come along with the revamp of my kitchen.  It has been a very long haul, but the end is near.  To begin, we tore out the floor, and the walls down to the studs.  Found that the reason the kitchen was always so cold was due to the fact that there was no insulation in the walls.  At all.  We upgraded the electric, put in insulation, and put up new walls and a new floor base.  We spackled, we sanded and painted, and it was a dusty mess.  Then we began work on the ceiling.  We thought we would be able to go over top of the old ceiling.  We were wrong.  The old was uneven and stupid.  So we had to take out the ceiling to the studs as well.  There was insulation in the attic, however, it was loose insulation and old.  As we pulled down the ceiling, it came raining down upon our heads like snow.  It was not a good day.  Loads of cursing and coughing and sneezing, face masks or not.  We then put in a slat board ceiling with recesses lighting.  It looks gorgeous by the way.  Next up was installing the new cabinets.  Afterward, was the wooden floor, and now we are finishing up the plumbing and the trim.  The counters come on Tuesday and the end is near.  I can’t tell you how much we are all looking forward to having it done.  Eating out every night sounds like it would be fun.  It’s not.  We all forgot how well and healthy we eat at home.  All the grease and processed food has made us all a bit sickly the past month.  So the fact that we will hopefully have a kitchen back by the weekend is reason enough for a party. Which brings me to…

3.  Easter!  I love Easter.  Since the kitchen should be (it has better be) done we will be hosting our annual Easter dinner for family.  I have a new oven this year.  I hope it cooks my turkey like the other…that could be bad.  I have eggs to fill with candy for the egg grab. I have gift cards to purchase for special eggs.  I have a dirty and messy house to sanitize.  I love Easter, but this year looks to be a bit more work than usual.  I can’t wait.

4.  On the writing front, I am plugging away.  Why is my horror novel not finished?  I blame my kitchen.  I haven’t had a spare moment at home in weeks to sit my butt down and write.  Hopefully next week I will be back in full swing and real wordage.  I need too.  My main character is not a happy camper right now for being put on the back burner. 

That’s what’s one my mind.  What is going on in your world?  Anything exciting?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Google and Me

Have you ever googled yourself?  I do now and then just to see what comes up.  What always surprises me is how many different things I apparently do.  Here is a list of professions I have found that Courtney Rene, in some form or another, “does”.

1.                  Writer
2.                  Model
3.                  Attorney
4.                  Chiropractor
5.                  Photographer
6.                  Chef
7.                  Porn Star (sadly)

So will the real Courtney Rene please stand up?  I’m the writer, of course. As if you didn’t know.  I was giggling at the porn star one.  Anyone that knows me in real life, the introvert that I am would be giggling too.  The idea of being naked…on camera, not ever in this lifetime.  Oh, too funny. 

However, a few were interesting.  The idea of a model in fun for me, but the reality not so much.  Now, I’m not liking models to porn stars, at all.  But…have you been inside a Hollister Store lately?  Or Abercrombie?  Or heck, Victoria’s Secret? Naked people all over the place.  No thanks.  Not for me.  Just isn’t.  Not that I have a chance in hell to be one, as I have different shaped eyes, and my ears are lopsided.  I’m just average.  Nothing exciting about me.  I’m okay with that actually, but the modeling world, I’m sure wouldn’t be.

Then you have the Attorney.  There was a time that this idea crossed my mind.  Then I got into the law business (not as an attorney) and realized, no frickin way!  Too much emotion and greed to content with every single day.  Thanks, but no.

Chiropractor is not my thing either.  I don’t like to touch strangers.  I don’t even like to touch people I know sometimes.  Like that one huggy great aunt we all have.  I usually stay about 2 or 3 steps back just to be safe.  I also have people I know, that in order to hold a conversation, have to be touching you in some way.  A hand on my arm or leaning in and laughing on me.  I love my friends all of them, but some of the peripheral people that insist on invading my personal shell bubble, tend to wig me out a bit.  No, chiropractor is not for me.

However, that leaves a chef or a photographer.  I wouldn’t mind either of these.  I do my job either cooking or picture taking and then hand out the results.  No REAL people contact but for the final version.  I love to cook and bake.  I even enjoy taking a decent photo.  I could pull either of these off with the proper schooling.  However, they aren’t me right now.  Maybe in my next life I will give one or the other a try.

There is one version of me that I did not list above.  There is also a male me out there.  Not sure why, but this didn’t really bother me.  I found it interesting.  Poor guy, going around with a girl’s name that used to be a boys name. 

I’m sure there was more out there but those were the first to pop up.  Now the question is:  who are you out there in the cyber world of google?  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Award - The Sunflower Award

First and foremost I need to send a thank you, out to Allyn for giving me the Sunflower Award.  I am very honored.  You can find her site HERE.    

Here are the rules:

1.                  Share Eleven Facts About Yourself.
2.                  Answers the Questions Set by your Nomination Blogger
3.                  Pass on the award. 

Sounds easy, yes?  Okay, here are Eleven Exciting Facts about me! 

1.                  I am left-handed.
2.                  I love to cook, but hate to clean up afterward.
3.                  I can decorate quite the fancy cake.
4.                  I don’t much like meat.  If I could get away with not eating meat, without complaint from my family, I would.  However, they tend to complain if I go veggie for too long. 
5.                  I like to read steamy romance novels.  For shear fun.  Not for learning, not for grammar, just to enjoy an easy read. 
6.                  I have a fruit orchard that consists of peaches, pears, plums, and cherries.  I keep trying to add in apples, but the deer keep wiping them out.  Yes, I’ve tried fencing and other things. 
7.                  I have a tank top addiction.  I love them and wear them, every single day, either on their own or under whatever I am wearing.  I have over 30 at this point and I am already looking forward to the new styles of the year. 
8.                  I’m clumsy to the point of dangerous.  One of these days I will grow into my feet and the clumsiness will abate.  Wonder when that will finally happen?
9.                  I can’t draw to save my life.  Stick figure, oh yeah.  Anything more complicated than that, forget it. 
10.              I have a real fear of the dark.  Well, not so much the dark itself, but what could or might be in the dark that I can’t see. 
11.              I do believe in ghosts. 

And next we have the 7 questions from Allyn:

1.                  What is your favorite thing to cook:  Pasta.  It is so versatile.  You can add just cheese or you can toss with mushrooms and spinach and a bit of garlic, or toss in some other fresh veggies and a bit of olive oil.  It can be an entrée or just a side.  I enjoy pasta. 
2.                  Would you rather be an Avatar, a vampire, a Star Trek character, a princess in a storybook or a mermaid:  A vampire.  I think I could get over the whole blood thing if I could live for as long as I wanted.  So many things in life I want to see and do.  I don’t think there is enough time in one lifetime to do it all.
3.                  Would you take a pill if it promised you the figure of your dreams:  Yes.
4.                  How many published books would it take you to be confident in calling yourself a successful author?  This is hard, as I could self publish all the books I wanted but that would not make me successful.  I think it’s the fan base and the sales that give you confidence to call yourself successful.
5.                  To date, what has been your favorite blog that you’ve posted?  I did a series of blogs about what events of my life formed me the most.  Those were fun to write.
6.                  If you had to pick one of the following holidays to remove from the calendar, which would it be and why? Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, Easter, Memorial  Day, July 4th, Labor Day or Halloween.  Valentines Day.  It was fun as a child, but as an adult it’s a bit of a pain.  If you don’t know you are loved every day, then a silly card and a bit of candy wont help. 
7.                  Since you’re receiving the Sunflower Award and we associate sunflowers with happy things, what makes you the happiest.  The sun.  No really.  Doesn’t matter what type of mood I am in, if I can go outside and feel the sun on my skin, I am instantly in a better frame of mind and happy for that moment.  It doesn’t ask anything from you.  It simply is there. 

I know I am supposed to past this onward, but I’m going to decline that part of the award.  Why?  Mainly because I don’t want to double up the award on someone and after checking, most of the bloggers that I would have passed it on to, have already received it. 

Thanks again, Allyn for the honor of this Sunflower Award. 

Have a great week everyone.  Hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me as a person. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Thoughts – The Book Thief

I posted a few weeks ago that I was reading The Book Thief.  I finished it about a week ago and decided I needed to write a review. 

I have a fascination to stories during the holocaust.  I don’t know what it is exactly.  It has something to do with the claims of so many in Germany “that had no idea” what was going on.  It’s also the stories of survival.  How very strong the human soul is.  I say soul as sometimes I truly believe that is what holds people here on this earth.  When the body wants to give up, it’s the fighting of the soul that holds on.  That’s me though. 

I picked up the book simply because I wanted to see the movie.  I try to always read the book before seeing the movie of a book.  It’s a quirk of mine.  Had I not wanted to see the movie, I never would have picked up this book. I wouldn’t have known it was out there.  I am so very happy that I did. 

This book was the story from a different view.  The view of death and the story of one girl, one family, that didn’t choose to look away.  That didn’t choose to pretend it wasn’t happening. It tells of their struggles, their own bouts of hunger, their own moments in the face of violence and death. 

Here is the book description stolen from Amazon:

  It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

  Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. 

  In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

That is such a bare bones description if I have every read one.  This was a story of love.  Love for our parents.  Love for our siblings.  Love for our friends and neighbors.  Love of life.  It’s also a story of fear.  Fear of the color of your eyes or hair.  Fear of death and dying.  Fear of being left behind.  Fear of the unknown.  Yes, there is book thievery.  Yes, there is accordion playing.  But these are only the outside moments of the story.  It’s the people met along the journey that make this book what is. 

Liesel is a wonderful character.  The author brings her to life with such color and emotion that you find yourself cheering her along and crying right beside her.  Yes, I spent several moments during the read of this book with tears coursing down my cheeks.  I am not much of a crier either.  I couldn’t help myself. 

The secondary characters, didn’t feel secondary to me.  The were alive and front and center, holding hands with Liesel during her journey.  

The first chapter or two were a bit slow.  I’m so sorry to say this, but I don’t want someone to read the first chapter and think, what the hell is this crap?  Get past the first chapter or two and you won’t be sorry.  If you are, feel free to contact me and tell me how much you hated it and why and how it’s all my fault you read it in the first place. 

Let me know what you think or thought of the book.  I really want to know. Have a great week everyone!


Monday, February 24, 2014

What's New Monday

It’s a new week and still not much to report on this end.  I am almost done with a small writing project I am working on.  Another 5,000 words and a thorough edit once and twice, should do it.  I also want to get finished up with my new horror story.  I got a bit sidetracked working on something else, but at least I am writing.  I’m not complaining a bit.

So what’ new this week? 

1.         The kitchen is progressing.  We have an empty room down to the walls.  We have 3 ½ of the 7 walls torn out.  We have dust and debris cleaned up for the moment.  All the cabinets and counter-tops and the sink are out.  This week the plan is to break up the tile flooring.  Finish tearing down the other 3 ½ walls.  Then I believe we are set to work on the new ceiling and the new drywall.  That’s the plan anyway.  Will we get it all done this week?  I’ll let you know.  I’m surviving the no kitchen ordeal pretty well.  Plus as there is no real way to fix anything quick, like a warm toasty bagel at 9:00 p.m., I’m thinking I may loose that pesky 6-8 pounds I have been complaining about lately.  So all in all we are in a good place with the kitchen this week.  How long with that last? 

2.         Started reading The Book Thief.  I’m only about 3-4 chapters in, but color me surprised, it’s being told from the point of view of…death.  That’s a POV I haven’t seen before and I am really liking it.  We will see what I think of the story after I get a bit further in.

3.         What did everyone think of the Sochi Olympics?  I didn’t get to watch it as much as I thought, but then again I don’t watch a lot of tv on a good day, however, I was not all that thrilled with the coverage.  It jumped around too much.  You never got to really finish a section. You’d get through to the final rounds of something and then the coverage would switch to something else.  It got annoying and tiresome right away.  I did get a kick out of all the accommodation tweets and posts and stories.  I would not have found it as funny if I’d had to live it, but seeing it from this side of the coin, it was funny.  Maybe we in the U.S.A. are more spoiled than we realized.  Ha!

Have a great weekend everyone.   

Monday, February 17, 2014

What's on my Mind?

I am waist deep in writing, but I wanted to do a quick check in.  See how everyone is doing.  As for me, this is what’s currently on my mind. 

1.                  Snow and Ice.  I gotta tell ya, I have had enough of if.  It has been freezing cold, snowing and icy since early November.  It’s now the later half of February and it has not let up for a moment.  I expect winter weather, but at this point, I can’t take much more of it.  It’s really starting to bum me out. 

2.                  I am trying to read at the very least one book a week right now.  I have a handful of books I picked up from the Half Priced Book Store, and I just hope they are good ones.  I used to read a book a day, and now it’s a struggle to find the time for one a week.  When did that happen? 

3.                  We (being my husband and myself) will be revamping our kitchen beginning next week.  I’m dreading this event.  It’s going to be 4-6 weeks of no kitchen…at all.  We are taking the room down to the studs, taking out one wall, and taking up the floor and ceiling.  We are really starting from scratch in that room.  A temporary “kitchen” is being set up in the garage that will house the fridge and the microwave, but I have severe misgivings about the process.  How can a family of 5 live for 4-6 weeks without a kitchen?  Without even a kitchen sink?  We will of course be eating out a lot more.  I will be stocking paper products so that there will be no real cleanup.  We will be using the grill instead of the oven where ever we can.  It’s going to be…fun?  Stay tuned; I am sure you will be hearing about this makeover for the next 4-6 weeks. 

4.                  Babies.  I have raised my share of children and have one left at home that is on her way to a full-fledged teenager.  Pray for me…  However, I have to admit, it’s very strange having a baby around again.  My grandson is the first boy baby I have been around for any length of time.  So far it’s not any different than my girls.  Yes, he’s bigger and heavier, but it’s all the same stuff.  Smiles, and giggles and even a few tears here and there, but all in all, it’s like riding a bike.  I got this.  Granted, it’s a bit easier as a gran, that it is as a mommy, as I am not “on” 24/7.  I get a few hours every week, and that is just enough time to play and have fun, and then give him back to mommy for all the hard stuff.  It’s nice.  I get to sleep through the night. I don’t have to deal with shots and doctors.  I get hugs and love and all the good stuff.  I kinda like this gran stuff. 

That’s where I am this week.  What’s on our mind?