Thursday, November 29, 2012

50K... And Counting!

Lookit lookit lookit!   I did it!  It has been a crazy busy month, but I hit 50K about 20 minutes ago, validated the novel, ordered my winner's t-shirt, and downloaded my free winner button for the blog.  

So, why the "and counting" in the title of this post?  

Well, I hit 50K, but I am estimating I am about halfway finished with the novel.  Oiy vey.  But now that the 50K deadline is met, the craziness need not continue, right?  You'll see more consistent posts, right?  

Ummm... don't count on it.  

Now that Nano is over, I have to work on finishing the story, catch up with some paper work for school, finishing some secret projects for Christmas, and make Isaac's birthday quilt.  We also are preparing a Christmas program at church, we are having a Christmas party (open house style) here at the parsonage on the 15th, caroling at a nursing home on the 22nd, and extra practice that evening, and the program is on on the 23rd in the evening.  That doesn't include the usual ASL classes, writing classes. Bible Quiz team practices, Teen recreation and Bible study, and the general busyness of life.  

I am looking forward to this Saturday.  Dale and I are going out on a "fancy" type date to a dinner theater.  We've been planning it for a while.  I have a special dress, shoes, shawl, and evening purse all ready to be donned for a night out on the town... or whatever the Boondocks equivalent is.  *smirk*

For now, I'm doing my goodie goodie dance and rewarding myself with chocolate for hitting the 50K.  Can't wait to do it again next year!  Maybe by then I'll have this one finished.  


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Crazy, Busy Days... and More to Come!

Busy lives are not a foreign idea to anyone, I'm sure.  But in the interest of hopefully entertaining you, I'm taking time out of NanoWriting time to bring you the following update from the Beehive.

This week started out with the usual Monday routines.  My Dad, whose birthday is was on Thursday, celebrated it Monday, because of being in the hospital for a routine hip replacement surgery the rest of the week.  He opened up a gift that I have be D Y I N G to blog about.  A while ago, my sister-in-law, brother, stepmother, and my Dh were talking about what to get for my Dad for his 70th birthday.  After much brainstorming (Okay, I wanted to go for the tie that sang "Let it Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" but no one else thought that was good for my Florida-Fleeing-Escape-The-New-England-Weather Father for some reason.  Really people, where IS your sense of Humah??)  we came up with a memory quilt.  This quilt has scanned pictures from my father's life onto fabric and made into a quilt.

My stepmother was trying to surreptitiously hijack personal photos out of the house to have scanned.  The first problem came when my father asked where all the photos were.  My stepmother, a clever lady who thinks very well on her feet told him that the realtor said that having too many personal photos up wasn't good for selling their house (which they were just getting on the market at the time).  I greatly admired the verbal parlay, and readily admitted to myself that her response was better than mine (A Seagull Ate It).

The second problem was the process of scanning the pictures.  My stepmother diligently sought high and low for someone who could do that for her.   After numerous calls, visits to little quilt shops and even a JoAnn's I think, we agreed it would be better for her to send the whole kit and kaboodle to me.  I received the pictures in the mail in due time, and called my local Quilt Shop feeling quite confident I could delegate this chore out and have it done while I worked on designing the quilt top.

Nothing doing.  I cannot believe, even now, that no one, not even Staples, had a clue on how to do this.  So I developed a Plan B.  I researched online about what to use for scanning the pictures and bought a packet of special muslin backed with stabilizer that you can just peel off after you print the pictures on it.  It worked brilliantly!  Dale was enlisted to help.  I am pretty helpless with technology, but over the course of a few evenings, he had all the pictures scanned and printed up, safe and sound.  They are amazing!  There was even some things that were bare visible to the eye in the pictures that came out more clearly on the scanned copy.  It was just breathtaking.

Now, remember, I said this whole process started a long time ago.  It began before we knew we would be moving.  Fast Forward to last June/July.  After an atrocious winter and early spring, I finally got back to the quilt.  Things had changed- a lot!  First off, we were moving in the first few days of August.  Secondly, my sister in law (Hi Melinda! ) and the family were coming out in July, and I wanted to hand it all over to her for quilting.  My job was to design and piece the top (after printing up the pictures).  I used a nice Batik jelly roll to frame the pictures.  I also bought yardage to use for the back and binding and wherever else it was needed.  So, I was packing to move, and trying to get the top done.

I took the all the photos, printed up and waiting my magic touch... except I suddenly realized , as I was laying them all out that there was no way I would be able to use the original design I had been thinking and planning on.  The pictures were all different sizes, so instead of a tidy, symmetrical layout, I went with an eclectic look.  Personally, I think it turned out very artsy, and I loved it once I was done.

I was able to piece the top and hand it, the batting, the extra fabric, and the hand prints over to her when they came to visit.  The hand prints were a little brain storm we had later.  All of our hand prints, done in fabric paint, on the back of the quilt.  She finalized how to attach them to the back, and did a fantastic job!

Oh, another change that happened was that my sister in law is expecting again!  Yay!  But I know from experience that hand quilting with a frame around a pregnant tummy in the summer can be a bit of a challenge.  Come to think of it I was very pregnant with Josiah, and believe it or not it was for my Dad and stepmother's anniversary.  It was a GIGANTIC Trip Around the World Quilt.  We didn't have AC.  So, Dad and Les, if you read this, just remember how much I love you.  :P

What trials and mishaps my sister in law may have had, you'll have to ask her.  At any rate, she hand quilted the quilt, and got the had prints on, and got it labeled, wrapped and sent, bless her heart.

Oh, one more little glitch was that when my stepmother was doing her hand print my dad caught her in the act.  I don't know what she said to him, but according to Melinda, as soon as the word "craft" came out of her mouth my father glazed over and mumbled something about "whatever" and walked off.

In the end, my dad was surprised, and it worked out very well for this to be the year for such a gift.  My Florida Fleeing Father can't leave for the South just yet.  He has to actually spend the first part of the winter up north, as he had his routine hip surgery, and it will be at least 8 weeks before he can run for it.  No pun intended.

The "routine" surgery wasn't so routine, and there were some complications, but I have to say, after talking to him today, it seems like he is pretty much back to his old self again.  I hear he has been teasing and giving the nurses a hard time... a sure sign he is feeling better, and that he has been doing very well with the physical and occupational therapies.

The rest of the week has been the usual craziness plus NanoWriMo.  I've also been planning Dale's birthday dinner and a small family celebration.  His birthday is next Wednesday, but seeing how that is the day before Thanksgiving, and a Wednesday, which is the busiest day for us with ASL class and Teen Quiz team practice, and then getting over to our church for prayer meeting and doing up the bulletins... you get the idea, we decided that we would celebrate today.

Yesterday, however was our monthly shopping day.  It wasn't JUST monthly shopping.  I had Thanksgiving to buy for, and Dale's birthday.  And for mercy's sake, please don't even mention Christmas to me just yet!
When we got home, we unloaded, put away, then Dale and everyone except Elizabeth and I, went to the church around the corner from us where the kids go for Teen Recreation and Bible study on Friday nights.  They had a nice Turkey dinner for the teens and their families as a thank you for going to the Teen Bible Study.

Let's see... sit around and eat fattening foods, or stay home and write in my PJ's?  Kind of a no brainer, in my book.  Elizabeth agreed.  It was so very quiet after everyone left we hardly knew what to do with ourselves.  Funny thing is, she made us a nice healthy dinner, and then we sat and watched some TV together until the tribe came home.  Once the noise, er, family, was back in the house, I went upstairs to write.

Today was yet another busy day.  I bet you are all tired of reading that!  My plans were to get up bright and early, make the cake, organize for cleaning while Dale was gone for his Saturday visitation, wrap his presents, and have a nice lasagna dinner ready around 1pm.

Okay, what really happened was that we overslept, then just as we had all the eggs cracked for breakfast the power went out.  Dale was upstairs (I served him coffee in bed while he read his Bible) and was unaware when it went off.  But believe me, I was very aware!  I had lasagna to make!  A cake to make!  Laundry to do!  Vacuuming to do!  No power?

Well, at least I had had coffee!

So, we all went with Dale over to church.  Thankfully they had power.  We cleaned at church while Dale and Elizabeth did the Saturday calling.  I was able to do a little "office work" while there, as well.  Right before Dale and Elizabeth got back, I called our house.  I figured if I got the answering machine then the power was back on.  I did, and it was.

So, when we got home, we had a quick lunch, then I made the cake, put the lasagna together for supper, and then went upstairs to wrap presents.  Easy, right?

Not so much.  Seriously, I never, in a hundred years, would have expected to have so much trouble wrapping a few presents!

I had gotten this sparkly blue wrapping paper.  I took the plastic off and immediately couldn't help but notice that it was thick, almost like a fabric.  Great!  Not that cheap stuff that rips at the corners of a box after you wrap it.  Don't you hate having to reinforce those corners with tape?  Then I noticed that the glittery stuff that made it sparkle festively was coming off like little grains of sand.

No problem, I thought.  I haven't vacuumed in here yet.  (I had given the kids assigned chores for cleaning at our house, which they were TICKLED to do after helping at church.  Yeah.  Right.)

I got out the first gift, which was a new fleece bathrobe for Dale.  Boring present, right?  Well, it needed to be done as his old one is tattered and threadbare.  The man actually wore out an LLBean robe, believe it or not.  I'm not sure how, as he doesn't like to lounge around in it.  I did borrow it on occasion, but not that often.  No matter, a new robe he needed so a new robe he got.

He also needed new sneakers, but bought those himself yesterday.  I was going to get them for him, but it is a good thing I didn't, as he found he took a half a size smaller than he used to.  Good thing he was there to try them on!

However, I used the box for the bathrobe.  Not an easy feat, I assure you.  Picture this:  Me rolling that sucker up as tightly as it could go then cramming it into the shoe box.  Jerusha, who wanted to help wrap, was sitting there handing me tape.  I held that top down as best as I could, then quickly put tape on it to hold it shut.  It popped open, no matter how much tape I put on it.

"Jerusha, go ask Daddy for the packing tape, but don't tell him what it is for," I ordered her. I decided to wrap one of the other, smaller gifts: a new shirt and tie.  I cut the paper to the proper size and then folded it around the back.  I had it all lined up nice and neatly, then put the tape on.

It slid off.

I put another piece on.

It slid off.

The saying is that doing something the same way more than once and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity.  Guess what.

I put a third piece of tape on.

Guess what:  Yup.  It slid off.

The tape simply would not adhere to the paper!  That stupid glittery stuff... like sand... would shift and fall off and there was no where for the tape to grip.

Jerusha reappeared with the tape.  I decided to go back to the shoebox full of fleecy bathrobe.  I held the lid down with both hands.  Ah, that was tight enough.  Nice and snug... but now how do I get the tape?  It was packing tape, and after Jerusha fumbled with it and made a nice little packing tape ball, I told her to hold the lid down.  She wasn't quite big enough to have enough "toomph" to hold it down snugly.  Now what?  Okay... well, now don't laugh, but I ended up sitting on the top of the stupid box while taping one end, then turning it to tape the other.  I put several more rounds of tape just for good measure.  I surveyed the box with satisfaction.  No way that thing was opening up unless I wanted it to be.

Then came the problem with the wrapping paper.  Now, when we moved, I ditched all our old wrapping paper.  It was cheap stuff we had bought at the dollar store, and not worth the cost to move it.  What I had was ALL I had.  Remember what I said about the definition of insanity.

Yup, I tried it again.  I figured I was wrapping a box this time, and maybe that would make a difference.

It didn't.

I finally looked at Jerusha and she had a strange look on her face.  I suspect she was trying not to laugh at me.  I told her "I have to go to the store."

Dale found out that I was about to use $8 worth of gas to buy a $2.50 roll of cheap birthday wrap and put a halt to it.  (Ah, such is the life with a "numbers" type of guy).  He said, just use what you have.

I didn't have anything!  That was the problem.  Well, I had some baby wrap from when I made that quilt for the neighbor here after she had the baby.  It was all in pastels and said "Welcome Baby Boy" all over it with pictures of storks.  I protested.  Dale said "It's fine.  I was a baby boy, after all!"

No, I didn't use it.  I remembered I had gotten some Christmas wrap yesterday and used some of that.  I chose a plaid that was a little less "Christmassy" than the others.

I sat down in my room, door closed.  I don't know why I closed the door.  Dale obviously knew what I was doing.  Anyway, Jerusha started wrapping some of the smaller things, and I tackled that shirt and tie.

Now, when I say tackle, I do mean tackle.  Have you ever tried to catch a slippery, wet, bar of soap in the shower?  That is what this wrapping paper was like.  Seriously.  It was the most slippery stuff I have ever felt in my life.  Silk couldn't be any more slippery.  And guess what... the tape didn't like sticking to it.  I use a lot of tape normally anyway, but this was bordering on ridiculous.  What is it with wrapping paper these days anyway?  And that is THE last time I use that awful, cheap, non-sticky tape! You really do get what you pay for sometimes!

Eventually we got the presents wrapped.  We had a nice dinner, and the kids did some entertaining by doing some singing and a couple of skits for Dale.  I couldn't help but notice that some of the tape on the gifts were already peeling off while he was unwrapping.  Ah well, at least the gifts were a hit!

Back to the Land of NanoWri for me!  Have a blessed evening everyone!

33,620 words and counting,

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Reality Check!

This was sent to me from my daughter.  This is the exact analytical thinking that makes watching movies with my husband irritating.  Given the fact the daughter that sent me this has the same propensity to point out "that couldn't happen!" or find a detail that wasn't consistent when viewing a movie or T.V. show, I'd say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


(The following was found at :

Santa Clause (an Engineer's Perspective)

There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world.  However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau).  At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per house hold, that comes to 108  million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

  Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.  This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second - 3,000 times the speed of sound.  For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element.  Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself.  On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds.  Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them - Santa would need 360,000 of them.  This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh,  another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere.  The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each.  In short, they would  burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.  The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. 

 Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's.  A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs, and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Merry Christmas!

(Now doesn't that fill you with warm, fuzzy, thoughts for the holidays?)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A "FO" and Other Minutia

I've been meaning to post a pic of this wall hanging/table topper for a while.  Every time I see I slap myself in the head and say to myself "Dingbat, post a pic already!"  So, for the sake of my forehead, and for a subject title for this post, here is a pic of the somewhat newly finished wall hanging/ table topper:

The front: (Elizabeth, who was holding it up said: "Do you like how my nails match the quilt?"  Silly girl!)

 Here is a close up of some of the quilting, which I now see you can't really make out very well.  Sorry about that!  Photography is NOT my forte' !

 And a section of the back, which, again, was supposed to show off the quilting better.  :/

Friday evening from 5pm I was at the mercy of the Harvest Retreat for the teens.  Okay, I signed up as a chaperon, but it was FUN!  We did all manner of activities including a tractor driving contest, knife throwing, obstacle course, pumpkin bowling, paintball, an Iron Man contest (farm style), a night hike, and trail riding.  There were other things too, but my brain is too tired to remember them.  My favorite activity was the night hike.  It was something I had never done before.  Well, I've hiked before, but not at night.  Those of you who are gasping and thinking that pigs do fly because I didn't say the horse back riding was my favorite, I'll explain why.

I've ridden before, a lot, in my teen years.  Took lessons, did trail rides, and love every moment of it, from wonderful little jumps to falling off... it was all fine with me.  However, this time around I had two things that distracted me from totally enjoying the experience. Actually three.

One, it was almost 23 or 24 years ago when I was last on a horse.  That is A LOT more years than the number of years these kids have even been alive, for crying out loud.  Was I nervous?  You betchya.  However,  I can overcome my own nerves.  The problem was that I had two daughters who have never ridden a horse by themselves also on the trail (there was supervision etc, but still!) and that is a whole different type of nerves, that I hadn't anticipated at all.  I knew I'd be a little anxious for myself, and thought I could handle those motherly instinct type nerves, but oh boy, was I wrong!  Especially when Elizabeth's horse decided he wanted to go into the nice looking field and would not follow her command.  She yanked on the reins, and that sucker gave her a buck!  Remember: Elizabeth has never really ridden a horse on her own before.  She did ride in the corral ring the previous night, but the horse was being lead by someone else.

I was so proud of her.  Not only did she keep her seat, but she kept her cool.  Thankfully it wasn't a runaway situation.  The horse "Liberty" (should have been named StubbornRebelliousSnorter) found a nice patch of grass, promptly started eating.  By then, one of the more experienced riders had gotten over to her, and they switched horses.  "King", who is a much older, and sedate type, seemed to give her no problems whatsoever the rest of the ride.  Well, until she got off and stepped on her foot, but it wasn't malicious.  He was grazing, shifted his weight, and caught the side of her sneaker.  She wasn't injured at all, and her breathing only took an hour or two to recover from the episode.

Esther's horse was fine, thankfully, but Esther is rather high strung and nervous anyway, and I was catching it from her. She had trouble getting the horse to stop, but I found out why.  When she pulled back on the reigns she was barely pulling.  My soft-hearted girl was afraid to hurt the horse's mouth.  Now, don't go rolling your eyes, she didn't know any better!

I was having my own issues with my horse, Sundancer.  Now I know and remember about proper posture, and getting to know the horse a little (I spent some time petting him, talking to him, letting him get to know me a bit, etc while we were waiting to go) and keeping your heels down in the stirrups, etc. I even managed to haul myself on that poor horse on the first try (okay, it wasn't very pretty, but I got up there!).  I know the horse knows if the rider is nervous or confident, and I know they will try to exploit that in anyway they can.

I was told Sundancer was mellow.  So, I was expecting to hop on, have nice loose reigns, and enjoy the ride without a care.  Uh huh.  In other words, I was delusional.  What really happened was I hopped on, and I swear I heard that horse give some sort of evil chuckle.  He stood still long enough for me to be lulled into a false sense of security, and then started to want to eat.  Well, I yanked on the reigns.  He put his head back up.  Then he would inch forward.  I pulled on the reigns, and said "Whoa boy,".  He whoa'd, and then moved backwards.  I rolled my eyes.  This sort of thing went on, as it takes some time to get 7 or 8 riders all set to go.  I noticed as soon as we started out that he was much happier.  Personally, part of me keeps saying that it was the first ride of the day, so he was restless and ready to go.  Lots of energy to be burned.  The other part says , "don't believe it for a moment.  He was testing you, trying to find out who's the boss."  I think both sides of me were correct.

So, we started out on the trail.  A nice, wide, easy trail.  And personally, it was going well enough, but I had those pesky nerves going on, and this was no laid back, loose rein ride.  I kept having to rein Sundancer in more and more.  When you are trail riding you never go before the leader.  Very poor riding etiquette, if I remember correctly.  Anyway, I was worrying about the girls, and wondering if it was a huge mistake, when another rider went by us (the path was plenty big enough for double laned walking) and her horse, Shadow, for no good reason kicked Sundancer!  I think I yelled out "Hey!" and the rider was scolding the horse too.  My initial reaction was to be on high alert lest Sundancer retaliated, but he took it like a champ.  Just after that episode, was Elizabeth's little drama.  By then I had had enough.  This ride was getting on my nerves, and I was ready to be done.  After Elizabeth switch horses though, the leader convinced us to stick it out.  Things did go smoother after that for the most part, though Esther was super nervous still.

I said there were three things that marred this experience.  The third is simple:  After all of that, it ended for me too soon.  Seriously.  Things started to calm down, and though I had to keep Sundancer on tight reins, it was a pleasant ride.  I'm already itching to go again.  I forgot how addicting riding is!

Oh, as a epilogue of sorts, I asked the girls if they would do it again, and Esther gave a somewhat hesitant yes, but with warmer footwear on (her toes got pretty cold) and Elizabeth answered right away "Yes, as long as I'm not on Liberty, and can ride King.   Also, I found out that Sundancer is USUALLY the leader on trail rides, which is why he was literally chomping at the bit the whole time.  Oiy vey.

All in all, it was a wonderful time, the whole retreat.  The kids got to try a lot of new things, and they were already saying "I can't wait for next year's retreat" on the way home.

And now for the NaNoWriMo update:  I'm up to over 7600 words!  I hope to get a little more in tonight after the kids are in bed, then tomorrow I will have to do double duty again to stay caught up, as I doubt I will get to it Tuesday.  We are going to visit some friends of ours for the day, which we have been looking forward to, and voting.

That reminds me... MAKE SURE YOU VOTE ON THE 6TH!!!!!!!!
(nice and subtle, eh?)

Have a blessed day!

Car Keys

Between the storm and politics, it's good to a get a hearty chuckle in these days.  This little story didn't originate with me, but honestly, I could see me doing this exact thing.  Go ahead, read, laugh, and repeat if necessary.  :)

Several days ago as I left a meeting at a hotel; I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down.  I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing.
Suddenly I realized I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the parking lot.

My husband has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition.
My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them.
His theory is that the car will be stolen.
As I burst through the door, I came to a terrifying conclusion.His theory was right. The parking lot was empty.
I immediately called the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen.
Then I made the most difficult call of all, "Honey," I stammered; ( I always call him "honey" in times like these.)
"I left my keys in the car and it's been stolen."
There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard his voice.
"Are you kiddin' me", he barked, "I dropped you off"!!!!!!!
Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, "Well, come and get me."
He retorted, "I will, as soon as I convince this cop I didn't steal your car."
Yep it's the golden years................ :-\

Friday, November 2, 2012

In the Land of Nano

For obvious reasons, I was keeping a countdown last week, and had the pleasure of my parents staying with us for a few days.  What a wonderful way to spend time, especially during those anticipatory pre-Nano days.

Esther and I made our preparations.  They went from the physical to the mental.  The physical was stocking up on caffeine and snacks for those times when our brains need a boost, either sweet or savory.  Mentally, we both have been jotting ideas and thoughts down in what we call our NanoNotebooks.  Mine fits in my purse, so if we are out and I'm noodling over an idea, I can write it down so my old brain won't forget it later, and then I end up kicking myself, and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth... not pretty.

Of course, to start off the Nano with a bang, Frankenstorm had to come through.  Where we are in Pennsylvania was in the high threat zone, but thankfully all it has amounted to is a LOT of rains, a little snow here and there, high winds, a bit of water in the basement (which the sump pump has kept up with just fine) and a 4 hour power outage, much to the children's delight.  They love it when we lose power, especially at night.  For them it is an adventure.  I had no real worries except for the fact that it doesn't take long for FrankenLaundry to develop.  Our prayers go out to those on the coast of course, some of which who are still without power.

This storm did provide an example of my favorite kind of teaching: Real Life.  I had the kids study about what made Frankenstorm such a superstorm and we have been looking at pictures online and reading the articles and updates.  It is amazing the damage that has been done, and if those pictures of NYC, dark and empty are eerie, than I don't know what is.  The "City that Never Sleeps" looks dead and empty.  It is a once in a lifetime occurrence, and indeed, this is one for the History books.

It has been very wet and rainy, drizzly, gray here, but Elizabeth and I have found time to go out for our Death Marches, uh, jogs.  Dale has been starting to walk again, so I get in about an extra 25 minutes or so with him.  I much prefer being outside, than trying to exercise to a tape inside.  Too many little bodies around!

Thursday was November 1st, and all Wednesday I had the countdown on the NaNo site up on my laptop, propped in the dining room and would call out the countdown from time to time.  I was hoping that I would drive everyone crazy enough so that they would be glad for the NaNoWriMo would start and I would be out of the way.  There is method to the madness, people!

I kicked of Thursday by doing my nails.  I used a pea green coat under a black "crackle" layer.  I'm hoping it will promote good writing mojo.  If nothing else it gives me something else to look than than the blank screen when I get stuck.

The first day of Nano was a wonderful success for me... the quota is 1666 words per day to finish on time.  I hit 2903 last night, and I didn't even have to stay up late to do it!  This story I'm doing is writing itself right now.  I know from experience that euphoria doesn't last forever.  Sooner or later I'm going to get bogged down, but for now, I have enough ideas to keep things moving for a while.

Speaking of writing, I need to get to it.  I've delegated some cleaning, it's a light day of school work, and later this evening the older children and I are going up to God's Adventure Camp for an overnight Harvest Retreat.  It is going to be wonderfully fun, cold, damp, but a superb outing I think.  It runs from 5pm tonight to 12 pm. tomorrow.  When we get home we are going to want showers, lunch, a nap, and then back to writing for me.  Dale is staying home for the littles, and I am going as a chaperon.  Ha.  I'm really going because I wanted in on the fun.

To all of those still suffering the effects of Frankenstorm please know you are being prayed for.

Stay safe, have a blessed day!