Monday, August 26, 2013

Going On Vacation

I feel like I don't have much to say today. We're going out of town for Labor Day so I won't be back on this blog until next Friday.

I got a couple kid related post in the works. One talking about the shows my boys like to watch on Netflix and one about the games William likes to play on my Kindle. Beyond that, not much else is going on.

I will be on time with my What's Up Wednesday post on Kricket Writes for this week and next, and hopefully I'll have more to talk about there.

Have a good Monday and and good week!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Recommendation

I don't feel like doing my usual Krank today since Monday's post was pretty cranky.

So I'm going to throw out some book recommendations.

Do you like YA with awesome female protagonist? Do you like a rich fantasy world full of magic? Do you like knights, mages, gods/goddesses, spies, international politics, mysteries, or crime solving? Then you will like pretty much anything by Tamora Pierce.

I'm a special fan of her Tortall series. I do own every book there is. I'm amazed by her writing skill. She's managed to write 5 different series that all exist in the same world. And each female protagonist is amazing and original.

So lets run down the list of awesome. Let me start by saying that you can pick up any of these series in an order. They do well standing alone, but you get the full effect of awesome if you read it in order.

First there is Alanna and The Lioness Quartet. Alanna is a girl with the Healer's gift, who also wants to be a knight during a time when such things are not allowed. So she must disguise herself as a boy to achieve her dream.

Next is Daine and The Immortals Quartet. Daine is a young woman who has a special gift with animals, looking for a new home while hiding dark secrets about her past.

Third is Kel and The Protector of the Small Quartet. Now that Alanna has paved the way for girls to become knights, Kel is the first girl to openly try for her knighthood.

Fourth is Aly and The Trickster Series. Aly is the only daughter of the famous Alanna. While trying to find her place in the world, Aly gets pulled into the dark underbelly of spy work and international politics.

And finally there is Beka and her series. This series goes back in time a bit to a, many times over, great grandmother of Aly. Beka wants to be a Provost Dog (aka a police officer). She has a special magical Gift that gives her a unique advantage when pursuing murders and other criminals.

Each of these characters and their series are so unique and original. That's what truly amazes me about Pierce. They are all young adult, coming of age stories, showcasing a different part of the rich world of Tortall. I've been a fan since I was a teenager and even now, as I reread these books, they still hold up and capture the same magic for me as an adult.

As a writer, I can only hope that my female characters will come off as amazing as Pierce's. Where each has a unique voice and story to tell.

So hopefully I've given you a good idea of something to read this weekend. Tell if you do or have read these and what you think.

Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mommy Confessions: My Big Fat Lazy Bum

This, you will notice, is not the usual Happy Korner, but it's not a Kranky post either. It's confession time!

Sometimes I feel like I'm the laziest person I know. I've been a lazy, procrastinating, lazy person most of my life. Why did I have less than average grades in school? Too lazy to do my homework. Why did I flunk out of college? Too lazy to go to class. Why did I have so many sick days when I was working? Too lazy to go to work. Why does my house get dirty and stay that way for days, if not weeks? Too lazy to get off my ass and do anything but the bare necessities.

Oh, I come up with all kinds of excuses for my self and those around me. I'm sick, I'm tired, the boys were crazy, I'm in a bad mood. The list goes on and on. But what it really gets down too is that I allow myself to get distracted with things. Books, games, this damn internet. I lack self discipline, period.

But man, what really gets under my skin is people who think that being a stay-at-home mom is easy. That we just get to do whatever we want and sit around and watch soap operas all day while we eat tootsie rolls (I do neither, I prefer M&M and Star Trek reruns ;)) Being a SAHM means that you have to be your own boss. You have to learn how to manage your time and keep your self on track. This is not as easy as it might seem, especially for me.

So how do I overcome this? Do I have the secret formula? No, but if you find one, please share, I'll pay you! The best I've managed to come up with is momentum. I have to get up in the morning and just get right to work and not stop until I have no more energy left. I've learned, over time, to pace my self. There was a lot of trial and error in that, but I've figured out what works for me.

And for all the tricks and tips I've learned and applied, there's still the part where I get up off my butt and actually move. Sometimes I think I need tasers on every chair and attached to all my electronics just to keep myself moving throughout the day. One day I'll have a computer smart enough to not turn on until I have proven that I got all the stuff on my to do list done.

But until then, I guess I have to hold my self accountable and not be a big fat lazy bum. Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to do the laundry I go!

Thanks for reading and have a Marvelous Monday!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Volunteering

Let's talk about volunteering and how awesome it is. :) If you didn't know already, I volunteer for Foothills Animal Shelter. I go in on Saturday's and walk dogs for 2 hours, and then spot clean the kennels. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

Not me, but you get the idea. 

My previous volunteering experiences have not been as good. As a teenager, the youth organizations of my church gave us a lot of "opportunities" to serve, and most of them I did not like. Going and singing to old people at a nursing home always scared me (thanks traumatizing experience, Brownies). And going to other people's home to clean it, worst idea ever. "Service Projects" always made me cringe because it generally involved helping other people. I'm not really a people person.

Don't get me wrong, I love people. I'm also pretty good in social situations and I'm even comfortable standing up and giving talks or teaching a class. It's just, given a choice between helping people or picking up dog poop... Hand me the pooper scooper please.

So what made me think of spending my Saturday afternoons volunteering? Well, for a while now I've dreamed of the time when the kids would all be in school and I'd have entire afternoons to my self and the idea of volunteering at an animal shelter always appealed to me. Then, one day it dawned on me that I didn't have to wait that long.

I'll admit, my reasoning for starting were 100% selfish, and that's okay. I wanted to get some time away from the kids and I wanted to play with animals. All of these desires are totally self serving. But yesterday, as I was walking dogs and seeing how happy they were, with their cute little puppy smiles and the way their tails wag, I realized that I'm helping them more then they're helping me and it made me feel really good.

You're smiling because he's smiling. :)

And who doesn't want to feel good?

So, if you're looking for something good and productive to do on the weekends, a good place to start is . There you can find projects in your area. Also, if you're interested in helping animals, look up your local animal shelter or humane society to see if they are in need of help (trust me, they are).

Well, thanks for reading and I hope you have a Magnificent Monday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Poop

I posted a little thing on Facebook about this yesterday, but I thought I'd expound upon it here, because this is my blog and I can do that. ;P

So I have some neighbors that I, believe, have two cats. A gray tabby and a black one. I know the tabby is their's for sure, and the black one is always around so I just figure it's my neighbor's as well.

Anyway, I live in a little town home complex that has a rule about keeping your animals on a leash when outside, INCLUDING cats. And along with that rule is one to pick up after your animals.

Well, these cats have decided that my garden is their litter box. I used to have flowers there, but they died, so now it's just an empty patch of dirt by my front door. And for weeks now I've been finding cat poop in there and there has been dirt spread all over my front walk. It's annoying and it's messy, not to mention gross and dangerous. Poop of any kind is full of nastiness.

I'm getting fed up with this. I've even moved some of my potted plants so that the cats can't get to the area, but that hasn't stopped them. There was dirt everywhere just yesterday. I shouldn't have to put up with this or clean up the cats' mess. They're not my cats.

And what really gets under my skin is that I have a 10 lb Chihuahua who is the same size, if not smaller, than these cats. I pick up his poop when we go out. You'd think these cat owners could do the same thing.

So, now I'm waiting to catch these cats in the act. And when I do, I'm going to talk to their owner. I'm sure the owner isn't aware that their cats do this and hopefully by making them aware, they'll stop letting their cats out. They're not supposed to be out by them selves anyway.

And for the record, I like cats, never owned one, but I do like them.

I mean, come on, who couldn't love a face like that? :)
Well, thanks for reading and I hope you have a less cranky Friday and a fun filled weekend!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm alive, I swear!

Hello dear reader. I am sorry for my absence. I have not forgotten you. Well, actually, I did, but it wasn't on purpose. Life keeps me busy and away from my computer a lot, which is good, but still.

Daniel bought this fancy new Chrome Book thing for school, which he started yesterday. But when he's at work it's all mine. So now I'll be able to update my blogs and be online more without having to lock my self in my room and away from the boys. They didn't like that and it's hard to concentrate when there are boys screaming at the door.

So here I am, telling you that things will be going back to normal now, promise. :)

Thanks for reading and have a good Tuesday!