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Monday, October 31, 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot ........Peppers!

We did put a few in the freezer.

My son does manage to take a tiny bite every now and then.

And, we pawned off a small amount on a few courageous and curious friends.

But, I decided if you can't eat them, decorate with them.

But, maybe I should hang a sign on them saying, "DON'T TOUCH!"

Ghost Peppers are ..........Hot! Hot! Hot!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writing Wednesday-Getting organized and Laura Ingalls Wilder

I've been trying to get a little organized. The family room, which is where I write, was beginning to get so you couldn't walk around in it. The floor was covered with wall to wall books and clutter.

I also found all my PB manuscripts on my computer desktop and various 'sticks' as I call them. I printed them off and put them in this blue notebook.

Each story is separated by a pink sheet. The pink sheet has the title of the manuscript at the top of it. Below the title I have listed the publishers I have sent it to, along with the date sent.  In parenthesis, I write how long the publishers say it could be before anyone hears back from them. (That is if they intend on letting you know)

Either way, by looking at the date sent and the submission response time, I know if there is still hope from hearing from the publisher. I find that this is the best way of keeping track of where my manuscripts are. Also if anything ever happens to my computer, my stories will not be lost. I will have the latest version of them in my notebook.

I delivered Two Lane Livin' today throughout the Ripley and Fairplain area. If any of you are ever interested in purchasing Two Lane Livin' downloads, there is a link on my side bar. You can purchase downloads for as little as $1 and $2.

While in Ripley, I stopped at this little thrift store and found this book.

I love it. I am a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and this book is filled with her wit, wisdom and whimsy!

A few of her sayings are:

Blue is without doubt a heavenly color, but it is better in the skies than in one's mind.

It does not so much matter what happens. It is what one does when it happens that really counts.

Lessons learned at mother's knee last through life.

Farmers hands are quite full . . . and it seems about the only way they could procure more help would be to marry more wives.

I think she was a very wise woman.
Happy Writing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Writing Wednesday - October Fun Ideas

As most of you know, I write Fun Facts for Kids for Two-Lane Livin' Magazine.

Below is my October column. 

A riddle - fall activities - fun and easy recipes.


What was the favorite game at the ghost’s birthday party?
            Hide and Shriek!

I love autumn. The weather is cool and the trees are so beautiful, their leaves bright and colorful as a kaleidoscope. It is the perfect time to grab your jacket and take a walk in the woods or attend football games.  Enjoy these days before winter rushes in with her cold winds and deep snows.
Here are eight fun things you can do in October:
Make a hand print wreath. Trace around your hand on orange, brown, yellow and red construction paper or craft foam. Cut them out and glue into a large circle. With a hole punch, punch a hole in one of the hand prints, insert thread and hang on your wall.
Gather some pumpkins and have a pumpkin face-painting contest with your friends. When you are finished, vote on your favorite and place your decorated pumpkin on your front porch for everyone to see.
Go on a walk with friends and gather different kinds of leaves. Sort them by color, size or type of leaf. See if you can identify what species of tree each one came from.
Gather together pieces of nature, such as leaves, acorns, small sticks and pine cones. Add some google eyes and pipe cleaners. Then, use your imagination and glue together some fun critters.
Get an old straw hat, decorate it with artificial fall flowers and leaves, place it on top of your painted pumpkin or hang it on your front door for decoration.
Go on a fun hayride, sing songs and roast marshmallows.
Make a Halloween costume. Wear old jeans, a plaid shirt and a straw hat, stuff raffia in your sleeves and pants legs, attach a stuffed crow on your shoulder, and be a scarecrow. Wear a gray sweatshirt and sweat pants, carry a fake axe, place a funnel on your head for a hat and wrap long pieces of aluminum around your elbows and knees. Cut a heart from red felt, sew to your sweatshirt, and be the Tin Man! Wear a blue gingham dress, carry a basket with a stuffed dog inside, wear red shoes, put your hair in pigtails and be Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz.
And with help from your parents, make these fun and easy snacks.

Acorn Doughnuts

Glazed doughnut holes
Chocolate icing
Fall sprinkles (found in small jars in the baking section of the grocery store)
Stick pretzels

Spread chocolate icing on the top third of the doughnut hole
Roll it in the fall sprinkles
Push in a small stick pretzel for the stem

Nutter Butter Ghosts

Nutter Butter cookies
Vanilla Almond Bark or white candy coating
Mini chocolate chips

Melt almond bark in microwave, stirring occasionally
Dip Nutter Butter cookies in melted candy coating – cover completely
Remove with fork and place on wax paper
Add mini chocolate chips for eyes
Let harden completely

Happy Writing!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Road Trip

We went on a road trip Saturday to Newell, WV. We went to the semi annual tent sale at Homer Laughlin China Company. You can go here to read a history of the plant. It has been located in Newell since the early 1900s.

We crossed over the Ohio River on this steel bridge to get to Newell. 
This toll bridge (75cents) opened to traffic on July 4, 1905.


We stood in line for at least 1 1/2 hours. (I forgot to time it. We chatted with other people in the line and watched the others come out of the tent with their boxes and boxes of dishes and the time went by pretty quickly)
Outside the tent were extra old wooden bins filled with the colorful Fiesta.

Inside were bins and bins of the dishes all in a row. 
So many people were let in at a time with their dollies, wagons, etc 
to walk down the aisles and pick out their pieces. I took our little Red Flyer wagon.

The outside of the building is old and dilapidated in looks. But maybe, some of these new companies trying to make a go of it could take a few lessons from this plant that has been around for years. Instead of taking millions and millions of dollars and building their fancy buildings, they could invest their money (or our money) more wisely and concentrate on their product and services. 

Outside on the grounds were piles of broken pottery.

And, I just love this little broken china garden outside their showroom.

On the way home, we went just a couple of miles north of Newell to Chester, the most northern town in the state. We wanted to see this big teapot!


I also tried to snap a shot of this barn from the car window. I didn't do a very good job of it, but I thought it was the prettiest shade of green. I haven't seen many barns this color before.

We had a great time. I bought 13 dinner plates of various colors, a large red platter, a red serving bowl, a red oblong serving bowl, 6 red gusto bowls,  a large peacock mixing bowl with lid, 3 pedastal bowls (red, peacock, white), 1 red and 1 ivory bread platter, a red egg plate and 2 peacock Java mugs.
I bought all of these for only $70. If you know anything about the price of Fiestaware, you will know what a great deal that was. 

I am anxious to go to their next sale. It is an adventure in itself!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bridge Day Re Post

 This is a re post from from 3 years ago. 

Today is BRIDGE DAY 2011 and we didn't go, so I thought I would post this from our trip there in 2008. If you ever get the chance to go, do it! It is a great adventure, but don't ever expect to see me jumping off of a perfectly good bridge.



Bridge Day is a BIG event in West Virginia. In fact, it is West Virginia’s largest one day festival. People from 15 countries participated. They were expecting 200,000 people to watch, and I was one of them.

Here I am ........

Standing in the middle of this.

The New River Gorge Bridge officially opened October 22, 1977.

Picture of bridge under construction.

The first Bridge Day was celebrated in 1980 when only 5 BASE jumpers jumped off the bridge. Today they expected 450 jumpers.

Jumpers getting their parachutes ready.

Jumpers in line.

It is 876 feet high and 8 seconds from the bridge to the water below.

One taking off.....

Two taking off....

Our parents used to say to us as kids, "If so and so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" Well apparently for these jumpers, the answer was yes.

One by one........

they glided gracefully to the bottom of the gorge.

Two of my sons watching from above.

Others watched from the lookout on the side of the mountain.

The beautiful view we all saw from the middle of the bridge.

The small winding road below us...

and the long straight road ahead of us, on the long walk back to the car.

An annual, spectacular event held the 3rd Saturday of October for a majestic bridge.

Summer vacation picture taken from the lookout.

Were you at the bridge today walking across? If not, I hope my pictures helped transport you there.

There are a lot of Bridge Day videos on You Tube, if you want to go check them out and watch the jumpers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Little Writing and a Lot of Fiesta

I usually have a writing post on Wednesdays, but I don't have much to say about writing today.

I received a rejection email from the agent I queried for my MG book.

Our writing group has not been meeting lately and I do miss the meetings. I am thinking of trying to find some online writers to share manuscripts with to edit and critique. I need someone else to read my stories. Other eyes see things our own eyes do not.

I am still working on putting together my family history book. I am anxious to get it finished and printed. But, really it will never be finished, because it is still being written....because life goes on and on. I had spoken to one of my cousins before about his remembrances and he had told me he used to go hunting with my Grandpa. This was a long time ago, because my grandpa died before I was born. I saw my cousin over the weekend and asked him about it again. I am glad I did. Seems the hunting he spoke about was not for squirrels, deer or bear. . . but ginseng!

My mind lately has been on colors! The colors of Fiestaware! We are traveling to Newell, WV very early tomorrow morning to attend Homer Laughlin's semi-annual Fiestaware tent sale. I have never been to their tent sale before and I am so looking forward to it. Newell is in the tip top section of our state. If we are lucky and do not get lost along the way, it will take 3 1/2 hours to get there. But, it will  be worth it. The prices are incredible!

What color do you like best?

If you are familiar with Fiestaware, what is your favorite piece? 

I am making a list and checking it twice. Wish you could come along, I might need someone to slap my hand and keep me from buying too much.

Our state is a beautiful and wonderful section of America. Two of West Virginia's best ambassadors are Homer Laughlin and Fenton. Their products add beauty to our world.  If you are not familiar with their products, go check out their sites.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Weekend Outing

We took a trip to my cousin's camp over the weekend. I thought we would be there for a few hours, but instead ended up staying there way into the night.

No electricity, no water lines - but there was a neat outhouse. A mirror on the outside wall, a shelf with wash pan and towel - what more could you ask for. It is even lit up at night with a solar light.

My cousins and I went for a walk into the deep dark woods. Here we are at the bottom of the steep hill (which we had just climbed down) contemplating the path ahead of us.

Lots of neat woodland scenery along the way...


My cousin and I beneath the rocky formations...
We had a fun time climbing beneath the rocks...


 We checked for snakes before posing for these pictures...

After our walk  in the woods, we climbed up the hill back to the camp. There was a campfire waiting for us.
 We all had a great time with family and friends. When darkness fell, we sat around the fire and told family ghost stories! A great way to end the day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Writing Wednesday - Writing for Kids

Writing can be serious, writing can be fun, writing can be for adults and writing can be for kids. Get children interested and capture their attention while they are young and they will be readers for life.

How do you mend a broken Jack o’ lantern?
 With a pumpkin patch, of course!

October is National Popcorn  Popping Month.
Grab a bowl of your favorite popcorn and enjoy the following story.
Peter and His Mammoth Pumpkins
By Janet F. Smart

     Peter wanted to grow the biggest pumpkins in Jackson County. He bought seeds at the Feed and Seed. The package said mammoth pumpkins! Peter ran home and planted his mammoth pumpkin seeds. He waited and waited and one morning after a big rain, the seeds sprouted.     
     “Mommy, Mommy,” shouted Peter, “come look at my pumpkin plants.” Peter grabbed hold of his mother’s hand and they strutted to the garden together.
     “That’s nice,” said Mrs. McKenzie, “but I like sunflowers.”
     “I like  mammoth pumpkins,” said Peter as he pointed to the picture on the seed package.
     “Sunflowers are big, too,” said Peter’s mother, “and they would provide us with lots of seeds to feed the birds this winter.”
     Peter shook his head and said, “I do not want sunflowers, I like pumpkins.”
     The next morning he walked to his garden. Animal tracks crisscrossed the muddy ground and his tiny plants were gone. Peter groaned and planted more seeds.  The pumpkin seeds sprouted, but again the animals came and ate the tender plants.
     Peter walked back to the Feed and Seed to buy more mammoth pumpkin seeds. He grabbed the package from the rack, and then he saw the sunflower packets. There were seed packs for little sunflowers and - seed packs for mammoth sunflowers! His eyes opened wide. He took the mammoth sunflower seed package from the rack and he placed them on the counter with his mammoth pumpkin seeds. He emptied the change from his pocket, grabbed the packs and hurried home.
     “These will grow tall and protect my mammoth pumpkins,” said Peter as he planted the sunflower seeds around his garden spot.
     The sunflower seeds sprouted and their stalks wiggled and grew in the warm sunshine. The animals never ate them and they grew taller and taller. Then, he planted his pumpkin seeds inside the circle of sunflowers.       
     He watered and cared for his garden each day.
     One fall day, he walked out to the garden and he jumped with excitement. “I have the biggest pumpkins and the biggest sunflowers in Jackson County!”
     Peter tried to lift his mammoth pumpkins, but he could not.
     Peter grunted! Peter pulled! Peter shoved!
     He tried his best to lift his pumpkins. He toppled to the ground and wiped his wet forehead with his dirty hands. He rested and then jumped up and ran home.
     “Mommy, come and look at my mammoth pumpkins. They are so heavy, I cannot lift them.” He strutted to the garden and she followed behind him. Mrs. McKenzie’s eyes sparkled. “The sunflowers are beautiful!” she said. “They are so big. The birds will have a lot of seeds to eat this winter.”
     “No, look at my mammoth pumpkins,” said Peter.
     He squeezed between the sunflower stalks. His mother followed behind him. He ran into the middle of the garden, climbed up on a large pumpkin, and stood tall. His body blotted out the October sun as he looked down at his mother.
     “We shall also eat well this winter,” said Mrs. McKenzie. “I can make lots of pies with your mammoth pumpkins!”
     Peter smiled.

Get children interested in reading and they can explore the world without leaving their house. The pages of books take them places they could never travel to in person and enables them to experience things they could never experience otherwise.

Read to your children and grandchildren. But watch out, their smiles are contagious!

Happy Writing!