Saturday, March 30, 2013

I saw these today ...


An APPLE bird!

An ELVIS frog!

I didn't buy any of them, but I thought they were cute. I saw them at Kmart in their spring and garden collection. They had a bunch of other ones, including a Marilyn Monroe frog, but these were the only ones I photographed. Oh, and don't forget my book giveaway below ...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Picture Book Giveaway!

I've been doing a little spring cleaning and came across some extra copies of a few of my picture books. I decided to do a free book giveaway for a copy of Lemur Troops & Critter Groups. This was my second book published by 4RV Publishing. It's illustrated by Nikki Boetger, although she went by the surname of Shoemaker at the time. This is one of my favorite books. The illustrations are absolutely adorable. There are four books in the Critter Series that teach children the names of animal congregations by the way of simple rhymes. This is book one in the series, and you can find them all at 4RV Publishing.

If you would like to be put into a drawing to win, leave a comment here along with an email address that I can reach you at. I'll be posting this link on Facebook as well as other places, but please comment HERE on this thread to be included. Feel free to link this post on your blogs and other social sites. I will choose a winner in on April 4, 2013. Thanks, and good luck!

Monday, March 25, 2013


I saw an article link today about airlines charging more for heavier passengers. Apparently, this is a heated debate where some think you should pay-as-you-weigh. I didn't reply to the person who posted it on Twitter. He was totally for it and felt his wife should pay less for her airline ticket because she wasn't as heavy as he. It was his post, and I didn't agree with it, so I just left it alone. However, having said all that, this is MY blog, and so ...

I don't like this idea at all. I think it's discrimination. I also think it might cause lay-offs for heavier employees who are required to travel a lot. I believe it just makes people feel bad. I'm not going to get all into the details like the weight of the plane, how much fuel it burns, emissions, and all that stuff. I'm not that tech-smart to know what that all means. I just believe it will make people feel bad, and/or not want to fly. Aren't the airlines hurting enough as it is right now? 

One of my biggest pet peeves about flying — and I have many — is that people are allowed to bring those large carry-on bags onto planes. Now that part I'm okay with. What bothers me are the people who bring ones on that they know are too big, so the flight attendants take them off and put them under with the other luggage. Once the plane lands, those passengers get their carry-on bags, which were too large to actually carry on, and then go off their happy way without having to pay a cent. What is up with that? Why should I be charged $40-$50 per suitcase, and they get off not having to pay for anything? How is that fair?

Charging someone by their weight doesn't seem right. I still don't understand why clothing manufacturers charge more for plus-sized items. Check it out next time you're at a store. Extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large items are usually the same prize. If you need a 1X, 2X, or higher, they charge you a couple of dollars more. Why is that? Is it because a 1X uses more fabric? If that's the case, shouldn't we be paying the LEAST amount for an extra-small item? It's not right, and it's certainly not fair.

I say charge everyone equally. If your carry-on gets pulled off the plane because it's too large, then you should be required to pay for it just like everyone else. It's that simple — at least in my simple mind. Maybe it's a totally different story for the airlines. If you're so heavy that you require two seats, then yeah, I get that maybe you should pay for that extra one. To charge for weight doesn't seem right to me. I hate flying,and they're not helping me like it more.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Okay, so don't freak out or anything. I was just playing about with the TAAZ make-over site. In fact, I stayed up until 2am messing with that crazy thing. The last time I used it I had bangs, so I was limited what I could do regarding hairstyles. My bangs are finally long enough to pull back, so I took a SCARY looking picture of myself without any make-up so I could do it properly. I think in all my last TAAZ make-overs they all showed my own eyeliner. It's a fun site though, especially if you want to see how you'd look with a completely different hairstyle. I love being able to change my eye color. I do like my dark brown eyes, but it's fun to see how I'd look with blue, green, or purple eyes. I'm not sure what my fascination with blond hair is because I've NEVER had blond hair. Mine natural hair color is dark brown with a lot of red highlights.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Not feeling it ...

This is pretty much how I feel right now. The good thing is that I don't get like this often, so I'm hoping it passes soon. I wanted to attend a homeschool convention, but it turns out ours has been canceled for this year. Even after 14+ years of homeschooling, the workshops are helpful, especially when it comes to burn-out. I always come back feeling refreshed and ready to start up again. I guess that's not going to happen this year.

I went to the Montana Homeschool Convention by myself last year. Rick and the boys went with me to Helena, but I attended the convention alone. I didn't know anyone locally who was going, so I just kept busy with the workshops I signed up for. I had really hoped there would be one this year, but I guess it's going to be postponed until 2014. A year is a long time to wait. Oh well. Hopefully, I'll snap out of this funk and get myself motivated on my own. I'm pretty good at that sort of thing — that is, when I set my mind to it.

I'm also a little burnt-out with my writing. I have some new ideas for picture books, so I'd like to get started on those and possibly start submitting to new publishers soon. I also have a middle grade novel I want to get revised and ready to go. I was thinking of self-publishing it at first, but now I'm not sure if I want to go that route or submit it to a traditional publisher.

Anyway, I hate being in a funk like this, so hopefully it will pass soon.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Babysitting SugarPaw

I recently won a copy of Babysitting SugarPaw as a blog giveaway. I don't know about you, but I love it when that happens! I have so many writer friends with incredible books, but sometimes it's just impossible to buy them all. It's such a treat to receive one, and then be able to tell everyone else about it. So anyway, here is a little about the book ...

A little bear named SugarPaw hopes to get rid of his babysitter, Bonnie Whiskers, by getting her into trouble after making changes to his rules chart. As this loving story unfolds, SugarPaw learns about honesty and friendship. Babysitting SugarPaw, with its child-centered plot on getting to know others, is the perfect book for little ones scare of being left alone with a babysitter for the first time. This book will delight three-to-eight-year-old readers, especially those who like to create mischief.

This is a charming story by VS Grenier and illustrated by Kevin Collier. Anyone who has babysat children, even just once, will be able to connect with Bonnie Whiskers and her frustrations of things not going as planned. Any child who has been left with a babysitter can relate to SugarPaw and all his uncertainties of being left alone with someone new. This is a very sweet book and the winner of a Silver Mom's Choice Award.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

An apple a day ...

These are just a few of my apple pictures I've been posting on Instagram. Denny posed with one today, so that's the newest one in the lot. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Deep Purple Tee

Okay, so I've had this Deep Purple tee shirt since I bought it during their 2004 tour. It's a 2X and simply huge. I was a lot heavier when I bought it, but not that big. I bought it big on purpose because at that time, I was more into hiding how big I really was. Anyway, to make a long story longer, I've had the shirt all this time, but haven't worn it. 

I also have this book called Generation T. If you haven't seen it, check it out. There are a bunch of cute ways to transform old tee shirts in it. I've done a few things, but only on really ratty tee shirts that I didn't care if I messed up on. This Deep Purple shirt is NOT one of those. I think I paid $40 for the darn thing. Anyway, I want to transform it into something that I'd actually wear, but I don't know what. After spending so much money, the thought of cutting it scares me.

This is the back of the shirt with all the cities they toured in 2004. It's a really cool shirt and I'd like to make it into something a little more fashionable. Have you ever transformed a favorite tee shirt into something else? If so, how did it turn out? I'm scared to mess it up. Maybe I should just sell it on eBay and buy myself a cute, red plaid dress instead.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Got Squirrels?

I'm working on a picture book about squirrels right now, so I have the furry creatures on my mind as I sift through the hundreds of pictures I've taken. Some people hate squirrels, but I adore them and find them a constant source of entertainment. The squirrel on my header and the three babies in the picture above are actually Columbian Ground Squirrels. They're common in Montana, especially in Glacier National Park. I've seen them in my subdivision as well. They can hibernate as early as July, and sometimes stay in hibernation for as long as 7-8 months. My book is just about red squirrels, which are way more common. Anyway, this got me thinking about some of the squirrels I've seen in other states ...

California Squirrel — this one was munching on tortilla chips by Lake Casitas.

Montana Squirrel — this is my buddy, whom I see almost everyday at home.

Florida Squirrel — this one was munching on some peanuts someone had tossed down.

Monday, March 4, 2013

WYSIWYG ... or is it?

I've been having fun playing around with pictures on Instagram. I'm a latecomer there. If you follow me on IG, you've probably noticed I've been posting a lot of pictures. I mean — a lot. I guess I feel I have to make up for lost time or something. But anyway, it's interesting to see how you can change your photographs, as I've done with this one. The original is below.

As you can see, I've made the image a lot darker. My hair is really reddish right now, although it doesn't show up that way in the original. It's just interesting to me how one click of a button can totally change the look of a photograph. I have PhotoShop, so I know how complicated this can be when you're doing it on your own verses using something like Instagram.

It makes me wonder about photography in general. When I first got into computers and what we used to call desktop publishing, we used the term WYSIWYG. It stood for: What You See Is What You Get. It's interesting to note that what we SEE is not actually what we GET in real life.