Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Adventures

I love pumpkin season! Especially baking with pumpkin. I've paced myself so far and only made one pumpkin recipe. There's plenty of time left to bake this season.

A group of friends and I went to my favorite pumpkin patch on Friday. Blue skies, hundreds of pumpkins, and the search for the favorite pumpkin was on!

Smith Rock in the background

This is the most picked over part of the patch. Imagine that!

Corn maze. Easy part was one mile, hard part was four miles. Kathleen and I did both!

View of the maze from a platform.
Time to try out some new pumpkin recipes! Trader Joe's has the best canned pumpkin. Stock up!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Sequel

Wahooey! The draft sequel to Adventures in Dating is written. Soon, it will be in the hands of my trusted beta readers. They promise to be brutal and give any and all criticism.

My mother is the best beta reader ever. Chick Lit is not her preferred genre, but she's my biggest supporter. Not only does she give back excellent feedback, but she's always there to bounce ideas back and forth. For example, I sent her the sequel cover concepts. She had a totally different perspective on them and made me feel better. She also told me what I want in a cover even though I wasn't even sure what I wanted!

My goal is to publish the sequel by the holidays. Everything is rolling along so far, and I'm enjoying the process this time around so much more. Thanks to everyone for their support! Stay posted for book release info!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Getting Older

It seems like once I turned forty, my health started slowly declining. Or rather, it takes longer to heal. When I fell skiing in February, I tore my meniscus and sprained my ACL. I'm still recovering from it. Probably because once the PT signed off on my recovery, I started running again and overdid it. But still...

Now, I have an inflamed arm and hand, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel. Wham! All at once, and it's not fun at all. Here are the two really pain-in-the-butt inconveniences:

1. No ukulele. For months, I've practiced a song for open mic, which occurs next month. I could probably play the song, but then spend the rest of the evening massaging my hurting hand and arm. Is it worth the pain? Maybe.

2. Interrupted sleep. The pain in my arm and hand wakes me up every night. Then, I spend an hour trying to fall asleep again. Argghh. I love sleeping. It's one of my favorite hobbies.

I'm also editing the sequel to my book. Typing doesn't help my hand heal. So, I guess I'll have to find something else to do while I heal.

Any suggestions? Harass Yam the cat? Watch TV?

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Song Camp and Sisters Folk Festival

Song Camp is my favorite catering gig of the year. This year was even better because my friend, Lori, came down from Alaska to work with me. She brought her awesome enthusiasm and inspired me to stay up late and go big.

What do I mean? Well, it's hard work. Every night after dinner, I just want to take off my shoes and lay in bed. I'm always on breakfast duty, so I need my rest. But, each night after dinner, it's open mic. So, Lori and I cheered everyone on at open mic until late. You can never tell what someone will sound like until they get up and sing. I love being blown away by their performances.

If you haven't heard of Song Camp, let me tell you about it. Musicians come and mentor camp attendees for a week in songwriting, stage presence, technology, and more. It's ah-mazing. We feed them good food all week. The saying is "the music is great at food camp." This year, there were 150 folks, gorgeous weather, and sleep deficit all around.

We receive a free pass to the Sisters Folk Festival. In the past, I generally make it there one day, but I'm too tired to go all three days. This year, I went two days. All day. In fact, we didn't get home until 1 a.m. both nights. See what I mean about going big?

I encourage you to check out the festival line up. There are a few pics below, but I didn't see everyone.

Blue Lake.


Lunch buffet

Steve Poltz. I love him. I love him. I love him.

Whipped cream for gingerbread.

Kitchen serenade

Natasha and Lori. Time to jump in. One of the coldest lakes in OR.

Benjy and Will


Head down.

Nice reflection! I dove/jumped in four times.

Grammy-nominated Eric Bibb

The Hot Nut Riveters

Anna Tivel

Shakey Graves. I love him. I love him. I love him.

Barnaby Bright

Heather Maloney and Darlingside
My three favorite sets:
1. Steve Poltz
2. Shakey Graves
3. Darlingside
3. Eric Bibb

Tie between Darlingside and Eric Bibb. If you have a moment, check them all out. Everyone is on tour right now, so they may come to your hometown.

I'm exhausted. Beyond exhausted, yet totally hyper. I want to sleep, but I can't. Still high from this week's work, fun, and excitement.

Gotta go! Just bought some of their music, so I need to hit play and dance!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trivia and Fall River

For months, Emil and a few friends have attended trivia at The Lot on Tuesday evenings. I've skipped out of trivia due to ukulele jam, but I've joined them the last few times. They were consistently third place, then second, and finally last week, they won first place. Now, first place has a few perks. You get to hold a super cool trophy for five minutes, and you have a reserved table the following week.

Francis and Maisy

The dream team. All Alaskans!
Tom and I have been hanging out the last few weeks now that he's around more. Our plan is to do one item a week new to each of us. It can be a new restaurant, new tourist attraction, anything. Two weeks ago, we tried out the Indian restaurant. Meh. It was okay, but nothing to write much about.

Last week, we went to Fall River. It's a few miles past Sunriver and an absolutely gorgeous clear river. Emil would never fish this river. If you can see the fish, then the fish can see you.

We did see a fly fisher, and he was having great luck. I filmed his graceful casting. Sorry I can't share it with you here.

We're both super busy the next few weeks, so we'll have to play catch up. I'm rooting for something else outside, so we can take advantage the nice weather.

Well, I better return to writing. I'm about 27,000 words into the sequel. My goal is to publish by Christmas.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Parents Visit to Bend

My parents, uncle, and his girlfriend came to visit right after my brother and his wife. What fun! I said the visit went well once I realized I can't boss my parents around. I think I figured that out about day two of their vacation. Mother, Dad, and Uncle Ron were here last year, so they checked out a few new places here. But, they really enjoyed their time house-sitting in a gorgeous house in Sunrise Village. It was hard to get them to leave the backporch overlooking the Deschutes River.

What impressed me the most was my mother. She's not much of a dog person, but she really liked the dogs they were taking care of. She even bought them homemade doggie treats from the Northwest Crossing Farmer's Market! Ah-mazing!

Bonta Gelato

Lava Butte fire lookout

Lave caves. A balmy 42 degrees!

Obsidian Flow

Mother and Blitzen

Enjoying the ukulele jam
It was a lovely visit, and I'm thankful they traveled all the way to Oregon to see us! Good times had by all, and I miss them very much!

Looking at my iPhone photos, I'm almost caught up! Sure, I've left a few things out, but I highlighted the summer fun. Thanks for sticking around!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

July Guests

I'm skipping June activities because I can't remember what I did. I do remember the weather was warm, and I was tempted to plant my garden early. Okay fine. I got up and looked at my calendar. Looks like I catered a few events, went fishing at Paulina Lake, attended my first book club as the guest author, started exercising again because my knee was feeling better, and went to see the Indigo Girls for free here in Bend. Is that enough excitement or what?!

My brother, Ted, and his wife, Karla, came to visit the third week of July. It was their first trip to Oregon! We went all out! Lunch at a hip restaurant in Portland after we picked them up from the airport all the way to paddle-boarding. Ted was impressed and kept saying he wanted to move here. I told him repeatedly, "our life isn't really this exciting. We're dragging you all over town to do stuff. Sometimes, we just watch TV at night. Actually, that's how we spend several nights a week." He didn't believe me.

How many people does it take to strap a paddle-board on?

Ted and Karla

Great weather at the lake

Hiking at Smith Rock. It was 90+ degrees, and we didn't eat lunch. Oops.

Ted floating down the Deschutes River
On top of Pilot Butte

Drinking a craft beer
Wow! What a visit! It was so much fun to spend time with them and show them beautiful, Bend. They flew out the same day my parents, uncle, and his girlfriend arrived. Time for the next round of guests.