Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Book

My book is finally published and available for purchase.  It's been a long, frustrating experience, but I learned lots of information on publishing and editing.  Thanks to everyone for their patience!  Here's a link to buy the book:

If you're local or wish to buy it directly from me, I'm happy to send you a book.  Cost is $11.95 plus $4 for shipping.  Email me at with your contact info.

Everyone kept saying I needed a goal with this book.  Financially or otherwise.  My goal was to publish it.  Of course, I'd like to make back the money I spent on it, but I'm just happy with the process completed.

Time to work on book number two.  *grin*

Friday, March 21, 2014

Platform bed - NEW!

After many years of having our bed on the floor, we are now grown ups with a hand-crafted platform bed.  Emil worked hard for several days building it, but he spent many weeks sketching and designing it.  He wanted the platform to raise up easily, so we can stow totes and such.  It's a success!

So high up!  And raised three inches higher at the head of the bed.

Yam approves it.


Now, Emil is sorting through totes and deciding what to stash under there.  I'm repacking totes and trying to assist, while still gimpy.  Emil loves the bed.  I'm still getting used to the height.  I wonder what his next project will be!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Excursion to Eugene

For Emil's Christmas gift, I bought him tickets to see Martin Sexton, an amazing musician.  He is on tour and came to Eugene on Wednesday.  I saved my pennies, booked a room at our favorite B&B, and we left early on Wednesday morning after dropping the cat at the kennel.

Check out his music!  My favorite song is "Glory Bound."

Since my leg is still wrapped up and sore, Emil drove us.  An easy drive (especially for me) over a wet mountain pass.  On the way to Eugene, we saw elk right by the road, daffodils, snow on the sides of the pass, and pink blooms on trees.  Spring has arrived to the valley.

Before we checked in to the B&B, we stopped in to the best bakery in the world!  A Sweet Life.  I gave up sweets for Lent, so I tried to avoid the dessert case.

Emil selected a slice of Blackberry Silk Cake.

We dined at Hot Mama's Wings, approximately three blocks from our B&B.  A long walk for me, but I made it.  It lightly rained on the way to and from the restaurant.

Tempeh wings in Asian Honey Mustard sauce

Tempeh Reuben - perfect for us vegetarians
Martin Sexton was ah-mazing!  The venue was intimate, and there were about 150 people in the audience.  Jay Nash opened for him, and I really enjoyed his music.

Martin Sexton

Merch table!

We love The Oval Door B&B.  It's owned by two friends, who are also trained chefs.  Their breakfasts are fabulous!  They served us crispy polenta topped with poached eggs, goat cheese, and corn/pepper relish.

After hitting our favorite stores (Cabela's for Emil), we hit the road. At least three inches of fresh snow on the pass, plus rain all the way from Eugene past the McKenzie River.  Typical!  Glad to return home and pick up Yammers!

Monday, March 03, 2014

February Open Mic

In February, a group of us sang and played at the ukulele open mic.  Emil was kind enough to record and edit it.  I was recovering from a cold, so I didn't sing much.  But, it sure was fun!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Skiing is awesome!

On Wednesday, we cross-country skied at Mt. Bachelor.  It was a gorgeous day, and the snow was icy.  We skied approimately six miles and even clocked 24 mph down the common corridor.  One of my better days skiing, but I was tired by the time we returned to the lodge.  I packed us food to make a lunch, but forgot to pack jelly.  Typical.

Our real plan that day was to take an alpine lesson, but we couldn't get into a lesson.  I receive complimentary lessons if there's one paid person in the lesson.  Emil receives a discount on the lesson.  Unfortunately, no one signed up for a lesson.  Our back up was Nordic, so it turned out fine.

That evening, I hatched a plan.  We would watch a few youtube videos on alpine skiing ... just for some helpful tips.  I mean, we are already familiar with skiing, so how hard can it be?  Plus, I watch skiers and boarders coming down the hill from my ticket window at least three days a week.  I see what they do. 

So, we would drive up, rent equipment, and ride the free beginners lift for a few hours.  Easy.  One quick stop for donuts in the morning, and we were on our way!

We rented equipment at Sunrise Lodge.  Jeff, the manager, was super helpful with the fitting, how to carry our skis without whacking people in the head, and declared me the experienced skier since I took one lesson in the eighth grade.  Now, find the chair lift, put on our skis, and get out there.

Getting sized up for skis.

It was a perfect day.  Snowing, four inches of fresh wet snow (slow snow), and not crowded.  We clipped in, skied over to Carrousel lift, and loaded up.

First run:  A few falls for me, one for Emil.  We practiced linking turns, pizza, and french fries.
Second run:  No falls for either of us.  We laughed, cheered each other on, and managed not to fall off the lift, or drop off poles.
Third run:  One fall for me.  None for Emil.  Still laughing.  Enjoying the falling snow.
Fourth run:  No falls for either of us.
Fifth run:  I felt I was going a little too fast, tried to pizza, and fell.  By the time I bit it, I was going slow, but my knee bent a really weird way, and I heard a pop.  Huh.  Oh well. 

I tried to ski across, but was a little shaky.  Then, I decided I would just take off my skis and walk down, then rest my knee.  Emil pushed the quick release for my ski, and my knee popped to the left again, and I fell down.  Time to call ski patrol.

Side note:  Ski patrol are young, cute, bearded guys who show up within three minutes.  How do I know this?  I've had to call them several times for guests with injuries.  I time them.  Once, I saw them put a girl on a backboard, into a sled, right in front of my window.  They were amazing - nice, considerate, and thorough.  I also see hurt people coming down in a sled, and I vowed I would never ride in that sled.

My friend, Francis, had just skied over from Pine Marten to see how we were doing.  He was going to teach us some of his bad habits.  I told him we were doing great before he arrived, but would he mind skiing down and asking the lifty to call ski patrol for me. 

BOOM!  Two minutes later, Kyle, from ski patrol showed up.  I told him I was an employee and not to tell anyone he was helping me.  He immediately told dispatch via radio about "an employee, he was assessing."  I told him I was not able to walk, and I was not going in a sled.  Thankfully, he skied down for a snowmachine and brought it up to me.

Wow.  We're back in rentals where it all started.  Except, I have to fill out an incident report, and I can hardly walk.  Yay.  Time to hit up Bend Memorial Clinic Urgent Care.  Kyle, the ski patrol, ruled out broken bones.  He was so NICE!  And, he said it was a steep part of the beginners area.  When he taught ski school, he never took folks down that part of the hill.  Interesting.

It was a long wait at Urgent Care.  We never ate the lunch I packed us.  To redeem myself from the forgotten jelly, I pre-packed our sammys.  So, while we were in the waiting room, we pulled out our lunch.  I'm sure people looked at us and wondered why we packed food to come see the doctor!

So, the doc thinks I have a sprained knee and fit me for an immobilizer.  If my knee doesn't feel better in two weeks, I'll have an MRI done.  Fun fun fun. 

Skiing is awesome!  It really was fun.  We laughed on the slope, in the waiting room, and over breakfast this morning, as I hobbled around. 

For now, I'm working on a cover story to tell my co-workers, so I don't have to admit it was a skiing accident.  Any ideas?

Thursday, February 13, 2014


We played cribbage the other night with a bunch of friends.  It's one of my favorite card games, next to euchre.  I learned to play cribbage at a very early age.  My grandparents taught me to play, and I have many fond memories from playing over the years.  A few years ago, I taught Emil to play and passed down the wisdom I learned from Grandpa.  Never break up a run.  You never know what the turn up card will be, and it could make a huge point difference in your hand.

Here are a few memories from playing:

1.  During my teen years, I always wanted to watch TV while we played.  My grandparents had cable, so I could soak up MTV when I visited them in Florida.  I lost every game if the TV was on.  A huge distraction, but I vividly remember watching the Paradise City video by Guns N' Roses.

2. If there wasn't a seat for me at the table, I played waitress and took drink orders.  At their home in Cincinnati, I would carry around paper and pen.  Of course, I was too little to fulfill the orders.  Pretty sure that's where my waitressing career began.

3.  In close point games, I remember Grandma and her partner would say funny things before cutting the turn up card - little chants and such.  Sometimes, they would switch chairs, thinking it would change the outcome of the cards.  Being a little kid and watching that seemed so fun.  Sometimes it would work.

4.  Snacks were a big thing.  I remember eating Gardetto's Original Snack Mix out of small wooden bowls.  Two bowls on the table in between folks.

Here's a pic:

We played cribbage last night during the Olympics.  Just didn't work out since my attention span was on the women's skiing!  Go figure!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Coming soon ... my book!

So ... in about a month, my book will be for sale. You can buy it from Amazon or from me (free shipping to the first 50 buyers). I hope you'll support me. The book is a quirky romance set in Anchorage, starring my friends!

It's been an interesting process thus far.  Honestly, writing the book was the easiest part.  I have a feeling the marketing of the book will be quite a hurdle, but I'm looking forward to it.  I'd love to come to Anchorage for a book signing.  We'll see how it goes.

A huge thanks to everyone who has helped me so far.  I appreciate you answering emails so quickly, looking at grammar books, and helping me create the characters.

Here's a few factoids regarding the book:

- Most of the interactions between my work husband and me are true.
- I always wanted sisters.  I love listening to sister stories from my friend, Lori.  So, my character in the book has two sisters.
- My character has an entire closet dedicated just for shoes.  I own less than five pairs of shoes now since my feet shrunk.
- Many of the characters are named after friends I've lost touch with over the years.

Okay, enough teasers.  I'll let you know when it's available for purchase!  Thanks for your support!