Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Website

Whew!  I've been away from my blog for awhile.  During that time, I was working with Michele Bergh on a new website, which is now up and running!

Please go check it out!


My new website has info about:
• the Children's Books I've written,
• the Speaking and Teaching I do, and
• my newest adventure - the cards that I've designed!

Thanks for your patience during my blogging/website transition!

Have a great beginning of April!  I hope it's spring wherever you are!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Not-So-Solo Vacation

For the last two days of my Solo Vacation I haven't been very "solo."  I drove down to Fort Myers Beach to spend some time with my aunt and uncle.

It's always great to visit them!

We walked on the beach, went shopping, and ate great food.

Their place is right on the bay that leads out to the Gulf of Mexico.
Fort Myers Beach, FL

It's February and this beautiful hibiscus is blooming!  Back home in Minnesota it's a very monochromatic white and grey.

Here's my Aunt Patty and Uncle Dave!

Me on my Not-So-Solo Vacation.

Now I'm back in Sarasota and ready to dig into my writing again!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Is That An Alligator?

For Day 2 of my Solo Vacation, I visited the Myakka River State Park outside of Sarasota, Florida.  It's the biggest state park in Florida and has over 4,000 alligators living in it.  It also has deer, wild pigs, some small cats (bobcats), turtles, water snakes, and a LOT of different kinds of birds!

This was the first time I've seen an alligator in the wild.  And I wasn't disappointed.  This 9 foot female alligator was soaking up the sun just feet from the visitor center!  All they had was a little, orange cone warning that she was there.

She's got one eye open, looking at me.

I took a tour on a big fan boat.  We saw a lot more gators and tons of birds including Little Blue Heron, Cormorant, Ibis, and many more.

My parting shot is a picture of another gator swimming away.

Take away lesson:  Do NOT go swimming in fresh water lakes in Florida!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Solo Vacation - Day 1

This week I'm chronically my solo vacation/writing retreat in Florida.  This is the first time I've taken a real solo vacation.  So far, it's both exciting and lonely.  I'm enjoying the warm weather immensely.  I'm having fun doing whatever I want, when I want.  But, I also miss my family and wish they were here to share in the experience.

And yet.

This solo trip is a true getaway.  A chance to write, to soak up some Vitamin D, and enjoy some little adventures.  All on my own.

Day 1:

1. I walked on the beach where I saw shells, a little sandpiper, and a fisherman.

Siesta Key Beach, Florida

2. Wrote by the pool and turned a little bit pink.  (Note to self:  Wear sunscreen tomorrow!)

The Pool

3. Damaged my rental car (slightly).  Oops.

(No Picture = No Proof!)

4. Visited the Marie Selby Gardens.



Bamboo - which is actually a type of grass!

Who knows?

5. Made a new friend named Hildegard who is also a solo-vacationer.  Hildegard has already invited me over to see her condo and admire the master shower that has two water heads.  She thinks it's the honeymoon suite.  Hildegard is from Canada.  She's in her 70's.

On tap for tomorrow:  Seeing alligators at Myakka River State Park, writing, and wearing sunscreen!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Can You Sleep Like That?

One of my writing buddies is Cheech the Cat.

He's a red tabby (although he looks orange and white.)

My daughter says his real name is Chee Chee "El Estomago" Von Schnitzel.  That's quite a cultural mix.

El Estomago means "the stomach" in Spanish.  He sure is The Stomach.  He will eat practically anything including trying to steal pizza right out of the delivery box!  Naughty cat.

He also likes to contort his body into small, cozy spaces.

The other day he was laying on my bed while I was writing.  I had to take some pictures.

Is this position actually comfortable?

Can he sleep like that?

Apparently the answer to these questions is simply, yes!

Today I'm linking up with Parenting by Dummies' Wordful Wednesday.  Go check it out!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Am I Writing?

This morning I'm linking up with Mama Kat's Writers Workshop.

The prompt I chose was -  1) What are your reading?  But because I don't always follow directions, I turned it into:

What am I Writing?

That's not actually me.  And I don't write with an ink pen.

I'm writing a humorous parenting book.

In it, I share all kinds of BMMs (aka. Bad Mommy Moments) so that all the other parents reading it will feel better about themselves, their parenting skills, and life in general.

I'll share a few here:

1.  When my daughter was 5 years old, I won a board game.  I immediately (without thinking) sang, "I am the Champion and You are the Loser!"  My daughter burst into tears and has been scarred every since.

Bad.  Very bad.

2. When my daughter was 12, I took her to an expensive, trendy store in the mall.  She wanted a pair of jeans (of which she had to pay part).  I saw a young, good-looking, male sales guy and promptly asked him, "Do you have any jeans that don't show plumber-butt when you bend over."  He looked embarrassed and said, "I'll get one of the girls to help you."

My poor daughter seethed, "You did NOT just say that!"

Bad. Very bad.

3. In front of my daughter, I told the principal of her school that I was willing to go into her naughty math class and "kick some 8th grade butt" by threatening to call their moms (most of whom I know.)

My daughter immediately ran to the bathroom and burst into tears.  Again.

Bad.  Very bad.

Now don't you feel better?!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Paying for Good Grades

My daughter just finished her first semester of high school and her grades were very good!

I want to celebrate!

Some people give their children cash for good grades.

This is the Good Grades = Money system.

I want to celebrate (reward?) her in some way, but money doesn't sit right with me.

She wants Sims 3 for the WII.

But, I think buying that for her would be the same as Good Grades = Money (in the form of a new "toy")

I want her to get good grades because she has the ability to do so and intrinsically wants to do well.  Not because there is money or a new game waiting for her.

I've decided to:

1. Take her out to dinner to celebrate the successful completion of her first high school semester.

2. Pay 1/2 of the game just like I would any time.

What do you think about the Good Grades = Money debate?