Just Another Blog

my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

October Goals


Recap from September:

Reading: Well, I read three books, but the fourth expired (it was a digital library book) before I could finish it which was a little demotivating. I was able to take it out again, but the whole thing threw me off. I did stay caught up with my webcomics so, I think I’ll give afor this one.

Writing: More failing. I’m still going strong on my journal, but I only added one day of sentences to Uncalled For and wrote part of one story for Girl Genius Week. I also added a little to an unfinished chapter of Heaven Can’t Wait, but that wasn’t even a writing goal (mostly because I didn’t realize the next chapter wasn’t finished). F

Finishing/Editing: Another fail. I guess I worked on two different chapters of Heaven, but I didn’t finish editing/finishing either of them, and I didn’t even edit the one day of Uncalled For that I finished. Never mind one of the story. Ugh. F

Posting: And one more fail because I still haven’t posted the one finished chapter of Uncalled For I have and didn’t finishe anything else to post. F

September was just like all of the months before it–horrible. The fatigue is wiping me out physically and mentally. I didn’t do as much walking as August, nor did I finish any of my craft goals either. It was just a poor month all around. Sometimes I wonder why I even try. F

October Goals:



  • write every day in my writing journal/keep my streak going
  • work on stories for the Girl Genius Event on tumblr (due in October)


  • edit stories for the Girl Genius event
  • edit/finish two chapters of Heaven Can’t Wait
  • finish/edit days for Uncalled For


  • post the chapters of Uncalled For that I get done
  • post stories for Girl Genius Week.

September Round-up

All things reading and writing.


Well, I managed to read three books at the beginning of the month before they expired from my digital library loans, but then I got overwhelmed with other things and forgot to read some more. Better than nothing, I guess. I’m 13 books behind schedule with three months to go. Eek.


Another dismal month. Not including blog posts, I only wrote on four days. FOUR! And honestly, I don’t even know what I was doing with the rest of my time. Two of those stories were something new, though, so I guess that’s some kind of progress. Of course, I also didn’t finish either of those stories. *shaking my head*

3,880 for the month.


YTD total: 83,327

Streak: Still managed to keep this up with journaling at 1,003 days (since January 1, 2017)!


Well, I did work a little on Heaven Can’t Wait which is probably the biggest win of the month. I did an editing pass of chapter 38 and started adding to chapter 39 which wasn’t finished. I had a breakthrough in what to do with that chapter so it still needs to be finished, but at least, I know what I’m doing with it now. It should go pretty quickly once I get back to work.


nothing because I’m procrastinating on posting the next chapter of Uncalled For Actions (so much formatting involved for the different sites)

Introducing Eloise

No, I didn’t have a baby. Nor did any of my children. This time.

Over at the NaNoWriMo forums, I found this very entertaining thread about forum badges. See, the new forums give out “badges” for things like adding your first emoji to a comment or making a new post or getting 50 likes on something (I’m one of two people with that one). Well, some of the badges come with titles that display next to your name, and this person wanted a velociraptor badge and title.

And they got one. Problem is no one knows how you get the velociraptor badge so this thread (if you can get it to load) is 1000+ comments trying to figure out and persuade the mods into getting a velociraptor badge. One of the comments linked to a pattern for a velociraptor, and I just couldn’t resist that and so was born Eloise the Velociraptor.


Now Eloise sits on my desk and is learning to keep my coffee warm and to herd rogue plot bunnies (I’ve heard velociraptors are good for that… or they eat them, not sure which one).

She’s also making friends with the other occupant of my desk–Silver, the cat.


I think they’re going to be best friends, don’t you.

Of course, the bonus of making and sharing Eloise has been this:


Yeah, that’s right, I’m a velociraptor. RAWR, bitches.

Anyway, I’m having a lot of fun with my new friend. She’s going to help me write and go on adventures with me. I can’t wait to show her the world.

Six Sentence Sampler

From Heaven Can’t Wait, chapter 39:

They take their share, avoiding eye contact with just about everyone and look for a seat. Bellamy spots Murphy sitting alone, staring blearily in to the mug in his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice Bellamy or anything else for that matter.

Bellamy starts to guide Heaven to the other side of the room, but something about the droop of Murphy’s shoulders and the haunted look in his eyes has him changing directions. Heaven notices Murphy, too, and immediately heads to that table, climbing awkwardly into a chair across from him. Murphy barely blinks when Bellamy joins them and begins dividing up their breakfast.

Big Cat, Little Bucket


Bellamy is so weird sometimes. He insisted on sleeping in this bucket despite there being two perfectly good boxes with blankets right next to it:

boxes-092219 (2)


He wasn’t amused by my five minutes of laughter either.

Six Sentence on Sunday

sixsentences~*~Each Sunday, post six sentences from a writing project — published, in progress, for your cat — whatever.~*~

About three meters to the left and barely a meter from the ceiling, one stone in the wall shown smoother than the others. Like it had been touched more than the others. He probably wouldn’t have noticed it if he hadn’t been looking.

With a grin, he pressed on the stone, heart pounding with impending excitement. The stone moved silently, sliding inward then the unseen door opened with a pop–just enough Gil could grab the edge and pull it outward where it pivoted on one corner, opening farther. He peered into the pitch darkness, a memory pushing forward of Tarvek lightening a candle near a secret passageway.

Six Sentence Sampler

From an original story based on this prompt: “you are the last person in your band of survivors who still remembers what things were like in the old days.”

“Jerk,” I mutter which makes him laugh again.

I know without a doubt this man is Jamarcus Keats–mid-thirties, skin as dark as midnight that makes his golden eyes pop, with a thick mane of hair that grows down his face into a marvelous beard. His broad shoulders go on for miles where I grasp his shirt as he lifts me out of the truck. He could have played football back in the day. I think he would have liked that but I didn’t know enough of the rules to teach any of them.

He wraps my hand around his bulging forearm and guides me up a soft incline.

Six Sentences Sampler

Tarvek sighs. “Quit acting like a baby. Agatha has had her locket for years and is fine. This will work; she’s sure of it. And then everything can get back to normal–well as normal as anything around here. We’ll get Lucrezia out of Agatha and free Mechanicsburg and then-“

cats in the sun


Mother (Lilah on the bottom) and son (Silver) cuddling on the front porch.

Normally, Lilah attacks any of the male cats (the other two are her brothers) if they even look at her, so it was really sweet to see them like this. Silver is always desperate for her attention, though.

Recipes For Big Families: Sausage and White Bean Soup

Cooking for a large family is always an experience. First off, it’s hard to please everyone, but more importantly, you end up having to adjust and improvise almost every recipe you find.

Most recipes I see serve four or six people. Or they might say they serve large groups for hosting a party, but they’re still just eight servings. It’s never enough in my family.

There are seven of us. Well, our oldest daughter moved out, but she often comes over with her fiance. But even with them not around, I have a nearly 18-year-old boy, two other teenagers, and a 9-year-old, plus my husband to cook for. My oldest son eats enough for like five people. No recipe for eight would ever be enough for everyone so I double or triple almost everything I make.

Some of the easiest meals to make are soups. Even in the summer, we have some kind of soup at least once a week because I can make huge batches of it and add more water/broth as it’s eaten to make it go longer.

Tonight we had sausage and white bean soup based off a recipe I found online a few years ago that was for the slow cooker. As much as I love my Crockpot, I don’t use it much anymore. I cook almost everything on the stove. And even then, this recipe is heavily modified from the modified version I wrote down originally.

Sausage and White Bean Soup



  • 1 lb dry Navy beans
  • 1 lb dry Great Northern beans
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 cups water
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (jarred)
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 16 oz package Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves


  1. Soak beans overnight in water (alternately, use a whole lot of cans of different white beans, drained and rinsed)
  2. Drain beans and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, sautee carrots, celery, and onion in olive oil until tender; add garlic and continue for a minute.
  4. Pour in chicken stock and water then stir.
  5. Add beans, sausage, and seasoning; bring to a boil.
  6. Cover and simmer on medium for an hour or until beans are tender.
  7. Turn off heat and add as much spinach as you like (it’ll cook while the soup cools a bit).
  8. Serve with crackers or sourdough bread. Also good topped with parmesan cheese.

Tip: When the broth starts to dwindle and you’re left with piles of beans at the bottom, just add more water (or chicken stock) and heat it back up. I do this when no one’s looking–they never know the difference, and it makes the soup last longer.

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