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my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

Archive for the tag “pictures”

Year in Review

Another year ended and another just begun.

I haven’t been active lately. Decided for my mental and physical health, I needed a break from the self-imposed stress relating to writing. That included this blog. So no depressing monthly updates the last few months with nothing to show and all goals failed.

But it’s a new year, so I can at least make a review post of all of my work. That won’t hurt too much. I got some stuff done.


Goodreads goal: 52
Total books read: 16
Total repeat books: 3

Total webcomics caught up on: 6 (okay, that’s a lie–I still need to read December updates on all but one of them)

I didn’t really do much reading outside of the webcomics. Committing to a full-length novel seems beyond me right now. I have several that I started over the year and have never gotten around to finishing, including Pride and Prejudice. I either can’t get my brain to focus and therefore nothing sticks and I have no idea what is going on or I’m too busy doing other stuff. Changing my Goodreads goal to 25 this year because I didn’t even come close last year. Read more…

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the sunny but very cool Pacific Northwest.

My 9yo son, Jack, as Link and my 4mo grandson, Arrow, as a wizard. I made both costumes myself.

I had no patterns so for the wizard robes, I took on of his bathrobes and traced around it then just kind of winged it. His mother added a bunch of felt starts. Then I made the hat completely on the fly, deciding to add the hair and beard last second. Barely got it done in time to go trick-or-treating.

For the Link costume, I used the version from the Windwaker game because it’s a simple design. Again, no pattern. Just measured him and sewed, hoping for the best. Turned out better than I hoped. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the energy to solve the issues with the boots covering his toes and we got a flat tire right before Halloween so I couldn’t afford to buy the pants and undershirt I found at Target.

Hope everyone had a great day and didn’t get sick on too much candy.

Happy Halloween to My Fellow Dust Warriors from Eloise

Eloise the Literary Raptor is getting in the holiday spirit.


Here she is in her spiffy necklace I found in the bark chips at the playground while Pokemon hunting. It really sets off the color of her… body.

Eloise took a trip to the backyard pumpkin patch while it was sunny and picked out some pumpkins to decorate.



She’s not the greatest artist. I mean, she’s a Literary Raptor, not a Sketching Raptor, but she got the job done.



She really loves her pumpkins, but Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a costume. Eloise decided to be a witch this year. Isn’t her wee hat just adorable?



Eloise is all ready for Halloween with her pumpkin bucket full of candy corn–a Literary Raptor’s favorite treat (of course she hasn’t tried my Christmas kolackies yet).


And for those of you joining me from 4thewords, here’s a photo just for you. Read more…

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.

Happy Birthday

Happy 11th Birthday to my youngest daughter, Nora.

nora_031917Drinking a smoothie at our monthly NaNo write-in.

Throwback Thursday

My youngest daughter being hella adorable back in 2009. She had just turned 3. She used to love to wear dresses back then; not so much at age 10.

Throwback Thursday

July 4, 2014

Owen, age 12

Throwback Thursday

In honor of my son’s birthday, a throwback to 2012 when he turned two.

Flashback Friday–summer memories

This amazing picture of summer fun in a fire hydrant popped up on my feed. I knew instantly that it had to be Chicago. I grew up in the Back of the Yards on the south side of the city, and open hydrants were as common as sunburns and ice cream trucks. I have memories of using the bathroom in the basement apartment of our two-flat because there was no water pressure up on the second floor where we lived. That’s what happens when just about every hydrant is open in a two mile radius. But more than that, I have so many memories of playing in the water–the whole street, even the kids that hated each other, having fun together. Good times.

I’m sure there are pictures somewhere of me and my brother and our friends in the hydrant on the corner of 50th and Laflin, but they’d be at my dad’s house. What I do have are some pictures of my kids in 2008 when the fire department opened the hydrant on the corner during our annual block party. The kids had so much fun, and I was taken right back to my childhood, as I bet many of the parents were because that’s how the South Side rolls in the summer.

The bleached-blond in the “Go Army” shirt is my oldest son (then 6 1/2). The cutie in glasses and the striped shirt is my middle daughter (then 5 1/2). And the adorable smiling face in pigtails is my youngest daughter (then 2). The rest are old neighbors and friends from the 5800 block of Tripp Ave on the southwest side.

We’ve since moved almost 2000 miles away to the Pacific Northwest where kids don’t know the joy of running barefoot without a care through the flooded streets. Or, you know, not being able to flush your toilet because there’s no water pressure.

Throwback Thursday

My oldest daughter, Meagan, shared this picture on Facebook of her and three of her siblings in 2010 with this comment:

currently my favorite picture of all time. i wish jack was old enough at the time to get in on this, its just so darn cute. me and my lifelong friends. so thankful that i get to live and grow with my best friends


August 2010–we had just moved to this house a week before after a five-day, cross-country trek. In the back: Brenna (7 1/2) and Meagan (10). In the front: Owen (8 1/2) and Nora (4). Jack was a month old.

And here’s the most recent pic I have of all five of them together at Owen’s 8th grade graduation in June.


From left to right: Nora (1o), Owen (14), Jack (almost 6), Meagan (almost 16) and Brenna (13).

Here’s what else Meagan had to say about her siblings:

ive been around these kiddos forever. no matter who walks in n out of my life, these fuckers are the ones who will always stick. i dont even want to think of us all starting our own lives and separating. its scary. ive lived with them my whole life, i hate to think one day i might have a hard time getting ahold of them because we let distance or time get in the way


This from a girl that has always said she hates being at home because there are too many people in the house and she can’t stand any of us. I guess she’s getting wise in her “old” age.

I look at the second picture and can hardly believe these are my kids. Three teenagers–two of them in high school in the fall. Am I old enough to have a sixteen-year-old? When I think about them, I still picture those little kids in the first picture.

Or like this:

February 2004

Brenna (15 months), Meagan (3 1/2) and Owen (2). So little.

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