Friday, December 02, 2011

Fun with Sean!

DSCF1670 Steve, Max and I had an enjoyable Thanksgiving with our son, Sean, who lives down in Ridgecrest (at the edge of China Lake), CA. DSCF1674 Sean works as a Legalman in the Navy and is currently stationed there.

While there, we went golfing, played tennis and visited an unusual museum. DSCF1664 DSCF1672 DSCF1671 The guys were more excited about this place than I, but I enjoyed the various emblems and documentation DSCF1667 and presentations of these weapons. DSCF1673 DSCF1666 I especially liked this relief map of the entire China Lake area. DSCF1665 Unfortunately, I was unable to get the entire map in the picture, but the only part left out were the various mountainous ranges to the east of the main area (which is marked in red).  We saw an interesting short film which takes a tour in a helicopter over the massive space.  The museum also housed some interesting history that most of you will  remember well:  DSCF1669

Sean was most eager to show off his latest surprise (he’s been thinking about getting one for quite some time):  DSCF1678  The Navy is specific about where you can display tattoos…they can’t be visible with a uniform on.  This design was created to his specifications and done by a friend of his---DSCF1679  He’s really into squids these days…

While there, we visited a “ghost town” and when I saw this band outside of the general store, couldn’t resist a few pics:  DSCF1684  DSCF1682  DSCF1683

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and we enjoyed spending time with Sean (isn’t he handsome in his uniform??!!!)!  DSCF1686

Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 Pumpkin Carving Party

DSCF1629 Our annual Pumpkin Carving Party was a great success again!  Although the crowd was small, it was fun to gather together again with pumpkins and great food and conversation.  DSCF1630 The kids that attend get bigger and older, DSCF1615 but still enjoy the thrill of carving, not to mention the trampoline and pool table. DSCF1618   DSCF1619  DSCF1621 Gypsy Girl had to be tied out to prevent her from jumping all over folks and stealing their food.  DSCF1614 She was an angel the entire afternoon, just laying there and watching.  She didn’t whine or tug on the lead once.  But when we finally let her off, later in the day, she immediately stole a piece of pumpkin pie off of one of the kid’s plates (that he had just put down on the chair for a second!). 

The pumpkins were very scary this year, as the kids age.  DSCF1625 There was some unusually violent ones, a few traditional faces, DSCF1628 and a couple of downright STRANGE ones.  What imaginations!  No one used any patterns this year, just their brains!  I downloaded a bunch of unusual ideas on a sheet for viewing, then let them at it.  Even Steve carved one. DSCF1624 Max’s was one of the more violent ones, complete with a knife he had made a few years ago.  DSCF1626

All in all the weather was super, in the 70’s with little wind.  Lots of sun kept all jackets off and everyone seemed comfortable. DSCF1633 Hope you all have a happy, safe Halloween evening---oh, and don’t forget to watch a scary movie or two---my favorite being “Hocus Pocus!”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!

DSCF1535 as most of you know, I had a birthday last week.  My older boy, Sean, came home for the weekend so we went out and  had fun, fun, fun!  DSCF1551   Near Santa Rosa is a franchise called Scandia (see that has two miniature golf courses, a go-cart raceway, a big arcade full of machines and such and inner tube-boats with built in water guns.   Of course we tried all of them, starting with the putt-putt golf.  DSCF1547 Lots of fun DSCF1546 and competitive.  The boys couldn’t resist this test of strengthDSCF1537 ---Max won with a top score of 899! DSCF1541 The go-carts were tight to handle DSCF1557 and the course was windy (lots of curves!) but I floored it the whole wayDSCF1563 ---and still came in last.  But it was still fun.  Max took it all too seriouslyDSCF1558 but beat both sean DSCF1564 and me.  Steve was the master photographer for us.  Lastly, the water boats DSCF1580 ended up being quite wet DSCF1572 but we had many battles DSCF1578 and lots of screeching (the water was cold!).  I managed to get one up onto the photographer too. DSCF1577 All in all, the day was extremely entertaining but it was good to get into a nice warm car at the end of the afternoon!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How I published with Smashwords!

DSCF1461_2_cover Wow!  I finally did it!  Although I have previously published my first two books through a standard publisher, I decided it was time to try out e-book publishing and was steered towards  It astounded me that they were a service that I could afford (FREE is my cup of tea!) that reaches so many different e-book formats.  They also provided a FREE ISBN number for my book, which is a huge help in getting it out there. 

So, I downloaded their FREE e-book explaining exactly how to format my Word manuscript and printed it out.  (I like to have something I can take with me on my travels ferrying Max around during soccer season, etc. since I don’t have a smart phone or e-book reader.)  Then, I read the entire booklet before touching my manuscript, giving me a chance to see if I could really do it myself.  The guide seemed to be amazingly simple, except for one thing:  I am a WordPerfect writer, having worked in WordPerfect since I first started on computers back in the70’s.  Word is still alien to me.

I managed to re-save my manuscript in Word and then put it through Notepad to really clean it up, as they suggested.  Since I’m only faintly familiar with Word, finding the proper settings was the biggest challenge for me.  Believe it or not, my biggest problem was finding how to to a page-down to skip to a new page, as I never use it.  (I had to travel back through my memory when I was a legal secretary back in the ‘80’s to remember how to:  control-enter.)  I have to say, though, that in spite of my Word non-expertise, I made it through the manual in approximately 3 days. 

Due to my ignorance concerning Word settings, I ended up having to put my manuscript through the publishing process 5 times before finally being accepted.  It was entirely my fault for not properly setting up my paragraphs.  But I stuck to it and was successful in finally being accepted by Smashwords before my Saturday deadline:  I wanted to have it done in time for the Annual Bluegrass Festival where we Lake County Authors have a booth, DSCF1496 so I could advertise my new e-book! DSCF1497

Be sure you visit my new page at:

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Weekend Fun!

DSCF1483 Because Sean was home for a visit during the Labor Day Weekend, Max, Steve, Sean and I ventured out for some Sunday afternoon fun at the refurbished Putt-putt golf place.  DSCF1485 Tatonka Land bought up the old Jules Mini-golf place that has lain deserted since before we moved here in 2000.  Every time I walk by it, I think how cool it would be if it were still there.  Most of the old statues have disappeared over the years, but the new owners managed to retrieve some of them.  They’ve brought it back in style!DSCF1487  DSCF1493 Just be careful where you walk!

I was fascinated by the nifty course and all the cool statues. DSCF1490 We had a blast trying to shoot straight or around corners. DSCF1492 Some of the easy holes ended up being the hardest!  DSCF1489

We ended up within 6 shots of each other at the end and went away laughing and happy!  DSCF1494 What a bundle of fun for $5 a game! We did the whole course in about 1-1/2 hours!  And you can bet we’ll go back for more in the future!  (You can see more of the park on FB at