Archive for September, 2008

This and That

It started day before yesterday.  That little tickle in your throat you can’t get rid off.  The weird cough that comes out of nowhere.  Yesterday a light, annoying headache joined the list.  Today I have a full blown, gushing, cold.  Since I’m not sick very often, I’m sure I’m sicker than anyone has ever been.  If Pap loved me at all, he’d have a squad parked right outside, ready to resessitate (I know that’s spelled wrong, but I’m much to weak to correct it) me once I’ve started gagging on my own snot. 

Despite my  declining health, I spent some time in the yard today, attempting to tidy things up before it gets cold or covered with leaves.  You might remember me telling you that my backyard was a parking lot in April? We planted grass seed and from a distance it looks like we have a lawn.  Have you ever noticed that the bag of grass seed says “guaranteed to contain less than 5% weed”, or something like that.  Well the 5% weed is the only thing that managed to root in my clay.  I won’t be sad to see snow.


September 26, 2008 at 9:13 am 14 comments


My writing group has spent our last two meetings discussing writers who are making a living at this craft.  Not the bestsellers – the midlisters and those freelancers that are making ends meet at home with their writing.  To fit into this category, you must be a prolific writer with teflon skin to remain unscathed by rejection.  But even before you get to that point, you must be consistant.  A story a week, 52 stories a year at minimum.  Pages a day, a novel a year, minimum.  So we’re trying it this month.  A story a week, one for every week between our September meeting and our October meeting.  I write books for children, doesn’t it seem logical that I would also write short stories for children?  Well, no, that isn’t working at all.  But what is working are quirky adult tales that involve second chances.  Hmmm…never one to fight the muse, I’m going with it.

If money, family, jobs, or birth were not an object and you were told to select from the following, where would you choose to live?:  Forest, Beach, Desert or City.  I don’t know why I think about this all the time, but I do. 

It is nearly time for my annual attempt to land a major part in the community theater Christmas Play.  I have a plan that I can’t disclose now, but will be posting about if things fall into place sufficiently.  A guarantee that I won’t risk being “third bush beside the nativity”. 

There is a chance that I’ll be less scatterbrained tomorrow…let’s all hope so.

September 24, 2008 at 9:40 am 12 comments

Exercise of a Sort

One of the best things about our new home, is this little copse of woods behind it.  The neighborhood kids use it to ride bikes or 4 wheelers (when they can sneak them in), but during the day it’s occupied by birds and bugs and usually, my prissy house dog.   Why is it that anything quirky or odd always seems to gravitate to me?  If you look at the end of the dirt path there is a small white speck.  That would be my dog.  The one that’s supposed to be trotting gentily by my side, keeping his fur clean.  The one that came to us with the ridiculous name of Whimper, and has since been renamed Walker…to a dog they sound the same and I’m less embarrassed when I have to yell for him in public. 

My kids will confirm that while I might complain that I’m the keeper of the odd and rebellious, I ususally just go with the flow.  Walker will not poop anywhere but in these woods.  He’ll let his head explode before he’ll do his business in our yard.  I don’t know why, everyone else’s dog poops in my yard or flower beds…but mine must have a spot that has never been touched by any other dogs poop.  He’s also made it his personal mission to search out and destroy every cricket on the planet.  The woods are full of them and he’ll eventually step on, lick or bark at every one of them.

My kids will vouch for the fact that I normally embrace the weird and odd, easier to go with the flow than attempt to bend anything to my will.  Actually I’m just lazy…anyway.  Walks through the woods are not speedy trips.  There are way too many things to sniff, pee on and chase (the dog, not me) so Walker and I have come to an agreement.  We will only do this once a day.  Well, twice if the weather is especially nice.  Okay, three times, but that is the absolute limit.  In exchange for all this benevolence, he must act like a prissy house dog anytime he’s in view of any of the neighbors.  The second part of the agreement is that he can run at will through the woods but he must keep his leash on.  This is a temporary rule, in place to protect him.  At two, with no early training, he has all the ADD that comes naturally to a puppy. Once he’ll actually respond when I say “come here”, I’ll let him run unfettered.   Walker’s okay with this rule, because while he’s positively fierce with taking on a cricket, ground hogs and rabbits scare the tar out of him. 

What, you may be saying, does all this have to do with exercise?  Beyond the obvious, walking, This picture was taken at the edge of the woods looking back to my house which is hidden somewhere in that fog in the distance.  This little woods, and my little dog are perfect interval training partners.  Walker used to look at me strangely when our brisk walk suddenly turned into lunges, or I stopped completely to do push ups on a tree, but he’s catching on.  Then there’s all the exercise I get cleaning the boy up after these healthy walks. 

September 22, 2008 at 7:08 pm 12 comments

Deja Vu

Chalk drawings on the sidewalk.  Hot nights lit by moonlight, the silence broken only by cricket song and shrill, young voices yelling “ready or not…here I come!”.  Bathing suits drying on the shower rod, dirty sneakers cluttering up the entry way, kool-air stains on the counter tops, the daily search for somebodies baseball glove or sombodies jersey.  Fireflies twinkling on the bedroom ceilings (captured by sisters, freed by the soft hearted brother).  These were the summers of my children’s youth. 

The days passed so quickly, I rarely had time to savor them.  There was always so much to do, so much to remember.  I’ve often mourned the fact that we didn’t spend more time memorizing every moment of those magic days filled with the laughter and tears of our five small kids.  I truly believed they were lost to me forever, but life is often about second chances and wouldn’t you know one wandered my way this summer.


Drawing by Jazz & Bri, daughters of my daughter.

September 18, 2008 at 11:08 pm 13 comments

What I Learned

Having looked forward to retiring for some time, I was surprised that I completely melted down when my computer was zapped by lightening in July.  I wasted a week raging against fate;  whining and bleating about my loss. How am I supposed to finish the book, how was I supposed to pay my bills, what would I do to answer e-mail, blog, blah, blah, blah…

 Luckily I have a short attention span.  By week two I had come to grips with my computerless state and remembered that when I started writing it was with a pencil, I still owned a checkbook to pay bills and the phone works fine once you brush the dust off it.    It wasn’t until that computer was zapped that I saw how out of balance my life really was.  I needed a computerless summer to remember that I create my own happiness, and how to make that happen.

September 17, 2008 at 4:25 pm 5 comments

Ike and Other Interuptions

If it’s not one thing, its another.  How nuts is all this damage from hurricane Ike?  My fellow Ohioans will back me up on how horrible those winds were.  Down here in our valley, all we lost were tree branchs and internet connections.  The cities didn’t fare so well, out of power for a week.  That seems incomprehensible to me in this day and time.  Why should it take a week to repair power lines?  Why are there still power lines in the air when we have the ability to bury them?  I’m much more interested in visiting with you today than writing, but look at what those winds did:

September 16, 2008 at 7:08 pm 6 comments

The Patio

As promised, here is the completed patio.  Ran out of time and season to complete the planting around it, there’s always next year. 

September 14, 2008 at 10:09 pm 6 comments

How To Build a Patio

Because I feel that knowledge unshared is wasted…I’ve decided to share with all my blog friends the best way to build a patio. 

Step 1:  Invite over several children to help you remove the grass.  Grandkids are cheapest, but any old kids will do.







Smallish children and the family dog are best used as sand spreaders.







Step 2:  Immediately after hosing off the borrowed children, sweet talk your local Home Depot delivery man and he’ll drop your brick tiles right on the edge of your hole instead of on the curb.  This is a very good thing because you then won’t  have to gather any teenaged children to assist with the rest of the installation.

Step three:  Once the oldest of the borrowed children has been rinsed and dried, bet her a banana split that she can’t carry any of these heavy brick tiles.  It will be necessary to remind her how very small, and frail her twig-like arms are and how delicate her little legs.  An occasional sigh and mumbled regret that one has only grand girls rather than grand boys is also quite effective in inspiring the child to bring the bricks directly to you in a timely manner. 

Step Last:  In the event you haven’t injured any of the borrowed children, lay out the bricks in the sand, add a grill, a table, some chairs, a chiminea, some tiki lights and realize you really need a bigger patio.  Repeat steps one through three.

Tomorrow…pictures of the completed patio.



September 14, 2008 at 7:50 am 8 comments

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

It’s no news that when these crazy computers work, they’re wonderful and when they don’t, they totally stink.  In July a wicked lightening storm fried my mother board…through the cable line.  I have a little techy guy who jumped in to help me fix it.  ls it just me, or do these technological genius type nerds all suffer from a complete lack of urgency of any kind?  It’s now September, the mother board has travelled between my house and the manufacturer several times and I still have a working computer only because I sucked it up and bought a new one.  Jeeezzz.

So…all progress on my book ceased through the summer (if you discount the random character notes made on the backs of bills, menus, and check registers.  What I did do was turn my new backyard, which was a gravel parking lot in April, into something that is beginning to look like a yard.  I lost twenty pounds, cut my hair, and I’m brown as a nut.  Life is good and the break has completely rejuvenated me. 

I certainly missed my blog friends and I’m looking forward to catching up with all of you!  How did you spend the summer?

September 13, 2008 at 8:52 am 9 comments

The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. (Robert Benchley)

Welcome to My Neighborhood!

Shortly after I learned to use a spoon, I learned to use a pencil. Crippled by shyness as a child, I found that the things I couldn't say out loud, I could say with a pen, and then a typewriter. The shyness was overcome with education and age...but the need to write has never left me.

Books That Have Toured Here

Murder For Hire - The Peruvian Pigeon Dana Fredsti mfhcoverjpg.jpg

You’re Not The Only One

Compiled and edited by Peach, this book includes a story by Kat Campbell, as well as 105 other great writers from across the internet. Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit the War Child Fund. Great reading for you, help for some deserving kids. Order by clicking on LuLu in my links.

Woo Hoo Awards!

rockingirlblogger.jpg biggestheartaward.jpg
thinkingbloggeraward.jpeg thoughtfulbloggeraward.jpg
September 2008