Daily gratitude

DSC_0025Sometimes it’s hard to find things in life to be grateful for.  Not everything always goes the way we would like.  Certainly I’ve had times like that in my own life; I’ve even written about them (here, there, and everywhere else).  Writing sometimes helps me keep things in perspective.

With that in mind, today’s post (that should have gone up yesterday and didn’t for reasons that I’ll mention in a minute) is about the little things, the things that can – and do – make life worth living.

Things I’m Grateful for Today


Writing, then and now

My parents in our living room. Those lovely bookshelves went from floor to ceiling. :)

My parents in our living room. Those lovely bookshelves went from floor to ceiling. 🙂

Well, once again, I didn’t get my post up on time.  I’ve been spending a lot of time writing lately, although not on The Lokana Chronicles or Remnants.  I’m taking a writing class online, and in our second class, we received a prompt.  My homework was to work more on what I’d come up with for the prompt in class, and it’s been a challenge.

I got called into work yesterday afternoon and since I had to drive over there and drop the boys off anyway, I left in the morning like normal and spent three lovely hours at the library working on this new story.  It reminded me of when I was younger, and I would take over the living room to write, or spread things out in my room.

There wasn’t really much to take over in the living room, since my sister lived with my grandparents and my dad lived at his desk in the dining room, but it was the space I wanted.  Often a friend or two would join me and we would stay up till the wee hours of the morning writing and giving each other feedback.   And also dancing to Gaelic Storm.

And now, an interview!

Will's PhotographAs promised, I have an interview for you with the lovely Will Macmillan Jones, author of the hilarious Banned Underground books.  It might have taken me a little longer than I first thought to get this posted, but what can I say?  Writers are not necessarily the most organized lot.  (Some may very well be, but I most certainly am not.)

KK: So, now that you’ve done it a couple of times, what’s it like to put out two books a year?

WMJ: What’s it like?  Let me see…imagine being run over by a lawnmower, thrown in a washing machine, a tumble drier and finished off in an old fashioned mangle.  It’s hard going.  As you know, I don’t write especially long books, mainly for commercial reasons.  But even so it is very hard work, both creatively and practically.  But actually quite rewarding too.  I can now look at my dressing table and see a line of my books.  Yes, I’m really that sad as to have them on show in my bedroom, so that I can see them when I wake up.

KK: I see nothing wrong with that.  In all honesty, I would likely do the same thing. 🙂  They say it takes three books to see success.  Do you feel like that’s true?   Why or why not?

Snow boats

It snowed here yesterday.  October is far too early for snow, in my opinion.  If you ask me, the first – and last – snowfall should occur on December 24.  It should hang around for Christmas, but then it needs to vamoose on December 26 so as not to interfere with my travel plans.

Clearly I live in the wrong state.  Sadly, my dreams of wintering somewhere more tropical are not likely to come true any time soon.

This little burst of winter got me thinking, though, about winters past.  I didn’t always hate the snow and the cold.  When I was a kid, I used to relish them.  I loved sledding and ice skating and building snow forts.  I loved walking atop the frozen snow in my neighbors’ yards on my way to and from school, my stomach quivering as I wondered how long it would be before I plunged ankle-deep into a frosty hole.

Old home week

Friends and fun - what could be better? Photo by Kay Kauffman

The house has changed, and so have we.

They say you can’t go home again, and I think they must be right.  My dad lived in the house I grew up in till I was twenty, and I went back after he moved out once.  Once was enough.

The people who bought my house after my dad moved out remodeled it extensively before selling it themselves.  It was after this second sale that I returned – Miss Tadpole was selling Girl Scout cookies, so I took her through my old neighborhood to see how many of my old customers would buy from her.

It was incredibly surreal being the parent in this scenario.  Miss Tadpole was woefully under-prepared when it came to her sales pitch, but I’d been so well-rehearsed at her age that it was easy for me to pick up the slack.  We made a great team.

As we strolled through my old stomping grounds…


Bubbles the Paddlefoot

Bubbles the Paddlefoot

I know, I know – I’m late again.  It seems to be a thing with me lately.  Our open house was postponed last weekend (sort of), so we’re doing it again today, and it’s thrown my whole weekend off.

I used to always be very punctual; I miss that particular virtue.  Now it seems that no matter what I do, I’m always late, always running behind, and I never catch up.  Just when I think I’m caught up, I realize I’ve forgotten something and I haven’t caught up at all. *sigh*

I think this lateness issue of mine can be traced to my eighteenth Christmas.  I was living with my ex-husband and his parents at the time (we were just dating then), and I was home from college on break.  Things that often happen between consenting adults happened and, lo and behold, some six weeks later, I was late.  You never think it will happen to you, but it can. And it does.

Romantic-type secrets

Mmm, Devon Sawa, another one of my crushes. :)

Mmm, Devon Sawa, another one of my crushes. 🙂

So it’s time for another post about childhood secrets.  The thing is, I can’t remember a whole lot of those.  What I do remember, though, are the secret (or maybe not-so-secret) crushes I had on the boys in my class.

Let’s just say there were a lot.

I think last year for this challenge, I mentioned one.  In the comments of that post, I referred to another.  But I was less than subtle in elementary school.  By the time middle school rolled around, I had grown rather more shy when it came to boys.  And the boys had grown rather better looking.

By eighth grade…

My hidey hole

When I was little, my sister and I did not get along. At all. We still don’t and I really regret that, but it’s out of my hands now. Anyway, she liked to go through my stuff, so I needed a way to secure it. My bedroom door wouldn’t latch correctly, never mind lock, so I needed a better place to stash things.

Being a big fan of diary-keeping, my diaries were the items I was most concerned with – like government secrets, they could not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands (namely, the hands of my little sister).

But with no way to lock my door, what was I to do?

The Banned Underground: The SatNav of Doom

TSODThe latest installment in The Banned Underground series, The SatNav of Doom definitely holds up to the standard set by the first four novels (you can read my reviews of them here, here, here, and here).  Chock full of humor as always, I laughed my way through The SatNav of Doom at an admittedly slower pace than the previous books, but that was due to my overwhelming open house (and moving) preparation and is in no way a reflection on this fine novel.  Indeed, settling down with Fungus and the gang for a rockin’ gig was a welcome relief from my moving stress. 🙂

The discerning reader will find many gems along the way to the Edern’s enchanted Fairy Hill hideout.  From wonderful musical jokes to brilliant pop culture references, there’s plenty here to make you giggle, grin, and even guffaw.   For example:


In my post from Tuesday (that should have gone up Monday, but was delayed), I talked briefly about all the fruit we have at our new place and how it reminded me of summers at my grandparents’ farm.  I’d intended to get back to that in my post from yesterday (again, delayed), but I ended up going a different direction.  So today, let’s take that trip to Grandpa and Grandma’s house.

My grandparents lived on a farm about half an hour away from us.  My grandmother lived all but six months of her life on that farm, as it had been passed down through the years from one generation to the next.  It’s a century farm, and I’m proud to be part of that tradition, even though the acreage has been sold off and all that’s left now is crop ground.  I’d like to someday buy the acreage back, but so far, no luck (the one time it was up for sale, the timing was just not right and we couldn’t do it *sigh*).

When I was little, the acreage included much more than it does now.  When you turned in the driveway, the house was on the right and the old garage was on the left.  The old garage has now been leveled, but the foundation remains, and the new owners put up a basketball hoop.  Just west of the old garage was a corn crib, which I believe still stands, and to the west of that was a barn.  It was lost in a fire several years ago – the new people had heating lamps in the barn for some animals, and somehow the place caught fire.  If it hadn’t been for a passing fireman, of all people, the whole farm might have burned.