Photo 365 #141

Santa left me a pretty awesome gift in my stocking this year:


Rumor has it they make comm badges that actually function thanks to the wonders of Bluetooth, if I remember correctly. I’m not sure I want to know how much those cost, though. ūüôā

What was your favorite gift this year?

(c) 2014. All rights reserved.


Photo 365 #136

Yep, it’s another Christmas tree picture:


Seymour’s had Data for longer than I’ve known him, but the¬†Enterprise is a recent acquisition. ¬†I told Seymour and Bubbles they’d wear out the batteries on it the other night; as we were setting up the tree, they kept pushing the ornament’s play button so they could hear the intro from¬†Star Trek: The Next Generation. ¬†It was awfully funny, and reminded me of when I was a kid. ¬†My grandma used to have these bird ornaments that would sing when you tapped their beaks. ¬†Her cardinal ornament was my favorite; they have such a pretty song. ¬†I’m pretty sure I wore out its batteries. ūüôā

In the end, we decided that, so long as no one shows the boys how it works, our pretty ornament will live to speak another year.

What are some of your favorite ornaments?

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Photo Friday: Birthdays!

Today, Bubbles turns eleven.  How in the world is it possible that my beautiful baby boy is suddenly eleven?

Startin' 'em off young FTW.

Startin’ ’em off young FTW.

Since this is his weekend at his dad’s, we had his birthday supper last night: Spaghetti with meat sauce and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (and the Heath bits leftover from Tuesday night’s Pampered Chef party). ¬†After he opened his presents, we cleaned up and put the boys to bed before settling in for an episode of¬†Star Trek: Voyager. ¬†It was a good night, and I hope his day and night today will be just as fun.

I love you, Bubbles. ‚̧

Do you have any family traditions surrounding birthdays? ¬†If so, share ’em below, and don’t forget to stop by Charnele’s blog and check out¬†her birthday pictures – you won’t regret it!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

How Star Trek improved my confidence in my writing skills

Seymour and I have been rewatching all things¬†Star Trek¬†since we were dating; we’ve taken care of the original series,¬†The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and all the movies (although we’re not big fans of the reboot and I haven’t yet seen¬†Into Darkness). ¬†We’re halfway through our¬†Enterprise¬†rewatch at the moment (which is great because it means I’m that much closer to a rewatch of my beloved¬†Voyager), having started Season 3 the other night. ¬†Seymour’s been telling me about how awful the third season is; he’s not a big fan of the temporal cold war story arc or the Xindi story arc and frankly, I kind of agree with him on the temporal cold war thing.

Anyway, the point of this is that the season premiere of Season 3 had me laughing. ¬†And facepalming. ¬†The words, “What the hell?!” kept running through my head. ¬†Sure, it started off okay – recap of the season finale, Xindi council meeting, theme song (which sucks now – they completely ruined it by jazzing it up). ¬†But then they unveil the new command center, and that’s where it all went wrong:

A letter to my blog

Hello, pretty blog.  How are you?  Have you missed me?  Been lonely without me to update you?

I’m sorry. ¬†Really, I am. ¬†It’s just that I’ve been revising. ¬†And writing. ¬†And chasing one kid after another – it’s like herding cats, I tell you.

Don’t believe me? ¬†Why not? ¬†Oh, you want pics or it didn’t happen? ¬†All right, fine. ¬†Here you go.

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There, are you happy? ¬†Proof I’ve been writing and drinking all the coffee. ¬†What more could you want?

Oh, you want something of substance? ¬†Well, I think I can help you out there. ¬† Here’s an excerpt from my new short story…

Star Trek quilting frenzy!

In an unusual turn of events, a recent home remodeling project led to a crafty weekend of sorts. ¬†How, you may be asking? ¬†Well, I’ll tell you. ¬†And to keep it from getting boring, I’ve got pictures!

The last weekend of February, Seymour and I loaded up the zoo and took a road trip to visit his parents in the bustling metropolis of Ankeny.  On a quest to find some stencils to use in our bedroom, we headed to Jo Ann Fabrics.  That was a very bad idea.  We left much poorer than we went in, our arms full of fabric.  But oh, was it ever cool fabric!

We left with two types of fabric and two types of projects in mind. ¬†Project number one: Tie blankets. ¬†I’ve made one before, and it was fairly simple. ¬†I felt confident that I could help Seymour’s mom figure it out, especially since Thumper has one in his crib and we were going to make the blankets together (no more doing things long-distance like the time we tried to make a fitted sheet for his cradle mattress). ¬†Project number two: Pillow cases! ¬†Because what good would a new blanket be without a new pillow case to go with it?

Star Trek and books: A Valentine’s Blog Hop

blog-hop-tag-3001Well, it’s that time of year again: the stores are full of chocolates, red and pink decorations abound, and if you’re not careful, Cupid might get you with his trusty bow and arrow. ¬†That’s right, Valentine’s Day approacheth! ¬†Joleene Naylor, one of the wonderful members of the Ink Slingers League, is hosting a little blog hop celebrating the loveliest of holidays and the loveliest of pastimes, reading! ¬†Here, then, be my entry for the I ‚ô• Books Blog Hop! ūüôā

Valentine’s Day is not the only special February day in the Kauffman house. ¬†February 10 is a pretty special day, too. ¬†February 10 is the anniversary of my first date with Seymour an unbelievable five years ago. ¬†And February 16 is his birthday, so that’s another special day. ¬†I can hear you all now:¬†What the heck does your first date have to do with Star Trek and Valentine’s Day, let alone books? ¬†Well, if you know us, or if you’ve been reading my rambling scribblings here for long enough, you’ll know that it was¬†Star Trek that brought Seymour and me together (among other things, like small-town curiosity (okay,¬†fine, small-town nosiness)).

On our first date at the local pizza joint, we ran into my kindergarten teacher, who stopped to chat.

Onward and upward!

That’s right, things started looking much better for me in my twenty-fourth year.¬† Much better, as a matter of fact. ¬†The whole year was pretty stellar, really. ¬†See, my birthday is at the end of January. ¬†Shortly before my birthday, I signed up for Yahoo! Personals. ¬†I had gone to a wedding a few months prior for a couple who had met on ¬†The groom and I had gone to high school together and I thought, “Hey – if Seth can meet such a nice girl online, maybe I can find a nice guy myself!”

I had a few first dates, but nothing that really went anywhere. ¬†Then one day, I was scrolling through matches in my area and came across a guy who was a few years (okay, six) older than me and hailed from my hometown. ¬†I had¬†no¬†idea who this guy was. ¬†My hometown has a population of 1800 people, so everyone pretty much knows everyone else. ¬†The first thought that ran through my head was, “Who is this guy and why don’t I know him?”

I clicked on his profile and read through it. ¬†That was when I had my second thought: “I need to know this guy!” ¬†He was a former military officer and a single father who was “not looking for a mom” for his daughter. ¬†He was also a self-professed¬†Star Trek freak. ¬†Could this guy be any better?

So I sent him a message.


We’ve lived in our house for three years now and have done some extensive remodeling in that time. ¬†Almost every room in our house has had something done to it. ¬†At last, we’ve crossed Tomcat’s room off our list.

Photo by Kay Kauffman

Since we have three boys, we have a set of bunk beds. ¬†The littler two aren’t quite old enough for them yet, but they will be one day, so in the meantime, Tomcat gets to choose whether he has top bunk or bottom. ¬†While they’re great for accommodating a large number of children in a small number of bedrooms, they’re not so great when it comes to repainting a room. ¬†Case in point:

Photo by Kay Kauffman

As you can see, the bunk beds were a bit of a problem.  Did I say problem? I meant to say that they posed their own special challenge (by which I, of course, mean that they were a colossal pain in my back side).
Seriously, having something that big in the middle of the room when you’re trying to paint really sucks. But! It gets better behind the cut.