Category Archives: Family Life

Combo Post!

Greetings to all!

I want to give a shout-out to youngest sister and her hubby on their new endeavor: homesteading!

Anyone who has experience with homestead farming, off-the-grid lifestyle or the raising and care of farm animals, please stop by the newly established facebook group The Shadowlands Farm and drop a word of encouragement to baby sis and her fam!

Continue reading Combo Post!


“Extra-Sensatory Perspiration”

“Call it… Uh, a fifth sense. Call it a flash of intermission, but I just got this feeling deep down in the heart of my bottom…”

~ Ernest P. Worrell in ‘Ernest Saves Christmas’

Here in the North East, we have not gotten any substantial snowfall this season. I, personally, can take it or leave it, but I know the skiing industry in my area needed it. And also, my daughter, who was actively praying for blizzards, cannot live without it.

Here I will depart from the norm on my blog-stylings and talk about my faith. I believe in God and in His interaction with us on this world. (This is NOT to spark argument or offend anyone but simply an anecdote to explain WHY I believe. ) Sometimes, He reaches out and nudges us. A man we once knew calls them ‘God Winks’. Those seemingly coincidental events that can change lives and alter your course.

On the first good storm, Girl-Child was instructed to build her snow fort out behind our house, but (being 8 now and knowing best) proceeded to build by our front porch.  The moment I saw the picture on my phone I felt the nudge. There was a tiny voice screaming in my head: MOVEMOVEMOVEMOVE!!

Normally, the front of our house is fine. A long uphill driveway means we are secluded and playing out there is ok, but our landlord has a plow guy come through for storms and we never know when that will be. He comes up fast to keep the pile moving.

My innermost self was filled with urgency and I texted my wife to get Kiddo out of there and into the back yard…you know…where we both told her to go originally.

I was very busy at work, but there were periods of lull in my morning and these messages came at exactly the moments that I had a free second to respond. *God wink*. I will often leave my phone alone when I hear it ping from a text ( I am the best at ignoring my phone…fair warning) but I was able to respond and my wife replied quickly.

She re-routed the glowering child (who was put out because of the work she had invested in this mighty fortress.) (It did not seem to matter that she was somewhere she was told to NOT be!) She insisted she would listen for the plow and move when she heard it, but this feeling I had…it would not go away.

The plow came up the hill and around a corner faster than my wife had ever seen it move. I was at my workplace with a sick feeling of dread in my guts even though I knew Small-Fry was now in the back yard. (When it comes to a kid wanting their own way in something there is still that niggling doubt that she’ll stay where she was bidden, right?)

The next text from my wife stated that the plow had roared up the hill, turned at the front of our unit and wiped out the snow pile in which Munchkin had been playing in seconds. She showed the wreckage to the Girl who was frightened by how quickly it had happened while my shaking hands dialed my HR manager to come tend my phones for a few minutes while my jitters subsided.

And oh…were my shakes real. I had never been so scared, but the terror I felt became calmness pretty quickly. She was safe, saw the benefits of obeying us and the potential price of stubbornness. Lesson learned!

And for ME as well. I believe in a God that cares about our lives and can tap us on the shoulder into action to protect those we love. He uses us to benefit the world around us if we listen and act. Our guardian angels lost a few feathers that day, sending these messages of warning, but all is well and I plan to keep my spirit listening.

This is NOT the first time I have had warnings in my soul, but it was the closest call I have ever experienced. I would love to hear from readers who have had similar experiences!


A Zombie Horde, The Sin of Omission and my Stupid Worst Self!

I have to recount my day off yesterday. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

I am totally ripping that off of you Dickens…you’ve used it long enough and rarely has a saying so aptly described a day for me.

In three parts, I will describe my day and I will do so in order of least important first.

PART 1: The Potential Zombie Outbreak:

Continue reading A Zombie Horde, The Sin of Omission and my Stupid Worst Self!

Darn, Darney Darn! or (How I still haven’t gotten my Book 2 published!)

I have had a super crappy winter, Ladies and Gents.

DAGGER, Book 2 of The Hunted Mage Trilogy, has NOT launched yet. I am pretty depressed about my lack of progress with my last set of line-by-line revisions.

There’s a lot of words to corral in Book the Second and they have been around for a long time. (I had to split things up into smaller volumes to make publishing possible way back when I had an agent stringing me along, so much of book 2 was already written.)

Continue reading Darn, Darney Darn! or (How I still haven’t gotten my Book 2 published!)

‘Annie’, a Cousin ‘Wild Rumpus’ and the Flip-flop

It was a whirlwind weekend!

First  was our visit to Wareham to visit with niece & nephews. Oldest played several different roles in the musical ‘Annie’ put on by ‘A Work in Progress’ Productions.

This was a gang of home-school kids trying to put on a full-scale musical show and…

Continue reading ‘Annie’, a Cousin ‘Wild Rumpus’ and the Flip-flop

An Employment Fable…

Once upon a time, in years long past, there lived a lowly kitchen boy.

The boy had been raised rightly by his father and mother and he worked hard and well at the tasks given him wherever he toiled.

Each place he worked, he excelled at the chores he was assigned, however menial they may be, and in each workplace he came to the attention of his overseer and promoted.

Continue reading An Employment Fable…

Gotta get my butt in gear…

Alright…back into the swing o’ things. I have been a lazy (insert your favorite expletive here for loads of interactive Blog fun! It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book today.) this summer!

A Move from a small apartment to a small house had my little family scrambling to get our gear out of a storage unit and into place after six years of solitary confinement. It does NOT fit…

  • (To throw it all into a dumpster turn to page 8)
  • (To painstakingly sort each box and re-discover the treasures of 24 years of marriage turn to page  17)

Has anyone every been in the situation where your house is a shambles and you have to entertain people, so you contain it all into ONE room, the Room of Shame, and then you ask everyone to please NOT go in there, but they go in anyway and then they lie to you and tell you ‘It’s not so bad!’

  • (If you choose to pull the one item from the pile that will bury them in an avalanche of rubble turn to page 12)
  • (If you thank them politely and scoot them out of the room turn to page 23)

That was pretty much our summer, except we kept moving the stuff to different rooms. We would pull it all out, swear that we would sort it and deal with it properly. We will find a space and stow it away THIS WEEK!

  • (If you haven’t seen Harry Potter’s ‘Room of Requirement’ turn to page 5)
  • (If you have a room like this in your home RIGHT NOW turn to page 30)

Yeah…we didn’t. But changing jobs to an hourly situation instead of salary helped some.

And then some illness…

I have had a crappy production summer in my writing but I struggle onward in my quest to get Book 2 of The Hunted Mage Trilogy formatted for e-book and paperback, design a cover and launch it at the interwebs.

I really like how DAGGER has turned out. I like it better than Book 1.

Here’s my plan: While I format, I will try to produce 500 words per day on Book 3 and at least once a week, I’d like to produce a blog post that introduces my Cast of Characters one at a time. I have back story for these guys so piled up in my head that it looks like my Living Room in there.

Question of the Week: How do you keep on track with your projects? I am looking for inspirational ideas.