Tag Archive | NaBloPoMo

Why is NaBloPo in November?

You know, I look forward to the challenge of blogging every day for a month.  I know, I could do this any month or every month but the community of doing this together is part of the fun.  I know the original concept was to write a novel of 10,000 words in the month of November and I think that might be either a ‘get it done before the year end’ for last minute publishing dollars, or, ‘I have no family so lets do something else’… Either way, 10k words or every day posts with basically a WEEK of real life in the middle is asking for trouble~

I’ve done it every year, but, every year are days with almost nothing or just a picture.  My computer is far away from the family center (on purpose) but when my kids are home and parents are visiting I’m just not creating time to run away and post.  I actually have posts in my head that I planned on doing this month but I think they will wait, or, they weren’t that important in the end. 🙂

So Thanksgiving!  Parents were here for a week, kids were home, we went out a few times and stayed home and visited a bunch.  We did the normal things like games and puzzles and watched some John Oliver highlights.  I can’t exactly take a week ‘off’ but the load was shared among more for a week.  Grandparents love to hear kids read (or at least its novel and they are willing) and every time I turned around my Dad was tidying or making tea, making it way easier around the house.  He also did a minor project that he had an idea about using a real tool and not just the saws-all that I had planned.  Mom re-taught the girls knitting for the 5th time and she knows that it takes about 10x so she is half way there.  Cooking was a joint effort and while it was not a giant fancy crazy vacation week it was a nice and happy and home vacation week.

On the other hand….  while I did pre-do 95% of my paid work, I had a big pile of things to sort through today, and, more for tomorrow.  Today I skipped the gym but I did 7 loads of laundry, took down all the thanksgiving and started putting up a bit of Christmas.  Washed all the dishes, did all the baking, wrote a press release for Turkey Bingo as well as edit and post a ton of pictures from the event.  I also got in a good walk with Fiona and we got two Magikarp, and tonight before I sat down here, I did 45min on the elliptical and rounded out my 10k steps for the day.  Not too shabby a start on the list.

Speaking of ‘the list’ the next countdown in my world is not to Christmas but to our trip to Hawaii!  In 16 days we leave so that is not a lot of time to get quite a bit done.  I’m toying with the idea of not doing all the decorations this year, but, I do need to get on the ball about shopping and some crafting etc.  Same with Christmas cards and teacher gifts, my timeline is pulled up a week at least.  I’m sure the trip will be worth it, I’ll swim in the ocean on my birthday (a once in a lifetime event) and be ready for a Christmas on the beach picture in 26 days.

To anyone who found me during NaBloPoMo, I don’t usually post daily but I do post often so I hope you don’t leave.  I hit 1000 followers this month, something I intended to post about but obviously did not.  That is a pretty big number and I’m sure not everyone actually reads often at all, but, I hope you that do feel you are getting your monies worth.

It is time for me to wrap this up and expedite bed time and then back to the list.  That laundry won’t fold itself and I have 1 season of Gilmore Girls to finish before I can watch the new movies. (ps. saving the movies for Hawaii with my sister, can’t wait!)


Thanksgiving craft

Waaaay back when Pinterest was super new, this was one of the first things I pinned.


titled the craft patch but pin goes to this site; http://makelifedelicious.com/2011/11/waffle-sugar-cone-cornucopia/

Every year I got to thanksgiving and just never got around to doing it, or, decided we had enough dessert and I didn’t want a whole box of cones just to make a few.  This year we were looking for school snack ideas and Vola!  this finally came to the top of the pile.

Since it is for school, I’m not sending a cone of candy, so I decided to fill them with popcorn instead.

I went back to the original pin and read the post and there is a bunch of conflicting information on how to actually bend the cone.  I can’t say the other methods don’t work, but for us this DID work easily.

  1. soak the cone tip in water for 15 seconds
  2. put the cone into a glad ware container (microwaveable and sealable) and microwaved for 15 seconds
  3. Immediately on removing from the hot steamy box, bend the tip by hand slowly and then hold it for a few seconds.
  4. Let dry on the counter


Niamh was in charge of soaking, Zoe handled microwaving, and I did the bending since it was a little hot but not burning.  We did all 20 in under 10 minutes!


We found that the cone really does not hold much popcorn.  Oops!  so we just put a scoop of popcorn in a bag and nested the cornucopia onto it and taped the bag shut for easier opening on the other end.  I didn’t want them ripping the bag and spilling, or, getting frustrated with ribbon.  I happened to have some pumpkin candies  so we added that in too for color.


By all reports the kids liked the popcorn, didn’t actually eat the cone.  Oh well, it looked cool, and I think they were all happy to get something fun.

I’m pretty glad I finally tried this and it was actually really easy so I’m sure I will do it again.

My life full of hats


health – lingering colds, not keeping us down

workout – last night heavy lift, doing my 170 weight for a few weeks

house – untouched today…. I have work to do

projects – my garage is clean and my car is in it!!!!


I know I’ve mentioned my clients a time or two.  Obviously, they are not the topic of this, but, since the topic of this is my life – when vast chunks of my time are now sold to other people it creeps into my life.  And, I also like them, they are fun and I like doing it, but it is tiring.


Not tiring like my old job where I was breakneck most days trying to hit all the things that needed doing.  This new client based job where I’m working on bringing their business into the online world I feel like I’m putting on a new personality with each client.


One client is a lawyer.  For him I’m careful, meticulous, clean pictures.  I learn every week from what he writes.  It is not personal, it is not warm and fuzzy, it feels like a very neat kitchen with nothing distracting on the counters.

Next is a women who is interested in about a dozen different things but we are focusing on her desire to spread positive messages about business to empower.  For her I’m warm, wide thinking, soft colors, meaningful memes.  I can like and share with abandon because the whole world is her target.  With her I feel like I’m writing in a beautifully messy art studio.

Number 3 is a manufacturing company.  Brick and mortar and they make things.  I share products and machines and seek to educate and network.  The world I enter for them is gray and tan and full of sharp tools.  I feel like I’m on a virtual shop floor making content for them.

Finally a lawn guy.  Green and clean and outdoors.  A little silly, a little power tool, a blend of man and nature.  He is a hard one because he can’t really work outside a specific area and he is a man of few words (zero actually) so I’m flying blind for him.  Still fun pretending that I know about leaf blowing and mowing and researching enough to share with confidence.

Then I do my giving – the PTO site – serving the parents of the school as I would like to be served.  I get to wear my mom hat, but, a bigger one.  I am cheerleading all the kids in the school, it is bright and cheerful and parent colored (that is a color that also has stains but you don’t even care).


And finally here.  Myself.  I am a bit of all those sites, all those sites get a bit of me.  I’m a bit dizzy because today I did all the work I could possibly pre do for the next 2 weeks so I can take time with my visiting parents.  Did I mention my parents were visiting?  I didn’t exactly forget, but, I did forget what day today is and how few days there are between now and then.  Good thing we have frequent guests so the guest room is basically ready.  And after wishing 5 different audiences Happy Thanksgiving in 5 different voices I can focus on our celebration for next week.  All I’m sure on is that there will be turkey (as long as there still is one to buy)


Now I’m going to go lie down and let the voices settle.

Monday Musing


Health; 50% of us have colds.  I am in that 50%

Workout; keeping a decent rate, don’t know what I’ll be up for today though but coughing should count as an ab workout.

Cat; I get requests… yes, Mr Pink is still here, still very cat.

Projects; I’m transforming Halloween costumes into real things 🙂


My post yesterday was a dashed off line I ran downstairs to do between dinner, kids bed, and having people over for a group game we are playing weekly on Sunday.  The day in general was perfect weather and I can’t help but feel that I’m losing half the space in my life very very soon because we won’t be able to be outside anymore.  We finished the gardens; took in any lingering veggies and our massive kale crop and the kids picked and sorted all the herbs.  The house smelled really good with a pound of mint, lavender, lemon balm, basil etc sitting on the table.  We have snow forecast for this coming weekend and I’m glad I got so much done yesterday, and, I’m glad to have spent one more good day outside.

  • I finally have the garage empty and ready for car(s)
  • The gutters are now clean – since our lawn guy was coming today, yesterday was the best day to clean them since I could just throw it all on the grass and he was going to clean it anyway.
  • All the outside toys and playhouse are packed away or ready for snow

I would have been content to keep churning through the chores but Zoe really really really wanted to ride her bike to the Y that is 2mi away.  She has been wanting this for weeks and I told her that it would have to be a day that both parents were able to go because Fiona can’t ride a bike that far so she and I would take the car.  (I also thought they might be too tired to get home again so I wanted a bail out option).  We went to the Y and she not only rode there, she did it at a decent pace and with no fussing AND she wanted to ride home again too.  While we were at the Y I did a workout and then we all did the pool and Zoe was swimming laps with Niamh when I got there.  When we got home I told them to run around the block so they can claim a triathlon day, and so they did.  In my workout I rode the bike and ran, and, I also swam so I had a triathlon day too 🙂

Saturday we actually ended up with an odd day.  We had plans for the day that got changed last minute so we but we figured something out.  The evening plans were thrown together on a whim on Friday and it actually worked out that we had someone to watch the girls (thank you vacation mom!) and friends were free and the Escape Room Groupon we got last year had an available slot for Saturday night so we did that.  It was really fun and we had a great group to do the puzzles.  We finished in 50 minutes and that puts us in the top 10% and we only needed one clue.  We technically didn’t need that clue because we were in the middle of checking our work and would have found our error, but, it did save us a few minutes.  I spend all night dreaming of puzzle room scenarios that would be fun to build, I think I need to send in a few of them to the place just so I get the brain space back!

Today is a ‘regular’ Monday and I’ve done my client work and next on my list is to dig out all the snow pants and real coats to see who fits and who needs.  I also plan on taking a rest, this cold is creeping in and my weekend was fun but not restful.

Oh!  I also still need to plant bulbs.  I decided to wait until someone else found the garden under the leaves to do the planting 🙂  Hopefully there are a few days lefts…


AU Kate had a baby!

Guess how I know… her aunt sent me congratulations 🙂  I forwarded them along.  Now the house hunt makes sense, I do hope they figured something out because I could not imagine moving with a newborn.

I might have more later today but I’m going to try and blitz the outside things today while we still have miraculous warm weather.  Time hop has reminded me that at least 3 years of the last 8 there was snow on the ground by now.  I’m living on borrowed summer….

**If you are new here from the NaBloPoMo list welcome, sorry this story seems out of place.  If you want the whole story search ‘other kate’ in the search window.  Short version, I have at least 3 people who accidently use my email address.  The one I have tracked down (also have gotten the most important things from over they years) lives in Australia.  I feel oddly close to her given how much of her life she accidently shares with me, and I share with my blog because I know at least 1 person loves the story line 🙂


Thank you for Stickers

Remember when Oriental Trading Company asked if I wanted a few things, no charge, from their website for Halloween in return for a post?  Well, they liked me well enough to offer the same for Thanksgiving!  This post is made possible by the lovely free things provided by Oriental Trading Company (who I also regularly give my money too)

In the spirit of ‘giving’, I looked at the selection of things on the website in the Thanksgiving area with an eye toward what I could share.  I also remembered to check HOW MANY of a thing come in a pack this time (lesson learned….) and decided on a little thanksgiving scene  kit that is a blank background and a ton of repositionable stickers.  I sent them in with Zoe (teacher oked) and they used them yesterday in their thanksgiving journal project.  They already write daily, this day just got special stickers!

Here is Zoe’s journal and another child’s.  It is crazy to see how different two kids, both around 6, took on this assignment

img_0987img_0986-0This seems to say; Pilgrims came inside two ships.  When they got there they couldn’t survive.  The Indians helped the pilgrems.  And that was how Minnesota came. 

So given that she isn’t really all that up on the story, she was informed by the stickers about how many ships there were.

We may also have to work on some geography of where the pilgrims actually landed because it was not the shores of Minnesota…. (we are dead center of the north American continent).  She has driven from MN to the actual coast of the country and knows how long that is, but, I don’t think she has a clue that pilgrims came from Europe and landed on the closest land to Europe.  I do like that is looks like the Native Americans were setting up a nice buffet including pie and squash soup as the pilgrims were on their boats.


The other child also seems to have no reference to the actual semi-historical story but he does a good job describing his picture.  “Today as you can see there are 7 peoples enjoying chickens, potatoes, turkeys, pies, corns, and grapes and pumpkins.  He nicely pairs up some people with no regard for gender or race, I’m very cool with that and I hope it never changes in his brain.

I personally love 1st-grade spelling.  Zoe is completely phonetic, the other child has a love of the possessive form instead of plural.

These come in packs of 12 so there were 3 extra that I gave to my girls.  They are enjoying the longer term use of the pictures by changing them around now and then. The repositionable stickers are fun for moving but frustrated the school kids because they didn’t just stick like a normal sticker.   img_0988-0

We have them hanging on the wall in our upstairs hall so we pass by all the time.  The top one is Niamh’s, she decided that the women were cooking, the one man was bringing wood and the other man was taking a nap.  She also filled the buckets with produce, nicely using storage….

Zoe is copying Niamh’s napping guy but decided to seriously focus on pies.  At one point, everyone had a pie on their face.  She also enjoyed lining up the pumpkins.

Fiona’s picture is next and I love her turkey riding the sun.  She went more natural with the pumpkin placement but she does not care for corn, so, there is none used.  She has actually played with hers most and has the little people talk and move around.

I’m happy with the quality, the stickers are a bit easy to rip as you take them off the sheet, especially the ships, but the majority are fine for even little 4-year-old fingers.

We got a selection of other things but I plan on using most closer to thanksgiving.  I did want to get this up early enough so if you were so inclined to get this as an activity for thanksgiving day, or, to even use as kids placemats so they can play while they eat, you have time for shipping.

img_0985One other thing I got that I want to share is this cute set of craft bags.  We are constantly needing to bring something somewhere, like to school, that should not get smashed into the backpack/bag so I usually use bags that I’m ok with never seeing again (but could totally reuse!).  The fall decoration gives them a good lifespan for us, they are a more sophisticated version of a gift bag and could easily hold a bottle of wine or holiday cookies.

Oriental Trading Company, thanks for helping us look more classy!  In looking for the link for the bag I noticed many other cute bags for other seasons.  I think I’m making a shopping list now….  ::sigh:: free goldfish syndrome.

I’m glad to have this post to write today.  I’m moving on from yesterday and election day.  What I can do is what I’ve always done; support my local schools and town, keep an eye on the big picture, and know when I need to shout about something.