Thursday, May 19, 2016

Maybe It's Spring, Maybe It's Just May

Hi all,

So what have I been up to? A bit.

First off: catch up.

One of the things I've been enjoying is Canvas and Cocktails at the Fuller Lodge.

What is it?
Glad you asked. It's an art session in a wine bar.

It's fun. There's wine. There are artists. There are people who have never done art before. The instructor demonstrates and then says to let yourself go and be free.
The best part is you learn a new technique every time you go.
The wine is nice too, if that's your persuasion.

Here are a few pics I have from the last two sessions with my friend, Mrs. E.

(Side note: Not sure if I'll keep my paintings, but it was loads of fun and affordable to get out and just create.)

Here's the Raindrop Tree.

My creations. Technique was paint dripping with alcohol drops and water sprays. "Raindrop Trees"

My friend's creations

The next session was Rainbow Tree.
(It's an actual thing. I looked it up. You can read up on it here.)

Mrs. E showing off her work.

My turn

Yeah, mine's on the left. The tree got wonky somewhere in there (no wine involved). But it was a lot of fun to be messy.

What you can't see in the picture are my jeans. I managed to drip paint onto them. It's Tempura paint, it comes out. I can get out most stains because...well, it's me.
If I don't get paint, dirt, charcoal, red sauce, wine or the like on my clothes, it means I'm sleeping.

Anyway, the main point is don't wear your silks if you go.

So yeah, if you're into art and being messy and wanting something fun to do that's not too expensive ($30), check it out.

Okay, what else?
My sister came to visit. :-)
Miss K stayed a week in April.

(I know. That was last month. You can scold me when you see me. IF you see me.)

We went all over: Bandelier Monument, Santa Fe, Ojo Caliente, around town, Jemez Springs for a drive and just chilling. She's a cool gal and it was fun.

BUSY.
But fun.
(Love you, K!)

Here are some of my fave pics from her trip.

Sisters, Sisters

Valles Caldera!

Jemez Springs!

Bandelier National Park


In a dwelling in a cliff.

Picture of sweetness


Yes, we climbed up that face on those ladders. 

Come to find out, my sister has a slight fear of heights. Did not know that. But she is a trooper!

Hike to the falls. 

The source of our hiking! Waterfall! 
My sister being herself! Love that girl!

We also went wine tasting at Black Mesa Winery

She made a friend.

Then we went to Meow Wolf (which needs a blog post in and of itself!). It was a blast.

Probably my favorite moment ever. She discovered the bones make music!


And of course a trip to New Mexico wouldn't be complete unless you had a 180 shift in weather. 75 and sunny one day, then BOOM, snow the next.


And Mochi even liked her.
Best of buds

It was sad to see her go, but I know she'll be back.

Then my Mom came to visit. :-)

We went to St. James Tearoom for a Royal Tea and belated Mom's Day. The food and experience was amazing, as always. And I love that every nook is a different room and decor.
If you haven't been and you love tea, go. You won't be disappointed.

All dolled up

The spread.

I took Mom to Vivàc for a wine tasting. She got to experience the weirdness of NM weather too.


Mind you, that photo was taken before the wind kicked up and blew over her chair and her jacket. Lucky for us we were in a sheltered nook. But yeah, we had a thunderstorm come upon us, rain hard, then it was gone and there was only sunshine.

Momma left Wednesday. And we won't have any family visitors for a while.
Of course, the day after she left, it dropped about twenty degrees (40F!) and rained.
But, I got to break out my new Irish scarf that Momma brought back for me from her UK trip.


Yet, even that wasn't enough. I was cold!
So I broke out my "sheep" (aka: wool Aran sweater)
And then all was better again.


Ok, what else?
Health.
Getting over bronchitis and pneumonia. Never fun. Especially when you get them back to back. I got sick the weekend before my sister came in.
Didn't rest.
And though I had heavy meds, I didn't kick it.
Enter round two of the heavy meds and instructions not to teach or be around kiddos for 2 weeks.
Mom came to visit in week 2 and I rested more than I did with K's trip, but I still have the hack.
And I'm exhausted. I have no energy to be around lots of things or around lots of people. So...yeah. More rest needed.

Diet.
On the baby diet front I've lost 8 pounds. (yay)
It's been an...experience. I'm usually really good. I keep a daily chart on my wipe board.
Chia Seed puddings and Chicken/veggie dishes are my go to. (Found a puttanesca spicy and tomato based dish with olives-to die for!)

And then there are the days that it seems impossible. When all I want is a slice of toast with jam on it. (sad, isn't it?) But the end goal is what I have to look at.

But...there was last night. Got home late and had left out meat to thaw...it'd been out 8 hours (forgot it was there) and had to throw it out. I cried. There was nothing planned for dinner and I didn't want to eat another hard boiled egg and mayonnaise or have Caprese salad...again.
So I made pasta, sprinkled parsley, gruyère cheese, added half a chopped tomato, and called it a day.
It was so worth it.
Today is a new day. And the carb counting resets each morning.
There is hope.

Writing.
I've been bad about keeping to my schedule. It's hard when I have family visiting. But I did use the time to read (which is just as important). I also may or may not have wandered a bookstore for 2.5 hours after I dropped my mom off at the airport. I got some reference materials and three new books. :-)

I'll be back to the schedule now: Afternoon writing sesh with a smattering of morning writing.

Plus, there's my Creative Writing course starting up in June. June 7th to be exact.
Which reminds me...I better get the course book. Yay Amazon rentals.

Ok, Training the pup.
It's going well. She's better about walking. The barking at home though...we're going to address that tomorrow with the trainer. But it's worth it.

And, my friends, that's all folks.

Until next time,
Bisous!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Little Catch Up and Colorado!

Hi all!

It's been a bit busy here. But never fear, I'm updating!
(Maybe next time it can be twice in the same month. Gasp!)

Okay, catch up time.

On the writing front:

  • Got feedback from my querying. Rejected from all. But had a full request and a partial request and am gleaning the gold which is personalized feedback. (Huzzah!) The good thing is most of the feedback said the same thing- Beginning is too slow.
    What does that mean for me? Means more work and more revising. But I'm going to let that MS sit for a few months to get some distance before I tackle it again and decide on what to revise.
  • Our local college here is offering a summer course on Creative Writing from June to end of July. I'm going to take it. Always a good idea to sharpen the sword, as they say. 
  • I've ripped up a WIP (only 12k words) that wasn't going anywhere. I tried to keep at it, but I hated it. Anyway, I kept only the names of my hero and heroine and now have a brand new plot, new setting, and stronger ending and I'm happy. (Yes, as a former pantser, I now plan it out. And yes, it's written by hand in a special notebook.)
  • This Fall I'll look at my other MS that's a fantasy romance. I'm brewing up ideas and may decide to scrap the 70k+ words I already have to rewrite the whole dang thing. We'll see. Not going to worry about it right now. 

On the home front:

  • Laundry piles up when I write so I'm working on that. I'm trying to learn to enjoy the sounds of writing to the sloshing of the washer. (still not 311, but it's good white noise)
  • Have to do a new diet. Doctor said if we want to try for a kiddo, low to no carbs. So that's been a challenge.
              - May or may not have thrown out a disgusting porridge this morning.
              - Found out I like chia seed puddings.
              - Dinners are the easiest meals. Breakfasts are hard. (I blame France for creating my bread addiction! I'm a toast girl too, so same to you, England!)
  • Mr. K and I are doing Tai Chi together when he gets home from work. I like it. Reminds me of dance in the holding of your body (butt tucked!) but yet, soooo slow. And then there's my Thursday yoga too. 
  • We've hired the help of a trainer for Mochi and her barking/fear of other dogs/running to greet people at the door and barking. I'll let you know how it is. So far all we know is she'll do anything for string cheese. So that's good.
  • Subbing is going well and I like Middle School. They're the most fun. 
On the fun front:
  • I surprised Mr. K with a trip to Durango, Colorado for his birthday last month. Here are a few of my fave pictures!

Crossed from New Mexico into Colorado!

Chimney Rock. Anyone who's played The Oregon Trail knows this monument.

Once we got to Durango, I surprised him with another thing. Friends! (The E family couldn't make it, so it was the B family) Mr. K was very surprised indeed and I think his jaw hit the floor.

We all stayed at the Historic Strater Hotel

Once the surprise was over, we went to the saloon.


This is one of my fave shots of Mr. K that weekend.

So dashing

The hotel outside.


We went for a stroll through Downtown Durango before dinner. Quite nice.


And now for some great statues and art!




The next day we had one last surprise for Mr. K. A First Class ticket on the Durango/Silverton Train through Cascade Canyon.

Our train car. We were in the caboose and it was so smooth. 



And now for the scenery. Just gorgeous!


We all got out onto the back platform for some pics.


Smooch!


And this one is one of my other faves. Post card worthy.


It was still chilly. As you can see by the snow/soft ice on the waterfall.


But the day was gorgeous and the temperature divine.


We got to Cascade Canyon and had lunch and got to look around.


Here's the engine.


And then there was this.


And this.


And of course, this.


What do those last three have in common?
Water.
I love water.
And rocks.

Moving on.
The trip back was lovely and I managed a few more photos before resting my eyes in the sun and light breeze.


The lake again.


Then the next day, after stopping off to get some bread at Jean Pierre's Bakery, we headed back home.

One of my fave houses from the drive back. Love a nice Victorian.

And this one's for my mom. Horses!


And before we knew it, we were back in New Mexico.





Land of Enchantment, indeed! 

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll have to post about Canvas and Cocktails and my sister's visit next time.
Bisous!

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