Tag Archives: new experiences

This is NOT Sunday

Secret Carverns waterfall

Secret Caverns, Cobleskill, NY; some of my Weekend Fun

Something 4 Sunday posts have been a bust this year.  I’m almost always out doing things Sundays (and Saturdays), or I’m at home recovering from being out and doing things.  Yeah, I know, I could more effort with my blogging, and I should.

It’s doubts and distractions.  Am I just talking to the wind here?  Do I really have anything worth saying (this is big with me…  I really would like to offer content that people enjoy)?  Shouldn’t I be writing stories or spending more “quality time” with family?

Coverd Bridge Schoharie

Coverd Bridge, Schoharie

Basically I do this two days a week schedule because of the ROW80.  I need to keep an eye on my progress toward my goals daily, and these twice weekly  check-ins help keep me on track (somewhat).  But I know that my life, while busy, is pretty much Dullsville compared to many, and that my busy is not as fascinating or imposing to other people as it to me.  They have their own busy to deal with.

So…  thank you to those of you who come here despite your own busy to visit today.  I hope you enjoy my little internet offering and check-in.

ROW80 and More

Old Stone Fort

The Old Stone Fort, Schoharie, NY; we didn’t get to tour because the site was closing as we arrived, but we walked around outside and I grabbed this picture and the bridge one above

Actually, since the ROW80 is the challenge that knows you have a life, all things could technically be filed under the check-in label, but…  well, you know.  Better safe than sorry.  😉

Thing is, I’m not getting a ton of writing in at the moment.  My head seems to be wanting food…  or at least lots of cool things to think about and relaxation time to process them all.  I’ve been:

  • scribbling lots of notes (does that count as writing?)
  • taking bunches of pictures (my Flickr photostream is woefully out of date, but then I have a lot of stuff to edit, and a lot that just looks crappy but reminds me enough of things to use for stories)
  • reading lots of articles and some of my favorite comfort reads
  • getting moving (daily exercise and exercise adventures…like the stairs [also called the prehistoric escalator] at Secret Caverns yesterday)
  • not editing…  nope, none, nada, haven’t even tried
Not your local confectioner's delight

Not your local confectioner’s delight

We also have made homemade chocolate here at Chez Mabee… totally wrong texture, more like fudge than anything, but still quite delicious.  If you’re interesting in trying the kit yourself, it was reasonably priced around Christmas-time (about four dollars more now, oddly).  We cut the sugar in the recipe a bit and added milk (which was probably what ruined the texture) before the cooling.

The picture is after we had all eaten a few pieces…. Despite the criticisms in the Amazon reviews, I think it made a nice amount of chocolate for the price.  And if I’d used a double boiler instead of guessing temperatures with the microwave?  Who knows?  Maybe it’d have been even better.

So, as I said, not a lot going on here.  How about you all?  Did you have a good weekend?

Games — a WIPpet/ROW80 post

Yep…  another Wednesday post… late.

I almost didn’t bother posting anything today.  I’ve raced around practically non-stop since Sunday, and my head has raced faster…  I just want to sleep, and even that’s been nearly impossible to achieve.  So I’m late, but I’m here, and I’m yawning…

Hopefully that means unconscious bliss in a bit.

Since it’s Wednesday it’s time for both a WIPpet and a ROW80 check-in.  Let’s play with the pet first.  They appreciate being noticed and played right away…


No fancy maths tonight.  You get ten (I think reasonably sized paragraphs) for the month of October back in Courting the Swan Song.  Alanii’s back home with his parents and is now in his father’s study where his father is filling him in on the way the man expects his son to behave from now on and why…

Alanii stayed his seat. If his father was still “making the rounds” as the man called his nervous energy, it was certain that there was more they would discuss. These days he knew enough to not just assume he knew what to do next. His father didn’t like that kind of behavior. His father liked to make people be surprised by his actions. In a sense, Alanii felt sorry for the man.

911: President George W. Bush Addresses Media in Oval Office, 09/13/2001.Lord of the Great Throne, named moral leader of all the Settled People, descended from Antian deKanas himself, and the man held little more than the power of a figurehead in most Vale affairs. When someone wished to defy the edicts of Anacniia, all he (or she, Alanii reminded himself bitterly of the Semisniis’ impending arrival) needed to do was gather the assistance of at least two of the major House lords to stand alongside in Council.

And now, Alanii’s father was allowing himself to be drawn into playing the same game, pledge his own heir to House Semis in hopes of making sure that House remained on their side for the future.

“Of course, if you were planning on selling me off to Tarran, Father, you could have approached him for the hand of his own daughter and not that of his cousin’s third born,” he said finally.

“As if Tarran would have accepted my offer after what you’d done in his Holdland,” his father snapped. “You, heir to the Great Throne itself, drew blade against his militia men in his own lands…”

“They never identified themselves as militia. They snuck into our rooms late at night, killed the tavern owner and nearly killed the man’s wife…” Alanii rose enough to face his father head on as the man came back around in his view. “I treated them as any man would have, as brigands and thieves.”

His father made a quick movement as if he were intending to argue, then shook his head and went over to take a seat at his desk. “It’s your word against Tarran’s. He says they were his men and that no one would have been harmed if you’d allowed yourselves to be taken for ransom like civilized men.”

Frustration, Frustration!“And you believe his word more than that of your son and Guard, Father?”

The man sighed. “I have no choice.”

Alanii shook his head. “You know he is lying. You know we’re telling you the truth. Yet you have no choice but to believe him? I don’t—I don’t know what to think about that, Father. Madness at the very least. Since when did the truth become a lie and a lie the truth just because Tarran said it?”

As always, a ginormous “Thank You” to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for her hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays where writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to visit other #WIPpeteers at the linky.  Company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques are always welcome.


So, another check-in….  I’ve written almost nothing.  Notes…  notes for a beta read I was doing actually.  And I edited a bunch of story pieces…  I’ve read, some…  Mostly I’ve been driving and running errand after errand after errand.

Rosa multiflora, flower of January 2Oh and doing the weekly Wednesday field trip with my son’s school today.  Today was a challenging day.  We were blazing trails in a new nature preserve that was overrun with rosa multiflora.  Swampy land, lots of thorns, no trail and a bunch of kids in the woods with four adults, with only one set of clippers and one hatchet….  all at the height of deer tick season.

It was an exciting morning.  Fun, challenging,…  even a bit messy, but besides a few scratches, a few soaked shoes and a lot of noise, it was a normal day with these kids.

Now though?  Typing with my left hand is a bit hard.  I’ve gotten the slivers and thorns out, but they left some sore spots.  But it’s okay.  I’m proud of myself for crossing streams on fallen tree trunks (once with my shoe laces untied…though not intentionally!) and keeping all the kids with me from getting torn to pieces on those brambles.

SuccessAnd I got some great story ideas from the experience.  They haven’t fully coalesced yet, but I have a better visual for the rest of last week’s scene with Vissellii and ‘Listii.  I also know what’s going to happen in Courting before Alanii gets home to his father…

Oh, and I got a great workout too.    Hooray ROW80 Fitness!

As for my other goals?  No photos edited.  No photos taken either.  Though it would have been nice to have brought the camera on occasion these days, I’m glad I didn’t have with me today.  I like my camera.  I want to keep it a lit longer….

Sponsor duties?  Visits are on track,  but I still need to write that sponsor post (Sorry, Kait!).  At least I’ve gathered all my pieces together now.  I can write it (once I get settled for five minutes without something else calling to me).  It’s a start.

Sow how about you?  Any new experiences?

Friday Photo–Learning by Doing



This Wednesday, my son, my dad and I took a trip to MiSci (the former Schenectady Museum and Planetarium).  I didn’t get as many good pictures as I hoped in their new butterfly house.  The area was crowded, and people had to hurry through so the next batch of people (we would pick a day they were holding two birthday parties) go get a chance to enjoy themselves some.

Still, I got a few nice shots and several mediocre ones that have taught me a valuable lesson.  No amount of photo-editing can repair a bad picture, so take as many images as you can–better to toss a hundred crappy shots than not have a single good one to remember.

The best shots of the day were some of the candids.  They weren’t great photos, but they were excellent storytellers.

My dad made a friend

My dad made a friend

In May, we’ll be stopping off at the Joseph L. Popp Butterfly Conservatory for their raptor show,  I’ll be testing my photo-taking skills there again, and this time–I don’t care if I fill my whole compact flash card in the day.  That’s what it’s there for.

(As an addendum, our trip home  reminded me of another cardinal rule about photography that I break too often.  Always Have Your Camera READY.  There was a lovely juvenile bald eagle circling in a field near a small pond–close enough I could make out its eyes from the car windscreen.  I was able to pull over and stop fast enough.  But could I get the camera out of the bag and set up in time?  There are no eagle pictures here for a reason.)

The eyes have it

The eyes have it


They like the salts


Contrasts and color


The Attraction is Strong in this one


Into the MRI


Grandpa playing with static charges


Great-Uncle Ron stopped in to play too

Mom...There's a bug on me.

Mom…There’s a bug on me.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Mom! Put that camera away!

Mom! Put that camera away!


I’m NOT leaving