Friday, February 29, 2008


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It's funny how things work out. With the Bug restoration underway, word has gotten around that we're into VW's. There aren't alot of Volkswagen's in these parts. I daresay I know where most all of them reside, the ones in use that is. It's the old broken-down, undriven ones that hide out. Until people know that you're into them.

The other day a guy shows up at our house and wants to know if we're interested in buying a Transporter. For those of you who don't know, a Transporter is like a Volkswagen Bus Truck. Also known as a Buck around here now, since we have one sitting in the driveway. 
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Yeah, it didn't take long for us to decide we needed to have it too. DH has been talking about getting one for ages. Now if we can just get a Notchback (that'll be mine) we can call our collection complete.

But really, this one isn't gonna be done for like fifteen years. The poor thing needs alot of work. Plus we're in the process of buying a building which looks about as bad as this bus. Sometimes I wonder what the heck we're thinking.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I only have energy for links

I'm too tired to post anything that takes thinking, but I thought I'd let you know that I've added a few more links. For writers on the agent search there's QueryTracker and the Guide to Literary Agents. Both of these have been a great help lately as I research agents.

And for everyone, I posted my friend Lesa's site, Natural World Arts. She makes fabulous handmade dolls and painted fabrics. She's also a professional storyteller and a Waldorf educator. She's lived on a mountain for practically my entire life and has supported herself and her family with her art. And she has no running water in the kitchen to boot! She's an amazing person who I should write more about. Unfortunately I need sleep. Oh bother.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Class Visits

I visited my local first grade class for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I was nervous and worried. I (over)planned it all out. The teacher wanted me to talk about myself--what I do, my books--and how to write a story.

I think it was the having to talk about myself that really made me uneasy. That and getting up infront of people, even though they're small. But I made myself do it. If I can't start with my own kid's class where can I?

So, I talked to them about being a writer. I talked about illustrators. I showed them some books I loved when I was a kid(they really liked that). Read the first chapter of my book. Did a question and answer session. Then I showed them the cover for Bedtime Monster since that's all I have, and we wrote a story There's a monster who lives under my bed ... together. I figured since I was controlling the story I wouldn't let it go in a scary direction. And it was pretty good although it was hard to try to include everyone and use a little bit of each kid's ideas(didn't want anyone to feel left out).

It went okay. I mean, the teacher told them that I'm famous and they all wanted my autograph, except for my son who rolled his eyes. Now the kids are making their parents look up my website and they all know about me. Sheesh. So much for being the anonymous mountain weirdo. But the kids seemed to like it.(A couple of them hug me every morning now.) And the teacher said it was great, but she's very nice so I wouldn't expect anything less. I hope I did all right.

I went in again today. It was much easier since I didn't have to talk about myself or my books. I read Laura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster to open up some ideas. Then the kids wrote their own stories starting with Today I went to the pet store and picked out a monster ... It was fun to see them come up with their own stories. Writing down their own ideas; and there were some great ones! Creative! Funny! They seemed to enjoy it for the most part. There was laughing and smiling going on. There was one little boy who was having a particularly hard time with the writing, but his picture was excellent. He has told his teacher that he wants to be an illustrator when he grows up. Pretty cool.

Now the fourth grade teacher wants to know why I've been visiting the first graders and still haven't come to his class. Oh the price of fame. *sob

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Demon and the Hole

Seems like I should be blogging...about...something. My head is finally coming out of a full on assualt by the evil flu demon so thoughts have been fleeting for a week now. But really, that's no excuse.

I did manage to take my kids ice fishing. "What?" you say. "You took three kids ice fishing, are you nuts?"

Aparantly so, but I'll blame it on the demon. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Luckily they don't make the holes in the ice big enough for a two year old to fall all the way through. And if they did I would have never even let go of him in the first place so it never would have happened.

Yes, he walked right into the hole. We hadn't even managed to get the fishing pole in yet. He was just very focused on throwing a snowball at his brother, that's all. Luckily(besides the obvious) I had brought extra clothes. I will remember to bring extra shoes next time. Although I don't think there will be a next time for a while. Thoughts of the hole are much worse than the flu demon.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Word Uses

I had to fill out an agricultural survey the other day for our mountain property. It was long and complex and really had nothing to do with us since we don't farm anymore. By the time I got to page two I had no idea what the survey was wanting from me. How do I classify my land? There are no crops. There are no farm animals. Fallow? We'd never actually plowed it, so that didn't seem right. I decided I'd better check with the survey takers aka The Department of Agriculture(this survey had to be filled out under threat of imprisionment so I figured I should try to get it right.) So I called the number and talked to this honey-voiced lady who seemed shocked at the fact that I didn't farm my land, and was I absolutely sure I didn't own any cattle? Really?

Apparantely if you don't use your acreage for anything but the joy and beauty of it, you are wasting it. That's right. My land is classified as wasteland. Heck--I didn't even have to fill any of the other forty pages out since I'm wasting it. They should really come take a look at what the cattle do to the land, they might have to switch their definitions. All those cows can sure ruin a place.

And while I'm talking about messed up words, here's a new swear word for ya. Precipice. That's right, you read it correctly. Precipice, as in: This agricultural survey is really precipicing me off. Hey, it works when you're nine.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Link Alert

Wow, time can sure fly by in-between posts! I'm on the agent hunt right now, so I don't want to spend too much time here blabbing about myself.

I have noticed that a few of my blog links are stagnant, so I've decided to put links to some of my friends websites up. The first one I've added is Good Seed Company. The company is owned by my friend, Harris. He grows the plants and harvests the seeds on his homestead. It amazes me that he can run a seed company in such a harsh climate, but he does, and he offers some of the most beautiful plant and vegetable seeds one can grow. Good Seed specializes in open-pollinated, heirloom, and cold hardy seeds.

Harris' business is in danger. A mine has been threatening to open up on the same mountain he lives on. Besides all the horrible toxicity that mines create, the mining company plans to de-water at least half of the mountain, which will not only take away Harris' livelihood, but likely his home as well, for water is life. But the fight for the mountain continues. Hopefully the right side will win.

If any of my cold climate readers are gardeners, you should definitely check out Harris' site. If you're not a gardener, maybe he'll inspire you to be. Harris has some great articles on gardening too.