Archive for June, 2012

I know you are shocked by this, but really, I’m not.

You know how some people have that animal magnetism? You know, where animals are attracted to them?

Ya, that’s not me. 😆

Hunny has long been an animal person, with a particular love for birds; specifically African Grays.

And again, I say, I am not a bird person. 😀

Despite this proclamation, I find myself with 10 part-time house chickens, and now it appears my oldest daughter has gotten the bird gene from her father. My son, standing in the kitchen, has just now announced, “We have enough birds in the house!”

Why, you might ask?

Apparently, a wild bird of adolescent age has adopted my daughter, and refuses to leave. Yesterday, she rescued him from the neighbor’s roof. I remember being told and not thinking any thing of it.

Tonight, it apparently has decided her shoulder or her hand is the best place to live, and we are trying to figure out what to do with it. I am pretty sure it would stay with the chickies until it flew out of the brooder. Honestly, we’re just not equipped for wild birds in the house.

Chickens= yes. Wild birds= no, I’m pretty sure.

And yet, strangely, it’s enjoying its time in the house, since we have water and birdseed (actual wild bird seed, aside from the chicken food). In the midst of this chaos, my son has been reminded (and even complied!) to feed the hummingbirds.

Because I am not a bird person, I’m leaving this one up to Hunny. While he’s figuring out what to do with the wild bird that has adopted my daughter, I’m going to be busily bringing the chickies inside for the night.

Nope. I am not a bird person. Chickens are, after all, evolved dinosaurs; more commonly known these days as ‘friends with benefits.’  😀

Whew. I’m so glad I confessed.  😆

Yes, he’s drinking water out of her hand……….. *sigh* 😆 Mi vida loca. 😀

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“Ygron pyr. Igron pyr. Greek fire. Sheesh. You’d think they could pick one name and stick to it, ” Frank muttered under his breath.

“Ygron pyr, ignite!

Igron pyr, take flight!

Greek fire, demands the fight!

Count once more

to even the score,

Live another day

to enter the fray.

To be true and succeed

the enemy must bleed,

All at one time,

the fire is divine!



Take flight!

Ygron pyr, weapon of lore

Igron pyr, even the score 

Greek fire, extinct no more!”

“Shit, Macy? Could you talk in a language I can hear? I mean, understand? When you go all crazy rhyme-y like that, it’s like you’re getting your inner witch on, and I can’t help tune out. It’s seriously like I can’t even hear you unless I concentrate real hard, and then it’s like the earth is laughing beneath my heavy feet, which totally makes no sense at all, whatsoever. And then, in that moment, I lose myself, all wrapped up in the pleasures of the world.

Damn. I really am losing my marbles. I don’t even know where that last bit came from. Seriously?” Frank snorted. “It’s like I’m channeling Smashing Pumpkins or something. I think we’ve been on this stake-out too long. Or we need new music. Or both.”

He gently shook Macy, trying to get her to stop chanting. Eyes wild, Macy’s arms rose above her head, swirling back and forth, as if to conjure spirits from the dead. Dropping suddenly, her hand snaked over the gear shifter and grabbed Frank’s arm with a vice-like grip.

Frank was getting worried. He had never seen her freak out this many times in one day. And he hadn’t ever seen her hair smolder, either. He had a bad feeling that even with his munitions expertise, he might not be able to diffuse the ticking bomb sitting next to him in his car.

“Frankie,” Macy rasped, “I’m sticky. Next time, remind me to pack some wet wipes.”


It’s Trifecta’s 33rd weekly writing challenge! To celebrate, they’ve issued 3 different challenges. If you click on the Trifecta link, you can see all three.

I must confess to being a sucker for a good challenge. If you’ve been reading along, you’ve noticed that each week since I’ve started, I’ve used the prompt within a continuing story, Gunz-N-Roses. Initially, I thought I would write three different parts to this ongoing saga. And then I thought, “What’s the fun in that?” 😆

Yep. You guessed it. I got lazy issued myself the challenge of working all three prompts into a single post that made some kind of sense. Tell me what you think!  😆

I’d like to say all of this was original content; alas, Frank had other ideas. Part of this week’s offering comes to you courtesy of the Smashing Pumpkins.

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Bailey swore she’d never return to her small hometown of Yancey, Alaska. She is pretty sure there are some things you can never escape; never leave behind.

Going home for her aunt’s unexpected funeral, she realizes with dismay that’s she’s mostly right about that. “Easy Lay Bay” was a nickname given to her back in high school, and it seems that while time has passed and she’s changed, some other people never do. She can’t get out of there fast enough.

Life, however, has a way of conspiring against your plans.

The last person to see her aunt Agnes alive was Cole. Cole, whose heart she broke all those years ago. Cole, who rescued her aunt; submerged in the plane in the ocean 40 feet below the surface, yet amazingly clinging to live in the air pocket. How could he face her and tell her Agnes had been alive when found, only to die during the rescue when the plane shifted just as she launched for the opening which sent her crashing into a cabinet instead?

Before Bailey can make her escape back to her life, it become apparent that the investigation needs her help. She’s the only one around with a doctorate in Russian studies and who is an expert in Russian artifacts. And, since bodies keep turning up, they had no time to waste.

I really enjoyed this book. Even though the plot was a little out there (I’m still wondering how they could have gotten into the water that fast; 35 minutes since the crash seems nearly unrealistically fast to me, particularly in Alaska; and then there’s the whole Russian thing and missing island- It is hard for me to believe that an island can sink into the ocean and not have all the buildings submerged- is it possible for a building- a church in this case- to be underwater and have people having gone inside it and not flood it so that the contents are completely intact? Anyone know an actual answer for this?), I’m still giving it high marks because the writing was good.

If the plot had been more believable, I would definitely give this 5 stars. As it is now, I’m going to give 4.5 out of 5 stars, because this one teeters on the edge of believability. It’s not so far out there as to take your mind off the ‘how’s,’ which for me, results in a reduced rating.

Great fiction, for me personally, has to be plausible enough to actually happen. People can have fantastic luck, but unless it’s entirely fictitious (like sci-fi or witches or something else entirely fabricated), it’s hard for me not to think about the logistics of some of the things going on.

It is very well written, though, and I can see the possibility of a lot of sequels for the other characters. I will definitely put this author on my list of ‘get more books!’

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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The Revolutionary War came. He joined and was killed. But she was still in love!

Binding her breasts, she joined too, disguised as a boy.

Could she make a difference before being discovered?


I haven’t done a Trifextra weekend challenge in a while. Not because of any reason in particular, I suppose. {maybe I’m thinking you’re tired of my drivel? :lol:}

When I first came to this challenge, I initially thought I would have to write about this being an impossible challenge, since I read so much and couldn’t possibly pick just one favorite. The re-writing of a book in 33 words wasn’t too daunting, so long as I could actually pick one. 😆

And then I remembered this book- I’m Deborah Sampson, by Patricia Clapp. As it turns out, I’ve heard that some schools do unit studies on her, which I think is really neat. That’s not how I learned about her, though.

I found this book in our middle school library, and was hooked- hooked so much so that as an adult, I chased down this book and another title (Constance: A Story of Early Plymouth; Patricia Clapp) from my local library, which had to order it from another. After hiding out in my room to finish them, I did pass them on to my oldest daughter who, while she thought they were good, was nowhere near as enraptured as I was.  😆  Oh, how times have changed since I was a kid! {Because, you know, it’s not uncommon for women to be in the military these days}

Both of these books, while fictionally embellished, were based on real women. And while this one (I’m Deborah Sampson) was written at the middle school level, it still addressed more mature issues, like binding breasts and dealing with Aunt Flo.

I rarely re-read books {or re-watch movies, for that matter}, so if I do either, you’ll know that I thought it was pretty darn good!

Here are some links you might like, each with little extra tidbits of interesting information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_Sampson– has quotes taken from letters to and from her good friend, Paul Revere

http://www.revolutionarywararchives.org/womansoldier.html– shares more information surrounding the discovery of her gender- and how she decided to ‘come out’ after the doctor’s niece fell in love with her

http://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/deborah-sampson/– really nice overview of her service and life, including information regarding the ‘why’s’ of when she decided to wear women’s clothing again 😉

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Their discussion temporarily lapsed, Macy realized they were in danger. This danger was not just from the blue despair threatening to engulf them both; danger not just from the mystery liquid that was all kinds of flammable; danger not just from the thugs masquerading as reputable business owners; but it was the worst kind of danger- each other.

She doesn’t realize she’s staring at me again, Frank thought. I wonder if she’s in there, or if she’s off somewhere else again.

Does he feel it too? Macy wondered. Does he feel the teetering on the brink; the precipice of no return? Or is it just me? Am I seeing things that aren’t there? Am I feeling the ghosts of past illusions? Macy’s emotions warred with themselves; railed against each other in a desperate attempt to make sense out of that which was yet to come.

“Ah, babe? Earth to Macy, come in please.” Frank’s cupped hands made him sound like he was talking in a muffled cave. Macy knew she was going to have to stop him soon, lest he break into one of his numerous impressions.

She really had no idea when he’d had the time to prefect them, either. She’d always assumed being part of a SEAL team didn’t leave him a whole lot of time for goofing around, but darn if he didn’t have Darth Vader down pat. She had an idea that it might even come in handy at some point.

Frank quirked his eyebrow as Macy got back to the business of eating her cake. He’d never known anyone who could draw out eating a confection like Macy. She sure knows how to savor a treat. She must not be getting much, he chuckled. Oh to be the…….

“So. What are you thinking?”

Frank snapped out of his reverie and tossed her a napkin. As it landed on her knee, Macy finished licking the icing off her fingers. Finally acknowledging the napkin, Macy dried them and sighed.


To read the rest of the story, click on the Gunz-N-Roses link at the top of the page.

It’s week 32 of Trifecta’s writing challenge. Can you guess what the word is this week?

No? Ok, I’ll tell you: blue.

BLUE (adjective)

1 : of the color blue
2 a : bluish <the blue haze of tobacco smoke>
b : discolored by or as if by bruising <blue with cold>
c : bluish gray <a blue cat>
3 a : low in spirits : melancholy
b : marked by low spirits : depressing <a blue funk> <things looked blue>

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  • You know what gels are
  • You might be carrying salt packets with you
  • You’ve thought about buying stock in Vaseline
  • You know what Body Glide is and you’re not afraid to use it in public
  • You view losing toe nails as a badge of honor
  • You’re a guy and you cringe at having more chafed nipples

  • And tape is one of your best friends to help those nipples
  • You use RICE almost as much as your Body Glide and Vaseline
  • You know that the afore-mentioned RICE isn’t actually edible
  • You have a daily, ongoing love/hate affair with your roller, which you’ve come to view as a close friend
  • The only kind of shopping that consistently intrigues you is checking out running shoes and gear
  • You have a tech wear preference
  • You look forward to legally getting ‘high’ every day
  • You spend more on your wrist Garmin than on the one in your car
  • You have multiple spread sheets, for things like mileage, speed, routes, and wear on shoes
  • You’re not embarrassed to admit to using head games on yourself, and you’re more than willing to share them with others
  • You know why they’re called the ‘runner’s trots’
  • You feel guilty when you take a URD (unscheduled rest day)
  • You dream you’re running when you’ve taken a few days off
  • You may not have a PR, but you know what one is (personal record)……….. 😆
  • You actually know your mile (and probably kilometer, too!) per minute speed because you’ve got a program to calculate it for you


I’m sure there are plenty more. What are your favorites?

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Book Description

You probably want to hear about Jennifer and the demons and how I played chicken with a freight train and—oh yeah—the weird murder . . . you’re definitely going to want to hear about that.

Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with a bad crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it’s only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.

But one day, Sam sees them harassing an eccentric schoolmate of his named Jennifer. When Sam finds the courage to face the bullies down, he loses a bad set of friends and acquires a very strange new one.

Because Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons and the devil and death. And here’s the really crazy part: Sam is beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be prophecies—prophecies of something terrible that’s going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.

With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is now all alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous.

My Review

“But first, I have to tell you about the stupidest thing I ever did………….”

Sam is your typical high school kid. He is quite popular, and has lots of friends. Ok, not really. He’s not typical and he doesn’t have a lot of friends. He totally blames his dad for that. Sam, is, however, a PK. Preacher’s Kid. Yeah. Isn’t that grand?

Sam just wants to fit in, but because of his PK status, other kids clam up around him and get all prim and weird. Sam just wants to be normal…………

This book had me laughing out loud from page 1, which. Later on, I had to change books because I was reading in bed and didn’t want nightmares. I absolutely LOVED this book.

It starts with, “You see that dead guy by the side of the road? Yeah, the one lying in a pool of his blood with his face all messed up and his clothes all torn and dirty. That’s me.” The end of the first chapter ends with the bit about the stupidest thing he ever did. Seeing as I thought this book was about Jennifer’s demons, I was a little confused, but it didn’t matter because I was laughing.

The next chapter completely switches gears and goes to Jennifer’s perspective. And it’s creepy. And strange. Strange and creepy. Love it!

If you know anything about psychology and/or mental illness, you might be reading the book while another part of your brain is working on puzzle. Near the end, I came up with a hypothesis of what was going on, but it was really only because Sam started down a line of thinking that led me to it.

There was one part of the book where I was actually saying, “Go Dad!” because it was that good. Normally, I don’t like the parents in books, but this one had me cheering Sam’s dad. (What a great example, on this Father’s Day :lol:)

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Honestly, I’d give it more if I could. Get this book. You’ll love it. I’m definitely keeping my eye out for more of this author’s titles.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze¼.com http://BookSneeze¼.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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“Yeah, babe, I know. I saw what you sent, too. Finish your cake before we head back in.” Frank thought he had enough information to warrant improvising a bit and changing the plan.

“Frankie,” she said, her voice hitching,” This is way worse than just some guns being smuggled with armor-piercing rounds. If we leave and come back when it’s dark so everyone’s gone, we should be able to access the back door, so long as they aren’t unloading anything in the alley.” Macy paused, momentarily forgetting she still had icing smeared on her fingers.

“We have to get a count. I’m not even worried about the guns. Guns I can deal with. But those flower pots are loaded, and I need you to confirm my suspicions.” She took a quick lick of icing.

“Damn. I think they finally did it, Frank. I think they’ve recreated igron pyr.” Macy went back to eating her cake, trying to project a calm facade.

Her cuss word caused Frank to turn abruptly to her, eyes wide. “Greek fire? Shit.” He rubbed his jaw, hands grating over his stubble. “They might have done it. That would explain the gassy, rotten egg sulfur smell, for sure. And if it’s the real deal, they won’t need water, either.”

Macy, while not an explosives expert like Frank, was, however, a history buff. Igron pyr, or Greek fire, was the ancient incendiary weapon of mysterious composition, thanks to the top-secret nature of the recipe, which was heavily guarded and then lost to time. But she knew enough to know that’s what was in all those flower pots, sitting in neat rows.

And she knew she had to get back inside to get a better look, with her own personal eyes. Remote viewing and astral projection were usually pretty accurate, but she needed breadth and depth. She needed scope.

Her gut told her someone had finally figured out the ancient killer formula, and they were going to use it- soon.


To read Frank and Macy’s story in order, click on the Gunz-N-Roses link at the top of the page!

Trifecta writing challenge week 31! This week’s word is:
ALLEY (noun)

1: a garden or park walk bordered by trees or bushes
2a (1) : a grassed enclosure for bowling or skittles

(2) : a hardwood lane for bowling; also : a room or building housing a group of such lanes
b : the space on each side of a tennis doubles court between the sideline and the service sideline
c : an area in a baseball outfield between two outfielders when they are in normal positions
3: a narrow street; especially : a thoroughfare through the middle of a block giving access to the rear of lots or buildings

Please remember:

Good luck, and we’ll see you back on Friday!


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This is a family favorite and super, super simple. For some reason, we seem to do these more at night. I think it’s because it’s probably just easier then.




See what I mean? Easy peasy. Everybody loves these, and not only are they thoroughly enjoyable, but they are completely addicting. You have been warned. 😀


:mrgreen:  😆

***No chickens were harmed in the taking of these pictures, although I did have to give a reminder to leave some of her head uncovered so she could get some air.  LOL. This is one of our silkies, Marshmallow (12 weeks old), and she ♄♄♄s being snuggled in like this, believe it or not. See why we love our chickens?!

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Yep. We are. And it’s not the good kind. We got up yesterday to falling ash. There is something deeply unsettling about stepping outside at any point during the day and seeing and smelling smoke.

Don’t you hate it when you’re sure you’ve ranted about something but then you can’t find it? Ya. Me too.

One of the topics that’s taken up a lot of my time through the years is fire. So much so, that while I remember very clearly planning to write about it, it appears I didn’t actually do it, for some unknown reason. Maybe it’s because it’s too depressing.

Last year, I wrote about being in a dry spell. It was really bad. My town recorded the driest start to the year since record keeping began in 1895, with a whopping .09 of precipitation from January 1 to May 12. When you normally get around nearly 13 inches of annual precipitation but only get 5.56 for the entire year, you know you are in trouble. It was no wonder we had bears in town!

And, it was hot. We spent from May on to September at least being mostly 100 degrees or hotter most days. I know some records will say we only had 60 days of 100+ weather, but their data stations aren’t in my backyard. We had a stretch of almost a month where it was around 110 every day, and daily highs were over 105. (Now, you people in Texas and Arizona, I know had it worse, so everything actually is relative…………..)

The year started off with a cold snap in February, that brought daily highs of -11; lows of -14. No, I’m not joking. The last time I remember that kind of cold was 16 years ago when we lived in NE Colorado. We here in the desert are used to daily swings of 50 degrees. But that cold was brutal, as was the heat and drought that followed.

You may remember the Las Conchas fire last year that threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratories. To date, it was the largest fire the state had seen, at 156, 593 acres.

Las Conchas fire pictures here.

However bad we thought that was, it doesn’t come close to the Whitewater Baldy Complex fire. As of this morning, it has consumed 278,039 acres and is only 32% contained. There are 738 people engaged in fighting this fire. Growth potential is high. This fire is part of the Gila National Forest, where most recently, ultra marathon runner Micah True  (of the book Born to Run fame) passed away in the Gila Wilderness; which is now on fire.

You can see more pictures here.

The fire raining ash on my house yesterday, is a baby fire in comparison at this point. It’s the Little Bear fire. As of this morning, it’s got 26,000 acres and is 0% contained. This is all rugged, mountain terrain. All of our favorite campgrounds have been evacuated. I don’t know if they’ve burned or not. There’s conflicting word regarding a church camp, church, and surrounding homes on the complex. We know people whose homes have been lost. My aunt and uncle used to have a cabin up there. 

I’ve heard that the church and church camp are lost, but I’ve also heard the church is ok. Seeing as a good friend’s brother-in-law is the pastor there, I am sure I’ll be able to get updates once people can get in. It’s heartbreaking. The church and camp there are closely tied to the community here, and many, many people I’m friends with have cabins up there. The Ruidoso Free Press reports the church and campground have been “compromised.”

For more pictures (where I got the one above) and updates, I’ve been checking out the Southeastern New Mexico Weather Web Page.

We’re under a red flag warning, too. This means sustained winds of 20 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. NOT good help for fighting fires.

And, for the record, we’re still in a drought, although rumor has it that El Nino may be showing up soon. We can only pray.

Picture courtesy of MSNBC.

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