>Hi everyone. Happy first day of July (rabbit, rabbit). Hope you had a great week. Talk about an emotional week! Unfortunately, the week did not start out so good as you will see, but someone was sure looking out for me by the end of the week. So here it goes…

1. Cats. We had the follow up visit for my little black kitty that I told you about a few weeks ago. If you recall, she is 18 years old. At her last visit, she weighed just over 4 lbs and had thyroid issues. We’ve been giving her medication and while her thyroid numbers are back to normal, she is not doing well. She lost over ½ lb and is now suffering from kidney disease. The vet tells us she is not in pain, so at this point we are just trying to keep her comfortable and give her extra snuggles, until it is time to say goodbye.

Sorry to start the week with such a downer, but the week does get better:

2. First day of day camp. My 4 year old started his first day ever of day camp. Bad Mommy forgot to take a picture 😦 But I am happy to report that he mostly loves camp. I say mostly, because the pool is still in question, but we are working on it. I am determined to have him loving the water by the end of the summer. However, to make up for his dislike of the pool, the camp has supplied him with ice cream and chocolate milk, so it’s all good!

3. Overnight camp. On Wednesday, we packed up the car and headed up to the mountains to take my older two children to overnight camp. The trip was a complete success. I am happy to report that both children disappeared within minutes after finding their bunks. Yes – this is good. It means they are with having fun with their friends. I did manage to get a goodbye hug and kiss from each of them before they left. You can read more about our drop of adventure here.

4. Jingle bells. I know what you’re thinking – it’s only July… why are you talking about jingle bells? For those who do not know, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis four years ago. I have an amazing and supportive family, and I get through each day, one painful step at a time. A few years ago, my husband began participating in the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Jingle Bell 5K run/walk. Last year, I decided I wanted to give it a try. I joined a gym to train (yes – I had to train to walk 3 miles). Well, I did it! Okay, well maybe I finished in last place after everyone was already starting to pack up, but it’s not my fault! I was pushing a four year old in a stroller (bad mistake), and my daughter and her friend kept stopping to look at the horses along the route. Anyway – this year, I was asked to be the spokesperson/honoree for the race!! I’m super excited and humbled. More on the race to come…

5. Book news. I am officially published! I received a proof copy of my book earlier in the week. Oh my gosh – I can’t tell you how crazy it felt to actually hold it in my hands. I spent the next few days reading it over – making sure everything looked okay. After that, I gave the approval to the printer to go live. My hand was shaking as I pressed the ‘accept proof’ button on their website. So now what? Well, my book is officially for sale!! For the moment, it is available only on the printer’s site. Within the next week or two it will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other on-line retailers. Also – I am preparing digital files for all you kindle/nook/ipad/sonyreader/etc – etc users. I will have all of the details in a separate blog post coming soon!! For now, I am so excited to announce that you can officially purchase Nate Rocks the World here:

Nate Rocks the World

I told you it was a crazy week!!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend – thanks for checking in. For those in the U.S., have a happy & safe Fourth of July weekend! See you next Friday… and hopefully sooner!

Karen

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>Hi all – I hope everyone had a great week! To be honest, it was an exhausting (and mostly great) week for me.   Before I start, thank you to all who asked about my four year old. He is feeling better and is back to his happy and healthy self. Now, onto my crazy week:

1. Dance Recital. My daughter was in two back to back shows – 8 dances in total. Two in ballet, three in modern/lyrical and three high-energy hip hop routines. I am always amazed that she can remember that many steps! There was a lot of rushing backstage to help with costume changes and then rushing back to my seat. The hair changes were the worst part for me. I definitely need ‘bun making for dummies.’ But – – it was SO worth it. She and all of the other dancers were amazing and so fun to watch.

2. Lightning. This actually happened last Friday, but it was after I had already written my Friday Five. At around 2:30 am, I woke to the sound of thunder that was so loud my house shook. Confession time – I am terrified of storms!! Lightning struck one after another after another. The next morning we woke up to discover that our big screen TV was fried, along with the upright freezer that is in the pantry room directly on the other side of the wall where the TV is. Of course, it completely missed my 20 year old washer and dryer – it had to go for the less than five year old appliances. Thank goodness I had unplugged my laptop after the first round of thunder struck (priorities you know!)

3. Book News. Busy week for NATE ROCKS THE WORLD! In case you did not see my post from a few days ago, my cover is finished!!!! I am so SO loving it. What do you think? My interior design is also completed and ready for print! Thank you again Deana at Book Starter for all your creative touches. It is now off to the printer and hopefully ready in just a few more weeks in both print and digital formats. I hope to upload chapter one for you to check out very soon.

4. Camp Packing. After my gung-ho start a few weeks back (and by gung-ho I mean pulling bins & duffle bags out of the attic and leaving them in the bedroom where they sat collecting more dust), I calmly realized majorly freaked, that the kids were leaving in just a few days with nothing really packed. So, I enlisted my two older kids to sort through their clothes and other necessities. They brought everything to my room (translation: they threw their things haphazardly all over my floor). I now have piles of stuff to sort through, label, and pack this weekend. Aren’t you jealous? Which leads right into number five:

5. Kids. I write about the packing and being exhausted and feeling like my children’s personal assistant, driver, butler, chef, and maid. And – well – while all that is true, I did sincerely love having them home all week with me. In between all of their various social engagements, we spent some quality time hanging out, playing games, shopping, eating out, talking and laughing. I think they may have even enjoyed hanging out with me as well… don’t worry kids – I won’t tell anyone!

Hope everyone has a great weekend – thanks for checking in. See you next Friday… and hopefully sooner!

Karen

>Book Cover!!!

June 17, 2011

>Something exciting came across my email today…

Thank you to Deana Riddle at Book Starter, who really listened and was able to transform my ideas into something fabulous! She is not only a talented designer, but a pleasure to work with.

One step closer now…

>Hey everyone – this week flew by (at least for me!) Here’s what’s been going on in my little world…

1. Fever! It’s never easy having a child who is sick. But, when you have a kid who has already fought off a bout of meningitis, “Mommy, my neck hurts,” coupled with a fever takes on a whole new meaning! So I did what any crazy mother would do, I called the doctor’s office and demanded he be seen ASAP. Of course once I told my four year old our destination, he insisted he was cured. He stuck with this story during his entire examination. But, since he still had a decent fever, the doctor gave us the run down on the list of things to watch for. He stayed status quo for the day, until he woke up at 2:30 in the morning with 105 fever. Oh yeah – that doctor got woken up in the middle of the night. I love when doctors tell you to call back if the fever goes above 105 or he starts seizing – I mean – really?? Day three – still feverish, although thankfully, not as high with no further complaints of neck pain.  Poor little guy!

2. Construction. I was going to list the roof and the roadwork separately, but honestly, they were both equally driving me batty with noise this week. The new roof on our house was supposed to be a one-day job. It turned into a five-day, very loud job. At least no one fell off any ladders, although I do have some garden casualties from their tarps and debris. The water company, as I posted last week, is putting new water lines in our street. We have the lucky property with the fire hydrant, so we get extra noise – every morning at exactly 7am. At least it is all done now, I think. Even my 4 year old is over it – seen one bulldozer, seen them all.

3. Book News. A little delay here, a little delay there… But, it’s all good, because things are still moving along with NATE ROCKS THE WORLD. I’m expecting to get look at the cover later today. I’m crazy excited and will of course give everyone a sneak peek! The rest of the interior design is expected to be ready later in the week – cannot wait – then it is off to the printer for a final proof! I have also been busy figuring out e-formatting for all the kindle/nook/sony/apple users out there. I have to admit, I’ve never used one of these devices. I still like the old fashioned way of holding a physical book in my hands, but I may acquiesce soon. In addition, I’ve been busy lining up interviews and book reviews. If you would like to feature NATE ROCKS THE WORLD on your own blog later this summer, please let me know.

4. Last Week of School. Finally, the last week for my two older kids!! I think I’m just as excited as they are, although I am still in denial that my oldest will be only one year away from high school! In reality, they ended last week, but I guess since we had quite a few snow days, there are hours to make up. This last week actually is more like transition into summer – they have field trips, color war, assemblies, and the dreaded cleaning of the lockers. I think both kids really had great school years, with a lot of discovery, learning, new friends, and growth (especially my 6’3” 13 year old!) Thanks to the teachers and staff for another successful year!

5. Dance Recital. I will no doubt, talk about this next week, as the actual recital is on Saturday. However, the week before the recital is definitely post worthy since it is, as my parents would say – meshuga. My daughter is in eight dances spread over two back-to-back shows. That means, there are many costumes that need to be organized with appropriate accessories: hair decorations, shoes, tights, makeup and other assorted items, including the black and white wristbands my daughter just informed me YESTERDAY that she needs for TOMORROW. I also have yet to sew the straps on one of the costumes. Big giant YUK. Then there are all the hairstyle/makeup changes I have to remember and get right. And the schedule – – trying to figure out what dance is when and how many dances we have in between her dances to change everything out. In case you couldn’t tell, “meshuga” means crazy & then some. But it’s all worth it!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend – thanks for checking in. See you next Friday… and hopefully sooner!

Karen

>Hi all – it’s been another hot week with lots going on as usual. The end of the school year is always so hectic – exams, field trips, parties, recitals, and …….

1. GRADUATION! Today, my youngest graduates preschool. I wrote about the last day of preschool earlier in the week. But that was nothing compared to how I am feeling about graduation… I am so filled with mixed emotions today. It is so bittersweet, as he is the third and last baby. I am so excited and so not excited, I’m thrilled, I’m worried, I’m joyful, I’m tearful. But one thing is certain – I am very, very proud. He has been practicing all week for his “Gradulation.” There will be many tissues today.

2. Sunburn. To say I am pasty white is an understatement. My oldest is one of those people who just thinks about the sun and instantly turns the perfect shade of golden brown. He did not get this from me. When I go outside, one of two things happen. Either I gain an extra freckle or two, or I burn. There is no inbetween for me. Can you guess which happened this week? At least I got a good dose of Vitamin D!

3. Roadwork. A few weeks ago we received a letter from the water company telling us they would be replacing the water lines in our road at some point between May 23rd and mid September (way to narrow it down guys.) Well guess what started this week at 7am? My 4 year old thought it was “so sweet” that we had a bulldozer show out our front window. I was just glad I could get my car out. They should be finishing up today… I am looking forward to the quiet once again.

4. Book news. You know I have to update you every week! Well, I am still working on finalizing the interior/exterior design of NATE ROCKS THE WORLD, but in the meantime, I have arranged for three on-line interviews over the next few weeks. There are so many fabulous and generous bloggers out there – thank you! I’m hoping to put together a “book blog tour”! I will post updates, links and dates on my website as I finalize everything. NATE the sequel is also moving along. I’m having so much fun writing more of his adventures.

5. Blog Award. That’s right, my little blog received an award this week! Thank you to The Twisted Mummy Chronicles for awarding the Versitile Blogger Award to me. I’m truly honored and I would like to thank The Academy…. oh wait, wrong award. In any event – I’m very excited. Be sure to come back this weekend when I will be the one handing out awards… you may even learn seven new things about me 🙂

Hope everyone has a great weekend – thanks for checking in. See you next Friday… and hopefully sooner!

Karen

>Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone here in the U.S. enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. I can’t believe it is June already – in a good way of course, I am not a winter person! It feels like the school year just started and now there are only a few more weeks of school left and then summer vacation! Speaking of summer, here’s what has been going on in my world this week:

1. Work. For this who don’t know, in my real life, I am an accountant. Specifically, I prepare taxes. Believe it or not, I enjoy it. (Did I put you to sleep yet?) But… tax season only lasts so long – thank goodness; and the last few years I have taken the summers off. It started because there just wasn’t enough tax work during the summer months to keep me busy, but honestly, I’ve gotten used to the schedule and I like it! This week was the first official week of my summer vacation… aaahhhh. Yay, more writing time for me.

2. Heat wave! Wow has it been hot here all week! I feel like for weeks I’ve been waiting for the cold dreary rain to end so I could get out into my garden and then WHAM all of a sudden the mid to high 90’s hit. Just brutal, but in a non-complaining, I would not rather have snow kind of way! Thank goodness for central air. I’m just praying it makes it through another summer. We have a very old unit and two years ago we were told we’d be lucky if it made it through that summer. Fingers and everything else crossed!! Oh and thank you to my husband for standing out at the hot grill in the heat so we could have burgers and dogs on Memorial Day!

3. Packing for camp. Apparently my blog post from this week has caused a bit of a stir amongst other camp parents who either can’t believe how super organized am I, or feel that I am making them look bad. Well, you all can feel rest assured. I have done nothing except ask my 13 year old to bring me the bins and bags from the attic. They have been sitting on my bedroom floor for the past week untouched. And will most likely stay that way for another week until the holy **** I need to pack for camp panic starts to set in. I did blog about packing though, so that counts for something right?

4. Book news. I love that every week I can announce I am one step closer to releasing NATE ROCKS THE WORLD! This week I was presented with a mock up of the interior design. As with everything that Deana at Book Starter has done, I love it! I am now working on figuring out formatting for all the different e-book readers. My book release date is still on track for July and getting closer every day! I hope to have chapter 1 available for free download on my website very soon!

5. Commentluv. I have been reading a LOT of other blogs lately. They are all amazing. There is a big buzz in the blog world about which is better – Blogger (who I use) or WordPress. One of my new Twitter friends suggested to me that the comment section on Blogger was less then ideal when compared to WordPress. I have to agree. However, I am so not tech savvy and when I tried to set up this blog on WordPress, it just got ugly. The fact is, I like Blogger. I like the design templates and I find it very user friendly (despite the problems it was having internally last week.) Instead, I ran across Commentluv, the comment plugin available on WordPress, and discovered I could use it on Blogger. Are you still with me? To make a long story short – I have a new comment system. Check it out & leave me a comment!!!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend – thanks for checking in. See you next Friday… and hopefully sooner!

Karen

Let's BEE Friends

Tawnasplan

>Hi everyone – hope it has been a great week. For me – busy as usual. Here’s what’s been on my mind:

1. MAC! After much anticipation, my MacBook Pro arrived!! I’m in love! I can’t believe how easy it was to set up (thank you hubby!) I had my software loaded and was already using it within minutes. The thing I love most is how quickly it starts up and loads programs. The old computer took forever. In the morning, I would have to turn it on – go make coffee – then come back click the icon to login – fix breakfast – then come back & click the firefox icon – go pour my coffee – and maybe then it would be ready. I also love the back lit keyboard & the fact that I didn’t have to wait for it to search for drivers when I plugged my printer into it for the first time. I just started printing (imagine that!) I did have to get used to the smaller screen (I went from a 15” to a 13”) but it is so easy to zoom with just a finger swipe, that I don’t even miss it anymore. I do have some keyboard complaints though – if anyone knows a solution, I will be forever grateful:
-First – how do you delete forward? On my PC, there were two options – the ‘backspace’ key deleted backwards & the ‘delete’ key deleted forwards. The Mac only has a ‘delete’ key & it deletes backwards only. Totally keeps messing me up!
-Second – how do you select a block of files? On my PC you clicked on the first file, then clicked+shift on the last file & all the files in between were selected. Cannot figure this out on the Mac.
I will say, that my two complaints are not deal breakers – definitely much happier with my Mac. Now if it lasts more than 2 years, I will be thrilled!

2. Waiting I feel like I wasted a lot of time this week waiting aound. Waiting at the dentist (again), waiting at the pediatrician’s office, waiting at my doctor’s office, waiting at the pharmacy… do you see a trend here? Well, just so you don’t think I have it out for the health profession, I also spent time waiting for the roofer to come, but I refuse to speak poorly about him since he promised to make it stop raining in my house.

3. Cats I have two & they are both old (17 & 18). The 18 year old (my little black kitty), is not doing well. She has thyroid issues and when I took her to the vet, her heart and kidneys were not healthy. She was emaciated at only 4lbs. We decided to try some medication. After just two weeks, I am so happy to announce that she has gained .6 of a lb, and her heart rate and kidney levels are back to normal. I realize that she is at the end of her lifespan, but it is just so hard letting go. I have had her since she was 4 weeks old. She was abandoned and I had to bottle feed her until she was big enough to eat food. We have been through a lot together. She goes back in two weeks for another checkup.

4. Book Update Another exciting week. My cover designer presented me with some rough comps based on the drawings that I had done myself (old cover). All I can say is WOW – she really nailed it. While my picture was cute, it definitely looked amateurish. We had a great conference call and things are moving along as scheduled for a July release date. Thank you Deana at BookStarter for bringing my vision to life (& no you cannot see the drafts….)

5. Having a Teen I have written a lot on this subject over the past few weeks. Somehow, with the blink of an eye, my first-born became a teen; leaving me – the mom who always felt somewhat confident about how to parent my young children, without a clue. Suddenly there were attitudes, cellphones, needs for independence & girlfriends (yikes!). Last night, in my attempt to adjust to having a teen, I let him walk (with a friend) to a carnival after dinner to meet some other friends (including above mentioned *gulp* girlfriend.) The carnival wasn’t far, but it was on a main road and it was at night. He had his phone, some money and his friends. I told him to be home by 8:30, as I did not want him walking home in the dark. It turned out all his other friends were allowed to stay out until 9:00. I was expecting an argument, but instead he just said, “OK.” He followed instructions and came home safely exactly at 8:30. Maybe this won’t be so difficult after all… yeah right!

One other thing I’ve been thinking about – the storms and tornadoes. Please keep all those affected in your thoughts and hearts. If you are able to help, The Red Cross is one of many organizations collecting donations. Thanks!

Hope everyone has a great weekend – see you next week (& hopefully sooner!)

Karen