Made a Book, Improvisation, Writing Project

They Are Watching You…, originally uploaded by Uncle Phooey.

I finally got Kevin’ CaringBridge book made.

That’s only been on my to-do list since January.

I’m making progress!

It took me nearly all day yesterday to put the book together. It’s not that it’s a hard process but rather the CaringBridge website was slooooooooooow and it drove me craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy.

Of course. THE day I needed the site to run well, it didn’t.

Also? I couldn’t preview the book. My laptop needed a plug-in and every time I tried to download the plug-in … nothing. I chocked it up to my running Windows 7. (You sort of have to expect to run into bugs when you’re running an OS that hasn’t been on the market that long. It sort of comes with the territory of jumping on an early bandwagon. Which I don’t normally do, but this laptop was a Christmas gift and it came with Windows 7 so … yeah).

Finally, at about 4:00 yesterday afternoon, I’d had it up to my eyeballs with the CaringBridge page and Firefox. (Actually, my frustration with Firefox has been building for a few weeks now. It keeps crashing on me and there are certain things that won’t run, like the plug-in I needed).

I downloaded Google Chrome.

I really SHOULD download alternate web browsers anyway so I can test the websites I build to make sure they look okay in those browsers, I just hadn’t on my laptop. So I downloaded Google Chrome, navigated back to the CaringBridge book, previewed it, just for kicks, and it worked! And it was fast! And now I’m thinking I spent the entire day wrestling with the book-making process thinking it was the website when it fact, it was Firefox!


So now Google Chrome is my default browser and I’m really liking it so far. It claims it’s faster and I have to agree – I’ve noticed a marked improvement. The only thing I don’t like about it (so far) is that bookmarks are a bit hidden.

At any rate, the CaringBridge book is done. Kevin and I went through pictures from his accident, both when he was in the hospital and on the road to recovery and we added ten pages of photos to the book. CaringBridge automatically adds all of the entries in the Guest book, so we’ll be able to look back and read all of the nice things people said during that time period, too.

It was sort of expensive, but it’s a hard back book and it looks like it’ll be pretty nice. Besides, it’ll be nice to have a physical reminder of that time period, something we can flip through and say, “Can you even BELIEVE you went through that??

Because seriously, the whole experience doesn’t even feel real at this point.


We went over to my in-laws last night for pizza and a jam session.

They have a friend, through their church, who is from Russia, and he plays the acoustic guitar. He’s a bit lonely because his family is back in Russia, so my in-laws invited him over to play a bit with Kevin.

Jazz took his saxophone over there, too. I was really surprised that he WANTED to, quite frankly. I mean, the boy likes to play his sax, but he doesn’t normally touch it outside of school. (And to be fair to Jazz, he plays his saxophone during Band class AND Jazz class at school, which ends up being two or three hours, so I can see why he wouldn’t want to play it at home as well).

But he took his fancy-smancy black sax over there and him, Kevin, the Russian guy and Kevin’s uncle (who played the drums) had a great time just putting some improv together.

I braced myself. I thought it would be a bunch of noise, but I was totally impressed – Kevin picked out a few chords in B flat (which is a good note for the sax, apparently), played it a few times, the other guys picked up on it and before you knew it, they were all playing together. It was a lot of fun to listen to them.

Kevin had everyone pause a few times to give Jazz the floor, which he took and ran with. He did an EXCELLENT job winging his way through the song – I must say, the kid is a natural saxophone player.

Something has “clicked” for Jazz and his playing. He’s played improv in past Jazz classes and though he was pretty good, he wasn’t great. I’ve always thought that was one area that Jazz really needed to work on. But he said that they’ve been having an Improv teacher coming to his classes, teaching them some basic improv moves and WOW. The kid has really caught on to the premise. He did really well. We were all impressed.

Afterward, Jazz said he really enjoyed himself and that he would like to do more of that sort of stuff. Playing Jazz is his favorite thing to do in music and now that he has appeared to have crossed a musical hurdle, I look for him to take this talent and really harness it in the next few years of high school.

And that reminds me … I need to start seriously looking into some music scholarships for him.

I took a bunch of videos of the guys playing – I’ll try and get those online in the next week.

UPDATED: Jazz just text me that he is having to learn the clarinet for Jazz band. He then text me that he is also learning the trumpet. He later text me that it was an April Fools’ joke … well, the trumpet part was a joke, the clarinet was not a joke. I never knew I was so gullible, but apparently, I am. Grr lol

Jam Session - March 31, 2011

Side note: We were listening to the Russian guy talk about his homeland last night – Americans truly have no idea how spoiled we are. He was talking about how the life expectancy for men was 58 and the life expectancy for women was 63. It was a rare occurrence for people to have living grandparents. Kevin asked him if they played rock and roll over there and he said no. If they were caught playing, or listening, to rock and roll, they would be thrown in jail. He said Elvis Presley, especially, was a big no-no over there. He also told us how expensive housing was. For a 740 square foot home (imagine that for a moment), it would cost anywhere from $200,000 – $300,000 dollars. It was quite common for families to live together because it was much cheaper than trying to buy something on their own.

It sort of makes whining about $4.00 for a gallon of gas sort of pathetic, doesn’t it.

I also think it was really good for the boys to hear him talk about the differences, too.


Kevin’s office is ant infested. I’ve been spraying nearly every day and every time I go back into the break area, I end up wiping about twenty dead ants off the sink area.

I know, gross right?

It could be worse, it could be cockroaches. *shiver* UGH.

We’re going to make a trip to Lowe’s this weekend and buy some industrial-sized ant spray and just spray the crap out of his office for a few weeks to see if that makes a difference. If it doesn’t, then we’re going to have to break down and call an exterminator out.

I don’t know if the previous tenants were just slobs, or if the whole center is riddled with them, but we have to do something, it’s getting out of control.

Speaking of the office, Kevin and I switched offices – FINALLY. I FINALLY talked him into taking the nicer office, I’m now in the windowless office and I’m perfectly okay with that. It’s his office, he deserves the better space. My office needs some work – the walls are pretty scuffed up. So I have “paint my office” on my to-do list and will hopefully get that done in the next few weekends.

Since I didn’t get the job I had applied for (which, btw, I still haven’t heard anything official – that’s sort of disappointing), I’ve decided to just concentrate on my websites and my writing right now. I’ve talked about wanting to get some of my writing published since … forever, it’s time to do something about it. I have the perfect opportunity, I just need to take advantage of it.

I still have applications out there, and I’m still keeping my options open, but for now, this is what I’m going to do.

I’ll take a video of the new office set up soon – I know you’re all DYING to see what we’ve done. πŸ˜€

Speaking of writing, I’m doing the NaNoWriMo challenge this month. I didn’t do it last November and I’ve had this story in the back of my mind for a while now, I need to purge it or go crazy.

And we all know I don’t need to heap on anymore crazy, right?? (ha!)

I’ll post excerpts once in a while and you can also keep track of my word count progress in the sidebar.

And speaking of that project, I need to get started on those 1,667 words for today.

Have a great weekend, friends!


Ultimate Blog Party ’11 – Game ON

Are you ready to par-tay?!

Skip to giveaway.

Welcome friends! My name is Karen and I’m the hostess with the mostess behind this little blog. Cheese ball? Fudge square? Cake pop? Chips? Dip? Please, eat something. I always feel better when people eat food at my parties. πŸ™‚

A little about me: I’ve been blogging for a little over six years now. This is actually my fourth blog – I started over multiple times because I simply couldn’t decide on what I wanted to blog about and what my voice was. But I think I have it ironed out now, at least, I won’t be changing homes again any time soon.

I’m a professional writer, but my day job is a web designer. (Yeah, it doesn’t make sense – long story). I currently maintain eight local school websites, along with a few small business websites, so I keep pretty busy and am always on the computer. In fact, if I’m not here, you’ll most likely find me at my Twitter account. (In addition to twittering about my stupid human tricks, I also share interesting links that is sure to provide blog fodder at the most or a little extra thought at the least).

This is my fifth Ultimate Blog Party (#UBP11) and I can’t WAIT to discover fresh meat, er, fresh blogs, to add to my Google Reader. *grin*

A little about my family:

These guys?


Are my sons and are responsible for most of my blog fodder. The oldest is Dude, (on the right), he’s a hard-core gamer, is 18 going on 30 and will graduate from high school in about six weeks. (Commence freak out mode!!) Jazz is my youngest son. He is nuts for Mario and loves to play his saxophone. He’s 16. Having teenage boys is a lot easier than having teenage girls (I guess), but it definitely comes with a different set of challenges.

Me and my husband, Kevin. We’ve been married for almost 21 years and he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. He’s my best friend, my lover, my confidante, and my sugar daddy (don’t worry, he thinks that label is sexy). Kevin is a CPA during the day and a super sexy guitar player at night. We love hanging out together and we’re one of those annoying couples who finish each other’s sentences … I know. Sorry. *grin*

My blog is pretty straight forward – what you see is what you get. I blog about my family, mostly, though I do occasionally post my fiction along with fun videos, helpful parenting information, and opinions about current events. I’m an optimistic realist (how’s that for confusing) and though I have firm beliefs, I’m also fair with those beliefs. I’m one of those people who like to look at all sides of an issue and believe that too many of us remain silent when we should be vocal – nothing will change if we don’t talk about it, right?

I also participate in giveaways and contests because I love to give things away!

Speaking of which …


I’d like to give away one $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky visitor. It’s not much, but who doesn’t love Amazon, right?? πŸ™‚ I will randomly draw a winner after 5:00 CST, April 8th. Here’s how to enter:

1. Each comment you leave in the comment section counts as one ticket. (One comment per day, please).

2. Subscribe to my feed, receive another ticket. (Please leave separate comment if subscribed).

3. Follow me on Twitter, receive another ticket. (Please leave separate comment if following).


I’d be honored if you would consider putting my blog in your RSS reader (or email!) and/or followed me on Twitter.

Click to put in RSS reader
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Click to follow me on Twitter!
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Thank you for clicking over! Have fun at the party and I’ll see you around the punch bowl!