About me, Rambling about life

Canadian Thanksgiving 

Do you ever feel like you need to recharge your batteries? Like everything is pressing upon you and you need time away from the day to day grind? For myself, nothing feels better than a weekend in the woods. It has to be with good friends, the kind you love spending time with, and those who don’t get upset over mishaps. Thankfully, I have those kind of  friends. In fact, I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. My family, my friends, my job, and just life in general.

Since our Thanksgiving is the first weekend of October, we decided to celebrate it by spending the weekend in the woods. Nothing shows you how thankful you are than appreciating nature.

We arrived mid-afternoon on Friday and set up our new tent. My husband thought it’d be nice for our son to have his own tent, so we upgraded ours and he could have our hand-me-down. Even after 12 years of use, it’s still in great condition, just not the best for winter camping. And no, I won’t be winter camping. Hells to the no! I love my warmth, October camping notwithstanding.

See our pretty new tent. We even have our own camping pit. Yay!

And as you can see, I take my warmth at night seriously. There are two fuzzy blankets inside my sleeping bag. It was heavenly. I slipped into bed and passed right out. First night wasn’t too chilly, probably about 10*C. Next night dropped down to about 3*C. And still I stayed nice and warm.

Our other friends made themselves an awesome little spot up the hill. A part of me would love this setup, except I like keeping the bugs out of my face while I’m sleeping. *laughs*

The little fire pit kept them warm at night when it burned down to a bed of coals.

One of our friends showed up at 11:15 pm Friday night. I so did not get butt out of bed to greet him, even of it was his birthday weekend. I was warm, cozy, and not moving.

Saturday was turkey day. Turkey on the fire, whoo-hoo! The men improvised a spit and colour me impressed. It’s amazing to see what people can come up with when they want.

There were a few mishaps, like the turkey was still a little frozen, the spit motor didn’t work so we had to turn by hand, some of the top sticks caught fire, and the coal flamed up from the dripping liquid. The skin became quite crispy.

My husband was able to fix the motor, something to do with the thingies being misaligned. As for the flare ups, we kept watering the coals and also put in aluminum wrapped logs to help disperse the flames.

But then, *sigh* the stuffing fell out of the turkey. The string burnt away and the legs fell open. Let me tell you, I was upset to see the stuffing burn up. I loooooove stuffing! That sucked.

The flame to the left is a chunk of butter from the stuffing buring.

But in the end, we had delicious turkey, stuffing (our friend was smart and had some in tinfoil to cook), baked potatoes, roasted corn, and gravy. Best of all, though, was the amazing friends I spent the day with.

And, uh, yes, that’s a lot of gravy on my food. Hey, I was in the woods and something, something about fresh air and appetites.

We then played cards, took shots of Patron Tequila, trash talked, and enjoyed some key lime pie and apple crisp. I’ve made key lime before and didn’t like it. Turns out, I just sucked at making it. *laughs*

Then it was fireworks time! Okay, so we only had one firework to set off, but it was still pretty. Plus it was too damn cold to stay out there for long.

Overall, a fantastic weekend with good friends. I’m lucky to have them in my life.

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About me, Campground Camping, Provincial Park, Rambling about life

Killarney Camping 

I haven’t gone campgrounds camping in a long time, Algonquin notwithstanding. We usually go to our out-of-the-way spot where the only ones who know about it are friends.

We drove four hours, give or take a few minutes for pit stops and arrived just shortly after 3:30 at this gorgeous provincial park.

Killarny

Is that not beautiful or what? We’re near the lake, but not so close that we’d see a lot of foot traffic. However, that wind! Note to self, when by the lake, it’s freaken windy and can be cold. Luckily, we had decent sleeping bags and remembered to bring some warmer clothes.It was a treat to unload the Jeep and just set everything up. Less exhausting than usual. *laughs* Everything was set up and ready to go within an hour. Supper was a breeze since we bought fire wood – kind of have to in a provincial park, don’t want to introduce foreign species. And the fire pit was decent. Love the grill on top.

And the view is simply wonderful. Definitely no complaints there from me.

Sadly, the raccoons didn’t get the memo that we were in Woodchuck, not Raccoon.

See, Woodchuck:

Woodchuck

Not Raccoon, you jerks! We had about five or six of the ballsy buggers show up around 3 AM to visit and fight! Ugh, the hissing, growling, and sheer noise they made. We, thankfully, have a Pelican cooler which latches shut and has a gasket seal, so they couldn’t get into the food. They did attempt to get into the Jeep. We found footprints on the hood, the mirrors had been moved, and they even tried to open the gas cap.

After that wonderful disruption to our sleep, we decided on Wednesday to hike to The Crack. One of our sole reasons for coming to Killarny was this hiking trail and damn, it was worth it!

The walk took about two hours in and an hour and half out. Some of the extra time in was due to us getting slightly lost. Really need better trail makers in the pine forest. We weren’t the only ones lost, though. *laughs* Another family played the Marco Polo game as they tried to find the path and each other. Don’t worry, they found one another and also got to The Crack before us.

How about some pictures, huh?

One of the many uphill parts we had to climb. It wasn’t any more fun to walk down this. My poor, aching knee. So worth it, though!

That is The Crack in the distance, where the two white rocks split. We went up on the right side.

Start of the climb in The Crack. Let me tell you, it was interesting. Some parts, we crawled up, searching for the proper footholds, hoping the end was near! I did some cursing, almost quit, wondered why my husband would punish me with this hike, but continued on. Truthfully, I’m a whiner and the climb wasn’t difficult. Heck, our eight year old son did it. And did a fantastic job, too, I might add. He’s also used to hikes and while this one had a lot of uphills and a little rock climbing, it wasn’t one of our longer hikes – only 4.6 km.

In the Crack

The kid and I in The Crack.

This is the top of The Crack and look at that view. My god, isn’t that just stunning! I would do this hike again in a heartbeat… Once my knee stops hating me.

Looking Down into The Crack

Looking down into The Crack. Nope, I didn’t take this picture, my husband did. I’m afraid of heights.

A wider shot of our view. So incredibly beautiful.

Panaramic

And now a panoramic taken by my husband. Yes, that’s me in the picture. 🙂 We stayed for about half hour, just soaking up the majestic nature and eating our sandwiches. Took several selfies of the three of us but due to privacy, I won’t be posting those.

The Crack

My husband brought his GPS with him so we could see how far we walked. Plus, in case we got lost, which we almost did. Okay, not really. We would’ve found our way back easily enough.

After we hiked back, we decided a swim was in order.

A little private beach for us to enjoy. The kid had a blast in the water, after we got past the initial “Holy crap, it’s freezing!” screams from all of us. We had a nice sandy section that dropped off really fast. Great for swimming and again, a beautiful view. My crazy husband decided to jump off one of the rocks into the water. Good thing it was so deep! Of course, we’d checked that out beforehand.

Then, because we’re crazy, we decided to walk the Bog trail. The pink rocks were striking and after his initial complaints about them being pink, the kid appreciated the beauty of them. He even found a few small pink and red rocks to keep.

Unfortunately, my knee couldn’t handle the full trail. With all the ups and downs of the previous hike, I was in ouch mode. We walked for about twenty minutes and then headed back.

Da Bear!

Oooh, my husband and our friend saw a bear on their way into town! A little cub, probably about a year old or so. The picture is a little fuzzy because they were driving. Don’t worry, our friend was driving and my husband took the picture.

Overall, we had an amazing time and it’s sparked a desire in us to visit other national and provincial parks. Next year, we’re booking at another park.

Where was your favourite spot to camp?

About me, Rambling about life

Employment and other updates

new-job-not-working-out

Soon, oh so soon, I’ll be working again. I won’t bore you with the details, though. I’ll enjoy the job since it’s something that interest me, but the techy stuff isn’t for everyone. 😉

February 1st is when I start which means I won’t be online often or writing. Boo! I’ll have to focus on learning the new job and not getting fired. But have no fear, I’ve been hard at work writing the next two novellas, plus I have Chained in Desire with the editor right now. There shouldn’t be too much of a hiccup with my writing, although we know that things rarely go as we planned.

And speaking of planning, I have some interesting stuff in the works for my newsletter. Because I love my readers, I’ve written a few short stories centering on secondary characters in the Enforcers and Coterie world. Starting in March, I will send out a new short story each month to my newsletter subscribers. The first one with be when Sarah took the housekeeping job with Dawn. For those of you who love Dawn, you’ll love this peek into her past.

Once all the short stories have been sent out, I’m bundling them together and sending it out free to my subscribers.

So sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t yet. The link is right over there –> with the “Sign up for our newsletter” picture. Like how I made it so easy. 😉 Yeah, I’m all about the love…and laziness. Mainly the laziness.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some writing to do. Lots and lots of writing if I want to make my self-imposed deadline. What was I thinking?!

Rambling about life

Weekend plans didn’t go as planned…

derailed plans
I meant to spend my weekend writing. I meant to get several thousand words done. Well, you know what they say about plans…

Instead, on Thursday, I was laid off. The company I had worked for had been doing layoffs for the past two years, so it’s not a huge surprise they let me go. I’d been there the shortest amount of time, and I was being paid more than my counterparts. Many of them hadn’t received a raise in ten years, and well, there’s no way I would’ve accepted their job offer if the pay had been on par with theirs.

I’m not bitter or angry over losing my job. Honestly, I’ve been through layoffs before as well as job changes. In the past fifteen years, I’ve worked at five different places. I actually like the first six months of a new job because I love learning new things. The rush of mastering something that previously was unknown to me keeps me happy for a while. Then the monotony gets to me, and I need new challenges.

Due to the layoff, my husband decided to stay home instead of camping. He wasn’t in the mood anymore, especially since it would’ve been with several of my now ex-coworkers. That meant no writing for me. Instead, we spent Saturday watching a tv series called Dark Matter. If you have not watched it and love sci-fi, watch this show! I can not stress that enough. It’s a fantastic show. We’d end one episode and immediately put in the next one until somehow, magically, the day had disappeared.

On Sunday, I spent much of my day in the car. I visited my mom to drop off her copy of Magic Resistant. Of course it’s a signed autographed copy. She would’ve killed me if I hadn’t done so. After I spent some time with my family, I went to my MIL’s to pick up my kid. We talked for a bit, and my kid proved what a crazy, energetic child he is. Love that little monster!

Next week I’ll spend time searching for a new job. This week will be an unexpected vacation that I’ll enjoy.

Rambling about life

Lazing about…

panda

This weekend my kid is visiting my MIL and my husband will be camping with some guy friends. I’ll have the house all to myself. In the past 8 years, I’ve only been by myself once and I was so damn lonely! I had no idea what to do with myself.

This time though, I know exactly what I’m doing. Writing, writing, and maybe some reading. 😉 I’m several thousand words behind on Chained in Desire and I need to get more written for For the Love of a Good Fae. Seriously, why didn’t I think of a shorter name? Ha! Fixed it.

Last night while I was trying to sleep, thank you brain for not shutting up, I decided to end the Enforcers and Coterie series at six books. Currently I’m working on Chained in Desire which is the fourth book, so the overall arc will be wrapped up at the end soon. I thought I would just continue writing for Enforcers and Coterie until I ran out of ideas. But have no fear, I’m not out of ideas and I won’t be abandoning the world I created. Instead I’ll be writing another series in this universe. I already have the Revenant series planned and now I’ll also have one that focuses on the Toronto werewolves. There are so many stories fighting in my head that I know after the werewolves are done, another series will come about, maybe the Fae or the demons? Perhaps the vampires want to be heard?

I have to say though, I’m looking forward to spending the weekend alone. I get to eat what I want, wake up when I want, and do whatever the heck I want. And by the end of Sunday, I’ll be damn happy to see my two favourite men again.

What’s your favourite thing to do when it’s just you and you have no plans?

Rambling about life

Eye appointment

On a whim I decided to set up an eye exam with a place near me. I haven’t had new glasses in almost three years and these ones have the coating peeling off. I’m not sure if that has been the cause of my more frequent migraine auras but it’s a possibility.

The eye doctor asked if  I was fine getting dilation drops since it’d been a while, like 8 years or so. I figured why not. My eye sight is pretty damn important, so let’s check and make sure there isn’t any issues. Plus last time I had them, I was perfectly fine afterwards.

Well hell, that was wrong thinking. I was messed up after those drops. My eyesight went on me, I got nauseous, and vertigo hit me. I’m sure everything was triggered due to my blurry eyesight, since that’s usually what happens with my migraine auras. All I know is that next time, I’ll expect to be out of commission for at least 4 hours afterwards. Sure it’s only suppose to be 2 hours and your eyes go back to normal, but I just had to be different.

On the plus side, I’m getting new glasses. Yay! For once I could kinda see what I looked like with different frames because I was smart and took pictures. Except I couldn’t effing see, so those were as blurry as if I was looking without my glasses on. I had to send the pictures to my husband so he could tell me which ones looked good. And, um, I kinda look stoned in each of the pictures, all squinty-eyed.

I even set up an appointment for my kid. We’re positive he has great eyesight since we test him on occasion. I’m paranoid he’ll get the bad genes from me, but so far my husband’s genes have won out. Wheew!

Rambling about life

Weekend Plans

Ahh, this weekend will be fun and busy. The little monster is leaving tonight to visit his grandmother for the weekend. I think they’re going to a jamboree. It’s either this weekend or the next. Yes, he’s gone for both. Whoo-hoo! Now that’s not to say I don’t love my kid. I adore him to bits, however see previous posts about him. He’s energetic, talkative, and loves his mommy so much that I get no moments of peace. *laughs*

Tonight we drop him off which means Friday night, I’m spending it gaming. Yep, I caved and installed FFXIV. *sigh* It’s so pretty. I haven’t had the chance to play it yet since I couldn’t get on the server my husband was on. The kid did, though. He spent some time yesterday playing and had a blast. A few more years and we’ll have the perfect adventuring party. Me, a healer, husband as the tank or maybe a wizard class, and the kid as an archer. Hmm, okay, we might need to find a solid tank since my husband isn’t a huge fan of the class.

On Saturday, we’re getting a crossbow for my husband. Yeah, don’t ask me. I just smile and nod. He’s done all his research, he knows what he wants, and by golly, he’s getting it! *laughs* He has other friends who will be hunting with him. One with a bow and another with a crossbow. Even if they don’t catch anything, at least he’ll have fun, right?

On Sunday, I’m getting one of my tattoos expanded upon. I already have a maple leaf tat on my right hip so I want three more leaves floating down my side. *squeal* So excited!

And yes, of course I’ll also be writing this weekend. I’m half-way done Chained in Desire, and I’m a third finished For the Love of a Good Fae. Victor is a delicious book boyfriend. Can’t wait for everyone to meet him. I already have his cover done and yummy! Isabella has impressed me, too. I’m totally girl-crushing on her right now.

PS, I’ve got a little sneak peek for Chained in Desire’s book cover. Enjoy! 🙂

Sneak Peak 1 for CID
Everyone knows demons can’t be trusted.
Rambling about life

Final Fantasy XIV

I have a petty confession to make. My husband is playing Final Fantasy XIV and I am so freaken jealous. We both started playing it when it first came out in 2010. In fact, we’d each bought the collector’s edition because we loved FFXI so much. We spent over a year playing that one together until my husband burnt out from leveling a blue mage in less than a week.

After about two weeks of playing FFXIV, we quit. The game was horrible. The fighting system was too cumbersome and it was glitchy. It wasn’t just us who hated it. Square Enix did a massive revamp to the game, but we’d never gone back. By that time, we’d moved from Ottawa to Toronto. My commute was longer and soon I was working two jobs. The two jobs was my choice since I wanted to switch fields.

Anyway, I just didn’t have the time to game. Things have settled down a little bit, but now I’m writing in my spare time, so again, no gaming. Instead I’m watching my husband play, asking him questions about leveling, jobs, gear, and quests. *sigh*

We used to play together for hours on end way back when it was just us. Our introduction to MMORPGs was Everquest back in 2001. And that game was damn hard. We loved it even when we cursed it. Then we went to Star Wars which I hated. Final Fantasy XI which we loved. Jumped to WoW before it was really dumbed down and then off to Everquest 2. I even played Eve for a bit which my husband liked and I hated. I don’t enjoy PVP, so I knew I wouldn’t last long in that game. I’m sure there are a few games I’m forgetting since we loved the shiny and new. 😉

In 2008, our kid was born and I ended up with motion sickness from gaming. Yep, watching the screen now gave me headaches and nausea, so I have to limit my time. These days I play Minecraft and occasionally Terraria with the kid, even though I pay for it afterwards. It makes the little monster happy, though.

A part of me still yearns for the hours of entertainment of video games, travelling the worlds over with my husband by my side while we slaughter innocent and not so innocent creatures, gathering odd bits of items to hand in for quests.

I could give up writing. That would free up some time in the evenings and weekends. 😉

Rambling about life

Gone again

It’s almost that time again… camping! Last trip was cancelled due to thunderstorms.. As much as I love camping, there’s no way I want to do that in while it’s pouring down, especially with an energetic kid who can’t run around.

This time, the weather should cooperate with us. We’ve got one day calling for thunder-showers, but since it’s on Saturday, we’ll have a tarp already set up. We’ll just huddle together under it until the sun comes back out. And then we’ll huddle under it to avoid the heat! 😉

The kids will disappear into the woods, doing whatever things kids do out there. Last time they were building a fort. Don’t worry each kid is equipped with an emergency whistle and they know how far they’re allowed to roam. We’ll probably spend some time in the water at a nearby provincial park, and enjoy delicious food cooked over an open fire. Gawd, I love camping.

Tonight I’ll prep up our food. Chopped potatoes with onions and garlic wrapped in foil, cut bacon in half for breakfast, and get everything into one spot so I don’t forget anything. Last time I forgot my water bottle… sitting on the kitchen floor where the cooler had been. I am a water fanatic; love the stuff. I had to pick up another bottle, but it was icky tasting. Oh well, such is life.

Either way, I’m going camping! Whoo-effing-hoo!!!

Rambling about life

Quiet Weekend

My kid is energetic, talkative, loud, fidgety, creative, smart, curious, and exhausting. I tell him I’m giving him away because I can’t keep up. He just looks at me and guilt trips me. Yes, my almost 7 year old guilts me! He likes to say, “Mommy, you born me and that was a lot of hard work. Do you want to throw away all your hard work of making me and born’ing me? That was so much work. You can’t give me away.”

Where the hell did he learn such a mastery of guilt trips? I thought that was my job as his mother? Geez, I’m in so much trouble when he’s older. Already he runs circles around me. One of my friends likes to point out that I should just accept the fact that my kid is smarter than me. Oh I do, trust me, I do. I’m married to a geek/nerd who loves science, chemistry, and space. Yep, kid’s got his dad’s brains, not mine.

But that’s okay, because this weekend, this glorious weekend, he will be camping with his Scouts team. I will have one and a half days of quiet. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kid fiercely. Never thought it was possible to love someone as much as I love him. However, please see description of him above. Talkative and exhausting. He yammers about everything and anything. I’ve told him before he talks a lot, just like his mother, and he laughs and agrees.

He can’t sit still for a minute. We have an exercise ball in the living room. It’s not for me. Oh no, not in the least. It’s for him. When he’s watching TV, he’s bouncing on that damn thing. He has a game where he “surfs” on his belly on the ball and uses the loveseat to stop. He likes to drape himself over it on his back and balance.

But that’s okay. I will have some peace and quiet this weekend. Silence, blissful silence. And I’ll miss that little monster and his laughter while I put in some headphones and write.