Saturday, December 31, 2011

Short trips with large families. What I am doing wrong.

My family and I traveled to Wyoming to visit the old prison. We'd heard about it a few years ago and really wanted to take a tour. It's supposed to be really hanuted. It definitely felt creepy. My baby was fine until we entered the "death row" building and then he wanted nothing to do with that building.

My older kids also wanted to go back to Martin's Cove. Knowing that Martins Cove would be blustery and cold I decided to stay at the hotel room and edit a MS that needed to be done. With the little kids that had snotty noses from a recent cold.

Every time I do short trips I sit in the car on the way home and make a mental list of things that could have been done easier faster etc. This time I actually wrote the list down.

So since you're my captive audience I thought I'd share.

First, I need to have a "travel box" IE hard sided rubbermaid box allready stocked with paper plates, cups, plastic silverware, paper towels, disposable tablecloths and other things like this. But it needs to be bigger than that or I need two one for the paper products and one for foodand snacks that we are taking on the road. We almost left the jar of peanut butter at Flaming Gorge because it fell out and rolled under the truck.

Garbage bags for the car and hotel room. For accidents, for dirty clothes, for garbage.

Hard sided cooler, the soft sided coolers leak after a few hours.

Seperate fish cooler so the cold food doesnt smell and taste like fish.

Take at least 2-3 more sets of clothes for the little kids than you think you'll need.

Blankets or towels in the car for spills and accidents. On floor or in carseats.

Laundry soap and quarters. Dish soap if you are using non disposable sippy cups.

Individual boxes that fit under my seats for individual kids stuff so it doesnt get lost in 12 pass van.

Laminated packing list in each kids bag and in the travel box(s)

Laminated list of food that we can grab or buy as we leave. (inc allergy list) IE maybe have some bread and tortillas frozen and hidden so we can just take off and let them thaw.

Make sure we have a master list so things like the babys porta bed doesnt get left at home. Inc, where the stuff is stored at home.

Now before you think that this trip was a disaster it wasn't. The 14 yo did leave the porta crib at home but the hotel had one we could borrow.

Things we did right.

I on a whim grabbed two extra pants and underwear for the preeschooler incase of accients.

I also brought a bag of toys for the one year old knowing we'd be in the hotel room all day. MAJOR RIGHT THING TO DO!!!

Most kids brought blankets sleeping bags and pillows for the pull out beds.

Being so cold I brought extra coats and jackets for the little ones. I also brought a little cooler so i could travel with milk and other things for the baby.

I took my little baggie of medicines fo the kids tylenol, motrin, benadryl, dramimine etc.

we have the food for traveling worked out and that went over mostly well except the ever changing picky one year old. But were still working on that.

Pack water bottles. Kids get tired of juice and pop and it can actually dehydrate them. Cups of water while cheaper get spilled.

Little styrofoam cups are great to fill with crackers and chips and pass out.

Bring both salty and sweet treats they will get tired of just one type.

Make kids bring some things to entertain themselves on the trip.

The best part of the trip besides seeing the haunted prison was getting my edit finished. (Mental note, hotel is nice place to work on writing. As long as kids arent watching Tom and Jerry.)

I'm back.

My blog and I have a love hate relationship and most of the emotion is on my side.

I will honestly from here on out try my darndness to have a regular schedule. Honest.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cold River by Liz Adair

I had the pleasure of reading a really great Romantic Suspense these last few weeks.

Here is the blurb:

Mandy Steenburg thinks her doctorate in education has prepared her to run any school district - until she tangles with the moonshine-making, coon-dog-owning denizens of a tiny district in Pacific Northwest timber country. She's determined to make a difference, but the local populace still looks to the former superintendent for leadership. When Mandy lands in the middle of an old feud and someone keeps trying to kill her, instinct tells her to run. And though she has to literally swim through perilous waters, she finds a reason to stay and chance the odds.

This was a great read. Full of suspense, rich in characters and descriptive in setting. Liz is a great writer and I will be reading more of her stuff now that we've been (sort of) introdouced. It was hard to put it down. Thanks Liz for a great read.

You can get the book HERE

Here is her WEBSITE

About the Author:

A native of New Mexico and mother of seven, Liz Adair lives in northwest Washington state with Derrill, her husband of 48 years.

A late bloomer, Liz published her first mystery (The Lodger) just as AARP started sending invitations to join. After writing three in the Spider Latham series, Liz moved into romantic suspense with The Mist of Quarry Harbor.

Liz took a break from suspense to write Counting the Cost, a novel based on family history. The book won the 2009 Whitney Award and was a finalist for the Willa Award and Arizona Publisher Association's Glyph Award.

Liz is back writing romantic suspense with Cold River and feels that's where she belongs. "I remember when I was a young mother with all those kids and a slender budget," she says. "I was so grateful for books that let me go places and meet people who carried on adult conversations That's what I want to write--cheap vacations."

Heeding advice given to writers not to quit their day job, Liz works as a forensic scheduler on schedule delay analyses. She also serves on LDStorymakers' Board of Directors, is a member of American Night Writers Association and the Skagit Valley Writers League, and chairs the annual Northwest Writers Retreat.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review Heir to Power by Michele Poague

Sometimes I recieve a free book in exchange for an honest review. The way I recieve the work has no influence on my opinion.

The colony of Survin has been hidden for centuries, protecting an ancient religious artifact called the Healing Crystal from men who would steal or destroy it. Kairma, heir to the Crystal, is destined to mate with the handsome Naturi and become the leader of the reclusive colony, but she is too young to realize the peril soon to arrive. At sixteen, Kairma is too young to realize many things ....

Kairma would rather go spelunking with her brother and his best friend than study ancient medicine and religious laws, but the discovery of a tomb containing ancient artifacts leads Kairma to question her religion and the true nature of the Crystal. To further complicate Kairma's ascent, a childhood illness has left her resembling a nearby race of men both hated and feared by the people of Survin. Because of this, Kairma's younger sister Kinter, who is in love with Naturi, believes she is the rightful heir.

Disease and infertility have decimated Survin, but bigotry and religious laws forbid the introduction of new members so things heat up when a traveling archeologist stumbles upon the reclusive colony and introduces a powerful new weapon. Forced into a larger world, the Survinees discover they hold an object of unimaginable power, a power other men covet, a power that might save or forever damn the human race.

This was a big book at over 550 pages it was the longest I've read in a while. The author deals with an interesting subject, that of isolation of a peoples and what happens because of it. Regardless of the reasons. The copy was mostly clean making it an easy read. It is a typical epic fantasy and I am sure will delight many readers.

There were only a few problems, there were lots of characters and some had unpronouncable names and that slowed me down because I was second guessing myself trying to pronounce them in different ways. Also the author bounced from one head to another among those characters makeing me think "Who is this?" some of the time.

If you like fantasy this is the perfect book to pickup for those long cold winter. nights. Thank you Michele for the adventure.

You can get the book HERE

Michele's WEBSITE