Kentucky Tourism

Well, this is my second time visiting family in the Blue Grass State. I have friends in Ohio and Indiana as well, so this journey from the Pacific Northwest allows me to catch up with a lot of people the old fashioned way (face to face!) Sure that may not be as trendy as Facebook , but I prefer face to face interaction. In addition, we don’t text each other while sitting on the couch. We actually talk to each other. I know I know… I am so 1950s.

Anyway, we have seen some of the basic sights in the area. It is out of season for horse racing, otherwise we may have gone to see one. But we did make it to Berea College and toured part of the campus. For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you know that creating a free college is one of the more dynamic goals I have listed on my bucket list. Berea College is a mostly free college. Students do not pay tuition, but they do pay for books, room, and board. It serves over 1500 students, and is a respected college.

In addition to seeing part of the campus, we also visited some of the art shops run by local artisans.

Old Town Artist Village in Berea Kentucky

One of those artists in Berea Kentucky was Jimmy Lou at Hot Flash Beads. We were given a demonstration of how she created these beads. It was a fun experience because not only did we see the beads being made, we were also able to ask questions about the process.

We also stopped in at a weaving shop, and a glass blowing shop.

weston studio glass At Weston Studio Glass, we were able to talk to Michelle Weston. Just like Jimmy Lou, we were given a demonstration of the glass blowing process and were able to ask questions along the way. It was really a fun experience, and the glass art was exceptional. Each one is individually made, making it instantly unique.


And then, of course, we including fishing in our trip. My wife and I are unable to catch fish in Oregon. When we went fishing with her dad, we caught two turtles which we threw back, a tree branch which we threw back, three small fish which we threw back. We caught and kept one decent sized crappie, one decent sized catfish, and one large catfish. So, we will not starve ;-)

We have had an interesting difficulty with one-day fishing licenses while in Kentucky. When we were here two years ago, Wal-Mart told us that no one in the state sold one day fishing licenses. We went to a bait shop by the lake, and were sold a one-day license. So this time, we went to the bait shop by the lake for our one day fishing license. And guess what? His machine was broken that day. So we went to Meijer, which was able to sell us a one-day fishing license.

Moral? Um… I guess call around the day you want to go fishing in Kentucky to see which store can sell a one-day fishing license.  Regardless, we enjoyed fishing!

Sunrise: Kentucky Fishing

This is the lake we went fishing on.

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Foster Care Day 419: Dad Learning to Braid Hair

It has been nearly a year since my wife and I received our first foster child into our home. Well… they have all been boys. Until our current foster kid.

So, two weeks ago I tried braiding her hair. And I failed miserably. One of my friends responded to my failure by posting the following video of Chris Pratt French Braiding.

So, yeah I can’t even braid hair, and my friend one upped me by posting that video. Not cool man. Totally rude.

Anyway, below is my most recent attempt at braiding hair:


Attempt at Braiding

My wife said she was going to braid her hair. Instead, this little girl hopped off the couch and said “Daddy Braid It!!”

Attempt at Braiding - 10 Minutes Later

And this was 10 minutes later. I think my braid was actually better before the first photo was taken… but I couldn’t get the hair band in quick enough so it fell apart


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I Love the Moment my Novel comes to Life

I love it when my novel comes to life.  For me, it was last week that the novel I’m writing came to life. But what does that mean? I suppose for different people that statement can mean different things. For me it means the characters and the plot are now vibrant and interesting to me… and of course, the villains are the ones who made it this way, once I crystallized the motivations for their villainy.

Before it came to life my novel had an outline. And I wrote each chapter as I thought it should go. For the first draft I typically write the story in the form of a screenplay. This is so I can write it faster, keep it fresh, and go from one section to another quicker. It allows me to zip through the draft quickly and edit any scene involving a specific character. But… this first draft was only mildly interesting until I got to the chapter that one of my main villains first entered the story. He is so deliciously nasty.

When I wrote this character, and he was “speaking” the lines… the rest of his villainous mayhem suddenly came to life. His motivations made sense to me. The rest of the story, and the plot, made sense to me. This normally happens in the first draft of any novel I finish. For novels I do not finish, typically I get to the end of the first draft and wonder why I wrote it. Sometimes I return to a second draft, and sometimes I do not. But if I finish a novel, typically something happens in the first draft to bring it to life. When the novel comes to life it’s like adding chocolate to milk… it’s like adding jalapenos to chili… it’s like adding rum to coke.

For this particular novel it was a villain which caused my novel to explode into a dynamic rainbow of awesomeness. Normally when I come up with an ending, that’s the moment when the novel comes to life for me. Because the ending can tie the rest of the novel together. But so can a good villain.

So what about you? When you write… when does the novel come alive during the writing process? Is it in the first draft? After several drafts? When a particular character seems real?

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Cute Things Our Kid Says Wrong – Part Two

So, our three-year-old foster kid mispronounces words in the most ridiculously cute way possible (click here for Part One):

Library = Larry

Studying = Scuddying

Bumped my head = Bunked my head

Computer = Poohter

Of course, some things are not so cute. Occasionally she has to go poop, and she says: “My butt hurts.” However, sometimes she does not give this warning. Sometimes she just poops her pants and then she says:  “My butt doesn’t hurt.”


What words have you heard kids mispronounce?

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Orlando Jones – “Bullet Bucket Challenge”

Orlando Jones explained the Bullet Bucket Challenge to

ORLANDO JONES: First of all, the “ice bucket challenge” sort of started elsewhere, and the ALS Association is a completely worthy and incredible organization. They’ve raised millions of dollars, which is kind of amazing.

Thinking about what has been happening in America over the course of the last week, it seemed like tons of celebrities had done the ice bucket challenge to bring attention to the disease. I wanted to do what ALS did, co-opt a viral thing and make it my own, to talk about the insanity happening in Ferguson and just around the world. My parents are like, “It’s the ’60s again.”

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