Friday, September 30, 2016

Native American Traditions--Powwows by Connie Vines

Today, I thought I'd blog about another Western tradition: Powwows.



Attending your first Powwow?

 The powwow as it is presently known is an inter-tribal event, dating from the 1880s, and while it owes much to pre-contact traditions, it responds to a fundamental binary view of Native populations in conflict with European culture.

 The name is derived from an Algonquian word, pau wau (“he dreams”) linked to “medicine” and “healing,” both in the broadest sense. While similar gatherings certainly occurred before European contact, once Native Americans were consigned to reservations, the need to create broader connections asserted itself.

 In big cities, the event may be held in a civic auditorium or park, but the more traditional venue is a brush arbor.

There is a saying among those of us who are Powwow  regular  attendees, "The Powwow doesn't begin until the dancers arrive." 

Since the dancers often travel long distances, starting time is only an approximate time.  Set-up you folding chairs or spread your blanket on the grass and relax.  Locate Fry bread booth--a must try tasty treat .  (Having operated many a Fry bread booth as a fundraiser, I can attest to the hard work required make pow wow successful)

What to expect:

During the Grand Entry, everyone is asked to stand as the flags are brought into the arena. The flags carried generally include the U.S. Flag, Tribal Flags, the POW Flag, and Eagle Staffs of various Native Nations present. These are usually carried by veterans.

Powwow Etiquette: 10 Rules to Follow in and Out of the Arena

Whether you’re a novice or veteran attending a powwow, certain behaviors are expected while you’re on the grounds or in the arena. Although customs may vary from tribe to tribe—and even from year to year—some basic rules remain the same.

Some breaches of etiquette are simply considered disrespectful while others may result in the offender being removed from the arena. Here are some tips to make sure your behavior is appropriate and your visit is memorable.

Dress modestly.

It is not appropriate to wear hats, swimsuits, extremely short skirts or shorts or halter tops. Do not wear T-shirts or other items of clothing with profanity or inappropriate slogans.

If you plan to participate in dances that are open to the public, keep in mind that some tribes require women to wear a shawl or cover their shoulders.

Always listen to the master of ceremonies or announcer

The MC will tell you when you can photograph and he will tell you when you can dance, Usually, visitors or outsiders can dance during the inter-tribal dance, but you need to listen for an announcement before you participate.

Stand up during the grand entry

Unless you are physically unable to stand, you are expected to show respect for the dancers and rise. The seats nearest the dancing circle are reserved for singers, dancers and drummers (If you’re a spectator, do not sit here.)

Powwow grounds should be considered sacred places

A blessing is performed ahead of time and your actions should show respect for this religious and sacred ceremony.

It’s like going to a church, If you’re going to a powwow, you need to honor where the dances came from, the traditions and story behind them.

The blessing that takes place beforehand sets the tone of the event,  Although the blessing is usually not open to the public, its spiritual nature should be taken seriously.

Do not bring alcohol, drugs or firearms to a powwow

An exception is tobacco used for blessings or as gifts. Smoking is considered disrespectful,

Follow protocol and common sense when it comes to taking photographs

Never shoot photos during prayers, gourd dances or flag songs, or when the Master of Ceremonies has prohibited it. Additional rules apply in specific circumstances. For example, spectators should not take photos of dancers in regalia without first asking permission.

This is especially true for professional photographers standing in the arena, Often dancers are wearing something special or personally spiritual to them. Some dancers don’t like their bead-work photographed because someone can see that and copy the design.

Never shoot photos of a dancer being initiated or receiving a plume or feather. Doing so can disrupt the spiritual process,

Powwows are colorful and high-energy events

Spectators should have fun but also keep in mind that participants are not simply entertainers. Especially during contest powwows, dancers, singers and drummers may be performing for money.

There are individuals who do this as a way of life, They take it seriously because it’s their income.”

Finally, be flexible

The most important rule is to be willing to change your expectations and adapt to new situation

You may be invited to participate in the dancing. Particularly if the invitation comes from an elder, it is not respectful to decline.  

 “Oh, no, I don’t know how” is not an appropriate response. Guaranteed: no one will ever laugh at you, but they might be hurt if you refuse hospitality. It’s easy. Observe others and do likewise. Relax. We will teach you the steps!



Powwow Jingle Dance


Crow Fair 



Fry bread -top with powdered sugar or honey


Excerpt from my YA novel, "Whisper upon the Water"

1880, Apacheria, Season of Ripened Berries

Isolated bands of colored clay on white limestone remained where the sagebrush was stripped from Mother Earth by sudden storms and surface waters.  Desolate.  Bleak. A land made of barren rocks and twisted paths that reached out into the silence.

A world of hunger and hardship. This is my world. I am Tanayia.  I was born thirteen winter ago. My people and I call ourselves "Nde" this means "The People". The white men call us Apache.



Whisper upon the Water --book trailers




Happy Reading!

Connie

Please visit everyone participating in today's Sunday Blog Hop:





Connie (yes me!), age 16, loving to dance








Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How an Author Gets Her Kicks on “Route 66” by Connie Vines

Having lived a great deal of my adult life in the Inland Empire, were the
famous Route 66 runs right through my backyard.
One lazy Saturday morning I decided to set out and see
What I could find on a brief stint down the historical road from Rancho Cucamonga to San Bernardino (I'll sve the drive to Santa Monica for a future post).

 The people I met and the stories I heard in these short four hours of my morning about the people and families that have built their lives on this road, are stories I'd like to share with you.  While so much of the history has died the commercialization the the area (I cant help but think about the movie "Cars") here are the spot lights that I saw from the stretch of Route 66 that starts in Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA and ends at the city of San Bernardino.


Everyone one recognizes The McDonald restaurant logo, but did you know that there is a museum, too?



In 1940, Dick and Mac McDonald opened McDonald’s Barbecue Restaurant in San Bernardino, California, at 14th st. and E st. They had a staff of 20 carhops and a 25 item menu that included barbecue ribs, beef, and pork sandwiches. They soon became the #1 teen hangout in the San Bernardino.

In October of 1948, the brothers took the plunge (against the advice of all their customers) and closed their successful restaurant, terminated all their carhops, reduced their menu to cheeseburgers, hamburgers, milkshakes, and fountain sodas, and reorganized their kitchen in order to specialize in speed of service, simplicity of menu, and low prices. Their revolutionary thinking forever changed the restaurant industry.



This 1,718 seat auditorium was built in 1928 and is a perfect example of the architecture and style of the time. It is a beautiful building, even better when it’s lit up at night, that has been renovated on the inside to become a modern theater that is still in use today.  Link to the events.



The approach of the mighty sprawl of metropolitan L.A. doesn't mean the ride's over. Just past San Bernardino, as the cityscape takes over, this kid-friendly motel is the best of the three remaining "wigwam" motels that appeared in the '30s, '40s, and '50s. And even if you ignore their infamous sign ("Do it in a teepee"), it's worth stopping for a night. Each concrete room is well kept up and faces a palm-dotted lawn with a pool. The drive continues to the  Wigwam Motel, which is one of the most well know landmarks on this part of Route 66.




A YouTube Video of the entire Route 66 experience
YouTube Video Route 66------Route 66/ time lapsed video!

While I do not plan on every bit of research I found on my adventure, I can capture the ‘flavor’ of the experience.  Historical, Contemporary, YA cookbook?  An author is always game for a new writing adventure.

Happy Reading,

Connie

Shopping for one of my books?  here is the purchase link! 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Classic Ginger" My Cooking Journey #prepackaged dinners


google.com/images
I'm really good at minimizing the time I spend in the kitchen.  I prefer to consider my husband the chef, because, quite frankly, I suck at cooking.  Can you believe it's already almost October 1st? I certainly don't want be lax in my wifely duties...already lacking in most, so I'm turning my thoughts to plans for the holiday.

Thanksgiving always presents a problem, ever since I prepared my first…and last turkey and failed to remove the bag of giblets and neck so neatly hidden inside.  Shouldn’t the packaging holding the bird come with a big notice or roadmap of where to find these things?  And what a horrid death.  It's bad enough to have someone chop of your head, but then to cram your neck up your butt?????

 I’ve managed to get through a few holiday meals, but I’ve relied on Butterball’s self-basting turkeys or those great hams that come already cooked and spiral-sliced with an easy-prepare packet of glaze I can understand.   Of course, my hams never look like the picture because I don't decorate my food.  

To say my family grew up on take-out is not a lie, and it pains me that I’ve never owned an apron.  Well, pained might be an overstatement.  Maybe embarrassed is a better word. J

It’s really sad when you submit a recipe for “how to boil water,” but I’ve done that recently and it’s really a foolproof method.  I never want anyone to say, "she can't even boil water."   I can, and I have a foolproof way of creating bubbles.

 With Thanksgiving only a short time away, you’d think I’d be in a tizzy, but I’ve discovered the secret every woman needs to now—complete precooked, heat and serve meals of your choice direct from Kroger.  If you don’t have a Kroger near you, rest assured other chains 
offer this same service.  For a mere $39.99, on the Wednesday before the holiday, I’ll be picking up a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, green bean supreme, rolls and a pumpkin pie.  The directions are simply, heat and serve, time required approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours.  Oh, and I’ve of course by purchasing Cool Whip for the pie, I'll be prepared.

Thankfully, I write much better than I cook.  Sarah’s Heart & Passion is much more interesting than mine.  Here’s the blurb and cover so you can meet Sarah Collins and share a little of her story:

When Sarah Collins set her sights on California for a new beginning, she never figured a war party would attack her wagon train. After her friend Molly succumbs to her injuries, Sarah is the sole survivor, left alone to find her way back to civilization. Stampeding buffalo, the black prairie nights and eerie noises,just when she believes she's faced the worst, a rattlesnake bite threatens to accomplish what the Indians failed. Is it her time to die, or does Sarah have a purpose yet to accomplish?

Here's an eating scene from the book.  I could never cook anything in the wild, but luckily, Sarah's captor can.



EXCERPT:


Fire burned brightly within the circled stones, sparking higher with each drip of juice from the skewered fish suspended on two forked sticks. The enticing aroma made Sarah’s stomach grumble even more.
 Wolf crouched at the water’s edge, washing the blood from his knife, while Sarah mused over the powerful muscles encased in the sleeves of his fringed shirt. She hadn’t dared pay this much attention to him when he was practically naked. His long braids struck a familiar note… and the headband. Was it possible he was the same person she left unaided beneath the tree where she’d sought refuge? Her pondering ended when he stood and strode back to the fire.
“These should be about done.” He indicated the nearly blackened fish. “I’m sorry I don’t have anything to put them on, or utensils. You’ll have to resort to using your fingers if you really want to eat.”
“No matter, as hungry as I am, I could gnaw bark off a tree.”
 “I think the fish will be a little easier to manage.” He laughed, sheathing his knife in a beaded pouch tied just below his hip.
 The firelight dancing in his hazel eye made Sarah’s stomach flutter again, only this time she suspected it had nothing to do with hunger. This was her first time being alone with a man, and he was definitely a fine looking one. A million questions twirled through her mind, but right now, she wanted to eat. He might not feed her if he realized she’d left him for dead.
Wolf handed her the fish, wood skewer and all, and she gingerly nipped at it, daring not burn her lips. Recalling what her mother did when her oatmeal was too hot, Sarah blew to cool the crispy skin then gnawed into the meat. Juice dripped from her chin, and she wiped the wetness on the back of her hand and took another bite, taking care to watch for tiny bones. She paused between swallows. “This is delicious. My stomach thought my throat was cut.”
As soon as the words left her mouth, she sobered, recalling how close she came to actually dying in that manner. She flashed a half grin at Wolf. “That saying was something my father always used when hungry.” A noisy sigh whooshed past her lips. “I don’t find it quite so funny anymore.”
Wolf nodded. “I understand why the humor has faded, but you’re safe here.” He took another bite of fish. His black hair glistened in the firelight, and his high cheekbones became more prominent as he chewed. Caught in a shroud of doubt, Sarah worried. As nice as he seemed, Wolf was still part Indian. Could she really trust him?
 He finished his fish before she’d gotten through half of hers, put another piece of wood on the fire, and then using a large boulder as a backrest, he leaned against it, crossed his ankles and patted his stomach. “That was mighty tasty. Tell me Sarah…may I call you Sarah?”
She nodded and kept munching on her fish feast.



You can see all my available books and stores at http://www.amazon.com/author/gingersimpson

P.S.  Good news...the follow-up to Sarah's story is available now...Sarah's Hope.

Friday, September 23, 2016

What Eccentric Writing Habits Have I Never Mentioned? By Connie Vines

When you mention that you are a writer, people often take a step back and give you that 'once over' inspection. This reaction used to make me uncomfortable.  Now I only smile.  I don't know exactly what I'm expected to look like--Stephen King, perhaps?  Joan Wilder?  Charlotte Bronte?

When I am asked about my writing methods, schedule, inspiration--I respond truthfully.  However, I never tell people every little thing.

Most authors, of course, have personal eccentric writing practices. Fueled, no doubt by his or her personal muse.  Agatha Christie munched on apples in the bathtub while pondering murder plots, Flannery O’Connor crunched vanilla wafers, and Vladimir Nabokov fueled his “prefatory glow” with molasses.

Then there was the color-coding of the muses:  Alexandre Dumas, for decades, he penned all of his fiction on a particular shade of blue paper, his poetry on yellow, and his articles on pink; on one occasion, while traveling in Europe, he ran out of his precious blue paper and was forced to write on a cream-colored pad, which he was convinced made his fiction suffer. Charles Dickens was partial to blue ink, but not for superstitious reasons — because it dried faster than other colors, it allowed him to pen his fiction and letters without the drudgery of blotting. Virginia Woolf used different-colored inks in her pens — greens, blues, and purples. Purple was her favorite, reserved for letters (including her love letters to Vita Sackville-West, diary entries, and manuscript drafts. Lewis Carroll also preferred purple ink, but for much more pragmatic reasons: During his years teaching mathematics at Oxford, teachers were expected to use purple ink to correct students’ work — a habit that carried over to Carroll’s fiction.

So how do my little eccentric (or never before mentioned) writing practices measure up?  Is my personal muse quirky, dull, or out of control?

Since my quirks are normal for me, I had to think about this for a bit.

I always drink coffee that is part of my current ‘setting’.  When my setting is New Orleans I mail order my coffee from my favorite spot .CafĂ© du Monde.  I have my cup and saucer, and a portable mug when I writing outdoors.   I have a blue coffee pot and matching tin cup when I writing westerns (yes, the coffee is VERY strong and black).  And of course, a Starbucks cup or a Disneyland mug when my novels take place in So.Cal.




My music and my menu planning also is linked to my settings.  All within the range of normal.  Though I have more than my fair share of coffee mugs and cups.

I listen to diction videos on YouTube so that I am not relying on my memory for the sound of a Cajun accent, Texan’s drawl, etc.

I visit areas on Google Earth and Zillow.  Even if I have lived or vacationed there, I may have forgotten an interesting ‘something’ I can insert into dialogue, or find a way to describe a scene.

I talk to myself.  Or not simple little sentences.  I’m talking about a two- way conversation: “Do you think that might work?”  “No.  No one is that stupid!”  “How about. . .”  This is the time my husband walks by to find out who’s on the phone, or if I’m asking him a question.  The dog even pokes her head in to see what’s going on.  I’m thinking this is a bit outside of the ‘normal’ range.

When I write I have to make certain my work space in in perfect order.  I have colored folders/pens/notebooks that match and are exclusive to the story I’m working on at the moment.

I never enroll in an online class when I’m writing—it’s guaranteed writers’ block.  I never talk about my WIP because I mentally clock that as writing time and lose interest in the story before it’s completed.

Whatever story I’m am working on is my favorite.

I survive on 3 hours sleep when I am deep in a story.  I know I drink coffee, but seem to run the story in my mind when I sleep too.

I also pick up the quirks of my heroines.  I have several friends who are in theater and said it’s a bit like ‘method acting’. Fortunately, I’m back to my state of normal a couple of weeks after typing THE END.

I think all of this part of a writer’s voice.  It is what we, as readers, look for in a story.  Hopefully, it is what my readers, enjoy about the novels, short-stories and novellas that I write too.

Visit my Amazon webpage for my book trailers, teasers, and ebooks and paperbacks.

Happy Reading!

Connie

Hop over to the next blog post







Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Are You Waiting For? Date a Cowboy by Connie Vines

Since many of my romance and historical novels have Western settings, And my hero and heroine, of course, are both single.  I pondered the dating dilemma of modern day cowboys and cowgirls; ranchers and the like.

During a vacation in South Dakota I realized it was often 60 miles from a ranch to any hope of  a place I would even title a 'mini' city.

That has to make for a pretty shallow dating pool.  Yes there is church, social events, and community members.  But that has an 'arranged marriage' feel to it.  I am looking for danger, mystery, and the great unknown for my contemporary romance.  I'm thinking it's something I won't find in a small ranch town. Because let's face it, small towns are big on letting 'bad-boys' hang around and marry the 'women folk'.

I'd didn't want the expected. . .a former black sheep returns home. . .she runs off with the town's bad boy.

Where you are sitting with a cup of coffee, staring into the great unknown, you realize that there is always a television commercial ad for some service.  Is particular evening, sandwiched between an Atkins and Marie Osmond  NutriSystem commercial, was a  Match.com, E-Harmony commercial.

There are numerous other online sites.  Some sites are specialized, some are not- over 50, Christian, with kids, etc.  Is there a site for cowboys and cowgirls, I wondered?

After a few minutes of Internet surfing I discovered there is indeed a site for cowboys and cowgirls. A surprising number of dating sites, in fact.

Here are the website blurbs (mind you this is not an endorsement on my part--only for research purposes.):

Thousands of singles join Western Match every day looking for dates, friendships, long lasting relationships, or marriage. If you are looking to date a cowboy or cowgirl, meet country singles, farmers, or ranchers, this is the dating site for you. Sign up today and see why Western Match is the best cowboy dating site on the net and the real deal since 2002.

This site brags that it's mobile friendly.

Welcome to Cowboy Cowgirl  Come build relationships with people who share your appreciation for the country way of life, so create a profile and start exploring. Online dating has never been easier! Connecting cowboys and cowgirls since 1999.

The one I found the catchiest was: What are you Waiting for?  Date a Cowboy.  

Yep, that one hooked me--ah, I mean my heroine.


Believe it or not there is even a dating site for Rodeo Cowboys!  Where Rodeo Meets Romance.

Unfortunately, there isn't a site to match cowboys with city girls. . . but I won't letting a little thing like that stop me!

Ideas?  Don't be afraid to share them with me :-),

See you on Saturday,
Connie









Monday, September 19, 2016

"Classic Ginger" More from the Dynamic Class Given by Cheryl St. John #writingtips

It's not writer's block, per se...

Today I've going to address the middle of your book...you know the time when you avoid continuing?  As Cheryl said in her handouts, "You make excuses for not going to your desk  You read email and do research.  You might even be compelled to clean the garage or paint the kitchen.  Your desk needs to be clean before you sit.  The laundry needs to be folded or else you can't concentrate.  When you actually stop and think about your story, you're confused or discouraged.  Oh my gosh, is this ever a panic mode.  Your synopsis was so good.  You've been totally stoked about this story from the get-go.  You love these characters, but now...you look at your synopsis or your note cards and tally your page count and the only thing a sane person could do is panic."

What exactly is the middle of your book?  "The middle follows the part where your character's motivations were established, their goals were set in place, and where your character decided to go after what he/she wanted or to fight some something he/she believed in...to reach a destination or prevent something from happening."

I've eliminated a few words for conciseness, but the meaning is still Cheryl's. In other words, "The middle is simple a series of events that gets your character from the beginning of the book to the end."

People who plot have it over those of us who don't.  Most use plot points (an event that takes place and forces the character, willing or not, into new circumstances or direction.  Things like:

The villain appears.
A letter arrives.
Someone dies.
A love scene,
An accident.

You're usually halfway when your character's goals change.  Whatever your main character started out wanting should have changed direction by now, or he/she has come up with a new plan to get what they want.  A complication makes it look like they will never achieve their goal.  Don't make the mistake of not being mean enough to your character.  Conflict is good, but remember,  a delay in reaching a goal is NOT conflict.

Help yourself by making a list of 25 things that could happen and review when need be.
Make sure to keep the tension strong and heighten it when necessary.

Keep the outcome in doubt.  Use a time limitation, but give the reader flashes of hope.
 Change POV and leave your main character's fate hanging (a suspense technique), or add an action scene, but make sure you intersperse action with scenes of less tension for pacing's sake.

End every charter with a hook, to keep the reader turning pages.
Question the purpose of every scene.  Is it really needed to move the story forward?
Make sure you haven't revealed too much about your characters.
Can the reader identify?  Are you making the story believable?
Is the conflict escalating?  Things should be worse than they were to start with.
Don't let your story become predictable.
Have you paid attention to pacing?
Is the sexual tension still high?  If not, punch it up.
A good example comes from the movie, "Shrek."  Characters are like onions...reveal them one layer at a time.  If in reviewing your work, create a use later file, cut and paste into it to prevent telling too much too soon.

These are just a few suggestions from Cheryl's book.  I urge you to check it out on Amazon.  I don't plot, but I still found this an enormous help.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Filling Ginger Simpson's Shoes by Connie Vines



Ginger Simpson may be stepping down as the Queen of "Spunk, Sass, and Inspiration" here at Dishin' It Out, the blog she created; but she won't be absent.  I will still be posting snippets of her writing and reposts many of her wonderfully delightful takes on her eventful life!  (Remember her books are available online at Amazon.com).

Ginger has been a dear friend and mentor of mine for many years.  I was so excited when I was asked to post each Thursday and to be included in "Sunday Snippets" weekly blog hop. (And I was also so fearful that I simply wouldn't measure-up.)  

I know Ginger is only be an email away if I have any questions, or need assistance--because that's the kind of caring person she is!

Well Ginger, wish me luck.  I have a very famous pair of cowgirl boots to fill.

Connie Vines


Here are the links to Sunday's Blog hop:







I'm back and gone again.  I'm turning this blog over to Connie as the owner and any changes made will be up to her.  She and Lynda have done an excellent job in keeping the blog alive while I went on vacation and ended up having surgery.  It's been a pleasure to be welcomed by so many over the years and I will miss Dishin' It Out.  Thank you so much for your support and I hope you'll continue with Connie and Lynda.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bucket List and White Knuckle Driving

Admit it. We all have bucket lists, even if we don’t want to admit we do. Some of the items on my bucket list I’m fairly certain I’ll never do because at this point there isn’t a snow ball’s chance in a very warm place of me ever getting on a plane again, so unless Superman shows up and offers to personally fly me to Scotland, Ireland, and Great Britain, I’m not going there.





But, this summer while on vacation, I did check one item off my bucket list. The day we went to Glacier National Park was forecast as sunny in the morning, with increasing clouds by mid-morning and a one hundred percent chance of rain by afternoon. That was a pretty sure bet we were going to get rained on while in Glacier. The item on my bucket list I was hoping to check off was driving The Going to the Sun Road through Glacier.  Going to the Sun Road takes ten weeks to clear in the spring, and that’s with using several heavy snow movers capable of moving 4000 tons of snow an hour.
 
HOLY MOSES! Twists, turns, hairpin switch backs, waterfalls, wildlife, and by the time we’d reached Logan Pass, the clouds were socking the park in and the rain was beginning. Add several thousand feet drop-offs, sheer cliff walls on the other side of the road, shoulders to the road of no more than two or three feet and it was the most stunningly gorgeous white-knuckle drive I’ve ever undertaken. At several points during this drive, snow splattered the windshield with the rain. Yeah, I was white-knuckling it. And my respect for those people who drive those snow-movers in the early summer to open the road increased exponentially.

(Some of the pictures I’ve shared here I did not take—and I’ve tried to give credit where credit is due.)



Thursday, September 8, 2016

Paw Patrol by Connie Vines

I am a little late in posting today.  This is because I'm on PAW Patrol.
                                                                                                          
                                                                                                

My little Chanel, my poodle-mix, was spayed 5 days ago.  She is healing quite nicely, thanks for asking.  However, if you have ever taken care of an ailing child--or puppy, you know I am getting 'disturbed' sleep.

Like most novelists, I also hold a day job (in education field).  

And like a care provider for any recovering puppy, I make 3 to 4 trips during the night to the great outdoors holding a squirming puppy.  A puppy, mind you, that must be leashed and gingerly allowed (without getting her stitches wet/dirty) to walk in the grass of business.  Then take her back to her kennel for a 'nap'.

Fortunately, my husband is able to take care of her during the day.  Why Chanel only makes 4 outside tarps between 7 and 4, I do not understand.  Of course, feeding time takes place during the day, but that doesn't result in sleep deprivation, to staggering around in the dark.

So it is now 8:45, Chanel is in bed, and I am happily sitting with my iPad in my lap writing this blog post and listening to an episode of Moose TV.

Happy Thursday everyone.

I will be back next week,
Connie Vines

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