Saturday, January 27, 2018

Reality TV Recap #3

Ink Master Ep #3:
Testing Proportion
Flash Challenge:  Coach's Face-Off
Steve-Portrait of elderly man with pipe
Anthony-Portrait of Tiger Lady
DJ- Hand holding apple, with snake above

Steve won the challenge, which meant his team was safe.  The next twist?  2 artists would be eliminated, one from each team....and the coaches had to make the choice.

Elimination Challenge:  Mythical Gods

Observation #1:  Is DJ setting up Sparks for failure?  Told him to flip his stencil, so the face was turned OUTWARD instead of INWARD.  Isn't that a no-no???

#2:  Amanda used Hercules for reference, not Hades.

#3:  Jason has the only color tat.

Best over all:  
Frank's Hades

Chopping Block:
DJ: Deanna, Sparks, Lil' D
Anthony:  Jason, Amanda, Linzy

As they deliberated, Anthony pointed out that Amanda and Jason were coachable; they asked questions and followed his advice.  Linzy did not, so she was eliminated.

DJ and Sparks' feud came to a head when he said both Deanna and Lil 'D's were more coachable.  Sparks packed up.

I was disappointed; Sparks was the only one I remembered from the Angel series, and had hoped he'd do well.  He just picked the wrong coach. 

Amazing Race Ep #4:  France!
In Saint-Tropez, they had to sail a dinghy and collect two parts of their clues.
Team Xtreme was there 1st; Indy didn't read their clue and had to set out again after finally getting the first half.

Speed bump:  NBA had to stack 15 dinghys in numerical order before they could do the roadblock.  Cedric found out his weight was a huge disadvantage:  He kept sinking.

Firefighters didn't understand how to put their car in 'Reverse', and had to put it in 'Neutral', then push it backward.  Geez.....

Ocean seemed lost, but finally found it.  Evan (Team Yale) had a tooth get chipped when the sail smacked her in the mouth.

Detour:  Bread or Tread?
X-Tread (making a sandal) 1st to finish
NBA -Tread

Head-To-Head Challenge #2:
Xtreme vs Indy
Indy Wins!!!  5K for each!
Xtreme vs Well-Strung
Xtreme Wins!!
Well-Strung vs Chomp
Chomp Wins!!
Well-Strung vs Ocean
Well-Strung Wins!!
Ocean vs Yale
Yale Wins!!
Ocean vs Firefighters
Firefighters Win!!
Ocean vs NBA
Ocean Wins!!!

It was a VERY close win; the tape measure had to come out, and sadly, the NBA players were eliminated 

Next up:  Les Baux!
Roadblock:  Making a catapult while your partner is in stocks.
Ocean finished 1st, followed by:
Well Strung

Detour:  Bull or Van Gogh Painting Puzzle
All but Chomp went for the Bull.
Ocean finished 1st and arrived at the Pit Stop 1st!  Won a trip to Bali!!
Xtreme and Firefighters were on their heels and got to witness the Proposal!!!
Yale just missed it; arrived as they were kissing.
Indy was able to congratulate the happy couple:)
Chomp had trouble understanding the puzzle concept, but finally solved it and arrived last.  They were eliminated.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Flashback Friday

Jan 2008:
Hubby underwent cataract surgery, and knowing full well about my eye phobia, decided to describe it in full detail, which had me screwing up my eyes and clutching my ears, vowing to NEVER have it done......or at least get a hefty dose of the 'I-don't-care' medicine.

I also took our Black Lab to Head Start to visit my youngling's class, and she was very well received:)

Eli Manning and the Giants were headed to the Super Bowl!

K received his driver's license:)  When a winter storm hit while he and I were at the store, I very nicely told him to go get our van and meet me at the door, so I wouldn't get too wet.

Next Month:  Valentine's Day!

Present Day:
Temps have warmed up!  The snow has melted, and things are looking up.

The only uncertainty is my dad's surgery.  He's having two 3-hour stress tests next week, and while Mom asked me to come up, I can't, because W is having a root canal on Tuesday, then we have another appointment on Wed.  Right now, I'm scheduled to go up Feb 5th....but might change it to the 7th, since D has to be in Indy for his doctor appointments on that day.  So we'll see.....

New Diet
We're trying to go low-carb, and a do a modified keto diet.
Mon:  D made goulash (I was at the writer's meeting in Washington)
Tues:  Sweet-n-Sour Chicken (with only 2 cups of rice instead of 3)
Wed:  Homemade meatballs stuffed with goat cheese
Thurs:  Rosemary chicken with quinoa
Tonight, steaks, and tomorrow, spaghetti squash.

Hopefully this will help on my quest to drop 5 pounds each month???

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Reality TV Recap

Ink Master SE 10:
Testing the Fundamentals this week!

Flash Challenge:
The three teams competed with cups of colored water to make a design.
Steve:  Beetle (even drew it on a grid first, to make sure it was symmetrical!)
DJ:  Postage stamp with a bust and 2 cent rendering:) 
Anthony:  Large eye.

Winner:  Team DJ!

Elimination Tat:
Everyone had to design a maze, then DJ assigned two members of his team to assign the canvases.  There was a big 'oops' moment, when Sparks got the wrong canvas, courtesy of Josh, who had mixed up which skull he had in his hand.

Best of Each Team:
Steve:  Jeremy
Anthony:  Daniel
DJ:  Josh

Best Over All:  Daniel!

Back at the loft, DJ and Sparks got into an argument, b/c Sparks had formed an idea of what his canvas's 'little girl owl' should look like, but DJ didn't like the drawing, and told him to redo it.  As a result, his design was highly criticized, and ended up being too dark.  Sparks offered to switch teams when DJ lit into him. 

Something I didn't mention last week:  Sparks wanted to be on DJ's team, and was a little hurt when DJ didn't even speak to him at the initial challenge.  When it came time for the contestants to choose, I think Steve and DJ were vying for him, so Sparks immediately chose his idol DJ.  Unless these two curb their egos, I see Sparks' opinion of DJ going downhill FAST.

On The Chopping Block:
Coaches put of Garrett, then the judges chose Amanda and Deana.

Garrett ultimately ended up going home, due to too many skin breaks.

Amazing Race #30:  Morocco!

Fish Challenge:
K and J got lost initially, and Team BB was the first onto the next clue.  Despite Team Xtreme's wandering, they still beat Team Indy, who was last out of the gate (figuratively speaking).

Team Yale was 1st to find the guy with the map to their next clue.

What happened next was complicated:  They had to take their gnome to Zip Line #1, follow it on the ground to ZL #2, then repeat.  Find a phone booth and make a call in order to receive their next clue.  This involved a lot of running up and down steps, then remembering where you left your partner!

Team Yale was the first to go on to the detour; Team Xtreme left her gnome at the phone booth; Jessica made the decision to LEAVE it there and not tell Kristi, which had K furious, and thinking J stole her gnome.  Team NBA couldn't find his partner, and ended up being last to the detour.

They could either 'Shake It Off" (belly dancing) or Delivery.  Most chose the belly dancing.

Yale and Indy were a close 1st and second, but Yale prevailed, winning a trip.
Well Strung (Trevor and Chris)
Chomp (Joey and Tim)
Firefighters (Eric and Daniel)
Ocean (Lucas and Brittany)
NBA....But.....Non-Elimination Leg!!!  Whoot!

I'm wondering if Ep 3 will begin with Jess and Kristi exchanging heated words over 'Gnomegate'?

Stay tuned!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Flashback Friday: Getting Snowed OUT???

Jan 1998:
Just to show you how fast the weather changes in Indiana....for NYE weekend, we went to the in-law's house to celebrate, and while we were gone, a snowstorm hit.  We made it home....but had to blaze our own trail through the driveway!  Our neighbors were complaining of being snowed IN; we had been snowed OUT!  As soon as we slipped and slid our way up our long driveway to be beside the house, then came the fun job of breaking a path to the door, and even having to shovel a spot in order to get the door open.

Then one week later, the snow had melted to only a slushy resemblance.  So much, I even was able to struggle out to a Friday evening with friends, and celebrate a 2-year anniversary complete with vodka, kool-aid, and fruit juice for the one who didn't like grape kool-aid.

A few weeks later, on another frosty morning, my hubby took the kids to school and just before passing an intersection, a kid who hadn't cleared off his front window properly pulled out in front of him.  D had a choice; hit the kid dead on or take a chance on the ditch.  Since there was still plenty of snow on the ground from another snowfall, he tried to inflict little damage as possible to the other car.

His gamble ended up with our car in the ditch and being totalled; the kid's car had the front end crumpled.  The bus driver brought him home, but he ended up having so much shoulder pain, he ended up seeing the chiropractor for many months to come.

An attorney friend assured us he'd take care of everything, and it turned out to be a huge mistake on our part.  Our insurance companies ended up in a fight, and our settlement was not what we expected.  Since the car had been paid off (it was a gift from my family when my grandmother passed away in 1996), and our 'lawyer' was out of state, things got messy.  In hindsight, we should have consulted a local attorney.

Lesson learned.  In the meantime, we still had D's truck, and since I didn't need to go anywhere, I was happy having him drive me around.  Our Ford Escort wasn't up and running.

Next Month:  Valentine's Day!

Present Day:
Temps are on the rise!  We started with -4 on Mon....2 on Tues....4 on Wed, and 23 yesterday.  Supposed to actually be above the freezing mark today, so whoot!

I'm also hard at work on two more secret projects; one I'm nearly finished with, and only need to get my old laptop's HD installed into my desk top, along with the old DT's HD.  The 2nd one will take a little longer, esp since I decided to change some things around.  It might be finished in 2-3 years, lol...

Didn't make it to karaoke last night, since I began falling asleep in front of Life In Pieces, plus I decided 23 degrees was still too cold to walk in, and I'd probably have to give myself a half hour instead of the usual fifteen.

I'll probably make it to karaoke tomorrow, since that walk's only ten minutes!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Amazing Race: Belgium! Plus Ink Master, SE10

I arrived home Wed and discovered my DVR wasn't set up; I only caught the last half hour.  Finally last night, I remembered I could probably watch it online, so I did:)

Turns out I didn't miss much.  Contestants rode the same plane to Amsterdam, then the same train to Antwerp.  There was some confusion about where to go next, but they all managed to complete the Sky Ladder (ladders attached to a 200 ft crane), which meant they had to climb to the top before their ladders disappeared, and retrieve their clue.  I THINK two contestants' clues fell before they got to the top, but I THINK they still had to reach the top first.  At any rate, it was on to the next challenge.

They had their choice of either a printing press or trying to asses the value of a diamond.  Some apparently had never seen a printing press, or have any concept of how a typewriter worked, and after not understanding the letters were BACKWARDS, they gave up and switched, which proved even more difficult.  Granted, some excelled at this, while other floundered.

Team Slam Dunk finished first, only to discover they had to wait for another team; this was the 1st head-to-head challenge.  Team BB was next, and their objective was to put 8 sacks of french fries on a cart and wheel it around an obstacle course.  Cody easily won it, since Cedric first dropped one bag, then ran into a corner and dropped everything.  C and Jess won the leg, and $2500 a piece.

Team Slam Dunk then had to wait for the next team, Yale, and won that one.

Then it was Yale's turn....and kept getting beat by:

They finally beat Goat Yoga, who promptly lost to:

April was too tired against either Eric or Daniel, and they were eliminated.

Now For Ink Master, Season 10:
I was interested to see if I remembered any of the ones who won the Ink Master Angels, and truthfully, the only one I remembered was Sparks. 

Dave and Co divvied up the 24 contestants by having everyone do a tattoo, then critiqued it blind.  3 returning Masters, Steve, DJ, and Anthony, would be coaches, and would rank the tats in order to choose their teams.  At the end of the 1st round, the teams looked like this:

DJ:  (took rank # 1, 2, and 3):  Matt (Jewish Guy), Josh, and Deanna

Anthony:  (#4, 5, and 7):  Warren, Jason, Daniel.

Steve (#6, 8, and 9):  Katie, Garrett, and Rollie.

Next, the remaining artists had to tattoo again, this time either in Japanese, Traditional, or Literary Women's Faces (?? Check this).  After being critiqued, the coaches would pick.  If the others wanted the same artist, then the ARTIST would choose.  The remaining 9 chosen were:

Team DJ:  Frank, Sparks (YES, he was chosen!!), and Lil' D.

Team Anthony:  Linzy, Amanda, Mike.

Team Steve:  Jeremy, Fame, and Gary.

The remaining 6 not chosen were sent home, rather disappointed.

See you next week!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Flashback Friday: 1st Speeding Ticket....Pt 1

Jan 1988:
Did I mention the speedometer on my LRBS (little red bomb shell) was broken the day I took possession of it?  Therefore, I had no idea how fast I'd been driving down to see CS; I was simply following traffic.  Until my father got around to having it fixed.

Turned out I'd been making the 3 hour trip in a little over 2.5 hours, because I'd been driving nearly 85-90 mph!  So it's a miracle I didn't get my 1st speeding ticket until now, 5 months later.

I'd gotten word the pictures of our Christmas Dance were in, and CS had picked them up.  Curious to see them, and the fact that a friend of his, who was also rapidly becoming a good friend of mine, was in the hospital, and you have a recipe for disaster.

I was six miles away from my destination, and heading up a hill.  My little 4-cylander T-1000 had issues going uphill, so I naturally sped up a bit, so I could make it w/o holding up traffic, or being passed by everyone else.  I was nearly to the top when I happened to glance behind me.....and saw the red and blue lights.  Alarmed, I pulled over.  Prayed for a warning, since it was my 1st offense, and also nearly blurted out, "I'm on my way to see your boss", since DH was on the staff as a night jailer at the time.  But I held my tongue......and meekly accepted my ticket.  I'd been going 73, but he knocked it down to 68.

I often wonder if I'd a) told the officer who I was headed to see or b) told DH about the ticket, would I have gotten off with a warning or if DH would have been able to 'fix' it?

At any rate, I was rather appalled when I saw the pic of CS and myself; I look horrible, while he looked great!  Also, I spent a rather enjoyable day sitting on the foot of DH's hospital bed, eating his dessert.  I found out later my sweatpants had a hole in the crotch, so he was enjoying the view (yes, I wore underpants!).  I was mortified when that fact was revealed.....

I was also questioning my sanity about continuing this relationship.  On the one hand, we enjoyed each other's company; on the other hand, the whole point of dating is to find one's life partner.  I already knew I had no intention of ever marrying him, so why was I still driving down?

When I arrived back at BSU, I promptly called the number on the back of the ticket and asked who to make the check out to.  And mailed my payment the next day.

Next Month:  Fallout From Speeding Ticket and A Memorable Valentine's Day.

Present Day:
The snow and ice is back with a vengeance.  Kids don't have school; I didn't go to karaoke because the weather was supposed to arrive between midnight and one am.  I did NOT want to drive in icy conditions, so I curled up with SE 2 Episode 4 of The Crown, and went to bed.

Today I'm doing laundry, and IF I venture out, I'm making D drive.  In fact, as I type this at 12:30 pm, there are some FAT snowflakes falling outside!  Our trash pick up has even suspended services for the day,  Thankfully, ours was picked up yesterday, and our recycling is next week, so we're unaffected by it.

Since I may have to spend a few weeks with my parents (to be decided next week), I've decided to sanitize my house from top to bottom, beginning with the kitchen and working my way forward.  So far, I've only done half my counter top.  Hopefully I'll do the other half, stove, dryer, and washer today.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get the floor swept and mopped, and my pantry reorganized.  Check back next week.

Stay warm!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Flashback Friday: Blizzard of 1978!

Jan 1978:
These were taken after the blizzard, where school was cancelled for at least two (wonderful, to an elementary student!) weeks.  The snow was up to our roof; the cars were completely blanketed by the snow, and we had HUGE icicles!

My sister W on the left; I'm on the right.  I can only assume we were headed to church.  One nice thing about those long skirts; I was able to hide my thermal underwear under them, and keep my legs warm!  I wasn't allowed to wear pantyhose yet, and back then, tights (like my sis is wearing) were for 'babies' (she was in the 2nd grade).

Showing how high the drifts were; this was taken from our front porch.  For several days, our front door was frozen shut; we had to go in and out through the garage.

Obviously taken after more snow had melted.  That's my dad on the right, shoveling snow off the car.

My sister remembers the tunnel we created through the front yard, from the driveway to nearly my window (far right).  We were chatting the other day, reminiscing about *those days* and thinking how lucky we were that our 'cave' didn't collapse while the three of us were in it!  Three, being myself, W, and her best friend K, whom I lovingly refer to as my 'other' sister.

Present Day:
We're headed to Indy tomorrow, to have our Christmas party with my dad's sister and her family.  Mom and I have spent this chilly week (-16 on Monday, -1 on Tues, 19 Wed, 7 Thurs) watching TV, cooking dinner, and searching for the Daily Guidepost devotionals she bought, but cannot find.

Dad has aneurisms in both knees, but only one is causing him pain.  He finds out more on the 15th; I may have to come spend a few weeks if he has to undergo surgery.

Will I attempt karaoke tomorrow night?  I'll probably sing one song, then determine whether or not my voice is up for the task.

Stay warm everyone!!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Amazing Race, Season 30

I had such a good time blogging about BB last summer, I decided to do the same thing with AR, esp since everyone's favorite players *cough cough* are racing this year.

Team Chomp: Joey and Tim
Team NBA aka Slam Dunk Cedric and Shawn
Team BitchFit aka Ring Girls Dessie and Kayla
Team Indy Car:  Alexander Rossi and Connor Daly!!!
Team Extreme  Kristi and Jen
Team BB aka "Jody' aka Cody and Jessica
Team Ocean Rescue Lucas and Brittany
Team Goat Yoga Sarah and April
Team Yale  Henry and Evan
Team Firefighters  Eric and Daniel
Team Well Strung:  Violinists Trevor and Chris

Trip To Iceland:
Team Yale, Indy, and BB got off to an early lead. along with NBA.  Team Yoga seemed to be lost, having gotten directions from the flight attendant.

Jody won the 2nd challenge, followed by Yale and Team Extreme.  Jess told Cody, "You just beat Yale in a spelling comp.  How cool is that?"  

Cody:  "People tell me I'm smart."

Jess:  "Duh..."

Jody found the answers to the 2 questions, and were off to the pit stop.  Kristi and Jen were hot on their heels, finding Phil 1st.  Whew!

So to begin next leg, here's the line up:
NBA 30 min penalty, since Cedric told Shawn to 'pay attention to the Ps and Os'.
Eric and Daniel

Ring Girls elimnated by thousanths of a second.  WOW.....never in the history of the Race has a leg been that close between the final 3 teams.

So far, my favorites are Indy, Yale, and Chomp; they seem to work well together.  Grudgingly, I have to admit Jody is working well together too.

Coming Attractions:
Sometime during this race, they will face off head to head with another team, plus they'll be switching partners!  WOW!  Can't wait to see the expression on 'Jody's' face!

Stay tuned till next week....

BTW, I had to dismantle the comment section.  I was tired of getting hit with spam comments.  If you want to comment, hit me up at kenziemichaels (at) gmail (dot) com

Monday, January 1, 2018

January Goals: Happy New Year 2018!

Last Year, I Resolved To:
-Finish writing Heart Song  Made it to Ch. 6.
-Publish #4 of my Sci-Fi Rom series (Check!) and write #5 (Began it; still on Ch. 2).
-Get books #1-6 of my Arbor University Tales (Women's Fiction) series in print  Formatted and ready to go; still waiting on print wraps
-Successfully help my 6th grader bring up his grades in Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts All but Math; he DID advance to 7th grade.
-Lose another 5 lbs or more  Check; I've boomeranged up and down, but think this is a score:)
-Cut back on signings; instead of 14 like last year, only do six which cost money, and a few local ones which are free.  Totally blew this one in April.  Ended up doing another 14.  Did do the free local ones and the Watermelon Fest.
-Organize my basement office  Nope; not yet
-As for the karaoke songs, well, I'd like to maybe hit the 'P' titles?  I'm beginning the year still on the 'Love' titles.  I'm thinking there may not be many 'N' or 'O' titles.  I could be wrong.  Still on the last of the 'O' titles.

2018 Goals:
-Write #5 of The Chosen
-Promote Whispers Anthology
-Limit my craft fairs and set up only at:
     -Author's Fair in April, in addition to a local event.
     -May:  1st Friday AND Opening weekend of Farmer's Market
     -June:  1st Friday
     -July:  1st Friday
     -Aug:  Watermelon Festival and GenCon (IF we get approved)
     -Sept:  1st Friday, maybe Paletine's event; Eminence Harvest Festival, and the Evansville                             Fairgrounds event.
     -Oct:  Imaginarium
     -Nov:  Indy Christmas Show, maybe the Christmas Stroll.  This year, I was exhausted and                           skipped it.
-Finish Heart Song 
-Set up a few local signings at our coffee shop/brewery.
-Get our Green House torn down, and the Brown House emptied.  I've decided to move my office into the Brown House (provided the spouse approves!).
-Continue participation in the MFRW Blog Challenge 2018.  Kenzie had a good time, so maybe I'll do it this year??  Or switch off every week?  Month??
-Lose 5 lbs each month.  If I succeed, I'll be down to 200 lbs by this time next year.  Starting weight:  232

Monthly Goals:
Buy inventory  Check:)  Bought copies of HS, CA, and half of what I need of Kenzie's.  TP and Orion still to be ordered.
Write Ch 6 of Heart Song
Get my clothes out of the box and into a rubbermaid 3 drawer chest Check:)
Organize boys' room  Check:)
Lose 5 lbs
Pay cover artist (Paid half!) for Winning Her Heart AND order copies 
Pay for March event  Cancelled
Buy new Prayer Journal and calendar  Check:)
Finish watching Criminal Minds (Check!) and The Crown (Check!) before binge-watching Game of Thrones
Start watching The Ranch on Netflix  (Check! Finished 1/28!  Now onto Stranger Things:)

Reading Schedule:
Tomb of the Moon-N. E. Riggs
Clayton's Star-Jillian Jacobs  Well thought out plot/story line; I just got tired of her TSTL antics.
Five Coffees-Cathy Jackson  Story wasn't what I remembered, but still good:)
Dragon Teeth-Michael Crichton About halfway in, I found myself skimming.  Wasn't as good as his other books.
Gears of Golgotha-Rebekah McAuliff  Was excited to read this, since I know the author.  Really enjoyed the first few chapters, then I got lost somewhere.  First she can't stand Damon, but yet ends up kissing him?  And why would a director 'suddenly' decide to take notice of a newbie?  That part didn't make sense until the end....but I got tired of all the 'jaw dropping', over-use of exclamation points, and confusing names.  I might reread this in another ten or so years.  Need to talk to publisher about who proofread the document.

Secrets and Lies (HOB #4)-Susanne Matthews  Amazing, well-thought out story!  DRR!

White Liar-Miranda Lambert Couldn't hear myself and thought it was squeaky, but two people complimented me on it!
Miles To Go-Celine Dion Nailed it!
White Rabbit-Jefferson Airplane Nailed it, except for one line!  Went down instead of up, then recovered on next line.  Will definitely re-sing this at some point.
***Due to the weather and extreme cold, I was unable to make it out until Jan 25th!*****

Only The Young-Journey Nailed it, though slightly scratchy.  Might sing it again!
Open Arms-Journey Nailed it:)  Voice cooperated!
O Christmas Tree LOL....this version was slightly slower; started out good, but went downhill by vers #3!
Opposites Attract-Paula Abdul Bleh...
O Come All Ye Faithful Bleh; wrong key
O Holy Night  Nailed it!  My favorite carol!
Oops I Did It Again-Britney Spears Not too bad:)
Our Lips Are Sealed-Go-Gos Good:)
Out of Touch-Hall and Oates  Not too bad!
Out Here On My Own-Irene Cara Nailed it:)
Over You-Daughtry I'm surprised I did well on it!
Owner of A Lonely Heart-Yes  Wasn't too awful...
Over You-Miranda Lambert Think it was a little too low...
Pac-Man Fever-Buckner and Garcia Sang this with Tracy, and had fun!  Probably never again, lol...
Pallisades Park-Freddie Cannon Voice was going; a little crackly, but the chorus was good.  Will re-sing.
Only The Young-Journey (Re-sing)  Voice is back!  Nailed it! Papa Don't Preach-Madonna  Nailed it!
Paparazzi-Lady Gaga  Did well, and was congratulated!
Paper Roses-Marie Osmond Perfect!  

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!