Weekly Photo Challenge . Down

orples

This is a page from my book “How Orples Came To Be“. In this scene, Jack and Mr. Zimp have just discussed creating more orples with the intent of experimenting on them.

Mrs. Mouse is hurrying home, so she can eavesdrop on Jack and his Dad as they discuss their plans. The humans are using the stairs to go ‘down’ to the basement.

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Boo!

The orples are loving life. They about flipped when they saw the ‘baby’ pumpkins. Sadly, the plump little beings wouldn’t move when Oscar tried to play with them.  Except for the fact that they can move, and those silly little pumpkins can’t, the orples blend right in with the Halloween display.  It’s a good thing, too. because now the orples are  tagging along, going to the grocery store with me. What would people think if they saw my groceries moving?

Count Oscular and Witchy Olivia wanted to wish you a Happy Halloween.

Count Oscular and Witchy Olivia wanted to wish you a Happy Halloween.


Trick or Trick
 

Olivia To The Rescue

Being the helpful little orple that she is, Olivia is hanging posters for me to announce my new Brides Series. Even though only two of the three books in the trilogy are complete at this writing, she insists I should be getting the word out. In the meantime, Oscar is the one drooling over the pages of what’s about to happen next. Who’d have thought Oscar would even open a book? Hmm, these books must be pretty good to attract Oscar’s attention. He’d usually rather be out running around, exploring the physical world, or sleeping. Then again, Oscar likes to eat, too. The Orples books tell you all about Oscar and Olivia.  Or you can check out the topic in the margins of my blog page to get a glimpse into the world of orples, in general.   Brides_Ad_103014 Olivia was pretty upset when I told her she had competition.  However, at this point, I’ve convinced her to read my books before she discounts them.  Besides, the way Olivia loves to read, you’d think she would eagerly pounce on the story of the Sanderson family and their adventures. She snooped a little,  and decided to give my ‘other’ books a try. I think she was a little shocked at some of the language, since orples are not accustomed to such colorful words as Roger sometimes uses, especially if Yvonne has been pushing his buttons again.  Plus, Olivia and Oscar both like horses, which are abundant throughout the Brides books.  The orples have even been horseback riding themselves, and have a picture to prove it!

mentJust for fun

I was looking for something else, entirely, and came across this post from my early days. For giggles I was listening to it in the background, and laughed so hard, I felt like it was worth a re-share for those of you who don’t have time to snoop through the archives. Maybe after I post this, I’ll remember what it was I was looking for. In the meantime, enjoy. 😉 LOL.

And, yes, I am having a ‘senior’ moment. They seem to come more often these days, but I really don’t remember.

orples

For the older folks, here’s a little ditty, I think you’ll appreciate. For the younger group … here’s what you’ve got to look forward to. I laughed my rear end off (I wish) when I watched this. I hope it will put a smile on your face too!

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Weekly Photo Challenge . Cover Art

The covers for these book are actually comprised of several photographs,  some have been turned into bitmaps, then combined to create an original cover designs, as is true for all three of my Brides books. The cover for Book 1 . Sarah and Yvonne replicates a mural described within the story. Sarah is a very talented artist, and this particular mural plays a definite role in the story, thus is used as a prop to support the interior text. There are widgets in the side margin of my blog page utilizing the covers for my first two books, showing the front cover of their designs for anyone interested in viewing them. Or if you want to check out my Amazon listing, just click the cover(s) to check out my page on that site. Click away PLEASE. Bk1.cvr The cover for Book 2. Sharon & Carmine, incorporates an actual map of central Virginia, with the estates marking their locations (on the rear cover) showing the relationships between the various settings within the book itself. A picture is worth 1000 words, and personally, I think a book should work in unison, inside and out, to tell the whole story. Bk_2 Finally, the cover shown, here, announcing Book 3 . Topeka, utilizes ‘The Big House’ , also shown on the covers of the preceding books in the series. The color of the spine on each book varies, creating a rainbow effect, adding a touch of color to your book collection as a whole. While this book is not available quite yet, I will make an announcement when it becomes available.

The Cover for Book 3 of my Brides Trilogy. This book is still in the works, but the 1st printing of Books 1 & 2 are available on Amazon right now.

The Cover for Book 3 of my Brides Trilogy. This book is still in the works, but the 1st printing of Books 1 & 2 are available on Amazon right now.

To summarize: Brides is an ongoing love story of a close knit family living in Covesville, Virginia. The Homestead, the Sanderson family’s heirloom estate, founded in 1821, grew with the family’s changing needs over the passing years. The farm consisted of one hundred and twenty acres, kept in tact, and passed down through the generations ever since. In the beginning of the series, Rogers’ parents are the heads of household. Book 1 of the Brides saga technically begins in 1988 and ends in 1996. Book 2 picks up where Book 1 leaves off, and Book 3 obviously follows Book 2, beginning in 2007 and ending in 2010. The peopling varies, but remains consistent throughout the trilogy. The series is designed so that each book stands alone, but all three books  work together in a lineal fashion to create the ‘big’ picture. Book 3 is still in ‘tweak stage’, so has not yet been made available for sale yet.  Honestly, I need to go back and tweak books 1 & 2, but am trying to advertize them as I go in the hopes that one day an actual ‘big’ publisher will be swept away by my storyline (every budding author’s dream come true), and polish the content, then promote the story for the best seller I deem it to be. I am a one man show, and my punctuation sucks, I admit.  However, I do have faith in this story, even if I do spend the majority of my time chasing commas. Ugggh! I’ve left this series open for satellite books, which will branch out with the family tree, leaving more of a spatial time line to work with. No matter, there are plenty of characters worthy of stories of their own within the pages of these first three books. We’ll see how the story finally ends when the story finally does end, which won’t be for awhile, hopefully.

The Orples Visit Swannanoah . View 3

Those pesky little Orples are at it again. They reprimanded me for posting the wrong photo the other day (see Swannanoah . View 1), and have insisted I come back and re-post. They also insisted on coming along to supervise.

Olivia and Oscar tagging along to be sure I am posting correctly.

Olivia and Oscar tagging along to be sure I am posting correctly.

Wow, it’s a long way down. On the upside if the Orples do fall, they can bounce to the bottom, although, they do bruise easily, so let’s hope they don’t fall.

Angry Orples?

Whoa! Let me insert this little clip to appease Olivia and Oscar,  this blog is named in honor of the Orples, after all. They heard I’ve started blogging again and were devastated that I didn’t invite them to come along for my last two adventures (at Swannanoah). So to make them happy, let me reintroduce these unusual little creatures to those of you who don’t remember, or have not yet met, these little orange-people. They do love to explore when we go on our little field trips. Oscar and Olivia have found a tree to play on, or is that in?  Whichever; when you’re the size of an orange, you can fit in all kinds of places, including underground. Feel free to browse through some of their other photos, if you like these. If you look in the margin, there is a category, Orples in Photos.  There are also links to Amazon’s site in case you’re curious as to ‘How Orples Came To Be‘.

Orples on Stump 10.26.14

I think maybe while they’re in a good mood, I should tell them they have competition with my new ‘Bride’s Trilogy’.  Actually, to date, only two out of three books are available for sale to the public. Everything available to date in listed in my margin, for anyone who is interested. Just click on the appropriate Icon to go to that book on Amazon’s site. I’m still tweaking, ‘Brides. Book 3. Topeka, so it is unavailable for the time being. I’m also trying to get my e-books formatted correctly, which I’m doing myself using Kindle’s resources. One day I’ll end up blogging on that topic/adventure/nightmare?—perhaps a little of all three when you don’t know what you’re doing? Maybe I should ask Olivia how to do it. She seems to know it all, at times. Although, I suspect she may be a little huffy when she meets Roger and the gang from the Bride’s series.  Olivia likes being in the spotlight, with Oscar, and maybe Jack, and she might share the spotlight with Mrs. Mouse, but I doubt Olivia would have much patience with some of the character’s in Brides, since they sometimes use wordy durds, unbecoming to an orple’s demeanor.  You’d really have to read the books to know what I’m talking about.

Swannanoah. A Peek Inside. View 2. Going Up?

Yesterday, Sunday, October 26, 2014, I finally went to Swananoah for the first time in 25 years. I grew up about 8 miles from the mountaintop palace, as the crow flies, and never knew it was there until I was a grown woman with children of my own. As explained in my last blog post,Swananoah is the sister mansion to the Maymont mansion in Richmond,Va.

IMG_0195

 You are gazing at opportunity knocking on the door. As renovations take place, there will come a day when the ‘guts’ of these walls will be covered again, leaving one to wonder what’s behind the plaster. Look while you can.  The newel, railings, and banisters are all metal, probably iron, although, honestly, I am not sure. Given the amount of marble throughout this breathtaking structure, that metal might be bronze. I’d tell you if I knew for sure.  I really enjoyed the rustic appeal of this wondrous old palace and am thrilled that someone intends to restore it. If ever it becomes a Bed and Breakfast, or a Hotel, as is rumored, I hope to spend at least one night there, on top of Afton mountain overlooking the Shenandoah Valley.

With all of the stair photos I took yesterday, I’m wishing I’d visited Swannanoah before they had the ‘stair’ challenge in 2012. I posted two entries, at least, in that challenge. Check ‘um out: Stair one, stair two, if you have the time, and inclination, to browse further.

Swannanoah: A peek inside . View 1. looking down

Standing at the top, look down, there are so many amazing things to see.

Standing at the top, look down, there are so many amazing things to see.

Preview Post Some staircases are so cool, especially when they just keep on going, from one floor, to the next, up or down. Add light to the sheer coolness of the stairs themselves and you get a double dose of delight, teasing the mind and the eye.  I went to Swannanoah today.  They will be open one more weekend this fall, then they will open their doors again in the spring of the year. If you’ve checked out any of my Maymont Posts, you will see that the Dooley’s, the owners of this palace, also owned Maymont in Richmond, Virginia.  Unlike Swannanoah, which fell into the hands of siblings, Maymont was donated to the City of Richmond, and as a result has been maintained, both through city funds and generous private donations. Everybody loves Maymont. Swannonoah, the Dooly’s summer home is currently privately owned and is under renovation. and is opened to tours periodically, for the time being. It is rumored that the owners are hoping to turn the palace into a Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, or similar. The palace is supposed to be haunted and they do some spooky stuff on top of Afton Mountain at certain times of the year. Wikipedia has an article on the Estate, and there are articles if I’ve tickled your curiosity, here. I took some cool photos today, and will share more of them here and there. Right now, I’m going to bed. Besides, I think when you post ‘um one at a time, each photo basks in its own glory a wee bit more. For now, please enjoy this capture in the afternoon sun.

Handmade Love

Last year, my nephew and his longtime girlfriend went to Hawaii for vacation. While they were there, they decided to get married and just call their vacation, their honeymoon. As a result, no one knew they were getting married, including themselves. Thus, I don’t feel so bad in being almost a year late in presenting the, still, newlyweds with the gift I made to celebrate their love for each other.

Close up in the pattern used to create the overall effect of this afghan.

Close up in the pattern used to create the overall effect of this afghan.

Now that I’ve designed and knitted this throw, I don’t want to give it up. But I will anyway—I keep picturing Whoopie Goldberg in her role in the movie ‘Ghost’ when Elma May (was that her name?) had to give that million dollar check to the Nuns—you had to see the clip to understand. Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen ‘Ghost’, you should. It is a wonderful movie, but another subject, so back on topic— this afghan (after I tell you about last year).

Last year I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, which really threw a monkey wrench into my life, in general. Talk about a set back and a wake up call, in one compact package, and again, another subject, but one with a point, at this point, and that point being— the chemo drugs they used to fight my cancer with did a number on my nervous system. For a long time, my hands were so numb I couldn’t turn the key to let myself into my house. Ditto for driving my car.  Knitting and Crocheting turned out to be the answer to that problem where my hands were concerned.  I can happily announce that my hands are working, again — almost normally. I wish I could say the same for my feet and ankles. Swimming last summer helped the old circulation quite a bit, but here in Virginia, this time a year, the swimming pools are closed. Well, except for at the YMCA, but now I’m too broke to buy membership there. Oh, how I  wish I still had Magi, and that we were both still young enough to hit the trails like we did in the old days. AH, my type of exercise. This time of year, I long for those days.

Stretched out to show the whole design

Stretched out to show the whole design

Boy, did I get side tracked … back to this afghan. I’m thinking now that I’ve poured over 85 hours into knitting this masterpiece, and I love the design myself, I’ll write down the instructions to make a pattern to sell on Etsy so that others might make their own. I might need to refer back, and repeat this afghan since I really do like the colors and feel of the yarns; Lions Brand…Homespun (made right here in the USA).