Treat everyday as a new adventure

Back to Basics

I love to make things, create things, and grow things. Last week was a good week for doing everything.

First, I made two pints of yogurt. Love homemade yogurt.

I’ve been growing pickling cucumbers, so I’ve made a couple of quarts of refrigerator pickles. The recipe I used is here.DSC_0002 (4)

And I’ve got my radish seeds sprouting so I can have fresh sprouts on sandwiches. (Also great in salads!)


And then yesterday, I decided to try a recipe for Queso Blanco. Find it here. It was relatively easy. (I quartered the recipe, though and only used 4 cups of milk. and 1 1/2 T. vinegar.) My son said that it needed a little more salt. Next time. 🙂 It turned out good and I used it in the cheese enchiladas that I made for dinner. I’m going to make this recipe next! Check out their site for more great recipes!


Four cups of milk doesn’t make a lot of cheese. So next time I’ll use 1/2 a gallon.

Well, that’s it for today. Hope all of you have a great productive week.

I’ll see you soon and till then, HUGS!


E-books for Kiley’s Stories

The first three books in the Kiley’s Stories series are now available for Kindle.

“Kiley Visits the House of Mirrors” is just $.99 cents.

And you can find it on Amazon here



And “Kiley Wished for a Puppy” is just $1.99 for the e-book and it’s on Amazon also right here!


And finally, “Kiley’s Best Friend” is going for $2.99 Right Here!

BookCoverPreview bff

And for just $5.99 you can get the first book in Kiley’s Activities series. (Available in paperback only.)

cover fun

More to come soon!

Till then, HUGS from Karen and Kiley!


Kiley’s Stories


BookCoverPreview bff

Watch for more stories from me (and my creator/mom) coming soon!

Till then, HUGS!

From Kiley and Karen

Children’s Books

Today I want to talk about children’s illustrated books. The frustrations. The excitement. The ups and downs. Children’s illustrated books have a format all their own. You have 24, 32, or 40 pages to create a book that catches the eye and the imagination. Even though they are shorter than your average size novel, you put a lot of work into them. Writing the story usually comes first, then the illustrations, and finally formatting. And it’s the formatting through CreateSpace that has been driving me crazy.

It started with, “Kiley Visits the House of Mirrors.”


A 32-page book (Which included the inside and outside of both covers in the page count) that they added 4 blank pages at the end making it a 36-page book. I didn’t understand the reasoning so I contacted them and this is their reply,

“I’m sorry for trouble caused regarding the page count of your title ‘Kiley Visits The House of Mirrors’.

Due to CreateSpace‘s unique print-on-demand model, your book may have blank pages placed at the end. Blank pages result as part of the printing process and cannot be eliminated by adding additional pages to your book’s print file. 

You may consider adding a final page at the end of your book with a statement similar to “The remaining pages have been left intentionally blank for coloring/notes.”

However, the member price or manufacturing price is same for page count of 28 and page count of 36.”

(When you add pages to take your book from 28 pages to 32, they add 4 blank pages to make 36.) Which both, “Kiley’s Best Friend” and Kiley’s Learn and Play Activities” Vol. 1 have the 4 blank pages at the end.

CreateSpace has a minimum 24-page rule for the interior. That means that your interior has to have at least 24 pages when you upload. Then when you add in front and back covers (which is considered 4  pages) you get 28 pages so then you know that you should add 4 more pages to the interior to get a 32-page book, right? So why do they keep adding 4 more blank pages?

Below are a couple of links to good articles about writing and formatting children’s picture books.



And the Amazon links for,

Kiley’s Best Friend

Kiley Wished for a Puppy

Kiley’s Learn and Play Activities vol. 1

I am so confused. I didn’t have this problem with, “Kiley Wished for a Puppy.” But it came up to 40 pages including the front and back covers. Any ideas? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Till then, HUGS!


If They Could Talk…A Draft Post

Happy hump day!
Well, it’s that time again. Yep, another draft post.
This one is from Feb 21, 2016, 3:34 PM
 I’ve been dog sitting again. The first day was horrible! It rained all day. Now, it’s not the water drips or the muddy paws, and it’s not even the fact that they don’t want to go out. I mean, look at them… They don’t look like they’d be any trouble. Right?



But this one…This one right down here…


Does not like these two…001 (2)

You know, I have learned a lot since I started this post. Like, how to juggle dogs! 🙂

Chauncy still does not like the other two, but then Chauncy doesn’t like a lot of dogs. I took her in off the street a few years ago. She was covered in ticks, dirty, hungry, and scared. Took me a little over a week to gain her confidence. I tried to get a rescue group to take her, but couldn’t find one. So, I had her fixed and got her, her shots. She’s actually a good dog but a dog that should be the only dog or the only female dog. 

Moral of the story; When you take in a pet, it’s part of the family. They’re there for life. Treat them well. And learn how to deal with any issues that come up.

They will love you till the end.

Till next time, HUGS!



Internet Safety

Good Morning! Not another draft post, but Me! Alive and well in sunny and HOT southern California. I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday and Monday if you are in Oz. I’ve been out doing yard work this morning and that’s usually when my thoughts kick into overdrive and I got to thinking about how safe we are on the internet.

Back around April-May of 2017 I was back and forth out to my dad’s trying to get things ready for the estate sale so we could give the house back to the mortgage company. (They had a reverse mortgage.) And on one of those days, not sure which, I came home and my son tells me, “We’ve got to change our IP address.”

“Why?’ I asked.

“Because someone is using our IP address.”

“How do you know?”

“Because an error popped up saying, “Windows has detected an IP address conflict. Another computer on this network has the same IP address as this computer.”

We contacted TWC/Spectrum and was told that you can’t change your IP address, but you can change your username and password.

There could be different reasons that this message would come up. Another computer in the same house as you is one reason. Or somebody could have hacked you. Or the government has got its eye on you! Oh, my. Haha.

It’s a scary thought if someone has hacked your IP address. They can get your information. They could be using it for illegal things, such as buying and selling drugs or weapons. And how do you prove it wasn’t you?

According to PC World,

What to do if someone steals your IP address | PCWorld

“Neither your ISP nor anyone else can actually tell what you are doing on the Internet. But they can follow the activity of your public IP addressthe one your router uses to access the Internet. And if someone else uses that address for unsavory purposes, you could become a prime suspect.Mar 16, 2015″
Now that’s scary!
Now if the government is spying on you, do they have to get a court order?
The reason I brought this up today is that when I went to log on this morning, first my internet was down and when I reset my modem, I got that message.
How do we protect ourselves? First off, shut down your computer and rest your modem again. Make your passwords difficult and from there, I haven’t a clue.
We use the internet for just about everything, nowadays. We do our banking, we pay our bills, we purchase goods, and our social lives are hardly ever in person anymore.
So there are all kinds of articles that you can find on Google giving advice as to what to do.

Okay, that’s it for now. Time to get back out to that yard work!

Till next time, HUGS!


Another Disclaimer

Another Draft post from Aug 30, 2015 7:47 PM




Okay, this one is a no-brainer. Which fits me to a “T”! 🙂

Protect yourself and your work with disclaimers

Okay that’s it!

Till next time, HUGS!

Writers, Editors, And Readers (Draft Post)

Draft Post from May 15th, 2015

Writers, editors, and readers. What do they have in common? Obviously, you’re going to say books, but what else?


Okay, well that’s all I had on this one and I’m not sure where I was going, but…

I believe that one other thing we have in common is, “We all see things differently.” 

Think about it. As a writer, we throw everything in but the kitchen sink and then there are times we throw that in too. We believe we need it all and then along comes the editor and throws everything out but the kitchen sink. And then the reader comes along and all they want is the dishwater! We all put importance on different aspects of a story. Some want dialogue, others want the description, and then there are the ones that want both.

And I am guessing that’s why I have that link up there. It’s a good article, so check it out.

And till next time,




What’s New with Me, You Ask?

This is a draft post from November 18th, 2014 at 10:06 a.m.

Actually, nobody asked. 🙂 But I’ve got lots to share, so here goes!

We have been battered by the Santa Ana winds for the past three days. Oh, how I hate the wind!

This was taken on the way to my Dads on Sunday.

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And by the way, my dad fell again. His big feet and curbs just can’t seem to agree with each other. That’s why I was out in the wind heading to his place. He’s okay! Big hugs and thank you’s to the wonderful people who jumped into action and helped him up. He has a very small bruise on his forehead and his left arm is slightly swollen and bruised, but it doesn’t hurt when he moves it. He’s a tough old egg and stubborn as a mule. (Which means he refused to go to the hospital. 🙂 )

Which brings me to this;

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I went out this morning to see what kinds of damage the wind might have done, none thankfully. 🙂 And had to take a picture of the puddle. (We had a day of rain before the wind. ) So use your imagination and tell me, what do you see?

Okay, last, well, maybe not last, last, but…

The holidays are fast approaching! Thanksgiving is butWhat? A week and a half away?

I am tossing tradition out the window this year. Bye, bye, turkey! Can’t you just imagine the turkey flying away with a big grin on his face? So what’s on the menu? Mini chicken tacos, homemade chili, and all the fixin’s for nachos! Sour cream, olives, cheddar cheese, chopped lettuce and tomatoes, salsa, corn chips, and jalapenos! My boys have never been big fans of turkey. Besides, who says you have to have turkey on Thanksgiving anyway? Haven’t decided on dessert yet, but I do have a pumpkin sitting here, begging to be turned into a pie!

So what’s on your menu? Any big plans?

And even though I hate to rush itDid you know there are only 37 days left until Christmas? 36 if you are in Australia. Are you ready? Have you been shopping? Will you do Black Friday? Eek! So many questions and so many things to do! I made fudge last week, but it’s all goneAnd I have been putting together some decorations. I’m a crafter at heart. I need to put the directions on my crafter’s blog

Life got hectic when Thanksgiving day came that year and this blog post didn’t get posted. I was in the kitchen cooking when my stepmom’s caregiver called. She took my dad to the hospital because he wasn’t feeling well. They admitted him with congestive heart failure. Dad fell a lot, but getting sick? Nope, not him. I had my middle son come in and fry the tortillas while I got on the phone with the hospital and back and forth with the caregiver to coordinate Jinny’s care. They put him on meds and kept him for two days. Dad was 90 that year. He lived to be 92 and passed away November 22nd. 2016. I miss him. And when I read blog posts that I have written about him, it makes me strive to work on my memoir,

“Dad Called Today”

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Well, that’s it. Till Next Time, HUGS!

Imagine That or What If (A Draft Post)

Another draft post from July 18th, 2014. 8:31 am.

How do you come up with a title for your novel? How about a collection of short stories? Or a children’s book?

I have been grappling with trying to find the perfect title for my short story collection and it’s not easy. Originally it was going to be “Through the Year”


But now I’m not so sure….

I want something that isn’t out there and yet it needs to sum up the entire collection.

“My Brainless Wonders” Maybe?

My brother passed away in 2001. My brother used to call me a “Brainless Wonder” And he meant it in a good way. He was always my biggest supporter, no matter what I did, and he was my best and worst critic. He even gave me makeup tips like, “That isn’t going to help, you know.” As he stood watching me put on my makeup, waiting to get in the bathroom. He didn’t mean it in a bad way and over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how much makeup you wear, or how hard you try to change your looks, you are still you. 🙂

Okay, well that was it. Where was I going with it? Once again I haven’t a clue. 🙂 Maybe, you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover?

And even though that short story book is still waiting to be finished I now know what the title is, “Prompted by a Photo.”

Till next time, HUGS!


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