Friday, May 27, 2016

Dropped Third Strike: a must read!

Okay y'all I have a treat for you, well really it was a treat for me.   My friend Micah Chaplin asked me to take part in her cover reveal and I was lucky enough to help proof read her new novel before it hit the publishing mark.   Micah is a big baseball fan (Texas Rangers, naturally, that's why we are friends!) and this is the first book in her Portland Pioneer series. (I have read them both and LOVE them!) It is a sweet romance and the characters are incredibly lovable and frustrating.    I remember emailing Micah when I was proofing both books  and telling her, hurry up, I need more, and let me be honest, I was very little help on the proof reading  to her except to express my stupid, silly love for these characters.   Here is a summary of the book. 


Kate Marks is hitting it out of the park as general manager of the Portland Pioneers. Her childhood friend Reid Benjamin is struggling to hit anything at all and, as a result, has suddenly found himself out of a job. When Kate hires him as hitting coach for the Pioneers, she's determined to keep everything strictly professional, but she has underestimated Reid's charm. His proximity has forced her to face a past she would rather forget. Reid wants another chance, but Kate isn't convinced he's changed his game.

Information about the Book
Title: Dropped Third Strike (A Portland Pioneers Novel #1)
Author: Micah Chaplin
Release Date: 6th June
Genre: Adult Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: Ebook

Here is the Goodreads Link:
And you can pre-order the book here:

And just for the record, I already ordered mine and I will be reading it again, because I love it that much. 

For all you music lovers, Micah has another passion besides baseball and that is music and you can read another of her charming romance novels here:

I have this book in paperback and on my Kindle because I am an incredibly spoiled reader! 

Please let me know what you think of this charming book.

Author Info: 

Follow Micah (yes I follow her everywhere but I am not a stalker...yet!)
Unabashedly Me Blog

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What I am not loving and what I am.

I know, I know.   I haven't written a blog in 2 weeks and here I am writing about stuff I don't like.  I apologize.  

Here is what I am not loving right now. 

*Major League Baseball: 
They want to change the rules of the game in an effort to speed up game times by changing the rules of an intentional walk and changing the strike zone.  These are not minor changes people.  They change the entire history of the game drastically.  Currently issuing an intentional walk requires the pitcher to throw 4 balls outside the strike zone and the catcher to catch the balls.  This usually happens very quickly and without problems but sometimes a ball gets away and runners advance.  I hate this rule change proposal which simply requires a pitcher to notify the ump that they are walking to batter and the batter takes his base.   The strike zone is going to be raised above the knee...because pitchers are getting too many strikes called.  What?  This is the same strike zone that has been in effect in pro ball since the beginning of time.  Pitchers are suppose to get strikes and hitters should be able to hit them.  So stupid. 

The Texas Rangers:
No, I don't hate my team but last week they announced plans to replace the current ballpark, a 22 year old beauty, with a new, domed amusement park like complex.  There is nothing wrong with the current park except that they can't retrofit it with a dome and it is hot in Texas.  Well no kidding. It's Texas.  I wish they had built a retractable roof on The Ballpark too but I also love the charm of the current park and while the plans for the new couples are impressive, I can't help but think they are trying to  compete  now with Jerry World next door and not sticking with a traditional ballpark. Meh. 

*My current work hours: 
I am literally away from my home for over 12 hours a day.  I hardly see my husband, dogs, chickens and ducks.  It just sucks.   Not to mention I am working my bottom off and getting nowhere fast when I am at work. Sigh. 

*Social Media: 
I don't know what it is about social media that gives people the feeling they have a right to judge your life but I am over it.  I have quit reading NextDoor which at first I thought was an amazing app to keep people informed of things happening in your area. I have personally used it to reunite a lost owner with his dog.   That made me feel good.  Now people are mad about the lost dog posts!  Plus I keep seeing posts on other social media that say "when a friend is making a mistake that will ruin their life and you can't do anything about it". I hate these posts.  Maybe it's because I have personally been on the receiving end of these "tough love" posts and the reason? People didn't approve of my relationship. You know, the one that ended up with me happily married.  Those people were wrong and instead of talking to me about their concerns they posted on social media about them.  It just drives me crazy. Let people make mistakes and learn from them and keep your opinions where they belong.  In a one on one conversation with your "friend" or to yourself.  If you are wrong, you lose a friend.   Trust me, your friend will get over it. I did.  I just feel sorry for the people posting them.  Someday they will look around and realize that THEY lost. REAL friendship.  

*The Cell phone saga: 
We have been fighting our cell carrier to get things straight for over a month now. Their service sucks and the people are simply clueless about communication.  You know the one that starts with "A".  Well this month, after finally thinking we had it straight we got 2 bills totaling over $825 combined.  I don't know what the heck they are thinking but I will be shopping for another carrier in the fall when my contract is up and ending a 16 year relationship.  So if anyone has recommendations of a good carrier please share! 

Okay that's enough of my complaints. Here is what I am loving:

*Watching my momma hen raise her babies.  Nature is amazing! See the little heads poking out?  There are actually 5 baby chicks but some were hiding under mama. 

*Getting to spend some time in East Texas at our land.  This is one of the ponds.  We work our bottoms off out there but it is so rewarding.  This past weekend we went out to fix the old tractor and get some much needed work in.  We got to spend time with my honey's buddies and we talked about moving out there someday.  Hoping someday is about 5 years from now.  Side note:  the dogs love it out there. They run around for hours and come home and sleep for a day.

And this is a wild rose bush I found growing which I am going to try getting a shoot off for my in town yard.  Prettiest roses I have ever seen!  

We also have wild berries growing and I made a pie.  We keep forgetting to actually eat it but it looks pretty!

*Yu Darvish is making his first season start Saturday and my husband and I will be in the Ballpark to cheer him on.  I can't wait.  I love Yu and I have missed him.  He had Tommy John surgery at the end of last season.  Fingers crossed that he comes back healthy and strong!  

*My husband: 
First he works his butt off day in and day out in a physically demanding job.  For those of you who have never been in a relationship with a blue collar worker, trust me, nobody works harder.  Nobody deserves to be cheered more.  What he does, he loves, but it takes its toll on him physically.  But he doesn't stop.  Because I work so late, he is doing more of the housework.  He has really picked up for me and I feel so damn guilty that all I can do is try and make him feel special on the weekends when we do get time together.  I married right.  I can't express in words how grateful I am to have a good man to come home to, who makes me laugh and who works his tail off for his family.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Motherhood and Chicken Motherhood

I had a very busy weekend planting new roses, butterfly bushes and aloe in my new deer planter and installing the lights I got for mothers day in my flower beds 

Plus this happened Monday!  My broody hens eggs started hatching.  So far the count is 4 chicks.  

I also voted for the first time this weekend, in a city election.   I know I should have done this before but this year was particularly important since the incumbent mayor had died but was still on the ballot.  He won anyway, which is incredibly insane.  Nothing about small town politics is small. This story even made the local news in Dallas.    

Also we found out the county might want  to turn the road I live on into a 6 lane highway which would destroy my home.  Needless to say there has been a lot of drama and tears from me this weekend.  In order to fight this plan, the community will have to organize and fight the State of Texas.   Sadly, I have found people in the surrounding communities have absolutely zero concern for the loss my little town would endure should this plan become reality.  Their attitude is "you will be paid fairly for your property so shut up and take the money."  That's a lot easier said than done when it is your home on the firing line.

Anyway,  that's about where we stand.  I'm super excited about being a chicken momma or grandma. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fear the Walking Dead Friday

A couple things about this show, first is that I DVR it because it is on at the same time as Game of Thrones and I have more time invested in that show.  Second is that I am disappointed that we are already coming up to the halfway point in the 8 show season.  It's hard for me to remember the characters names because we only see them for 8 shows a year. That being said, this show deserves a try. 

The show starts out in LA at the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse.  The first season took some adjustment because the audience knew more than the characters.   They are catching up quickly however.  LA burned after a military strike in a failed attempt to contain the outbreak at the end of last season and our little group set off on a boat toward San Diego, or did they?

The show follows Madison and her boyfriend Travis and their combined kids Nick, a addict, his sister Alicia and Travis' son Chris.   Along the way we picked up Daniel and his daughter Ofelia and the boat owner Victor Strand.   Strand is an elusive character who is hard and worn and refuses to let anyone on his boat except the band of brothers he has chosen.   Last week we leaned he is trying to return to his lover in Mexico and an apparent safe place behind walls and set far away from civilization.  Somehow, I doubt the place is as he remembers but again, we know more than the little group, still. 

So far the group has figured out that you have to cause a head injury to stop the walkers who they don't call walkers, by the way.  Also, Nick figured out that if you cover yourself in the blood of the dead you can move freely among them.    

The group is going back and forth from west coast town to west coast town on the high seas and they are experiencing a level of danger that is new and different from anything Rick and the Scooby gang experienced on the original show.  

What I like about this show:

The zombies are still new and not so slow although they are a lot slower than people and it seems to me like a slow jog would still get you well away from them quickly. 

The characters are experiencing things and learning and we are learning about what happened while Rick was sleeping beauty. 

The characters are all adult aged.  The youngest main character are Chris and Alicia and they are in high school.  Where Carl aged dramatically compared to Judith who remains, much to my annoyance, still a toddler, in the 2-3 years that have passed on The Walking Dead, the age progression of these kids won't be noticed as the show progresses.   

Things I still want to know or that drive me crazy:

Where is Tobias?  He was my favorite character from season one and much like Morgan, he has just disappeared.  He was a high school student in the school Maddie worked in and he was the only character completely aware and prepared for what was about to happen.  

The characters seem completely oblivious to the danger around them.  In week two they were on the beach collecting medicine and clothing from a plane crash. Instead of just taking a small bag that contained various medicine, Nick started shifting through it.  Really?  It was a very small carry on bag.   Just grab it and go.   Also, they sent a small dingy to shore with something like 4 people to collect supplies.   How many supplies can you fit on a small dingy when you have it full of people?  This became especially annoying when Chris spent the entire time on land in a portion of the wrecked plane killing walkers and a live man who begged him to put him out of his misery then dealing with the guilt.  Deal with the guilt later, get a move on.   Of course, walkers show up and they all make a mad dash for the dingy.  

The latest turn of events is that the ship has been taken over by a band of, well, basically pirates.  Alicia made the mistake of befriending one of the pirates on the ship radio and now we are experiencing our first bad guys of the show.   So far I am not totally impressed but remember, these bad guys haven't had 2-3 years to learn how to be psycho yet.  

Overall, I am hoping for a few things from this show, first that they don't follow a comic book script so closely like they do on the original show.  Second, that these characters grow and develop at a natural rate, based on their experience, and finally, that Tobias shows back up soon and we don't have to wait 3-5 seasons to see what happened to him,  because that kid is just awesome.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Game of Thrones episode 2

Week Two of Game of Thrones Recap: Warning Spoilers and Sarcasm included.
Bran seems to be mysteriously bigger this season.  Weird how that happens with kids. 
We started with Bran who we hadn't really seen in a year.  He was visiting the past. 

Where he observed his father and uncle playing as kids and saw his long dead aunt.  You know the one that may really be Jon Snow's mom? 

Then we ended up back at the wall where the Wildlinga came to the rescue of the few remaining loyal Jon Snow Nights Watch.  I am pretty sure I cheered at this point in the show.

Until everyone went to visit Jon's still dead self.  Yep...still dead.  They decided to burn his body so the Wildlings were going to collect fire wood.
Still dead 
Poor Jon.  Just an aside here, there were a ton of close ups of Jon and Kit does an amazing job playing dead.  I mean, you don't see him breath. Is this man alive in real life? 
Still dead 
Next we learn Cersi has been banned from attending her daughter's funeral by the king, her son.

Meanwhile Jamie, has a talk with his nephew/son, the king and tells him to visit his oh so loving mother.  Poor Cersi, I mean she is an evil witch but she only has one child left and let's be honest, he is a weak little coward.

Does Ramsay's story remind anyone else of Judas or just me?
Ramsay gives his father a hug of congratulations on the birth of his 2nd son and promptly stabs him to death. Then feeds his newborn baby brother and step mother to the dogs.  Ramsay is the most vial character ever to dominate my TV screen and all I could think when this was going on was, God I hope he dies a truly miserable death.  It is fun to watch him because there is simply nothing off limits but he is so rotten to the core that you hate every breath he takes. 
Still dead 
Meanwhile Jon is still dead and they convince Milasandra to try to bring him back through magic.  This takes a pep talk because she has lost her faith in her visions.   Seems to me, since she was so convinced Jon was suppose to live, she would have figured out that her visions included her bringing Jon back from the dead but nobody had any faith really, except the fans.  We knew, right?
Sleeping peacefully
And the wolf of course who is the only one who never left Jon's side.  One minute he is sleeping peacefully guarding his still dead master.
But who didn't know this was about to happen?
Then suddenly he is awake!
And so is Jon.
And all I could think is "Hurry up Sunday night because I am ready to see what happens next!"

A friend said to me "They should have tried to burn the body and it wouldn't burn."  Given the rumors about Jon really being half Targaryen and half Stark that would have been awesome but maybe it would have been too much of a give away, I don't know.  Still, it would have been awesome.

Mixed in with this was some of "the girl" business but honestly I am not going over it because I am sick to death of the many faces story line and I am starting to not care about what happens to "the girl".  I want Arya to own being a Stark and not forget herself.  The whole thing truly bores me and I sigh when it comes on. 

Sorry it's short.  I have been spending my free time this week fighting with my cell phone company.  Always a joy.  They have managed to suck all
Life out of me!  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Chickens 101: Mckinney Tour de Coop plus

Saturday the kid and I volunteered down at historic Mckinney Chestnut Square for the Tour de Coop event.   We worked the  pre-paid, volunteer and cash line selling tickets, T-shirts, and bags.  I sent the kid to one of the classes they offered on chicken doctoring and my future vet came back with a list of items we need to purchase for the health of our flock. 

 After our shift was over we took the tour of some of the coops. 
This amazing old barn is right in historic downtown Mckinney.   The house is old and beautiful and the owners have redone the structure while keeping the charm of the old barn.  
And they have several farm friends! 
And lots of amazing statutes. 
I loved this egg box.   In fact I told my husband I want one.  We don't have a place for it but it's awesome! 

I also want one of these giant Roos for our backyard.  

I loved how they used this one on top of an old tree stump.  
They even had a live band.  

The next stop was a cute little backyard coop with lots of pretty egg layers! 
I love how the coop looks like a gazebo. 
We had a chicken that looked just like this hen but we lost her about 6 weeks ago.  
Her hens lay beautiful eggs and this made me want a Maran and Olive Egger to complete our own color extravaganza! 

Our final trip was my friend Susan's adorable coop with her spoiled hens.  This is a huge coop and she has 3 ladies currently and is raising a few more babies to complete here flock. 

She has Engliah Orpington hens which are huge birds and just beautiful.  
After we finished the tour I came home and spent some QT with my flock.  Sadly, we lost a duck Saturday night to my dog.  She got too "friendly" and then not friendly with the bird.  I was and am devastated.   We are going to be rethinking our approach on this.  After 6 months of her ignoring the birds this setback was heartbreaking.  Still I have had the dog for over 6 years and she is a good dog.  She just can't seem to overcome her instinct to hunt.  I can't have her killing my flock so it may be time to limit her to zero unsupervised access and static coller 100% of the time and build a dog run.  
Inspired by all the amazing coops I started repainting our own coop to look like a barn theme.  
The duck coop is the small one in the right corner.   I did some research on plants that I can add to the coop area that not only add beauty but function and I have a game plan now. 

We will be adding butterfly bushes and climbing roses to the coop to break the sight lines of any overhead or on the ground predators and to give the flock extra shade. 

I also plan on adding in some additional sand as time and money permit to profit even more dusting areas for the flock.  They currently use our old tree stump that they have managed to hollow out and our fire pit. 

Something strange happened Sunday.  We had chickens laying eggs all day.  I heard and saw them laying but when o went to collect the eggs that night there was no eggs to be found.   I am thinking we were hit by a brazen thief because not only were we in and out of the backyard all day but 3 of the dogs were too. (Killer was in quarantine and only allowed out when supervised). 

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