Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thankful for Thursday's!

  I hope you all know how much I love this writing gig. Unfortunately, until my books get published I have to keep plugging away at my paying job. That’s okay, because there really is nothing wrong with my actual job, except it takes a toll on my body. I am a horticulturalist. I work at an ornamental tree and shrub nursery where I do anything from plant propagation to landscape design. Even though every day brings something new, many days involve lifting and moving a lot of plants. Sometimes they are small plants, others they are larger. But oh, the tranquility and the scenery make it very bearable!

  There is one day that I love my job more than others and that is Thursday. No, it’s not payday! Thursday’s are when a small group of special needs children come to the nursery and help out for an hour or so. Their handicaps range in severity, so we provide an easy task for them. Most times that task is potting plants. These kids are phenomenal. They have humbled me in ways I never thought imaginable. Each semester brings a new group of kids, and this semester…well let’s just say they are pretty feisty.

  My bosses call this group my fan club. Every Thursday a handful of kids cheerily depart their bus and march their way toward their weekly work. One of them runs all the way to me and hugs me before starting. Her name is Alicia, but upon introductions she stated, “Everyone just calls me Princess!” Well Alicia, er…Princess, is priceless. They all are. Every week at the end of their time with us I will put music on the computer. Two out of four of them dance away. The smiles on all of their faces make me forget about everything else going on in life. I will certainly miss them when the semester ends. After all, it is them who make me feel like a Princess! They even made me this sign for my birthday. This did bring tears to my eyes.

  So, this is one thing that makes me thankful for Thursday’s. Its one thing that makes me appreciate my life all that much more. I have decided that on my Thursday blog I will add a plant tip or fact at the very bottom of the blog. I will call it W.P.I. for weekly plant information. I hope you enjoy!

So tell me…what is your paying job? Do you enjoy your job, or is it a stepping stone? Is there something that makes you take a step back and be grateful for what you have in life?

W.P.I. - If you have already planted tender plants or vegetables and a late season frost is expected, cover them with sheets. Another way to protect them from harm is by using the plastic containers they come in. Just flip them upside down and place them over top of the plant. Be sure to remove them in the morning before it gets too hot. Instead of throwing away those plastic pots try taking them to a nursery. Many nurseries recycle their pots and will re use them many times.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Very Pinterest-ing

  It’s amazing to me to think of the globally social world we live in today. I review my stats for this blog and see that people from Russia, Germany, the U.K. and Canada, amongst other countries, stops by to read. It is so remarkable to think that people from that far away could hop on a computer and be right here!

  In years past if I wanted get in touch with an author I would have to use the library to find an address to get in touch with them. Then I would have to hand write a letter and use the postal system to get it to them. In today’s day and age all I have to do is go to their website. You can send them an email right from there. Better yet, if you want an even bigger view into their lives you can follow them on twitter, or Facebook. Today’s social networking has many ways you can keep in touch with old friends, or make new.

  A couple of years ago my brother joined the Facebook frenzy. I followed along shortly after that. I like Facebook, but don’t like the changes they feel they have to make every couple of months. I have reconnected with old friends, and made a few new ones also. Its fun and I follow A LOT of authors that I like on there.

  A few months ago I joined Twitter. I don’t like it as much as facebook, but it’s okay. Not a lot of my friends use it. But I am trying to develop a following so I need to do these things! I follow quite a few authors, and was awestruck when I got an email alerting me that one of my favorites, Carla Neggers, was following me on Twitter! That was the best birthday present I could have received.

  Then a good friend sent me an invite to LinkedIn. So I joined. What the heck, possibly more networking opportunities! That same friend also sent me an invite to Pinterest. I have to admit that I have heard a lot recently about it, so today I finally allowed myself some time to play.

  I’ve been hoping to write a blog about this for a while, but I have to know at least a little about the subject before I set words on a page. I must say that I think the overall idea is neat. For those of you who haven’t visited yet, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can pin pictures of interesting things you find on the web. People use pinboards to pin up wedding ideas, recipes, places they’ve visited, and decorating ideas to name just a few. From what I can tell it’s pretty neat. I have created two boards so far just tinkering with it. I am kind of disappointed that I cannot upload my own photos, but c’est la vie! I will say that Pinterest is interesting.

  As of right now I have no followers. Feel free to join up, and join me. You can find me at Kelly Ryan Watson. It you want to tweet or find me on LinkedIn, I’m Kelly Watson, or Kelly Watson2828, I’ll follow you right back. My personality on Facebook is Kelly Lee Watson. Yes, that’s right, I have a personality issue. Who doesn't, right? Right?

Do you use Pinterest? Do you like it? What is your social network of choice, Facebook, Twitter, or something else? 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spinning Minds

  The skies are gray here today. It has rained off and on and it feels cold out there. That should be good for me because the weather prevents me from going out and weeding or planting in my garden. I need to be inside, there’s much to do in here. As a matter of fact there’s way too much to do.

  Not once on vacation did I wake up in the middle of the night and think of things that needed to be done. I didn’t wake and think of my paying job. I didn’t wake and think of an idea for a book. I slept great and it was wonderful. Then I came homeL. The morning I had to get up for work my mind started spinning at 4:30. I had another good hour of sleep, but NO, my mind wouldn’t let that happen. What was it thinking about? Nope, not work. It was thinking about my first book. My mind told me it was not happy with me, and it wanted me to do more for the book. UGH.

  Here’s my problem…I need an escape. I remember the days when I would work, come home, clean up and eat, etc, then sit and read. I would read, read, read. I am not the world’s fastest reader, but I would sometimes read a book a week. I am ashamed to say that I started a book in January, and I am still reading it today. I think if I’m lucky I will read about five pages a day. It is an odd feeling that I have about that because on one hand I am frustrated at myself for not reading more. I think reading opens my mind. On the other hand I am not reading as much because I am working on my own books and blogs. So, do you see my frustration, and why I am pulling my hair out? So let’s talk books. I have never asked you all what you like to read.

  When I was a teenager I read a lot of Danielle Steel. Then my out-of-control-party-like-a- putz years came on and I didn’t read as much. One of my gigs was bartending. My favorite patron was a school teacher and she told me about Patricia Cornwell who writes crime/mystery/forensic fiction. I picked up a book of hers and was hooked. Unfortunately she couldn’t write fast enough. I read up all of her books and found other authors like Luanne Rice and Nora Roberts. That’s when my reading addiction started all over again. I fluttered around in all sorts of fiction. I liked mysteries, and crime stories, then settled more into women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and contemporary romance. I love me some Robyn Carr, Carla Neggers, and Jill Shalvis. I could go on and on with names, but I won’t. Those are just a couple of people I read. Well, that is, when I read.  This brings me back to my dilemma…

  I need to start revising “Eagle’s Nest” now. Maybe my mind will give me a moment’s peace then. In the meanwhile keep me entertained. Tell me…

What type of books do you like to read? Who are some of your favorite authors? If you had more time in the day what would you do with it? 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where to?

  The leaves on the trees are a fresh lime green. They are so new bugs and diseases haven’t had time to attack them yet. White flowers cling to the dogwoods as spots of orange, purple or red azaleas peek out under the canopy of the mighty oaks, maples, and pines. Around the bend is a wall of granite with trees, moss, and shrubs growing out of it. Every scene takes your breath away, every bend holds something new.

  We are on vacation in Tennessee. We are housed in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, and visiting Pigeon Forge, Dollywood, and Gatlinburg during the day. It is a fun old fashioned family vacation which got me wondering…

If money were no object, and you had the time off of work, where would you visit?

The mountains?

The beach?

Another country?

If anyone is saying Ireland, don’t forget about me! A starving horticulturalist wannabe writer is willing to ride in the suitcase! Just sayin…:)

Where do you call home? When you’re lucky enough to vacation where do you visit?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Eight Isn't Enough!

  Sadly the Easter holiday has come and gone. I must say that bunny outdid himself this year. He brought and left us family’s number 1 and 2. That’s right. We are hosting a get together beyond belief. That only means one thing…LET THE INSANITY BEGIN!

  Family number 2 arrived Friday. For fun we will call them the Griswold’s, as in the infamous “Vacation” movies where Chevy Chase plays Clark Griswold. They are a wonderful family with eighteen and thirteen year old girls who never cease to make me laugh. They are the type of family that wherever they go that dark cloud follows them. Their cloud doesn’t carry rain or hail, no. Their cloud carries chaos! They can’t help it. Sadly, it is just a fact of their lives.

  Family number 1, (my mom, dad, and eleven year old niece) will arrive later today. Since Griswold is already taken we’ll call my family…Fun, because we put the fun in the word dysFUNction! See, the Griswold’s bring mostly laughter. The Fun’s sometime have me wanting to pull my hair out. No offense family, I’m sure I have you wanting to do the same thing at times.

  First let me explain a couple of things about me. I live a pretty quiet life. When the weather is conducive I like to open the window and listen to nature as I write. Sometimes, like now, I will even take the computer out on the porch and surf the internet or write. If I turn the television on it doesn’t involve cartoons, or for the volume to be on 70. I like long, hot showers. Once in a great while the radio will come on. My house is a three bedroom ranch. The smallest bedroom has been turned into a home office. Are you starting to get the picture of where I am going with this?

 For a couple of days we will pack nine people and three dogs into this house. It will be hectic and at times frustrating. The hot water will be at a minimum. Heck, everyone’s patience will be at a minimum. People will find their own spots to retreat to gather their own sanity. Then we will all take off in the morning for a Biiiiiigggg cabin in the Smoky Mountains , Tennessee. It has four bedrooms, and four bathroomsJ, with a pool table, hot tub and whatever else. It is here that I know I will inhale many stories of dysfunction for future blogs, because…well, we are dysfunction waiting to happen!   

  This morning I came into the house to hear my family plucking away at a guitar and ukulele. A little voice sang a pretty song as the chords hummed their tune. That was only after Griswold realized he left all his guitar picks at home and had to set out on a music store adventure. Later, mother and daughter one donned their black workout clothes and Housewives of Cheektowaga, NY sunglasses and set off for their afternoon exercise. Their walk didn’t last long as they realized the bugs flying at them were as big as saucers, which sent mother Griswold in a sprint back to the creature comforts of the screened in, air conditioned place they will call home for a couple of days. They decided in that twenty minute walk/run that they would never become country people.

  Don’t get me wrong, I would not trade them, or this time, for the world. They are my family and if they are strong enough to put up with me then I am lucky enough to have them. I love them wholeheartedly. 

Do you take vacations with your whole family? Do they turn into adventures, Griswold episodes, or just plain fun times? Was your Easter memorable?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Peep Nation! Happy Easter

Happy Easter my friends! 

  I thought I was just going to write a little Easter blog. It was going to be short and sweet, and I would wish everyone a Happy Easter and we would all be on our merry way. Then I googled Peeps and got educated. Oh my! I never knew that Peeps have their own world. Maybe it is because I never really ate them. My oldest brother has always liked them. I guess it was because I'm a girl, and really love chocolate, so I didn't pay much attention to them yellow marshmallow thingy's. :) Here's some interesting facts that I learned:

  •   There are over 200 Peeps fan sites.
  •   There are Peep eating competitions. (Not sure what I think of that one yet!)
  • Peeps have a two year shelf life. (Not sure what I think of that one yet, either.)
  • Americans consume over 600 million Peeps each Easter.
  • Peeps, not jelly beans, have been the #1 non chocolate brand at Easter for over 20 years.
  • 1 Peep=32 calories, and has 0 fat grams.
  • Peep Jousting is placing two Peeps on a plate facing each other in the microwave for about one minute. Stick a toothpick in the chest of each Peep. Whichever Peep lances the other first wins. (Who came up with this? And yes I will try it!)
  One other thing that fascinated me was how many recipes included Peeps. I say this every day...People are creative!

This is a Peeps Yum Yum Platter. Interesting.

  PEEPSicles anyone?

You can find these recipes at:

I never knew we were so Peep happy. Some recipes are more complicated than others, feel free to check them out. Maybe you'll be as amazed as I was! 

I hope you found amusement in this blog.

 I want to wish you all a very happy Easter!