Power Tools, A Girl’s Best Friend

I’m 100% certain that that title is a lie, but I couldn’t think of anything else.

Last autumn, I decided that my new hobby would be wood working. I’m not even sure that that’s the proper term for it, I want to make stuff with wood! Starting with pallet wood until I get better. However, I decided this right before cold weather hit and you were not about to find me out in the garage in the cold.

Spring forward to my birthday in which my dad bought me a Sawsall and a Skilsaw, and instead of pallet wood we bought a 10 foot piece of birch to fiddle with.

My grandfather LOVED building furniture and was good at it. I have several of his pieces to this day. He taught my dad a lot of the trade but it’s not my dad’s passion. My dad however, is super excited to pass on their knowledge to me and I’m happy to absorb it. Hopefully, it becomes my new hobby because people keep giving me power tools left and right.

Here’s my first project with my dad. It’s a couch arm cover. It functions both as a place to set drinks and other things, and protection for the couch from Ozzy standing on one arm to stare out of the living room window at people walking by. It’s nothing fancy but I did learn some cool tricks to hide screws.

What do you think of my first attempt at building something?

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Thirty Two, Wooo!

Hi friends! Tomorrow is my 32nd birthday, and as such, I’ll probably be MIA for the weekend. My dad and uncle are coming to town to celebrate and I just want a weekend of fun and shenanigans.

My coworkers threw a lovely little party for me yesterday at work since I took the time off. They got me an Instant Pot (Woooo! Time to try a million new recipes!!), a giant bottle of my favorite tequila, and a gift card to Bed, Bath and Beyond since they know there are a million things I want to buy for the house.

My husband couldn’t wait until my birthday and gave me a present. A custom made Harry Potter purse with little secret pockets inside. It’s really cute.

I just have to get through today at work, then it’s a margarita fueled weekend for this girl!

P.S. Don’t be depressed about entering your thirties, they’re seriously the best.

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1) – Book Review

Published Date: September 12, 2017

Publishing Co.: Crown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

It’s my theory that if you’ve ever said the words, “Money doesn’t buy happiness,” then you’ve never been dirt-fucking-poor. Money can buy a lot of happiness. Maybe not all the happiness in the world but trust me, it takes a major weight off of your shoulders and puts you on the path to achieving what does makes you happy.

The Babel Corporation has selected poor teenagers from all over the world to compete for amounts of money they never imagined by going first to space, then onto a new planet. The trick is, they have to survive rigorous training and score high enough through these competitions to make it down to Eden, a planet inhabited by lifeforms known as Adamites, who like human kids but not so much the adults. The teenagers may still encounter trouble while down on the planet, mining a precious resource called Nyxia, the real goal for Babel.

Emmett Atwater was plucked from Detroit. Poor, dying mother with shit insurance, and a father working himself to the bone trying to make ends meet while raising a son and being the support of an ailing wife. When Emmett is offered a chance to make all right for his family, he doesn’t hesitate. All his other competitors are enemies, standing in the way of his goal. Until, a couple sneak behind his wall and make themselves friends instead of only competition.

Almost all of the kids know that Babel Corporation is much more sinister than their outward appearances, but with that kind of money and healthcare for family on the line, you can over look a lot.

This was a fair start to a YA science fiction trilogy. I think the part that will interest me the most will come in book two. Although, I’m not running off to pick up the next book. Time will tell if I continue the series.

Top 5 Oldest Books on My TBR List

I joined Goodreads just as a way to keep track of the books I already knew I wanted to read because I kept losing my list. Of course, the side effect was that my TBR blossomed from a meager 10-15 books to it’s now current state of 265. Periodically, I’ll go through the list and cut anything I decide that I’ll probably never read. So, I thought I would share the ones that have survived the cuts. (Although, I haven’t done one in awhile so that may change.) Two of them I’ve owned for years and just haven’t read yet.

“The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.

The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected. 

The truth will get out, even if it kills them”.

” Katie is driving to work one beautiful day when a dead man jumps into her car and tries to eat her.  That same morning, Jenni opens a bedroom door to find her husband devouring their toddler son. 

Fate puts Jenni and Katie—total strangers—together in a pickup, fleeing the suddenly zombie-filled streets of the Texas city in which they live. Before the sun has set, they have become more than just friends and allies—they are bonded as tightly as any two people who have been to war together. 

During their cross-Texas odyssey to find and rescue Jenni’s oldest son, Jenni discovers the joy of watching a zombie’s head explode when she shoots its brains out. Katie learns that she’s a terrific tactician—and a pretty good shot. 

A chance encounter puts them on the road to an isolated, fortified town, besieged by zombies, where fewer than one hundred people cling to the shreds of civilization. 

It looks like the end of the world. But Katie and Jenni and many others will do whatever they have to to stay alive. Run, fight, pick each other up when they stumble, fall in love…anything is possible at the end of the world. “

” It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down. “

“Andrew Ranulf Blankenship is a handsome, stylish nonconformist with wry wit, a classic Mustang, and a massive library. He is also a recovering alcoholic and a practicing warlock, able to speak with the dead through film. His house is a maze of sorcerous booby traps and escape tunnels, as yours might be if you were sitting on a treasury of Russian magic stolen from the Soviet Union thirty years ago. Andrew has long known that magic was a brutal game requiring blood sacrifice and a willingness to confront death, but his many years of peace and comfort have left him soft, more concerned with maintaining false youth than with seeing to his own defense. Now a monster straight from the pages of Russian folklore is coming for him, and frost and death are coming with her.”

” Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but otherwise in the pink of health. The nonstop sex and exercise he’s still getting probably contribute to that, as does his diet: unusual amounts of flesh and blood (at least some from friends and relatives). Jake, of course, is a werewolf, and with the death of his colleague he has now become the only one of his kind. This depresses Jake to the point that he’s been contemplating suicide. Yet there are powerful forces who for very different reasons want – and have the power – to keep Jake alive. “

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Coffee & A Chat – Spring

Why yes, I have decided that these little coffee chats may become a semi-regular thing as I enjoy them. Just a little time to ramble on about life or whatever topic seems to be on my mind on an early Sunday morning, sipping the world’s best beverage.

Yesterday was a beautiful 67 degrees here. I had to work half the day but when I came home we promptly got to work on spring clean up. We have several probably 100+ year old maple trees in our yard and they always drop their leaves at the end of the season. Let me tell you, there were a metric butt ton of leaves. (Between fall and spring, we’ve raked about 50-55 bags of leaves.) Add in all the rain last fall and we were not able to get everything up by the last leaf pick up of the year. So, that meant a messy yard when the snow melted.

The dogs had an intense game of ball and then hung out on the patio while we worked in the yard. The fresh spring day had everyone feeling lovely.

She’ll play ball until she drops.

I was so happy in fact, that I picked up a house plant for the first time in about 10 years.

I don’t exactly have a green thumb when it comes to house plants. Thus, I picked one that’s hard to kill.

There were signs of green life springing up all over the yard and it just made me want to go out and buy MORE plants/trees/bushes.

Berries before leaves.

I’m ready for all of this. The cold and gray was really putting a funk on my life. One day of sunshine and I was ready to live outside.

What are your Spring plans? Looking forward to planting anything special?

Peanut Butter Fudge Cheesecake Parfaits

Don’t you wish you were one of my coworkers? If you didn’t before, you might now.

These tasty lil’ bitches were not hard to make except for ONE thing: homemade whipped cream. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, don’t be like me and make sure you read the recipe all the way through. If you’re like me, still haven’t unpacked your stand mixer and don’t own a hand mixer, prepare to work your muscles. It takes a LONG time before whipped cream takes form with regular man power. After 15 minutes, I was forced to ask my husband for help. We’ve learned now that he’s a human power mixer. It still took another 15 minutes before it was the correct consistency.

Despite that, these were awesome. Pretty rich though so most people could only eat a half at a time.

Recipe here.

Rat Queens, Special: Orc Dave #1 – Comic Review

Published Date: September 27, 2017

Publishing Co.: Image – Shadowline

Pages: 29

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A fantastic peek into the origin of Orc Dave and the first time he meets the girls.

There is a lot explained about Dave in one short edition, but I feel like I know him much better now. Plus, you can never go wrong reading about orc shamans.

The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay #2) – Book Review

Published Date: July 29, 2010

Publishing Co.: Gollancz

Pages: 442

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I wish I could say that it took so long for me to read this book because life got in the way. Once, I did leave it at work over the weekend but honestly, I felt pretty unimpressed most of the way through.

The biggest problem? Captain Darian Frey. It took me almost ALL of the first book before I even began to like Frey, and then in this one, he just blew it all to shit. He is by far my least favorite character, which was unfortunate for me because he had the most point of view chapters. Why do I not like the down on his luck, rag tag captain? Well, long story short, he’s a misogynistic asshole.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking; “Cupcakes, this is supposed to be light-hearted fun! I think you’re reading WAY too into this.” And you know, you are probably right. But here’s the thing, I am SO fucking over male protagonists that are womanizers and use women to get off, characterizing them as basically useless otherwise. It’s especially offensive with a loser captain such as Frey. Sure he’s good looking but he’s pretty bottom of the food chain when it comes to males. Yet he has deep thoughts such as;

There weren’t many women Frey respected, but Jez was one of them.”

Of course, he must go on to explain that this is largely because he barely thinks of Jez as a woman. He’s not sexually attracted to her therefore, she’s worthy of his respect.

Do not even get me started on his fucked relationship with Trinica. You know, the woman he knocked up and left at the alter, which led to her killing their unborn child and ultimately ending up as a concubine until she became the pirate queen. Yet, he thinks she should go back to being the way she was before he and the world broke her, so HE can be happy.

Other than all THAT shit, I enjoyed it. The world building is always cool and the rest of the crew are much better characters that I would love to read about until the cows come home. However, if I had to read another book mostly from Frey’s point of view and he doesn’t grow as a character, I might just chuck the book at the wall and quit the series.

Last Podcast on the Left Live

After about a year of exploring podcasts, there has been a clear winner, at least for me.

Last Podcast on the Left covers all the bases. Serial killers, true crime, UFOs, paranormal and cryptozoology. They mix facts with humor, sometimes making the very dark subject matter more easy to digest. They’ve become a household name….in this house. My husband has listened to every single episode as I’ve been slowing working through everything new they put out and catching up on the old stuff too.

So when they announced a live tour, with the nearest stop to Michigan being Cleveland, we bought tickets immediately. It was worth every penny and we’ll go see them anytime they come that close. It was my first comedy show and I laughed a LOT. (This is important as every time I’ve watched a comedian do stand up on TV, I maybe laugh out loud once….if they’re good.)

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, this podcast probably isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like swearing and dark subjects, stay away. Some people have accused them of being into murder porn because they really hit the details in every case, but as they’ve recently pointed out, thanks to the new Bundy tapes documentary on Netflix, the reason why they do is to show just what horrific monsters these people are/were. You may think, they’re serial killers of course they’re terrible, who would think otherwise? The answer: too many fucking people. For example, Netflix had to come out and tell people to stop romanticizing Ted Bundy (something that was an issue during his actual trial as well), but this was partially their fault. No where in the entire documentary did they say anything about his murders other than he committed them. They didn’t mention the rape, or the necrophilia. So I digress back to Last Podcast, they’re going to give you every single detail so you know exactly what kind of monster you’re hearing about.

The live show was much more light-hearted and fun. They talked about murder conspiracies, UFOs, and cryptids. The tour will run across the globe for most of the year and then they’ll probably do a recording available to purchase at the end of the year (like they did this past December) and next year, a new tour with new subjects.

If this all sounds up your alley, I highly recommend giving them a try.

Intense banter.


Henry gets his Mufon on to talk UFO sightings.

Coffee & A Chat – Writing

Morning chaps! I was sitting, sipping my coffee and thought, I should have a discussion with my blog peeps. (The kids still say ‘peeps’ right?) I’ve been slow in my reading, having left the book I’m currently working on at work over the past weekend, so I felt the desire to be chatty.

Many moons ago, I attempted to write a book, a YA post apocalyptic novel. I made it decently far in the process, but my grandfather (my inspiration to try to write) passed away and with the depression that followed, I stopped. I didn’t feel the urge to try again until the last couple of months. It’s no longer the same book, but I’m trying again.

I’m struggling more than I was the first time, but I’m being much more critical of myself this go around. I recently instated a new house rule, Wednesday nights and Saturdays I must work on the book for one hour minimum. If I keep going past that, excellent, but I was having a hard time finding the time to write. Inspiration isn’t so hard, especially after Ignited Moth and I have a writing meeting. (Yeah, we’ve formed our own cool little writers group.)

So my question is this, what writing tips (or encouraging tips in general) do you have to help someone along in the process? What have you struggled with yourself?