One decorating idea that I won’t let my husband talk me into…

Categories: About Me,Family
May 27, 2010

Dear hubby, we are not putting a lego work-island in our kitchen…sorry.

Lego Island Kitchen Island from Dwell
Lego Kitchen Island from Dwell Magazine

Not that he has tried, but Scott loves lego an awful lot considering he is in his…er, mid to late thirties…so I wouldn’t be suprised if he tried to lego-ize at least one piece of furniture in our ‘future hypothetical dream-house’.

This is pretty cute, but my goodness, considering the cost of lego these days, the price per square foot would be astronomical!

Found via poppytalk, see her fun lego round up here.



Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.  ~Chili Davis


A new member of the family

Categories: About Me,Family
May 17, 2010
Newest member of the family

Newest member of the family - taken by Scott with a Canon Digital Rebel xT

You were born from a very brave mother into the arms of a gentle father.  Let me tell you my little niece, you picked the perfect parents to raise you.  They will give you every opportunity, and the gift of unconditional love.  If your sister and brother are any example, they create really great kids.

You were born the day after your brother’s birthday, so chances are he will think of you as his little gift.  He will protect you…if the size of his feet are any indication, he’s going to be a big strong guy, I am positive that no one will mess with you.  And, if your sister is anything like her mom was with me, she will guide you, teach you, and boss you, like a third parent would.  Be nice to her now, because you will need her for advice on fashion, friends, and boys in the future.

As for your extended family (me included), we are all amazed by how calm you are. You barely peep as you are passed around to your devoted fans.  Around you we talk, we laugh, we play with your brother and sister, and all the while you sleep peacefully.  I have taken to calling you ‘Zen Baby’ because you look like a little Buddha.  Your uncle Scott is moony over you.

Welcome to the family Little Quinn, already you have so many people who love you.

An ode to my husband, and marriage in general.

Categories: About Me,Family,Listening To
April 29, 2010
Toronot Island Excursion

Sorry to embaress you honey... Taken with: Canon Digital Rebel

Last night Scott asked if I was going to write about him again soon in my blog.  How cute is that?

You see, we are still in the newlywed phase of our marriage where we both get a thrill out of calling each other (and being called) ‘husband’, and ‘wife’.  (If you’re married, I’m sure you remember this feeling.)  I think he likes it when I refer to him as my husband on here, and he also likes being portrayed as such a swell guy.

And he is a swell guy, for many reasons, a notable one being that he makes this writing thing possible for me. He has the steady job which supports us, and I have a fledgling writing career which, at the moment, makes negative income (but hey, it has potential).  I couldn’t do any of this if it weren’t for him and his faith in me.

But, this isn’t the point of my story.  I won’t bore you with how very much in love we are (yep, gag).  We’re bad enough PDA’ers as it is in real life (and I quote Scott’s Mom to his Dad: “John, they’re at it again!”).  Taking the public display of affection into the very public blogosphere would be a little excessive, don’t you think?

Anyway, last night we watched Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? (I have the amazing soundtrack on repeat this morning.)  Afterward, we lay in bed and rhymed off lines from the movie with our best imitations of a southern drawl.

Him: “Damn, we’re in a tight spot!”

Me: “Well, I don’t want Fop, goddamn it! I’m a Dapper Dan man!”

<giggle giggle>

Him: “They loved him up an’ turned him into a horny-toad!”

Me: “Oh George, not the livestock”

<giggle giggle giggle>

This went on for about twenty minutes or so, though I can’t say for sure because we fell asleep while still talking and laughing.

And that part, the ‘falling asleep talking’ part, is the point of my story.  Please, oh please dear, let’s make this honeymoon phase last forever…

**And now for a clip from my favorite scene in the movie…

“I’ve spoken my piece and counted to three.”
~ Penny Wharvey McGill from Oh Brother, Where art thou

Working on: Veronica’s Gifts

Categories: Children's books,Family,Working on
February 24, 2010

{Disclaimer: Extra-long post}

As I’ve stated just about everywhere on this site, my goal is to become a published author.  I would like to write books for adults, books for children, and articles in magazines.

I have many children’s book ideas in the queue, but the one that I am working on at the moment is based on a story that my Grandmother used to tell me about her childhood.

At the outset, I will tell you that my Grandma now suffers from mid to late stage Alzhiemer’s, but she was an excellent storyteller in her day (she is Irish after all.)  The mischief she got hersef into growing up in Ireland inspired many of the wonderful tales she told to me as a little girl.

Grandma, around 1926

Grandma, around 1926

Anyway, my Grandmother grew up in Dublin in a neighborhood called Harold’s Cross, which at the time was greatly affected by poverty.  Her mother owned the neighborhood general store, and her father was on disability from the post-office.  Her family lived in the two bedroom apartment above the store, and she shared one of those bedrooms with her brother’s and sisters.  Life was not easy, but her mother (my great-grandmother) was a hard worker and a survivor – they lived modestly but they were far better off than the people around them.

Every year at Christmas, Gran would tell me about what Christmas was like in Harold’s Cross.  Like I said, Gran’s family lived modestly, but they did receive a Christmas gift every year (and by that I mean one, very small, gift.)  Gran always felt badly that none of her friends got a present.  Well, one year (I think she might have been 8 or 9) she got it into her mind to make sure that all the kids in her neighborhood got something on Christmas Day.  So, she and her best friend went around to the neighborhood kids and told them to unlatch their windows on the evening of the 24th.

*To clarify this story for you, I suspect that Gran was a wee bit of a trouble-maker.  In fact, she probably made my great-grandmother’s life much more difficult than it already was (you know, what with raising 6 kids, caring for a disabled husband, running a store, and doing house-cleaning on the side.)  She had skinned knees and dirtied her clothes, she got in trouble at school, but she has always had a big and generous heart.

Anyway, as I was saying…being the trouble-maker that she was, Gran didn’t ask her mother’s help with her Christmas gift scheme.  Instead, she went into the shop after everyone in the house was asleep and took (well, stole) a heapful of penny toys, one for each kid in the neighborhood.  She and her friend then took the toys around to the houses and threw one into every child’s window.

Of course, this didn’t unfold without consequence.  She “Got a licken'” when her mother found out what had happened.  But the spirit of Christmas is nestled right here in the story of my Grandma the thief.  She knew that Christmas wasn’t coming for many of her friends.  In fact, she knew that many of her friends would be hungry or cold that day.  At 9 years old she couldn’t do much to help them with the food problem or light their fires to keep them warm.  But, she could give them a gift (or so she thought), and she did.

This particular story has always stuck with me.  I think of it sometimes when I feel put-upon or unlucky.


Grandma at the cottage, 2008

Gran is turning 90 this April.  She is still a trouble-maker, and she still has a ginormous heart.  She was voted ‘Resident of the Year’ at her Nursing Home this year.

Gran’s dementia is at the stage where she usually doesn’t recognize me.  She also doesn’t remember the stories from her childhood that she told to rapt audiences so long ago (me, my sister, and our friends.)  It breaks my heart that I didn’t pay closer attention, that I don’t remember these stories as completely as I should, and now this big part of my heritage may actually die with her as she slips further and further into the fog.

I don’t mean to be sentimental, but I actually tear up when I think of it.

But, my motto for this year is “It’s never too late”.  And so, I have decided to tell this story about my Grandmother Vera, in the form a children’s book that I hope she will be around long enough to read.  And, I hope she might recognize herself.

Of course, the story itself could use some fleshing out, a little work to make it ready for little one’s to tuck into bed with at night.  I understand that it can’t be just about a mischievous little girl who steals from her mother and gets away with it.  It will need a moral and a lesson.

I will post updates as I go, including some details on the process I’m following (I will be testing out Karen Wiesner’s First Draft in 30 Days to help me outline the story.)  Here’s hoping I will have this finished in time to give this to her for Christmas this year.

Hi, I'm Tori, and welcome to my open book. I'm a freelance writer and web designer. This site is my scratch pad for thoughts and ideas, experiences and inspiration. Go ahead, eavesdrop on my life a little bit, you know you want to...