Sunday, August 28, 2011

It May Not Be Terabithia, but...

A little over a week ago—

Wait! Has it really been only a week since I got home? It seems so long ago since I was in heaven...

[*long pause* *deep sigh*]

Okay, so a little over a week ago, I went on an awesome trip with my friend, Colleen.

Colleen, did I promise you I wouldn't post this photo on my blog? If I did, I'm sorry. I forgot. But you look so cute! I love that expression on your face.

Anyway, Colleen and I have been dear friends for years. We've supported each other through many of life's trials. We even shared a house for a year and a half when we were both struggling financially. Colleen is really more like a sister than a friend and she looks so much like my mom's side of the family that I think we must be related somewhere back in the tangled roots of our ancestries.

So, where was I?

Oh, yes. We took this trip to a magical kingdom deep in the backwoods of Idaho—where there were lots of bears and mountain lions and man-eating squirrels and stuff.

DH made me take pepper spray, and I have to confess, there's a bush up there crying its little eyes out right now.

I knew we were entering a magical place when we drove over the Bridge to Terabithia… uhmmm… the Bridge on the River Kwai … The Very Dangerous Bridge that Glory must cross to get the alicorn belt-buckle from her father's ancestral home.

(Don't feel bad if you've never heard of that bridge. It's in one of the novels I'm working on.)

Then I got my first glimpse of THE RIVER...

I am obsessed with this river!

I took fourteen photos of it.

But don't worry. I won't force you to look at all of them.

Just this one.

And maybe this one.

And here's one with my feet in the frame, lest you think I just stole all these photos off the Interweb.

(Which is something I would never, ever do!)

(Unless it was for a trip to Forks)

(or something.)

And here's the cabin we stayed in.

What? You don't believe those are really my feet?

Okay, here's me pondering a plot line on the magical swing hand-carved by Rocky Mountain ogres.

And here's me taking some character notes for my YA mystery.
Notice how close I am to THE RIVER? It was only 30 feet from the front door.

I spent much time out by THE RIVER—thinking and writing and watching butterflies flit by on their way to some important task.

I think one of them had a job at the local Grease & Go because it was bright orange with black smears all over its wings—just like the uniform the guy wore who changed my oil last time.

And here's me pointing to the trailer hitch—to prove it's a trailer that we're staying in because from the inside, you'd think it was really a HOUSE.

And speaking of the inside, here's the front room-slash-kitchen.
If you listen really, REALLY, carefully, you can hear THE RIVER.

And here's my bedroom.
Where every single night I was serenaded by THE RIVER.

I haven't slept that well in years!

Right outside my window is the cutest little flower garden.

"That's gorgeous, Karlene!
I wish you had a close-up of the flowers."

Well, okay.
This is going to be my next colored pencil project.

And when I finish that, this will be my next one.

While I was up by THE RIVER, I wrote every. single. day.

And I hiked.

And I admired the firepit.

But I didn't use the firepit because I'm really not into roughing it.


My own little slice of heaven.

For a week.

And I miss it.

I'm making a huge collage of all my photos (no, I did not post all of them here) and I'm hanging it on my wall by my computer. Then I'm posting this sign on my office door.

And when you call and I don't answer, you can be sure it's because I've gone back to heaven.

Now playing on my iPod: Own Private Idaho by the B-52s

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stone Gate Open House

Virtual Tour: | Tour Part 1 | Tour Part 2 | Tour Part 3|

Okay, I said this was a virtual tour in three parts...but I lied.

I also want to encourage you to attend the
Open House Today from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m
They have lots of fun activities, drawings for prizes,
and it will definitely be worth you time.

Click here for address and map!

Bring your kids and let them play in the Bouncy House

Get your photos taken at the Photo Booth

And meet the Botts—who created this awesome place.

Shanna & Ryan Bott, Me, Vickie & Randy Bott

Shanna & Ryan Bott
with me and Julieann

Stone Gate Virtual Tour (pt3)


Stone Gate Center for the Arts in Pleasant Grove is an AWESOME place for weddings, receptions, performances and other events. Makes me want to get married again!

Grand Ballroom set up for reception.

The Grand Ballroom is designed especially for weddings and receptions. You can't really see the chandeliers but they are beautiful. And look at those arched recesses along the walls! Breathtaking!

Sample Cake

Stone Gate can set you up with providers for all things needed for a fabulous reception—like a cake! Sorry the photo is so blurry.

Bride's Room
A special room just for the bride!

Two Carriages!

They can pick you up from your wedding site and deliver you to Stone Gate, or take you from Stone Gate to the secret location where you've hidden your car. :)

They also have the Cultural Hall with a stage. (Again, blurry photo does not do it justice.)

You can have a reception here, or other events. Stone Gate will also sponsor theater productions and the Candlelight Concert series.

Stone Gate Virtual Tour (pt2)

See Part 1 Here.


One of the big things you'll find at Stone Gate Center for the Arts in Pleasant Grove (aside from weddings and special events) is their Stepping Stones Preschool. For 3 and 4 year olds, they have an enriched curriculum that includes art, singing, dance, performance, music and more.

Preschool Art Room

Preschool Classroom
Preschool in the mornings; performance art in the afternoons.

They also have a HUGE list of art classes for adults—all taught by gifted professionals.

This is the adult art classroom.
Lots of windows and great lighting.

Joe Flores puppets

Matt Loveridge cartoons

Art classes include:
  • Acrylics
  • Oil Painting
  • Watercolor
  • Pastels
  • Pen & Ink
  • Character Design
  • Basic Drawing
  • Homeschool Art
  • Portrait/Line Drawing
  • Photoshop
And much, much more!

They also offer performance art classes, such as Acting, Mime, Music, Dance, Puppetry and More!

Stone Gate Virtual Tour (pt1)

I got to tour Stone Gate Center for the Arts in Pleasant Grove yesterday. You can tour it too—today from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I highly recommend you go check it out in person because my cell phone photos are not going to do it justice. (Plus they have fun stuff to do, prizes, snow cones, etc.)

And it is amazing!

I am going to have every single one of my future life events here!

Yep. Seriously THAT AMAZING!

But just in case you can't make it to their Open House today, I'm giving you a virtual tour in three parts.


Okay. So here's their artist's rendering of the building:
And here's my live and on-location shot:
Gorgeous, huh?

I was amazed at all the attention to detail. The feel of the building is rich and luxurious. It is so visually appealing. I'd never been in this building before it was renovated, so I don't know if some of these things were preserved from the original building or if it is all new. But here are a few more shots of things I thought were very cool.

Arched Doorways and Hardwood Floors

Rock Wall—stairs to the right and easy-access ramp to the left

Mural by Lynde Mott*

Great artwork on the walls and unique furniture pieces

This couch is at the back of the Grand Ballroom

Also part of the Grand Ballroom, where weddings and
receptions are held. This is the sign-in table.

This is my private writing room.
I wish.
Gorgeous and inspiring. Look at those windows!

And a Shoppe. A SHOPPE!
Coming soon. I can't wait to see what cute
and unique items they'll have there.

Next stop on the virtual tour—Preschool and Art Classes

*Brag moment: The famous artiste, Lynde Mott, was one of my girls when I was Young Women's President a million years ago.

Monday, August 22, 2011

DH is still laughing over this one

While I was driving home from Idaho (more info and photos later) on Friday, DH calls me up on the cell phone.

DH: Uhm, since you're only about 15 minutes from home, I have to tell you about something because, well, you're going to see it when you get here.

Me: What?!?! [imagining he's hurt or the house has burned down]

DH: Well, remember when I got hit by that car a few months ago? And then almost got hit again about a week ago? Well, uhm, it happened again...

Me: You were in a wreck?!? [hitting panic button]

DH: Oh, no, no. I wasn't in a wreck but this woman almost plowed right into me this morning. And I was tired of people almost killing me, so... uhm... well, I bought something. And I towed it home with my Saturn and it's in front of the house. And it really won't take much to get it going...

Me: You bought a car??? [wondering which bank he robbed]

DH: You'll see when you get here.

Me: [long pause] What color is it? [because that's the only part of a car that makes sense to me]

DH: Yellow.

Me: Yellow?!? [look at phone; wonder who this is and what they've done with my husband]

DH: Yes, because, y'know, yellow is a lot easier to see than white.

Me: [?!?!]

DH: Well, okay. See you when you get here. Bye. [Yes, he did! He hung up on me!]

So I turned onto my street with much trepidation...

DH was sitting on the porch when I got there, just so he could see my reaction. He's still laughing about it.

But that's okay. Revenge is sweet.

And speaking of DH. Here's his version of weed control (Kids, do not try this at home):

  1. Pour gasoline into the sidewalk crack.

  2. Light match.

  3. Watch it burn.

The funniest part? Right as he dropped the match, the bishop of our ward walked by and DH had to explain why he was setting our sidewalk on fire.

Now playing on my iPod: Lookin' Out My Backdoor by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Friday, August 19, 2011

Last Day to Get a Great Deal!

Today is the last day to register for my Blogging 101 class, which I'll be teaching TOMORROW!

This is also your last chance to attend this class for the low price of $25 per student. Starting this fall, I'll be teaching from Stone Gate Center for the Arts and tuition will be higher.

In this class, I'll cover the basics of the blogging world: how to set up your blog, what all those settings mean, how to use add gadgets, when to blog, and what to blog about to fit your individual needs!

I'm also giving every class member a FREE pdf copy of my Blogging 101 book (which will be available for sale next month for $49.95).

Register today. Space is limited!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Headed to the Cabin...

This is my last visit to the Internet before I head off to the cabin for a week of writing bliss! I am so excited! But before I go, I'm setting up some auto-post reminders about the Blogging 101 class I'll be teaching THIS COMING SATURDAY.

If you're a beginning blogger and you need a little help learning how to add photos, links, and set up your sidebar widgets, I'll be covering these basics.

And if you don't have a blog, but you want one, I'll be teaching you how to set one up!

I'm also giving every class member a FREE pdf copy of my Blogging 101 book (which will be available for sale next month for $49.95).

Register today. Space is limited!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Blogging 101 Class

I'm teaching a Blogging 101 class next week!

If you've wanted to start a blog, or you have a Blogger blog but don't really know what to do with it, this class is for you!

There are only a few seats left, so if you're interested, sign up now.

Here are the details:

Learn how to set up and maintain a free Blogger® blog in Blogging 101—a hands-on workshop for beginning bloggers.

August 20, 2011
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Noah's in Lindon, UT

Instructor: Karlene Browning, LibrisPro

Class Level: For beginning bloggers, ages 18 and over; basic computer literacy and some familiarity with using the Internet and e-mail required.

Class covers:
  • the why, when and how of blogging

  • step-by-step instructions for setting up a blog on Blogger

  • basic template selection

  • adding pages

  • working with sidebar widgets

  • adding links and images

  • and more!

Students who bring a laptop with wi-fi Internet capabilities will leave class with a functional blog created and ready to use.

Plus, all students will receive a FREE pdf copy of the Blogging 101 guidebook as a future resource.

Students should bring the following to class:
  • Laptop with wi-fi Internet capabilities

  • Google ID*

  • Gmail Account*

  • List of 10 possible URL address/blog name ideas

  • Notebook and pen

*When you checkout, you will be registered for the class and will also be able to download instructions for getting a Google ID and a Gmail address, which are required before class starts.

Registration is $25 per student.

Price of registration includes:
  • a spot in the class

  • immediately downloadable instructions for setting up a Google ID and Gmail address, which are required for the class

  • a free pdf copy of Blogging 101 guidebook, emailed to registered students the day before class

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Look, Honey. I Bagged Us a Big One!

DH is insisting that I get some pepper spray to take with me on my trip to Idaho.

Did you know that Wal-Mart does not sell pepper spray?

So I dragged my sister over to Sportsmans Warehouse—and look what was out front!

I texted this photo to DH with the caption, "Look, Honey. I Bagged Us a Big One!"

DH: You hate venison.

Me: Yes, but I got it for U. :)

DH: Bring it home. I will cook it on the grill.

And then, because I'm trying to add more whimsy to my life, I had to—erm—act my age...

Oh, and the pepper spray? There were so many brands and bottles and packaging types. After my head exploded from trying to make a decision when I know nothing about pepper spray, I ended up getting the stuff in the pink purse-size container, because:
  1. It supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation

  2. It has dye in it to make the culprit easier to find when they run away

  3. And as my sister said, it's got to be doubly humiliating for a man to be taken down with a PINK pepper sprayer.