Friday, September 19, 2014

Flashback Friday: Joining MOPS:)

Sept 1994:
I decided to join MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) at my home church once a month.  The kids and I would drive up; K would get to play with a few kids his own age while S could either go with me or to the nursery.  Since she was sleeping soundly the 1st meeting, she went to the nursery.

One of my family's friends was the guest speaker, who talked about while how all Moms had 'their stories' about pregnancy and childbirth/rearing, but what was Mary's Story?  We all know she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth soon after conceiving, and we all know 'when' Christ was born, but what about the strenuous trip to Bethlehem on a donkey while being 9 months pregnant, how long was labor, and what was it like, knowing your child was special?  Not to mention realizing he wasn't with you when he was 12....or enduring the crowd's rejection of him in later years, then his horrific death, then resurrection.  Did he ever appear to Mary afterward?

Anyway, we made a craft stick refrigerator note-holder, which is still on my fridge 20 years later!

Afterward, I collected both kids; K bubbling with enthusiasm for the kids he played with, and Miss S, who was wide awake, and drove to JHS to have lunch with my mom.  After eating his hot dog, K decided to inspect the floor cleaning machine.

We called him back, but Butch the janitor, who'd known me since I was 5, said not to worry; there was no way K could turn it on.

"If he does, I'll give him a job."

Several moments later, I noticed water on the floor, and told Butch.  He went over.

"Well I'll be....he DID turn it on!"

"Okay, Butch, he's all yours!"


Mom and I had a great visit, then the kids and I headed back home.

Next Month:  Beginner's Luck and Halloween

Present Day:
I spent last week up in Lafayette, and am still adjusting back to the household, lol!

Big Brother Update:
I was soooooo disappointed with Caleb, Cody, Derrick, and Victoria managed to get Frankie out of the house!!!  Nooooooo....I wanted the final 3 to be Caleb, Derrick, and Frankie!!!  But then the next day, Caleb followed him.  So now it's up to Derrick to win, plus get an additional $50 K, as being the sole Team America player left.

Tomorrow's Karaoke Songs:
Head Over Feet-Alanis
Here Comes The Rain Again-Eurythmics
High On You-Survivor
High Enough-Damn Yankees

Friday, September 12, 2014

Flashback Friday and News!!

First, the good news:

Kenzie Michaels has a new release today!!  Heart's Last Chance releases today at Secret Cravings Publishing, and since I'm not at my usual desk, I am unable to provide you with an excerpt until I find the port for the flash drive on my mother's computer!  So maybe next week when I get home, and the 3rd party links go live!

Sept 1984:
My roommates and I settled into a routine, and soon we were paired up.  EY and EC had their 'Big Brothers' at the Sigma Pi house; KC began dating one of the guys we'd met the 1st night; I had been set up with GW's date's roomie, but wasn't impressed with him.

I'd gone home for Labor Day Weekend, and Dad and I took our Black Lab over to Purdue to walk him.  We decided to go walk around the stadium as they were getting things ready for the Purdue-Notre Dame game, and when Dad paused to speak to someone he knew, Fudge decided to help himself to the hot dog stand!

Once back at VU, the Tube Race was soon organized.  EY and EC were both in it for Sig Pi, so GW, KC, and I cheered them on from the sidelines.  Afterward, we went to lunch, then got ready for the dance.

A week later, GW had a horrific breakup with her guy, and later, I went with her and KC to a party.  TM was there, and though I was wary around him at first, he turned out to share my sense of humor, and we ended up staying up all night, talking.  We got caught in the rain and ended up at Waffle House to dry out, then after returning to the dorms and changing into dry clothes, we spent the entire day together.  My lack of sleep caught up with me at 9pm on Sunday, and with GW's blessing, he and I became an item.

I'm rather embarrassed to admit he taught me to French Kiss.  I'd kissed guys on the lips, of course, but never frenched.  We'd spend hours in each other's arms, simply enjoying kissing.

Next Month:  A really bad decision and Parent's Weekend.  Plus, a huge change!

Present Day:
I'm currently at my mom's house, helping sort through cartons in the storage room and 'finding' her desk.  I've sorted and filed pictures, papers, and am down to the final carton in what used to be my sister's room.  We've found geneology, WW2 memorabilia from my Grandpa Grauel, and my grandfather's baby pictures, baptismal records, and marriage licenses.  Plus baby pictures of my great-grandmother, Mom K.

Mom's had a wonderful time seeing old pictures and recalling times at GSA camp, her prom, and time in Job's Daughters and her one year in 4-H.

Had lunch yesterday with friends, and tonight we're going to karaoke.  No clue what I might sing, but may do some of my better ones:

Wanted Dead Or Alive
Edge of 17
Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia
What's Up
Grand Illusion
Come Sail Away
Better Dig Two
Gunpowder and Lead
Hell On Heels
I Will Be

No, I don't plan to sing all of these.  But if someone else does one of 'mine', then it's good to have a back up song!  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Flashback Friday: Cliques Begin To Form!

Sept 1974:
In my attempt to stay in the same class with KB, I deliberately did not change classes one day, and was nearly caught.  But that class wasn't nearly 'fun' enough for me, so the following day I dutifully changed classes.

Mrs. M began reading us the book Blue Ridge Billy, and I loved that time every day!  I couldn't wait to purchase my own copy, so I could read it all the way through.

One girl in my class arrived with nearly the same type of wire-framed glasses that I did, and soon people were mixing us up, since we both had blonde hair and blue eyes.  I couldn't stand her, however.

Friendships and cliques were beginning to form.  I got along well with nearly everyone, but we were clearly about to gang up on some of the pudgy members of our class, as well as one particularly unattractive boy.  As for us girls, well, I was in Girl Scouts with several of those in my class, so I had to behave myself.  At recess, I loved to play on the monkey bars, and was praised for my efforts going across the bars and being able to skip a bar or two.  I'd certainly had enough practice on KE's set during the summer!  I was too scared to play on the round tiles, since while not afraid of heights, I was afraid of falling.  I stayed on the two lower ones.

I absolutely love my 3rd grade picture.  I am wearing a light blue turtleneck, with a gold locket, and my hair is pulled back from the sides in a pony tail, with the rest hanging loose.  This is only the first of a handful of school pictures I think I look nice in.

Next Month:  Halloween!

Present Day:
We went roller skating yesterday at a K12 outing.  I love to roller skate, and since our local rink closed in 2007, I've longed to get back on my skates.  But it's been 7 years.....I've gained 40 pounds....I'm also getting close to 50....needless to say, I could stand up on my skates, just couldn't MOVE!  I was slightly humiliated when I finally ventured out onto the floor, only to hang onto the wall like a beginner.  A kid even asked if it was the first time.  Ummm, no, seven years earlier, I'd zoomed around the floor like a pro.  It seems the spirit was willing, but the body was weak.  And it was my ideal situation; a nearly deserted floor!

Guess I'm going to have to hang up my skates.  I'm too old, too out of shape, and out of practice.

Tomorrow's Karaoke Tunes:
Heaven Is A Place On Earth
Heaven is a 4 Letter Word (maybe)
Hell on Heels
Black Velvet

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Reading Schedule and Aug Recap:)

We had a nice beginning to August, with temps in the mid-80s.  I wish we had been able to attend the State Fair, with temps being so nice, but we were recovering financially from our kid-filled summer!

Homeschooling:  I spent the first week of orientation watching videos, asking questions, and getting acquainted with the K12 program.  Week #2 went well, with the youngling 'reviewing' last year's material in Math.  Week #3 was a little bumpy, when I realized he was not doing all the reading, plus his new medication supplements arrived, and figuring out the correct dose/combination took a few days.  He's also not doing Study Island correctly, something we have the next three days to correct.

House Hunting:  Still looking.

Books Read:  4
            Print:  1
            E-book:  3

Yeah, rather dropped the ball on the reading this month....most of my free time was taken up with either Solitaire or DS9 on Netflix.  In my defense, I have really enjoyed rewatching this series!

In good news, I have a new adopted granddaughter, born Aug 30th, at 8:07 pm.  Miss Madison Renee weighed in at 6lbs, 4 oz, and is 21.5 inches long.

I got to hold her yesterday:)

Festivals/Signings:  I set up at both the Watermelon Festival and the Wine, Cheese, and Art Festival this past month and sold four copies of Love Weighs In:)  I've already heard back from one reader, so yay!

Mom's Health:  My mom had a horrible two weeks with back pain and being in the hospital.  Thankfully, she's been diagnosed with Spondalosis, or Osteoarthritis of the Spine, and is now on a Pain Management regime which seems to be working.  I was told she was going to have surgery this week, but instead, she's seeking a 2nd opinion before going under the knife.  I'll keep you updated!

September Reading Schedule:

Calamity Jayne Goes To College-Kathleen Bacus Ended up skimming this.  Bleh.

Killer Cupid-Maeve Christopher Not bad:)
Entranced-Maddie James Good story!
Chocolate, Sex, and Other Surprises-Kellie Kamryn
Lovers and Liars-Jean Joachim
The Gentleman's Harlot-Natalie Dae
Slave-Sherri Hayes
Sticky Magic-Raine Delight
Lust On Tap-Liz Crowe
Blind Faith-Sandra Tilley
Laura Meets Jeffrey-Jeffrey Michaelson
Breathing His Air-Debra Kayn
Lawman-Regina Carlysle
Winning His Wife-Sandra Sookoo
Baby Stetson-Nikki Lynn Barrett, et al

Karaoke Songs:
Heaven is a Place On Earth-Belinda Carlisle
Hello-Lionel Richie
Hell On Heels-Pistol Annies
Here Comes The Rain Again-Eurythmics
High On You-Survivor
Hit Me With Your Best Shot-Pat Benetar
Hold My Hand-Hootie and the Blowfish
Hold On-Wilson Phillips
Hold On Loosely-.38 Special
Holding Back The Years-Simply Red
Holding Out For A Hero-Bonnie Tyler

Friday, August 29, 2014

Flashback Friday

Aug 1994:
Miss S was now one month old, and with the temps soaring into the 90s, baby K and I spent nearly every afternoon at the pool, once I was able to drive.  Fortunately, stepdaughter J spent the weeks following her birth with us, and was able to play with K in the pool.

I'd called the nurse to see if it was okay to put my baby girl in the pool, and she told me I could try it.  But when S's little feet hit the cool water, she drew up her legs with a squeal.  So I set up her pack-n-play in a corner of the pool deck, under an umbrella, and checked on her often.  She slept, while the rest of us frolicked in the pool, then we'd return to the A/C apartment and cook on the grill.

Aug 2004:  
Kids went back to school, and things began to settle down.  Every morning, baby W would 'ring' the wind chimes, and would play on his blanket in the family room.  If I didn't mention it before, he once pulled his own hair.  We thought Keisha had bothered him, but she had jumped up to see why he'd cried out.  Whew!  Since K had bit and S had pinched, I was hoping beyond hope that W would not turn out to be a hair puller.  Thankfully, this episode 'cured' him of ever pulling anyone's hair!

K was now in the 7th grade, and S in the 4th.  I was thrilled S had gotten the 'better' of the two teachers, since K had also had Mrs. K, and the transition was easy.

Present Day:
I'm off to the Wine and Art Festival in Washington, In tonight!  My books arrived on Wed, and I'm going to try Jean Joachim's suggestion and price them lower.  Wish me luck!

Tomorrow's Karaoke Line Up:
Heaven Can Wait-Meatloaf
Heaven Is A Place On Earth-Belinda Carlisle
Black Velvet-Allanah Myles

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fear Confirmed??

Over the weekend, I crashed a second HS Reunion, the same class I crashed back in 2009, in order to 'catch up' with old friends I hadn't seen since 1981.

Brief Recap:  Back in 2009, people were happy to see me, and confidences spilled, due to excessive alcohol.  I spun some of those ideas into Kenzie's Class Reunion, with the permission of two people who suggested a loose plot idea.

When it was released, I jokingly wondered if anyone would speak to me now, five years later.

At my own HS reunion, this proved NOT to be the case, and even had another character suggested, plus discovered my BFF from HS googles me often, and even has CR on his computer!  Don't think he's read it yet, though....

Anyway, Friday night was good.  People spoke to me, we danced, we talked shop (I helped one guy publish his own self-help book).  Saturday, it was as if all topics had been exhausted the night before.  I'd ask questions, they'd answer, then go off to spend more time with someone else.  The few long-lasting conversations I did hold with people included my 'date', and those in which a group of us discussed something.  I pretty much took pictures, offered an opinion or anecdote, then felt abandoned.

I WAS thrilled to see one of the guys I'd remembered from 3rd grade on, and happy to see he's made a success of his life, after so many of us were unkind to him.  Since I was in the same 'social pecking order', I tolerated his presence in private, but avoided him in the halls and in class, since I was not happy with my junior high 'status', but had no desire to be in the 'popular' crowd.

9th grade had been a little more kinder to me, esp 2nd semester, and of course I cinched my 'floater' status in HS by being BFFs with a basketball player; being involved in Band and Home Ec; working in the library; and having friends who were unwed mom's and those who openly smoked pot.

My point to all this?  Thirty-plus years later, it no longer matters who was unkind to whom; we learn more about those we didn't interact with, even though some 'cliques' stay together, at some point everyone has a conversation and discovers wrong misconceptions and assumptions.

I guess we have finally grown least some of us, anyway!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Flashback Friday

Aug 1984:
This month was full of activity.  I went on a double date with friend A, her hubby, and their friend AP.  We went to the drive in to see Bachelor Party and Porky's 2.....but I fell asleep during BP!  That didn't deter AP from asking me out again, and this time we went to see The Muppets Take Manhattan.  The following week, we went tubing down the Wildcat Creek.

I had a good rapport with his younger brother, E, and invited him to go with us.  But when we were suited up and ready to get in the truck, E was looking unhappy and still in his clothes.  He said A had told him to stay behind.  Red Flag #1.  I had a feeling something was up.

When we arrived at the river, A showed me how to climb into my tube....and I promptly sailed downstream.  He had to scramble to catch up with me, and about an hour into the trip, he got quiet.  Red Flag #2.

He hemmed and hawed around, and I had a feeling I knew what was coming.

Sure enough, the words I'd been dreading:  "Will you be my girlfriend?"

I took a deep breath and in the kindest tone I could muster, reminded him I was leaving for college the next week and was going to meet a lot of people.  I didn't feel right to be tied down; didn't think it would be fair to him.  He agreed, and we finished the trip.  He took me home and said we'd keep in touch.

We never did, though, and I learned of his death last year.

The following weekend, I left for VU.  I was the first one to check into our room, and chose the upper bunk on the left hand side.  I'd brought a bit too much, so Mom and Dad took several things back home.  A little while later, K arrived and took a bed on the opposite side.  Toward late afternoon, EC checked in, but left her things on the same side as K, since her sister was moving into IU.  We'd get to know each other the next day.

K introduced me to her friend GF, and we attended the Back To School dance, and even met two guys, who invited us back to their room.  I think we played cards, then we returned to our room.

The next day, EC and EY arrived, and we soooooo hoped the cute guy with EY was her brother!!!!  No such luck; he was her boyfriend.  GF introduced us to another friend, and we toured campus, registered for classes, bought our books, and got to know one another.

EY had no qualms about sleeping underneath me, though she and EC soon discovered they were more alike, and attracted the same sort of guys.  They soon began spending more time with the Sigma Pi guys, and decided to become Lil' Sis's.

Ever meet someone and just know you're going to be friends?  Several weeks before, EY had called me, and we'd spoken for two hours.  She said she barely spoke to EC for maybe twenty minutes.  So even though I knew EY and I would soon be close friends, I didn't get mad when she began spending all her time with EC.  Maybe they'd bring a guy around who'd like me?  (Hey, it could happen!)

K and I got along, though she was more of a partier than I was.  We did cause some hilarity in front of one of the coed dorms when GF's friend SL took us out to eat in his orange sports car with the leopard skin drape in the back window.  SL got out, accompanied by four girls (EC had declined), and someone yelled, "It's Guido, the Killer Pimp!"

Classes began, and Life settled down.

Next Month:  Early Dates and Wrong Choices


Present Day:
The first week of home schooling has gone well.  I'm concerned about W's reading, but I'm sure we'll get everything figured out soon.

Karaoke Songs for Tomorrow:
Heartbreaker (Dionne Warwick)
Heart and Soul (T'Pau)
Heaven (Bryan Adams)
ET (Katy Perry)
Gloria (L. Branigan) (Warm up)

My mom's been in and out of the hospital the past week, with back pain.  She was supposed to be released yesterday, but her pain was so bad they kept her one more day.  She's now on the strongest dose of the strongest medication they can give her.  Her doctor's on vacation, and her next appt is the 19th.  I don't know if she's looking at back surgery or staying on the pain management.  So keep her in your prayers?