Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of the Year Recap

Hard to believe another year has passed!  2013 certainly had its ups and downs.

Jan:  Shook free of Bad Publisher and Youngling's basketball team won the championship:)  Contracted bronchitis and an ear infection, and found a new Karaoke venue.

Feb:  Kenzie's Class Reunion released; was giving myself daily breathing treatments; and edited Endless Love.

March:  Celebrated the youngling's 9th birthday at Chuck E Cheese; found myself floundering in self-doubt for a week, but then found a wonderful affirmation of my story-telling at the top of my proof copy.  Endless Love released and was well received:)  My cover art for Searching For Love was beautiful!  Attended an Author's Fair in Madison, IN with Carol Preflatish, Kayelle Allen, Maddie James, and Jan Scarborough, to name a few, and had a blast!

April:  Edited both Off The Clock (Kenzie) and Searching For Love, plus had a heated debate on FB over my personal views toward the GLBT community. My daughter's b/f caused them to be evicted from their apartment, which caused me to cancel our plans to attend the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City.  SFL released; we got ready to kick things into high gear for Graduation Hell.

May:  I convinced the daughter to go through graduation AND a party, citing she wouldn't get 'monetary presents' if there was no party, ha ha!  And since she was adamant about a certain person not attending either events, I had to bite my tongue whenever this person called to ask about it.  I still think she's mad at me.  She and the baby moved back home with us, and by the end of the month had broken up with the baby daddy for good and begun dating another guy.  Baseball season began, and the youngling did well.  Graduation went well, and daughter was happy I'd nagged her into it:) And Tony Kanaan finally won the Indy 500:) Also, both Off the Clock and Wild At Heart were released:)

June:  I spent this month in turmoil, since a dear friend was diagnosed with a swift cancer.  He passed away on the 17th, and my spouse was very unsympathetic toward my grief.  I used the $$ I'd set aside for RT for the trip to his funeral, and respectfully shared my stories/memories with his wife.  Apparently S had spoken about me several times, so she didn't mind me sharing the front row of the graveside service with her and S's sister.  Baseball came to an end, and we began to look forward to our upcoming vacation.  Lost my health insurance.

July:  Began to have computer issues, and discovered the need to send it in.  I was editing Love Weighs In, plus my Freya's Bower publisher sent Off The Clock on a review tour the last part of the month, so I had to have my laptop as we traveled to Colorado.  My niece and nephew arrived; I drove up one day and took all the kids to the water park.  And two weeks later, we headed west.  My health also decided to go haywire, and suffered a few swollen lymph nodes in my neck.  But according to all tests, I was healthy.  The spouse began to get irritated with the sudden influx of medical bills, and the fact I had no insurance.

Aug:  Celebrated Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary, plus Mom's birthday, at Nicky's Restaurant in Estes Park, plus enjoyed ourselves.  School began, and the youngling seemed to be doing well in 3rd grade.  Love Weighs In was released, and suddenly I realized all of my finished work was now published.  It was time to write again.  My BFF moved to Arizona, so I was a little emotional toward the end of the month.  I went for a 2nd opinion on my health, and was relieved when Dr. S agreed with my assessment, and the fact the new thyroid dose was working.

Sept:  Discovered my new health insurance wasn't going to cover any of my son's doctor visits, so shopped around again and found one we were happy with.  Began my new diet, and it made me snippy at times.  Did a radio interview, and it went well:)

Oct:  Made a goal to write at least 1K per day.  Sometimes it happened; other times, not so much.  Had a great time at our Karaoke Costume Party, dressed as a pirate:)

Nov:  Began working on my 1st paranormal romance for NaNoWriMo.  Also took part in a Women's Retreat and made the decision to reaffirm my faith in Christ. I didn't 'win' NaNo, but did finish the book!

Dec:  The daughter was hired by McDonald's and now worked the same shift as her brother, meaning I was now back on full-time Grandma Duty.  Baked cookies and shopped.  Had a nice relaxing Christmas and I'm looking forward to seeing Gallagher tonight with the spouse.  I fell in love with his act back in 1985:)

Books Read This Year:  186
                      Paperback:  42
                      Hardback:     5
                            E-book: 139
                                  DNF:  12

Karaoke:  Started the year on the 'Don't's' and finished near the end of the 'F' titles.  New songs added to Good list:  23.

Have a safe and happy New Year!        

Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday Headaches

How Miss Itsy-Bitsy has grown!  Here she was last year....

And here she is this year!  She's growing into a beautiful little girl:)

Headache #1:  The Unwelcome Guest
When one of your loved ones divides his/her time between households, there can be unforeseen consequences.  We've had to spend two days reversing bad behavior, lamenting the loss of favorite sippy cups, and even dealing with vengeaful acts, resulting in a new diaper bag being bought.  But this season brought another side effect:  We now have unwelcome 'guests' in our home, and the day after Christmas, one 'guest' decided to travel with us.  Fortunately, he acted alone, and was disposed of before he could repopulate in another home.

Headache #2:  Theft
Daughter has been the unfortunate victim of theft the past several months, all because she insists 'she loves' a con artist.  First it was her laptop.  She gave him permission to pawn it while we were on vacation, so he could have some cash, and he was supposedly going to get it back the following month.  But the receipt mysteriously could not be found.....and now she has no laptop.

The second item she loaned him was her X-Box, so he could watch movies or play games.  When they broke up last month, he was supposed to return it.  Well, he apparently took it 'somewhere' and every time he's promised to give it back, either someone isn't home, or they don't have the gas $$ to drive to this residence, or he's been sick.  Now she tells us the uncle (or b/f-not clear on this) sold it for the grand total of $10.

Finally, late Saturday night she texted me this person was coming to get her wallet.  I wasn't home, but the spouse gave it to him.  We found out yesterday she gave him her bank card and PIN, with the understanding he was going to take $40 out for personal use.  But instead, he took $100 (her Christmas money) and left her with the grand total of .88.  I seriously hope that in a few hours we will be pressing charges against him!!  When will this child open her eyes to the fact this guy is nothing but a freeloader, thief, and con artist?

Headache #3:  Temper Issues
I don't know the entire story, but from what I can gather, my older son threw a temper tantrum at the above said con artist and kicked in the apartment door.  He may or may not be looking at charges pressed against HIM for damages.

2013 is certainly going out with a 'bang' around here.

In The Good News Category.....
Karaoke went well this past week:)  I didn't think I sounded very good until I heard the video.  I sang 5 songs:
Far Away (Nickelback)
Feels Like the 1st Time (Foreigner and no video)
1st Cut is the Deepest (Sheryl Crow)
Faith of the Heart (Rod Stewart)
Any Man of Mine (Shania Twain)

Tomorrow, I'll have my usual end of the month re-cap and possibly the end-of-the-year recap as well.  See you tomorrow!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Flashback Friday

Dec 2003:
I went to the doctor for my monthly checkup and she cautioned me to stay off my feet as much as possible. I scoffed.

"Yeah, right.  With two tweens, Christmas parties, and two birthdays?  I'll go on bed rest after Christmas Day."

And I proceeded to bake cookies, decorate the house, hosted my oldest son's twelfth birthday, and attended family Christmas parties.  Oh yeah, and celebrated my 38th birthday.  But on Christmas Eve Day, I suddenly noticed my ankles were extremely swollen.  I called a nurse friend, who told me to get off my feet and elevate them ASAP.  I'd finished wrapping everything; I was finishing up the stocking gifts and cleaning the house, since my parents were arriving soon.  My older kids had also been in a church production of The Best Christmas Ever, and my sister was in town.  But I turned over the housework to the spouse and kids, and plopped my butt on the couch with a movie for company while I elevated my feet.

We attended Christmas Eve service, then returned home and put the kids to bed.  The next morning, D and the kids got the food ready.  I was officially 'off duty' until the baby arrived.

I don't think I mentioned, I was carrying the baby the same way as I'd carried S, so we'd settled on Jessica Jo for a girl, and would call her JJ.  D still maintained he wanted a boy, to be called William Michael.  I wanted Michael William, but he wasn't budging.  So 'Peanut' became 'JJ' for the next three months.  We were on track to deliver March 5th:)

Next Month:  Movie Hour!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Flashback Friday

Thank you for all the warm birthday wishes yesterday!  I feel very blessed:)

Dec 1993:
I was still experiencing morning sickness, and the spouse was working, so little K would 'help' me in the morning by handing me pieces of toilet paper:)

My aunt went into the hospital, but the family Christmas party was still held a few days before my birthday.  My mother had gone to Florida to plan my grandmother's birthday party, so she wasn't there.  After the party, Dad took us out to eat at a steakhouse, and the meal was a sober one, since word had arrived Aunt Julie wasn't doing that well.

Later that evening, my dad called.

"Aunt Julie passed?" I asked.

He seemed surprised.  "How did you know?"

"I'm so sorry Dad....it's the only other reason you would have called this late."

My sister, who was home from the Peace Corps, picked me up the next day and we went to offer support to Grandma, and help her with anything she needed.  And the viewing was held the evening of my birthday.  It's strange when people come up to you and say "Happy birthday....I'm so sorry for your loss."

We buried her the next day, and a week later, celebrated Christmas with Mom and Dad.  Then we sent Wendy back to Ecquador.

Present Day:
A tiny rant about what took place yesterday.  Everyone's up in arms about an OPINION expressed by a popular CHRISTIAN reality-TV star.  I've only recently begun paying attention to this particular family, especially after learning they stood up to their editors for editing out their prayer time.
-It was an OPINION
-It was said in a radio interview or magazine interview; I've heard both.
-It was taken out of context; he went on to say he would never treat anyone with disrespect.

So why has the network 'suspended' him for his OPINION?
-He did not express hatred
-He stated Biblical principles
-He did not say anything slanderous toward any GLBT group.

I say, let the network drop them, and take their show over to a more Christian-oriented station.  And see how many people follow them.  Where's the tolerance?  Or is 'tolerance' only if we agree with the far left?  Since when do we censor OPINIONS?  Do I blow up every time I see an Op-Ed piece on a news show that I don't agree with?  No; I change the channel or listen to it and blog my views the next day.  This is my blog; everything on it that I write is MY OPINION.  You don't have to agree with it; if you don't like what I say, you are free to voice your own OPINION in the comment section, as long as you're cordial about it.  We're free to agree to disagree.

Karaoke Party Tomorrow!
Foolin' Yourself-Styx

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

HDH #33

More of the Brian and Randi story.  In Pt. 1, Flirtation, which you've read snippets of the past few weeks, Brian and Randi meet and try to deny their attraction, since Randi first dates B's best friend John.  A year goes by; Randi and John break up, but she then dates a man named Rick, but goes to see John anyway.  After confessing to B she's breaking up with Rick, they finally share a kiss and make love.  But Life gets in the way and they go their separate ways.

 In Pt 2 Desire.  Two years have passed, and suddenly John calls Randi to be with him when his mother passes.  Randi goes to be with him and receives a shock; Brian has married.  Another two years go by; Randi herself marries, has a child, then finds herself widowed.  She and John remained friends, and suddenly John invites her to go with him to a birthday party for Brian's two year old son, since his current girlfriend and Brian can't stand each other.  Randi worries about it, but agrees, and Brian is thrilled to see her.  During the party, he finds a way to get her alone and and drops a bomb.

“I’m going to be honest with you, Randi.  I can’t talk to anyone about this, because it’s such a damn mess.  What you’re witnessing is a fucking farce.  A fucking figment of Denise’s imagination!”  He leaned his head back against the oak tree and closed his eyes.  “My wife and I have pretty much drifted apart.  She has her work at the hospital, and when she does get home, she’s tired and just wants to eat, shower, and sleep.”
  “Who takes care of Mark?” she wondered.  “If you’re on the road and she’s too tired..”
“I take him to the sitter’s before I go to work, and she picks him up when she gets home.  On her days off and weekends, then she does the Mommy thing.”  He opened his eyes and sighed, absently picking up a blade of grass and twirling it in his fingers.
“That’s too bad,” she replied.  “I love being able to stay home with Sam.  My hours are flexible enough that as long as I get my work finished, it doesn’t matter if I work while he’s napping, playing with the neighbor’s, or late at night after he’s gone to bed.  Sure, it gets crazy at times, especially if he’s sick, or I have to meet a particular deadline, but his one day at school gives me the chance to get out without him for a while, even if I do have to check in at the office.”
“That’s good.”  He flashed her a smile.  “Part of Denise’s problem is that in my line of work, I’m gone for long hours of the day, and she doesn’t understand.  To her, I’m just driving all over the state, being sociable.  She doesn’t understand the stress I feel sometimes, and I wish I didn’t have to be on the road so often.  But that’s what happens when your the new VP on the block.  In a couple of years, when I’ll have more seniority, then I can delegate more, and have people under me to do the traveling.  She sees the money, but not the actual amount of work I do every day.”
“Where does your territory extend?” she asked.  “Do you ever make it up to where I live?”
“Actually, I’ve been so tempted to call you...I’m generally about ten minutes from you once a week,” he admitted.  “John told me your address last year, when I started going up there.”

“Brian Washington!  You’ve been around the corner from me all this time and you’ve never stopped in to say hello?” she gasped, then laughed.  “No, I guess it wouldn’t have been a good idea,” she said, sobering.  She gazed over the water, watching the tiny drops of sunlight dance in the air.  Why is he telling me this now?  What’s he saying?

Want to read more?  Go visit Kenzie's blog:)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Congratulations Tyson!

I wasn't overly fond of Tyson the first two times he was on Survivor, but I was impressed with him this season, and I'm glad he won.  Something about Monica drove me crazy, and I was hoping Ciera would manage to find her way into the final 3.  And Gervace, while the brains behind Tyson's win, never really did anything but follow T's lead.

I spent all day Saturday baking cookies, then yesterday after church, we went first to a family Christmas party, then to Terre Haute, where we met my parents at Olive Garden for me and my son's combined birthday parties.  I thought I was eating lightly at the Christmas party, but I think the chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake pushed me over the limit, for my desired Ravioli was not to be:  I settled for salad, Chicken and Gnocci soup, and one breadstick.  Then K and I split a slice of the Black Tuxedo pie.

We did NOT get any fresh snow this weekend, so I struggled out and made it to karaoke.  But my camera died, so even though I sang well, there's no video.  And yesterday, the spouse called from the store and reported the temp was 47 degrees, and snow was melting!!!  Hope the temps stay above freezing this week, and any precip we get is only rain!!

Cookies Baked:  9 Doz Choc. Chip; 7 Doz M&M; 4 Doz S/F Choc. Chip; 4 Doz S/F M&M; 3 Doz Oatmeal/Raisin.
Presents Wrapped:  1
Cards Written/Addressed/Sent:  24 addressed
Christmas Letter Written?  Yes:)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Flashback Friday: 1st Dance, Birthday, and Christmas:)

December 1983:
I neglected something last month.  I decided to accept an invitation to our fall dance, The Gallop, when I learned B was up for Gallop King.  He and I were still fighting at the time, so my friend K set me up with L.  Mom bought me a lovely dress and new shoes; L and I went to dinner at Pizza King and then onto the dance.

During one of the songs, B walked past us on the dance floor and said hi.  I smiled and returned the greeting, then went on dancing.  I also later voted for him, but one of the other senior basketball players won the title.  L and I had our pictures taken, and you can tell I was still in Marching Band mode:  I'm standing at attention, ha ha!

Anyway, as finals approached, B and I resumed talking.  Since my birthday fell during finals, B caught up with me. 

"Your birthday's tomorrow, isn't it?"

I was surprised he'd remembered.  "Yes."

He broke off half of his Snicker bar.  "Happy birthday, since I probably won't see you tomorrow."

"Thank you!"

Mom and Dad took me to Mountain Jack's for my 18th birthday dinner.  And a week later, I woke up with the stomach flu Christmas morning.  I felt better by the afternoon, and we went to my great-grandmother's house to celebrate.  I received a Polaroid Instant Camera, and practiced taking pictures, experimenting with distance and light.

Next month:  New schedule!

Present Day:
Hopefully the snow we're supposed to get today won't deter me from going to karaoke this week.  Temps are supposed to be in the 30's, instead of the teens, so if I'm able to go, I'll be singing the same songs I'd planned for last week:
Faith of the Heart
Fall To Pieces

Have a great week!  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Final Critique of TSWSNBN

Currently Reading:  Finally finished Unwritten Rules by Alison Henderson and really enjoyed it!  Recommended Read:)  It's the story of a PI in charge of protecting a client who also happens to be her neighbor, who wrote a spy novel.  While on a book tour, someone either isn't happy about the book or doesn't like him.  Go pick this up:)  Now onto The Tiger's Heart by Marissa Dobson.  I think it's a tiger shifter, so this will be interesting!  It's also a long one (35 chapters), so depending on the pace and my reading time, I may not finish this for a week or so.

I have to say, I was never so thankful to see 'The End' of a book, with the exception of Catching Fire.
When I left off, A had just discovered she was pregnant, and C blew up at her; they fought; and then things calmed down.

Ch. 24:
She's still in the hospital and right at the start, C looks as if he's 'in the mood', and she's surprised by his shifting mood.  You've been with the man now for how long?  And this surprises you?

Pg 490:  She's staring at C getting undressed and he teases her.  So why does she try to ignore the fact she's been caught staring at him?  You're married!  It's OKAY!

Pg 493:  Let's take an informal poll of readers:  You've just been released from the hospital and have cracked ribs, a concussion, and multiple bruises.  Would you suddenly have the urge to make love?  Yeah, me neither.  A is definitely off her rocker....but you knew that already, right?

Pg 494:  Okay; mystery solved.  JH has been trying to kill C because they grew up together in the same foster home, only C was adopted to wealth and J wasn't.  The entire plot of book #2 was jealousy, as was the cliffhanger at the end.  I was hoping for a more complex answer, like one of C's 'most trusted'?  Would have made it more interesting....but then again, this isn't a Dan Brown, Stephen King, or Michael Palmer.

Ch. 25:
C decides to tell A the entire story and suddenly she wonders if she really wants to hear it?  If I've been bugging a guy for 3 books to open up, that's the LAST thing on my mind!  Where's her inner goddess?  She should be turning handsprings and doing a cheer.

They eventually do have sex, though A admits some parts are more painful.  And C explains why he allowed Mrs. Robinson to be his Domme, and when he made the decision to become a Dom himself.

She's heavily pregnant, and they're indulging in some mild bondage play.  But all of a sudden, she mentions Blip #2.  HUH?  

Pg 537:  We see she's jumped ahead and now has a son, so she's PG with the daughter.  I'm glad C was able to get her to change her mind about names for B#2; why on earth would you see if your hubby would like to name his child after a woman who gave him up and who he refers to as 'that crack whore'?  Name the baby after the ADOPTED mom!

Pg 544:  Remembering Blip #1's birth, and I'm confused.  Did she have the baby before the C-section or was it a C-section?  (just reread it; I think it WAS by C-section)

And finally, there is the scenes where A met C, and he goes to the hardware store, all from his POV.

The end.  

We now return to regular Thursday programming on this blog.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

HDH #32

More of the Brian and Randi story.  In Pt. 1, Flirtation, which you've read snippets of the past few weeks, Brian and Randi meet and try to deny their attraction, since Randi first dates B's best friend John.  A year goes by; Randi and John break up, but she then dates a man named Rick, but goes to see John anyway.  After confessing to B she's breaking up with Rick, they finally share a kiss and make love.  But Life gets in the way and they go their separate ways.

Pt 2 is Desire.  Two years have passed, and suddenly John calls Randi to be with him when his mother passes.  Randi goes to be with him and receives a shock.

John revealed that Brian had married the previous summer, and would be coming over later that evening.  Randi thought she had prepared herself before seeing him again, but when he stepped through the door, all her old feelings washed over her, and she literally had to stop herself from throwing herself into his arms.  A part of her also wanted to scream at him for casting her aside, but she restrained herself.  He’s married now...we can’t act on anything...maybe this stupid infatuation will stop!  Brian was to be a pallbearer at the funeral, and the next day, introduced her to his wife, Denise.  Randi liked Brian’s wife, and concentrated on her feelings for John.  When it was time for her to return home the day of the funeral, she felt she’d successfully set aside any feelings she may have harbored for Brian.  Now I can ditch Larry, she decided.  John’s apparently changed for the better.  And we’ve had such a great week, considering...

            But John hadn’t changed.  As soon as he realized Randi was falling in love with him all over again, he was back to his old tricks; not being reliable, continuing to seek out other women when Randi couldn’t be with him, etc.  The final straw came when John brought Brian up to spend the weekend with her, and John proceeded to get drunk.  Brian lost his temper with his friend over his behavior, and in desperation, asked Randi if she’d have sex with him.
            “You’ve got to be kidding,” she looked at him incredulously.  “Sure, Brian.  Why not?  Divorce your wife, then ask me again.”  She shook her head contemptuously.  “I do not have sex with married men.  God!  I can’t believe you’d even ask me that!”  She stomped past him, not giving him time to explain, and threw herself on the bed, crying herself to sleep.  You’re one year too late, Brian, her heart cried.  One year too late.

I know; there's a lot of 'telling' instead of 'showing'.  More 'showing' will come next week; this was transitional snippet.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Time For Myself

I read an article in the Ladies Home Journal (Oct 2013) while waiting for the dr about the benefits of carving time out for oneself each day.  It said that a lot of women feel guilty if they're not doing anything 'useful', and feel selfish if they sit down and read, take time out for a cup of coffee, or even taking a walk.

It went on to say a lot of us have the mindset of if we're not seen with a large group of friends, then we harken back to those pre-teen days of craving acceptance.  Yes, it's more fun to go out to eat with a friend or attend the movies.  But on the flip side, I don't have anyone nagging at me to hurry up, because I like to watch the credits.  Eating is a different matter; if I'm at the coffee shop, I usually either have the laptop or Kindle with me and I don't want to be disturbed (unless, of course, you recognize me and want to gush about my latest 'brilliant' book, lol!)

I've always been a bit of a loner, and yes, growing up I longed to have a broad circle of friends.  But that can get stifling at times.  I like to curl up with a good book, or dive into the internet, FaceBook, or even my latest wip.  And it was a bit daunting, at first, to walk into a bar by myself to sing karaoke.  I didn't want anyone to hit on me, and let's face it; I have issues hearing and being heard in a noisy bar, so it's kind of nice to be by myself!  But on the other hand, if my friends are chatty, then I sit back and listen as best as I can, and if I can't be heard, well, I carry a pad of paper and pen.

Maybe I'm weird, but one of my favorite things to do is to shoo everyone out of the house for the entire day.  I'll clean, sing to my heart's content, and even read, write, or just chat on the internet.  And I'm perfectly happy.  It's the days when I'm in constant demand from family members which stress me out.  I'll sit down to read and I'll hear 'Mo-om!' Or the spouse calling my name.  Of course, being the lone reader in a family who would rather watch the History Channel is rough.  If I'm working on the computer, I'm 'playing'.  If the house is dirty/cluttered, I'm the one who's slacking.  Right now, the evening dishes need washed, but I'd rather write this article.  I'm also battling bronchitis, and the spouse said he'd help out later.

I try to read a chapter or two of whatever book I have handy before bedtime; it helps me unwind.

I once spoke to an older woman who said she doesn't read because she always finds something to clean.  We have five people crammed into a 2 bedroom house; after seven years, I'm used to seeing toys scattered along the edges of the living room and the area with the toy box.  A neat freak would have a fit if they saw my house, but it works for us, a controlled chaos.  Ask me to find something; I can usually go directly to it, or tell you if it's in storage or downstairs.

Do I feel guilty for taking my 'me' time?  No.  It helps keep me refreshed. When the kids were little, I used to lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes and read while doing my business. More recently, while working on my NaNo project, the family indulged me and left me alone to write.  Thankfully, my next published work is at least a year off, since my daughter now works nights and I'm on full time toddler 'Grandma' duty.  I haven't disappeared; my work hours are limited at the moment.  And being sick gives me extra time to catch up on my reading and TV watching.

So what about you?  Is there anything specific you do each day for YOU?  How do you carve that time out for yourself?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Congrats Jason and Amy!!!

Currently Reading:  Unwritten Rules by Alison Henderson.  This is one that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you're reading!

The Amazing Race:
I was sooooo hoping the Afghanimals would be in the final 3!  But Leo couldn't figure out what was wrong with his robot.

Team ER Docs:  Nicole has had several bad legs of the race, dropping the ball and not doing her share of the work.  Amy helped her last week on the octave challenge, then they worked together on the robots.  But she couldn't hit the target from the plane....nearly crashed while scaling the glacier....and had problems paddling the kayak.  I have no idea if they even finished the final challenge.

Team Pinky:  As much as she drove me crazy all season long, she battled her way into 2nd place.  I did enjoy the antics of the Japanese Game Show host and audience at their 'broken up' status/expense:)

Jason and Amy:  Played a straight game, no flip-flopping on alliances or blatant lies.  Kudos....you deserve it!

Next Season:  Returning players are back!  Who do I NOT want to see?  'Brenchal'.  Team Pinky.  Would LOVE to see Mark, the Afghanimals, Brandon and Adam, or even the NFL team guys who had airplane issues this season.

Weekend Recap:
We received almost a foot of snow; school was canceled last Friday and today.  I did NOT go to karaoke, since the temp had dropped to 18 degrees.  We also did not go to Terre Haute to celebrate K's birthday; instead, we took him to a local steakhouse.

Cookies Baked:  7 doz. M&M
Cards Addressed/mailed:  0
Presents Bought/wrapped: 0

Friday, December 6, 2013

Flashback Friday: Blizzard of '73:)

December 1973:
The date was set....the party planned....my outfit chosen with care.

Mom made cupcakes for me to take to school.

However, Mother Nature had another idea.  Snow began to fall.

In the morning, "School is canceled, honey.  Go back to sleep."

Sleep?  But it was my birthday....and the last day of school before the Christmas Break!   What about my class singing Happy Birthday to me?  Playing Head's Up 7-Up?  And passing around my delicious chocolate cupcakes?  Instead, I got a blizzard and an early start to vacation.

We enjoyed the snow, and went sledding down the neighbor's driveway and hill.  Friend K came over and shared ice cream and cake, then had more celebrations with various family members during the next two weeks.

Present Day:
Cookies Baked:  14-15 dozen chocolate chip
Presents Bought/Shipped:  8, along with 15 e-book CDs for the troops.

Songs For Tomorrow's Karaoke:
(If I get to go; a sleet/snowstorm had school letting out early yesterday and no school today.  Depends on the ice factor and if I feel like trudging a mile through the snow.)

Faith of the Heart (Rod Stewart)-doing this again so I can catch it on video
Fall To Pieces (Avril Levign)
Fame (Irene Cara)
Birmingham (Amanda Marshall)-Redemption song.

Today, I'm baking either the sugar free cookies or the M&M ones...haven't decided yet.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I'm heading into the home stretch!  Only two more chapters after this week's installment, halleluja!!!

Ch. 17:
Pg.355:  I had a massive eye-roll when, during the phone conversation to tell C her dad's in the hospital and C says he has a meeting with some Asian business men, A wonders 'Why did I no nothing of this?'  Umm, because you're too wrapped up in your own job, staying alive, keeping C alive, and worrying about C's previous lovers to ask about what it is he does every day.  That's why.  Then on the next page, she's questioning his judgement?  What has she got against the Global Economy?

Pg. 359:  I don't know about 'normal people', but when I make a cup of tea with a tea bag, I let it steep for several minutes.  Here she dunks the tea bag, then immediately throws it away, then sips and grimaces at the taste, because it's not her usual brand.  Get a clue; you're drinking colored water at this point.  You have to set it steep!  And on the next page, a mere paragraph later, her tea is cold?  How hot was that water?  Couldn't have been too hot.

Pg 361:  I wanted to slap her.  Yeah, I get it; she's in shock....but I've been in that situation also and when I hear 'stable but critical', I don't wonder what it means; I tell the doctors 'thank you'!  It means his condition has under control, but they're watching him closely.

Ch. 18:  A and C are sharing a suite so she can be close to her dad, and since she's forgotten her toothbrush, she uses his.  Gross.  Has NO one told her you never use anyone else's toothbrush?  You put the paste on your finger or use mouthwash.  Chew gum.  This happened in book #1 also.

Ch. 19:  Why is she shocked that C wants to make love on the sofa?

Ch. 20:
So A's pregnant.  With all the threats to her life and C's, and parties to attend, plus being whisked off to Aspen, she's forgotten to go get her no-baby shot.  And C goes ballistic when she tells him?  Proof she should have left him waaaaayy back in Ch 1 or 2 of book #1.....

They fight, especially when A discovers C went to see 'Mrs R' in order to calm down.  Then JH shows up and blackmails her....and suddenly meek, sheltered little A turns out to have James Bond skills at turning the tables on her captor, though she does injure herself in the process.

Ch. 23:
Pg 465:  I've had a catheter in; you can't tell when you're peeing.  So why does she have the urge?  Tsk tsk...author didn't do her homework...and OMG....on the next page, her refuses to let the nurse do her job?  What if he drops her?  She slips?  Is he still going to blame the hospital?  Idiot....

Pg 472:  Holy cow.  No hospital food for A; C has her meal catered from an upscale restaurant.  Talk about overkill.

And surprise, surprise....at the end of this chapter, C's changed his mind and is now looking forward to the birth of 'Little Blip'.

I'm sooooo thankful I only have to read less than 100 more pages!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

HDH #31

I know; technically this is over.  But everyone is giving me wonderful feedback on that infidelity story.

Story Thus Far:
Brian and Randi meet at a party and have an instant attraction, but she's dating his best friend John.  Now it's a year later; Randi is now dating someone else, but has come to see John and brought a friend with her.  The friend has accompanied John down to the basement to iron his jacket, leaving Randi and Brian in the kitchen alone.

Again, please forgive the head-hopping.

Brian moved to the cabinet and withdrew a glass.  “Want something to drink?” he asked.  “If we’re not going out, then I’m having a Bloody Mary.”

            “Yuck,” Randi made a face.  “I hate tomato juice.  But you go ahead.”

            “Thanks.”  Brian was amused by the way she naturally slipped back into her role as hostess.  “You know, Randi, it’s puzzling.”  He poured in a shot of vodka, then added the tomato juice.

            “What’s puzzling?”

            “You’re one of the best looking, smartest girls that John’s ever dated, and yet you let him go down there with another girl.”  Might as well grab the bull by the horns...what the hell...

            “I have no ties to him anymore,” she stated.  “Can I help it if they find each other attractive?”  You think I’m good looking?

            “Well, you dated him.  Doesn’t it feel weird to see him with a friend of yours?”

            “Not really.  I don’t feel anything for him anymore.”  Now you, it’s a different story...

            Brian paused, and added some tobasco sauce, then reached in the refrigerator for a slice of celery.  “And there you have it, my dear...the perfect Bloody Mary!”  Oh shit...did I just call her ‘dear’???

            He called me ‘dear’!  “As I said, you can have it.”  She looked down at her hands. 

            “So you’ve only been dating, what’s his name?  Rick?  For how long?” he said conversationally as he leaned against the sink and sipped his drink.

            “I’ve actually known him for several months,” she swallowed.  “And he asked me to come down to see him this weekend.”

            “I see.  And did you know Rhonda before, also?”

            “Yes.  I...knew her through the dormitory.  And she has her room and Rick has his.”  Why am I telling him this?  It’s none of his damn business!

            “And you’re not suspicious?”  His penetrating eyes unnerved her.

            She looked up at him.  “I’ve met her...lover,” she said softly.  “He and Rick used to be roommates last year.”

            “Does he live there too?”

            “Why all the questions?” She burst out.  “Yes, he does.”

            He shifted so that she wouldn’t see the swollen bulge in his pants.  Damnit, why does this have to happen now?  I can’t get it up when I’m with anyone, but the minute she turns those eyes on me, I’m so hard I can’t stand it... “I just can’t figure why you bothered to come see John,” he said softly.  “You could have called him.”

            “I did...and his mom said you two would be back shortly.”  She bit her lip and looked away.  Will he pick up on the fact I wanted to see him as well?

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Reading List

End-of-the-Month Recap:
Books Read:  13
            Print:  4
       E-Book:  9

Writing Goals Attained:
Did I win Nano?  Sort of.  I finished Brock and Tricia's story, my 1st ever paranormal erotic romance, which will be pubbed under Kenzie's name, and it came in just under the 42K word count.  So under the true NaNo guidelines, no; I was still 8K short.  But since my goal was to finish the story, then yes, goal attained:)  And feels wonderful to have written 'The End' for the first time in 4 years!

Exercise/Weight Loss:  Blew my diet during a ChRHP weekend and am still struggling to lose the 4 pounds gained.  I'm thinking I'll try to stick to the moderation and portion control over the holidays, then pick back up after the 1st of the year.  We're also thinking about joining the gym.  I'll keep you posted.

Karaoke Update:  Kept 5 of the songs, including two more 'E' titles, Everything I Do (Bryan Adams) and Eye of the Tiger (Survivor).  So far, the 'F' titles are being kind to me:)  

December Reading Schedule:
Wyatt’s Guilt-Sara Daniels Excellent!  RR
A Highlander For Christmas-Jamie Carie Excellent!  RR
Money-Mike Weiss Good story
Murder-Mike Weiss Happy to see it finally end.
Unwritten Rules-Alison Henderson  Excellent story!  RR
The Tiger's Heart-Marissa Dobson LOVED this!  DRR
Journey of the Magi-Barbara Edwards Wonderful story!
Swapped-Keaton Quist Hawt!!
Alice's Story-Kathleen Ball Loved it!  RR
Scandal at Vauxhall-Layna Pimentel Loved it!  RR
Breaking Perfect-Lydia Michaels Loved, loved, LOVED this!  DRR
Ride A Cowboy-Desiree Holt Whew!  HAWT!  
Quarterback Blitz-Francis Stockton Very good!
Cinderella Wore Combat Boots-DL Jackson Good:)

Karaoke Song List
Fall To Pieces-Avril Lavign Did well!  Keeper:)
Fame-Irene Cara Fun to sing, but only time I'll perform it, lol!
Fancy-Reba Sung it twice and keep tripping over my tongue!  Keeping it:)
Far Away-Nickelback Bleh.  Last time.
Feels Like the First Time-Foreigner Did okay on it.  Might do it once more....
First Cut is the Deepest-Sheryl Crowe Bleh, but video sounds better.  Still, taking it off list.
Flashdance-Irene Cara

Plans This Month:
-Baking cookies
-Celebrating two birthdays
-Christmas shopping/wrapping
-Shipping laptop off to be fixed
-Preparing for Christmas Eve service

Hopefully, I'll post pics of out Thanksgiving Day feast and the daily count of cookies, presents bought/wrapped.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Flashback Friday: Another Diagnosis!

Nov 2003:
Recap:  D had two heart surgeries, was diagnosed with TB and put on those meds; I came up pregnant and had to quit my job; both cars died.  Thankfully, we were able to patch together the Lincoln Town car and drive to his mother’s for Thanksgiving.
We spent an enjoyable weekend, and when D began telling his mother of some other health issues he was experiencing, she made him test his blood sugar.  Over 300.  What?????  As soon as I could, I made him an appointment for the following Wednesday.
This time, his blood sugar was over 400.  Dr. S had him immediately admitted to the hospital.  I called the kids and told them I’d be home shortly, after settling him in.  I felt bad once we got him settled, since Dietary showed up with a meal for his roommate, but he wasn’t allowed to eat it.  I offered, so they gave it to me, and I enjoyed it.  But then the nurse came by and told the roommate his test had been cancelled, and could eat.  I rather sheepishly confessed to eating it; they ordered another meal!  D spent the next day undergoing more tests and was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  Two more medications were added to his growing list.
I also began noticing people whispering, and finally one of my friends asked me if I’d lost the baby.  I said no; they had noticed I wasn’t putting on much weight and wondered if anything had happened.  I did let my kids accompany me to the ultrasound, where they got their first look at their new sibling.  I didn’t want to know the sex, but the kids did; however, ‘Peanut’ rolled over and refused to allow the tech to get a look between his/her legs!  We were also given an entire strip of pictures, so each one could take to school and show off their new brother or sister.
Next Month:  Christmas Craziness and Bed Rest!
Songs For Tomorrow:
Faith of the Heart-Rod Stewart
Fall 2 Pieces-Avril Lavign
Black Velvet-Alannah Miles
Have a great weekend!

Weekend Catch Up 11/26/13

Had a good weekend; passed out a few cards on Sat at the Stroll, even though it was freezing cold and the spouse thought we were all insane, I told people Murphy was a bitch; the past several parades have been in the 30′s, and Friday was still in the high 40′s/low 50′s. Trust it to be cold the year they scheduled the parade on Saturday!
Karaoke was packed; I was only able to sing 3 songs, and only because I played on Mark’s (drunk) sympathies:
Faith of the Heart: Did well on it, but when Mel picked up my camera, she accidentally hit the battery compartment, knocking them out. So no video.
Everybody: Mel and I decided to try this, since another group had sung Step By Step (New Kids on the Block), but we bombed. Chalk this up to temporary insanity!
Faithfully: Nailed this one, which thrilled me! I’ve been singing it ever since it released over 30 years ago, and I’ve been dying for the chance to sing it. Unfortunately, the crowd didn’t seem to appreciate my talents, as they drowned me out with their conversation….or so it seemed, anyway. I’ll review the video footage and see if I can be heard.
Sunday was busy, as I had a CRHP ‘reunion’ and the two recipients of their framed song and poem were thrilled! I’ll be giving the other one out tonight, Thursday, or next Wednesday, since she wasn’t there.
I was a little pissed off when I sat down to watch 60 minutes. CBS had stated it was to start at 7:30, so I enjoyed dinner with the family. But football had apparently (gasp!) finished early, and I missed 20 minutes of it, the story I had actually wanted to see.
Amazing Race: While I was happy to see the Ice Rink girls be eliminated, I was also thrilled to note I was spot on about Nicole’s use of the Express Pass. Had it not been Amy’s generosity in helping her (cannot believe someone does not know what an octave is! Did the woman never pay attention in music class???), she and Travis would have been going home.
Good Wife: This season gets weirder and weirder. Is Will that bitter toward Alicia? That new smarmy lawyer he hired….yeah, if I wanted to get back at someone, that stunt was ingenious and I’d want him on my side. But on the other hand…..that was annoying.
Yesterday, I neglected to post. But then again, I’d overslept; didn’t even get dressed until 1pm; and had to take the youngling to the dr. Spent the afternoon doing laundry and typing up what I’d written in longhand over the weekend.
Heading Into The Homestretch!
NaNo deadline is this Saturday, and I’m only at the 22K mark. But, I’m hoping to finish Brock and Tricia’s story, then find a title for it, so I can send it off by February. The alien culture keeps developing as I write it, so I’ll have to go back and fix a lot in the earlier chapters. And that was my NaNo goal all along, so I’m thrilled:)


Ch. 14:
Friend K just got engaged, yet she turns puce? And A thinks she knows what K wants to do instead of going clubbing. Give me a break. If she’s going to be sick. that doesn’t always mean she’d rather hit the sheets instead of the dance floor. I think the author meant to write another color.
Pg.301: Why is he so worried about her alcohol intake? So she downs the water in an ‘unladylike manner’ to protest. Huh.
A is fondled on the dance floor; she slaps him; C punches the guy. Overkill? And yet no one but A thinks K and E are ‘being indecent’ on the dance floor?
Pg. 309: He’s not mad at her ‘for once’ and she thinks this is progress???
Ch. 15: I find it hard to believe her hand still hurts. And I’m completely thrown off by the mock ‘rape’ scene on pages 314-317.
Ch. 16: A goes to work and L shows up to see her. I don’t even know why this was necessary to the story. It’s so uncomfortable to read. I had to stop at the beginning of Ch. 17 to read something else: My FB feed. Much more entertaining.

HDH #30

Currently Reading:  Finished Soulbound last night and WOW!  Really enjoyed this story of three friends finally admitting their true feelings for one another.  Also finished The Price of Defiance.  Now onto The Bitch in the Kitchen:)
I know; there’s no ‘official’ HDH today.  But I’m still fighting with Chrome and Firefox, and apparently I can’t add any photos to this blog while in Chrome.  And FF is moving at a snail’s pace, so I quit trying over there.
Anyway, here’s another snippet from my NaNo wip.  Brock and Tricia finally have their first argument.
“She’s what, sixteen? From what your mother has said, she’s almost of age,” Tricia reminded him. “I know she’s your baby sister, but you’re going to have to accept her choice. How did she first feel when you told her about me?”
Brock looked at her. “That is different.”
“How so? Re’Nah told me how she tried to dissuade you from pursuing me.”
“I knew what I wanted, and nothing was going to stop me.” Brock folded his arms across his chest.
Tricia tipped her head to one side. “Then how do you know you’re right and Ki’Rah’s wrong? Flip it around, Brock. You’re the youngest and pursuing someone nearly thirty years younger than you. Your older siblings question your decision, even expressing disapproval at every turn. How does that make you feel?”
“Do not use your Earthling psychology on me.”
“Then quit acting like a jackass and be happy for your sister.” Tricia’s temper flared. “Yes, your sisters haven’t followed an exactly approved path, and neither did your brother. You went outside your solar system and brought me home, an alien who has to wear dark glasses and drink water all the time, because your liquids are too spicy for me. But all you can say is, ‘I know what I wanted and nothing was going to stop me.’ Can’t Ki’Rah say the same? Or does she have to grow up in order to say that?” She put her hands on her hips. “If she’s anything like teenagers on my world, she may run off with Da’Til just to get away from you. Is that what you want?”