Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: A Look Back....

2016 was a horrible year for celebrity deaths, and since it was an election year, sales were iffy across the board.  But it wasn't for a lack of trying!

Jan:
Began the year catching up my Youngling in Spelling, then we resumed lessons at home, after a relaxing week at Grandma's.  Set up at the Women's Expo in Indy, but only sold 2.  Was told the publicity for the event just didn't exist, and we were also competing with the Home Show.  Plus, our booth was in a bad place, and the promoters didn't even link us with the NY published keynote speaker.  I also think this was the month I met Billie Brown in Indy for dinner at Texas Roadhouse, since her grandmother was in the hospital.  Granddaughter A began Head Start, to see if she was ready, and after a few weeks, she really enjoyed it.

Feb:
Think we spent Valentine's Day at home....plus I started sending out queries for Kira's Slice of Pizza.

March:
Held a meeting with friend B, who agreed to work on the print versions of the AU covers.  I drove around campus and took pictures of buildings that would coincide with the 6 books.  Also began working on my 1st Fairy story.  House-sat for Mom and Dad while they were in Florida, watched the NCAA Basketball tournament, and attended the Eagles Craft show, selling 4 print copies and 4 of the CDs.  Celebrated W's 12th birthday at Outback

April:
Arranged for Kira to be edited AND for covers created; went to the Madison, IN Author's Fair and only sold 2, plus ran into a problem with my hotel deposit refund, which ended up costing me $98 in overdraft fees, which D promptly paid, but began holding it over my head every time an issue arose.

May:
Celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at the Schnitzelbank in Jasper with the kids, and Texas Roadhouse by ourselves.  Melissa Bennett and I drove to Nashville, TN and went to the Opryland Hotel to look around before going onto the Weekend With The Authors convention.  Introduced her to several of my friends, and we had an enjoyable afternoon.  Ate dinner at Jack-In-The-Box before meeting up with a few of her friends for a birthday party and eventually driving home!  Ended up taking 2 detours; one in Nashville, when we missed the turn and spent 45 minutes in stop-and-go traffic; the other when we missed the turnoff to 41 and went a mile out of our way to find another turnaround spot.  Also set up at an Author's Fair in Edinburgh, In and didn't sell any, but had a good time with my dad when he drove me to Lafayette.  Met my uncle and cousin at the Indy 500 and enjoyed it.

June:
Set up at the Heaps of Jeeps festival and while I didn't sell any, I did barter one for a CD, and networked with Helping His Hands agency.  A friend informed us of a house he was selling, so we went over and looked at it.  It was just what we wanted!

July:
Filled out the application for the mortgage, and was approved!  I also began working on a needlepoint pillow for my niece, and discovered an interesting fact:  No one bothers me if I'm sewing.  Finished my Fairy story and began a Ghost one.  Celebrated S's 22nd birthday and the 4th of July.  Drove to Peoria for the Writers On The River at the casino, and while I only sold 4, had a good time and lost my complimentary $10 on a slot machine.  Had to stop at 1am to find a hotel so I wouldn't fall asleep.

Aug:
Set up at the Watermelon Festival and only sold 2. Spent the month packing up the house, taking W to football practice, and back-to-school activities.

Sept:
Had to meet with W's teachers to update his learning plan, and had to remedicate him.  Also set up at the Wine and Art festival (0). the Bicentennial celebration (11), and the Kentuckiana Book Blitz (2).  My poem for the Bicentennial was an instant hit with everyone.  Signed the papers for our new house:)  Granddaughter A started Head Start and thrived:)

Oct:
We painted, sanded, and began moving into our new home:)  I went to Imaginarium in Louisville, and only sold 1, but the networking was awesome!

Nov:
Attended the CHRP retreat, then set up at the Indpls Christmas show, and sold 22:)  Enjoyed staying with my SIL from Wed-Sun, plus seeing my cousin Pam and friend K and her parents.  Thoroughly moved into our home and cleaned out the old one.  Cleared the dining room enough so we could host Thanksgiving with Sara's boyfriend.

Dec:
Decorated the house for Christmas, plus unpacked and rearranged boxes.  Had a small Christmas morning, but relaxing and enjoyable.


Books Read:  75
Print: 31
E-book:44
DNF: 5


Karaoke titles added: 148
Thurs: 81
Sat: 67

What are my goals for the coming year?  Check back in a few days!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Flashback Friday: All I Want For Christmas Is A Shower....

Dec 2006:
That heading may sound weird to you, but all will be explained shortly! 

After Thanksgiving was over, my spouse had a three-day weekend, so we spent it getting rid of more unwanted furniture and finally moving some of 'our' things in, like the desk and computer, and our couch.

Floor mats were purchased, so we didn't have to stand on a cold basement floor as we showered, and a small space heater helped with the temperature.  K's birthday was spent in Terre Haute at the lazer tag place, and his cousin Josh and a few friends arrived to join in the fun.  W was too young for the game, so he amused himself by playing with the arcade game controls.  Afterward, we went to dinner at either Outback or Longhorn Steakhouse.

My birthday fell on a Wednesday, so I treated my friend Jackie to lunch at Fazolli's and presented her with an early Christmas gift of quilting materials.  To my surprise, my spouse arrived home that night and took us all out to dinner!

Christmas Eve, we packed up our meager presents and went to spend the night at my parents' house.  After attending the Christmas Eve service and waking up with happy kids, I hopped in the shower and enjoyed a private bathroom shower for the first time in two months.

K agreed with me later that it was 'the BEST Christmas present' of 2006!

Next Month:  NFL playoffs!

*************
Present Day:
This has been a horrible week for celebrity deaths.  Carrie Fisher passed away Tuesday, and then her mother, Debbie Reynolds, followed her on Wed.  My old elementary school principal, Mr. Kendall, passed away on Thursday, and one of the Jeff math teachers, Mr. Skibinski, also passed away on Wed.  I'd gone to school with one of his sons, Joe, and we'd shared World History together.

I'm also at my parents' house for the week, after celebrating Christmas with my aunt's family on Monday, then coming up afterward.  I've binge-watched Game of Thrones (SE2 and 3), and now PBS is running Downtown Abbey, which Mom and I are both watching.  Heading home tomorrow, after picking up MDQ and ME, who are off until Jan 10th.  W has to return to school Jan 4th.

Tomorrow will be my annual 'Year in Review', so see you tomorrow!

 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Flashback Friday: Robbed!

Dec 1996:
Oops:  I accidentally posted this as happening in 1995; however, I was incorrect.  These events happened in 1996. 

After we returned from Thanksgiving, I went over to our storage unit and retrieved our Christmas decorations.  I spent all day putting up the tree and other decorations, then the following day, sent D back to storage with the empty boxes.  A few minutes later, he called me.  Tammy, the storage unit manager, had noticed a different lock on our unit and was about to call us when she spotted D at the entrance and flagged him down. 

D said we had NOT gotten a new lock and gave her permission to break it.  When they opened our unit, they discovered it tossed.  What had happened, Tammy said, was someone had apparently watched me open it, and after I'd left, broken our lock, took what they could immediately carry, taken inventory, then placed their lock on our unit to return for the rest later.

What they needed me to do was see what was missing.  Among the missing items were:
-My tupperware demo kit;
-Our entire box of Christmas presents;
-My suit bag, containing my good suit and the two dresses I'd worn in both my friends' weddings.

I was floored and furious, since a prized picture collage was damaged.

I also felt extremely violated, and told D we needed to move out of the city asap.

We didn't have renter's insurance, so my mom took me downtown one day and helped me buy our Christmas gifts for that year. 

dragged insisted we attend Christmas Eve services that year, though K rebelled.

Christmas Day, we drove down and spent Christmas with the in-laws.

Next Month:  Making a decision

*******************
Present Day:
Presents are wrapped; plans for next week are set; tomorrow I have to both bake cookies AND go get a few last-minute gifts.

Tomorrow, I'm also making appetizers for dinner, since I have to sing at Midnight Mass, and have to be at church at 11pm.  The good news:  The weather is going to be in the 50s or even 60s for Christmas!!

If I didn't mention it, our organist fell down her stairs at her home and broke both her ankles.  Fortunately, another parishoner stepped up to play the organ for us.  The choir serenaded G when she was moved to rehab, and she was extremely touched by our gesture.  So were the nurses and other patients when we walked around the floor singing carols!

No karaoke this weekend.  Have a safe and merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Flashback Pt 2

Dec 1986:
Brief Recap:  I graduated from VU, and had a tearful goodbye with not only my roommates, but my recently-reunited boyfriend, JF.  My 21st birthday was a non-event, since it fell on a Friday, and we were leaving for Florida bright and early the next day.  My mom fixed me a rather watery homemade strawberry dacquari after dinner.

We arrived in Florida to warm and sunny weather!  Saturday was spent recupperating from the trip and chatting with Grandma, but on Sunday after church, we went out to dinner and I had my 1st official 'real' strawberry dacquari!  My sister had ordered hers virgin, and I'm not totally convinced our drinks hadn't been switched.

Christmas Day dawned 85 degrees, so after opening our presents, Mom, Wendy, and I hit the beach.  The water, however, was FREEZING!  There is a picture sequence which shows W and I with our toes in the water....then W knee-deep and looking uncertain.....then her horrified reaction when she went in up to her neck!

We also went to my Uncle Bill's house in Naples, where I bonded with my cousin Kelly over her new electronic keyboard, plus we played Mom's new murder mystery game, which involved a video.  W had received U2's Live At Red Rocks, while I had requested Don Johnson's Heartbeat (his 1-hit wonder!).

My aunt let me shut myself in her room and call JF for a few moments.  I also looked forward to New Year's Eve, but to my disappointment, I wasn't allowed to join in the festivities because we were headed back to the airport for the return trip home.

Next Month:  Reunion and finally celebrating my 21st birthday!

**********
Present Day:
The house is decorated for Christmas; we've turned over the keys to the other house; all that remains is to get the outside stuff (canoe, gang box, lawn mower, trash/recycle cans) tomorrow, when the temps are supposed to be in the 50s.  The temps have dipped into the teens this past week!

Finally made cookies yesterday, and today Alexandria and I plan to make Oatmeal Raisin ones.

Cookies Baked:  18 Doz (6 each of Choc. Chip, Holiday Chip, and Winter Chip); however, only 14 Doz were packed away!  Gave away 1 doz to DJ Brower.

Presents Bought:  2

Cards sent:  0.  Christmas letter has been written, but not printed.

Have a GREAT weekend!  We're meeting my parents for dinner at Outback in Terre Haute sometime this weekend, to celebrate mine and K's birthdays:)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Flashback Friday: I'm A Bad Blogger!

Since my return from the Indianapolis Christmas Toy and Hobby Show, I've been busy with moving mountains of boxes into our new home and unpacking them as fast as I can!  I didn't even open my laptop for three weeks, ugh!  (Thankfully, only had 418 emails in my inbox, so it only took me 45 mins to wade through them!)

I'm going to attempt to catch up on these FFs....think I left off with Nov 1996.

Nov 1996:  
I had talked EY (now ES, lol!) and KC into attending our VU Homecoming celebrations the year before (forgot to mention that!), and we'd had such a good time attending the basketball game and enjoying the dance, that KC and I decided to do it again.  Her boyfriend V accompanied us, and we did enjoy the game, but the dance was rather a bust, so we went to CW Dandy's.  During the Electric Slide, KC was accidentally shoved, so she left, and I ended up having a guy try to pick me up.  He couldn't dance it well, though, and I tucked that incident away for use in a future story!

We spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws, and put up their decorations.

I think this was also the month I finally got my tube put into my right ear, which was a painful process until the nurse clamped my head still!

Nov 2006:
I spent the entire month packing up Grandma H's breakables so little W wouldn't break any.  We also went rearranged furniture, gave away some, and moved ours into the house.  For Thanksgiving, our friends in Bicknell invited us over.  I took Bacon-Tomato cups.

Dec 1976:
Went Christmas shopping with Mom at Sears on the Levee; W and I are both doing 'The Fonz' (thumbs up) in the picture.  For my 11th birthday, my Uncle Bill and his new g/f Karen came, along with her son Joe.

For Christmas Eve services, I wore a quilted red skirt, and the next day both my sis and I received costumes:  Mine was a ballet tutu, while W received a bride costume.  W also received an Ernie puppet (from Sesame Street).  I'm wearing red PJs with feet in them.  We had Christmas dinner at Grandma and Grandpa G's on Medford St, then visited with mom's friends the Groustra's.  Enjoyed seeing Peter, Tim, and Vicki again.

We saw several movies over Christmas Break:  Silver Streak (Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Jill Clayburgh), King Kong (with Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges), and Candleshoe (Jodie Foster).  Also saw the trailer for a new movie coming out, called Star Wars, but didn't have any desire to go see it.

Dec 1986 (Pt. 1):
After a month of moping around and playing 'will he or won't he' be mine with the AF officer, and hearing how miserable JF was without me, I finally gave into pressure the day I received my graduation notice.  I called JF, fully prepared to simply leave the 'I'm going to graduate after all' message on his machine, but he picked up.  After he congratulated me, an awkward silence followed.  He told me A had mentioned I was miserable; I laughed and said I'd heard the same about him.  Another awkward pause, then he asked if I wanted to go get some ice cream, and I said sure.

He picked me up and before we'd even left the lobby, we'd shared a kiss, a hug, and the 'Oh god, I've missed you so...' conversation.  We went through the drive-through at DQ, then finished our reunion at his place.

My graduation day, my parents, Granny and Grandpa M and Aunt Julie arrived for the ceremony and an impromptu birthday party.  Dad had driven down the Pontiac T-1000 that W drove, so I could come home when finished, and he wouldn't have to make another trip.  I was thrilled; I finally had wheels for the next week, and wouldn't have to borrow a vehicle to get to JF's!

Since my birthday fell on a Friday, and I knew we were flying to Florida the following day, JF and I spent as much time as possible together.  He took me out on the 17th for a special meal, and we decided to try the long-distance thing.  After he left for work on the 18th, I spent the entire day cleaning his trailer from top to bottom, plus I made him a cake and left a loving note on the table.  EY, BJG, KC, and I then left for dinner in Evansville, and to drive around looking at lights and trying to cheer me up, since the thought of leaving him after reconnecting again so soon was depressing.  We had a moment of hilarity:  We went up a narrow street to see where it led, and it turned out to be someone's driveway, and they were throwing a party!  We turned around and did it again; the 3rd time, someone actually opened the door, so we moved on, lol!

When we returned, I called JF and found out I'd managed to reduce him to tears with my actions and note.  With tears in my eyes, I told him, "Ask me to stay and I will...", but he said he could not afford to put me through Ball State.  I told him I wasn't asking him to, but he told me to 'stick with the plan' and we'd see how we felt about each other in 1988.

I think I cried myself to sleep.

The following day, I tearfully packed up my belongings and officially checked out of room 138 Emison Hall.  BJG didn't make things any easier by playing Michael W. Smith's 'Friends' over and over.  I finally drove off, and Mom fixed me a rather watery strawberry dacquari for my 21st birthday, since we would have to get up early and get to the airport.

Next Week:  1986 Pt 2.

***********
Present Day:
I've got nearly everything unpacked:)  We bought at 7.5' tree and decorated it, plus today began decorating the rest of the porch and inside.  The dryer was hooked up on Monday, so we've begun fully living here now.  All that remains is the kitchen table and chairs, a few odds and ends in the living room, and some more stuff in the basement.

Kyle's birthday last night went well; his g/f Alicia came up and we'd bought K a 1.75 lb T-bone while the rest of us had teriyaki and peppercorn pork loin.

No 'roke last night, and I've bombed the last few times.  Hopefully tomorrow I won't sound too bad.  I'll be singing the following songs tomorrow:

Love Me Do-Beatles
Love Is Strange-Mickey/Sylvia
Love Me Like You Do-Elle Goulding
Love of a Lifetime-Firehouse

Weather-wise, the cold has arrived!  After weeks of high 40s, we've now dipped into the 20s.  BRRRR!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December Reading Schedule

As expected, I spent most of November moving into our new house.....
-Move completely into new house  Almost....still have stuff in basement
-Thoroughly scrub down old house  Still working on it....
-Have a good Women's Retreat  Check:)
-Do well at Indpls Christmas Toy and Hobby Show  Sold 22:)  VERY Happy with that total!!
-Pay B  Not yet...
-Start making payments for cover artist and editors for Kira and Heart Song  Not yet
-Finish Ghost Story  Not yet
-Mail Secret Project #1  Not yet

Books Read:  Made it halfway through one.....
NetFlix Movies:  Watched Season 1 of The Crown and started on Gilmore Girls reboot.

Health:  Thyroid is stable, plus went to dentist and have NO cavities!  I am showing early gum disease, so treatment begins in Jan....along with my cataract surgery.  Ugh.

Songs Added To Good List:  7
                                    Thurs:  4
                                         Sat:  3

December Goals:
-Finish moving into new house/organize furniture  Check:)
-Scrub down old house and turn over keys  Check:)
-Bake cookies  Working on it....
-Celebrate both K and mine b-days  Check:)
-Decorate new house  Christmas:  Check:)  
-Buy Christmas presents/wrap them
-Send Christmas cards/Write holiday newsletter

Reading Schedule:
Print:
Serpent's Shadow-Rick Riordan (2nd half)  DNF
Swift as the Wind-N.E. Riggs  LOVED it!!  
Tomb of the Moon-N.E. Riggs
For The Love Of Kaitlyn-Jennifer Wifrey Touching story!
No Easy Day-Mark Owen

E-Book:
All That Remains-SM Shade (Finish Bk #2 and read Bk #3)  Finished #2:)
Betrayal-Aleatha Rom



Karaoke:
Thurs:
We Belong-Pat Benetar  Nailed it!
Freedom-Wham  Did well:)

We Can Work It Out-Beatles  Did okay....
Freedom '90-George Michael  Went better than I thought!
We Didn't Start The fire-Billy Joel Slightly too low.

We've Got Tonight-Kenny Rogers/Sheena Easton
Friends and Lovers-Gloria Loring/Carl Anderson/ From This Moment-Shania Twain
What Do You Say-Reba McEntire

-OR-
Last Christmas-Wham  Nailed it:)
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer  Too low; ended up 'rapping' it!
I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas  Nailed it!

Sat:
Love Me Do-Beatles  Bleh.....too low!
Love Is Strange-Mickey/Sylvia  Nailed it:)

Love Me Like You Do-Elle Goulding Slightly low....then an hour later, someone else did it better!
Love of a Lifetime-Firehouse  Too low in parts.

Why only 4 songs?  A) The rotation on the 10th was 2 hours long, so was only able to do 2 songs; B) I always do 'fun' songs on my birthday weekend, but this year I'm including at least 2 from my regular list; C) Christmas falls on Sunday, so I'll be uber busy Christmas Eve; and D) I'll hopefully be spending some time with my parents during the final week, as I did last year.  The 'Love' titles will continue in Jan 2017:)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Flashback Friday: Catching Up....

I've been very busy the past two weeks, first at a Women's Retreat, then at the Indianapolis Gift and Hobby Show. Sold 22 books at the IGAHS and had a wonderful time staying with my SIL:)

Nov 1976:
I think we went 'Black Friday' shopping at Sears, when it was still on the Levee; there's a picture of my sister and I doing 'The Fonz' in the parking lot.  I'm assuming we did Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house in Indianapolis.

In the election, Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford.  My class held a mock election, and since I didn't follow politics, I asked my parents who they were going to vote for, then voted the straight Republican ticket 'since that's what my parents said'.  I do remember watching the returns with my parents and being upset that Ford hadn't won.

Nov 1986:
Brief recap:  JF and I had broken up, due to my stupidity, AND the AF Officer apologized for his behavior and wanted me back.  However, I thought he needed to be taught a lesson and refused, in order to see how he planned to win me back.

A mutual friend of ours was in my Marriage and Family class; in fact, JF and I were both taking that class, me on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning; he once a week at night.  Anyway, Annie learned of the breakup and began trying to get us back together.  She'd tell me how miserable he looked/acted/felt w/o me, and I'm sure she relayed my own misery back to him.

I began to pull away from my roommates, and even moved all my stuff to the other side of the room.  I know this followed a fight over the choices I was making, but can't remember specifics.  My detailed diary of this period of my life is gone, so I don't even have anything to reference other than my memory.

We spent Thanksgiving at home, and late at night, I called the AF officer and told him if he was serious, after all the late-night phone calls and letters, and wanted me back, we'd try it a 5th time.  That conversation left me rolling my eyes, since he was very non-committal.  I hung up the phone and went to bed, resolving to finish my final 3 weeks at VU; go through graduation; and hope and pray my application to Ball State was approved.

Next Month:  A very tearful farewell.

**********
Present Day:
This weekend is Moving Day!  Our wifi and Dish will be installed, so it's time to load up all the furniture and fully move in at the new place, then spend the next two weeks giving our old house a thorough cleaning.

The Powers That Be moved our Christmas Stroll to the 1st weekend in December!

I was VERY happy with the outcome of the election, and hope that the other candidate finally 'gets' it; they've lied one too many times, and I hope she gets what she deserves.  The only thing which alarms me is the possibility of R-V-W being overturned.  I do NOT want that!  If that happens, then women go back to the butchering of pre-1970.  Keep women safe, for those who choose this decision!

In other good news, friend BJG's cancer is in remission!!!!!!

Hope you have a very happy and SAFE Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November Reading List

How did I do in October?
-Thoroughly clean the new house and get it ready for our 'stuff'
  -Kitchen  Check:)
  -Dining room  Check:)
  -Living room  Check:)
  -Bathrooms
     -Kids  Check:)
     -Ours  Still needs cabinet painted; shower curtain; new curtains
  -Bedrooms
     -Girls  Check:)
     -Boys  Check:)
     -Ours  Still need to clean carpet
-Basement  We now have hot water!!
-Begin moving heavy furniture over  Some has made it over....
-Empty storage unit  Not even close
-Do well at Imaginarium  Sold 1, but attended a workshop which was GOLD!
-Do well at Author Fair on the 15th  Cancelled
-Pay B  Nope
-Pay for OA  Check:)
-Make payments to both editor and cover artist  Nope
-Finish Ghost Story  Nope
-Finish paying for Christmas Toy and Hobby Show  Check!
-Order inventory for Christmas Show  Check:)
-Complete Secret Project #1  Going to cost $100 to mail, so tabled until Nov.

Books Read:  2, both print.

How's The Health?
Lost at least another pound, though I might have put it back on during Halloween...

Songs Added To Karaoke Good List:  13  
                                                 Thurs:      6
                                                    Sat:        7

November Goals:
-Move completely into new house  Almost....still have stuff in basement
-Thoroughly scrub down old house  Still working on it....
-Have a good Women's Retreat  Check:)
-Do well at Indpls Christmas Toy and Hobby Show  Sold 22:)  VERY Happy with that total!!
-Pay B  Not yet...
-Start making payments for cover artist and editors for Kira and Heart Song
-Finish Ghost Story.
-Mail Secret Project #1

Nov. Reading Schedule:
Print:
Serpent's Shadow-Rick Riordan  Read 1st half....

E-Book:
All That Remains-SM Shade  Read Bk #1 and am 2 or 3 chapters into Bk #2.
Betrayal-Aleatha Rom

Karaoke Songs:
Thursday:
We Are Family-Sister Sledge  Not too bad:)
Forever-Kiss  Nailed it!
We Are The Champions-Queen  Did well:)  WTG Cubs winning the World Series!!!!

We Are The world-USA For Africa  Don't think it was TOO bad...
Except For Monday-Lorrie Morgan  Bleh...
We Are Young-Fun  Let's just say I'm very thankful people were drunk by the time I got up and did this?!?!?!?


Saturday (I can only do two Saturdays this month):
Love Can Build A Bridge-Judds  Think it was okay....
Love Child-Diana Ross and Supremes  Did well except for ending
Love Hurts-Nazareth  Nailed it!

Love In Any Language-Sandi Patti  DNH
Love Is A Battlefield-Pat Benetar  Not too bad, but not keeping it.
Love Is A Stranger-Eurythmics  Bleh....
Love Is Like A Rock-Donnie Iris  DNH


Friday, October 28, 2016

Flashback Friday: Connections

Oct 2006:
Forgot to mention; back in August I found out about a monthly writer's meeting at Starbucks in Martinsville, and the spouse didn't object when I asked him about it, so I went.  And promptly found out I was considered 'royalty', because I had a published book.  The leader of the group, TD, was also published, while the others weren't.  The group was interested in my efforts, and we did a 5 minute writing prompt, so I left, encouraged that I'd found kindred souls.

In Sept, I was the only one who showed up besides two others, so we simply talked.  In Oct, I had to tell the group we were moving, and TD and I exchanged email addresses.

One Final Effort To Stay....
I gave up on finding a house and looked into a 3 BRM apartment.  I found one that might work, and drove back to tell D.  The next day, we went to see it, but he overshot the parking area, and we ended up driving by the office with it's large 'OPEN' sign.  We drove around the complex, parked, said a prayer that this might be our answer, walked up to the door, and 'CLOSED' was on the door.  We took that as a sign for 'No', so drove home and resigned our fate to moving to his mother's house.

I called the U-Haul place and reserved a truck; however, he didn't have the size we wanted, but agreed to give us the larger one for the same price.

Friends showed up on Saturday to help us pack the truck; Sunday after an emotional church service, we finished loading up the van and drove the two hours to Vincennes.  Dad came down the next day and paid the 1st month's rent on a storage unit, then after unloading and returning the truck, he took us to lunch.  Later that day, we headed back to the house for another load and to spend the night and watch Heroes at a neighbor's house.  D went to work, while the kids and I packed more stuff.  We waiting until school let out, so they could say goodbye to their friends, and we headed back down here.  We arrived just in time to stuff W into his costume and take him out to see Grandma, plus around the block and pass out what Halloween candy we had before unpacking the car and falling into bed.

Next Month:  Making the Most Of A Bad Situation.

*********
Present Day:
We've moved over a few LRM tables and some smaller items to the new house!  Just waiting on the new stove and dryer (both gas) to be delivered.  SU also repaired the water hook up to the water heater, so now we finally have hot water:)  The gas fittings to the stove and dryer are in place; as soon as those items are in place, we can start moving things over.

We also donated at least 15 bags of stuffed animals, clothing, and other items to St. Vincent de Paul store, and as soon as we can begin clearing out the storage unit, more will follow.

What's My Halloween Costume This Year?
Found my cheetah/leopard print sweater, so will wear it with black leggings, a tail, and duct-taped ears ala 'Deaf' Leopard:)  Or, it that's not your reference point, I'll simply be a 'Cheetah Girl'.  If you don't remember either of those.....well, then remember I'm 50 years old.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Flashback Friday: New Job:)

Oct 1996:
I received a phone call from an old neighbor friend, asking if I was interested in watching twin boys for half a day every day.  I talked it over with the spouse, and we agreed to meet the boys and the mother, and see if it would be a good 'fit'.

K and DB turned out to be the same age as my K, and the three boys seemed to get along, plus their mom had a steady job and the pay would be steady.  We said yes.

We went to the complex Halloween party for the 1st time, with S dressed as the family rabbit, while K was Tigger.  When we arrived home, I was filming the kids and told S to turn her bag around so I could see the logo.  To our surprise, she turned herself completely around, causing us to laugh!

Next Month:  Homecoming!

*********
Present Day:
We've got the kitchen move-in ready, with the exception of a gas stove and gas dryer, plus the living room is move-in ready.  Today we're putting the 2nd coat on the dining room, and painting the hallway.  I also have to paint the cabinet in our bathroom and find new curtains, plus work on the medicine cabinet or replace it.

The girls' room is finished, and I think the boys' room is too.

No karaoke last night, since the bar was replacing the flooring behind the bar.

The reboot of Rocky Horror Picture Show was....interesting.  Of course, it's been over 20 years since I've seen the original, and wanted to fast-forward through some of the songs (I was beginning to fall asleep!).  But over all, they stuck to the basics and didn't change much, thankfully!  LOVED the fact Tim Curry was well enough to play the part of the narrator!!!!

Granddaughter is off to the dentist for a follow-up check up on her oral surgery three weeks ago.  I'm also not too happy with the girls:  They were going through the hiring process at Schott, had even switched to OVERNIGHT shift, but when they took their whiz quiz, results came back 'slightly positive', so both were fired.  They claim they've not smoked weed in over 6 weeks, so I still think they should appeal it as a 'false positive', but no....they've quietly accepted their fate.  I'm so furious I can hardly see straight.  I just have to keep reminding myself it's THEIR problem, not mine.

Saturday Karaoke Line Up:
Losing My Religion-REM
Lost In Emotion-Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill
Lost In Love-Air Supply

Temps are dropping once again, and we've had rain two days in a row.  Hopefully for Sunday's Eucharistic Procession, we'll have good weather!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Flashback Friday: Mistakes Keep Coming.....

Oct 1986:
I like to think my downward spiral occurred in January 1987, but in truth, it began this month.  I was practically living with JF every weekends, and this was causing friction between my roommates, who didn't like my new-found 'independence'.  In fact the only thing I did RIGHT was when another girl began bad-mouthing me behind my back, and BJG threatened to beat the stuffing out of her.  I talked her out of it, explaining that when the girl decided to be ADULT about her issues with me and confront ME, then I'D handle it.  And soon she did.  Turned out, she thought my friendship with her BFF's boyfriend was infringing on their relationship, while nothing could have been farther from the truth!  I told her that yes, TH and I had known each other over the summer, but that I was now in a relationship with JF.  THAT took the wind out of her sails, and she apologized for everything she'd said.

Next, while over at JF's, some friends came over and we decided to play Trivial Pursuit, and partner up girls vs boys.  My partner and I were about to win the game with the question in sports..."What sport has hairpin turns?'  I was thrilled; I knew the answer:  Race car driving.  But my partner disagreed with 'horse racing'.  We argued back and forth; finally, I conceded, but stated 'even though she's wrong.'  Sure enough, when the answer was revealed, the three of them all asked me repeatedly why I'd given in.

"To keep the peace and advance the game!"

When Dad's Weekend arrived, he was NOT happy when he met JF.  I fudged things a bit; I said I was having issues with my roommates and that he'd let me crash on his couch a couple of times.  Dad made me promise not to do that anymore; if I needed a night away, to get a motel room.

Chubby Checker performed the show, but I was stressed out and skipped it.  EY was called up on stage to dance!

JF and I had a mutual friend, NL, whom I'd met the year before.  One night, N came over and the men smoked a little weed, which made me sleepy by being in the same room (I didn't know you could get high off of 2nd hand smoke!).  Afterward, I drove N home, but since I could barely keep my eyes open, N invited me to sleep over.  I accepted.....and the unthinkable happened.  Just because neither of us could sleep until afterward.

The final disaster occurred on Halloween.  I was fending off the advances of DW when my phone rang.  It was the AF officer, who had finally come to his senses.

"What happened with Cherie?"

"I shipped that bitch back on a bus to where she came from.  You were right after all; can you ever forgive me?"

I remained firm and told him that if he wanted me back, it was going to take a lot of doing on his part.  We hung up with him agreeing to my terms and me still being skeptical.  I then hung up and did the happy dance.....right back into DW's arms.

Afterward, I felt horrible.  DW, his girlfriend, and I had had a running joke about me being his 'other woman' for several weeks, since Liz didn't dance, so I would 'borrow' him every Tuesday night.  We finished getting dressed to go to the Halloween party, and I prayed JF wouldn't find out about it.

I was slightly pissed about halfway through the night, when a girl dressed as Scarlet O'Hara showed up, and J paid more attention to her than he did me.  I'd tried to get my dad to bring my formal, so I could go as J's favorite character, but he'd forgotten, and Mom had refused to let me rent one for the night.  After the party, we returned to his trailer, then the next day, I think I had planned some things with my roommates.

That evening, however, he picked me up and we sat in his car as he broke up with me.  Turned out he'd done a line in the bathroom with DW, who decided to declare "Damn she's good in bed!"

I was furious, and tried to explain what had happened, but to no avail.  It was over.  Numb, I climbed out of the car and walked slowly to my dorm room and crawled into bed, sobbing.

Next Month:  Good Friends, Good Intentions

**************
Present Day:
We've got the kitchen nearly finished!  I'm still trying to get the floor cleaned, and to find some contact paper for the shelves.  The dining room has paint around the door frames and window; today we're doing the same to the living room.  This weekend, when the granddaughter is at her dad's, then we'll paint the walls.

Good news:  Daughter and Reagan have been hired!!
Bad news:  They're moving to 3rd shift.  There oughta be a law against single moms working overnights, IMHO!!!

Tomorrow's Karaoke:  Bon Jovi Night!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"We Are Not Worthy...."

I attended my 1st Imaginarium Convention over the weekend, and was pleasantly surprised:)

1st of all, I could only go on Saturday, and I was very disappointed I missed Cards Against Humanity.

2ndly, I was amazed at the vast array of panels and workshops.  How can one possibly pick and choose?

Finally, I realized I'd based my assumptions on what went on based on my limited experience at conventions, mainly my one-day trips to RT and Weekend With The Authors.

Workshops/Panels:
I sat on the 'Writing with Chemistry' and 'Seasoned Romance' panels, and while there were more attendees for the 1st one, we did have a lively discussion at both.  I'd forgotten to watch my time, so I arrived for my WWC panel a half an hour late.  Next year, I shall set alarms on my phone!  I also chatted with another author who was presenting a 'Designing Your Interior' workshop, so I played Devil's Advocate and actually asked him what was wrong with copy/pasting from Word.  I also fetched a copy of three of my own books for his perusal, and to my surprise, he was very patient and informative in that few moments.  I decided to attend his workshop.

And yes, I learned a few things.  I will be pulling ALL my books down next year and redoing the interior.  Thanks Dave!

I WAS surprised to learn that there were only THREE (3) of us who attended.  I've not checked the schedule to see what panel/wkshop was at the same time, so maybe there was a more exciting one scheduled?  Or were more people like me who didn't understand the workshop title?  (I actually thought I was in the wrong room at 1st, until I recognized the man I'd recently spoken to!)

Vendor Hall:
I admit, the first hour and a half (again, not watching the time, oops!) I spent wandering around, taking pictures, chatting, greeting those I knew, and gathering swag, so I have no idea if anyone had passed by my booth and was interested.  But from 2-5:30, I think I spoke to maybe 10 people at the most who made eye contact and took the free copy of my poem, then listened to my 'sales pitch'.  I only sold one book, but still felt as if this time was not entirely wasted.  My tablemate showed up for an hour, so it was good to meet her in person, and I was able to tell potential customers about her genre.

Food:
I can appreciate the fact this hotel has to make some $$, but I don't understand why the only free drinks offered was water.  Why not offer coffee and tea?  Or some snacks?  There was a 'concession stand' in the lobby which offered salad ($5); a sandwich ($6); hot dog ($3), chips ($1), and 12-oz water ($1).

Dinner at the awards banquet was AMAZING!  We were offered salad, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, baked apples (I think), green beans, chicken in some sort of sorghum sauce (delicious!), pork chops in a bourbon glaze (delicious!), and catfish.  Not to mention the dessert table:  Triple chocolate cake (YUM!), caramel apple pie, or bourbon butter tort (a friend said this was awesome....it was gone by the time I got around to dessert, lol!)

Awards Banquet:
I was happy we didn't have to suffer through any 'I'd like to thank the Academy....' speeches, and was thrilled a friend's film won her category, and another friend's book won for Best Romance.  Another friend, Carol P and I picked out our table when we entered, then Marian and her group joined us, as did M and her hubby, plus one of the coordinators and one of his volunteers.

F and his volunteer each won a goofy staff award (I'm sooooo glad the volunteers were recognized!); Marian won the 'Best promo award'; MP won the aforementioned 'Best Romance' award; Marian's group also won 'Best Small Press'.

And there sat C and I empty-handed at a table full of winners.

Don't get me wrong; we had no ill feelings at all; rather, we were thrilled to be sitting with a table full of winners, even if we joked 'We are not worthy....' to be sitting there!  I was happy for MP; I'd actually read her book, and I hadn't expected to win, since I couldn't even vote for myself, having not known I was even attending until Friday!

Some Observations:
-Since this was the 1st year for the awards (outside of the film ones), I felt it was more a popularity contest.  I've only known some of these people for 4 years, while they've known each other longer.  Therefore, the sponsoring press won most of the awards, and MP is also very well known in their circle.  A newbie like me with NO name recognition didn't stand a chance.

-As to the Romance Category....why not break it down into more sub-genres?  I didn't know whether or not to put Kenzie's Heart's Last Chance into Sci-Fi or romance.  I did put one of my own into 'General Fiction', but lost to the other press.  Why not have a Women's Fiction category?  I don't even think there was a Children's category, though several children's books were in the vending hall.

-As for the Vendor Hall.....why not have a three-hour signing block, when nothing else is going on, like at RT or AWWTA?

So look for me next year; I'll be on multiple panels and doing only a 1-hour signing....unless of course, they shift things around.

And I still don't know how the hell I ended up on a comic book panel.

"What's your favorite non-superhero comic book?"

"Deadpool"...."Walking Dead"...."Hellboy"....

My answer?

"Bloom County"

Yeah....I was waaaaaay out of my league here!


Friday, October 7, 2016

Flashback Friday: Family Resemblance!

Oct 1976:
First of all, I want to wish my sister a very happy 46th birthday!!!  Love and miss you!!!

My sister turned six, and celebrated with her friends.  We also made a trip to the Pumpkin Patch in Noblesville (no longer there...*sad face*).  Mom took pictures of us on the hay ride and I realized I look just like my Aunt Linda!  Proof I wasn't adopted, after all....(since I was blonde, and my parents and sister all had dark hair, W kept trying to tell me I was adopted, lol!)

A new couple joined Mom and Dad's small group Bible Study, R and C Hoffer, with their three boys.  P was much older than me, while the twins, S and D were a year younger.  I enjoyed going to their house, since they had a ping-pong table in their basement:)

Next Month:  Thanksgiving!

************
Present Day:
We closed on the house last Friday!  We are now the proud owners of 203 and 205 Nicholas Dr, and 512 S 2nd:)  The green house on 2nd will be torn down ASAP, while the brown house (203) is being negotiated.  We were able to see inside the brown house for the 1st time on Sat, and I fell in love with the front room, with the huge fireplace.  There is still a lot of stuff to go through in the coming months, though the back two rooms reek heavily of animal feces.  One of those rooms the spouse wants to keep after demolition as a storage room; I say keep the front room and porch, and maybe the kitchen, bathroom, and other room.  I'm also interested in seeing the basement.

Operation Kitchen Rehab:
So far this week, we've repaired the outside wall above the window, scrubbed the grimy floor, washed down the walls, and vacuumed the cabinets.  I've also decided to try to repaint the room the same shade of blue, or at least as close as I can get.  We also need to relocate the door to the back entryway to the other side, so a dishwasher can be purchased at a later date.  The spouse plans to rip off the decaying partial roof above the back door and reconstruct it.

Next year, we plan to extend the kitchen outward 8 feet.

Living Room and Dining Room Plans:
We'll be painting the living room a soft blue "Magical", and the living room a pretty yellow "Turning Oakleaf".  At some point, we'll also have to deep clean the carpets.

Bedroom Plans:
Master:  For now, just a good cleaning of the carpets and walls.
Girls':  They've cleaned the walls and vacuumed the carpet and have already planned where to put the beds and dressers.  S has even hung one of her posters up.  Still have to strip windows, since one is painted/caulked shut.
Boys':  So far it's been thoroughly cleaned, with the exception of the closet (I think).  Also, their window needs the same treatment as the one in the girls' room.

Bathroom Plans:
Master:  It needs a shower head and curtain, and walls cleaned; think I'm going to paint it red.
Kids':  They plan to paint the walls brown and the cabinets Hunter Orange, plus purchase camo shower curtain and accessories.  We also need to move the light from the bathtub/shower and get the lights above the sink functional.

Basement:
K plans to build himself a room under the girls' room, while my office will go under the kitchen.  No clue where the train set, tools, workbench, pantry, etc will go.

Plans For Tomorrow:
Hopefully, I'll be off to Imaginarium in Louisville in the morning!  As of this writing, I'm still hoping the spouse will release $100 for me to attend ($60 for car, $30 for booth fee, $10 for food....yeah, I know....)

Tonight, I'm setting up on Main St for the 2nd Annual Autumn on Main St festival.  Maybe I'll sell a few books and earn some food $$ for tomorrow???

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October Reading Schedule

Did September seem to drag on forever?  Here's what I ended up doing this month:
-Do well at Wine and Art Fest  Bleh....sold one key chain. Everyone wanted Hotel Stories, which I was sold out of.
-Pay for and attend the Eminence Fall Festival???  Not looking very promising.....
-Do well at Bicentennial Celebration  Sold 11!!!!
-Finish paying forAND do well at KABB  Check; sold only 2, but handed out several copies of the poem!
-Start paying for Imaginarium  Only have to come up with car rental and $30, plus food!
-Progress to Stage #7 on Secret Project #2  Check!  Signed the papers yesterday and the house is ours!!

Books Read:  12
            Print:  7
         E-book:  5

Songs Added To Karaoke Good List:  12
                                                   Thurs:  6
                                                        Fri:  6 How's The Health?
I've lost 6 pounds (though I think I just put them back on again tonight at BW3, lol!); lab results meant my thyroid meds dropped 12 mcg, and have to retest right before Thanksgiving.  I lost my voice when the weather changed, and am hoping it soon returns, singing-wise!


October Reading Schedule:
Son of Neptune-Rick Riordan  Good story, but feel as if some parts 'dragged'.  Some of the back story was a bit tedious.
Mark of Athena-RR  Good story, though see above; and predictible...of COURSE Annabeth would be 'the one' to accomplish the goal!  Very interesting way to see how both Piper and Annabeth overcome their perceived 'inabilities' and ultimately become heroes.
Serpent's Shadow-RR

E-book:
All That Remains-SM Shade
Betrayal-Aleatha Rom


October Goals:
-Thoroughly clean the new house and get it ready for our 'stuff'
  -Kitchen  Check:)
  -Dining room  Check:)
  -Living room  Check:)
  -Bathrooms
     -Kids  Check:)
     -Ours
  -Bedrooms
     -Girls  Check:)
     -Boys  Check:)
     -Ours  
-Basement  We now have hot water!!
-Begin moving heavy furniture over
-Empty storage unit
-Do well at Imaginarium  Sold 1, but attended a workshop which was GOLD!
-Do well at Author Fair on the 15th  Cancelled
-Pay B
-Pay for OA  Check:)
-Make payments to both editor and cover artist
-Finish Ghost Story
-Finish paying for Christmas Toy and Hobby Show  Check!
-Order inventory for Christmas Show  Check:)
-Complete Secret Project #1  Going to cost $100 to mail, so tabled until Nov.

Karaoke Songs (Thurs):
Wanted-Hunter Hayes  Slightly rough, but okay....
For Your Eyes Only-Sheena Easton  Nailed it!
The Warrior-Scandal Nailed it!
Watching The Wheels-John Lennon  Bleh....waaaaayyy too low
Forever-Kiss  Nailed it!
Waterloo-Abba  Not too bad....
Watermelon Crawl-Tracy Byrd  Bleh.....too low
Forever Young-Rod Stewart  Very good!
Dream Weaver (duet with Jerry)-Gary??  Not too bad; slightly rough in spots.
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill  Nailed it:)

Saturday:
Living On A Prayer-Bon Jovi  Slightly too high at the end, but otherwise good...
Living In Sin-Bon Jovi  Verses slightly too low, but rocked the chorus:)
You Give Love A Bad Name-Bon Jovi  Rocked the bar:)
Blaze of Glory-Bon Jovi  Probably the best I've ever sung this!
Longer-Dan Fogleburg  Wasn't too awful....
The Long Goodbye-Brooks and Dunn  Not too bad....
Cheater, Cheater-Joey and Rory Think I nailed it??
Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee-Grease  Did fine until last verse....different words appeared.  NY version??
Lose Yourself-Eminem  Switching this to Thursday, since I know I can get 'help' on it!
Losing My Religion-REM  Ugh.....way too low!
Lost In Emotion-Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam  Wasn't too awful!
Lost In Love-Air Supply  Bleh....too low....
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill  1)  Warbled my way through and blew a few lines....
Lotta Love-Nicolette Larson  DNH
Love Bites-Def Leppard  Surprisingly, this was pretty good!
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill  Did well:)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

So Ashamed....




From Greg Browning:

"Wednesday, Sept 21st, the Indiana Fever decided to make their voices known about the social injustices occurring in our country these days. The entire team locked arms and didn't stand while the National Anthem played, but instead took a knee. The Fever made national news this morning, not by how they performed during the game, but instead by being the first professional sporting team to protest by not standing during our anthem. I have mixed emotions about this, because as long as I can remember, I've always stood. As a small child, I can recall doing this before our t-ball games. I asked my parents why we stand and put our hand over our heart. They explained it's out of respect and love for our country, and for the men and women who fought to make the U.S free. So I am saddened to see the Indiana Fever not standing last night. It was disrespectful. Also, these ladies are roll models to children...and adults for that matter. I understand that they are exercising their freedom of speech and wanting to draw attention to a serious concern, but to what end? What if every player on both teams had some cause they were passionate about, and refused to stand? Or EVERY PERSON at the game refused to stand because they wanted to protest the 'issue du jour'? Hell, let's just stop playing the National Anthem, because according to these athletes the anthem and our flag isn't something to be respected and proud of, but instead they're selfishly using it as a platform for their own interests. I will give the Fever this much credit...they are at least protesting peacefully, unlike those clowns in the news who are rioting in North Carolina last night. They're only damaging their community further. There's a group that I wish would take a knee."

Ever since that Quarterback-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (why give him more SEO??) protested disgraced himself by refusing to stand during the National Anthem, a lot of other sheep athletes have followed his example lead.  All in the name of 'let's protest this issue of white cops killing unarmed blacks'.  

Yes, they have a right to protest.  And they're doing it peacefully, unlike the idiots who riot and cause more dissension in their communities.  Guess what?  Several of these victims were NOT 'unarmed'.

Let me veer away from my topic a moment, and reiterate something I heard:  If we as parents teach our kids to respect officers (black or white...I don't care!) and to not run away/brandish a gun/smart off to them, your kid may not get into worse trouble.  Yes, there are always circumstances in which it might always work in your favor, such as mistaken identity (hey, it DOES happen!), but for the most part, if you're respectful to the cops, they'll be more inclined to treat you decently.  If you act guilty, they're gonna assume you're guilty, or have something to hide.

Back to the subject at hand:  You live in our country.  You play for our country. Therefore, RESPECT  our flag and our National Anthem.  I'm not particularly happy with our present leaders, but for some misguided reason, the majority kept them in office four years ago, and I respect that.  I don't have to agree with everything, and I hope to God we elect the right person to lead us during the next four years.  I do not want to live in fear of being beheaded; lose my constitutional rights; or enter another Depression or even nuclear war.  I'm too young to remember the events of 1979...I hated politics at the time and yes, made fun of the president at the time, and I did believe in our leader at the time in the 90s, and am now not happy about all the lies told, but he was the lesser of two evils at the time, and I liked the gas prices!  But the current nominee....I'm jumping ship.

I watched the 60 minutes segment on Libertarians and realize my values line up better with them, though I doubt they'll ever be a majority party.  I'm Pro-Choice, though I wouldn't personally do it, but I'm not going to begrudge others their choices.  I'd rather it be safe than women resort to back-alley tactics again.  In the meantime, I don't vote one straight ticket; I vote on the issues.  But what about the Primary?  I vote whichever ticket I recognize the most names.  During this year, I voted for BS, just to keep the other person from getting my vote.  The spouse and kids voted the other party, so they cancelled me out.  I don't care; they voted their conscience; I voted mine.

Not every candidate is infallible.  Our founding fathers probably would not have been voted into office, had 24/7 news coverage been available at the time.  They did what they thought was best for our country, not what was best for them.

Oops, I digressed again.  I used to follow the Indiana Fever.  I applauded when a few Purdue grads were chosen for the team, and was happy to see another Women's team.

 But I'm not proud of their decision to protest follow the misguided theory this will bring change.

We all need to remember the Golden Rule:  Do Unto Others and stop believing hyped up idiots who think they're doing the right things when they're only driving the dissension further.

You want our country to fall into ISIS control?  You WANT our country to be like pre-WWII Germany?  Or Communist China?  Socialist Russia?  By all means, you have the right to live wherever you want.  I want to live in a free society. where I don't have to live in fear of the government taking away my rights.

Stand up and be a proud American.  Honor our flag or leave.

Your choice.