Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: Am I Full Of It?

The past two years, I've heard of people selecting a 'Word Of The Year'.  I've never formally done this; my 'word', if you will, has been 'breathe', since I run on an ungodly amount of stress.  Some of it is external, but quite a bit is internal.  I think that's why, as I look back to this crazy year we've had, 2017 will be the year of extreme selfishness on my part.  As you scroll down, you'll see why.

Jan:  I was cheeky enough to offer an idea to a neighboring county's magazine, and was knocked back down to earth by having to rewrite it.  Very humbling experience.  You'd have thought I'd learned.  My mom lost her BFF, and I went home for the funeral and to reconnect with friends.  I also sent Kira off to an editor AND contacted my cover artist.

Feb:  Had another humbling experience while singing a funeral.  Spent this month doing edits, and received a nice shiny cover for Kira's Slice of Pizza (Chosen #4 of Kenzie's sci-fi series), which then released on the 23rd:)  Watched a very strange Super Bowl; Patriots came back from a 21-3 score at halftime to being down 28-9 at the end of the 3rd quarter, to win the game in Overtime, 34-28!

March:  Spent the month reformatting all my self-pubbed titles, so the interior copyright page matched on all.  Spent a week with my mom, doing a video inventory of all her jewelry, plus drove up to Indy for granddaughter A's choir concert.  Set up at the Eagles Craft Fair, and surprise surprise....someone had dropped the ball on the advertising.  We were competing with another craft show in the area, and hardly anyone was at ours.  I'd sung the praises of it to two other authors, who were not too happy with little to zero sales.  Plus, had a 'WTH' moment when my CA story was deemed 'too dark and twisted' for the gentle readers, and would I be willing to revise it?  I ended up writing TWO stories in two weeks.  Yes, I was furious.  K decided to move in with his friend C, in order to help out with her financials.

April:    Spent another week with mom, who was flabbergasted at my thought process while I was writing story #2.  Had a good Chrism Mass practice, even obtained copies of CA.  I was so blown away by seeing it, I apparently forgot to pay home to an email which put my nose out of joint, since it implied I'd done it on purpose.  HELL NO I didn't do it on purpose!  Again I was furious, and was by now, 2nd guessing my decision to be a part of this project.  But, I'd promoted it; worked hard on all 3 stories, and by God, I was going to see it through.  Found out about a free Vendor's was a bust.  Again, the organizer dropped the ball, so there were no signs or any advertizing.  Then I took NE Riggs to Kentucky with me, and a huge storm knocked out the power in the surrounding counties.  I only sold one book, and that was to an aspiring author I'd met the night before during the panels.  In fact, N and I weren't sure we were going to make it home, but by the time we arrived closer to Evansville, the water level had gone down.

May:  Our brown house was broken into, so Ed brought over another key.  Plus, he told me to go ahead and clean both houses out; just give him a percentage.  I was heartbroken to learn that all the LPs in the green house had been stolen, save for the 5 I'd already pilfered!  I also set up at the Farmer's Market, Birds of a Feather, and at B&N with the other RCW members.  Attended the Indy 500 and when Takuma Sato of Japan won, we joked about 'being in cahoots with Japan, not Russia'.  K also moved back home, right in the middle of Rendezvous traffic, having realized C was only using him as an in-home baby-sitter for her son Z.

June:  Spent the month emptying out all the computer crap in the Brown House, and hauling stuff to the scrap yard.  Set up at the 1st Friday; collected A and J for the summer; and apparently ticked off a fellow author without knowing about it.  I honestly thought we were joking around; I'd wanted to read her new book, but when I read the 1st page, it was so badly edited, I wasn't sure I wanted to read it.  K wanted to read MY new book, so we did an even swap.  Apparently my offer to 'take a red pen' to her baby didn't come off as joking as I'd thought.  Granddaughter A began heavily campaigning to live with us, since her mom had lost her housing.  Took Miss Alex to Brown County for her birthday, to go horseback riding.

July:  Spent 3 weeks at my parents' house, house-sitting while they visited my sister.  Volunteered at an event, and enjoyed myself.  I was also blogging heavily about the new season of Big Brother.  Step-daughter came down for 4th, and promptly got into a shouting match at a woman across the street.  Granddaughter A pleaded with her mom to be allowed to live with us, and after much discussion, her mom agreed.  I got in touch with the school to see what needed to be done in order for us to enroll her.

Aug:  Had a GREAT time at the Watermelon Festival!  Family drama ensued.  After being in school for 2 days, A went home for her Sweet 16 party.  D and I had to be in Indy on Monday, so let her take a personal day, so we didn't have to make 2 trips.  She had tonsiitis, so was out sick on Tuesday.  Wed morning, I took her to an ortho appointment, and she expressed a desire to be home schooled.  I told her no; J overruled me and asked me to look into it.  I sent off an app.  Thursday, A decided she wanted to return home.  We said no, and got my SIL on my side.  Thursday night, though, A announced 'everyone' was on her side.  I was furious, and on Fri, told the school she was going home.  Sunday night, after she left, I posted a vague vent on FB and went to bed.  Monday morning, I was called out as a selfish narcissist.  I was floored....took down the post and apologized to A for the drama.

Sept:  Attended three shows, and sales began to soar.  Reconnected with friend BJC from high school.  Emptied all but three appliances from the Green House:)  Officially signed with Stardust/Erotes Press, aka Hydra Publications out of Louisville, owned by Frank, the organizer of the Author's Fair.  Another 'WTH' moment; when I signed on, apparently other romance authors panicked, because my 5 orphaned books were *gasp* 'erotic romance', and OMG, they can't have their names associated with a 'smut' author.  Give me a break....

Oct:  Imaginarium was a blast!  Teacher's Pet rereleased, and I'll admit, I was a little stunned as to how I would buy my author copies.  But buy them I did....and went as Danaerys Targarian (Game of Thrones) on Halloween.  D was involved in an accident, which totalled the truck.  No one was seriously injured, thank God!

Nov:  Had a BLAST at the Christmas Toy and Hobby show, then came home for the Women's Retreat.  Discovered two friends were doing a signing at our local coffee house....then discovered my 'indiscretion' back in June.  I was floored as to why K was so mad at me....and then we patched everything up when I told her I'd had no intention of marking up her book; was absolutely NOT in 'competition' with her....quite the opposite!  I'd enjoyed the general story of her book, just wishing it had been better edited, IMHO.

Dec:  Spent a very quiet month, baking cookies, and buying presents.  Bought my spouse a new GMC truck, a 2017 'holdover'.  It's in my name, due to having the better credit score, ha ha!

See what I mean?  There's a saying if one person points out an issue, fine.  If two or more point out the same issue, then there's clearly a problem.  Maybe the person in Aug wasn't far off the mark?  Maybe it's not narcissism, but I've been extremely selfish and conceited this year?  

I shall try to correct this obvious flaw.  Am I really a self-centered, self-righteous brat?  This 'look back' has had quite a humbling effect.  And somewhat depressing.

Moving On To Happier News.....

Books Read:  58
       E-Book:  34
           Print:  22
            DNF:  3

Karaoke Songs Added:  140
                            Thurs:  53
                                 Sat:  87

Friday, December 29, 2017

Flashback Friday: Valuable Lesson Learned

Dec 2007:
I was happily relieved at the start of December.  I'd just endured a horrible 1st attempt at NaNoWriMo; I'd managed to 'win', but the experience had scared me and turned me into someone I NEVER wanted to be again.  I was also gaining confidence in my blogging skills, and turned my attention to baking cookies, getting ready for the holidays, and even moving my hubby back into the house.

Which sounds funny; in fact go here for the rest of the story.

I also discovered not everyone shares my sense of humor, but instead of simply skimming my post, two other fellow bloggers were caught by the Blogger Trolls and threatened to pull their support.  Which terrified me at the time; I mean, what new author wants to learn she's 'offended' her new friends and have them leave her high and dry?  I was supposed to be interviewed by one, and due to the 'controversy', she chose to interview someone else.  I took down the 'offensive' part of my post, but later stewed about it.  What happened to the 1st Amendment rights?  Who were these unseen readers who objected to song lyrics that had played at least twice a day on public radio stations across the country?  On a particular show on the weekend?  It made no sense.

I tried to be philosophical about it.  Maybe different rules applied to Blogger.  Maybe I had gotten such a swelled head about the release of book #2 and the fact I'd just written my 9th book, and hadn't taken in to consideration what I was doing.

After a week of carefully censoring every word I wrote, be it in an email, a comment on someone's blog, or even my own post, I wrote this post after being 'zinged' by a sermon at church.  It seemed to work; the incident had blown over, and all was forgiven.

It didn't take the hurt away; the fact I remember it at all is proof of it.

What Did I Get For Christmas That Year?
Colts pjs, a huge box of paper, some clothing, and candy.  Mom had gotten me a new coat, but it didn't fit, so when I took it back, I hit a sale and got a whole lot more!

Both my MIL and my mom ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, so this was also a stressful month.  Thankfully, both recovered!

Present Day:
The cold has found us!  It snowed Christmas Eve, just enough to cover the ground.  Our choir sounded wonderful, and while I was slightly croaky, my voice held.  Christmas Day was nice and relaxing; I fixed appetizers (meatballs and the Chicken-broccoli filling), then the ham later.  We played Cards Against Humanity well into the wee hours, and my spouse discovered just how twisted my sense of humor can get at times!

Did I mention my dad got me another large box of printer paper for my birthday?  Perfect timing, since we just ran out of the one he'd bought me ten years ago!

Tomorrow, we're heading to Lafayette to celebrate with my parents.  This year it's my dad's turn for the medical issues; he'd been complaining of knee pain, and after an X-ray, he was told he had an anuerism in that knee.  He had a CAT scan on Tuesday, and we're still waiting on the results.  I'm going to stay up there for a week or two.

I'll be back later with my annual 'look back' post, so have a very happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Flashback Friday: "Where Are We?"

Dec 1997:
For our 1st Christmas in the new house, Mom and Dad came down to our house that day!  We fixed ham, turkey, and all the trimmings, and had a very relaxed day.  The only thing that was slightly alarming was that Shadow, our Elkhound, decided to help himself to the ham.  Since we weren't sure if he'd also licked any of it, the whole platter had to be rinsed!  I think D was the only one who ate any of it; the rest of us (sans Dad) stuck to turkey!

When I got my pictures developed, I couldn't figure out where we were!  There were no pictures on the wall; nothing to resemble where we were.  Until I saw the carpeting, and realized we were in our new front room!

This may have been the year I started the tradition of baking, but I'm not sure.

Next Month:  Getting 'Snowed Out'!

Present Day:
My voice decided to leave, so I was unable to sing last weekend.  We did go see the new Star Wars movie and yes, I cried at one point.  Sunday, we went to Terre Haute and ate lunch at Popeyes, then went to Best Buy to return D's kindle cover and to buy the Teen a video game.

Voice has somewhat returned; I was able to hit all the notes.  My birthday went well; I baked cookies and went to the Washington Writer's Meeting, then met the family at Gilbert's for dinner.  I had the chicken portobella and brocolli, and Star Wars was on my cake.  Also fired up my new laptop:)

Friday, December 15, 2017

Flashback Friday: Rebellion Phase #3 and Heartache

Dec 1987:
Story Thus Far:
I was on a downhill spiral of self-doubt and rebellion.  I'd questioned my own desirability as a potential mate; I was depressed at the thought of having to take another year of general studies; my weekend traveling and trying to flip-flop my schedule for 48 hours had me stressed out; I'd just decided I was NEVER going to be a part of my boyfriend's family, so why the hell did I continue to go see him every week?  I'd gone to a bar with friends from my summer job and discovered a man had been nearly beaten to death outside our window.  We hadn't even known it.

The start of the 2nd quarter had me pissed off.  First, because I hadn't passed my Math class, so not only had to retake it, but 099 as well.  I was also taking a speech class; fine, I could handle it.  I'd decided to delay signing up for any more of my major classes, in order to get those darn Gen Studies ones out of the way.

I did talk CS into taking me to the winter dance, and we ended up at the same table as my 1st college boyfriend, a 'what-the-hell-were-you-thinking' moment when I realized who he was!  Ugh...I'd dated him?  I pretended not to recognize him, and he apparently didn't recognize me!  Thankfully, we were at opposite ends of the table, and didn't interact.

My 1st speech landed on my birthday, so I threw myself a party and demonstrated how to bake a Stir-n-Frost birthday cake.  Later, CS met us at the Olive Garden on 38th St to celebrate my 22nd birthday.  Turned out he'd been dropped off, and my aunt and uncle, who didn't live too far from him, ended up taking him home.  So no 'alone' time with him.

I also had to report to the police station, to give my statement about what happened that night in the bar.  The detective tried to scare me, saying the guy had nearly died, and all I was doing was laughing with my friends and playing darts?

Yes; I didn't even pay attention to whom else was in the place!

We flew to Florida for Christmas, and Grandma got sick.  My sister and I borrowed her car and went shopping on the beach, purchasing bumper stickers "No Guts, No Glory' for me, and 'If It Swells, Ride It' for her.  I tried to tactfully get her to buy something else, but she didn't 'get' the connotation until we were back at Grandma's!  To this day, I have no idea whatever happened to those stickers; we'd also bought two twisty necklaces, and neither of them came home.  So they were either accidentally thrown away, or misplaced.

I'd taken my journal with me, to use as a guide while I continued to work on my 1st book, and made the mistake of leaving it out.  Mom found it, read it, and was none too happy about my 'private' activities.  She lectured; I sulked; I ended up saying whatever I could to get her off my case.  I was 22, not 12.  I never saw my journal again, and I was heartbroken.  Everything I'd written about JF and 1986 were gone forever, except what little I'd written in my tiny diary, along with my memories.  Later, I discovered Mom had placed it in a hiding place, but forgot to pack it, and Grandma found it.  She burned it.

My gifts that year included white sweatpants with 'Pepsi' down one leg, and a pair of furry bear claw slippers:)  I still have the bear feet; when one developed holes on the bottom, I stopped wearing them.  Can you tell I loved them?  I'd also gotten CS the Pink Floyd tape, Momentary Lapse of Reason, and copied most of it onto a blank cassette tape.  Still love the songs "Comfortably Nunb", "On The Turning Away", and "Learning To Fly".

Next Month:  Rebellion, Phase #4:  Driving Violation

Present Day:
Last night, we drove to Terre Haute to meet my parents for dinner at the Olive Garden, to celebrate mine and Kyle's birthdays.  Mom got me a Star Wars figure, some slippers, a pair of Christmas earrings, and an entire box of printer paper.  Kyle got some T-shirts.

Later, D and I went to Best Buy, and he bought me a new laptop, an ASUS.  Windows 10, Intel processor.

I've also managed to lose my voice, so no karaoke last night.  I have to get it back for tomorrow; choir is singing, then we're going to see Star Wars, plus I was planning to stay out late at karaoke, to celebrate my birthday!  I'm living on cough drops, Delsym, and kleenex!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Flashback Friday

Dec 1977:
I turned twelve:) 

We were all trying to learn The Bus Stop dance, and rumors were going around about the new film, Saturday Night Fever, and the fact you could see John Travolta naked in it.  Since I loved him as Vinnie Barbarino in Welcome Back Kotter, I wanted to see it, but as it was rated 'R', I knew I'd have to wait until it was broadcast on TV the following year.  Which meant, I wouldn't see him naked after all.

The airwaves began to buzz with the soundtrack to the movie, which my father announced Barry Gibb sounded like a 'skinny black guy holding his nose while singing'.  My sister and I were incensed!

"Barry Gibb is AWESOME!"

Christmas Eve, we traveled to Granny and Grandpa M's to celebrate.  My cousin and I convinced Granny to climb up in the attic and get Aunt Linda's formals out for us to dress up in.  We had a blast, then returned home for the Christmas Eve service at church.

Christmas morning was different.  This was the first Christmas where we had an actual fireplace, so our presents were under the tree in the front room, while the stockings were hung in the family room.  Mom had strung greenery through the wall studs (the new paneling hadn't been installed yet, so the chimney was visible), and Dad had put temporary nails up for our stockings.

I got my Lone Ranger doll ("action figure") and Silver, and I think this was the year our car broke down on the way to Great-Grandma's house.  Dad limped the car to the Zionsville exit, where the truck stop was, and a Good Samaritan, who happened to be going near Broadripple, gave us a ride.  We borrowed Grandma's car to return home that night, then the next day my sister and I had the run of the truck stop while Mom and Dad worked on the car!  I remember playing pinball, reading books, and when the car was fixed, Mom let us each pick a new doll from the gift shop.

On the 27th, we had our semi-annual get-together with Mom's BFF from HS and her family.  Peter, Tim, Vicki, Wendy, and I enjoyed playing a modified Cops and Robbers in the basement before going back upstairs and playing board games.

My hormones were beginning to blossom; I began to think of Peter as my boyfriend, and found out later he felt the same!

Next Month:  The Blizzard of '78!

Present Day:
The temps have finally dipped into the 30s....ugh.  Today we're celebrating Kyle's 26th birthday with steaks on the grill and cake:)  The birthday boy's on the KETO diet, so no cake for him, but he's making himself a peanut butter pie.  The rest of us will enjoy a small cake from the bakery.

Truck shopping, cookie baking, and gift buying has begun!

Cookies Baked:
-Chocolate Chip:  18 doz; 10 doz packed away
-Oatmeal Raisin:  5.5 doz:  3 doz packed away

Gifts Bought:
Went ahead and bought the stocking gifts first!  A few gifts have also been purchased.

Monday, December 4, 2017

December Reading Schedule

November was a rough month for me, career-wise:
-Finish Heart Song (NaNoWriMo project) Laptop died.  Writing is 'on hold' until January.  NaNo Word Count:  10,033.  Sigh.....
-Do well at 1st Friday event  Sold 5:)
-Do well at Indy Christmas Toy and Hobby Show 13 sold, plus sold out of 4 titles!  Now need inventory...
-Have successful Thanksgiving YES!  Nice and quiet.
-Start Christmas shopping Sort of....
-Lose another 5 pounds Lost 2!  Down to 231:)
-Take 'big items' to Republic on Nov 4th  Nope; due to wreck, didn't have the energy.
-Successful CHRP retreat  Check!

Books Read:  3
            Print:  2
         E-book:  1

Weight:  Actually managed to lose 2 pounds!  Weighed in at 231:)

Overall Health:  Doing well, though my right thigh/hip has been bothering me ever since the ICGAH Show.  Maybe it's the way I stand???

Karaoke Songs Added:  12
                           Thurs:  6
                               Sat:  6

December Goals:
-Bake cookies
           -12/2:  Made 18 doz choc. chip
           -12/5:  5.5 Oatmeal-Raisin
           -12/9:  14 Dark Chocolate Chip, 3.5 Holiday Chip
           -12/11:  7 doz M&M
           -12/16:  5,5 doz Oatmeal-Raisin
           -12/18:  9 doz Winter Chip, 3 doz Butterscotch Chip
           -12/19:  7 doz M&M
-Christmas Shop  12/20:  Nearly finished!
-Celebrate 2 birthdays  Kyle:  Went to karaoke the night before, then fixed steaks on grill:)
-Write Christmas letter Check:)  Even had it printed!
-Sign/send Christmas Cards  Check:)
-Mail two books 12/14:  Tried to mail one; had wrong zip code.  Googled her; will try again.
-Buy inventory  5 copies HS, check; 5 copies BOBW, check.
-Spend a week with parents

Reading Schedule:
Tomb of the Moon-N. E. Riggs
Clayton's Star-Jillian Jacobs

Secrets and Lies (HOB #4)-Susanne Matthews
Back To School-Dylan Cross

Karaoke Songs:
Where Do Broken Hearts Go-Whitney Houston Sounded good:)
I Think I Love You-Partridge Family (David Cassidy tribute; died Nov 21st) Brought laughter and audience participation, lol!
Whip It-Devo Amazingly enough, this went well:)
Midnight Blue-Lou Graham 'Sang' it more like a rap, but not too god-awful!
Whiskey Lullaby-Brad Paisley/Allison Kraus Richard Goodman and I sounded good on this!
Do They Know It's Christmas (Feed The World)-Band-Aid Again, had fun with this one!
12/14:  Lost Voice
12/21: Sang a very gravely/squeaky I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas and Last Christmas.  Rotation was long, so left at 12:30; didn't think my voice was going to stand up for White Christmas!
12/28:  White Christmas was the only good one.  Voice is still iffy.

One of Us-Joan Osbourne Did well!
One on One-Hall and Oates Ugh...
One Step At A Time-Jordin Sparks Bleh....only did well on chorus.  Tripped over my tongue too much.
One Tin Soldier-Coven  Nailed it!  I was sooooo happy; loved this song since I was ten!
Lost In Your Eyes-Debbie Gibson  Nailed it!
One Toke Over The Line-Brewer and Shipley Slightly too low, but was told I did well.
One Way or Another-Blondie  Did well:)
Only The Young-Journey Nailed it:) Camera Batteries died, so will have to re-sing
Only God Knows Why-Kid Rock Wasn't too god-awful, lol!
12/16:  Lost Voice
O Little Town of Bethlehem Elaine sang it with me, and it went well:)
Only Time Will Tell-Asia Did well!
Open Your Heart-Madonna Nailed it:)
Operator-Jim Croce Did fine when I sang it an octave higher, but over all....ugh.  Tracy tried to help me.
Ordinary World-Duran Duran Nailed it!
White Liar-Miranda Lambert  Not too bad for 1st try; was trying to find another song in my limited range, since it wasn't quite 1 am yet.  Short rotation tonight.  Cat cut off the Christmas songs (my O Little Town was followed by Pam's Santa Baby and Elaine's All I Want For Christmas Is You.  She did allow Pam to sing Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.  So I'll be working in the other three 'O' songs in January, lol!)

Friday, December 1, 2017


I've had a heck of a month.

Laptop died; spent four days in Indy, then one at a women's retreat.

Took me three days to fully recover from that trip, plus another day of wallowing in self-pity from the loss of my laptop.

On the good side, I did manage to break the 10K level on my NaNo word count, so yay me!

Since there are 5 Fridays this month, I'm using this one as 'free' one, so if you're expecting a Flashback, come back next week.

I should have my goals up by Monday, and now, I'm off to restock my pantry shelves and bake cookies for the next three weeks, plus celebrate two birthdays.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

In Shock......

Is Someone On A Witch Hunt?
Will it ever stop?

As I stated last week, CBS fired Charlie Rose for sexual misconduct.  Today (pun intended), it's Matt Lauer at NBC.  Who at ABC will get the ax next week?  PBS?  Fox?  (Not talking Fox News)

Seriously, at the rate this is happening, will no one over 40 and in the public eye, be safe from scrutiny?

Remember the movie Disclosure ?  Where are the men who have been harassed?

Meatloaf came out with a great song, Where The Rubber Meets The Road:

"Somewhere some girl is crazy and some boy's half out of his head
Somewhere somebody's fearless and someone won't wind up dead.
Somewhere two hearts are pounding and they don't care what's correct
Somewhere somebody's falling in love w/o a background check...

Son, I'm Mr. PC believe you and me I'm the ultimate king of correct
And if you wanna make you gotta make her take it as a sign of your deep respect.
If you're gonna do it, you gotta see through it to the heavenly trust that it is
Then you can call her a slut and you can call her a slave if you remember to call her MS...

Where the rubber meets the road; welcome to protection mode
Used to be sex was a fine hello, now the rubber meets the road.

You say "Girl, you're a beauty" but I'm no beast, I got a little contract right here
See, you can slam on the brakes anytime you got the stick, even if we're in fourth gear.
Cop in the front seat, lawyer in the back seat, gettin' it on videotape
Got a shrink in the bed, Lord, sittin' on the headboard, swearing that we both got raped.

Where the rubber meets the road..."

Don't get me wrong; I honestly believe harassment exists.  But sometimes it's taken waaaaaaaayyyyy out of context.

A recent FB post asks, "What's the difference between sexual harassment and teasing?  Answer:  How handsome the accused is!"  (or something like that; cannot find post now)

When I was 13, I was the object of several boys' ridicule, for whatever reason.  I blamed myself, since I was just learning to flirt, and in retrospect, the attention I received scared me, and I didn't know how to handle it.  Instead of speaking up, I buried myself behind the thickest mask/wall/whatever you want to call it, and prayed it would blow over.

It didn't.  Not until the stress got too much and I really became the object of ridicule for another reason.  Did I speak up then?  No.  I just wanted everything to stop.  Rewind.  In my mind, I'd caused it, so I deserved it.

Fast-forward twenty-five years.

I was married with two kids, and working a temporary part-time job while the spouse was laid off.  A stupid rumor began circulating; the other person and I decided to have fun with it; we knew it wasn't true.  Our manager was in on the joke, and the three of us teased back and forth.

Another co-worker took offense, and told me I was being harassed, because of some of the things my manager was asking me.  I wasn't offended in the least; we were only kidding back and forth.  I was 25 years older and could hold my own by now.

Was it sexual harassment?  I don't think so, but later that manager was threatened by the other coworker; she would hire a lawyer unless he backed off.  She later left that work place, so I have no idea if she ever followed through.  And no, that particular manager was NOT what I would call 'good-looking', but he and I got along well.

Is This Part Of A Master Plan?
Someone on FB just wondered if this was a ploy to get rid of everyone over 40 and to replace everyone in the media with 'young liberals'....ei-yi-yi....I sincerely hope NOT!

Anyway, I need to get off my soapbox again and start my day.  I get the feeling this issue is going to be around for a while; I don't remember how long the bruha lasted back in '91, though Disclosure brought it back briefly in '94.  Think the OJ scandal pushed it to the back burner.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Flashback Friday: Dr Jekyll/Ms Hyde

Nov 2007:
I'd learned about NaNoWriMo the previous year, but since we were in the middle of Moving Hell, I'd put it off.  Partly because I didn't yet have a desk or any 'established' writing area, and partly because, I was too darn busy with setting up our new home!  But since we'd now been in Vincennes for a year, plus joining the online community and discovering there was a wonderful network of authors to mentor me, I decided to sign up for the challenge.

I'd submitted a scene to three people I trusted, to see if I was on the right track, heat-level-wise.  They loved it, and encouraged me to keep going.  So when November 1st arrived, I dropped all three kids at school, flexed my fingers, and began to write.

I had to set a timer, so I'd know when to pick up my Youngling from Head Start, then a second one when to pick up my HS child (MS could walk the six blocks).  If my word count was still nowhere near the 1600 mark, I appointed the older kids to be in charge of the toddler and set a 3rd timer for when to start dinner.  After dinner and clean up, same story.

Week #1 was good; I was enjoying where the story was taking me/

Week #2 began okay, but then the tension escalated.  My daughter dawdled in the mornings, and she was constantly late.  I even got a traffic ticket one morning, since we'd caught a train and I made a rolling stop through a 4-way.  My pleas fell on the officer's deaf ears, and not only did we get a ticket instead of the warning I'd hoped for, my daughter was (you guessed it!) late again, because she refused to get out and walk the remaining two blocks/

Week #3 was a disaster.  Arguments with the kids; stress because my word count was falling behind....I even had a meltdown in my daughter's principal's office over the pressure of being a single parent; having an obstinate daughter; and a husband who didn't understand what I was trying to do, and insisting I 'stay off that god-damned computer', and threatening to throw it out the window or even shutting it down in ten seconds if I didn't log off.

Yeah, it was really that bad!

Week #4, I felt a little better after my meltdown, plus my characters returned to my brain.  We'd spent Thanksgiving with friends, so I didn't have to host or clean up, and as soon as we got home, I started pounding out the story again.  Words flowed.  November 30th, I squeaked over the 50K mark at 50, 035.  I'd done it; written my 1st full-length novel in thirty days.

BUT, I was now so sick of my characters, I didn't even want to reread it right away.  I uploaded my document, poured myself a glass of wine, and called my mom, telling her I was going to email my 'winner' certificate to her, and would she please print it for me?  We were currently out of printer ink.

Several lessons were learned through this experience:
-I didn't realize I was that much of a perfectionist
-I didn't realize I could put that much pressure on myself, over what?  A self-imposed deadline?
-I turned into someone I didn't recognize; my KIDS didn't recognize; and my hubby was ready to have me committed.  I NEVER want to do that to myself ever again.
-Finally, I'd proved it to myself, so there was NO NEED for it ever again.

That magical story?  Teacher's Pet:)

Next Month:  Birthday and Christmas!

Present Day:

Friend Travis brought me a new MS 7 OS tower!  I LOVE not having to wait ten minutes for it to load, or clicking a link and having three tabs open.  A new laptop is still in the works, and when I totaled up my word count , it came to just over 5K.  Still 45K short, but this point, I'll take whatever words I've added as gold.

My heart is broken because of the death of David Cassidy on Tuesday.  I know; none of us is going to live forever; it's just that he was so young.  We also lost Malcom Young (co-founder of AC/DC) and Della Reese this week.

Had a good time last night with my older kids at Karaoke:)  I didn't get to do my DC tribute, but maybe on Saturday.

Had a quiet Thanksgiving at home yesterday.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday's Rant

Apparently I need to shut off the news; it's unleashed my fingers.


First of all, RIP Della Reese.  I loved your singing voice; I was a semi-faithful viewer of Touched By An Angel, and loved all the comedic roles you took on over the years.  You will indeed be missed.  Fly high, dear Angel.

2ndly, what the hell was that pompous father THINKING?  #45 just saved your kid from jail, and b/c he didn't personally fly him home via AF 1 (the man was on a freaking presidential TOUR, for Christ's sake!), he decides he's 'offended' and refuses to say 'thank you'.

The kid in question, however, did.

So why did the father have to get involved?  (see yesterday's '15 minutes of fame' comment)

*shaking my head over stupidity*

3rd, it began with Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill, Gary Hart, Clinton, even Candidate #45.  Recently, Harvey Weinstein, then Kevin Spacey, now Al Franken, that guy running for Congress, and now Charlie Rose-of all people??-has been accused of sexual harassment. Even Ryan Seacrest?  As hard as that man works, when does he even have TIME?

Hubby and I were talking about this earlier this week.  The person accusing the candidate says it happened over forty (40) years ago.  Is there no statute of limitations?  Let's see.....are any of the boys who sexually harassed ME 40+ years ago in the public eye?  Or the ones who sexually harassed my SISTER?  *rubs hands together*  Maybe my books would sell better if I were to publically accuse them?  Hell yes, I'd settle for a nice tidy sum....I could actually pay for more booth fees and my inventory!

*Looks around*  You know I was only joking, right?  I really don't care to dredge up those awful thoughts anymore, and I doubt anyone cares about what happened nearly 40 years ago.  Want to know the story?  Come back in two years (about this time, actually!) and I'll fill you in.  If you've been a faithful reader of this blog for the past 7-8 years, then you already know part of the story.

*stepping off the soapbox*

Wonder what tomorrow's morning news will bring?  So long as it's nothing to do with David Cassidy.....I hope he recovers!!!  Heartfelt prayers to his family.  This will indeed be a somber Thanksgiving.  Makes me want to cook dinner for them as they are taking shifts at the hospital.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Rant

Saw something on the news this morning that made my head spin and jaw hit the floor.

"A NYC university will no longer allow cops on campus, even to use the bathroom."


"According to our research, a number of our students are afraid of the police, and having a police presence would make their 'safe place' feel less safe."

Are you freaking kidding me?

How safe are they going to feel when the CRIME RATE goes up?

Has NYC U lost it's mind?

On a side note, where did we go wrong with this generation?  We dare not offend anyone; apparently all millenials need safety blankies; we're raising a bunch of entitled WIMPS!

Everyone now wants to be a victim, to get their 15 minutes of fame.

When did the police go from being 'your friend' (you know, that GUY you call when your home has been violated, or any crime has taken place?) to 'the enemy' (that guy who *must* be shot before he shoots you)?

I don't even know whom to blame, or even cast a light on one particular incident.  Rodney King?  The incident in Kansas/Missouri/Iowa (yeah, yeah....I can't remember....)?  The kid in Florida?  #44, for his idiocy in enabling this racial divide, instead of helping to SOLVE it?  Thought he was supposed to bring about the end of the 'race war', instead, things got worse.

We have kids playing the victim card "because my great-great-great-great-grandpappy was enslaved by YOUR great-great-great-great-grandpappy.'

Instead of carrying over the 'hate', BREAK THE CYCLE!  Stop carrying around this false sense of entitlement you think the world owes you, because of said circumstances.  Pull yourself out of this 'feel-sorry-for-me' attitude and DO something CONSTRUCTIVE for a change.

Go to college.  Get a good job.  Hell, run for president/Congress and MAKE changes, instead of whining about it.

Talk talk talk about some ACTION to back it up?

Instead of people fighting to be RIGHT, how about people work TOGETHER to repair the damage we've done to ourselves?

And while I'm on this soapbox....when did everything the world does become the USA's problem?  Don't we already have enough on our hands?  Yes, babies in Yemen are dying.  Yes, the POS in NK needs to be spanked and sent to the dungeon his room.  Yes, there's an unsavory person in power in several countries.  But we have people living in our streets; we have families who have to choose between food/shelter and having medicine.  Remember the adage 'in order to help others, we must first begin with ourselves'?  No, this doesn't make us selfish; it keeps us HEALTHY!

Right now, we have a broken political system; a broken health care system; and someone trying to repair it, except he's fighting an uphill battle.

Apparently, we're just begging for an invasion.

Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.

*steps down and bows head to pray*

In other news, David Cassidy, one of my 1st beloved actors/singers, is in critical condition.  Sending lots of love and prayers to his family.

I had a Partridge Family lunchbox

I still have my Partridge Family Christmas Album.

I watched Partridge Family reruns every chance I got, during the summers I spent with my grandparents.

I was upset when he was rudely booted off Celebrity Apprentice, since he couldn't raise a lot of money for their fundraising task.  So his rolodex wasn't as loaded as the what?

Oops, I feel another rant coming, so time to end this before it gets out of hand.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Flashback Friday: Have We Made A Mistake? Pt. 2

Nov 1997:
Brief recap:  We'd moved into our new home in Morgan Co, on 7.5 acres of land.  Right off the bat, I never really felt as if I 'belonged', since the other women in the neighborhood seemed to be a little snooty, plus I'd had conflicts over our dog, and the kids being allowed to roam free.  Isn't that what being in the country was all about?  I realized my neighbors had brought their city ways into the country, and I didn't like it.

An early snowfall took us by surprise.  The kids and I had gone into 'the city' to meet D for dinner on payday, and snow began to fall.  We began the half hour trip home, and ran into problems.

-The temperature dropped, and ice soon formed.  I followed D, and things went well until we turned off onto SR 39.  One tap of the brakes and I slid sideways, fortunately no one was near me.  D stopped and got me back on the road.

-When we turned off SR 42 onto the back roads, the 2nd turn had me sliding into a ditch, trying to avoid hitting D, who'd also slid into it.  Since he had 4 wheel drive, he was able to get out, but it took him and another man to push me back onto the road.  By now, I was beginning to wish we'd gotten a motel room, as we'd discussed over pizza!

-When we reached the hill, D stopped me and put the chains on my tires, then we ventured onward and upward.  Halfway up, I was terrified when my car began to slide backward.  I was able to hit the brakes...and was relieved when one of our more friendly neighbors recognized our plight and towed me up the hill with his truck.

-Making it safely home, I began to seriously question my sanity about pushing to live in the area.  What would I do if I had to go to town while D was at work?  I did NOT want to end up at the bottom of any ravine!

Thanksgiving that year was spent at D's parents, and the kids enjoyed decorating her tree.  When we arrived home, I unearthed our decorations and discovered our neighbors across the street had 'stolen' my idea about how to decorate my house with the icicle lights.  Not wanting to look like a copy cat, we came up with something a little different, and K enjoyed being on the roof with his dad one sunny afternoon.

Next Month:  Hosting Christmas!

Present Day:
My laptop has indeed died; friend Travis was supposed to come over and bring me one of his to borrow, but we both forgot.  So my NaNo word count is in the toilet.  Thankfully, the desk top still works, even though it throws a fit once in a while.

My camera was found!!!!!  It was under my daughter's bed, with about 15 pictures taken by the granddaughter.

Christmas Gift and Hobby was a success!  Sold 13 books (3 more than last year!) and was able to pay for half of next year's table rental.

Women's Retreat went well also!  I showed up Sunday at 7am, and discovered everything had been moved downstairs.  Talk went well, and turns out I was glad not to have spent the night, since the team slept downstairs, and nearly froze!

Truck Update:  Still waiting on the insurance $$ to be released.  Now he's talking about clearing up one of the credit cards, one of the medical debts, and maybe half of the leaf guards, plus buying me a new lap top, and getting a decent used truck.  I still think he needs to put at least $10K down on a newer truck.  We'll see what he decides.

Have a good weekend!  I'm skipping the Christmas Stroll this year; I've got too much to do, plus I'm sold out of four titles:  Teacher's Pet, Hotel Stories, Best of Both Worlds, and Orion.  Also, I'm down to only one copy of Kira.

Alphabet Karaoke will resume either this weekend or next:)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Flashback Friday: Rebellion, Phase #2

November 1987:
Brief Recap:
I began dating CS; began a slow self-destruction of my self-esteem; and the stress of trying to flip my schedule upside down every weekend began to wear on me.

At the end of October, when I 'kidnapped' CS for Fall Break, I learned two things:
-I was never going to be a part of his family, due to their volatile personal nature; I didn't like the way his parents spoke to each other.

-When you're newly dating someone and you need a quick Halloween costume, do NOT roll up your sweater and go as a pregnant teenager.  He will NOT think it amusing, lol!  (O1thers told me I gave a good impression, and one guest at the party thought I was genuinely pregnant!

"Bitch After Midnight"
Since my normal schedule was 9am-midnight, and C's was 2pm-3am, trying to flip my sleep schedule upside down every weekend soon took its toll, and his friends were soon joking that my mood was not the best after a certain time.  This stress soon began to take its toll on our relationship, and when TS showed up one day, I was thrilled to see him again, and took a drive with him to talk to someone who was wide awake at ten in the morning, instead of recupperating from the previous night.

Thanksgiving week was good; I took my finals, though I was stunned at the fact I'd not done very well in my 1st 300 level Social Work class.  I forgot to mention; my professor and I clashed on a personal level, so I was happy to finally be out of that class!

I showed up at the bar to celebrate my freedom from finals, and enjoyed an evening of playing darts with a few of the guys.  But soon we noticed police and were horrified to learn someone had been beaten nearly to death outside our window.  We had to give our names to the police, in order to be questioned later, and decided maybe we'd better not drive just yet, since we'd all been drinking.  One little problem:  The bar would only pay for a taxi if we were going to a motel.

I put my foot down. 

"I will NOT be seen going into a motel with three men!"

So Bill, Marty, and Mike pooled their money and split a taxi to  Denny's, then joked about who was my 'date'.

I think we spent T-day at home that year, then I returned to BSU to begin the winter quarter.  I was also not thrilled to discover that due to the new educational requirements, I now had take another year of Gen Studies, beginning with an 8am Math class.  Fortunately, it was held downstairs in a classroom just outside The Commons, so I could simply throw on sweats over my nightshirt, go to class, then go back upstairs and go back to bed for two hours.

Next Month: Rebellion, Phase #3.

Present Day:
I'm currently up at the Indianapolis Christmas Gift and Hobby Show:) 

Also, either my laptop has died, or just the switch is malfunctioning.  I need to find out which.  At any rate, with the settlement we MIGHT be getting back from the insurance company, I've been told a new laptop is in my future.  So happy dance!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Flashback Friday: An Eventful Month!

November 1977:
After years of begging for piano lessons (okay, maybe in retrospect I didn't exactly beg, but mentioned it a lot??), my mother finally found a teacher for me, a woman down the street.  Every Saturday I would tuck my beginner's piano book under my arm and walk down, then spend hours every afternoon practicing.

I also learned this would sometimes get me out of setting the table; Mom would start to cook, and I'd start playing the songs I'd learned, plus some I picked up on my own.  But being a wise mommy, she soon caught on to what I was doing!

Someone that Mom knew was looking for a home for their cat, Half-Pint.  Since we were between dogs at the moment, she brought him home and taught me how to care for it.  But a few weeks later, the HP followed me to the bus and ran under it.  I got off and tried to coax him out....but to no avail.  When Mrs. Davis could wait no longer, the front right wheel ran over something.  I spent the rest of the day full of anxiety, sure that she'd just run over my cat.

When I arrived home, a neighbor told me the sad truth, HP had indeed, been run over.  I mourned the loss of that sweet kitty for weeks.

We traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia to spend T-day with our friends the Pirkells.  Unfortunately, the stomach flu claimed me, and I spent most of the three-day weekend in bed.  My sister got to attend a college football game and enjoyed herself with Greg and Dana, who were a few years older than me.

Work on the new room was nearly complete; the walls were up, insulated, and the new fireplace installed.  Mom and Dad picked a gray barn siding for that wall, and installed shelves on either side of the brick fireplace.

Next Month:  Christmas with the new fireplace!

Present Day:
Picking up our rental car (insurance is paying for it) and trying to juggle finances.  I'm also getting ready for my Women's Retreat, so I have to have everything ready before my trip to Indy next Wednesday.

Plus, trying to do NaNoWriMo.....think I've got the grand total of 500 words written.

Have a good weekend; I'm setting up at the 1st Fridays downtown tonight, in hopes of making some extra spending money.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November Reading Schedule

October is over, and the holidays are right around the corner....eep!  How did I do last month?
-Have fun at Imaginarium and sell at least 5 books  Too many panels and not enough time at table.  But YES to the awesome time!!!
-Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song  Not even close.
-Write Ch. 2 of RiKar's Redemption Nope.
-Finish cleaning out Green House Everything's out except some windows in back room; stuff in front room, and stuff in fireplace room.
-Empty back 2 rooms of Brown House  Not yet; moved some stuff out of 2nd bedroom, but not all.
-Continue cleaning out storage unit  Not until Brown House has more space.
-Order inventory for November event  TP, yes.
-Dress up as Dany for Halloween.  Spouse:  Robert Baratheon; K:  The Mountain; S:  Ramsey; W:  Samwell; A:  Cersei.  Me, yes.  Rest of the family failed to cooperate.
-Buy winter clothing for my teenager  Check:)
-Find out Lyrics/Copyright for Spirit Pottery, or if I have to rewrite it  Going to have to rewrite it; I might get away with one or two songs, but not ten.  Was going to cost me $3200+.  This sucks.
-Spend a PRODUCTIVE week with my parents???  Might not have time this month.  Not sure how 'productive' it will be; friend RRW's mom passed away, so going up for funeral.

Books Read:  1
           Print:  1
       E-book:  0 (though read 1st story in the Kisses antho)

Weight:  Stayed the same, 233.

Overall Health:  Fell at the Farmer's Market on Sept 30th, and still have sore left knee.  Other than fall allergies, I'm good:)

Karaoke Songs Added:  3, due to camera being lost.  Brower still hasn't sent me the files shot from his I-Phone, so may have to re-sing those when I get another camera.

November Goals:
-Finish Heart Song (NaNoWriMo project) Laptop died.  Writing is 'on hold' until January
-Do well at 1st Friday event  Sold 5:)
-Do well at Indy Christmas Toy and Hobby Show 13 sold, plus sold out of 4 titles!  Now need inventory...
-Have successful Thanksgiving  Check:)  Nice and quiet.
-Start Christmas shopping  Check...a few items have been purchased, heh heh heh...
-Lose another 5 pounds Lost 2!  Weighed in at 231.
-Take 'big items' to Republic on Nov 4th  Nope; due to wreck, didn't have the energy.
-Successful CHRP retreat  Check!

Reading Schedule:
Tomb of the Moon-N. E. Riggs
Rachel's Guard -Jillian Jacobs A very detailed, complicated plot line.  My mom enjoyed it; I had a headache by the time I finished it.  Had to keep putting it down, from all the intrigue.  Very well thought out.
Maude's Score-JJ  Another complicated story line, where a scheming gold digger tries everything in her power to come between a man and the woman he dumped her for.  Ariel reminded me of Ava from Loving.  That particular plot was fun to watch for a while, then got tiring.  Again, very well thought out.
Clayton's Star-JJ

Accidental Kisses-Sandra Sookoo, et al  Enjoyed all but two stories:)  Very good!
Secrets and Lies (HOB #4)-Susanne Matthews
Back To School-Dylan Cross

Karaoke Songs: (Updated weekly)
Thurs:  *NOTE*  Alphabet Karaoke has been suspended until I replace my camera, unless Brower lets me use his IPhone...
Where The Streets Have No Name-U2  Nailed it:)
I Got The Boy-Jana Kramer  Did well:)
Listen To Your Heart-Roxette  Was complimented:)
Just Breathe-Anna Nalick  Did well!  Blew one line, but still....;)
I Will Come To You-Hanson  Nailed it!
Just When I Needed You Most-Randy Vanwarmer  Was complimented:)
Where You Lead-Carole King Nailed it:)
Make Me Lose Control-Eric Carmen Did well:)
Wheever You Will Go-The Calling  Was complimented:)
While You See A Chance-Steve Winwood  Did well:)
Man In The Box-Alice in Chains Peppers backed me up, and I thought it sounded good!
When You Look Me In The Eyes-Jonas Bros  Did well, until the bridge.  Needs more practice

Better Dig 2-Band Perry  Was complimented:)
Heart Like Mine-Miranda Lambert Nailed it:)
Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me-Faith Hill  Wasn't too bad...
Girl Crush- Little Big Town Nailed it!
On My Own-Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald  Not too bad:)
On the Good Ship Lollipop-Shirley Temple  Nailed it, plus gave everyone a good laugh!
On The Turning Away-Pink Floyd  DNH....surprisingly enough!
One Call Away-Charlie Puth  Wasn't too bad; blew two lines.  Might resing.
One Fine Day-Chiffons  Nailed it:)
One Moment In Time-Whitney Houston  Did well:)
One More Try-George Michael  Wasn't too awful...
One of These Nights-Eagles Ugh....

Friday, October 27, 2017

Flashback Friday: Spiderman is in Da House!

Oct 2007:
Reposted from Nov 1,'s the original link.  Enjoy!

We had one of the best Halloweens last night. The weather was perfect; we didn't have to wear jackets; no wind; no rain. W caught on to the phrase after a few houses, and he actively knocked on doors and piped "Trick or Tweet" when people answered the call:) My older ones went with their friends, and I sent them off with reservations (we've only been here a year, and my son's made some friends this week that I've not met yet, hence the caution!), just told them to 'use their brains' and reminded them that I would not be bailing them out of jail for stupid pranks, and, oh yes, is ruining your choice college chance really worth it?

"Oh know I'm smarter than that!"

"Just doing my job as a parent."

And it paid off. Both teens had a great time, collecting candy from the various businesses, and my daughter even came back and took the baby around again to other blocks when my feet gave out!

And best of all (and this is a little selfish...) with everyone gone the first 90 minutes, there was no one to hand out candy at our house, so we still have some left!!!! Yes, mom's going to be in chocolate heaven the next several days. Especially since I 'buried' that last bag of $100 Grand bars at the bottom:)

The teens are already plotting next year's route, since they enjoyed being in town so much. Last year, we hastily threw on the costumes, bundled up in coats, and did a 2-block radius, since we had just moved into the house. Came home, handed out candy, and unloaded the last of the belongings!

"Mom...if we're still here next year, you have got to go over to Hart Street...the car dealership was handing out handfuls of candy!"

Just don't tell my hubby the kids want to stay (or at least come back!) another year?

*****Present Day*****  
In addition to the Halloween fun, I decided one Friday the baby and I had earned a trip to McDonald's for lunch.  Our McD's didn't have a playscape, but I'd heard the one in Washington did.  And a miracle occurred.

Keep in mind, my 3 y/o had previously only played by himself when at local playscapes, and usually had been tugged through the tunnels by his older siblings and down the slide.  After being at Head Start for only a month, my toddler ate a chicken McNugget and some fries, then happily joined in with the other kids as they ran around!

Yes, I hear you....'he only ate ONE?'  That's our rule.  The kids can play after eating one nugget and a few fries....but whenever they return to the table, another nugget and fries must be consumed before they head back.  I'm not one of these moms who refuse to let their darling child play in the colorful tunnels until they've eaten all their food.  I think it's ridiculous....let them have fun!  So they're eating cold food, who cares?  After a while they catch on that if they eat first, it will still be hot!

But the point is, my baby was finally socialized:)  I was so happy, I hugged his teacher the following Monday!

Also, met with friend Jackie, and we formed a 'Friday Writers Lunch'.  While the toddler played, she and I would talk shop, and she was very encouraging while I was writing Wild At Heart.  In turn, I encouraged her to write her own stories.

Next Month:  My 1st NaNoWriMo!
Present Day:
The spouse, Teen, and Granddaughter were in an accident on Wednesday.  A woman going the wrong way up 9th St (after dropping off her child at Flaget, maybe??) pulled out onto Main St at full speed (obviously, no stop sign while going the wrong way!), and the spouse T-boned her, pushing her into an oncoming car going down Main St.  Minimal damage to the Chevy van; major damage to both her Mercury SUV and to the front end of our truck.  Nobody was seriously injured (25 mph), but my spouse complained of neck pain, so was taken by ambulance to the ER.  CT scan was normal, and he was sent home with painkillers.

Now we're playing phone tag with the adjuster.  Everyone was insured, the driver with Progressive, us with State  Farm, and the 3rd driver with Farm Bureau.

Here's hoping we get a new vehicle asap!

Halloween Plans:
I'm going as Danaerys tomorrow night at karaoke.  Since my camera is still AWOL, and my phone camera is throwing a fit, I hope one of the kids will take a picture of me.  Since the weather's going to be cold, maybe this is the year I should have gone as 'Deaf Leppard'?  Since I was so hot last year in that leppard/cheetah sweater....

Friday, October 20, 2017

Flashback Friday: Halloween, Subdivision-Style!

Oct 1997:
The reason I wanted to live in a subdivision was simple.  We'd have neighbors, and I could turn the kids out on Halloween Night, and let them run around the neighborhood as I did, collecting candy and staying out after dark.

But in our spanking-new subdivision, the houses were so spread out, my kids didn't want to walk/run in their costumes.  The night air was a little chilly, and when it became apparent all the other kids were having one parent drive them around, I put my shoes on and away we went.

In a way, it was fun, getting to meet the neighbors, and my kids were thrilled with the amount of candy they were collecting.  But I was also terrified, because I didn't see well at night, and trying to turn around in a tight spot had me praying I wouldn't accidentally hit something, or damage my car.

When we'd visited the other 25 houses, this mama breathed a sigh of relief and told the kids their father would be driving them around every year from now on!

Next Month:  Early Snowstorm and Being Rescued By The Neighbors:)

Present Day:
Had to make a trip to Lafayette this week, due to a friend's mom passing last week.  Enjoyed catching up with old friends at both the visitation and funeral, esp R's younger siblings, whom I hadn't seen in over 30 years.

Celebrated my parents' 54th wedding anniversary yesterday!  Mom wasn't feeling well, so she didn't go to the funeral, and since she didn't feel like going out to eat, we ordered take out from Walt's Other Pub.  Yummy!

Heading home tomorrow, since choir is singing Saturday night.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Flashback Friday: "Wait, You're Going To Do WHAT?"

Oct 1987:
Brief Recap:  I'd begun seeing CS, whom I'd met the previous winter, and began driving down to see him every weekend.

Several things began to happen the month of October.
-CS 'picked' me over the other girl, and I was thrilled, but after a while driving down every weekend began to take its toll.  C attended night classes, and wanted to stay up all night, watching movies.  I was on 'day shift', and wanted to fall into bed around midnight-1am.  After a month of flipping my schedule upside down, it became a regular joke that I would turn into a 'bitch after midnight'.  In hindsight, I should have put my foot down and stopped seeing him.  But no.....

-I met my future hubby.  C and I walked into a local diner for a late night breakfast, and there was this guy who radiated warmth, so I snuggled up to him.  I'd taken my camera with me, and several goofy pics were snapped that night, and I'm VERY thankful social media didn't exist back then!!

-I went home for Fall Break and thoroughly confused my parents by meeting the guy I'd briefly dated in June for lunch, then by going out to the bar with the guys from Wabash Nat'l.  Mom soooo didn't understand why I could be dating one guy, have lunch with another, and go drinking with my ex-co-workers in the evening!  We were going to attend a wedding on Saturday, and I don't remember where my mom and sister had gone, but my dad and I had a 'bonding' moment.

-BL (guy I'd dated in Aug) and I had decided to get together for drinks, and we ended up in a motel. B set his alarm, but it either didn't go off, or we didn't hear it.  Since I 'knew' my dad slept in on Saturdays, I took my time going home, even stopping at Burger King for breakfast.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the door and found my dad in the living room!

"Do you often stay out all night when you go out?"

"No; B and I were talking; we've been at Denny's all night." (yes, I lied!)

"I'll make a deal with you.  I went out with co-workers, thinking it was going to be dinner, but it only turned out to be drinks.  If you don't tell your mother I got drunk last night, I won't tell her you didn't get home until 7am."

"Deal.  Wake me up at 11, so I can shower before we head to Mike and Dianne's wedding?"

It would be at least 20-25 years before Mom learned that story!

When I returned to BSU, CS was on his Fall Break, so I stopped by his house and kidnapped him, then sneaked him into my dorm room after hours.  We only got caught once, and that's because we played Trivial Pursuit with friends, and lost track of time.  We were only 5 mins past curfew, but spent the night downstairs in the lobby, watching movies until I could safely sneak him back upstairs.

Next Month:  Bar Fight!

Present Day:
Recuperating from last weekend, plus kids on Fall Break, plus sick kids, has caused me to do absolutely NOTHING  this week, other than watch TV, shuttle kids to doctor appointments, and forget all about getting the trash and recycling out.  In fact, Kenzie nearly forgot to even blog this week for the blog hop!

I *should* be back to *normal* next week.

College Kid attained his Orange belt in Tai Kwon Do, and has a tournament tomorrow.  Unfortunately, it's at the same time as when our Reverse Osmosis water purifier is being installed.  Hopefully, we'll be able to go see part of his tournament?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Home From Conference:)

Oh, did I not mention I was off to Louisville this past weekend?

Friday, Nancy and Brooke picked me up and we headed east.  Changed drivers in Corydon, since B didn't feel comfortable driving in heavier traffic.  Thanks to Carol P's texts earlier, we had no problem finding the motel, checking in, and locating our room.  Then it was off to dinner.

We were told to seat ourselves, which we did, and I kept an eye out for Carol.  Finally, a server told us to go ahead and help ourselves to the buffet.  C arrived, and by that time, a server came around and took our drink orders.  The pizza side only had 3 pieces of pizza, so I opted for a salad until more pizza arrived.  Moments later, I fixed myself another salad, since the 4 pizzas brought out were swarmed upon, and not my chosen flavor.  When I was told a cheese was on the way, I stood by the buffet and waited, and only took 3 slices.  By now, our drinks finally arrived, with the exception of C's.

I'd seen a guy come out and the other server point to us and two other tables...."Those are yours."  He then did an about face and disappeared. 

C finally got her beer about the same time as her bill, and the guy who'd been told to be our server arrived to bus our tables.  C and N paid for their food and left.  B and I hung around for karaoke.

I sang at least nine songs, plus we managed to get B up on stage for two.

You Never Know Who You'll Meet:)
A woman came in and asked if she could sit with B and I.  We said sure, and it turned out to be Rochelle Weber, the founder of MFRW!  We were thrilled when we made that connection!  Plus, Frank got to hear me sing 'Let Me Be There' and 'I Will Be'.

Went down to breakfast and while the food was excellent (scrambled eggs, country potatoes, sausage links, pancakes, danish, and fruit), the service was again slow.  I opted to wait for C while B and N went over and set up; I joined them a while later.  Was happy to see friends I'd not seen in a while, and set up my display, then started on my panels.

Kindle, KDP, and KU:
Really felt as if I needed to be on the other side of the table, lol!  Didn't have a lot to contribute, until an audience member asked a formatting question, and about royalties.

Navigating The Blogosphere:
Felt as if I was in center court of a tennis match.  Could not get a word in edgewise, so gave up after a while.  Did manage to sneak in a word or two at the end.

Revving Up The Romance:
Had better success with this one, but at times it seemed to be a one-or-two woman 'show'.  Still, had great audience questions!

Crickets.  Absolutely no one came over.

Electrifying Your Erotica:
This one was painful.  Daniel the moderator's questions were answered with many pauses; it was if we were all going brain-dead or on sensory overload.  There was NO participation from audience, and with ten minutes left, we were asked to come up with a one line erotic scene.  I hadn't brought a pen, and absolutely struggled with it, coming up with a lame one at the end, and remembering my favorite ones from Teacher's Pet, which saved me.

Developing A Series:
Only three of us showed up, plus no moderator.  I explained the crucial need for a series 'bible', plus we all spoke about how we wrote them out of order, and timelines.  Small amount of audience participation.

End of the Day!
I couldn't get back into the vendor hall, and was slightly pissed, because my wallet, Kindle, and charger were under the table.  I'd also used my rolly cart to transport my series CDs and books, so had to store them in the car.  N paid for my dinner at Fazolli's, then we found a Walgreens for some Advil.  I put on my Danaerys costume, but by 9:15, was beginning to decompress, so went to bed at 9:30.

Had another delicious breakfast (courtesy of B this time), then headed upstairs to finish packing and to check out.  Rain had moved in (remnants of Hurricane Nate), so B and N let me and my books out under the portico while they parked the car.  I wanted to attend the Religion In Writing panel, and it wasn't what I'd thought, but still had a good time.

Building Your Blog:
This panel was a little more balanced, and thankfully we did have wonderful questions from the audience.  The one thing I took away from this was I. Need. To. Start. Using. Tags.

Still don't know what an RSS feed is, or how to set one up.  I'll have to PM DJ later.

Finally, I attended the YouTubers panel, since a) I have a channel and b) Will wants to start one.  This one was very informative.

Good News!!!!!
Frank informed me Teacher's Pet (Kenzie Michaels) will be available by the end of the week!  Paperback will be $12-13, which surprised me; I was expecting $10.  Also found out how to order copies, so will have to have the spouse cough up some cash, since I still owe $60 for the Christmas show, and didn't make any $$ this weekend.

Nancy, however, sold 2 books, which I was THRILLED, and Brooke one.  But then again, I never really manned my booth; I was out talking to people most of the two days.

What's On Tap For Next Year:
Might try the one hour thing again, since I'll be an official Stardust author, and if B and N want to get a table again, I'll not do so many panels, so I can be behind the table.  Which means seriously cutting back on craft fairs, except for local ones.  Or maybe not; it's a double-edge sword:  Make money or keep having to order inventory?  Check back with me on this later.

In the meantime, I've had two lazy 'recuperation' days, and should be back to 'normal' activities tomorrow.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Flashback Friday: A Month of Mixed Emotions

Oct 1977:
At the end of September, my great-grandfather, whom we called 'Granddaddy', suffered a stroke and was hospitalized.  I don't remember much, but Mom recalls seeing his angry demeanor while being hooked up to monitors, and asked him if he was ready to go.  He squeezed her hand and a tear trickled from his eye.  Two days later, he died from a heart attack.

This was the first funeral I remember attending, and most of it was spent downstairs in the Hospitality Room, snacking and talking to relatives not seen in a while.  Afterward, I was disappointed that someone had forgotten to come get me for the actual service; I missed my grandmother pounding on the casket in grief; my great-grandmother's irritation at the mispronounciation of his name (minister kept calling him 'our dear departed Brother Geese' instead of Geis).

Still, we were thrilled to have our grandparents up from Florida in time for my sister's 7th birthday, and Mom had made us matching outfits, pants and a vest.  The first time, she'd accidentally sewed the legs shut, then vowed to never attempt that again!  Our cousins Tammy and Richie came also, and we had a wonderful time playing on the swing set.

I think this was also the year Mom put trick candles on her cake.  She was furious when she found out she couldn't blow them out, and threatened to dump a cup of water all over her cake!  Mom came to the rescue, and explained the joke.  We called this her 'Golden Birthday', since she was 7 on the 7th in '77:)

Forgot to mention:  While we had been in Florida in Aug, we'd gone to Busch Gardens, and nothing was air-conditioned!  Not the restaurant, not the brewery, not even the safari ride.  I was dragged onto the log flume ride, and told Mom I was going to kill her when we finished.  We also got some relief on the Flying Baskets and the Octopus (Magic Mamba).  When we went to the gift shop, I got a toy clydesdale, whom I christened 'Clyde', and still have him to this day.  He's got a rubber band around him to hold him together, lol!

The walls began to go up on the den, and I continued to play on the dirt pile, pretending to be an archaeologist.

Also got our 1st cat, Half-Pint, a yellow and white sweet thing:)

Next Month:  Starting piano lessons, and being sick on T'day.

Present Day:
I'm off to the Imaginarium Conference with Nancy Riggs and Brooke Myers!  I'm on six panels:
-Building Your Blog
-Kindle, KDP and KU
-Electrifying Your Erotica
-Creating A Book Series
-Navigating The Blogosphere
-Revving Up The Romance

Plus, I hope to dress up as Danerys at the costume ball (practice for Halloween???) and find out the status of Teacher's Pet!  Frank says he's launching the first few titles this weekend, so I hope mine's included:)

Happy early birthday to my sister Wendy, whose 'big day' is tomorrow!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Oct Reading Schedule

To recap September....
-Do well at 1st Friday  Sold 4:)
-Do well at Community Yard Sale  Sold 4:)
-Do well at Eminence Harvest Fest  Sold 9:)
-Spend a productive week at Mom's LOL....was simply her chauffeur! Check:)
-Find out status of both Teacher's Pet and Anderson quad  TP:  New cover and arriving later this month!!!  UPDATE:  New cover is here, and blurb needs reworked.  Ready for formatting!
-Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song  Not yet....
-Write Ch. 2 of Rikar's Redemption  Not yet.....
-Finalize plans for Imaginarium  Check:)
-Make another payment for Christmas Show  Check:)  Now just need $60 more....
-Continue emptying green/brown houses  Green house is nearly empty:)
-Continue to empty storage unit  Can't do more until we empty the brown house, or do some work in the basement.

Books Read:  3
           Print:  1
        E-book:  2

Weight:  Lost 6 pounds:)  Began at 239; ended at 233.  Hoping to lose those elusive 3 pounds, then start working my way back to 220.

Karaoke Songs Added:  14
                             Thurs:  7
                                 Sat:  7

What Do I Foresee For October?
-Have fun at Imaginarium and sell at least 5 books  Too many panels and not enough time at table.  But YES to the awesome time!!!
-Write Ch. 6 of Heart Song
-Write Ch. 2 of RiKar's Redemption
-Finish cleaning out Green House
-Empty back 2 rooms of Brown House
-Continue cleaning out storage unit
-Order inventory for November event
-Dress up as Dany for Halloween.  Spouse:  Robert Baratheon; K:  The Mountain; S:  Ramsey; W:  Samwell; A:  Cersei.
-Buy winter clothing for my teenager
-Find out Lyrics/Copyright for Spirit Pottery, or if I have to rewrite it  Going to have to rewrite it; I might get away with one or two songs, but not ten.  Was going to cost me $3200+.  This sucks.
-Spend a PRODUCTIVE week with my parents???  Might not have time this month.  Not sure how 'productive' it will be; friend RRW's mom passed away, so going up for funeral.

Reading Schedule:
Tomb of the Moon-NE Riggs
Devil's Retreat-Brooke Myers  Did NOT see the twist coming!  Good job, Brooke:)

Karaoke Songs:
Where Did Our Love Go-Supremes (have to resing; camera malfunctioned) Nailed it:)
Love The Way You Lie-Eminem/Rhianna  Sang it with Tom, and did well:)
Where The Boys Are-Connie Francis Not too bad....

Sat:  NOTE: 'Alphabet Karaoke' has been suspended until I replace my camera.
My Church-Maren Morris Not too bad:)
Fancy-Reba By request; not too scratchy:)
Million Reasons-Lady Gaga  Good:)
Listen To Your Heart-Roxette  Nailed it!
Independence Day-Martina McBride  Good:)

Miracle-Bon Jovi  Nailed it:)
Baby I Lied-Deborah Allen  Did well!  Had trouble with high note though.
Let It Go-Idina Mozel (Halloween weekend, after all!)  Not too bad; missed one note.

*was gone the first weekend, then sick the 2nd.