Friday, January 27, 2017

Flashback Friday: Shaking The House!

Jan 2007:
Did I mention we were huge Colts fans?  For years we'd watched season after season, joking 1st that Jeff George needed to be traded, since he 'always' seemed to get injured and Jack Trudeou doing all the work, followed by the need to tape Erik Dickerson's paycheck to the ball so he'd hold onto it, then finally, things looked bright for the Ted Marchibroda/Jim Harbaugh years, but once we had our best season, for whatever reason both were let go, and the whining Jim Mora year happened.  "We had so many injuries..."

Finally, the Colts drafted Peyton Manning, and things began to look up.  Yeah, the first few seasons were rough, but we kept getting closer to that elusive championship, esp against the NE Patriots.  But in 2007, our year arrived.

Let me back up a moment and state that our new house we were living in had bouncy floors.  I'd spent a great deal of time packing up all of Mom H's breakables, but I apparently forgot about the ones on the piano.

During the AFC Championship, the Colts finally beat the Pats for the win, and my oldest son, 16 at the time, was so excited at the nail-biting ender (final score:  Colts 38, Pats 34), he jumped up and down yelling, 'Yes!  Yes!  Yes!', and a few things fell off the piano, nearly breaking!

Colts were headed to the Super Bowl against the Chicago Bears!!!

I also worked up the nerve to call or email T and let him know we'd moved.  He seemed delighted by the news, and we met for coffee on our 'anniversary'.  I was thrilled he wasn't upset, since we'd been using the '50 mile rule', and now we'd only be 22 miles apart.

Next Month:  Super Bowl Party!

***********
Present Day:
I'm losing my voice, which doesn't bode well for the weekend.  I'm supposed to sing Sunday first at church, then during a special community choir event.  Plus, our Writer's group is having an impromptu party at my house tomorrow.  Nancy's making Chicago-style pizza; Ben's bringing chips; I'm providing dip and salsa; Dan is (I think!) providing cupcakes.

Plus, I'm finally watching Downton Abbey on DVD!!!!

RIP:  Mary Tyler Moore (Dick Van Dyke Show, MTM Show)
          Mike Connors (Mannix)
          Barbara Hale (Perry Mason; I confess I thought she'd already passed!)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Flashback Friday: Surprise Announcement, A Broken Arm, and A Shared Anniversary....

Jan 1997:
Brief Recap:   My sister came home from Ota, Japan for Christmas, and I had given her a copy of the movie Better Off Dead. When she unwrapped it, she stated that was Chris's favorite movie, prompting the question, "Who's Chris?"

Turns out she worked with his brother, who had introduced her to him via computer, and they chatted regularly.  Chris decided to fly to Indiana to meet my sister in person.

Chris popped the question to my sister on New Year's Eve, and she accepted!  A few days later, my dad, mom, and sister were due to fly to Florida, when my dad slipped on the ice and broke his arm.  He offered his ticket to Chris, who then flew to St. Pete, Fla with my sister and mom.  On Jan 3rd, the decided to go ahead and get married, but Chris's wallet had been stolen, and he had no ID.  So they used her old Florida address for his; secured him a temporary ID for the marriage license; and on Jan 5th after church, Grandma's pastor married them.

While all this was going on, I was spending the 4th with friend T, as well as introducing friend B to my ex AF officer. On the 5th, we went to my SIL's for Christmas with her family.  When we arrived home later that night, my sister called me to tell me their good news, and could we meet them at the airport the next day?

We did, and it turned out my new BIL shared my sense of humor, and we've gotten along quite well ever since.  They've now been married for 20 years, and we still joke about the 'legality' of their unconventional marriage!

On Tuesday, W appeared on our doorstep with breakfast, announcing she'd just come from the airport where she'd put her new hubby on a plane back to Canada; he would start the process to join her in Japan.  We had another lovely visit with her until it was time to return back to Lafayette and get ready for her return to Ota!

I've never told her about the fact we now share an anniversary; Jan 5th 1997 being my 1st anniversary being reunited with T; her wedding day. 

**********
Present Day:
I've spent this past week in Lafayette, since Carla's funeral was on Sunday.  On Monday, Mom and I went to the Retired Teachers Luncheon, and I was able to reconnect with Mrs. Hart, who taught PE, and Mrs. Norman, who was my 11th grade English teacher.  Tuesday, I took Mom to her hair appointment, then to lunch at Steak-n-Shake.  Wed, I had my hair appointment, plus met friend RRW for lunch at McCallister's.  I also went to Hobby Lobby and to Kirkland's, for a new journal and two small cross stitch projects.  Dad's taking me back home today, so I've preposted this.  I also finished watching SE6 of Game of Thrones.

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Flashback Friday: New Job and Reunion!

Jan 1987:
I spent the first half of the month job-hunting, then finally got a call from Manpower, to go temp at a craft factory.  I enjoyed it; after being trained on the project we would be packing, my brain decided to go 'creative'.  I had taken a notebook with me to leave in the break room, so during the two 15-minute breaks and my half hour lunch time, I would write down the scenes I'd created in my head, and 'Love On The Rocks' began coming together.

The weather at this time was horrible.  Snow, ice, and I had to leave the house at 6 am in order to make it on time.  When JF's birthday rolled around the 4th week, the roads were so bad on Friday, my dad actually forbade me to go.  Fortunately, by noon the next day, the temperature rose, and my parents allowed me to drive down.

I arrived just as he and one of his friends pulled up with a carry out pizza.  I silently laughed as JF tried to get rid of his friend ASAP, nearly shoving him out the door with the pizza after putting his half on a platter!  I'd never seen a guy so anxious to be alone with me before.....it reaffirmed we were still going strong!

Finally, after his buddy got the message and drove off, JF pulled me into his arms and kissed me....then got confused.  My shirt had buttons in both front and back, but the back ones only went up to the shoulder!  After a wonderful reunion, and his pizza forgotten, he took me to dinner, then to a local bar, The Railroad Inn, and introduced me to rum and coke.  We then went across the street to The Roundup and danced before going back to his place.

I didn't want to leave the next morning, but knew I had to, since I'd spent most of my money on gassing up the car.  I was only getting paid $4 an hour, and already owed Dad at least $20 for the phone bill.  It felt good to be back in JF's arms again after a 5 week absence; we made plans for me to return at the end of February.

Next Month:  Heartache

**********
Present Day:
2017 is off to a bad start.  Last year, I was reeling from the fact we'd lost both David Bowie and Alan Rickman; this year I've lost fellow classmate Craig Clifton, elementary school principal Mr. Kendall, drama coach Tom Prill, math teacher Mr. Skibinski, and now our #1 Band Mom, Carla Jones.

I've known Carla since I was a teenager.  She and Mom became good friends when Carla's husband Al was hired by JHS, and they chaperoned many band and orchestra trips.  Carla had a wonderful sense of humor, and she and my mom's birthdays were only a week apart, so they would often celebrate together.  Carla's son Andy and I were the same age, but really couldn't stand each other; I got along better with his younger sister Anna.

Carla taught me the basics when I tried out for the Flag Corps, and she picked me up from summer school when I'd have to be back at school two hours later, and my mom was busy.

Everyone loved her VW bus, Wolfgang von Bus aka 'Wolfie'.

I think I irritated her once when I didn't listen to her warnings about a certain classmate.....but I managed to prove her wrong.

She also helped manage my wedding reception nearly 26 years ago.

At any rate, I'm headed up to Lafayette for Carla's funeral, and to lend my mom some support, since this makes the 3rd friend she will have buried this week.

RIP.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Flashback Friday:

Jan 1977:
Really don't remember much; I THINK this is when my mom was working on her Master's Thesis, so weekends with Dad became a huge part of our lives.  Dad took us out to eat; roller skating; and best of all, to the movies.  I think we might have seen The Pink Panther Strikes Again and The Shaggy D.A.

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!"

I think it was around this same time we found 'Captain Kool and the Kongs' at 11am every Saturday.  We all wanted to SuperChick, and we also acted out Electro Woman and Dyna Girl:)

We were also glued to the TV every night for Roots:)

Next Month:  My BFF's Most Embarrassing Moment!

*************
Present Day:
My laptop has been fixed (again!), and sometime today, MS Word will be reinstalled, after a year's absence!  Turns out daughter knows the guy, and we had a great time talking while he ran scans and showed me how to clean it up every weekend.

Grandkids will be returning home on Sunday; we've actually had a good week with them.  Will also start taking down our Christmas decorations (finally!).

Temps have dropped into the teens, and we finally got snow yesterday morning.  I did NOT go to karaoke last night, opting instead to stay home and watch the 1st two episodes of SE 4 Game of Thrones.

Today, I'm making the final two batches of chocolate chip cookies (finally tally was about 7 doz each of M&M, Choc. Chip, Winter Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin), which should come to about 6-7 dozen.

Sad news for our Class of 1984:  Mr. Skibinski, who taught Math, passed away last week (I had World History with his son Joe, who was a year behind me), and Craig Clifton, whom I last saw at a mini-reunion in 2012, passed away last night.  Apparently, he'd had heart issues the past few years.  Craig was a wonderful guy to be around; full of fun and a great singing voice.  I will always remember him carrying Debbie Fritton's purse at the bar after the reunion, proving that Real Men CAN carry purses!





RIP Craig.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January Reading Schedule

2017 is already off to a good start; last month the editor of a local magazine was at our monthly writers meeting, and when I found out he was looking for article ideas, I was cheeky enough to pitch an idea.

My 1st attempt (seen here) was deemed 'too self-promotional', so I sucked up my startled, wounded pride and tried again, this time successful.  It went live yesterday, so check it out here:) 

So what are my monthly goals?
-Give B partial payment for print covers (still yet-to-be-made) Check:)
-Send Kira off to editor with payment  Check:)
-Finish cover request and send off with partial payment
-Order more copies of Hotel (currently sold out)
-Finish Ghost Story
-Add at least 5K words to Heart Song
-Find out where the Crossroads antho stands  Check....sort of....?
-Pack away the Christmas decorations  (check!) and begin hanging pictures and shelving units in my new house. Check:)
-Send some 'pretties' to my SIL (check!) and photograph others for family members  
-Watch SE4 (Check!) and 5 (Check!) of Game of Thrones, plus maybe even 6 (check!), then start on the Classic TV DVDs I've acquired.

Health:
Lose another 5 pounds and weather permitting, get out and walk at least 2-3 times per week.

Reading Schedule:
Print:
Guilty As Sin:  Edward Klein  Wonderful!!!!
Nurturing That Sparkl by Sandra Sookoo  Very good!  Love the pop culture references!
Martian Chronicles-Ray Bradbury  Good; some were a little scary.
Calmity Jane Goes To College (trying this again)  Finally made it through....bleh.

E-book:
All That Remains-SM Shade (Book #3)  Finally made it through book #3!  I enjoyed #1 the most.
Betrayal-Aleatha Romig  Wonderful!  Now I need the next one in the series!!!!!
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus-Lydia Sherrer  Not too bad; I might enjoy the print version better.
Rattled-Jane Charles  Apparently I've already read this, and enjoyed it!
Lost Pleasures Found-Vicki Vaught  Very good!
My King-Mary Martel  DNF
Cameron's Shocking Christmas Revelation-Vicki McCombie  Cute story!  RR
Unwrapped-Amber Skyze  Turns out I'd already read this one, lol!
Tied Up In Tinsel-Amber Skyze  Good
Once More From The Top-Nan Reinhardt  DRR! OMG....loved this story!!!
Sex and the Widow Miles-NR  RR  Story was in 1st person, but enjoyed it, esp the twist:)
The Summer of Second Chances-NR  DRR  Loved this one!!!
Anything You Want-Madison Sevier  Good story, but left me hanging.
Climbing Her Tower-Elizabeth Black  Wonderful twist on this favorite fairy tale!

Karaoke Songs:
Thurs:
1st week:  Too cold
2nd week:  Sinusitis
3rd week:  Out of town
4th week:  Losing voice/sinusitis
5th week:  Still no voice

Sat:
Week #1:
Love Potion #9-The Clovers  Not too bad:)
Love Runs Out-One Republic Attempt #1:  Did well until bridge.... #2:  Sang it and posted:)  Moving on....
Love Shack-B-52s  Sang this with Mark and did well!
Love Somebody-Rick Springfield  Nailed it, but ran out of room on phone.  Will redo:)
Week #2:  Out of town
Week #3:  Re-sang Love Runs Out and Love Somebody
Love Stinks-J. Geils Band  Eh, so-so....might sing this again Valentine's Day!
Week #4:  No voice


Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year, and best wishes for 2017!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

O Magic 8 Ball
Please tell me...
What will 2017
Have in store for me?
(shakes ball)

Greetings!  As an author, I frequently make New Year's Resolutions, and I also set monthly goals for myself.  The past two years, LIFE has kicked my butt, but now that I'm no longer homeschooling my youngest and we've moved to a new home, I'm hoping things will settle down and return to some sort of 'normalcy'.  Yes, I was arrogant enough to think I could both home school a 5th grader AND write three full-length novels at the same time.

Not Quite.

I did mange to write two of them, but one was finished over Christmas Break and the second one during the month of June, finishing it the day before my deadline.  The third has been stalled on Ch. 5 for a year now.

I'll admit, I've only reached four of the nine goals I set for myself last year:
-Finish writing Heart Song  (no; still working on it)
-Publish KiRah and write RiKar's book (not yet)
-Get my youngling through the 5th grade (Yes!)
-Lose and keep off 10 pounds (Only lost 5)
-Buy a banner and more promo (No banner, but did get new business cards!)
-Attend as many signings as I can, including Writers on the River (July) and Book Blast (September) (Yes)
-Attend Weekend in Nashville, including some sight-seeing (Yes!)
-Get out of this house (Yes; moved into new one in November)
-Weekly Karaoke:  Reach the 'M' songs and maybe even more (Not yet; still on 'L' titles)
-Stay with the blogging (No; only blog 5 times a month.)

So What Are My Goals For 2017?
-Finish writing Heart Song
-Publish #4 of my Sci-Fi Rom series and write #5
-Get books #1-6 of my Arbor University Tales (Women's Fiction) series in print
-Successfully help my 6th grader bring up his grades in Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts
-Lose another 5 lbs or more
-Cut back on signings; instead of 14 like last year, only do six which cost money, and a few local ones which are free.
-Organize my basement office
-As for the karaoke songs, well, I'd like to maybe hit the 'P' titles?  I'm beginning the year still on the 'Love' titles.  I'm thinking there may not be many 'N' or 'O' titles.  I could be wrong.

So what does YOUR Magic 8 Ball have in store for you?

"Future is cloudy; try again later."


Happy New Year!!!

PS:  2016 was a HORRIBLE year for celebrity deaths; let's keep the remaining ones safe in 2017?? 

RIP George Michael
       Carrie Fisher
       Debbie Reynolds
       William Christopher (Fr. Mulchahy from M*A*S*H)
       All passed Dec 25th-31st.