Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Year In Review

Jan: I was offered a contract by Freya’s Bower for my first erotic romance novella, All She Ever Wanted.

Feb: Got my beautiful cover and also finished writing another story, tentatively titled Off The Clock. A week later, a disgruntled worker popped into my head and I wrote a three-page, very angry story based on what he said. My crit partners loved it, and it has become a collaborated effort. I may be a horror writer someday soon, if they will ever finish their parts!

Mar-Apr: Did edits and agreed to an interview on BlogTalk radio with my friend Travis

May: All She Ever Wanted was released on the 19th. I celebrated with my crit group as we ate cake, passed out bookmarks to anyone in the coffee shop who wanted to know what the celebration was, and also congratulated Travis on his news! His horror anthology had been picked up by Black Bedsheet Books and would be released in August.

June-July: Reviews started trickling in, all favorable! I also attended my 25th HS Reunion.

August: Since I’d transferred high schools, I crashed another HS reunion so I could see classmates I’d not seen since 1981. Plus, ASEW spent three weeks in the top 25 Best Sellers over at Found out via email:

Received the following email from editor Chuck Sunday August 2nd:


Did you know ASEW is # 3 on eBookwise for Freya's Bower?

Sept-Nov: Due to comments at both reunions, a storyline popped into my head. It didn’t really develop until I received a letter from a reader, asking for a sequel to ASEW. I went back, changed some names around, and the story took off. I was also heavily involved with being a football mom; my oldest was playing Varsity Football for his senior year, so I did no signings at the usual craft fairs. My oldest also managed to take and pass his SAT’s; apply to Purdue; finish his Eagle Scout requirements; and pass his Eagle Board of Review.

Dec: Received another contract from Freya’s Bower, this time for my full-length erotic romance, Teacher’s Pet. Due to financial constraints and the fact my printer’s been broken for two years, I finally put it in the mail last week! K was also accepted to Purdue! Now we have to find a way to pay for it….

Which very nicely wraps up this year; I started with a contract and end with a contract. Here’s hoping for a better sales year in 2010!

Books Read:
E-books: 81 (Didn't count Reg's Lone Star Lycan, since I'm still reading it)
Print: 46 (Again, not counting Handle With Care)

Most Memorable:
Print: Jodi Picoult, Twilight series, and Jamie Carie’s books (print)

E-Book: Liana Laverentz and Bekki Lynn at Siren-BookStrand; Regina Carlysle at EC

Fav Erotic Romance author of 2009:
Regina Carlysle

Congratulations Samantha!
Baby Shaant made his appearance last night at 9:10pm! Weighing in at 9 lbs, 9 oz and measuring 21.5 inches:) Mother and son are doing fine; Father cut the cord and turned white. I'm told he had to leave the LDR room several times, poor guy! As soon as I get to see him, I'll post a picture of our newest 'family' member:)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Auntie Grandma

Currently Reading: Still reading Lone Star Lycan by Regina Carlysle:) In print, I received Jodi Picoult's latest, Change of Heart, and The Shack by Wm Paul Young.

Today is the Big Day! Samantha is going to be a mommy sometime today. Her due date was Christmas, but since her boyfriend A lives in Kentucky and has to return to school next week, the dr is inducing labor this morning. Welcome Baby Shaant Alan William Denkins, born at 9:10 pm:)

So why the Aunt Grandma? S calls me Mom, and her little sister calls me Aunt Molly. Baby Shaun will grow up hearing me called both, and as with my own little one, who grew accustomed to hearing 'Aunt Molly' during his first year of life, soon called me 'Aunt Mommy'.

Also on the agenda today, my honorary grandkids are arriving this afternoon. Miss Drama Queen is bringing her Easy Bake Oven (I always wanted one growing up, but Mom said no, I could learn to use the real one!) and Mr. Energy is looking forward to playing with W. Both kids are looking forward to being with 'Uncle Dad and Aunt Mommy' until Sunday.

No Duh!
Saw on the news yesterday that sold more e-books than print books on Christmas Day. The news anchors concluded that the 'E-readers, like the Kindle, were popular gifts and everyone who received one went to the site and bought books!'

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Pics

Our tree. Thanks to a 'Secret Santa', there were more presents under the tree. And W decided to rearrange the ornaments many times during the month.

Overheard at 7am on Christmas Day:
Pattering of little feet in the hallway, followed by a short squeal and running feet back into bedroom.

"He came! He came! Come quick; see what's in the living room!" All in hushed tones to his big brother.

Opening stocking gifts. Not really gifts this year; mainly the Ding-Dongs and Chocolate Oranges. W started off in his bathrobe until the furnace warmed up the house.

W was thrilled with his pop-up tent:)

The kids got me a Snuggie! And since it is bright pink, I know no one else will 'steal' it from me, ha ha!

It even came with a book light (that's not a cell phone in my hand). And yes, it kept me nice and warm:)

Various gifts: S is holding W's Spiderman fleece blanket; W has his Etch-o-Sketch; K is investigating the Nerf gun.

W loves his new Spiderman scarf and matching blanket:)

Since she didn't get to bed until after midnight and was 'rudely' jolted out of bed before 7:30 am, S needed a two-hour nap before company arrived.

More Christmas Memories:
Thanks to family members and a photo album, here's another peek into the year I was fourteen!
We had travelled to Indianapolis to celebrate Christmas with my dad's side of the family. My cousin and I had been given makeup kits and heated curling brushes. Not the curling irons; these had 'bristles', meant to create curls and waves as it passed through the hair.
My hair was just past my shoulders, so we decided to try it out. While we waited for the thing to heat, my cousin, who had already been experimenting with makeup, decided to put some on me. All went well until it was time for the mascara. We were laughing; I blinked; she moved the wand at the same time and it went directly into my eye. Fifteen minutes later, I had finally washed away all traces of mascara from my lashes and inside my eyelid. Time to try the hair.
My sister read the instructions and my cousin confidently began 'brushing' my hair. It didn't look any different, so she decided to wrap the hair around the wand, trying to get my hair to curl under. But when she went to unroll it, my hair snagged and became caught. With the threat of having burnt hair, we not only shut it off, but unplugged it. We ended up cutting it out of my hair, and fortunately the damage was at the ends and toward the back. That was the last time I ever let a novice anywhere near my hair or eyes with any beauty products!
Changes, They Are A-Coming!
I received a backhanded compliment the other day. Someone who didn't leave their name told me they 'love' my weblog, but that so much more could be done with it. Come back after the holidays when I'll reveal the changes I'm making:)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Off Schedule...

I'll be back tomorrow. I overslept.

Off to drink coffee, try to wake up, and take control of the household least until Wednesday. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Happy Monday.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Oh Little Toe of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie

in a church Christmas bulletin

We're off for day #2 of our Christmas celebrating! See you on Monday:)

Currently Reading: Finished Naughty Nooners and enjoyed it! Now for Lone Star Lycan by Regina Carlysle:)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Jesus:)

Merry Christmas everyone:)

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord..."

Luke 2:11 (RSV)

Today's Christmas Carol:
The First Noel

The first Noel, the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East, beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

And by the light of that same star,
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

This star drew night to the northwest,
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest;
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then entered in those wise men three,
Full reverently upon their knee;
And offered there in his presence,
Their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

It's Here!
Cookies Baked: 3 1/2 Butterscotch chip; 3 1/2 PB chip; 3 doz M&M. Total cookies for the weekend: 14 doz. Santa enjoyed Oatmeal Raisin.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gift Cards: Good Idea or Death Sentence To The Relationship?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Seriously, this was actually debated on a radio talk show yesterday. Is it okay to give your wife/Life Partner/Significant Other a gift card for Christmas?

The 'expert' says no way. It's too casual, and screams 'I don't know anything about you, and I've not paid any attention to your likes, dislikes, personal tastes, etc and I'm not even invested in this relationship.'

On the other hand, if you want to break up but feel obligated to do it after the holidays and yet still get her something, a gift card is 'perfect, because then maybe she'll see you for the schmuck you really are and will save you the trouble of dumping her by dumping you first!'

Thoughts, anyone?

Myself, I like gift cards. Especially from restaurants and book stores. And Land's End. And no, that's not all I want for Christmas, but then again, I consider myself fairly easy to please. Chocolate, books, perfume, wine....all good gifts. And yes, the occassional jewelry that I've hinted for years that I'd like (still waiting on it, in fact, lol!).

So here's my take. If that's all you plan to get your special woman, then yeah, you're not going to get a favorable rating. But if it arrives with a box of chocolates, her favorite scent, a bouquet of flowers, or simply tucked into her stocking along with other gifts under the tree, then yes it will be appreciated:)

Christmas Eve Carols:
O Holy Night

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Do You Hear What I Hear

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
"Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite."

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
"Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song high above the trees
With a voice as big as the the sea,
With a voice as big as the the sea."

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
"Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold--
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold."

Said the king to the people everywhere,
"Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light."

We are also on 'baby alert'! SG, my 'adopted' daughter, called last night to say her plug went, and wanted to know what that meant. So baby Shaunt will be making his entrance any time in the next week! Stay tuned:)

1 Day Left!
Gifts Bought/Wrapped: Finished buying stocking stuffers and final 5 presents. Locked myself in the basement and wrapped until 2am.
Cookies Baked: My kids will be thrilled. The aroma of freshly baked cookies will fill the house today:)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday's Christmas Carol

Currently Reading: Started Naughty Nooners yesterday! But due to the hectic schedule, I only got two pages in before having to relinquish the computer to S. Meanwhile, I finally watched the movie Julie and Julia. had been at least six months since I'd read the book, but some of the details came back, such as the scene where Julie is making dinner for Judith Jones. At times I had trouble understanding Merle Streep, and we had to keep inching the volume up. I think the next time I watch it, I'll enable the 'closed captioned' option on the television! Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope Santa brings it to me for Christmas:)

Favorite Totally Irreverent Christmas Carol:
Tie between Adam Sandler's Chanuka Song and Walkin' Round In Women's Underwear:)

Chanuka Song (I'm not posting all the lyrics; I got blasted two years ago for the more controversial part!)

Put on your yamakah
Here comes Chanukah
So much funukah
To celebrate Chanukah

Chanukah is
A Festival of Lights
Instead of one day of presents
We have eight crazy nights

When you feel like the only kid in town
Without a Christmas tree
Here's a list of people who are Jewish
Just like you and me

David Lee Roth lights the Menorah
So does James Caan, Kirk Douglas and the late Dinah Shore-ah
Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli?
Bowser from Sha na na and Arthur Fonzarelli

Walkin' Round In Women's Underwear
"Lacey things, the wife is missing.
Didn't ask, for her permission
I'm wearing her clothes,
her silk panty hose.
Walking around in women's underwear.

In the store, there's a teddy.
With little straps, like spagetti.
It holds me so tight,
like handcuffs at night.
Walking around in womens underwear

In the office there's a guy named Melvin.
He pretends that I am Murphy Brown.
He'll say "Are you ready?"
I'll say, "Woah man! Lets wait untill the wife is out of town."
Later on, if you wanna,
We can dress, like Madonna.
Put on some eye shade, and join the parade.
Walking around in women's underwear.

Lacey things, missing.
Didn't ask, permission.
Wearing her clothes, silk panty hose.
Walking around in women's underwear.
Walking around in women's underwear.
Walking around in women's underwear......"

Birthday Pics

The darn sombrero kept slipping down over my eyes:)

W and 'Santa'. We didn't get a chance to get him in front of a live one. Maybe next year....

View #1 of my cake. I thought this symbolized the past six months pretty accurately!

View #2 of cake. W now plays happily with the figures:)

A new friend of mine, Linda Kage, has been posting some fun Christmas games, trivia, and jokes! Check them out here:)

2 Days Left! (somewhere along the line, I forgot how to count backwards...)

Gifts Bought: 2, sort of. I bought one and ordered another.

Cookies Baked: None. I was too busy. I might get to the butterscotch and the rest of the M&M's today...but yesterday, I did mail 95% of my Christmas cards and my contract! It is in the mail (finally!) and now to revise Chapter six....I'll do that next week. After my printer gets here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Memories

Currently Reading: Loved IOU and Smokin' Ace! As I've said previously, the entire Carnal Reunions series is a Recommended Read! I'm looking forward to purchasing Tessie Bradford's Training Randi, the final book in the series.

I won Reginal Carlysle's new one, Edge of Nowhere, book #4 of her shifter series. Since I've only read the first one, I asked her to send me Lone Star Lycan instead, which is book #2. I'm undecided if I'll read it next or Naughty Nooners Antho. If I'm productive today and get everything accomplished, I'll settle down with one of these books later.

Christmas 1999
I think this was the year it snowed heavily, and we spent our third Christmas morning in our new home, simply relaxing with a roaring fire in the fireplace, the kids playing happily with their new toys, and no pressure to go anywhere.

The men in the neighborhood appeared with lawn tractors equipped with snow plows, and soon driveways and our common road were plowed clear. K and S bundled up and went out to play in the snow drifts.

Y2K was 'ominously looming'; I'd bought champagne glasses with the year 2000 on them, plus a Hallmark ornament depicting an exploding champagne bottle for the tree. The kids drank Cherry Kool-Aid out of those glasses to toast the New Year, and no, the electronics did not come to a screeching halt. Everything was still normal.

Remember This Christmas Carol?
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Good tidings we bring, to you and your kin
Good tidings for Christmas and a happy new year!

That version seems to have disappeared. Now the kids sing a rather selfish version.

So bring us some figgy pudding
So bring us some figgy pudding
So bring us some figgy pudding and be of good cheer!

We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some so bring it right here!

Who invented that one?

Here's my favorite whimsical one:

I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas
-- writing credits go to John Rox, copyright 1950. It's included on a
tape by "Joanie Bartel's Christmas Magic."

"I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
I don't want a doll, no dinkey tinker toys
I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
I don't think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won't have to use a dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door
That's the easy thing to do

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy, what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, no rhinosaurus
I only likes hippopotamuses [sic]
And hippopotamuses [sic] like me, too

Mom says a hippo would eat me up, but then
Teacher says a hippo is a vegetarian
There's lots of room for him in our two-car garage
I'd feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage.

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy, what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, no rhinosaurus
I only likes hippopotamuses [sic]
And hippopotamuses [sic] like me, too"

What's your favorite Christmas carol? Do you gravitate toward the traditional, children's, or unconventional ones?

To Do List:
-Take S to her follow-up orthopedic appointment;
-Drop D at the lab for his blood draw;
-S's PT at 12:30;
-Buying one last gift and stocking stuffers;
-Crit group at 5pm.
-Watch the DVD Julie and Julia, which the SU very nicely brought me from the RedBox:)

4 Days Left:
Gifts bought: None. Was still feeling rather iffy yesterday.
Cookies baked: None. Same reason. I should be more productive today!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sour Grapes

Currently Reading: Finally finished Infidelity! Did. Not. See. The. Plot. Twist. Coming! WOW! It tells a beautiful story of how two people learn to trust again, and also how bitterness and anger can warp a family into committing evil acts. Very suspenseful, this book takes you on an emotional journey of highs and lows. If you're a fan of Romantic Suspense (cough Kelly Kirch or Carol P cough), you'll enjoy this story. Well done, Debbie:)

I also bought myself three more of the Carnal Reunions books. I've already read G-Spot by Taylor Tryst and am now diving into IOU by Paris Brandon. The third one I bought was Smokin' Ace by Regina Carlysle. Sorry Tessie; I'll have to get yours next week. My one good-natured complaint about this series is I'd hoped for more interaction between the girls! Maybe it's just me, but I hadn't seen my girlfriends in ten years, we would have all gone to the reunion together, instead of trickling in one by one. Will you please write a 'prequel', where the girls have a Girl's Day/Night In and catch up on each other's lives, reminisce a little, and express their opinions of past mistakes? Yes, I realize the main focus was to get them together with the men. And maybe this is just my love of mainstream fiction coming out, lol!

You Want Some Cheese With That Whine?
So Natalie won Survivor Samoa. Yes, nobody saw it coming; I thought Mick might be the surprise upset. But it was very apparent during the final episode that Russell's arrogant, cocky attitude ultimately did him in.

But what gets me is he continues to gripe about it! (Even this morning!) So he didn't get the million dollars and the title of 'Sole Survivor'. Get over it! You got not only 2nd place, but voted Fan Favorite! And from what I hear, you were also invited to compete in the 20th season, Heroes vs Villians. So shut up, congratulate Natalie (and I'm thinking Erik's speech was the deciding factor here!), and go on with your life! You said it in the first episode, you really didn't need the money. But to be voted the Best Strategic won, Russell. Too bad you're too blinded by getting beat by one member of your 'dumbass girl' alliance. Grow up.

Thanks Everyone!
Thank you for all the birthday wishes over the weekend:) And yes, I got a 'present' I really could have done without.

Remember that flu bug which kept W home from school? First he passed it to K, who ended up bringing most of his steak fajitas home in a doggy bag; K passed it to S when we arrived home; S gave it to me yesterday afternoon. Thank god for the DVR; I missed some parts of the finale due to dozing off and on while lying on the couch. I fully expect the SU to get it today. But after the lesson of 2005, if there is any blood, we're taking him immediately to the hospital. He is not allowed to cross over until after W is on his way to college in twelve years!

5 Days Left:
Gifts Bought: 2 more last Friday. If I feel up to it, I'm getting stocking stuffers today.
Cookies Baked: Stomach is still iffy, so doubt I'll do any baking today.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying...And My 2nd Favorite Day Of The Year:)

Weakest Link host: The Hallelujah Chorus occurs in which oratorio by Handel?

Contestant: The Sound of Music

Hahahaha...I thought that was appropriate for this time of the year:)

Yes, It's My Birthday
I'm 44 today, although I still feel as if I'm in my early 30's:) I can't possibly be old enough to have a child graduating this year, or be out of high school twenty-five years, or even out of college for twenty! But yes, I am. And I've got the gray hairs to prove it! (Thanks W!)

Growing up, if my birthday fell on a Saturday, it meant traveling to my paternal grandparents' house to celebrate Christmas with them. A birthday cake was also provided, and my party with my friends was scheduled on Friday. When I was a sophomore in high school, I protested against the family Christmas party and thankfully they pushed it to the 20th so I could go bowling with my friends.

My college friends always thought my birthday was on the 17th; we were always in the midst of final exams, so we always let off some steam with pizza and our respective boyfriends. By the time I hit the legal drinking age, I happened to be working part time at the country club, so I never did get to go drinking with my friends until I was nearly thirty!

I don't know what the family has planned; Anny Cook asked a few weeks ago what the perfect present would be. This time a year, I'd love for a no questions asked; give me $200; and let me have the day to myself. I'd probably grab my bff and start with lunch, followed by a massage, shopping, a nice dinner, and dancing (okay; going to need slightly more money, hahaha!) Another perfect day this time of year is for the family to disappear for about eight hours, so I can wrap the gifts. Christmas music would be blaring, and my favorite TGI Fridays potato skins would be in the oven.

But I know the day will begin with chocolate chip muffins; I will be holed up downstairs watching Law and Order; dinner will be at our favorite Mexican restaurant (go ahead and laugh Reg!), followed by a trip to see the Christmas Lights in the park and around town, and returning home for ice cream and cake.

I might even be persuaded to make more cookies. Who knows?

Have a good day and I'll be back on Monday:)

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm Gonna Be A Purdue Mom!

Dear K,
It is with regret that we write to tell you we cannot offer you admission to the program of study you selected on your application. You are a good student whom we know can succeed at Purdue, but the applicant pool for your selected academic program is highly competitive.

However, we can offer guaranteed admission to Purdue West Lafayette for fall 2010 if you would like to consider a different major.

Your decision letter will be in the mail soon. It will include guidance on what you need to do to be admitted to Purdue - namely, consult with the Office of Admissions on what program or programs are available to you based on your academic credentials and then submit a form to request the program within four weeks of receiving your decision letter. Please do not submit another application.

He got in! He has to choose a different major, but he's going to be a Boilermaker!

I overslept this morning, but this email K forwarded to me made my day:) Great early birthday present!

7 Days Left:
Gifts Bought: 6. Only a few more to go:)
Cookies Baked: Am baking the banana bread to take to school for W's teacher's present. I may make more M&M cookies this afternoon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Ramblings

We're winding down to Christmas Break in our household. The teens are in the midst of final exams and finally telling me what they reeeeaaaaallly would like to see under the tree next week. The youngling has also caught the 'Christmas-Break-is-almost-here-I-can-be-a-brat-and-not-get-up-on-time' fever and has been practically bullied out the door.

Yesterday, K and I went to view his Senior Picture proofs. Let me tell you, I have a handsome son! Even with that said, I had no problems picking out the three poses for his package, earning a 'thank you' from the frenzied photo studio person:) Apparently the last few appointments have been full of 'I-just-can't-make-up-my-mind!' We were in and out in less than an hour. I mind-boggled her when I told her I'd been counting the pictures on the slideshow and knew exactly which ones I wanted:) And she even good-naturedly tossed in a free picture of my senior goofing off during a test shot. The pictures should be ready by February, which means we'll have no trouble paying for the balance, as the tax money will be here.

I also finally finished watching Gladiator. There were a few head-scratch moments, due to my slight deafness and the actors mumbling. I got tired of rewinding and upping the volume, so I still don't exactly understand one particular scene. But I enjoyed the movie, and now I'm slightly in love with Russell Crowe. Harrison Ford is still at the top of my Celebrity Crush list, but now Russell and Gerard Butler are vying for the Number 3 slot (Peyton Manning and Troy Aikman are still tied for #2!)

More shopping is on today's To-Do List. We need dog food, coffee, bread, and a few Christmas presents. I'll admit, I've been bitten by the Scrooge bug and am all for having a Bundy Christmas on the 26th. Or, even post-poning Christmas until after Valentine's Day. Which is a shame, considering this time last year, I had 90% of the gifts bought; stacks of Christmas cookies; and had the Christmas carols playing practically non-stop. This year, the only songs I've sung are Jingle Bells and Rudolph, courtesy of my youngest. Maybe things will get better when I actually start to WRAP?? I'll probably do my cards today or tomorrow.

8 Days Left:
Gifts Bought: None yesterday.
Cookies Baked: 4 doz chocolate chip and 3 doz M&M's. And came upstairs last night after watching Monday's L&O and found the SU and youngling into the chocolate chips. Sigh...Santa will be lucky if he gets any at this rate!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Consumer Alert! And a MeMe...

First of all, the alert. I noticed this yesterday while grocery shopping.

I don't know if this is happening in all stores, but in our local Walmart, some of the store brands are more expensive than the name brands. I'm not kidding:

Land O Lakes: $2.29
Walmart: $2.59

Margarine sticks:
Imperial: .79
Walmart: $1.29

Gold Medal: $1.49
Walmart: $2.12

Big River Farms: $1.48
Walmart: $2.28

I'm thinking the reason behind this is because so many consumers are watching their pennies closely, and the store brands typically run cheaper, maybe consumers aren't looking at the actual price of the store brands anymore? We compare ingrediants; we keep track of calories and fat content that maybe now we're just grabbing the store brand and forgetting to check the price? My advice: Keep an eye on the price sticker in front of the item and double check to make sure it's the right item! Walmart does this with milk. They'll post the price at the top of the dairy counter, but the milk that price belongs to is on the bottom two shelves. And unless you catch it at the cash register, you'll get sticker shock when the total appears.

I've Been Tagged!
Not to be accused of quoting Mia, but Amber Skyze wants to know about my writerly life, ha ha! I'm answering both as Molly and as Kenzie. Here it is:

1. What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?

The last thing I wrote was my Christmas Newsletter. The first thing I ever wrote was a fictional story based on the film Logan’s Run.

2. Write poetry?

Every once in a while. Some are better than others.

3. Angsty poetry?

Only one or two.

4. Favorite genre of writing?

Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

5. Most annoying character you’ve ever created?

Probably Joe Walker from book #4 in the Arbor U series..

6. Best plot you’ve ever created?

The two ‘reunion’ stories; one is the continuation of Forbidden Love, book #3 in Arbor U, and the book I finished writing last month under the working title of Class Reunion.

7. Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?

Male model/stripper meets and falls for Christian Inspirational author. I’m on chapter three.

8. How often do you get writer’s block?

Several times a year.

9. Write fan fiction?

The one and only story I ever wrote based on the characters from Star Wars showed me I was destined for the romance angle!

10. Do you type or write by hand?

Both. It depends on if the computer is available when I get the brainstorm.

11. Do you save everything you write?

Absolutely! I still have stuff I wrote in the 6th grade:)

12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?


13. What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?

Book #14 of Arbor U, entitled ‘Reunion’. I enjoyed revisiting the original characters 15 years in the future.

14. What’s everyone else’s favorite story that you’ve written?

My mother would say Love Finds A Way, because the ‘F’ word is only used three times! The only other ‘fan mail’ I’ve received raved about All She Ever Wanted. And that one’s received good reviews, so I humbly thank anyone who’s read and liked my work.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

Arbor U might be considered angsty; I’ve also got a YA story in the works. Don’t know when I’ll get around to finishing it.

16. What’s your favorite setting for your characters?

Small town Indiana or Florida.

17. How many writing projects are you working on right now?

Two. I’m editing Teacher’s Pet and after the holidays I’ll probably get back to work on Model Behavior.

18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?

Not an actual award, but All She Ever Wanted went to #3 on the Best Seller’s list! Does that count?

19. What are your five favorite words?

And, Then, Christ, God, Sure.

20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?

Toss up between Amy in Love Finds A Way and Gretchen in book #4.

21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?

Past experiences, Life.

22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Once in a while I’ll dream about my characters, and write about it the next day.

23. Do you favor happy endings?

I’ve written happy and sad endings, but I usually end up changing the sad ones to Happy For Now, in order to please the crit partners.

24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Yes. It drives me crazy to see those lines in the word document! I often reread what I’ve written the day before and will correct any obvious mistakes before continuing. Even during NaNo (hangs head in shame)

25. Does music help you write?

Yes. It helps the creativity, and I usually end up blocking everything out once the story is flowing.

26. Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops into your head.

"I'm horny and pressed for time. And it's all your fault." (Tammy to Kevin in Teacher's Pet)

Hmmm....I'll tag Gracen, Mona Risk, and Barbara Huffert. If Barb's already tagged, then I'll tag Kenzie, although I stole a few of her answers!

9 Days Left!
Gifts Bought: Only 1, but check back on Friday!
Cookies Baked: Going into baking mode again today. The cookies set aside for Santa were eaten by a hungry 5-yr old and the spousal unit. Grrr....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Merry Christmas; You're Now An Adult!"

Christmas 1989
I now had my own apartment, and was engaged to the person I now refer to as The Idiot. On Christmas morning, he came over and we opened the gifts we'd bought each other, and then I accompanied him to his parents' home. Afterwards, we drove to my parents' house, where a pile of presents were waiting. These included:
-My first vacuum cleaner
-My first crock pot
-Brand new kitchen utensils
-Other kitchen gadgets
-A humorous guide to planning a wedding
-And of course, various books and cassette tapes.

The engagement only lasted two more months; he was verbally abusive, and finally after one fight, I took off my ring and threw it at him. He tried to give it back six months later, but I refused.

Here's To Good Friends!

K's birthday cake from a week ago. W took control of the USS Enterprise and 'flew' it all around the house.

Taken Sunday, at Outback Steakhouse. K and his girlfriend; S and friend M (S moved, blocking M as soon as I took this. There's a better picture farther down.)

Me and my birthday sundae. K and I both received these; as soon as I blew out the candle, I swapped desserts with my mom, who'd ordered the cheesecake with chocolate sauce:)

And finally, K and M, sharing the ear buds to M's iPod! A very good meal spent with good friends and family!

Wow...I just happened to be taking a look back at past blog posts, and I discovered the books I'm reading now have actually been on the schedule to be bought since MAY! This has been a rough book-buying year. Hopefully things will be better in 2010??

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Currently Reading: I'm up to Ch 13 on Infidelity:) I'm still waiting to discover the reason behind the title; so far as I can tell, the H/H have been pretty faithful to each other! But then again, I'm only 1/3 of the way through the book:) I'm reeeeeaaaaalllly enjoying it Debbie!

Sort of.

After I posted Saturday's entry, I moved into Cookie Mode. Started to make the Oatmeal Raisin, but discovered the Crisco the SU bought last week was NOT butter-flavored, and I was also down to four eggs, so sent him to the store while I whipped up the Chocolate Chips. W's friend C arrived, and they 'helped' with the cookie baking. Of course, this 'help' was limited to tasting the dough, eating the first couple of fresh ones, and pouring in the ingredients. C giggled when I showed her how to crack an egg and I'm the one who ended up with messy hands:) W decided to scoop out a cookie and place it on the baking stone, only to decide it was 'too big' and ate it himself. When the Oatmeal Raisin onces were cool enough to eat, C's eyes lit up as she proclaimed them her favorites! She said the same thing later when I made the Special Dark ones for the SU:)

I'm still not finished with the baking. I still have to go get some M&M's and butterscotch chips. The Oatmeal Raisin I set aside for family consumption are alreay depleted. So yes, I finally got with the program!

I managed to pull a fast one on my son.

Yesterday, we met the grandparents for a combination birthday party for K and myself. This coincided with a very exciting Broncho-Colts football game, one in which at halftime, the Colts were up, 21-7. During the hour we traveled, that lead slipped to 21-16, and as we entered the restaurant, Peyton Manning and Co. were on the 5-yd line, ready to make a touchdown. K and his dad stayed in the car; the rest of us waited to be seated and watched it on the television.

The hostess seated us at two booths, one large and one small. I suggested the three teens sit at the smaller booth (K's girlfriend was with us) and we continued to watch the game (Colts did manage to finally get it into the end zone, making the score 28-16. Whew!). While the teens' attention was diverted, I kept an eye on the front door. When I saw the final three members of our party, I called to K.

His eyes grew wide; his jaw dropped. For he had not known his sister and I had conspired to get one of his BFF's from the old neighborhood down to share in the celebration! He said that was a wonderful surprise, and thanked me again this morning for making the arrangements.

I was thrilled that with the game, the kid's attention was distracted, so he didn't notice we were a party of eight, sitting at two tables with enough place settings for eleven:) A good time was had by all, and once again, I ate a delicious filet mignon and cheescake with chocolate sauce for dessert. And my parents gave me a card which plays 'My Girl'. W was fascinated with it, and I finally had to hide it from him!

11 Days Left!
Gifts Bought: Check back tomorrow:)
Cookies Baked: 6 doz chocolate chip; 6 doz oatmeal raisin; 6 doz Special Dark chip. How many are left? Only about half! I've stashed most of them away to be given to W's teacher on Friday.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying

actual newspaper headline

I'm off on a mission. I'll tell you about it on Monday whether or not it was successful:)

Tomorrow, am meeting the grandparents at Outback Steakhouse for a combined birthday party for K and myself. Thankfully, we're having a 'heat wave', and the temps might actually hit 40, after the frigid, sub-freezing temps of the last couple of days! No snow when we have to travel, please...

13 Days Left!
I'm also baby-sitting one of my favorite 4-year-olds today:) She's going to help with the secret mission, hahahaha:)

Have a great weekend and remember....Santa Clause is watching you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Friday!

Currently Reading: I'm up to page 100 (ch 9) of Infidelity by Debbie Gould. Given my December time constraints, I soooo wish I had an e-reader! While at my daughter's PT sessions, I could have been reading, rather than doing a word search!

Question Take #2....
Okay; same question as yesterday. I should have rephrased it yesterday when I realized the burning house was a bad one. So here's the scenario: You're being stranded for an undisclosed period of time and can only take one box of reading material. Photo albums, computer, and other personal items are allowed, but not in said box. So which PRINT books would you grab? And no, you're not allowed to say only the ones you've written; that's already implied. Scroll down for the books/authors I chose. Remember, there's no limit to the size of the box, and yes, assistance will be provided in carrying it, lol:)

Update From November:
Remember my frustration with the child welfare system last month? Everything is good again. The grandparents applied for and were granted guardianship of the toddler, and a permanent custody hearing will be occurring soon. We are soooooo happy no harm came to the child while in her father's questionable care, but now she's back where she should be, in a safe, loving, and stable environment.

14 Days Left!
I'm seriously slacking off this month. Must. Get. Motivated! I actually bought Winter Oreos last night. Oooh...must go eat a few right now! Coffee and oreos...yuuuuummmy:)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So What Would You Grab?

I'm curious. If you're a regular reader of this humble blog, you know I have eclectic taste when it comes to music and books. I'll have Mozart, Neil Diamond, Styx, The Bee Gees, Madonna, and REM on the same mix CD. If you look at my bookshelves (or in this case, boxes), you'll find James Patterson, Robin Cook, WEB Griffen, John Jakes, and John Irving along with Catherine Coulter, Nora Roberts, Lavyrl Spencer, Kelly Kirch, Anny Cook, Phyllis Campbell, Louisa May Alcott, and Jude Devereaux. (All other e-book authors are on my flash drive)

So here's my question: If the house was burning down and you had only enough time to throw books in one box to save, which ones would you grab? For my fellow authors, this is after you've grabbed your computer, flash drives, kids, pets, etc!

I'll start. Taking into account my favorite childhood books are already in storage and away from my fictional house, I would grab the following:
-Wagons West series by Dana Fuller Ross
-Women of Substance series by Barbara Taylor Bradford
-A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving
-North and South series by John Jakes
-entire Lavryl Spencer, Nora Roberts, and Jude Devereaux series
-Men In Blue Series by WEB Griffen
-Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers (My daughter would insist, lol!)
-and of course, the Bible I've had since the 3rd grade, and the entire stack on my bedside table!

Hey...I didn't specify the size of the box:) And yes, get a hunky firefighter to carry it safely out of harm's way! (Any other e-pubbed authors' books in print are already outside and safe, thanks to being in my rolling cart, which I included among the 'first saved', lol!)

15 Days Left!
Gifts Bought: 4
Cookies Baked: Slight change in plans yesterday...none were baked after all. I might get to the oatmeal raisin today...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

True Romance

Currently Reading: Infidelity by Debbie Gould. I LOVED First and Ten by Fran Lee; Nailed by Cindy Spencer Pape, and Prisoner of Love by Anny Cook. However, they were too short. I would have liked to see an expanded storyline, and maybe one in which every character was an active participant or at least 'wrapped' everything up? I know; I still have to read Taylor's, Tessie, Paris, and Regina's. I am going to go ahead and call this series a Recommended Read!

I finally managed to finish watching 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. This is a movie every romance lover should watch, imho. Why? Because it truly shows how people can change, and the deep love of another person.

It starts off pretty callous. Guy sleeps with many tourists and lies to them about his job/life/etc, so he doesn't get 'overly involved'.

And then he meets this girl and is intrigued. But the following day, she has no memory of him.


It turns out she's a victim of a car crash, and has lost her short-term memory. The only thing she does remember is what happened the day of the crash, ala Bill Murray's Groundhog Day. Her father and brother relive the day every day, and in the end, Adam Sandler's character makes a video tape to 'refresh' her memory. She tries to break up with him, but in the end, she realizes he loves her enough to patiently refresh her memory over...and over...and over.

Mature love can overcome anything. It is the patience and committment you show your loved one.

I Can't Believe I Forgot My Camera!
K enjoyed his birthday:) Buffalo Wild Wings made him stand on his chair while they sang Happy Birthday to him. He kept shooting me dirty looks, and I kept saying, "Remember, I love you!"

Instead of taking the wings challenge, he only at one of the Blazin' wings, and consumed water...and more water...ate celery and ranch dressing....drank more water...

Came home and a few friends showed up for ice cream and cake. I'd gotten him a Star Trek cake, and W immediately took possession of the tiny USS Enterprise. And since I'd forgotten to take my camera to BW3's, the only memory I captured on film was his cake. But that's okay; there's another party planned for Sunday with the grandparents.

And I've threatened to make a return trip to BW3 and have the wait staff do it all over again, hahahahahaha! Am I an evil mommy or what?

16 Days Left!
Going shopping today, and then will warm up the kitchen with a venison roast, homemade bread, and plenty of cookies! The SU requested oatmeal raisin.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Forgive This Blatent Mommy Moment!

Eighteen years ago, at 3:41 am, a miracle occurred.

An 8 lb, 7 oz baby boy was born, crying and already mad over several things.

-He'd tried to be born several times before he was ready;
-The opening to his new world wasn't wide enough to suit him, so he widened it even more;
-He was face up and ready to tackle the world;
-He was NOT happy with the nurse who wrapped a strange thing around his head; he reached up and took it away from her;
-And finally, due to his new mother's ignorance, he realized food arrived much faster with rubber nipples and demanded his milk be delivered in said fashion, not the natural way.

His milestones soon showed us this was no ordinary child. For instance, being born so early in the day, he soon had his days and nights confused, and it was three months before he slept through the night.

He had been 'cruising' around the apartment, holding onto furniture from age seven months until 11 months, when I took him to his Granny's house. He promptly let go of the chair and walked across her living room floor. I was speechless; he'd never even taken two steps without tightly gripping my hand!

One month after his 1st birthday, we discovered him sitting on his dresser, playing with his corn starch. I didn't even know he could climb out of his crib.

He had a bad biting habit, and it is a wonder we ever allowed him to have teeth at all!

His preschool teacher informed me that while he was two or three years ahead of the others when it came to understanding the alphabet and numbers, socially he was right where he needed to be.

In kindergarten, he had power struggles with his teacher, over such things as putting on his coat to get in the car (he ran hot, like his dad, and in the winter, preferred to not wear a coat in the car) and doing things 'his' way, if he thought his teacher's instructions were 'dumb'.

He was on the Honor Roll from 1st-3rd grade, falling off briefly one grading period due to English. He was accepted into the Accellerated Reading Program, as well as Science and Critical Thinking. He dropped out of the Accellerated Reading in the 5th grade, and argued violently in the 6th grade that 'Algebra made no sense' and 'I can do it in my head; why do I have to show my work?'

He also upset the boys one day when his 'girlfriend' was the line leader of the girls the same day he was line leader. 'When we got to the cafeteria, I held the door and let the girls go first. The guys were kinda mad at me, but Kate smiled at me!'

He played baseball from kindergarten to 5th grade. He tried basketball in both 3rd and 7th. He excelled in football in 4th and 5th, helping his team win the Super Bowl AND going undefeated. He was invited to join the All Star team, and again went undefeated. As one coach was overheard remarking, 'What are we going to do about that #71? He's spending more time in our back field than our own players!'

A scout troop was organized when he was in the 3rd grade, and he's shown great leadership qualities all the way through, even being voted Senior Patrol Leader in the ninth grade. He was bitten by the NASA bug in the 6th grade, when his scout troop went to the Challenger Learning Center. He discovered he loved doing the experiments, and decided to model his high school curriculum accordingly. He did flirt with the idea of becoming a CSI, but realized he enjoyed physics, math, and science, and returned to the astronaut goal.

He's always been very good with small children, especially his baby brother who arrived when he was twelve.

This year, he will graduate with honors and with eleven college credits. He lettered in football (see previous posts from Sept-Nov) and I'm proud to announce he is now an Eagle Scout. We're just waiting for the paperwork to be approved in Texas and his ceremony will be sometime in February.

December 11th is the day he finds out if he's been accepted to Purdue. Soon we begin The Great Scholorship Hunt, in order to achieve his dream of higher education.

Tonight, we will celebrate his 18th birthday with a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings (he wants to take the Wild Wing Challenge) and a birthday cake. Nope, not gonna tell you what's on it; he has a habit of reading this blog during his computer class! I'll tell you tomorrow:)

Thank God!
A humorous moment also occurred around 8am on this date in 1991. My ex-boyfriend, who is responsible for introducing me to my future husband, was also born on this date. He and his wife had no phone, but lived next door to his parents. I called them up.

"Tell Craig I said 'Happy Birthday, it's a boy'!"

She laughed.

"It's a good thing we know you! Congratulations!"

Enough already! Let a certain celebrity have his privacy! Who cares who was rushed to the hospital; if his wife has moved out; if he's addicted to prescription drugs and/or sex! I'm with another talk show host on this: Yes, he's a victim of horrible, 'slow news day' timing. But it's the holidays, people! Leave him alone!

17 Days Left!
Gifts Bought: 2, plus two birthday gifts.
Cookies Baked: 2 1/2 dozen chocolate chips. The kids were thrilled with hot cookies when they arrived home from school!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Memories

First Snow Of The Season! Thanks Brynn....I tell you I don't want to see it south of I-70 and you send it anyway! At least it was only an inch, and the kids are thrilled they have a two-hour delay....

The Early Show showed off the e-readers Nook, Kindle 2, and Sony. I'm still undecided between the Nook and the Sony.

Christmas 1979
I posted this story last year, but over the summer while looking through the photo albums, discovered my memory had been off by a year. Enjoy:)

I believe this was year of the infamous 'let's tape Christmas morning' action by my mother.

The morning began as usual; my sister woke me up (she was 8, I was 13) and we spotted our respective piles under the tree, and speculated on what some of the boxes contained. We woke up Mom and Dad and waited anxiously while Dad turned on all the lights, turned up the heat, and turned on the radio/tape player of Christmas tunes. We always opened our stocking gifts first, and consumed the traditional Ding-Dongs, malted milk balls, and chocolate covered cherries. After the small stuff and candy were oohed and aahed over, we trooped into the living room to open the gifts under the tree. I took the comfortable chair; my parents the couch, and my sister sat on the floor and handed out the presents. She sat right in front of the TV.

Did I mention my sister gets quite vocal when she's happy?

I'm surprised the entire neighborhood didn't congratulate her on the presents she received! Especially her new Miss Piggy puppet.

"It's Miss Piggy! Mom! Miss Piggy! I got Miss Piggy! Oh, I LOVE Miss Piggy! Molls, look! Miss Piggy!" And on and on it went...

We also had a small fight over Shaun Cassidy albums. Mom had bought two, and wrapped them together so we could choose which one we wanted. Sis already had one; I had neither. I wanted his debut album, but since Wendy already had the newer one, she argued she should get the debut album. After some mild bickering, I agreed to let her have it and would use some of my birthday money to buy my own.

After all the presents were unwrapped, my mother said that one present had rolled under the television. Wendy retrieved it, and tore off the paper.

"A tape recorder? But...the box feels empty!"

Mom laughed. "Look behind you." She stood up and pointed out the tiny black contraption on top of the TV. "I've been taping you all morning!"

"Mooottthhherrr! You didn't!"

She rewound the tape and unfortunately managed to stop it right when Wendy was screeching about Miss Piggy!

"Maybe we should have made her sit elsewhere..."

18 Days Left:
Gifts Bought: Going shopping this week.
Cookies Baked: Do brownies count? S made a batch, but they were all gone by morning.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Exterminating: We Are Trained To Kill All Pets.
from an ad in TV Hi-Lites (Flushing, NY)


Cold Day
I'm with Anny. The temp is only supposed to reach 35 today; it's a good day to stay home and bake cookies! Today's L&O is currently being DVR'd downstairs, and thanks to waking up at six, I was able to watch all but two shows I'd DVR'd upstairs. All that is left to watch upstairs is the last hour of 50 First Dates and Gladiator.

Received a phone call from a young neighbor of mine; she's finished the rough draft of her fantasy novel! I'd already told her to read it out loud to herself, in order to catch any errors. She's now in the process of typing up the first chapter, in order to send it to me and present it to my crit partners, two of which also write fantasy. I can help with grammer and spelling and sometimes POV (grin!), but they will know if the basic plot and world she's created is a winner. I'll keep you posted; this young lady is only in her early 20's!

20 Days Left:
Gifts Bought: 0, but K received some birthday money in the mail!
Cookies Baked: Stay tuned!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kindergardeners Steal The Show!

W, in the red and blue striped shirt, singing "Must Be Santa"

I accidentally uploaded this one; he looks as if he's unsure of the hand gestures or the words:)

Here's Why You Don't Dump Fake Snow...

The kindergardeners sat down and the third graders took over. Soon a gentle 'snowfall' joined the singers.

W and his classmates were enthralled by the 'snow'...see the smiles? But at the other end of the stage...

A 'snowball' fight was in progress! They tossed it up; they threw it at each other. At center stage, a 'snowman' was trying to be built. The poor singers were drowned out by the giggles of their younger schoolmates, who obviously weren't expecting the 'snow'!

Teachers were eventually seen onstage, fingers to lips as they tried to restore some semblance of order to the show. But it was nearly too late. We in the audience were laughing, and cameras were flashing, all capturing the comedy of teachers watching their Christmas progam erupt in hilarity!

We Now Return to Our Rehearsed Program...

Things did eventually settle down, and the singing was very well presented. There were a few overly-enthusiastic antics; one little girl was thrilled her dress flared when she spun around, and nearly fell over a few times. Another little girl in center stage lifted her dress to scratch her backside:) And a third little girl, when bells were handed out, jumped up and down as she shook hers! And yes, a few of the boys shouted their lines, and was the instigators of the 'snowball' fight!

And we were informed later the entire performance will be available on DVD for $5. I can't wait to show it to Grandma and Grandpa, who were unable to make it down, but wanted to come!

Precious memories. Isn't that what School Christmas Programs are all about? I still remember K being 'Santa' in his 3rd grade performance, and seeing him laying on the bleachers, his coat unfastened, due to being hot before his class took the stage. And S, wearing her blue dress and waving to us from the bleachers. And my sister, who lifted up her dress for her entire preschool performance, as she put the hem in her mouth!

Any funny moments from past programs that YOU remember?

21 Days Left:
Gifts Bought: 0
Cookies Baked: 0. I know; shame on me...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mild Setback

Currently Reading: I'm up to Ch. 5 of Lord of the Flies, and devoured Rick Riordan's Last Olympian! OMG! I admit to suspecting the 'twist', but it was an enjoyable end to this series! And now to enjoy the movies! If you have any teenagers, I Highly Recommend the Percy Jackson series. And yes, read it as adults too. It brings Greek Mythology to life in a very humorous way:)

Ever wake up in the morning and just know something's 'off'? Yesterday, my hot flashes and coughing had me awake at 3:30 am. At 4, I quit fighting the insomia and went downstairs to finish watching my L&O marathon.

After I got the kids to school and did my internet 'thing', the SU and I went out and ran a few errands. By the time we arrived back home, my body was complaining.

Not the you're-sleepy-go-take-a-nap type of protest; the I-don't-feel-like-doing-anything feeling. So I went downstairs (with the tub of frozen cookie dough) and watched more L&O while snacking (NOT gorging) on raw cookie dough. I think I ate maybe six or so pre-measured cookies. When I'd had enough (I know...hard concept to can you possibly stop eating cookie dough, grin!), I closed the tub and put it back in the freezer.

Here's where things began really going down hill (and no, it wasn't from the sugar high!). I had to take S to her physical therapy, and halfway there, my ear started to hurt. Just a twinge, mind you, lasting maybe a micro-second. Half an hour later, same thing. Driving home, the twinge turned into a full second. And so it went, with the pain lasting slightly longer and getting slightly more painfull. (For a more descriptive sense of the pain, the first flashes, on a scale of 1-10, would have been a -5, while the ones at this point being more like a 1 or a 2. Painful enough for me to say 'Ow', but more of an annoyance than anything.)

Around five-thirty pm, I conceded to go the ER. Half an hour later, we walked out with a prescription for antibiotic/anesthetic ear drops and amoxicillen. Oh yeah, and a diagnosis of what I told the nurse: Sinusitis. My SU looked at me and said, "If you already know what you have, why are we here?"

"Because I cannot write myself a 'script for penicillen, and he can!"

The doctor laughed at me, and we discovered we're both 'human barometers', only on the opposite ends. He gets the headaches when High Pressure moves in; I get them when the pressure drops.

So here I sit; I went to bed at 10pm after swallowing a pill an hour, to get the full effect of one day's dose, and four drops in my right ear. It was hard to get me out of bed at seven, I was sleeping so soundly!

I've got a cottonball in my ear (I'm supposed to put the drops in four times a day) and have had my morning pill. And while I was sleeping, the kids raided the rest of the cookie dough. The SU 'rescued' it and managed to bake 5 cookies. Two tubs of cookie dough, and only 5 cookies baked. Pretty bad, eh? But what I did eat was delicious...and I promise to be good when I actually get around to the ones I make from scratch!

22 Days Left:
Cookies Baked: 5, but were eaten by kids.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Enough Already!

Currently Reading: Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I never read this in high school, but after hearing discussions and watching the play last month, I decided to read it:) Also got a phone call last night: The final Percy Jackson book is in at the library with my name on it:) Looking forward to seeing the movie Lightening Thief when it arrives on the big screen!

E-Books: Enjoyed Regina's Spanish Topaz and Anne Rainey's Burn:) Now I'm getting ready to read, in order:
First and Ten-Fran Lee
Nailed-Cindy Spencer Pape
Prisoner of the Heart-Anny Cook
Infidelity-Debbie Gould
Naughty Nooners Antho-Various

And if all goes well, I'll be buying the following:
Unexpected Mr. Right-Kelly Nyrae
In The Dark-Rob Graham
A Secret Treasure- Lindsay Townsend
The rest of the Carnal Reunions series.

If the finances allow it, this will be my present to myself after the holidays. If not, these titles will be pushed back until tax time:)

I took the day off yesterday, to simply relax and watch a Law & Order marathon on my DVD. Did two loads of laundry, and got some valuable feedback on the final chapter of Class Reunion:)

I'm appalled at two items on this morning's 'news'.

So I've Slept With A Celebrity....
Who cares? New allegations both yesterday and today around a certain public figure. And this new one wants to "tell her story, because the people have a right to know"?? Bullshit! She's pissed because she found out she wasn't the only one he was 'seeing'. Admittedly, the other socialite is vehemently denying any wrong doing occurred. Fine and dandy; we get that. But now this OTHER woman releases a voice mail, presumably from him, asking her to remove her name from her phone? AND went to the editors of a magazine to 'tell the world she slept with him'? She's not doing this because we 'need to know'; she's doing this because she's angry, bitter, and to get back at him! Does she think that by attempting to destroy his relationship with his wife and child, he'll stay with her? Did she learn NOTHING from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, or any other cheating husbands?

But...I Wanted A Boy!
So you got a girl instead. Get over it! I'll admit it; I wanted a boy first also. And when I did deliver a baby boy, my father was thrilled, because it was the first boy born in our family in over 50 years. And yes, I wanted a girl; got her too. The third one I really wanted another girl, but got another boy. And yes, it took me three days to get over the shock (and to remember his name, lol!) But it didn't make any difference in the way I treated the child; if anything, I was a better mom, because 'third time's the charm'.

Yes, there was some discussion when a family member became pregnant and asked for the amniocentisis (sp??), because they really, really, really wanted a boy. And there was some speculation about finding out the gender, so if it wasn't a boy, they might abort. Didn't happen; they got a boy.

But here's my point: Look at China. Due to population control and the coveted male child, there is an entire generation of Chinese boys and little to no girls. Do we really want the same thing to happen, once genetic engineering gets closer to reality? Does no one remember The Outer Limits episode, which explored this issue?

Granted, it was a TV show, and one that aired in the mid-90's. But we let it get any further and soon 'natural' children will no longer exist. Where's the joy in discovering your child's individual traits, if you're hoping for a high IQ, a certain hair/eye color, or athleticism?

There are so few surprises anymore. It's OK to be disappointed if you don't get the 'right' sex the first time around, but don't let it affect your parenting decisions.

And remember: Just because you give birth to a cute baby girl doesn't mean she's going to automatically love the color pink and be a girly-girl. Ten years down the road, her favorite color may be black, and she's more at home in Grandpa's toolshed than wearing makeup and drooling over boys.

23 Days Left:
Gifts Bought: 3.
Cookies Baked: Going to start today:) Yuuuummm...I sense a sugar high later today:)

I'm off to run a few errands and make a few POV changes to Teacher's Pet before sending the non-damaged file back to my publisher. There was an issue from page 85 to the end; fortunately I was able to find a file without the issue and sent those pages to be read by the editor. Now to correct a slight head-hopping problem, sign the contract, and send it on its way....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day of NaNo!

Sheesh, where did the month go? I've informed the SU I will be glued to the desk chair as much as possible, in order to finish Class Reunion. As previously stated, I can see the ending, but now I just have to write it:)

Green-Eyed Monster or Do I Have A Legit Complaint?
Watched yesteday's CBS Sunday Morning this morning (on the DVR) and am now suffering slight professional jealousy. Why? They interviewed Stephanie Meyers.

She wrote Twilight in three months, stemming from a dream she'd had. That's all fine and dandy; we've all done that.

But she only received nine rejections, a couple of no responses, and finally a letter from an assistant wanting to know more.

Everyone who's with me in the slush pile....can I get a collective 'No Fair!' mini-tantrum? Thanks.

We Interrupt This Blog To Bring You a Special Report...
Got word around NOON: Kenzie's been offered a contract for Teacher's Pet!!!!!

Here's the blurb:
What happens when you discover the man you had mind-blowing sex with three months ago is none other than your son's teacher? Tammy Saunders is horrified when she realizes the man who set her heart racing is her son's favorite teacher. With one bad relationship behind her, will she trust her heart again, or will she continue to deny her feminine side?

And is this particular teacher only popular with his students? Kevin Taylor has made some bad choices in his life, but sleeping with not only one, but now two of his students' mothers has got to be the worst mistake he's ever made. Especially after he realizes he's lost his heart to one of them.

Sound promising? I'll keep you posted on covers, release dates, etc,

Okay; time to get busy and finish Class Reunion!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Yeah, yeah....I'm late with this! I was busy writing yesterday.

Turkey Conducts Bird Flu Investigation
headline on ABC News Online

Thought this was appropriate for the Thankgsgiving weekend:)

As stated, I did laundry and wrote all day long. And if you're my friend on Facebook, you'll notice my status which says I nearly fell victim to the 'forgot-to-back-up-document' monster.

What happened?

I stepped away from the desk to eat some leftovers (it was seven o'clock and I was starving!) and when my youngest was finished eating, he promptly pulled out my flash drive (he did NOT eject it first!) and popped in his Lion King DVD, since Daddy was watching Cool Tools on DIY, and there is no DVD player downstairs (PS2, yes, but I don't think he knows how to use it as a DVD player. Note to self: Must Inform K to Teach Little Brother This Skill....).

How did I discover this?

The phone rang; it was for me. I swallowed my final bite of turkey and noodles and the first thing I notice is my flash not in the drive. I nearly lost it, but K came to the rescue. The document was still on the task bar; he simply plugged in the flash, saved the document, and double-checked to make sure everything was there. I calmed down and spoke to my friend, who was now laughing at me!

In my defense, I am on the final chapter of Class Reunion. And since tomorrow is the last day of NaNoWriMo, I have a lot of work if I hope to beat last year's word count of 19K! At last count, I was near the 10K mark for this year. So unless a miracle happens, this year's count will be waaaaaay short. But again, in previous years, I didn't have the SU at home, griping at me! So according to the pep talk I received via email, I'm in Group 3, but still okay. Besides, the whole point of NaNo is to get words down that would still be stuck in my head! Everyone wins, even if they don't attain that 50K mark.

Tuesday, I start baking (I think). It all depends on if I have to fight the SU for kitchen space. Maybe this year I'll let him do the baking???

Have a good day. I'm off to get dressed for church, and then come home and attack the ending of my book!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friendly Gathering

How do you expect to eat with no teeth, ha ha?

Sampling the goodies before dinner; like mother, like daughter! (Aunt R is to the right!)

J; the birthday girl L; her husband C; Grandma; R. (J, L, and R are siblings; their mom is Grandma)

We put the smaller kids, I, D, and W at a card table in the living room; the teens ate downstairs after we said grace.

Candid shot of K, T, D, and T's dad in the background, next to the buffet table. My SU and D sitting at table.

We dismantled S's bed and set up the two food tables; brought up a third on set it in front of the desk.

Three generations! Grandma, D, and R. (And my messy desk!)

R and myself during the Great Lemon Cream Pie War. The birthday girl loves her mom's Lemon Pie, and cut four slices; two large and two small, thus giving herself and my SU most of it. When she set hers down and went to refill her drink, R grabbed it and started eating it!

You never know what topics of conversation will come up during dessert. SU's beard length was discussed, and asked if he'd ever considered braiding it...I found my Japanese hair clip and gave him an inpromptu ponytail.

(S...what was in those brownies? And what exactly is your 'secret ingredient'?)

You Call This Customer Service? What Happened To 'Customer Is Always Right'??
I was informed my parents may be getting divorced. No, don't panic; this information came from my mother, who was told by a strange hairdresser....

"No, I won't cut your hair that short; your husband will divorce you!"

They compromised; instead of cutting my mother's naturally curly hair to ear-length (where she normally wears it, mind you!), she left it about an inch longer.

Mom went home and asked Dad, "Are you going to file for divorce?"

Dad replied, "No; should I?"

Mom repeated what had happened.

"Maybe you should show her the wedding picture."

The only time my mom's hair reached her shoulders was about age 6! My father has always favored women with short hair, and always compliments my sister and I when we show up with it about collar-length!

For the record, every time I whack mine off, I've been told I look younger. So don't let your hairdresser dictate which length will please your man more; go with your gut. And if your man complains...remind him it will grow!

Happy Black Friday!
Shop safely and spend wisely:)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Hip surgery went well, and she was resting comfortably when we left. SU (spousal unit) was a bit shaken when he overheard the nurse tell the night nurse coming on duty the patient was DNR. We came home to find the kids had not only fixed dinner, but consumed all of it. He and I went to Ponderosa to 'decompress' and eat food already cooked and waiting for us.

Ear no longer hurts, but it continues to leak fluid. I'm also still mildly stuffy.

Due to illness and hospital visits, we're doing a massive cleanup today. K had his senior pictures taken an hour ago ("Mom? You are going with me??!!") and he had an enjoyable time. Male modeling may or may not be in his future, according to the photographer:)

Turkey aka 'Big Boy':
All 22 frozen pounds is resting in a cold bath, awaiting his 'steam bath' in the fryer tomorrow. We still have to go get the ham, and some minor ingredients for tomorrow's feast. For more on the festivities, click here.

I'm under threat of the power being shut off to the computer if I don't hurry up. If I don't end up posting tomorrow, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Back Tomorrow!

Spent yesterday in pain; my ear drum chose to rupture in the afternoon. And the hydrocodone made me sick to my stomach. I'm heading back to bed for a brief nap, after I sort and start the laundry.

Need prayers...the MIL decided, for whatever reason, to try to get out of bed over the weekend. They sent her for an X-ray yesterday, and surprise...she's got a broken hip. She's undergoing surgery this afternoon to have it repaired.

Looks like our decision to stay home this Thanksgiving was a good one....

Have a good day:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Photos

Had a great time at the annual Santa Stroll:) The weather was mild; I handed out several promo items and added many more email addresses to my newsletter list. And yes, even sold one. Better than last year, when the wind was frigid and most people were hanging on tight to their cash. They're still watching their cash, but the artis who painted the picture on the wall behind me sold three of his paintings in the week his work has been on display.
Don't know if you can see it or not, but I'm wearing my Santa Hat/jingle bell earrings! We were all in a festive mood Friday night:)

Saturday afternoon, one of the attractions was a free carriage ride. The spouse and K were on a BSA camping trip (K's final one as a Life Scout; he'll complete his Eagle rank in the next two weeks), so daughter S brought her little brother, her friend A, and A's little sister R downtown. They were too late to see Santa, but they enjoyed the ride:)
And later, after I got home, S and A went to see New Moon and came home both excited and upset that the movie "leaves you hanging! We have to wait a whole year to see what comes next!" Girls, you read the book; you know what comes next!
"But it's not the same as seeing it in the movie!"
Monday Monday...
Woke up with a clogged right ear. I've already taken a decongestant and some Tylenol for the pain. I'm hoping this doesn't turn into another full blown ear/sinus infection! I've not had any problems with this ear since the chronic problem back in 1996 and had to have a tube put into it. I battled a mild sinus headache Saturday night and again yesterday after church. I'm fine as long as I'm either upright or laying down. Don't ask me to bend over or hiccup; pain rushes to my forehead. And since this is Day #1 of Operation Clean Up, I'll do the dusting and vacuuming; the spouse can do the bending-over stuff! And afterwards, I'll lay on the couch and watch the rest of the Law and Order: SVU marathon I ended up DVR-ing while I cooked dinner and later chatted with several authors during Anny's Birthday Bash! Kenzie very nicely posted two birthday excerpts from both books, and received some nice comments:)
And The Next Iron Chef is...
Chef Garseus!
It came down to creativity and basic cooking skills. Chef Meta, the Indian-background pastry chef, had the creativity, but lacked some fundamental cooking skills; one of the judges constantly harped his food was 'too sweet', and several dishes during this ten-week competition were either undercooked or overcooked.
Chef Garseus, who had a Latin American flair to his cooking, had similar problems during the entire competition, but got everything right last night in Kitchen Stadium. His dishes were considered 'safe, yet boring' by the judges, and it all came down to who would blossom the most under the current Iron Chef's tutelege. And since all five of his dishes were cooked to perfection, they decided he stood the best chance.
Have a good day!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Anny Cook asks an interesting question this morning: What's the strangest job skill you've acquired?

In my short working life, I've been:
-Teacher's Aid in 1st grade class
-Teacher's Aid at Head Start
-Dishwasher for small restaurant (hated it!)
-Bus person for same restaurant (enjoyed it better)
-Worker in craft factory; I folded the items and sealed them in the bag along with the instructions. (Routine; I let my imagination take over and wrote like crazy during the breaks! Most of Love Finds A Way was written during this eight-week temp job!)
-Volunteer at Battered Women's Shelter (Showed me how my budding counseling skills were developing in a good way)
-Cashier for parking lot (again, did a great deal of writing during the down time)
-Rivet polker for semi-trailor factory (enjoyed this one; I was only one of three women and the rest were men! Gave me great ideas for Book #4!)
-Wait staff at a country club (Enjoyed my regular customers and became a favorite with the kids)
-'Bus' driver for pre-school (in actuality, it was a station wagon) (Hated driving in ice and snow!)
-DST for Special-needs children and adults (Taught daily living skills to the developmentally and mentally challenged; my group was at the higher-functioning level)
-More babysitting, plus a two-month foray into the 'get-rich-quick' sales (I hated walking up to people to convince them to buy something they either didn't need or couldn't afford!)
-Concession stand manager (Loved, loved, LOVED this one! I got to be my own boss, and did inventory, worked my ass off during games, counted money, and made some valuable friendships.)
-Bus Monitor for emotionally or special-needs kids (More stressful than it seems!)
-Published Author (I absolutely LOVE book signings and talking to people about writing, books, and how to get started/published.)
-Cashier for fireworks store (enjoyed this, as it got me out of the house for a while and away from moody spouse!)
-And most importantly, Domestic Engineer aka MOM (Again, I get to set my own hours:)

But have I acquired any strange skills? As I told Anny, I can now change the tape in a price sticker thingy. And discovered I really enjoy doing inventory.

This Weekend:
I'll be doing my final signing of the year at our local Santa Stroll. The parade begins at 6:30, and the stores downtown stay open until 9pm with special sales. I'll be at a friend's new art gallery, and the weather should be better than last year's Big Freeze:) On Saturday, the kids can have breakfast with Santa; there are free carriage rides and entertainment; and down the street at the Bible Bookstore, a local children's author, Roseann Perry, will also be signing copies of HER new book. I've not met her; I'll be going down to meet her between 11:30 and noon.

And Sunday begins Operation Clean-Up, as we are hosting Thanksgiving. K's girlfriend and her family will be here, as will my 'other' daughter and her family, and my friend J and her hubby. I also have to deep clean the car seats and stroller, since the new arrival will be here in a month. Plus, we always have 'strays' who wander in an out, knowing they will be well fed at Aunt Molly's.

Have a great weekend, and I'll be back on Monday!