Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad...

Currently Reading: Still on American Beauty:)

Remember this quote from Bill Cosby?

"I brought you into this world and I can take you out..."

I'm having issues with two of my kids. The younger two. Daughter's life is being spared by a friend arriving every morning to take her to school, and she's been on time and even early for an entire week! Hope this continues for the next 3 weeks!

W, my lovable, eager-to-please, borderline-Stepford-Child-wannabe, has disappeared. In his place is an alien who has suddenly decided Mom and Dad really don't mean 'No', and he can do whatever he darn well wants.


His bike is now locked in storage until next weekend; he has discovered we are immune to whining; and his little bottom hasn't been swatted this much since the age of two. And I've threatened to tie him to the kitchen table in order to keep him in the house. Or at least a leash!

Planning For the Weekend
A and J may not be arriving until tomorrow. They've been sick so much this winter, the school decreed they must be in school tomorrow, no matter what their mother's issues. So they may be spending the night with Grandma, and their Uncle D might pick them up and meet us; then again, he might keep them at his house for the weekend. So until we get the phone call, we really don't know what's going on.

If they aren't coming, I'll have a peaceful anniversary, and we can go north and clean out our storage unit (I know I keep saying that, but every time we make plans to do that, something always interferes! Arrgghhh...). Doing so would save us $55 a month, and until the spouse goes back to work, that would be a tank of gas or even more grocery money. K keeps begging me to make the puff pastry chicken cordon bleu again, and our meat supply is getting thin. We can all tell it's nearly May; the supplies we put in during January and February are rapidly decreasing in the basement.

Time to Return to Work!
No; not me...I work 24/7, remember? (LOL!)

DIY Network's Free Trial is over, and my spouse is grumbling. But we're not about to shell out another $20 or so just for one channel! He can go back to work or enjoy his History, Spike, Sci-Fi, and Discovery Channels again. I'm still finding time to watch my Gilligan's Island DVD's (I'm up to the second side of Disk #2!) and then I'll move on to The Muppet Show. I'm caught up on my DVR episodes of ER, and only need to watch this week's One Tree Hill and 90210. With having to keep an eagle eye on the above 5-yr-old (and ready to put a GPS tracking devise on him), I've not done much writing in the past week.

Maybe the alien will decide her life was more enjoyable with her rebel child, and send mine back?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Woo Hoo!!!

My alter-ego finally got her release date!

Tuesday, May 19th.

Details can be found at Kenzie's Place:) Go over and check it out!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Under The Weather...

This is what happens when Molly sleeps with the windows open: Dry, scratchy throat yesterday and today, the body aches. I feel like I've been hit by a small vehicle.

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow. Today it's soup and Tylenol.

Have a good day:)

Monday, April 27, 2009


Currently Reading: Ashley Ladd's American Beauty.

Word Count: 0. Grandchildren can read now, and since I'm working on sex scene, I didn't want them reading over my shoulder!

Anyone going to be in the New York area tonight? Barb?

There's a new Broadway musical called Rock of Ages, starring Constantine (blanking on last name) and Amy Spanger, and is all about the rock music of the '80's. I have it on good authority that Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon) and Tommy Shaw (Styx) are going to be onstage tonight.

Please go to the show and smuggle your video camera inside, and make me a bootleg copy?

If not, I have their mini-concert on my DVR from The Early Show.

I'll just have to wait until it arrives in Indianapolis...

"Mommy? Do I go to kindergarten yet?"
Greeted me when I woke up W this morning. And he pouted when I replied that no, he won't go until August 13th. The good news is, we met with his Head Start teacher last Friday, who informed us the switch flipped on in his brain the past week, and he's finally taking an interest in LEARNING! Whereas before during Rug Time he would hang his head (ala 'don't call on me...'), he now raises his hand and at least trys to answer the questions concerning days of the week, months, alphabet, and numbers!

I'm going to go ahead and enroll him in kindergarten, and if he needs another year, then we'll keep him back. K started kdgn as a late 5-yr-old (his b-day is in Dec), and S missed the cutoff by 3 days, so she was already 6 when she started. Both kids have almost always made the Honor Roll, and I credit their late birthdays. But with W being a March baby...we'll see what happens next year. Maybe he'll surprise me?

To-Do List:
I'm still finding stuff A and J left behind. Oh well...they're coming back Thursday night, as their mom is working the Kentucky Derby next weekend. I just hope the weather is wonderful again!
-Grocery shopping
-Buying new tennis shoes. My left shoe decided to separate from its sole. D tried to glue it back together, but the entire outside edge is gone. Time for a new pair!
-Vacuuming the floors (again...3 kids under age 8 were messy!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Snapshot

This is the treasure chest; when the whistle blows, most of the kids rush to stand beneath it on the platform.

Unfortunately, I did NOT get any pics of my kids under the waterfall:( Maybe next time...

Pirate ship. Double slide in the center; larger slide to the left, and an even shorter tunnel slide to the back left, under the waterfall. Huge jacuzzi is in left corner; baby pool is in right corner. The entire pool is only 2-3 feet deep. Also to the right, you can see the platform where all the water in the treasure chest lands.

W, standing in front of one of the many water cannons, in the shape of a frog. Behind him you can see the basketball goal and a better shot of the double slide.

Turn your head to the right; this is the staircase leading to the tube slide. The yellow disk is the opening. This was taken before the slide was open.

The tube slide!
Enjoy your day; A and J's mother arrives this afternoon, and we're fixing fried chicken for a late lunch/early dinner. The kids were absolutely worn out yesterday with all the time spent outdoors, and made no complaints when it was time for showers and bed. In fact, J was asleep before I was finished with A!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Currently Reading: WOW! Thin Ice was fantastic! I finished reading it yesterday while waiting for A and J's mom to call, letting us know she was headed this way. Again, Recommended Read! (The Wild Rose Press, Liana Leverentz) Next up is Ashley Ladd's American Beauty:)

Silent Plane Would Cut Airport Noise headline think???

Saturday...Day To Sleep In, Right?
Not so for me today!

I've been abnormally sleepy for two days (no, not pregnant, thank God!) and looked forward to several hours of uninterrupted sleep.

4:30 am: Lucky wakes me up, begging to go out. I let her out and turn on the coffee pot.

5:30 am: K's radio alarm goes off, blaring Nickleback throughout the house. Thankfully it did NOT wake up A, J, or W!

6:30 am: K's clock radio beeps non-stop. Again, the little ones sleep right through it.

K is going to get a ball bat to the head when he gets home tomorrow, and 'turn off alarms' added to his checklist of things to do before leaving for the weekend!

And if for some reason I did not shut off the radio alarm, I'm pulling the plug if it goes off again in the morning. Let him reset everything!

And today is the first Saturday I don't have anything on the DVR to watch! BH 90210 officially started over last weekend. But since I'd missed the 3rd episode, I recorded it while I was gone. Hmmm...I could check out the 7th Heaven episiodes; I didn't begin watching that series until Mary's senior year in HS!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Stuff

Currently Reading: Am up to Ch 27 on Thin Ice! Got sidetracked yesterday by a nap, and both kids on computers. Daughter was doing homework and son was watching Stargate. I think we need a third computer now!

Word Count: 40 words. Made the mistake of listening to Travis' podcast from Monday and it shut down the creativity! Saw on FaceBook he had the same problem. So it wasn't just me:) Hopefully things will be better today??

First of all, thoughts and prayers to my friend Ben, who's having a delicate surgical procedure today. He has nasal polyps, so we pray the surgeon has a steady hand and inflicts no damage on the brain or his eyesight.

Secondly, did anyone else see this?

"Economic Crisis Hits German Sex Industry"

One manager states, "Our clients are being tight with their money. We can't charge for extras anymore and we may have to cut prices. Everyone wants a deal. Special promotions are essential..."

Special rates for returning clients? A 'Ten Visits, Get One Free' card? I saw something about discounts for the taxi drivers who bring the clients, but can't find that quote now.

Just goes to show Corporate America and Main Street USA aren't the only ones suffering.

Woo Hoo!
Tyson got the boot last night! Yeah baby! Yay for the Exile Alliance! 'Nuff said:)

Invasion of the Rugrats
Actually, more like the Elementary set. My niece and nephew, A and J, are arriving tonight and staying through Sunday. Their mom has to work, and Grandma (who lives in same city) is not available. With the 80 degree temps today through the weekend, I predict an outing to the park, and cooking on the grill tomorrow night!

On the To-Do List Today:
-Vacuuming the floor
-Taking S to the dr.
-Writing at least a page??

Have a good weekend and pop over to Cindy's blog for her news!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Belated Earth Day Rant

Currently Reading: I'm up to Ch 22 on Thin Ice:) I may finish it today. In case you missed it, this book is definitely a Recommended Read:)

Word Count: 500. See above for reason (grin!)

In a sarcastic, ha-ha way, I am amused by all the 'go green' bandwagon. No, I'm not opposed to saving the planet; I'm just flabbergasted by certain products which are disappearing from the grocery shelves.

Specifially...the REFILL items!

Back in the 90's, 'Less is More' was splashed across the marketing campaigns, and especially in the laundry department. Suddenly, you could simply refill your Tide and Downey bottles, and it was waaaay cheaper than to buy another actual bottle of detergent! But first Tide changed their formula; prices shot up; the Sam's Choice version of Tide disappeared. So I switched to another brand. Then that brand (don't even remember what it was now) changed it's formula, and added different scents, fabric softner, and the price went up. Now I use a third brand, and spend about $7-8 a month on the 'Big Bottle', refilling my smaller, more managable bottle every week.

Same with my Downey bottle. I buy the generic, refill carton (resembling a large milk carton) and it lasts me 1-2 months. When my bottle gets too icky, then I buy a new one. But when I went looking for the refill carton last week, I had to hunt for several minutes to find it, tucked waaaay back on a lower shelf, and behind the regular bottles!

If we're soooo environmentally conscious, why are/have the refill containers disappeared? Is it all tied to economics?

"Oh...if we restock the cheaper refill containers, our profit margin will decrease. We need consumers to keep buying the more expensive, no-so-environmentally-friendly containers. Maybe they won't notice."

I'm about to start calling the manager to request my items be stocked on the shelves. I don't know if it will do any good, but I can at least try! And the nearest Sam's Club is an hour away. I let my membership lapse when we moved to a town w/o one.

Anyone else have an Earth Day gripe? The little bit I try to do is getting harder and harder to implement.

Big Day for W!
Signed him up for Kindergarten today! He went off to have his eyes and hearing checked while Mom was getting writer's cramp, filling out all the damn forms! Where's those return address label? And why do I need to keep filling in the same info on form after form? Can't I just put 'see enrollment form for info' about address, date of birth, phone number, and parent info?' He also got to have milk and a cookie. Did I get one? No. They should provide nourishment for parents with hand cramps:)

Afterwards, we went down to the kindergarten room to find his friends I and L. Once we found the right room, I knocked and asked if we could enter for a moment. The teacher smiled and waved us in...and all of a sudden there was a collective "W! W's here!" I and L rushed over, and two kids were in his Head Start class came over and hugged him! The poor kid was so overwhelmed by that much attention so fast, he hid behind me!

The teacher invited us to look around, but W was ready to bolt. And L said, "I gotta tell you something: If you get in trouble, you have to sit over there," and pointed to a place by the teacher's desk. I'm guessing she has first-hand knowledge??

As we left the building and walked toward the car, W chattered happily about seeing B and L2, as well as I and L1, and how they could play together next year on the playground. He was a little disappointed he didn't have his regular school today, but now he can say he knows where his new classroom will be next year!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Currently Reading: I'm up to chapter 14 on Thin Ice and I am loving it! Go over to The Wild Rose Press and pick this one up! A most definite Recommended Read, and I'm not even finished with it! Great job, Liana! Can't wait to get back to this one! Maybe it was you that inspired me last night??

Word Count: 650!!!

Most of you know I've been struggling with a creative blockage inside my brain, and have been lucky if I write a paragraph. Last night at Laptop Society, something finally broke free and I managed to write the equivelent of a page:) I've posted the word count; it this keeps up, I'll keep posting my progress.

Not sure what exactly caused it; I had written a few lines in between conversations, and was rather surprised when two people stood up to leave and the other four followed. According to the laptop clock, it was only 6:30; since Tuesday nights are my 'run away from home' nights, I opted to stay longer, and kept writing.

Soon I noticed it was getting dark, so I came to a stopping point and packed away the laptop. Before I shut it down, I noticed the clock said I'd been working for another hour.

A friend of mine had arrived and was surfing the web a few tables away. I stopped to say hi and ask why he hadn't joined me.

"You looked focused, and I didn't want to interrupt your train of thought."

Sidebar: Now that's a considerate friend; one who knows you've been having creative struggles and decides to let you keep working!

In the course of our brief conversation, I mentioned I'd left my watch at home and wanted to be home by 8. Imagine my surprise when C mentioned I was late; his laptop was reporting the time as 7:44 and he didn't think it rolled over to Indiana time (he lives across the river in Illinois; they're an hour behind.)

C didn't have his watch on, so I asked a gentleman sitting at the next table what time it was.


Holy Crap!

I hurriedly said goodbye and hurried home. Fortunately, no one was overly upset by the fact I'd been gone for 4 hours, instead of the normal 3! I asked my daughter if she knew her laptop was an hour off; she said yes; she didn't know why.

Hopefully, the creativity will continue; I was watching the news and another thought popped into my head. As soon as I get through my morning chores, I'll sit down and get back to work.

In Other News...
My desk chair broke.

No, it wasn't my recent weight gain; my oldest has taken to watching Stargate reruns on and using my black leather desk chair as a substitute for a recliner. Consequently, yesterday the thing wobbled back and forth so much, I was uncomfortable sitting in it.

Further examination showed the steel mounting bracket was nearly in two pieces! I rolled it over to an out-of-the-way corner until my spouse could get his welding materials and put it back together.

Enter to toddler: He decides to play on it.


My chair is now lying on its side, waiting to be fixed! My two boys killed it.

But never fear; hubby to the soon as his love for the DIY network is over on April 29th. That's when the free preview is over. And no, we don't want to pay an additional $20 just for the package that allows us to see this channel.

Happy Wednesday! Go over to Regina's blog and check out her news!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This May Get Me Into Trouble...

What's your take on the Miss USA pageant the other night?

Do you agree or disagree with the Perez Hilton/Miss California issue?

Don't know what I'm talking about?

Miss California drew the 'hot button' question concerning gay marriage, and instead of giving the PC answer, she answered the question by stating her own belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Perez Hilton blasted her, by stating that single question lost her the competition and she should have answered as a 'future Miss USA', rather than as a private citizen.

I disagree with that. Do we want a Miss USA who kowtows to the PC agenda, or do we want a representative who speaks her own mind? Are we becoming so afraid to say what we believe because of unintentionally offending someone? This is already happening in our schools, and the reason people are fighting to reinstate the right to display the Ten Commandments in courthouses and to reinstate school prayer.

Heeelloooo...whatever happened to free speech? Be true to yourself.

That's all Miss California was doing, and I'm sure her parents are very proud of her.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Age of Rudeness???

Currently Reading: Steamy Encounter is another Recommended Read! Now, on to Thin Ice. This one's over 300 pages, so it will take me several days.

When did common courtesy and politeness leave society?

Friday night, Mom and I were watching HGTV, specifically House Hunters. We witnessed two women treating their spouses with what seemed to be utter contempt, and absolutely no respect.

One woman told her husband 'Well, here's my bathroom; you can have the one in the hall.' The other remarked that her husband's choice was 'outdated' and 'You're stupid if you think I'm going to live here.'

They also nit-picked on some of the smallest details in the house, from the chandelier to the wallpaper. One even said the laundry room was 'too small'. Let me tell you, it was about the size of a small bedroom.

My mother turned to me and said, 'I can't believe the way they talk to each other! No wonder to divorce rate is so high!' and went on to relate some other comments she'd observed in other shows.

I replied, 'And people wonder why kids are so rude and disrespectful...'

I had the misfortune to run into three rude individuals on Saturday.

The first two were behind the counter at Dairy Queen (college students). I asked if they sold sweet tea; the one young man said yes. I paid for it, and he flagged down his buddy to fill my order. I decided to taste it first, since I've run into some 'sweet tea' that isn't exactly sweet. I sipped it and said, 'This isn't even close to being sweet.'

Moron #1 said, 'Oh, we don't have sweet tea.'

Me: 'But you told me you did.'

M1: 'You didn't ask for sweet; you asked for iced tea.'

Moron #2 decided to add his two cents: 'McDonalds is over at the Student Union. Go over there and get it.'

Me: 'Please tell me you have Sweet-N-Low?'

M1 (points to free-standing soft drink counter: 'Over there.'

I take my drink and locate the sweetner. As I'm stirring, I notice the ice has melted. I return to the counter and politely ask for more ice.

M1 is busy, so M2 gets a cup of ice and starts to pour the ice into my full cup. I stopped him, and poured the liquid over the ice, preventing the splash.

M2: 'Oh...that's how your supposed to do it.'

I took a firm grip on my temper and just walked away.

Rude person #3 appeared later that day. I had observed him with a cell phone and walked up to him to inquire politely if I could please use his cell phone.

He turns to me. 'What for?'

I was taken aback, but replied, 'I don't have a cell phone, and would like to make a 30-second call. You can even dial it for me, but if you'd rather I not use it, I understand.'

He heaved a huge sigh, but asked for the number. I made my call and thanked him when I was finished. But the entire time, he looked extremely irritated with me.

It just rubbed me the wrong way. #1, if I ask to use a person's cell, I want to make a call, not to text, take pictures, or check my email! And #2, if you don't want me to use your phone, all you have to do is tell me no; I'm not going pitch a hissy fit!

And I saw on the news this morning that since emailing and texting have gotten more common, people are forgetting the basics of greetings and endings. I see this in my own kids; several times they answer their phones with 'What?' or 'Yeah?' and rarily say goodbye; 'Later' is usually heard before they click it off.

What the hell happened to 'Hi, how are you?' and 'See you later' or 'Bye'? I've even gotten on a couple of teens for speaking disrespectfully to their parents, or even hanging up on them!

I insist my kids answer the home phone in an acceptable manner, and be polite. And my 5-yr-old is even learning this: He answered the phone the other day with a cheerful 'Heeeeeelloo!'

Now if I can just get him to give me the phone, or at least tell me who's on the other end...he spoke to my Ball State Alumni Association for several minutes before I came upstairs and found him chattering away about SpongeBob. I hadn't even heard the phone ring! Thankfully, the person on the other end had the patience to wait:)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday's Stupid Saying

The really right people know how to dodge taxes anyway.
-President George W Bush on Sen. John Kerry's proposal to rescind tax cuts for the wealthy

Temperamental Technology
Sorry about yesterday; my mom's internet was slower than a snail yesterday morning! My mail wouldn't even load after 40 minutes, so I turned on the TV and watched 'Meatballs' while I was transfering my e-books to the flash drive. Everything transfered except Prairie Peace by Ginger Simpson; Isabella's Diary by Anita Birt; Witch's Heart by Tabitha Shay; Meeting Mr. Right Online by Cindy K Green (I think The Spirit of Christmas transfered; why not MMRO? They were on the same disk! Makes no sense...); and Master Me by Brynn Paulin.

Had a good signing; sold two and passed out over 100 bookmarks. The weather was fantastic, and spoke to a couple of English majors, an engineering major who was impressed when I mentioned K's desire to work for NASA; and joked with one parent who was outfitting his Freshman daughter with a new Purdue wardrobe, socks and all. I asked him if he was going to update my wardrobe too; it turns out the daughter had sweatshirts and tees from nearly every other Indiana college, but nothing from Purdue, and as an alumnus, he felt it his duty to correct that oversight!

Had dinner with my parents and visited with Angie, and headed home. Stopped by to see my BFF and her daughters filled me in on their Spring Break trip to Universal Studios, and saw pictures of S's new bunny. F showed me her newly completed room; the last time I was there, it had just been added to the house and was being painted. And teased E's hubby (conservation officer) that he almost received a call about illegal deer hunting: When I pulled onto SR 63, I was just getting up to speed when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a rather large deer, heading for the passenger side of my car. I floored the accelerator and avoided a nasty auto-vs-deer crash...whew! Don't need to destroy the spouse's vehicle; not this close to his going back to work! And since E (BFF) had told me several years back that yes, it makes a difference if you hit the deer, or the deer hits you, I wasn't going to take any chances with the insurance finding a reason not to pay for damages.

That's all for now; I'm going to get off of here, pour myself another cup of coffee and catch up on two days' worth of blogs. And to my friends who are heading off to RT, have a great time; please update regularly and post pictures?? I'm living vicariously (and rather enviously, lol...) through you! Have a safe trip down and back and maybe I'll be there next year. Wonder if that website Barb shared with me last year will post videos again???

Friday, April 17, 2009

Whaaaat Happened?

Currently Reading: Finished Mercy a few days ago, and read Samantha Gentry's Masked Encounter yesterday; btw...another Recommended Read! I'll probably get to Steamy Encounter today, and Liana Leverenz's Thin Ice by Sunday.

Talk about blindside last night! We were so sure Coach was going to end up regretting his arrogant words last night, but apparently this group of castaways are good at deception. Brendan got the final vote, and by the second or third time his name was read, you could plainly see 'Damn...maybe I should have played the idol...' was going through his brain! The boy had no clue he was about to be double-crossed by Stephen, Taj, and JT. And tribal council was hilarious, reading all the body language!

I honestly hoped the Exile alliance would turn the tables. But unless someone catches on to Coach and Tyson, you can almost predict the pecking order. As one of my FaceBook friends pointed out, maybe they are keeping Coach and Tyson around for the 'hate' factor...take one of them to the end, with the hopes they've pissed off too many jury members?

My spouse was yelling at the TV last night, and wanted to go to the island to shake some sense into these people!

Road Trip!
I'm off to Purdue tonight:) I know of at least two people who are planning to show up, and neither of them has read my work! Well, okay...Angie used to read my 5th grade stuff...I think... and Barb has heard my mother talk about it.

And I got word this morning that my fledgling book should be back from the proofreaders next week. Hopefully I'll get word of a release date by then???

Social Media as a Marketing Tool
Attended teleconference yesterday, and while it was informative, I really didn't learn anything new, other than to possibly re-think my attitude about Twitter, GoodReads, and Linked In. I had resisted FaceBook, because I had heard of a virus circulating (found out it is linked to videos, so as long as I don't click on any, I'm safe), and thought it was mainly for kids. WRONG! And when I signed up for the free consultation, I was impressed when Joe called me an hour later, and through our conversation, he informed me that of the many calls he'd already made, I'm the most 'plugged in' person so far. But he did end the call rather speedily when I informed him the 'Social Media University Course' he was offering was waaaaaay out of my price range! He did take a look at my website and wished me good luck in my career. Who knows; maybe he has a wife/daughter/sister/mother/aunt who likes to read and he'll refer them? And he was also rather impressed when I told him about the e-book concept, and what some college students had told me last month:)

Writing Progress
I've managed to write a whopping total of one page this week. Sad, I know, but hey...that's one page I didn't have this time last week! I'm taking my notebook/flash drive with me, in case during my 3-hour drive I get inspired, and I'm also taking another stack of floppy discs with me, to transfer more of my e-book library to my flash drive. One of those being Anny's Cherished Destinies; I had only read it once, and when I read Love Never Ending, I was confused at one point! And since this new PC of mine has no 3 1/2 floppy drive, I couldn't read it! So finally, my curiosity will be satisfied. And Sandra, I'm going to try Boji Stones again. If it still won't transfer, I'll contact you.

Have a good weekend; I'll be back tomorrow with the Stupid Saying, and report on Sunday any accomplishments:)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Suspended In Time

Remember when digital cameras first came out, and the commercial showed a kid forever stuck halfway between the diving board and the water?

"Hey Mom...I'd like to finish this dive, but you still haven't developed me yet. Please download this picture and the others still on your memory card, so I can hit the water already..."

I've left my characters in similar fashions, due to the creative blockage inside my brain.

-Travis is still eating breakfast with Tori as she explains how Life brought her to town;

-Misty is on her first date with Cory and at war with herself over whether or not she should sleep with him, should the opportunity present itself;

-Ashley has just discovered her brother's dark secret;

-Rick has just been awarded visitation rights;

-Katherine is rebuidling her life and possibly reigniting an old flame;

-Mark is trying to get to know a mysterious woman who just moved to town;

-Brian has just expressed a desire to buy a house with his long-time lover and officially blend their two families;

-Scott is comforting Erica in a time of extreme stress;

-Justin is about to graduate from college;

-Lynne is fighting her attraction to a man of a different race and who she considers 'just a friend'.

Ten WIPS and no one wants to talk to me. Anyone want to volunteer for ghostwriter duties? With the exception of the last four, I've only been working on these for the past nine months.

I started writing Justin's story in 2001; Scott's in 2002; Brian's in 2003; and Lynne's in 2006. Brian, Justin, and Scott's stories are nearly finished; I'm only on chapter 4 of Lynne's.

Maybe I just need a solid week by myself; no spouse, no kids, no TV...just me, my music collection, and trusty computer? Spouse has been addicted to the DIY Network, and objects to the sounds of Bon Jovi interrupting his shows.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Ramble

Had another mini-breakthrough on one of my wips last night, and I'm hoping it continues. I'll report back tomorrow on any progress.

Met one of my new FaceBook friends last night, and enjoyed hearing about his upcoming movie project. Hopefully in the next year or so it will be showcased at either the Indianapolis Film Festival or even Sundance, and I can say, 'Hey...I know that guy!'

Go check out the blogs to the right; things are rather ho-hum at the moment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feast or Famine?

There are some days when the muse is cooperative, and days when I question my creative ability. The days where the ideas flow faster than I can type, or words pour from my fingertips are wonderful; I feel productive and confident in seeing a story come to life.

And then there are days where writing a single word is agony. My characters don't want to talk to me; they resist even the smallest amount of pleading to let me in. I read over the last chapter; I try to imagine what the motivation for the behavior would be, but the mind is blank.

I usually don't panic when this happens; after all, my first book took me four years to write. My second took only a few months, and soon I was cranking out pages in five weeks, or even as short as a weekend. (My family hates it when I write non-stop, by the way...I get accused of being neglectful!)

There's a Stephen King book called Bag of Bones, in which the main character is an author, and talks about how he got through his creative block. Instead of writing two books in a year, he wrote six, and therefore had a 'bank' for his editing/releases. I remember thinking I had done the same thing; by the time I had my first book published, I also had five more ready to go. And at the current rate of a book or two per year, I would be ahead of the 'deadline' and never be stuck in creative La-La Land.

Fast-forward to 2007. Book #2 was being released; I'd written a book during the month of September and another one during November, for NaNo. I was so creatively exhausted, though, I took the month of December off to simply relax.

In January 2008, I had a few conversations swirling in my brain, and when I felt the characters had 'gelled' enough, I went to the computer and began writing the story. Somewhere around March or April I finished it, but then decided it was too wordy and made some minor changes. The week of July 4th, I had a similar storyline grab me, and I managed to finish it several days later.

And since then, I've had about four or five other stories grab my attention. But they are doing something strange; they let me write the first chapter and then they leave. Why can't I write down chapter 2? Come back already, and tell me more!

Or maybe I'm reverting to the way I used to write? I had three unfinished manuscripts; just a bundle of scenes for each book. But one day the pieces fell into place and from there it was pretty effortless to get them written.

Maybe they're just waiting for the 'right time'? So far this year, I've completed only one manuscript. I'd really like to finish at least two more before Christmas.

Feast or Famine. I prefer feast, but sometimes the down times are nice too.

I just hope it doesn't last too long:)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Shock

Currently Reading: Mercy, by Jodi Picoult. Later this week, I'll be popping over to The Wild Rose Press for three e-books by Samantha Gentry and Liana Leverentz.

My oldest son and his friends lost a classmate yesterday. No details have been released as of yet, but our festivities were cut short yesterday afternoon when one of the moms received a phone call that so-and-so was found by the river.

She called to her son to see if anyone knew the teen; turns out all four did, and soon text messages were flying all over town.

There was nothing on last night's news, not this morning's news; we'll probably learn more once our son returns from school. We'll also check the newspaper today. But hearts and prayers go out to the family of the high school senior whose life for whatever reason was cut short yesterday.

Back To Work
I had a mini-brainstorm yesterday, of where to take one of my stories next. But because of having company, I scribbled a few notes to myself and will expand upon it today.

I also have to order bookmarks and update my sneak peak excerpt for the weekend. Pick out something to wear. Finalize travel plans.

Three Cheers for the Boy Scouts:)
Our Parks and Recreation director is loving the local Boy Scouts. Saturday, K and several volunteers did some minor clean-up at a local park, and sanded and painted the slide, merry-go-round, and a set of swings. Next week they are doing the monkey bars and the larger swing set. The P&R provided all the tools; the troop provided the labor! And the director stated that the six soon-to-be Life Scouts would be more than welcome to tackle any projects in the coming year, as he has many more projects around town for future Eagle Projects.

Just learned about the controversy concerning the erotic books...I believe Jae has it on her blog; go check it out here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Has Risen!

Christ the Lord has risen today, Halleluia!

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail
Hippity, hoppity, Happy Easter Day:)

Happy Easter, everyone and God Bless...He has risen indeed!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Currently Reading: Devoured French Kiss and Jayden Chelcee's In the Arms of Danger. Now I'm out of reading material again until tomorrow...I have inside information that the Easter Bunny is leaving me another Jodi Picoult in my basket:)

Weakest Link host Anne Robinson:
In the traditional version of The Lord's Prayer, what 'H', meaning sanctified, goes before "be they name"?

Contestant: Howard

on I am the Lord and My name is Howard!

This brings to mind a story I read in grade school. The mother was listening to her young daughter recite The Lord's Prayer, only she couldn't pronounce her 'r's. She said 'Hawold be thy name'! So is it 'Howard' or 'Harold'???? Hahahahahaha...

Time to Get to Work!
I goofed off yesterday. Read all day, and so now not only must I clean the house, but I have to boil the eggs and make whatever I can ahead before tomorrow.

I'm blaming my lack of activity on the fact I ran out of creamer, and only had a half a cup of coffee yesterday. Sad, I know...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Semi-Busy Friday

Currently Reading: Enjoyed Lady Makes Three:) Next up: Sloane Taylor's French Kiss. I may get to it today...

The kids don't have school, so everyone's still sleeping.

I have to go to the store for some last-minute Easter items and dog food; otherwise today will be spent decorating the house in preparation of the Easter Bunny. And that means sweeping the floors, dusting, and moving some of the toddler's toys downstairs. The table will come back up, but ONLY until Monday, I've decreed! Not leaving that clutter-catcher up any longer than I have to! But with anywhere from 7-10 extra people showing up for dinner, I need a buffet table to put the food.

What's on the menu?
-Lil' Smokies appetizer
-Veggie tray with dip
-Garden salad
-Potato salad
-Scalloped potatoes
-Glazed carrots
-Green Beans (or peas...haven't decided!)
-Homemade rolls
-Yellow cake with chocolate icing
-Whatever everyone else cares to bring!

I drank the last of the wine during the NCAA Championship (cough) game, so I might go buy myself another bottle. After all, there is good news on the horizen...check here for details:) I was feeling pretty good yesterday!

Day #11 of the steroids, and I can feel my body getting back to 'normal'. I'm not a whirlwind of activity, though the appetite is still going bonkers! I had to force myself away from the food last night at the Pampered Chef party; a pasta dish with Pesto was offered, and I couldn't get enough Pesto in me, for whatever reason! And yeah, I still haven't returned to the walking regime just yet. Gotta do that next week!

What's on your agenda for the weekend? Stayng home? Visiting family? Cooking up a storm, or are you eating out? Coloring eggs? Or do you hide the plastic ones with candy and money inside?

Reality TV Update:
There's a minor disagreement in our house over the Survivor cast. I say Tyson has to go next; hubby says Coach. Anyone else watching?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Changing Attitudes

Currently Reading: I'm up to ch 12 on The Lady Makes Three; I spent yesterday writing, so maybe I'll get back to the reading today?

Two views this morning, one from a high school and another from the employment industry.

First of all, there was the story of the autistic kid who scored 20 points in his high school's championship basketball team three years ago. The kid is now an assistant coach, and has inspired other special-needs kids to aim for their dreams.

Two such kids made that dream a reality this year. They were able to make the team, and each won sportsmanship awards for their contributions to the team, averaging anywhere from 9-20 points in any given game.

The Early Show carried their story, and the two seniors have been given the chance to go to the Boston Celtics basketball camp this summer.

Why do I bring this up?

My daughter was watching this story with me, and she revealed that the special-needs kid in her gym class is well-liked; he's never chosen last; all the kids cheer him on, even when he's clearly lagging behind in the activities. She asked me if there were any Special Ed kids in my school when growing up.

There were two. One had cerebal palsey, and I'm sorry to say the kids weren't always nice to him. They never did anything physical to him, but no one went out of their way to help him or befriend him. It wasn't 'cool'. He was always chosen last, sat by himself a lot, and ate by himself in the cafeteria. When my friend Angie and I reconnected a couple weeks ago, I asked about him, and she said he still lives in town, is in a wheelchair, and she once chauffered him around to do his errands.

The other special needs kid was the daughter of one of my father's co-workers. She and I became friendly in choir, and when my dad helped them move into a better apartment, she asked me to look after her beloved cat, who would need a home after the move. When a major snow storm hit, my dad picked us up at school, since the busses couldn't get through, and she spent the evening and part of the next day with us, playing happily with my sister and I, and enjoying the companionshiip of her cat.

The storm had knocked out our power, so we were thrilled to roast hot dogs and marshmallows in the fireplace, and playing board games by candlelight.

Her personality was more outgoing, and while I think I was the only friend who invited her over, she was well liked all through high school and college. She passed away the year I married (her beloved cat lived only one year longer; he was 22 yrs old and would have needed dialysis, so my parents lovingly sent him HOME after letting me make a speedy trip up to say goodbye) and among her things found after the funeral were several letters I'd written her over the years.

But the point I was making to my daughter was that when I was in school, the special ed kids were kept separate; they weren't normally in the classroom. I don't even remember seeing any Down's Syndrome kids until high school, and even when I worked in a facility after college, the kids were pretty much segregated.

So it is nice to see that society's views of these kids are changing; the higher functioning ones are capable of being integrated with other kids their age; that no one os going to 'catch' their disease. Yes, the attitude of parents, kids, siblings...all play a huge part in these kids' lives, but given the chance to succeed...they may surprise you in ways you never dreamed.

One of my favorite busboys at the country club was 'slow'. The other wait staff complained about him, when he would set a table wrong, or spill something. But I worked with him one long Father's Day, when it was just he and I in the rapid-turnover seating area, and he was the best helper! He didn't smoke, so he wasn't always disappearing into the kitchen; he took it upon himself to offer refills of water, tea, and coffee; he helped pre-bus tables while I was taking orders, delivering food, or making out the checks. After that day, I not only gave him a large cut of my tips, but I made it known to our supervisor he was to be MY busboy for the rest of his employment! Some of the other busboys snickered, but when I publically defended the kid and pointed out I didn't have to always go looking for him, they shuffled their feet and found other places to be.

There's a report out of women getting face lifts in hopes of landing their dream job.


As the woman interviewed defended herself, "Jobs were going to less qualified people, but they looked younger. I feel great about myself, and if this helps me land a good job, then it shows my committment to doing my best work."

Oooookaaaayyyy...So are you saying you'll keep getting nipped and tucked in order to keep it?

Personally, I don't buy it.

Just heard this: Divorce parties? Okay, I guess it might offer closure. When I first heard the story, I thought it was going to be seedy, but this might be a good way to put a positive spin on an upheaval in life. Just don't do anything tacky or insensitive, especially if you have kids! That would do more harm than good.

Off The Soapbox; Today's To-Do List:
-Empty the trash
-Pick my excerpt
-Pampered Chef party tonight at a friend's house
-Make sure I have all the ingredients for Easter Sunday!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bumpy Wednesday

I should have clued into the fact today was going to be different. I woke to my alarm, dreaming I was working at Walmart and in charge of the Chocolate-Chip Cookie making. Only...the bakery was behind, and I had people demanding their cookies!

Second thing to happen: Daughter refused to get moving; hubby was still sound asleep, so Mom decides she'll get dressed and take the kids to school.

Result? Made a rolling stop at 4-way stop sign (I've got to get out of that bad habit; no one was even near the stop!) and 2/3 of the way to the end of the next block, flashing lights are calling me over. I politely rolled down my window, offered my paperwork and an apologetic smile, saying I was sorry; my daughter was late for school.

Did he give me a warning? Verbal 'okay; be careful?'

NO! I now have a $119.50 TICKET! Or, show up in court on May 25th and hope the nice officer doesn't show up to harass this obvious menace to society.

Onto Brighter Issues:
Edits are finished; my dedication/author info has been written and sent; the blurb is awaiting approval. Now all I have to do is pick out an excerpt for the website. Here's my question to all published authors:

How long should it be?

Do I pick a (spicy) scene at random and hope it will successfully tempt someone to buy? Or do I choose the prologue, as it sets up the action? Or part of the prologue, anyway??? You'd think I'd know this stuff; I've been buying e-books regularly now for about 18 months. But nooooooo, the excitement has gone to my head. Maybe I'll go peruse Ellora's Cave/TEB sites and check my friends' blurbs/excerpts on the buy pages. Maybe then I'll get an idea??

Or blame the steroids for this hyperactive moment....

Another Creative Moment:)
Got a brainstorm yesterday afternoon and finally finished a chapter I've been stuck on for the past year:) Yay! Now to call my friend and see if I'm channelling her life still...hopefully I just made her life slightly happier???

Only 4 more days of steroids. I predict next week I'll be vegged out on the couch, recovering from steroid withdrawl??? I can catch up on the Gilligan's Island DVD!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Currently Reading: Still on The Lady Makes Three. Didn't do a whole lot of reading yesterday!

North Carolina showed up to play last night and proved they were champions. Michigan State showed up without their basic skills. Final score? UNC: 89 MSU: 72. The game was over about 3 minutes into the 1st half when MSU had foul trouble, turnover trouble, and were down by 10 points.

I was into the wine by halftime, and chatting on FaceBook during the last 10 minutes of the game.

On A Roll?
Don't know what got a hold of me yesterday, but I rather liked it:) I finished up the edits on Chs 2-5, and sent them back before 2pm.

-had the bills paid by 3:30 pm;

-I had the laundry knocked out by 4pm;

-dinner was on the table before 6pm;

-dishes cleaned up (K pulled a muscle in weight training, plus had scouts, so I helped him out) by 7:15 pm;

-attended blogtalkradio chat with Travis until 8pm (didn't want to call in);

-picked up hubby's medicine by 8:30pm;

-was settled in front of the TV by 9:15 to watch the game!

-And was in bed by 12:30 am.

Today, I have to make room in my kitchen cabinet for some of our bowls that D found in our storage unit and 'can't live without'. There are several plates and bowls we've not used in the two years we've lived here, so it's time to move Mom's out and ours in (if that makes any sense at all??)

I'm finishing up the edits on ch 5, and this shouldn't take too long.

Walking today. Don't know if I'll push for that 4 mile mark or if I'll settle for 3, since it's been two weeks.

Laptop Society tonight, so I'll warm up the leftover chicken and lay out some stir-fry veggies and rice for the family while I'm gone. And then my family can settle back, because my next big sporting event doesn't take place until the second week of May:)

Only two more days of antibiotics and I'm on day #8 of 12 on the steroids!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Stuff

Currently Reading: The Lady Makes Three. I'm up to Ch 5:)

April Reading/Buying Schedule:
4/10-French Kiss by Sloane Taylor
In The Arms of Danger- Jayden Chase

4/17-Masked Encounter & Steamy Encounter-Samantha Gentry

Thin Ice-Liana Leverentz

4/24-Tantalizing Tilly -AJ

American Beauty-Ashley Ladd

5/1- Flavia's Secret- Lindsay Townsend

Blind Date After Dark: Mr. Right-Lara Santiago

I've decided to group some of the same books from the same publishers every week. My TBB list is back down to a reasonable 40 titles, so I'm getting caught up!

This week is off to a strange start.

First of all, my second prediction came true for March Madness, and tonight, Michigan State goes up against North Carolina. I'm going to choose the Cinderella story and go with Michigan State...these boys are playing extremely well!

Secondly, I had one of those weird dreams this morning which went on and on and on...and kept morphing into weirder stuff. Think teenage rebellion, Star Trek, Star Wars, X-Men, Hellboy, and Power Rangers all rolled into one dream. Travis, maybe I've been reading too much of your stuff...

Did I do any edits over the weekend? No. But we did get the utility room shelves cleared off, several unnecessary papers thrown away, and a box of old photos uncovered. Shelves look less cluttered; I know where my Easter Egg trays are, and we cleaned the dust from several serving bowls to use next weekend.

My herb-roasted chicken dish turned out quite scrumtious....if you get past the tiny fact the chickens we bought weighed 5lbs each instead of 3.5, and took 3 hours to cook, rather than just two the recipe said! But, I managed to keep everything warm while the birds went back in the oven, and at 8:00 last night, my toddler ate everything in sight. Cheesy mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, two chicken legs, one wing, and a few bites of Mommy's white meat. And passed out two hours later.

The second bird is still in the fridge; we'll eat it tomorrow, or I might slice some off for lunch today. And the only herbs used were sage, garlic, rosemary, and a little butter. I'll be using more sage in my cooking; I like the taste:)

Today's To-Do List:
-Paying bills (always fun, but necessary to keep the utilities turned on, lol!)
-Grocery shopping for the week (including the milk chocolate rabbits and sugar-free candy)
-Edits on Chs 4 &5
-Small revisions on Chs 2 &3 (he likes my suggestions)
-Laundry (S's clothes smell smoky from her visit, as J is still lighting up!)

I've also discovered that being on steroids the past week has boosted my energy level; taken away the semi-depression; and in general, made me a happier person! And I still have six more days left, plus two on the antibiotics.

The downside? I feel as if I've put on twenty pounds. I'm resuming the walking schedule tomorrow. I know it's mainly water; I can still fit comfortably in my clothing! But my appetite has increased, which made it slightly hard to stick to my portion-control goal of Lent. Only one week left, and I've only gone off of it 3 times in the past five weeks, so still not doing too bad!

Found out 'the boys' liked my departure from romance, and have plotted out the ending to Saturday's brainstorm. Maybe James can write ch 2, and Travis ch 3, and it will be our first collaboration? Never thought of writing horror before...maybe I ought to interview Trav or even Tracy, to see how they got their start?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Currently Reading: Finished Make Believe Lover, and am now on Morgan Ashbury's The Lady Makes Three, which I won the other day unexpectedly in a chat with the Siren-BookStrand authors! Also finished a wonderful Love Inspired freebie (courtesy of my mother), Restless Hearts, by Marta Perry. Kelly, this one was enjoyable! It's a Steeplechase title, so check it out:)

This is for everyone looking for domain names. A little caution, please??? : Actual address for Who Represents : Web addy for Experts Exchange programmers site

Actual domain names, although Experts Echange has since changed the site's name. The other one is still up and running!

I'm getting a rare break this morning. D, K, and W are going to help out with a BSA community clean-up project, and since S went to her 'other mommy' for the weekend, I get several hours by myself! I've already been up with words running through my head and written them down...3 pages in an hour felt wonderful! I'll probably do some chores around the house while they're gone, but the music will be cranked up and the TV off. Who wants to do chores to Blue's Clues, DIY television, or even Sci-Fi? Not me. Give me my Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, or The Who. Time will go much faster.

What broke through the writer's block? A friend suggested I try to write something different. I went to bed thinking about a project and how I could make it less about romance and more about the person involved. This morning, I woke up to my daughter's alarm clock going off, and after letting Lucky outside, I ran several scenarios through my head. Suddenly a disgruntled man pops into my head and starts telling me his story. The third time he started at the beginning, I knew I'd better get my butt out of bed and write it down before I lost it.

The result? Something totally unexpected, and it's finished. Just a short piece, but there's room for expansion. I'm happy with it, and I've probably shocked Travis silly with this detour from romance.

Just hope he likes it!

So that's my Saturday; what's yours?

Oh, remember my goal to twist D's arm for a pizza last night? After discovering we would be teenager-less for dinner (S to Jackie's and K to something with his friends), he looked at me and asked how the seafood buffet at Ponderosa sounded. Five minutes later, he, W, and I were out the door!

But when nine-thirty rolled around, K came home expecting to find leftovers. He wasn't thrilled with the week's leftovers; the contents of the cabinets didn't sound appealing; finally a half hour later, D gave the okay to order the kid a pizza. So everyone got their wish!

Editor sent me an email with Ch 4 in the subject, but no ms attached. Wonder if it's okay, or if he forgot to attach it? I've been forgetting that myself lately, but usually notice it as soon as I hit 'send'. So maybe I get a day off from edits???

Final Four!
I'm going to go out on a limb and pick two of these fantastic teams. If the other two make it, well then we'll see who reigns on Monday. But for now, my pics are....

U Conn

It might end up being Michigan State vs UNC....who knows?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Not A Bad Week:)

Currently Reading: Finished Penned Again last night, and am now on Make-Believe Lover. I'm on Ch 2.

Monday, had an interview (I may have mentioned this before:) and I think I can finally relax. Only good things were sent to my inbox; no angry or stern phone calls/emails from parental units, unless they are waiting to spring it on me at a later date!

Tuesday, my muse returned for a brief, one-hour stint so I could add to one of my wips; just wish she'd come back...

Wednesday, I was busy listening to blog talk radio. Listened to Cindy's interview, Tabitha Shay and Ashley Ladd's interviews (although my internet cut out before Ashley finished...sorry!), and to Travis interview the band The Broderick. I had borrowed my older son K's ear buds, and they made my ears sooooo sore! Thankfully, he came home and rescued me; turns out I had them in the wrong ears! Who knew? Bring me back my old Walkman headphones...

Yesterday, the parts to my oven came in; we had biscuits with dinner for the first time in over a week. Maybe I'd been fixing them too frequently; usually we always have four left over? Last night they were all devoured, and we need a new supply of apple butter and jelly. How do I know it is April, besides the date? Staple supplies bought back in January are starting to get thin. Time for hubby to go back to work.

And today, the following landed in my inbox. Three days too late, but, what the hell...

ATTN: CEO/Manager
From Mrs. Marylyn Elumbu
Bangkok. Thailand

My Dear.

Compliment of the day, Before I proceed, may I humbly introduce myself to
Your good self, My Name is Mrs. Marylyn Elumbu a Sudanese
Refugee, My Husband Dr Muru N. Elumbu assistant to Usman al-Mirghani of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Sudan who was formerly
Overthrown out of power by Sudanese Government.
Prior to this last serious crisis that is still
Ravaging in my country, which recently led to?
Misfortune of my husband,

I am taking treatment in Kamcha- E Hospital, 55 Moo 12, Numtieng, Kamcha -E, Mukdahan for six months for heart problem. My son will be very much interested in doing business in your country and l would like to know the procedures of a Non-Citizen will requires to do business in your country.

I inherited some money which my late husband deposited with a Security Company in Thailand for safety .So I now decided to contact you to assist my son to claim this money from where it was deposited and guide him for investment. Therefore I would like to seek your assistance and help. I am interested particularly in properties, but your advice on other areas of private sector would be highly appreciated, I believe that you would be of great help in guiding my son to a successful business investment in Your country.

I will like you to know that your assistance will help both of us. The amount in question is USD$5 Million .which I earlier stated to you that I inherited from my late husband. I will appreciate your willingness to carry out this transaction. More details will be furnished to you as soon as I hear from you. As I have mapped out 10%, for your assistance and 5% would be used for the replacement of any Expenses that is incurred during this transaction. You can contact me via email Meanwhile l contacted you for an elaborate briefing of investment guidelines in your country.

Although l can not invest in your country without a knowledge of the procedures and someone have to assist me. Also, I am ready to be in partnership with you, if you have a good knowledge of business Investment and will not betray my Trust. l thank you for having time to go through my e-mail, and l looked forward in reading your reply soon.

Best Regards,
Mrs. Marylyn Elumbu

Hurray...I can buy all the e-books I want, stuff my shelves with food, and buy a house with more than two bedrooms. Plus, hire a professional publicist. Oh, the possibilities! I can tell I'll be popular when word of my windfall gets out...(snicker!)

Woo Hoo!

The rain last night cooperated with me and did NOT knock out my sattellite, so was able to watch Survivor and DVR the ER Finale and the wrap-up. Hubby had to miss out on the 200th episode of CSI, but he agreed to catch the rerun in the summer.

I've also developed a new TV habit. A few weeks back, in a fit of nostalgia, I purchased the complete 2nd season of Gilligan's Island. And have been watching two episodes every day, either in the 5pm hour or the 7pm hour. Most entertaining, let me tell you! What's most amusing is that within the first few minutes, I can pretty much tell you how it's going to go down! And some of these episodes I barely remember! After I've worked my way through both discs (I'm on side #2 of the first one), I'll move on the The Muppet Show.

Today's To-Do List:

-One or two loads of laundry

-Final edits on Ch 3

-Twisting hubby's arm so we can have pizza for dinner

-Re-reading book #7 in my Arbor U series. I've found someone who went through an eating disorder and can interview/send this person a couple of scenes to see if I'm covering it in the right manner.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Is This Really Necessary? Apparently So...

Currently Reading: Enjoyed Last Glass of Wine and The Tenth Circle! Looking forward to Jodi's Change of Heart. Purchased AJ's Penned Again and Ashley Ladd's Make-Believe Lover. I'll get to them probably later today or tomorrow.

I'm shaking my head over another news item. Remember a while back I posted about a new 'fad' among the not-yet-walking set, baby stilletto crib shoes? Well now it seems we are raising a generation of divas.

There are two year olds getting weekly manicures, pedicures, and facials.

You read that right; FACIALS!

My toddler is 5, and a boy, but his skin had no need of extra exfolliation 3 years ago, and neither did my daughter's at that age. 12, yes, but that's not the point here!

The main point of the story was, if you're going to encourage your small children to be 'beauty conscious', don't encourage it as a weekly basis, or 'entitlement' attitudes. Once a month; on special days, by all means have a 'Mommy and Me' day at the salon (if you can afford it...I used to let my daughter moisturize her skin and wear some light makeup before a preschool performance or party...and when I say light, I mean cherry lipgloss and Barbie perfume/eyeshadow.) or get 'glammed' up to go out for a meal or even a tea party. But please DON'T make it a weekly occurance?

They showed a 14-year old who gets weekly pedicures and the amount of money she'd spent on her 'beauty' regimen would pay off some people's credid card debt.

We're already in the throes of girls with low self-esteem, trying to starve themselves to look like their favorite celebrities; so why start so young? Why not encourage your child to embrace her individuality and feel comfortable in her own skin?

Two years old. What's next, liposuction at six? Implants at 11? This is insane and starting to get out of control.

Use your heads, ladies! Kids need Moms, not wanna-be models/agents.

Toddler Hit A Milestone:)
His dad took the training wheels off his Elmo bike, and he's doing fairly well! By the end of the day, once we put some air in the back tire, he should have it mastered. Especially since the rain is supposed to arrive around 2 am. There's plenty of sunshine for him to practice today:)

Oven Parts Arrived!
It is already installed and working:) Saturday I'm making Herb-Roasted Chicken. The picture looks yummy, and I'll report back if it tastes as good as it looks!

Have a good day; I'm diving into my final edits on Ch 2.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

J-4, Arbor U, Penitant Heart

Currently Reading: Still on Last Glass of Wine and The Tenth Circle.

Woo Hoo!
As you know, I've been following the CBS Morning Family Sing-Off, and the Peay Family and J-4 have been battling for the prize of a recording contract. I honestly didn't know who to vote for; last week the Peay (Pee-Ay) Family had the better singing voice, but the energy of J-4 I've loved this entire time. So ultimately I cast my vote for the younger kids.

After a wonderful collaborated performance of 'Dancing in the Streets', in which both families exchanged instruments, vocals, and even got the anchors in on the act, it was revealed that J-4, the kids from Tennessee (who's dad is a minister) won the recording contest! Go to and see the performances for yourself, if it's up.

Arbor U
For anyone who listened to the interview on blog talk radio, and is confused by my unscripted ramblings about my series, I thought I would re-post the overall blurb of the series:

Romance is blossoming in the quiet university town of Arbordale, Indiana. Arbor University, a fictional college located in the southwest region of the state, plays host to a multitude of young people, all hoping to achieve a strong sense of identity and to assert their independence while away at school. It is also a time when young adults of various personalities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and social upbringing are thrown together in diverse living conditions and are expected to adapt accordingly.

Set in the 1980’s, several young women encounter separate social problems and struggle to deal with the conflicts which erupt not only among each other, but within themselves. The Arbor University Tales chronicles the college lives of these friends as they fight for the men they love, hold onto their friendships, and keep their eyes on the future.

Books 1-6 take place around the dormitory of Emery Hall, an all-girls dorm. Amy Callahan and Caitlyn McCarthy share a single room, the traditional Resident Assistant's room. Down the hallway, Gretchen McLaren, Elicia Keller, Keri Patterson, and Stephanie Ridgeman have a suite. All of the rooms have private bathroom.

The men they fall in love with occupy various residences. Eric Timmons lives in Berkely Hall; Kyle Sampson and Lance Edwards live off-campus; Bryan Johnson attends the University of Illinois; and Matt Slagal is in the Air Force, stationed at George Air Force Base in southern California. However, he grew up across the river from Arbordale, in a tiny town called Brookview, Illinois.

In book #7, a new dormitory is added, Fayette-Giles. The campus is expanding, and as old friends graduate, new faces emerge to continue the saga.

This series shows how even good kids can make bad choices, and how those choices can affect relationships, shape characters, and even change their lives.

Elicia's and Amy's stories have been published; I'm still waiting to hear from another e-publisher concerning Keri's story. If it is rejected, then I'll keep submitting it until someone decides it's worth publishing. And then it will be Gretchen's, Caitlyn's, Stephanie's and Susan's turns...Who's Susan? You'll meet her in book #4, along with Lynne. I'm still working on #8.

So welcome to Arbordale; take a trip back in time to the mid-1980's. By the time the series is finished, who knows what year it will be? Book #13 takes place in 1993...#14 in 2003. I may fill in some blanks here and there! Visit my website and click on the 'About Us' page for more information. And if you see something you like, or think of a social problem I've not touched on, let me know!

Where was Jiminy Cricket when I Needed Him?
Nothing like a kick to the conscience to start the day...

My QT this morning touched on vengeance and WWJD. My Guidepost devotion spoke about how sometimes a bad attitude can get the better of even the most mild-mannered person, and how his conscience quietly reminded him that even though in the short run, he felt better, maybe he just continued the chain of vengeance. Basically, it was raining as he pulled into the grocery store for one item; he followed a red sports car into the parking lot and noticed two spaces. The guy in the sports car parked diagonally, taking up both. Fuming, the author circled around and found another spot, not quite so close.

He began pushing some stray carts toward the cart corral....and then realized the perfect spot to put them beside the sports car!

But later, he began to wonder if Sports Car was also in a hurry, and then took out his anger on another unsuspecting soul. See what I mean about a chain?

I don't consider myself vengeful either, but back in 2002, when I was rudely ousted from my concession duties (the incoming President and I did NOT see eye-to eye; let's leave it at that), anger took over and suddenly I was plotting how to bring down the new manager's success. And I took small satisfaction when other moms stood behind me and started bringing their own coolers to the games, so they didn't have to buy from the stand. I also took satisfaction when disgruntled coaches, visitors from other leagues, and the kids themselves complained about the changes she'd made.

But about halfway through the first tournament, it became abundantly clear that she did not have a clue about everything I had done behind the scenes to set up workers, properly clean the machine, and all the effort I put in to seeing the stand was well stocked. I'm proud to say we never had to close during the two tournaments we hosted under my watch; plenty of parents volunteered their time; a farmer even generously donated 100 ears of corn for 'roasting ears'.

I was urged by friends to let her take the fall. I had coaches pleading with me to work 'one more night; she didn't line up any workers. I wrestled with my own conscience of letting the kids down. So I agreed to help.

And the following week, all hell broke loose.

She called me, complaining of the amount of work that went into the stand, and how the coaches, league representatives weren't helping to round up volunteers, and how she was getting tired of being at the ball field every day. I quietly reminded her of the phone conversations she and I had had, asking her which days/shifts she'd mind working, and mentioned the hours I'd spent on the phone, lining up the volunteers. And also reminded her it was HER job to line up workers, not the coaches. She quickly ended the conversation.

I heard from angry coaches, saying she had closed up early and the kids were thirsty at the end of the games. I heard from disgruntled umpires, who missed my uncanny knack of knowing when to go around with the free water or whatever soft drinks they preferred while standing in the hot sun. They never had to send someone for a refill under my watch:)

And finally, the Boy's Rep and the President had a heated phone conversation over my being in the stand three nights in a row. The Boy's Rep won the argument.

But, the league lost their tournaments the following year over mis-management on ALL fronts.

I stifled the urge to say, 'I told you so'. But the following year, the President stepped down; the League Board and parents voted in new officers. My name was suggested, but since my kids had opted not to play that year, I declined the invitation to return.

And no, my kids opted not to play for reasons other than the league's treatment of me. K had discovered his Major League coach was more focused on winning, rather than having fun. And S decided, after finally getting hit with a line drive during her final game catcher duties, she didn't want to be involved with Kid-Pitch Minor League.

So next time vengeance takes ahold of you, stop and think: WWJD? Don't respond in anger; take a step back and look at the BIG PICTURE. You might be surprised what happens next.