Friday, April 29, 2016

Flashback Friday: Harsh Reality

April 2006:
After the spouse's heart surgery and declaring bankruptcy, we had struggled to hold onto our house.  Even after receiving a map showing our home was in the north-bound lane of the proposed 1-69 expansion,we'd held out for an  offer.  But when the planners decided to make SR 37 the official site, the bank refused to work with us.  My uncle even called Chase and tried to buy our mortgage, but Chase refused.  With all avenues exhausted, we consulted a lawyer, who advised us to simply get out.  I began house hunting.

Next Month:  Last month of school and Indy 500!

Present Day:
My fairy story is complete and undergoing beta-reading:)  So far, reviews have been good.

We spent the morning in Princeton, while the Tween took his final ISTEP tests of the year.

Last night at 'roke, it was the Jerry/Molly/Gary show!  I was able to sing 5 songs:
You Lie Slightly rough,but okaay
Bohemian Rhapsody  Good:)  Brower helped out!
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye  Gary sang it with me; I've not listened to the video yet
Spilled Perfume  Good!
Take Me Home Country Road  I sang harmony and we did it well! Jerry even sang with us:)

Tomorrow, we prepare to celebrate our silver anniversary.  The kids are taking us out to dinner, to probably the Schnitzelbaum in Jasper.  Then I'll be heading out to karaoke.  I'll post my May goals on Monday, so have a great weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Flashback Friday

April 1996:
Grandma's house sold, and I soon settled into the routine of visiting her every week with the kids, bringing her strawberry ice cream,  raisin bread, grapefruit, and about once a month, her favorite laxative.

D and I were still not on speaking terms, other than when it came to household matters.  He was anxiously awaiting a phone call from the union, sending him back to work; I began bracing for the day when our marriage would be dissolved.

The weather turned nice; I began spending time out in our courtyard with the kids, and keeping an eye on K, who would run down to the other end of the common area and play with the kids down there.

Next Month:  I Get A Reprieve, Plus The Indy 500!

Present Day:

Last night at Karaoke:
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around-S. Nicks/T. Petty Good:)
Superfreak-Rick James  Bleh! Remind me to NEVER sing this again!
You Light Up My Life-Debbie Boone  Nailed it:)
Hate Me-Blue October  Did well:)

Tomorrow's Line Up:
Kiss Me Deadly-Lita Ford  Nailed it!
Close Your Eyes-L. Ford/Ozzy  Mark and I enjoy singing this!
Kiss On My List-Hall and Oats  Did well....
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye-Luke Bryan  DNH
Kiss The Rain-Billie Myers Little rough in spots, but otherwise good!
Kiss You All Over-Exile  Not bad:)

RIP Prince, who passed away yesterday at the age of 57.  You will be missed.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Flashback Friday: The Infamous Party

April 1986:
Recap:  March 31st, my AF officer had returned and wanted me to round up people for a party.  Since it was MONDAY, no one in my dorm was interested, not even EY. Frustrated, I asked BG if she'd go for a walk with me. She agreed, and an hour later, after we talked about everything BUT my issues, she mentioned she felt like getting a beer.

"I know where a kegger is tonight. All I have to do is call."

"Do it!  I'll go with you!"

So I made the call, expecting SS to pick us up.  But I was wrong.  The phone rang at 10pm...

A very pleasant male voice identified himself looking for me.  BG and I double-checked ourselves to make sure we looked all right, then left a note for EY and KC, and after putting our keys in our mailbox (a common practice for securing keys!), we turned the corner and spotted two strangers near the door.  One was tall, with a mustache, and the other shorter, both with dark hair and nice looking, including their clothes.  I approached them and asked, "Are you T?"

The taller one looked me over and as our eyes met, I thought to myself, OMG....why am I with SS?  

We went out to the car and I claimed the front seat.  I don't remember what we spoke about, but when we arrived, T disappeared into the crowd while the shorter one, DP, got us each a cup of beer from the keg and I began looking for my supposed-boyfriend.  A few minutes later, he arrived with three girls, who then proceeded to follow him everywhere.  I held my temper, then we went over to the bonfire.  T came over and told me he was going on another keg run.  I asked if he wanted company, but when I found out there were others going, I told him I'd stay.

Meanwhile, DP and BG were chatting, so I joined them.  When BG finished her beer, I gave her mine, since beer's not my drink of choice.  Soon, T arrived with the other keg, but the tap broke.  S went to go get the other one, and when he returned, I guess T spotted me, for he let out a yell, then came over and hugged me.  I saw S's face turn to anger, but he didn't say anything.  I hung around the bonfire and watched them get the keg going, then observed DP and BG getting cozy.  I left, and began wandering around to find someone else to talk to.  I'd been talking with a group when all of a sudden BG arrived at my side, asking me where the bathroom was.  She and DP had gone off under a tree, and she couldn't get her bra refastened.  I grinned and told her someone had said it was getting hot over there, not just the fire!  She asked if S had spoken to me yet, and I said no.

"But when he's ready, he'll find me."

Sure enough, a few moments after we returned outside, S approached me and told me not to 'F--- around.'

My temper got the best of me.  "Would it bother you if I did?  You can't come get me, but you can go collect three others?"

"Go ahead; do what you want." He gave me a strange look.

"I came here tonight to be with you.  I want to be with YOU.  When you get that through your thick skull, come find me."  I stalked off, then winked at BG.

Approx. 12am, April 1st:
Sure enough, about five minutes later, he returned for me again, apologized for everything, and kept me by his side most of the time.

As for T?  He made a pass at me later that night, while S was dealing with party-goers, and in a moment of weakness, I conceded he was a much better kisser than S.  But I vented my anger at him, and said some words I later regretted.  He stalked off, and I was torn.  I was happy he was leaving me alone, for what man in his right mind makes a pass at his best friend's girl?  But the other half of me felt as if I'd just met someone special, and now I'd ruined any chance of seeing if maybe he was The One.

This fear intensified when, at the end of the night, I learned that a)  I was not staying over and b) S was not driving us back.  In fact, BG had left earlier with DP, when her alcohol intake had exceeded itself.  I was furious, and slammed the car door, fuming all the way back to campus.  Then I got a shock.

As we pulled up in front of my dorm, I got out, then heard my name being called.  There was S, pulling up behind us!

"I forgot to tell you, we're leaving in the morning." He tried to kiss me, but I'd had enough.

"For someone who tells me he loves me, you sure have a rotten way of showing it.  Fine.  Go back to California and have a nice life.  We're through."  I started crying, and stumbled into the dorm, collected my keys, then cried myself to sleep.

In the morning, I learned BG had made an ass of herself in the room, waking up EY when there was a note on the board to NOT wake her up!

****If this story sounds remotely familiar, I borrowed heavily from my history for the party scene in Love Finds A Way.******

Later that month,JD came down for the Spring Formal, right after SS called me to let me know his unit was being sent overseas.  He couldn't talk about it, and all he asked was that I pray for his safety.  He'd had  to make out a will, naming his mother as his beneficiary.  How could I stay mad at him with news like that?

The formal was fun. We went to dinner in casual clothes, then dressed and went to the dance.  Every single one of us had dates.  The only thing which went wrong was EY and BG had a yelling match, because EY didn't think B was treating her brother very nicely.  JD inserted himself into the argument, and our 'perfect' evening ended on a bad note.  And since JD had just proved to me his loyalties were to his ex, I was further plunged into depression.  First S and his issues, now the knowledge that at any time, B could snap her fingers and J would drop me like a hot potato.

I decided maybe it was time for a chat.

Next Month:  The 1986 Indy 500!

Present Day:
The weather is BEAUTIFUL!  I think we're going to grill out again tonight; we did pork chops last night.  Temps are supposed to reach 70 today.

Karaoke Songs:
I did something stupid last week, and accidentally deleted one of the videos.  So I'll be singing it again.
Killing Me Softly
Kiss From A Rose
Kiss Me
Kiss Me Deadly

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Misadventures of Being On A Budget Pt 2

Last week, I told you about being overcharged at a Madison, In motel.   My bank refunded half the overdraft fees, and the GM was supposed to call me on Friday.

I received no phone call.

Today, I called, and Brenda informed me she would call the GM and get back to me.  Which she did, but that the GM was not going to refund any money.

So, I had a chat with a friend of mine, who, coincidentally, had been through the same thing several years ago.  She advised me to 1) call the corporate office and complain, and 2)  file a complaint with the Attorney General.

1)  There is no corporate office.  The motel is independently owned.

2)  I filed my complaint, and sent copies of the receipt, showing my triple charges, and my bank account fees.

3)  My son decided to call the motel, and spoke to the person who'd made the mistake.  It ended with my son implying we would contact a lawyer, even though the woman apologized profusely, but said her hands were tied, and no refund would be forthcoming.

I DID manage to transfer $60 off my prepaid card, and my spouse deposited $100.  I am now on the plus side again, but it's the principle of the thing.  I did not make this mistake; nor did the bank.

The motel is solely responsible for the $92 in overdraft fees.  That is all I'm asking, though at this point, should it end up in litigation, I'm thinking of asking for $1000, plus court fees.

What do you think?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Flashback Friday: Bicentennial Ups and Downs

April 1976:
Easter was much warmer that year!  Mom has a picture of me in a turquoise dress with a white ruffled collar, which doubled as cap sleeves, standing with my sister in front of the church.

In school, we were practicing for a musical performance.  My class was singing several songs, including 'In The Good Ol' Summertime' and 'Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer True....I'm half crazy, over the love of you.....', and we were taught a dance.  Which meant we were paired with the opposite sex.  Since I was the tallest girl, I was paired with the tallest boy, Robby Mason.  He irritated the heck out of me, by jumping off the risers.  One day, Ms Gramza had us call out our names, so she'd know who was where, and that we'd know how to line up to get onstage.  Rob had just jumped on and off, then called out, 'Mason'.  I was so furious, I blurted out 'Robby!', which caused everyone to giggle; Ms G to look up; and I know I went crimson with embarrassment!  My classmates called me 'Robby' for at least a week afterward.

I was looking forward to my costume.  At first, I was to have a hoop skirt, and Mom was going to get me one from the Jeff HS drama department.  But then my placement changed (instead of being part of The Good Ol' Summertime, I would now be part of 'Daisy), and was told to wear a bustle instead.  One of Mom's friends made me one and sewed it to one of my ankle-length dresses.

When we practiced for our program, Ms. G decided only two couples were needed for the dance, so Rob and I didn't have to get off the bleachers.  I was both angry and relieved, since I pictured Rob tossing me off the stage at the end of our performance!

I also witnessed the 6th graders singing 'Fifty Nifty United States' and wondered how in the world someone could memorize all fifty states in alphabetical order!  (Three years later, I learned the song, and can still sing it to this day!)

I also remember taking at least two class trips:  One to local Indiana historical sites, like the John McCutcheon House, which was also a stop on the Underground Railroad, and Prophet's Rock. We probably toured Battleground, but I didn't pay that close attention!  I think we also went to the county courthouse, and my entire class was put into a jail cell, to show how small it was.  I vowed to stay on the RIGHT side of the law!

We also took a trip to Indianapolis, and  I fell asleep on the bus.  I was also humiliated by my teacher, who pointed out that fact.  I'd also not done my homework one day, and had to sit in the hall, studying by myself. I actually DID get a lot of work accomplished, which reinforces my belief I was an undiagnosed ADD kid.  When motivated, I work much better on my own.

Also by this time, I had definitely sunk to the bottom of the social pecking order.  All the girls had put their desks in a circle, and mine was left out. I ended up with my desk against two of the bottom-of-the-pecking-order boys, who were glad to have my company.  Still, I felt miffed my supposed best friend hadn't stuck up for me and made the girls include me, or join me in my outcasthood.  Since A and I were still not disclosing our 'relationship', he and I would meet at a pre-arranged time at the railroad tracks whenever the weather would cooperate, and talk.  Neither of us were allowed to cross the tracks without parental permission, and I look back now and laugh that not once did either of us break that rule!  How many kids today would have obeyed that?

Next Month:  4th Grade Awards

Present Day:
I'm almost caught up on all the DVR'd shows I recorded last month while away!  I also have to sing at 8am service on Sunday, so will probably only sing 2-3 songs at karaoke:

I'll Fall In Love Again-Sammy Hagar (Not sure if they have this or not)  DNH
Killing Me Softly-Roberta Flack  Sang it well, but accidentally deleted the video!  (head slap)
Kind and Generous-Natalie Merchant  DNH
King of Wishful Thinking-Go West  Not too bad....probably will never sing again, ha ha!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Misadventures of Being On A Tight Budget, Pt 1

Everyone knows what it's like to budget, right?  Watching every penny, not using your debit/credit card until charges have cleared, or even remembering the days when you'd write a check and hope you get your paycheck deposited before it cleared your bank?

For this self-employed author, it's making doubly sure I don't go over a certain amount on my business account.  Which explains why I had such a shock on Tuesday.

The spouse deposited $160 into my account, for food and lodging, giving me a total budget of $180.  I knew the motel was going to be around $140, and let's face it....right now, I'm 'addicted' to Arby's curly fries, so I can eat for under $10 per meal!

Here's how the breakdown of my expenses went:
-Lunch Friday (McD's):  $8 (I'm rounding up on all charges)
-Lodging:  $140
-Dinner Friday (Arby's): $9
-Lunch Sat (at fair):  $3 (cash)
-Dinner Sat (Shooter's Bar and Grill):  $21 (cash)
-Breakfast Sun (Burger King): $7
-Dinner Sun (McD's):  $8

Charged expenses:  $172
Cash expenses:  $24

I should have had $8 left in my account, right?

No.  I discovered the motel had charged me for three nights, which threw my account into the negative.

I called the motel, who said they refunded that accidental third charge.  I didn't see it on my account, but decided maybe it would show up the next day.

It didn't.  Turned out they refunded the $$ to my prepaid credit card, the one I'd reserved the room with, instead.  My business account was slapped with $190 in overdraft fees.

Needless to say, I was furious.  After speaking with the bank and the hotel's assistant manager, I've got half the o/d fees returned, and the GM will call me tomorrow, and I'm hoping they will pay the other half.  Plus, the bank will refund any 'daily o/d' charges ($8 per day) until this is cleared up.

What have I learned from this?   From now on, I will use my prepaid credit card for motel expenditures, to make sure this never happens again!

But You Had Fun, Right?  I had a wonderful time, even though I only sold two books.  I chatted with friends; made new ones; handed out promotional items.....maybe I've even sold a book or two online.  And best of all, Villanova won the NCAA tournament Monday night, even though I was hoping they'd go up against Syracuse, rather than UNC.  It was still a fantastic game!

Here's a few pictures from the weekend:

Pamela Horner has written about a 10 y/o boy who travels back in time to George Rogers Clark:)

Teddi Robinson, who needed a hug every morning:)

Carol Preflatish, who tolerated my desire not to leave Shooters until after the Villanova/Oklahoma game, even though the score was 95-51!

Floyd Root, who very nicely agreed to let me tag along with him on the trip:)

Tony Acree, who gave a mini Social Media workshop, and who seemed to appreciate my input:)

Frank Hall, our wonderful host for the weekend!

The Romance Queens, Mysti Parker, myself, and Carol Preflatish:)

Stephen Zimmer, founder of Imaginarium, and myself:)

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Reading Schedule

Did I meet my March Goals?  YES, all but one:
-Work on Heart Song  Not even close.
-Write April Blog Post for 50 States  Check:)
-Attend E'ville writer's meeting Postponed til April
-Buy inventory for Madison and Nashville events Check:)
-Do well at Eagles' Craft Fair (March 12th) Sold 4 books and 4 CDs:)
-Sing at Chrism Mass  Check:)
-KiRah publisher?  Self Pubb?  Decided to Self-Pubb:)
-Take picture for AU back covers  Check:)

Books Read:  5
Print:  1
E-book:  4

April Goals:
-Work on Heart Song
-Work on Whispers story  Finished it!  WOW does that feel GOOD!  Haven't finished anything since June 30th, 2015....
-Do well at Madison Author's Fair  Sold 2....
-Do well at Lincoln Heritage Library in Dale, In  Sold 4, but was also told of 3 sales directly from Amazon, so technically 7:)
-Send Kira off to editor
-Fill out Kira cover art request sheet
-Attend E'ville writer's meeting
-Catch up the Tween in Spelling, Lit, and Grammar

Songs Added to Karaoke Good List:
Thurs:  2
Sat:  0  (Didn't get a chance to go this month)

April Reading List:
Wrinkle in Time-Madeline L'Engle  Didn't care for it.
True Love-Jude Deveraux  Not bad....
Body Heat-Carly Phillips  DNF  Just was NOT holding my attention.
Secrets-JD  It was okay.
Sage's Eyes-VC Andrews

Love Is Deep-Kathleen Ball  Apparently, I've already read this one!
Sign Off-Patricia McLinn  Very good!
The Tumor-John Grisham
A New Beginning For Nancy- Vicki McCombie
Everly-SM Shade

Karaoke Songs (Thurs):
You Lie-Reba McEntire  Slightly rough, but think it was good.
Bohemian Rhapsody-Queen  1st time:  thought I blew it, but was told later it sounded pretty good.
You Light Up My Life-Debbie Boone  Nailed it:)

Karaoke Songs (Sat):
Killing Me Softly-Roberta Flack  Did well, but accidentally deleted the video! 2nd time:  Nailed it!
Kind and Generous-Natalie Merchant  DNH
King of Wishful Thinking-Go West Did okay...
Kiss From A Rose-Seal  Bleh.
Kiss Me-Sixpence None The Richer  Did well:)
Kiss Me Deadly-Lita Ford  Nailed it:)
Kiss On My List-Hall and Oats  Did well...
Kiss The Rain-Bille Myers  A little rough in spots, but otherwise good:)
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye-Luke Bryan  DNH
Kiss You All Over-Exile  Nailed it:)
After All-Cher/P.Cetera