Friday, October 28, 2016

Flashback Friday: Connections

Oct 2006:
Forgot to mention; back in August I found out about a monthly writer's meeting at Starbucks in Martinsville, and the spouse didn't object when I asked him about it, so I went.  And promptly found out I was considered 'royalty', because I had a published book.  The leader of the group, TD, was also published, while the others weren't.  The group was interested in my efforts, and we did a 5 minute writing prompt, so I left, encouraged that I'd found kindred souls.

In Sept, I was the only one who showed up besides two others, so we simply talked.  In Oct, I had to tell the group we were moving, and TD and I exchanged email addresses.

One Final Effort To Stay....
I gave up on finding a house and looked into a 3 BRM apartment.  I found one that might work, and drove back to tell D.  The next day, we went to see it, but he overshot the parking area, and we ended up driving by the office with it's large 'OPEN' sign.  We drove around the complex, parked, said a prayer that this might be our answer, walked up to the door, and 'CLOSED' was on the door.  We took that as a sign for 'No', so drove home and resigned our fate to moving to his mother's house.

I called the U-Haul place and reserved a truck; however, he didn't have the size we wanted, but agreed to give us the larger one for the same price.

Friends showed up on Saturday to help us pack the truck; Sunday after an emotional church service, we finished loading up the van and drove the two hours to Vincennes.  Dad came down the next day and paid the 1st month's rent on a storage unit, then after unloading and returning the truck, he took us to lunch.  Later that day, we headed back to the house for another load and to spend the night and watch Heroes at a neighbor's house.  D went to work, while the kids and I packed more stuff.  We waiting until school let out, so they could say goodbye to their friends, and we headed back down here.  We arrived just in time to stuff W into his costume and take him out to see Grandma, plus around the block and pass out what Halloween candy we had before unpacking the car and falling into bed.

Next Month:  Making the Most Of A Bad Situation.

Present Day:
We've moved over a few LRM tables and some smaller items to the new house!  Just waiting on the new stove and dryer (both gas) to be delivered.  SU also repaired the water hook up to the water heater, so now we finally have hot water:)  The gas fittings to the stove and dryer are in place; as soon as those items are in place, we can start moving things over.

We also donated at least 15 bags of stuffed animals, clothing, and other items to St. Vincent de Paul store, and as soon as we can begin clearing out the storage unit, more will follow.

What's My Halloween Costume This Year?
Found my cheetah/leopard print sweater, so will wear it with black leggings, a tail, and duct-taped ears ala 'Deaf' Leopard:)  Or, it that's not your reference point, I'll simply be a 'Cheetah Girl'.  If you don't remember either of those.....well, then remember I'm 50 years old.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Flashback Friday: New Job:)

Oct 1996:
I received a phone call from an old neighbor friend, asking if I was interested in watching twin boys for half a day every day.  I talked it over with the spouse, and we agreed to meet the boys and the mother, and see if it would be a good 'fit'.

K and DB turned out to be the same age as my K, and the three boys seemed to get along, plus their mom had a steady job and the pay would be steady.  We said yes.

We went to the complex Halloween party for the 1st time, with S dressed as the family rabbit, while K was Tigger.  When we arrived home, I was filming the kids and told S to turn her bag around so I could see the logo.  To our surprise, she turned herself completely around, causing us to laugh!

Next Month:  Homecoming!

Present Day:
We've got the kitchen move-in ready, with the exception of a gas stove and gas dryer, plus the living room is move-in ready.  Today we're putting the 2nd coat on the dining room, and painting the hallway.  I also have to paint the cabinet in our bathroom and find new curtains, plus work on the medicine cabinet or replace it.

The girls' room is finished, and I think the boys' room is too.

No karaoke last night, since the bar was replacing the flooring behind the bar.

The reboot of Rocky Horror Picture Show was....interesting.  Of course, it's been over 20 years since I've seen the original, and wanted to fast-forward through some of the songs (I was beginning to fall asleep!).  But over all, they stuck to the basics and didn't change much, thankfully!  LOVED the fact Tim Curry was well enough to play the part of the narrator!!!!

Granddaughter is off to the dentist for a follow-up check up on her oral surgery three weeks ago.  I'm also not too happy with the girls:  They were going through the hiring process at Schott, had even switched to OVERNIGHT shift, but when they took their whiz quiz, results came back 'slightly positive', so both were fired.  They claim they've not smoked weed in over 6 weeks, so I still think they should appeal it as a 'false positive', but no....they've quietly accepted their fate.  I'm so furious I can hardly see straight.  I just have to keep reminding myself it's THEIR problem, not mine.

Saturday Karaoke Line Up:
Losing My Religion-REM
Lost In Emotion-Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill
Lost In Love-Air Supply

Temps are dropping once again, and we've had rain two days in a row.  Hopefully for Sunday's Eucharistic Procession, we'll have good weather!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Flashback Friday: Mistakes Keep Coming.....

Oct 1986:
I like to think my downward spiral occurred in January 1987, but in truth, it began this month.  I was practically living with JF every weekends, and this was causing friction between my roommates, who didn't like my new-found 'independence'.  In fact the only thing I did RIGHT was when another girl began bad-mouthing me behind my back, and BJG threatened to beat the stuffing out of her.  I talked her out of it, explaining that when the girl decided to be ADULT about her issues with me and confront ME, then I'D handle it.  And soon she did.  Turned out, she thought my friendship with her BFF's boyfriend was infringing on their relationship, while nothing could have been farther from the truth!  I told her that yes, TH and I had known each other over the summer, but that I was now in a relationship with JF.  THAT took the wind out of her sails, and she apologized for everything she'd said.

Next, while over at JF's, some friends came over and we decided to play Trivial Pursuit, and partner up girls vs boys.  My partner and I were about to win the game with the question in sports..."What sport has hairpin turns?'  I was thrilled; I knew the answer:  Race car driving.  But my partner disagreed with 'horse racing'.  We argued back and forth; finally, I conceded, but stated 'even though she's wrong.'  Sure enough, when the answer was revealed, the three of them all asked me repeatedly why I'd given in.

"To keep the peace and advance the game!"

When Dad's Weekend arrived, he was NOT happy when he met JF.  I fudged things a bit; I said I was having issues with my roommates and that he'd let me crash on his couch a couple of times.  Dad made me promise not to do that anymore; if I needed a night away, to get a motel room.

Chubby Checker performed the show, but I was stressed out and skipped it.  EY was called up on stage to dance!

JF and I had a mutual friend, NL, whom I'd met the year before.  One night, N came over and the men smoked a little weed, which made me sleepy by being in the same room (I didn't know you could get high off of 2nd hand smoke!).  Afterward, I drove N home, but since I could barely keep my eyes open, N invited me to sleep over.  I accepted.....and the unthinkable happened.  Just because neither of us could sleep until afterward.

The final disaster occurred on Halloween.  I was fending off the advances of DW when my phone rang.  It was the AF officer, who had finally come to his senses.

"What happened with Cherie?"

"I shipped that bitch back on a bus to where she came from.  You were right after all; can you ever forgive me?"

I remained firm and told him that if he wanted me back, it was going to take a lot of doing on his part.  We hung up with him agreeing to my terms and me still being skeptical.  I then hung up and did the happy dance.....right back into DW's arms.

Afterward, I felt horrible.  DW, his girlfriend, and I had had a running joke about me being his 'other woman' for several weeks, since Liz didn't dance, so I would 'borrow' him every Tuesday night.  We finished getting dressed to go to the Halloween party, and I prayed JF wouldn't find out about it.

I was slightly pissed about halfway through the night, when a girl dressed as Scarlet O'Hara showed up, and J paid more attention to her than he did me.  I'd tried to get my dad to bring my formal, so I could go as J's favorite character, but he'd forgotten, and Mom had refused to let me rent one for the night.  After the party, we returned to his trailer, then the next day, I think I had planned some things with my roommates.

That evening, however, he picked me up and we sat in his car as he broke up with me.  Turned out he'd done a line in the bathroom with DW, who decided to declare "Damn she's good in bed!"

I was furious, and tried to explain what had happened, but to no avail.  It was over.  Numb, I climbed out of the car and walked slowly to my dorm room and crawled into bed, sobbing.

Next Month:  Good Friends, Good Intentions

Present Day:
We've got the kitchen nearly finished!  I'm still trying to get the floor cleaned, and to find some contact paper for the shelves.  The dining room has paint around the door frames and window; today we're doing the same to the living room.  This weekend, when the granddaughter is at her dad's, then we'll paint the walls.

Good news:  Daughter and Reagan have been hired!!
Bad news:  They're moving to 3rd shift.  There oughta be a law against single moms working overnights, IMHO!!!

Tomorrow's Karaoke:  Bon Jovi Night!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"We Are Not Worthy...."

I attended my 1st Imaginarium Convention over the weekend, and was pleasantly surprised:)

1st of all, I could only go on Saturday, and I was very disappointed I missed Cards Against Humanity.

2ndly, I was amazed at the vast array of panels and workshops.  How can one possibly pick and choose?

Finally, I realized I'd based my assumptions on what went on based on my limited experience at conventions, mainly my one-day trips to RT and Weekend With The Authors.

I sat on the 'Writing with Chemistry' and 'Seasoned Romance' panels, and while there were more attendees for the 1st one, we did have a lively discussion at both.  I'd forgotten to watch my time, so I arrived for my WWC panel a half an hour late.  Next year, I shall set alarms on my phone!  I also chatted with another author who was presenting a 'Designing Your Interior' workshop, so I played Devil's Advocate and actually asked him what was wrong with copy/pasting from Word.  I also fetched a copy of three of my own books for his perusal, and to my surprise, he was very patient and informative in that few moments.  I decided to attend his workshop.

And yes, I learned a few things.  I will be pulling ALL my books down next year and redoing the interior.  Thanks Dave!

I WAS surprised to learn that there were only THREE (3) of us who attended.  I've not checked the schedule to see what panel/wkshop was at the same time, so maybe there was a more exciting one scheduled?  Or were more people like me who didn't understand the workshop title?  (I actually thought I was in the wrong room at 1st, until I recognized the man I'd recently spoken to!)

Vendor Hall:
I admit, the first hour and a half (again, not watching the time, oops!) I spent wandering around, taking pictures, chatting, greeting those I knew, and gathering swag, so I have no idea if anyone had passed by my booth and was interested.  But from 2-5:30, I think I spoke to maybe 10 people at the most who made eye contact and took the free copy of my poem, then listened to my 'sales pitch'.  I only sold one book, but still felt as if this time was not entirely wasted.  My tablemate showed up for an hour, so it was good to meet her in person, and I was able to tell potential customers about her genre.

I can appreciate the fact this hotel has to make some $$, but I don't understand why the only free drinks offered was water.  Why not offer coffee and tea?  Or some snacks?  There was a 'concession stand' in the lobby which offered salad ($5); a sandwich ($6); hot dog ($3), chips ($1), and 12-oz water ($1).

Dinner at the awards banquet was AMAZING!  We were offered salad, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, baked apples (I think), green beans, chicken in some sort of sorghum sauce (delicious!), pork chops in a bourbon glaze (delicious!), and catfish.  Not to mention the dessert table:  Triple chocolate cake (YUM!), caramel apple pie, or bourbon butter tort (a friend said this was was gone by the time I got around to dessert, lol!)

Awards Banquet:
I was happy we didn't have to suffer through any 'I'd like to thank the Academy....' speeches, and was thrilled a friend's film won her category, and another friend's book won for Best Romance.  Another friend, Carol P and I picked out our table when we entered, then Marian and her group joined us, as did M and her hubby, plus one of the coordinators and one of his volunteers.

F and his volunteer each won a goofy staff award (I'm sooooo glad the volunteers were recognized!); Marian won the 'Best promo award'; MP won the aforementioned 'Best Romance' award; Marian's group also won 'Best Small Press'.

And there sat C and I empty-handed at a table full of winners.

Don't get me wrong; we had no ill feelings at all; rather, we were thrilled to be sitting with a table full of winners, even if we joked 'We are not worthy....' to be sitting there!  I was happy for MP; I'd actually read her book, and I hadn't expected to win, since I couldn't even vote for myself, having not known I was even attending until Friday!

Some Observations:
-Since this was the 1st year for the awards (outside of the film ones), I felt it was more a popularity contest.  I've only known some of these people for 4 years, while they've known each other longer.  Therefore, the sponsoring press won most of the awards, and MP is also very well known in their circle.  A newbie like me with NO name recognition didn't stand a chance.

-As to the Romance Category....why not break it down into more sub-genres?  I didn't know whether or not to put Kenzie's Heart's Last Chance into Sci-Fi or romance.  I did put one of my own into 'General Fiction', but lost to the other press.  Why not have a Women's Fiction category?  I don't even think there was a Children's category, though several children's books were in the vending hall.

-As for the Vendor Hall.....why not have a three-hour signing block, when nothing else is going on, like at RT or AWWTA?

So look for me next year; I'll be on multiple panels and doing only a 1-hour signing....unless of course, they shift things around.

And I still don't know how the hell I ended up on a comic book panel.

"What's your favorite non-superhero comic book?"

"Deadpool"...."Walking Dead"...."Hellboy"....

My answer?

"Bloom County"

Yeah....I was waaaaaay out of my league here!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Flashback Friday: Family Resemblance!

Oct 1976:
First of all, I want to wish my sister a very happy 46th birthday!!!  Love and miss you!!!

My sister turned six, and celebrated with her friends.  We also made a trip to the Pumpkin Patch in Noblesville (no longer there...*sad face*).  Mom took pictures of us on the hay ride and I realized I look just like my Aunt Linda!  Proof I wasn't adopted, after all....(since I was blonde, and my parents and sister all had dark hair, W kept trying to tell me I was adopted, lol!)

A new couple joined Mom and Dad's small group Bible Study, R and C Hoffer, with their three boys.  P was much older than me, while the twins, S and D were a year younger.  I enjoyed going to their house, since they had a ping-pong table in their basement:)

Next Month:  Thanksgiving!

Present Day:
We closed on the house last Friday!  We are now the proud owners of 203 and 205 Nicholas Dr, and 512 S 2nd:)  The green house on 2nd will be torn down ASAP, while the brown house (203) is being negotiated.  We were able to see inside the brown house for the 1st time on Sat, and I fell in love with the front room, with the huge fireplace.  There is still a lot of stuff to go through in the coming months, though the back two rooms reek heavily of animal feces.  One of those rooms the spouse wants to keep after demolition as a storage room; I say keep the front room and porch, and maybe the kitchen, bathroom, and other room.  I'm also interested in seeing the basement.

Operation Kitchen Rehab:
So far this week, we've repaired the outside wall above the window, scrubbed the grimy floor, washed down the walls, and vacuumed the cabinets.  I've also decided to try to repaint the room the same shade of blue, or at least as close as I can get.  We also need to relocate the door to the back entryway to the other side, so a dishwasher can be purchased at a later date.  The spouse plans to rip off the decaying partial roof above the back door and reconstruct it.

Next year, we plan to extend the kitchen outward 8 feet.

Living Room and Dining Room Plans:
We'll be painting the living room a soft blue "Magical", and the living room a pretty yellow "Turning Oakleaf".  At some point, we'll also have to deep clean the carpets.

Bedroom Plans:
Master:  For now, just a good cleaning of the carpets and walls.
Girls':  They've cleaned the walls and vacuumed the carpet and have already planned where to put the beds and dressers.  S has even hung one of her posters up.  Still have to strip windows, since one is painted/caulked shut.
Boys':  So far it's been thoroughly cleaned, with the exception of the closet (I think).  Also, their window needs the same treatment as the one in the girls' room.

Bathroom Plans:
Master:  It needs a shower head and curtain, and walls cleaned; think I'm going to paint it red.
Kids':  They plan to paint the walls brown and the cabinets Hunter Orange, plus purchase camo shower curtain and accessories.  We also need to move the light from the bathtub/shower and get the lights above the sink functional.

K plans to build himself a room under the girls' room, while my office will go under the kitchen.  No clue where the train set, tools, workbench, pantry, etc will go.

Plans For Tomorrow:
Hopefully, I'll be off to Imaginarium in Louisville in the morning!  As of this writing, I'm still hoping the spouse will release $100 for me to attend ($60 for car, $30 for booth fee, $10 for food....yeah, I know....)

Tonight, I'm setting up on Main St for the 2nd Annual Autumn on Main St festival.  Maybe I'll sell a few books and earn some food $$ for tomorrow???

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October Reading Schedule

Did September seem to drag on forever?  Here's what I ended up doing this month:
-Do well at Wine and Art Fest  Bleh....sold one key chain. Everyone wanted Hotel Stories, which I was sold out of.
-Pay for and attend the Eminence Fall Festival???  Not looking very promising.....
-Do well at Bicentennial Celebration  Sold 11!!!!
-Finish paying forAND do well at KABB  Check; sold only 2, but handed out several copies of the poem!
-Start paying for Imaginarium  Only have to come up with car rental and $30, plus food!
-Progress to Stage #7 on Secret Project #2  Check!  Signed the papers yesterday and the house is ours!!

Books Read:  12
            Print:  7
         E-book:  5

Songs Added To Karaoke Good List:  12
                                                   Thurs:  6
                                                        Fri:  6 How's The Health?
I've lost 6 pounds (though I think I just put them back on again tonight at BW3, lol!); lab results meant my thyroid meds dropped 12 mcg, and have to retest right before Thanksgiving.  I lost my voice when the weather changed, and am hoping it soon returns, singing-wise!

October Reading Schedule:
Son of Neptune-Rick Riordan  Good story, but feel as if some parts 'dragged'.  Some of the back story was a bit tedious.
Mark of Athena-RR  Good story, though see above; and predictible...of COURSE Annabeth would be 'the one' to accomplish the goal!  Very interesting way to see how both Piper and Annabeth overcome their perceived 'inabilities' and ultimately become heroes.
Serpent's Shadow-RR

All That Remains-SM Shade
Betrayal-Aleatha Rom

October Goals:
-Thoroughly clean the new house and get it ready for our 'stuff'
  -Kitchen  Check:)
  -Dining room  Check:)
  -Living room  Check:)
     -Kids  Check:)
     -Girls  Check:)
     -Boys  Check:)
-Basement  We now have hot water!!
-Begin moving heavy furniture over
-Empty storage unit
-Do well at Imaginarium  Sold 1, but attended a workshop which was GOLD!
-Do well at Author Fair on the 15th  Cancelled
-Pay B
-Pay for OA  Check:)
-Make payments to both editor and cover artist
-Finish Ghost Story
-Finish paying for Christmas Toy and Hobby Show  Check!
-Order inventory for Christmas Show  Check:)
-Complete Secret Project #1  Going to cost $100 to mail, so tabled until Nov.

Karaoke Songs (Thurs):
Wanted-Hunter Hayes  Slightly rough, but okay....
For Your Eyes Only-Sheena Easton  Nailed it!
The Warrior-Scandal Nailed it!
Watching The Wheels-John Lennon  Bleh....waaaaayyy too low
Forever-Kiss  Nailed it!
Waterloo-Abba  Not too bad....
Watermelon Crawl-Tracy Byrd  Bleh.....too low
Forever Young-Rod Stewart  Very good!
Dream Weaver (duet with Jerry)-Gary??  Not too bad; slightly rough in spots.
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill  Nailed it:)

Living On A Prayer-Bon Jovi  Slightly too high at the end, but otherwise good...
Living In Sin-Bon Jovi  Verses slightly too low, but rocked the chorus:)
You Give Love A Bad Name-Bon Jovi  Rocked the bar:)
Blaze of Glory-Bon Jovi  Probably the best I've ever sung this!
Longer-Dan Fogleburg  Wasn't too awful....
The Long Goodbye-Brooks and Dunn  Not too bad....
Cheater, Cheater-Joey and Rory Think I nailed it??
Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee-Grease  Did fine until last verse....different words appeared.  NY version??
Lose Yourself-Eminem  Switching this to Thursday, since I know I can get 'help' on it!
Losing My Religion-REM  Ugh.....way too low!
Lost In Emotion-Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam  Wasn't too awful!
Lost In Love-Air Supply  Bleh....too low....
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill  1)  Warbled my way through and blew a few lines....
Lotta Love-Nicolette Larson  DNH
Love Bites-Def Leppard  Surprisingly, this was pretty good!
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill  Did well:)