Monday, December 31, 2018

End-of-the-Year Recap

2018 was a strange year.

While having our family Christmas with my parents, Dad revealed he had an aneurism in behind both knees, but only one needed surgery, and asked if I would be willing to come help out for a week or two.  Of course I said yes.

Teen ended up having three root canals and three crowns on his teeth, since he hadn't been brushing.  Life lesson...

Temps were chilly and snowy, so didn't go to karaoke a great deal.

Eagles beat Patriots in Super Bowl 52!!  Brady and my daughter both stunned speechless.  I went to Mom's, only to to discover Dad's surgery is scheduled March 14th.  I drive truck home, so he doesn't have to drive back and forth.  Began playing Words With Friends....hate it!  Enjoyed the South Korean Winter Olympic Games!

Took Dad to the hospital; picked him up the next day and drove him home.  Left later that day and drove first to BWW to watch one game of March Madness, then to Mel B's house, to spend the night.  Watched the 2nd game on the laptop, then she and I drove to Nashville, TN and spent the day with the SCP authors.  Was mildly irritated on the drive home, since Siri took us a different way, and MB continued to follow her even when we could see I-64!  WTH???  Spent the night with her, then got up early, bought a St. Paddy's Day T-shirt at the Washington Walmart, and drove to Indy for the Wanderlust Book Signing.  Dad was cleared to drive the following week, but discovered he was on a 10lb lifting restriction.

Also had a very uncomfortable meal at Outback for Teen's birthday....we really screwed up the seating arrangement!  S and I were also able to see the 3rd movie based on 'That Book'.  Went to PurdueCon and hung out with fellow author Brian K. Morris, plus discovered he was planning to attend Imaginarium:)

Villanova won March Madness!  I went home after Easter, and we joked....Christ died....APRIL FOOL!, since Easter was on April 1st!  The temps were good, so we opened up the brown house and finished scraping up the carpet in the front bedroom, then unloaded our storage unit into it.  Goodbye storage and hello an additional $80 in the budget:)  Enjoyed the Kentucky Book Signing and was thrilled to be invited back the the Dale Library!  Sold 4 at KY and 1 at Dale, but the library had bought a copy of Crossroads.

I sold an unprecedented 8 books at the 1st Art Walk, and was asked to watch the gallery while the owners were on vacation in June.  I was thrilled!  Then turned around and sold 6 at the Farmer's Market:)  Tried having a yard sale, but only made $2.  Will Power won the Indy 500!

We celebrated Miss Alex's 6th birthday in Nashville, In, and eating at Cracker Barrel in Bloomington.  My mom fell June 1st, and was unable to walk; due to my commitment of watching the gallery, I was unable to go up until the last week in June.  Sold 4 at the Art Walk; 4 at PrideFest, and 5 at Corning Irish Festival:)  BC Brown was in Louisville for a Women's Conference, so I was able to hitch a ride with her family and spend a day with her:)

My publisher paid to have a table at InConJunction, so I got a free pass and only had to pay for my lodging!  Ended up selling 8!  Mom's condition continued to stump her doctors.  I set up at the Mosey and sold 9 books, which thrilled me to no end, so I decided to try the Gallery Walk, and sold 6 at that event:)  Went to the 4-H fair with BFF Angela.  MDQ became a mommy on July 14th, and Phoenix 'Master P' apparently had a stroke, and was in the NICU for a week.  I was able to hold his tiny feet, and a week later, when he was home, finally held him.

Drove Mom down to Vincennes for the Watermelon Festival, but it was so hot, Dad didn't bring her down.  I had a discouraging time, only selling 2 books, and at the last minute.  Mom's cardiologist got her signed up for PT, as well a set up an MRI for her, to see if we could get some answers.  The Petersburg event was a bust, and I only sold 2 at the Mosey.

Set up at ISUCon, and sold 8 during the 3 day event!  Took Teen with me on final day, and he enjoyed himself, even joining the Magic The Gathering club at school.  Sold 9 at the Vanderburgh Fairgrounds event and 4 at Eminence:)  We also got a shock:  Fr. Dave was accused of being 'inappropriate' with a woman 'decades' ago, and was placed on administrative leave.

Took the Teen with me to the Imaginarium Convention, but he chose to spend the majority of his time in the hotel pool, rather than the game room.  Only sold 1 book, but my cover artist received a HUGE compliment from a professional photographer!  Sold 7 at the Collections Carnival Craft fair, AND finally launched Whispers into the world.....even though the books didn't arrive until after the launch party.  Went as Little Red Riding Hood for the Karaoke Halloween party.

Had my ankle evaluated, and I have a bone spur that grew UP instead of OUT, and is pressing on my Achilles' tendon.  In an air brace for the next 6 weeks.  Did well at the Indy Christmas Toy and Hobby show, selling another 16 books, and receiving my cover for next year's Catered Romance release.  Sold 5 at the Art Walk, and then an unprecedented 15 at the Rivet Craft Fair!  Had a relaxing Thanksgiving at home.  BFF KC lost her father, so I rented a car and drove up with EYS for the funeral.

Mom ended up being hospitalized for severe pain in her left leg; turned out her coumidin level was out of whack, and was sent to the Cumberland Rehab center on the 14th.  I spent a week with her, then came home.  We're not sure how long she'll be there; it could be January, or March.  Sold 8 at the Washington Christian Craft Fair, then another 4 at the Art Walk.  My total for the year?  145, as opposed to last year's 77!  Spent my birthday with Mom and Dad, with Dad taking me to Red Lobster, then relaxing in front of the TV watching the Survivor finale.

So what will 2019 have in store for us?  Who knows?  It depends on my mother's motivation to work her muscles, if she ever hopes to walk again.  It's rough, seeing one's parent in a wheelchair, but Mom's always had a positive outlook, which is good.  I just hope my dad's health continues to be good.  Also, Mrs. Sato turns 100 years old in April, so I'm hoping we're invited to her party.

Books Read:  67 
           Print:  42
        E-book:  26
            DNF:  3

Karaoke Songs:  88
               Thurs:  34
                    Sat:  71

Weight:  Went the wrong way.  Began at 232; ended 240.

Here's hoping 2019 will be even better!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Flashback Friday: Shiny New Toy!

Dec 2008:
We got a new computer!  Unfortunately, it the OS was VISTA, which no one liked.  But, it weighed less than the old monitor, and worked enough that I could write, chat, and receive/send email....sort of.

I couldn't comment on the blogs, or even google anything, unless I went to the library or used my daughter's laptop (XP).  This caused friction at times, when I wanted to work, but was unable to leave the house or use the daughter's 'toy'.

For K's birthday, he received contacts, plus we went to Outback Steakhouse.  Then-toddler refused to sit on Santa's lap.

For my birthday, friends/neighbors, my BFF EY, and ourselves went to Cheeseburger In Paradise (now a defunct Fuddruckers), and enjoyed dinner.

We enjoyed Christmas Day at home, then went to Grandma's and Aunt Linda's later that week.

I also achieved my goal of blogging every day!  366 posts (leap year)!

Next Month:  My 1st Contract and New Pet In The House!

Present Day: 
Mom had a very good Christmas at the rehab center, even going to PT that day!  Our Christmas was quiet, with everyone sleeping in until 9am.  We celebrated with K and his g/f J on Christmas Eve, then played Cards Against Humanity until midnight.

Christmas Day, Sara made homemade chicken and noodles; I made ham and cheese sliders and deviled eggs.  We'd also bought a veggie tray, a fruit tray, and a shrimp ring.  Later, we played the new Trivial Pursuit, 2000's edition, and with some coaching, 6 y/o Alex won!  S was 2nd, followed by me, W, then D.

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year's!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Flashback Friday: Relaxing Christmas

Dec 1998:
I think this was the year it snowed, and we decided to stay home on Christmas morning.  The kids were happy to simply stay home and relax, at least for a few days.  Two days later, however, we received a phone call that my in-laws had been in a car accident, so we gathered everyone up and went down.  My FIL was severely injured, so my SIL and I took turns taking care of the kids and fielding phone calls while my hubby and MIL were at the hospital. 

For New Year's, we ended up watching the ball drop on TV and rejoicing that my FIL was recovering nicely, and would soon be released from the hospital:)

Next Month:  Pampered Chef and Monster Trucks!

Present Day:
My mom has now been in the rehab center for an entire week.  She's been doing OT and PT during the morning, and one mystery was cleared up today.

Mon:  Mom had a good day, even though she blew up at Dad when he tried to leave early.  He stayed with her while I went to Office Max to fax documents for our new roof financing.

Tues:  Another good day.  Mom and I sorted the Christmas jewelry presents, so I knew whom was getting what.  Dinner was Ham and Beans, so residents were grumpy.  Mom and I ordered Arni's pizza, which Dad brought.

Wed:  Mom slept wrong, and her neck was in pain all day.  Dad took me to Red Lobster for my birthday dinner.

Thurs:  Mom was slightly better, though we noticed her slurry speech, plus I clarified whether or not I was to help her to and from the bathroom/chair/wheelchair/bed.  (No, I'm not supposed to, a chore I was happy to relinquish, since I nearly dropped her on Wed.  In fact, the aid dropped her in the afternoon.)

Today:  When Dad and I arrived, Mom was snoozing in PT, and we became slightly alarmed when she didn't wake up right away.  Plus, her speech was slurry.  HOWEVER.....after drinking some water, coffee at lunch, and sipping a diet coke afterward, she did better.  I don't think she's getting enough fluids in her body.

I'll be heading home on Sunday, to spend Christmas with my family.  There's been some confusion over how long Mom will be at Cumberland Point.  Somebody said SS will pay for 90 days, but the hospital or Medicare claims she only has 20 days.  Dad's going to check on this.  No word on if I'm needed after the holidays.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Flashback Friday: Finals!

December 1988:
I think DB had his mom bring me a dozen roses (I could be confusing this with Valentine's Day??).  I finished up my finals; ended up spending my entire Christmas vacation with DB, and his mom got me a beautiful mint green bathrobe.  I think I did go home Christmas Day.

At the country club, I managed to get both my boyfriend and my best friend to my Staff Christmas party:  I said DB was another girl's 'date', and E was my 'dancing partner'.  The three of us had a ball, and my boss, Mr. G, got drunk and was running around with someone's falsie and holding it up to all the women, asking 'is this yours?'

Nowadays, that would be construed as harrassment and grounds for a nice fat lawsuit.  Same with the busboy's behavior when I hired in.

I don't remember how many drinks I had that night, but I'm eternally grateful that I wasn't pulled over for a DUI....when I drove the three of us back to DB's house, I stopped on a green light and drove through a red one, prompting fits of hilarity.

"New concept:  Stop on the Green Light!"

I never got sick, but I did have a slight headache the next morning.

I was tapped to work the New Year's Eve ball, and proved to be a good cocktail waitress, though I did get one of the members seriously drunk.  Again. I'm thankful the laws which changed a few years later were NOT in effect at the time!

Next Month:  Happy New Year!  I Break It Off With DB.

Present Day:
My mom went to the hospital last weekend.  On Sat, they simply gave her a shot of morphine and sent her home.  Sunday, they thought she had a herniated disc.  Monday, they thought she'd fractured her hip, but that and the disc issue were soon proven wrong.  Dad said she was adamant about not having a doppler test for blood clots in her left leg, but he was trying to talk her into having it anyway.  When I called on Mon, she was alert.   When I spoke to Dad, he said he was concerned, since she was saying she had internal bleeding (no) and sepsis (again, no).

Tuesday, I called her and she seemed slurry and confused.  She spoke to me about possibly being moved to a rehab facility, but when I asked her to clarify later, she denied it.  Dad called later that evening and confirmed that they WERE looking into moving her to a rehab facility.

Wednesday, my sister called and said Mom was doing much better!  I called later that evening and found out that Mom's coumidin level had gotten out of whack, it caused inflammation in her liver and intramuscular bleeding.  She was finally able to use the restroom on her own, and is feeling almost like herself again:)  When I spoke to Dad Thursday morning, he said there was no need for me to come up and stay, unless I just wanted to.  Given the fact that choir is singing on Sunday; I have a writers meeting/combo birthday party on Tues, and MY birthday on Wed, I think the family may go up for a day visit.  We'll see how everything goes.

While all this is going on, Dad is also having the main bathroom remodeled, so there is a walk-in shower, so Mom can take a shower.  It should have been completed yesterday.

I went to the Old Chicago Pizza with my CHRP group and we had a nice dinner, plus played 'Nasty Santa', where we could 'steal' each other's gifts.  I held onto a bottle of wine until the last round, and ended up with a pink drink bottle.  I should have taken Kathy's bottle of wine!

Also, Monday a bunch a shingles fell off our roof.  We called a roofing company for an estimate, and after inspection, there are 5 layers of roofing material on our 1890 house!  So guess what the spouse and I will be giving each other for Christmas?  I got a couch and he's getting a new roof, ha ha!  We had hoped the roof could wait 6 more months, but oops, no.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Flashback Friday: I'm A Teenager!

December 1978:
This month was very eventful.  I was allowed to get my first pair of high-heeled shoes ( blue pumps, with a strap and maybe a 1 1/2 heel?) for the choir concert.  Being on the top tier of the risers and walking in heels for the first time, while wearing a long dress, was a bit tricky, and I lived in fear of falling or tripping on my skirt!  Thankfully, neither happened.

For my 13th birthday, Mom invited member of her small group Bible study over, which included my 'secret' boyfriend, SH.  He'd made me a wooden car and a large spiral drawing that I dubbed The Black Hole, in keeping with my 'Space Age' theme on the wall above my bed, since it already boasted a picture of Shaun Cassidy in a silver jacket, and Han Solo and Chewie from Star Wars.  I would soon move Shaun to the other wall, with my other rock star posters.  I'd like to say S kissed me, but since there were a lot of people around, I don't think he did.  We DID manage to finally get our picture taken together! 

For Christmas, I received a red hooded robe, among other gifts.  Uncle Bill sent both of us beautiful dolls (mine was dressed in pink, and my sister's white).  Wendy also received a slime monster game AND red plaid, blow up furniture, that I think only lasted a day or two before collapsing.  There's a photo of us both sitting on each chair, and I'm holding a tiny 'pillow'.

When we went to Granny's, I'm wearing my Shaun Cassidy T-shirt and when I wasn't on the exercise bike, I was playing the organ.  There's also a picture of me with my cousin Lynn's son Jeremy, showing him how to play Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Next Month:  Fall Out From Last Year's Blizzard

Present Day:
I'm going to be at the Open Gallery tonight, for the final 2018 First Friday Art Walk.  So far this year, I've sold 141 books, and am hoping to either reach 145 or even 150.  Tomorrow, we're off to Terre Haute to celebrate Kyle's 27th birthday at Outback, then I'm going home with Mom and Dad for a week, in order to help Mom out with her Christmas baking, decorating, and possibly gift-buying.

Our Early Christian Music ensamble sang at a Christmas Party at the Old National Bank, and we've already been 'booked' for an event in March!  More details later.

200 years ago, in 1818, Silent Night was 1st sung on Christmas Eve?  We're singing it this year, and announcing to the congregation about the history behind it.

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Monday, December 3, 2018

December Goals

How was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was nice and relaxing!  How was the rest of the month?
Buy promo for ICGAHS  Check:)
Mail TP to Harlie and WA to JDC  Not yet...
Do well at 1st Friday Art Walk  Sold 5:)
Make CD covers for Women's Retreat  Check:)
Do well at ICGAHS
          11/7:  Sold 3:)
          11/8:  Sold 3:)
          11/9:  Sold 4:)
        11/10:  Sold 6:)
         Total:  16:) 
Do well at Debut Author's Fair in Lafayette  Sold 2:)
Do well at Rivet Craft Fair  Unprecedented personal best:  15 sold:)
Write NaNoWriMo words on any wips  
     11/3:  185
     11/11:  532
     11/12:  332
     11/14:  1703
     11/26:  1731
     11/28:  2429
     11/29:  1230
     11.30:  1941
     Total:  10,083
Have an enjoyable Thanksgiving Check:)
Take final stuff to auction from Brown house (if weather permits) Nope
Lose 5 pounds (assuming my starting weight is still 241....haven't been near a scale in 2 months!)  Maintained, so that's good:)

Neck Update:  Unchanged.  Some days it's better, but other days there's weakness in the left bicep.

Achilles Tendon Update:  Began having ZERO pain on 11/1, but after beginning PT on 11/6, pain returned.  Did my exercises faithfully until the 13th, forcing myself through the pain.  Talked to Mom's PT guy about it on the 13th, only to be told that since the pain had gotten worse, to STOP.  So I did....and it's gotten better.  Pain level down from 5 or 6 to a 1 or 2, depending on my activity level.  Still wearing air cast, and return to Ortho Doctor on 12/3.  No surgery; go back to see her on an 'as-is' basis, keep wearing the air cast/brace.

Books Read:  0
           Print:  Still on Panda Girl, 75% done
        E-book:  Still on Wheeler, maybe 40% through it

Karaoke Songs Added To Good List:  7
                                                   Thurs:  4
                                                        Sat:  3

December Goals:
Do well at Washington Christian Center Holiday Vendor Fair  Sold 8:)
Do well at 1st Friday Art Walk  Sold 4, bringing my monthly total to 12, and the yearly one to....145!  WOW!
Lose 5 lbs (starting 241)
Bake cookies
     12/3:  4.5 Doz Choc. Chip. 3 doz Winter Chip, 4.5 M&M
     12/4:  3.5 Doz Oatmeal Raisin, 3 doz Maple Chip
Bake cookies at Mom's Nope; plans changed.
Send packages to Japan and Canada 12/20:  Got some put together!
Get my mother up and walking each day I'm there Nope; plans changed
Celebrate K's 27th birthday (check!  Fixed him a large T-bone steak!) and my 53rd (check!  Dad took me to Red Lobster, and watched the Survivor finale LIVE!)
Finish buying Christmas Gifts Daughter took care of this, though there is still one more gift to be bought!
Write Holiday letter (Check!) and send out Christmas Cards Had Mom's ready to send out on the 24th!
Get closer, if not finish, Hair Affair
Mail packages to Harlie and JDC
Have a wonderful Christmas (Check!) and New Year's Eve

December Reading Schedule
Panda Girl-Jeri Lyn Ryan  Finally finished!  Some of the details were choppy, but some answers were wrapped up at the end.
A Feast of Crows-GRRM Loved this!  Finished in 9 days!!!  Not completely understanding how the prologue ties into the ending, but hoping DWD will clear it up.
From Mis-Matched to Miss Matched-Suzanne Purewale  DRR!  Hilarious and fun read!  SO glad I don't have to go through the perils of online dating!
Emmie of Indianapolis-Kay Castaneda Very interesting!

Wheeler-Sara Butler Good, but loooong!
All Jacked Up-Mysti Parker Loved this!  DRR!
High On You-Mysti Parker  DRR!  Enjoyed this very much:)

Karaoke Songs:
Windy-The Association Ugh...too low, except for ending!
Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now-Starship  Very good, except for Marty's part of the verses!
Amnesty Is Granted-Meatloaf  DNH
Because You Loved Me-Celine Dion Nailed it!  Gary also sang with me:)
Winter Wonderland-X-mas Did well, once we found the right version!  1st one was an 'Urban Christmas' one, waaaaayy too slow!
Not Gonna Be The One-Olivia Newton-John DNH
(Brower played 'Walkin' Round in Women's Underwear:)
Breaking Up Is Hard To do-Neil Sedaka I couldn't hear myself, so thought this was too low, but one guy complimented me on
Christmas Canon Rock-TSO This time I managed to get video of myself singing it:)  Whether or not you can HEAR me remains to be seen...hopefully next week I can do the 2nd half of What Child Is This!
Wish You Were Here-Pink Floyd Would have been better if my voice hadn't been so gravelly...
No Way Out-Starship DNH
Young Love-The Judds Did well!
Baby Love-The Supremes Nailed it:)

Red Red Wine-UB40 Rap part was NOT practiced; made it through a few verses, then reverted to melody.
The Power of Love-Celine Dion Not sure how this was skipped in the 'P' titles, but nailed it:)
Redneck Woman-Gretchen Wilson  Nailed it!
Refugee-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Did better than I thought I would:)
Rehab-Amy Winehouse Managed to get through it....
Relax-Frankie Goes To Hollywood  Nothing like realizing the true meaning of the song as you're halfway through the first verse, lol....
Release Me-Wilson Phillips  DNH
Remedy-Seether Bill sang it with me, and he complimented me on it!  Did better than I'd thought, ha ha.....
Remember Me This Way-Jordan Hill 12/8:  Blew the bridge again; somehow landed on the wrong note. 12/29:  Nailed the bridge, but screwed up on 2nd verse!  AAAARRRGGGHHH....
Renegade-Styx Nailed it!
Rhiannon-Fleetwood Mac  Did fairly well!