Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Madness

One more Easter photo. See those flowers? I practically risked my life rescuing them from a pile of debris hanging out over the creek. Okay, so maybe it really wasn't "practically". I leaned over, snagged them, and then retreated through the thorn bushes to safer ground. My sister was oh-so-thrilled when I handed them to her and promptly put them in water. Yes. They're fake. She was also thrilled with the insects that began pouring out of the petals as soon as the bouquet warmed to room temperature. Something tells me she tossed them out as soon as everyone left.
So, today's the last day of March. Weird. I cringe at what will go on tomorrow. If you couldn't guess, April Fool's is a pretty big deal around here - at least for the K's. The few years I've tried to pull off big capers, they've come back to bite me in the butt. For example: One year I'd planned to tell B I was pregnant. We were weeks away from heading to the appointment that would make such jokes null and void. Oh, and you guessed it. Two weeks later, to our complete surprise, the stick turned blue and my harmless suggestion turned into real life. I think you can understand why I'm cautious. Think I'll stick to the usual stuff.
K4 is home today and we'll be visiting the doctor as soon as I can make her an appointment. What started off looking like dry skin is now a nasty, itchy and painful rash. On her face. And it's now the size of a half-dollar. Since Friday, the thing has grown and worsened. I know what it's not because I've tried all possible home remedies for various things. Now we'll see what it is.
I think that's all for now. We're looking at a busy week. B's brother will be in for business and is staying with us, and the calendar is already full of various other activities - some fun, others just regular life. Oh and I should probably at least dust before our house guest arrives. Ya think?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dirty And Gross

Yep. You're seeing what you think you're seeing.
A pair of underwear we found in the woods. Full of mud. Or something. I think they used to be white. In all, they appeared in pretty good shape, so I definitely have to wonder all kinds of things. Why were they in the woods? Did my brother-in-law actually pick up something that really looked like that when they were taken off? Eww. Sorry. That was gross. As you can see, the dog is even offended. Or maybe not, since it doesn't look like she's paying any attention.
So, today's finally Friday. Thank goodness. We have a pretty full weekend, but that may change depending on sickness levels around here. So far there is one definitely under the weather and another that appears to be heading down the same slippery slope. I'm still knocking on wood since we never got the nasty flu everyone else had.
The short story I plotted out yesterday is bigger than short. I have more plot than I need for 15k words and there's no way to cut it down. I don't want to cut it down. I have all these ideas rolling around in my head for different scenes and a clear picture of the hero and heroine. So I think that'll be my next single title project, which excites me more than I can say, though I probably won't get to start it until the writing retreat in May. I have a whole list of stuff to take care of before opening the blank page to begin. I do have a different idea for the shortie, and plotting for that will commence shortly with some research before brainstorming.
Then, it's the daily activities of living - the usual Friday obligations.
And maybe a nap...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Going Places

More cool pictures from the hike.
Since the water was still so high and we don't often travel this section of woods, we felt like we were in a new place. The high water had created an island where we found all kinds of interesting debris. One I'll show you tomorrow. I happen to think it's amusing. You'll have to decide for yourself.
On the writing front, I'm working on edits for my paranormal story and plotting out a shorter paranormal. I started with a blank notebook and plotting sheet, which was kind of daunting especially since I had absolutely no idea - not even a kernel of one. Now I've got three notebook pages, and a quickly filling up plotting sheet. I'm excited about it, though I'm not quite ready to begin the actual writing. I have to let the holes fill in while I continue editing Out of the Shadows. So, even though I still feel like someone stole my front bicycle tire, I'm moving on and working through it. That's the only thing that can be done.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Riding The Bike

My brother-in-law testing out his new wheels during our hike through the woods on Sunday.
I told him the picture would be going up on the blog, which is why he's posing so pleasantly. I don't know. I'm not the one who has to live with him. Ha! I'm just kidding. The bike is a genuine Spiderman cartoon series one. I doubt you can see that. See the beard? He and K1 have a bet going about who can grow their beard longer. Neither are supposed to shave until this coming Christmas.Should be interesting.
Sometimes I feel like that.
No. Not like a bearded man on a little, rusty bicycle in the middle of the woods.
But like someone stole my front tire. I pedal and pedal and never seem to get anywhere. I know I'm not alone in this. A lot of my writing friends are suffering from the same feelings. We talk about it and that helps and we keep plugging along while doing our best to pretend the tire, and the obligatory card clothes pinned to the spokes, are still there. It's something you just have to deal with, and work through.
The ceremony for K3 becoming a boy scout was really cool. They did a Chinese new year theme, complete with chinese food, decorations, chop sticks, and chinese finger toys. Yeah. The only thing about those fingers is that we were nearly late for school this morning because K3 and K4 were goofing around and got stuck while I was waiting for them to get into the car.
That's all.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


We think there was a bridge here at one time. Through the water (when it's low) there's evidence - some heavy timbers in a diagonal line to the other side. There's an old tree on the other side, and that's where we think the bridge exited. Though we're not sure of any of it.
Tonight we cross a different kind of bridge. K3 crosses from cub scouts to boy scouts. It's a huge deal, with a cool ceremony that actually includes a bridge to symbolize going from cub scouts to boy scouts. B and I have to cross with him, to show our support for his future endeavors, plus there's an additional ceremony where he gives me a pin. We'll have dinner served by the boy scouts, and listen to a few speeches before the ceremonies begin. Now I've been through this before with K1, but I'm not stupid enough to believe I won't get all teary-eyed at this new step my youngest son is taking. Plus, he's not such a little guy anymore. Heck, it won't be long until he's begging me to let him drive places like his sister.
Time marches on. I guess. Bridges are crossed and new paths are chosen.
Man. I'm a sap.

Monday, March 24, 2008


We definitely need one of these where we camp. Just not this one. These were taken in an area with a lot of flood damage - debris galore. And, lucky you, I've got several more shots of odd debris to show you.
I'm not exactly sure what that other thing is. Some kind of concrete mixer maybe. Don't know for sure. To the left is a pile of glass bottles someone collected. It was nice to hike yesterday since the underbrush isn't grown up yet. Besides a few thorn bushes, you could easily navigate through what is otherwise a very densely treed area. Further down the path we found evidence of how high the flood water was. Standing about ten feet from the creek bank, the water would have been at least seven foot deep. That amazes me. On a regular summer day, you can wade through pretty much any area of the creek. There are a few carp holes, where the water is over your head and the hugest (amazingly huge) fish live, but there aren't many areas like that in the stretch of the creek we haunt.
There's your Monday oddness.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It Begins Again...

Back from the busy weekend of fairy birthday parties, family stuff, and general running around.
And check that out! I have new pictures. We were at my sister's house, which is near those infamous cabin photos I wouldn't stop showing you. After eating way too much, I decided to join the guys down at our camping spot. It was do that, or go into a food coma.
Stupidly, I wore my good shoes, and good coat, but that didn't stop me from trekking through the woods. Of course, I can't call either item "good" anymore - not after getting my long black leather jacket tangled in some thorny bushes and wrecking my heels (yes, I had heels on) in the mud. We hiked way down the trail beside the creek and found lots of cool and interesting stuff you'll be witnessing over the next few days. Good stuff, too. Ha!
So, first you get this little boat. K2 found it and put it on this rail for the drain in the actual camping area. When I drove down I saw it and knew I had to take a picture of it for the blog. It does get better...or maybe that's weirder. (honestly, you should be used to that by now) No item jumped out at us for the group odd picture taking, so there was none of that this time. But, it was good to hang out with everyone even if we all wanted to die because of all the food we ate.
Hope your weekend was a good one!

Friday, March 21, 2008

What Day Is It?

As you maybe can tell by the lateness of this post, it's been one of those days around here.
Not terrible, just busy with much to do and not enough hours.
The dog is sick. She's puking and having other digestive issues. Luckily (knock on wood) she's made it outside each time, but eww. I'm not sure what caused this, though she does have a pretty sensitive stomach so it could be anything she scarfed off the floor or maybe she stuck her gigantor head into the lidded trash can. She doesn't do that often, and we're pretty good about changing the bag especially if there's something she might find delectable in there. But, she's also a little bit sneaky, so she could have dumpster dove while we weren't looking. Or she ate something totally gross outside. I don't even want to think about that.
I realized yesterday was the first day of spring. Bring it on. The weather here is decidedly not spring-like, which is irritating to say the least. The only thing spring-like is the mud outside, which looks amazing on my freshly washed pooch. How'd we get back on the subject of my dog?
We'll be out and about this weekend, so don't know if I'll have a chance to get on here much. Tomorrow is birthday parties, and a possible much needed and anticipated date night with my hubby. Sunday is holiday stuff, so that'll be the day with the family. Next week is looking kind of grim with tons going on and not much down time. We'll see how that goes.
Enjoy the weekend and the holiday!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Dog's Day

More specifically, my dog.
She had an appointment with the groomer that just happened to be in the middle of the day. I had to take what I could get since I've been trying to get her in since November and every time we had an appointment, it snowed. The groomer had us on the cancellation list, and this was the first day and time that even halfway suited. So we braved the high, cold winds and went.
I went out to the truck to write while the dog got her beauty treatment. I actually managed to get quite a bit done and time went really fast. I went back in shortly before I figured she'd be done since the groomer has her appointment down to a science now. And then it happened...
The dog had diarrhea all over the grooming bench. Talk about gross.
I helped clean up, took her out, then the groomer resumed drying her. She was working on the final trim when the dog started dry heaving. We unhooked her from the stand and shooed her out the door, not expecting her to make it to the grass.
Turns out, she snowed us.
Instead of heading over to heave, she hustled off the porch, then kind of sashayed to the truck and sat by the back door. I called her to come back, and she just glared at me. At that point, we figured she was done and I came home with my still slightly wet pooch who now has a brand new trick to get out of being groomed.
I might be scared over the next few days. Enjoy the holiday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wet & Whiney Wednesday

*It's raining and my truck has a leak.

*The dog smells really bad. (until tomorrow when she goes to the groomer)

*This week is taking too long.

*I'm tired.

*Other various and random complaints that I won't bore you with.

The only positive is the link of wet hunks a friend sent to me. I haven't had much time to peruse the lengthy list, but I did check out Jared Padalecki (Sam) and Viggo. It's probably a good thing I had lots to do today. Otherwise, I would have been checking out the scenery. Oh stop. It's research for heroes.

That is all.


Monday, March 17, 2008

My Little Leprechaun

Yes. That's what I live with.
Isn't he talented?
I am so proud.
There's no embarrassment here.
He could care less that there's now a goofy picture of him on my blog.
Then again, if you could see some of the pictures that were taken Saturday night, this would look normal. I can't show you them, because I don't have them. But think Hannah Montana wig and grown men. It was hysterical. Who knows, I might managed to get my hands on them. So that's all I'm saying for now.
Goofy pictures are a theme in our family. Usually when we're together we find something ridiculous or strange and we each pose with it - a blonde, curly wig, a cardboard "stupid" sign, my brother in laws brand new guitar, one of those composting toilets, the outhouse at the creek, strange hats...the list goes on and on. Which means I might gain some new blog fodder over Easter when the family's all together. It's one of those things we haven't done in a while, so it's probably time again. Better check my camera batteries.
We're due to try the whole roller skating thing tonight. Wonder how that will go? This week is a busy one. We're even going to try our skills at snow tubing. I'll probably be in traction by the weekend.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pre-Saint Patty's Day Fun

It's quite obvious the cat didn't believe wearing the little green hat was fun despite our hysterical laughter. It took less than 3 seconds for the picture to be taken, but he got that pissed off look on his face as soon as he saw the little green hat. Do you think he knew we planned to humiliate him, and then publish his humiliation on the web?
In all honesty, the hat was the straw the broke the camel's back for him. K1's girlfriend was here with one of her dogs. Kramer was not happy about the visitor, even though he's much bigger. So he was already sullen and crabby before the hat appeared.
We don't do much St. Patty's Day celebrating around here. The kids love dressing in green - which is probably more to avoid getting pinched than because they believe we're Irish or something. We're not. At all.
But, in honor of the day, I have one more little green hat picture. See the bearded face holding the cat? K1. Yep. And tomorrow I'll put his picture on here because he's over 18 and looks just so darned cool with the hat on. I have one of B wearing it too, but he's totally adverse to having his picture up on here. Well, mostly. When I told him I was going to post his little green hat picture, he gave me a dirty look, which probably means you won't ever get to see it. Maybe.
Anyway. The weekend was a blast. Lots of laughing, good food, more laughing, and some excellent music. And I'm so tired now.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More Customer Service Headaches

I'm not even going to go into it, except to say I've been on the phone for way too long trying to clear up this debacle. I'm still not satisfied, and I'm wondering if I ever will be.
What the heck happened to good customer service?
Granted, everyone I spoke to today was pleasant, and apologetic. But, quite frankly, apologizing for charging me for something when I was told it would be different doesn't help. I know customer service is a thankless job, and it's not exactly the easiest job. I appreciate that. A lot. Which is why I'm always pleasant until I'm given a reason not to be, and after that, I'm still polite though there might be an edge to that politeness.
I'm brushing that off in preparation for what's shaping up to be a fun, but busy, weekend.
Maybe I'll even have some new pictures come Monday. I know for sure I'll be tired.
That's all for now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bad Customer Service and Stress

Yeah. It's been one those days around here.
Good on the whole, but with a few annoyances thrown in to frustrate me.
Like, for example, I got the bill for my brand spanking new phone/Internet/cable service with additional charges that aren't supposed to be on there. My plan was for free certain promotional additions for a year. When I called, certain there'd been some kind of mistake, I was told I'd misunderstood the offer. Yeah. Not. After explaining myself further, I was then told the customer service rep who sold me the plan misunderstood the offer. This is, of course, after I'd been kept on hold for over ten minutes and not just on regular hold, on the one that reverts back to the person you're talking to if you make a noise or talk to someone else in the room. That made it pretty much impossible to say the bad words springing to my lips as I fumed over the way she treated me. Anyway. To make a long and boring story short, my last question was if I was under some contract with them that would prevent me from switching service. When she said no, I hung up.
Then I called my previous company to start the process of switching back. The first person I talked to, though pleasant, couldn't help me. I was transferred to another pleasant person. Then their system hitched requiring a reboot and I was told I'd be called back within ten minutes. Um...yeah...that was five hours ago, and still nothing. So...I'm not sure where this leaves me. Except I know for sure I'm not staying with my current company. So far, the whole experience has been a nightmare. The cable doesn't work right, the Internet is slow, and the installation process, though easy, was incomplete and then even more difficult thanks to even ruder customer service reps.
Then we had open house at the younger K's school. Which was really fine. It was fun to watch their faces as they showed me around in their element. In all my years of going to these (and it's been a lot) I don't ever remember there being so many people there. That wasn't too bad. Until we went to the book fair end of the school. The crowd was so insane it was nearly impossible to even move, let alone take the time to actually look at anything. We spend more time waiting to check out than we did choosing books. And no, I'm not really complaining about it, except that it stressed me (and the K's) out.
And there you have it. An actual rant from me. What do you know?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Unpractical Practical Jokes

Or...Enough Already!!
There's been a rash of practical jokes around here lately.
Like when someone stuffed a tennis ball in B's work boot. The dog dragged his boot away and chewed on it, because after all, the ball belongs to her. Last week, K2's cell phone went missing. No one has admitted to that one yet. Probably because they fear her reaction. She was not a happy camper.
Missing items, booby traps, you name it - all of it's been going on around here.
This morning, I was the unfortunate victim. I had a busy day planned. Lots of running around, which included stair climbing and walking. And wouldn't you of my sneakers went missing.
I searched everywhere. Everywhere - including the freezer, the cabinets, the back porch, the garbage can - everywhere. Finally, very ticked off, I pulled out my boots. Now, I love my boots, but they aren't exactly good to me when I'm on my feet all day. Today proved no different. I'm aching.
So, I call home when I was on my way back.
And K1 was appalled that I hadn't found it before I left this morning! Ha! Why on earth would I look on the coat rack, under a rarely worn coat, for a sneaker?
You can bet I will now.
That is all.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Time keeps getting away from me.
Don't ask me why, or how...
Oh, I know. Let's blame the time change. It's certainly upset the balance in my house - okay, not with everyone, but a few of us aren't adjusting well to losing an hour of sleep. Some of those few are cranky, whiny, and argumentative - but I'm not pointing fingers or naming names.
The muddy season has started. After all that rain we had last week, and milder temps, my backyard looks like a big, mud-colored sponge. And it tracks into the house on paws and sneakers. But I'm glad to see spring, even though I still could do with one huge, enormous, accumulating snow that shuts everything down. The gnomes are begging for a reconditioning and upgrading of their home. We've decided to plant some veges and herbs this year, though we haven't quite figured out where we're doing that since we planted grass in our garden spot. Between the dog and flying basketballs, I'm not sure where they'd be safe from breakage and steppage. But we did already start some pepper seeds in the house, so we'll see what happens.
Okay - that's all my stressed and tired brain has for you at this moment.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Don't ask me what happened to the past two days!
I'm not really sure - time just got away from me.
I have some pictures I want to post, but as of right now my scanner isn't cooperating. I'll give you a hint though. They fall into "Things to do with the camera on the table at wedding receptions" category. Ha!
Nothing's happening at the moment besides the usual insanity. Our schedules almost on the light side for the weekend. I hate to even say that because usually all heck breaks loose when I dare to make such a statement. That's not to say there's not a bunch of stuff that needs done since it's the stuff that stays on hold when we are running around like crazy people. So, it'll still be busy around here.
And I find that's really all I have to say at the moment. Sorry it's not all that interesting...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Snow What?

Yeah, I know it's already 53* outside and we're all looking forward to spring, but I came across this picture again and thought I should post it just because. K2 and her cousins made these New Year's Eve.
I happen to think they're scary. Especially the big one with the straight line mouth. The little one is kind of cute, but those big sticks kind of freak me out. Ha! We laughed when we saw them. They'd placed them in such a way that when you left my sister's driveway, they kind of snuck up on you and took you by surprise.
Then...they were hacked to death by someone with an even bigger stick. Very sad.
Like I said before, I could deal with some big snow around here. It has to be big, and then spring. If it's not going to snow again, it should be spring. Period. Yeah. I know I say that every year. But as of my count, you've only heard it one winter-into-spring before, so I'm entitled to be repetitive. Ha!
Obviously there's not much going on this week.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Know You Know

What this is.
When I said I didn't have any pictures of manure from our trip to the farm, I remembered this owl stuff. Not quite poop, but really, isn't it close enough? B found this when they hiked up the big hill. Apparently, there was a lot more, but since this particular pile was perched so nicely on a rock, he decided to bring it back to show those of us who didn't go.
The kids wanted to pick through it to see exactly what critter the owl had for dinner. Yes. I have strange children, but I love their curiosity. It didn't stay in the house for long, though I'm pretty sure my sister's dog ate it sometime after B put the rock outside.
Hey, what do you expect from a rainy Tuesday?
That's all I have!

Monday, March 03, 2008


There you go.
Puts a whole new spin on the quaint little cabin in the woods, doesn't it? Now you can definitely see why it's too dangerous to go inside. I want to though. B might not be happy that he's in the picture, though to the right you'll see my brother as well. But since B's the one who insisted I put this picture up, that's just how it is.
That's all I have for Monday!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Booksigning Photo!

Just got this from my mom.

This is from the book signing at One Good Woman! See that...I'm actually signing a book and there's someone standing there waiting for it! Very cool. Beside me, though you can't see her, is Vicky Burkholder. Misty Simon and Alayne Adams are at the other table. We had a blast, and as you can see the store has a lot of very cool things. We're supposed to be back in October. I'll post the details when they become available.

I have another picture of the cabin to post. B thinks I should show you just how unstable the building is, and there's one that shows just that. Then, there's a few more before my photo library well runs dry. But don't worry, I'm sure I'll find more weird stuff to take pictures of before too long.

And holy cow, it's March. I know I said that when February started, but seriously, time is flying by. March, which means spring is just around the corner. I can't wait. Look for a revamping of the gnome garden, and hopefully the addition of a few more of the little guys. I've got plans people.

In the meantime, stay warm, and...