Saturday, July 31, 2010


The lovely Natalie Damschroder has passed this award to me. Thanks, Nat. I think. ha!

The requirements:

1. Thank the folks who gave you the award and and link to them;
2. Share 7 things about yourself;
3. Pass along to 15 bloggers (and link to them); and
4. Pay it forward: Comment on their blogs to tell them they are now recipients of the Versatile Blogger Award.
Okay. Already did 1. On to the 7 things.

Umm....Borrowing from Natalie on a few....
1. I have never flown in a jet that I remember (apparently I did once, when I was a baby). I have been in a homemade plane, but that is the extent of flight for me. It is not because I'm afraid. I just haven't had the opportunity.

2. Sometimes I have no brain. Like last night when I caught the grill brush on fire. Okay, not just on fire, but on fire enough to reduce the brush to a few bristles. I wasn't paying attention. And that is why I set the timer for dinner, especially if I'm writing and cooking.

3. I often hurt myself without any idea how it happened. I guess that kind of goes with 2, but whatever.

4. Though I still think I'm not ready to be a grandma, I am loving it. It's amazing how those little squirmy bundles of poop and tears can worm their way into your heart.

5. Eventually we will have a pool and a pool house. Why? Because I want it.

6. I love having a clean house, but don't really like cleaning that much. A cleaning service would be sweet.

7. (whew! last one! thank goodness!) B and I will be married 24 years this year and I can honestly say he's my very best friend. It doesn't seem like 24 years and I look forward to the next 24.

I'm supposed to tag people, but everyone's been tagged already so I won't.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Here's the list:
1. Awesome friends.
2. Fantastic roadtrips that would have been great even if we were just going to drop off an envelope instead of checking out the...
3. New Retreat site! Whoo!!
4. The cooler temps. Man, it is nice outside.
5. Hearing my sister say: "better than yesterday" because it means her ordeal is near its end.
6. Weddings on the horizons. And this one is going to be epic! Really epic!
7. Booksignings also on the horizon. More on that later.
8. The fire we have planned for later.
9. Talking to K2. Even if it was only text messaging and only for a little. Man, I miss that kid!
10. Double cheeseburgers for dinner. Even if I accidentally caught stuff on fire. More on that later as well.
Lots up for tomorrow!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roadtrip Thursday

Today, Simon and I took a roadtrip to visit a potential site for next year's retreat! It was a beautiful drive through mountains (and I mean through - tunnels are fun) and farms and tiny little towns. It was also a long drive, but when you talk the whole way you barely notice how long you've been on the road. Ha!
The potential site has turned into a definite site and we are thrilled with our new location. The staff there was so welcoming and fun. They were very busy with end of camp snafu's, but still took the time to give us a proper tour and never once made us feel rushed. The coordinator had already picked out a meeting room for us and after looking at it, we knew we'd found the right place. It's perfect. Beautiful views. Nice rooms. Plenty of places to write. It's got everything we need.
My only problem now is that I can't wait for the retreat!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I'm thinking about...
1. How totally sad I am that the RWA National Conference started today and I am missing it.
2. How hot it is again! Though I hear we have a beautiful weekend on the horizon. And maybe some thunderstorms tonight.
3. Why on earth I wore a white t-shirt to eat spaghetti.
4. How many people I know with birthdays this week.
5. Not being able to sleep in tomorrow. It'll be worth it. Especially if this place is a go for the writing retreat.
6. The weekend.
7. Getting starting on my editing...
Guess that's what I'm going to do next. It's going well, though my bones are like a tiny baby mouse and they need to be tyrannosaurus rex sized. I am getting there though.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Survival: Year Two: Entry Four

Summer is going so fast. The natives and I have barely had a chance to seek pleasant experiences outside of our camp. In a few short days, it will be the month of the return to the educational camps. I will admit I look upon it with mixed emotions. The yearning for the structure has not yet overtaken me, probably because there has been less unstructured time around the camp this year. I cringe at the thought of assignments and projects and supplies, the lack of sleeping in, and the constant outlay of shells and beads.
Keeping foodstuffs in camp has become an epic situation. I trade for the necessary products only to have them disappear while I rest. Or so it seems. Then, I hear constant laments about how starving they are because there is nothing to eat. I do not understand. Perhaps I never will. I will also never understand how they can be so rude to each other one minute and then decide to happily do something together the next. I am clueless as to how this works, and no amount of asking gives me the answer I seek.
For now though, we will make the most of the remaining time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Stuff

My day started out bad!
Woke up late after a terrible sleep and my truck wouldn't start. Called B. He was too far out to come and help me. So I called a friend who I knew would be driving my way on her way to work. She came to help jump me, only it wasn't working. Now, I'm not stupid. I know how to jump start a car, but no matter what we did, it wouldn't start. She called her husband, and don't you know it started for him - on the first try. My pride was a bit wounded at that, because, after all, I do know how and have done it several times. Not that it really mattered, but still...
I then found out that I'd messed up a bunch of stuff (after being pleased with my progress) and had to go fix it all and then do it the right way.
Needless to say, my day didn't start off very well...
But it got better. Much better.
Here's why:
1. I have the best friends anyone could ask for. I just do. They are excellently awesome and I'm amazed and humbled by them.
2. I somehow managed saved a really huge dragonfly from certain death without hurting his wings or getting dive bombed.
3. I didn't have to cook dinner, or clean up.
4. I got to snuggle baby K and wish her momma a very happy birthday.
5. When we left the baby snuggling and birthday partying the sun was setting. The sky was amazing with reds and oranges and these awesome clouds. The clouds on our right looked like mountains. The ones in front looked like two angels and stayed directly in front of us the whole way home - never losing shape or spreading out like the other clouds had. Pretty spectacular.
6. Sleeping in for a little bit tomorrow.
7. A fantastically beautiful day today. Not too hot and a very nice breeze.
That's a pretty good list for a Monday, especially one that started out so crappy.
Now I must sleep.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What do you think of the new layout?

Remember This?

Sounds better than 108* heat index and Heat Advisory Warnings! Yes, I am crazy, but I'd much rather have snow than excessive heat!
That is all!

Stupid Stuff

I've been working hard to get an agent for some time now. Crossing my i's, dotting my t's - doing my best to present a professional image and a quality product. I keep track of my submissions, follow agents through social media, frequently check blogs and websites to get a perspective of their status with queries and when I might possibly have a response and to try to gauge whether or not we'll be a good fit for a long term professional relationship. I am deadly serious about it and keep my spreadsheets and tracking calendar updated at all times.
And I have just horrified myself.
In checking around to update my files, I found an update that a particular agent had responded to all queries as of a certain date and if you hadn't recieved a response to resend. I went and checked my spreadsheet and sure enough, I'd queried. So, I went back to the website, re-read the submission instructions and realized I'd made an error in both the email address and the material the agent requests. Horrifying enough, but salvagable. I copied and pasted my letter, added the material, fixed the address and hit send.
This morning, I realized I mixed everything up. My first submission was correct. I checked on the wrong agent and then ended up sending a letter with the first agents name to the second agent. That sucks! Hard. In my defense, their names are very similar as are the names of their agencies, but still.
I know mistakes happen and that agents are human, too, but I am horrified.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feel Good Friday

A long week.
Let's see about this list!
1. Friday! duh! Ha!
2. My mother-in-law improving.
3. The near end of my sister's ordeal.
4. My grass getting cut.
5. Thunderstorms.
6. Sleeping in.
7. Weekend plans changing to give us a semi-relaxed weekend.
8. Next week's plans to visit the potential new retreat site!
9. Hanging with the bff's. Man, I have missed them!!
10. Jason Manns! He put on a great show last night!
That is all for now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


...../>Just because...
Because I'm really far behind on my Dr. Who watching. (I'm behind on every show right now). Because I had to get up at o'stupid-thirty this morning.
Because I'm tired.
Because the quiet morning I got up early to have was interrupted by kids getting up early to watch the show I wouldn't let them stay up last night to watch.
And that is all...


I have no idea what day it is this week. This seems to be a frequent problem for me. And I can't believe I missed posting yesterday, but I do have a good excuse. The gnomes were threatening an uprising and all of my time was taken up with negotiations. Things are okay for now, but the situation is somewhat of a pressure cooker. I'm not sure how this will end.
Hopefully my sister in on the last leg of this spider bite journey. She had the plastic surgery to replace skin over the area yesterday. She's in an immobilizer for a little while, but is now without the tubes and wires she's been stuck with for the past several weeks.
My mother-in-law remains in the hospital. She is undergoing tests, but seems to be gaining strength. We really don't know too much at this point.
This week has seemed long! But tonight I get the chance to hang with the bff's and hear my favorite, Jason Manns. Very much looking forward to it!
It can stop being so danged hot now.
That is all!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

That Positive Thinking Thing

Or remembering to notice and enjoy the good stuff.
...something like that...
Everyone says there's power in positive thinking and I believe that. It's hard to remember to keep a positive mindset at times, especially in the face of perpetual toxins, but the alternative turns you into a bitter, angry person. The bad stuff has the power to wreck your day and cause you to miss the good stuff. But it's hard some days. Really hard.
So here's a reminder - for you and me.
Go outside and look at the clouds, notice the blooming flowers, close your eyes and feel the breeze on your face. Focus on the good things in your life. Remember your hope and your dreams and the people who love you.
And never, ever, ever give up.
p.s. Taking a break from Tall Tale Tuesday for a few weeks. I promise it will return!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Again? Seriously?
There are too many Mondays!
And it's way too hot out! Way too hot!
So my boys are home from a fabulous week of Boy Scout camp. They took Honor Troop for the week, won first prize for the "gateway" contest, and B won first prize in the Scoutmaster cook off for his peanut butter pie.
And then...
Then, yesterday we had to call an ambulance for B's mom. She was scaring us to the point where a trip to the hospital in a car was not a good plan. She's okay. Admitted to the hospital and hopefully we'll finally figure out what's been going on with her. She hasn't been well for a while now, despite numerous doctor visits.
We're continuing with normal life around here. Normal life being a disaster every minute and a half, or something like that. But...what do you do? Look for the positive and do your best.
And that is all...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Survival: Year Two: Entry Three

It has been a long week around the campfire.
The male members of our tribe went to other fires for the week, leaving the young native and I alone to tend to the duties and details of life in this camp. She and I have had the opportunity to bond, goof off, and do girlie things and it has been good. I appreciate her sense of humor and her love of frozen treats.
I, stupidly, thought this week would be perfect for me taking care of my own duties in addition to those of parenthood and bonding. I was wrong. Having one native at camp is far more taxing. It requires far more from me. Especially since said native is used to having other natives in residence. She has not been tolerant of my need to put words on the page, despite the deals I have made with her and the way I have spoiled her all week. Though I have been able to get a little done, it is not nearly as much as I had orginally hoped.
The males come home very soon - within the hour, I hope. I have missed them terribly. Have missed the chaos and their laughter and their faces. I had to opportunity to visit with them last evening and I swear the youngest male native has grown four inches and lost ten pounds. I have missed his smile and the smile of the man who lives here with me.
Though now I must face moutains of dirty, smelly, filthy laundry.
That is all for now!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Feel Good Friday

End of the week!
Here's the list:
1. Hanging with my baby girl all week!
2. Air conditioning!
3. Sleeping in!
4. Movie week.
5. My sister seeing an end to the horrible spider bite experience. She still has a little while to mend, but she has a time frame now.
6. My granddaughter.
7. Writing time! Whoot!
8. The rain. My grass is getting green again.
9. The evening plans.
10. The possibility of a relaxing weekend.
That is all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Movie Week, Part Two

Day five?
Added to the list:
4. Despicable Me - loved it. We had a great time watching, eating too much popcorn and laughing. It's a feel good, funny movie.
5. Julie & Julia - I've seen it before, but I still like it. K4 loves it. Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Childs is amazing.
6. Confessions of a Shopaholic - very cute. Classic romance storyline. Cute hero. Good characters. I will confess that I missed the very beginning though.
7. Henry Poole is Here - Interesting. I liked it. We didn't know a lot about the characters, but I'm not sure we needed to know more than we did. It was enough. It's a movie about miracles and new beginnings.
There aren't as many movies as I thought there would be going into this week, but there's been plenty of junk food. I'm scared to put my jeans on!
More later...(I think there will be more movies)

Thursday Trash

A random accounting of my week so far.
1. The gnomes are growing mushrooms in my flower bed. I think they're poisonous ones. I am scared.
2. Entertaining one kid who is used to having her siblings around for a week is much harder than entertaining when they're all home. Just sayin'.
3. I looked at my calendar. I thought things were going to calm down now. I was wrong.
4. College paperwork never ends.
5. Display chairs at the grocery store are comfy spots to wait for your mother-in-laws prescriptions. Though, people look at you weird.
6. Random hormonal outbursts from pre-teen girls are often scary and confusing. (i.e. the slamming of the remote and the crying about how the only thing on television are commercials. *scratches head*)
7. Air conditioning rocks.
I think that's enough!
Stay tuned for additional movie reviews.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Okay, here we go with the answers! I know, I can't wait! ha!
1. I don't carry a purse, but I will take a bag with me occasionally, depending on where I'm going and how long I may have to wait. After the long camping weekend, I discovered two pouches of fishing worms in said bag. Yes. We came home on Monday and I found the worms on Wednesday.
2. We came home from camp last weekend to find our trash cans tipped and garbage all over the yard. Nope.
3. My dog is such a nervous nellie. As soon as something is different, she licks her paw so much that she limps. Yes. And she's got her paw completely tore up right now.
4. On one of our recent trips to the hospital to see my sister, I witnessed a man peeing in the parking garage. No. But it wouldn't surprise me.
5. I braved my sisters "Garden of Death" (possibly where she got bit) to prove to my kids that there was nothing to be afraid of. Yes. I had myself all freaked out.
6. I found a bag of sliced cucumbers in the 'burban. No telling how long it had been there, but it was one of the most disgusting things I've seen in a long time. Nope.
7. I would rather live somewhere with alligators than somewhere with snakes. Yes. I'd rather live with snakes than alligators.
Okay. That is all. Back to the edits!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tall Tale Tuesday

Which of the following statements are true:
(There is more than one.)
1. I don't carry a purse, but I will take a bag with me occasionally, depending on where I'm going and how long I may have to wait. After the long camping weekend, I discovered two pouches of fishing worms in said bag.
2. We came home from camp last weekend to find our trash cans tipped and garbage all over the yard.
3. My dog is such a nervous nellie. As soon as something is different, she licks her paw so much that she limps.
4. On one of our recent trips to the hospital to see my sister, I witnessed a man peeing in the parking garage.
5. I braved my sisters "Garden of Death" (possibly where she got bit) to prove to my kids that there was nothing to be afraid of.
6. I found a bag of sliced cucumbers in the 'burban. No telling how long it had been there, but it was one of the most disgusting things I've seen in a long time.
7. I would rather live somewhere with alligators than somewhere with snakes.
Okay, the humidity has affected my brain. I can't think anymore. Which of the above are true?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Movie Week

Day two.
It's movie week around the old homestead.
So far we've watched three.
1. Ice Age 3: Well, what do you say about that? I've liked all of them so far.
2. Where the Wild Things Are: Did. Not. Like. It was angry and disconnected. We almost shut it off three times, but hoped it would get better. It didn't.
3. Blind Side: Loved it. K4 lost interest during the football scenes and went to research gerbil care (that's another post). I loved Sandra Bullock's character. She was tough, no nonsense, but filled with compassion and the strength to do the right thing.
We're 2 for 3. Not bad, but the one we didn't like hangs like a dark cloud of wasted time and confusion.
I'm not sure what else is on the movie list. K4's starting to like more than cartoons and kid movies, so it's pretty cool. We're planning to hit the theater tomorrow or the next day, though I have no idea what we're seeing. that it's after 10pm, now I can think about writing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Gnome Wars

I hate to say it, but I think the gnomes are winning.
(Don't tell them I said that though)
They've resorted to sabotage because I refuse to budge on certain issues. (like girly mags and an unlimited supply of booze - I have impressionable children at home. Not gonna happen.) They have killed all of the flowers in their garden, except for the Hostas, and some of them aren't looking too hot. The hearty lavender I planted is dead, though the other two lavender plants I put in pots are thriving. The daisies didn't come back. The ivy didn't either.
I'm not sure what they used to poison the earth, but part of me believes they're using that section of earth as their toilet. I think that would explain it.
The gnome that lives inside has moved to a higher perch. I believe this is so he can watch over us and report our conversations and movements to the outside militia. Also, I think it gives him a sense of importance - like a king or something.
I think I need to be more cautious, or I may wake up a prisoner.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Video Archives...

Beach Retreat!


My House...

This is what I find on my camera when I try to download pictures of the baby.

Don't ask me. I have no idea. I don't think that's the video taker's cereal though. I have a feeling this happened while the cereal owner was out of the room.

Strange stuff...


Ha Ha!


Friday, July 09, 2010

Feel Good Friday

At some point this week, I re-found my positive outlook.'s the list:
1. My sister being at home. She's still on IV meds and has a visiting nurse, but at least she's in the comfort of her own home. With air conditioning.
2. Movie night with the family!
3. Talking to K2 for a long time last night. I miss her!
4. Holding my beautiful newborn granddaughter while her mommy got some sleep. She is precious.
5. K3 finally (finally!) holding his niece and his smile of pure love.
6. Eating peanut butter sandwiches in the car as the younger K's and I traveled all over the continent yesterday.
7. Decent writing days.
8. The weekend!
9. The minimally cooler temperatures. It's not much, but it is somewhat better.
10. Coming home to find all of the laundry washed, dried, and folded.
That is all for now.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

This Reminds Me...

Of the elevator at the hospital.
1. The sign said: No Moroccans. (Supposed to be No Smoking, but obviously someone defaced it.)
2. When the elevator got to the ground floor, instead of a 1, it was a Klingon symbol. Scary.
3. The ceiling was a mirror - a twisted, crooked, sick looking mirror. A mirror that made you look like you belonged in the hospital instead of just visiting.
4. It smelled weird. Like sweat and old gum.
5. If there were more than three people inside, it bogged down and took forever to reach your floor.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Summer Survival Journal: Year Two: Entry Two

We are cooking in our own juices. The temperatures are extreme and so are the attitudes from the natives. They are uncomfortable. I do understand as I share their discomfort. But seriously? When a gentle reminder that it is your turn to load the utensil cleaning device causes a meltdown of nuclear proportions, then it is time to cut and run.
Though I cannot run. I cannot hide either.
The natives have been somewhat subdued due to events that have taken place with their countrymen. Every insect infringement is cause for concern and I do understand that, though I would appreciate not being disturbed from a peaceful slumber to inspect questionable itchy spots. I would also appreciate it if the door to my private sleeping chambers would be closed after they are done disturbing me since it is the only room in the house with a cooling device.
I believe these things are too much to ask.
We have danced for cooler temperatures to no avail. Perhaps this extreme weather will not break until after we have perished?
Send ice...

Gotta Love It!

...maybe I would watch it then...
Gotta love Dr. Who!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tall Tale Tuesday...Or Not

There's a lot I could Tall Tale Tuesday about, but I'm not feeling any of it.
I mentioned the weekend was not relaxing and I'll tell you why. Or at least some of why.
Tuesday evening, my sister got bit by something. By Wednesday morning, she had a rash. This rash got bad enough that she went to the doctor Wednesday afternoon. They said she had shingles and gave her a bunch of meds. Thursday morning, she was in so much pain she could barely walk. And she had a fever. She called the doctor and went back in. They gave her different meds, drew a circle around the area and told her if her fever got higher or if the redness extended beyond the circle to go to the emergency room. She texted me a little before 11pm to tell me they were on their way to the emergency room. She's been in the hospital ever since. Sunday night they did surgery to remove the necrotic tissue and the infected area. Now she's got a wound pump to help draw out the nasty fluids. They still don't know what bit her, or what's causing the infection.
There's a possibility it was a Brown Recluse spider. We're still waiting to hear anything on that. It's rare in this area, but not unheard of. My brother-in-law thinks he caught one and it's currently in a jar waiting for confirmation on what species it is.
It's possible she could come home today. With the wound pump and a visiting nurse.
So there you have it. Scary stuff.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Feel Good Friday - The Post Camping Edition

I don't think I've missed blogging this many days in a row in a long time! Not that you've missed me or anything. Ha!!
This weekend was perhaps the weirdest camping trip we've had in a long time! It was very quiet, with only my parents and us out there in the wilds. And we had a lot of running around to do, so it wasn't very relaxing. But let me hit the good highlights and I'll fill you in on the rest throughout the week.
1. The very cool nights. Made for some excellent sleeping.
2. Getting to see and actually talk to K2. Even if it was only for a few hours.
3. Chicken Taco Soup
4. The owls we heard in the trees Friday night.
5. Hanging with the kids.
6. The texted pictures of my granddaughter.
7. Hanging with the folks.
8. Getting a visit from my granddaughter when we got home from camp.
9. Showers. Flushing toilets. The Internet.
10. Air conditioning.
More on the weekend through the week.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


Told me I look older now that I'm a grandma.
Now I feel like this...