Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Monday

Happy Memorial Day!
We are back from the Wilds...well, the Almost-Wilds. We did camp, but not in our regular spot. In fact, except for a few feet, our camper did not move from it's storage spot. It was way too wet to camp near the creek, so we stayed at my sisters. We had a blast!
And the tree is cleaned up. We have a little wood to stack, but it's all off of the grass. The lines are still down, but we'll probably wait for a few weeks until they can get them back up. There's still a lot of damage from the storm and I'm sure we'll be last on the list since all of our stuff is still working.
Now it's back to the grind...
And...damn, it's hot out!
That is all...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Feel Good Friday

Here's the list:
1. The mess to the left didn't hit people, pets, or houses and the only thing broken was an old chair.
2. My brother-in-law and his awesome chainsaw skills. He came over on his day off and chainsawed that mess.
3. Because of #2, our weekend plans might be salvageable. (We still have about 3 loads of limbs to take the recycle yard, and some wood to stack, but there's not much left now.)
4. Pizza for dinner.
5. Three day weekend!
6. I am glad I do not have to take care of the chickens. They're cute, but smelly.

That's enough of a list for today. We still have Internet, despite the lines being stretched like crazy. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Remember when I said I had to unplug because of the storm?
Yeah, well...
We had a really, really bad storm - bad enough that the kids spent most of the evening in the flooding basement while Bob and I went from porch to porch watching...
Half of our huge old oak is laying over the swingset and the neighbor's bushes.
The tree is over the cable, phone, and Internet lines, so if I disappear for a few days you'll know we're waiting to be hooked up again. Still have them for now, but who knows when the lines will snap...
I will post pictures as soon as I can. It's too dark to get a decent one now...
A tornado touched down not far away and trees are down everywhere...the kids think they'll have off school tomorrow, but I know they're wrong. Everyone is safe though, and that's all that matters...
I hope, if you had this storm, that you're safe!


Someone in this house is insane, and it's not me! (actually, it's everyone but me!)
There are four chicks. Two different kinds. Rhode Island Reds and something else (whatever the really tiny guy to the left is).
Currently, they are in the old rat cage on my dining room table with a heat lamp. They make a lot of noise. The dog is scared of them and the cat could not care less - right now.
Their names? Just remember you asked...
Fabio, Peaches, Xavier, and...the little guy in the picture? Dinner.
We will be caring for the little beasts for the next six to eight expect updates, and possibly some better pictures.
We're under a severe tornado threat here, so I'd better unplug.


Heartmates by Victoria Allen

Combine a magic sapphire, a witch and a stubborn hero and you get
double trouble.

As a healer, Selena welcomes all to her home. Then two strangers show up on her doorstep, one badly injured, but it is the other who draws her notice. Did her mother's last act of enchanting a beautiful
sapphire bring this handsome man of her desires to her?

Tristan had been against the journey with his godfather, Jacob, but a
promise is a promise. An attack by outlaws sealed his fate. Injured
and on the run, they come upon a secluded cabin and a beautiful woman.

When she displays powers unlike any he's ever seen, he is certain he’s been bewitched. Yet for some reason, he doesn’t mind as much as he thought he would.

When treachery uses Selena's compassionate nature against her, can the two heartmates overcome vast odds to fulfill the future promised to them by the Stone of Destiny?

Content Warning: Contains graphic scenes of m/f sexuality.

Also check out The Chosen (Book Two in the Stone of Destiny series)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday...But No Tall Tales...

So...I mentioned the dog's haircut fiasco...
This is the after - the way after. (since I promised her no pictures with the reverse mohawk.)
See that to the left? That's the rest of her fur. (and that pile is bigger than it looks in the pic) We spent more hours tonight - trimming and trimming. I don't know if you can see it or not, but there's still a little hair on her tail. (It won't be staying).
That's a lot of fur! And that's probably only half of what we took off. (I got at least that much when I started this whole process) It's a whole 'nother dog.
It's Tuesday already. Thank goodness for that. The weekend is coming!

Monday, May 23, 2011


I used to love Monday. Not so much anymore. It's hard getting out of bed after a long weekend. It's hard getting the K's out of bed, too. It's also hard when I get into my truck and realize I have no gas...argh!
So...even though we didn't get Raptured, I swear something did happen.
K4 was the most helpful, sweet child yesterday, and has been today as well. That's wonderful and I'm not picking on her because I love it, but you have to agree it's a bit curious to go from hormonal pre-teen to agreeable in a day.
Also, our most irritating, obnoxious, rude neighbors are moving.
And I got to see the season finale of Castle. *loves*
Tell me something didn't happen...
This was all in addition to having K5 all afternoon. We had a fantastic day and her squinchy face is the cutest thing ever. She did not, however, appreciate being rudely awakened when the computer monitor shorted out and smoke started filling the living room, but other than that our day was filled with smiles, open-mouthed baby kisses, swinging, and happy noises. Can't beat that with a stick.
Anyway. Now that the week has started I'm looking forward to the end. I know that's no way to live, but trust me, if I live through this week I will try not to wish time away.
For now, I'm going to bed...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oh no....a

Maybe I was wrong about the zombies...
This one...and I know it's a horrible picture...was in my dining room after chasing the kids and the dog around the back yard and running up and down the sidewalk.
She did her makeup and put the zombie clothes on in under 10 minutes.
Now they're making a movie... (I might post it, depending)
Hopefully they leave my ridiculous looking dog out of it. I...kind of...gave her a haircut today. I say kind of because as of right now she has a reverse mohawk. It started with knot removal and a trim around her ears. I thought I'd cut a little before pulling out the clippers - get her used to the idea of what was going to happen next...and then the clippers refused to work. And let me just say that people clippers do not work on her. I tried. (shh...don't tell B) Her hair is probably 5 inches long, and the hair on her hind end is different than her sides. And before you say...duh, I was using the clippers on the areas I already trimmed with scissors. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it. She looks very silly. And the groomer can't see her until July.
No. I am not posting a picture of her. I will do my best to save what's left of her dignity.
Besides laundry, grass mowing, and spending a small fortune at the scout store to replace the badges K3 lost so he could be proper for the Eagle ceremony (which was awesome and complete with Indian food) this evening and getting the badges on his sash and shirt (no, I did not sew. I will not. That's why they make Patch Magic. And let me tell you that's fantastic stuff!), that's my day.

The World is Ending?

I had no idea until I saw posts on Facebook. I still didn't know when and then I found out it was supposed to be today.
So far none of my neighbors have turned into zombies. It seems life is going on as usual around here. I even checked the gnomes and they're as obnoxious as usual with no signs of turning into evil (more evil) creatures. Maybe it's just not time yet?
The suggestion that the world is ending and the zombie apocalypse is starting fills my head with ideas...Such as:
Do animals turn into zombies? If a bear ate a zombie, would the bear become a zombie bear?
Where would you seek refuge from your zombie neighbors?
Would you loot to get the things you need to survive, or would you already have them?
What kind of role would you have in the new world? Would you hide and cry, or would you form a zombie response posse and try to find a way to end it?
Money would mean nothing. How would you get the things you need, especially after the looting is finished and there's nothing left?
...oh there's more, but I'm not going to get anything done today if I keep going. Before I go, let's discuss the essential zombie apocalypse survival kit.
Here's what mine would have:
Weapons - a lot of weapons and ammo.
Toilet paper
A massive first aid kit.
Canned goods and other food items.
Extra fuel, with fuel stabilizer so it doesn't go bad.
A generator.
Walkie Talkies and/or a CB radio
Liquor - lots of it since it would be useful for trade as well as have a wide variety of uses.
I know I'm missing stuff. So tell me what would be in your survival kit? What would you add? What do you need to survive?

Feel Good Friday - The Saturday Edition

Wow! What a week! We had obligations every single night and all weekend. Next week looks the same, but I'm not thinking about that right now.
Here's the list:
1. Getting to sleep in a little this morning.
2. Supernatural last night - not only did I get to watch 2 straight hours, but I also watched the episode I missed. I am sad it's over for a few months...but we'll talk about Supernatural in another post.
3. The brief glimpse of sun I saw this morning.
4. Taking my youngest to middle school orientation. I'm excited for her, but a little nostalgic. We've had a child in the elementary school since K1 started.
5. Seeing my granddaughter.
6. Feeling like I'm starting to get caught up with everything.
7. Hopefully getting our container garden started this weekend.
That's enough for now...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Answers...because I know you can't live without knowing...ha!
1. I got my hair caught in the leaf blower. Yes. I bent down to grab something as B ran the blower beside me...
2. When I got home from the retreat, my truck was out of gas and no one told me. Also true. Argh.
3. I think my cat missed me more than the humans that live here. I don't think he cared I was gone.
4. While on retreat, on Saturday, I did not go to the Internet cafe even once. True.
5. When I crawled into my bed Sunday night, there were five stink bugs under my pillow. Nah.
6. I just had an ant crawling on my computer screen. Yes.
7. My granddaughter is the cutest baby ever. Absolutely. She is equal in cuteness to my own children, only made cuter by the fact that I don't have to get up with her in the middle of the night, or change nasty diapers.
8. There was a scout function on Friday (while I was away) and all of the firetrucks B organized got called away for emergencies leaving him with nothing. True..
9. We are getting baby chicks soon. Sigh. Also true.
10. The wood bees are so bad on our front porch that the railing collapsed. (They're like stink bugs, only more destructive) No. But there are about a million of them out there.
Sorry this one's a lame-o. I came back from the retreat to a heavy busy week and work's been the same. (I wasn't sure what day it was earlier. Yes. That crazy) But I have at least done something on the book every single day, and that's a good feeling.
I'd also like to wish my mom a Very Happy Birthday!! Love you, Mom!
And that is all. My pillow is calling me, and if I'm lucky, the psychotic water bed leaking has stopped. (It doesn't leak all of the time and we can't find the hole!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tall Tale Tuesday

True or False...
Which of the following are true?
1. I got my hair caught in the leaf blower.
2. When I got home from the retreat, my truck was out of gas and no one told me.
3. I think my cat missed me more than the humans that live here.
4. While on retreat, on Saturday, I did not go to the Internet cafe even once.
5. When I crawled into my bed Sunday night, there were five stink bugs under my pillow.
6. I just had an ant crawling on my computer screen.
7. My granddaughter is the cutest baby ever.
8. There was a scout function on Friday (while I was away) and all of the firetrucks B organized got called away for emergencies leaving him with nothing.
9. We are getting baby chicks soon.
10. The wood bees are so bad on our front porch that the railing collapsed. (They're like stink bugs, only more destructive)
Which ones are true?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Retreat: The Black Swan

The black swan was beautiful, but very sad.
When we went to use the gazebo for our annual group picture, we stopped to talk to him. He made the saddest sounds - mournful and lonely. I think my heart broke a little bit.
(I wish I would have taken his picture)
At checkout, we mentioned how sad the black swan seemed and our host told us that they'd originally had a pair. The female suddenly disappeared one night, leaving the male alone.
They've tried to find him another lady friend, but since swans mate for life, it's never worked out.
How poignant is that?
And the poor guy is stuck near the pond with a pair of geese - the male goose all about trumpeting his displeasure that you dare look at his wife. I can't help but wonder how badly the black swan wants to kick his ass just to put him in his place and remind him that he's a lucky goose.
I keep thinking about the black swan. I figure he'll show up in a story at some point. How can he not?

The first full day back from retreat is always exhausting. Today was no different. But I am writing. I still don't know if I've found my mojo yet, but I'm sticking with my plan and it feels good.
That is all...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Retreat: Day Four: The End

So it's Sunday morning.
All is quiet in the retreat center. I know some of our group is already gone, but I'm too far away to know for sure. We have a little under two hours until we have to get out and head home.
I'm very pleased with the progress I made this weekend. I'm pleased that this new places is so fantastic and is as close to perfect as I think we'll ever get. I'm thrilled that my friends all have a great sense of accomplishment.
I'm sad and yet ready to go home. I miss the family and the chaos. I miss my bed.
Sorry I don't have anymore pictures. The crappy cell phone ones weren't cutting it. Plus, I think it rains all of the time here. No, wait, let me rephrase that - it rains all of the time when we're on retreat and I'm really okay with that.
I might do another recap later...depending on how chaotic life is when I get home. We still have the hours long roadtrip home, so who knows what kind of fodder I'll pick up.
Another successful retreat in the bag.
Thank you, Retreat, for reminding me of who I am.

Retreat: Day Three

Yeah, I'm a little behind. I didn't access the Internet at all yesterday.
I made a huge goal for myself and buckled down right after breakfast. Made good progress, then...after lunch the crappy night of sleep caught up to me and I had no choice but to take a nap. Naps are good, but not when you've potentially bitten off more than you can chew.
I think all we do here is eat. The food is phenomenal. Friday night's dinner was flounder stuffed with crab and shrimp, a big honking pork chop, or honey glazed chicken...see what I mean? How do you choose? (That one was easy for me). I've been avoiding the snack table because I'm constantly full, despite all of the stair running I'm doing.
Game night is Saturday night, and, as usual, it was a blast. We danced, pulled the raffle prizes, and laughed. Then back to the room to get some work done.
I am happy to say I met my ginormous goal. Go me!
That is all for now...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Retreat: Day Two

This, my friends, is what a retreat view should look like.
The morning dawned rain-free and beautiful, despite storms throughout the night and the loss of electricity for a brief second or two. This was taken for the Lobby (the only place where there's Internet) (and this view is the exact same one I'm looking at now.)
See the building to the left? The lower part of that is our meeting room. I'll take a picture of the views from there and post them tomorrow, with apologies for the crappy cell phone pics.
We were all pretty tired this morning, but naps have been taken and work has been done. I tried to take a nap, but have had no luck and now I'm too eager to get some work done. My main goal for the retreat is to go home with my mojo back. So far so good.
The staff continues to be attentive and fantastic. The food is wonderful and they are taking special care of our allergy member. Tonight is our first ever Cocktail/Pajama Party. We'll see how that goes, but if the gatherings going on in rooms and the hall last night are any indication it will be a good time.
More tomorrow!

Retreat: Day One and Three Quarters we're watching the lightning, waiting for the storm to come when the fire alarms start blaring. It takes us a few seconds to realize what's going on, but we're not too concerned.
They continue...So we go in and roust our fellow retreaters to evacuate, grab our computers and phones and head outside.
Everyone is accounted for.
It's raining. (We are under an overhang)
We're laughing and carrying on, thinking there is nothing of consequence going on. I get sick of waiting, so I run back through the building to the lobby and meet up with another guest. There was an odor of electricity (it does too smell!) near the lobby, but no smoke. We went through one of the exits as other guest were coming from the basement. The dryer downstairs was on fire...
No one had cell signal but me, so I handed it over for the 911 call - which they already knew about given the type of system here. I walked through the rain to meet back up with my compatriots and let them know what was going on.
The fire trucks start arriving....

...and they keep arriving....
And we're getting worried...
The staff tells us it was a dryer fire, but it's out now. We needed to wait a few minutes for the firemen to call all clear and air the building before we can go back we waited...and waited...
Then, they asked us to relocate to the dining hall of the camp they're affiliated with as white smoke and steam fills the air around the facility. Some had their keys and drove, some walked in the rain. I stashed my computer in someone's truck and rode since I had no shoes.
...and we waited some more...
Natalie, Simon, and I trekked through the rain twice to check out the scene. I know I had no shoes, but by then I was so soaked I didn't care anymore. We were really getting worried. It was close to midnight and we hadn't been updated for a while. Then the director arrived and said he wanted us to come and check things out - that if the smoke smell was bad on our floor that they'd pack us up and take us to the Ramada Inn.
Things were fine - even for our most sensitive members.
And this place is fantastic. As Natalie said last night (paraphrased because it was really late and we were really tired): A place can be fantastic, but the true measure of a great staff and facility is how things are handled in an emergency. And the staff here are absolutely awesome. (Needless to say, we are all in love with this new retreat place!)
So there you have it. Our retreat excitement for the year. (I hope that's it!). One more post to get up to date and then I'm leaving the Internet Cafe to get some more work done.

Retreat: Day One

(This should have been posted yesterday, but between not having readily available Internet, the long drive, blogger being down, and other events, we're experiencing a twelve hour lag time).
So Thursday went like this:
Up way to early with another potential hole in the waterbed. I'm ticked at first until I realize it's Retreat day! Do the morning routine with the K's and anxiously await the arrival of Simon so we can hit the road. Load more stuff in the back of Simon's van when we arrive at Natalie's to pick up her and Megan. Turnpike rest stops, nonstop talking, lots of excitement. Arrive in town and have lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Good food. Slow service.
Finally arrive at the retreat center! Whoot!! Did a slight bit of room switching, unloaded, organized the room. (Simon and I are sharing this year for the first time ever. So far we both snore, but neither care and we're way too cautious about disturbing the other. I don't expect that to last much longer though.)
Since I'm the retreat chairperson, I organized the meeting room with the help of my travel buddies. Greeted and directed members as they arrived, and finally settled in to work after dinner. Not much work happened, but there was a lot of talking and laughing as everyone settled in.
This is the bathroom soap! Which makes me talk in a funny accent and consider giving it as a consolation prize at tonight's festivities...
Anyway. Back to last night. I finally settle in with my adult beverage, with the windows open and a lovely breeze coming through the windows. Thunder rumbles in the distance and Natalie and I go out to check out the coming storm....
On to post 2....
(I am coming right back. I promise.)
In the meantime...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Retreat Countdown

We're down to mere hours now...
I am packed, prepped, and ready to rock and roll. The travel route has been investigated and printed. The family has been given their lists (normally I don't do that, but there is a lot going on this weekend)My to do list is down to a few stragglers, which I will take care of on my late night trip to pick up K3 from his trip to NYC.
My joy is immense!
No work, no laundry, no grocery store trips, no cooking, no cleaning...until Sunday! How cool is that?
I am so stoked to have nothing to do but write! I know what I'm working on and I hope I kick ass and take names. No, wait. Let me rephrase that...I WILL kick ass and take names!!
And yeah, I'll miss my crazy chaos of a normal life, but it will be fantastic to worry only about me for a few days. That's what the retreat is all about...
I doubt I'll sleep much tonight, though my butt is already dragging. My brain, however, is wide awake and talking up a storm, so we'll see which one wins.
The next time I blog it will be retreat side!
Wait for it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Man, I Suck!!

I swear I thought I posted on Saturday!
But nearly a week? That is so not cool! There's probably no one left reading this crappy blog by now!
I don't have a lot of news to report...
K2 is home from college. Mothers Day was great. My dog is becoming incontinent. The writing is going slow, but it WON'T BE!!
The biggest and best is that my RETREAT is in a little over a day - in the wilds with no civilization for miles. I am so excited! I am packed (for the most part), shopped (I think I have everything), and absolutely ready to go! One more day to get through, and that day includes major field trips for kids, work, and all kinds of stuff that will hopefully help the day go fast.
I will do my best to post from the retreat. No pictures this year, unless I can have some of someone's or take them with my cell. Our camera took a crap and I haven't found a decent replacement yet.
So there you have it...
Is anyone still here?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Because I know you've been anxiously wringing your hands...

1. Horse Dreams. Yes. From K1. He also sent me a link to a dream dictionary.
2. I need a poop in. Yes. From K2. Long story...
3. There is a chicken in my room. No.
4. If peanut butter has mold in the jar is it still good? Yes. From K2.
5. I'm at the beach. Also from K2. Lucky dog.
6. One day we will all be kings. No. At least I don't think so...
7. If a steak is uncooked and brown is it still good? Yes. K2.
8. Do you think this potato salad is still good? Also K2. (Are you sensing a theme here?)
9. This guy keeps hitting on me. K2 again. Her next text said if he said one more thing she was going to punch him.
10. I'm studying. Ha ha! No! I don't think I've ever gotten a text that said this!
K2 texts me a lot. Today she sent me a picture of her packing progress. She'll be home for summer at the end of the week and they have to clear their dorm room. She brought most of her stuff home over Easter. I don't know where she's going to put the rest of it.
K1 also texts me a lot, but his are more related to whatever's going on at the time these days.
So there you have it!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Tall Tale Tuesday

Text message style...
Which of the following are actual texts I've received from either K1 or K2 in the past week?
1. Horse Dreams.
2. I need a poop in.
3. There is a chicken in my room.
4. If peanut butter has mold in the jar is it still good?
5. I'm at the beach.
6. One day we will all be kings.
7. If a steak is uncooked and brown is it still good?
8. Do you think this potato salad is still good?
9. This guy keeps hitting on me.
10. I'm studying.
Okay, so which are actual text messages?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Whew! Busy Weekend!

Wow! The weekend is nearly over already! I need one more day! Please?
It's been productive, in every area but writing...which sucks, but the things we got done absolutely needed done.
We got the basement cleaned - emptied of all of the wet and nasty stuff. There was a lot. We made many, many trips to the curb with trash (or you know, stuff that used to be good, but got wet and nasty). There was a little mold. Okay, more than a little, but I think we got that under control as well. Some areas are still damp, but I think they will be for a while, regardless of the fans we have running.
I got my driver's licence picture taken. Finally. We won't talk about how many days ago my camera card expired. Or how hideous the picture is.
The washing machine is fixed. And laundry is caught up.
The grass is mowed and weeds pulled.
B's exhaust is welded and his car is back on the road. At the same time, our friend welded my glider, so now I can sit on it. Yay!
I have done my duty as an aunt and attended a baby shower for my soon-to-be great niece and got to hang out with my sister and mom.
I took care of a ton of retreat stuff this weekend, though the shopping is still not done and my list for what I need to take is not done either.
...and I'm tired...
And we won't talk about the cold symptoms...or the sore muscles...or the fact that it's raining again...