Saturday, May 31, 2014

Feel Good Friday...

Oh geeze... What a week!
Monday was good. We slept in a little. That Man worked on cars, fences, and the yard. I slept longer than him and worked on sucking up the ridiculous amount of pet hair in my house, laundry, and writing stuff. K1 and J stopped by as a surprise. Baby B had been running a fever, but was normal, so they decided to come over and hang out. That was awesome and fun.
Cursed Fate released on Monday!! I had a post! I posted a post!! It somehow went away!! This book is one of my favorites and it has a very awesome cover! I hope you check it out and I hope you love it! (See cover to the right!)
Tuesday was back to the grind. K3 had a dinner for the Thespian Society. It started before I got off work, so That Man and K3 went. It was good. I'm sad I missed it. K3 won Best Actor. So cool. When I finally got home, K4 and I ordered pizza. She did homework. I did my stuff. Then I had to go with That Man to pick up K1's car from the shop. (huh?) We didn't get home until late. That kind of sucked.
Wednesday was K4's concert at school. I received a frantic text after she got home. She could not find her violin. Crap. The last time I saw the violin was the day I left for retreat. Dammit! The house was searched. My stomach was turning considering the amount of money we have spent on this violin thing (She's been playing since 4th grade...that's four years). I arrived home, did the quick search for the missing instrument, (no dice) and we left for the concert. I went into the band hall with K4. She was mad. I didn't care. I needed to know and/or talk to her teacher if it wasn't found. It was found. Yay. That Man took me out for a quick dinner because I never had the chance to eat. K4 was amazing in chorus, special chorus, and orchestra. Love my kids.
Thursday was a scout meeting - a committee meeting. We have a limited time on the committee because K3 will age out soon and he is in no way shape or form in a position to try to get his Eagle. (3 years of summer camp with the same merit badges will do that... sad and weird... but...) The very sad thing is that we love these people. They are fun and our friends, but our time there is soon over. We'll hang around for a while, but we've already announced that we're done running committees and such.
And now it's Friday (shh.. don't look at the time this posted...) It was a long, but mostly good week!. Next week has some challenges. And maybe some surprises.. I will let you know...
That is all.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stay Tuned...

Oy! This has been a super long week!
I will explain... but not now... It's very late and I need to sleep.
Just know... I am still here. Doing my thing. Trying to keep up....
Tomorrow I hope to have an informative Feel Good Friday, but... don't count on it...
I might be a little flaky after this week...
Oh... and get ready for Summer Survival Journals... We're at less than 9 days until the kids get out of school!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Saturday of No Sleeping In...

So... I was going to sleep in a lot longer... My phone rang at 7:48am. I heard it, but rolled over and ignored it. (sometimes That Man calls me to try to get me out of bed... and I had gone to bed late Then, the notification that I had a voice mail sounded. I knew it couldn't be good. I listened, and as I listened, I got up and put clothes on. That Man flew into our room and said he had to go, because he got the same call. I was going with him, because my dad had fallen and Mom needed help getting him up. So... we went. And yes, I went in my Mickey Mouse jammie pants and an ugly sweatshirt. That Man got Dad up, he made him tea. We chatted for a few minutes and then That Man and I went about our business of setting up new bank accounts thanks to the breach at my payroll company. What a freaking pain. (Oh and I did go home to change out of my jammie pants and ugly sweatshirt first) I went back to the 'rents so my mom could go to the grocery store. I wrote many words. I started laundry for my mom. I looked for this freaking cool-as-hell bowl my sister needs, but sadly, didn't find it. My dad slept. I put on obnoxious television, but he didn't wake up. I tried, but he was tired and in pain.
Mom got home and I rushed to meet K4 at the haircut place. She was in the chair when I got there. Half of her head was shaved. Despite the shock value of her new haircut, it's super cool. She loves it. I do, too. It's so her. And, seriously... it's only hair.
The d-i-l had picked her up previously to take her to the mall, specifically to Victoria's Secret to be fitted for bras. Since they hadn't been able to get her a bday present, this was a big deal. VS was having an enormous sale and many bras (in the right size) were bought. Both of my girls were happy. Baby B was a huge flirt during this whole process. After the haircut, we had lunch, then found a 50% off bathing suit and cheap flipflops. Also super cool.
Then grocery shopping where I saved a significant amount in coupons. Then rushing to get K3 to his Improv show at the coolest venue! A bookstore! Cheap coffee. Cool building, except they don't do fiction. But still! When we got home, K3 left to do teenager things. That Man and I made our food for tomorrow's picnic. I talked to my parental unit and now... it's now...
And I'm super tired and must go to bed. The sleeping in thing? Yeah... Not going to happen tomorrow... We're going to hear K4 speak at her job. Then we're heading to The Wilds for the holiday picnic.
We're sad we couldn't camp this weekend... Very much so...But, we weren't ready and there is all of this stuff going on and needing to be done... So whatever...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Feel Good Friday

Whew! I made it!
Here's the Feel Good Friday list:
1. Making it through the week. Kid stuff. Work stuff. Late nights. But tomorrow....I sleep in!
2. Three day weekend! Whoot!
3. Hanging with my grandson! He's so adorable and he's learning so much.
4. Writing time tomorrow for at least a little bit. I'm heading over to give my 'rents a break by staying with my dad while my mom goes shopping. My dad is okay despite dealing with some issues, but Mom doesn't want to leave him. We'll pop in a movie and chill and I will write while Mom does her thing.
5. Girl time tomorrow afternoon. K4 needs a haircut. Haircut days are always fun.
6. Picnic on Sunday. Small consolation for missing the camping weekend, but what are you going to do? Mother Nature always gets her way.
7. That Man taking care of things and stuff while this family adjusts to my new schedule.
8. Getting my embroidered work shirt today. Cool! And I got a pretty darned good review, too!
9. Catered work lunch. Good food and very nice of our vendor!
10. Cursed Fate releases on Monday!! Yay!!
11. And one more, because it's important.... Keeping up with my chapter's 50/50 challenge even though it's been a struggle this week!
That is all!
Enjoy your holiday weekend and make sure you remember what we're celebrating! Thanks to my dad and my brother(s) and all military folks for protecting our freedom!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Routine Change

Is why I'm so tired.
The hours have changed at my day job and now I work later than I ever have. Which means I go in later than I ever have. It's not necessarily the ideal time to have to work, but it won't last forever and we'll make it work. It's just... you know... the change and the fact that despite having to clock in later, I'm still up at my regular time doing stuff. My days are long. And then I'll adjust again in a few weeks when school gets out and I don't have to make sure kids get out the door and get kids to school on time. (and wait for the traditional whining wish of being home again full time when the kids do get out of school. It happens every year.)
My plan is to do most of my writing in the morning before I head in. That worked Monday, but not Tuesday since I had some other stuff to take care of. (we'll just scratch Tuesday out of this week for now - it was long and exhausting.)
Good stuff:
Tomorrow I'll be on Ava Quinn's blog!
And... Monday, May 26th, Cursed Fate comes out! I'm so excited!
That is all for now...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Home Again...

It happens every year... I'm happy to be home with my family and back to my routine, but I'm exhausted - physically and mentally. I also always entertain ideas of being able to stay home to write full time again when I return. I know that dream is a very far off one and I know I'll readjust to life pretty quickly. I do like my day job a whole lot, so at least I'm doing something I like with cool people. And regardless of the slight emotional upheaval, retreat was exactly what I needed. I started a new book I am very excited about, reconnected with myself as an author, and hung out with my awesome writing people.
Plus, today was my first day on my new shift - it starts later and ends later and there will be an adjustment phase for a little while.

Anyway... One last retreat picture:
It hailed twice on Saturday. We found this pile of ice in the middle of the grass. No rhyme or reason to it. But weird. The weather there is definitely psychotic. It went from warm to cold, sunny to cloudy, rain to hail, and then back again. The sky was either filled with big puffy clouds or heavy grey ones.

I need to go to sleep now... We watched Baby B for a little while tonight and his wore me out. (also see later shift above) His new thing is "Go outside" where he wants to chase the dog, beat on trashcans with sticks, and go down the slide. He did get to play with the neighbor kids tonight, which he loved. And chase the neighbors ducks around.
That is all...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Retreat - Day Three

Yeah, I know I set myself up yesterday to do a pm post... And I meant to, but didn't get back to my room until late.
I ended up with over 4k words yesterday, which is awesome. We had our annual cocktail party last night and our first annual signature drink. We had a blast and stayed up talking, laughing, and being silly until way late. It was a lot of fun.
Today is our last full day here and it's bumming me out a little. I'm trying hard not to think about it! After lunch we will take our annual group photo and tonight is our game and the prize drawing.
So, these geese live around the pond. One of my associates does not like them at all. I was on the phone with That Man and walked down to check them out. The male is not a pleasant soul. He hissed at me and made noises that were most definitely threats in geese language. And my socks were soaked.
And now I need to get to work...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Retreat - Day Two - AM

Slept like crap last night. Don't know why. Maybe it was the massive amounts of coffee I drank, or the massive amounts of water I drank before bed. Or just unfamiliar surroundings. I don't know. I was up a lot. I don't think I fell into a deep sleep until around four am. I was up before my alarm though, showered, talked to the family to see how the evening went last night and wish them a good day today, and was at breakfast on time.
I hit about 1k words and took a nap, only to be awakened by housekeeping. Which was fine. I'd slept long enough and our garbage cans were almost overflowing. Besides, I have work to do. Plotting out some of my story with Simon, turned the heat on in our room, and moved to the comfy bed to work. Which I will begin again once I do a ticket run. (We hand out tickets to enter to win the big prizes.)
This is what it looked like when I woke up this morning. There was a little sun. It's gone now and the temperatures have dropped. It's about ten degrees colder here now than it is at home, though I know home is getting hammered with rain and wind. My niece just posted some pics of The Wilds and the flooding. Crazy stuff.
So this new story has a post war setting which I totally dig. Think Jericho meets Red Dawn with a hefty dose of Life After People thrown in for setting. As of right now there is no paranormal elements, but that might change. Or not. The heroine's name is America and her parents might have been double agents. The hero is the leader of the resistance, but at this point America isn't sure which resistance he's leading.
It's definitely a work in progress. One I am eager to get back to.
So I will leave you with that and get back to work!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Retreat - Day One

We are here!!
I am waiting for two more in our group, then my chairperson duties will be lessened a bit. Right now, every time I sit down and start to do something, someone shows up. But that's okay. I don't mind one bit.
It's rainy - rainy like crazy right now and is supposed to rain through tomorrow, but I don't mind that either.
We're on a different floor this year, which is pretty cool so far. We have a more private location with closer access to our meeting room. Each room has a view of the pond and the facility set up a table with coffee and hot water for us. Sweet.
The swag has gone over excellently. Everyone has loved it so far.
I'm going through my projects to see what I have and what will be worked on next before starting a new project. (I have no idea what that will be yet - today is for figuring that out).
I might be back later. We'll see...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Retreat - Less Than One Day

This time tomorrow I'll be at RETREAT!!!
I'm 99.975674% ready - just have a few things to throw in and I have to sleep at some point. I am so excited!
Yes, I will miss my family a whole bunch! I am missing K3's end of year performance (which is a whole 'nother long and weird story) and him going to his first prom (maybe. He's still on the fence). I'm going to miss the people in my house. And since That Man and I never got our alone time... Yeah... might be a little rougher than usual. But I'm not going away forever. They will have a blast while I'm gone.
I am done with my work week! Yay! (I'll hate this next payday, but...)
I am so very ready for RETREAT!!
More tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Oh...It's Tuesday...

The weekend was awesome, though the rain prevented us from seeing my brother walk for his graduation. We had fun hanging out though. And we took our friend Richard. Richard is a tick. In a bag. He was on That Man the other day, so we kept him. Though he's a dog tick, not a deer tick, but he's still a Richard. We actually left Richard behind that night and my niece brought him back, though I know she didn't want to. Ha! Mother's Day was fun and good. We hung out, cooked on the grill, and after the crowd left, we had a roaring game of Apples to Apples with the teenagers. Fun stuff.
It's been a really weird and rough week so far though...
Monday was bad. When I got into work I was informed the woman who hired me had passed away in a freak accident. It was horrible. They brought in a grief counselor and talked to us all through the day. Everyone is a mess. She was a huge part of the company and everyone loved her. Suck and so sad!!
Today was also not good. We got an email early this morning that our payroll company had a security breach. All of our info was exposed - birth date, social, hire date, pay rate, address, phone numbers, bank numbers... everything. Yikes! I called my bank and they recommended we put a password on our account. Which I did. They also recommended we close the affected account and open a new one. What a freaking pain! But we will, because... really? The worst thing is that all of the stolen info could be used in bad ways, which we cannot prevent by opening new accounts... The payroll company has offered us free credit monitoring and protection, which I will take, but what a bunch of bullsh*t crap!
Though on a super fantastic note... We did find out that K4 was accepted into the Art's school in the fall for theater. Exciting stuff! I'm so happy and beyond excited!
And... This time tomorrow I will officially be in de-stress mode and ready for RETREAT!!  I am nearly packed. The swag is packed. The game gifts are wrapped. I have a few things to do, but I am so totally and completely ready for retreat!
Come on, Wednesday... Get here and get over!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Feel Good Friday - The Crazy Edition

From now until next Thursday morning, I am insane with things and stuffs! And then I am on RETREAT! YAY!!
It's a good kind of insane. The kind I like. But that doesn't stop the worry I won't get it all done from creeping in.
Anyway... Here is the list:
1. Having a wonderful day in NYC with my girl! Cinderella was fantastic! (Awesomely fantastic!) We also saw Mariah Carey get out of her limo on her way to the David Letterman show. We walked, talked, laughed, and had a good time.
2. My work week. It was crazy busy, but also good. I am getting better at what I do and I dig it!
3. Seeing Baby B and talking to K5 this week. Baby B is a riot and K5 talked my ear off! I love it!
4. Lists - because without them I would be adrift...
5. Weekend plans. There is no sleeping in tomorrow, but I will get to see my brother graduate, hang out, and then hopefully (if it doesn't rain) hang out with the neighbors when we get home.
6. Mother's Day plans. I'm very thankful we are gathering here for the day. I'm looking forward to it! (We won't talk about the mess my house is currently and the laundry that needs to be done!)
7. Getting a lot of my retreat shopping taken care of tonight. I still have some things to do, buy, take care of, but I'm making progress.
8. Filling the van for less than $15.
9. Conversations with the K3 and K4.
10. Plans for "us" time with That Man. We need it so very badly.
11. Less than 6 days until RETREAT!!!
That is all... I must go to bed now...

Monday, May 05, 2014

Taking Teenagers for Ice Cream...

Today was kind of a rough day for some in this house. That Man had an insane work day, K3 is so busy he's having a hard time keeping up with his stuff, K4 had an emotionally draining day followed by a crap ton of homework. I'm just tired, so that doesn't really count.
Once the dust settled and the homework was done, That Man and I decided we needed to take the kids for ice cream as a little distraction.
DQ is about 3/4 mile away. The trip there was spent discussing grades, and listening to the teenagers argue about something stupid. We pull in, order, and the arguing continues to ridiculous proportions. Finally, the ice cream / treats came out.
And everything changed.
Our conversation on the way home consisted of something we all contributed to (analyzing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and its association with the seven deadly sins). It was a very interesting discussion.
The thing is... the stress that was in the house before we left was definitely not present upon our return. I don't know if we had to leave to get it to leave, too, or if the ice cream lifted us above the stress, but it went away and hasn't come back yet. Moods and attitudes are way better than they were when we left.
The power of ice cream? Or the power of taking a break?
I don't know and I don't care. It worked this time. I'll take it.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Weekend Wrap... Again...

Why do these weekends always have to end? I mean... seriously? It's not right.... I do need at least one more day to recover and rest!
There was little to no sleeping in this weekend. That Man and K4 were up early Saturday to head into the woods to work on K4's future wheels. (her uncle is giving her an old truck that will take until she's ready for her driver's test to be road worthy. Very cool! But oy!) K3 had rehearsal. They all left too early. My sleeping in did not happen as I was on puppy duty.
But, Saturday was my writing group meeting. It was very awesome, per usual. We had an awesome and very funny speaker and I had a call from our retreat location while there, so was able to finalize plans and stuff. 10 days!
K1, J, and Baby B were here when I got home. We had a very nice dinner with them. K1 works the night shift so we don't get to see him often. And we miss him. It was good to just hang out and talk and laugh (and have Baby B time).
Today was also getting up too early to make sure the puppy didn't do anything rude, grocery shopping, laundry (oy), yard work, Internet shopping, homework wrangling, supervising room clean up, housework, writing, and cooking.
I did the grocery shopping alone, which is kind of weird since That Man and I have been doing it together for a couple of months now. I saved nearly $20. in coupons though (which I would have done if he were with me, so that really is just a bonus)
Tomorrow's dinner is mostly ready. Some things need chopped and the meat needs reheated, but for the most part we'll eat at a semi decent time. And the menu is set for the week, which should mean no mid-week shopping trips.
I decided against going to the stores for the comfy pants, etc I need for retreat and ordered the stuff online. (I have no comfy pants or pj's at this point... my comfy pants consist of a pair of way too big sweats from the 80's with a reindeer on the leg... Yeah...and my pj pants are falling apart) And I got socks! Though I'm kind of pissed that the one thing I ordered won't be here until JUNE! But then I finished the retreat shopping via Amazon. Gotta love it.
I have a list of stuff that needs to be finished before retreat, but I'm on it. I have 10 days! In that 10 days, I have a whole bunch of other stuff that also needs my attention and toiletries to purchase, but I'm good. One of those days will be spent hanging out with my kid in NYC and watching Cinderella on Broadway. I'm really looking forward to that.
Next weekend will be watching my big brother graduate, partying with him, and then hopefully partying the neighbors (K2's bff is also graduating. From the same school as my big bro), then for Mom's day we are having everyone here for hanging out and frivolity.
Another crazy weekend...
It does not ever end... and I don't think I want it to.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Feel Good Friday

Another long week in the bag! Whoot! The day job is going well, but next week is going to be different and interesting. I've been thrown into the fire, so to speak, and I hope I can exceed expectations - which shouldn't be too tough since I haven't been given too many. ha! Though, you know what I mean... I hope to impress and do well. I officially feel "official" today. I have folders, sales reps, accounts, and my "cube" is looking kind of impressive. It only needs a few "homey" touches (which I will slowly take care of). Anyway...
Here is the Feel Good Friday list:
1. Friday. YAY! I have needed and looked forward to this day so very much!
2. Retreat in less than two weeks!! Whoot!
3. Writing meeting tomorrow! I am so looking forward to it!
4. Meeting my goal. Just now. And whoot! Another round of edits to go before I send it off to my crit group, but it is done! Yay!
5. The fact that I've managed to get this story done despite the past few weeks!
6. Pre-writing on the shiny new story I will be starting on retreat. I am relatively confident in my idea and with the way the pre-plotting is going.
7. Keeping up with my writing group's 50/50 challenge. I've only missed one day so far and have exceeded 50 words every other day.
8. Receiving my cool new swag yesterday. The postcards are beautiful and I totally dig my new notebook with my cover!
9. Sleeping in for a little bit tomorrow. I am so tired I can't see straight. I'll be in bed very soon! (Sad on a Friday night, but what can I say?)
10. NYC with my girl. Though I think I already said that! Too bad. I'm very excited to see Cinderella on Broadway and hang out in the Big Apple.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Two Weeks!

This time in two weeks I will be posting from RETREAT!
I cannot even begin to describe how much I need my retreat! 3.5 days of nothing but me being an author! No kids to drag out of bed and then drag to school. No reminding kids to do homework, checking homework, arguing about homework. No day job. No puppy into everything. No cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, committee meetings...
Don't get me wrong, I love the above and I will miss my family while I'm gone. (well, except for the dragging, arguing, cleaning, shopping, laundry...) But having retreat time to focus on me is one of the things that keeps me going. It's so wonderful to be able to have no responsibilities except for writing. The facility cooks our meals, washes our dishes, and keeps us supplied with coffee and anything else we might need. They even bring us fresh towels and empty our garbage. How cool is that?
We've got a ton of awesome swag lined up and cool big prizes to win. Our game is planned. Our cocktail party is nearly planned with a great new twist this year - a signature cocktail! Whoot!
I'm in the process of taking care of the last minute details with our facility - assigning rooms, organizing the stuff folks need, etc. And I have a little bit of shopping to finish up for the group. And all of my stuff to take care of, but I have my lists!!
Before retreat, I get to spend a day in NYC with my girl seeing Cinderella on Broadway and riding in a bus with about 40 middle schoolers. I'm excited, but a little leery of that many teenagers at one time. Ha!
That is all for now!