Monday, December 12, 2016

We're Getting There...

There's the tree! It's the fattest one we've ever had! When we took the string off, it had a total Christmas Vacation moment and actually make a "spoing" sound as it busted out of its bindings.
We had Mr. B, J, K4's bff, and That Man and I on tree decorating duty. K1 and K3 bailed on us to go play some game or something. K3 has ornaments to put on when he gets home - you're not allowed to not put ornaments on the tree if you live inside of this house - house rules. Queue up some Vince Guaraldi Trio from Charlie Brown, some eggnog (no spike - boo), and a whole lot of fun and that was our night. We had some light issues. You can't see that part. And yes, we do have bush lights on our tree.
That's because two years ago, we sent the teenagers to the store to get more lights for the tree. They bought bush lights on accident. Instead of sending them back out, we just went with it... And, believe it or not, they actually work really, really well. There's no wrapping the lights around the tree, just stretch them out and drape them over and... viola! Of course, after adjusting the tree to cover the dead light sections, we found a brand new bag of bush lights someone gave us last Christmas as a joke gift. Too late, but I'll make sure to put them on top of the bin for next year.
Many of these ornaments came from my parent's house. Remember when most of our stuff ended up ruined last year due to a freakish leak that filled my decoration bin with mold? Yeah. You can see the many decorations on there - and we split their decorations between the five of us. I guess fifty years of marriage accumulates that kind of stuff, though they did pass down stuff to each of us as we moved out, just as I've done for our kids. We did replace a lot of them last year though, so not everything came from there.
You can't see the button garland in this pic. The button garland is this hideous string of buttons and bling that my mom received from a friend the Christmas before she died. She used it on her Ugly Sweater for our party that year, and won, and then she left it here. She disliked it immensely. I put it on a tree as a whimsical reminder of her. She laughed at me for doing that, and then I found more in her basement... I think she'd appreciate it!
It was rough though - pulling out these ornaments from my childhood, or ones that I knew Mom really adored. My folks would have been here tonight - helping and watching the chaos. I don't think they missed many of our tree decorating nights. They enjoyed hanging out, but I'm sure they enjoyed going home to their quiet house even more. Ha! Especially when all four where home and younger.
I don't know if missing them gets easier or just different. Time makes things different, but you never stop missing them like crazy. You just miss them differently.
Anyway... We're getting there with the Christmas stuff.
Still have ALL of the shopping to do, but I have a list and it will get done.
That's all for now!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Catch Up!

Since my test post seemed to work, let's try this again... mhm?

Well, heck, we're about two weeks away from Christmas. Or let's say, in two weeks, I should expect to be ready and done with all of the stuff I haven't even started. That's right. I haven't even started.

The piano is decorated. The Christmas dishes are in the hutch, but only because I never took them out after last Christmas. Convenient? It is now. The front porch is sporting Santa, the snowman, and Christmas flowers. Oh, and my kitchen stools are covered in festive fabric. But that's where it ends.

We should be getting our tree tomorrow. Today is crazy starting a little after noon. Unfortunately, we have a funeral and then a party-thing. Next weekend is my work shindig - which should be fun. And then that's it. I'm sure you're well aware of the time press we're looking at.

So what else has been going on? The usual, I'd say. Working the Day Job, kid having the flu and multiple migraines, dealing with estate stuff, and some social stuff. Not much writing going on, but I'm about to remedy that here in a few.

That's all for now. We'll see if this post stays...


Where Have All of the Posts Gone?

I've been posting on here! I swear! I don't know what's happening to my posts! So... this is a test...

Stand By...


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Post Thanksgiving Wrap Up

I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving, no matter how you celebrate!

We had a fantastic time with That Man's sister and the rest of the family! We went Wednesday to help get stuff ready, and laughed, cooked, and generally goofed off and were silly. Our air mattress deflated overnight, but that was okay - we were all in bed early and up early to get a turkey in the roaster and one in the smoker. The food was amazing and so was the company. We got home still stuffed and exhausted - and three of us had to work on Friday, all early. Needless to say we were in bed before nine! Ha!

Made it through my second Friday of the week! We were all sick of cooking, so pizza came to our door. We relaxed with a movie, and were, again, in bed insanely early. Which was fine. Our very good friends, who are/were also our neighbors and have been for around twenty years (and are traitors) are moving away. They bought a sweet house about a half-hour away, so we went out to help them get stuff done. The new house is super awesome and That Man has garage/pole barn envy. The guys built a floor in the garage attic and us ladies put together pain-in-the-butt stools for the kitchen. It was nice to hang with them! After that, home, dinner, blah blah blah...

Oh yes, I did write every night!

Today has been catch up... Bill paying, grocery shopping, dreaded laundry (last load in the dryer), and made leftover turkey with waffles and a weird gravy (that was actually pretty tasty) for dinner. Now I'm writing (already met my word count) and we're folding the laundry, relaxing, and getting ready for yet another early bedtime. Day job tomorrow... what can I say?

That's all I can report...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Eve

I hope you have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving - no matter how you celebrate.

The loved ones you're missing are in your heart and always will be. Let their memories fill you with joy.

I hope your day is drama free, full of delicious food, and awesome company.


Two Fridays!

I get two Fridays this week!

Today and actually Friday!

I took off tomorrow - spur of the moment decision, but rooted in real need. I have so much to do to get ready for Thursday - weird considering I'm not hosting Thanksgiving, but definitely needed! I'm not sure I actually have the time to take off, but I'll worry about that later. My boss told me to go for it and I did. It was approved, so there is that.

I'll be up late tonight. I have two pies in the oven and a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake waiting to go. I think the pies have at least twenty minutes in the oven and then the cheesecake has seventy-two minutes... Yeah, I could have baked tomorrow, but I have a million other things to do, so it's best this way. Plus, I can sleep in tomorrow before I have to make two kinds of fudge - wait - help K4 make two kinds of fudge, do laundry, gather things, shopping, writing, organize stuff, etc, etc.... (Did you see sleeping in? Yeah, that! Awesome!)

We had company for dinner. K1 and J came over. Mr. B helped me make the pumpkin pie filling. He wanted to help with the rest of the pumpkin pie and the cheesecake, but his daddy has to work early tomorrow. He was a little upset when they left because Nana wasn't ready to make the cheesecake yet (after he told me the pumpkin pies would be gross when I put the eggs in) - said he was "walking home" - which cracked us all up, but he did come around and give hugs. He's so funny and he always wants to help me in the kitchen. I don't mind at all, in fact, I love it - even when he puts three times as much pepper in something. When he stays over, we always make pancakes and "cookie" sausage. (round sausage - for some reason he calls it that). Cute. He's a joy and I'm so happy he's my boy.


Now it's later...

In the meantime - K3 came home after picking up one of his best friends from college and then going to see a movie he absolutely loved...
We spent some time looking at movie trailers and talking about everything. That was awesome and really nice!

The pumpkin pies are out (and look amazing) and the cheesecake is taking forever to bake... We're now twenty minutes longer than estimated, and it still shows no signs of being done! Yikes! But when I stick the knife in to test it and then taste what's on the knife, I am pleased... I love this cheesecake, but it forever thwarts me when I make it...

I have at least twenty minutes on my timer and it's already midnight! Yikes!

It's all good though... I do get to sleep in, and now that the majority of my baking is done, I should get to take it easier tomorrow. I do need the relaxed day - more than I can say or explain.

That is all for now!


Friday, November 18, 2016

Feel Good Friday

Ah... The end of the work week... Thank goodness!

This has been a crazy one, despite the day job not being as busy as usual... (Umm.. that's what they're saying, but I'm definitely not seeing it. Go figure!) Plus, the flu has visited within our walls. People are dropping like crazy - but we lost three today alone. Not cool, considering we're all touching the same things and working together on stuff... To say I'm a little worried would be an understatement. Plus, it's going around K4's school. She actually had it earlier in the week, though it was mild. When I called in to let them know she was puking, the receptionist said they were losing at least a half-dozen kids a day to the flu.

But... I'll keep my fingers crossed, though I'm definitely not feeling my best at the moment. I barely ate dinner, though I didn't really eat lunch either. That Man is feeling similarly...

Here's my feel good list:

1. Making it through... See above...

2. My bed. It was my friend all week, and will be my bestie when I get to stay in it for an extended amount of time tomorrow. Yay for sleeping in!

3. Weekend plans - light, but busy!

4. Getting closer to wrapping up the estate.

5. Thanksgiving plans. Yeah, I keep saying that.

6. Keeping the words on the page! Yay!

7. The possibility (?) of snow on Sunday! Yay for snow!

8. Getting "likes" on my author page!

9. The stuff I am cooking this weekend!

10. Uhhh...I think I need to go to that awesome bed I mentioned... My poor belly is not happy right now...


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Gearing Up...

It's that time of year again...
Thanksgiving is in a little less than two weeks.
Then we start the Christmas craziness.
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
December is going to start with a bang. I have two parties the first weekend, one that requires me to do a lot of preparations, in addition to prepping for the party during the day. Oy. Don't know why I did that to myself. Wait. Yes, I do. I had to fit it into everyone's schedule. The following weekend, we are hopefully hitting the road for our thirtieth anniversary, but that will depend on a few things we need to figure out first. Then it's my work Christmas party, which is always a blast.
Then the day.
It's going to fly by.
I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for all that needs to be accomplished and scheduled. Luckily, I  never put my Christmas dishes away last year. They are still in my hutch. (yeah, I know. Lame, but it is what it is. At least they were safe!) I did bring home some decorations from my folks, but I'm still sorely light on tree swag. I don't know how crazy I'll get with the rest of the decorating. We'll see. Time will play a huge factor in that.
Neither of my kids still at home want much. K4 said she didn't really have a list. That's scary and good at the same time. Of course, she'll be 17 on Christmas, so there's that.
I'm getting old, people.
I'll do Christmas Eve. I'd been asking Mom to let me take it on since it was becoming too much for her in the previous years. She wasn't ready to give it up because she loved it so, but now it's mine by default. I'm not sure if my brother is going to make our traditional soup or not - haven't talked to him about it yet. It's a few hours of utter chaos, but still good. Luckily, the holiday falls over the weekend this year, which should give me plenty of prep time. Not like last year when it was Friday and I had to work a full day.
Hmm... Now my head is full of holiday stuff.
I'm out. Going to Lady Jane's Salon to hear one of my cohorts read and I have an hour until my ride gets here and I need to shower and dress. I'm a little nervous about going since I've never been. I've been so out of the writing world loop for so long... I'm pushing back in though, and that has to count for something. Right?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Here's Some Fluffy Nonsense...

We all need fluffy nonsense right now... We just do... Don't believe me?

Sign into Facebook and see all of the terrible ways people are talking to each other and the terrible things they're saying and doing (across the board - there is no target here. I don't care about your politics. I just care about you!). Hopefully things calm down shortly and we can go back to seeing what people are eating for dinner, cute puppies and kittens, otters, and way more videos of our military coming home to surprise their families (those always make me cry and make me feel good).

Here's the fluff!

Cute Horse!

Cute Cow
Cute Gnome!

Cute Dangerous T-Rex!

Not cute Alligators! Not cute!

Cute Puppy! Aww! He should have been mine!

My adorable puppy when she was a tiny baby! Aww!


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Did You Vote?

I don't care about your political affiliation. I don't care what you think about the candidates. Or the issues.
But, please, exercise your constitutional right and let your voice be heard.

We voted when I arrived home from the day job. I was a little sad that K3 went over to vote without me. It was his first time, and I was hoping to share that experience with him. He had a different agenda though and it is what it is.

So Facebook had this little check in thing about voting and I clicked it. And then my kid starting posting reactions to this show we were watching and it turned into a forty-five minute back and forth with over 100 comments. We were laughing so hard at each other's posts. I was stupid and I'm sure it annoyed people, but whatever.

Time to put the words on the page.


Sunday, November 06, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up

Things are interesting and weird around here right now. 
Lots of stuff going on that I can't really talk about here. I'm not trying to be cryptic - just saying so you know that things aren't "normal". They haven't been for a while, but have gotten even worse and strange and it's not all one thing. Nothing in my house, but still greatly affecting us and our loved ones... And that's all I've got to say about that... 
Since my last post...
Feel Good Friday was a trip to the grocery store, writing, and an early bed time. Awesome (except the grocery store). 
Saturday was my monthly writing group meeting. Always a Yay! We had our elections which means I'm officially off the board of directors for now (starting in January). I am, however, still in charge of our annual retreat, which I am very happy to be. (I want to keep it forever!) Our speaker was awesome and gave me much to think about. 
After that, we headed to my sister's for the Fall Birthday Bash. We got there super early and hung out. That was good and needed. I made the vegan chili and my sister made the "regular" chili, and everyone else brought food to share. A ton of people came - many I haven't seen in a long time, family, good friends, and many people I didn't know at all. We had a good time, but left early because we brought Mr. B home with us for the night. He had a blast playing with his friend and the dogs, and fell asleep not long after we left after telling us hysterical things in his exhaustion. 
Today was hanging with Mr. B, doing car stuff, house stuff, laundry, a little driving, talking to That Man's sister about Thanksgiving plans. Looking forward to that. We don't get to hang out with his sister and her husband often enough, but we have a great time with them every time we get together. We used to be with them all of the time, but life, kids, and jobs happened. 
Didn't have the writing day I'd planned as early as Thursday, but I will be getting words down here in a few, and spending time with Mr. B was very important. 
Off to Write! 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016


So I've only posted 41 blogs this year - my lowest posting year yet (okay - so far - I might beat my other lowest year, but who knows?)
I do feel bad about that. Actually, I hate it. I love this blog and I hate not posting!

Halloween went well. Mr. B was adorable. We were pretty much out of candy, which is a first in a long time, but people were driving in for Trick or Treat... Hasn't happened in a long time. We had a house full, which was awesome. And we had a blast!

I am writing. I've missed very few days in the 50/50 challenge. New story is coming along nicely. I dig it. It's a little different, but it's good.

It's Wednesday. Almost through the week. Come on weekend. Writer's meeting. Fall Birthday Bash.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving, even though no turkey from the grocery store this year. How weird is that?

That's all for now...


Monday, October 31, 2016

Mixed Bag...

We closed on my parent's house today.
I definitely have a mixed bunch of emotions going on right now.
I'm thrilled that our work days over there are done, but also a little sad because I got to see my siblings every weekend.
I'm also thrilled that the work of being an estate administrator is nearly done and that the estate is on it's way to closing.
It's hard to think about not going over there anymore though. My parent's lived there for over twenty years - so there are a lot of memories even though I didn't grow up in the house. My kids did, though. They've only known that house as Gram and Pop's. Christmas Eve's, New Year's, birthday parties, small dinners, big dinners, helping out with stuff, doing crafts together, working on cars, just hanging out... So yeah, I'm not quite sure how I feel at this moment... I have no more keys to open doors, no more need to head over and make sure everything is okay, no more checking the mail a few times a week. It's going to be a little weird, for sure.
It's a new grief - one I wasn't really expecting, but the finality of it is like a sharp knife into the wounds of losing both of my parents so close together and so quickly. It's like an end cap on the last two plus years. I lost more in those two plus years than I even thought possible. Some I'll get back, some I won't, but it feels weird.
I'll figure it out.
Met my sister's for lunch afterward, which was nice. Food was awesome, and we laughed a lot. Then to the post office to make sure that transfer happened. Now tonight is Trick or Treat night here. We'll see how that goes, but I get to see my Mr. B.
That's all for now!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

End of October....


So my baby boy turned 20 on Thursday! I feel old, even if I don't "feel" old! It's hard to believe that 20 years ago, we were doing trick or treat night and he was sleeping on me, That Man, or another family member all night. He was always the sweetest kid and still is. Funny, smart, and always full of spunk. He's turned into an amazing man, and is still funny, smart, and full of spunk. He makes me laugh, goes out of his way to help out, is super talented, and has so much potential. I'm very proud of him and excited to see what the future holds!

So I didn't do Feel Good Friday yesterday...
I'll do a really quick one now.
1. No cooking on Friday.
2. Sleeping in this morning
3. Living through the work week with multiple people off, so extra work load.
4. Sushi for lunch on Wednesday. Yummy.
5. Writing every night!

Five is enough since I'm a day late...

Yes, I slept in this morning. It was awesome. I went to bed at 10:30 last night (yes, I know. Lame for a Friday night...) and woke up at 9am. Had some coffee, paid the bills, cleaned up the basket of mail that's been piling up for a month, including the mail I've brought home from Mom's, did dishes, and then That Man came home and I made him go with me. We ran to the high school to see Misty and Barb at their book signing. It was a craft show and that place was crazy busy. They were doing well, which is awesome. Grocery store next, which is never a good idea when you're hungry. And I was starving. I'd eaten earlier, but messed around for so long before leaving that breakfast had worn off. Anyway, I saved $56.00 in coupons which is amazing, and didn't break the bank.

We came home, he changed a tire on K4's car with her help. K3 was home from work and stinking up the kitchen. Then we had to test drive the car to see if the problem had stopped, which meant running down the road for the ice we forgot at the store.

Made burgers and homemade mac and cheese for dinner. I'm still full and we ate hours ago... Ugh...
Tomorrow is our last day at Mom and Dad's before closing on Monday. I just want to be done. There was some drama that I'm assuming is okay with the second mortgage on the house. It better not mess up closing - everything is set. After closing, I'm meeting my sister's for lunch. Then it's trick or treat night here. I'm only working for a few hours on Monday - there's no way I'll be able to go back after closing. I was going to, but when I was talking it over with my boss I started choking up and I knew I wouldn't be able to. *shrugs* I'll get through it. It's like the last hurdle or something...

That's about it from here.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Why I Need The Beach...

1. The Ocean
2. Sunrise
3. Sunset
4. No day job
5. Having my own bathroom
6. Fishing
7. Hot tub
8. No day job
9. Sand
10. No pressure.

Yeah... It's been like that around here.

We close on the 'rents house a week from today. I had to do some finagling to get the time off of work for the paperwork signing - mainly because I'm not returning to work afterwards. I get a little choked up just thinking about being wholly and completely done over there, and I know it's going to affect me greatly once everything is final. For now, I'm just working on getting through the work week, and then getting through the weekend when we go over to make sure everything is out of the house and cut the grass one final time.

This week is pretty busy, so that should help. K3 turns 20 on Thursday. How crazy is that?

I am writing and journaling, so that's something, at least.

That's all for now. I'm going to try to get over here more. Be patient with me. I am coming back though, and one day I hope to be as amusing as I once was...


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Holy Heck!

We're 3/4 of the way through October!
Sorry for the radio silence!
We went to the beach and it was amazing. Our house was awesome - perfect for our little group. The weather was mostly awesome, except for Hurricane Matthew threatening us. Luckily, we listened to the locals (and not the major weather people on the major channel) and had a full wealth of knowledge available to make our decision on whether or not we should bolt. Not bolting was the right thing to do. When we talked to the realty company, they advised to be off of the island by high tide - which was four hours after check out time, and we checked out about an hour early, so we were great.
It was an awesome week! Great food (really great). Great views. Great company. Not so great fishing, but that's okay. We didn't have a lot of good beach days - too windy and then rain, but we had a ton of fun hanging out at the house on the days we couldn't be at the beach. I read three books, journaled, hung out with my husband, sisters, kids - it was good. There was never a moment when I felt overwhelmed by dishes or laundry. Everyone kept up on the dishes and keeping the house neat - I swear that dishwasher ran 24/7. And we worked together on laundry - mainly because the stupid dryer took 3 hours to dry one load so we had to be on our toes and switch fast and pay attention. Our bedroom was awesome, heck, all of the bedrooms were awesome. We were right across the street from a cute little store/gas station - so close we could walk to it, which was sweet. Hell, the whole week was sweet. I wish I was still there. I want to go back now.
Actually, to tell the truth, I want to buy that beach house.
I found a cactus leaf on the beach on Friday. I decided to bring it home. I babied it the whole way home and then, sadly and suckily, forgot about it. I guess that was a good thing, because you're supposed to let them get "calloused" before you plant them. I'll be planting it tomorrow and then... eventually, I will transplant this cactus in front of our beach house when we buy it. :)
Oh... On the way home - as we were keeping just ahead of the rain, in Virginia - the water pump went out on the Jeep. What a pain. Our original ETA for home was 5pm. We arrived home at almost 11pm. Yeah, suck. But the guys were great getting it back together, even though they did so in the pouring down rain, and I'm talking bucket fulls of rain. It was crazy. We were all soaked!
We came home and had our Halloween parade, worked, worked, unpacked...
And now it's now...
Closing on the 'rents house soon. We'll be glad to have that behind us.
And I am writing! My sister suggested I try to journaling thing to free up my brain and I'll tell you, it's definitely working. I either journal before or after I write, but I've managed to hit word count for every single day of my group's writing challenge so far. That's progress like I've not had in over two years, so I'm good.
That is all for now.
I'll try to be better about blogging. I'm slowly putting the pieces back together, so bear with me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Always Falling Down....

Not literally...

So in the last 10 days...
1. Sinus/double ear infection which has waylaid me for the last 7 days and had me out of the day job for a day and a half. Yeah, I've gotten some stuff done, but with a whole lot of breaks. High fevers, a lot (a crap ton) of congestion, aches, coughing... argh... I'm on antibiotics, but I'm still not 100% yet. The drainage and drainage cough is ridiculous and the fatigue is just as bad. I do stuff. I take breaks. I have no brain.
2. My dryer is still dead.
Sucks. We're line drying everything, which I hate because the pet hair doesn't come out. The new part will be here on Friday, but that doesn't really help me. Though, the last (current) load of laundry is in the washing machine. However, I don't have room to hang it right now.
3. BUT... Two more days until we leave for the BEACH!!
We have an awesome house sitter. Very happy about my puppy being able to stay home and sleep in her own bed. He's known to all of our animals and is very comfortable in our home, so I will go on vacation with absolutely no worries about our home or my babies.
4. BEACH!!
Don't expect anything from me. I may post tomorrow and/or Friday night, but after that - it's a crap shoot. I am hoping to get my writing mojo back. I am hoping for relaxation and rest and rejuvenation. I need this vacation with every core in my being. So there's that...
5. Oh... Mom and Dad's house is "sold". I'm not holding my breath until I sign the papers, but we're 99% there... which is a very good thing.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Almost Two Weeks?

Sorry! I didn't mean to fall off of the radar again!
So... What's been going on?
Well. That Man and I went away with just ourselves, which was incredibly awesome! We talked like crazy, sat by the fire, cooked amazing food, and just relaxed. It was very much needed!
This weekend, we watched Mr. B for the weekend while his parents went away for their anniversary. He's a hoot and was great, but we are exhausted! Whew!
I've been working a ton of OT at work. Also exhausting and it will continue into this coming week.
I have been writing - not a lot, but some.
I'm also working hard on getting my house back in order - going through boxes that I brought home from my parents and trying to organize stuff. Made some good progress this weekend.
But my dryer died. Again. Argh!
(K4 says Hi!)
(K1 says he has hairy nipples)
K3 says his name is Hugh Jordan)
We're playing Quiplash and laughing hysterically...
And that's it for now...

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Cover Reveal - Brandy Ayers

Check out my friend Brandy's new book! That's a great cover! Details are below! 

Author: Brandy Ayers
Genre: Erotic romance
Release Date: Sept. 6

When FBI agent Jackson Povero agreed to go undercover as a bartender at The Beanstalk, he knew there would be danger. After all, they suspected the owner of running an elaborate human trafficking operation out of the seedy strip club. What Jackson didn’t expect was the instant pull he felt the first time Harper took the stage.

Harper Ryan’s life had been hard. And it wasn’t getting easier anytime soon. After losing her sister to drugs, Harper gave up on her dreams and dropped out of college. She found herself taking off her clothes at The Beanstalk so she could care for her orphaned niece. She wanted nothing to do with the men in the club. Or men in general. But when the new bartender, Jax, turned out to be equal parts sexy and sweet, she couldn’t help but let her walls down, piece by piece.

As their feelings deepen, will Jackson allow his need to protect Harper get in the way of closing the case? Or will he sacrifice the first woman he’s ever loved to complete his mission?

This is a quick and dirty read, with a dash of insta-love; a pinch of suspense; a bearded, tattooed repressed alpha male; and a smart, sexy stripper. Enjoy!

Dressed only in a glittering black G-string and bikini top, the fiery redhead ran one hand up the pole, then the other, climbing with her hands and feet until she could nearly touch the ceiling.

She wrapped her curvy body around the pole into a modified fetal position, the muscles in her thighs the only thing holding her aloft. Her hands meanwhile glided through the air in sweeping arcs in time to the soft opening lines of the song. The haunting voice sang of seeing into her soul, and Jax found himself wanting nothing more than to see into the deepest parts of this incredible woman’s being.

As the song picked up into the driving hard rock beats, the dancer spread her legs, then whipped them up, inverting her whole body, then wrapping herself around it once again. A pause in the music had her idly spinning around the pole, then the guitar kicked in, harder than before, and she began to free fall down the pole, catching herself just before hitting the stage.

Jax’s heart raced as he realized the woman had meant to let go. He stood in awe of her strength and grace. Peripherally he became aware that everyone in the club was just as mesmerized. But he didn’t want to think about all the other men watching this glamorous woman. She didn’t belong in this place. He couldn’t bring himself to call what she did on stage stripping. What she did was art. The movements and tricks she performed were unfathomable. They defied every rule of gravity he knew.

He reached down to adjust his jeans over the growing erection he futilely fought. The undulating of her body brought to mind the many ways he could position her for both their pleasure. All the ways she would wrap that body around his.

About the Author:
Brandy Ayers is a writer of erotic romance. Or romantic erotica, depending on how you look at it. She has been telling stories in one form or another since she was a child and decided her English / Irish heritage was boring. Instead, for a 4th grade class genealogy assignment, she weaved a tale of mystery and intrigue about her great, great grandpa chief of the Navajo tribe. No one bought it. Brandy lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, daughter, neurotic boxer, and satan worshipping cat.

**Check it out!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Still Working On It...

Still up at the butt crack of dawn today, but no writing done.
That's on me only because I goofed off a little too much, took a really long shower (which I never do),  and had a little too much coffee.
But it's only day three (and I missed day one because I lost my glasses!).
I'm getting stuff done though!
And I'm looking forward to Friday when K4 has off school and I get an extra hour and a half of sleep! Also, the weekend! The Wilds! Writing meeting! Having off on Monday!
So today I left the day job and hit the grocery store... The top is down on the Jeep. I had to go put it partially up earlier in the day because of light rain, and when I left work I put the top back down despite the threat of rain. Things actually looked clearer the closer to home I got. I had to go to the grocery store because no one told me we had no bread and K4 couldn't make a proper lunch (we improvised...). When I left the store, it was sprinkling. I figured I'd be fine. That Man was home and could help me throw the top and doors on. I texted him. He wasn't home... I pull in, K4 is out with the dog. It's raining a bit harder. She runs to help me and we get the groceries into the house and start getting the Jeep covered...It freaking poured like crazy. By the time we finished (and we were very fast), we were both soaked to our undies. That Man walked it as we were changing clothes.
Well, now all of the carpets, the seat covers, and everything that shouldn't be wet is out of the Jeep. We had to wipe everything down numerous times. There were puddles on the floor. I guess we got a headstart on cleaning it out for the beach...
This is life with a Jeep. I have no regrets!
Tomorrow we'll be packing for The Wilds and hoping the forecast isn't serious....
Ooh, and tomorrow is the first of September! How weird is that?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Too Early

This back to school thing is for the birds!

K4 has a ridiculously early bus time, which gets me up an hour and a half earlier. That pretty much sucks! It's only the second day, so we'll see if I manage to fit some writing time in. I'm hoping to do that.

This morning was about catching up on emails and writing group related stuff. We have our annual elections coming up and part of my board position is making sure we get the slate filled. I can't run again due to our parent organizations rules and neither can half of our current board, and as with any organization, finding qualified people who are willing to step up and run is a challenge.
So what's been going on? Let's see...

We're gearing up for vacation. Have the house/pet sitter in line. I'm very happy we found someone willing to stay here - it makes things much easier on the animals. So excited to hit the beach!

J ended up in the hospital over the weekend due to a nasty septic kidney infection. She was in rough shape, but is home and doing well now.

Family wedding weekend. My nephew got married on Sunday. They had a beautiful location on a hill over looking a lake. It was a little warm and they were a little late, but it was lovely.

And... It's time for me to hit the road to the day job now.

Have a good day!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekend Check In

Yesterday's book signing was awesome!
The folks at Cupboard Maker books are incredible and so much fun! And they have cats! They help with a cat rescue and foster before adoption which is super cool. We had the cutest kitten walking across our table and then an older Siamese (not up for adoption) came to clean himself in the middle of the table. Ha! The other authors signing were great - one is a friend, and the other I'd never met before, but she was really nice and I enjoyed talking to her.
Anyway -
I went with 6 books and came home with one. You might not think that's significant, but it is for an unknown author with her first print book. So yeah, I'm super happy with it. We also came home with books. K3 & K4 went with me and were in heaven. It was fun having them along. Two of my writing friends came out to say hi, That Man brought his mom, and my sister came. It was so nice to have their support!
After the signing, the K's and I went to the grocery store. Woo hoo! :) Not my regular store, but the one K3 prefers. I don't have a problem with the store, except that it's always super busy and I don't know my way around at all. It took me twenty minutes to find a can of olives.
K1 and J were here working on the truck, so Mr. B (formerly known as Baby B, but he's not so much a baby anymore so now it's Mr.) and I made a taco feast and had a nice evening talking and laughing over B's antics. That kid is hysterical. I promised him we'd go see his latest love - monster trucks.
That Man was exhausted after the second day of making sure his mom was doing okay. There's only so much "Little House on the Prairie" and "Waltons" one son can endure.
Today is my work "picnic". I say "picnic" because we had to change to an indoor venue due to 90% chance of rain. I'm looking forward to it. I work with a great bunch of people and we have a lot of fun together both inside of work and outside of work when we get the chance. We're having it at a local "fun zone" - one of those places where you can bowl, play pool, and arcade games. Lunch is catered by a local restaurant that is affiliated with the place and it looks amazing. We have prizes and swag and it should be a great time.
Then... tomorrow starts the work week again. Ugh. All of the other kids in the area go back to school tomorrow. K4 has another week yet.
Okay. Time to write.

Friday, August 19, 2016

No Internet Sucks!

Tuesday we had a pretty bad thunderstorm here - knocked out the power, laid our pepper and basil plants flat, and filled my yard with puddles.
When I got home, the kids advised the Internet wasn't working. I did some checking and found there was an outage. Okay. No worries. It'll come back soon.
Only it didn't.
When I got home Wednesday night, I used my phone to "chat" with a rep. Went through all of the steps, but still nothing. She made an appointment for a technician... for today.
It was a long couple of days.
The guy came today (thank you, K3, for being an adult in the house) and fixed everything. The storm knocked something out in the main box and it had to be replaced.
Honestly, we did okay without it. (I'm not sure our data plan did though...)
We watched Harry Potter movies when it was time to relax. I limited email/Facebook checking. It wasn't the worst, except for the things I needed to do online, but couldn't. But it's all done now, so it doesn't matter.
That Man's mom came home from rehab (no, not that kind of rehab - the physical therapy kind) today. That Man stayed with her all day to make sure she was okay, and I went over after I got off work after stopping at home to grab the dinner I put in the crockpot (pot roast). She's doing well and is glad to be back in her apartment.
Tomorrow is my very first book signing with books! I'm excited. And I'm ready. I stopped after work to get the candy I always take and packed my bag with everything I need. Whoot!
That's all for now...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hey Now....

Sporadic is better than not at all, right?
I'm easing myself back into a writing routine, so bear with me. I did, YAY, get a contract for Into the Fire. Very, very excited about that!

We did the Renaissance Faire over the weekend. The first trip this year. We'll go again for my niece's birthday in October. We had a lot of fun, but dang, it was horribly hot. Then it rained. We didn't care. We just walked around in the rain - we were already soaked with sweat, so the rain felt awesome. One of the perks this weekend was a blood drive. If you donated, you received a free ticket to the Faire for another day. That Man and I donated, so did my sister and K1 & J. Totally worth it, even though being in the oppressive heat afterwards was not fun, especially for J. We had to spend a little time in First Aid due to her almost passing out. Once she was feeling better, we hit the road and stopped for dinner on our way home. It was a long day, but we had a blast.

I have a book signing this Saturday! Excited about that! This will be my first signing where I actually have books to sign. Well, providing they actually come in time! They should, I'm just nervous about it...

Oh and Sunday is my work picnic. I'm on the committee and I'm not sure yet what's going on, but it should be fun.

K4 is now gainfully employed. Awesome! Now we need to get work pants, work permit, and all of that jazz. She starts in a few days, so the hustle is on.

Okay... time to get to work...

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Moving Through August...

The past week has been a blur!
Lots of stuff going on - most of it stuff you don't want to hear about.

K4 is now a licensed driver! Yay! She passed with flying colors and then took off Saturday to run around by herself for the first time. Yeah, a little nerve-wracking on the mom front, but she's good. I'm so very proud of her.

We sold my 'burban. :( That makes me sad. A lot. Of course, we sold it to K1, so at least it's still in the family. He's very excited and has already started repairs. Hopefully he'll have it on the road and out of my yard soon.

Weekend plans are the Renaissance Faire with my sisters. I'm looking forward to it. Of course we'll go again in October for my niece's birthday, too. And then Sunday we're off to K3's film festival showing to see how his team made out in a 48 hour film festival. Excited to see that. Those kids worked their butts off on that.

I can't believe how quickly August is passing by! School starts in a little less than three weeks. K4 is equally excited and dismayed. She's had somewhat of a rough summer - rough oral surgery, migraines, tons of doctors appointments to get the migraines under control, and now a head cold with a high fever. Yeah, she's had some fun - not as much as we'd hoped for, but okay - weddings, camping, lots of driving time, video game time, vacation planning, hanging with friends... Now she's job hunting, which is awesome.


We're getting ready for a storm here. Lots of lightning. Hopefully the rain starts soon. It's hella muggy and awful outside.

That's all for now.  I'm going to open a page and see what kind of words spew forth.


Thursday, August 04, 2016

Almost the End of the Week

It's Thursday.
Thank goodness.
It's been a long, long week.
One more day. Tomorrow K4 is taking her driving test. She's nervous, but she's ready. That Man is taking her since I'm at max days off work, and still need time off to settle stuff with the estate. So, I'll have to wait for a text message.
But once I get through the day, it will be the glorious weekend.
We have some fun stuff planned - including my writing meeting, which I'm excited for. And there's other fun stuff going on, too.
For now, I'm exhausted and ready for bed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The Second on the 2nd...

I'm two for two in August now... Yay me!
>THIS< close to getting words on the page! I will get there!
I had my mammogram tonight. It was a long day and I'm glad to be home. I'm also glad to report that my mammogram was good. No issues. Back in a year. And people, even though I was totally lax in getting regular mammograms, please don't be like me! It's the number one diagnostic in finding early breast cancer. I have to tell you, I was super nervous because I was way past due. And I'm very glad everything was a-okay. I will go back for my next appointment next year.
We bought a car. A Honda CRV. It's not new, but it's pretty cool. Since we're selling my 'burban, it will be a decent 2nd car for us. Technically, it's my "winter"/"rain" car for the Jeep. Totally not selling the Jeep. It's too fun and I love it. The CRV will be pretty cool - it comes with a picnic table and an in car cooler.
The rest of the week is surgery re-check, driving tests, phone calls for insurance, blah, blah, blah. Overtime at the day job. I'm freaking tired.
I'm slowly getting back to connecting on social media. I looked at Facebook for about 10 seconds tonight to see the pictures my cousin tagged me in (from when I was about 6 - so funny). I'll get there. And, no, I'm not whining about it. In the past few times I've looked at FB lately, I've been disgusted by the political and hateful posts. I'm okay with ignoring it for now...
That is all for now...

Monday, August 01, 2016

Almost a Month?

Sorry for the radio silence!
The last time I posted, it was the last week of school. Now we have about 3 weeks until school starts again. My baby will be a Junior. She goes for her driving test this week. She has a car and is looking for a job. How did this happen?
The 'rents house is finally up for sale. I think that's part of the reason for the silence. We all have to adjust to not being over there every weekend and together every weekend. We're learning a new normal around here. It's very nice to be home on the weekends and to do our own stuff. We've even done some fun stuff. It's a process after two years of constantly being at the 'rents - first taking care of Dad when he was sick, then supporting Mom after he died, then helping her with her renovations, then the aftermath of Mom's death and house clean up. We have to learn to live our own lives again. It's not easy. I accept that and am working with it.
We've had several offers on the house, including two contracts that have fallen through due to nothing we've done. We'll get there soon - our realtor is sure.
So what else has happened since I posted last?
K3 was in a car accident and the van was totaled. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt despite both airbags going off. He's working on getting another car.
K4 had major mouth surgery. The three wisdom teeth she had, a baby tooth, and exposure of her canines. She's got a fancy gold chain that attaches to her braces. She was rough for nearly a week - in pain, unable to eat much of anything. She's finally doing better, though she has some residual muscle pain.
My aunt and uncle came for a surprise visit. We camped in The Wilds and had a blast. It was really good to see them.
We went to a beautiful wedding for our very dear friends daughter. It was a blast - we danced all night, I got to hang with my grandkids, and dance with my husband.
The bad thing is that I'm not writing right now. I want to be. I need to be. And yes, I'll get there. I'm not beating myself up about it (see paragraph regarding new normal). My brain is sparking new ideas, which is a good sign. Honestly, I thought I was broken, but with those ideas I realize I'm not. Tonight was the first time in weeks that I actually spent more than five minutes on my computer. I've updated my ms office subscription and it's waiting for me to get started again. Like I said, I will get there soon.
That is all for now!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Always Running Behind...

Things I have been doing...
1. Day job... A little OT. A lot of crazy. Braindraining...
2. Working at the 'rents... So close to being done.
3. Being exhausted. All. Of. The. Freaking. Time.
4. Looking for beach houses. We're a little late and pickings are slim.
5. Getting K4 through her last week of Sophomore year. One more half day. (but it's not until Friday. She's off school tomorrow. Makes no sense.)
6. Writing... A very little. Not much at all...
7. Wishing I could sleep all night without waking up every hour...
8. Thinking about selling my Jeep... Not very serious, just a thought...
9. Looking forward to being done with the 'rents and being home for a whole weekend to do my own stuff.
10. Believe it or not... Already thinking about Christmas. I don't know why and I'm sure it'll bite me in the ass later....

That is all...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Post Wilds

We did go to The Wilds this weekend and it was awesome!
I arrived late Friday night after driving my Jeep through a massive rainstorm - with the top down, and my computer in the front seat... yeah. Everything ended well though - I learned that I must have something to wipe the inside windows down when caught in the rain (which I did), and I found something to cover my briefcase with to keep the water out.
By the time I got there, the camper was set up, a fire was going. All I had to do was put away groceries and do my organizing thing. We were in bed at a decent time, up too early, but that's okay.
That Man and K4 went driving. Then we went to K1's birthday party, and picked up Mr. B to bring him back to camp. He had a blast. He was up so so early, but he was so cute.
We had a lot of fun and we relaxed a bunch.
Then we came home - laundry, dog baths, excessive heat... Today was back to work. Ugh.
K1 and Mr. B came over for K1's birthday tonight. J wasn't feeling well and stayed home. :( I can't believe my first baby is 27 now. How does that happen?
ALSO!! I got a big box of my BOOKS IN PRINT!!! How awesome is that!!
Super awesome!
That is all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Still Doing Stuff...

Memorial Day is this coming weekend! Holy Cow!

We're supposed to be going to The Wilds, but who knows if the rain will keep us from it or not. I hope not. I need The Wilds. I need the break! We all need the break. But even if it's too wet to camp, we'll be taking a break.

The 'rents house is almost ready to have a big For Sale sign in the front yard! The floors in the basement are almost finished and the painting is nearly done. A few more carpets need to be cleaned and we have some odds and ends to get rid of/figure out where we're storing them. We're all so looking forward to being done!

Other than that...
My dog has some kind of odd thing going on. She's making puddles and leaving drips on the floor. She was just at the vet and is on antibiotics, so... That Man will call the vet again tomorrow.

No writing tonight, but it's a first. I've opened my new manuscript every day since retreat, except for tonight and I still might. Progress is slow, but that's the norm post retreat. I plan to do edits on my short this weekend. I have critiques back from every one of my critique partners. I haven't looked at a single one of them yet, because I know it's currently a steaming pile of poo.

I have my first book signing with a print book coming up in August. I'm kind of scared, but hella excited!

School is almost out. Thank goodness. I'll have a Junior next year. How weird is that? My last one! And she'll be able to get her license soon! She's doing great with driving.

Also, my first born turns 27 this weekend. How weird is that? I can't even...

So there's your quick Wednesday update!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Still Struggling...

Today last year was the day we went to our Momma's cremation. It was me, my sister, our brother, sister-in-law, and niece.
None of us wanted to be there, but all of us felt like we should.
We listened when they explained the procedure and soaked it in when they described how long it took. We declined when they asked if any of us wanted to say anything - we'd already said it all to each other and we know Mom heard us. None of us wanted to push any buttons to set the process in motion. We just wanted to be together and let Mom know we were there for that.
She was in a cardboard casket. We rented a casket for her funeral because it would have been a waste to do buy a casket and then watch it burn. Our funeral guy was more than helpful in letting us know the logistics of our plans. The funeral home already had Dad's ashes and they explained to us how they would mix them together - which sounds kind of creepy, but was perfect for them.
The funeral guy pushed her in, and we stood there for several long minutes. Our funeral home had sent a guy and he was amazing - kind, supportive, and understanding. He gave us the details and left us on our own with our grief, as he should - but he was in the background, should we need him.
And then we left, realizing the smoke went right over our brother's house. Maybe kind of creepy, but also kind of comforting to know that Mom was spread in the air over his house.
Our private viewing time of Mom was so bad. She was so full of fluid and so disproportionate to normal that it was not comforting. We were all in major distress mode. The funeral home did their very best for her, and apologized to us later because they'd done all they could do to make her look normal. Hell, they did a fantastic job considering how many IV's she had going and how much fluid they were pumping through her. It was rough. I kind of wish we'd done things differently, but there was no way to know...
I never blogged about this before because I couldn't. Maybe I still can't because I'm not catching the nuances of that day - of my sister and I talking nonstop on the way there and not saying a word on the way back, of going to our brother's before we went and drinking coffee and wanting to just sit on his couch and stay there forever. Of going back to Mom's knowing we had to go home that night and go back to our day jobs the next day. Just the two of us stayed that night and went to work from Mom's like we had so many times since Dad died.
And now we're looking at a year since we started clearing out the house. We're almost done. We're tired. We're sad. We're freaked out that within the next few weekends we won't be together every weekend, so we made a pact - we'll do what we need to do at our own houses (and FFS. trust me, it's a lot - I have a mini fridge in my dining room. AND a mini Christmas tree...) and then we'll each help each other with projects. We're going to be busy for a long time because the list is pretty freaking long... Ha!
But it's good, because we need to be together.
So, yeah. I know I'm a downer right now. I'm sorry for that. I don't even have a fraction of my grief out here and I don't know if it's possible for many people to understand the depth of it... It sucks. I do what I have to do and I look forward to the weekends spent at Mom's with the sibs. And that's going away soon... Weird stuff.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ugh... The Stuff...

So it's my momma's birthday today. It's also they day we had her funeral services last year. I'm having a whole lot of memories today and a whole lot of sadness.
That Man is amazing though. He cancelled his plans to stay home with me tonight, knowing that I needed him. He did the grocery shopping, stopped and picked up wine, made a great dinner, and has taken care of me all night.
I stopped by Mom's on my way home - mainly to pick up a charging cable from my brother-in-law for K4 and to check the mail. I am amazed at how much work we've done, and hopeful that we're almost done there. I couldn't go to far in - never made it into the living room. We have this weekend there to get things done.
It's not a fun day.
That Man sent me the most amazing email about my momma today. I'm not going to post it here, because it was private, but one of the things he said was... "Your Mom is Christmas Eve..." Yeah, that... She is. And now the celebration is mine and I will do my best to honor her...
So I'll do what I have to do and know my momma is with me every day.
Sorry for the downer...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Post Retreat

Sorry I missed posting before we left the retreat center!
I was trying to meet my word count and then pack, pay the bill, all that jazz.
We left right on time. It was snowing when we left. How weird is that?
We stopped at a Denny's for an awesome lunch and got home late afternoon. It was great to see the family! I took a little nap with That Man. Those kids and That Man made dinner. We all watched a movie together. It was nice. We were in bed at a ridiculously early time.
Back to the day job today.
That was rough. My inbox was insane. The day was insane!
So now I'm catching up and exhausted...
Going to write now. And then bed.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Retreat: Day 4 - PM

Well... It's the last night of retreat... I have a sad...And I wish I had a time-turner.
I have accomplished far more than I even though possible this year.
Normally, everyone coming to retreat sets a goal that they'd like to meet. It can be anything from having fantastic nail polish, taking a nap, sleeping without interruption, to finishing a book, writing seven synopses, or just writing as much as possible.
My only goal for this year was to feel Immersed in writing.
I found that on my first day. The ability to just get into the story without letting anything take me out of it. I had my two stories to edit, and the one I wanted to start, but I wasn't thinking about that when I got here. I just wanted to do my thing and not feel like I couldn't focus on it because there were so many other things that required my attention.
Somehow, I managed to finish my edits and submit the story, finish the short and send for critique, and as of right now, write over 8K on a new story.
I feel accomplished.
I have not written anything new since my last retreat two years ago. Yes, I have published stuff since then. I have edited and I have written, but not with as much intent that I feel now. Mostly, I edited older stuff, which while productive, doesn't feel the same as starting out with a fresh idea.
And... I didn't have the current story idea until last night. I knew what kind of story I wanted to write. I knew where I think I want to send it, but nothing else was there. To be truthful, I thought I was broken.
Turns out, I'm not. I'm an author, dammit!
This retreat has rocked, despite the very loud couples therapy people who insist we need to interview them for fantastic story ideas (wtf?), our somewhat odd dinner that while okay, was still out of the normal desirable food stuff, despite the wedding, which is still kind of loud as they clean up and as we have spillage into our hall that includes little kids who cry a lot, (in my section of hallway, too) and after we witnessed two almost naked guys trying to swim in the pond and disturb our resident goose (who is still a jerk, but doesn't deserve the harassment). I won a prize, which is awesome and also very random. Simon and I pick the prizes and always think I shouldn't enter to win, but everyone tells me that's crap and that I deserve to win like anyone else. We always get prizes we would love to have ourselves, so to say I'm pleased is an understatement. (Oh and one of the items is an Avengers blanket. How cool is that?)
We had the best coordinator at the venue. The staff here took care of us before anyone else - making sure we had our dinner first and just generally being awesome. They realized the loud groups was an inconvenience and a stressor and took the time to talk to us about how things could be different next year.
I am satisfied beyond satisfied.
And I am an author. This is what I'm meant to do... Tell stories. I am more convinced of that now that I have been for a long time.
Now it's time for the last retreat sleep. I'm ready to go home and rock this thing! (and I miss those aliens I live with...)

Retreat: Day 4 - AM

It's our last full day on Retreat!
I'm sad, but I am also missing my family a lot! I'll be ready to head home tomorrow, but not so ready to go back to the day job.
There's a chill in the air this morning - a put your socks and sweatshirt on kind of chill. I'm in the comfy chair in my room - feet propped up, cozy blanket over me. I will be napping again today. For sure.
So the loud group has not gotten any quieter or any more considerate. They tromp down our hallway talking at the top of their lungs, staring into our rooms, and generally being a pain. This morning there was one of those punching balloons being excessively played with. At 7:15 am.
Currently, someone is robbing the ice machine. I can hear them dumping the ice into a cooler or something. There will be none left for anyone else, which is also a jerk move.
And then tonight there is a wedding. We'll see what kind of chaos that brings.
We'll have our game and prize drawing this evening, which is always a blast.
Until then, I will be working on my new story. The only thing I need at this point is names for the main characters. Working on that right now.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Retreat: Day 3 - PM - Feel Good Friday

Here we go!
1. Finishing my edits on ItF and submitting! Whoot!
2. Finishing my short and sending for critique. Whoot!
3. Brainstorming with Misty and finding my next story! Whoot! (3 whoots in a row!)
4. Feeling like my writer self again!
5. Having one more full day here!
6. The last of our posse arriving safe and sound!
7. Finding out how great my kid did at her performance last night!
8. Talking to her school and hearing good news.
9. The lovely weather here. It was raining, then sunny, then big black clouds. The big storm never came, though I wished for it. I'll take the sun, white puffy clouds, and wonderful breeze though!
10. Napping.
11. Knowing that I will make my writing group goal for the first time in months.
12. Tonight's gathering plans, which will include laughter and possible game playing.

Things that were not so awesome about today:
1. Today is the one year anniversary of my mom's death. It's weighed heavily on me all day, well since last night when her brother called. Well, for a long time. It's been a really rough year. I miss my momma so much, but I also know that she's watching over me and telling me to write the damn books and be happy like she is now that she's with Dad. Love you, Mom.
2. Waking up with a ginormous zit on my chin.
3. The extremely LOUD group that has joined us. No kidding. This woman just ran down the hall screaming "Yoo Hoo", while looking into our rooms. It was made well known to them that we're writers who are working here, and this particular lady is quick to tell the other guests that we're authors, but not so quick to shut her mouth.
4. The poor hummingbird that crashed into the dining room window.
5. The rude goose right outside my window and his incessant honking. lol

Obviously more good than bad. Number one aside, the bad can suck it. (especially #3)
I'm off to our gathering!

Retreat: Day 3 - AM

It's raining here. There was some pretty heavy rain overnight, which is probably one of the reasons I actually slept decently. My windows are open and there was a nice cool breeze coming in. I did set an alarm so I had time to shower before breakfast.
So far today I've taken care of Household Administration duties - paid bills, brought up the checkbook, scheduled appointments. Still waiting on a return phone call, but am just about at the point to begin writing.
I made really good progress on my short yesterday, but am taking it a break from it today to see if I can get another project that's been hanging over my head submission ready. I'm not sure if I'll actually be able to submit today, but that would be nice. Hey... You never know and I have all day to work on it.
Tonight we have our annual cocktail party. We gather in our meeting space to hang out and talk. It's like Happy Hour in your PJ's - without loud music and expensive food. Very nice. We might play a game. We might not. Just depends.
So far so good with the disaster thing...
I'll be back.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Retreat: Day 2 - PM

Lunch stuffed us full. We eat so danged much here. The food is amazing and the portions are huge. We spend a lot of our meal times discussing our childhoods and why we are inclined to do the weird food stuff we do as adults. lol. I came back to my room and napped. It was a good nap until I had a very strange stress-like dream. I woke in a panic and it took me a few minutes to convince myself that none of it was true.
After that, I got back to work - cutting nearly 7K words on my short and adding at least 3K. Not sure if I'll finish this up today as I thought, but that's okay. I'd rather have a solid story than a mess and I'm getting there.
We had a terrific rain storm with thunder and everything. One of our members got caught in it and had to walk two miles back in the downpour. :( The sun is out again, but we're supposed to get more storms overnight. Yay! Not only do I love a good storm, the storms here are epic!
We've had dinner at this point. I had eggplant parmesan, rice, and green beans. Also, boston cream pie... like I said, we eat so much here... I'm stuffed. And sleepy.
The only plans for tonight is to get together and watch a documentary on writing we've all been dying to see. And writing.
I hope I can sleep! If it storms I will for sure!

*Disaster of the day: Part two: So when I blogged last, I was on my "writing bed" with my computer propped on my lapdesk. I smelled something cat pee foul and thinking it was my sweatshirt that might have been packed on top of my slippers, I ripped it off and went back to work. Or tried. No. The smell was still there. Moving everything, I realized it was the cushion on my lapdesk. Stupid cats... It reeked. I scrubbed it in the bathtub where the water ran yellow for a long time, but think I got everything out... It's currently drying in the bathroom with the heat cranked on high. Once it dries, I will move back to my "writing bed".

Tonight is K4's end year performance at school and I'm missing it. I'm very sad about it, but it wasn't scheduled until after I'd paid my money to be here. That Man is there and K3 - I'm not sure if any of the rest of her sibs could make it or not. That wasn't my department. I hope to get a full report later.

More tomorrow!

Retreat: Day 2 - AM

 It's beautiful here! Look at that sky! And the pond and hiking trail!
I can hear the fountain from my room and last night there were baby frogs peeping out there.
The breeze is amazing as I currently sit on my "writing bed" with the windows wide open. We had a lovely breakfast, and a coffee station ready early this morning to tide us over with caffeine until the dining room opened.
Everyone has settled in and are working on their various projects. We have one member coming on Friday, but until then, my job as chairman is a supportive one. The work is done and it's time for me to do what I need to do. Which I have been. I found out what was missing in my short, and I will work on that until lunch.
After lunch, I plan on a nap since I had a horrible time sleeping last night. I tried this morning, but ended up thinking of a hundred things that I'd missed at the day job thanks to our computer systems going down at the end of the day yesterday. So now I'm regrouping and getting ready to get back to it. I'm not sure what my plan is after my nap. I have three options, so we'll see which one strikes me at that point.
I've kept my expectations of fantastic word counts low this year. My main goal for this retreat is to find my writer-self again. So far, I think I'm right on track. I'm excited again. This writing gig is what I want to do more than any other job in the world and it's only up to me to make it happen. And I will!

*Disaster of the day: It was a little chilly when I got up this morning (at a stupid early time, if I may add). I slid into my slippers, looking forward to their fuzzy warmth. Only that wasn't what I got... Oh, one felt lovely and nice. The other felt like I'd slid my foot into rotten honey. But it was nowhere near that...
I knew what it had to be, and I was right as I sniffed the shoe. Freaking cat pee. Gross! Needless to say, the slippers are now in the garbage. Yes. It was that bad. And now I have no slippers... :(
Hopefully that's the worse thing that happens today.
Be back with a PM post later! I'm off to work!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Retreat: Day 1

Yay! Retreat! Finally!

I cannot tell you how happy I am to be here! I've already made some significant progress editing my short story. All but three people are here - two due to arrive in an hour or so and one on Friday.
We've had our dinner and have retired to our rooms for a little while (I'm sure we'll end up either in our meeting room or someone's room to take a break).

I have my very own room this year, which I'm stoked about. (not that I minded my roomie at all, but for me, for this year, this is what I need)

Our day started out a little crazy.
As we were pulling through a drive through, we saw a car back into an elderly gentleman. The whole thing happened in slow motion, until two of us jumped out of the car to help. The older man was knocked to the ground, hitting his head and scraping up his arm. He also said his ribs on the one side hurt pretty bad. We made the call to get an ambulance and the police and then waited with him until they arrived. Once we'd given our statements, we were able to hit the road. It was a total accident. The guy who was driving felt horrible.

We drove through some crazy fog. Had a fantastic lunch and finally arrived. Whoot!

Oh and another super cool thing! Prelude of Lies is now available in print! Woo Hoo! (Click the link)
I'm super excited to get my copies and be able to hold this book in my hands!

So that's pretty much the extent of Day 1. More later...

Friday, May 06, 2016

Feel Good Friday!

Yay, I'm back! And it's Friday! So here's the Feel Good...
1. Friday. Yay. It was a Hell week at the day job. Upside is... I only have two more days to work until RETREAT!!
2. Chilling with That Man and watching some old TV shows... The children pick on us for watching this show, but we don't care.
3. Writing meeting tomorrow. Very cool. Miss my writing peeps and am happy to see them.
4. Adult beverages after a long week. Thank goodness for Friday... and adult beverages.
5. 4 days until Retreat... Well, two work days, and two weekend days, so yeah, 4 days! Whoot! I can't even give you the full scope of retreat yet... but I will. Once I get there.
6. I did have a day off of the day job this week. It was a doc appointment kind of day. Nothing to worry about there, and I did get to have lunch with That Man and I did take a nap.
7. The laundry in my house is caught up for the first time in forever and a day! I cannot even tell you the last time our laundry was caught up. Yay! (I know...lame)
8. My kids having friends over.
9.Weekend plans.
10. Skipping the sad Mothers Day stuff... Maybe later... Maybe...

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Five Days Until Retreat!

I have a lot to do between now and then, but I'm excited!
We added an extra day this year, which is awesome!
No cooking, no cleaning, no driving kids here and there, no orthodontist appointments, no grocery store, no cat boxes to change, no laundry to fold, no day job...
Yeah, I'll miss the family a lot, but I need this retreat so very badly. I need to find my writer-self again. That part of me has been on the fritz for a long time and I need her back. Big time.
I don't have a lot of retreat goals yet. I do have to edit a short for an anthology I'm in with some friends. (More info on that as we get closer to time). I also need to finish editing the story I'm working on and send it to my publisher. I want to start something new, but I haven't settled on what yet.
I know it sounds like I'm writing a lot, but trust me, this book should have been submitted a long time ago, and the edits on the short should also have been done ages ago. Time sucks around here until we get the 'rents house on the market and are done over there. We're getting close, which is awesome.
But it is what it is right now...
I'll try to be back tomorrow with Feel Good Friday. Note: I said try... No promises...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wednesday Again...

So... the recap of the week...

1. I had a birthday. My kids were all home. They made dinner and cake, sang to me, and put skewers i my cake. It was a lot of fun!
2. My family threw me a surprise party over the weekend. It was also a lot of fun!!
3. Editing progress.
4. 21 Days until Retreat! Our t-shirts are done!
5. Having the top down in my Jeep!
6. Taxes were done and sent on Saturday. Hateful. Just hateful.
Back to six again...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Nearly Half Way Through the Month...

And about 27 days until RETREAT!!

What's going on right now?

1. Tomorrow is my birthday. Ugh.
2. Changes at the day job. Nothing in my position, but overall, a change. We'll see what happens.
3. Editing. Making great progress!
4. The kids straightening up the house. And then singing... It was a good night.
5. Having a great time hanging out with the bff's last night! It's been forever, and that means, literally, almost a year or more since we've had any time to hang out. It was good and not long enough!
6. Retreat coming up soon! So excited!

Okay... So that's six...On a Wednesday... Not too bad...


Friday, April 01, 2016

Feel Good Friday!

Hey! I did it! This is not an April Fool Joke!
Here's what is good about this week...
1. It's Friday!! Yay!
2. My house being clean! Kudos to That Man for being awesome and dealing with the bulk of it, including the cat peeing on the floor and the dog getting into the trash while he cleaned up the pee. Long story, but it's done...
3. Finishing my short story! Yay me!
4. Starting edits on a book I hope to get out the door soon.
5. Living through the work week. It was a little brutal and pretty grim at time, but there was survival!
6. Writing meeting tomorrow!
7. The weather today! Beautiful! I know it's going to get cold again and I hate that, but for now, I'm good!
8. Watching "Friends" with That Man... Brings back memories and hysterical laughter! (Yes, I'm editing, too, or I will be as soon as I'm done here...)
9. An adult beverage at the end of a long week. Yes.
10. Sleeping in a little tomorrow! Also, Yes!
That is all for now!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

End of the Month...

So this is only the second time I've posted this month! What the heck is up with that?
Just craziness... That's all...
March flew by so freaking fast! And tomorrow is April 1st... have no idea what kind of pranks will happen... I know some ideas and I only hope they don't come to fruition - some are hysterical and some are kind of on the mean side considering the week we've had at the day job. We'll see...
So today was my 2 year anniversary at the day job.
I don't think I told you that I got a promotion. That thing I interviewed for a month or so ago. I've been doing it for a few weeks now. I'm now in a position where I take care of the top tier customers and provide them with most excellent service. I'm digging it. It's super busy and I like that. I'm no longer on regular phone calls, and I really like that!
I finished my short story! That's super awesome! Excited about the short, and excited about finally meeting a writing group goal! I think I did meet one so far this year and I had not meeting them! And I'm excited about my edits!
What's coming up?
Retreat! 40 days! Tshirts are ordered! Whoot!
Selling the 'rents house... I hope... It'll be going up on the market very soon.
Camping and a special mother's day/mom's birthday tribute. We're coming up on a year since Mom passed. I thought it would get easier, but so far, no. I find myself missing her, and dad, more and more. I understand this is a symptom of the time of year and times we're passing, but it's not easy.
Getting our house back into shape. We still have much work to do, but hopefully we can get our stuff in order soon. We've spent so much time clearing out the 'rents...
Our 30th wedding anniversary. We want to do something special. Have a few ideas, but not sure what's going to fly...
I'm broken now... Long week so far. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with Feel Good Friday...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I know. I Suck.

So almost a month is a good try, right? Ha ha...
Things have been nuts here - more than usual and I'm spinning in massive exhaustion and deliriousness. No, I'm not going into all of it...
Instead, I'll leave you with this shark picture.
K4 caught this while we were on a boat at the beach.
Isn't he cute?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Feel Good Friday...Again!

Apparently, no matter how hard I try, Friday is the only day I post! I hope to get better at this, but no promises... Ha!
Okay.. So the week...
1. Awesome book-signing! Didn't get a lot of action with folks interested in my work, but got to see a friend I haven't seen since high school (awesome) and our very good friends that we haven't seen in ages (and we love them). Those kids came with that grandson. It was awesome!
2. Dinner with most of the sibs after. We had a blast and good food! We needed that!
3. Getting stuff done at the 'rents. We have an overall plan and a heck of a lot of work to do!
4. Productive family meetings.
5. Seeing Baby C and her kisses!
6. Leaving early and delays at the day job due to weather.
7. Writing a little. Not a lot, but a little.
8. Seeing Baby B twice this week. He's so funny and fantastic!
9. Feeling my mojo slipping in... I think I'm going to be back in the writing game soon - like I was two years ago... It's been a long time. I never expected to be waylaid like this... I would prefer not to have been.
10. Working at the 'rents this weekend. With my sibs. Which is good for the grief. And the grief has been hardcore this week. I'm so grateful to have my family and friends. And grateful for our conversations...
That is all...
One day, I hope, I will be funny again. One day, I hope, to have relevant writing posts. One day, I hope, to stop whining so much about missing my parents. One day, I hope, to make you want to come back here to see what I've written... I hope...

Friday, February 12, 2016

Feel Good Friday!

Again! It's been a week! I guess once a week is better than nothing!
This week... Oy!
The list in no particular order:
1. Losing a tooth! Yikes! It had been feeling weird for a few weeks, but Saturday, as I bit into an awesome hamburger, something happened. It cracked so loud everyone at the table heard it! So much for a fun family lunch! It hurt and continued to hurt with hot, cold, and air... Obviously not good and the rest of the weekend was Hell for eating. I called the dentist and left a message. They called me back first thing Monday morning with an appointment time that meant I went into work and then went back to work with a mouth full of painkillers and cotton.
Long story short, as much as my dentist tried to save the tooth, there was nothing for it. After an excruciating two hours in the chair, I left with a hole in my mouth and a whole lot of pain. I missed work Tuesday because of it and it took until today before I started feeling better... Still tender and sore, but no longer feeling like I was kicked in the face by a large dude wearing huge boots.
2. Having an awesome day job that understood. I, obviously, get an attendance point for not going on Tuesday, but everyone was concerned and wanted to make sure I felt okay.
3. Managing to cover my writing group blast on Wednesday and even actually writing.
4. Seeing my grandson and hanging out with those grownup kids.
5.  Superbowl Sunday. We don't watch football and we don't have "teams", but we vowed to watch. I made awesome food I couldn't eat. And we watched and discussed the game and how it works. It was fun.
6. Still writing. Making progress even though it's been slow this week.
7. Tomorrow is the annual book signing at a nearby greenhouse! I'm so looking forward to it!! But I do get to sleep in a little tomorrow, which is also awesome! And plans to have dinner with the sibs after my signing!
8. The K's still at home are gone to see "Deadpool", which means That Man and I are home alone in the blessed quiet.
9. That Man made an awesome dinner tonight. And I didn't have to. I often don't have to. He is amazing and takes care of so much stuff around here that it sometimes leaves me feeling guilty.
10. Dear God, it's Friday! Thank you for delivering me from this week of pure Hell. Thank you for the weekend, which I am seriously looking forward to!
Ha! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow at the book signing!

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Feel Good Friday!

Hey! It's been a while! But here we are with Feel Good Friday (Shh... I know it's really Saturday, but I'm still awake so...)
1. Texting all day with the sibs (sibs also includes my sister-in-law who is really my sister)... Needed that! We spoke of nothing of consequence and spent the time being silly!
2. Three hour phone calls with my sister. I also needed that and it also included lots of silly!
3. Friday. Duh. It's been a Hell week. In so many ways...
4. Pizza and no cooking for dinner.
5. Writing group meeting tomorrow. Yay!
6. Even though we didn't get to go away this weekend, hoping there's some stress relief in the weekend plans...
7. First week of Braces... OY!!! She's doing well. She hurts. She's my first with braces, so I'm trying extra hard.
8. Meeting my writing group goal.
9. Which means I've been writing...And a lot, too.
10. Oh Hellz yeah... I am writing... Awesomesauce!!!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Groundhog Day...

I think this day is bogus, but I do like the movie with Bill Murray. (that's all I'm going to say about that)
So... Things that have happened since I posted last week: (not in order of occurrence)
1. K4 took her learner's permit and passed! She also had her first official driving lesson.
2. I interviewed for a new position at the day job. No idea when I will find out, but fingers crossed.
3. Writing is coming again. I'm 8k words into a short story and I'm digging it.
4. K4 is now the proud owner of a mouthful of braces. She's hating life right now. She's in pain and full of salt over it, but in the long run it will be good. (she's the first of the K's to ever need braces, so I am clueless to know what to expect!) In about 4 months, she'll need oral surgery to remove baby teeth, wisdom teeth, and to attach some flapper thing to encourage her eye teeth to drop to where they belong.
5. The snow is slowly melting... We're having higher temps and rain and I think there will be a flood in our future... Or maybe not...
6. I have a book signing coming up in two weeks. The same one I do every Valentine's day. I'm looking forward to it!
7. K3 locked his keys in the car today. We used to have 6 extra keys - and of course, not a single one could be found tonight... Have no idea where they all went! That Man busted him out and everyone arrived home safely.
8. The dog is totally freaked out by K4's braces. Seriously. It's weird.
Okay, it's only been seven days and that's eight things...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

After the Snowpocalypse...

We had 36+" dumped on us over the weekend...
It started Friday afternoon, which meant the day job gave us the option of leaving a little early to get ahead of the chaos. I, of course, took them up on it and headed home to a houseful of insanity. First I had to stop for gas in K4's car (yes, she has a car, but no permit yet - long story, but we were supposed to go on Saturday. We'd tried the weekend before, but they were closed.) so Bob would be covered for his snow plowing gig. K1, J, and Baby B came to ride the storm out here. K1 was supposed to go plow with That Man, but things didn't work out that way. Still, he was here to help take care of the furnace, shovel snow, and do whatever needed to be done around here. We had fun hanging out - playing games, watching movies, entertaining Baby B, and having some adult beverages. That Man plowed snow all weekend and was only home for a few hours. I really missed him being here!
The boys (K1 & K3) took care of 99% of the shoveling. I did some and so did J. It was crazy. There is still no way to park in front of our house, and getting in and out of the back is a bit dicey. It's okay for those of us with four-wheel drive, but K3 has to go to work tomorrow for the first time all week, and who knows how his car will do. (He works at a school). K4 is off of school again tomorrow. She just told me she thinks she might lose her mind... I get that. I felt a little stir crazy on Sunday myself. Ended up taking The Jeep for gas and supplies (that we really didn't need, but whatever).
I made it to work just five minutes late on Monday due to the back roads being crappy and me getting a little stuck in the drive. Our computer systems were down, which meant the only thing we could do was answer the phones and promise people we'd get back to them. We couldn't even log in or out for lunch. After lunch they said it was going to be hours and that we could go home if we wanted to. I bolted and picked up K4 to go to the cell store... K4 demolished her phone on Sunday - shattered it to the point of total destruction. I have been due for an upgrade for a really long time, so the deal was that I would get my new phone and she could have my old one since hers was years newer than mine and she's not due for months. It took freaking forever, but in the end, I have a brand new phone and she's reasonably happy with my old one...
Today we had a delay for our starting time at the day job due to ice. And then I had to rescue That Man due to K4's car shredding a belt. He managed to get the part, but sitting in traffic put him out of business and the thing is parked at the grocery store down the street...
Oh... Writing? Yeah, well, I'm trying. I've been reading a lot of my older stuff and feeling sparks come back. Opening a new document has been hard. I have an edit to plug changes into, but I've been avoiding it. I'm not sure what's up, but I'm trying to get myself through it...
And that is all for now...