Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Electricity, Cable, and Internet - Oh My!

Just a quick note to say our electricity, cable, phone, and internet are back up unlike a lot of folks here. I'll post more soon!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Forgetting to Worry

I was in the dentist's office getting my teeth cleaned on Wednesday, and somehow the subject of my cancer came up to the dental hygenist's new assistant. I can't remember what she said that caused me to mention it, but as often happens, her expression turned tragic and fearful. I can't stand to upset anyone, so I found myself comforting her. This happens a lot. People are so afraid to realize someone they know has an incurable illness. I guess the knowledge is brought home to them in a very personal way.

Many people say, "But you're okay now, aren't you?" I always answer this question with a yes, and then explain that my disease isn't curable. People need to know that real, live people can be incurable yet still okay. I told her how God was taking care of me, and I'm doing my part by eating healthy and trying to exercise (I'm getting better but still can't say I'm doing good at that). I gave her my favorite motto: The opposite of faith is fear, so when I'm afraid, I work very hard to get back into faith.

Then I did something that, for me, was extraordinary. I asked her if she has a church home. I've been personally burdened to take up this fifth purpose for my life (see The Purpose Driven Life - if you don't have one, get one and actually read it!). I've always been timid and didn't know what to say, but now I have an easy script to follow, thanks to cancer. (Who'da thunk it?)

Both my husband and I feel strongly that the Holy Spirit is telling us that I have many more years to live. At first, He spoke to me and told me my prayers to write full time and enjoy all my hobbies and such were answered. I wasn't ready for the spiritual purpose yet, so He highlighted the selfish benefit first to ease me into His care and trust. My purpose is appearing to be much larger than my own personal evangelism, so I'd like everyone who reads this blog to pray that I will recognize my mission and execute it wisely. Pray for God to break down the barriers in my way.

I'll let you know when I get this purpose underway. Love you all!


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas Mania!!

My former coworkers were telling me that my posts make them tired (hehehe), and this one's liable to be a doosey. They were over at the house last Friday for a holiday party, and we had a great time. (You guys are the best!!)

This week is crazy. I have a Christmas party at church tonight, choir tomorrow night, Alec on Thursday night, and the nutcracker suite with my MIL and SIL on Friday. Saturday night, we're hosting our Sunday School's Christmas party. I'm also having conflicting events now. Weekend after next, Laura will be here. My sister and her family are coming up on Saturday which is also the day of my OKRWA party. Laura and I were planning to go (she knows a lot of my writer friends) but I'm not sure how to fit that in yet or if to fit it in at all. I'm more excited about my sister and niece being in town. I'm thinking maybe we can slip in for a little while and visit, then go. Anyway, I'm sure things will work out.

I'd better get busy. If I don't, I might miss my nap! Hehehe!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today is *the* day

I've done all the damage I can do. Now it's time to send my entries into the Golden Heart. They moved the due date up a week to Dec 3 (curses!), so Lane is overnighting them for me this afternoon. It'll take most of the morning to get them printed. My laserjet is upstairs, so I'll definitely get my exercise today!

Next comes the Big House Cleaning and Christmas Tree Setup. The folks I used to work with are coming over tomorrow night and I'm terribly excited. I don't get to visit them nearly enough. I hardly ever see my old boss, Pat, because he's always galavanting around trying to keep the client happy or sell more stuff. I'm hoping another ex-SRC gal will join us. She's had a new baby, and I'm dying to see him!

Oh my gosh. The dogs and I heard a bird call outside (like a goose or something) and I let them outside. The bird call got louder and more distressed sounding, so I ran outside thinking the boys had caught themselves a goose. It was the guy across the back fence training his dogs for duck hunting. Here I was all set for a rescue operation. LOL! And my poor dogs must surely be disappointed. Oh well, it's probably the most exciting thing that'll happen to them all day.

Our guy is coming to put up the rest of our outside Christmas lights, and I'm supposed to know where I want each color. I don't. I should get out there and scope the bushes and make my decisions. After I go upstairs and start the print-a-thon (six copies of each partial and synopsis-about 55 pages per copy).

Love you dahlings!

Friday, November 23, 2007

How Was Everyone's Post Holiday Shopping?

I went from not going at 8:59 pm Thursday to calling my MIL at 9:00 and deciding to go. It worked out well. Leaving my house a 3:40 am, we hit Kohl's opening at 4:00 and got most of what we went for. We made it to Sears before opening and got everything except the toys (which the Norman store does *not* carry).

Then we hit Radio Shack right before it's 6:00 opening. While in line I called FYE trying to get a line on a Wii (game system). No luck there, but we got most of what we went for.

All in all, I called it a successful flack friday for me and crawled back in bed by 7 and slept another 5 hours. Ahhhh. Love those holiday traditions. How did the rest of you do?

Now it's off to get the Christmas decorations out and get ready for party number one this Friday (You folks at SRC, I can't wait to see you!!!).

Oh, and I have 6 days to finished the two books for the Golden Heart. They moved the date up by a week. Argh!!

happy holidays all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Runnin' on Empty

That used to be my fav song back in the day. It's by Jackson Browne. I was introduced to his work way back in the day by a crush at the skating rink (pre-driving age). I think of him every time I hear that song.

The books are going well, although I doubt they'll be completely polished by the time I have to send them off to the GH. As far as finalling, the first 50 pages are what count, and I have my critique posse going over them as we speak (I've always wanted a posse, haven't you?).

I'm totally in love with my heroine in the nocturne. She's such a good girl yet such a smartass at the same time. A woman after my own heart.

In the other ms, I've got to say the hero is my favorite.

Speaking of heroes, I'm thinking of taking Heroes off my DVR list. I could hardly get through Monday before last's episode. I'm not sure if I'm bored or just confused. The story seems fractured this year. Anyone else having troubles with it?

Alas, I should go get busy. I'm picking up the grandson today since Thursday is Thanksgiving.

Peace y'all,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

It is an irrefutable law of physics. My spending went up terribly in October/early Nov, and it must come down.

To that end, my credit card is now in the freezer because I charged more than I could pay off this month. In fact, it will reside in the freezer until mid-January (eek!). I'm also restricted to spending only on prescheduled events and gas.

And it's not just financial. I'm in one of my menopause induced sleep deprivation phases, so I've been spending a lot of time this week trying to keep my sleep caught up. Basically that means I haven't gotten nearly enough done this week. I didn't get enough done last week, so I've been spending the day catching up on personal and household tasks (double eek!).

AND, I have to work out. I have a two-day workout streak going, and I'm not going to break it!! In other words, this blog is over. Wish me luck!


Friday, November 09, 2007

Ten Things to Ponder for the Remainder of 2007

A friend sent my these, and they were just too funny not to pass along. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

10. Life is sexually transmitted.

9. Good health is merely the slowest rate at which onecan die.

8. Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich...

7. Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day;teach a person to use the internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

6. Some people are like a slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

5. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital dying of nothing.

4. All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

3 . Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars, and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents???

2. In the 60's, people took LSD to make the worldweird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozacto make it normal.

1. AND THE NUMBER ONE THOUGHT FOR 2007: We know exactly where one cow with mad-cow-disease is located among the millions and millions of cows in America,but we haven't a clue as to where thousands of Illegal immigrants and Terrorists are located. Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of immigration!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

AAAAAAAaaaaaaa!! It won't stop!!!!

But hey, I'm having fun.

Activities are stacking up for the coming weekends. The dh was asking if we want to make our annual shopping trip with friends to Dallas. Thanksgiving is November 22 (with shopping on the 23rd - yay!). I'm hosting a holiday party for my former work buddies on Friday the 30th (I'm soooo excited) and then we're hosting our Sunday School party on December 8th (again, sooooo excited). My daughter will be in town Dec 14-18 (triple the soooo excited) and the following weekend is the 22nd - right before Christmas. Holy month of excitement, Batman!

Guess we won't be making the weekend shopping trip - hehehe. I'll miss it, but something's got to give.

The dh and I got my TV stand up last night (actually it was more him than me) in my upstairs room. The TV swivels now so I can turn it toward whatever activity I'm involved in at the moment (of which there are many!).

Before Christmas, I have secret presents for the kids to get ready, my bff's baby quilt and a few other items, my MIL's quilt (we're in the quilting phase which is going slowly), and two mss that have to be ready to ship off to the Golden Heart by Dec. 7 or 8th.

I'm loving it!!

Oh, and did I tell you I'm taking up the flute again? It's only been a bit over 30 years since I've played. It's all coming back to me, though...

Off to get my hair done!


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Eight-Legged TV

I've really gotten into buying seasons of television shows on DVD. The dh and I have watched the first four seasons of 24 that way. I also have three seasons of Friends, and I recently bought the first season of the X-files (oh my gosh, I love it all over again). The first season of Medium is on its way. I had to buy that one to get my fix since they aren't starting the regular season until January. January!!

No more hoping for reruns shown at a time I can actually watch them. And speaking of that, is the DVR (or Teevo, if you prefer) not the greatest invention ever? I can hardly find time to watch TV in the evenings, but now I can fit it in during the day and on weekends. Are we spoiled or what?

While we're on the topic of great technological inventions, I need to grab my cell phone and head out to hunt for post-Halloween deals. Happy weekend!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Women's Murder Club

Women's Murder Club is the best new show on TV. I love Angie Harmon and Paula Newsome. They're my favs, but all the gals are genuine and cleverly written.

Gillian Flynn of Entertainment Weekly sums it up nicely:

Neither self-serious nor campy, the new ABC police drama is just what I've been craving amid all the businesslike Law & Orders and CSIs. This pleasantly retro show harks back to when detective series were run on personality and playfulness: It's Josie and the Pussycats meets Columbo. Based on James Patterson's best-selling book series, WMC centers on workaholic San Francisco detective Lindsay Boxer, played by Law & Order's Angie Harmon — who, it turns out, is the Charlize Theron of above-average TV.

Smart-alecky and surprisingly genuine despite her hot-tomboy looks, she anchors the show with ease — strutting through hospital corridors, snapping for coffee, chasing bad guys into ponds and handcuffing them underwater. Unlike TV's gorgeous, whiny single-woman archetype, Harmon is actually believable as a wary divorcĂ©e forced to work with her nice-guy ex, who's now her superior (Melrose Place's Rob Estes, nailing the act of looking bemused and/or befuddled). The native Texan lets her twang go unhampered, but the writers have resisted massaging in annoying ''Southernisms'': Lindsay has yet to messily chow down on barbecue, talk about ''how we do things back home,'' or even mention where she's from, which is a relief.
We only see Lindsay on the job.

She has a chagrined, wiser partner, Jacobi (Alias' Tyrees Allen), who has not actually said ''I'm too old for this s---,'' but is clearly thinking it. The two have a teasing, young gal/avuncular guy friendship that's unlikely to get more complicated — on WMC, men are expected only to react good-naturedly or exasperatedly to the women.

Harmon's fellow Murder Club members include neurotic assistant district attorney Jill (Laura Harris), who has commitment issues; sensible coroner Claire (Paula Newsome), whose husband is adjusting to life in a wheelchair; and spunky reporter Cindy (Aubrey Dollar), who's young and intrepid. The women combine forces to solve murders while talking about guys. It's more than girl's BFF power! And just like a great Quincy, M.E. episode, the crimes are ultimately quite crackable: Some trace evidence here, a suspicious husband there, and — boom! — the suspect is soon coughing up an unwisely detailed confession, so the women can get back to girl talk and chocolate.

Occasionally, all that sugar-fueled banter can get a bit too Sex and the City Morgue. The women gather around a fresh body and joke about a corpse's bikini wax, and they obsess over one another's relationships: ''How did we go from the autopsy report to my sad sex life?'' Claire asks, and it's a worthy question now and then. Another query might be, When is the Kiss Me Not Killer, so ominously referenced in the first three episodes, going to actually show up? It's time. Everyone knows a good Murder Club needs strong, engaging women, lots of supportive sharing, several bottles of pinot grigio, and a really insane, unstoppable, gruesome serial killer.

See ya there on Friday nights!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

Spent a great weekend in Dallas visiting with my daughter and the rest of the family. We had a great time. Now, I get to knuckle down and work on my Golden Heart entries and get ready for the holidays.

I didn't realize it, but I never gave the results of my CT scan on this blog - it was good. Not a sign of any growth, so I guess the pains were yet another sign my twenties are long gone. Thank goodness.

I not very interesting this morning. Just finished Lane's breakfast and thinking about napping for an hour or so. Damn I love staying home. I can be lazy on occasion and still get a lot done. The dogs are definitely in favor of the idea. They'd like it if I stayed in bed with them all the time.

Okay, I've talked myself into it. See ya next time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cool Weather

Well, I have good news and bad news - the good news is, cool weather is here. I love it! It really revs up my creativity, which is good since I'm polishing two manuscripts for golden heart contest.

The bad news is, my star carved pumpkin collapsed, and the butterfly one doesn't look too healthy. *sigh* I also tried the idea of carving the little (4") pumpkins and putting tea lights in them - the tops burned just a tad. They're really cute tho.

My month is so full, but it's all with good stuff. This Thursday I leave for our family gathering for my daughter's and my niece's birthdays. I cannot wait to see everyone!!!! I have dinner with friends tonight and critique tomorrow night. Then next week is Halloween - whew!

I'm so excited that it's Christmas time. I can't wait until time to decorate the house. I have so many exciting ideas. Yeah, only half will work out right, but I love trying!

Speaking of trying, it's time to get busy on editing the manuscripts - lots to do before the contest deadline!


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ah Grandkids....

The dh and I took our oldest grandson to the aquarium this past Thursday and spent the night in the RV at the lake, and we had such a great time. Kids are so fun. I'm convinced our time with them adds years to our lives. I always knew I'd love being Nana, but it has exceeded my wildest expectations.

Wednesday was my 9th anniversary. I can't believe it's been that long already. My life has surely changed in that time. There hasn't been a single part untouched - spiritual, physical, emotional, professional. It's been a beautiful 9 years.

This next weekend I'm off to Big D to celebrate my daughter's 26th birthday. My sister and I are flying her in for hers and her cousin's birthdays (the cousin's was 3 months ago). They're very close and have been missing each other a lot since they live so far apart. My parents and my aunt will be there - yay! The kids used to go spend a couple weeks every summer with my aunt, and they have so many fond memories. Next spring we're going to try to plan an extended family trip to Branson. Silver Dollar City is right up my dad's alley.

My local scrapbooking store had a 'garage' sale today. People from the area package their unused scrapbooking materials and tools and sell them cheap. I got a ton of stuff for not much money. That's how I like to shop, baby!

I'd better run. I have at least two manuscripts to get ready for the big Golden Heart contest coming up. I'd like to get three revised in time, but we'll see. I learned another big thing this year so maybe this is the year. I'm really ready to run out of big things that prevent sale to learn about. Surely I'll have them all down eventually, right? I mean, I've been so close for so long. *sigh* I keep telling myself this will make me that much more successful in the long run.

Speaking of great books - I'm currently reading P. C. Cast's Goddess of the Rose. IT IS AWESOME. I want to live in the Realm of the Rose. I'm ashamed to say this is the first of hers that I've read, but it will not be the last. She has a way with fantasy that I haven't seen in a long time. I almost couldn't put it down to go to bed last night, and I'm only on page 159. That's unusual for me to get that hooked that early.

Talk to you all again soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins!

Here are the pumpkins on my front porch!


The New Vacation Home in Ft. Worth

I'm thinking of buying this deluxe spider web near Ft. Worth for a vacation home...whadda ya think?

Blogger wouldn't let me upload the picture due to some kind of technical error, but here's the link. The web is in Lake Tawakoni State Park. According to reports a 200-yard stretch along a nature trail has been blanketed by a sprawling spider web that has engulfed seven large trees, dozens of bushes and the weedy ground.

I guess I won't gripe about all the webs in my yard anymore!

I got my 3 big pumpkins carved last night thanks to a handy dandy battery operated pumpkin carver from Hobby Lobby (9.99 on sale 1/2 price!). I forgot to take a picture of my front porch last night, but I'll do it tonight and post the picture. I got the idea from a Southern Living Magazine to use cookie cutters as templates, so I have one with stars, one with butterflies and flowers and one with a traditional face. I also have some mini pumpkins to make mini jackolanterns with (also from Southern Living I think). I take so many magazines, I feel the Hearsts should write me into their will.

Making good progress on two novels currently. The paranormal is in early revison, and I've rewritten the opening to a straight contemporary I wrote a couple of years ago and polishing the rest. I'll have to write a new ending too. It's amazing what you can do by dedicating 2 hours per day. I'm hoping to have them done for the Golden Heart. (I can't believe I'm entering that #@!! contest again!) Ah well...

I get the test results from last week's CT scan tomorrow afternoon. I think I mentioned this previously. They're looking for the cause of the pain I've been having. I've felt really good the last two days - yay! And I'm starting out good today. Gotta run, though - lots to do!

Everyone have a blessed day - love ya!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Too Funny Not to Share

These kinds of jokes get me everytime. You'd think I'd learn:

The Bathtub Test

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director how do
you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a
teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to
empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the
bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you
want a bed near the window?"

Enjoy the weekend everyone!!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Arachniphobia 2 in my backyard

Oh my gosh, have you ever seen so many spiders? The fence around our pool is covered with webs. I mean, there is no space that doesn't have spider silk stretched across it. The dh is out there with a broom sweeping them all away.

I know, I'm a spyder, but it creeps me out. I keep expecting the big mama spider to be hulking in a nearby barn guarding her nuclear egg sac. She might try to take over my blog!!

Hehehe - all this paranoia probably is because the dh and I are watching season 4 of 24. What a great show. In fact, we're so absorbed by it that my spoiled little dog is demanding attention. He's such a cutie, I think I'll pet him for a while.


Monday, October 08, 2007

The Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Hi all. I know. I've been bad, bad, bad for not writing on the blog, but I have been writing.

To catch you all up, the scary paranormal didn't fly. In fact, it kind of clunked pathetically to the ground, rolled over twice, then gasped its last breath. Not sure how to fix that one. I got to discover another major lesson to learn. *sigh* Writing books is hard!

SO, I took what I learned and came up with a new one for Harlequin's new paranormal line. They're smaller books, so I thought perhaps that would help me control my conflict and relationship arc better. I finished the rough draft last week and will start revisions soon. I'm really pleased with what I have so far, and I actually caught myself almost making the same mistake in the relationship arc that I made earlier, so I did learn.

This is the fastest I've ever completed a rough draft - five weeks. It's about 2/3 of what the finished length will be. I think I've finally found my writing groove thanks to my buddies Sheila and Gena. They were discussing how they write, and parts of their method worked really well for me.

I expect to have it done and off to whoever I can get to look at it by the end of this month. I guess I'll enter the damned Golden Heart again this year. I can't wait to not be eligible for it anymore (which will mean I've sold!!).

Well, I'd better get to work. So far, I'm not having any trouble staying busy at home. I love it, love it, love it! Thanks for hanging with me, my friends!


Monday, August 27, 2007

House selling woes

Well, Lane and I haven't had much luck selling the old house yet. It's a good thing we're not quite desperate! Lane stopped by there on Saturday and noticed water on the kitchen floor. The little freezer we'd left there badly in need of defrosting had defrosted. Which led him to figure out the electricity was off. He called me to bring clean up supplies and to call the electric company.

I went over there and gathered up the few things we'd left in the freezer and took them out to the dumpster next to the AC unit. The unit looked really funny. When I walked up to it, it looked like it had been demolished. There was still something more not right that I couldn't put my finger on. Then Lane came back by and figured out that the compressor had been stolen. Our electricity was off because the main disconnect had been switched off and then someone had cut the tubing and all, mangled the housing, and stolen the compressor.


There seems to be a rash of such things going on because we heard at church that another congregation had had 7 compressors stolen that week. A pox on these people! A pox, I say!

Other than that, things are going good for us. Our college kids are back in school and we're really broke after all the tuition and books, etc. I've started exercising in earnest, and I'm already seeing an improvement. Unfortunately, the "change of life" symptoms are on the rise lately, so I'm not sleeping, I'm hot as hell, and grumpy to boot. *sigh* This too shall pass......

I'm traveling to Dallas to spend the night with Darlene on Thursday and then we're flying to Odessa on Friday for the holiday weekend. Yay! So, I'd better get busy and get all my stuff done so I'll be ready to take off.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Clay Schmay!!

In contrast to this post's title, I now have a profound respect for Oklahoma red clay. The two acres of red clay that I now own, specifically.

Having moved into my new house and spent the last month-plus digging two years' worth of grass out of my extensive flowerbeds.....having witnessed my sweetheart Golden Retriever trotting up from the back forty positively covered in mud from head to toe with his happiest doggie grin plastered on his muddy face......having tossed one pair of shoes and scrubbed the daylights out of several others.......having mopped my floors and spot-cleaned my carpets (which are thankfully few) a gajillion times.....

Well, you get the picture. It's been a busy few weeks. At least I got a great tan from all that weeding, right?

I'm in dutch with the family for not posting on the family blog for so long, so I caught that one up before starting back on this one. Gotta have the fam, ya know. It's a love thang and all.

Speaking of family, the daughter and her dh (in my opinion, his 'd' always stands for darling) are happily settled in Indiana to begin pursuit of her phD. Technically, we'll have a doctor in the house now! Just don't ask her any complicated medical questions. My son is living his dream for the summer and traveling around the country with a drum corps (a marching band of sorts) called the Blue Stars. He's wanted to do that since he was fifteen, so kudos to you, son! They'll be in Broken Arrow the end of July, and I can't wait to see the show.

We kept the two littlest grandkids overnight last night and had a ball. The 7-month-old was pretty good despite his reputation to the contrary. I think he's just lulling us into a false sense of security. Let me tell you, that one is a busy boy. At 6 months he decided it was time to crawl, sit up, and pull up. If he could balance, he'd love to walk. He's got things to see and do. He loves the water and has thoroughly splashed and giggled his way into his Nana's heart. I'll post pics as soon as I get my head out of my you-know-where and get the camera out while he's here. The granddaughter was her usual funny, sweet self. We got her a battery powered ride-on 4 wheeler, and she zooms around like she's been driving for years.

Ah, life is clay not withstanding. Just wait 'til I get my compost and manure out! Then we'll see how tough it is!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Proud Mom!

Went to Boston this past weekend to see my daughter get her master's from Boston U. Woo hoo! Will post pics when I get them from her. Dumb me forgot my camera. Off to Texas this weekend to see my mom and dad, so I'll try to get more regular about posting when I get back and things settle down.

Btw, I'm reading my first Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel - ohmigosh!! It is so good. It's called Ain't She Sweet. I can see why she's so popular!!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm an Honorary Aunt!!!

My best friend had her baby yesterday - a pretty harrowing experience ending in a c-section. Mom and baby are doing fine, but Aunt Pinkie is way behind. I want to stay with mom and baby when they get released from the hospital, so I have to get my old house ready to sell and the new house much more unpacked. Gotta run but I wanted to take a minute and crow. The new little boy with no name yet weighs 7 lbs 15.5 oz (after peeing 1/2 oz on the nurses who weighed him) and is 20 inches long. I'm not exaggerating when I say he's one of the prettiest newborns I've ever seen. Amazing! Name to follow after mom recovers a bit longer...


Friday, May 04, 2007

Sittin' and Tryin' to Keep Busy

I’m sitting here in my new house with a lawn chair and my little tablemate. We’re getting the carpets cleaned, the toilets adjusted, cable-phone-internet connected, and new furniture delivered. Periodically I can connect to the internet via a neighbor’s network. I’d forgotten how much work there is to moving!

The movers come on Saturday morning, and I have probably 75-80% of my house packed. I have tables, desks, and beds to clean off. Furniture to label so it doesn’t get moved. Stuff in the storage shed and the grandkids’ room to pack. Excuse me while my eyes roll back in my head.

Okay, I’m better now.

The pool turned out to be in pretty bad shape, so the dh has been spending most of his evenings cleaning and adjusting and adding chemicals before the surface self-destructs from killer mutant algae. Saturday he gets to dive in and scrape some spots. He asked me if I could handle the movers. I said you betcha – anything rather than dive in a semi-heated pool (we have heater parts to buy too) in less than 100 degree weather.

Last night we brought the grandkids here so we could check on the pool and adjust the settings. We ate KFC (after borrowing plastic forks from the neighbor since KFC didn’t bother to give us any…) on the back porch, and food never tasted so good! Unfortunately we’ve also heard coyotes howling in the distance, so we’re worried about the dogs going out at night (the little one MUST go out every night not to pee but to do his tough dog run around the fenceline). We need to keep them out of the abundance of red mud too, so it looks like we’re going to install a dog fence around part of the sodded area. Kaching goes the money machine!!

I should have brought a cot to take a nap on. The carpets are all wet now…

I’m also hungry.

What else can I whine about? Hmmm.

Oh yeah, they disconnected my phone at the old address first thing this morning so that when you call my number, it’s says it’s not a working number. Cox is working on that now. I just want it on until the new address is hooked up so people can leave voice mails if they wish. Not that I’m good about checking them or anything…

Well that’s enough griping for now. Monday I’ll be all happy and moved in, so I’ll post a glowing report then!

Love ya all!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The View and the Corner Jacuzzi Tub

These are pictures of the view from the back porch and my huge new bathroom featuring a walk-in shower and big corner jacuzzi tub. Oh, how I've lusted for that tub. That's my favorite part!!!


More house pics!

Okay, I couldn't wait to post more...

The two pictures of the upstairs room are the bonus room which will be my sewing room/office. The darker picture of the windows are the master bedroom. The pool, of course, is self-explanatory. The last picture is another view of the living room, breakfast nook, and kitchen bar. The previous owner had all kinds of murals painted in the house. This is one that we're keeping...

We have closed on the house!!!

This is what my entryway looks like...

This is the dining area just to the left of the entryway (right if you're entering the house)

This is the living room

This is the breakfast nook...

This is the kitchen...

More pics later!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A New Web!!

Well I'll be darned, they didn't take our exact offer, but we negotiated pretty close to it. Once we close in 2-3 weeks, the dh and I will be moving to our new house. I don't want to post the address in a public forum, so feel free to email me or ask next time you see me. We did a final walk through last night just to be sure and then signed the paperwork. I forgot to take the camera, so no pics yet, but soon. My best friend and her husband came by to see it along with my mother in law, and that was really nice. The house next door is for sale, and I want them to buy it!! hehehe (no pressure here...)

Ugh! Now I have to get this one ready to sell...

Let's not think about that right now. You'd rather hear about the house, right? It's 4350 sf and sits on about 2 acres. The lot is long and narrow, and most of the acreage is in the back. The house sits on a hill so the rear property slopes down quite a bit. On the left side of the yard, the slope is pretty steep. The grandson loves that! And, of course, the granddaughter had to run down the hill too - with Nana (me) holding her hand. Nana got some exercise!! Alec climbed back up the hill, but Nana and Brooklyn went around the less steep side. The rear of the lot is not developed at all, but it has been kept cut back. I have plenty of yard work for the next however many years, which alternately thrills and terrifies me (mostly thrills if I'm honest).

There is a pool in back with a slide - that's Brooklyn's favorite feature. Brady (who is 4 months old Friday) gave his drool of approval and then promptly got cranky and made Grandma (my MIL) take him home and tend to his every need - hehehe. He's a ring-tailed tooter, but he's also adorable so it's okay!

Which reminds me, we also went to Alec's baseball game last night, and the boys gave the other team a real run for their money. They played really well. Way to go, Alec!!

Back to the house...when you walk in, the formal dining area is immediately to your right and straight ahead is the living area with big windows to see the great view of the countryside. There are covered outlets in the floor for table lamps - is that not cool?

If you turn left, a hallway leads to the study (it's gorgeous!) and the spare bedroom which has its own full bath. Beyond that is the master bedroom with 4 floor to ceiling windows with the great view and a door to the pool area.

The master bath is HUGE with an even HUGER closet (yippee!). It has a big corner tub, two vanities and a walk in shower that looks like a spa. The closet is set up as a his and hers with tons of shoe space in the divider. No more folding 1/2 my clothes into drawers - yay! Not sure what I'll do with all my drawer space, but it won't take me long to figure out. hehehe

If you turn right as you come in the front, a hallway takes you to a huge closet where our new surveillance system resides. That's right, surveilance system. There are cameras in every room of the house and around the grounds. Cool but a little creepy...

Beyond that are two bedrooms with a Jack & Jill bathroom where each has its own vanity but they share a tub and toilet (or maybe each has its own toilet - I don't remember for sure). One of the closets back there is a safe room - concrete, steel doors, three deadbolts, the works! I take it these people were a wee bit paranoid. Of course the saferoom can double as a tornado shelter, but Lane and I plan on putting in an underground shelter.

Our youngest daughter will take those two rooms for her apartment area. Across from that is the upstairs bonus room (also with fab windows and view) which will be a combination sewing/exercise room. The previous owners put an OSU emblem really big on the wall. Our realtor joked about painting over it, but Lane said he'd have to sand it off so it'd really be gone - hehehe!

In the middle by the living room is a great kitchen. It's not terribly big, but it has every amenity you can imagine - slide out shelves, a vertical cabinet for cookie sheets etc., a fold out butcher block cutting board, corian countertops and sink, an island with a sink, a slide out for your trash has 2 ovens, one regular and one convection, so I'll have to learn to cook with the convection. Beyond the kitchen toward the garage is a nice sized utility room to the right and a pretty powder bath to the left. The garage holds four cars and the driveway is big enough for the fourth infantry to park there. There is also a circle drive in front. Lots of parking for our monthly family nights!!

All the detailing in the house is gorgeous. Unfortunately we will have to do some painting. The three spare bedrooms are garishly painted, and the house is full of flowery murals - I mean whole wall flowery murals. Emphasis on the flowery. Yep, those have got to go. We'll keep some of the accent painting around the corners and the palm tree and beach scene in the master bath, but that's it. We're plain folk.

This will also necessitate new furniture right away for the study and dining area and then later for the living room. Our bedroom furniture will fit just fine and is new so thank goodness for that. I also want to get a couple of big rugs for the hardwood floors in the living room and dining area. That'll be enough shopping for me for a while! I have plants to plant in the yard!!! hehehe.

Well, I've really got to get to work now (I'm trying to treat my writing like a business with regular hours). Thanks for letting me share my excitement with you!!


Monday, April 09, 2007

Getting Closer Step by Step

We put an offer on the house I call the mansion. They probably won't take it because we offered them $45K less than their reduced price. What we offered was fair according to today's market, but unfortunately these people paid top dollar for it in 2005. Maybe a bit more than top dollar. They aren't likely to get their money back from it. One thing about it, though - if they take the offer, we'll know it was meant to be. We have another house we'll offer on if (when) this one gets rejected. The second house is almost as nice and quite a bit cheaper. We'll have to put in a fence and a pool.

Easter was fun. Brooklyn had a great time hunting the same eggs over and over again at each house she visited. She and Brady looked so sweet in their Easter outfits. Brady's had a cap like the golfers used to wear. When I get the pictures, I'll post them here.

I can't believe it was so cold!! My mom and dad in west Texas got measureable snowfall. I hope all my plants survived. Later today, I'll go check them out. Today is my dad's birthday (Happy birthday, Dad!!!)

I found out Friday my disability from the company got denied. I'm supposed to hear from my case manager today to see what I can do from here. It'll be another couple of months before I find out about the social security.

Today I go to the dentist and get my lateral teeth bonded and get 2 back teeth bonded to close up the last spaces. The Zometa I take for my bones made my jaw bone to hard to let the molars move any more. It's so great to have the braces off!!!!! Eating is a whole new experience. Funny, but it's also easier to sing too.

We're leaving for San Francisco Friday, so I have a lot to do to get ready. I also have to finish the book fast, so I'll be working hard on that. Gotta see if I can generate some income from this dream!!!

Love you all,

Monday, April 02, 2007

Here We Go Again!

Working on getting my routine in order again. I've spent the last two weeks sewing like mad for a friend (and you're worth it, chickie!!), but I'm back on track today. The late morning nap I started a couple of weeks ago is working well for me. I've been sleeping pretty well lately. Praise God!!

I think my yard's had enough water for the whole month of April, don't you? I can't wait to get out there and see what's come up in the last week. Hopefully the mud will be dried up enough to get out and look.

Well, I'm kinda boring today, so I'd better go write. Love you all!


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ahhhhh, Fresh Air

The dh and I got some cobwebs cleared out of the relationship yesterday, and it feels mighty good. The original diagnosis of cancer and the ensuing trials and tribulations changed a lot of the dynamics without telling us, and we're just starting to get a handle on how much. Old fears and insecurities from my past decided to make an appearance (just to baffle the crap out of both of us - for fun, you know - ack!) with the new fears and insecurities. In other words, from time to time, I'm an emotional wreck. I suppose it's inevitable. I was able to tell him things I hadn't fully realized I was feeling, and he was able to reassure me that I couldn't have stopped any of them no matter what I'd done. And also that the chrystal ball in my head is only an illusion. I have no way of reading another person's mind or the future.

But, today..........the air feels fresh and clean and life is good. I'm able to tell myself that I'm a normally flawed wife just like all the other normal wives. I'm a normally flawed mother just like all the other normal mothers. I'm not responsible for anyone else's happiness or lack thereof. All I can do is be the best I can, be as kind as I know how, apologize when I mistreat someone, and love all people to the utmost of my ability. Even enemies, which is an uphill battle - on my knees no less.

Our Sunday school lessons at church have been centered on embracing the love and grace of Jesus and have been very beneficial.

Well, it's off to sew the rest of the stuff for Sheila's bedding. The shower is Saturday, and I'm just about done. Love you all!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Alfred Hitchcock Must Have Been From Oklahoma

There must be a million grackles hanging out on the overhead lines and in the trees around Walgreen's. I'm serious. They're lined up at least a quarter mile. And squaking - oh my lord! At least 90 decibels worth. It's like walking onto the movie set of The Birds. I never truly appreciated the finer points of migration until I moved to Oklahoma!

I'll never forget the first time I saw a migrating flock. These were smaller birds, but they filled the sky. I nearly had a wreck, I was so fascinated watching them. I'd rather they didn't poop on my car, of course, but I really do enjoy this time of year. One exception - grackles I could do without altogether.

Ah, spring...

Have I gotten all my bulbs in the ground you ask? Well (shuffling feet) not yet. I have close to 100 to go. Some are starting to come up - how exciting is that?

I love Oklahoma (because it rains here)! Nothing like living in the desert to make you appreciate all the little things like rain and birds and the great friends I've made here. Love you all!!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Sleep, Sleep! Wherefore Art Thou, Sleep

Yeah, I'm feeling just about that melodramatic. For someone who's always slept like a stone, this is driving me bonkers. I do all right the first part of the week, and along about Wednesday, I can hardly get a wink except between 5 and 10 am. Obviously my previous plan is kaput. As you can see above, Max has no trouble gettin' the Z's at all.

So...I'm going to try going to bed at 9:30 or 10, getting up at 6:30, and taking a short late morning nap. Without the naps, if I do this, the Wednesday routine changes to sleeping between 5am and 3pm - not good for a gal that has lots to do.

I'm making real progress on the book - yay! And on the quilt - yay! with reservations. The reservations are because I'm a really terrible machine quilter so far (but getting better) and I'll have a LOT of things to fix on the quilt when I'm done. I think the backing and the front will be straight, but that's about all I'm hoping for. I have a lot of trouble seeing the lines I mark on the fabric (too bad I can't use my trusty Sharpie on anything but the tear away/rinse away paper). Even with my glasses and a magnifying glass! *sigh* It also doesn't help when you come close to a seam allowance and the machine won't glide smoothly over it...I'll have to plan for that better next time.

My sister, who is the guru of quilt making (darn her!) is probably smiling indulgently at me right now and shaking her head. The good thing is, she'll let me in on a much easier way to do it. She never lets me suffer for long! Speaking of my sister, I had planned to go to visit her and my mom this last weekend for a quilt show, but then my writing chapter scheduled that day to bring an agent and an editor in. I didn't want to miss the chance of making the contact, and then the dumb weather dumped a bunch of snow on the NY airport before the two could get out of town. Oh, man! I know, I know, there will be other quilt shows and other schmoozing opportunities, but to miss one of each on the same weekend!!

Okay I'm sighing way to much. Sorry to be a downer. I'm really in a happy mood today. Got some more bulbs put out over the weekend, and I'm heading outside after this post to get some more in before the rain starts. We're supposed to get rain all week - yippee! Oh! I was going to show you a picture of my little Jane Magnolia blooming for the first time...okay, it's up at the top of the page now. I haven't figured out how to make the picture stay by its text yet...My genius daughter will let me in on that trick, I'm sure (thanks!)
Well, as much as I love to sit and chat with you guys, I've got to get out in the yard before the rain starts. Love you all bunches!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Principals of Medication 101

Lesson One:

Even if you are taking an anti-depressant for hot flashes rather than the medication's intended use, it will still mess you up to stop taking it cold turkey.

Holy Effexor, Batman!

My hot flashes have tapered off significantly, so on Monday I took my last Effexor and didn't refill the prescription. Early yesterday afternoon, I called my husband to tell him I felt bad and might not be much help with the grandkids that night (supposedly from not sleeping well on Wednesday which is becoming a regular occurrence at our house) and proceeded to bawl and boo hoo all over him. He's about to panic and asks me what's happened. Of course, I tearfully reply, "Nothiiiiiinnnng." A couple of hours later I call my best friend, Sheila, and repeat the process only she has to listen to me cry for about thirty minutes while the dh got the five minute treatment. That's what best friends are for, right? And why the d in dh doesn't stay at darling all the time.

I also got the I'm-starving-no-I'm-too-sick-to-eat treatment. All while my grandson wants me to get my sorry sick booty off the couch and help him with his floor puzzles and figure out why his video game isn't working and steam him some broccoli (yes, he adores the stuff) and etc. and etc.

This morning I awaken much worse. My brain is a total fog and I'm having these weird electrical symptoms - that's the only way I can think of to describe them. Every so often, when I blink my eyes, it sounds and feels like those old-fashioned camera bulbs going off - remember those? I proceeded immediately to the phone, called in my refill, and have now taken a dose. From now on, I'll do what I should have done in the first place and taper off S-L-O-W-L-Y.

~pinkie, shaking her head and heading off to have a nice bowl of Southwest Tomato soup since she's no longer nauseated

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fabulous Salmon Salad

Found a recipe today that is super delicious (actually I found it a long time ago but just now tried it today - hehehe).

Old Fashioned Salmon Salad:

While grilling 2-4 portions of salmon with salt and pepper,

In a blender combine:

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup cherry preserves (I used no sugar added cherry pie filling)
2 T cider vinegar
2 tsp mustard (sounds weird but really yummy)

Set aside.

1 pear
1 avocado
4 green onions

and mix with 1 c. chopped almonds (use honey glazed or raw - I used raw)

Layer a few baby spinach leaves (1/4 to 1/2 cup) on each plate, add your diced mixture, top with salmon and drizzle with cherry dressing. Serve with heated flour tortillas (heat them up with a bit of italian cheese to add dairy to this nutrient packed meal).

I absolutely stuffed myself. Happy eating everyone!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lovin' the Rain!!

My backyard is partially flooded, and I'm loving it! Maybe everyone's allergies will settle down at last now. The dh has been horribly sick with them for three weeks or so, and we're both sick and tired of him being sick and tired!

The rain also means I'm stuck in the house writing instead of working in the yard, and I need that. Two more of my chapter buddies have gotten agents, and it makes me lust all the more for my turn. Gotta get the book done, though, and I'm soooooo close.

Off to work - I'll post more later in the week!


Friday, March 09, 2007

New Bulb Count

That's 61 hostas and 66 caladiums. Yikes! And yes, I have **huge** flowerbeds, mostly shade. I'll post pics when everything starts coming up. Bye now!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Dogs are a many splendored thing

My dogs are too funny. I was out working on the yard today. I'm planting bulbs, and I put some bone meal down as I went. My smaller dog (the one I posted the picture of with the popcorn bag stuck to his head) thinks I'm holding out on him now. He smells bone, and he wants it. When the other dog goes anywhere near where the bulbs are planted, Sam gets after him. WE don't want Max getting to the imaginary bone before he does. No sir!

The whole time I'm working out there, Sam's whining and barking at me wanting to know where I've hidden the bones. Then later, I come in, and the big dog, Max, starts licking the bone meal dust off my shoes.

Haaaa, that was a good laugh. Just so you'll know how many bulbs we're talking about, last fall I bought 40 grape hyacinths, 30 of some little white flower I forgot the name of, 40 red tulips, 60 crocuses, and 12 ferns. I never put them out, but I left them on the table outside and now they're sprouting. Now on to the spring bulbs. I have purchased 12 calla lilies to go with my one lonely one I've had for several years, 40 or so hostas, 40 or so caladiums, 4 arabian night dahlias (gorgeous), 12 astilbe, and that's all I can remember at the moment. Lord have mercy. I'm having a ball. Can't wait to see my yard in another few weeks.

Oh, and the grandkids and I started 24 each of trailing petunia, delphinium, and lavender in seed pods last week. The first seedlings poked their heads up today. I also got morning glory seeds to climb up the bare trellises in the dog's part of the yard. They dig up whatever potted stuff I put out, so I'm just going to scatter the seeds. The good thing about morning glories is you can't get rid of them if you try.

As you might suspect, I'm exhausted. Going to bed now. Happily. Very happy indeed. May the sun shine brightly in your world too!


Monday, March 05, 2007

New Web Coming in Sight

It looks like Mr and Mrs Pinkie will probably be changing webs soon. Mr. Pinkie has been scouring the internet and we've looked at a couple. I swore I'd never move again, but I must admit, he's won me over to his side. We looked at one yesterday, and ooo-la-la was fabulous.

I went to Sheila's on Friday night to help them solidify their plans for the baby nursery, and it is going to be amazing. She doing it in knights, castles, wizards, and dragons. Her dh is going to make turrets to stand at each corner of the baby bed and a crenallated (the sawtooth pattern at the top of castle walls) shelf to go around three walls about a foot from the ceiling. A friend is going to paint a mural on the non-shelved wall, and we just learned another friend's daughter is mucho talented and can help too. Can't wait to get it done. My next step is to show up ready to paint next Saturday.

Which means, I need to get a lot of writing done this week, so here I go. Love you all!


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Well, it's Wednesday, and I'm still trying to keep up my routine. That's something, right? I haven't done great and I haven't completely blown it, so I'm calling that progress.

I found some cool stuff on the internet for my friend's baby nursery. She's doing it in castles/knights/unicorns/dragons etc. We're meeting on Friday to draw up the final plans. I'll be sure and post pictures of our progress.

Had trouble getting to sleep last night, so I'd better get busy. Talk to you soon!


Monday, February 26, 2007

Every Monday morning, I get up with the intention of following my exercise/eating/ writing/etc. routine better than the week before (that usually lasts until Tuesday night). I keep thinking I'll get caught up eventually, and I'm still shooting for that, but man, it's taking a long time. I really had no clue how much I had going on. I just keep reminding myself that I am making progress, slowly but surely. Unfortunately, my rabbit mentality doesn't care for this turtle pace - hehehe.

I've started my first scrapbooking project and find the process highly addictive. I love it! I'm almost done with our St. Thomas pictures. Only a few thousand other pictures left beyond those! *sigh* At least most of the others are in albums, so they're protected. Right now I'm focusing on the ones not in albums yet.

I got my MIL's quilt loaded onto the quilting frame late last week and started quilting it. I started out with my old machine on the frame, but it didn't work well. Once I changed it out with the new one (I was hoping to keep the new one free cause it's a pain in the butt to change out when you have a quilt on the frame), things went a lot easier. I have a lot of stitches to remove from my failed attempt, but no biggie. At least now I know where I'm going. I have a friend's baby quilt to do and another friend I'm helping with her whole nursery, so time is getting precious. Luckily, on the nursery, there are seven of us working on it - two husbands for wood-working (including the dad-to-be), two seamstresses, the mom-to-be to supervise, and two painters/whatever else they'd like to do's. Our plan is to be done by the shower date of March 31. Piece a cake. Hehehe (nervous laughter). :-)

And of course, spring is on its way. I already feel the urge to get out in the yard and dig. Which brings me to another gripe - how can we have so much ice and already the weeds in my flower beds are at full height? I looked outside Satuday and wanted to scream! But I didn't...I just thanked God I don't spend 40+ hours at the day job anymore. Gotta stay in gratitude, right? Right! So thank you, my precious Lord, that I have such an abundance of things to enjoy/gripe about!

I've got to get some writing done today too, so I'd better get busy. Love you all and hope to see you soon!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Briefly Surfacing to Post...

Not much going on around the web except work and catching up on the myriad of projects I have going on. I really need to learn not to take on so much at one time. I'm begging off most of my meeting-type commitments until I get caught up.

I won't be able to post everyday (as if I've done a great job of that either - hehehe), but I will try to hit the blog two or three times a week. Don't want you guys and dolls forgetting about me!

Best time so far this week - Sheila and I drove down to Dallas to shop for nursery stuff with my sister. Had a great time. Luckily, Darlene could take off a few hours and take us around on Monday. We had a really productive trip. The baby's room is going to be tres cool!

Love you all!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Test Results

My test came back unchanged - woo hoo!! Praise God!


Playing With a New Template

Decided to finish the conversion to the new Blogger which necessitated changing the template. I don't really like the blank space on either side, but I'm not sure how to change that. Will be scouting out skins in the coming weeks (probably while I should be writing like today!).

Happy Valentine's to all my lovely friends and family!!!

Lane and I are going to lunch today before my doctor's appointment since he has a class to facilitate at church tonight. The choir moved practice to last night, but Lane's class (mostly old guys, of course) kept theirs for today...go figure.

I'll be on later to give you the results of my test!!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thought I'd give you lucky devils a gander at my beautiful and talented cousin, Della. She's the one seated in front. It's been a long time since I've had the chance to hear her sing, but I remember one time walking into her home town's chile festival and hearing a voice that sounded like Patsy Cline singing 'Crazy.' It was Della, and I was blown away. In the summer of 2010 (doesn't that sound strange?), RWA is holding their conference in Nashville, and I can't wait!
It's cold, cold, cold here (unless you live up north where the true cold exists - in that case it's mild - hehehe). The wind is blowing like a straight-line tornado. Okay, I know straight-line tornados don't exist, but you get the drift...
Let's see, what shall we do for food tip Tuesday? I know!!!!!
Trans Fats
These little buggers are nastier than I realized. Not only do they increase your cancer and heart attack risk, but they also cause pot bellies! {shiver} Okay, I'm being vain. I am very prone to the pot belly syndrome and the clothes I like call for a svelte tummy. Trans Fats actually cause the fat cells in your body to move from where they are to the belly, and belly fat is a big factor in heart disease.
And all you women thinking of your husbands - stop and add yourself to that picture. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US. Cancer is number two and trans fats contribute to both.
Don't rely on the new FDA regulations to save you either. A food can contain up to 500 mg of trans fats per serving and still list zero trans fats on the labels. So what are we to do? It's easy. Read the ingredients. If a product has hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils, it has trans fats. As little as 500 mg of trans fats three times per day ups your chances of suffering from heart disease dramatically. That's not much to work with, no margin for error.
Okay, soap box time is over. You all have a great Tuesday! I'll try to post a new recipe later in the week. Love ya all!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Today was my quarterly CT Scan, and I'll get the results next Wednesday at my regular doctor's visit. The last test showed no progress, and that's what I'm looking for this time too (and all the times, of course - hehehe).

Went to lunch yesterday with my work buddies, and man that felt good. They're a fabulous bunch, really great friends. I'm going to start doing the office birthdays for them since they're so busy. That'll help me keep up those relationships because I really don't want to let that fall away as so often happens.

I'm sitting here feeling incredibly blessed to be involved with so many groups of awesome women. It seems no matter where I turn, someone is there. I think of the hedge that God had built around Job to protect and comfort him. It's pretty humbling to realize how perfectly God has arranged my life to withstand whatever comes.

Did I tell you guys Sean made Dean's List? He's so proud. He worked really hard and acheived more than he'd expected. He really enjoys college. He has no idea what he wants to major in anymore since he didn't get in the band this year. He may yet do music, but he's also exploring other possibilities.

Only about 2-1/2 months until my best friend's baby arrives - yee haw!! (I know, I've been listening to country lately - hehehe.)

Thank you all for being here for me and putting up with my many ramblings. I'm a lucky, lucky girl!!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Well darn. I jinxed myself with that post on Monday. The things that were falling into place scattered all day Tuesday and Wednesday!! LOL. Ah well.... I have my sweet doggies to console me. Here are pictures of them being lazy (90% of the time).

I got exciting news today - my friend Gena Showalter's book hit the New York Times Extended list for bestsellers!!! She's at #32. You can check out her blog at I'm so excited for her!

We've started a new cantata for Easter at church, and I love it. It's so pretty and moving. It's a Good Friday thing, so I miss the "Up from the grave He arose!!!" type music, but that's okay. I'm really going to enjoy singing it. The gals in my husband's family and I are also doing a study by Beth Moore. She takes a bit of getting used to but my goodness can that woman teach!! The title is Believing God, and it is so awesome.
Today is grandkid day around here, but we'll be done early this time. Alec's parents got tickets to the basketball game, so we'll take him home around 6:15. Next week, though, he'll spend the night with us, so that's a decent trade, I thought. He's been wanting to spend the night. I'm going to take the time off tonight and try to turn it into a blessing by getting extra stuff done around here.
Speaking of getting stuff done, I'd better get going!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wow - Tuesday and Wednesday are already gone? Sheesh!

Guys, I feel like I've been dodging a rocket on my tail, and it's catching up. Bear with me, and I will post more soon...

Love ya all,

Monday, February 05, 2007

Things are continuing to fall into place in my new routine. Our critique group met yesterday (without Jill who was sick - feel better, Jill!!) and lined out how we're going to be more effective this year. We're going to set goals individually and then help motivate each other to reach them. There may be some negative reinforcement (cue maniacal laugh here). I'm famous for my dog food promise (passed to me by my dh). One year several of us vowed we would finish our books that year or eat a can of dog food. All of us finished. It's a powerful motivator....

We're starting to plan my friend Sheila's baby shower. She's decorating the room in wizards, dragons, unicorns, etc. I get to help her decorate the nursery - yay!! I also plan to stay with her during the day for a while after the baby is born. Double yay!!

I made up a loose schedule of things I need to get done each day, and I'm actually not running behind today, so I'd better get on with it and keep not running behind!! Tomorrow I'll get back to the food tips thing. Talk to you then!!


Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Friday to everyone! I know the folks at SRC are especially glad! I feel really good today. I think I'm getting on top of the new routine - little by little but steady. I've gotten quite a bit of writing done this week.

Yesterday was grandkid day at our house, and we had a blast as usual. Alec and I watched Homeward Bound which he'd never seen. It's one of my favorite movies, especially since one of the dogs is a golden.

The picture with the boulder, of course, is at The Baths. That was such a fascinating place. You can be sure a book of mine will be set there someday! The beach shots are of our resort beach, and the critter in the fourth pic is a stingray who's buried himself in the sand at the stingray tank at Coral World. That was a really neat place. Would love to take the grandkids there. They have a touching pool with star fish, skates, sea urchins, sea cucumbers (which look like giant worms - pretty cool but kind of freakish like horror movie critters), and when I was there they had a baby stingray they'd rescued (didn't get the story - all the staff was coming by to see him but didn't know the story). I couldn't see him very well or get a picture as he'd buried himself too. All I could see was the little tail.

What a great world God has made for us. I found myself thanking Him at every turn. It's so incredibly intricate. He knew how curious we'd be and gave us enough mystery to keep us busy for thousands of years. It's too bad some think they've gotten too smart or discovered too much to believe in Him.

For the last few weeks I've been participating in a Bible study with the rest of the women in Lane's family, and it's been great. It's called Believing God by Beth Moore. I've learned so much. She has a pack of index cards bound together with scriptures on them that she keeps in her purse when she feels the need to pray scripture out loud (the most effective way). I put together something similar for the gals in our group and will surprise them with it when we meet next Tuesday. I also plan to put some together for my UMW (United Methodist Women) group as a surprise - so fellow church ladies don't tell!! hehehe.

Well, I'd better get busy with my day. Today is grocery day and I have physical therapy along with lots of other stuff. Everyone have a great weekend!!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

What a great time we had!! Looking through these pictures reminds me and brings me such a feeling of well being. The pictures with the boulders are at The Baths (short for Batholiths). We explored all through the boulders with their tide pools and magnificent formations. The picture with the fish is one I took underwater while snorkeling. Yes - me! I still can't believe I got up the courage to snorkel (for those who don't know, I'm afraid of the water). I'm going to practice in the lakes during the summer and get more comfortable at it. The fish pictured is a yellow tailed snapper which is commonly used for sushi, so this pic is in honor of my son who loves sushi. I told him about it, and he said he wasn't so sure he wanted a picture of his food - hehehe.

The guys pictured ran the little kiosk at the end of our resort building and made one heck of a lunch. We ate there several times. The resort restaurant and bar were closed, so this was the closest food and drink, but they were only open 11-3. They had a gift shop where we could get soda and such. That's why the resort wasn't any more crowded than it was.

Well, I'm running late as usual, so I'd better run. Love you all!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Only have time for a quick post today. The ocean scene is the view from Blackbeard's Castle (which we missed because it closes at 2:30 pm if you can imagine!). The other two are of the 99 Steps (which really has 103 steps...they don't make anymore sense there than we do here!) with me about to climb them and then me halfway up and ready to quit. These stair cases were built by the Danish and refered to as "streets" (or gades in Danish).

I'll try to post more tomorrow - love you all!!


Monday, January 29, 2007

Ahhhh....back from d'islands, mon.

If y'ever get de chance to go to St. Thomas, mon, be taking it! You never be da same!
I'm still having trouble getting back into the groove! In fact, I'm running about 50 minutes behind schedule today when I'm supposed to be catching up!! I just have to tell you about our first night, though.
We got to the resort about 10:30 local time after 12 hours of flying and layovers, and the first thing the gal said to us was, "I have some bad news. We don't have your room ready." The dh says why not, and she doesn't know. Okay.... Dh asks to speak to the manager, and she says he's not there. He presses further and she says he's not on the property. He's at a function and she can't reach him. I'm really tired and talk dh into looking at the room they have for us. I want to fight it out after a night's sleep.
The room was hideous. We called it Motel 6's evil twin. It was the plainest Janest excuse for a resort room I've ever seen or imagined. But it had a bed...a really hard bed. DH visits the bathroom and the toilet handle comes off in his hand. We call the office and a guy comes to fix it.
The view from our window is about a foot and a half of beach and some broken down boats.
We collapsed anyway. By now it's getting on toward midnight, and the people in the room next to us talk and talk and talk, heard clearly through their excuse for walls. We lay there and try to sleep.
About 1:00, there's a loud banging on the door of the next room. A guy is shouting about his room being flooded. There's two inches of water in his room, and he's not happy. More banging. Finally someone answers the door. More shouting.
Dh gets up to tell them to shut the f### up and learns this is the manager living next door to us. Dh is very cordial, but the manager won't speak to him. He comes back in and calls around but no one answers at the other resorts except the Ritz Carlton which is 3 times the rate we're paying. He comes back to bed.
A dog starts yapping. Oh, yeah.
We finally get to sleep. Early the next morning dh finds us a new resort and harangues the staff of this one until they give us a refund. We move to a beautiful place that's less expensive and vacation happily ever after - more on that tomorrow.
The moral to this story? Never stay at Secret Harbor in St. Thomas!!!
Have a great day!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Okay, guys, put your yolks back in your eggs...

That's right. New studies show that the yolk contains a substance that prevents cataracts and other forms of eye degeneration. The fat is not easily absorbed by the body and the cholesterol is the good kind according the the New England Journal of medicine. *sigh* it's hard to keep up!!

I'm excited today because I'm getting ready to head for St. Thomas - woo hoo!! I hope to finish the revisions on my current WIP during the long plane rides and layovers (total 12 hours). The rest of the time, I'm going to soak up so much sun, the rest of the world will have a blackout - hehehe.

IF, that is, the weather doesn't mess us up. They'd better have that runway cleared, baby, 'cause I'm takin' off!! (please, please, please).

Gotta run get the last of my stuff done now - talk to you after the 25th!!


Monday, January 15, 2007

This is the view out my back door, and I am truly iced in. Went to drive to my PT and couldn't back out of the driveway because of the thick sheet of ice blocking my back tires in. Thank goodness my darling son is going to pick me up tomorrow and run me around to my various appointments and errands. He's moved back to the dorms and I miss him already.

DH and I spent the weekend watching episodes of 24 Season 2. We're heading to St. Thomas on Thursday, and we're taking Season 3 with us...

I've started hitting the exercise hard and heavy, and I can't believe how good I feel - and not just physically. My body image has been off-kilter since the mastectomy, and the exercise is actually bringing it back to me. All that stuff they say about endorphins is true too. It really does bring on feelings of well being. Wow. Of course, the first week was a real drag - hated it. Second week was equally yuck. Third week - I kinda like it. Hmmm. I'm doing 25 mins cardio, 20 mins strength training and 30-35 minutes of stretches 4 or 5 days per week. I use and love it.

Read an article on trans fats, and boy, are *they* scary. According to labeling laws, there can be 500 mg of trans fats per serving and the company can still put that there's zero. 500 mg three times per day ups your chances of having a heart attack by 30%. The only way to avoid them is to avoid foods with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the list of ingredients. That's just about freaking everything packaged. Wow. Trans fats cause your body to store most of its fat in the belly area, the worst place for heart disease (and a problem for me I don't want to make worse!). Watch those labels, kiddies!!

It's late. Gotta run. Love you all!


Thursday, January 11, 2007

I spent the whole day yesterday putting away Xmas stuff, and I almost have my house back - yippee!!! I love decorating for the holidays, but by this time I'm sick of it. This is the latest I've ever put it away. Unfortunately, I need to buy another big container to fit the rest of it into. Not so bad for me, but dh won't like it...hehehe

A writing friend is in town today, so as soon as I finish my blog and exercise, I'm going to meet her for a marathon writing day. I'm so excited!! Tonight we're going to dinner with some more friends. It'll be nice to have a day out.

I feel like my daily routine is starting to gel finally. It's been a challenge getting all these ornery ducks into a row and make them *stop* quacking at me all the time! I don't have time for everything, and it's been hard choosing what gets first priority. I have to keep reminding myself I don't have to complete every book, quilt and project this week... I am making progress. I am making progress. I am making progress.

Speaking of which - I'd better go exercise right now while I can make myself do it!

Love you all!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A friend I worked with was told by her doctor recently to drastically cut her fat intake and concentrate on healthy eating, and she's having trouble knowing where to start. Everyone has to find the method that works for them, but here are my top suggestions:

READ EVERY LABEL on everything you buy. The whole label, not just the summary of calories and fat grams. Avoid foods that have sugar or corn syrup listed as one of the first 5 ingredients (this is hard when buying bread, so you can make an exception there if you're not too sensitive to sugar). Avoid foods that list hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

Get a little notebook for your purse and WRITE DOWN EVERY FAT GRAM CONSUMED. Trust me, you'll eat too much if you don't write it down.

MEASURE YOUR PORTIONS carefully. Most diets are wrecked by incorrect portion sizes. Don't guess - measure!!

NOT ALL OILS ARE EQUAL. I use only olive or canola oil for cooking (mostly olive) and olive or sometimes walnut or grapeseed oil for dressings. Here's some info on olive oil:

Olive oil
Although more expensive than other oils, olive oil has many health benefits. It has mono-unsaturated fat and is the preferred cooking oil in Mediterranean countries. Studies have found that consumption of olive oil can lower the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing blood cholesterol levels and blood clot formation.
Research has also found that olive oil may influence body fat distribution, with less fat stored around the stomach.
Olive oil is thought to offer a number of other health benefits, including reduced risk of some cancers (such as breast cancer), reduced risk of diabetes and, possibly, a delayed onset of complications in established diabetes. It also contains many antioxidant phytochemicals that have many health benefits.
This oil is extracted by pressing or crushing olives and comes in different varieties, depending on the amount of processing involved. Varieties include:
~ Extra virgin: Considered the best, this oil comes from the first pressing of the olives.
~ Virgin: Comes from the second pressing.
~ Pure: Undergoes some processing, such as filtering and refining
~ Extra light: Undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavour.
When buying olive oil, it is best to select the extra virgin variety. In order to get maximum benefits, olive oil should be used to prepare salad dressings, as a seasoning for soups, for sauteing vegetables or for grilling.

DON'T EAT OUT PERIOD UNTIL YOUR CHOLESTEROL IS AT AN EXCEPTABLE LEVEL. It's too hard to control fat and sugar intake and to control portions. When you've reached your goals for weight and cholesterol, treat yourself to a single all-out meal at your favorite restaurant. After that, limit splurges to once per quarter. Once your levels are where you want them, you can eat out conservatively, but keep an eye on the scale in case you're consuming more fat and sugar than you think (happens a lot).

SUBSCRIBE TO A MOTIVATING MAGAZINE - I like Shape because it covers both diet and exercise as well as women's general health issues. They have skinny models, but there are also real women with realistic figures too. There are lots of others to choose from too.

EAT VEGGIES AS YOUR MAIN COURSE and your meat as a side dish. Choose only lean cuts and avoid the skin of chicken and turkey. Try to eat as wide a variety of vegetables as you can. I really don't like vegetables, so I've had to do a lot of experimenting to find ways to prepare them so that I like them. I often grind them up and hide them in other foods, but it's hard to get enough that way. A good way to do that is in soup (don't grind broccoli though - ick! Just cut it up really small). If you cut your veggies up small enough, you'll hardly know they're there as the flavor gets overwhelmed by the broth and spices.

EAT MOSTLY FISH, SHRIMP, AND CRAB and other seafoods (research and avoid high mercury content fish). Not only do these give you the Omega-3 fatty acids, you'll also consume much less fat for the same portions.

DON'T EAT MEAT, POULTRY OR SEAFOOD THAT'S CHARRED OR BLACKENED - the process creates carcinogens. And, of course, NOTHING BREADED AND FRIED. Tempura cooked shrimp should also be avoided.

TRY TO CONSUME A VARIETY OF GRAINS AND MAKE AT LEAST HALF OF THOSE WHOLE GRAINS. I really hate brown rice, so I use a lot of whole wheat flour, whole oat flour, oatmeal, and barley. That way I can eat white rice.

DO 20 MINUTES OF CARDIO 3 TIMES PER WEEK and work up to 30-45 minutes. I try to do my cardio every day so if something happens at the end of the week, I have it done. If I get in extra workouts - all the better!

STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY TRAINING are just as important to your health as cardio, especially in injury prevention such as my partial tear on my rotator cuff. That can be directly connected to my poor flexibility and poor posture. Poor conditioning is also the main culprit in back injuries such as ruptured disks. This type of training is also great for relieving gastro-intestinal symptoms and tension headaches. Okay, it just about walks on water...

Those are the biggies right now, and it's time for me to get busy writing for the day. I'll leave you with the recipe for the day:

Quick Shrimp Creole (yummy!)

7 oz. enriched white rice
28 oz diced tomatoes (can be stewed)
1/2 c. green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp hot sauce (tabasco or louisiana)
1 tsp Creole seasoning (I use Chef Prudhomme's seafood magic)
1 lb peeled large shrimp (I use frozen)

Prepare rice and keep warm.

Saute green pepper, onion, and celery in olive oil until tender. Add garlic and saute another minute. Stir in tomatoes, hot sauce, and Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir in shrimp, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes or until heated through (frozen may take a bit longer). Serve over hot cooked rice.

Health to you all!!