Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh my gosh, I miss my life!!

What is your favorite Spyder reading while eagerly awaiting the release of PRIDE by Rachel Vincent?


Which is a whole different topic that deserves its own post. I've buried myself neck deep in facilitating the renewal of the little United Methodist congregation to which I belong. Progress has slowed considerably considering the *other* less pleasant thing I've been doing since my last post. I've spent over five weeks accomplishing nothing more than trying to recover from - not the worst GI problem a fella can have - but close.

I did get my proposal resent to Anne Leslie Tuttle at Silhouette Nocturne, so that's a big yay! I'm also writing about five days a week consistently. I suppose I have the illness to thank for that. Writing is one of the few things I can do flat on my back.

The technical term is ulcerative colitis. It works like a autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself. In this case, my immune system decided my lower colon is the devil.

I left on vacation with GI symptoms I thought were simple IBS. You watch what you eat and wait for it to go away. Not only did it *not* go away, the day we left for our long trek home, it got incredibly worse. Worst 4 days of my life - bar none, and that's saying something.

We got home on a Wednesday afternoon. I thought that, without the cataclysmic bump, bump, bump of the RV, I'd get much better. Thursday morning, the dh and I awoke with the same thought written in neon in our brains. I needed to be in the hospital.

I got up and pulled a pair of pajama pants on under my gown while Lane brought the car around to the front door. I made it as far as the entryway before I cramped up so badly that I couldn't walk. Lane walked in to find me sitting on the floor and crying. Scared him to death. We opted to call an ambulance.

Lane carries me back to bed, and about fifteen minutes later here come eight or so firemen clomping into my bedroom in their heavy rubber boots. Pretty funny, but I was too embarrassed and sick to appreciate the humor. They took me to a local hospital where I got the absolute worst, worst, WORST, ER crew.

I was very dehydrated, but unfortunately I didn't realize how badly or how sick I was. When they tried to draw blood, my hand drew up and lost all feeling. I pointed this out to them, and they said, Oh, that's no big deal. They sent me home with two antibiotics and two pain killers and told me to see my primary care physician if I didn't get better.

I made an appointment with my PCP for Monday afternoon and suffered through the weekend. The visit to the PCP is its own comedy of errors I shall save for my next post.

It's good to be back on the net.

Love ya!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tuesday's trip to Niagara Falls

The mist thrown up from Niagra is the first thing you see. It goes hundreds of feet up into the air. Remember, this originates from the bottom of the falls where the water hits the rocks.

The instant we approached the falls, the power was evident. The water is filled with white caps long before it reaches the drop off. The sound is a roar.

A fabulous distance view of the falls - notice how high the mist is thrown into the air.

No picture can do justice to the sight of all this water boiling over the rocks, then plummeting over the side and down to the rocks below. It's the most awesome and awe-of-God inspiring sight Lane and I have ever seen. We just stood there, mouths agape. Lane felt that if we'd turned around here and headed home, the trip would have been worth it.

A light shower fell for a few minutes, and we were rewarded by this fabulous rainbow!!

The bottom of the falls.

It's hard to see, but there's change scattered on these rocks. How do you miss Niagra Falls? Hehehe! It's not that far (a couple feet) from the fence.

Here are a couple of really cool downriver pictures taken at Niagra.

Back in the good ole' USA!!!
I have lots more pictures from Wednesday and today to download from my camera, but I'm tired!!! I'll post more tomorrow evening or perhaps the next. Love you all and miss you!

Port Huron and Through Canada

This is our camp at Port Huron. Very beautiful and nice. We ate supper at Appleby's and the waittress introduced herself and said 'I'll be helping yous.'

Here we are driving into Ontario, Canada. The border guy was really nice but asked a ton of questions. He came into our camper and looked around a bit. We had to show them the dogs' rabies certificates.

The speed limit was 100 in Canada!! Don't get excited, though. It's kilometers per hour which equals about 60 mph.

No billboards allowed along the highway in Canada. We only saw this one and one other, and they were way, way out in the farm fields. The countryside was incredible as you'll see with these pictures.

This is either Lake Erie or Ontario. Not sure which. The shot doesn't do it justice!

Hopping on the QEW to Niagra Falls! Notice the shape of the highway designation is a crown.

More pictures from Monday night

This highway BB was a real booger to find. I finally located it on Mapquest which I saved to Lane's computer. The image is unbelievable. I'll upload it later for you all to see.

Also, poor Maxie dog is having knee problems. He went out jogging with Lane and it got really bad so now he's a three legged dog. He's on pain meds and joint medication.

Love you!!!

Monday night's post

Hi everyone!! I finally got online to post vacation pictures and news.

We took off Saturday morning, and drove first to Boiling Springs Campground on the Big Piney River.
You can't tell from this picture, but the sign says "Watch for cars turning left from passing lane." Evidently, they have some people who don't know the difference between a solid yellow line and the dotted white line.
BIG WARNING HERE: Do not trust the online mileage calculators online!! The one I checked (Ingram's) said we had 339.6 miles to drive, but it was actually a little over 400. Holy crap! Our mileages have been off every day. Sunday we didn't reach Bloomington until 4:30 EST (big frown), but we had a great time. Brian and Laura cooked steaks (oh my gosh, they were sooooo good!!!) and took us on a walking tour of the Indiana University campus. Bad me, I didn't take a picture one, but maybe Laura will post some pictures of what we saw on the blog. It's a really beautiful campus.
On Monday morning, we headed for Port Huron, MI. and should have been here by about 6:00. Unfortunately, I wasn't watching the GPS, and the interchange at Lansing was really jickey. At one point Lane had announced 133 miles to Port Huron. About 45 minutes later, I picked up the GPS and thought, wouldn't that be strange if it said we had a lot more miles to go than 133?
You guessed it, it did. Somehow we'd gotten on 96 headed west. By the time we were done, we'd gone 88 miles out of the way. *sigh* We did make it to Port Huron which is where I am now. We're headed across the border through Canada with a stop at Niagra Falls and then on to Syracuse NY to spend the night. There's also supposed to be a big casino just past Syracuse that we're planning to visit.
Not too many fall colors yet, but the blogs in VT say they're really starting to turn, so it should be great once we get there!
Love you all and I'll post more soon!

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Phrase I Never Thought I'd Hear

"Skinny Fat"

But that's what my Prevention magazine asked this month. Evidently, if you manage to maintain your weight without exercise, put away your excitement. A Mayo clinic study of 1101 women (average age 41) showed that 54% qualified as "normal weight obese." Do I hear all the overweight obese cheering? That's right! All you skinny minnies (or 54% of you) likely have body fat measuring more than 30%. This means 4 times the risk of metabolic syndrome, double the risk of high triglycerides, triple the risk of diabetes, and a 20% jump in high blood pressure.

I looked up metabolic syndrome on and found the following:

What is the metabolic syndrome?

The metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors in one person. They include:

Abdominal obesity (excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen)
Atherogenic dyslipidemia (blood fat disorders — high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol — that foster plaque buildups in artery walls)
Elevated blood pressure
Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can’t properly use insulin or blood sugar)
Prothrombotic state (e.g., high fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor–1 in the blood)
Proinflammatory state (e.g., elevated C-reactive protein in the blood)

People with the metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of coronary heart disease and other diseases related to plaque buildups in artery walls (e.g., stroke and peripheral vascular disease) and type 2 diabetes. The metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States. It’s estimated that over 50 million Americans have it.

Even a bunch of skinny people!!! Okay, it's probably not nice to make fun over such a serious subject. The point is EVERYONE NEEDS TO EXERCISE.

I know, exercise sucks. I actually found my ideal cardio exercise: WII Tennis. Yes, WII Tennis. I can't help moving around a lot when I play, and it so engages my mind that I really have fun with it. It's not as great with the legs as the arms, so between sets, I jump around or do squats and lunges (which I've finally gotten to where I don't *hate*).

The point is, don't give up until you've found what works for you. Something you can stick with for the long haul. I adore all of you and want you living large and long with me.

One last hint - posture counts Slumping during cardio ups your heart rate making your workout feel harder. Pulling back your shoulder blades lets you take in more oxygen so picking up the pace feels easier. You'll burn more calories.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Home again, Home again, jiggety jig

What is your favorite Spyder reading while eagerly awaiting the release of PRIDE by Rachel Vincent?


by Jordan Dane

Had a couple of sleepless nights while I was in Texas visiting my mom and dad, so I finished THE NIGHT SERPENT by Anna Leonard (Silhouette Nocturne). Loved it. The writing style was a bit confusing at the end (or maybe I was just worn out from not sleeping for two nights), but I just kept going and thoroughly enjoyed the ending anyway. Ms. Leonard is really good at making the pacing feel lightning fast and the tension truly tense at the end. Her book definitely earned a place on my keeper shelf. I'm a hard person to hook and keep hooked. I'm one of those readers that puts a book down after 50 pages and never picks it up again. Time is precious. I'm also a writer, so I'm constantly editing in my head - not with this book! From page one, she grabbed me and kept me so kudos to you, Anna!!

As I mentioned, I fell into one of my sleepless phases while in Texas, and I forgot my Lunesta. I have no refills left, and neither does my husband. I had to sleep because I was already a day late coming home. Like many people, I'm immune to Benadryl (which is in all the 'PM' type medicines), and if I take enough of it to make me sleepy (at least 4), it gives me restless leg syndrome symptoms big time. More on that in a later post.

I went to Walgreen's and got some over-the-counter stuff, and I really believe it helped me. I used it last night too and went to sleep much faster than normal (normal is 1-1/2 to 2 hours *every* night but last night was around 45 minutes). So I feel pretty comfortable recommending it for those who'd rather not use the prescription stuff.

It's called SLEEPMD and is a concoction of several herbs etc. that I won't list here. It is also diphenhydramine free (aka Benadryl). You take one about 30 minutes before bedtime, then enjoy the wonderful sleepy feeling as it comes over you. I'll still have to use my Lunesta some, I'm sure, but I can try this one first on those terrible nights.

I also got a product called Liquid Sleep that tastes awful, but Lane took it in the middle of the night when he couldn't get back to sleep, and he thinks it helped him. He's going to keep experimenting with it and see if it really does help. He's prone to wake up around 2 or 3 and stay awake until about 5.

I'll keep you posted as to how it works. For now, happy sleeping everyone!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Affair of the Heart

What is the Spyder reading now to pass the interminable months until Rachel Vincent's PRIDE comes out (which is now scheduled for the first of February instead of March - yippee!!)?

The Night Serpent
Harlequin Nocturne
by Anna Leonard

The heroine is a 'cat whisperer' haunted by dreams and memories of a murky past. How could I resist such originality? I'll let you know how it turns out.

Heart disease is the number one killer in America, even over cancer. Like cancer, it isn't easy to spot a heart attack coming, so we need to all be on the lookout for the most reliable predictors. In that vein, I found a great article in this month's Prevention Magazine.

3 Heart-Saving Questions You Might Want to Ask Your Doctor

1. Should I get a CT scan of my heart? Dr. Arthur Agatston MD considers this one of the best tools to assess a patient's risk of heart attack in the near-to-far future.

2. Should I get specialized cholesterol tests? Some doctors may not be familiar with these advanced blood tests that show the size of your cholesterol particles. It seems if you have small particles, your risk is higher even if your total cholesterol count is in acceptable ranges.

3. Should I take a drug to lower my cholesterol levels? Dr. Agatson says statins are good to lower the bad cholesterol, and niacin - in large prescription strength doses - is good for raising the good cholesterol. Unfortunately, niacin causes flushing (blood vessels dilate) in some patients. Evidently this is very unpleasant although I can only imagine. He suggests taking an aspirin a half-hour before taking the niacin. He also suggests taking the niacin with food.

To assess your risk of heart disease, try the heart risk calculator at AOLhealth:

Visit the following link at WebMD for a detailed description of various CT scans:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Recall Alerts of the Rich and Flameous

What's the Spyder reading tonight while she waits the long months until Rachel Vincent's Pride is released?

The X Files: I Want to Believe
by Max Allan Collins
I found some interesting recall alerts in my Good Housekeeping mag this month:

Cricket EZ Cellular Phones - on 911 calls, a software problem may keep the operator from hearing the caller or the caller from hearing the operator. Now that's scary. You're running from the serial killer wearing a hockey mask and carrying a meat cleaver. You dial 911 and scream for help. Meanwhile the operator keeps saying, "Hello. Hello? Hell-o-o."

Here's one for all the writers out there: Michael's Seasonal Writing Pens are being recalled because the pens' surface coating contains high levels of LEAD, which violates federal standards and may be toxic. Can I blame that for the problems with my plot? Oh yeah, I use a computer. Well, darn.

On a more serious note, LOWE'S CHILDREN'S STORAGE BINS are being recalled for excessive levels of LEAD as well.

Now this is one I did *not* have to check my cabinets and drawers for: Funtastic Hillbilly teeth. The gray surface paint on the teeth contains excessive levels of LEAD. I thought they finally figured out how DORKY their product is.

Speaking of people trying to kill us, FireX Brand 1000 series Carbon Monoxide Alarms and 12000 series CO/Smoke Combo Alarms come with an owner's manual that says to disconnect the alarm if a "double chirp"/fault alarm sound occurs, but this can actually be a warning of carbon monoxide presence. I had a friend one time who wrote technical manuals for a nationwide heating and cooling unit company. In one, he started a sentence and ended it with yada, yada, yada, intending to go back later and fill in the information. You guessed it. The material shipped to several hundred customers before the mistake was caught. Of course, yada yada yada isn't likely to *kill* you.

Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Twice in One Month!!

My life is just so full. Yes, it's a good thing, but it's also stressful. I keep thinking I'll get caught up, but it's been 2 years now since I quit the day job. Oy! My weeds are higher than ever, laundry beckons, and now I have a fabulous new vacation to prepare for. Guess what's going to get most of my spare time?

That's right! The vacation. Lane and I are headed to Vermont at the end of September to see the fall foliage and the gorgeous countryside. We're RVing, and I have our campsites picked out and reserved. We'll be staying at Apple Island Resort on a little island in Lake Champlain. We're renting a car for our driving tours. That's what I'm mapping out now - the driving tours. I definitely want to see 'The Kanc', a popular scenic highway with a long, long name I've already forgotten. It's in New Hampshire. We're going to see covered bridges and turn-of-the-century hamlets. I've always dreamed of this vacation.

I am getting more disciplined with my scheduling. I'm exercising on a regular basis (Wii tennis which is surprisingly great cardio) including weight lifting. I'm writing on a steadily more regular basis, and I'm involved in a project with my church that is incredibly exciting.

We're working toward a spiritual renewal from top to bottom based on Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Church, 12 Steps to Congregational Transformation, and the Strategic Plan rolled out in our Annual Conference this year. We're an older congregation striving to survive, and I'm convinced the way to do it is to return to the church's roots, our 'first love', if you will.

Aw, man - time's up. I've got to go exercise and write and all the other things screaming my name! Hehehe. Hope you all have had a great summer, and Jo - it was great hearing from you!!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Just got back from national conference in San Francisco. Had a great time, but what I thought was a terrible allergy attack has turned into a cold. AND I came down with a bladder infection yesterday. My friends nicknamed me 'Tanks' because I can go so long without use of the facilities. Unfortunately, my capacity is down to a few drops at a time. Two different doctors have called in antibiotics (I was desperate and more than a bit wicked), so I'm soon off to the pharmacy.

I've been puttering in the yard today - so good to be home! This must be the year of the milkweed because mine are incredibly healthy since I've been gone. It's not too hot so after the pharm visit, I think I'll pull some weeds until it gets too hot. We're having big company this weekend, some who've never seen our house, so I'm trying to get it in extra good shape. And with my clutter, that is not an easy task. I like things where I can see them, okay? Drives my hubby bats.

Thanks to my great friend, KN (you know who you are!) I got to go to the Harlequin party this year at conference and had a freaking BLAST. You all know how I love to dance, and they were playing my favorite classics. Came home in an extreme writing mood.

Well, the tank is calling for attention, so I'm off to the ladies' room and then the pharmacy. You all have a great day and TTYL!


Sunday, July 06, 2008


I started this blog originally because my local writer's group had a meeting about the efficacy of blogs in generating notoriety for a writer. I wasn't so sure about that, but I was willing to give it a try. Now that I'm writing like a mad woman, it's hard to get time to post!

Then, of course, the cancer appeared for a return engagement, so I switched to using this for updates on how I'm doing. Well, the show's been a bit boring (thank you, God!) and I've had no growth in the cancer for close to two years now.

Soooooo, I'm thinking of turning to discussions of topics near and dear to my heart (or at least on my mind at the moment). Right now the articles I've been reading and many news items have to do with going green. Being into my own convenience, I'm not so sure about the green thing.

I should qualify that. I do not like deforestation. I like doing whatever I can electronically and saving trees. I do not like pollution. I'm willing to do without a few things (like that extra trip to the store in the car) to cut down on my contribution in that area. There are other areas I can stand to be conservative about.

What I'm thinking of today are my leisurely baths in my huge (and I mean HUGE) tub. I read recently that I should turn the water off while I'm brushing my teeth. Okay. I shouldn't water my lawn during the day because so much of the water evaporates. No problem (but only because I have a sprinkler system). However...

I'm a twenty-minute showerer (or bather - I have a shower head in my tub). Then I read that I should keep my showers to under 5 minutes. Jennifer Aniston uses 3 minutes. Holy cow!! Does she turn the water off while soaping her hair or bod? That would be the equivalent of my bathing in about an inch and a half of water. I don't think I can do that.

Did I mention I haven't even used our walk-in shower since we moved into this house 14 months ago? I *love* my bath. I love filling it up and watching movies on my little bathroom TV. And why are we so concerned about water? I always thought it was a renewable resource. Water evaporates from the ground, turns into clouds and rains back down. I'm sure the article told me why it's so important, but I've blocked it out. Thank goodness I threw the magazine away!

I think I'm going to have to find other ways to be green. Did I mention I use all compact flourescent bulbs? I planted six trees in my yard this year? I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and use one of those carbon foot print calculators and see how much I really have to change to be a good citizen of earth. *Sigh*

If you have the cajones to map out your carbon footprint, you can visit or There are tons of them if you google "carbon footprint calculator." Get out your utility bills and be prepared to answer some fairly complicated questions.

You know, I think I can contribute to the green effort. It's kind of like a maturing process. I gave up my pacifier when I was less than two. But my baths... Now that really give me the shivers!!

Happy greening, guys!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Surfacing from my travels

I’m rounding out the end of a busy couple of weeks. The best kind of busy, too!

My daughter came home from Indiana University for a short visit May 21-24. We had Alec on Thursday, so she got to spend the day with him. We invited Grandma Peggy and Brooklynn over to swim The neighbor boys joined us too, so we had a great time. She and Brian left on Saturday, and on Sunday, I left for my mom’s in Texas.

Oh, and my best friend’s baby had his first birthday. Judging by the way he dived into the cake, I’d say he had a great time.

Mom and I didn’t do a whole lot, which is just the way we like it. Dad is doing really well. He still needs the walker, but he gets around pretty fast. We took him out to eat every day and to Hobby Lobby while I was there. Mom and I went to JC Penney’s but it just wasn’t the same shopping without my sister. I didn’t buy a darn thing.

We watched 8 or 9 movies, mostly old ones like Esther, Ruth, and David and Bathsheba. We also watched Overboard and As Good As It Gets. I hadn’t seen any of those in ages. I worked on the kids’ scrap/recipe books and got my niece’s caught up with the rest of them. My aunt (Mom’s twin) came up with more old family photos which was awesome. She had some old pictures of my cousins that really brought back memories.

I came back from there on Thursday and left for the lake on Friday. We had a great time. Brooklynn and I were nigh inseparable on Saturday which makes my heart glow. On Sunday Brady and I got quite a bit of quality time. He is such a cutie and a tooter at the same time. That child fears nothing and tries everything. He’s hard to keep up with but so fun to watch!

We came back yesterday, and I have Alec all day today. We’re going to invite Brooklynn and the neighbor boys to swim again this afternoon probably. I have a ton of work to get done because we’re leaving on vacation to San Antonio either Saturday or Sunday and will be gone a week. After that my summer pretty much returns to normal. I’ll be glad, but I’ve really had a great time.

Hope your summer is going well!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

I started this post a few minutes ago, went to highlight and save it since Blogger was having troubles, and the entire post disappeared. That is so annoying!!

Anyway, I was saying I got my Golden Heart scores back. The straight contemporary did lousy, but the paranormal did really well. I rewrote the opening to the contemp so hopefully I fixed the problems. To be in the top quarter required a score of 36. something, and the paranormal got a 38.something. I'm quite pleased with that even though I didn't final.

Of my 10 agent queries I sent out, I've gotten 3 requests for more material, 2 no thanks, and 1 'let me know how this turns out' (meaning let her know if a contract is offered). I'll probably forget about that last one. Not quite the enthusiasm I'm hoping for. Still no word from the editors, but that's not a surprise. They pretty much have to read uncontracted stuff on their off-work time, so it's likely to be at least another month or longer. As long as they don't keep it for years like a certain editor did (who is now with the peace corps - who knows where the manuscript ended up). That's the second really interested editor to flake out on me. Perhaps the third time will be the charm?

The dh and I have been doing some home improvements this year. We had the front and back porches acid stained, and they are beautiful! The back looks like red flagstone (to match the red mud that gets tracked across it so often), and the front porch is Italian Mocha with a circle in the middle. The circle looks like it's edged in light brick with multi-colored flagstone in the middle. We covered the rest of the back porch with a pergola with a drop down screen to block the afternoon sun. It's heaven!!

We're sodding the rest of the back yard (about an acre's worth) to hopefully cut down on the mud tracking. I'm also getting some trees - yippee!! I picked out two red maples, three evergreens (don't remember what they're called but they're gorgeous), a river birch, and a smoke tree. When the smoke tree blooms (which is right about now), it looks like it's surrounded by pink smoke. Next year we're going to do the front yard. By splitting it up, I was able to get bigger than usual trees. The maples are about 15 feet or so.

Well, I'd better run. Still lots to do today. Hope you all are having a great spring!!


Monday, April 28, 2008

From the Deepest Web

I know, I know - I've been remiss in my duties as a blogger. I don't have a ton of time to blog right now either, but I did want to share some good news. My health is doing so well, my oncologist has changed my appointments from every three months to every four months, so woo hoo!!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back in Texas

I've been in Texas again this week, but this time for a pleasure trip. My daughter flew in from Indiana, so I came down to meet her. We did some shopping and had a great time. I just dropped her off at the airport.

Dad is doing great. He has a therapist that comes 3 times a week and a nurse that comes 2. He got a pressure sore on his heel in the hospital (don't get me started on the hospital here...) that is taking its sweet time healing. Doc says he'll probably have to go to a wound center.

I brought my WIP with me and worked out the next few scenes on the tape recorder on the way down, but I haven't worked on it since I've been here. Instead, I've been working on the recipe scrapbooks (which I haven't touched since I left here at the end of December). I have at most 4 weeks to get both WIPs done, so I've really got to get busy when I get home. I'm really excited about the current story. It's shaping up nicely I think (hope).

Well, got to run Dad around a little, so I'll talk to everyone soon!


Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy days!

Dad has been home for a week now and is doing great. They took him off the Loritab and that solved all his mental confusion. He and Mom are able to take care of each other without help, so that's a huge blessing. I'll be headed down there March 10-14 because Laura's flying in from Indiana to visit them.

I'm so swamped here, I don't know which end is up. I've managed to get way behind this week, but I'll try to post more next week.

Take care!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bits and Pieces

With Medicare's restraints, Dad has to leave the hospital on Friday. He'll either go to a rehab facility or home. We have no guess which one, but he does seem to be doing some better. He's doing well on his physical therapy and walked 130 feet yesterday with a walker.

On the home front, Stanley Steemer is coming to clean our bedroom carpet, the entryway and kitchen tile, and the oriental rug in the living area. Thank goodness because one of the dogs (I'm thinking Max due to sheer volume) got sick last night, once on the tile and once on the rug. That's really unusual for him. We're talking about a dog who ate a frisbee a couple of years ago and didn't get sick. Sam is the one who has the delicate stomach.

I'm making progress on my edits but not as fast as I'd like. I'm hoping to get a lot done this afternoon while the cleaning guys are here. I'm also making CDs for my boot camp classes, and that's taking a lot longer than I'd figured it would. I'm nearly done though.

Oh, here's a funny (a red-faced funny). I put my car in the shop to get it fixed from when that guy hit me. The insurance paid for a rental. They didn't have much to choose from, so I got a Tundra to try it out. Lane's always trying to get me to get a truck for all the yard work stuff. I went to pull into the garage, turned way too tight and scraped the side of the truck. I'm hoping I can buff it out. *sigh*

Tonight is dinner with the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun club, so named by our enemies a few years ago. We loved the name and kept it. Take that Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse (hehehe).

Gotta get busy now.
Have a great day - tomorrow it turns cold again!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Continued Perils of Pinkie

Holy cow, how stubborn can one man be? I have an answer to that:

Pretty Darn Stubborn

I think my dad has decided he'd rather have a Hoveround instead of walk (even though he's proven he's perfectly capable of walking) and he'd like to live with one of his daughters. Unfortunately, he has discovered how stubborn three women can be.

Pretty Even More Darn Stubborn

Oh yeah. We've gone with him to his physical therapy to make him work. We've talked about all the things we'll do when he's well. We've made him eat. Rewarded him for good behaviour.

He's complained of chest pains to get out of PT. He's complained of being lightheaded and swears he'll faint when we make him stay out of bed for a while. He's sung the Restless Leg Syndrome song with all 99 choruses. He swears he's too nauseated to eat, but he sure feels good when we're wheeling him around the hospital.

He's worn us out. (I should mention here that I came home last Sunday to rest up for my next tour of duty, so he's worn my sister out more than anyone. She definitely deserves the purple heart.)

We finally had to get real with him. We will not let him be an invalid. If he won't walk, he'll have to go to a nursing home. We hated being so blunt, but if he won't do things for himself, he'll waste away. Mom is not strong enough to care for an invalid, and we refuse to let him waste her as well. The mortality rate for elderly caregivers is frighteningly high. Plus, he's freaking capable!! He's been able to walk from the start of his physical therapy.

I'm cautiously optimistic. Sis and Mom have stood firm and gave him a good report yesterday. My sister is going home for a break this weekend, and Mom promises to keep up the pressure. She'll do it too because she wants him home and well. They're perfectly capable of continuing to live on their own for now, and that's what she wants. Can't say I blame her.

Me, I'm catching up on housework in between fielding sis's calls. DH did a pretty good job, but there was still plenty to do. I've sent 4 chapters to my CP's this past month and a half, but I'm still behind on my goal. I need to finish in the next week or two so I can go to work on the other WIP. I have 5 contests I want to enter in the next month.

And it's Valentine's Day!!! The DH and I are taking the grandkids to Chuck E. Cheese and we have presents for them. This Saturday we're going to the Sweetheart Banquet at the church. It's also OKRWA meeting day and that's always good.

Ah, life. What would we do without it? :-)

Monday, February 04, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

A week ago this past Sunday, my dad fell and broke his hip. He's 81, so it's been a rollercoaster since then. We're fighting delirium (reactions to pain and sleep medications), kidney function deterioration (now seems to be reversing itself), low blood count (CT scan soon to determine cause), 'silent' heart attacks (2 so far), ultra painful restless legs syndrome spasms, and a plethora of other minor issues.

I'm writing from Texas, preparing to take the night shift with him tonight. Thankfully, he's much more himself now and we've found the right combination of medications to manage his pain.

On a positive note, I'm getting some work done on the WIP and other commitments I have. Praise God!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Well, the boring times are over. My dad fell and broke his hip Sunday, and I'm going nuts here wanting to get to him. I had my quarterly CT scan yesterday, and I have my doctor appt and treatment tomorrow. Then I can leave town.

He had a partial hip replacement yesterday and seemed to tolerate the surgery very well. They got him up and sat him in a chair today. Mom said it was very slow and painful. Tomorrow they'll stand him up. Thursday, he'll move down to the physical therapy floor for about a week. Mom hopes he'll go home after that, but most likely he'll go into a rehab facility for a couple of weeks.

I'm checking out rehab facilities here and will try to get them to come live with me while dad recovers. Both will hate not getting to go home, but Darlene and I just can't keep traveling back and forth and Mom will need the help.

Scary stuff.

The wind is blowing like crazy today. It blew all our chairs into the pool, so Lane will have something to do when he gets home from work. I have lots to do to get ready to go, but it's hard not to just sit and worry. I'm pretty down in the dumps today.

I'd better go and get busy. Hopefully the time will go faster.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pluggin' Along

Things are pretty boring around here which is a really good thing. I've been ready for the slow-down since last Thanksgiving. Right now I'm working on editing my straight contemporary novel which is going slowly. I'm at a part that needs heavy rewriting (as in delete these pages and start over kind of heavy), but I think once I get past this, I should move at a pretty steady clip.

Brooklynn and Brady are coming to spend the night with us this Friday, and it's my Friday to have Alec, so he's probably going to want to spend the night too. I plan to call his step-mom later and see how she wants to work this.

I did my first early-bird writing class with my local chapter this past Saturday and it went really well I think. We're listening to workshops from past conferences and working through the boot camp book I love so well. Hopefully many of us will be able to stay motivated through the year and be able to finish our projects and polish them up to perfection. I do the same class with my online group, but I'm having trouble finding a way to do the workshop tapes. I'm investigating free online radio services right now. The HHRW webmistress set up a site where I can upload the workshops for people to listen to during the month, so I'll start uploading them tomorrow.

My other two major active projects right now are my scrapbook recipe books for the kids and judging the Golden Heart entries I received. Did I say it was boring right now - I obviously was still asleep when I wrote that! hehehe.

I'm drinking my coffee right now, but I'm about to go do my cardio for the day. I really *hate* exercising, but it's so darn good for you. Dadgumit! Lane says if I do it enough I'll get to where I like it. I'm not sure I can do it that much. I mean, I really, really hate it. It's boring even when I listen to music or watch TV. I still want to be doing a second task (I live to multi-task). Ah well, maybe I'll figure something out. In the meantime, I have to go do it. I promised myself I would. (Please don't make me!).

*sigh* Off I go. Talk to you later!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I just had the nastiest sore throat I've had since my tonsils were taken out. The doctor gave me some new kill-all antibiotic, and it still took four full days to get over it. I'm still a bit too medicated to blog effectively, but I thought I'd check in and let you guys know I haven't disappeared. Call off the posse - I escaped. Don't pay the ransom.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Month Has Passed - WOW

I can't believe it's been a month since my last blog.

I got to see my oldest daughter for a few days which was awesome.

Christmas was great. I didn't get the recipe books (scrapbook style) all done, but I got close enough for the kids to see what they'll look like. It's been a really fun project with all the old photos and recipes. I hope to have them done in the next few weeks.

I got to take my oldest grandson to Texas to see my parents, and we had a great time. He likes to play board games, so we Sorry'd and Yahtzee'd until we were blue in the face. He and Dad got along great 'cause Dad does all the funny faces and silly stuff.

We didn't do much for New Year's - as I recall Lane and I went to bed around 9 on Dec 31. We're getting more boring by the minute, I think.

I got my 2008 goals done and made a spreadsheet graphing when I need to do what. So far it's working really well. I'm working on more edits for two manuscripts and hope to have them ready to submit by the end of March. After that, I'm going to start on the new paranormal historical I've been itching to write. Or I may work on edits for an existing historical and add a paranormal twist...

I'm program chair for my local writing chapter, and I'm doing earlybird programs each month. I'm really excited about those. I have some great workshop sessions from past conferences we'll listen to while we write and/or edit. I'll be putting those together with various writing exercises and Todd Stone's Novelist's Boot Camp (bless you, Todd!).

Made a flying trip back to Texas on Wednesday because my folks got sick, but all's fine now. I got back yesterday with some sort of cold myself. Throat is itchy and nose is running. Lungs are coughing - fun all around.

On the bright side, Medium has started its new season, and the first episode was fantastic. TV's looking pretty dicey in the next few months. I can't believe CBS is airing Dexter. They'll have to do some major cutting.

Then we also have this Carrie Edwards plagarism thing going on (for details see which is too bizarre for words. It also made today. Who would have thought anyone would have caught her lifting descriptions from a non-fiction resource and a 1929 novel (even though it was a Pulitzer Prize winner)? And it happened in such a not-looking-for-it kind of way. Maybe I'm just not smart enough, but kudos to those who are. I would never have made that connection.

One thing about it, though. Even I'm smart enough to know you can't use another writer's words (including non-fiction) in your own work. Be creative. Come up with your own way of saying the same thing. Isn't that what creative writing is all about? Evidently, this gal's been doing this for years.

The dh and I are just about done with season 6 of 24, and it looks like we'll have to wait until the writers' strike is over to see the new season. *sigh*

So, what's been going on with the rest of you?