Sunday, December 31, 2006

Starting the countdown...

Tomorrow is the start of another year. I'm glad for it in many ways, but at the same time I'm a bit anxious to find out what's around the corner. 2006 has been good to me, and I'm hoping that will carry over through 2007.

On another note, I've been tagged... Last one for 2006, folks. Here goes:

1. If you could give just one word for 06 what would it be?


2. What are your favorite memories of 06?

Mini's first birthday, hubby's and my 16th wedding anniversary, mom opening her sewing machine Christmas morning - she didn't have a clue. ^_^

3. From 1-10 how would you rate this year?

An 8 - I had a great year.

4. If you could change one thing about 06 what would it be?

I would have taken many "crisis moments" a lot less seriously.

5. If you could rewind back to one moment what would it be?

Whether good or bad, I wouldn't want to rewind to a past moment. If it's a good moment - being able to replay it would ruin some of it's magic. And if it was a bad moment - well, why would you even want to go there?

6. Did you make any new friends?

Yes, many. And I'm grateful to have met them.

7. Do you think any of your friends have changed?

Out of my old crew - my highschool gang? Nope, not a one. ^_^

8. Do you still have the same friends you had in the beginning?

Not all of the recent friends gained at the start of '06. Some I have since parted ways with.

9. Do you have any regrets for this year?

I should have taken more pictures.

10. Has a lot changed in your life?

Not much, really.

11. Do you think you have changed?

I'm definitely older, and possibly wiser.

12. Do you have a New Years resolution:

To be content with what I've been given, and go bravely where ever fate guides me. As simple as that sounds, it's easier said than done.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Doing the Friday Dance

Better late than never. I usually don't bother if I've waited this late in the day to post. Meh. Things have slowed alot since the holidays - including me. I put the demons aside the other day, determined not to work on them uptil they started speaking to me again. I hit a geyser of 2k words, then nothing. The minute I put the book away determined not to bother with it, it hit me... a way to round out the story, tie up loose ends, fix a plot hole, and generally make the story better and stronger. So there I was last night - around 1 am, sitting at the computer changing things up on my manuscript.

Hubby's vacation time comes to us next week. I may tackle all these things then. Fix them up so I can submit this bugger. I bet the big bosses think I've completely fallen off the wagon with this Runes series, thing. Ah well, it's coming, it's coming... Demons! Biggest divas you've ever met.

I've decided to ring in the New Year by hacking off my hair. I'll let ya'll know how that goes. It hasn't been short in - oh, 15 years or more? I know long hair is in at the moment, but I've had enough ponytail and hair-in-a-bun moments to last me a while. I want it at least chin length. Last time I cut it that short - big disaster. I have one of those very round faces - some friends and family swear I look a lot like Christina Ricci, and that includes that circular face. We can't get away with just any haircut, and yet here I am, about to tempt fate yet again.

That's it for me! Happy dancing Friday, everyone!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lots of Random Stuff

I received a fantastic review for Wicked Temptation over at Erotic Romance Reviews Today. Also, I just sent back my interview questions for my upcoming feature at The Romance Studio in January. Pretty cool. I get nervous filling out those questionaires. I can't speak for other authors, but I keep expecting to receive a graded copy back. LOL!

I've been reading Emma Holly's All U Can Eat, and boy let me tell you! What a SeXy book! I'll write a more comprehensive take on it once I finish it. But don't think that's all I've been doing, lounging around reading... oh, no! I've actually been working on my demons, wrangling them into shape. I've even managed to add another 2000k onto the overall existing wordcount. Woot! Maybe this isn't so painful after all.

One last thing for today...

Scooper tagged me to answer this meme:

Four Jobs That I’ve Had
1. Dental Assistant
2. Nanny for a family of bikers
3. a job as a glorified answering machine
4. writer

Four Favorite Foods
1. General Tso chicken
2. whole green beans in brown sauce
3. crab rangoon
4. sugar cookies

Four Movies I can watch over and over
1. Cursed
2. Alien
3. Event Horizon
4. Underworld

Four TV shows I enjoy
1. Battlestar Gallactica
2. Heroes
3. Eureeka
4. Robot Chicken

Four Places I’ve traveled
1. New Orleans
2. Columbia, SC
3. Atlanta
4. Nashville

Four Websites I go to daily
1. Blogger Dashboard
2. Midnight Moon Cafe
3. Romance Divas
4. Neopets

Four people I’m tagging to do this meme
1. AJ
2. Jennah
3. Karrie
4. Allison

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thank You, Santa!

This morning I started playing around with the new camera Santa brought me for Christmas. I now have 6.1 Megapixels of mischief making technology. Muahahaha... Oldest knows he is not safe when there is a camera in my hand, but Mini is too young to realize that yet. What's funny is that I didn't even have to shoot for blackmail footage this morning. After fighting with the @#%$^!@# SD card for about an hour and a half, I finally managed to get the camera to "do" something. See the first picture I took?

Poor Mini! Talk about going down in the annals of bad luck without a clue. He's going to bring this incident up to me when he's older, I just know it. I can guess karma will likely bite me on the hiney for such a picture in the near future, but in my own defense... how could I not post this? He's cute no matter what!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Words for the New Year

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm definitely looking forward to the New Year. I look at it a lot like the Playstation reset button on my life - a period of renewal and second chances. Life may not be a game, but there are definitely times it calls for changes to the master plan. What is it called when you're a kid... a "do over"? I'm all about the "do over". Sweep the messes under the rug and lets get crackin'. I'm an out with the old, in with the new, type of person.

A lot of people I know no longer make resolutions, but I like to keep with the tradition and make a short list - and I don't put things on there I don't think I can keep. Why make myself miserable? Why start out a new beginning by tagging on a struggle? I want change, not added insanity. Instead I try to list goals that are pleasant, positive, and attainable with only a little work or a minor lifestyle change. Like the year I resolved to spend more time with my Oldest son, and less time poking away at a calculator and stressing over bills. Consider it done! I managed to keep both of those resolutions, and feel I'm better for it.

I'm still mulling over what this year's list will be, but I saw this saying on a friend's myspace page and I feel it's a good motto to adopt for 2007. At the very least, it's a step in the right direction.

Besides, who doesn't want a few more "worth it" moments?

* * * * * *

Tomorrow hubby is back to the grind, so we've decided to do get out of the house for a bit and do a few errands and things - drive the boys around. Toward the afternoon I plan to work on my demons a bit - if I can keep out of the new books long enough to do what's necessary!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Anyone else suffering from food bloat, like I am? I've had two Christmas dinners in just as many days, and the family and I are still picking away at the left overs. What else can I say about it - It's been a fantastic holiday this year!

Even with all the gift wrapping, cooking, baking, phone gabbing, visiting, scrapbooking, and card sending fun, I still managed to get a few non-Xmas things accomplished! How about that? ^_^

What I've been doing...

In the past two days, I've finished all my outstanding reviews, managed to sort through my TBR stack, and flip through my TBWritten notes for the first of the year. I also set my new website to rights, and merely need to get up a new banner for it and post the content before it is complete.

I also received the wonderful news that I am an auntie again. My best friend from first grade gave birth to her first - a baby boy - only a short time ago. Squee! He is so beautiful... Congratulations, sweetie!

The mail ran yesterday- yes, freakishly enough, on a Sunday! I suppose they were running behind or wanted to make up for missed time? At any rate, the postman came to our door and delivered our waterbill, and a stack of books from S. L. Viehl. Woot! Thank you for all the goodies and the encouragement! You are an inpiration!

So now I have a string of new books to get me through the New Year. *claps hands together* All the books look tasty good, and I'm having trouble picking out which one to read first!

I still haven't done any writing on my demons, and I know I'm going to have to get with it sooner or later. I've got my notebooks out and I've been plotting how I'm going to go about this - a chapter by chapter attack. It seems like that's the best policy. I can flounder back and forth between two projects, but I know in my soul of souls if I don't stick with the one, I'll never finish it.

Speaking of writing... Submissions! I have heard that Freya's Bower is seeking sweet and tangy manuscripts, and are also looking for books for their new Angels and Demons line! This sounds especially tempting! :-)

That's all for now. I'll pop in again when I have a moment. For now I need to run. I have some cleaning to do, and some New Year's resolutions to write up! Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's Christmas Time

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm not sure if I'll be back on until after the holidays. I try to blog everyday, but we will see...

Today hubby, the boys, and I went uptown to browse through the last minute deals in the stores. Now that I'm back home, I need to finish up the mountain of laundry that has suddenly appeared from Oldest's room, and start baking goodies. I'm sure Oldest will have fun playing chemist with the food coloring for the frosting. ^_^

Tomorrow we go to my parents for Christmas Eve dinner. I'm excited about this. I'm going to let Mini run wild over there. Mom's house is very large and kid friendly, so I'm sure he's going to have a blast running from room to room. My parents have been calling on us every few hours, they're especially looking forward to tomorrow - it's been a long time since they've had kids in the house. Heck, it's been a long time since we all gathered together as a family!

With all that said, there's not much left to chatter about. However you celebrate it, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Many hugs,

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Kitty M'ow Says

Mini did a cute thing last night. I was taking the pork chops out of the oven and dropped one of the pot holders on the floor by accident. The pot holder has a black and white cat on it, so when Mini picked it up, I pointed to the kitty and told him, "Kitty m'ow" - which is his special term for a cat.

His response to this? "Meeeeooooow."

Well! I guess he nailed that one. It sounded so convincing Oldest came out of his room thinking I'd brought a kitten in the house. ^_^ Nope. After a moment of explaining what happened, Mini performed his stunning "meow solo" for his brother. Oldest was stunned. I'd be searching the house for kitten if I didn't know it came from Mini. Funny, really, since we don't even have a kitty m'ow, only a two elderly dogs. :P

I'm going shopping for Christmas food stuff tomorrow. Oldest said he'd rather make gingerbread men than the house. I'm alright with that! Easier to store - cookies are. So I need cookie fixin's, ham, fudgy things, more pickles, and a bag of potatoes... and probably another cart full of things I'm forgetting now. ^_^ Better write a proper list!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Recommended Read

Like werewolves? Looking for something fresh to read? I recommend picking up Garou Moon by M.E. Ellis.

Phaedre "Eddie" Ross runs a small bar in a town called Little Brentwood. She's a relatively new resident; she moved there to make a fresh start after the divorce from her abusive husband became final. Now that things finally seem to be on the up and up for her, she decides maybe now she's ready to take another chance on love.

She's certainly got her pick within the community. Best friends Lance and Ian come into her bar on a regular basis for a pint of beer and to vie for her attention, as does Constable Owen Blake.

But they aren't the only ones who've taken an interest in her. Following a string of wolf attacks in the area, someone in town seems to enjoy dropping off the most bizarre tokens of affection outside her place of business - fingers, toes, and other mangled body parts.

If that isn't alarming enough, a group of werewolf hunters have made their way into town. And if their suspicions are right, Phaedre's secret admirer may very well be something more than a human.

I picked up Garou Moon not knowing quite what to expect, and I can honestly say this is one of the best books I've read this season. It's not your typical erotic romance - there are a lot of steamy sexy scenes, but the story itself is more of a horror/thriller with erotic elements. I found myself quickly trying to unravel the mystery of the werewolf. Who is he? What is his true connection to Phaedre?

M.E. Ellis did a wonderful job adding her own personal twist on the werewolf mythos, and her writing has an almost cinematic quality. I could easily picture this book as a movie. Another fine point of the book is the characterization. Phaedre isn't some sappy heroine falling head over heels for some undeserving man, and as a thirty-something reader, I can certainly appreciate that. Even when the last scene doesn't reveal Phaedre's final reaction, and creates a sort of freeze-frame effect, her character's personality is so constant and believable throughout the book, you can easily guess just how she would handle the final surprise event.

Garou Moon is an engrossing werewolf story. I couldn't put it down, and it has lingered on my mind since reading it. Very nicely done.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Welcome to the Darkside

I did it! I switched to the new version of Blogger. Too many folks I know have already made the switch and I was having trouble visiting them, so here I am. Now I shall celebrate my niftiness by posting a picture of a Christmas Tree. :P I guess it will take me a few days to figure out what all the cool new features are supposed to be.

I didn't do much writing today, I spent most of it reading ebooks for review. I finished a really good werewolf story today and will write up a review for it tomorrow. Hopefully over Xmas I'll be able to catch up on all my ebook reviews. I hate to keep people waiting, and thanks to my pesky writing demons, I have fallen behind on getting them out this go around.

While waiting for my blog to cross over today, I got a call from hubby at work and I reminded him he better get his rump to the video store pronto and get a few new releases rented. If he rents now, we'll have them through Xmas. Nothing against the movies A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, and Scrooged, but I've seen them all about fifty thousand freaking times, and it seems those are the only shows they put on TV Xmas day - or is that just me? So, I think (I hope!) hubby is going to mind my request. *crosses fingers* I better send mental vibes his way - I hope he picks up that horror movie Rest Stop.

Ooh, ooh! Speaking of movies, I have to see Children of Men. I just caught the preview for it a few days ago. It has Anthony Hopkins in it, and as far as I can tell, it's a futuristic movie revolving around women no longer being able to have babies. Kind of A Handmaid's Tale kind of thing going on in there, it seems. Sounds right up my alley! I've got this one at the top of my TBSeen list. Maybe I'll get lucky and convince hubby to see this one in the theater.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seven Days to Xmas

I've been slowly editing my way through my demon story. By far the first chapter has been the worst. I've lost count of the number of times I've rewritten it, but finally it feels like I've got it where it needs to be. No where else has this story tripped me up so much as this. The word count is just shy of 14k words now. Still have another 6k to find in this story. I'm thinking that shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Reading through the book, I've found two scenes that are more bare bones than I like, and two scenes are still missing. So, I think this will round out nicely. It's just a matter of getting the job done.

I'm wondering though how this book will fare with my publisher - maybe they will think the hero a little too coarse for erotic romance. My hero is hardly a good guy, and I'm not talking about dominance issues. My heroine seems to love him; he loves her, but he's definitely an anti-hero type. He goes around slaying his own kind, for goodness sake! We'll see, we'll see... If nothing else, I'm sure I'll find a home for it somewhere. I'm just gonna write it as I see it, and go from there.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Let It Snow

The weekend was pretty uneventful. I spent it with the kids and hubby - he took off Sunday to be with us. He took the boys with him to go Xmas shopping first thing yesterday morning, and he's keeping all the gifts he bought in the Jeep. I suppose he'll wait for my mom to return from Texas for her to wrap them. It's all for the best, I guess. It keeps me out of the Jeep, but we wouldn't be able to set the gifts under the tree anyway - Mini would get into them at every turn. It's the same reason our tree only has a star on top of it this year. I'm already having a time keeping him from pulling it down on himself, but if there were sparkly pretty ornaments on there? Hahaha!

Speaking of Mini. He had his first movie freakout moment this weekend - you know, when a kid sees something on tv that scares them so bad they run screaming behind the recliner? Yep. That happened. Know what we were watching? Jim Carrey's version of The Grinch That Stole Xmas!

That's okay, Mini! Jim Carrey creeps me out too! I thought he'd like the show because of the music and the dog, but he took one look at The Grinch's eyes and ran screaming through the den. He was so freaked out, it freaked me out. I didn't know what the heck had happened at first. He just lost it, and ran behind the chair. Well, then, I guess we'll watch something else, no?

More Movies...

Hubby and Oldest rented a few new releases, so after everyone went on to bed I ended up sitting through Bloodrayne. I loved the video game, but the movie... Oy, what a stinker! I rarely say that about a movie, there are usually at least some points I like in each show, but this one was... well, it was just bad. The movie starts out in (Eastern?) Europe during what seems like the Middle Ages, but I couldn't tell for sure since many of the fashions in it are picked off from what looks like the Regency Period. I could overlook that, really, but the dialog was very bad. Very stunted. "I will go. You can not, Rupert. For I am going in your place." Stuff like that. And everyone had an American accent. In the freaking Middle Ages? *_* Lots of gore throughout. I'm talking blood spraying all over the place and people getting chopped in half. A peasant or two got stabbed in the eyes with swords. Seriously. Very graphic stuff. That was probably the highlight of the movie, because even now I can't recall the plot.

A movie I did like that hubby rented was An Inconvenient Truth. You know, the Al Gore documentary on Global Warming? Oldest rolled his eyes when we went to sit down with this one. He went and picked up his drawing stuff - notepad, pencils, and erasers - and sat by me on the couch. He had no intention of really watching the movie; however, within 1o minutes, I looked over, and he'd set his drawing stuff aside and was watching the documentary with us. He stayed glued through the entire thing. I was very, very impressed with this film. It was straight forward, amusing, and very clear and easy to understand. I can now see what all the hype was about at Cannes. I would recommend this one in a heart beat. I was surprised when Oldest got up at the end of the movie and said, "That was far more interesting than what I thought it was going to be." There you go, the King of Anime has spoken. It's a good movie. ROFL!


Aside from movies, I sat around the phone most of the weekend, waiting for a call from my mother. Today is my grandmother's masectomy, and so I'm sticking close by, waiting for word on her condition. Last night I spoke with her for about forty minutes - it was a nice chat. She mainly called because she wanted to hear Mini on the phone. He wasn't talking yet the last time I took him to Texas. Then about a week or so ago, he spoke to my Aunt on the phone, and gram has since wanted to hear him. He said a few little things to her, and she thought that was just precious. I wish I could be there, but there's no way I could keep Mini occupied in a hospital waiting room for hours at a time. Nevermind the distance we'd be from home - anyone who's traveled with a toddler knows how rough that can be.

Today I plan to start on a few ebooks I promised to review. One is Garou Moon, by M.E Ellis. (I've been waiting for this one!) The other is Night Spell by Lucinda Betts. I'm reviewing that one for Romance Divas.

That's it for me for the moment. I am seriously behind on my blog rounds, so I may try to pop in and visit a few good folks. In the meantime, everyone start your count down to Xmas. It's only 8 days away!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Shaking the Presents

I know we should be grateful for every gift we get, after all, it is the thought that counts. But have you ever gotten a gift you opened and thought, HUH?

Like green checkered stretch pants with sparkle cuffs, or light up socks. You open these astonishing treasures, and your brain fizzles. All you can do is paste on a smile and thank your relative - who at that moment looks like a proud retriever who just dragged in a dead duck. It's not so much the bad present that has you cringing - it's wondering what on Earth would make Uncle Joe and Aunt Matilda attribute dayglo orange angora legwarmers to you.

I have received my fair share of bewildering gifts - thankfully no singing Billy Bass fish plaque or anything like that - but a few have come close. Like the belted sweatshirt dress I got back in 1995. (It even had a collar!!!)

I want to hear it. If you're reading this, I want to know what was the worst/craziest/most bewildering gift you've ever received?

BTW, the one gift I do hope to get this year is a new digital camera. My old one died, so I can no longer chase my kids around the house snapping pictures of them in awkward moments. Come on, Santa! Bring me a new digi cam, I need as much blackmail footage as I can get. ^_^

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Bells

Last night I had a writing epiphany. It's been a while since I had one of those, and I think I must've spent a good hour writing notes in the dark so I wouldn't forget anything. I'd just put Mini boy down for the night when it came to me, and I didn't want to chance waking him up, so I plugged in this little funky halloween lamp made up like a skull with candelabra bulbs coming off of it to give me some light. Only one of the flicker bulbs was working, so I squinted and wrote as fast as I could. So now I have an outline for a new story, as soon as I finish the demons. Woohoo!

Oldest is out of school for the holidays, so today I have to do a little shopping. Boy, can that kid EAT! He's so slim too. Sometimes I have to wonder, where does the food go? To his feet? I have to buy a few things to get ready for Xmas dinner today, and I suppose I should've planned a little better than what I have done. All I had in mind for the main event was ham, potato salad, baked macaroni, and fudge. That sounds... I don't know. Like it's missing something. But I don't want to cook too much - there won't be anyone to take home left overs. This year it's just going to be the four of us for Xmas day, we're celebrating with my parents Xmas Eve.

I guess I should be getting dressed by this point, and rounding up the kids. They're going with me on the weekly bill paying expedition. Now if I can just remember what I did with my shoes...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Xmas Full Moon

It's late in the day, but I figured I'd go ahead and post. After spending most of the day working out a very tough scene on my demon story, I come in to discover some jackass has hijacked my blog. Joy. What is it they say? It comes in threes. If worse comes to worse, I'll simply move my blog to wordpress. I just don't have the give a shit to worry with it too much right now.

One good thing that happened today - I got my final, red fuzzy CPK in today. He was the only one I needed to complete that collection set - a #1 headmold, "shy smile" guy. So if you heard a loud "squee!" today, um, that was me. I now have a red haired, blue eyed 1983 fuzzy cabbage patch boy in every head mold - and a few "twins" within that set to boot. *contented sigh* Once I get a new digi cam I plan to set them all up in a group, and foto them like the freak I am. Muahahahaha! Ah, yes, we all gots to have a hobby.

Speaking of hobbies... My Oldest and I have been watching The Lost Room on The Sci-Fi Channel. We have been absolutely glued to the set when that show comes on. Oldest seems to think the mini-series may turn into a regular series. What do you think? I'm not sure about that, but they sure left a lot of loose ends that could easily be picked up on later. Like the nutty "Hey, I'm a prophet!" guy, and the return of the key. Either way, I think this is probably the first mini series I've ever watched that I wasn't disappointed in as the ending rolled around. I hope they put this gem on DVD!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Seasonal Mischief

The poor folks down the street. There is no other word for it - they are prime targets for local teenage mischief. See, they have these very old, very tall trees in their front yard. I think they're elms or something like that - not oaks -but, meh, what do I know about trees?

Anyway, the trees have huge, expansive canopies that shade the whole acre around their house, and many of the canopies overlap. Too, the limbs start pretty low. Hubby and I have lived in this house for about 10 years now (thankfully there are no trees in our front yard), and if there is any house the kids in the neighborhood attack, it's that one.

The kids have been at it again. The "victims" have had their house rolled with what looks like half a toilet paper factory. Cripes. I mean, not just rolled - that toilet paper is really high up in those trees. You can't just grab a rake and get that stuff down. And it's thick up there. Wads of it. Some of the trees look fairly blanketed in it. *sigh* That's country living for you. Nothing for the kids to do, so they wrap trees in Charmin. Ha! Hopefully none of it falls out of the trees on the neighbors heap of outdoor Xmas ornaments - the lighted, stand up outline of Santa's sleigh and his reindeer, etc., etc. It would likely cause a bonfire.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Karma Check

Why google myself and find all the nasty insinuating tidbits about me, when I can just sit here on my rosy laurels and let it come to me?

It's amazing to me the way some people can just take what someone says to them at face value about another person and their work, no credentials required, then turn around and compile that into a bundle to suit their own needs and purposes - never once pausing to check the facts, or get the other side of the story.

I am truly mystified by this. I'm even more mystified that my miniscule presence in the publishing industry has garnered such attention.

I think it's pretty shallow, not to mention a waste of time and energy, to perpetuate or otherwise cause harmful gossip about another author. After all, don't you have a book to write? It's this sort of negative behavior that can really sort the laundry, so to say.

Words against another person have the potential to act like a stubborn stain. You might not mean to create the stain at the time, but what you say never quite goes away. Oh, it might get swept to the back of the closet for a time, but I have seen many, many times over the years, just when you think you've redressed yourself into something fresh, and no one remembers that whole nastiness, it can crop up again. You get into a certain crowd feeling all fresh and cheeky, only to have someone point out in the worst possible moment - "hey, is that a stain?"

My point is this: What goes around comes around. It never hurts to play nice. So, please, instead of worrying about what's on my shirt, tend your own laundry.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a lighter note, today's art is by the talented Viv Eisner. Lovely X-mas works. She has more pretties you can browse, and even buy, here:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Davy Jones, Vampires, and Wooden Teeth

I finally sat down and watched Pirates of the Carribean 2 yesterday. Despite the promise of seeing Johnny Depp in action, I just couldn't seem to force myself to sit still long enough to watch it up to this point. Well, hubby went and bought the DVD, so I ended up watching it in a dull moment on Sunday. Please no tomatoes anyone, but I thought this movie was... meh. It was okay, I guess. Seemed a bit far out there, and I'm into weird shit. Davy Jones was kinda interesting, but what was up with his voice? Wooden dentures falling out, old chap?

The only new movie I've really gotten into lately has been a foreign film - Night Watch. It's a Russian (English dubbed) paranormal movie. The basis behind the movie is that two sets of "Others" (paranormal folk) got into a fight a long time ago - those that were on the side of darkness, the other on the side of light. About half way through the battle, the dark lord realized they were creating a blood bath, nothing more--neither side could win. So they light and dark lords called a truce, and as part of that truce, the dark creatures would watch over the light creatures at Day Watch, and the side of light watched over the darkness at Night Watch. The whole thing is about which side this (soon to be) powerful boy will choose. The light and dark fight over him, and at the end, he chooses a side. My Oldest was a bit disappointed in the ending, but I thought it covered all the bases. Not only that, but it's a trilogy. I'm sure there'll be more about the boy later.

Anyway, the movie is kind of out there at some moments, they have a "Harry Potter bus" incident in there, as I like to call it. I thought they could've done without that part, but I absolutely loved the movie itself. I could watch it over and over again. It's got everything in there: weretigers, werebears, vampires - oy, vey. Someone hose me down!

Okay, enough gushing about that. (See why I steer clear of the TV as much as possible?)

I finished rewriting another demon chapter Sunday, and I'm about to start working on another. Woohoo! Sometime today I'll be sending my first chapter to a friend for a bit of critiquing, too. I've rewritten the darn thing so many times, I'm not sure what all is going on in there. ^_^

That's all I can think of for today. Oh! I must add to my "to do" list: send off that mountain of holiday cards!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dear Santa

To: Santa Claus
North Pole, Earth

Dear Santa,

I have been a good girl.

It really wasn't my fault what happened at Tempest's Office party. It was Cassandra who spiked the punch with too much Godiva Chocolate Liquer. I can't help it if I drank 9 glasses. It was so good---smelled and tasted just like mint.

I thought it was funny when I put Tempest's sock on my head and danced the robot on the sofa while singing `God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'. I didn't mean to break Tempest's iPod and don't know why Tempest would accuse me of assault with a deadly weapon.

I don't remember calling Reginald's wife a ruthless cow---even though she looked like one with white eye shadow and beige lipstick! And when I threw up on Holly's husband's thigh, it was only because I ate too much of that green bean casserole.

After all that fun, I admit I was a little tired. So I fell asleep on my way home and drove my Minivan through my neighbor's dining room. I don't think that was any reason for my neighbor to call me a drunken wildebeast and have me arrested for reckless endangerment!

So, I sit in my jail cell on Christmas Eve, all sad and blue. And I'm really not to blame for any of this freaky stuff. Please bring me what I want the most---bail money!

Sincerely and heartlessly yours,
Cora (Really a nice girl!)

P.S. It's only 500 bucks!

To create your own silly Santa letter, visit here. Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Snowball fight!

Splat! If you're reading this, you've been hit with the first snowball of the season! That's right. Didn't even see it coming, did you?

Neenie Neenie, boo boo! I got you, and you can't get me back! *booty wiggle* :P

Little Sis hit me with this last night, so now I gotta defend the home turf. Ha! ^_^

Today is bill paying day, and since hubby is on 7 days a week for the time being, looks like I'm going to be road tripping with my mother to run errands. Yeah, yeah... maybe I should ask Santa to fix the brakes on hubby's car so I can have my Jeep back. Ah, well. I miss having a way to up and go whenever I want, but on the otherhand, I really don't mind having the extra time with Mom. We live five minutes away from each other, and we talk on the phone quite a bit, but don't we see one another in person much because we have our own thing we do. I am home with the kids and she has her circle of ladies she likes to henpeck with. It seems normal to us here, but as I type about it, I realize just how odd that sounds.

It is freaking cold this morning. 14 degrees outside our house on the temp gauge. I almost couldn't force myself to climb out of bed. Mini was asleep before hubby got home last night at around 8pm, so when he stirred around 11pm and saw his daddy was home, he was up and running. Oh, lordy, the talking... He chitter chattered endlessly! I took him to the den to try to avoid him keeping hubby awake - poor guy has to get up at 3:30 am to get ready for work again. So Mini and I snuggled on the couch, but he stayed awake until well after 2 am.

He finally passed out as that old movie The Fury was going off. By the time I carried him to his toddler bed, and I climbed in with hubby, I was so cold and tired I was nearly hallucinating. At some point Mini crawled back in the big bed after hubby left for work, because he was there when I woke up. Rather, he woke me up this morning saying, "Mimi. Oh, Mimi..." I looked at the clock and almost croaked: 6 am. Call me an optimist, but I'm thinking at some point, one day, this kid is going to actually sleep.

I put him in a fleece sleeper when we got up and tucked his shoes on his feet. I'm going to put a zip up jacket over the ensemble when gram gets here. As silly as that sounds, it will be warmer than jeans. We don't usually get very cold weather here, so when times like this come about, we're usually ill prepared in the clothing deparment. I'm sure Mini won't mind in the long run - as long as there is no photographic evidence. LOL

More demon rewrites for me today. Before and after errands today, I'm tackling a new chapter. My word count has creeped up by a small margin, but not nearly enough, so far. I'm needing to cram in at least another five or six thousand words into this thing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Holly Jolly

Oldest and I spent a good two hours yesterday playing Chuzzles. It's this PC game starring little koosh ball looking critters with eyes on them. You shift these critters around a board, and when you get three or more of one color in a group they pop, and the eyes go flying into this vial on the left of the board. It sounds freakish, but it's really addictive. The game gets tough after a while - locks appear on certain Chuzzles so that row can't be moved, etc. Anyway, Oldest and I found out the secret to how you go about getting trophies, and the quest was on! So far, we have something like, 9 trophies, I think. And my current high score is somewhere in the 350,000 range. Oh yes, Chuzzles fear me.

But it wasn't all about playing. Oldest isn't doing well in Geography at all. I'm a bit mystified how you can not do passably well in a subject like that given the way the news is these days, but there you have it. I used Chuzzle time to drill him (trivia style) on place names. Where is Detroit? Where is Lisbon? Where is Nice?

While Oldest and I played the board, he wracked his brain - and had fun in the process. I have to admit I'm a quite disturbed how under level he is on geography. Not knowing all the Capitals to the states is one thing, but not knowing where key cities are...? How often do you see these cities in the movies? Hear about them on the news, etc.? I'm talking about practical geography he's going to need for the rest of his life. I'm definitely going to do something about this little problem. What's the real kicker is that he's a Gifted and Talented student! If he doesn't have a grasp on 5th grade geography, what about the rest of the kids? Yet more proof this whole standardized test based teaching curriculum does not work. They'll be able to pass their Leap exams, but once their out of school they won't know Seattle from Natchez. *shakes head*

On another note, I got my interview questions from FAR, sent back the first set of book info details to TSR, and I've managed to get a bit more demon smut rewritten. I wish there was a magic button on my computer - Auto Complete, something like that. You press it and it finishes your wip, complete with grammar check. Wouldn't that be snazzy? ^_^ Alas, it looks like I'll have to do this one the old fashioned way. Back to work!

One more thing before I go... In case anyone looked for my Cobblestone Press Authors link list and found it missing - I simply moved the links to the bar on the left. No one got deleted. All the names have been shifted over to the Friends, Divas, and Authors list. I can't seem to keep the CP list updated as new authors come in, and since most of the names in the stack were already on my F/D/A list to start, it's easier to just have one list. And there you have it. No conspiracy theories necessary.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas Baubles

Hubby came home last night to tell me he had a run-in with a deer - in my Jeep! I about had a cow, asking him if he was okay, and if the Jeep was damaged. We've had several vehicles towed to the shop because a Bambi decided to do that old chicken routine. Luckily there was no damage this time, and hubby wasn't hurt. When I found that out, I have to admit I actually got a bit miffed with him because of the way he broke the news to me -you know, the man dramatics. The big fish type tale of how bad it was. All that shit leaving me to think something very serious had happened, when all there was to show for was a big stringer of deer snot on the back window. Hubby finally wised up and smoothed things over with me. I don't think he wanted to sleep on the couch last night.

Anyway, I managed to rework the first chapter of my demons story last night. Woot! Now to get cracking on the next one. If I can just work up a chapter every few days, I will be able to consider it progress made. :P

I guess I better get about working on my manuscript before my mom comes to pick me up. We have errands to run. Oh, if you're looking for something fun to do, I posted a bunch of goodies over at the Midnight Moon Cafe today. You might want to check that out.

BTW, the lovely Christmas Star fractal picture is by Vickie Brago-Mitchell. I saved it as my desktop wallpaper. Mini calls it a "Fw'ower." His version of flower. Very good! It does actually look like a flower, doesn't it? ^_^ Anyway, you can set it as a free wallpaper if you go here.

One more thing before I go. Yep, I've been tagged. I was tagged days ago, actually, but I'm a slackass, I'm just now getting around to untagging myself. :P

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg nog, because I only drink it once a year.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa Wraps everything that will fit in sparkly gift bags.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We have a multicolored fiber optic tree. Groove.a.delic, man.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes, whenever we can find some of it. Not this year though.
5. When do you put your decorations up? After Thanksgiving... as soon as I'm motivated enough to drag everything out.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Baked ham and mustard potato salad.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Getting my first Cabbage Patch Kids, Adolf Brent, Xmas of 1983.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Do you mean when I learned that Santa is actually a Chippendale dancer named Sergio?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Some of them. The ones we open with my parents.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? With child proof ornaments - usually silk baubles, ribbons, and stuffed pieces.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? We don't get snow here - very rarely an ice storm.
12. Can you ice skate? Nope. Never tried ice skating.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My first CPK in 1983. I still have him.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Cut out sugar cookies.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Watching the ball drop on New Years Eve night.
17. What tops your tree? A star.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Little St. Nick, by the Beach Boys.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Depends on the candy canes. I like the chewy ones. Or just crush them up for making homemade peppermint bark.
I'm tagging... hm, lets see.... Who haven't I tagged? Ok. I'll tag Batty! I think she's the only one who hasn't posted this list yet. lol

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's A Hard Climb

I don't think I've ever been so glad to see a Tuesday in my life. Yesterday was fraught with frustrations. See, I bought a copy of PSP XI and installed it. No problem there! But when I got my computer, it had a trial version of PSP X preinstalled. So what did I do? I uninstalled it before pouring the new version in on top of it. Next thing I know, Windows Installer is going NUTS trying to find a missing file from PSP X - which, of course, is no longer there. Being the fact I have a Dell, I have no OS reboot disks. I don't know why they are so protective of those damn things, every other computer co. supplies them with purchase.

After trying everything to pacify the WI, I finally had no choice but to find the disk or the file it is so desperately trying to locate. My first thought was to do a system restore - which I did. It didn't resolve the problem. I fought with it a little more, then finally called Dell, thinking I want my friggin' OS disks - NOW. Of course, I didn't say that on the phone, haha, but by this point I was certainly ready to storm the gates and shake my fist at someone.

Oldest is home from school by then, and Mini is on a climbing, squealing, baby ninjitsu rampage. The tech guy's accent is so thick I can barely understand him, and since Mini is squealing, Oldest decides to fix the problem by turning up the freaking TV so he can't hear Mini. I finally had to put the tech on hold, go to the den and threaten bodily harm to both my children and shoo them out of the room so I could have the tech guy repeat everything. The tech guy apparently finds this all very amusing.

Anyway, he put my disks on order, and walks me through a fix that lasts, oh, I'd say 10 bloody minutes! Tell me that doesn't make your brain melt after five hours of tinkering? We did the steps, restarted the comp, and voila! The laptop is running like a top. I've even got my PSP XI and Chuzzles back in there now. Woot! I'm ready to - I don't know, copy and paste something.

So that was my Monday - spent yesterday dealing with computer issues, and waiting on important family phone calls. Oh, hell. I might as well come out and say it - my gram is dealing with breast cancer. We only just learned the diagnosis a few days ago, so everything is very much up in the air here at home. What with all that, there is very little drive to do any writing. Okay, well, the drive is there, but my thoughts go flying a thousand different directions when I sit to type something. I've got an entire first draft completed for my demons, but I look at it, and it's like staring at alien code. I have no idea what I'm even looking at. So for now, I'm just letting things go as they are.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Spreading Ye Old Xmas Cheer

Charlie Brown had the right idea. A small, skimpy tree with one sad ornament and pine needles flaking off. There are some years I swear if it weren't for the kids, I wouldn't bother with a tree. Not because I'm a scrooge, or an Xmas hater. I'm not spiritless when it comes to holidays, etc. etc... It's nothing like that, it's simply because I'm lazy about decorating anything - Xmas tree included.

Okay, in truth it's not so much the decorating I mind, as it is the undecorating. You know, that moment at the end of the holidays you look over at the tree, the mistletoe, and all the glittery sparkly decorations all over the house and go, "Brek! Now I have to take down all this mess." You tell yourself this while dread gathers in your heart - you know good and well you aren't in the mood to touch this stuff and won't be for at least a week or so.

The next thing you know Boxing Day has long passed, it's well after the New Year and you're still looking at that blinking tree because it's such a chore to take down, you're still putting it off. Hubby comes home from work everyday and the minute he's in the door, he gives you a smooch then looks over at the tree. "Um, honey? Don't you think we should take down the tree?" In saying we, he actually means you.

Well, I certainly can't speak for everyone, but that is my house after the holidays. I've actually taken over-decoration into consideration this year. I'm very careful not to do it. It's kind of hard to monitor though. You know how that is. You go to the store, see the singing Tazmanian devil in the santa hat, and you bring him home. Then the yard globe with the dizzy reindeer in it. Next thing you know, you can hear all the neighborhood kids screeching as the parents drive past: "Stop there, mommy!" They're screeching because your house no longer resembles a house. It's taken on the look of an Xmas theme park in the middle of the 'hood, and they can't tell the difference.

The fact is, I do feel obligated to make a showing for the kids. Not the neighbors kids. My own kids. I try to do the whole thing: baking cookies, the Taz in the santa hat, the tree, a yule log, mistletoe, egg nog, and Xmas music. Blah. It's about passing down the tradition, and besides that, Oldest feels it's not really Xmas unless the house looks like every house he's ever seen on TV during the holiday season. You know, like in Home Alone? I usually do this for him - most of it anyway. Hey, I'm not a masochist. But for some strange reason everytime I go to pack all this stuff away, Oldest conveniently disappears so he's unable to help me.

This year I'm settling for fairy lights above the door to the den, the tree, and the singing Taz - yes, I do have one. But that's about it. No dizzy reindeer - which I think are terribly cute, by the way. I'm pretty sure when it's all said and done, Oldest will think the holiday went by just fine. And thankfully Mini is still to young to know any different.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm Schtuck! I'm Schtuck!

Yep, it's true. I'm stuck to the frozen pole of "writer's block". I don't usually get w/b, but on the rare occassion I do, I know it's because I've made a serious goof somewhere in my story and I need to fix it.

My husband never reads my romance material. The one and only time he picked up a manuscript and secretly read mywork, he had a jealous fit over my hero that brewed for three days. That was the end of that. No more manuscript browsing for you! However, I was having such fits the other day, I sat down and read sections of my demon story aloud to him - minus the slutty bits, of course. He liked the idea behind the story, the transitions, etc. I thought it was okay too. So where the hell is the problem? Why isn't it flowing?

I would send this stuff out to my CPs, but it really isn't polished enough for that yet. I'm not sure they could make heads or tails of it. Maybe if I spit the chapters and work from back to front...

Yesterday was otherwise a pleasant day. We went on our weekly bill paying expedition that ended with lunch at Ryan's. I'm not sure what was up there, but the only meat they had on the buffet was fried chicken. Even so, it was good.

We shopped a bit for Xmas, and bought my dad's gifts. The main thing he's getting is software. We picked out a few things, one program in particular I know he'll love - it's a really nice one for creating screensavers. He's a screen saver kinda guy. ^_^ I'm sure he'll be burning down his handy work and passing it out to all of us after the first of the year. LOL

Tomorrow it's back to the grind. I'm hoping to get in as much writing today as possible. I can barely believe it... only three weeks til Xmas!

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's Freaking Cold

Mini apparently had a nightmare this morning. He woke up screeching for his daddy, and in his attempt to give me heart failure and beat me to a pulp - two birds with one stone, you know - he clobbered me with a 5 AM headbut right to the face.

It took me several minutes to calm him down, and explain that daddy isn't "gone", he's gone to work. Oy, what a morning. I got up with him after that, and we came into the den. I turned Sesame Street on for him and found couldn't get the coffee on fast enough.

Oldest, who mystifies me by wearing sweat pants in the summer, and who won't put on a damn pair of gloves or a tobogan in the winter to save himself, wanted to stand in the dining room with the front door wide open to the 20 degree chill and wait for the bus that way. Uh, hell no. You're not freezing me and Mini to death! Go layer up, kid. He pouted around about it, but it appears the gods are merciful - the school bus came and took him away to the Land of Angst for a few hours.

In another twenty minutes or so, I should be able to call hubby and let Mini talk to him a minute. He's still toddling around looking for his daddy. In the meantime, I'm going to dig out my demons and get them ready. Yep. I'm finishing the draft today by adding those two scenes I mentioned adding days ago. Slackass... Yeah, that's me. I went to bed telling myself I'd just bite the bullet and finish it. If it's too short, I'll sub it elsewhere. I've got too much going on here to worry about it right now.

This morning, first thing online, I went to the Advent Calendar. For those who might Neo or otherwise care, there was 350 Neopoints, a pop-up Braintree card, and a mini decorated Braintree. Cute! That's the Braintree in my pic today. After seeing the Halloween Lupe in the pic next to him, I'm starting to think I might need one. *lol* ^_^

By the way, owns all the rights and indicia, the characters and their names and the rights to those names, and the artwork, and all that blah, blah, blah for today's post picture. Gotta write that. The NeoTeam get their Neo-Nickers in a twist if you don't post that stuff when using their pics offsite. Oink.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thirty Days Hath November

This is the diary of a wasted day. I spent most of it tinkering with pictures when I should've been writing. And when I tired of pictures, I toyed around with my collection website. When I tired of that, I played cars with Mini, and did laundry, and found other little nit picky things around the house to do. I think maybe I just need a break from writing. I don't know. I'm staring at this story, I want it finished, but I just don't have the energy to fight with it. Thankfully, today is the last day of NaNo. I managed a whopping 13k. Not a winner by any means, but the best showing at NaNo I've ever made.

Tomorrow is the first day of the Advent calendar at Neopets. I'll be going in every day to collect my goodies. Now if only I could manage to put in that kind of dedication elsewhere. Ho hum.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Working For the Weekend

Is it Friday yet? I've been cleaning this morning - no writing just yet. I thought I'd wait until Mini got ready for his nap, but guess what... he's still awake! To pass the time I decided to clear out my comp, do the laundry, run the dishwasher, and pull the wine bottle pictures from my digi cam.

There they are in all their glory - three wine bottles filled with 50 Xmas lights each. I usually like solid colors best, but I do believe the multi color one is my favorite. It doesn't show so well in the picture, but at night the multi colors put off a stained glass effect. C'est merveilleux!

They make a gorgeous night light, but before I can trust to leave them on all night, I'm going to have to break out the high speed drill and punch a few holes in the bottles in places. The bottles get very hot after the lights stay on a while. I figure they'll do better with some vent holes.

I have one last scene I want to add to my demons today. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and I don't think the idea will leave me alone until I try it. There's a transitional scene from when the heroine goes from one place to the next, and it feels too jarring. I want to smooth that out. Too, it will add to the word count. After that, I'm going to print it up once again and give it a thorough read through. It's a bit short still, but I'm thinking that will round out during rewrites. I have a good feeling I can get this baby done by the end of December.

Just a note to self and to other Neopet fans before I close today - set your computer reminders. The Advent Calendar starts Friday! Don't miss out on the month long freebies. ^_^

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Run, run, as fast as you can...

I sat to write this morning, but couldn't seem to get into the groove of it. After staring at the same page for about three hours, I decided to call it quits. The first draft of the demon story is technically finished, but it's no where near the required length, and needs much rewriting. I was trying to add in a scene this morning without having to practically recreate the majority of the book, but I'm not sure if that's possible. Too, I was trying to think where I could put a certain love scene, and if I should take out one of the fight scenes. What a pain in the ass! Oh, yes indeedy. I do believe this will be my first and last demon book. I'm not even finished with it yet, but I'm ready itching to start a new project. I can't do that though. I must finish this one. Besides that, I have a self proclaimed rule against manuscript hopping. I never finish anything when I do that.

On a lighter note, I was digging through my office late yesterday and found out one of my old, old manuscripts with a working title called Way of the Wild. I was about to throw it away, but decided to read through a bit of it before chucking it. Midway through the second chapter, I realized with some shock that this particular piece of junk might be worth reworking. I also realized that with some tweaking to the plot, I could turn the book into a werewolf story. How about that? I set the manuscript on top of my desk. Once my demons are written, I'll take another look at it.

Hubby's leather jacket arrived this morning via FedEx. I took it out of the box and it is gorgeous. It smells good too. It's so heavy I almost couldn't get it back in the packing box. I'm thinking I'll probably get a bigger box to tuck it in before wrapping it and putting it under the tree.

Well, that's pretty much it for me today. Off to go try to lay Mini down for a nap!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Arrogant Ambition

I have no idea what I'm going to do with Oldest in the long run. I was talking with him the other day about what he wanted to do after high school. I hope he goes to college--kids can be stubborn and want to skip it--hell, I am one of those. He wants to be a video game designer. Ok. That is enough to unsettle me, but it's not only that--he doesn't want to go to school for it. He thinks he should just be able to walk into a major company, sit down with player stats jotted down on lined notebook paper and they will create his game and give him billions of dollars. I'm glad he's a creative kid, but he fails to understand how competitive that job front is, or how skilled those folks are. Oldest's response when I asked him what he was going to do if he didn't get the job he doesn't want to go to school for: "Well, if they don't recognize talent when they see it..." And shrugged it off like it was the company's loss. His blind arrogance absolutely startled me!

Only this past summer, Oldest came to me wanting to take art lessons. I found a place at La Tech, which has a great art program, btw, and told him I could get him in there for about $150 as a day camp sort of thing. He was all about it, until he realized he'd have to draw things like apples in bowls, and studies in light and shadow, etc, instead of whatever he wants. I mean, if my parents had been willing to send me to even a camp! I can't even imagine where I'd be now. I'd be drawing apples like I was of the mind I'd never be seeing them again.

I have no idea where his attitude is coming from. And since he is not applying himself in school despite all the offerings of help, I truly worry. I mean, I know high school isn't everything, but where does he think he's going to get in life? This sense of entitlement he seems to have... He has seen the competition in art alone. Hell, look at some of the amazing shit on deviant art.

Someone, please, give me valium before he hits 16!

I Survived Black Friday

That's right. I'm one tough mama. I braved the shopping crowds the day after Thanksgiving, and I survived! I didn't even get an elbow to the ribs while lingering around the sewing machines at 3:00 AM. Yep. I was out and about at 3 in the morning, kids and hubby in tow, waiting in the fabric department for the store wide sale to start and the attendant to come cut the plastic retainers off the sale pallets.

I bought the sewing machine for my mother, by the way. She's been bemoaning the loss of her ancient Singer for about three years now. That poor machine needed to go to gadget heaven. I remember her sewing summer outfits for me to wear when I was oh, about four! Mom's had another sewing machine since then, but it too went belly up. Maybe the third machine will fill the gap. If nothing else, she'll get the surprise of finding it under the tree, because it's something she really wants, but it's not something she asked for. So, she really doesn't have a clue what she's getting.

Hubby also brought home his new laptop. I told him just because he got it Friday, does not mean he will get extra presents under the tree. I mean it. He will have the motorcycle jacket to open, and if he's lucky, some cologne. He is by far the hardest person in the family to shop for, and since he had to have his early... well, there it is, now buzz off! *lol* He was in gamer mode all weekend with his new toy. He rarely picked his head up, he was so invovled in playing Morrowind.

Now I only have to shop for my dad and the boys. Oldest gave me a list that when I saw it, I let out a great big sigh of relief. Oldest's Xmas lists usually make me pop a sweat. Not this year. He's matured a lot, and no longer is asking for 50 expensive video games and a new system to put under the tree. Teen mode has him asking mostly for books *proud*, posters, and clothes. Affordable things, I'm happy to say. As for Mini, he's going to be a gem to shop for--he'll get clothes, and probably a Tonka truck. It won't matter much. He's at the age he'll open the presents and spend more time playing in the wrappings, so I'm not too worried about that. I will have my minicam trained on him Xmas morning--to watch him rip into boxes and get bows stuck all over him. That's how it was for is 1st birthday. ^_^

My dad is another shopping story... Hubby was going to buy him a copy of Photo Explosion while at Office Depot on Friday, but I thought the program sounded too familiar. I told him to wait. We got home and called, and sure enough, dad has Photo Explosion. I swear, that man has more toys than Santa Claus. I never know what to buy him until the last minute. He doesn't read, play games other than flight simulators, and he doesn't get into movies too much. He likes art supplies and computer or electrical gadgets. Looks like I'm going to have to hit the "what's hot" list this year and try to find something for him. If all else fails, he's getting a sausage cheese log. Ha!

Once the shopping was over, I went into craft mode. I finished my wine bottle lights. They are very pretty. I made three of them--blue, white, and multi colored. I have them in the kitchen, on the glassware shelf. Hubby kept wanting to toy with them and arrange the bottles until I was ready to snap him with a towel. I ended up shooing him and the boys out of the house to give me some alone time--actually they went to the Xmas parade up in town.

Anyway, I promised to snap pics of the wine bottle lights, and I'll do that sometime today. Tonight hubby and I plan to drag the Xmas tree out of the closet and set it up. It's one of those weird fibre optic trees. We bought it last year because it lights up without having to put strings of lights on it--stuff we thought the baby might grab and use to pull the tree on himself. This year I think we decided simply to hang candy canes and curly ribbons on it. They're baby friendly, and we don't have to worry about them if they fall off or get scattered around the house. It's a weird look, but eh, I don't think the kids will realize it too much.

Now for the writing report: I'm over the 12k mark on my demon story. It's shaping up, but slow going. I didn't work on it very much over the holiday weekend. No where near as much as I'd have liked too, at least. There are turning out to be more battle scenes than love scenes. I'm going to have to change that somewhere down the road--this is supposed to be an erotica novella, after all.

That's it for now. I'm off to pour another cup of coffee and start my writing day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Day Before Turkey Day

Ah, cooking day... I've got eggs boiling, cornbread cooking, potatoes peeled, and the turkey thawing. I was preparing for this yesterday, and thinking: the day after tomorrow, I'm going to be putting up a Christmas tree. Can someone tell me where the heck this year has gone?!

When I look back, I tend to think of things in either baby, or publishing milestones. Oh, I did this in July, or Mini did this in September... but at the same time, I realize I do have a lot of things to be thankful for.

It's been a smooth flowing year this year. *knock on wood* No big disruptions as often happens in our family. Hubby's job sometimes takes him out of state for months at a time, but I'm happy to report he's been near home all year. There wasn't a bunch of job hopping either--which happens a lot in industrial construction. Once you start a new project, you're slowly working your way out of a job. So it's been fairly prosperous for us, in our middle class living kind of way, and we are all still kicking around as we should be. That alone is reason to be thankful. Also, everyone in my family who has been deployed to some far flung corner of the world doing military service for the past few years, has made it home safely. Oh, we've had a bumps and bruises this year, but they are very few and very minor in consideration of everything positive that has happened. I'm hoping this trend follows us through to Christmas, and well into 2007.

I know it's not exactly the time of year most people start thinking about the upcoming year, but I've been giving it lots of thought. Making plans. I have things I want to do, and goals to meet. Now it's just a matter of tying up lose ends.

On another note, hubby and I are preparing to brave the holiday shopping frenzy the day after Thanksgiving. I rarely attempt the mall, or large chain stores that time of year, but this year I have to. That damn CSS book I'm returning. You got it... major chain, in a major traffic jam part of town. *sigh* While we are there, we're going to pick up a few things for the kids. I only hope we don't get plowed over, or lost from one another, while walking through the mall.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Post While Baking Brownies

Hubby is having his Thanksgiving dinner at work today. I stayed up late making potato salad and cornbread dressing for him to take to work. This is love, I tell you, because I hate to cook. Baking, I don't mind so much, but I've just never been a "kitchen" kind of gal. Oh, sure, I can work a stove, and I'm not bound to starve anytime soon, but... eh, you get the idea. Anyway, I'm now preparing to go 2-0 with Turkey Day yummies. Tomorrow the planning phaze of our own family Thanksgiving dinner goes into effect. I will be cooking most of the cold foods the day before so I can spend the evening working on the turkey.

At our house, the turkey goes in the oven the night before, and usually comes out early Thanksgiving morning. I have to wonder if we are the only ones that do this? I never really thought of our cooking habits as much of a tradition, but I guess you can call it that since I've been doing this for the past 16 years, and my mom did it before me. Then again, we could just be weird.

Before getting into holiday cooking tomorrow, I'm going in for new glasses. My eyes have been hurting lately and I think after 3 years or so without a new pair, it's time. No more wire frames this go around, I think. Because I usually reach up and take my glasses off with one hand, the frames tend to pop open on one side. I'm thinking of going with flat/oval, light, tortoise shell frames this turn. Something cute, but sturdy. No more headaches, and no more lens falling out while I'm typing. (Boy, that's a sexy look, no?)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Smoke from Burning Leaves

I'm happy to announce the shopping trip to the bookstore on Saturday went well. I got most of the books on my buy list. They didn't have the main manual I was looking for - ho hum - but I found a replacement on Amazon once I got home. Here are the books I picked up:

* Sun Signs for Writers, by Bev Walton-Porter
* The Traveling Vampire Show, by Richard Laymon
* Wishes Come True, by Kathleen Nance
* and a sorry CSS manual that I plan to return

I was a bit rushed toward the end of the "spree", so I didn't get the manual I wanted. They didn't have it in stock. I went with something else, picked out on the spot, and now I regret it. Why do I do that? Impulsive, impulsive! I'm going to return the book on Friday. If they give me any crap I'm going to lay wicked voodoo on them.

I think Oldest was a bit disappointed we didn't stay longer at the bookstore - on Saturday the local kids living nearby gather and duel Yu-gi-Oh! cards, and it's the one chance Oldest gets to join in on the games and actually duel someone who knows what's going on. He also gets to trade cards, and he was proud to announce this week that he managed to complete a card set.

I couldn't let him stay longer just to duel, though. While I shopped, poor hubby was left to walk Mini around a place that pretty much has nothing a toddler is interested in (unless you count them chewing or drooling on it). So he pretty much was forced to wag a squiggling, wiggling, unhappy boy around for the better part of two hours.

I made it up to him when we got home, however. He doesn't realize it yet, but I bought some of his Xmas presents this weekend. Woot! Before Thanksgiving too. I'm a snazzy dame, I tell you. No waiting until the day before Xmas this year - I solemnly swear I've learned my lesson about that! I ordered hubby a motorcycle jacket, and a laptop. That's it for his big ticket stuff. Now to keep him away from electronics shopping til the end of December. If swear if he brings home a new computer before Xmas, you'll see me on CNN being led away in handcuffs.

All that aside, I now have something to confess. I didn't exactly walk away empty handed this week - and I'm not talking about a few books. I'm fully prepared to be feel the heat when my statement comes in next month, but there's no way I could pass this up. Hubby will likely croak when he finds out because, yeah, it's super frivilous, but when I saw this charming baby girl on eBay, I nearly keeled over in my chair. I had to have her...

<picture deleted>Hardcore Cabbage Patch Kid collectors will know what she is on site, but for those that don't do dolls, this baby is RARE. She's a #14 Headmold cornsilk girl from 1986. She's wearing a rare outfit too. Very cute! The #14 face kids are my favorites - I love the little double chin, and the A/Am ones are extremely hard to find. I tried to win her baldie brother about a week ago, but had no luck. Talk about a disappointment.... I'll gladly take this little angel as a consolation prize! *mini squee!*

Now for my goals for the week... I've pretty much flunked out of NaNo. I've only got around 10.5k words going on. But I do have my chart and I plan to finish the rough draft before the month is out if time allows. I'm not sure how many words I'm looking to manage, but at this point, I'm not going to worry about it. I know what scenes need to be added, I have the dialog for them, now to pull them together. I want to have this book in order by the end of December. I'm looking to start 2007 with a fresh, creative slate.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Channeling My Inner Muppet

You Are Cookie Monster

Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.

You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.

You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking

How you life your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE!"

C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me. Yep, they've got me pegged--hedonistic, crazy-eyed, with a cookie in my hand. Ha! I better start looking around the house for the secret spy camera... ^_^

Side note: Although it's only 1 AM, today is officially book shopping day! Yay!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Doing the Friday Dance

Finally, the weekend is here! Retrograde Mercury has been kicking my butt since it came into play all those weeks ago, and I'm glad to say today is the last day of that. Hopefully that means the computer, car, utility, and other problems will now settle and I can get on with everything accordingly! For those of you that don't believe in Mercury retrograde, or have no idea what I'm talking about, feel free to think I'm nuts. After the week I've had, I'm probably pretty close to being committed anyway.

Yesterday we had issues with the water. Today it was an issue with the propane and the pilot lights (on the stove and hot water heater) . The pilot lights would go out at will, I'd relight them, and poof! Out again. I checked the amount of gas in the outdoor tank--65%--and knew it had to be some inside issue. Hubby came home from work early to find out what the heck is going on, and while it's fixed now, he can't pinpoint exactly what the problem stemmed from. *sigh*

Picasso has also returned. I caught Mini bear scribbling on the tile with a pencil late yesterday. Luckily that is easy enough to clean. All in all, my week has gone like this. One thing after another. I am SO GLAD it's Friday, I can't even begin to express how relieved I am!

Tomorrow we are going to the bookstore. Woot! I have my list, and I'm ready to shop. Bev Walton-Porter's Sun Sign for Writers is tops on my list! Oh, and I need a CSS content manual. Fun, no? I'm also going to spot shop over in the erotica section. If I bring home anything tasty, I'll post about it.

Right now I'm reading the ARC for Cathryn Fox's Pleasure Prolonged. What a fun book! I would've finished it all in one sitting, last night, if I hadn't suddenly realized it was after midnight and had to be up at 5 a.m. I'll be finishing it up tonight, and writing up the review sometime over the weekend. Next, on my list is a book by Lucinda Betts... Night Spell. It's an erotic story collection, and it looks really good.

Speaking of books, before I go, I want to do a shoutout for a blogging friend, Kimberly Holt-Whitlock. Her book Confessions of a Seriel Bitch, is coming out Nov. 21st.

Confessions of a Serial Bitch : Hadley

Hadley Scott has spent the last four years living with a selfish, money-hungry, pain-in-the-ass husband and all she wants now is for their divorce to be final. Glen, Mr. Pain-in-the-Ass himself, has other ideas. He may not love Hadley, but he does love her family's money. Hadley decides she's not going to take his crap anymore and she sets out to get her divorce no matter what it takes. Coming to
Freya's Bower November 21st, 2006 For more about the author visit her website: Kimberly Holt-Whitlock.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fall Leaves

Here it is, Thursday again. I broke out my demon manuscript first thing this morning and began trying to arrange it into some semblance of order. The rough draft is at the half way point, as far as content goes. I merely need to break it down into sections that match my scene chart.

I added another 1000 words to the mix this morning, and although I'd hoped to be further along that I am right now, I'm surprised I've managed as much as I have. This has been my best NaNo yet. No 50k, but I'm an easy to please kind of gal. And on top of that, there's still, what? 12 or so days left to NaNo? (Please don't make me do exact math.) However many days, it's more than a week--still plenty of time to make a good showing. *wink*

Lynda Hilburn has an awesome interview up over at the Midnight Moon Cafe today. She's talking about her book Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker, among other things. Be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Storms are coming

Mini slept in his own bed again last night. He woke up crying around midnight, but was fine once I picked him up. I think he didn't realize where he was for a moment.

I got him a drink and rocked him a bit and he was back to sleep again. He didn't wake up again until 5 AM, which is when he woke me up. He didn't cry either, just sat up on his bed and started calling for me. I, being the lazy mom that I am, waved him over to me. So he got out of bed and toddled over. I pulled him up onto the big bed, and he started crawling around, looking under all the pillows for daddy. Very cute. ^_^

It was raining hard this morning when we got up, but these severe storms TWC has been predicting have all but fizzled before reaching us. The winds are strong, but no lightning, hail, or tornados. I can't say my feelings are hurt about that. The less storms, the fewer power outtages. I swear, if a bird so much as lands on a highwire around here... Sheesh!

This coming December, I think it would be a good idea to bite the bullet and get a generator. We've talked about it a long time, but we're forever putting it off. We're probably the only folks in the neighborhood now without one. When the power outs, you can hear everyone's generator crank up. LOL It's sounds like a dozen purring lawnmowers going all at once. Ah, country living...

I'm over the 10k point at NaNo now. I wrote just shy of 1700 words yesterday. Hopefully I can get just as many in today. Most of the ending has been written, and I've finally made a section chart so I can mark off my progress as I write each scene.

Speaking of writing, Tempest emailed me yesterday to ask me if I'd seen the news over at Paperback Writer's Blog. Apparently, Lynn Viehl will be giving a free story critique to everyone who entered the PBW Ebook Challenge. Very cool!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Time to reorganize...

Mini boy slept in his new toddler bed last night. It's the first full night he's slept away from us. He did so well. He slept until midnight, then woke up wanting a drink. I rocked him for a few minutes and off to sleep he went again. I put him right back in the toddler bed. He didn't wake up again until hubby went to leave for work. Woot! I slept like a rock.

Yesterday I spent much of the day working on a website. I rebuilt it twice, and each time I hated it. I built it first in Publisher, then using a template. I tore both down and I've finally come to the decision if I want this site the way I want it, I'm going to have to build it from scratch. *sigh* I hate coding of any kind - let's face it, when it comes to computers, I'm lazy. I can only stand to stare at and test code for so many minutes in a day before my brain shrivels. So I'm going to write a few lines, then hop onto my ms today. I put it off yesterday - yet again. But I don't see the point in trying to rush something that's obviously going to take me days. And there's no way I'm tackling hubby's comp without him here. I can do the work, but he's got to make all the executive decisions. After all, it's his machine.

This coming Saturday, I'm making a break for the book store. On my list: Sun Signs for Writers, Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation, and The Traveling Vampire Show. Quite a mix, eh? ^_^

Monday, November 13, 2006

Busy Week Ahead

Yesterday hubby and I spent most of the day trying to fix his computer. It's managed to land a virus, and for whatever reason Norton didn't take care of it. I spent half the day downloading stuff (on dial up!) to replace Norton and hopefully take out the virus, but as I went to install the new programs he began freaking out because it would replace Norton and we'd lose our subscription--which we still have 150 something days left of.

I'm thinking if we have a virus the darn thing didn't work anyway, and it's no big loss. My main concern is the pictures on the comp. I could care less about anything else. If it keels over tomorrow, that's fine with me, but did you burn down all my pics so we can send them off to be turned into prints? Serves me right not burning them down months ago. Anyway, I'm going to have to deal with that this week. The pictures and the virus.

I also have NaNo to work on, a website to finish building, and an upcoming interview. Lots on my plate this week. I hope to finish the website today, add another 5k to my pitiful 8k story, and merrily move along before I have to get into the Thanksgiving mode and start menu planning.

Now something fun for the day...


Five yummy things:

1. Pizza!
2. General Tso Chicken and Chinese green beans
3. Sonic Tater Tots and cheese
4. roast beef sandwich on sour dough bread
5. Angus mushroom swiss burgers - just the meat, no bread, with nothing but ketchup

Five songs I know by heart:

1. I Shot the Sherrif - Bob Marley
2. Black - Pearl Jam
3. Got Me Wrong - Alice in Chains
4. Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
5. Magic Man - Heart

Five things I would do with a lot of money:

1. Never stop traveling
2. update my passport
3. invest 1/4 of all remaining funds
4. give house to parents
5. set up trust funds for both kids

Five places I would like to escape to:

1. Giant's Causeway - Ireland
2. Guatemala
3. Tulum
3. New Zealand
5. Spain

Five things I would never wear:

1. double knit
2. a headband
3. golf pants
4. socks with sandals
5. a bikini

Five favorite TV shows:

1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Heroes
3. Dr. Who
4. Eureeka
5. Two Stupid Dogs

Five things I enjoy doing:

1. making my kids laugh
2. writing
3. trying new things
4. traveling
5. reading

Five Favorite toys:

1. my computer
2. my Jeep
3. Magic 8 ball :P
4. Tarot cards
5. my cpk collection

If you stopped by and read this, consider yourself tagged! ^_^

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Midnight Midnight Midnight

I spent most of the day working on a new website to house books and erotic romance stuff. Nothing fancy. Just a place to tinker with and remote load pictures if I need to. Ha! The boys are still sick, and I think I may be coming down with what Mini has. I've been going on long sneezing jags, and my eyes are all watery. Ah well. At least it's the weekend.

Mr. Mini wouldn't sleep tonight, so we are up watching Adult Swim and browsing the net. Okay. Well, I'm doing that, anyway. He's more or less chasing the dog and tossing toys around.

Tomorrow I'm focusing on my demon story. I have a section written out that I need to type into the comp. I have no idea what my current word count is. I'll have to post that sometime Monday evening.

That's all for now. I'm posting another Picasso. I love the greens. Very pretty. I think this one is my favorite of all his works.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday Quickie Post

Both boys are sick, and hubby's been sent off to mail a box to Australia for me, so I've only got a minute to post. I didn't NaNo much yesterday. I spent most of the day rocking a sick Mini. Anyway, I thought I should at least make a showing by posting here.

Hubby brought home the most interesting list yesterday. He got it from a friend at work. It's called Words Women Use. I thought it was pretty good. Guys should read this, memorize it, and take it to heart. Here goes...


FINE - This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

FIVE MINUTES - If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

NOTHING - This is the calm before the storm. This means "something", and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with "Nothing" usually end in "Fine".

GO AHEAD - This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.

LOUD SIGH - This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "loud sigh" means she things you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "nothing"

THAT'S OKAY - This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

THANKS - A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

WHATEVER - It's a woman's way of saying *!#@ YOU!

And there you have it. The List. ^_^ Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Picasso Lives Here

I am a little over 8K with my demon story. I've hit a few snags here and there, and after wrangling with it for hours yesterday, I finally found a fix. I simplified the plot.

It's supposed to be an erotic romance, and I think I just had too much going on in the overall story. Too many horror elements. It seemed "busy", and there wasn't a whole lot of romance to boot. I finally had to look at it and say, "What's wrong with this thing?" and "Does this belong in a romance?"

I culled some of the side plots that seemed to be cropping up in the story. I simplified the theme, and general idea. Now, when I go back and describe the story, the premise sounds more like something you'd attribute to romance. I think I've got a workable storyline now. No more free drifting fiction.

All of the fixing came after I struggled to find the right setting. From the beginning, I've wanted this story to take place in NYC--somewhere I have never been, and know very little about. After researching Manhattan, I almost switched the setting to New Orleans, a city I know like the back of my hand, but the action didn't fit, particularly after Katrina. Moving the story seemed to knock everything out of balance. *sigh* Basically, I discovered this story belongs in NYC, just like Wicked Temptation belongs in San Fransisco.

My main concern was the distance between hero and heroine. Where the heck are the fancy, shmancy penthouse apartments in Manhattan? After all, I can't imagine a demon prince wanting to live in anything less. And the townhouses in Upper East Manhattan... How far is that from where the hero lives? Small details that probably seem unimportant, but things I kinda need to know if she's having to take the subway to go visit him. *grumble, grumble*

I was so stressed out by the end of the day yesterday, I was ready to run screaming into the wilderness. It definitely wasn't a day conductive to writing, but at least I managed to reach my goal. First thing off, hubby woke up late for work. Then Mini decided to play Picasso on the off- white suede recliner with an ink pen. I scrubbed it with one of those Woolite doo-jobbers that's supposed to clean upholstery, but it looks like the artwork is there to stay. During all this, my computer stopped being friendly, and I couldn't connect to the internet.

I called hubby to see if he made it to work on time, but found out he was at Walmart and had called in absent. He brought home a Go, Diego, Go! toddler bedroom set for Mini and left me to put the thing together. For the rest of the day mostly watched TV and snoozed on the couch while I fought with the furniture. Anyway, I got through the table and chairs, and a the toy bin, but the bed will have to wait until later this afternoon. I have to rearrange the bedroom to fit it sometime today.

Oldest is home today, as well. They are out for Veterans day. (He's home, but my Veteran had to go to work. Strange, when you think of it.) When he goes back, he has a three day in school suspension to sit through... Darn, ornery, teenage boys!

*Calgon! Take me away!*

It's rough right now, and I had a hideous day yesterday. But this morning when I got up and looked at my messy house I thought--hey, this looks like crap, but I've written most of a novella in a little over a week. That's pretty damn cool. And this is by far the best NaNo I've ever managed. I can't remember exactly, but I think the most I've ever been able to do is 10k--and that would be stretching it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pumpkin Days

Hubby woke up late this morning, and tried to make a dash to work, but about halfway there called and cancelled. So, he's home with me today. On his way back to the house, he stopped by the store and bought Mini and Oldest a copy of the new Cars movie, so I'm sure they'll be busy in front of the TV soon as daddy gets a bite to eat. Oldest is at school, but I know he'll be watching it the minute he's in through the door.

Speaking of Oldest... it's spirit week at school. Yesterday he dressed up as one of the characters from Naruto. Today I got out of bed to find him trying to dress like a hippie. Naruto, I'm not too sure about, hippie, I can do. I raided the closets, found some baggy jeans, a pancho, and went to my jewelry box for a string of love beads--a string I made in high school. Ha! I was too cool for school, no? Anyway, we made a passable hippie out of him, and out the door he went... pinching Mini's fingers in the process. Much kissies fixed the boo-boos, and now I'm finally sitting down with my first cup of coffee.

I'm going to work on my NaNo today. I made it up to 7900 yesterday, but no topping the 8k mark. Ho hum. I'll do it today though, and with hubby home, maybe I can get more writing in than usual. I need to get in as much as possible, because later this week I have to start making plans for Thanksgiving dinner--sorting recipes, making shopping lists. Checking the pantry for what I already have. I am considering baking cranberry cookies for a change from the traditional sugar batch. I'm not sure if I can find the jelly around here, but it's a thought...

For those looking for some good reading, drop by the Midnight Moon Cafe today! Author Bev Walton-Porter is today's Midnight Brew interview, and she has a cool new book out called Sun Signs for Writers. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yes, I'm domesticated...

I found out yesterday that Wicked Temptation made #2 on the Cobblestone Press best seller list for October. Woot! I also had the joy of learning that Midnight Moon Cafe is a top referring blog.
I did the chicken dance when I got the news yesterday.

Today I started looking for my new dinette set. Oh, yes. It's furniture shopping time. See, we use furniture in this family until it absolutely falls apart. When it has fallen apart, we then glue it, nail it, bailing wire it, and bubble gum stick it to make it last a few more years. Well, my dining table--which belonged to my grandfather--is past the point of no return.

When hubby and I moved into our current house some 10 years ago (OMG, has it been that long?!) we took grandfather's table because it's made of beautfiul, heavy oak. However, it had a flaw... the tabletop would not stay on the pedestals. Not a problem, right? We took it, and carefully bolted the top on it. For whatever reason, the bolts would never hold as firmly as they should, so our gorgeous dinette had this slight see-saw motion going on if too much weight was on the table, or if you sit down and put your elbows on it.

Okay. The table was working fine until a few weeks ago. I decided to get brave and move this thing. Oldest son and I hefted this darn thing up--it must weight 200 pounds!--and shuffled it about two feet. The pedestals stayed, but the tabletop shifted. Uh-oh. Where the leaf should go in the center, there is now a 4 inch gap. Yep. We tried to shove the darn thing back together, but it was no-going. And that is the fate of the re-re-repaired table. *sigh* I hate to do it, but it's time to face a table retirement plan.

I've picked out a replacement, now it's just a matter of finding it in stock around our area. I want a black, Peidmont style dinette. They have one at a local store, but it only seats four. I need one that seats at least six. Eight would be preferrable since we use it primarily for holiday dinners. So now the hunt begins. Above is a picture of what I want--sort of. Piedmont would have different chairs and the under-edge would be straight, not scalloped. Lovely dinette nonetheless. (Note: the picture is just for reference purposes. Our dining room isn't near as nice as that one. Ha!)

Now on to writing! I made my 7100 NaNo goal last night around 10:30. Woot! Now to make it to 8k. I'm not sure I can do it today, but I'm gonna try. Crack the whip, ya'll. I'll slack if no one pushes me.

Oh, one last thing to record before getting on to writing... a baby milestone. Mini Bear discovered his belly button this morning when I was changing him out of his pjs. So cute! ^_^