Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bring On New Years Eve!

Hubby and I had planned to have "a date" yesterday, but our plans fell through. There was too much wrangling and foo fooing over the time needed to get to the theater and back, and hubby's reaction to it totally killed any desire I had to be stuck in a car with him for a forty-five minute drive oneway, so I called the whole thing off. Mom called me three times to make different arrangements, but after the initial pow wow, it kind of ruined it for me. I told hubby I'll just wait for I Am Legend to come out on DVD.

Since those plans were shot in the arm, I decided to go on another cleaning rampage. I dug through more closets and tossed out more junk. I now only have Oldest's room left to go before I can claim a complete and total closet culling, and if Oldest doesn't get to his own closets, I plan to do it for him - I think the threat I will do his cleaning will be enough incentive for him to do it himself though. I pretty much just put everything I haven't seen in six months or more into a box and toss it out. :P Merciless, I know, but effective.

It was not the best day overall, hubby stayed miffed at me through most of the day, and by dark I'd had enough. I decided to go check out the Xmas lights, and dressed Mini for the trip. Although I've driven on the edges of town since the lights went up, I haven't gone down the main strip, and since I have a decent camera now, I decided to get some pics of the lights. At the last minute, hubby decided he wanted to go too, so Hubby, Mini, and I took about three hours to wandering around in the cold.



Yay! We actually managed to get a pic of Mini with Santa this year! At the start of December, I took him to have his pic taken with Santa and he wasn't having it. He took one look at Santa and latched onto me with a death grip. No way was I getting him to sit on Santa's lap. Sooo... last night, I found a standup at the Xmas light maze, and thusly we haveth a Mini and Santa pic. ^_~

Here is a pic of a somewhat less grumbly Hubby, and Mini Bear in the tunnel of lights - a kind of no maze, maze that leads to Santa's shack. Santa, of course, is back at the North Pole post-Dec 25th, so the shack sat empty when we went through it. :P


A carousel of lights in Santa's Square. There is a big long fairway full of this kind of stuff. I took pictures of Mini in one of the red sleighs, (it's a plywood cutout) but the flash illuminated the inside of the sleigh - and I didn't realize how ICK GROSS those things were inside until I saw the shot!




This is the courthouse downtown. It's lit up all the way around and it looks really cool from the down the street. I tried to get a snap of the building from further down the block, but there was a huge honkin' tree in the way - rats!

This is one of the shots I took from down the block. Behind the white trees there, you can see the tree on the courthouse lawn from the other picture. I'm glad I got up there and got a few shots before they pull the plug in January.

Tomorrow is the last day of December - WOW!! I can't get over how fast this year has gone by. I have to admit I'm ready to ring in the New Year though. Bring on 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

December and Caney Lake

Oldest stayed home yesterday while Hubby and I gathered up Mini and took off to buy a few groceries. Well, as we got up to town, hubby was hungry, so we stopped by Panda's to eat. We spent far too long in the store, and hubby had the grand idea to go by The Y before going home to pick up a marguerita mix for New Year's.

On the way there, I told hubby I intended to take a drive over to Brown's Landing once we got the groceries unpacked. However, since I had my camera with me, instead of dropping by the house first, Hubby drove on out to the lake. It's not that far out of the way - ten minutes at most. By the time we got there, Mini had fallen asleep in his car seat.

As promised, here are some pics of Caney Lake.


These are the two main piers (and a boat launch) out at Brown's Landing, and the only ones that are public. About 15 years ago, this area of Caney Lake was still swimmable. There was a huge stretch of sandy public beach off to the left of the first pier, but since this is a fishing area - lots of Pro Bass Tournaments out here - they privatized the beach and made it "non-swimming". You have to drive an extra 10 or so miles and go down to the Caney Lake State Park entrance and pay a fee - something like $2.00 a person - to use the public beach there.

Let me tell ya, it's cold out there on the water! I walked out to the gazebo dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, and the first great gust of lake air nearly froze my badonkadonk off! Brrrrrr! *_*


Our area is really big on Xmas lights, and Brown's Landing is no exception. At night the star lights on the water are absolutely gorgeous.




The picture above is directly across the lake from the gazebo. If you look through the trees you can see part of Pardue Loop... which is a roughshod road leading out past the lake front homes.


This too was taken from the gazebo. The other pier, and the overpass for Highway 4. Directly between the legs of the overpass you can almost make out one of the islands (that one is really nothing more than a mushroom shaped clot of trees) out in the water at the other end of the lake.

I wanted to take a few pictures of the other side of the lake, to get a few pics of the islands, so hubby and I got back in the Jeep and we pulled up onto the overpass. Okay... it says "No Parking On Shoulder" up there, so instead of parking on the paved shoulder, he pulled up along the grassy shoulder of the road - which is nothing more than a steep effing hill that goes straight down to the water.

Of course, hubby parks me right in front of the damn "No Parking" sign. So, I glance around to see if any cars are coming and hurry across the highway to take pictures.


I crossed to the opposite shoulder and my approach startled a flock of ducks that I didn't know was there. They had been paddling about on the water, dipping for fish, I imagine, but when they saw me step up, they started streaking across the water like a big fan - and after a few feet they took flight.


More lake islands here. The islands are nothing more than big patches of trees that are growing out of the center of the lake. I don't think there's actually any land there. There are marshier areas a few feet down the road - swampy areas chock full of duck weed and lily pads. We didn't go that far down. And on past that, as you run into Chatham, you come across stretches of water that have that classic bayou look: cattails, cypress trees, pond scum, and Spanish moss. Pretty stuff. I'll have to make a trip out that way sometime after the New Year and take some pictures.

So, there it is... my Friday in pictures. ;-) I actually spent more time lounging around in my pjs than anything else. *sigh* Ah well... there's always tomorrow to get things done!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cleaning Rampage

Funny Pictures
'Possoms!


I meant to blog yesterday, but got sidetracked when I went on this wild cleaning spree. Since I have both the guys home for the holidays I've been dragging things out of the far corners of the house and leaving them in the middle of the dining room so the guys will have to move them out to the storage shed. I've very nearly reclaimed my office! Before I move back into it though, I'd like to put down new carpet and paint in there. I'm going today to pick out the carpet - I wants a RED one. When I paint, I'll probably just coat everything in white.

I also took out my Dremel yesterday and cut away a piece of strip moulding from the inside of our bedroom closet so we can add some more shelves in there. Now the hardware can go flat against the wall. Muahahahaha!

Aside from these things, nothing else is really going on around the house. I planned to drive out to the lake - only about 10 minutes from here - but it was too cold and rainy yesterday to get out and do much. Maybe I will go to the lake today while Hubby is home playing Guild Wars. He can keep an eye on the kiddos for me. :P If I manage to find my way out there, I'll be sure to post some pics.

Well, off for now! I need to get the dishes in the dishwasher and put some clothes in the dryer before hauling off to Lowes. Ah, the fun stuff... I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Resting on Wednesday



I decided not to brave any after holiday sales this year. I shopped Black Friday, so I figure that gives me an out. ^_^ Hubby on the other hand had to make a return, poor fella. Mom and dad bought him a small shelf stereo, but it wouldn't recognize the CDs when he put them in the carousel. The tray would just keep turning and turning like nothing was in there. Our old stereo did the same thing right before it gave out. I hope he can find something up there to replace it. He was looking forward to a stereo in the den again.


As for the rest of us, Oldest isn't out of bed yet, and Mini is playing at my feet with the gigantor monster truck. (see previous post for pic) I don't have any real plans today, but I need to get the house tidied up, and maybe I'll get a chance to read a bit. I'm currently reading The Big Book of Near Death Experiences, by P.M.H. Atwater. Interesting stuff! Ooh, just remembered... I do want to make it up to town to catch some shots of the light displays while they're still up. Too, it will give me a chance to check out the shutter speed settings, etc. Woot!

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. I hope you all have a fun, post-holiday Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Christmas Vacation

It's official! My family and I have survived yet another holiday together! ^_^

Late last night while hubby snored on the couch and the boys snoozed in their rooms, I snuck into my cabbage room office, brought out all the presents and put them under our tree. Around 3 AM, I could hear hubby stirring around, but I was far too tired to get up with him, so I let him suffer wondering what was under the tree a little longer and slept in.

Around seven this morning, Mini woke up and I asked him, "Do you want to go see what Santa left under the tree?" His reply: Nope. (He thinks Santa is a bit shady, so he said on Xmas Eve Santa should just leave some candy and take a hike. But I digress...)

I finally manage to talk Mini Bear into climbing out of bed, and when we come through to the den, there is Oldest sitting on the edge of the couch. "Geez, I thought you guys would never wake up." Heh.

So, we all made it over to the tree, and after Mini opened his first present (a GoBot), he didn't want to open anything else. While Hubby opened his car stereo, Season 1 and 2 of Carnivale on DVD, and I tried to get everything passed out to everyone, Mini goes about checking the rooms looking for people, wondering where the heck all the presents came from. "Maw maw, Paw paw, are you here?" After all, someone had to bring all this stuff, and that Santa guy just can't be trusted.

To try and get Mini interested in his other presents, Oldest reached over and tapped a whole into the wrapping of one gift. "Look, Mini. Open it." Well, since his brother asked him too... Mini opened the gift and it was a Dirt Track Lightning McQueen race car. WOW! MiniBear thought that was pretty snazzy. However, we still couldn't get him to open his presents. Sooo, we dragged out another, and Oldest poked a whole in it. When Mini opened this one, he nearly fell out. It's an enormous Grave Digger Monster Truck!



This thing is big enough for Mini to sit on and ride around the house. Okay. That did it. That got Mini's attention. Monster trucks tend to do that. After opening that, the hesitation went out the window, and he went on an acute present opening rampage. He grabbed the closest present he could find - one of hubby's and began ripping the bows off.

"No, Mini, wait!" We quickly gave him his last present. It's a remote control Jeep Rubicon - however, no one thought to check it. We had to charge the darn batteries for 8 hours before it would work. (We have been living with the aggravation of this all day.)

Me, on the otherhand, I opened my present last. There was only one under the tree. What was it? Why, my wonderful, sugarliscious, sweetie pie husband *cough* Santa, gave me the gift of torment. Of eternal, parental paparazzi privileges... I opened my giftbag to find a new Fuji FinePix digicam.

Oh yeah... it's on now. NO ONE IS SAFE!!!!

Muahahahahaha....



This is after presents today. Mini is snuggling his favorite "bear" Gizmo. Not long after I took this piccy, my parents arrived with kibbles. :9 I made the ham and potato salad. We also had green beans and left over cake. Mom brought a chocolate pie, which I for one, ate entirely too much of. The pie is completely gone now. (And for the record, no, I did not eat it all by myself.) ^_^

This pic of mom was taken before our dinner/lunch. Dad was talking to her about something, I can't remember what. I was tinkering with my new camera. Teehee! I took this pic of her, and couldn't help thinking she has that look like she is hearing, but not really interpreting anything at all being said to her at that moment. "Blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah, blah..." *snort*

Here, hubby is sacked out on the couch checking out his new DVDs. He has been subjecting us to the first season of Carnivale for most of the day. LOL! Actually, I'm just saying that incase he comes in later and reads my blog. I like the series too, and wish HBO had stuck with it a little longer if for no other reason but to give the story some closure. But that's a whole 'nother topic...

This is shortly before dinner... Oldest in the fungus cave, aka, the teenage bedroom. He got a new CD/DVD organizer from Santa, and so he has all his DVDs and such scattered out and is deboxing them.

Next up, a picture of my dad. He has the same type camera that I do, so we talked a lot of shop over the course of their visit. Hmm... Now that I think about it, maybe that is why mom looks like she is, but isn't really paying attention in that picture above. Maybe she was listening to us talk about cameras... ^_^


Our inside Ye Olde Man Dog, Chancellor Boudreaux snoozed on his pallet in the hallway through most of the festivities. At least he did until the ham came out of the oven...

After my parents went home, the family sort of went to our separate corners of the house. I went around with my tool of agony and annoyance and snapped pictures of everyone until I became repeatedly threatened with bodily harm. :P I figured I'd give them all a rest so their food could settle. Besides, if they know I have the camera in hand, I'll be less likely to catch those candid shots. Muahahahaha! *cough, cough*

I think we all had a very good holiday. Tonight I have reserved for candles and meditation time. A perfect way to round out the day. :) Before I close for today, one more shot of Mini: this one with his GoBot. Mini is by far my favorite paparazzi style photo target - he doesn't yet consider the novelty of having his picture taken an annoyance. He'll actually smile and come running to the camera. *squee!* Oh, little man, just keep that attitude at least til you hit about eight or so. (Around the age camera phobia hits.) I'll have tons of family books filled by then. Hehehe! *snap, snap, flash*



Merry Christmas from our family to yours!






Monday, December 24, 2007

Quick! Santa's Looking!

funny pictures



I just finished wrapping the last of the presents. Woohoo! Somehow this year, even though I knew the big 2-5 has been pressing on us, I didn't wrap the gifts until this morning. I've been gift wrapping on and off all day. Oh the INSANITY! Hubby took the kids to go see the lights in town a little while ago so I could run around like a mad woman, hair flying, tape stuck here and everywhere, to finish the last of the presents.

At any rate, I've now finished, fixed myself a Diet Dr. Pepper with ice, and am waiting for them to come back. Whew! I now only have to sit and wait and look forward to the looks on everyone's faces when they open their presents in the morning. ^_^

We spent today at my parent's house, and opened some gifts there. My mom actually bought me a cabbage! ^_^ A cute lil Xmas tree girl named Libby Raina. Hehe! She usually skips this kind of gift when shopping for me, so that makes it all the more memorable.

Tomorrow the parents come over for lunch/dinner. We're having ham and mustard potatoe salad, rolls, left over pecan pie, and a spinach salad. If anyone at all is reading this post, I'd love to hear what's on the menu at your house this holiday season.

Well, that's it for me. I need to go and finish preparing the house for Santa. He should be here to drop gifts under the tree not long after Mini hits the sack. ;-)

Happy Christmas!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Naughty!

funny dog picture, loldogs, christmas, xmas, holidays



I'm really trying very hard not to go completely slapnuts crazy this morning, but I woke up and quickly discovered Mini was already up and about. I thought Hubby was already up and watching him, so I rolled over and slept for another 15 or 20 minutes - not very long because when I woke up again and the 30 minute kid's show I'd been watching before I dozed was just going off the air. Nevertheless, the second time I woke, I felt all guilty about sleeping in (it's around 5:50 AM at this point) so I crawl out of bed.

What do I see when I go into the den? First things first: Hubby is not here. Second: Oldest has his door shut to his room and is snoozing. And in the corner, I see the flash of glinty little eyes as Mini sees me and takes off running through the house like he's guilty of something serious.

OK. My stomach plummets at this point because I know he's been into something... I just haven't found it yet. Why else would a toddler be so quiet, after all?

I round the corner to the kitchen, and there it is. Fridge door hung wide open, and a liquid Strawberry Quik explosion all over the kitchen floor and the inside of the fridge. *sigh* Mini apparently thought it would be fun to finger paint in this as well; there are toddler hand smears all in it, and little red feet prints tracking it through the house. ARG!! When I finally track Mini down and corner him, I see he is head-to-toe mess of sticky, hot pink syrup. wARRRGGG!!!

Just when I think I have seen the worst of it, I return to the kitchen, turn on all the overhead lights and I see he has splattered more syrup up the walls in the dining room and on the blanket I've been using as a spill barrier on the couch in the den. In another corner of the dining room he has created a tribal masterpiece of strawberry liquid and the dog's dry kibbles. :S

Not amused in the least, I couldn't quite decide in that moment if I was going to have an effing aneurysm, if I was going to say fuck it, leave the mess for hubby when he returns from taking his friends that effing bottle of Scotch, or if I was going to just back to bed and pretend nothing happened at all until 9 am rolled around.

I ended up cleaning up the mess with good old fashioned hot water with some dish washing liquid mixed in. Oh, and a wash rag. Why not use a mop, you ask? Because for whatever reason it seems, whenever I buy a mop at our local stores, they only carry the mop, no replacement heads for the damn things. And when I did floors the other day, the sponge head on my mop gave out. So I am currently mopless. I can think of a string of expletives to add here, but I will spare you all a case of inflamed retinas and just say Murphy's Law.

Yes, I do realize it could have been much worse. Even so, I am moving Mini and Hubby onto my naughty list for today. Mini for obvious reasons, and Hubby for leaving so early in the morning to take his friends their Xmas gift without taking two minutes to drop by the bedroom door and tell me he was stepping out. If I'd known he was gone, I would've crawled out of bed as soon as I realized Mini was up. Instead I just assumed... and yes, I do that saying about assumed and assumption. :P

At any rate, the two household criminals of them can enjoy one another's company today, because as soon as hubby returns home I plan to plop Mini Bear into his arms so I can take off to go write. Why not? Since everyone else has already had their fun...

*fingers crossed for a semi-sane Sunday*

Friday, December 21, 2007

Coffee and Candy




Yesterday I picked up Oldest around 9:30 at school and hauled him up to see the optometrist. Instead of taking him to Ruston as I usually do, I took him to a local doctor and we ran the rounds of eye exam and frame selection. They didn't have much by way of frames, but I suppose anything is better than what Oldest was wearing. At any given moment, he could be just sitting and talking to you, and the lens would fall out of his glasses. *_*

To make due until the new pair arrived, the eye doctor put a new, longer than normal screw in the one side where it kept popping open. He said he didn't mess with the other side - and he laughed about the wire job I did on it. :P Around midnight one night at the start of the month, Oldest's lens popped out on the other side and he lost the screw. Sooo, in need of a quick fix, I grabbed out some of my jewelry making tools - wire snips, jeweler's pliers, and threaded that side together with a gauge of wire that was as close a match to the screw size as I could get it. The repair has held, and the optometrist chuckled about it and said the wire was so tight he kept it like it was. LOL! Watch the wire outlast the screw.

The nurse at one point asked if he wanted to try contacts, and Oldest started jumping around like a puppy - Oh, mom PLEASE!! I'd look so much better with contacts!

No, no, and um NO. He's a good kid, but not responsible enough, especially with something he's going to have to keep clean enough put in his eye. He pouted a few minutes, but by the time we got out to the car he'd forgotten all about it. Anyway, we put in for the new pair of glasses, and I went to pay for it all. Let me tell ya, I cringed when I got the bill for Oldest's glasses, but it had to be done. However, it may be a few weeks before I jump in and get the same treatment for myself.

After the eye doctor I asked Oldest where he wanted to go eat. The instantaneous cry: PIZZA HUT! Okay, we drove by Pizza Hut and they weren't open yet, so I asked if there was anywhere else he'd want to go. He said Panda (Chinese food) so I drove across town and we got there with fifteen minutes to wait before they open. Normally I'd just have sat and waited, but during all this I really, really had to pee so I start thinking "Where can we go where we don't have to buy anything, but I can use the restroom there?" Hey, I know... The library!!

So we jetted over to the library. While we were there, I also picked through the romance novels - OMG, all the historicals on the shelves there! NO paranomals, unless you can count Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris. Oldest looked around at the Mangas, and I ended up with three books one of them Club Dead by the aforementioned Ms. Harris.

We made it back over to Panda's five minutes after opening, and although I'd lost my choice parking spot, the foot traffic was light and we got a great booth near the buffet and we were able to eat without having to keep Mini quiet and sitting in a highchair.

Oldest had a great time, even though it was in all technical aspects a doctor visit. I drove him back to school and made it home just in time to start a load of laundry before piling back into the car - this time with Mini and Hubby. We had to drive out to the jobsite to get his paycheck.

It was dark by the time we all got home and were settled in. Too tired to do anything else but flop on the couch, I picked up a book from my TBR stack and started to read. I picked out Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume, which is a grown up version of her popular young adult books. Let me tell you... I could not put this book down. I sat through and read this book start to finish last night; so this morning along with my coffee and the peppermint Hershey's kiss I ate, I have book hangover. :P

Summer Sisters follows the story of two girls from their teenage years in the late seventies, up til they are in their thirties. There is the whole rich girl/poor girl dynamic, where the rich girl (Caitlyn) pulls her new friend into her circle of privilege, but she is always kind of sticking it to the poor girl (Victoria) in some way. That much is kind of predictable, but the story is so compelling, the relationships so realistic and complicated you can't help but be drawn in by the whole thing. It's written from multiple view points, and is told in that raw guts, unflinching style like all other Judy Blume books. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

That's about it for me today. I need to get around and do floors. Ick. I hate sweeping. But the guys are gone for a bit so I better take advantage of it. Hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Waiting, waiting, waiting...


Hubby will be home with me until after the first of the year. He's still home and on very high octane antibiotics, and may have to go in for another surgery before the deal is done. So, starting this Friday I will have a houseful 24/7. Saints give me patience...

Mom called me and let me know all has cleared with the deal at the bank. Woot! The arrangements have been made and all we have to do now is wait for the banks and realtors to do their thing. As I've said before the closing will be around Jan. 14th, so all we have to do now is get the house insurance and wait for the closing date.

Yesterday I finished reading a demon slayer novel: Servant The Awakening by LL Foster (Lori Foster). It's very good, even though I guessed the ending by Chapter Six. I won't go there and spoil it for the rest of you, though; I'll just say if you like urban fantasy, Servant The Awakening is definitely worth reading. (And I do believe it's slated to become a series???)

Gaby, the heroine of the book has special powers that allow her to see demons who hide in human form, and it's her calling to seek them out and destroy them. However, as she's going to kill one of the demons she stumbles across Detective Luther Cross, who developes an immediate interest in her - well, heck, because she's a sexy chick walking around on the streets at night - but also because he could tell right away she's trained to kick ass, which makes her a perfect suspect, even if it is pre-crime.

The detective didn't really do much for me - cops aren't my thing - but Luther Cross makes a good match for Gaby. Now, the demon element I found really interesting and cool. I can't say to much without blowing the whole plot for you, but I appreciated that no gore was spared, and that nothing was sugar coated for me. Gruesome is, gruesome does. There is a bit of torture that goes on in this book that might not be for everyone who is reading for the sake of the romance. Overall, a really good book.

That's it for me today. Very late post, I realize, but better late than never. Tomorrow I'm taking Oldest to the eye doctor, and making and appointment there for myself. Hopefully after that everything will calm down for a while.

Off for now. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let the Holidays Begin




When I got up this morning, hubby was in terrible pain. He'd come home early yesterday and lounged around on the couch, and I figured it was only a matter of time before we ended up carting him over to see the doctor. He has a condition where a cyst will form deep under the skin near his spine, and every so often he has to go in and have it cut open. Well, it was swollen and hurting to the point he could barely get around, and when I crawled out of bed at about eight-thirty, he told me he'd called my mom and we had an appointment to get to by nine-thirty. So the morning was a blur. I dressed, searched out my cell phone, tied my hair back, left without coffee. Needless to say, I've had a nagging headache all day. To top that off, I broke my glasses Sunday evening, so that only seems to make headaches that much worse. On the otherhand, hubby is feeling much better after his little round of in-office surgery, so I guess I can't really ask for anything more than that. If hubby's feeling better, I'm feeling better.

Mom and dad are very close to having everything in line for the house. They only need to get their pre-qualify papers to the reator, and the $500 deposit to cement the offer. After that, all we have to do is wait for everything to be processed, etc. As of now, the offical closing date is January 14th. Woot!

Well, enough for me today. I've only just got home with hubby's prescriptions. I had a bit of errand running to do after I dropped hubby off from the doctor's as well, so I'm kind of tired. Only three days left to go and the holiday vacation starts for us. I'm sooooo ready...

Hope you've had a nice (and tranquil) Tuesday!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Went For A Drive




We should get a call sometime today about the house, to know whether or not the bank accepted our offer. I've got my fingers crossed, and I'm thinking it all should go well. The realtor told us there were currently no other offers on the house.

Yesterday I took a drive over to my parents' place because they needed some help filling out the loan application. I did as much of it as I could, then wrote mom out a check to deposit into her account to cover all the deposit/closing costs, and she's supposed to run it all up to the bank sometime this morning. Woot! I'm ready to get this puppy rolling. If there is any kind of issue, it may be with the sewer system on the house - it's an older system and Louisiana has new state regulations that pretty much makes for a home owner to have to have a mini waste treatment system on their property. If there's an issue with the sale of the house, mom and dad will have to agree to put it in up to code, something that will have to be done anyway. But it has me wondering...

Hubby isn't feeling too well, but he went on to work today. I've got a tickle in my throat - darn allergies. I've been watching all these reports of heavy snow and ice storms, but we've had none of that. However, I did have to break out the fleece yesterday. It got so freaking cold all the sudden; I blame these temperature changes for a lot of the ick going right now. Last night it was around 22 degrees. Brrrrr!!! I don't like climbing out of bed when the temp dips below 50. Oh yes, it was very hard to get up this morning. :P

That's it for me today. I have to get Mini wrangled around so I can run up to the post office and send out a few packages. Maybe by the time we go to leave, the sun will be out!

Happy Monday, everyone. ^_^

Dark Hollow by Brian Keene

It's been a long time since I've posted a review on my blog, but I managed to snare a delicious new ARC for Brian Keene's latest horror novel Dark Hollow, which is slated for release January 29th, 2008.

About the book...

In Brian Keene’s Dark Hollow, Adam Senft is out walking his dog when he is lured by the sound of panpipes into the woods of LeHorn’s Hollow—a foreboding niche of Pennsylvania woodlands with a long and frightening history of murder and black magic.

There Adam stumbles upon an old stone marker engraved with pagan secrets, and in a clearing off the beaten track, he is shocked to discover one of his young female neighbors engaged in sexual acts with a gruesome statue.

When the statue comes to life before his eyes and beckons him to step forward into the hollow, Adam retreats, unable to speak of what he has witnessed until, one by one, women around the neighborhood begin to vanish without a trace.

Dark Hollow is a smart blend of quiet horror and dark suspense, with roots going back to such classic horror tales as The Wicker Man and Rosemary’s Baby. This is no slasher tale; Dark Hollow is a thinking man’s horror story built around a backbone of modern and ancient folklore.

The suburban setting and its residents drive the story; we bear witness as Adam Senft tells his tale, rallying the neighborhood men to band together as a group of unlikely heroes who set out to uncover the truth behind the horrific events of LeHorn’s Hollow, all in a desperate attempt to protect the ones they love.

Brian Keene has created a believable world where the mythical beasts of the Great Labyrinth coexist seamlessly alongside our unsuspecting modern society. Dark Hollow is a fresh, thought provoking, and satisfying read.

~Cora Zane, December 16, 2007
Dark Hollow will be available next month through Dorchester Publishing.
http://www.dorchesterpub.com

Friday, December 14, 2007

And the verdict is...


Mom and I went to view the house yesterday and the mom loved it. *faint* It's a little country house on almost an acre - and the entire thing is fenced. The community is really quiet, there is a cop that lives right down the street from that house, so I doubt much to worry about with the neighbors. The house itself is only about 20 minutes from here, and we're familiar with the area.

The realtor called us yesterday to let us know she would be a few minutes late, but that the window by the front door was open and for us to let ourselves in. LOL! Mom and I walked around the yard, checked out the workshop and chicken coup out back, then went up to the screened in porch and let ourself in through the front window. We walked through the house and she was just so excited; she kept saying "this is the one!" It was really a wonderful moment. Aside from needing a truly nasty carpet ripped out and new paint, I looked through the house for leaks and sags inside and out and the house is in great shape. It's perfect for mom and dad. When the realtor arrived to show us around, mom had already made up her mind. So... we climbed in the back of the realtor's SUV to keep from freezing to death in this sudden cold snap we're having, and MOM SIGNED PAPERS!


*confetti* Woohoo! *confetti*


This morning has been a paper chase to get all the stuff together for the loan. Mom's running me ragged calling here and there for her, but I look at it that in a month I will not have to worry any more about whether my parents have the basics covered for the future.

Good thing, though, I told mom in advance what papers she would need, and we had everything with us but the land description. I made some calls this morning and the realtor should be faxing that over to the bank shortly. Whew! What a morning! It's after noon and I'm just now sitting down with my first cup of coffee. LOL!

However, if all goes as we hope it will, we should close on the house January 12th. (On paper it says the 13th, but that's a Sunday.)We should have this all done right in time for mom and dad's 40th anniversary! Talk about a gift for all of us. *dance, dance*

So that's my big news for today. I tell ya, I had no idea when I woke up yesterday that we'd be rushing through all this. LOL! It's been kind of dizzying. I don't regret it in the least though.

Today I seriously need to clean my house - what a mess! But not until I have my coffee... ^_~ Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is This The One?



I found a listing this morning for a house that looks to be perfect for my parents. It's in their price range, it's on almost an acre... like I said, it looks perfect for them. I called mom soon as I saw it and got her out of bed. She wasn't too happy with me until I told her why I was calling. You could hear the change in her voice when I told her what I'd found.

She asked me to call the realtor and arrange a viewing. I did. We are meeting with a Century21 person at the house around noon. Mom is now up and going on her rounds early so we can be back in time to meet the agent. Around 11 I'll wrangle Mini into some jeans and get everything together. I better bring my checkbook just in case mom forgets. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

On another note, I added another 1k to that little romance piece I mentioned before. And I also plotted a bit for Eleni's story, the sequel to Wicked Temptation. Heaven knows how many times I've started that book only to toss out the draft. That's definitley one I want out of my hair for 2008.

Well, I better get dressed and have another cup of coffee before the madness begins. Hope you all have a snazzy Thursday!

Oh! One last thing before I go...

Thirteen YUMMY Holiday treats
1. Peppermint coffee
2. hazelnut chocolate pie
3. peppermint bark
4. chocolate covered cherries
5. champagne truffles
6. strawberry tarts
7. jelly windowpane cookies
8. bubble gum candy canes
9. gingerbread cookies
10. cherry cheesecake :9
11. blueberry cobbler
12. Christmas squares - a kind of cheesecake/brownie thing
13. FUDGE brownies

Nom nom nom nom! :9 Oh foo. Now I'm hungry.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mommy/Daughter Day





Mom and I went on a mini expedition today. We had the wee one with us, but the point was to get out and spend a bit of time together. Usually we both have our own things going on, so it's good to have a little mommy-daughter time. In truth, we really should go out and do family stuff more often.

Anyway, we went around to a few local stores, and I picked up the holiday cards with the boys' picture on them. They turned out sooo good. Mom loved the pic of the boys too. And to my suprise she could see why I used that pic even thought Mini is not facing the camera. "Aw, you can tell how much he adores his bubba in this one." Yep. ~_^
I'll be mailing those out tomorrow, along with all the packages to friends and family. Whew! I wish I could do this on a day I'd have Oldest or Hubby with me, but our local post is one of those that's closed weekends. So it has to be Thursday. Hopefully everything has time to get to its destination.

On another note, the 3rd issue of the Cobblestone Press Quarterly magazine is now available for free download. My book Dominant Territory is the #1 Best Seller for the third quarter(July - September '07) and there's a big feature on it. How exciting! I didn't know until I got the notice about the CPQ, so that's a spot of very good news. Aside from that, this issue has some really good free reads in it - short stories from both Yolanda Sfetsos and Sapphire Phelan. There's also a really interesting interview with literary agent Vivian Beck. Good stuff!

So today I picked up this huge slow cooker/crock pot for roasts. We have a small one, but you can't lay a slab of meat into that one. This one you can. Muahahaha! *fork and knife* :9 So now I'm on the hunt for really good meaty recipes.

Well, this post is going up later than I'd intended, but it's been a busy day. I hope you've all had a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Building of a Tree

Yesterday, right before nap time, I discovered we were out of milk. Soooo, I pulled some jeans on Mini and out the door we went. We made what was supposed to be a quick trip to the store for one thing, and while there I ended up buying all of hubby's Xmas gifts, including the car stereo. *_* Darn, but that was an expensive milk run!

Mini was yawny all the way home, so I figured I'd go ahead and put him down for a nap the minute we got home. Well, when we were pulling into the drive, the mail lady was pulling up to our row of boxes. She shouted out the window at me: I have a few packages for you! This, of course, reinvigorates Mini, who thinks of the postal folks as kindred souls of Santa Claus.

I noticed among the packages my ARC for Brian Keene's Dark Hollow is there. Woot! I take Mini and all the mail in the house and by that point, Mini is so revved any hope for a nap is out the window. I take it in stride and get him busy doing other stuff so I can bring in all the goods from the car. Oy, our freshly cleaned out closet is now filled with gifts that need to be wrapped. And we still have Oldest to shop for. :S

Mini and I took some time to hang out until Oldest arrived off the bus. He came through the door in a very chipper mood, and Mini goes racing through the house because Bubba is "back from skoo". LOL While Oldest goes off to get out of his school uniform into something kitchen and mess friendly, I pull out the tree kit. It's time to *cough* bake! ^_^

I mix up the white tree cement (frosting) and Oldest comes in ready to work on his star cookie stacking skills. The unfortunate young man picked the space closest to his Old Mother, which means I had a camera in his face almost the whole time. Muahahaha...



Mini didn't really take an interest in what we were doing during the initial tree construction. He took the box the kit came in and raced through the house with it, pulling out all the bubble wrap and rolling around on it on the floor. No. Really. Rolled around on it on the floor. *_*

Once Oldest and I started adding snow drops to the tree and Oldest started sticking on candies, Mini perked up. He climbed up in a chair next to the bar to see what was going on.



Mini liked the candy part. He saw colored candy drops and decided he wanted to help with the tree after all. Hmm... He watched his Bubba a minute, and then started trying his own decorating techniques. We poured him a little bowl of candies and told him to stick them on the tree. So cute! I'm surprised he did it, but he actually stuck the candies to the tree. I figured he'd run off with the bowl and pepper the house with them as toddlers are want to do.




While Mini decorates, Oldest helps himself to icing remnants. LOL I warn him to go easy on that stuff because it's pure sugar, but do you think he listened to me? Hm. Not much, but I did rescue enough of the icing to finish off detailing the tree.

The picture above is the big "after" shot. I was sooo happy, and a little surprised with the way it turned out - lousy camera that I have. Such a good shot of the boys. My mom will probably frown on Mini with his head turned, but Mini adores his Bubba and it shows in this pic. Last night I took that pic and ordered Holiday Photo Cards. They will be the star of our Xmas cards this year. ^_^



And, of course, the finished tree...

(Which has been partly eaten by this point.)

So there it is, my Monday. A pretty good one if you ask me. I don't have much planned for today, a little house cleaning and gift wrapping during Mini's naptime. And maybe I'll try to write a bit on that romance short I started a day or so ago. We'll see.

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope your day is a good one!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Got Wings?





Where did the weekend go? It feels like it went by way too fast. I could've gone for a few more days of that. We all had a slow, relaxing weekend. Hubby and I shopped Xmas - he says he's bought all my gifts - so now we only have Oldest's gifts to finish off, and I need to buy Hubby's. I'm going to get him that new stereo I mentioned before, he needs a new bottle of cologne, and I want to find him at least one new PC game - which can be a bit of a challenge due to the memory space. At any rate, we're almost finished with the shopping. Next, I'll tackle the baking!

Dad came by yesterday with his new digi cam. Wee! We had a blast taking pics with this thing. We caught some really cute shots of Mini, but alas, we couldn't connect it to my comp to download them. Anyway, the camera is a FujiFinepix model...bluh bluh... can't quite remember, but it took AWESOME shots in the house. It's too dark for my camera to pick up much of anything with a flash, and when I do use a flash, it whites everything out. I've had to take my own cam and tape a piece of computer paper over the flash to take some of the shine off because you can't time the flash. With dad's camera, you can ease the button down halfway to let off the flash, then press completely press it down to take the pic. Wow! If Santa doesn't leave a digital cam in my stocking this year I will definitely be heading to Best Buy once the sales start... I miss so many good shots in the house because of poor lighting.

I don't have a lot going today. I thought I'd try to write a few paragraphs of something (???) and then do a bit of laundry. When Oldest gets home this afternoon we're going to put together a gingerbread tree. :) I'd actually hoped to save it until Oldest was out of school for the holidays, but Mini keeps grabbing the kit down and squealing about it having a tree inside. On top of that, Oldest came to me with puppy eyes last night - "Mom, when can we build the cookie tree?" Oh, bother. I guess it's time. ^_^

Wishing you all a pleasant Monday!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

So I swore I wouldn't do it...

funny pictures


I actually ran out of things to do yesterday - massive shock - so I started working on a new short story. Just a little romance pieces that's neither here nor there. If it turns out especially bad, I'll shelve it and never look back. I know I promised myself no more writing til after the holidays, but I guess that was just wishful thinking. :S I can't stay away from the keyboard long enough to stick to my own wishes.

Today hubby and Oldest took the rest of the stuff from our bedroom out to the storage shed. Wow! We have closet space now! I spent the afternoon freshing up the closet, and tomorrow I'll start adding in hubby's things. I'll put mine in last - believe it or not, I need less space. Next up will be my office, but first I have to get the old desk top comp dismantled, and everything on the old desk put away. I feel sorry for the poor soul who ends up moving that thing out of there - I can't do it because it's too heavy. And if I remember right, I think I had to actually assemble the desk in that room in order to fit it in there. Oh yeah, that should be interesting, getting it out.

Ooh... I finished up shopping for my mom's presents today, and on my way out what do I see? A copy of Skinwalkers! I had no idea the movie was out! I only had the vaguest notion the movie was about shapeshifters, but thought the trailer was really cool so of course I had to see it. It's actually a werewolf movie - rather than all around different breeds of shapeshifters, like I had suspected. And it revolves around this 10 year old boy who has a werewolf father and human mother who is prophecied to put an end to all Skinwalkers. I can't go too in depth without spoiling the movie, but I will say that despite the poor reviews the movie received, I thought it was pretty good. And it wasn't so bad I couldn't watch it with Mini in the room. A few times I had to cover his eyes, but hey... not so much throat ripping out as I anticipated. Not family friendly, exactly. But more tame than most. I'll definitely be watching it again to insure I didn't miss little nuances here and there.

So there it is, my weekend. Calm, peaceful. *sigh* If only they could all be like this... ^_^

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Reflections...



I got word yesterday that the faerie story I recently submitted has been accepted for an upcoming anthology. Woot! I mailed off my contracts for it just this morning, and I'll post more about the book and project when I am sure I have the green light to do so.

Mini is feeling better this morning (thankfully!), and since hubby is home, I was able to sleep in. That's a great way to start the day, if you ask me. ^_^ At the moment, everyone is scattered around the dining room with a laptop open, except Mini, who is playing with a wind up flashlight. Once I finish this second cup of coffee I'm going to round up everyone to get ready for the shopping trip. Yay! This is the first real weekend in about a month where I haven't had something pressing to do. I'm going to relax and enjoy.

Off for now. I hope you have a fun and peaceful weekend!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday blues

I. Am. So. Tired. I had a really pleasant day with Mini yesterday, but he didn't want to take a nap. I didn't force the issue since I had things to do in town. We hit all the usual stops, and I picked up a Happy Meal for him on the way home. Around three he began to get cranky, and once Oldest got home, I greeted him, pointed him toward the snacks and took Mini off to bed.

I don't usually let Mini take late naps, but by that time I was tired too. Oldest said he could hear both of us snoring from the living room. Har har. Is that a request for a lump of coal for his stocking? Anyway, Mini woke us around 5. Just sat up and started crying. And I could tell right then and there - tears, sniffling. A cold. Egads...

Oldest had a cold last week, and I went around wiping down everything, lysoling door knobs, and keeping the dirty dishes out of the sink at all times. Oh yeah, and reminding oldest every time he made a trip into the kitchen to wash his hands! Gosh, you think'd think at his age..." Anyway, luckily, I didn't catch anything. Mini however... *shakes head* Of course, I figured one of us would catch it. It's just the way of things.

So all last night Mini was miserable. He couldn't breath well because his nose was stuffy. I managed to get a little dimetapp cold and allergy in him and after rocking him for a few hours, I managed to get him asleep enough to lay him down on the couch. That lasted til about 1 am. He woke up crying, and we spend the rest of the night rocking in the recliner. OMG. My knees are killing me this morning. I vaguely remember Hubby walking past me, telling me he was off to work. I think he smooched me on the forehead. I think. It's all a blur.

Around 6 I woke and realized the house was quiet and the bed was empty. I climbed out of the recliner - OMG, my legs were so stiff! - and carried Mini on to bed. I could have slept until... oh, probably tomorrow. Mini insisted; however, that we get up at 7 am. *groan*

So I've had that whole zombie, asleep on my feet feeling muddling my brain all morning. Thank goodness for coffee or I'd be sacked out somewhere right now. I got a text message from hubby this morning too, and I guess it's a good thing - he reminded me I needed to go cash his pay check. Oy, that would be helpful now, wouldn't it? ~_~'

Tomorrow we're braving the crowds to do our Xmas shopping. Yippee! Mini's gifts are all sorted out, and we have a handful of things for Oldest. Now to knock out the rest. We're making a run to Hot Topic just for Oldest, and we're probably going to the ends of the earth for my parents - I never know what to get them. Then we will shop for each other.

Hubby's big gift from me this year will be a new CD player for Mustard Jeep. He's one of those types that can happily lounge out in the car and listen to music all night. And that's a reason contributing to his need of a new CD player. He took Mini out there to jam in the Jeep with him one night, and well, his buddy called and while they got to talk about football or something, Mini took a handful of pennies out of the change tray and stuffed them into the CD player. *sigh*

I suppose I should stop rambling around on the net and get to work around the house. It's already after 10:30. Heck, where did the time go?! At any rate, I hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Night and Day



Since y'all wanted to see the disco tree, here she is... at night, and during the day. Granted they are cell phone pics and not the greatest (especially since I don't know how to adjust the resolution on there), I think you can tell from the first one what the fibre optics look like. Yes, they really are rainbow colors: everything from green to orange to purple.

Hubby says the tree looks more like a Mardi Gras tree to him. Hm... never thought of that. But we do have mardi gras beads on it, and curls of gold ribbon. In truth, I haven't seen so much rainbow color and gold together since I played with Barbie Dolls. Didn't Barbie have a gold lame outfit with streaky things all over it back in the day? Anyway, I digress... The tree has the typical little trinkets like suncatchers, candy canes, stuffed toys on it and such. You be the judge. Disco or Mardi Gras, there it is.

I picked up a copy of Pirates 3 for Hubby, and bought a new table cloth for the season - holly berries this year. As much as I'd love to keep the table uncovered, with three males, I'm finally starting to learn it's best to throw a sheet over just about everything. :P

Ooh! I got a few books in yesterday. A couple were Xmas presents which I promptly wrapped and put away for Santa, and the last one I bought just for me. ^_^ I started reading it last night and had to MAKE myself put it down so I could get to bed at a decent time. The book is called Weirdly, and it's an anthology put together by Wild Child Publishing. It's a collection of strange tales and horror stories by a string of really good authors: Bernita Harris, Rae Lindly, James Cheetham, CT Adams and Cathy Clamp, Faith Bicknell-Brown, ME Ellis...and that's just for a start. Some stories are quite short, others span a few pages, but each one is like a different slice of reality. Not two are the same. It's like an adult version of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. A very interesting, very cool book!

Whew! Tomorrow's Friday - got to admit I am soooo ready! I am not going to lift a FINGER tomorrow! (Okay, yeah, I know. We'll see...) I still have a few things to do today, like getting the last of the storage boxes out of the closets and hauling them out to storage shed. Didn't I say I wasn't going to be the one to haul the junk out the storage shed?? Didn't I? Just a few posts back. Yeah, well...you know how that goes. *sigh* A mimi's work is never done. At any rate, I better get on it. Oldest is going to be home in another hour and a half.

Hope your Thursday is a snazzy one!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Long Live the Disco Tree

Our tree will one day be a thing of family legend. Oh yes, indeedy. Our prelit, rainbow colored fibre optic tree is up, plugged in, and currently its own disco party light show in our dining room. All it needs is a sparkly mirror ball for the topper and the look will be complete.

I put the tree up last night with a child underfoot Mini's eager help, and it crossed my mind while I was bending out the branches that one day we would look through our family album and say, "Wait. What the hell is that monstrosity?"

You know, like those glitzy gold limbed Xmas trees from the 1970s. Or the ones from the - what was it, fifties or sixties - where they started making the ones out of blue and pink tinsel?

Oh yeah, they looked all great and modern at the time, but looking back at one now and it's a bit like a relic someone dragged out Liberace's closet. Yes. That will one day be our disco tree. Hubby was cooking a steak while we put up the tree, and he sort of leaned against the bar to see what we were doing. After a few minutes of watching me trying to stabilize this thing in the base and said, "I think next year we should get new tree."

Okay, fine. So the disco tree was MY choice. ~_~* I told him he could pick the tree next time just as long as what he drags home is pre-lit. (I do NOT untangle lights. Nope. I've had that claus stricken from my domestic contract as of 2004.)

At any rate, the tree is up, and it's serving its purpose... which is to currently give Mini something to swat at every ten minutes. "Mini, get off that tree!" *sigh*

Santa will definitely have to bring all the presents at the last minute this year. No way I'd be able to keep them from Little Sticky Fingers. :P

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Let The Xmas Shopping Commense

funny pictures
Darn whippersnappers!



Hubby. Dear old hubby. The man is the hardest person to shop for EVER. We've been together a total of 18 years, we can finish each others sentences. We give one another a look across the room and know what the other is talking about. And then comes Christmas...

He's such a snooty butt when it comes to gifts. He might like something one year, but the next he hates it. He had his own idea of cool, and of course his taste is king. Get where I'm going with this? It takes psychic ability to know what he likes and what to buy for him Xmas. You think you've skulled out a really great gift for him, and he opens it Xmas morning and you can see that look on his face: No, really, you shouldn't have.

So before starting the Xmas shopping this year, I went to Oldest and Hubby while they were flopped in front of the couch watching TV and told them I expected a list of 20 things they would want to find under the tree. And to make sure they did it, I handed them pens and paper.

When I get these lists back I AM AMAZED. I never would've thought of half of this stuff. Some of it is quite far out there - I mean, out of production alternative rock albums, Jeep parts, etc. Oldest asked for off the wall things too - anime imports, etc., etc. Geez, man... how was I to know about any of this stuff???

So yesterday I thought I would try and track down at least a few of these things on the guys lists. I picked what I THOUGHT would be the easiest from hubby's list and spent the better part of three hours looking for this sucker everywhere from Ebay to Amazon. And here I was feeling guilty because I asked for a new bottle of Cashmere Mist...which meant hubby and Oldest would have to brave the spray ladies over at Dillards - at holiday season at that. Consider my guilt trip cured!

On another note, I learned this morning from hubster that one of our old high school friends has died. This is the third, I think, in the past five years or so. It's amazing, the number of us that have been shaved down from the old crew. We were thick back then, but of course after school and marriage we all went our own way. Had kids, some went to jail, others... who knows? But when you hear one of us has passed away, it really stops and makes you think about your age and life in general, in mortality. Your children, and the future. *shakes head* Twenty-nine is too damn young to die.

But I'm not going to think about that any more today. Life must go on.

I have a few things to do before Oldest makes it home from school. First order of business is to mail out a TON of Xmas cards. Eh, gads. These are just the ones to my homies in the doll groups. *_* On Friday I'll fill out and send all the family and close friends-that-are-family cards and send them off. I'm having custom cards made with pics of Mini and Oldest for them this year. Before I do that, though, Oldest MUST have a haircut! I have the clippers ready for when he gets home. Muahahaha!

There you have it, my Tuesday. I hope yours is happy, and more eventful than my own. Best wishes all around! ^_~

Monday, December 03, 2007

Happy Monday

funny pictures


Wow, it's been quite a few days since I last posted... not really like me at all. *_* Well, I've had a very busy weekend that started this past Friday. Oldest has been grounded due to his run in with El Principal, so he did his best to stay out from under foot so I didn't put him in the backyard weeding Buckie's (aka: Buckaroo Bonzai Rodgers Fellini's) dog pen.

On Friday I began reorganizing my doll room home office, and also pulled out a few craft projects I've been meaning to finish. I have been meaning to redecorate in the office and rearrange things because my poor kiddos are running out of room. (Yeah, I'm sure hubby feels sorry for them. :P) But every time I get started weeding through boxes, I get pulled away from it, or I start a new writing project that totally consumes any living will I might've had to organize anything. But over the weekend I realized the day has come to cull the collection room.

See, I have all this great wicker furniture in there and I'd really love to do something with it, but it's all willy nilly, no rhyme or reason just parked in there to get it out of the way. Some of it you can't even see because of so much stuff in there with it. And oh my gosh all the stuff!! Ebay addiction is never so noticable until you go to pack away stuff you don't use.

The office is currently packed to capacity with literally dozens of dolls and parts of dolls (creepy, yes, but I collect AND repair), boxes of doll clothes and storage containers of yarn. I also have 4 dining chairs that belonged to my late m-i-l, a humongous curio cabinet filled to the brim with - you guessed it - DOLLS. Oh, yeah. And there are two computer desks complete with equipment we no longer use, and two six foot bookcase...filled with *cough* dolls. :*>

And this is not to mention the unfinished projects... the afghans I started. The quilt I know for damned sure I'm never going to finish. (I *love* quilts, but I have discovered I am not much of a quilter. My stitches SUCK - they are sooo never straight.) Too, I'd started rerooting a brown eyed cpk girl, oh, about 3 years ago and left her half finished so she is pretty much bald with all her little root holes showing... she kind of looks like something out of a nightmare. Mini looks at her when he goes in there - which he loves to do because the office reminds him of a toystore -and always says, "Monster, Mimi! Get it." Egads. I guess it's finally time to finish up that project.

Once I get all this stuff either moved or donated or whatever, I'd planned to paint the office walls bright white and put up red gingham curtains to match my original baby quilt - the one I'm currently trying to restore since thirty-some odd years can be unkind to fabric. But somewhere along the line I got busy writing something, I can't remember what, and the office fell by the wayside. It's really not a good time to paint in there, but I do hope to get the room organized over the Xmas holidays. On a positive note, I have reconstructed the top of my baby quilt. Now to just send it over to mom to have it repadded... that's one less project to do.

Now for writing... I managed to finish my faerie story, and I bundled it all up and sent it out into the cruel world called the submission process. I should know whether or not it will be accepted sometime in January, possibly a bit earlier. So ya'll keep your fingers crossed for me.

I'm now going to take a bit of a break from doing anything plotted or serious. December should be a fun month full of family annoying the crap out of one another... oh, yeah! And tons of yummy food. :{P I was going to put up the tree this past weekend, but got busy with other things. So today is the day. Mini and I will drag out the rainbow psychadelic Xmas tree - which is pretty much a 6 ft tall fiber optic jobber - and sprinkle it with these crazy rainbow colored icicles I bought on Friday. Tres Santa chic! ^_^

Ooh, ooh!! I did order new books over the weekend, and I can hardly wait to check them out. I have Weirdly (a WCP anthology) coming to me, as well as The Tokyo Look Book (for oldest). I also ordered Irish Folktales to Tell by the Fire, Understanding the Social Lives of Animals, and The Great Big Book of Near Death Experiences. Sounds like a hoot!

So I am off for now. It's nearly 1 am and I wanted to toss a few clothes in the dryer before hopping off to bed. Rather do it now that face having to do it after I get up in a few hours. Heh.

I hope your Monday is a pleasant one! ~.^

Friday, November 30, 2007

TGIFriday *dance, dance*

funny pictures
brought to you by the kitteh witness protection programme


OMG... Can it be? Is it really? *checks the calendar* IT'S FRIDAY!!!

*dance, dance, booty wiggle, shimmy, arm wave, moon walk*

All I have to do today is pay a few bills and I'm off the hook for the weekend. Woot! Feels like I'm going into a vacation. (I wish!) *lol* The guys get the grand job of taking ALL the storage boxes, a huge computer desk, m-i-l's dining chairs, and our old bed frame out to the new storage building this weekend... and I am NOT going to lift a finger to help. Nope. No I'm not. No, really. I MEAN IT!

Okay. I will probably help. (a little) But it will only be a supervisory position.

*sigh* Alright. Maybe I should just do it myself???

I hit the 11k mark on my wip last night, so I did myself a favor and went to bed at 10:30. Geez, that has to be some kind of record for me. *_* I slept like a rock, and I'm sure Mini appreciated that his Mimi didn't act like a snarling zombie right after crawling out of bed this morning. I actually REMEMBER making the coffee today. How about that! :P

I'm off to drink another cup of coffee and cringe at the numbers in my checkbook. I'm a'ready to get this day rolling! Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Time and Patience

I'm over the 10k mark on my wip, and I have only two chapters or so to write. I can see the ending, but demands just have not let up off me this week so I can get it done. I stayed up until well after 1 AM working on the story, and finished the chapter. But I don't know how I'll make this last mad dash to the finishline.

Today the storage shed is supposed to be delivered. (I won't hold my breath.) And although I've told my mother six or seven times on the phone I need to write this week, she is planning to come over and do her laundry here. What does this mean? No writing. Because she says, "Oh, no dear, go ahead and do your writing." but she fails to understand that I can't concentrate on writing, look at every cute thing Mini does for her every two minutes, AND hold a conversation with her all at the same time. Anyone else go through that?

Yesterday as I'm working at the desk in the dining room I hear someone drive up. It's hubby. What the heck are you doing home? He feeds me some story - and I think "playing hookie". See, he has all these Jeep parts laying around in boxes, all freshly delivered, and when he gets home in the evening, it's after dark. Soooo, I think he took off to put his Jeep together... since that is what he did all day. :P

However I was determined to do what I needed to do, and put Mini out with his dad and sat down at the computer. Then the phone rang (oh, what now?!) and it's the principal at Oldest's school. Seems Oldest was tardy to class, and wanted to argue with her over being late. It's not a democracy, Oldest. *head smack* So, the principal just called to let me know Oldest got a referral, his first of the year. Oh, gee, effing thanks. I hope Santa leaves him a pile of shit in his stocking, because that man gets entirely too much pleasure out of calling parents to rat out their kids. (Can you tell it's not the first time I've dealt with El Principal?)

HOURS after I originally started this blog post...
(So I guess the rest is kind of an update on my day. :P)
My post originally got cut off thanks to a BSOD. It seems Dell has serious a serious conflict with my wireless modem. Ain't that just the way? So here I am on dial up getting the job done.

Shortly after 10 my mom arrived with her laundry. About thirty minutes after that, the guy arrives with our storage shed on the back of a truck. (The shed is about 18x24.) Anyway, I leave mom in the house with Mini Bear and go out to show this guy where hubby wants it set. They guy looks around, says it shouldn't be a problem as long as he can pull out through this patch of weeds that is on the otherside of our property line in the neighbor's yard.

I told him I didn't think the neighbor's would have a problem with it, after all, part of their septic line clips across the far back corner of our property. Okay, the thing is - and I tell this guy so - I don't know what is IN that patch of weeds other than the obvious (and endless) cluster of poison ivy running throughout it. Well, the driver goes out and walks through it and doesn't seem to think it will be a problem. Sooo... he goes and pulls the truck around back, goes to pull through that patch of weeds and promptly gets STUCK. *forehead smack*

He had to call someone to come wench him out of there. Thing is, the company he's with is from out of town. So it took an hour for the folks to get here. Another hour to get the truck unstuck, and here it is now 2:15 and the guy just now got the building set up and leveled. Eh gads! All I can say for that... at least it is finished! I no longer have to worry about the delivery. *faints*

Now that this is finished, I suppose I should gulp down a few aspirin and put Mini down for a nap. Of course, there was no napping - not with a big truck present in the yard. There has been non-stop big truck chatter for the past four straight hours. After today, I swear need a long trip to the spa and a marguerita. Anyone wanna join me?

Hope you all had a pleasant Thursday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Turn, turn, turn

I stayed up writing late last night, and managed to push my word count over the 9k mark by a couple hundred words. Woot! The story is moving along nicely, albeit a bit slow thanks to all the distractions. Today is going to be a big writing day for me, though, even if it means hauling Mini to his gram's for a few hours. It's time to get down to business!

I ordered a ton of cool books and interpretive card decks for Xmas gifts yesterday. The only book I couldn't find on my list was The Tokyo Look Book, which is a fashion-ish book I wanted to buy for Oldest because he's big into Japan and Japanese culture. Pooh. I guess I'll have to go to Amazon for that one. I also picked up my first gift of the season for hubby. A beard trimmer. *_* Yep. I know, I know... such an awful gift to give. But he asked for it so I am obliging. Especially since he is the hardest person to shop for in the entire family.

Not much else to report today. Mini is feeling like a spry fish this morning, and that makes ME feel better. I've been worried about the little kipper. He's been playing with, and running over my feet, with his Tonka truck all morning. Bless his wee heart.

I better get down to business. I have a ton of writing to do, and my house is in serious need of cleaning. Hope you all have a Happy Wednesday! (It is Wednesday, isn't it?) *_*

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

As the smoke comes curling out of my ears...

funny pictures
KabbiT Dubbit Wubbit: Moar Zubbie Dubbie Wubba

I thought I'd be back on track by now, but it doesn't look like it. My fave routine in the world is getting up, putting Dora on TV for the Mini Monster, then sitting down with my coffee to blog. Thanksgiving has pretty much shot that to hell, and I haven't got it back yet.

Roughly two weeks ago, Hubby ordered all these parts for Mustard (aka, our yellow Jeep). This includes mud tires that must be shipped by truck, a new roof with the sliding windows, new doors, and some other such bunch of bullshit parts. Well, we were told they would be in the week of Thanksgiving, but see, knowing what I do about the laws of the effing universe, I knew these things would arrive the week AFTER Turkey day, and at the same time (thereabouts) that the storage shed would show up. All this, of course, the day after Hubby returns to work so I get the grand opportunity to handle all the deliveries on my own. (And of course, as an added bonus, Mini is still sick.)

*achem*

Now, I told hubby LAST WEEK that I needed this week to write. He called me Monday to tell me the storage shed should be delivered that day. Well, I waited for this effing storage shed all day. It didn't arrive. However, by the time I stopped giving a shit whether it got here or not, Mini had missed his nap, I had lost valuable writing time, and the day was pretty much a bust. Around 2 pm I get a call from a man driving a semi. He has hubby's gi-normous tires and wants to know if a truck can get down our road. Oh, yes, definitely. There has been one or two that's nearly run me over on a hair pin turn. Come on down.

Well, Mini - who has an intestinal blockage and is bitchy to start with - sees this "big truck" arrive. Holy freaking cow. The kid is MAD for trucks, so he starts completely wigging out. It is freezing outside, and he is shivering, little goose bumps all over his arms, and I'm telling him "Mini, get in the house!" He still is standing at the door shouting, "Big truck! Hi, Big Truck Man!" and about a million other things in toddler gibberish. *sigh* Then he sees what the guy is unloading off the truck. "TIRES, MIMI!!!" You can even see the OMFG look on his face when the guy comes rolling them up into the yard. "Yes, honey," I tell Mini Bear, "they are tires for, Daddy's Jeep." (Renewed squawking.)

The truck driver is so tickled by Mini's "enthusiasm", he honks the horn when he goes to pull out. Do you know what mania looks like? It is a 2 year old with wide eyes, half hanging out of a front door screaming at an 18 wheeler like he's a 10 year old fan girl. I can only shake my head, and drag him into the house. (Which of course causes more chaos, because he wants to stand guard over daddy's wonderful, magnificent, marvellous Jeep tires.) ~_~* Oh, yes, I love my husband for leaving me to take care of this while he's at work...

So today was pretty much a big repeat of yesterday - more deliveries of Jeep parts. I'm wondering if hubby is secretly trying to build a 3rd Jeep at this point. Anyway, the jerks who we bought the storage shed from kindly called me today to arrange a delivery time - for Thursday. Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it. This is only our 3rd delivery date. Knowing I'll be tied up Thursday without a chance to get my errands run, I went ahead and ran to Wally world tonight and bought groceries. Another writing day bites the dust. And just to add a shining gem to the crown of all this mess, I have PMS. Yes. So far, I think it's safe to say, this week sucks.

On a lighter note, I am just over 8k on my current wip. It only has to be 10k to meet required length. I prefer to meet the baseline word count, and let the rest of the story ride - if it goes over, great! Now, however, I'm wondering if I'll meet the deadline. Since this is not my typical publisher, I can't get an extension. *sigh* I keep telling myself "one day at a time"...

***END OF RANT***

Now for something else entirely: the news! Geez, the headlines lately... Has anyone been watching? I usually have kids or Hubby dominating the TV, so I can't just switch over to watch the round of news on CNN, but I did see on AOL that the 3 suspects originally arrested in the Natalie Holloway case have been re-arrested due to "new, incriminating evidence". However, I couldn't find any info on what was found.

And also, Baby Grace has finally been identified... They are awaiting the DNA evidence to confirm that she is a 2 year old named Riley. Such a heart breaking story... so terribly disturbing. When I first heard about the story it was by accident - in a hurry while surfing, I clicked the wrong link. Now that I've read it, I look at the pictures of Baby Grace and can't help thinking she was the same age as Mini when she was murdered. It's awful, complete, utterly devastating to think of it. I had NIGHTMARES about it last night.

How the mother could allow anyone to kill her child, much less the step-father... It just seems so damn crazy to me. After knowing you'd felt that baby move inside you at some point? After getting up in the middle of the night for changings and feedings with that child? After rocking them to sleep and all those firsts and bonding moments? After hearing them all you Mommy? For those that don't have kids - one of the most intimate and frightening steps into parenthood is the moment you hold a newborn in your hands and you realize and I mean it's almost like a physical punch - this little person relies on you COMPLETELY. Babies are so small and completely helpless, and so fragile feeling in your hands... When I think back on those moments when I held Oldest and then Mini for the first time, I cannot begin to fathom how a mother could stand aside and allow that to happen. I just can't. I know the press keeps bringing up "teen parents", but that's no excuse. Not at all. I had Oldest the day after my sweet 16th, raised him with hubby, and we are all very close. We're a very thick knitted family. There are no excuses. And I feel so sorry for that little girl; there really aren't enough words...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday. Definitely Monday

funny pictures

Despite the fact that everything I've touched this morning has pretty much turned to doo-doo, I am still trying to pull my wip together to submit this Friday. I'm about half way + through the fairy story, and the rest is a plotted skeleton. The story is do-able if the rest of the elements (household and otherwise) would just let me get to it.

Today the storage building is being delivered. Hubby has the back yard already marked off for it. Good thing, too, because I am in no mood to make decisions. Or to wrangle with delivery people. Mini is still not feeling well, and I am so tired I can barely hold my eyes open. So, its a good thing I can just point at the spot in the yard and watch them set it up, otherwise no telling
where the building would end up. :P

Oldest was NOT thrilled to go back to school this morning. *lol* He was like a grumbling bear while waiting for the bus. He said it was too cold to stand outside, so he stood looking out the front door and getting snurly with Mini every time he'd approach. Pre-coffee, and just out of bed, it was more than I could handle. I barked a Mini to get his rump in the den and watch Sesame Street, and for Oldest to wrap up in a scarf and go somewhere people actually wanted to listen to his yowling. I then stared red eyed at the coffee pot, and waited for it to brew.

And that has been my Monday so far. Coffee, kiddos, and wip. I'm waiting for Mini's nap time - I've been watching the clock with an eagle eye. I'm sooo tired I think I'm going to stretch out with him and take advantage of the downtime.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Down On The Corner...

I don't know what the heck we were doing this weekend that made me forget the Christmas parade this year, but I woke up this morning and remember that it was yesterday. I have not, and don't plan to, inform Oldest of this. He would doubtlessly thing this faux pas was on purpose. *_*

Really it's all for the best we missed it; it has been raining for the past two days. (We normally have a rainy season in November and December - then an ice storm or two come early January.) Anyway, I don't think it would've been a very good idea to stand out in the street in cold, rainy weather despite Oldest's probably disappointment. We'd all be sick now, for sure.

I finished another chapter on my faerie story last night, and am working on another today. I've already got the first half of it down, and I hope to finish it off by tonight. So far so good. My dad is here now, playing in the toy room with Mini. (And so I have this chance to blog.) This will be his last chance to play with the kids until Christmas. He's going to be working 7/12s from now until the first of the year. I don't envy him one bit. :(

Mom called me just yesterday and told me one of her lil old men doggies passed away. His name was Bull, but I always called him Mr. WooWoo, because he had that face that always looked so sad. (woo woo woo) What a sweetie pup. At 16 years old, he lived a good long life. He was blind, deaf, toothless, and was warty and balding. No joke. He was a boston terrier mix, and had the absolute sweetest disposition ever. I loved him to pieces, the little gremlin. He will be missed.

Well, I should go check on Mini - make sure my dad doesn't have smoke pouring out his ears at this point. Mini has been going through an uber whiney phaze, and his Mimi's patience is wearing pretty thing. ~_~*

Hope you all have a pleasant Sunday!

Friday, November 23, 2007

I braved Black Friday...

...and came away with this: The Dirt Track Lightning McQueen Cars Car for Mini. Seems well worth getting up at 4 am to fight for, doesn't it?

Not really?

Honestly, I didn't think so either. :P But I did it anyway. As it happens, I wasn't going to go to the sales today, but on Thanksgiving when Oldest heard me say I was going to sleep in Friday morning he said, "Aw, Mom! But I wanted to go! I've been saving my allowance."

So what are you going to do? How could I say no to that?

I stayed up until about 1:30 am working on a faerie story. I must've been snoozing pretty hard when Oldest came in to wake me up at 4. He said I startled awake like one of our Old men doggies - which I translate as blood shot, crossed eyes popping open, and a moment of complete confusion written on one's face. Gorgeous visual, no?

So I pulled on some jeans, some sneakers, and my golgatha jacket and somehow managed to get us to Walmart in time to stake out the toy department. I didn't get a buggy, because I didn't intend to buy anything I couldn't carry out, but by the time I left the store I... *sigh* Well, I had a cart filled with junk. *_*

Anyway, it's been a pretty good holiday. I didn't get mauled during the shopping expedition, and Thanksgiving itself went fine as well. Hubby even came home with a suprise for me today - he bought a broadband mobilelink for my computer, so I now have high speed access. Muahahahahahaha! *thunder and lightning and evil villain music*

I'm off for now. Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I am, at this very moment, waiting to put Mr. Tom in the oven. I have "thawed" this effing bird in the bottom of my fridge since Sunday, and yet I took him out to prepare him for the oven and discovered he is still full of ICE. Oh bother. I have him in the sink in cold water thawing right now, and only just managed to get his giblets out. Ah, the joys of holiday cooking, no? ^_^

I am sooo looking forward to dinner, to napping, and to Black Friday shopping the day after. I am going to really take the time to be thankful this year. This is also the first year I have PROMISED myself not to get freaked out if I still need time to do something before the parents arrive. (After all, this happens every year. I should be used to it by now.) I have also vowed no stress cooking, so if we end up eating at 3pm, so be it. Muahahahahaha! *cough* So as you can tell, come hell or highwater, I am going to have a good turkey day.

Now a special shout out to all those up late doing a turkey cooking session - I hope you have an event free go of it. :-) *gobble gobble*