Monday, December 31, 2007

New Reviews for The Christmas Curse!

Five Angels from Fallen Angels Reviews:

"The Christmas Curse" by Marianne Arkins is funny, heartwarming and completely engaging. I laughed out loud at some of the lines, especially at the thought of getting a training bra for Christmas! Talk about a holiday disappointment! The author’s sense of humor makes this more than just a typical holiday tale. She makes Molly one of the most believable characters around. I am sure we all know (or are) people like Molly. The claustrophobic man in the elevator is truly sympathetic. How Molly relates to him shows more of her character. I enjoyed this short story very much. "The Christmas Curse" is a holiday delight! The twist at the end was a surprise that was like icing on the cake.

Thank you, Marlene!

Four hearts from Night Owl Reviews (if you read the entire review, be advised that some of what she notes in the synopsis is incorrect):

This was an enjoyable Christmas story where I found myself feeling so bad for Molly throughout the entire story. She just had such bad luck that your heart just went out to her and I found myself wishing that good luck would find its way to her finally. I would definitely recommend this story to others to read.

Thanks, Diana!!

Hey... it's never to late for a little after Christmas shopping! If you haven't picked up a copy, you can do so here.


Change of Plans

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman

I know I said (yesterday) that I'd post resolutions today, but I'm not. I had planned to work on them yesterday -- I have a fuzzy idea, but wanted to get it down "in stone". Best laid plans, and all that...

Dakota was sick. Puppy puke was the order of the day... and when she wasn't vomiting, she was VERY VERY needy and wanted to be cuddled. So, if I wasn't shampooing the carpet and the sofa (yes, really) or mopping the floor, I was sitting with her curled up in my lap. We **think** she ate too much of the salt/sand garbage that they put on the roads when it snows. She was scarfing down the snow and ice on the side of the road yesterday while I was gabbing with a neighbor.

She seems okay this morning. Positively perky (and her perkiness began at 3 a.m., oh the joy!) so I'm glad for that. But, I didn't get a lot done yesterday.

I do have to admit, it was awful cute this morning -- it's snowing (again... and that's NOT the cute part), big, FAT flakes and Dakota was standing on the deck with her mouth open, trying to catch them... Awww...

And, since I'm talking about her, I'll give you the Daily Dakota. For such a little thing, she can sure take up the entire sofa!


I got a cover from an artist at Samhain for "One Love For Liv". No, I'm not sharing it, yet, because I can have some input into this and may take it. But, it's a good start... It took me forever to open the file, though. I was scared to DEATH. LOL...


You Had an Average Year

While you had some setbacks, your year also brought some good things.
All in all, things mostly evened out. That's just how life works.
Focus on what went well for you - and what you can improve.
A new year is a perfect reason to give yourself a fresh start!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Blog Year in Review, Pt. 2

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas. ~Author Unknown

That quote just struck me funny, so I thought I'd share...Anyway:

Continued from yesterday... The idea is to look at the first few lines of the first post from each month and comment from the current perspective. We're starting with July:

July 1, 2007

I just discovered that "Miles From You" got a four cup (out of five) review at Coffee Time Romance!

Seems "Miles From You" had a good run, hmmm? Have YOU read it yet? *G*

August 1, 2007

DH was home Monday, which messed up my sense of what day of the week we were on. Then, I had a friend over to visit yesterday -- she lived out here, but now resides in Minnesota.

It was SO GOOD to see my friend from Minnesota. I miss her very, very much. Wish she was still here, but I do know she really likes where she is now. And, WOW, August was when we were just starting to get the plans for LASR into place. Not that long ago. It feels like forever.

In a good way.


September 1, 2007


I can't believe I forgot to post this morning. Yikes.

I had a litany of excuses, but bottom line was -- I just plumb forgot! LOL... yes, indeed, I do have senior moments now and then.

October 1, 2007

"Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." - Daniel J. Boorstin

I really like that quote.

I still do. You?

November 1, 2007

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date. No time to lose, no time to wait. I'm late, I'm Late, I'm LATE!

NaNoWriMo started five hours ago and I haven't written a word. More later when I've caught my breath.

And, we all know how NaNo worked out for me this year! Ha. I did get 16,000 words written on my fantasy, and I really liked the story and the characters, so I don't suppose it was a total flop. But still...I hate losing at ANYTHING. Maybe next year?

December 1, 2007

In like a lion? I know, I know, that's for spring... but we've just gotten news to expect our first pretty bad winter storm. I'm hoping the National Weather Service is flat out wrong, but just in case, I'm going to do all my errands for the the next couple of days, today. Because it's supposed to smack us hard starting on Sunday and on through Monday (which means DH will be working from home...but that's another story).

Unfortunately, the National Weather Service was NOT wrong. We got hammered with snow. And, we have been hammered with snow a couple times since. UGH. I hate the northeast.

So... what did I learn from this? I need to be much more profound with my first sentences. LOL...

Tomorrow, I'll gab about what I hope to accomplish next year... yep ((shiver)): Resolutions.


Your Daily Dakota -- in which she wonders if she can sneak up on Breeann (the cat) when she's not looking (Note: the answer is NO):


You are Tweety.

You are cute, and everyone loves you. You are a best friend that
no one takes the chance of losing. You never hurt feelings and
seldom have your own feelings hurt. Life is a breeze. You are
witty, and calm most of the time. Just keep clear of back stabbers,
and you are worry-free.

Which Cartoon Character Are You?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 Blog Year in Review, Pt. 1

What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now. ~Author Unknown

I stole this idea from Natalie, who took it from Gail, who probably got it from someone else. Hence the term "viral blogging".

The idea is to look at the first few lines of the first post from each month and comment from the current perspective -- I'm doing the first six months today, the second tomorrow. Bet you can't wait!! *G*

January 1, 2007
I was in bed at 7:30 last night and crashed until 11:00 p.m. I thought about staying up until midnight, but my body had other plans and I crashed again until 4:00 a.m. So, there you have it. My exciting New Years Eve.

I am a wild woman.

February 1, 2007

Allie has her writing article posted on WOW! Women on Writing. It's a great article called "Character Trouble? Try Man's Best Friend." and has some really good info. Go check it out!

Actually, that IS a great article. And, I use that advice often...I'm a firm believer that everyone should have a pet, including my characters.

March 1, 2007

We arrived home from errands today and found a box from (Note: I've decided that Amazon GC's are the BEST THING EVER and that's all I want for a gift from now on. Seriously.) sitting in front of the garage. I'd purchased four books for me and two -- secretly -- for DD.

This is the post where I mention her reaction (I still love it!): ...she promptly sat down with them and flipped them open, burying her face inside one and inhaling deeply.

Then she said, "I just love the smell of books!".

Yeppers. My DD is having a love affair with books. Ain't it great?

April 1, 2007

Yesterday, I had an itch to take a look at my NaNoWriMo book from last year. Though I completed it, I wasn't happy with the heroine I'd chosen for my hero. I loved my hero and have plans to use him again. So, I pulled up the file in my NaNoWriMo 2006 folder called "complete first draft".

Wherein I discover that the entire file was overwritten with a completely different short story, and I lost the entire novel.

I can't tell you how happy I am that I didn't love it. Still, there were some great scenes that I sure wish I still had. **sigh**

May 1, 2007

Groovy tagged and randomized me on her blog yesterday. Here are her "random" questions and my ever so random answers:

You'll have to read the post to find out the rest.

I also mention, at the bottom of that post, that I'm editing a story. That story was accepted for publication at TWRP and is:

June 1, 2007

I got a 5 ANGEL review on "Miles From You" from Fallen Angel Reviews! Woo!

And, yep, I'm still excited about that one. It was not just five angels, but also a "recommended read". be continued...


Your Daily Dakota:

Awww.... you wouldn't know she's the devil incarnate, would you?


Random quiz #983,294,892 (not really, but it sounds good!)

You Are Figure Skating

Graceful and expressive - yet athletic and focused.
You could bring the best of both worlds to this glamorous sport.

Oh yeah. That's ME!!! *G*

Friday, December 28, 2007

Want the Scoop?

I've started an announcements only Newsletter at Yahoo. If you want to stay on top of the latest news about my releases, eventually book-signings, etc., please feel free to sign up. I imagine there will only be one newsletter a month (possibly less...)

C'mon, keep me company!

Click to join MarianneArkinsNews

Bye-Byes and Big Challenges

I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses. - Johannes Kepler

The quote doesn't have anything to do with today's post...I just liked it *G*.


I was notified yesterday that my Samhain editor is leaving her position in the spring.


I'm very sad, because I lurve her. But, I can certainly understand. Still, it gives me some serious incentive to finish up editing my "Camilla" story and get it submitted to her before she's gone so she can help me ease into transitioning to another editor (hopefully one I will lurve as well). See, I'm assuming she'll be so blown away by my amazing story, it'll be accepted. *G*


The NaNo folks are doing something new this year, and I'm considering it. It's The Big, Fun, Scary Adventure Challenge.

From the email invite I got: To take part in the challenge, you just need to post at least one big, fun, or scary goal for yourself in the BFS forum of the NaNoWriMo site. Then, come January 1, we'll roll up our sleeves, pack a lunch and a change of underwear, and set out into the unknown together.

We'll use the BFS forum to post reports on our progress and setbacks, locate fellow adventurers who can help us reach our goals, and generally whoop it up in true Office of Letters and Light fashion as we move a few items on our lifetime to-do lists from "someday" to "done that."

Superheroes who complete at least one of their adventures before December 31, 2008 will receive a Big, Fun, Scary Adventure Challenge winner's certificate to remind them of their feat.

Because I'm all about writing, and I've been considering a try at Harlequin this year, I think I might take part and use a submission there as my goal. Is it scary? Not really. Big? Sure. Fun? Hopefully.

I have a couple of days to decide.

Anyone else going to play? You don't have to do a writing goal. You could decide to parachute out of a perfectly good plane. Or give a speech to 10,000 people. Whatever... if you do, let me know.


Your Daily Dakota--Allie asked me if all Dakota does is sleep. Well, no...sometimes I wish that was true. Like this morning, after chasing her away from my plants a dozen times (we won't talk about all the dirt on the floors I'll have to vacuum when everyone is awake). Still, here is proof:

What you DON'T see in this picture is my DH in exactly the same position on the other side of the table! LOL...


Another random quiz:

You Can Hang With the Guys and the Girls

You've struck a good balance between girlie and laid back.
You can keep it casual but when you dress up, you are as girly as the next girl.

That's about right...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blogging 365 Days in 2008!

Yep, I'll be doing this. I kinda figure I'm cheating, since my intention is to blog daily, regardless. But, hey... any recognition is good. I lurve me a pat on the back :-)

Best Books of 2007?

A good book is always on tap; it may be decanted and drunk a hundred times, and it is still there for further imbibement. ~Holbrook Jackson

Booking Through Thursday

It’s an old question, but a good one . . . What were your favorite books this year?

List as many as you like … fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, science-fiction, business, travel, cookbooks … whatever the category. But, really, we’re all dying to know. What books were the highlight of your reading year in 2007?

You know what's sad? I can only think of a couple of books that were new reads for me in 2007 that I truly enjoyed. Most were pretty forgettable.

One I thought was fantastic was "Agnes and the Hitman" by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. What an unexpected book! A hitman as hero? A chef with anger issues? Pink Flamingos? A rich secondary cast? I loved this book and will go back and visit it again soon.

Another book I read that I wouldn't have if not for The Long and the Short of It reviews, was "Rules of Gentility" by Janet Mullany. I'm not a big regency fan, so don't seek out those types of books, but we'd received this for her author spotlight, and I needed to do a review. I was thoroughly pleased by this book! It's silly to recreate the wheel, so you can read how pleased here in my review.

I'm in the middle of a silly, well-written romance right now that I have to talk about as well: The Invasion of Falgannon Isle by Deborah MacGillivray. This is another book I "have" to read for LASR -- and I'm laughing my way through. If you're willing to suspend disbelief a bit, dive into this book for fun, three-dimensional characters and a unique storyline.

I also discovered Kerrelyn Sparks, again because of a book I "have" to read. I've heard of her, but never quite got the motivation to grab one of her books. I have the ARC to "The Undead Next Door", and realized the moment I started it that there were books that came before. So I went and picked them up. I finished "How To Marry a Vampire Millionaire" in two days! Funny, interesting, well-written. Yep. I'm a big fan now.

I have a laundry list of books to read based on my reviewers "best book" recommendations, so hopefully next year I'll have many more awesome stories to tell you about!

What about you? What are some of the best books you've read this year?

Your Daily Dakota (at least until she grows up to be a big, ugly dog *G*):


You Are 56% Gross

You're more than a little gross, but probably no more gross than the average person.
Maybe it's time to drop some of those disgusting habits that could eventually embarrass you!

And, now you know my secret -- I do, indeed, let my dog kiss me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hey... LOOKIE! Free stuff!

Go to Harlequin every day between now (Christmas Day) and January 1st and download a FREE ebook from Harlequin. Can’t beat that!

Oh, And... An Awesome Contest -- spread the word!

It's been six months since The Long and the Short Of It Reviews Blog has been around! To celebrate our half-year anniversary and the upcoming New Year, we're hosting an amazing contest.

We have several autographed books from some really fabulous authors to give away to ONE lucky winner.

So far, there are books from:

Alyssa Day
Lori Foster
Kara Lennox
Roz Denny Fox (2 Books)
Terry McLaughlin
Catherine Mulvany
Deborah MacGillivray (3 Books)
Janet Mullany
Delores Fossen
Gayle Wilson
Catherine Mann
Michele Dunaway

It's easy to enter. Go here to find out how!


We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post, below:

The Day After, Pictures, and Twilight

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. ~Jennifer Yane

Phew... Christmas is over. I was utterly exhausted last night. My feet ached. But it was all good, because my DD had a WONDERFUL time with all her cousins.

DH bought me the cutest thing ever (along with a set of four Pampered Chef spatulas--yes, really, they were on my Christmas list):

He's a perfect addition to my frog collection.

Anno suggested I post some pictures of Dakota and her shoe fetish. So, here you go.

Dakota on my slippers:

Dakota and my snow boots:

And, just for good measure, Dakota on DD's jacket:

She's kinda cute.


Which Twilight novel character are you?

You're Bella Swan - You are intelligent and kind but not quite sure what you want out of life yet. You have a feeling there's something more out there for you. You're attracted to those who are real and avoid the fake. Sometimes you're a bit accident prone, but your true friends will always be loyal to you and come to your aid when you need it.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

This Christmas

We hope this Christmas enriches your life;
May each day be happy and bright,
Overflowing with pleasure and love;
May your Christmas be filled with delight.

By Karl Fuchs


And because every day is better if you laugh (stolen from Melissa):

Monday, December 24, 2007

Puppy Peculiarity and Merry Christmas Eve

Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space. ~Dave Barry

So, I shared my cat's weird behavior yesterday. It's only fair I share the puppy's.

She loves shoes.

No, not in the way you might think. She doesn't chew them or anything. She sleeps on them.


She is, even as I'm writing this, curled up on a pile of shoes by the door. She's especially fond of snow boots. DH won't let us leave jackets on the floor for her anymore, says she'll have to get used to NOT having them to sleep on. So maybe she's simply transferred her affection. So, now, when we can't find her, we just look for shoes.


I cleaned like a maniac yesterday. And baked, though not as much as I wanted to. I got two kinds of cookies done, and two kinds of fudge. I just flat ran out of steam. But, I've done enough. Today, I have to clean my bathroom. And wipe down the counter in DD's (she used cleanser to clean and there is this lovely white residue on everything).

Then Christmas. I'll be glad when it's over. It's been a rough year this year. I emailed my mom and told her how weird it would be for me this year to be the child who called her on Christmas. I can't remember the last time I wasn't around her at Christmas-time. Even when she didn't live with me, I went over to her house.



One of my favorite renditions of "Mary Did You Know":


You Are 54% Misanthropic

You're somewhat misanthropic, but you're not willing to write off the human race (yet!). There are a few people you like, and even them you like at a distance.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Prep -- Or Drugs For Cats

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. ~Joseph Wood Krutch

Yesterday, I was using bleach along the edges of my linoleum (does yours get a little dirty line where the mop doesn't get to... the edge all around the kitchen? Tell me I'm not alone...) and I noticed my cat behaves very oddly when confronted with a bit of bleach.

She rolls in it. And then she rolls around near it. And sniffs where it used to be after I've cleaned it up. I ended up having to lock her in the spare bedroom while I scrubbed it with an old toothbrush. And then, when I let her out? She made a mad dash to the spot and sniffed and rolled again.

Who needs catnip? Sheesh.


Yesterday at dusk, I was outside with the puppy letting her pee and run around a little. I considered letting her off her leash so she could really run around -- she always comes back because she has learned that I keep dog food in my pocket and every time I call her, I feed her. She's no dummy.

Anyway... just about the time I decide to let her off her leash, a huge owl flies over and lands in a tree branch nearby. I've seen him in the backyard before, and we also have a pair of hawks who nest somewhere close (though I haven't seen them in a while... do hawks migrate?).

I look at the owl... then at Dakota who, though having grown tremendously, is still a little bugger. Then back at the owl, who I swear was licking his chops. And I was grateful I hadn't let her off her leash.

Eventually, she'll be too big for those birds of prey, but not yet.

Sometimes it's cool to live in the boonies. Sometimes, not so much.


And... another random quiz:

What You Know About Your Guy: Practically Everything

You have gotten to know your man really well
From his hopes and dreams to favorite things...
You definitely have enough info to figure out if he's *the* guy
In fact, you may know him a little better than you know yourself

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday Sunshine

A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together! ~Author Unknown

If only the sun was hot enough to melt the snow. I took pictures yesterday, because it really was quite pretty -- and I managed to get the photos done prior to my DH driving the snowmobile all over the lawn, so it looks relatively pristine (not so anymore). It'll be sunny again today, and they're expecting rain (RAIN! Woot!) tomorrow since we're having a heat wave (a high of 44 degrees -- so warm, my DH suggested we let the wood stove go out, LOL).

Today, I have to work on some deep cleaning. Scrubbing of the floors and the bathrooms. Shampooing the carpet. DD will get the job of wiping down the doors, door knobs, lightswitch covers, windowsills and heater vents.

Fun times at my house. Wanna come over?

Tommorow, since it will be gloomy and wet, we'll do the baking--snickerdoodles, thumb-print cookies and cake mix cookies are all planned. I might make some sweet bread as well (pumpkin or squash). We'll see. I'm also considering some homemade dog treats for Dakota.

DD and I realized that she has NOTHING under the tree for her daddy, so we're heading to WalMart (UGH... on the last Saturday before Christmas, yikes!) this morning. I'll pick up some Fluff and sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips while I'm there and make fudge. Yeah, baby. That sounds like a GREAT idea.

How are holiday preparations coming at your home?


Today's random quiz:

Your Mood is a 4

You're feeling a little down, but not totally bummed out. Your mood is on the low side of average.

That's pretty much right on the mark. You?

Winter Reading Challenge 2007

I was challenged by one of the ladies over at Cre8Buzz to join in on the Winter Reading Challenge. Since I've been having such a hard time finding reading time lately, I thought I'd give myself added incentive.


For my list of books to read (some are ones I kinda have to read for LASR, but they count, right?):

1. How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire by Kerrylyn Sparks
2. The Invasion of Falgannon Isle by Deborah MacGillivray
3. The Undead Next Door by Kerrylyn Sparks
4. The Warrior by Kinley MacGregor
5. The Accidental Vampire by Lyndsay Sands
6. Riding the Thunder by Deborah MacGillivray
7. Good Husband Material by Kara Lennox
8. Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

I'm considering several others, but it really depends on whether I'm able to get them in time to meet this challenge, so the list may change without notice *G*. I'm sure I'll add some and subtract some as time passes.

Anyone else want to play?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Last Minute Christmas Shopping

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep. The more I give thee, the more I have, For both are infinite.” – Juliet in Romeo and Juliet

I'm on the hunt for hot, hunka-hunka burning love quotes from Shakespeare. Got any (besides the one, above) to share?

A couple of days ago, I'd asked for help with a last name for my newest heroine.

And the winner is GROOVY for her suggestion I make my heroine's last name start with a "D". Sunny-D. Yeah, bay-bee.

Thanks, Groovy. I hope you don't mind that you won nothing but my eternal gratitude. I owe you one.

Actually, I think Groovy did more than share her ideas... she shared her snowblower woes. Yesterday, in the midst of one DOOZY of a snowstorm, our snowblower decided it would no longer throw snow.

This is not good. I mean, it's not like we have a huge driveway, but it's a pain to shovel. I'm tired. I'm sore. I have to scoop the deck and walkway as it is, not to mention a place for the pup to do her business, since the snow is over her head.

I'm just not up to helping with the driveway, too. Hopefully, my very handy DH will figure out what the problem is, since we're expecting MORE snow this weekend. Dear heavens.

At least Judy is giving me a great vacation for Christmas.

And... in the same spirit, I'm going to play her game. I'll use the folks who comment most regularly...

A new fun way to shop for friends (and I stuck to the letter of the law and only used PAGE ONE... tough stuff. I don't understand how Judy got great vacations for all of us...Anyway...)!

1. Go to Google images and type in the screen name of somebody who leaves comments on your blog.

2. From the first page of images pick a Christmas gift for that person.

3. Do it for seven or more people

For Dru --
a hot love affair:

Or a hot wood stove... your choice.


For Melissa --



For Tori --

Google thought you needed a critter in your life... you choose!

For Allie --

A trip to St. Thomas!! Woot!

For Diane --

A lovely set of horses...

For Groovy --

The coolest car EVAH...

For Ceri --

A tough call. Should I give her a great dog?

Or handcuffs?

Another random quiz:

You Should Be With a Water Sign!

Your best match is a Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces

Why? You crave intimacy and connection in your relationship
And while most guys can't open up enough for you, a Water Sign can
Not that you're whole relationship will be soul gazing
A Water Sign matches your goofy sense of humor - and desire to help others.

Don't tell my Sagittarius husband...OK?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thursday? Already?

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. ~ Harlan Miller

It's snowing here again. There's a big surprise. I wouldn't be shocked if my DH doesn't go in to work this morning, either... and, he's on vacation until January 2nd following today, to boot, so life in this household will be interesting for the next ten days or so.

We're hosting the family for Christmas, as well. We couldn't leave Dakota for as long as it would take for us to go elsewhere. She does okay for 2-3 hours in her crate, but longer than that just isn't fair to her.

I'm still not ready for Christmas, either. We realized that we didn't have ANY homemade gifts for the grandparents, so DD and I went to JoAnn's and found some wooden ornaments/frames for her to decorate and then draw a picture for it. Hopefully, that will work for everyone.

I need to wrap presents. I need to bake. I need to fa-la-la and get into the spirit. I'm so not into Christmas this year, which is unusual for me. I think I've just been overwhelmed by stuff. Life has been pretty rough the past few months.

I'm also the world's worst mother -- I forgot to be the tooth fairy last night, and it's too late this a.m. DD is an early riser, and would bust me for sure. I'll blame her absence on the snow. Yeah. That's it.

I can't believe I forgot, especially after the spectacle losing it made yesterday. The tooth really wasn't *quite* ready to come out, but DD bit into a crisp apple and it popped. Unfortunately, blood (LOTS OF BLOOD) followed. Ugh. DD was screaming, the dog got worked up.

And, this was just following me nearly burning the house down. Okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but I was dumping a pan of red-hot coals from our wood stove into the bucket, and the puppy decided to nudge my arm. Thankfully, we have a fire-proof carpet which is now a bit worse for wear. No wonder we have to buy a new one every year!

So, fire, blood, I told Judy yesterday, next come the frogs.


Worked some more on "Kitchen Matches". I'm working on a love scene of sorts and, though I do have fun writing them, sometimes it's next to impossible to describe what you see in your brain and have it make sense. Typically, my stories unfold like a movie when I'm writing and I have to decide how to write down the action. It's frustrating when you can't get the right words out.


Another random quiz -- and this one isn't quite so hard as yesterday!!

Not a Jealous Bone in Your Body

You're secure, trusting, and giving with friends and lovers
And while you may have been hurt before, you've bounced back
You're generally happy with your life - and no one's grass is greener than yours
One word of caution: some may see your lack of jealousy as indifference!

That's about right...

I'm Officially A Samhain Author!

My author page is up (though a bit empty -- I wonder why they don't have my nifty biography?) AND my blurb and excerpt for Liv.


I'm On Sale!

Was just looking at my Fictionwise ratings (it's an obsession), and noticed that ALL of my stories are on sale. If you haven't bought them (I can't imagine why you haven't, but I suppose there must be some of you who haven't...), now is a GREAT time to do so!

Check them all out here.

Santa Wishes

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ~Dr. Seuss

My DD told me about three weeks ago that all she wanted from Santa this year was a good yo-yo.

Yes, folks, you heard right. None of this angst over trying to find a Wii or other fancy-schmancy electronic toy. In fact, my DD has no desire for a gaming system at all.

A yo-yo.

I was thrilled. How simple is THAT? And so, last Friday following a mammogram (woo! not...) I took some extra time for shopping. I started at WalMart, KMart and Target. Surely they would have something as common as a yo-yo.


Okay, time to pull out the big guns. I went to Toys 'R Us, being a brave person and willing to fight the insane crowds. However, also being a smart person, I stopped just inside the door and went to customer service.

Apparently yo-yo's are not them. They had none. Sold out.

I know! I'd try Sports Authority! I pulled out of the parking lot and climbed the hill toward the main drag to get to SA. Unfortunately, THE MALL was between me and SA. The traffic was horrendous, backed up forever. I was on top of a hill looking at the road. As far as I could see? Cars... unmoving cars.

I love my DD, but I just wasn't going to tackle that mess. I'd just go home and order one online. It was ten days 'til Christmas. That would be enough time.

My DH had sent me some links to yo-yo's at various yo-yo stores online. Every single one he sent was out of stock.

Who knew yo-yo's were so popular? I mean--have YOU seen a kid playing with a yo-yo lately? I haven't.

Finally, I researched what different shaped yo-yo's did, what different kinds of axles, different string, different materials meant for yo-yo use. And I found a site that carried them.

I bought three.

I paid extra for priority shipping.

Dear heavens, I hope they get here on time.

Yo-yo's. More difficult to find than the Wii.


Worked a bit on "Kitchen Matches" yesterday. Decided to try my hand at something that *might* work at Harlequin American (maybe the "Romance" line, but probably "American", because I love to build a fun secondary cast and Romance doesn't really lend itself to a community of charaters).

My main character is named Sunny (it's really her nickname, but she's gone by it her entire life). She's a former cheerleader and wanna-be-but-failed country singing star... and I need a last name for her. I tried on several yesterday but don't like any of them. I even thought about Bono, LOL...

So, I'm working on hammering out a decent plot and a strong hero, lots of conflict and a cast of characters for my fictional town of Fair Play. The basic idea came from a short story I wrote a couple years ago for a writing prompt that I called "The Hammer". My writing group said it wouldn't fly for publication -- it didn't have a real conflict -- but I liked the general set up and the H/H. So, I kept it in my old files and now think I'm ready to tackle it again.

My big project for 2008.

I also want to finish my secret baby cowboy mystery. And "Camilla". Maybe polish "Playing House", though the more I mess with it, the more I think it may never see the light of day despite my deep affection for Tish and Derek.

Another short story or two -- set in the thirties and forties. Man, I love that time period.

Hmmm... I think I've got most of my goals for next year. Cool. I'll make 'em official next week.

What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish in 2008?


I hit "random quiz" at Blogthings and this is what I got (and, yes, it made my head hurt this early in the morning.... but apparently, I did okay!):

You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You're Only As Old As You Feel

There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt. ~Author Unknown

Because Judy is a wild woman... and has started another group for folks who love romance at Ning. Check it out here! And, yep, feel free to join in and play. The more, the merrier.


I was reading an interview over at Mel's today and read that the author has been writing for twenty years. And I thought--WOW!! Twenty years.

And then I did the math.

I wrote my first novel (such as it was) when I was in fourth grade. I wrote my second and third novels (one of which I entered in the Avon Teen Novel Writing contest and managed to final) when I was a senior in high school. My twenty year high school reunion has come and gone.

Dear heavens.

I've been writing for (counts on fingers, and toes, and DD's fingers and toes, and the dogs toes....) more than thirty years. How old ARE you in fourth grade? I can't recall.

Every day something happens and reminds me that I'm older in reality than I am in my head. Anyone else have that problem. I mean, I know I'm forty. But I don't FEEL like I'm forty. It doesn't seem possible that I've been out of school for so many years. Inside, I'm still twenty. I look in the mirror and see lines and gray hair and I'm surprised!


What about you? Do you feel your age?


You Probably Look Your Age (At Least!)

You don't really respect your body, and that may catch up with you over time.
Relax a little and try to take care of yourself. If not, you'll have a lot of botox in your future.

Okay... so I have a little stress, and I don't get enough sleep. I don't smoke or party. Geez. Even Blogthings tells me I'm old.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Prince and Me (for Melissa)

Melissa asked what movie I saw Luke Mably in, so I thought I'd share a fan-vid of it:

A Funny -or- I Know Just How He Feels

December 8: 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years, felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14: Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and two extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for five hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20: Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the &%$# stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. %$##* snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower, and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas, because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt 'till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel, and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel! Tried to hire Bob, who has a plow on his truck, for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

December 23: Only 2" of snow today, and it warmed up to "0". The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What, is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did, but I think she's lying.

December 24: 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son-of-a-b*&^% who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over everywhere I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the *&$% snowplow.

December 25: Merry F!=3D@x@!x!x1 Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3D@x@!x!x1 slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30, and the pipes froze. Plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him; he only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28: Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. SHE’S driving me crazy!!!!!

December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30: Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver. He is now suing me for a million dollars; not for only the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his a**. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31: I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8: Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?


Infatuation is when you think he's as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he's as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford - but you'll take him anyway. ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975

I have a confession to make. I have a crush on someone. I don't know why, exactly, as he's really not my type. But I watched a movie with him last week and, by the end of it, I was madly in love.

Luke Mably.


Maybe it was his accent? His earnestness? His strength?


The worst part of this crush is -- he really isn't a prolific actor, and so is in few movies. I can't feed the crush by seeing everything he's done, because there aren't that many options.

But, really... isn't he adorable?


Who are you crushing on?


Hey... this week at the reviews blog, we're giving away a GREAT autographed book. Better, at the site, for this weeks contest? Yet another autographed book. Go look. Go enter. You won't regret it. Start spreading the news (how's that for an ear worm?).


I worked on "Kitchen Matches" yesterday. I put in a kitten instead of a puppy. Even writing about a puppy was too much work, LOL. She's a smoke gray kitten with blue eyes, and the heroine is appropriately thankful *G*.


We got a TON of snow yesterday. Easily a foot, if not more, and the drifts? Holy cow. The sides of our driveway are up to my waist or higher. DD is thrilled. Dakota wants to be -- she really does love the snow, but she's so little she disappears in it.

We'll see if DH goes to work today since he commutes to Massachusetts.


Your Psyche is Red

You are bright, bold, energetic, and intense.
Your upbeat, zany energy inspires those who are down.
Spontaneous and playful, you also have a courageous and fearless side.

When you are too red: you are angry, overprotective, and truly scary.

When you don't have enough red: you are depleted and lifeless.

I think I need a bit more red today... at least now I know how to dress!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Snowstorms

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. Not something to wish for, but to attain.” — William Jennings Bryan

Where do folks find the time?

Seriously... I belong to several Yahoo loops. The Wild Rose Press has two for authors, Samhain Publishinghas THREE. I belong to Sweeter Romantic Notions. And Novelspotters. And several more. All for my writing 'business'.

Problem is--if I spent time responding to folks on a regular basis on all of those loops, when would I have time to write? And, yet, when I open the daily digests, I see dozens of folks who are able to do just that. They, quite regularly, respond to all of the various posts, the chatty ones, the business related ones.

Where do they find the time?

I know that those are great promotional tools. But, crikey, I need to have something to promote! And, it's been mentioned more than once on several loops that folks who only lurke, and then pop in when it's time to post about their new releases or whatever, are NOT welcome there.

If you can't participate regularly, don't come at all.

Frustrating. It takes a lot to get me out of lurkdom. It doesn't mean that I don't read the loops, I do. I just don't have the time that apparently so many other folks do to reply to each and every post.



In other news, it's snowing here. Again. Last year, it rained on Christmas.

I miss last year.

My husband's family are thrilled with the weather. "Isn't it festive?" "Doesn't it just FEEL like Christmas?" "It's just lovely, isn't it?"


It's cold. And slippery. And Dangerous. I don't like to play in it, walk in it, drive in it... and I don't think it's particularly beautiful (though it is better than the ugly brown death that comes in November out here).

Does it look like Christmas or make it festive? NO. I'm from California and didn't have a white Christmas when I was young.

So. Wah.

There is my brief rant about the weather. A happy Christmas for me? Sipping a mai tai on the beach in Oahu.


No writing was accomplished yesterday. I worked on the LASR site, putting up new ads, updating the reviews by title and reviews by genre pages. I edited and drafted reviews for next week. I contacted the publishers with their reviews links for the week.

And, I tried to read some stories to review because we are in DESPERATE NEED for more reviewers and are beginning to fall behind. Between our two reviews sites, we have nearly 150 stories waiting to be read. Wowza!

Know anyone who wants to write a couple reviews each month? That's all we ask: two reviews. And we have both long or short stories to choose from. We've even started a reviewer incentive program that includes earning or gift certificates, LASR cafepress gear and more.

Yes, this is me, sending out a cry for help. HELP! Come review for us. Please?


Your Ideal Hairstyle:

Scrunch Curls

YES!!! Now if I could just get my DH to not hate short hair...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Warning: Saturday Snippiness

“PLUNDER, v. To take the property of another without observing the decent and customary reticences of theft. To effect a change of ownership with the candid concomitance of a brass band. To wrest the wealth of A from B and leave C lamenting a vanishing opportunity.” - Ambrose Bierce

I'm feeling a little snippy this morning. Fact is, one of the things that has made me snippy is something that shouldn't surprise me. So, warning... rant ahead.

[begin rant]

It started about two weeks ago when my SIL told me she'd bought the ENTIRE series of "Little House on the Prairie" and would I like her to copy it for my DD? Then, I found out that the series she'd "bought" off of eBay was a bootlegged copy to start with.

Hello? Bad enough to copy and GIVE away stuff. Highly illegal to copy and SELL stuff.

I told her no. DD will have to do without. And when I commented on copyright violations, and that it's theft, etc., my SIL -- who is a very God-fearing person -- basically shrugged and said, so what?

Then, all week long, I've been reading about sites online that offer eBooks for free -- one message board has folks requesting specific ones and folks sending them out. When one of the Samhain authors pointed out that this was illegal and why she had a problem with it, the basic response was: you don't complain about the library, do you?

Well... no. BUT... the library only has ONE paper copy to share. You can send out thousands... millions... of the same eBook. And, when the library's ONE copy wears out, they can buy a new one. AND, you don't get to KEEP the library's ONE copy in your own personal collection. Do you? But, you surely do keep the eBooks you like, right? You don't read them and delete them after two weeks if you like them, do you?

I'm a library patron myself. I read too much to buy everything. BUT... when I read a book I love, I run out and buy a copy for myself to keep.

And, folks, fact is -- most authors make next to nothing on their work. My royalties barely keep me in printer ink.

What amazes me is that people who would NEVER reach into your purse and take out a dollar would think nothing of doing basically the same thing by sharing eBooks.

When I give away a copy of my eStories as a promotion -- I buy a copy. Do I have one on my hard drive? Absolutely. That's not the point. If it was a paper book, I'd have to buy one to give away. It's the SAME THING.

I hear people say they can't afford to buy all the books they read... well, prior to eBooks, what did you do? Did you walk into WalMart or Barnes and Noble and shoplift?

Give it some thought the next time you "borrow" an eBook from someone. Or share one with a friend. It's not the same as a library.

[/end rant]


It's sunny today. Blindingly so because of all the white stuff on the ground. Boy, oh boy, does that reflect the light!!! No worries, though. We have another Nor'easter coming in tonight that will take care of that pesky sunlight.


Worked on my writing again yesterday! How is that possible?? Two days in a row? Woot! I'm loving layering in the little touches, and innuendos. Still haven't layered in a puppy. Think I will. Maybe today, as I am shooting for THREE days in a row *G*.


You Communicate With Your Body

This isn't as bad as it sounds, it just means that you're a "touchy-feely" person.
You need a lot of affection in your life. And for you, this means both giving and receiving little touches.
Warm hearted, you bond with people easily. In fact, you often feel a little sad when you're not in the company of others.
A little moody, you tend to be controlled by your emotions. But a bit hug always comforts you!

Um. NO. Except maybe the "moody" part. *G*

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Futzing

"You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." — George Horace Lorimer

I have to wonder where all my creative juices have gone lately. I am not the type of person who typically runs out of things to say, but I have.

Could it be the foot or so of snow we got (or the foot or so they're predicting for us AGAIN on Sunday?) that has frozen my brain.

Possibly lack of sleep due to puppy puke (who knew if your dog eats half a Nylabone -- that isn't really supposed to be ingested -- that she would vomit two nights running... and ONLY nights, not days).

Maybe it's trying to memorize the Declaration of Independence alongside my DD? Have I used up all my brain cells on that? (It's a very interesting document, BTW. Since they use terrifically complicated words, I had to break it down for the DD, and was very interested in what the document really says. You should take a very close look sometime).

Having to deal with DH being home. And having to deal with the idea that DH will be on a two week vacation beginning on the 20th... getting the DD to focus on school when her routine is off is horrible. And, no, we don't take holiday's off from school because we only do a four day school week.

Who knows what is causing my brain juice to dry up. I only hope I find a refill soon.


In other news, I submitted an excerpt for my Samhain Publishing novel, "One Love For Liv" yesterday. I really hate selecting an excerpt. It needs to be interesting, and make the person want to read more, but not give away any plot secrets. And it should stand on its own, not requiring the reader to have more information to understand what is going on. I agonized over this. I finally asked for input from Michele, who hasn't read the book and makes a decent cold reader. She opted for number two.

I have high hopes that the "coming soon" info will be up on the site soon, at which point I may faint dead away.

And, the novel itself comes out sometime around February or so. I'll let you know when I have a firm date. I can't believe how quickly everything has happened. Woo!


I did work on some writing yesterday. It was a flat out miracle. But, I made some time to work on "Kitchen Matches" a little more. I hope I've made the hero a little less abrasive (the editor who rejected it said she didn't like him in the beginning AT ALL and just couldn't get past that later), the heroine much more attracted to him. I've added little touches, and smiles and things that make you tingle *G*. The joy of writing romance.

The editor also asked me to add more emotion. I gotta be honest, that's not something I hear much from folks who read my writing, so it surprised me. I've been trying to focus on why this story felt so distant to her. I've crawled into the heroine's head a little more, made her more aware of everything that's going on (hence the tingles, LOL).

I've actually decided I want to lengthen it and then submit to a different, more popular line. So, things need to be adjusted. This can't be as sweet. One of the criteria of the line is this:

In each full-length novel, there must be one fully consummated love scene. In the case of short stories, if this isn't realistic for the plot of the story, then the physical encounters must be extremely hot and let the reader know how hard it is for that couple to keep their hands off each other.
So, although the H/H have their fair share of smooching, I need to heat things up a little more.

I can do that. I actually really enjoy writing super-tense, hot, coitus interuptus. I love to *almost* let my H/H get together. It's oodles of fun, for me anyway. Not so much for them *G*.


There's a 16% Chance You've Been Abducted By Aliens

There's virtually no chance you've been abducted by aliens.
But there's always hope for the future!

LOLOL... Even the aliens don't want me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

BTT: Cataloging?

"The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want." — Ben Stein

Because I'm so busy, I can't think straight, and because I'm already behind and I just started, I'm booking it today.

Do you use any of the online book-cataloguing sites, like Library Thing or Shelfari? Why or why not? (Or . . . do you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about?? (grin))

If not an online catalog, do you use any other method to catalog your book collection? Excel spreadsheets, index cards, a notebook, anything?

I started using Libray Thing for my books, but decided it just wasn't worth the time for me to upload them. That may change someday, but for now -- I'm simply too busy. We do use Library Thing for LASR, because our newsletter subscribers have special super-secret contests every month to win a book from there (in addition to the gift certificate). And, I'm behind updating that, too! LOL...

Fact is, I'm pretty organized. I alphabetize my albums, my books are arranged by author and genre on my shelves, but the thought of creating a spreadsheet to keep track of them makes me want to shiver. Why? Do YOU keep track of your books somehow? And, before Library Thing and Shelfari, did you create your own spreadsheet?

You Should Spend the Holidays In

Mexico - where Christmas Day is celebrated by breaking a pinata

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers (and Authors)

Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

Working with The Long and the Short of It romance reviews site, I've had the privilege of being in contact with many, many authors. I'm consistently amazed at how gracious most of them are. There are, of course, the occasional unpleasant ones, but for the most part, it's been a joy.

We don't review every request we get. If we can't give it a positive review, we turn it down. It is my job to compose those letters, and they're never easy. I'm delighted to say that, without exception, each and every person -- whether a publisher or author -- has been grateful and pleasant. One author even thanked us, because we provide specific information as to why the story doesn't work for us, including basic editing suggestions.

Lately, we've been working with some bestselling authors. And, as busy as they are with deadline and promotions and conferences and such, they have been the most generous and pleasant of all.

Most recently, we've gabbed with Deborah MacGillivray , Alyssa Day and Kerrelyn Sparks. I can honestly say that, even had I not already been fans of theirs (and I already was!), they would have won me over with their gracious attitudes and generous spirits. They are truly wonderful examples of what every author should strive to be.

Thanks, ladies!

And all you folks, reading this? Keep your eyes open for some great giveaways from those authors, coming up soon!


I worked on my own writing yesterday... my short story, "Kitchen Matches" that was rejected last month. I've decided to add several scenes, a little more sexual tension and stretch the time period out a bit.

I may have to throw a puppy in to the mix, though, just for added fun.

Speaking of puppies, Dakota had to go to the doggy doc yesterday. She has scabbing around her urethra and a hard, swollen area. Turns out she has a skin infection -- so she gets to have daily baths with medicated shampoo. Woo. Hoo.

We got Bailey's ashes yesterday. The crematorium put them in this truly lovely wooden box with a paw print on the top and and engraving on the bottom with her name, our family name and her date of death. After crying like a baby (which distresses my DD to no end, because she says grown-ups aren't supposed to cry), I was just simply pleased. Bailey is finally home again.


You Are Jennifer Aniston

Girl next door with a free spirit.
You're low key and naturally sexy.
Sweet and approachable, people are attracted to your upbeat attitude.
And even when life doesn't go your way, you always eventually turn things around.

Yeah... I wish... LOL...